Science IS under attack

The General Assembly is set to hear a presentation from a “scientist” claiming that “Science is Under Assault.” Go through his presentation slides here, and see for yourself that he is merely setting the stage for policy makers to actually disregard good science (since they’re already disregarding economics, logic, and common decency). It appears that WRAL @NCCapital will carry a live stream of the talk.

Let me pull out one part of this guy’s presentation and rebutt it. He is making the argument that focusing only on the past 500 years of ice core data in Greenland is what is raising the alarm on climate change, but when you look at the past 1000+ years, the picture looks different: the climate was warmer 700 years or so ago, then cooled off. What a hoax to think that we’re warming the climate, right? Wrong. Geologists have known for a long time that we are currently in an inter-glacial cycle, and those glacial cycles have a 20,000 year period, and have historical occurred in sets of 5 periods. We’ve had 4 of those periods. What we don’t know is how the industrial revolution and the current use of fossil fuels that removes minerals from within the crust and places them in the atmosphere will affect the inter-glacial cycle. And keep in mind that the population has grown quite dramatically in the past 1000+ years, so a change in climate will have an extreme ripple effect on us.

This just seems like the Strawman baiting the Red Herring or something. With the wealth of scientific expertise we have near the legislative building, bringing this “scientist” in to talk about his brand of science is like hiring the snake oil salesman to come run the Department of Commerce… or worse, the Department of Health. It’s actually the deductive reasoning of science that leads us to know quite reliably that human activity is influencing the climate. And it’s good public policy to plan for the impact of that change.



2 thoughts on “Science IS under attack

  1. rgt7670 Post author

    So, towards the end of John Droz’s presentation, he talks about how schools should redevelop programs to develop critical thinking skills in students again, and then he cited a proposal from the John Pope Foundation:

    Of these 12 suggestions, there is no suggested avenue to develop critical thinking. Only one mention that the UNC system implement a standardize test that supposedly measures students’ ability to think critically. Another test won’t develop critical thinking. But with this kind of tainting of scientists, and with the pending passage of SB 10 (see my subsequent post on “grassroots activities”), this legislature and the governor will be able to unseat good, qualified scientists from such boards as the Coastal Resources Commission, Environmental Review Commission, and the Wildlife Commission.

  2. rgt7670 Post author

    …and this presentation put North Carolina’s law-making body in Scientific American:

    The best line in here about it is from Sam Pearsall, ecologist and adjunct professor of geography and ecology at UNC-CH, dismissed Droz’s presentation but nonetheless found something to admire: “That was the most remarkable example of propaganda delivered as anti-propaganda I’ve ever seen,” he said.

    The Institute for Southern Studies breaks down the fallacies of Droz’s presentation here:

    Of course, doubting Droz is just so typical of the “the anti-science agenda promoters” huh?


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