Saturday, February 25, 2006

Attacking Science--the opiate of the conservative

Just Some Poor Schmuck:

So, one page in one study by one graduate student (not even a credentialed scientist) is enough to discard years of prior research? Why is that?

Because it is the environmentalist equivalent of the Resurrection. It fulfills their quasi-religious prophecies and is therefore accepted without contention.

I guess this means that the Forestry scientists that thought their studies showed otherwise are idiots and should be terminated from whatever positions they hold. After all, we've been told to trust the science and according to the faithful, this study has shown the science to be all wrong.

But what will happen if someone does another study showing that this one is wrong?

Nothing at all. This is now the Gospel and anyone questioning it will be damned as a heritic.

One study doesn't negate years of research. It validates years of research not necessarily connected to the OSU/John Sessions/Mike Newton data. It does jive with data found in the Willamette National Forest Warner Creek Fire.

Post fire logging was limited in this region due to steep slopes. A more diverse forest in good health (Warning: PDF) remained without salvaging logging and hand planting.

The problem here isn't that Donato is negating years of research. He isn't. The problem is that Donato is challenging conventional wisdom of research backed and funded by the timber industry. There is plenty of research that runs contrary. It just isn't as popular with people who want to use the resource.

It comes down to honesty, when you think about it. Oregonians have been fed the notion that economics isn't the main reason for doing salvage logging. They're told its what is good for ecology of the forest. That's not the honest answer--and those scientists making these claims know this. That's not to say that they're entirely wrong, we don't know for sure because there's conflicting evidence. But that's not what people have been told.

In my view, most Oregonians would have absolutely no problem with salvage logging IF they were told it was for economic reasons and it was done in a reasonable, sustainable manner. Where people like Sessions at OSU are losing folks is with the dishonesty--and the apparent attempts to bully Donato.