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Popular Science stop comments, because debating science is dangerous, readers are dumb

Popular Science –  a 141 year old science and technology publication — have announced they’re shutting down their comments entirely. Apparently they can’t cope with open debate of contentious scientific areas like climate change.

As usual, there are pat lines about “fostering debate” even as they close it down.

“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.”

Actions speak louder than words.

Of the two posts used to justify the silencing, the first was about climate, and had all of 16 comments — two of which were spam (see Ninna and Lili) — the rest mostly skeptical, and one used crass language. The other post was about abortion (90 comments) — yes, killing the unborn is going to generate debate. Is that it?

The real problem here is their mission statement (as contained in the quote above) is profoundly unscientific. A scientist’s job is not to “spread the word of ‘science’ “, it’s to find the truth. A science communicator’s job is not to spread the word either. Because there is no “word” to spread — there is only debate, argument and evidence in the endless quest to find the truth. The best science journalists interview the people with the most insight to share from both sides. They save their readers time, by putting the points that matter right in front of them.

Pop Science sure thinks it has dumb readers and points to research showing a few bad comments can fool them:

“…even a fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story, recent research suggests….”

and

“Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers’ perception of science.”

Condescending, what? They quote one survey of (I presume) random citizens who were allegedly swayed by rude ad hominem remarks. And what a giveaway: “skew a reader’s perception” — presumably Pop Sci wanted the reader to go away with a particular perception, and the readers were getting it wrong. The editors seem think that there is a single correct “perception of science”? Says who? By what evidence? Is Pop Sci in the advocacy business or the science business?

Tellingly their greatest fear is that voters might want their tax funds used to fund different kinds of research, or even something else entirely? See this:

If you carry out those results to their logical end–commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded — you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the “off” switch.

The nub of the matter is that Pop Sci voluntarily acts as a propaganda rag for government authorized science. They serve government funded scientists first, PopSci readers second.

One of the key issues is obviously “climate science”, since it scores another mention. Since when was a consensus “valid science”?

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

PopSci are turning away free help, and site traffic (which means advertising), because they can’t defend their weak articles. They are cutting off one of their greatest free assets — customer feedback. Their journalists don’t have a good understanding of what science really is, and some of their readers are trying to help them. They argue that people can still use Twitter and Facebook, which is true but less efficient (try tweeting a whole paragraph). Many commenters won’t bother, so they’re making it harder for reality to reach the editorial office or appear in print.

Probably more to the point, they’re making it much harder for their readers to see that feedback and be aware of the paucity of their evidence and reasoning. And therein possibly lies the real issue, perhaps Popular Science is afraid that subscriptions will fall if readers can see that the journalists don’t know as much as some commenters?

The commenters on my site, even some trolls, have been invaluable.

Ht/ David and Darren.

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176 comments to Popular Science stop comments, because debating science is dangerous, readers are dumb

  • #

    Is popular science really an oxymoron? The action of limiting debate are the methods of politics and sadly today it seems all is popular politics.

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  • #
    Paul in Sweden

    When I was a child, one of my teachers married and had to reduce the items that he had accumulated. For some reason he and several other educators in years following decided that I should be the recipient of some of their cherished collections. Entire compilations of Popular Science, Popular Electronics & Science Digest from the 1950s,1960s until the current early 1970s(Popular Mechanics was a household subscription that my dad had and when one of my other teachers had to leave after a bad bout with polio I was given just about every Scientific America Mag that could be imagined). What I would not do to have all those magazines back… However; if I saw one of those current publications laying before me at an airport or bus station offered for free, I would not bother to reach over and cast my eyes over the pages. -Paul

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    • #

      The same goes for Scientific American and New Scientist, IMHO.

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    • #
      Robert

      I started reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics when I was 10 or 11 (early 70′s) and was able to convince my parents to purchase subscriptions to both. Through my teens I read them cover to cover and learned a great deal about how many things operate and how to fix them when they stop operating that still serves me well to this day. Unfortunately, as you have noticed, the pages of those publications no longer have anything of value to offer me. Though I imagine the pages could be handy for managing paint over spray.

