Originally posted January 18, 2023.
Natural Gas Now a Badge of Freedom
Will this year mark the Great Gas Stove Rebellion of 2023? It probably won’t resonate with future generations of freedom-loving folk the way the Boston Tea Party does, predicts Gerard Baker in the WSJ.
Who Comes Up with This Stuff?
It’s unlikely that the plucky protagonists in the struggle to save our ovens and ranges from the grasping hands of regulatory totalitarianism will one day be celebrated as the Samuel Adamses and Patrick Henrys of the kitchen appliance age.
Intellectual Hobbyhorses of the Left
It happens all the time. You can frame a good deal of the political and cultural evolution of the country in the past few decades in this way: The left elites compel adherence to their latest ideological orthodoxy, and anyone questioning it is waging culture war.
It happened with same-sex marriage, the idea that sex is independent of biology, the proposition that all white people are racist, the assertion that the planet is burning. All started out as intellectual hobbyhorses of the left fringe and quickly wound up being examples of the “far right” trying to impose its will.
The Empowering Agenda of Fanatics and Bullies
Science is being used as a rhetorical tactic and ideological weapon, fired by a great moral certainty. As Rich Lowery in NRO explains,
- Researchers conduct flawed studies reaching alarming conclusions
- The media generate headlines about the findings that don’t note the methodological inadequacies
- Advocates agitate for changes to public policy based on what has magically become “the science.”
It is not open to counterarguments and different interpretations but insists on only one answer to complicated or ambiguous questions. It is not rigorously neutral but aims to achieve cherished political goals.
From the Washington Post:
“Scientists say the world needs to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, including replacing gas appliances with cleaner versions that emit no pollution, such as electric and induction cooktops. … Scientists say a growing body of research shows that gas stoves pose a threat to the planet and public health.”
As Lowry notes: “That’s a lot of sayin’ by a mass of mostly unidentified scientists.”
Take Nobody’s Word for It
At the storied British Academy of Sciences, the motto of the Royal Society is nullius in verba, or, “Take nobody’s word for it.” The Society’s website explains, “It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”
Today’s self-styled champions of so-called science sentiment badly miss the mark, continues Rich L.
Why bother with the facts as carefully and rigorously established over time, when you can misuse the authority of science to try to dominate others instead?
Following the path of Sun Tzu, the Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, will liberals take two steps forward, one step back?
Will the attack on natural gas resume once the spotlight is dimmed?
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