Newspaper comment sections are a vile cesspool, we all know that. So I’ll freely admit I’m showing the worst case scenario. But look at this, from the Bee, whose comment section makes me despair of my neighbors:
That a certain amount of self-interest will skew the findings of this panel of “experts” is predictible – and inevitable.
Similarly, the power and prestige – say nothing of budgetary concerns – of the government agencies who fund such studies is heavily dependent upon the corrupt panels of “experts” conducting such studies lending legitimacy to the funding agency’s agenda.
Just because a bunch of grant money hungry second-rate scientists say something is true and terrible, we shouldn’t believe them without solid and peer-reviewed proof. These bozos who have never done a day’s work in their lives are just like politicians: liars, cheats, thieves, and self-interested men and women. Be very cautious and skeptical of what they proclaim as truth. Look behind the curtain to ascertain who is speaking and what agenda they are promoting for personal interests. The more they shout “Armageddon”, the more restraint you must exercise.
The biological opinions are the scientific equivilent of political slush fund. As usual, follow the money trail. The panel agrees the unmanageable is an appropriate alternative, but more research is needed. Hmmm… This is code for I do not have my next research grant, but this seems like an opportunity.
It would be informative to know the composition of the panel and their areas of expertise. It would also be informative to know how many of the scientists have received grant money and/or paid or unpaid consulting contracts, etc.
This is what I predicted. The NAS review didn’t change anything about the political landscape here. The only new element in the conversation is libel directed against the Delta National Research Committee. That wasn’t in the air before Sen. Feinstein brought them into this. She was relying on their extremely good reputation, and now she’s dinged it, just a little bit. She’s willing to trade pieces of their reputation for a process that weakens the ESA (although it strengthens the reputation of FWS scientists, who had their Biological Opinion right) and hasn’t changed the infighting here. If I were the National Academy of Science, I’d be pissed at being her pawn.