Thursday, February 26, 2009

Politics Disguised As Science.

The New York Times' science reported John Tierney has a couple of good articles about scientists who advocate political views by pretending that they are scientific, or perhaps honestly conflating the two:

Dr. Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, is the author of “The Honest Broker,” a book arguing that most scientists are fundamentally mistaken about their role in political debates. As a result, he says, they’re jeopardizing their credibility while impeding solutions to problems like global warming.

Most researchers, Dr. Pielke writes, like to think of themselves in one of two roles: as a pure researcher who remains aloof from messy politics, or an impartial arbiter offering expert answers to politicians’ questions. Either way, they believe their research can point the way to correct public policies, and sometimes it does — when the science is clear and people’s values aren’t in conflict.

But climate change, like most political issues, isn’t so simple. While most scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming is a threat, they’re not certain about its scale or its timing or its precise consequences
Read the whole thing as they say. The other article is here and covers similar ground.

Somewhat alarmingly two of President Obama's appointees- Energy Secretary, Steven Chu and Science Advisor, John P. Holdren- are examples of this error.


TDK said...

Ah but the warmists are unimpressed with Mr Tierney.

Perhaps in due course they will try to shut him up, like they are doing to George Will

TDK said...

Here we are.

As I suggested before, you imagine yourself on the warmist side but approving Tierney shows you are actually a wicked low down denialist in the pay of big oil.

Welcome to the club.

Ross said...

Well I think Tierney accepts that AGW is real and a problem.

I've never endorsed the approach taken by certain activists who regard every disagreement as to the effects of climate change or the best way to respond to it as evidence of being 'anti science' or in the pay of 'big oil' etc