Church and state sponsored silencing of scientists

    aka, The pipsqueak shall annihilate the Earth.

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    Scott Pruitt alluded to the Book of Joshua on Tuesday when he banned EPA funded scientists from advising on EPA science advisory boards.

    First! This means that any scientist who has ever received money from the EPA is no longer allowed to have a say in what direction the EPA takes. This is a move that sidesteps a vital facet of scientific progress—peer review. It means that those most qualified to assess the science are almost guaranteed to have no say in how to fund, improve, and/or further environmental science within the EPA. It's like if instead of being judged by a jury of your peers, you were required to be judged by a jury of coal-hungry gibbons. So... that's terrible.

    Okay, now the biblical aspect of all this. In principle, I have no problem with people referencing or alluding to religious text when discussing science. As long as the religion is not actually influencing or attempting to inform the science, allude away! But Pruitt's Joshua reference was used entirely out of context, and was nothing but lip-service to a zealous minority and a cock-block to humans who want protection from industrial pollution.

    In fact, Joshua is probably the worst book of the Bible to reference when discussing environmental science, as it's often used as an example of why you can't use the Bible to inform science (literalists may argue that the Sun revolves around the Earth, as Joshua made the sun stand still, as opposed to having the Earth stop rotating).

    This ban on peer review is yet another obstacle overcome in Pruitt's quest to render the EPA entirely feckless. After he's done with it, the EPA will legally be required to give exactly zero fecks about the environment.  

     

    The Tortoise and the Hair

    One day, the Hair was bragging that he could do anything to the American people without losing the support of his followers. The Tortoise took this opportunity to challenge the Hair to see who could take away the most health insurance the fastest. The Hair was confident and declared, “I can repeal ObamaCare, I’ve got the best repeals!” And off they went!

    The Tortoise got all his friends together behind closed doors and talked and talked and talked, but wouldn’t let the public in on his plan. The Hair saw this and tweeted, “This is going to be so easy! My healthcare plan will be the best healthcare plan in the entire world—instead of working hard now, I’ll just hold a rally!” Then the Hair turned on Fox News and took a nap.

    All the while, the Tortoise had been working diligently to ensure that if poor people couldn’t afford insurance, then at least wealthy people could spend less on taxes. The Hair thought that the Tortoise was being “mean” and was more confident then ever, especially when the Tortoise was forced to delay the vote on his own healthcare bill. But the Tortoise kept on working. “Slow and petty wins the race,” muttered the Tortoise.

    Slow and petty wins the race…