Are Farm State Dems Waging a War on Science?!

At the WPost today, Dan Morgan contributes an excellent analysis of what he calls the "agracrats," Democratic members of Congress from traditional farm states such as Iowa or Minnesota. As Morgan notes, these representatives have been an influential force in first opposing and then fundamentally altering climate change legislation, fearing as Morgan describes that "the cap and trade measures would increase fuel and fertilizer costs for farmers, hurt coal-burning rural electric utilities and leave the Midwest's thriving biofuels industry vulnerable to regulatory restrictions by the Environmental Protection Agency."

The case of Agracrats is another example of why it's wrong to reduce science-related policy debates down to a matter of anti-science versus pro-science, champions versus deniers. If these members of Congress were Republicans, there's little doubt that liberal bloggers would be waving the bloody shirt of a "war on science." Yet as this case shows, it's rare that any policy decision is a simple matter of following the science. Instead the options considered and the decisions eventually made are almost always a matter of values and trade-offs.

Why Henry David Thoreau was drawn to yoga

The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.

Image: Public Domain / Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
  • The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
  • He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
  • Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
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How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
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  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
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Photo: Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
    • A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
    • Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
    • Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
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