Thursday, February 18, 2010

Facts impacting Policy need vigorous ...

Facts impacting Policy need vigorous review

Doesn't anybody else feel that the process linking scientific, engineering and technical investigation to the policy making process is bad. I mean really bad. Yes, scientists are often people who are not intrinsically suited to participating directly in the public debate. Still when the stakes are huge, as they are, then it is time to hold investigations where people are pushed outside their comfort zone. We need a vigorous, open, well-funded investigation into the facts, led by the best minds with a clear understanding of mathematics, and complete with substantial investigative powers. We need to identify people who are trying to deliberately mislead on both sides and get them out of the discussion. We need to make sure that the two sides address each others key points, even if they are not comfortable doing so. And in the end there is going to be uncertainty and we need to make decisions in that context, not invent fake certainty linked to various people's egos that becomes an obstacle to incorporating changing facts.

How big are the stakes? In many ways PO and AGW point the same way: electrification, nuclear [if only we could get on with those]. However surviving PO without massive depopulation may require using all the cheap energy we've got left. So the two issues need to be addressed together.

[Another TOD comment]