I’ve read the latest tranche of “Climategate” emails and frankly it’s embarrassing. While some people are going into self congratulatory raptures over scientists saying things that might be taken to suggest misdemeanours or attempts to mislead the public I’m seeing people discussing their personal lives, getting financial information, congratulating people on babies and so on.
More to the point it detracts from the major issue that should be bothering everyone on all sides of climate science and science generally, and that’s politicisation.
Taking climate as an example, both sides agree that the other is politicised. IPCC supporters will loudly declaim that opposers of Climate Science are funded by Big Oil and Big Gas and all the other Big non-renewables, At the same time the Climate ‘Sceptic’ movement will point out that IPCC scientists are funded by the IPCC and are in the pocket of Alternative Energy companies and people making money from Carbon Trading.
They’re probably both right.
So we have scientists being funded by one group opposing scientists being funded by the other group. And that’s a bit stupid. As non-scientists the rest of us are dependant on having information that we can use to make up our minds on. On what we believe, what we’re going to do and who we’re going to vote for. It’s not unreasonable to hope that we get the information we need. It’s alright that there be dispute among scientists, it’s expected, but honest dispute would be useful rather than engineered dispute between two rich and self interested groups.
And where do the emails sit in all this? They sit nowhere. They’re another pawn in the struggle between two groups who are interested only in their own issues and in lining their own pockets and only care about us in so far as they can make money out of us.
So where does the politicisation of science sit in all of this? Who is looking out for our interests?
So far only two people would probably like to claim to be.
One is a former journalist and politician who has claimed falsely to be a member of the House of Lords, and claims to have created a universal panacea that can cure everything up to and including AIDS.
The second is a blogger who pillories anyone who disagrees with him and believes in the curative powers of both homeopathy and in breathing in a funny way and wants to sell his book.
No one I’d like to see representing honest unbiased science.
Would someone please like to stand up for the rights of the common man?