Saturday, January 31, 2015

Leftists disagree with scientists

This report from Pew and AAAS got a lot of publicity:
According to the report, the public is much less likely to view GM foods as safe to eat than the AAAS scientists (37 percent to 88 percent), even though 67 percent of the nonscientists surveyed acknowledged that they lacked a "clear understanding" of the health effects of GM crops.

Other topics with the widest gaps between the views of scientists and nonscientists include a 40-point gap between the two groups on whether eating food grown with pesticides is safe or not. Only 28 percent of the public believes it is "generally safe" to eat such foods (68 percent say it is "generally unsafe"), as opposed to 68 percent of the scientists who say it is safe (31 percent responding "generally unsafe").

Should animals be used in scientific research? Half of U.S. adults surveyed said no, a view expressed by only 9 percent of the scientists.
Note that this is primarily leftist disagreement with scientists. Opposition to GM foods, animal experiments, vaccines, and nuclear power come primarily from the left.

Some other items have mixed politics. "Humans have evolved over time" was the main point of a recent book by NY Times reporter Nicholas Wade, and opposition came from the left. Scientists say that "growing world population will be a major problem" and it is only right-wingers who want to do something about it by limiting migration from developing to developed countries.

I was surprised that so many scientists agreed with "Climate change is mostly due to human activity". The IPCC does say things like:
There is very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.[6] {2.2}

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.[7] It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica) (Figure SPM.4). {2.4}
Okay fine, but there could be lots of climate change that has nothing to do with human activity.

No comments: