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CONGRESS: Flemming lacks key qualification

Letter by Steven Garrett, Tacoma on May 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm with 25 Comments »
May 30, 2012 2:06 pm

I appreciated your article on Dr. Stan Flemming’s bid for the new 10th Congressional District (TNT, 5-29). Flemming has a remarkable résumé and as a Pierce County Council member, he has often sought a middle ground between partisan politics.

Centrist Republicans are a dying breed, and their disappearance from politics has created gridlock and havoc in Congress. So they should be encouraged to run for office. However, even the best of today’s Republicans tend to have one disqualifying tendency for higher office.

A congressional representative needs to be able to determine policy using the best available scientific data. They do this by understanding what the scientific consensus is in any field of interest.

Flemming stated in your article that the jury is still out on whether humans are causing climate change. However, there is complete consensus among climatologists around the world that the Earth is heating up since observable physical and climatological changes are already taking place. Moreover, the physics linking these changes to human activities is irrefutable.

Since Flemming is a medical doctor, he should know that scientific consensus is basic to our understanding of science. Given his background, one can assume that he is taking a wrong viewpoint in order to get his party’s nomination. This is unfortunate, since someone who cannot translate commonly available scientific knowledge into correct policy is not qualified to be elected to Congress.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. averageJoseph says:

    Steve, care to give a hurricane forecast? LOL… complete consensus & irrefutable.

    “Hide the decline” ring a bell?

  2. GHTaxPayer says:

    Steve – Stan Flemming is a true centrist and a wonderful person. I have met him a few times and been very impressed with him and his wife, who shares survival of cancer with my wife.

    Your quackery on climate change is laughable. A report funded by a pro-climate change group has found that climate change skeptics are far more intelligent than their counterparts.

    I applaud Stan Flemming’s superior intelligence !

  3. MarksonofDarwin says:

    There used to be a consensus on cigarette smoking too.


    Consensus should never replace the scientific method which involves verifiable, and reproduceable results. How can AGW be peer reviewed when most of the data has been destroyed? The computer program used to create the models should at least be open to scrutiny before any sane person can claim that the science is settled.

  4. geografood says:

    The usual scientific illiterati chime in immediately. AverageJoseph does not know the difference between weather and climate and yet he finds Mr Garrett’s claim to be laugh out loud funny. Now that is funny.

    GHTaxpayer, you have some citations for that bit of received wisdom of yours?

    MarksofDarwin, there still is a consensus on cigarette smoking. It causes cancer. The 1964 Surgeon General’s Report is a write-up of the scientific consensus of the time, as is the 4th IPCC Report, which is made up of 2,000+ scientists from around the globe. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_synthesis_report.htm

  5. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Way to miss the point Geo.

    There was a consensus that cigarettes were good for you. Many doctors actually recommended them to people in the 40s and 50s. Sorry I had to spell it out for you, but there it is.

    Also, the Surgeon General’s report on smoking was not based on consensus. Where the heck did you get that puff of smoke?
    There was a ground breaking scientific study done in the late 50s that showed a significant link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

    AGW has not been proven.
    The computer models have been notoriously wrong.
    This “science” needs a bit more bright light shed on the methodology and the data, and the computer code needs to be shared with the scientific community before anyone should take all the dire predictions seriously.

    I also find it curious that you are disdainful of anyone who has enough curiosity to question AGW and demand proof.
    How very incurious and…..unscientific of you.

  6. geografood says:

    MarksofDarwin: You obviously do not know what a consensus is or the role it plays in science. The 1964 Surgeon Generals Report on Smoking reviewed more than 7,000 scientific articles with the help of over 150 consultants. Much in the same way the IPCC works on climate change. That is what constitutes a consensus, when the vast majority of scientific articles and pertinent scientific bodies agree on an issue. That is without a doubt the case for climate change.

    As for demanding proof, you can’t engage in that line of questioning unless you know what you are doing, which you do not. Or you would go to the scientific bodies governing climatology and read what they have to say. Then you would not be embarrassing yourself.

    At best, you deniers engage in superficial sophistry, without the aid of any background in which to make a true search for truth.

  7. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Just because you claim I don’t know anything, means absolutely squat to any conversation.

    The truth is there WAS a consensus in the medical community that smoking was benign, if not beneficial. You want to pretend that never happened, and instead make up out of whole cloth, how the science evolved in that particular subject. You need to learn more and try harder.

    You may call me a “denier”, but in reality what you’re calling me is a heretic to your religion. So be it.

    I don’t believe in your touching faith in the UN or any other political entities who have you enthralled.

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    MSNBC and other liberals would disagree but Stan Fleming is a real hero. Wish I lived in his district so I could send him to congress.

    Stan Fleming would be a congressman for all of us in the south sound.

  9. averageJoseph says:

    geografood, did you forget how the globalwarming dusciples were forecasting more frequent and more intense hurricanes because of global warming??? And they kept getting it wrong. Yes… LOL indeed.

  10. geografood says:

    MarksonofDarwin: Conflating religion and science is another unfortunate trope of deniers. They are not comparable and your use of that argument signifies your lack of understanding of scientific method and a type of ad hominen attack to deflect from your lack of understanding of science.

    Not believing the IPCC reports because it is organized through governmental scientists is a convenient way for anti-government types to brush off the most comprehensive and authoritative consensus report available. But that does not make it untrue. If you don’t like the IPCC how about the United States Global Change Research Program, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 32 national science academies, InterAcademy Council, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, National Research Council(US), and every other organization of meteorological, climatological or general science society on the planet.

    They are all in agreement, not because of some world-wide conspiracy, but because the data and the theories behind it are solid. Again, you are way out of your league on this one.

