05 October 2009

Evaluating Scientific Arguments Using Political Criteria

Of course evaluating scientific arguments according to their perceived political implications happens all the time, but rarely do you see a scientist admitting as much publicly. Here is Wally Broecker explaining one reason why he rejects Warren Ruddiman's peer-reviewed work on the possibility that early humans influenced climate in discernible ways:
"I think it's a bunch of bosh," said Wallace Broecker, a professor at Columbia University. Broecker said he worried that the idea of pre-modern people as carbon emitters would turn into an argument that the modern world need not worry so much about its own pollution. "I get really upset with him because people who oppose global warming (legislation) can use this as some dodge."