LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Science can’t thrive amid politics

It would be a relief if the leaked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change draft report, as described by Alan Barron, turns out to be correct, but I am afraid that it is a bit late (“New report doesn’t support warming theory,” Letters, Tuesday). If you really wanted a definitive conclusion about the cause of “global warming,” you would find a planet with a stable concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and compare it to Earth, where carbon-dioxide levels are increasing. Of course, this is a ridiculous notion, but it does point to what is necessary if you want to be scientifically definitive.

Climate science became politicized decades ago, and nothing of any scientific value will endure under that kind of pollution. If you want to see the harmful effects of such political manipulation of science, you need look no further than the federal government’s involvement in nutrition and the billions of dollars doled out to fund research to support whatever politically acceptable hypothesis is in vogue.

Medical research, especially as it relates to nutrition, has attracted hordes of medical doctors masquerading as scientists, journalists masquerading as, well, journalists, and politicians attempting to manipulate the whole mess to their advantage.

One of the best historical examples is Dr. Ancel Keyes, the father of the “diet-heart” hypothesis, who spent his career searching for data to prove his claims regarding fat, cholesterol and heart disease. Any decent scientist would search for data to contradict his claims, and so would his cohorts, regardless of the prejudices of the government. What has been the result of all this “science”? Metabolic syndrome has increased steadily, and a very large percentage of the U.S. population suffers from Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In fact, those rates are increasing, not decreasing. This is not science, but politics.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston, Va.

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