Effects of emotion rather than science in the argument over wolves

There is a greatly needed opinion piece in “New West” by a former science journalist-

When Emotion Drives the Wolf Debate, Research Suffers. “The Rocky Mountain West is producing solid science in regard to wolves. Too bad what’s learned is buried under what’s opined.” By Steve Bunk. Guest column in  New West.

I want to add that science in many fields is being attacked (not necessarily by the government, but by political groups) in the United States.  This turn to ideology, crude self interest, and various religious dogmas will destroy America, IMO.  Ralph Maughan

After election, Republicans plan attack on EPA and climate scientists if they win the House

In the old Soviet Union, being a scientist was a dangerous thing unless discoveries upheld the Party’s ideology-

Doubt GOP will be put scientists in a gulag. They will just be investigated and badgered out of a job.

GOP plans attacks on the EPA and climate scientists. By Neela Banerjee. Los Angeles Times

Obama, like Bush, seems to be stifling salmon science

Manipulation of science remains the same or worse.

In the first year and a half of the Obama Administration nothing has really changed with regard to environmental policy across several agencies. In fact, I think it has gotten worse for two reasons. One, things haven’t changed, and two, people just want to believe that Obama cares about the environment. The BLM and USFS still willfully break the law in their grazing decisions, the MMS issued categorical exclusions for deepwater oil drilling, and now it appears that biologists are still being pressured to manipulate science surrounding salmon to protect dams.

Obama, like Bush, seems to be stifling salmon science.

Climate Expertise Lacking among Global Warming Contrarians

Yes, there are skeptical scientists, but climatology is hardly ever their field-

Climate Expertise Lacking among Global Warming Contrarians. “A majority of scientists who dispute global warming lack the climatological expertise to do so.”  By David Biello. Scientific American.

I would say that the “contrarians” have largely carried the day in public opinion.  Too bad scientific truth isn’t discovered that way.  Then the Earth would indeed be flat.

Interior Science Has Integrity Issues, Inspector General Says

Politics still reigns supreme in the Interior Department

A new report outlines how very little has changed under Obama and Salazar. Science is being ignored and managers manipulate it to support predetermined political outcomes.

In my experience, I would say that the Interior Department under Obama and Salazar is as bad or worse than under Bush and Kempthorne.  Substantial changes need to be made to protect the environment and imperiled species.

It seems that Obama appointed Salazar simply because a westerner is traditionally appointed due to the fact that the West has most of the public lands.  Well, as we can see with the Gulf oil spill and endangered species, there is much more to it than that. A Secretary of Interior needs to have a greater understanding of science rather than a simple understanding of politics and cattle ranching.

Read the rest of this entry »