My two unfavourite memes of this week

Q: But back in the 1970s, scientists told us the world was cooling! Why should we believe them about global warming now?

A: Don’t confuse a Newsweek cover story with a scientific consensus. Just because journalists latch on to one research paper and drum up a media storm about it doesn’t mean that the scientific community at large views that research paper as either definitive or compelling.

Q: Isn’t it unethical for scientists to delete raw data? How can we trust people who do that?

A: There is nothing unethical about deleting your copy of someone else’s raw data once you have finished using it, especially if that is a condition of access to that raw data. You can always get another copy of that raw data from the people who generated it if you need to look at it again.

People who keep harassing someone for a deleted copy of someone else’s raw data instead of going to the originator of that raw data for a copy of their own? Even when it’s been explained to them over and over that the originator is the only person who can provide another copy of that raw data? Now that’s unethical.

Context: the ongoing East Anglia University Climate Research Unit hacked emails tempest in a teacup.

Categories: culture wars, environment, ethics & philosophy


4 replies

  1. I don’t understand; what would the point of a global warming conspiracy be, anyway? To make people pollute less? How sinister.

    • @Donna,
      Climate scientists are all closet socialists, allegedly. The conspiracy is supposedly all about throttling the free market just because they hate it so and taking money from rich developed countries to give to poor undeveloped countries just because they’re jealous of people who are rich.

  2. According to Senator Minchin it’s because all white-collars are greenies and greenies are red and we’re all blue because industrialisation means white people get more gold.
    Something like that.

  3. Thanks for the explanation. These people are strange and paranoid.

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