Thursday, November 04, 2010

you bring an academic to a tea party but you can't make him drink

Scientific American had a recent poll on the state of climate science.  The conclusions?

  • With a total of 5190 respondents, a consensus of 81.3% think the IPCC is "a corrupt organization, prone to group-think, with a political agenda" and 75% think climate change is caused by solar variation or natural processes vs. 21% who think it is due to greenhouse gases from human activity.
The shift in public attitudes is not confined to the rampant right, tea drinkers or the lunatic fringe.  Indeed, attempts by scientists to impugn opposition to AGW by inferring a lack of understanding, political motive or simple denial of science, should now be passe.

Sadly they aren't.  For every Roger Piekle Jr, who comprehends the nuances of politics as they apply to science and Judith Curry, who seeks to mirror her scientific integrity with personal integrity, there remain far too many academics who, as yet, have not 
  • publicly differentiated their personal ideology from their scientific pronouncements
  • recognized that their expertise in some aspect of climate science does not extend to an expertise in science policy
  • distinguished their personal politics from their understanding of the policy process, especially as it applies to climate, energy and sustainability
  • expressed clearly and unequivocally their disdain for those scientists who have manipulated and politicized the IPCC process, and
  • expressed their professional, unbiased assessment of alarmist pronouncements utilized by academics and universities to sell the public an ideologically driven message on sustainability, impending crises and environmental policies.
Sadly, my own university still reflects the fact that far too many academics remain myopically addicted to the kool-aid of environmental alarmism and stubbornly allergic to reformist qualities of any alternatives.