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.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
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