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Earth Science Politics

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science 1046

blau tips news of an open letter from 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel laureates, decrying the "recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular." The letter lays out the basics of the scientific method, and explains how certainly highly-regarded theories — such as the big bang, evolution, and Earth's origin — are commonly accepted due to the strength of the evidence supporting them, though "fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong." It goes on to "call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them." According to the Guardian, the letter "originated with a number of NAS members who were frustrated at the misinformation being spread by climate deniers and the assaults on scientists by some policy-makers who hope to delay or avoid making policy decisions and are hiding behind the recent controversy around emails and minor errors in the IPCC."
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Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

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  • Politics (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:48PM (#32133660)
    Politics is a sin, and those who practice it should be forced to repent. If only it were illegal - then only criminals would be politicians. Oh, wait...
  • by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:00PM (#32133726) Homepage
    ...but does anyone remember the V mini-series (the original 1983 version, not the new sucktastic version)? In that story/prophecy the aliens systematically persecuted, and eventually 'disappeared', all the scientists on Earth (accept for those who went into hiding). Now I'm not saying the science haters are secretly lizard aliens trying to steal our water and eat our children. But why haven't they denied it? Makes one wonder...
  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:09PM (#32133790) Homepage

    an open letter from 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences

    Shouldn't have used an 8-bit int for their member count. Oh well, at least it's unsigned.

  • by crepe-boy ( 950569 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:17PM (#32133844)
    I don't trust the reasoning behind this group of people. Note that they are largely from the east and west coast of the USA, or from e.g. Australia. It sounds as if they have a vested interest in keeping sea levels low.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:29PM (#32134514)

    Al Gore bought a 9 million dollar ocean-side estate []. Can I trust Al Gore's judgement that the coastal areas will be just fine?

  • by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @09:10PM (#32134904) Journal
    "Exactly. Most of the comments here are the classic example of the echo chamber." he said, with no apparent sense of irony.
  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:06PM (#32135348)

    "The holocaust was undeniably real"


    "because there are still some living eye witnesses"

    Worldwide Jew conspiracy.



    "original videos"



    Faked and/or misrepresented.

    "etc. that clearly prove that it happened."

    Hah! You are sheeple if you believe in that crap. Hail Halliburton!

  • by IICV ( 652597 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:30PM (#32135562)

    Here's [] the data behind one of his most recent papers. Note that he's included his Matlab code.

    Is what I meant to say. Clearly there's a conspiracy to keep this data from your oh so capable hands!

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:40PM (#32136026) Journal

    So your complaint is with politicians being hypocrites? I would like to know what that has to do with the science?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:31AM (#32136574)

    You are to brutally honest, full of it.

    Ad hominem has no place in this discussion.

    I try to look past it, but there are plenty that you completely turn off with that line of attack.

    "You're full of it" is not an ad hominem. Here's the definition, in fact, straight from the OED:

    A phrase applied to an argument or appeal founded on the preferences or principles of a particular person rather than on abstract truth or logical cogency.

    Someone who says that you're full of it isn't critiquing your character, the company you keep, your favorite sexual peccadillo, or anything of the sort. They're saying that your argument is bullshit. That's quite literally the opposite of an ad hom.

    Now if you'd like an ad hom, I can certainly provide one. For instance:

    Your post reminds me of countless whiny, petulant, holier-than-thou complaints I've heard in the past from people who claim to be neutral or agnostic on the issue of AGW. They haughtily demand that people arguing for the AGW model be absolutely impeccable in every aspect of their behavior, and seem perpetually on the lookout for any possible perceived example of arrogance that confirms their preconceptions about AGW proponents.

    Yet you don't see them (for example) objecting when anti-AGW people make snide remarks about Al Gore, or float conspiracy theories about how AGW concerns are just a scam to make money off "green" technologies. (Which is the most insane crock of shit I've ever heard, BTW, because you can make a thousand times more money raping the environment than preserving it -- at least in the short term.) You don't see them demanding that people who froth at the mouth about "commie environmentalists" and "liberal elitists" rein themselves in.

    In short, they claim that they want everyone to behave with respect and put forth cogent arguments, and yet all their criticisms are directed at one side of the argument. Though they claim to have no agenda, or to be interested solely in the truth, all their actions indicate otherwise. They are hypocrites at best, and border on being outright liars.

    So in sum: not only do I think your argument sucks, I think you're a dishonest, condescending jackass (e.g. "I try to look past it") who needs to be taken down a few pegs.

    Now that's an ad hom. :)

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller