Thursday, March 08, 2007

80% of scientists are not right just by defintion

I mentioned Channel 4's upcoming documentary tonight on those who disagree that man causes global warming.

And I've just been listening to John Humphrey's interviewing a few scientists on what politicians should believe.

The problem is that you can't have an opinion poll of scientists on an issue to determine truth. The one in a million may be right or indeed no one may be right.

As I have said before Climate Change has proven to be very useful politically for politicians trying to justify their role in the world. Its the new cause celeb for "campaigners" ( many of them rich people who can't find meaning in their life) to make themselves feel good.

In the mean time what if global warming is true but man isn't causing it ? Instead of spending money intelligently on coastal defences and reservoirs we will have pissed it away on damaging our economy.

This is why there should be more scientists and engineers in parliament whom understand risk and proof and less career politicians. ( By the way Engineers with practical experience would be far better than scientists as they live with the consequences of their professional decisions ).

We should stop going on about tokenism like career women to win and start thinking about a wider body of talent and experience into the commons. Unfortunately it looks like the precise reverse is to happen as the those with talent and merit are forced out of the Lords to be replaced by more career politicians.

Remember science is not a democracy, but a democracy without proper understanding of science will become a failed society.

Update: The most excellent First Post has an article titled Global warming: Nature goes against Science which reports one case of excessive claims and the acquiescence of a scientific magazine in making that case. A good - but not to heavy read.


billy said...

How do you get a wider body of talent (presumaly to include engineers and scientists) into the commons by vote?
The only scientists I can think of with any kind of charisma that might attract a vote are B list television celebrities. I cannot think of any engineers at all.
If my constituency MP were an engineer would he be any better as a constituency MP? The current one is yet another champagne socialist solicitor, but I cannot fault his work as constituency MP.

Man in a shed said...

Well the current effort was the 'A'-list. The problem with it is that its blatant tokenism.

I have no argument with campaigns that aim to recruit more talented women as candidates - because they are talented, rather than because they are women.

Mrs Thatcher was both a woman (which due to her talent was just an incidental fact) and a scientist - and just look at what she achieved !

This is why the Lords turning into another professional politicians job creation scheme is such a waste. We could have reformed the Lords to draft some of the more experience people in our country to serve - as a sort of cross between an honour and jury service.

Instead it looks like they will opt for noise over light.

On the constituency MP thing - I don't think MP's should be social workers - when they are they are really working on their incumbency rather than doing the job they were sent to parliament for. Yes there are times when only the MP's help will do - but not as often as is being made out.

By the way there are far too many ex solicitors/ barristers and journalists in parliament ( there need to be some, maybe even a large proportion, but there are just far too many). Somehow, and I wish I knew how, there numbers should be cut and replaced with people who have experience of making the world work.

wrinkled weasel said...

Scientists do not fair well in a media scrum. They equivocate, they muddy the waters of certainty, they often will not commit.

This is not wrong. It is just the way scientists behave. They often understand both sides of a story when others are pressuring them to present a black and white case.

They are, in my experience a passive bunch (Mrs/Dr Weasel is a scientist) with not much of a grip on the cut and thrust of every day life or a real appetite for conflict.

Obviously, I like scientists but when you get two or three in a room together you may as well become addicted to heroin to ease the boredom, because they will talk science, just for FUN!

billy said...

The 'A' list has a lot to answer for. Iain Dales blog went very bland after he got on the 'A' list.

Mrs Thatcher was wonderful in many ways but her watch also saw the final destruction of British industry, the reduction of public housing stock and 'care in the community'. The last has put the mentally ill, among the least able of all, onto the streets where nobody cares at all. Excepting those that become the victims of their violence, of course.

If the MP wants to be re elected he had best work his constituency; ask Portillo.

Re.: barristers & solicitors: they have been around power since at least Elizabeth 1. It may be difficult to do much about them now.