Polly Admits To Irrationality And Is Wrong On The Science
... a taste of the Tea Party arrives on these shores in the peculiar paranoia of the climate-change deniers. You may dismiss some as fruitcakes or oil company lobbyists, but when Andrew Turnbull, former head of the civil service, reveals that he is of their number, it should alarm us.
I won't rehearse the paranoia of the deniers who think the world is against them: yes, it is.
For some reason they consider "the warmists" a leftwing conspiracy, though why is never clear.
On matters of fact, those of us who are not scientists can only listen to what scientists say and trust such an overwhelming global consensus. As cabinet secretary, Turnbull would have had to appraise evidence on myriad subjects of which he could know little: relying on best expertise is the only rational approach. So in what part of his psyche resided the Tea Party idea that scientific facts don't matter?
Reason should rule, but none of us is as rational as we pretend, each inhabiting our imaginations more than we do the real world, with opinions driven by beliefs, passions, convictions, hopes, fears and a hundred contradictory thoughts and impulses. But to make sense of the world, there is an obligation to seek out evidence and trust to expertise. Where it conflicts, we fight our political corners.
But science is different. Chief scientist John Beddington said in a forthright speech this year that we should become "Grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and scientific method"
Too right Polly, you aren't as rational as you pretend, and old Bedders hits the target with the attack on cherry-picking, it is just the target isn' the one he thinks it is.