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  • #
    pesadia

    “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
    These people have obviously never heard of Voltaire.

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    • #
      Paul in Sweden

      Seriously? How many of us do you think are not aware of Voltaire and his belief in benevolent dictatorships? -Paul

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I don’t think “pesadia” was responding to you, but rather speaking generically about the shutting down of debate.

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    • #
      Paul in Sweden

      I may have misunderstood your point. If that is the case please take my sincerest Mea Culpa. -Most humbly Paul

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      These are only syunts jurinalists. They think Voltaire is a make of electric car.

      220

    • #
      Allen Ford

      Nor did Voltaire, actually!

      The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre… probable source for the quotation was a line in a 6 February 1770 letter to M. le Riche: “Monsieur l’Abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

      http://wordlywisdom.net/Quotes.php

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    One of the problems, which this magazine has fallen victim to, is the blurring of the distinctions between Hypothesis, Observation, Trial, Evidence, Analysis, Conclusion, Publication, and Review. This was the eight stage sequence, that I was taught at school, that was (or should be), “Repeated in the “Progression of Science”.

    I still use a similar approach in my current work, which is more political than scientific.

    We have had various visitors on this site, who come to argue the toss, who have no conception of any robust scientific method, and so conflate the process, and confuse themselves and others, around the difference between opinion (hypothesis), the output of computer models (trials), the belief system of the actor (conclusion), and evidence (the publication after review).

    Note please, that in the Post Normal Scientific world, the original eight step process has been reduced to four steps. This is achieved by removing the four steps that used to provide the checks and balances (the quality assurance, if you will).

    The most important of which was the peer review processes that is now done by other members of “the Team”, which is far removed from being done independently by somebody who did not know the original researcher.

    So, we are now at the point where any article that is published anywhere, by anybody, can be held up as “evidence”, with the word being used as an output, rather than an input.

    Most of the trolls we get here try to avoid providing references, and when forced to, choose instead to point to other blogsites, opinion pieces, magazine articles, etc.

    Science, at least in regard to climate science, has descended into a exercise in politically orientated group-think.

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    • #
      Paul in Sweden

      Hey the same thing is true for Museums. I will not pay a voluntary entrance fee for a publicly funded museum that is basically a hall for just about every Eco-Nut-Job NGO or organization.

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    • #
      Neville

      Rereke, a great big thank you for expressing so clearly what SO many have forgotten – that “the scientific method” is what it IS, not some politico-socially driven discussion of what shall be “chosen” to be the “truth”. WAY too many post-modernist-educated people seem to have completely misunderstood the actual, philosophical, and fundamental difference between a Fact, and a Truth – as if they were never in class the day that distinction was taught! Well done!

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    • #
      delory

      Rereke – Good post. Post-modern science seems to increasingly tolerate ‘mythological’ thinking and spectulative conjecture – where an explaination is considered ‘true’ simply because it PROVIDES an explaination, without having to pass the rigour of experimental repeatability.

      20

  • #
    Reed Coray

    PopSci wrote: “If you carry out those results to their logical end–commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded — you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the ‘off’ switch.

    Yeah. Following PopSci’s line of reasoning, if you carry out PopSci’s shutting down comments to its logical end–PopSci is afraid the public might see through its advocacy; if PopSci’s advocacy loses public support, PopSci may lose advertising income and alienate the powers that be who give funding to those who are saving the world (well, at least to those who PopSci believes are saving the world)–you start to see why the public might feel compelled to hit the PopSci “off” switch. Not that I ever had the PopSci switch “on”; but I’d better put tape over the switch so that I permanently keep the switch “off”.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Thus rings the death knell of journalism.

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      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Heheh.
        Journalism is dead!
        *starts new blog comment*
        Long live journalism!

