LTLFTcomposite wrote:Interesting, although again not really related to the topic of what we can expect or what actually happens with Trump administration policies.
As a side note to your points though, what about ocean acidification? I don't want Cajun shrimp to be the only seafood on the menu.
The entire issue of ocean acidification has been completely blown out of proportion with what is known and what can actually be measured. So much so that in January of this year, the ICES Journal of Marine Science decided it was time to start to police their own and took the issue of lack of skepticism that exists in that area of science head-on and invited papers which would counteract the dramatic alarmism that existed in that area of science
Ocean acidification” (OA), a change in seawater chemistry driven by increased uptake of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans, has probably been the most-studied single topic in marine science in recent times. The majority of the literature on OA report negative effects of CO2 on organisms and conclude that OA will be detrimental to marine ecosystems. As is true across all of science, studies that report no effect of OA are typically more difficult to publish. Further, the mechanisms underlying the biological and ecological effects of OA have received little attention in most organismal groups, and some of the key mechanisms (e.g. calcification) are still incompletely understood. For these reasons, the ICES Journal of Marine Science solicited contributions to this special issue. In this introduction, I present a brief overview of the history of research on OA, call for a heightened level of organized (academic) scepticism to be applied to the body of work on OA, and briefly present the 44 contributions that appear in this theme issue. OA research has clearly matured, and is continuing to do so.
Simply put, unskeptical science is unhealthy science. It's good that this journal recognizes the challenges authors face in getting unexciting results published.
Scientific or academic scepticism calls for critical scrutiny of research outputs before they are accepted as new knowledge (Merton, 1973). Duarte et al. (2014) stated that “…there is a perception that scientific skepticism has been abandoned or relaxed in many areas…” of marine science. They argue that OA is one such area, and conclude that there is, at best, weak evidence to support an OA-driven decline of calcifiers.
Many early studies on OA applied treatment levels that greatly exceeded even worst-case climate change scenarios and did not report water chemistry in sufficient detail to determine if the treatment mimicked future OA-driven seawater conditions. Although most recent work has improved with respect to treatment levels, mimicking future water chemistry remains tricky.
Almost all experiments conducted to assess OA are short-term toxicity challenges. Therefore, using them as the basis from which to make inferences about a process that will occur slowly over the next decades–centuries must be made with appropriate caution. That is, the experiments and the interpretations made from them must consider how populations might acclimatize, adapt, and evolve to climate change, including OA (e.g. Donelson et al., 2011; Hoffmann and Sgrò, 2011; Sunday et al., 2013; Harvey et al., 2014). Recent studies indicate that even the effects of OA that are considered most worrisome—various behavioural impairments resulting from short-term exposure to high CO2 (see Nagelkerken and Munday, 2016)—might be reduced or overcome through adaptation and evolution (Regan et al., 2016).
Negative results—those that do not support a research hypothesis (e.g. OA will have detrimental effects on marine organisms)—can provide more balance for a subject area for which most published research reports positive results. Negative results can indicate that a subject area is not mature or clearly enough defined, or that our current methods and approaches are insufficient to produce a definitive result. Gould (1993) asserted that positive results tell more interesting stories than negative results and are, therefore, easier to write about and more interesting to read. He calls this a privileging of the positive. This privileging leads to a bias that acts against the propagation of negative results in the scholarly literature (see also Browman, 1999).
Jokiel (2016) revisits four key simplifying assumptions that have been made to assess how OA will impact coral reefs and finds that there is currently insufficient evidence to support them and that they should be further evaluated.
Knowing that a strong bias exists toward publishing scary stories should give everyone real pause to look much more skeptically at such stories. This effect is further amplified by the press. If you do not take this approach, you are likely to be fooled into thinking things are terrible when they actually are not.
It's refreshing to see that some in science are realizing that they are wandering away from reality in their publishing. Unfortunately, much of the damage is already done and many people do not check their beliefs against the current research, particularly when the media persist in constantly publishing alarmism.