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Ultimatejoe
Considering the government's well discussed 'skepticism' regarding global warming, I think you can infer what I'm hoping to discuss here.

Now, before you even touch that keyboard: yes, I got this story from the New York Times. If at any point you are tempted to write "well if it appears in the NYT then it's not true" then please leave right now. You're not going to contribute anything to a discussion of the issues which I would like to highlight.

Here's what caught my eye today as I made my fifteen-times-daily stroll through my bookmarks:

Official Played Down Emissions' Links to Global Warming

QUOTE
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports...

Other White House officials said the changes made by Mr. Cooney were part of the normal interagency review that takes place on all documents related to global environmental change. Robert Hopkins, a spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted that one of the reports Mr. Cooney worked on, the administration's 10-year plan for climate research, was endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences. And Myron Ebell, who has long campaigned against limits on greenhouse gases as director of climate policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian group, said such editing was necessary for "consistency" in meshing programs with policy.

But critics said that while all administrations routinely vetted government reports, scientific content in such reports should be reviewed by scientists. Climate experts and representatives of environmental groups, when shown examples of the revisions, said they illustrated the significant if largely invisible influence of Mr. Cooney and other White House officials with ties to energy industries that have long fought greenhouse-gas restrictions.


Now, some background facts. The man in question is not a scientist, but in fact a former lobbyist. The report (appearing in the NYT) is not speculation or material from anonymous sources, but a study of White House memos obtained under a Freedom of Information request.

Now, there are two problems that I have with this story that I hope to get in to. The first is a more general discussion. Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies? Obviously if this guy is in a position where he is directing and coordinating government policy he needs to have access to this sort of research. But does his position warrant him altering the studies themselves in an effort to change the science?

Secondly, is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?
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Amlord
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?

The question is: did he change the science or did he change the emphasis?

QUOTE
In one instance in an October 2002 draft of a regularly published summary of government climate research, "Our Changing Planet," Mr. Cooney amplified the sense of uncertainty by adding the word "extremely" to this sentence: "The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult."


You must admit that some people downplay the uncertainties involved with global warming predictions and gloss over the uncertainties involved.

QUOTE
In a section on the need for research into how warming might change water availability and flooding, he crossed out a paragraph describing the projected reduction of mountain glaciers and snowpack. His note in the margins explained that this was "straying from research strategy into speculative findings/musings."


Without seeing the actual removed paragraph, it is pretty much impossible to determine if it was "off topic".

QUOTE
Other White House officials said the changes made by Mr. Cooney were part of the normal interagency review that takes place on all documents related to global environmental change. Robert Hopkins, a spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted that one of the reports Mr. Cooney worked on, the administration's 10-year plan for climate research, was endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences. And Myron Ebell, who has long campaigned against limits on greenhouse gases as director of climate policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian group, said such editing was necessary for "consistency" in meshing programs with policy.


I haven't seen anything that made me gasp and say to myself : he changed the entire meaning. What he may have changed is the emphasis.

is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?

Do you mean by emphasizing the things that we don't know such as the mechanisms and interactions? Maybe. The article clearly is slanted to give us that impression although the evidence is fairly scant. Why would Bush fund a multi-billion dollar agency to study this if it didn't have some importance? US Climate Change Science Program
Erasmussimo
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?
No, it is completely inappropriate. Politicians, not scientists, should make policy. Scientists, not politicians, should assess the science. A policy paper should be written entirely by politicians; a scientific report should never be touched by politicians except to remove any statements making policy recommendations. The edits presented here are clearly alterations of the scientific content of the paper and as such constitute deceitful behavior. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?
I cannot speculate as to their actual motivations, but their behavior is certainly consistent with that hypothesis. There is no question that the Bush administration has repeatedly intruded into the scientific evaluation of controversial issues to rob those evaluations of scientific integrity. This has happened not just with global warming; it has happened with forestry, land use, endangered species, air pollution, water quality, and even health care. The Bush administration has a demonstrated policy of violating the integrity of the evaluative process.
Ultimatejoe
Amlord, I expected your skepticism regarding global warming to make an appearance, but I had at least hoped that you could look past it and try to answer the general question I was posing. I don't see that you've done that however.

QUOTE
The question is: did he change the science or did he change the emphasis?


