For progressives, results are irrelevant, only virtuous intent matters, and only inasmuch as it allows others to see just how much you care, proving what a moral and righteous person you are. And if you don't get the results you want, double down, never question.

"I was just trying to be nice!"

Thank you for your dedication to fixing this mess, Michael. Apocalypse Never was a work of art, I can't wait to get my hands on your latest.

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Liberals are far more likely to support evidence based outcomes than conservatives. I am not sure what “Progressives” support though.

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That is not correct. Most of the opposition to science is by liberals.

They oppose nuclear energy, for example.

They oppose GMO crops, which are life-saving (more than 5 million young children have died due to the opposition to Golden Rice, which contains the vitamin A that they do not have in their diets).

Most of the opposition to climate science has come from the left: Rep Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, was the worst in the U.S., directing university Presidents to reveal private information about 6 leading climate scientists and one historian; fortunately they refused, but Roger Pielke Jr of University of Colorado, the leading international expert on natural disasters and their costs, dropped out for several years; and consider the attacks on Peter Ridd, the top expert on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia for reporting that the reef is in excellent shape; he was fired from his tenured university position.

Most of the opposition to vaccination has come from Democrats such as Robert Kennedy Jr. (and of course the strongest opposition to the COVID vaccine in the U.S. has come from blacks, who are ~95% Democratic voters). Etc.

Conservatives support the evidence in each of these cases.

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For some reason I cannot cut and paste the quote but google “Forbes Democratic Party nuclear 2020” and you will see the shift to bring pro-nuclear.

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I support nuclear power and so does the Democratic Party, albeit perhaps less aggressively than the GOP.

The Democrats endorsed nuclear power as a solution for global warming in their party platform in 2020.

The GOPs resistance to proven vaccinations to stop the spread of COVID is a national disgrace. Anti-science nonsense at its worst.

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Governor Newsome is a REPUBLICAN??? He is shutting down nuclear power. Governor Cuomo was a REPUBLICAN??? He shut down nuclear power in New York state.

The resistance to vaccinations is mainly among Democrats. The lowest vaccination rate is among black Americans, and they identify 95% as Democrats. Last year President Trump strongly supported vaccination and indeed personally managed in detail a miracle in getting the vaccines ready in less than 65 months and he is a REPUBLICAN. At the same time, Biden and Harris were publicly opposing the vaccines, and they are DEMOCRATS. They indeed are a disgrace (for many other reasons, too, of course)..

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Republicans are far more likely to be vaccine hesitant than Democrats. You can have your own opinions but not your own facts.

Red States have the lowest vaccination rates and the highest infection rates. San Francisco with its 80%+ vaccination rate has pretty much eliminated Covid.

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Sir, do you really think that most blacks are now Republicans? They have the lowest vaccination rate. And Hispanics have the second lowest rate, and they are more on the Democrat's side, too.

End of discussion.

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I notice you have no reply to the fact that intellectuals nationwide have abandoned the GOP. Why do you think that is?

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I told you that the Democratic Party platform has officially endorsed nuclear power. Apparently you don’t dispute that.

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That's meaningless. Their ACTIONS clearly oppose nuclear power.

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I am old enough to remember when people with postgraduate degrees overwhelmingly voted for Reagan. The anti-science and general anti-intellectual bias of the GOP has driven them from the party in droves: 2/3 voted for Biden. Trump also lost among college educated voters by the largest margin in modern history.

The GOP has made an entire identity of denying that anthropogenic climate change even exits. They have major fundraisers who spend massively in denying the obvious: the world is warming and human activity is the cause.

