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Politics in the Guise of Pure Science

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posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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Politics in the Guise of Pure Science


www.nytimes.com

Why, since President Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place” in Washington, do some things feel not quite right?

Is the president getting scientific advice from honest brokers?

Will Mr. Obama’s scientific counselors give him realistic plans for dealing with global warming and other threats?
Dr. Roger Pielke, of the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, argues that most scientists are fundamentally mistaken about their role in political debates.
(visit the link for the full news article)


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posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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Why, since President Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place” in Washington, do some things feel not quite right?

Is the president getting scientific advice from honest brokers?

First there was Steven Chu, the physicist and new energy secretary, warning that climate change could make water so scarce that “there’s no more agriculture in California” and no way to keep the state’s cities going.

Then there was the hearing to confirm John Holdren, the president’s science adviser. Holdren was asked about his gloomy warnings in the past, like his calculation in the 1980s that famines due to climate change could leave a billion people dead by 2020. Did he still believe that? “I think it is unlikely to happen,” Dr. Holdren said, but he insisted that it was still “a possibility” that “we should work to avoid.”


Will Mr. Obama’s scientific counselors give him realistic plans for dealing with global warming and other threats?

To borrow a term from Roger Pielke Jr.: Can these scientists be honest brokers?

A new book by Dr. Roger Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, “The Honest Broker,” argues that most scientists are fundamentally mistaken about their role in political debates. As a result, he says, they jeopardize their credibility while impeding solutions to problems like global warming.



Dr. Pielke acknowledges that most scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming is a threat but are uncertain about its scale, timing, or precise consequences.

Scientists enter the fray by advocating for certain policies, like limits on carbon emissions or subsidies for wind power. That’s a perfectly legitimate role for scientists, as long as they acknowledge that they’re promoting their own agendas.

Too often, though, they pose as impartial experts pointing politicians to the only option that makes scientific sense. To bolster their case, they exaggerate their expertise, while denigrating their political opponents as “unqualified” or “unscientific.” They engage in ‘stealth issue advocacy’ by smuggling political arguments into putative scientific ones.

Public debate over climate change often are about seemingly technical questions when they are really about who should have authority in the political debate. The debate over the science thus politicizes the science and distracts from policy.

Scientists could do more good if, instead of discrediting rivals’ expertise, they acknowledge political differences and don’t expect them to be resolved by science. Instead of steering politicians to a preferred policy, these honest brokers would use their expertise to expand the array of technically feasible options.

The presidents’ advisers seem uniformly focused on cutting carbon emissions through a domestic cap-and-trade law and a new international treaty.

It’s fine to try that strategy, but there are too many technological, economic and political uncertainties to count on it making a significant global difference. Yet research into alternative strategies, such a sequestration or recapture, have received little financing in past budgets or the new stimulus package because it doesn’t jibe with the agenda of either side in the global-warming debate. Greens don’t want this sort of “technological fix”; their opponents don’t want to admit there’s anything to fix. And neither side’s advocates will compromise as long as they think that science will prove them right.


Deny ignorance.

jw



www.nytimes.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


Well, let's see. Economics, by nature, is a science. So far, he's leading the country on ideology. Political ideology is no different than religious dogma when it comes to dealing with science. It is more often wrong tha many care to admit. We don't put the people who are qualified, we vote for people we are made to think are qualified.

This will not end well I assure you. Remember that political parties for some reason never leave any room for debate and they pick and choose whatever science, or a farce thereof, to support their ideology. It is a formula that has failed time and time again.

The Republicans say that the stimulus bill is nothing more than a Liberal wishlist, and they are correct. But before you know it, the same argument will be made about the Republicans when the Democrats piss us off again. We need a third party loyal to the Constitution. Loyal to the people. And subservient to the will thereof where warranted within Constitutional Authority.



[edit on 24-2-2009 by projectvxn]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 
Excellent! What about Libertarians? If we (the Republic) survive this administration, will the door have opened for real alternatives to the D.C. mindset?

I notice that Ron Paul seems to have survived in the public eye far longer than any of the other former candidates. Even Mike Huckabee has a political life that seems to have far outlived any campaigning.

These are just 2 examples of pepole who advocate NOT using politics to influence decisions that should not be political.

Science, unfortunatley, is going to justify many things coming that will hurt many people, industries and organizations without legitimate justification.

Science and the environment are becoming tools and weapons, rather than means to a better future.

deny ignorance

jw



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