        Possibly we may see a revolution in journalism from professsional full-time journalists to opinionated specialists.
        Instead of one “science journalist” pontificating about 35 different areas of science in a week, you’ll have 35 different practising scientists blog about something new in their own field the same week.
        And you can question them in blog comments, with answers coming from both the 1st author and all the other experts who were drawn to the article.

        I think it is revolutionary not evolutionary because a technology change occurring outside journalism has in just 10 years (2001..2011) matched paper on reader volume and quality, whilst adding interactivity that paper can’t deliver. If topical journalism started with the printing press then 10 years is very quick. By comparison, far fewer people had the chance to question Herodotus on the accuracy of his stories. ;)

        The entrenched journos will have a tough time learning a practical specialism fast enough to catch up to the experts already in that game, so they’re hosed as journos. Still, like most leftists, they may be encouraged to slit their own throats as long as the proposition can be couched in terms they find appealing or “cool”.
        We may have more chance of hastening the collapse of the dead tree empire if we give the new order a French name, like journalisme nouveau. Just don’t tell them it’s “blogging”.

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  • #

    The current “scientific” practice seems to be:

    1. Mutually agree on the results that are required.
    2. Design and expensive experiment to get those results.
    3. Apply for a grant to do the work.
    4. Cash the grant check.
    5. Write the report so that it contains the required results and conclusions.
    6. Publish the report.
    7. Go back to step 1 and repeat.

    Note: do the experiment, analyze the results, and explain why the results weren’t as expected, others validating the results by reproducing the experiment are steps omitted from Post Normal Science,

    In my days in the lab, this was called dry labbing and was considered cheating. Today it is SOP.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      The next challenge, is to circumvent the need to apply for those pesky grants. They are such a waste of time.

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    • #
      Karl W. Braun

      That it is indeed, Lionell, a complete and utter dry lab!

      00

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Lionell

      You are obviously referring to the practices of ‘climate science’, which are usually very different from those of real science.

      The divergence between the practices of ‘climate science’ and real science seems to grow annually.

      The bottom line is there is so much cash sloshing around in the trough of ‘climate science’ that it really is not surprising so many have sacrificed their principles to get their snouts in that trough.

      Hence your comment: “….agree on the results that are required.” That is a precise description of exactly what is wrong with the world of climate modelling.

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  • #
    Chuck L

    Popular Science has chosen to go down the same road as Scientific American and National Geographic, and will soon be yet another magazine memory.

    270

  • #
    Jud

    Does anyone have a view of the financial state of this (and similar) magazines?
    I can’t understand how they are staying in business.
    I say this as someone who has cancelled several subscriptions in recent years over the obvious deterioration in quality.

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    • #
    • #
      en passant

      Jud,
      I was a great subscriber to (and hoarder of ‘quality’) magazines. In the past few years I have stopped subscribing to National Geographic (32-years), Scientific American (21-years), Time (12-years), the Bulletin (8 years), Newsweek (8-years), The Age newspaper (10-years), and some others. I retain subscriptions to 9 magazines and read seven on-line blogs daily.
      I wrote lengthy explanations to both NG and SA as to why I was no longer interested in reading them, but received no reply or explanation of regret or of their new non-science position. I note several of the magazines I subscribed to no longer exist as too few people it seems were interested in paying for propaganda.

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  • #

    One huge problem we have is that UNESCO’s executive director Irina Bokova has called on the media interests globally to work with the UN entities in pushing what it calls Scientific Humanism. That bears a striking resemblance to Uncle Karl’s pernicious collective vision of the future.

    Instead of reporting reality, UNESCO insists the media system is to act as the cultural translator for its vision. And plenty of media outlets are taking it quite seriously as any evening network news broadcast in the US makes apparent. I explained it here along with links to UNESCO docs. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/decreeing-the-interdependence-of-environment-economy-society-and-cultural-diversity-in-the-21st/

    Jo-in connection with your question on ed a few days ago, media and education are viewed by UNESCO as 2 prongs that come under communication of the desired message. Much effort is going towards changing the individual and collective mental models to fit with a public sector dominant view of society and economies in the 21st century.

