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Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science Hardcover – December 7, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1847204707 ISBN-10: 1847204708

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub (December 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847204708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847204707
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Crusading environmentalists won't like this book. Nor will George W. Bush. Its potential market lies between these extremes. It explores the hijacking of science by people grinding axes on behalf of noble causes. "Noble cause corruption" is a term invented by the police to justify fitting up people they "know" to be guilty, but for whom they can't muster forensic evidence that would satisfy a jury. Kellow demonstrates convincingly, and entertainingly, that this form of corruption can be found at the centre of most environmental debates. Highly recommended reading for everyone who doesn't already know who is guilty.' - John Adams, University College London, UK

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charles Bradley on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Amazon wants $110 for this, so it probably will never be a best seller.
That is a shame, because it should be. Kellow starts by praising Jim
Flynn, his professor, and discoverer of the Flynn effect in IQ testing.
Flynn thought Arthur Jensen was wrong, but discovered all the attacks on
Flynn were personal or about how the results could be used for racist
reasons, rather than rebuttals of the data, methods, or arguments.
So, Flynn went off to analyze Jensen's methods and attack the flaws he
found. Kellow follows the same path. He seems sympathetic to most of the
environmentalist goals, but finds much of their science to be decidedly

The target here is not environmentalists, but rather virtual science and
unscientific attacks on scientists and critics. By virtual science he
means modeling and politics or popular opinion. Models can be useful.
They can help us decide what experiments to perform and what data to
collect. But, the map is not the terrain, and the model is not the system.
Kellow claims that much of the bad science arises because of virtuous
corruption. The classic example of virtuous corruption is police framing
someone because they "know" he did it. If the cause is right, anything
to advance the cause is right.

Thousands of species are going extinct claim some, based on models.
The number of species is a function of the area available for them,
according to the model, so any development means disaster.
Actual surveys are rare and cover only very small areas.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. P. R. Lewis on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Why is this excellent book so expensive? It deserves a much wider readership for its scholarly expose of "good cause corruption", a problem well recognised by many police forces, especially in the USA. Typically, it takes the form of a police officer having good cause to suspect and individual, and then manufacturing evidence so as to arrest him or her. The good cause might be a previous conviction, for example. There are many examples from the past of policemen planting incriminating evidence (especially drugs) on perfectly innocent individuals to obtain a conviction, but the problem does not stop there, as Kellow relates to several recent public controversies, especially those involving climate science. Here, the good cause is saving the human race, so it encourages some climatologists to exaggerate and spin their theories to a gullible public. Perhaps the most notorious example is the attempt to delete the Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice age by deliberate manipulation of the data by Mann and Jones. By misusing a computer model of the climate and carefully selecting their data, they produced the so-called Hockey stick graph of the temperature of the earth as a function of time in which both periods strangely disappeared. Though later they recalculated their curve, it still poorly reflects what is know with certainty from other sources. But it is not just climate science which has been infected with this caustic and corrupt virus. Computer models of biodiversity are notorious for their wild predictions of the extinction of species, it is alleged by global warming. We are led to believe that Man has destroyed endless numbers of species, but when questioned, have difficulty in naming many, apart from the Dodo.Read more ›
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Observer on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book comes highly recommended - unfortunately who can afford $88 for a single book. I have not read this book yet, but I am opposed on principle to negatively rating anything that I have not actually read - hence the maximum number of stars. Surely this is the perfect way to market Kindle or any ebook equivalent. I would certainly consider investing in a Kindle to read this type of work.

Let's go Bezos, the market awaits.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kåre Fog on July 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book has a chapter on Bjørn Lomborg. Here, Aynsley Kellow believes "the attack on Lomborg came from a small circle of critics, mostly in the US and mostly closely associated with Paul Ehrlich [author of The Population Bomb]". This observation is included in Kellow's new book. Kellow writes: "For all the [highly critical] words written in the reviews in Nature, Scientific American, and Science, his critics barely landed a substantive blow on Lomborg."

I am one of the sources cited in Kellow's book, where he refers to my website [...]. If he had read that properly, he would not have talked of a small circle of critics. I describe in detail how the criticism of Lomborg came about, how the complaint concerning dishonesty came about, and who knew whom. No conspiracy or narrow circle there. The number of scientists being very critical of Lomborg is huge, as is evident for instance from the quotes about Lomborg's books gathered on the web site referred to. The critics come from many countries, not least the large number of critics from Denmark.

It is strange that Kellow can write that his critics have not landed a substantive blow on Lomborg. I list on my website more than 500 concrete errors in Lomborg's books, many of which are demonstrably deliberate - is that not a substantive blow? Kellow has not understood the central issue: What Lomborg writes is simply not true. He lies. This, of course, must lead to massive criticism. The remarkable thing is not that his books have been criticised so heavily - but rather that they have not been criticised more heavily than they have. It is a disaster for science and for public debate not that Lomborg's book was slated, but that so many people have accepted a text that is full of serious misinformation and outright lies, which is richly documented on the web site.

So on this particular subject, Kellow does not understand the case he is writing about.

Kåre Fog
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