David Levy – Do Government Agencies recognise the importance of scientific truth? – Blog Extra Oct 14

Society is reliant upon its governmental agencies to advise on what’s good practice, and what is not. When these agencies, often scientific in their remit, are rubber-stamping commercial applications for the exploitation of resources — in our case, the sea – then they have become a blocking entity. Very simply, they have become obstructive to the process of good management.

Why a scientific agency should allow itself to become so neutered by industry and their political backers can only be understood if you understand what happens when an agency, such as the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, stands up for the environment. It was disbanded by the politicians.

As an environmentalist, my perception is that nearly all scientific agencies which are used to endorse current practice do not do a thorough job, and fail to answer questions that step outside of the status quo. Given this reality, what hope is there for change?

That is what Marinet is up against on marine issues.

The role of an interfering Government ministry is based on keeping growth and exploitation ahead of conservation and alternatives.

Their agencies understand little about conserving or harbouring scarce resources which are under attack, and they have no long-term strategy for regeneration. They are little different from four-year-term politicians, and have become simply short-term focused managers.

The question is : As scientists, can they see nothing that is nothing worth standing up for?

Or, are they like everybody else — only concerned with their job and a salary?


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