'Concerned Scientists' Not Very Scientific

Today in Capitol Confidential, my colleague James Hohman neatly exposed the hollowness of a so-called “fact check” of the Mackinac Center’s study of the potential economic impact of Michigan’s Proposal 3 ballot initiative (wind energy), written by a Mr. Jeff Deyette from an organization that calls itself the “Union of Concerned Scientists.”

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In response, another individual with that entity, David Anderson, posted the following on Twitter: “Mackinac Center fails to explain how Koch funding impacts credibility on clean energy.”

That’s it? An entity that claims the mantle of scientific respectability responds to a credibility challenge with a second-rate logical fallacy? Isn’t that practically the exact opposite of “scientific?” Especially coming after a “fact check” that gets every possible fact about its subject wrong.

Who is David Anderson? A Linked-in page says he is the “Climate & Energy Outreach Coordinator at Union of Concerned Scientists,” and among his past gigs is “Regional Political Organizer at Sierra Club” along with similar associations. Sierra Club is one of the main backers of Proposal 3.

Who is the “Union of Concerned Scientists?” According to the “Activist Cash” site of an organization called the “Center for Consumer Freedom,” UCS is a well-funded left-leaning group that uses questionable tactics to influence media coverage of public policy matters. CCF itself appears to have a center-right point of view, and characterizes UCS as a “radical green wolf in sheep’s clothing,” among other things. Readers can follow the links and make their own judgment of this description.

One of these days, maybe the mainstream media will begin peaking under the covers of entities like the “Union of Concerned Scientists” and giving readers the background they need to judge their claims. One of these days . . .


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