We don't need science, we're regulators
Posted by aogSunday, 23 June 2013 at 19:10 TrackBack Ping URL

A theme I’ve been trying to find the energy to rant on is the question “if regulators have no respect for regulation, why should I?”. It’s a variant of Instapundit’s view on global warmening — “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis act like it’s a crisis”. I have felt this way for a long time but haven’t really been able to express it well but maybe it’s time to give it a try.

Up to today is the EPA, which IMHO is the poster boy for this theme. The EPA has simply given up on science, as it has not been producing the results desired. Here we see the underlying point that regulation is based on political goals, not scientific facts, economic results, or public safety. In particular this regards the issue of fracking, which the EPA is desperate to prove unsafe. They have done multiple studies which have failed to prove that so, like the EUlite, they will keep doing studies until they get the “right” result. After all, the EPA already knows the answer, it’s just a matter of tweaking the studies until one makes it a plausible claim.

Unfortunately for the EPA facts are stubborn things and it just hasn’t worked out. The solution, obviously, is to simply give up on the scientific method and not allow any peer review of the latest study. Why should that be needed, since the EPA knows the correct answer and this is all just a formality anyway?

This is where the well regulated economy ends as the emphasis shifts from facts to political success and thereby become divorced from reality.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Bret Monday, 24 June 2013 at 10:23

Nothing is completely divorced from reality, but with sufficient resources, an entity can insulate itself from reality to a certain extent. They have the power, they have the resources, they’re just insulating themselves from reality, creating their own reality which they clearly subjectively prefer. We all do it - we all live in buildings, wear clothes, etc., which is yet another version of insulating ourselves from reality.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 24 June 2013 at 13:48

The real problem here is, once again, the non-elite who are fine with this result (e.g., our dear Mr. Eagar). I suppose the answer would be that even average citizens of the USA are, in historical terms, quite elite and have therefore (so far) insulated themselves from reality.

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