Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Galileo all over again

In OpinionJournal today is an article by Richard Lindzen that brings Michael Crichton's novel "State of Fear" into the world of reality. How much of our so-called science is truly reliable? An excerpt:
So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested--a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences--as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union--formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.
All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists--a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.


Is this the atmosphere in which other areas of scientific inquiry, such as AIDS and cancer research, operate? Apparently it is. And that's what we truly should be alarmed about. The likes of Al Gore should not be controlling scientific inquiry. Neither should George Bush, for that matter.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ann, I think this may be a step too far.


Ann Coulter is a very sharp witted pundit. She does go over the top at times, and I think I can appreciate when she's doing so simply for the drama. Her new book title is over the edge, not just over the top. It's not that I'm liberal or religious (neither). It's that this is the stoooopidest argument that should be made against liberalism I've seen. I haven't read the book, so maybe there's more to it than this, but I don't like the fact that somehow the conservative wing has become perceived as the self-annointed "God" wing of politics. This doesn't help.