You can find yourself feeling sorry for UK home secretary Alan Johnson, currently embroiled in aÂ messy fracas with his own former scientific advisor on drugs. In the rough and tumble ofÂ pre-election politics, an evidence-based drug policy which advocates the downgrading of the status of cannabis and ecstasy can becomeÂ kind of inconvenient.
Itâ€™s not hard to imagine a similar situation arising with climate change.
Maybe it already has.
When the governmentâ€™s former chief scientist Sir David King said back in 2005 that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels needed to stabalise at the level of 550 parts per million there were activists and scientists who were shocked at how high heâ€™d pegged the figure. David King later explained that it would be â€œpolitically unrealisticâ€ to demand anything lower.
Sir David King clearly had a better understanding than the sacked Professor David Nutt of what constitutes â€œscienceâ€ in the political context.
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