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That is not true. The Republicans do NOT deny that climate change exists. They follow the science, not the politics. The models cited by activists are not accurate. There is NO model of climate that is remotely correct. They all vastly overestimate the actual temperature change, which is 1.4 degrees C per century since 1979, when the first accurate temperature readings in the atmosphere begin. See the official satellite records here (note that every month in 2021 is cooler than the same month in 2020):


The Relative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) is quoted by all the activists because it predicts a large temperature increase by 2100. But it is impossible for 2 reasons: 1 it assumes all added energy use will be from burning coal. 2. It assumes a population of 10 billion in 2050 and 12 billion in 2100. The latter is impossible due to the population collapse in China, Russia, Japan, and many other countries. The current estimate is that 2100 will have a population no larger than 8 billion, and possibly less if China cannot correct its huge decrease in population. Here is an article by one of the top climate scientists in the U.S. on this topic:


Republicans are skeptical of replacements such as wind and solar energy, which have so far been disastrous. Germany's Energiewende (energy shift) was a total failure. The U.K. has been hit hard by the lack of wind in the North Sea last month, and the resulting blackouts have been destructive.

Republicans are supportive of nuclear energy, which is the safest form of reliable energy production (natural gas is a close second), while democrats oppose it. Democratic governors in New York and California are shutting down nuclear power, disrupting their energy and causing blackouts.


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2C is already baked in, there is no way we are not going to hit that. It is harder to predict what will happen 80 years from now. You claim some certainty about what China and India will or will not do. The truth is, we don’t know.

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2C is great. Let's hope we get there soon, as it is very good for the health of all life on Earth. The increase so far has mainly come through less cold weather in winter and warmer daily low temperatures. Heat waves are much less than in the 1930s and 1950s.

As hundreds of studies in major journals have shown, about 15 times more deaths are caused by cool or cold weather than by warm or hot weather. The gentle warming is reducing the number of deaths. Here is one of the most prominent of these scientific research articles:


and a newspaper article:


And the higher level of CO2 in the air is raising agricultural productivity significantly (as science has told us for 100 years, since greenhouses started adding CO2 to improve quantity and quality of their products. Thousands of studies have show that. Plus the arid (desert) areas of the earth are greening due to the added CO2. Many research articles show this from satellite data. Over the last 40 years the arid areas have shrunk about 15% due to the increase in CO2. See this:

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3004 and this press release:


And we know what China is doing right now. They have about 16 million population for each age from 1 to 25 and about 22 million for each age from 40 to 65. Their ending the 1-child policy has not changed their fertility rate from 1.7 to the needed 2.2. If they could do that today, they will still lose 250 million population by 2100. And India's fertility rate is only 2.5 and dropping fast. In 20 years they will be below replacement. The U.S. is only 1.9 and dropping. Indonesia is 2.1 and dropping. These are the four largest population countries, and they will all lose population by 2100. Japan has 120 million now and will have 80 million by 2060 and 60 million by 2100. These are all the UN official demographic data.

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A majority of Republicans deny that climate change even exists.

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NASA and all the prominent scientific organizations don’t agree with you. You are literally arguing the anti-science position, proving my point.

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The scientists I quote are have been/are supported by NASA. The University of Alabama-Huntsville program where Roy Spencer works developed and now manages the NASA satellite temperature data and has received tens of millions of dollars to do so from NASA and other federal; agencies. Judith Curry, the second scientists linked, was department chair at Georgia Tech and was appointed by President Obama's office to an official advisory position on climate.

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Thank you for these comments. Both points are exactly on target!

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It should not surprise anyone that progressive policies do not help the drug adicted. They do not care. Policy is more important. If they all died the Progressive would cheer; there is no place for drug adicted in the communist system...

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I would argue that for the leftists - "progressive" is a positive euphemism - purity is more important.

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I agree, Socialists and Progressives are not real communists. Real communists like the CCP do not have any respect for Socialists or Progressive. When they take over Socialists and Progressives will be the first to be eliminated. There is plenty of history that tells us what will happen.

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Rereading this for the fourth time, I have concluded that the author has a schizophrenic attitude towards "drug treatment" which I have to assume means rehab.

