Earth Day 2017 and the Anti-Scientific ‘March for Science’

By Calvin Beisner Published on April 20, 2017

Maybe it’s a fluke that Earth Day is also Lenin’s birthday. But it’s no mere happenstance that the “Marches for Science” were scheduled for Earth Day — this Saturday, April 22nd. The March organizers flew the flag of climate alarmism as soon as they announced the events.

This, for instance, is from one of their early blog posts warning against a right wing “war on science”:

Much of the War on Science will be subtly fought, casting doubt on … climate change. … This is a well-known tactic, thoroughly documented in the book Merchants of Doubt.

At his confirmation hearings, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt showed us the language of this approach. Manmade climate change, he says, is “subject to continuing debate.” …

This subtle attack on scientific ideas … has proven to be a reliable method for manipulating public perception, derailing research, censoring data, and stalling political action.

The network of scientists, economists, theologians, and other scholars I lead would love to join in a march for sound science. Here’s what such a march would do:

It would explain how sound science can help us to be good stewards of the environment.

It would explain that sound science is based on evidence and not climate scaremongering. That it doesn’t work by consensus. That it tests theories and predictions against observations of the real world. That it doesn’t intimidate dissenters, manipulate data, attack critics, or play lackey to politics.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the “March for Science” to teach any of these things.

A march for sound science would also be open to the truth about man. It would not exclude groups like ours, which explain that people aren’t mere consumers and polluters. We don’t just use up resources and poison the planet. We are made in the image of the Creator. So we don’t have to leave nature as we found it. We can steward the earth to enhance its fruitfulness, beauty, and safety. And we can do it to glorify God and serve our neighbors.

This implies that environmentalists err when they oppose both population and economic growth. Why? Because a clean environment is a costly good. Wealthier people can afford more costly goods than poorer people can. So poverty, not affluence, is the environment’s greatest threat. If you want a cleaner environment, work for wider prosperity.

People produce more when they work together. That means larger, denser populations become wealthier, and so cleaner and healthier, than smaller, sparser ones.

Don’t expect to hear any of this from any of the hundreds of Marches around the world this Saturday. Expect, instead, a steady drumbeat of left wing politics and climate doom-and-gloom.

No less an intellectual than Harvard’s Steven Pinker bashed the march’s “anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric.”

Why? It might have something to do with this official tweet:

Colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues.

A screenshot of the deleted tweet.

A screenshot of the deleted tweet.

That got deleted after it drew fire. But the website still features a “Statement on Diversity and Inclusion” and a set of “Diversity and Inclusion Principles.” Both put its PC agenda on display.

That agenda was also on display when some backers protested that Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was named co-chairman. Was their complaint that he’s not a real scientist and he often embarrasses those who are? No. They didn’t like that he’s a white male.

And then there is the fact that the “March for Science” excluded some conservative groups but included partners such as:

  • Climate alarmists like NextGen Climate America, Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org, and Climate Central;
  • Mainstays of secularism like the National Center for Science Education, National Association of Biology Teachers, Secular Student Alliance, and Secular Coalition for America;
  • Anti-Christian outfits like the American Humanist Association, Religious Naturalist Association, Secular Student Alliance, and Unitarian Universalist Association;
  • Partisangroups like the UAW, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, American Federation of Teachers, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, and Spread the Vote.

The mainstream media will portray the “March for Science” as a defense of real science against its enemies. But it’s really a rear-guard effort to shore up President Obama’s climate policies. These policies would have cost us hundreds of billions of dollars a year and had almost no effect on global climate.

And in any case, they’re policies, not science. By dressing up politics as science, these March activists could do real damage to science. It would have been better to call it the March Against Science.

 

Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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