A scientific study is more than just statistics and variables. The conclusion is just as scientific as the observations, so long as it is arrived at using the scientific method. I challenge you to find a single scientist who would agree that changing the "emphasis" of a study does not also change it's meaning. If a study concludes that there is a link between global warming and carbon dioxide emissions, it's meaning is simple: There is a link between global warming and carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, for some people this is politically unpalatable, so lets say that we make a change or two; one that emphasis the antithetical element of the study. All of a sudden the "meaning" becomes: There is a potential link between global warming and carbox dioxide emissions. I trust even you can see the FUNDAMENTAL difference this creates, especially if we are to understand meaning in the politicized context in which it is understood. One suggests action, or at the very least comprehensive and strong investigation from a strong hypothesis. The other simply suggests that further research is necessary.

QUOTE
You must admit that some people downplay the uncertainties involved with global warming predictions and gloss over the uncertainties involved.


I'm not sure what you're implying here... Two wrongs make a right? That seems like a strange thing for someone who claims to be level-headed asserting.

QUOTE
Without seeing the actual removed paragraph, it is pretty much impossible to determine if it was "off topic".


Who cares? You completely missed the point of my objection to this action. The man in question did not remove hte paragraph because it's off topic (even though anyone who knows what the terms "glacier" and "snowpack" mean appreciate that it isn't), but because it was apparently a "speculative" finding. Is it speculative? Perhaps; without reading it we can't be certain. However, the ONLY appropriate way to refute "speculative" findings in a scientific study is further research. The deletion would be wholly inappropriate if another scientist had made the alteration; the fact that a politician did so is a further outrage. If you can't understand that the integrity of the scientific process demands that individual research should remain independent, then I'm not sure you're qualified to speak to any question regarding science itself.

QUOTE
Do you mean by emphasizing the things that we don't know such as the mechanisms and interactions? Maybe. The article clearly is slanted to give us that impression although the evidence is fairly scant. Why would Bush fund a multi-billion dollar agency to study this if it didn't have some importance?


You know, very few things enrage me like the standard "that article is slanted" defense. You know what Amlord... go prove it. Seriously, go out and find something that indicates that the article leans away from the truth even one iota. Go ahead, I don't mind. Simply saying it is slanted because it presents a truth that differs from your own does nothing but damage your own integrity as a contributor to this discussion. The evidence of global warming is scant? The evidence is in fact plentiful. There is a tremendous difference between disputed and non-existent. The New York Times, myself, and the majority of scientists/climatologists/environmentalists choose to interpret the evidence, gaps and all, in one way. This choice is for the most part made by an unbiased reading of the facts. Agree with me or not, the fact remains that I have made my choice not because I want to believe that global warming is being influenced by humans, but because the evidence tells me that. If the evidence speaks to you in a different way, so be it. I don't think your opinion is SLANTED because I disagree with you (even though I do think it's wrong. flowers.gif ) Your attempt to discredit the argument in such a fashion though is beneath you.

Now, howabout you actually ANSWER the questions I asked. So far all you have done is try to turn them on their head by engaging the science global warming in your roundabout, "well shucks they just don't know" strategy. The fact is that Mr. Cooney is not a scientist, nor is he qualified to make qualitative changes to scientific research; yet he appears to have done so. Instead of discussing whether or not this is appropriate, you've actually gone and tried to do the same thing that Cooney himself did.
moif
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?

No.

To do so is to render the science useless and any way whats the point of science if we just ignore it when it says something we don't like?


Secondly, is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?

Yes.

I believe the Bush administration will do anything and everything (up to and including mass cold blooded murder) in order to secure the resources needed to ensure continued global dominion of the United States.

I am not surprised, in the least to learn that the Bush administration doctors scientific research in order to justify its criminal actions against the planet.

lordhelmet
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jun 7 2005, 11:59 PM)
 
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies? Obviously if this guy is in a position where he is directing and coordinating government policy he needs to have access to this sort of research. But does his position warrant him altering the studies themselves in an effort to change the science
 
Secondly, is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming? 
*
 


To your first question, it's what politicians do all the time on a wide variety of topics. They take "studies" that suit their point of view, twist them if required, promote them as "proof" that backs up their position, and then try to undermine "studies" that hold the contrary view. In fact, I can't think of a single topic that politicians (or the members of this board) are currently discussing where this is not true.

