The degree of truth in Baker’s fisherman story no long matters (he was elected), but the continuing collapse of the Cod fishery has given our governor-elect a chance to flash his disdain for science and for inconvenient facts.
In the face of devastating findings by NOAA about the plummeting Cod stocks, Baker wants to find and listen to experts who will tell him what he wants to believe. We never knew it, but apparently he is a fisheries expert!
Here’s Baker in the Globe on November 12: ““My continued concern about this is there’s only one source of truth,” Baker said Tuesday. “And it’s NOAA. There is no other source of truth.” Translation–when the truth is inconvenient it’s time to find a new truth! Baker provides an escape clause for rationality by adding ““And if it turns out that NOAA’s right, then NOAA’s right,” but clearly, his working assumption is that NOAA is wrong.
He then doubled-down on his attacks on NOAA days later. As reported by the Globe on November 15, Baker asserted, ““I’ve been struck by the dynamic in which the federal government says there are no fish and then fishermen go out and fish for a few hours and catch 10,000 pounds or 5,000 pounds.” However, this grouping of a fish population in crisis is no surprise to the scientists who are sounding the alarm.
Why this matters: we were told over and over again by the Globe and the big money donors that Baker was smart-oh-so-smart and that he was basically a fair-minded data-driven analyst, but in this case Baker is revealing very strongly that he only likes data when it fits his pre-determined conclusions. Thanks, Boston Globe, for greasing the skids for Governor Data. We could be in for a bumpy ride.
A real policy might consist of finding new careers for fisherman rather than trying to fabricate reality, and while we are at it, we could start a contest to rename Cape Cod, now that global warming and overfishing have done the once unthinkable.