Governments’ use of Junk Science makes the general population disdainful of all science, Junk and honest. So less kids become scientists, moving scientific progress from our societies that distort science to those that don’t.
The most damaging distortion is a failure to quantify – here’s a Brit example:
Shocking pictures highlighting the danger of smoking are to be put on cigarette packets to try and persuade people to kick the habit…
One picture is expected to show a woman with an empty pram alongside the warning that smoking reduces fertility.
Another is likely to warn that smoking causes impotence by showing a drooping cigarette to symbolise erectile dysfunction.
The problem with this advert is that it defies common sense – until the 1960s, smoking was the rule rather than the exception, and yet:
In 2004 the UK fertility rate was 1.77 children per woman, considerably lower than the 1960s peak of 2.95 children…
Most young Brit families know that a) they have less kids than their parents and grandparents and b) said parents and grandparents smoked. Our household jokes that Mrs G’s smoking and drinking while pregnant with Gandalf junior stunted his growth to a mere 6′ 7″.
The second damaging distortion is pols politicizing science to increase tax and regulation.
This is another Brit example, on of course the Global Warming scam.
(The Torry leadership has) rejected a widely ridiculed proposal by David Cameron to restrict people to one return short-haul flight per year at a standard rate of tax and charge more for subsequent aircraft trips.
Only to replace it with another, even nuttier scheme (my emphasis):
Plans that would curb drastically the number of flights taken by British travellers are being considered by the Conservatives with new taxes on air travel and a halt to airport expansion.
Short-haul flights would receive particular attention: VAT would be levied on fuel for domestic flights for the first time and airlines would be forced to give over airport slots to long-haul trips. All flights would be subject to a separate per-flight tax based on the amount of CO2 generated, replacing the air passenger duty and shifting the burden from passengers to airlines, although this might force up ticket prices anyway.
This entire policy is based entirely on the views of 52 scientists:
…the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scientific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report.
The Associated Press reported recently that only 52 climate scientists contributed to the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.”
(The link is an excellent demolition of the scam by Fred Singer, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at UVa).
The Brit public might be inclined to shrug off one mistake, but after decades of false alarms (Global Cooling, mass epidemics of herpes/AIDS/CJD/SARS), they now conclude all scientists are dishonest.
So smart Brit and American kids decide to be lawyers or hackers rather than scientists.
And that hands the future to the many Asian nations that have a stricter regard for the truth.