13. February 2006 · Comments Off on Slouching Toward Scientific McCarthyism: Why Politics And Science Don’t Mix · Categories: General, Politics, Science!

This is from Roger Pielke, Jr., Director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research:

In the 20 February 2006 issue of The New Republic, John B. Judis has an article about how the issue of hurricanes and global warming has been handled by NOAA. Judis is engaging in scientific McCarthyism by arguing that certain perspectives on science are invalid because they are viewed as politically incorrect by some.

The transformation of this part of climate science into pure politics is fully embraced by those on the political left and the right, and most troubling is that this transformation is being encouraged by some leading scientists who have taken to criticizing the views of other scientists because they happen to work for the federal government. These scientists know full well how such accusations will be received. What ever happened to sticking to the science? Read on for background and analysis.


TNR’s Judis appears to acknowledge a “scientific debate” but then writes as if the previous scientific paradigm has been overturned and anyone who says differently must be in cahoots with the Bush Administration’s spin machine or conservative commentators. Bizarrely, Judis criticizes NOAA scientists for making statements fully supportable by peer-reviewed science, and in some cases work that those scientists have published.

Read the whole thing, as well as Judis’ article (free link), which assumes a linkage between global warming (implicitly caused by human activity) and hurricanes as incontrovertible scientific fact, and offers little evidence of this administration’s “conspiracy” to muzzle dissenting opinion, beyond the suspicions of dissenters.

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