Obama’s Anti-Science Czar

Last week, Michelle Malkin posted on the disturbing past of Obama’s Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology–more popularly known as the “science czar”–John Holdren. The page Malkin links to containing  scans of a past publication is offline as of this writing, but I’ll re-post an excerpt from her site below:

In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;

• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;

• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;

• People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.

• A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

Holdren has a long history of associating with Malthusian doomsayer Paul Ehrlich, and as Ehrlich’s “scholarly” co-author as recently as 1995. CEI Energy Policy Analyst William Yeatman chronicled Holdren’s history of alarmism and playing fast and loose with the facts back in January of this year. Included among Yeatman’s findings:

• Holdren’s fiction: In 1969, Holdren claimed: “If population control measures are
not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear
will not fend off the misery to come.”
• Reality: Global population growth continued unabated and people today are
wealthier and healthier than they were in 1971.

• Holdren’s fiction: In 1973, Holdren encouraged a “decline in fertility to well
below replacement” in the United States, because “280 million in 2040 is likely to
be much too many.”
• Reality: Currently, the U.S. population is 304 million.

Holdren was also party to the wager between Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich (on Ehrlich’s side, of course), which famously debunked Ehrlich’s dire predictions on resource depletion. So, the man President Obama selected as his primary science and technology advisor has consistently been proven wrong and is a protege of one of the biggest scientific fraudsters of the 20th century. Here’s to “Change we can believe in!”

ADDENDUM: CEI Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young examined Holdren’s peculiar brand of “science” late last year:

The most important part of the scientific method is its humility. At its very heart is the ability to admit that maybe, just possibly, you could be wrong. If that’s what the evidence shows, then it’s ok to admit it. If you (gasp) don’t know something, that’s ok, too. Instead of just making up an answer, you try to find it out.

The new political science is very different. It replaces humility with Certainty. A large part of the politicized scientist’s job is simply to disagree with the other party. It’s an effective way to raise funding. At least, it is when funding is allocated by political means.

Holdren displays all the hallmarks of The Certainty. For one, he accuses people who disagree with him as being operatives of the other party. Of course they’re wrong, just look at how they vote!

This is not a strong argument. Neither is his primary defense for his party’s preferred global warming policies – the argument from authority. Scientific consensus is on his side. Of course, there once was a time when scientific consensus said that the earth was flat, and the center of the universe. The world as it actually is matters more than merely what people think about it. Millions of people can be wrong, and often are.

Holdren’s hysterics are reminiscent of something the great Nobel economist Friedrich Hayek discussed in The Constitution of Liberty way back in 1960:

Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that ‘the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.’ Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.