In vino veritas redux

| October 13, 2009

From Minnesotans for Global Warming via American Thinker, we have the following quote (Discover Magazine, 1989) from Warmist Stephen Schneider:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary  scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

Yep.  That about sums it up.

Some years ago, I ran across a statement by Sen. Tim Leahy made at hearings on some environmental issue back  in the 1980s.  I wish I had logged the source and exact quote at the time, because it was along the same lines. As I recall, someone raised the question as to whether this issue would actually materialize; Leahy’s response was that it really didn’t matter, because whether the threat was real or not, this way things would get done.  (If someone knows that quote and has a source, please let me know.)  ..bruce w..

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Category: Climate Change, Main, Science

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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