Friday, February 02, 2007

Pseudo science for sale

Came across this article yesterday while I was reading about the new climate report on Global Warming that IPCC is coming out with today: Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study.

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...etc.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this lunacy of politics trying to dictate science. I think the administration does not understand that wishful thinking and reality are two different things. You can't make reality come out your way just by throwing money at it (well I guess really you can temporarily but catastrophy is not far behind). The art of pseudoscience has reached its zenith here in the U.S. with the hugely successful process of establishing a organization with a neutral and vague name such as the American Enterprise Insitute, hide your funding source and then start to put out "scientific papers" with enough jargon to impress even the most skeptical media (those are hard to come by as it is). With any luck, you will start being quoted as an authority on this subject and your agenda will be on its way to the top.

So here is what I propose as our new money making scheme, we should totally register a nonprofit think tank, lets say named "Climate Research and Prediction" institute. Then we can spend couple hours making up some papers about how the glaciers are not melting off and a warmer Earth will really be better for the tourism industry. Voila, 10 grand in the pocket! It is that easy!

I am pretty sick of the pseudoscience agenda being advanced by the people like the "CO2 is our friend" American Enterprise Institute, the "All we need is more troops in Iraq" Heritage Foundation, and especially the "Evolution is just a theory" Discovery Institute. It is bad enough that they have faked their way to the top of the stack, it is even worse when they get quoted wholesale by Media. Stop this madness!!


Ender said...

All this spin-doctoring reminds me of the movie "Thank you for Smoking". Have you watched that?

Tochi said...

On a radio interview last week, the Green party candidate for an upcomping provincial election was calling for the abolishment of corporate sponsorships/donations. I can understand how administrations, after accepting these funds to get them elected, must help booster the corporation's agenda, even if it defies common sense. In this case, the President is from an oil rich state. A few more years of wishy-washy polciies to keep their billion of dollars of profit is a worthy investment for many companies. Enough said. :(