Miscounting Salmon

Today’s Washington Post describes a new method of dealing with bad science news:

Zeroing Out the Messenger

In a surgical strike from Capitol Hill, Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) has eliminated a little-known agency that counts endangered fish in the Columbia River.

The Fish Passage Center, with just 12 employees and a budget of $1.3 million, has been killed because it did not count fish in a way that suited Craig.

“Data cloaked in advocacy create confusion,” Craig said on the Senate floor this month, after successfully inserting language in an energy and water appropriations bill that bans all future funding for the Fish Passage Center. “False science leads people to false choices.”

We’re all for good science, it’s just that some of us are for science different from that coming from people who trained for years, and then studied in the field for years more.

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