The Roots Of ObamaScience

Steve Milloy dug this up. Obama is following through on a long tradition of Policy Based Evidence Making.

ScreenHunter_413 Jun. 10 22.27ScreenHunter_414 Jun. 10 22.30

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18 Responses to The Roots Of ObamaScience

  1. tom0mason says:

    Science has long been a state tool whether it wanted to be or not.
    Politics has invaded the science domain structure, polluting outcomes to political adgendas, and away from the free and open discourse on the true elements of nature.
    The piper pays and the piper will get what they want, but maybe soon there will be a push back.

    • _Jim says:

      “B” made a point a few days ago that governments tend to ‘freeze’ progress into a kind of a de facto establishment of *the* ‘status quo’; I would agree.

      • Jason Calley says:

        Anyone — politician, scientist, theologian, academician, whomever — who finds himself in a position of power and influence, has a vested interest in keeping the status quo. If things change, they have little to gain, but much to lose.

        • _Jim says:

          I’m speaking in more the technological sense rather than the political structure sense, with this slight difference: In the one case, innovation and experimentation that results in new discoveries are/can be suppressed through preferences versus the ‘political’ sense where your opposition is simply suppressed or controlled.

          Innovation and subsequent investment of venture capital can be made uneconomical due to, say, continued government ‘investment’ or awarding of contract to companies using yester-years technologies. We saw that a century or so back with steamship contracts where congress made that decision ..

        • _Jim says:

          Here’s the story Remember the lesson of steamship subsidies with the excerpt below to start things off:
          – – – – – – – – –
          By the early 19th century, our central government in Washington had indeed grown rich and arrogant enough to believe it could help advance steamship transportation by subsidizing the efforts of one Edward Collins.

          “Collins, a political entrepreneur … said that America needed subsidized steamships to compete with England, to create jobs, and to provide a military fleet in case of war,” historian Burton Folsom of Hillsdale College recounts.

          “If the government would give him $3 million down and $385,000 a year, he would build five ships, deliver mail and passengers, and outrace the (British) Cunarders” from New York to England.

          Congress gave Collins the money in 1847, “but he built four enormous ships (not five smaller ships as he had promised),” Folsom reports.

          “Collins stressed luxury, not economy, and his ships used almost twice the coal of the Canard Line. He often beat the Cunarders across the ocean by one day, but his costs were high and his economic benefits were nil.”

          With government aid, Collins had no incentive to reduce costs. “He preferred to compete in the world of politics for more federal aid than in the world of business against price-cutting rivals. In 1852 he went to Washington and lavishly entertained President Fillmore, his Cabinet, and influential congressmen. Collins artfully lobbied Congress for an increase to $858,000 a year.”

          It took Cornelius Vanderbilt, the New York shipping genius (now dismissed in our government schools as a greedy robber baron, of course), to challenge this system. In 1855, Vanderbilt offered to deliver the mail for less than half what Collins was getting. Congress balked — it was pledged to Collins — so Vanderbilt decided to challenge Collins even without a subsidy.

          Vanderbilt’s strategy against Collins was to cut the standard first-class fare from $200 to $80. He also introduced a third-class fare in steerage, at $75.

          “All this was too much for Collins,” Folsom reports.

          “When he tried to counter with more speed, he crashed two of his four ships, killing almost 500 passengers. In desperation he spent one million dollars of government money building a gigantic replacement, but he built it so poorly that it could make only two trips and had to be sold at more than a $900,000 loss.”
          – – – – – – – – – –

        • Jason Calley says:

          Hey Jim! Yes, I agree, the push to status quo is not only political. As you say, stasis (or even retrogression) in any technology subsidized by governmental largess is practically guaranteed. Technological retrogression? I seem to remember a government moon landing 45 years ago. Today we have to hitch rides with the Russians just to get to low orbit.

          Additionally, there is a sort of economic stasis as well; even companies that do not get direct governmental funding often will buy legislation written to hinder or exclude competition. Start up companies — even those with better and more efficient business plans — find that the market is effectively closed to them by artificially high cost of entry.

          By the way — nice story about the steam ships!

          Oh, one more tidbit. Not only do we have a man rated rocket, but the Atlas V, one of our main rockets for unmanned missions, uses a lower stage rocket engine that we buy from the Russians. Actually, I should say, that we used to buy from the Russians. They have announced that they will not sell us any more.

        • Jason Calley says:

          Oh, one obvious example of scientific retrogression after government funding…

          “Climate science”! Climate science produces howlers that no scientist would have accepted 40 years ago. It is going backward.

  2. Morgan says:

    “The co-optation of science turns out to be an easy matter, that’s a disappointing thing to realize. It’s happened many times. Personally, I’ve noticed, that in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, academics were the first to support anything that was demanded of them.”

    -Richard Lindzen

    • Gail Combs says:


    • Jason Calley says:

      Good point, Morgan. Additionally, any academic who refused to support the powers that be, soon found himself either fleeing the country or disappeared. When governmental policy invades science, a sort of “academic Gresham’s Law” appears, one where bad science drives out the good.

  3. philjourdan says:

    Lysenkoism. Organizations are not really that different. When the Church ruled, science was subjugated to its ends. When the state rules, the same thing occurs. We saw that in the old USSR, and now the “Hope and Change” USA.

  4. _Jim says:

    And so a new term is coined: Community Science Organizer; I like it.


  5. Brian H says:

    As Elon Musk told Congress, his SpaceX could provide the launches the Atlas is used for at about ¼ the cost, entirely with its home-grown and -built technology. The only defense the incumbent launch coalition had to offer was that SpaceX hadn’t gone through as many decades of bureaucratic hassles as they had.

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