The Spectacle Blog

Political Science

By on 12.11.10 | 10:48AM

Slate has a piece noting that the politicization of scientific issues might trace back to the skew of the politics of scientists (and offering a useful exercise: "When President Obama appears Wednesday on Discovery Channel's Mythbusters (9 p.m. ET), he will be there not just to encourage youngsters to do their science homework but also to reinforce the idea that Democrats are the party of science and rationality. And why not? Most scientists are already on his side. Imagine if George W. Bush had tried such a stunt.").

Which note about the skew is also a worthwhile point, one at the heart of my response when answering the inevitable question: how did 'global warming' get so politicized? A quick check reveals how, some years ago, scientists leading the charge on the issue slipped the rails of science to show their true driver, leaping instead headlong into... demanding policies, even as -- despite billions of dollars and by now decades -- they could not manage to make their case beyond the un-compelling 'I can't explain it any other way' or 'my computer model says so'. Policy is partisan. So, we see, are policy-demanding scientists. So, then, becomes the issue.

And we see this contemporaneously. Note the recent call by some pretty hard-lefty scientists at Rutgers getting all bent out of shape because Gov. Chris Christie rather soberly indicated the alarmists have still yet to be able to make their case (though he has in the meantime become the first governor to move all state-level cap-and-trade revenues on-budget).

Among them, a Castro toady (oddly, the original of this item has been taken down), and a fellow who says this.

"Paul Falkowski, director of the Rutgers University Energy Institute, said global warming doubts are based on politics and personal beliefs, not science. 'There is no honest argument against human climate change. The issues now rely primarily on political dialogue on how we're going to move this country forward,' he said." (emphases added)

So, yes, the good professor is on to something, even if some glaring projection leaves his telescope turned around. Though not such that he can't still keep talking, and prove too much.

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