Lecture 7 June 5, 2014
Environmental Studies and the Employment of Science – Simon Appolloni
Central Question: What is going on when science is employed to address environmental issues?
1) Refuters and deniers: fostering doubt
2) Influences from society and culture
3) Science used inappropriately by politicians
4) Objectivity: Jacob Bronowski (“The Ascent of Man”)
Objectivity – main goal, looking at the bigger picture
Refuters and deniers: fostering about
Role of media (Jon Oliver clip)
The problem of climate change is not whether it exists, but instead what action we should take George Monbiot, Heat (2006) “The Denial Industry”
The Global Warming Petition Project, also known as the Oregon Petition; Frederick Seitz A 12-page review article about the human-caused global warming hypothesis is circulated with the petition. To view the entire article in National academy of Science wrote an open letter stating its “concern about the confusion caused by the petition being circulated via a letter from a former president of this academy Where does the campaign come from?
Tobacco industry company, Philip Morris
APCO public relations company, created a fake citizens’ group to show “grassroots” element to spread doubt pitting “junk science against “sound science” Memo from Brown and Williamson tobacco company:
“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body’ of facts that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing controversy”
But the Science CAN BE Wrong: influences from Society and Culture Assumptions: the herbicide “alachor” by Monsanto (an agro-bio-chemical company); Monsanto scientists look at risks differently than the scientists from Environment Canada. They look at risks as “relative to benefits” Biases: Baboon studies in mid-part of last century, ‘males foster cohesion of troop…’ because fit “people’s conceptions of male and female behavior”
When science is used...
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