OK

The modern GOP is irresponsible and dangerous.

The operative phrase {link above} is that legislators seek "... to reverse the agency's scientific finding ..." regarding the EPA & AGW. Imagine seeing reports from Washington that legislators seek : "... to reverse the FDA's scientific finding that aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug" ; or "... to reverse the TSA's scientific finding that driving slower saves gas." Legislators' jobs are to determine policy & implementation, not decree the facts of nature.

Only totalitarian regimes seek to dictate the content of science. Remember Lysenko ? Stalin (who knew about as much science as a kindergardner) dictated that Lysenko's bogus ideas were to be Soviet policy, and that scientific theories were illegal. "Scientific dissent from Lysenko's theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in 1948 ..."

Science is, despite some weaknesses and occasional error, the most impartial and egalitarian of human endeavors. Don't proceed in reading without noting my qualifier : "most". Nothing is utterly impartial of conscious and unconscious influence. Nothing can compare to science for its relative integrity.

Folks who advocate removal of government regulatory controls will often argue that, without those pesky regulations, businessmen would be free to simply make the best decision. These folks assert that, with important matters to consider, these decision makers will consider making reasonable profits, accomodating some degree of environmental protection, and assuring safety of their employees. They would not be inclined to seek excessive profits, which could be counter-productive - if not simply unfair. NO ONE would want to destroy the planet, so we can trust them to do the right thing. And they have families, just like you and me, so they care enough about people to not remove workplace safeguards.

Yeah, as if.

Such attitudes evidence a blindness to reality. Regulations have been developed because the Pollyanna attitudes (of those who kowtow to power) are utterly fallacious - voided by repetitive examples from history.

It is not a scientific approach to determine the status of regulations by a politician's subservience to affected businesses. Their emotional dependence on powerful figures is the basic construction material for dictatorships.

Science provides an excellent alternative to political influence. Politics' inherent lack of morality has yielded a mixed record of policy-making. Politicians and businessmen staring at financial reports are utterly malleable when it comes to duplicity. In contrast, science and the U.S. Constitution are comparable for their checks & balances. There are mechanisms in science for error avoidance and for self-correction. The examples of scientific error (or even fraud) are almost always exposed by science itself. Scientists, beyond even their considerable interests in sometimes making a buck or (for those with the biggest egos) having a cool press release, are incredibly loathe to publish anything which might be tainted. Bias, error, and fraud in science can, if sufficiently severe, result in destruction of a career. It has happened.

Politicians do not have such a near-certainty. Their mis-deeds often qualify as safe bets. Scientists' only safe bets are on the integrity of their research results.

Science should, based upon the best available scientific information, inform and guide legislators. Legislators have a responsibility to incorporate scientific findings in accordance with principles of good stewardship of the public trust.

Meanwhile, other countries listen to their scientists. They are not as inclined toward self-immolation as we are. Their laughter will not be as painful as our becoming a second-rate country.

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