Vaccines: Another vast government conspiracy perpetrated by so-called “scientists”?

Last week, I wrote about the lengths to which some conservative politicians and media outlets are genuflecting to spin the new truck efficiency rules in a way that fits their anti-government narrative. In the process, I found a post by Melody Scalley, writing for the American Thinker, that suggests the EPA is attempting to take over the trucking industry.

I’ll admit, I was a little concerned I was being unfair to Scalley by attributing such a mind-blowingly absurd idea to her. Maybe I had misunderstood something, or perhaps there was a bit of subtle irony that had gone over my head.

Fortunately, Scalley was kind enough to post a comment clarifying her view, which I’ve pasted below in its entirety:


Did you miss the point that the ATA does not and cannot speak for the ‘trucking industry’?

Their members are not the individuals driving the trucks. The independent truckers will NOT be running out to buy new trucks; they are not even making enough money to support the trucks they have.

These regulations will result in fewer sales and smaller profits. Exactly what we need in a recession with no end in sight – more government regulation.

The EPA SmartWay program is based on the need to reduce ‘man-made global warming’, a complete farce made up by alarmists to control industry in the U.S.

Let us hope that some folks will understand what this administration is really trying to do before it is too late.


(emphasis mine)

It’s easy to be dismissive of stuff like this. I mean, even BP acknowledges climate change is “a major global challenge – one that will require the efforts of governments, industry and individuals.” When you can get industry involved in the vast conspiracy to destroy itself, that’s one hell of a cabal.

But the issue here is that we — all of us — tend to view reality through an ideological lens. Climate change, for instance, is a problem that the free market can’t fix, so if you’re a person who believes that the free market fixes all problems, climate change simply can’t exist.

And because this denial is driven by a widely-accepted ideology, it’s treated as a legitimate political position in the broader media, rather than a wrongheaded rejection of established science. Plenty of people believe childhood vaccinations are part of a vast conspiracy, too, but can you imagine a presidential candidate declaring that “the science isn’t in” on the measles shot?

I mean, we’d laugh them right out of town!


Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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