He says "Rather than arresting hard drug users when they break laws, and giving them the choice of jail or drug treatment, the only strategy proven to work,"

"here is a better way. San Francisco and other progressive cities should arrest addicts who break the law, offer drug treatment as an alternative to jail and prison, and make cash and housing for addicts contingent upon drug treatment."

But then he states (accurately) a "Researchers have known since 1997 that “patients who have been forced to enter a substance abuse treatment have shown during and post treatment results that are quite similar to those shown by supposedly ‘internally motivated’ patients.”"

Rehab doesn't work. 82% relapse. The success rate of kicking addiction for people who enter rehab is the same as for those who try to quit on their own. Drug addictions overwhelmingly "age out" of addiction and 60-80% of those addicted in their 20s are no longer addicted 10 years later. All without any intervention whatsoever.

Rather than infantilizing addicts, we need to hold them accountable for their behavior. And that includes any criminal activity that they commit when high or in search of drugs or money to buy drugs. This is the intervention we need, not wasting money and time on a solution of dubious value at best.

The one-time rehab seems to be modestly effective is when the addict is in jail. The forced recovery and enforced mental health treatment, combined with rehab has been shown to have some benefit.



How well does traditional rehab work?

I don't believe that traditional rehabilitation using self-help methods is effective. In fact, the data suggest that they're not much better than spontaneous rates of recovery. For alcoholism, up to a quarter of people respond on their own, and a lot of recovery centers have rates that are not even that high. So-called rehabilitation centers should publish their rates of improvement, and they should be required by law to do so. Cancer centers do. But rehabs are just this black box.


In summary: self-change in drug addiction is a much more common choice for solving the problem than treatment is; a substantial percentage of self-changers are successful; a significant percentage of those who were formerly addicted continue to use drugs occasionally without returning to addiction-level use, and they maintain these changes fairly well over time; and those who seek treatment usually have more severe problems than those who do not.


A survey by Gene Heyman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, found that between 60 to 80 percent of people who were addicted in their teens and 20s were substance-free by their 30s, and they avoided addiction in subsequent decades. Other studies on Vietnam War veterans suggest that the majority of soldiers who became addicted to narcotics overseas later stopped using them without therapy.

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The War on (some) Drugs has been a complete failure with no reduction in potently, costs or overdoses as a result of increasingly aggressive police action and increased incarceration. The criminal justice system did succeed in ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of Black men. Blacks are 7-8 times as likely to be jailed for drug crimes even though usage rates are similar between Whites and Blacks.

In the Face of this injustice something needs to be done. It is fair to criticize the failings of current efforts but harm reduction saved thousands of lives every year.

Drug addicts are the ones responsible for their own actions. Addiction is a choice and a bad one. Most drug addicts “age out” of addiction without any treatment whatsoever. If they wanted to quit they would.

Treating drug use as a public health issue instead of a criminal issue has worked wherever it has been tried. In San Francisco we have the worst of both worlds: low criminal enforcement and not enough spent on housing given the high costs.

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Many of the people who are on drugs have severe mental problems. We used to confine them to mental institutions. Then they discovered medications that would control the problem, so they shut down the mental institutions and decided to rely on the crazies to take their meds.

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Shellenberger repeatedly uses phrase like “Progressives justify their withholding of the best-available medical treatment of drug addiction” without stating what that treatment is.

What is that treatment Micheal? You stated, correctly, in the essay that rehab is pretty much useless. What treatment do you have in mind?

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"Indeed, San Francisco is engaged in an unethical refusal to mandate proven medical treatment to drug addicts..." nothing more need be said.

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What proven treatment? Rehab is expensive and almost useless.

Addicts can quit when they want to, 80% of those addicted in their 20s have quit on their own 10 years later.

People who want to quit do so. It is illegal to commit someone for the purpose of rehab anyway, at least in California. San Francisco (among other places) has had some modest success with rehab among people jailed.

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