By the same token, the Clinton administration was guilty of blatantly using the "global warming" issue for political advantage, especially through the mouthpiece of ex US Vice President, and current space-cadet, Albert Gore Jr. Kyoto was seen as a big step in the right direction, yet Clinton never got it ratified and it excluded the worst polluters on the planet in countries like India and China. In other words, Kyoto was a joke yet Clinton and the left leaning governments around the world weren't laughing.

To your second question, the Bush administration believes (as do I) that the jury is still out with respect to man's impact on "global warming". I expounded on this topic at length, multiple times in another thread.

On top of it, some of the proponents of the man-made global warming theory are "altering the studies themselves in an effort to change the science".

When the data doesn't fit their model to show their preconceived conclusion, they change the model or come up with another explanation. That's why the fact that the earth warmed during the middle ages (prior to the development of the internal combustion engine and the industrial revolution) which contradicts the global warming hypothesis.

The entire global warming debate has been filled with hot air on both sides. The fact is that the evidence supporting it is far from conclusive. There is just no way, given the limited data available, that man has been able to determine the natural dynamics of our volatile earth; a planet that has gone through huge transformations in climate, % water coverage, and even the location of continents in its history.

Given the huge momentum that the earth seems to be capable of maintaining on it's own, it's a huge leap to conclude that a few dozen years of automobiles putzing around within the limited areas of Earth that people even inhabit in numbers, has somehow "changed the climate".

Man doesn't need to change the climate. It's demonstrated, in some cases in spectacular fashion, that it's capable of changing all by itself.

Global warming is a political issue not a "scientific issue". Bush didn't make it one. He just is behaving accordingly.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 10:31 AM)
To your first question, it's what politicians do all the time on a wide variety of topics.  They take "studies" that suit their point of view, twist them if required, promote them as "proof" that backs up their position, and then try to undermine "studies" that hold the contrary view.  In fact, I can't think of a single topic that politicians (or the members of this board) are currently discussing where this is not true.

The difference here is that the Bush administration is altering the contents of the scientific report before it is published. It's fine for politicians to cite differing facts offered by a scientific report, offer their own interpretations of a scientific report, and so on -- but manipulating the report itself is what is at issue here.

What do any of your other comments have to do with an evaluation of the propriety of politicians altering scientific reports? I see no connection.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Jun 8 2005, 02:13 PM)
The difference here is that the Bush administration is altering the contents of the scientific report before it is published. It's fine for politicians to cite differing facts offered by a scientific report, offer their own interpretations of a scientific report, and so on -- but manipulating the report itself is what is at issue here.


How can one manipulate what does not exist? If the report was not "published", then technically, it was not a "finished report". It was a "draft". Reports, studies, and speeches go through many revisions during the editing process. There is nothing new there.

Erasmussimo
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 11:21 AM)
How can one manipulate what does not exist?  If the report was not "published", then technically, it was not a "finished report".  It was a "draft".  Reports, studies, and speeches go through many revisions during the editing process.  There is nothing new there.

Yes, but the question in this topic concerns who should do the editing. The report had cleared its scientific review and was ready for publication. This politician altered its scientific meaning. Is this not improper?
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Jun 8 2005, 03:14 PM)

Yes, but the question in this topic concerns who should do the editing. The report had cleared its scientific review and was ready for publication. This politician altered its scientific meaning. Is this not improper?
*



No. The topic is a "political" topic (and I'm not going to rehash that here) therefore political editing was appropriate.

Global warming is political, not scientific.
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aevans176
QUOTE(moif @ Jun 8 2005, 11:45 AM)
Secondly, is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?

Yes.

I believe the Bush administration will do anything and everything (up to and including mass cold blooded murder) in order to secure the resources needed to ensure continued global dominion of the United States.

I am not surprised, in the least to learn that the Bush administration doctors scientific research in order to justify its criminal actions against the planet.
*



WOW. A little bitter, are we??
Science is a funny thing isn't it?? Let me illustrate, let's say, in the form of medicine. Medical doctors use scientific research, don't they? Well, if science is absolute, then why does medicine change? Why has our understanding of disease and the human body changed exponentially over the past 100 years? I guarantee that there were doctors in 1870 that believed they had it all figured out... (*laughing out loud*!)

If science wasn't a perpetual evolution, then there would've never been the invention of antibiotics, the airplane, computers, etc. Scientists pride themselves in objectivity, as a rule. If their findings are disproved, so be it. But frankly, I find it hard to believe that internationally published findings are intentionally "doctored". American science and innovation have contributed as much to the world's understanding of our surroundings as any other country's. (Please don't attempt to turn this into a nationalist/anti-american post, as sometimes things go that way...i.e. your previous post!)

