Thursday, March 04, 2010

Political Accountability for Scientific Arrogance

Joe Hargrave hits a home run in this post about the "science" behind Global Alarming:
... The next thing they ought to do is apologize to the entire planet in general, and the skeptics in particular, for all of the nasty and libelous things that they said about them. It turns out after all that we were not “crazy”, “insane”, “naive”, “bought off” or any of the other things that were said about us; we were right all along, to a far greater extent than they ever were willing to admit, and the whole time they knew it but thought that they could bully their critics into silence with insults and by stonewalling. Now that they’ve failed, and admitted that they were at fault, it is also time for them to apologize for their arrogance.

Finally, its time we all learn a lesson about life in a democratic society: legitimacy is derived from the consent of the governed, especially when a massive global agenda of taxes and regulations that could affect millions of jobs and cause an unknowable number of unforeseen consequences is on the order of the day. If as a scientist you are claiming that human activity is killing the planet, and politicians are using your claims to rationalize power-grabs unprecedented in their size and scope, you have an absolute moral obligation to make all of your methods, data, and results down to the most minute detail known to the entire planet. It isn’t about allowing public opinion to dictate scientific results, but allowing citizens and policymakers to have a clear and truthful picture of the objective situation.

We cannot be asked to make major sacrifices on the basis of blind trust; that’s just fundamentalism, whether we’re talking about religion or science. After all, it isn’t as if science is never wrong, never revised, never changing, or as if scientists themselves were not human beings subject to human problems. Reason tells us that for these reasons and more, we have every right to be cautious and even skeptical when listening to scientific claims with vast political implications. We have every right to demand transparency and openness, perhaps in a way we wouldn’t demand when the topic is something mundane. But this is the kind of wisdom that must come from outside of science itself.

In general, but most especially when the political stakes are this high, we must have as much certainty and accuracy as possible when we move from the scientific stage to the political stage. This has nothing to do with “denial” - this is about the people of the world being able to decide their own fate, and not have it decided for them. That’s what it means to live in a democracy. We must also remember that the truths that the American founders believed were “self-evident” were not establish by data sets, but through philosophical, religious and historical wisdom...
My Comments:
There goes Joe again, being all "anti-science" and stuff. Good on him.

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At 3/04/2010 9:39 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Excellent, love it!


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