The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Friday, September 14, 2007

US Science panel complains re policy connection

The Climate Change Science Program, created in 2002 by President Bush
to improve climate research across 13 government agencies, has also
been hampered by priority shifts, the panel found. Those shifts have
led to the grounding of earth-observing satellites and the dismantling
of programs to monitor environmental conditions on earth, concluded
the report, issued by the National Academies, the nation's preeminent
scientific advisory group.

In a printed statement, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, the panel's chairman,
said that the program's basic scientific efforts have constituted "an
important initiative that has broadened our knowledge of climate
change."

...

But the report cited more problems than successes in the government's
research program. Of the $1.7 billion spent by the program on climate
research each year, only about $25 million to $30 million has gone to
studies of how climate change will affect human affairs, for better or
worse, the report said.

"Discovery science and understanding of the climate system are
proceeding well, but use of that knowledge to support decision-making
and to manage risks and opportunities of climate change is proceeding
slowly," concluded the 15-person panel, made up mainly of scientists
from universities, though scientists from BP and DuPont also were
included.
Update 9/15:The AP has more info and a slightly different spin.

Also Ars Technica has an interesting opinion on the matter.

Update 9/17: Here's the NAS press release which has an interesting spin in itself.

2 comments:

inel said...

Er, perhaps the decision has been made not to use knowledge to support decision-making and risk management, because that's too difficult?

You might like to hear an interview with Professor John Marburger that took place earlier today.

Michael Tobis said...

Thanks. The Marburger link is certainly interesting!