Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BP Buying the Scientific Consensus

Below is a clip of Rachel Maddow explaining, better than I ever could, the new tactic being employed by BP in response to the spill in the gulf.  Apparently BP has been offering scientists $250 an hour to help defend them against future litigation.  The only catch?  BP is requiring those scientists to sign confidentiality agreements which will effectively silence them for the next three years.

I'm a huge believer in science informing political issues, not deciding them.  So, I don't necessarily believe that there is a "skeptical" perspective on things like environmentalism and energy policy, except to say that we should have the best information and science possible as we approach those issues.  It is not only possible, but likely that with the same set of facts, variances in values will lead to variances in opinions on policy, which is why I have yet to comment on anything oil spill related in the blog so far.  While my skeptical nature informs my political beliefs, the two are not interchangeable.   However, in this instance, BP is no longer trying to simply sway public opinion concerning their activities, they are actively trying to discourage the dissemination of information and science, and that is something that as skeptics, we can't afford to tolerate.

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