Alaska's next governor better know science. Alaska issues like missile defense, the gas pipeline, ANWR, global warming and wildlife management all involve science.
In a lapse of ethical intellectual responsibility, one candidate has adopted the Murkowski administration's "good science" slogan to justify aerial wolf killing. But that program is blatantly unscientific. It's not necessarily the aerial gunning of wolves that makes the program unscientific -- "intensive predator control" is just brute methodology. The program is unscientific because the state failed to accurately count the moose, bears, wolves and caribou on hand before the "intensive" killing of wolves began. These animals should have been counted first to determine the actual existence and size of the problem. Instead, intensive predator control advocates blew an opportunity to do science on a vast scale. Now, even if uniform game counts are ever conducted, a scientific evaluation of these mass killings is permanently limited by the lack of uniform base numbers for comparison.
In science, the same rules apply to everything and to everyone. But from global warming to wildlife management, many politicians define science to protect corporate and other interests. "Good science," "bad science," "sound science," "better science" and "more science" are corporate political buzzwords used to camouflage unscientific policy decisions. These misleading terms corrupt the marketplace of public ideas -- it is either science or it is not.
---- Rudy Wittshirk