The Secret Life of Climate Researchers
Iowahawk has a delightful post on a newly evolved species: climate researchers. Money quotes:
Like other species in the order homo scientifica, the climate researcher gathers and organizes data to lure grant money to the hive. In contrast to those other species, however, the climate researcher has evolved a set of complex violent behaviors to insure any data leaving the hive is perfectly adapted to nature's most lucrative and sweetest grants. It really is a marvel of natural selection, and explains why the climate researcher continues to thrive in any kind of weather condition...The ear-piercing screech of the swarm warns the intruder that they will cut off his peer review unless he retreats. But the the hungry skeptic is not so easily dissuaded, and returns to the hive with a Freedom of Information Act form demanding a copy of the hive's raw data... This sends the climate researcher drones into a wild frenzy as they scramble to find and conceal the scent of the preprocessed data. To bide time the Alpha Grantwriter offers the skeptic a copy of the hockey stick graph. The skeptic threatens a lawsuit with his stinger. Thinking quickly, the Alpha Grantwriter performs an elaborate dance, communicating that the original data has been eaten, possibly by graduate drone. He presents the skeptic with the dead bodies of 10 drones as a peace offering. Finally stymied in his efforts to reach the data, the skeptic flies away. The hive lives on...The climate researcher is in some sense a milestone in evolutionary biology. Ever since Darwin, we have understood that a particular species adapts to its environmental reality. Now for the first time, we are seeing evidence that environmental reality is adapting to a particular species. It's not really rocket science. Well okay, I suppose it's really not science at all.
Perhaps E.O. Wilson will write the final chapter on climate research.