Your government wasting time ...


Yesterday the CSPAN showed a hearing on the climate study controversy by the House Energy & Commerce Oversight subcmte. The politicians were split exactly according to the two party gridlock ... all republicans being skeptics and all democrats wanting to accept the scientific consensus and move ahead with doing something about it.   The panel included, from the climate community: Michael Mann, Ralph Cicerone, Jay Gulledge, and from the skeptics: Edward Wegman, John Christy, Stephen McIntire.  Mostly they discussed the hockey stick which Mann has already defended here. I would have liked to have heard them focus on the math and science and confront each side of the debate to get at the truth.  I mean thats what the hearing was supposed to do.  They did have enough expertease in front of them.  They did have enough time to delve into the matter.  But no, most of the time was taken up with political postering.   If you were undecided about the hockey stick before the hearing, you would have left with the same problem on your mind.  Your government in action ... not a pretty picture.

There was one disturbing initiative hinted at by one of the republican representitives:  legislation to prevent scientists from publishing government supported work on climet studies untill after they their work is approved by some  government "independant review" board.  Apparently, where the message is inconvenient, peer review is insufficient.  Sorry i didn't record this republican's name ... i wish i had .. i would go out of my way to inform her constituancy that she is favoring government interfearance in publishing scientific results.  Again, your government at work ... working hard against the dissemenation of information. 

Tags

  1. government
  2. wasting time
  3. global warming
  4. hockey stick
  5. house subcomittee
  6. gridlock
  7. congress
  8. flushgov.net
  9. reference
  10. question-hair
  11. michael mann
  12. edward wegman

Comments


Mark de LA says
Actually, if you don't like government wasting time you might consider seriously the flushgov.net proposal. The challenge with that, though IMHO are five things:
  • How do you make sure that those who come in are people of quality?
  • Like a cease-fire in a war, how do you make sure that one side of the current polarity doesn't take advantage of the situation and retain their cronies?  This is particularly true of the party out of power.
  • How do you remove the incentives to corruption entirely from the governing process ?
  • How do get to know about people who do not have good name recognition yet?
  • How about a questionaire or a test for various levels of office holders?


Mark de LA says
I think that of all of these the thing that could impact government is the questionaire. It might work like an open book test with open-ended questions & maybe some multiple choice. Some issues can't be answered with black & white answers. It should be posted on the internet. I would also propose that nobody vote for a candidate who did not post his questionaire, answer the questions nor attest to the fact that the answers posted were his own. There should also be a historical perspective in that a candidate could change some answers, but the changes would be available to anyone so that people could watch the evolution of a candidate's thinking.

Seth says
I think people submitting questionairs to politicians is a very good idea .  Form a group, form a questionair ... if a politician refuses to answer it, vote for somebody who does.  


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-07-29 08:05:26 4029
I think people submitting questionairs to politicians is a very good idea .  Form a group, form a questionair ... if a politician refuses to answer it, vote for somebody who does.  
I would have one evolving, but standardized questionaire posted on a website. I wouldn't want just questions submitted on a website as that could turn into a bullshit blog/news conference. But, I am glad that the thought is percolating .  I do for the moment own flushgov.com, flushgov.net & flushgov.org (I got overly excited when I first thought of the idea). Could make an independent website devoted to the idea hosting your new version of a faster fbi

Seth says
Yeah i want to make some changes to fbi before i cut a new version ... primarially factoring the tag list off the main display pages.  flushgov.org is a good idea. Another thing that fbi could provide is a page where people answer questionairs and save and display their answers.  The flushgov.org/index.html can as you know be a straight HTML page ... you can work on that any time you want. 


Mark de LA says
Yep, I am thinking about it. Mostly about what a good a questionaire might look like.  I like Newt's website - he is pretty clear where he stands.  On the other hand I suspect all professional politician's websites are well focus-grouped, spun, vague where necessary & changed to meet the needs of the next coming election.  So in my mind I ask what is missing?  I liked this page on a 21st century congress. Congress sucks & as you have expressed it wastes time.



Mark de LA says
Part of making a good questionaire is related to 3929 execept that there you trying to flesh out polarities & parties & here we are trying to find high quality candidates for an office. One kind of thought experiment is to imagine that there are no parties - then what would you want your government to be doing.  The same might go for religions.  If there were no religions (or religions with guns & bombs) what kind of a society would you build. In the Threefold Commonwealth things of the spiritual are totally independent of any of the other parts of the social organization.


Seth says
Michael Mann has a followup on this hearing on his blog today

Seth says
M 2006-08-31 08:17:37 4029
Is this appropriately "your government wasting time" ?
This update belongs here because it gives us the followup to the hearing which the item was about.  It brings up that one of the skeptics, Wegman, does not respond to requests for clarification of his methods.  It appears to me that Mann's complaints with Wegman's methods are serious and cast the validity of Wegman's work in question. 

We also get this impression about the hearing ...
source: realclimate
The hearings, while ostensibly concerning the studies of Mann and coworkers, were actually most remarkable for the (near) unanimity of the participating scientists on critical key points, such as the importance of confronting the issue of climate change, and the apparent acceptance of those points by the majority of congresspersons present.
... which matches my impression too.  Everybody agreed except for Wegman ... he was the one person casting doubt ... yet now he does not respond to challenges of his own work.

Seth says
M 2006-08-31 08:55:48 4029
So I may assume that the government is wasting time!
Yes that would always be a good assumption.

Mark de LA says
From Pritchett:




Mark de LA says
seth 2006-09-02 09:04:53 4029
What is interesting is that the State of California was actually able to pass a global warming bill.  It took a republican jumping ship and voting with the democarts. 
I give a big  two thumbs up  for the Terminator. 
From the article:
source: ... California's move is "the equivalent of a New Year's Eve resolution -- by 2020 they're going to lose a lot of weight, they're going to lose 20 percent of their greenhouse gas emissions by a date far enough in advance that no politician around today who voted for this is going to have to account for whether they met the goal or not,"
... Just more "feel good" politics in a political year. I'm glad I'm no longer a resident.  Hopefully I won't have to pay gas taxes in Calif either. BTW, did the bill put a tax on all those beaners rushing across the border pumping extra methane/H2S in the air ?


Seth says
What is interesting is that the State of California was actually able to pass a global warming bill.  It took a republican jumping ship and voting with the democarts. 
I give a big  two thumbs up  for the Terminator. 


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