Keep that thinking... along with the idea that Elvis isn't dead (but living in a retirement home in Texas), and that Aliens are monitoring our every move... (hahaha)
Jaime
Let's drop the rude comments and debate this in a civil fashion.

TOPICS:
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?

Secondly, is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 12:23 PM)
Global warming is political, not scientific.


I believe that your statement exemplifies the very essence of what I reject. I believe above all in rationalism, the pursuit of truth by means of logical reasoning. I believe that, when we make a decision, we should first gather and consider all the facts available to us, taking great care to insure that the facts we gather are in no way biased by anybody's prejudices or political agenda. Once we have gathered all the evidence we can, we then consider and debate that evidence with the objective of reaching some policy decision.

You statement denies this process. It supports the use of political preferences to distort the truth in order to arrive at a set of facts that support the pre-established conclusion you might prefer to reach.

Your statement is a fundamental denial of rationalism, of truth, and of intellectual integrity. I reject it.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Jun 8 2005, 03:40 PM)
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 12:23 PM)
Global warming is political, not scientific.


I believe that your statement exemplifies the very essence of what I reject. I believe above all in rationalism, the pursuit of truth by means of logical reasoning. I believe that, when we make a decision, we should first gather and consider all the facts available to us, taking great care to insure that the facts we gather are in no way biased by anybody's prejudices or political agenda. Once we have gathered all the evidence we can, we then consider and debate that evidence with the objective of reaching some policy decision.

You statement denies this process. It supports the use of political preferences to distort the truth in order to arrive at a set of facts that support the pre-established conclusion you might prefer to reach.

Your statement is a fundamental denial of rationalism, of truth, and of intellectual integrity. I reject it.
*



What is your point?

Do you reject the fact that the global warming debate is political or that politicians are political?

And, how have your own biases and political agenda prejudiced your own views on this matter? I can't believe that your own view of the "facts" and "evidence" is somehow immune to this.

Please clarify your post. Thanks.
moif
QUOTE(lordhelmet)
Global warming is political, not scientific.


Surely it is both?

It can't be just one and not the other? If it were not for the scientists we wouldn't even know what global warming is or that it is a factor to be considered!

Either way, I find it amazing that you will take the word of a politician over that of the majority of the worlds scientists on a matter as highly technical as this one.

I would also point out that:

Global warming is only one aspect of environmental politics and not the most pressing issue either. That dubious distinction is reserved for the immediete threat posed by the loss of this planets bio diversity. And that, I can assure you is a killer.

That Kyoto was never meant to be a solution. It was meant as the first and easiest step along the way.
CruisingRam
Scientific papers and political opinions are quite different in many ways LH- I suggest a class in English regarding HOW you write a scientific paper. There is a format that is adhered too, and a peer review proccess. There is an editorial proccess as well, and if you don't follow the proper format, it will not be published in the journals you have applied for publishing. At the beginning of every journal of science, is a section, it is called "instructions to authors" and it describes those things I mentioned above. At no point does a scientific editor change the science findings, and they send the paper back to the writer for approval of the editing prior to publishing.

When scientists print a paper, it may very well have POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS- but that does not mean the paper in itself is not science but politics.

Let us say I publish paper "X" as a scientist in a journal. You read it and don't agree with my methodology or my results- so, since I followed the format, and my methods are there for you to repeat, you can disprove or prove my paper- this is the way scientific publishing works.

Pick up a science journal sometimes, and the debate on how "amino acid "Y" affect cell uptake "Z" and there will be reviews of that article as heated as anything you would ever imagine- thumbsup.gif - BUT it is done in the context of scientific review.

In this case, the non-scientist altered a science paper purely for political reasons (that is the charge anyway, I still personally don't know enough about the paper to see if it was subject to the normal peer review, I reserve judgement here) .

If the charge is true, then yes, there was some very unethical behavior here, and in normal science circles this could get you in big trouble, and you could cease to be a scientist, or Dr, or whatever.

