Your point is well made. Many academics, good scientists or not, are part of a left-wing social community, and become reactionary liberals in spite of their presumed scientific skepticism. A very few, like liberal Democrat Richard Muller, “Physics for Future Presidents,” have the independence and personal integrity to question the motives for some of the bad science promoted by the left. Few academics understand the financial significance of the cap-and-trade boondoggle. Most had no idea that Al Gore was a partner in venture fund, an partner in company which propectus saw a potential of $60 billion/year in trade of carbon credits. Making money from air is quite an accomlishment, and most scientists are too busy to verify the truth of that allegation.
In 1963 a brilliant engineer, Petr Beckmann, defected from the Czech Academy of Sciences. He was only too familiar with the clever polemicists of the left. Seeing the clear signs of Communist efforts to weaken capitalism and the economies of the west and his adopted nation he self-published a “Pro-Science, Pro-Technology, Pro-Free Enterprise newsletter, “Access to Energy.” To avoid even the taint of corporate sponsorship he printed the newsletter, on pink papter, on his own press from his basement in Colorado, where he was a professor of electrical engineering. He focused on antinuclear activism because nuclear power is the most vulnerable to the propaganda of fear. Beckmann's thirty or so years in the U.S. spent teaching engineering, teaching and reporting real science, and warning us about the Marxist underpinnings of the environmental movement.
Ask yourself how many were hurt by the complete or partial meltdown of a half dozen commercial plants in the seventy years of production (Chernobyl was not a commercial plant, but, depending upon whose number you believe, between one and twenty died at Chernobyl from radiation-related causes, a tenth or twentieth the number killed each year by the coal replacement; Chernobyl was most dangerous when it was shut down! But thus far, not a single human being has been injured by commercial nuclar power. You would never know it from listening the the mainstream media, who dearly wish there would be just one injury. Is nuclear energy production dangerous? Of course, but the intelligence of humans, and their self interest, are more remarkable than the wonderfully dense energy from the nucleus is unmanageable.
Those who marched to stop the nuclear reactor at Seabrook New Hampshire are probably as numerous as those who made it to Woodstock. The drugs were probably comparable, but the difference was the number of groups funded by the various Soviet front organizations. The naivety is sad, but certainly not new.
Peter Huber is both an MIT trained engineer and Harvard Law graduate, having clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sandra Day O’Conner. He has written dozens of articles exposing the hard left connections to environmentalism. He published a book addressing that connection in the late 90s, 'Hard Green.' In it Huber spends time on Marxist Utopians like Amory Lovins, a close associate of White House Energy Adviser John Holdren, also a Marxist.
Lovins is now employed, off the record, by the White House. Obama’s suggestion that all we need to do to significantly reduce oil imports is to inflate our tires sounds like a Lovins suggestion. Lovins was made a University Scientist at UC Berkeley by John Holdren, though Lovins is not a scientist, doesn't have a graduate degree, and may not have finished his undergraduate work at Harvard. Amory describes himself as a “physicist,” and Oxford economist. He certainly didn't obtain a degree from Oxford. He is a master of pseudoscience, arrogantly spouting nonsensical scientific data in such quantities that scientists rarely bother and left wing environmenatlists are captivated.
The left has no end of smarter solutions to save the world, but only lack the capital, capital being withheld by evil capitalists. Lovin’s is a tool of the left, perhaps taking a page from Holdren’s mentor, Paul Ehrlich, one of the most remarkably wrong “scientists” to every publish publicly (Ehrlich's “Population Bomb” is laughable, but consistent both with his Zero Population Growth religion, and with Holdren and Ehrlich's belief that we need to reduce the population of the earth by about 4 billion people.
Just as Science Adviser Holdren, who does have his doctorate, never did any science either, Lovins has never known profit-and-loss responsibility. It is all about coercion. People just aren't as smart as he is! He tries to talk sense into his "friends" in Detroit, but they muddle along building stupid and wasteful cars. Scientists don't usually pay attention to the political nonsense being promoted as science.
For the curious, here is Lovins telling the brilliant “Ted” audience (TED is a self congratulatory festival for the beautiful left, featuring Al Gore, Madeline Albright, Van Jones, and an assortment of pundits on politically correct technology and science as speakers)how we can and should be entirely free of oil in ten years: http://www.ted.com/talks/amory_lovins_on_winning_the_oil_endgame.html
Lovins is an excellent con man, in a league with Green Energy Czar and unapoligetic communist, Van Jones (who doesn't live with a teleprompter by his side). Lovins learned that actually applying science requires a discipline he didn't want to, or couldn't summon. He is smart enough, like Obama, to make a very good living spouting Utopian views of how things could be if only he had the power to force others to provide the discipline and the money.
Things change enormously when the idea needs to work, but many are so arrogant as to discount the brilliance of millions of people who actually produce. Holdren is the same, and so is Obama. All three have spent most of their lives aligned with the far left. They are cornered now, by their past. Should they succeed, they will not like the "Utopia" they will have created.
Thank you for the interesting materials you shared with me. Regarding the coersion element of liberlism, are you familiar with Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein’s book “Nudge”? If so, what do you think of his work?