    Which certainly does make the IPCC shenanigans make more sense.

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    • #
      Winston

      Robin,

      Among the interesting insights you give into the pernicious influence of the UN and it’s affiliates, including UNESCO, the IMF, etc., one point which you made confirms my belief about the truly insidious agenda of transglobal despotism that is being allowed to flourish in the full view of a society bloated on unearned reward and in rapid intellectual decline.

      That point being that we in Western society are on the verge of breakthroughs in many areas of science and technology: in genetics and the understanding of disease like cancers and autoimmune pathology, stem cell research to overcome neurological and degenerative conditions, nanotechnology, robotics / automation, and in the areas of energy generation and transmission (Thorium nuclear, Graphene, superconductors,etc) among other things, that there has been a regressive movement back from the threshold of these advancements at such a crucial time to some kind of Luddite, neo-Pagan ideology/philosophy to intervene as a means of forestalling this progress for the masses before it becomes irreversible.

      The nightmare scenario for TPTB is a technologically advanced, independent, resourceful and self-sufficient populace that doesn’t need them. A populace that has the means to overcome the scourges of disease and disability, one that can generate its own energy independent of a supplier and a regulator, one whose wealth cannot easily be confiscated under false pretenses, one where large scale hunger and deprivation is overcome and where those that barely subsist are free to contribute their intellectual capital and physical effort having been freed from the chains of disease, poverty and servitude. That these people dress up their ideology as for the benefit of others and for the sake of governance hides the insidious fact that they are ONLY interested in:
      1) Maintaining their control over the majority of resources and wealth which they can distribute primarily among themselves, leaving out as many of the remainder as they can get away with.
      2) continue to make vast amounts of money reselling old, failed or rejected technology ( eg. Wind and solar) by delaying or avoiding the adoption of more technologically advanced options which are on the verge of being discovered and utilized.
      3) homogenize the masses to remove any originality, diversity or individuality, because historically the meeting of divergent cultures with differing perspectives is exactly what has driven progress, so must be stymied. In the process, every nation on earth is reduced to a variation of Epcot, a nightmare of cultural trifle where everyone speaks Esperanto and there is a MacDonalds on every street corner.
      4) maintaining a perpetual state of global pessimism and fear that stifles as much creativity and problem solving ability as possible

      210

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Hmm,

      Irena Bokova? I wonder where she went to school? I wonder when she attended school? I wonder what the prevailing political code was, when she was at school?

      I wonder what experiences in life she draws upon when thinking about Collective Scientific Humanism, and what it might mean.

      60

      • #
        Dave

        .

        The step from RED to GREEN is very small for Irina.

        Plus such a lovely family history, in house schooling apparently for new Bokova’s:

        Georgi Bokova, 39, and his wife, 37, died after clashing headlong into a bus, carrying Ukranian tourists near the village of Emona, between the coastal towns of Varna and Burgas.

        The couple died upon the impact, while eleven tourists suffered light injuries and were rushed in to the hospital in Varna.

        Bokov, who was behind the wheel of an Audi A5, is believed to have caused the crash after deciding on a hazardous overtaking. The car then crashed headlong into the bus and was literally smashed by it, leaving no chance for the two people inside.

        Georgi Bokov has been best known in Bulgaria as the son of former member of parliament and current Ambassador to Slovenia, Socialist Filip Bokov, as well as for his criminal record, which featured mostly car thefts and arms possession.

        He carried the name of his grandfather, Georgi Bokov, who edited the country’s leading Communist newspaper

        His aunt Irina Bokova, 57, defeated in September 2009, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny after a suspenseful and drawn-out race, sealing victory in the fifth round of balloting at UNESCO Paris headquarters.

        See article here.

        I think it is Irina, not Irena, maybe I should check with Fig Leaf the Avatar?

