The higher wisdom, as we all know, is that the Left and Right are equally enemies of Truth, which resides somewhere in the enlightened Center. Since we might forget this amid the climate denialism of Republicans, the absurd economic claims of austerians and the like, Eduardo Porter is here to remind us in this morning’s New York Times.
The poster child for liberal anti-scientism is hostility to nuclear power which, we are told, is an essential component of climate change mitigation. This question has been fully resolved by science, and only the Left’s elevation of emotion over reason prevents it from joining the consensus.
Well excuse me. Without going into boring detail, here are a few directions rational thought might take: (1) Nuclear power is way more expensive than the alternatives. (2) Nuclear power’s inflexible output makes it an inefficient supplement to intermittent energy sources like wind and solar. (3) Since its inception, nuclear power has been repeatedly subject to unanticipated safety concerns. It is pure hubris to think that we now know every risk this technology presents to us. (4) Mitigating climate change means keeping fossil fuel in the ground, which is not the same as investing in non-fossil energy sources, since total energy use is not constant.
I guess this makes me anti-science, huh?
Incidentally, the article makes a huge error in claiming that evolution by natural selection operates at too slow a pace to be perceptible by ordinary (non-scientist) humans. The evolution of bacteria and viruses is real-time and crucial. The evolution of crop pests in response to pesticides also occurs right in front of our eyes and is, or ought to be, a major public concern.
If you’re going to punch hippies for being anti-science, you might want to get your science straight first. Just sayin’.