Monday, May 21, 2007

Conservatives Demand That Biologists Stop Discovering New Facts

Writers at The Wall Street Journal and Economist have opened another front in the Conservative War on Science, claiming that biologists are "inflating" subspecies into full-fledged species so as to increase:

...the number of rare species increases, boosting animal-conservation claims. At the same time, having a greater number of species boosts the chances that a habitat can pursue a legal designation as a protected area.

I'm still a bit too relaxed from vacationing to write about this issue with the necessary rigor, but Cryptomundo's Lauren Coleman gives what I think is a terrific response. Here is the whole thing, and here is a taste of it:

What is occurring is a classic theoretical battle between lumpers and splitters, not a fight of conservationists vs non-conservationists, not a war of Greens vs non-Greens, although “Species Inflation May Infect Over-Eager Conservationists” appears eager to convince you of that. The splitters are making their points lately, with more scientific evidence for a diversity of species.

The advent of DNA technology has produced enormous advancements in genetic level analysis of subspecies into species, because the markers are being newly discovered and becoming clearer every day. On a simplistic plane, this conservative media attack sounds like the typical “everything new is bad” argument.

Be sure to read the comments.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

cool.

The biologists are learning from the climatologists . . . create a crisis, cry hysterical wolf & the the sky is falling crap, get the government to shovel money off the taxpayer's truck into their pockets.

Excellent news . . .

Kill Gaia, kill the new heresy . . . said...

fucking with Al "The Carbon Pimp" Goreacle . . . just for the fun of it.

Climate change will be considered a joke in five years time, meteorologist Augie Auer told the annual meeting of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers in Ashburton this week.

Man’s contribution to the greenhouse gases was so small we couldn’t change the climate if we tried, he maintained.

“We’re all going to survive this. It’s all going to be a joke in five years,” he said.

A combination of misinterpreted and misguided science, media hype, and political spin had created the current hysteria and it was time to put a stop to it.

“It is time to attack the myth of global warming,” he said.

Water vapour was responsible for 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect, an effect which was vital to keep the world warm, he explained.

“If we didn’t have the greenhouse effect the planet would be at minus 18 deg C but because we do have the greenhouse effect it is plus 15 deg C, all the time.”

The other greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and various others including CFCs, contributed only five per cent of the effect, carbon dioxide being by far the greatest contributor at 3.6 per cent.

However, carbon dioxide as a result of man’s activities was only 3.2 per cent of that, hence only 0.12 per cent of the greenhouse gases in total. Human-related methane, nitrogen dioxide and CFCs etc made similarly minuscule contributions to the effect: 0.066, 0.047 and 0.046 per cent respectively.

“That ought to be the end of the argument, there and then,” he said.

“We couldn’t do it (change the climate) even if we wanted to because water vapour dominates.”

Yet the Greens continued to use phrases such as “The planet is groaning under the weight of CO2″ and Government policies were about to hit industries such as farming, he warned.

“The Greens are really going to go after you because you put out 49 per cent of the countries emissions. Does anybody ask 49 per cent of what? Does anybody know how small that number is?

Oldschool said...

What ever happened to "suvival of the fittest"? Obviously . . . if you are going extinct . . . its your turn . . . why would you want to upset Mother Nature? Too bad we were not around to help out the poor dinosaurs!!

Ti-Guy said...

*sniff*...Sure smells like rightwinger desperation.

Holly Stick said...

Wow, three posts in a row by idiots with their heads stuck deep in the oil sands, thereby making it easy to talk out of their asses.

Lexington said...

The Wall Street Journal and the Economist: leading the Flat Earther charge against the tyranny of science.

What you have to understand here is that fundamentally this isn't about science: it's about status and privilege. These publications speak for elites on both sides of the Atlantic who have the most to lose if the climate science is right. As Lord Salisbury once remarked: "Legislation is always unwelcome to the elite, as tending to disturb things with which they are well satisfied". That goes double for the radical economic and lifestyle implications of climate change. Therefore it is not surprising that they will grasp at any straw in their desperate flight from reality.

These are the same people who thought Dumbya would make a great president and that invading Iraq was a brilliant idea. What more really needs to be said?

Ti-Guy said...

What I can't understand is the desperation that's preventing the economic conservatives from stating their cases better. I'm flabbergasted to find out that they're so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Man, you can find the fly shit in the pepper, can't you? And then call it a neo-con plot to poison the world because of their religious right ideology.

Grow up. Worry about real issues.

Ti-Guy said...

I don't think it's a plot. Neo-cons are just naturally stupid.