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February 17, 2006

Comments

Mark Harden

Environmentalists were the first to politicize environmental issues beyond scientific truth...you reap what you sow.

Peter

Welcome, Mark. Earth science is about learning what is "scientific truth," as you put it. I do not see what environmentalists have to do with Bush suppressing the public's knowledge of scientific research and then cutting the funding for that research.

Are you suggesting that Bush is doing this to punish some unspecified group of "environmentalists"? Is he not concerned about who may caught in the crossfire?

Is this a mature are forward-thinking kind of leadership?

Mark Harden

No, I'm just pointing out that environmentalist extremists were the first to politicize science by admittedly (I saw the quote again the other day but could not Google it back up - surely you've seen it, it's quite notorious and endlessly embarrassing to the environmentalist who wrote it) choosing to exaggerate ecological threats and downplay any internal discord regarding data interpretation. So, the Bush administration is merely defending its policies in reaction to that.

For the record, I think both sides of the politicization of science are in the wrong. But you can hardly blame the Bush administration alone, when they didn't even fire the first shot. Do you honestly think the Bushies would even have conceived of the idea without it already having been done for so long and so effectively by green propagandists?

Peter

I still do not understand how environmentalists in general, or the specific environmentalist you refer to (who I am not familiar with off hand), have anything to do with this. There are embarrassing advocates for any and all issues. Using one as justification for Bush's actions in this case--actions that harm the citizens of this country as a whole--suggests that we have a very immature person running the country. We can certainly blame him for that.

Mark Harden

Peter, I think I see why we are talking past each other here. You seem to believe in the myth of the objective scientist. This may have been true long long ago, but no longer today. Science now serves political agendas, in particular the soft sciences have done so since liberal social engineering based on "scientific studies" was launched in the 60s. Today, the grabbing for grants pollutes the objective research goal. How many completely different findings on say, fat in the diet, do we have to experience to see this? "Oops, looks like a conflicting study...send another grant, so we can do another one!"

The politicization of global warming science is obvious, and makes it next to impossible to base any sort of objective opinion on the "scientific truth" being presented by one side or the other in the debate.

Peter

I have worked as a scientist and know plenty of scientists, so of course I believe in no such myth. I have seen the ugly side of this profession. But I also understand that the scientific process, in the end, after much messiness (such as conflicting studies etc.) leads to much greater factual knowledge of the universe we live in and how it works. This is not arguable.

What you say is obvious, the politicization of global warming science (assuming you mean scientific results), is very much not obvious. What is obvious, is the politicization of the public spin on that science.

Bush is on the course to greatly reduce the actual science, thus leaving free reign for the public spin to take over completely, with no foundation of data behind it. And not just global warming science, but much of the science that teaches us about the workings of our planet.

The less we know about the planet we live on, the more vulnerable we are to natural disasters, large and small. This affects all of us.

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