It was “Open Mic” this past weekend at Politico Arena:
Brad Smith is to be commended for encouraging Politico Arena contributors to comment on the emerging “Climategate” scandal. And it is noteworthy that both he and Walter Russell Mead, the first to respond to Brad’s invitation, have taken a “let’s-see-the-evidence” posture toward the matter, discounting neither the global warming thesis nor the evidence that there may be less to the thesis than its promoters have been saying.
Yet to listen to how the promoters have discounted their critics over the years, one would imagine that the science on the matter were settled. In fact, one hears often enough that the science is settled to believe that many of them believe it – until a story like this breaks. Then we see the scramble to shore up their belief system. It’s an old story, documented years ago by Thomas Kuhn in his provocative volume, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Fortunately, we haven’t yet reached the stage of the Lysenko scandal, which set Soviet genetics back several decades. But we delude ourselves if we believe that the politicization of science is not inherent in government entanglement as such. Since that entanglement of government and science is not likely to end soon, the antidote is transparency. Climategate may be just the spur we need to open the books on global warming, especially given the draconian remedies its promoters are prescribing.