Thursday, January 18, 2007


When scientists talk, why listen?

Elizabeth Williamson of the Washington Post fairly gushes with admiration for a group of atomic scientists:

The Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' [BAS] ticking nudge to the world's conscience, moved two minutes closer to nuclear midnight yesterday, the closest to doomsday it has been since the Cold War.” Two Minutes Closer to Doomsday - (emphasis mine)

Now I’m sure these scientists are bright and all but why should anyone give their insight into the world’s political scene anymore respect and credence than one would give, say, Dennis Kucinich’s. A lifetime of playing with isotopes may give you some expertise in creating certain weapons; it gives you little to share when it comes to discussing how and when they’ll be used.

As if to specifically trying to prove my point, Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University and a former member of the BAS board, opines:

"Bush the father's policy decisions produced the biggest one-time move away from midnight the clock ever experienced and Bush the son's policy decisions have pushed the clock almost as close to midnight as it's ever been"

Here’s some of what the scientists list out as the factors for their pessimism:

(Interestingly, they also refer to Global Warming (of course) as a danger but then they list it as an influence in pushing people toward more nuclear energy. So the Warming is a danger but combating it is also a danger. Good to know.)

Can you identify what the cliché-spouting Thomas Blanton is talking about? North Korea and Iran didn’t start their nuclear because of Bush-provided incentives. China and Japan aren’t building more reactors in response to the President’s much-maligned tax cuts. Just because he’s a scientist doesn’t mean he deserves to be quoted.

Profiles in Courage Sighting: I guess I’m just not appreciating how brave these sheltered brainiacs are:

“Lawrence M. Krauss, professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University, an (sic) a BAS sponsor, said: "In these dangerous times, scientists have a responsibility to speak truth to power especially if it might provoke actions to reduce threats from the preventable technological dangers currently facing humanity. To do anything else would be negligent."

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