Monday, February 18, 2013

Why Liberals Are Anti-Science part Douche (2): The Precautionary Principle

The reason I started this blog is that I have a crap load of knowledge on science, research and the like. The lack of understanding among the general populace is actually kind of irritating to me, rather than sit in a corner and moan about the world I'm going to do what I can to correct some of the misinformation or misunderstanding that's out there. Every once in a while I'll venture into politics, I'm not perfect, but the reality is I'm a scientist to my core. I know I don't reach a lot of people with this blog and I'm too stubborn to develop a larger network for greater visibility. If you like this article or agree with it repost it, because what follows is a discussion that should be thrown around whenever anyone starts saying conservatives are anti science.

Like I said before both republicans and democrats are "anti-science". The difference to me between liberals and conservatives is that conservative "anti-science" beliefs are essentially harmless.  Who gives a crap if some voter doesn't believe in the theory of everything or evolution. They might be idiots but they honestly aren't harming anyone but themselves.I think the only conservative position I have taken issue with is stem cell research and that's a question of ethics. If i was paralyzed and someone told me a fetus could let me walk again I'd head on down to the local abortion clinic with a blender in hand.  I clearly cant speak for everyone and i know that.

The thing about liberal "Anti-science" beliefs is that they are numerous. The crusades are against well established technologies and they cause people to die.  I'm not exaggerating, in addition to clear ignorance on climate change data there are lefty groups against all of the following technologies, each one is worthy of an article: Nuclear Power, Genetically Modified Organisms, Vaccines, Modern Farming Techniques, DDT, Electromagnetic Waves, Natural Gas and Fracking Technologies, Animal Husbandry,  Aqua Culture, Psychotherapy,  Cooked Food, Affordable Power technologies, and Oil Production. I mean I could go on, but really, do I need to? There are literally so many scientific technologies that liberals are against that I get to have a great laugh when they start protesting against one another. There was even a paper I saw in the past year of liberal groups promoting the idea that we should make food more expensive through legal regulation.

Silliness aside, and back on the issue of liberals killing people. What upsets me about this is the stance from those defending team blue. Ideas like 'it's not antiscience if you know and understand the principles of the theory and technology' isnt a defense to my challeng.  In my mind you are literally saying you understand that hunger,  disease and poverty can be cured or at the very least alleviated by these technologies but you would rather spend the time, effort, and energy protesting them. If you agree with that statement then you are literally saying that you sanction the deaths of millions of people on an ideological wet dream.

The reason for the slaughter is called the precautionary principle. At its core the precautionary principle goes like this, its OK to oppose something, because we don't know what the effects are gonna be down the line.  Sounds somewhat reasonable right? I mean you wouldn't want to do things to harm yourself or your children.

The problem is with all of those technologies I listed above, with climate change, Is that we really and truly do know. Much of the protested technology has been around for 50 years or more and liberal still actively form legal hurdles. All of them have been proven safe not just with actual practice but with tons of research. Even if it wasn't, which it is, just because you don't know whats going to happen 20 or 30 years or 60 years from now doesn't mean a chain of  events leading to disaster is likely or probable.

Do you know that guy? His name is Norman Borlaug and he won the Nobel prize for vastly improving crop yields through both new farming techniques and genetically engineering better strains of plants. He is kind of a big deal because he helped make crops grow in regions where they normally don't. See that at the core is what genetically modified organisms are for, we take useful characteristics and share them, even cross species which would be otherwise impossible. It's the same stupid thing that human beings have been doing with selective breeding, except its faster, more accurate and easily replicable. Sure we might make glow in the dark rabbits and monkeys but that's just for shits and giggles, and oh by the way I have actually done genetic engineering to make that glowing protein. No Tesla coils or other mad scientist stuff.

Yes its super creepy
So why would people protest better crop yields. Well for one there's always fear of contamination after all bees don't exactly stop at fences. But who would get mad at better crop yields? Monsanto has patent lawsuits over them sometimes but that's no reason to protest GMO's entirely. Of course there are risks like creating more resilient pests, but that doesnt stop us from producing or providing antibiotics, and even so why would you protest draught resistant crops? Well its that damn precautionary principle again. I mean what if something bad happens at some point due to the dna your eating today or what if it genetically modifies you?

