Dear Anna Maria Tremonti,
There is a common thread to consecutive The Current reports:
In the first report, scientists and others made repeated reference to rising CO2 being a threat to polar bears and even went so far as to make the same claim for elephants. While this is a vaguely fair statement with regards to polar bears there are other specific factors that apply to elephants and other species. It would be more generally correct that human predation and human modification/annexation of habitat causes the decline an extinction of other species. But if we take any of these things as being true then we must logically accept that it is the shear number of the human population that is the fundamental problem and that any honest solution requires us to reduce human numbers. I expect that you, Anna Maria, have the analytical skill to know this self-evident truth and the `scientists' who you interviewed should surely also know enough of ecology and evolution to understand this.
- Should we save polar bears from starvation by feeding them ourselves?
- `Bad Pharma': Why Ben Goldacre says drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients.
Mark Twain (1882) wrote:"Among other common lies we have the silent lie --- the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth. Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all."I put to you that your program concealed the fundamental truth about the environmental damage and the destruction of other species, and as such you and your guests have indulged in a silent lie. It has been said that "there is no art to the silent lie --- it is timid and shabby". While the silent lie may be acceptable (even common practice) for politicians and journalists, it is not acceptable for any scientist. Science is predicated on the strictest type of honesty, as has been emphasized by many real scientists like Richard Feynman and Richard Dawkins.
Of course, your interview with Ben Goldacre was an elegant exposition of how, by selectively reporting results, `the silent lie' corrupts medical science, bamboozles dim-witted regulators, and harms too-trusting patients. While it is understandable (but still totally despicable) that the commercial interest corrupts medical science one is still left to explain why the environmental sciences should have been even more badly corrupted by the `silent lie'. This brings us to another fundamental requirement of science, courage. Ben Goldacre had the courage to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion. The courage to see things as they are, even if things are not the way we would wish them to be.