While she’s in damage control mode over the toxic sludge spill that happened in Colorado, the EPA’s administrator Gina McCarthy wants to shut down any debate over global warming.
She likened the debate to arguments over whether cigarette smoking actually leads to lung cancer. Just like it’s wrong to debate smoking’s link to cancer, we shouldn’t be arguing over whether mankind is to blame for global warming either.
But see, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with debating things like cigarette smoking and cancer. There are so many variables involved in smoking that it’s not as easy as just saying that smoking causes cancer. Is it the tobacco that invariably leads to cancer? Is it all the hundreds of additives that are mixed in with many commercial cigarettes that lead to cancer? And how about all the people who have never smoked but ended up with lung cancer? How about all the people who have smoked but never ended up with lung cancer? If there were a definitive link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer, than every person who smokes some kind of tobacco product will end up with lung cancer. But that doesn’t always happen. In fact, it doesn’t happen most of the time. Variables such as frequency of smoking, type of cigarettes smoked, how long the person’s smoked, etc. make the debate very complicated. The best scientists can give us are likelihoods and probabilities. There’s probably a link between excessive commercial cigarette smoking and lung cancer. I’d probably agree with that. Check out this website for more politically incorrect discussion on the topic.
What we just did there was totally politically incorrect. We raised some questions about something that the government wants settled. One difference between the smoking/cancer question and global warming is that there is no evidence at all showing any kind of link between human activity and the global climate. They have to take data – sometimes in stark contrast to their own theory – and remold it so that it fits inside their preconceived notions. That’s not science. And that’s also why Gina McCarthy wants all discussion to stop.
She’d like to stop all the discussion, wouldn’t she? Just like I’m sure Atheists would love for people to stop debating the question of God’s existence. It’s “settled philosophy.”
This is what happens when dealing with politically-charged issues. The politics becomes much louder than the science. In scientific contexts, there’s no such thing as shutting down debates and discussions. It’s quite the opposite.
Both cigarettes and global warming are extremely politically charged subjects. Sure, there is some science involved, but that’s not why people become so emotionally involved in them. There are many politically and financially vested interests on every side vying for power and control. The science part is always selective and paid for by the respective special interest groups. This is why it’s so important to have studies done by completely independent and scientifically objective groups who have no political or financial ties one way or the other.