Sunday, February 19, 2006

You Reap What You Sow

I have stated before that scientists should restrain from lobbying the public for grant money. Ask your representatives or the appropriate commitee, but leave the public out of it. There are two articles in the New York Times recently that feature scientists bemoaning President Bush's policies towards [insert your research field here]. The first article is about environmentalists (climate change/global warming types) expressing fear that Bush met with Michael Crichton, author of State of Fear. The book calls into question the science and motivations behind global warming.
"This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science," Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O'Donnell's group monitors environmental policy.

"This administration has put no limit on global warming pollution and has consistently rebuffed any suggestion to do so," he said.
The truth is that the causes, severity, long term impacts, and policy implications of global warming are still open questions. Usually scientists who honestly raise this point are dismissed as "not serious" or, even worse, partisan. However, the lets-not-take-the-risk alarmists are the ones who made this a political issue. And if you want to get political, be prepared to lose. It happenes.


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