Dr. Dawg

How climate change denialists operate

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polar bear dead.jpg

I know, this is co-blogger John Cross’s beat, but I couldn’t help myself. He’s the science guy; I’m the horrified onlooker guy.

This is just the latest story of climate-denier shenanigans—the bizarre persecution of a climate scientist by a career bureaucrat with a far-right agenda, aided and abetted by a horde of scientific illiterates.

The investigators don’t appear to know much about how the scientific process works. They chastise Monnett because his boss didn’t follow through on the internal review process. And they accuse him of some kind of conspiracy because he contacted the world’s leading polar bear expert for his insights on the dead bears. The expert noted that there might be a “global warming angle,” which was apparently evidence of collusion or somesuch rather than, I don’t know, what a good scientist does when he spots a bunch of dead bears and thinks, “Gee, that’s weird. Maybe I should talk to some top researchers about it.” The whole polar-bear section of the report is laced with strange insinuations that Monnett and his coauthor must have somehow fudged the science in this peer-reviewed paper, but the investigators offer not a scrap of evidence to back up this assertion.

It’s not the first time, of course, that non-scientists have gone after the evidence-based types waving their pitchforks, torches and croziers. These days, the ignorati are more likely to be ideologues and oil company shills than the Vatican, but the “vehement suspicion of heresy” remains in all of its dubious glory. (Just ask the folks at the University of East Anglia.)

So here’s the important part: when lay people like myself want to form an opinion on climate change and its alleged dangers, upon whom should we rely? The mainstream scientific community, or a heterogeneous gaggle of crazed know-nothings grinding their various axes to razor sharpness? I’d venture to suggest that the choice isn’t really that difficult to make.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 2, 2012 11:25 AM.

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