        But this parasite Greenie has:
        1. Used 87% of Unesco’s $326 million budget last year was allocated for its own staff travel, and operating costs.
        2. Unesco under Bokova has been squandering over $3 million every year merely on travel.
        3. Refused to engage in negotiations with the Obama administration over Palestine being granted full member status.
        4. Israel – cancelled their funds to Unesco as a result – a sum of $150 million, which would have made up 22% of the organisation’s financial support.
        5. She instead threw money she didn’t have into attempting to win over US citizens with publicity trips to the states. She also set about creating a Washington office for Unesco which later closed.
        6. She is in command as a panicked paralytic and wild, harebrained non-solution twit.

        But the good thing she has done is: UNESCO could fold and close as a result.

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        • #
          Yonniestone

          Thanks for the information on UNESCO, locally this organization has been cropping up in news for giving awards for heritage designs etc, I thought WTF would they care about a railway station in Maryborough for and then this came up http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1805045/ballarat-city-council-commits-to-strategy-for-preserving-city-heritage/?cs=62
          The hairs stood up immediately and I hope your correct on UNESCO folding and closing.

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          • #
            Dave

            .

            Yonniestone,

            What gets me is the siht (World Institute of Training and Research for the Asia Pacific Region vice-director Ron van Oers) is one of these greedy little pigs demanding money without anybody checking.

            This little piece of garbage isn’t even employed by UNESCO, and the Ballarat City Council fornicate all over him. Worse than the Greens.

            He is the following:
            1. Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute
            2. Dr. Ron Van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute represented the Shanghai-based organization.
            3. Dr van Oers coordinated the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape initiative.
            4. Dr van Oers is vice director of the World Heritage Institute of Training for Asia and the Pacific.
            5. Ron van Oers was UNESCO’s coordinator for the Historic Urban Landscape initiative from 2005 to 2011.
            6. Dr. Ron van Oers worked for UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris for twelve years (from 2000 to 2012).
            7. Dr. Ron van Oers was between 2003 and 2005 the Chief of Unit for Latin America & the Caribbean.
            8. Dr. Ron van Oers was appointed as Senior Researcher at Tongji University’s Advanced Research Institute for Architecture and Urban Planning.
            9. Global urban conservation expert Ron van Oers.
            10.Dr van Oers, who works with the World Heritage Institute

            Busiest little bullsihter I’ve seen in a long time.

            I’ve got all the links if anyone wants them.

            This guy has more front than a D9 bulldozer blade. On the take by the millions of dollars from all of us. Gravy Train Parasite.

            100

            • #
              Dave

              I meant to add google “World Heritage Institute” and you see what a bloody con job it is. Every little Greenie, Dr. Ron van Oers, etc etc

              1. Professor Zhou Jian, Director of WHITRAP Shanghai and Doctor Li Xin paid a visit to UNESCO Beijing Office.
              2. And another one?
              3. Then there’s Category 2 Centres of the UNESCO.

              Makes Popular Science look very innocent, but they are also backing up the UN code of 97% you must obey, if you want money from us.

              It’s totally disgusting, with millions employed world wide in this scam.

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            • #
              Yonniestone

              Dave, I very much appreciate your time to pass on some very useful information, thank you.

              10

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Great outline Dave.

          It was easy to work out from media reports over the years that the UN needed to be shut down,

          Smaller dysfunctional units of modern world society haven’t been so obvious.

          Time for a change and a few Redundancies in very high places.

          KK

          10

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Yes, thank you Dave. It is better backgrounding than I could have done.

        10

    • #
      Tim

      The American ‘Wilderness Zones’ are replications of the UNESCO ‘Geoparks’.

      Basically devised to exclude people from important agricultural and mining resources which will be acquired by the elite when they are ready.

