Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shedding a Little Light on Another Global Warming "Expert"

Mrs. Fundman and I have become very disillusioned with former Governor "Hockey Mom" of Alaska. We don't dislike her nearly as much as the folks in the MSM or on the left, but she's just not that bright and really should just go away. Instead she writes stuff like this piece in the Washington Post on global warming that sort of takes a flimsy position on the science and politics surrounding it.

So now the next day in this response along comes Alan Leshner, who is the chief executive officer of the AAAS, which touts itself as the world's biggest general scientific community, that publishes the journal Science. So in a fight like this you'd assume that the Hockey Mom is wrong and Mr. Scientific Community guy is the expert.

But in many ways this exchange summarizes why I don't have any clue who to believe here. We know about Palin, and her intellectual "limits." But what you may not know about Mr. Science Guy is that he has no background AT ALL in climate change. He's a psychologist, a Ph.D. in it. Now that's more of a social science. And in fact, he's a former government bureaucrat who was head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is at the core of the Drug War, and later NIH. So first off, the guy's not a physician, but he's a brain psychology expert who focuses on addiction. He has no background in global warming other than having worked as a bureaucrat.

Secondly, it turns out that at least according to this guy who is a doctor, Mr. Science Guy may have influenced research that predisposed results to support his worldview. I'm not fucking kidding. ran this nice little piece suggesting that Mr. Science Guy
has supported research that bolsters the administration's point of view, failed to fund projects that could undermine it, opposed research into medical marijuana and used images drawn from advanced medical technology to create misleading anti-drug campaigns.
This is EXACTLY the problem that the Climategate emails have raised - that a political agenda is pushing the research not honest debate. So this guy is part of the problem posing as an objective, all-knowing scientist.

So we are left wondering who the hell to believe? A probably ditzy, self-interested politician or a guy who has a history of engaging in questionable scientific activities? That's at the core of what's wrong with all of this public dialogue AND why people are starting to doubt the validity of this stuff. If the science is not scientific, and the opponents still look like wing-nuts we're left confused and cynical.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn’t the Alaskan Fox simply point out those things that we don’t much like in ourselves? She is common – perhaps too common. She wears cheap clothes and doesn’t look particularly good when she wears expensive ones. She passes on the pundits from the Post and Times. She over simplifies most problems and professes extensive knowledge of those with which she is not particularly acquainted. But like most of the instantly famous, she seems mostly ill-prepared to be in the public eye. She doesn’t know how we’d like her to behave – how to stand, dress, talk, read and think. We much enjoy watching others fail in situations that we would most certainly fail in ourselves. It reminds me of a Hollywood starlet who is yet to learn the “rules” of how to compete in celebrity. Palin will find her way – but I’m not sure that she will do it before our attention span and interest wanes.