Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Make It Fit What You Believe

S0, I am reading this post over at Missoulapolis when I am totally stricken by a link at the bottom. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty in the post to be stricken by, but the link at the bottom really took the cake.

It is a link to an article (term used lightly) on global warming. Here, see for yourself. What's the problem? It is a sad piece of work, that's what. First note the title:

Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory

The first problem with the title is that it implies that it is a survey of scientist that have been published. It conjures images of a phone call that goes like this:

"Hello, Doctor Smithenson?"
"This is Pauline from Survey USA, do you have time for a few questions?"
"As a published scientist on climatology, do you believe in global warming?"
"Thank you"

Now, if that was the case, you would have the well informed opinion of a published scientist. However, this is not the case at all. This article refers to the papers themselves, not the scientist. The survey was conducted by reading a number of papers and deciding if the paper endorses global warming. Hmm.

Now, it really gets bad when you look at the data they are presenting. First off, 45% of the papers implicitly endorse the idea of global warming, while on 8% reject it. All the others are neutral on the topic. In fact, we have no idea what the papers were about at all, they might not be on the topic at all.

However, when actual scientist are asked about their opinion on the topic, they say things like:

"The evidence for warming having happened on the planet is unequivocal," said U.S. government scientist Susan Solomon, who also is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"We can see that in rising air temperatures, we can see it in changes in snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. We can see it in global sea rise. It's unequivocal," she said.

That quote came from a recent meeting of the foremost scientist in the field. Hundreds of scientists signed onto the paper the report they produced.

Now, I accuse Carol of grasping on to anything, no matter how thin, as long as it supports her views. Why is it that it seems that conservatives are much more apt to deny global warming? I mean, why does this issue so often come down between the left and right? Why should it be a political issue? Well, there is precedent:

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed, a NASA scientist said Tuesday night.

“In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now,” James Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.

Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and has twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming. He was also one of the first government scientists tasked with briefing congressional committees on the dangers of global warming, testifying as far back as the 1980s.

Well, they take this view because their leaders do. Why do their leaders take it? Because industry tells them to.

1 comment:

Robert Rouse said...

Shane, I read you on a regular basis over at Montana Net Roots. Your group blog has become a regular part of my featured blog round up called the Blog World Report from the blog Left of Centrist.

At any rate, I'm looking for bloggers from every state to take part in an experiment. Here is a link to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

Even if you're not interested, perhaps you could make a recommendation.