December 15, 2009

And science became a casualty of politics



Cathy Young has a fair and balanced piece on Climategate:

There is no doubt that refusal to accept human-made climate change is often self-serving. But the other side has blinders and selfish motives of its own. "Going green" has turned into a vast industry in its own right—as well as a religion with its own brand of zealotry. For many, global warming is the secular equivalent of a biblical disaster sent by God to punish humankind for its errant (capitalist) ways. Those who embrace environmentalism as a faith have no interest in scientific and technological solutions to climate change—such as nuclear power—that do not include imposing drastic regulations on markets and curbs on consumption.

In theory, science should be above such motives. Yet, at the very least, the scientists who back strong measures against global warming have not objected to the alarmism, the political fanaticism, or the pseudo-spiritual drivel promoted by many of the crusaders in this cause.

Public trust is something scientists must work hard to maintain. When it comes to science and public policy, the average citizen usually has to trust scientists—whose word he or she has to take on faith almost as much as a religious believer takes the word of a priest. Once that trust is undermined, as it has been in recent years, science becomes a casualty of politics.

[Via Glenn Reynolds]



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3 comments:

  1. Searching for and revealing the truth is surely the essence of science as it is of history. Deforming the truth of either for political motives doesn't contribute positively to the future.

    ReplyDelete
  2. and that's what the Climatgate scandal is all about, isnt't it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing this, Rob. It's a very interesting piece.

    ReplyDelete

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