Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scientific Consensus

I flinch whenever I hear that phrase. Read it recently in an Op-Ed about the UK government's response to the Icelandic volcano:

The decision to close the country’s airspace may be the correct one, though many in the aviation industry question the Meteorological Office’s computer modelling. The absence of internationally agreed criteria on what constitutes a safe level of ash for flying is also a serious problem. The UK operates a “zero tolerance” approach, more cautious than other countries with active volcanoes. While we may be well advised to adopt the precautionary principle, it needs to be based on sound science. Yet there is no scientific consensus [italics mine], there are no daily press conferences to keep the country informed, and no obvious contingency planning in case the situation stretches on for weeks. A crisis on this scale is a matter for Government.

Scientific research has been corrupted by government. If there is some government-sponsored research into the question of what to do about clouds of volcanic ash, the inevitable finding will be whatever those in power want it to be. For example, if leftist dogma mandates that volcanic eruptions are caused by crowd noise from football games, the 'scientists' hired by the government to research the matter wil find that is exactly the case. This will be the 'scientific consensus' of those few researchers who have access to, and control of, the research grants. This same group will 'referee' each other's papers in 'refereed journals'.

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