Well folks your in for a treat, here's what happens when you eat something. First you cook it which essentially destroys or denatures most if not all of the proteins. It is then chewed, producing more surface area for the acids and enzymes in saliva to break down all those proteins. Then it hits the stomach acid which breaks it down even more. Almost to the point of containing no proteins at all. This slurry of amino acids (protein base components) then enters your intestines where more enzymes are secreted, basically destroying any remaining proteins. whatever sugars in that soup and amino acids are absorbed. What few proteins have survived your bodies best attempt to destroy them don't, because they are too damn big to pass through the membranes. So bacteria eat them and break them down further into other components which we can use.

In short what you eat is broken down to its fundamental components so that your body can make it into whatever thing it needs. See why would you have evolved over billions of years only to have to use the proteins that your food had. Do you have any idea how much and how varied our diet would have to be to survive that kind of requirement? It's ridiculous, by the time your body gets to use the tomato you ate it is no longer even remotely recognizable as a damn tomato GMO or not.

Do you know that guy? Well you should he's Louis Pasteur and kind of sort of the father of the modern vaccine as well as a whole slew of other amazing experiments. He is to microbiology what Galileo is to physics. What I'm trying to say here is vaccines are old, really old, like hundreds of years old.  You see he wasn't even the first person to consider inoculation. The concept of using an inert virus or bacteria to stop you from dying of well something super nasty may be as old as 3500 years. Vaccines are so effective that we have wiped some plagues from the face of the earth. They are so useful that you probably didn't have a friend stuck in an iron lung.  Who the hell would protest anything that is cheap and effective at stopping the nastiest of diseases?

Well the short answer is idiots.  I don't use that term lightly. See protestation of vaccines comes from some horribly misguided belief that the vaccine causes autism. As to why, well there was this study, which violated every scientific principle known to man, and was still published. It has since been retracted and no one I REPEAT NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO VERIFY, OR EVEN COME CLOSE TO A LINK BETWEEN THE TWO. There was also mercury in some of the earlier vaccines (hint: its actually a great preservative) which was in such small amounts as to be nonthreatening.  If you want to argue about that point I dare you to go read up on dosages and find me a scientific article showing it as a problem.

So now we have a situation where a bunch of idiots have actually caused outbreaks of diseases that we once had effectively bottled. Not just here in the US with outbreaks of whooping cough but in overseas countries. there is effort to delay or stop implementation in the third world through widespread fear campaigns. If you know someone in this movement and they truly know that all of the research says otherwise than punch them for me. I mean seriously give them a solid whack in the face, and if they didn't vaccinate their kid, infect them with polio. Its the best way to make a point.

This doesn't even touch on DDT. DDT is one of the safest, cheapest and most effective mosquito controls ever invented. Its one of the best ways to prevent malaria. It was banned in the US and many developing countries because it might have caused problems with bird populations. To be clear before DDT was invented bird populations were on the decline, and they recovered before dispersal was ever stopped. But even if it was a problem for birds, what is the loss of a few birds to save literally millions of people each year.

Do you want to know why so many Americans have a smartphone? Ill give you a hint it wasn't the greenies. What really helped America grow wealthy and prosperous was industry. The ability to process raw materials into useful goods.  I know it sounds crazy but that's why we burned fossil fuels. So logically if we want to help the third world out of poverty clearly the best approach is to let them industrialize. While coal and oil may not be the best sources of power they are the cheapest. Not in terms of fuel costs but in terms of capital costs. That means that more power can reach more people with coal oil and natural gas than wind, solar or even nuclear.

I said I oppose liberal groups because people die from their actions. I oppose them because they literally want to make life harder on people. Rather than pooling their money and resources to put up the projects they support they spend that capital trying to take other people down or buying votes. They use fear and misinformation to spread unscientific discourse, because frankly, fear works. They stand in the way when people attempt to build what they need. Does anyone really think that the Canadian oil sands aren't going to be developed if there is no keystone? The choices aren't to stop the project and help the planet vs jobs, its American jobs vs Chinese jobs. In the developing world its science and technology vs. death.

In the US we are rich relatively speaking, we can afford the luxury of medical care and exorbitant food pricing. That doesn't means its even remotely right to try to sell luxury ideas to starving nations. If we were to implement organic farming techniques over existing land we would only be able to feed about 4 billion people. With almost seven billion people in the world, if liberals know the scientific facts, it would be pleasant if they simply volunteered to die first.

1 comment:

  1. I was told that comments weren't working so I'm currently testing this.