Take the Fen-Phen craze a few years ago. The "Phen" half had a very remote chance of causing softening in the heart valves- the scientists, on behalf of the drug manufactorer, chose to edit this info out, in much the same manner being accused here. Now, it is a very remote chance, and on top of that, the poeple that had to be on this med had a much higher chance of dying due to the reason they were taking the drug anyway! But since they chose to UNSCIENTIFICALLY EDIT OUT this information, they were sued succesfully over those deaths, and the drug permantly discountinued. Had they just included the information, and allowed further study, this drug would still be on the market today. hmmm.gif

So, I think what those with no science background, or at least not a modicum of science writing education, really do not understand what Erasmussimo is trying to say.

This administration does have a track record of attempting to over-ride overwhelming evidence to suit its political needs, and trumping up scant evidence, or old evidence to suit it's political needs.

Yes, on the basis that it was a scientific paper, and a non-principle changed it, it is improper and unethical.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(moif @ Jun 8 2005, 03:48 PM)
QUOTE(lordhelmet)
Global warming is political, not scientific.


Surely it is both?

It can't be just one and not the other? If it were not for the scientists we wouldn't even know what global warming is or that it is a factor to be considered!


Yes, that is exactly my point. The science involved has been corrupted by politics in the way that I pointed out. The scientists who are "studying" this issue have already made their conclusions..... with insufficient evidence. Now, they need politics to justify more and more grant money to continue their science or else the world will end!

QUOTE(moif @ Jun 8 2005, 03:48 PM)
Either way, I find it amazing that you will take the word of a politician over that of the majority of the worlds scientists on a matter as highly technical as this one.


Well, I was originally trained as an engineer so what most lay people are mystified by me, doesn't necessarily have the same impact on me. Besides, much of what passes for "science" is just plain junk these days. Coming up with a new theory and a new cause to justify a thesis, a grant, and plain old research dollars is big business these days. Besides, I know enough about statistics to know that what the global warming people are touting is based on insufficient evidence. They are counting on the mathematical ignorance of the public at large AND the political forces behind the whole anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, "green" movement. Like I said, it's political, not scientific.

QUOTE(moif @ Jun 8 2005, 03:48 PM)
I would also point out that:

Global warming is only one aspect of environmental politics and not the most pressing issue either. That dubious distinction is reserved for the immediete threat posed by the loss of this planets bio diversity. And that, I can assure you is a killer.

That Kyoto was never meant to be a solution. It was meant as the first and easiest step along the way.
*



Why do you "assure" me that the fact that species come and go is a "killer"? That's another non-issue in seach of a cause.

Biodiveristy? Sorry, but species that cannot adapt, go extinct. And if that wasn't allowed to continue, T-rex, rather than homo sapiens would be typing in this forum right now.

We don't even understand fully why species go extinct and new ones pop up... yet we've already concluded that this NATURAL phenomena is "killing us".

It's just nonsense, pure and simple.

Erasmussimo
QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 12:43 PM)
QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
Your statement is a fundamental denial of rationalism, of truth, and of intellectual integrity. I reject it.


What is your point?

Do you reject the fact that the global warming debate is political or that politicians are political?

Please clarify your post. Thanks.


"Global warming" is a physical phenomenon that might present a threat to our well-being. As such, the examination of global warming is a scientific topic, not a political one.

The policy options that constitute possible responses to the potential threat are political issues. As such, they fall within the purview of politicians and citizens.

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jun 8 2005, 12:43 PM)
And, how have your own biases and political agenda prejudiced your own views on this matter?  I can't believe that your own view of the "facts" and "evidence" is somehow immune to this.

As a rationalist, the first question I always ask when considering a question is, "what answer would I prefer?" I then subject that answer to the harshest skepticism. A standard method I use is to present the my take on the question to others and ask for their critique. If anybody comes up with a criticism I had not thought of, I consider that I have failed badly and go back to the drawing board. If all the arguments presented against the thesis are ones that I had already considered, I congratulate myself and proceed immediately to the conclusion.

QUOTE(lordhelmet)
Besides, much of what passes for "science" is just plain junk these days.

I suggest that this is an ill-considered opinion, unfounded in any familiarity with scientific research. To substantiate it, you will need to produce a great many examples of scientific projects that are junk. You used the quantifier "much", so it won't do to present the occasional oddball item -- you need to show that mainstream science is junk. That's a hard case to prove.



moif
QUOTE(lordhelmet)
Well, I was originally trained as an engineer so what most lay people are mystified by me, doesn't necessarily have the same impact on me. Besides, much of what passes for "science" is just plain junk these days.
I'm sorry. You've lost me. How does being trained as an engineer bear on the issue of what passes for science?