  11. geografood says:

    averageJoseph: Your worlds are wind. Back it up with some citations or find another sandbox.

  12. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Geo, you are going in circles. You cannot take a condescending tone and call people names like illiteratri and denier, and then clutch your pearls when someone calls you on your religious zeal on this subject. You dish it out, you’re going to somehow have to learn to take it.

    And it’s not that I don’t “believe” the IPCC reports. I don’t find them reliable.
    There are so many inconsistencies and problems with their scientific methodology. I notice that you have not yet once addressed the lost data, or the lack of transparency with regard to the computer codes used to come up with the models. I know that it’s probably been very effective for you to claim superior knowledge in the past, and people have let you get away with it. Now’s your time to shine…please address the pertinent issues rather than what you may think of me.

    Aren’t you even at least a tiny bit curious as to why the models and data don’t align with all the predictions? This is not about emotion for me…is that all you’ve got?

  13. harleyrider1 says:

    One could not ask for a better candidate then Stan Flemming. We would be lucky to have him.

    The fact that he is willing to look at both sides of an argument, compromise when needed, has served in the military, and wants what is best for America is the kind of person our Congress used to have. You know, when they did compromise and worked to the betterment of Americans.

    We need less radicals, less big spenders. We need a uniter – not a divider.

  14. geografood says:

    MarksonofDarwin: I do not care what you call me. I just want to see some facts to back up your words.

    Every scientific body in the world recognizes that climate change is a fact. I gave a you a short list of those groups and citations for the most authoritative reports of the subject. Yet you, some anonymous person on a blog, says that they are all wrong. Moreover, you expect me to back up your unfounded assumptions on the subject.

    Better idea: how about you provide me with scientific citations to back up YOUR claims. Proof is the name of the game in debates and proof in a debate about science is peer-reviewed, scientific research. Moreover, such proof needs to be verified with other studies.

    Good luck with that.

  15. averageJoseph says:

    “AverageJoseph does not know the difference between weather and climate”
    “Back it up with some citations or find another sandbox.”
    I missed your citations. I see you are willfully ignorant (or intentionally obtuse). Who doesn’t remember the “scientists” predicting more intense and frequent hurricanes? Don’t forget the “rising sea” predictions that keep getting pushed out further and further.

    And then there’s East Anglia… Kooky.
    These should get you started >

    There really is an over abundance of these available if you’re sincerely interested in learning something… or maybe you prefer a soap box.

  16. geografood says:

    AverageJoseph: I am sorry that are not keeping up, but I already provided authoritative sources. I have cited the IPCC report several times. I also mentioned the US Global Change Change Research Program and the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the statements of the many scientific organizations are easily available.

    As for your citations, one is a opinion piece based on a report from a right wing organization that is bank-rolled by oil companies. The other is a report by real scientists talking about long range modeling. The first is silly while the second makes no point for you.

    Speaking of models, what you people don’t understand is the difference between regional and global models. Among non-oil extraction scientists, there complete concurrance on what is happening globally. Making pedictions at the regional level is fraught with great uncertainties.

    And finally (groan) about East Anglia. Just because a few scientists in one university talked about fudging the data does not mean that across the globe glaciers are not receeding, temps aren’t rising and seas aren’t rising. Nothing has changed that.

  17. averageJoseph says:

    Sorry, the IPCC report you cited was from 2007… strangely enough, that’s when many of the failed predictions were being made. Huh… kooky.
    Among non-oil extraction scientists, there complete concurrance LOL, citation please.
    East Anglia got caught.
    You may be half right about “concurrance” and “consensus”.

  18. averageJoseph says:

    Here’s an idea, rather than having me provide example after example of failed predictions and failed computer models… why don’t you provide an instance or two where a prediction came true?

  19. averageJoseph says:

    Monday 16 January 2006

    James Lovelock: The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years

    Each nation must find the best use of its resources to sustain civilisation for as long as they can
    LOL… again.

  20. geografood says:

    AverageJoseph: You are still confused between weather and climate. The models used to understand the impacts of climate are not weather forecast models. So there are no predictions.

    BTW, you have not provided examples of anything except a right wing blogger, yet you keep insisting on ever more citations from me. I have yet to see a peer-reviewed study from you or your denier-in-arms. The IPCC does regular updates to the report since 2007. Also you can go the NOAA website if by chance you ever did want to learn about climate change. There are many reports and links there.

  21. geografood says:

    AverageJoseph: You are still confused between weather and climate. The models used to understand the impacts of climate are not weather forecast models. So there are no predictions.

    BTW, you have not provided examples of anything except a right wing blogger, yet you keep insisting on ever more citations from me. I have yet to see a peer-reviewed study from you or your denier-in-arms. The IPCC does regular updates to the report since 2007. Also you can go the NOAA website if by chance you ever did want to learn about climate change. There are many reports and links there.

    The East Anglian researchers did not get caught altering data, only talking about it, so give it up. It is meaningless.

  22. geografood says:

    This link has a lot of what you would be looking for if you really wanted to know what is happening in this field. Which you don’t, of course. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#U.S._Global_Change_Research_Program

  23. Flemming will not win the GOP primary because he dared to seek middle ground between partisan politics.

  24. geografood says:

    xring: True, but that is only a problem with Republican voters in primary races. Independents and centrist Democrats are willing to vote for the elusive centrist Republican.

    So in this case, the Republicans will likely put forth a candidate to face Denny Heck who is too right-wing to win in the 10th.

  25. MoD – very odd that you would cite tobacco to support a climate change denial stance – there is a very clear record that the tobacco industry engaged in an active campaign to challenge the scientific consensus that smoking was addictive or harmful to one’s health – and the current campaign against climate change science is utilizing exactly the same tactics and, in some cases, the same people.

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