      31

  • #
    Peter Shaw

    You describe an instance of a wider and more consequential issue, so I hope you’ll not consider this o/t.
    I think you’re criticising the current paradigm of Popular Science, and illustrating a classical example of an attempt to solve a problem within the system that produced it (- you can’t…).
    This process of shutting-off a part of reality can be identified widely (climate-change and economics for two), and while of professional interest to psychologists and such, solves nothing.
    Our unprecedented two-way access to information isn’t a “problem” to be guillotined away, but a resource to be managed. Ask how many paradigm-breaking ideas exist worldwide now, lacking only an effective forum (my guess is around ten).
    The old Authority/Student relationship embedded in traditional publications won’t serve, so needs re-engineering.
    There are, of course, major issues of protocols and sheer volume, so let’s start small:
    What best alternative could Popular Science *and its readership* have adopted, and so become an exemplar?

    30

  • #

    Part of pursuing that pleasure, was renewing subscriptions to popular magazines such as Scientific American, The New Scientist, National Geographic and Nature. For each of those magazines, and some others, I reached a point where I realised they no longer dealt in big ideas, and the truth to be told, no longer even dealt in science. They’d dumbed down to touchy feely mysticism, a weird sort of political correctness and agenda-driven articles and papers. One by one, as the renewal dates arrived, I cancelled the subscriptions.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-decline-of-popular-science-journals/

    Pointman

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  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    If the expertise demonstrated on this site a week ago is any indication. The one could easily say that the readers of Popular Science are in fact smarter than the writers of Popular Science.

    As usual, they have the cart backwards.

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  • #
    PeterS

    Debate on a scientific topic always runs the risk of becoming heated since everyone has their own opinion on any particular matter. The implication here is science has no real authoritative value simply because opinions are all relative. The public are becoming increasingly skeptical about the authoritative value of science, hence the reluctance of many scientific establishments to allow debates in public. This is especially so when scientists debate amongst themselves. The issue is the same facts an be use by either side to support their arguments. They can oppose each other using the same facts because they are interpreted differently. In some cases the “facts” are corrupted, and we are all aware of this in regards to climate change, but that is less often the case compared to the relativistic nature of interpretations. Forums such as this one are becoming more and more relevant and essential to avoid us creeping towards a world where debate is stifled and false science grows much like what happened in the past when groups not only discouraged debates but also punished and murdered those who dare disagree. I fear we might be heading back to those dark ages but forums such as this one will help us avoid that unfortunate outcome. At least I hope so but that hope may be short lived if the internet is ever controlled by governments or a one world government. Popular science may become “private” science – science that belongs to the “establishment” only and anyone who disagrees is treated as a heretic and punished accordingly. Let’s hope that’s not what happens but given the increasingly globalization of the internet, I fear it will.

    90

    • #

      @PeterS:
      ” .. if the internet is ever controlled by governments or a one world government …”

      At least it still has a protocol (TCP/IP) that was designed to be bomb-proof and has proved to be very difficult to “control”. Corporate databases and data-mining may be advancing, but the sheer volume of email traffic makes surveillance very difficult, eg flagging of keywords is less effective if the terminology is changed slightly and digits are transposed. High school kids and younger breaking through multi-million dollar censorship systems in a matter of seconds. Not just kids either. I have noticed some of the respected “olds” on this and other forums doing the same to avoid triggering a mod delay. “Life finds a way”.

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      • #
        PeterS

        I know enough about the internet to be dangerous. I have configured Cisco routers and administered major systems, for example. The volume of traffic does not presents a problem for anyone with lots of money to monitor it. It’s already happening in the US where they are paranoid about their own citizens. What they can monitor, they can control.

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      • #
        Angry

        I use TOR sometimes just to screw up government monitoring of your internet habits……

        10

        • #
          PeterS

          TOR may help you be anonymous but it won’t stop them from filtering what you can send and receive if the apply a blanket ban on what’s transmitted on the internet based on content. In fact it’s dead easy for them to do it once they gain control of enough of the infrastructure, which they probably already have in some countries. Perhaps it’s time to go back to smoke signals :-) , at least until they can control the weather (but that’s another story). I’m not sure how many years left we have before we lose much of our freedom to send and receive whatever we please on the internet. I bet the establishment would do anything to gain that sort of control. The temptation I bet is too great for them. They are already discussing ways to implement an internet kill switch.

