Republican Mad Science! Mad, I Tell You!

“I’m not a scientist” is what Republicans use as an excuse to be stupid about science they don’t like for political reasons only, and this ad ridiculing them is absolutely perfect. You must watch.

Of course, the only time they use that excuse is to deny climate change or evolution. When it comes to abortion and the question of when life begins, not one of them ever refuses to take a position there, claiming they are “not a scientist.”

Cudos to the Clinton campaign for this ad.

Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) are not the problem

80% of the food you ate today was genetically modified.

This scares people who don’t understand what that means — they go screaming about “Frankenfoods,” much like Ogg the caveman in his widely-shared blog piece “Fire bad.” A70-10667

This doesn’t mean that all genetically modified products are good, though. When people talk about the dangers of Monsanto’s “Round-Up”, they’re correct. But what makes Round-Up bad isn’t the fact that it uses GMO technology — it’s the fact that the stuff is dangerous and possibly cancerous. The process by which it is made isn’t the bad thing.

So when people want to ban GMOs, I ask if they similarly want to ban chemical laboratories. After all, chemistry produces deadly poisons, too.

GMOs have produced great benefits to our society. Millions of lives have been saved by the development of plants that can grow better and feed more people. Norman Bourlag won a Nobel Peace Prize for his research into this, and said that GMO technology is merely a new way of doing what he had done traditionally — that if the technology was available when he did his research, he would have reached the same result quicker and cheaper. And his comments have come true — more discoveries are being made every day that help feed people.

The fact is that GMOs are safe. The vast majority of scientists say so. I’m not talking “four out of five dentist” numbers, I mean in the 90% range. Like the kind of numbers we see for scientists who say climate change is real.

And that’s what bugs me — many of the strongest advocates for banning GMOs are my fellow liberals. You know, the ones who complain when conservatives deny science and won’t accept evolution or global warming despite the overwhelming consensus of scientists. Then these same liberals ignore the scientists when they overwhelmingly say something that challenges their own biases. (Ironically, some of these same liberals also ignore science concerning vaccines, too.)

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have a different standard for yourself than the one you demand on others.

“OK, wise guy,” people say to me, usually accompanied by a sneer, “So why would you object to labeling GMO foods to let people make up their own minds about what is in it?”  The answer is because people don’t know. Seriously, I blogged a while ago about a study wherein 80% of the population wanted to label food containing DNA.  DNA!  DNA, that is in every damned thing we eat every day (except salt)!

Labeling GMOs says to people “This is dangerous. Clearly, or we wouldn’t be labeling it as such.” That is the exact wrong message to send. It’s not true.

And whether something has GMO technology is completely irrelevant to the product. We don’t label food that has been modified in other ways, because it doesn’t matter how it was modified. The process isn’t the problem.

Stopping dangerous foods and chemicals that can harm us is definitely something we should be doing. Labeling the process by which those things are made shows a great misunderstanding of science.

Demand that the FDA require labeling of food containing DNA!

Once more, Frankenfoods win again. The government is refusing to label food which contains DNA.

This is serious. The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Even more alarming, pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children. DNA_stock

Although there have been many calls for more regulation, so far the FDA has refused to do anything about DNA in our foods. In fact, whenever presented with a call for at least labeling of such food, the FDA has replied by literally laughing in the face of those making the request.

This is an issue which concerns many Americans.  One recent study found that 80% of those surveyed believed that food which contains DNA should be labeled.*  Clearly, action is required.

Do not say, “Well, this doesn’t concern me.” You may be surprised at where you will find DNA when you go to your local supermarket. I swear, it’s in everything!

So be sure to take action. Write your congressman. Tell everyone you know. Do it now. Don’t waste time researching it; you read about it on the internet — isn’t that enough?

* I am not making this up. 

“GMOs are evil” is the left’s version of “There is no climate change”

Liberals whining about GMOs are the left’s version of conservatives whining about climate change.

Every scientific group that has examined this have said that GMO foods are safe. We eat lots of GMO foods every day and have been doing so for many many years.  veggang

Just ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  “Practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food. There are no wild, seedless watermelons …You list all the fruit, and all the vegetables, and ask yourself, is there a wild counterpart to this? If there is, it’s not as large, it’s not as sweet, it’s not as juicy, and it has way more seeds in it. We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It’s called artificial selection.”

