I've been blogging about the world entering a New Dark Age for some time, but news like this one make me think that instead of Dark, I should call it Dumb Age:
Apart from the fact that most politicians are not even capable of predicting the consequences of their own actions, any medium educated person knows that it is not possible to predict this kind of natural event yet. I would add more. With high probability, this is due to the fact that governments (and I'm not saying most, I'm saying all of them) don't give a damn to research in this area until something really bad happens.
What really happened is that politicians and government officials wanted to blame someone for the 2009 earthquake 08 casualties in Italy, when of course they were the guilty ones. As always, they found a scapegoat in the weakest link of the chain. The scientists are facing trial for something which is just barely lighter than genocide. The judge of this case is Giuseppe Romano Gargarella and, in his own words, the seven defendants had supplied "imprecise, incomplete and contradictory information," and in doing so, they "thwarted the activities designed to protect the public."
Note that a judge is someone who is supposed to have attended a university course in law, but even if the subject of his graduation was only law, I thought that any graduate student should have an understanding about how science works. The judge clearly doesn't, which is a severe failure in whatever system of education he graduated.
This kind of judgement is so stupid and so clearly abusive and misleading that should be considered even criminal in the present world. For those interested in a much more detailed analysis and much harsher comments than mine, I leave you with Lubos:
One last word. If you're a scientist, please react! These kind of things only keep happening because most of the times we are afraid of reacting properly. Spread the news, complain about that, do something to draw attention to it. At least people will know how dangerous are those who are supposed to be our leaders.
PS: The photo is from a protest that has nothing to do with the news, but I thought that the message carried by the protesters was appropriate for the moment...