Comment 5920

By zanis_e_v (registered) | Posted March 20, 2007 at 15:56:01

Sorry, I was unclear: I was addressing the 'you' not to you (Adrian) but to you (others reading the posting). Without some background info on Lawrence Solomon, it is too easy for a reader to just think: National post (right-wing) and climate change denier (probably in big oil's pocket). And yes, those numbers are not 'facts' but best guesses. Further, those guesses come from a body which I see as severely compromised in its scientific objectivity. Please read Chris Landsea's Open Letter to the Community ( on why he resigned from the IPCC. Personally, as a graduate student in geography, I can attest to the overwhelming pressure by funders and the entire academic community for attention grabbing results in climate change. If you don't toe the line, you don't get funding, and don't get published. This applies to a certain degree to all research, but the amount of money involved, and the messianic significance attached to the 'inconvenient truth' makes climate change research very vulnerable. Situations like the one Ted Mitchell experienced should be embarrasing to scientists - that no practicing researchers have the guts to present differing views. You are going to hate me for this, but I think that in some ways the climate change movement parallels the eugenics movement of the last century. Eugenics was accepted by a majority of leading scientists and it was based on the latest scientific theories (evolution, genetics, psychiatry) and methods (eugenicists developed modern statistics). All data pointed to the conclusion that the 'feeble-minded' were out-breeding the rest of society. Their models showed that within a few generations the the western 'races' would have completely degenerated into imbecility. And so the scientists raised the cry that we must do something about it - we had to act now. Different jurisdictions boasted of how progressive they were by showing off data on how many feeble-minded were in 'colonies' and/or sterilized. Obviously the efforts to abate carbon emissions are much more benign than sterilization. But there is still something uncomfortable about making major policy efforts to change how people live based on (to my mind) a few people's still murky forecasts, models, and knowledge.

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