Is Monsanto evil and doing things it shouldn’t? Absolutely. But that’s because they’re evil and bribing politicians (oops, sorry, I meant “donating to campaigns”) to get away with putting out dangerous things. There are dangerous substances they are releasing — but they’re not dangerous because they are GMOs. The fact that these dangerous things are GMOs does not mean all GMOs are dangerous.

“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe … The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”

When people say, “Climate change isn’t happening” I say, “Well, what do the experts say?” When they say, “Vaccinations cause autism” I go “Do the scientists who deal with this stuff agree?” So when people say “GMOs are bad!” I reply, “What do the people who know this stuff best have to say about it?”

I don’t want to fall into the trap of doing the exact same thing I criticize conservatives for doing — ignoring science when it contradicts your political leanings.

Are there hats? (A poll)

One in four Americans are skeptical on climate change. “Who gives a shit?” John Oliver says. “That doesn’t matter. You don’t need people’s opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking, ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ Or, ‘Do owls exist?’ Or, ‘Are there hats?’”

So take our poll and give us your opinion.


Australian heat wave counters American snow

Australia is now suffering one of the worst heat waves in history.

Yes, it’s summer there. And it’s tremendously hot.Australia But you’d never know that from climate changes deniers here in the northern part of the globe, who apparently think that the entire planet is experiencing the record cold and snow we’re getting. “Can’t be global warming with all this snow!” say people who have no background whatsoever in climatology.

This is exactly what climate change scientists predicted years ago, though. An increase in temperature on the planet leads to extreme weather of all kinds. Among those who study climate, this is no surprise whatsoever.

Most of the people who object to climate change are doing so for political reasons anyway. They don’t like Al Gore so therefore they have to object to science. I mean, you never hear of these people objecting to the theory of gravity or arguing that math isn’t real. They’re like creationists who object to evolution because it violates their pre-conceived notions.

I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why the vast majority of scientists from around the world would become part of a grand conspiracy, working together in secret, to promote a scientific theory which would give them absolutely no benefit whatsoever. It’s certainly much more believable that the small percentage of scientists who get grants from major oil companies to “prove” that climate change is not real are part of a conspiracy, isn’t it? After all, they profit from such a conclusion.

It’s like the deniers are expecting all the climatologists to suddenly say, with an evil laugh, “Now that you agree there is climate change, you are under our control! Muahahahaha!” and then demand nothing because it’s not like they can solve it.

Christie dumbs himself down in order to win Stupid Party nomination

I may disagree with Chris Christie over politics, but he always seemed like a fairly smart guy.  I’ve even complimented him in the past.

Then he decided he wanted to be President.   

In order to be a Republican President, you have to win the Republican primaries.  chris-christieAnd in order to do that, you have to be a member of the Stupid Party.  Primary voters are always at the extreme end of the political spectrum (Democrats, too) — so in the Republican primaries, that means you need to appeal to the anti-science, anti-immigrant, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay rights Tea Party types.

Christie began by ignoring the fact that a majority of the people who elected him in New Jersey favor gay marriage, by coming out against it and even vetoing the bill to allow it in his state.

Now he’s siding with the anti-science crowd over vaccinations.  Vaccinations!  I still can’t believe this is even an issue.  “Medicine is the work of evil scientists who want to cure everyone!”  WTF is wrong with these people?

Admittedly, the anti-vaccination people also include many stupid liberals who believe in crystals and magic and other nonsense, but Christie is using this issue to side with the anti-government crowd.  He says he vaccinates his kids but he doesn’t like the fact that the government forces him to do so.  You know, the stupid position.

Some politicians like Bobby Jindal are frustrated by this, literally telling his fellow Republicans “We have to stop being the ‘Stupid Party.'”   But then even Jindal is toning up the stupidity in order to appeal to the base, by allowing creationism to be taught in the schools and otherwise appealing to the stupids.

And it really doesn’t help that Christie’s campaign committee is “Leadership Matters For America.Org” — or LMFAO.