Now that I’ve sworn off writing about conspiracy nut and health “guru” Mike Adams, I feel a deep desire to find a new target. I mean, this blog is meant to be a rebuttal, and a rebuttal requires that a statement or claim be made to respond to. Luckily enough, in my little corner of the internet where the white supremacists, anti-vaxxers, Christian fundamentalists and 9/11 truthers abound, there is no shortage at all. And O recently found a perfect candidate, Steven Hayward.
So why pick my new ball of yarn? Well because I am currently one of his political science constitutional law students at UC Berkeley. Our school newspaper, The Daily Cal, published a story about Hayward last year, which I remember reading, but did not remember when signing up for my Spring 2017 classes.
I know this might sound insane to anyone who doesn’t go to, or didn’t graduate from UC Berkeley, but a class does not merely consist of a professor standing in front of the class and yelling about how evil the Republicans are for an hour and a half. Of course, this is what my conservative parents and all of their friends assume happens here, but I’m very sorry to disappoint them. In fact, I’ve never had a professor talk much about their political ideology or try to bias us, AND I’M A POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR.
But it took all of one day of class to see the not at all subtle bias of Mr. Hayward as he rambled through his many tangents and bashed legal positivism. (in layman’s terms the opposite of natural law). From the readings he assigns to the people he name drops it is not at all a mystery which way he leans.
After realizing that he was the conservative professor I did a quick web search and found his blog. Unsurprisingly it is filled with ad hominem attacks, misrepresentations and feigned ignorance. The comments is section is vile, filled with anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and the usual bigotry.
But the post that caught my eye was a recent post titled, “The climate change follies.” I don’t think I need to tell anyone the kind of garbage he wrote but I’ll make a few points.
One of piece of “evidence” that Hayward presents that climate change is fake is that temperatures in some areas of Alaska were at their lowest in 17 years. I shouldn’t have to tell the professor that in any year multiple record highs and lows are recorded across the nation, but I think this attempt is pure misrepresentation. Anyone who keeps up with the news or turned on a computer has seen the reports about Arctic sea ice being at record lows. Like oh…. I don’t know this one here, or this one here, or this one here. (I could connect a thousand links but I won’t bore you). The reason I prefer to think the professor is merely lying and pandering to his conservative audience is that I sincerely hope my university wouldn’t hire someone too lazy or too stupid to actually research the subjects they write about.
The other point I want to touch on is the professor’s seeming insinuation that climate change, (which he doesn’t explicitly state is fake on his blog, likely to pander to his audience, but in other places he does admit is real), is that he seems to be insinuating it is a benefit. I have to say seems to insinuate because he refuses to make a hard stand and say what he means, preferring to use sarcasm, likely to leave himself some deniability. The story he cites here is on increased crop yields. Yes, as weather gets warmer it will be more favorable to crop growing in some parts of the world. Does he really think climate scientists don’t know this? This is something I was told in grade-school years ago. Perhaps the issue is that Steven needs to go back to an elementary education and receive those basic lessons in science all over again.
What he ignores is the detrimental effects of climate change. He doesn’t mention the massive coral reef bleaching, which I as a scuba diver and saltwater aquarium enthusiast pay particular attention to, doesn’t touch on the links being investigated between Alzheimer’s disease and air pollution, sea level rise, ocean acidification, or any of the other issues of climate change. It simply is the classic selection bias in action.
In closing I wish to adress Mr. Hayward directly. Stop being lazy. If you want to write that one of the most scientifically investigated topics in the world today, perhaps take a walk less than a half mile from your own office to those of some of the best scientists in the world. Have them explain to you what is going on. The good news is you just got your very own fact checker entirely for free. Me.
I’ll be seeing you.
For more on Steven Hayward Click here.