Nearly everyone agrees with the principle that science should drive environmental policy and regulation.
Yet, all too often in today’s hyper-partisan, interest-group-driven politics, the best available science is at risk of being shoved aside.
This is quite clear in two cases in which I currently work: climate change and perchlorate regulation.
In my work for action to combat climate change, I sometimes encounter “conservatives” who question the NAS; in my work on perchlorate regulation, it’s “liberals” who are more likely to question the NAS.
What they are really saying, of course, is that their view of the best available science is based on whether it supports the answers they prefer.
Party politics theoretically can benefit all of us. It’s hard to see, though, how politicizing science is good for the nation, particularly when major decisions will ultimately be based in significant part on scientific authority.
Is it science?–or politicized science? Regrettably, these are questions everyone has to ask and answer today.