Day: <span>October 30, 2015</span>

The dangerous intersection of science and politics


Listening to politicians, including several current presidential candidates, is kind of like surfing the Internet. A lot of what you hear and read is true, but much of it is totally made up and pure hogwash. That observation came to mind after I read Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd’s column, linked below, about the sometimes dangerous intersection of science and partisan politics.

Floyd points out the frustation of scientists trying to “reach people determined to believe that science is a kind of choose-what-you-like cafeteria, where facts are only real if you want them to be.”

Right in the middle of this phenomenon, of course, is the debate over climate change.

Floyd notes that presidential candidate and U.S. Ted Cruz, one of many politicians debunking global warming, has claimed that scientists are “cooking the books” when they insist that climate change is real. “I’m saying that data and facts don’t support it,” Cruz told Politico a couple of months ago.

What data? What facts? Apparently not the same data and facts considered by most scientists.

As Floyd notes, Time magazine reported last year on a review of every peer-reviewed scholarly article published on climate change in 2013. The review was conducted by a geochemist who served as an advisor to both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Of all the scientific articles this scientist reviewed, only two rejected climate change. The other 10,883 concluded it is real.

At least, Cruz, so far as I know, has never claimed to be a scientist.