As if Climategate wasn’t enough, the pseudo-scientific community has now given us BeeGate.
Environmentalists blame neonicotinoid pesticides for bee colony collapse, an assumption already disproven by scientific research and field studies.
This is not to say that more studies could not or should not be done, but in the case of BeeGate there is an ideology at work that decided the outcome.
According to a memo released Tuesday, four European scientists decided they wanted to stop the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, so they created a plan using scientific journals and a media campaign by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to accomplish their goals.
According to the memo:
Based on the results of the meeting in Paris the following was agreed that the four key research papers will be published in peer-reviewed journals. Building on these papers a research paper will be submitted to Science (first choice) or Nature (second choice) which would introduce new analyses and findings across the scientific disciplines to demonstrate as convincingly as possible the impact of neonicotionoides [sic] on insects, birds, other species, ecosystem functions, and human livelihoods. This high-impact paper would have a carefully selected first author, a core author team of 7 people or fewer (including the authors of the initial four papers), and a broader set of authors to give global and interdisciplinary coverage….
….A parallel « sister » paper (this would be a shorter Policy Forum paper) could be submitted to Science simultaneously drawing attention to the policy implications of the other paper, and calling for a moratorium in the use and sale of neonicotinoid pestcides [sic]. We would try to pull together some major names in the scientific world to be authors of this paper. If we are successful in getting these two papers published, there will be enormous impact, and a campaign led by WWF etc could be launched right away. It will be much harder for politicians to ignore a research paper and a Policy Forum paper in Science. The most urgent thing is to obtain the necessary policy change to have these pesticides banned, not to start a campaign.
The problem isn’t that these scientists wanted to continue research on neonicotinoids, or that they thought they saw a flaw in other research and were attempting to disprove it.
The problem is that they completely ignored the scientific method. They started with a conclusion, based their research on it, and created the supporting “facts” to fit their narrative.
The policy implications of a ban on neonicotinoids are significant. According to Paul Driessen, there have already been substantial crop losses in the E.U. due to a ban on this type of pesticide.
The lack of integrity shown in scandals such as BeeGate or Climategate is downright scary. We have to continue to educate our children, our future scientists, and our communities in the scientific method. We must be equipped to spot pseudo-science before it becomes policy.
Image courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net