My whole family are engineers by the way (I'm the odd one out) so I have no trouble understanding engineers and I am not mystified by what you say, only amazed at your contention, with which I disagree.


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
Why do you "assure" me that the fact that species come and go is a "killer"? That's another non-issue in seach of a cause.
Because I'm not talking about evolution. I'm talking about the imposition of one species on all others and the logical conclusion as to what happens when that species replaces all the others.

Its simple logic. The eco system relies on equilibrium in order to function. Remove the equilibrium and we'll be joining those non surfing T-rex's you mentioned earlier.

No great loss perhaps, but for my part I'd like to have the human race continue to be able to live on a healthy, beautiful world, long after I've snuffed out.


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
We don't even understand fully why species go extinct and new ones pop up...
Really? I thought Darwin already explained this one.



QUOTE(lordhelmet)
yet we've already concluded that this NATURAL phenomena is "killing us".
You seem to have a singular knack for inserting your own words into your understanding of your opponents contentions.

I never said anything about any NATURAL phenomena


QUOTE(lordhelmet)
It's just nonsense, pure and simple.
And you can guarantee this can you?

Your point of view reminds me of the joke about the guy who throws himself off the top of a skyscraper.

Half way down he thinks to himself.. I don't know what all the fuss is about, this isn't so bad...

thumbsup.gif




Nemo
[deleted
A left Handed person
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?

No. While I believe scientists can sometimes be biased, and that as such, their work may need to go through review process to ensure objectivity before it is published, I don't think that a politician is qualified to perform such a review process. However, I think review processes should be undertaken by at least some scientists who hold opposite views to the people who originally created the report.

is the Bush administration deliberately trying to manipulate global warming research in order to delay/prevent action on global warming?

Yes. I'm fairly certain Bush doesn't believe that global warming is anthropogenic (I can tell you for a fact that his Science secretary [who by the way is a democrat] doesn't), so understandably, he is against limiting CO2 emissions. However, I think what he has done, is an abuse of power.

Ultimate Joe:
You know, very few things enrage me like the standard "that article is slanted" defense. You know what Amlord... go prove it.

I cant read the article (because I'm not signed up for that website), but the parts you and Amlord quoted didn't mention the white houses response at all. They merely gave a whole bunch of factors pointing towards the proposition that Bush was abusing his power, by down playing anthropogenic factors in global warming, so that energy companys wouldn't lose their profits. Maybe thats true. However, the article didn't give the opposing side any space.

As a sidenote, anger is the enemy of rational debate, becuase it merely makes a person unlogically self-righteous.

I'm not sure what you're implying here... Two wrongs make a right? That seems like a strange thing for someone who claims to be level-headed asserting.

Well, if the scientists who made the report were downplaying the uncertaintys, then yes, two wrongs would make a right. The key word of course is if.

Is it speculative? Perhaps; without reading it we can't be certain. However, the ONLY appropriate way to refute "speculative" findings in a scientific study is further research.

Speculation should not be published, because its does nothing but reflect the writers bias.

CruisingRam:

This administration does have a track record of attempting to over-ride overwhelming evidence

The evidence is at best theoretical and circumstantial, because the theory is not testable. The climate is effected by more things then just CO2, and as a result, we have no pure way of testing CO2 as a variable. At worst, the evidence is merely biased speculation (Like the Drake Formula). I personally believe, that scientists are claiming to know more then they really do...but anyways I'm getting bit off topic.

moif:

I'm sorry. You've lost me. How does being trained as an engineer bear on the issue of what passes for science?

If you really want to take the time to learn what we are talking about, then go to, and read this link: http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/...es_quote04.html
nemov
Simply, is it appropriate for a politician to be vetting and altering scientific studies?

The simple answer is no, but is it appropriate for scientist do the same thing? The IPCC has trumped up findings again and again I I fail to see the outrage over it. Just last year when the IPCC report on Hurricanes came out Chris Landsea resigned because there was pressure to connect the increased Florida Hurricane season to climate change.

QUOTE
Said Landsea in his resignation letter, "It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity had been due to global warming. My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy." Landsea closed his resignation letter by saying, "I personally cannot in good faith contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound."


The truth is this hardly put a dent in the IPCC's credibility. Those that already believe do not care what the IPCC does. Although if you truly believe that Global Warming is the greatest threat to mankind wouldn't the ends justify the means?
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