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OPINION

How Science Went Wrong

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Global warming, Covid, the chemical spill in East Palestine—why doesn’t science seem to work anymore?

Scientific investigation, on the face of it, is supposed to be an impartial, unbiased effort to get to “the truth”. For example, when a drug is tested for its efficacy, the ultimate goal in doing animal and then human studies as well as using placebo controls, is to determine if the new medicine actually offers a measurable and reproducible benefit. That is the way science should work. The scientist may generally have a working hypothesis or theory so as to direct experimentation and/or calculations, but it must be the data that drive the next steps as well as the refinement or abandonment of the original theory.

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Science has been used in the past as a tool for ruling elite to push agendas that had nothing to do with actual scientific experimentation. If one thinks of the Church fighting “heretics” who had the data on their side or the “100 Scientists Against Einstein” during the Nazi period, he realizes that science has not always been the pure, unbiased attempt to ascertain some absolute truth. Unfortunately we are living in a similar period today.

The chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio has been an unmitigated disaster. A list of the chemicals spilled and their uses and properties may be found here. The fact of our modern lives is that many of the items we use and upon which we rely are based on chemicals that are potentially toxic or combustible. The “forever chemicals” that have been found in numerous American water sources are the basis for Teflon and many other materials and products that make our lives more comfortable or productive. As such, chemicals such as those spilled must move from sites of production to factories where they are used, and trains still remain the most efficient way to move materials in the US. The derailment and spill created a chemical disaster. The burning of the spilled chemicals made for phosgene gas and further spread of the hazardous materials. What was initially a localized release of highly toxic liquids and gases became a much larger problem affecting a much greater number of residents. Air and water have been highly contaminated and locals are complaining of noticeable health effects. Why was the vinyl chloride burned off? The argument given by the rail company was that there was a risk of an immediate explosion. Did burning the chemical off and creating a massive black cloud of harmful gases produce a better outcome? Was the action taken in order to mitigate risks to local residents or to speed up the process of getting the tracks cleared and business back to usual?

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While we are not privy to the internal discussions of Norfolk Southern or the Biden administration, we might be able to learn something from a fuel spill into an aquifer on a military base in Hawaii from just over a year ago. The spill led to tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel going directly into the drinking water source for many of the military personnel as well as civilians on Oahu. Many people complained about health affects and both the Army and Navy made efforts to move people into hotels (at their own expense) and provide bottled water. The Navy, from whose facility the fuel leaked, undertook massive flushing operations as well as additions of detergents to remove the organic material stuck to plastic pipes and other surfaces. My company tried to hire local labs to check water quality at various locations on the island, but not one lab would work with us. The local university, recipient of much Navy funding, initially published results showing continued contamination months after the spill, only to take down their data and never put it up again. The Navy declared victory and sailed away from its water contamination problems, leaving our fighting men and women around Pearl Harbor to deal with the continued effects of the chemicals still present in their water. This I believe will be the model for East Palestine: the government and the railroad company will declare victory and reopen the rail line while local residents will have to deal with strange health effects for themselves and their livestock. Science here does not mean doing that which is right or learning the truth; it simply means justifying that which was done so as to make a problem disappear.

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This trend of science being deployed for political gain or expediency is one of the reasons why people do not trust government or its health officers. What we were told about Covid origins and the ostensible upside of the vaccines seems less true with each passing day. The initially forbidden lab-leak theory now just happens to be the working hypothesis of the FBI and Department of Energy. Data hidden about the lack of protection provided by the vaccines suddenly finds its way to the media after most of the US population was forced or strongly encouraged to take highly experimental medicines. I remember my wife having three brutal days after each injection. Was it worth it? Did she receive protection that made the suffering acceptable if unpleasant? Nobody in this household is interested in a fourth jab and I believe that most people have given up on the vaccines providing any great protection for the myriad Covid versions present today. All of a sudden natural immunity is good, whereas in the past health officials scoffed at its ability to protect against future infection.

The same lack of people believing in “the science” goes with the global warming scam. President Obama has always been a big supporter but that did not stop him from buying two huge properties adjacent to the supposedly rising oceans. Al Gore is the high priest of the movement but has houses that gobble up huge amounts of electricity. John Kerry has never met a private jet that he did not like but will lecture us endlessly about the evils of our carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere. Nobody believes these charlatans or the scientists who give them cover. Snow in LA—climate change. Drought in LA—climate change. It’s all a play for control and science is deployed to give a veneer of objectivity to a pure power play. There is no such thing as “the science is settled” and this expression is only employed to shut us up and prevent us from asking legitimate questions or pointing out some inconvenient facts. Science has debased itself in the name of political expediency and the result is that people rightly do not believe the scientists anymore. And as a Ph.D. biochemist, I agree with the skeptics completely.

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I had planned to write about East Palestine about 2 weeks ago and then my dad passed away. My father was a professor of medicinal chemistry for 42 years, and there were decades in which not a single pharmacist in the state of Illinois was not a former student of his. My father was a real scientist, not a fraud like the clowns running our Covid response. He made molecules for the US army as well as for a male version of the Pill. When molecules were ineffective or had cross-reactivity, he would go back to the drawing board to plan new, better candidates. He never tried to pass off something for more than it was, and he always let the data and the results drive his future research plans. He will be missed in our family greatly, as he fled Germany as a child and taught us much about how to live a proper life. He will be missed in the scientific community as his type is being pushed out by the hucksters and data benders. Science will pay dearly for our generation of alchemists. People don’t believe scientists when they claim that masks work or that the virus did not pop out of the virus lab in Wuhan or that the world is heating up. The damage has been done and for the foreseeable future, they will only add on to their lies and misdirection. Science will have a brighter future but only once it is no longer one more arrow in the Left’s quiver along with the universities, Hollywood, and the press. Honest science has given us wonders. Agenda-driven science has only given us lies and failure.

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