Dana1981 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 10 years ago

Are conservative American politicians following in the footsteps of Stalin?

Climate scientist Ken Caldeira asks this question because of the witch hunts of climate scientists like Michael Mann, who is being targeted by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli among other conservative American politicians.

"Scientific careers are made by being right about important things, and can be ruined by displaying sloppy thinking and sloppy work.

Therefore, scientists are highly incented to say things they believe to be true and avoid saying things they believe to be false.

I have never met a scientist who knowingly says false things. Such a scientist would be considered psychopathic.

The idea that scientists would engage in fraud, that is, would say things they know to be false, goes against the logic of the successful scientific career.

Prior beliefs can color scientific research and lead to false results through selective use of data. I believe that most scientists who are climate change deniers fall into the category — well-intentioned scientists who are held captive by their prior beliefs. But the vast majority of these scientists are not frauds, they are simply wrong.

It is one thing to say that Michael Mann is wrong, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. It is another thing entirely to accuse him of fraud when there is absolutely no evidence of fraud.

There is a historical example where politicians went after scientists because the politicians didn’t like their scientific results. The example is Lysenkoism. The country was the Soviet Union.

Are American politicians following in the footsteps of Stalin?"


What do you think - are they?

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    yes thats a better analogy than your mc.carthy. lysenkoism set back russian science in certain areas by decades, plant breeding being one. but there were eventually a few useful byproducts of the different path they went, phages and blight resistant potatoes for example. i doubt there will be much advantage to any 'science' based on climate change denial.

  • 4 years ago

    I agree.. there is enough in the bill to denigrate without having to make things up. The Bill is a government takeover short and simple. Obama will tell you "you can keep your current insurance" but that is at best a misdirection, you can keep your plan for as long as 1) they don't change any part of it. 2) Your employer keeps it, and 3) 5 years which is the end of the grandfathering clause in which time your plan MUST conform to the government plan. Please read the bill people, and deny the government the power.

  • 10 years ago

    Quite frankly, I'm disgusted by the behavior of certain politicians, blogospheric hacks, and anonymous trolls. There's absolutely no accountability. They can slander scientists, engage in witch hunts, and make unsubstantiated claims all they want and call it freedom of speech.

    I noticed the "real" Dana is back. What's the scoop?

  • 10 years ago

    "There is a historical example where politicians went after scientists because the politicians didn’t like their scientific results. The example is Lysenkoism. The country was the Soviet Union."

    You are of course absolutely correct. Scientists have learned well and now they give the scientific results that the politicians want. To do otherwise would be unwise and/or result in the loss of funding.

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  • 10 years ago

    Excellent analogy

    It would be wonderful if Lysenko is right; we will be able to grow more wheat.

    It would be wonderful if Mann is wrong; we will be able to burn more coal.

  • More like the Inquisition, since the conservative movement is a christian fundamentalist plot.

  • 10 years ago

    "Are American politicians following in the footsteps of Stalin?"

    Yes, but more like Mussolini, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/benito...

    and not for the same reasons. The persecution of Michael Mann is just a small story in a much larger story of our decent into Fascism.


    His persecution is a conservative reaction to the whitewash sham carried out by the Univ of PA http://www.examiner.com/x-28973-Essex-County-Conse...

    on the hockey stick scandal. http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/PAPERS/conf...

    In addition to using a smoothing routine that would create a hockey stick no matter what the inputs were, Phil Jones has admitted altering the tree ring data that M Mann used in order to make it appear more reliable than it was. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02...

    Considering the amount of money at stake,


    the idiotic things that the hockey stick has caused people to do, http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_...

    not to mention the push for more government, and creation of world government, it should come as no surprise that such fraud would be taken very seriously. We are not talking about some innocent victim here. This the guy who tried to scare us into giving up our freedom.

  • Rio
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Doesn't really make much sense to ask this question, considering Liberals are in control.

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