From the archives: Effort to block new technology defies scientific evidence

An editorial from the annals of history to illustrate a problem:

Federal scientists have rewritten the conclusion of a report in order to cast doubt on the safety of alternating current electricity in residential and commercial dwellings.

Last week the federal Agency of Scientific Enquiry issued the final version of a five-year study evaluating the safety of electricity. The draft report released last year for public comment concluded that electricity has not “led to widespread, systemic impact.” The agency’s research findings haven’t changed, but its conclusion has.

After being barraged by plaintiff attorneys and various naysayers, including Broadway actors, the agency in its final report substituted its determination of no “widespread, systemic impact” with the hypothetical that electricity “can impact the potential for residential hazards of fire and electrocution under some circumstances” and that “impacts can range in frequency and severity” depending on the circumstances.

Hazards of electricity

Hazards of electricity

Any technology has the potential to inflict some damage — even smelly and noisy gasoline-powered automobiles. The feds explain that electricity can cause danger if incorrectly handled, which happened in a Wyoming test in which wiring was not properly shielded and grounded.
Yet after reviewing more than 1,000 studies, the agency couldn’t find more than limited evidence — mostly alleged by plaintiff attorneys — of operational failures causing fires and shocks to humans. The fact that the agency uncovered only a few instances of problems among a million some installations reinforces its prior conclusion that electricity doesn’t pose a threat.

The agency now asserts that “significant data gaps and uncertainties” prevent it from “calculating or estimating the national frequency of impacts.” For instance, safety data was not collected everywhere prior to the introduction of electricity, which has allowed plaintiff attorneys to ascribe any damage or injury to alternating current itself.

So after spending $30 million and five years to produce a risk assessment, the scientist have found no evidence that electricity causes widespread threats to safety. Two years ago, the New York governor used the pretext of scientific “uncertainties” to ban electricity, and the new agency revised report will give him cover for depriving residents of its economic benefits. Progressives are using the report as ammunition in their media campaign against electricity, and plaintiff attorneys will use it in lawsuits.

Liberals denounce anyone who cites uncertainties about science. So it’s ironic that they are now justifying their opposition to electricity based on scientific uncertainties. As for the agency’s science, bending to public comment from litigants and Broadway celebrities does not instill confidence in the agency’s integrity.


The above is a blatant rip-off and rewrite of a Wall Street Journal editorial meant to illustrate satirically the nature of the pre-determined agenda of federal bureaucrats. The original editorial highlighted the EPA’s twisting of its own investigation into the effects, or lack thereof, of fracking on drinking water to better fit its preconception and desired outcome.

6 comments on “From the archives: Effort to block new technology defies scientific evidence

  1. Rincon says:

    You deny that electricity, “can impact the potential for residential hazards of fire and electrocution under some circumstances”? Or do you consider the original report to be the whitewash?

    Money changed the government’s conclusions about scientific issues with lead, tobacco, and now global warming as well.

  2. deleted says:

    Capitalism corrupts because it encourages people to lie cheat and steal.

    Its the only takeaway.

  3. The final report is a whitewash, as I said, written fit the agenda and not the evidence.

  4. Rincon says:

    As I understand it, the final report said in part, “…electricity “can impact the potential for residential hazards of fire and electrocution under some circumstances”. Since some fires even today are electrical and some people are electrocuted, probably far less than in the days of post and wire without fuses and a population relatively uneducated in the safe handling of electricity, the quoted words from the final report seem accurate. Am I missing something (other than a brain)?

  5. deleted says:

    Here’s some satire,

    The Koch brothers have done it! After years of study they’ve come up with the final solution. To climate change that is.

    Although the exact details of the solution must be kept mostly secret out of their overriding concerns for freedom of speech, the outline of the solution is clear; ridding the world of this…”problem” starts with ridding it of the tools (along with the people who were formerly responsible for reading and understanding the tools) used to measure the problem.

    Seems that for years, while scientists were running around gathering information from the world and incessantly relaying that information to the public, people didn’t understand that their ultimate findings were contingent on actually having the tools to rely on, and the funding necessary to produce the studies and promulgate the results.

    The Koch brothers decided that the simplistic way to “solve” the problem therefore was to intercept the tools and the money and viola! No more climate change.

    As one of the brothers was quoted as saying “go f**k yourselves”.

    Given the effectiveness of the solution, president elect Trump tweeted “I knew it was something we could solve if we all worked together to make America great again”

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