Image source: 1984 - Part 2, Chapter 9 by Luca

Topics: Commentary, Climate Change, Existentialism, Politics

Scientists are worried that EPA’s new plan to increase transparency will undermine it instead.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt yesterday unveiled a long-awaited plan to require that EPA studies used in future regulations must have open and transparent data. Pruitt said the proposed rule is part of his larger effort to dramatically reform the way science is used at the agency, which also included the removal of Science Advisory Board members who received EPA grants and were replaced with industry-friendly researchers.

“The science we use is going to be transparent, it’s going to be reproducible, it’s going to be able to be analyzed by those in the marketplace, and those that watch what we do can make informed decisions about whether we’ve drawn the proper conclusions or not,” Pruitt said yesterday at EPA headquarters.

But some of the biggest critics of Pruitt’s plans are scientists who say they’ve already been working to boost transparency for years.

Researchers have long grappled with how to make the peer-review process more accessible, how to make more research replicable and how to better share data, said Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scientists are always discussing ways to make their work more transparent, accessible and instructive for the community at large, Goldman added. The proposed EPA rule establishes a set of political hoops for researchers that will take more of their time, she said. And many won’t be able or willing to devote more effort to the additional red tape put up by Pruitt.

Blogger Marc Morano presented his book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” to Pruitt yesterday. Morano/Twitter

“This is not about all of the details that scientists need to scrutinize each other’s work. That information is already widely available, and scientists spend a tremendous amount of time disclosing all of their data and methods to get their work published,” she said. “This is adding additional burdens; it’s not the information that is required for appropriate peer review and reproducibility of studies. This is clearly just a political move.” [1]

*****

The prevailing mental condition is controlled insanity.

The rules of the Inner Party are held together by adherence to a common doctrine. In a Party member not even the smallest deviation of opinion on the most unimportant subject can be tolerated. But it is also necessary to remember that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one's memories or to tamper with written records, then it is necessary to forget that one has done so. The trick of doing this can be learned like any other mental technique. It is learned by the majority of Party members, and certainly by all who are intelligent as well as orthodox. In Oldspeak it is called, quite frankly, "reality control." In Newspeak, it is called doublethink, though doublethink comprises much else as well.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.

Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing them and to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able - and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years - to arrest the course of history... [2]

1. Scientists Favor Transparency, but Say EPA Plan Will Limit It

Directive to exclude certain research will harm public health and environment, critics say, Scott Waldman, Scientific American

2. Orwell Today dot com: Doublethink

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