Monday, June 18, 2018

Scientists say Trump policies will kill 80,000 people per decade


The following article appeared in the American Thinker on June 17th


The blatant use of science for political gain is not new, but it's clearly getting worse. All kinds of "science" is being used to justify policies that fit a particular political agenda.

Case in point: Some Harvard scientists have examined the environmental policies of the Trump administration and concluded that up to 80,000 people a decade will die as a result of political decisions that they disagree with.


It used to be that such pronouncements were dismissed as "unscientific." Today, it's front page news.


The research, from public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, pointed specifically to the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on air pollutants and toxic chemicals.

“This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed by the Trump administration,” the scientists said.

The essay was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as a commentary, not a formal peer-reviewed paper, but it uses the EPA’s own data to make its argument. The EPA pushed back on the findings, saying they were “not scientific.”

“This is not a scientific article, it’s a political article. The science is clear, under President Trump greenhouse gas emissions are down, Superfund sites are being cleaned up at a higher rate than under President Obama, and the federal government is investing more money to improve water infrastructure than ever before,” an EPA spokesperson told Bloomberg.

The essay accuses President Trump of working to make the air "dirtier" in order to benefit industry.
Perhaps the scientists could perform a study on how creating government regulations that hamper innovation and progress costs even more lives? Perish the thought.

You can play games with "science" like this and get just about any result you want. How many more people will die due to overregulation by the EPA? The Obama-era "Waters of the United States" rule would have placed just about every pond, creek, river, and stream under EPA jurisdiction. How many people would die if farmers were forced to cut their production? 

I'm sure the scientists can spell out chapter and verse how they arrived at the figure of 80K more dead Americans. They no doubt have graphs and charts coming out of the ying yang that shows how careful they were in their research and how indisputable their conclusions are.

But when you begin with a preconceived notion of your conclusions, you can't avoid bias. Does anyone believe those scientists set out to "prove" anything except Trump wants you to die and enrich his rich friends?

Science is too important to be used and abused by politicians seeking to advance an agenda.


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