The Tethered Goat or the Honest Broker
Ethon is back from Boulder. He was so satisfied with the extraordinary feast Pro provided that he passed on the offered Hansen pate and tethered scientist appetizer that Honest Roger offered. Roger managed to pirouette from the recent British Office of Communication Decision that The Great Global Warming Swindle was a sack of effluent to a full bore attack on Jim Hansen and his suggestion about the fate of coal company executives.
It is sad what is happening over at Prometheus, the Professor having lost his audience being reduced to whacking about wildly. Jon played the Devil and won
It's a pretty good discussion, and worth reading if only for the double plus good Rogerism, when Jon went away to his day job
As I read Lahsen's paper, the U.S. suffers from a particularly virulent strain of extrinsically politicized science and thus, lowering the bar of expertise in the name of democratizing the debate or supporting intellectual freedom, actually devalues good scholarship by diluting it with "simulated scientific authority" just as printing ever more money devalues currency. As I say above, it looks like Gresham's law.
Of course, the alternative raises the perennial question, "quis custodiet?" but I continue to trust the mores of our scientific communities to wrestle with this honestly.
What I take away is certainly that I agree with your horror at bringing lawsuits or criminal prosecutions to bear on climate or political debates. And I also share your aversion to attempts to pressure universities from outside, particularly where the pressure is extrinsically political.
But within the university and within the scientific community, whilst speaking as a professional free expression is a right to which one is entitled only in the context of good scholarship; and so long as the politicization of the community's judgment upon scholarship is only intrinsic there is an obligation to use that judgment to demarcate reasonable dissent from worthless or irresponsible views.
Perhaps Jon is busy with other matters. Or perhaps, as he has done before on several occasions at this site, he has just dropped by to levy allegations and then leave the conversation midstream. Do that a few times and you start to get a reputation. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he'll reengage.That's got it all folks except the advice to read the complete works of Roger Pielke Jr. The victim bully act that makes Roger such a delight, the innocent old me phrase at the end. Still Eli would like to point out that a lot of this arises from the construct that RPJr calls "The Honest Broker" and Eli calls "The Tethered Goat"
The Honest Broker of Policy Options (AKA the Tethered Goat) - seeks to expand, or at least clarify, the scope of choice available to the decision maker. In this instance the doctor might explain to you that a number of different treatments is available, from wait-and-see to taking different medicines, each with a range of possible consequences.OK, you go to the doctor with your new baby and ask about vaccination. Roger's "Honest Doc" tells you that not vaccinating your kid will significantly increase the odds that she dies young. OTOH, she could also have a terrible reaction to the vaccination and die and, oh yes, assorted nut jobs think that vaccination causes autism. Roger would stake us all out as purveyors of simple solutions, and as we well know there is not a problem in the world that does not have simple, but wrong solutions. So the Tethered Goat tells the patient you have two choices. One kills your kid and the other kills your kid, your choice. No "value" judgments
But is is precisely the value judgments that the doctor's study and experience have prepared him for. He knows more of the evidence than you or I do and we need his advice based on that study and experience. Although it goes against all the "rules" that we pretend to live and campaign by, there are a whole lot of people who know what is better for a whole lot of kids than the kids parents, and if you doubt me read the headlines.
Eli Kildare, OTOH would tell you that the kid runs a terrible risk of damage from the diseases, that it is immoral to not vaccinate the kid and rely on the herd effect and it is an unacceptable risk not to vaccinate. Oh yes, Rachel Carson did not kill millions. It would also be good to say that if the kid is NOT vaccinated, the doc doesn't want you or the kid as a patient because of the danger she will pose to other children during office visits. This is what the science says, but Roger's Tethered Goat can only go so far and not provide you the benefit of his conclusions (that being reserved for Roger).
Providing conclusions based on experience is exactly what Hansen is doing. He is telling us (and Roger) that the scope of choices has narrowed to the point that our civilization either has to take action or die (ok, suffer really bad stuff, like having our livers pecked out daily). You can, of course, listen to Dr. Durovic and take the Krebionzin or equivalently listen to the Drs. Pielke and adapt. As Eli has pointed out, adapting without mitigating is a mug's game that leaves a lot of mugs dead.