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    • #
      JCR

      Peter

      You raise an interesting point about the authority of science. My personal opinion is that CAGW has done a huge amount of damage to that authority. An article somewhere recently pointed out that scientists get their authority from science, not because they are scientists. When physicists make comments, people listen because of the spectacular success of physics in explaining the realm of time, matter and energy, and in making predictions about the behaviour of those entities. Climate scientists (well, scientists who pontificate on climate matters – e.g. Tim Flannery) seem to believe they should be listened to, just because they are scientists, when all they have behind them is a history of failed computer-aided speculation. Because of these failed prophecies, the general public is very rightly asking why they should take any notice of what scientists say generally.

      I agree that another factor is the widespread availability of information. As Jo pointed out, when the previous IPCC report was released, she and the likes of Anthony Watts were just starting up their blogs. Both now have massively wider readerships that Pop Sci. Anything the AGW promoters publish is going to be gone through with a fine tooth comb – consider Donna Laframboise’s crowd sourcing of checking the AR4 list of references. People putting out dodgy science to support radical political agendas are going to be under a microscope, the like of which has never occurred prior to the internet.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        … the general public is very rightly asking why they should take any notice of what scientists say generally.

        And that is a good thing. I am very cynical about people who are not cynical.

        The following is hand written in school prize giving text book I have: “Good science is build on wonderment, it is the thrill of learning something new that drives science, it is the realisation that what was thought previously, is no longer adequate, and there is yet more to learn. In short, a Scientist can never truly know everything about anything.”

        That sentiment has driven my whole career. It is the most valuable free advice I have ever received.

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  • #

    The “climate science” article begins

    “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” President Obama declared in a speech at Georgetown University today, firing a shot at climate change deniers during his unveiling of a new climate action plan, a broad outline that includes efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy at home and abroad.

    It was not an article about the “science”, but one speaking approvingly about the world’s most powerful person announcing a political policy. The US President started by trying to squash any adverse comment. The worst comment was in reaction to a skeptical comment.

    I really hope you have a beach house

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I would be happy if the US president gave me a beach house. Just to teach me a lesson, you understand.

      20

  • #
    RC Saumarez

    This is absolutely correct. The populus at large, which contains who knows how many PhDs in science, engineering and maths, are simply too dumb to express an opinion.

    How dare we question settled science as defined by a tiny fraction of scientists?

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    Mark D.

    Just how can it be called “Popular” Science when they have excised the populace?

    190

  • #
    Dave

    Bonnier Corp own Popular Science along with many other publications and media outlets.

    Bonnier Corporation is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America, and with over 30 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events, it is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences. With over 750 employees and more than $200 million in annual revenue, Bonnier Corp. ranks in the top 10 nationally among publishing companies.

    The website has the following:
    Online Content Director: Suzanne LaBarre
    Senior Editor: Paul Adams
    Associate Editor: Dan Nosowitz
    Assistant Editor: Colin Lecher
    Assistant Editor: Rose Pastore

    And the magazine has the following:
    Publisher: Gregory Gatto
    Editor-in-Chief: Jacob Ward
    Executive Editor: Cliff Ransom
    Managing Editor: Jill Shomer

    You’d think with all this firepower at the top in the magazine and the website businesses, they’d be able to control a bit of spam and a few trolls.

    It’s goodbye to the website Popular Science, if they continue to disallow comments.

    “Popular Fools”

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    • #
      Dave

      Be interesting to see how they perform in this category of popular science over the coming months:

      Ranked 9th in this Category: Popular Science Websites
      2,751 – eBizMBA Rank | 1,400,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,481 – Compete Rank | 1,474 – Quantcast Rank | 5,299 – Alexa Rank.

      NOAA ranks 2nd overall in this category, but is shut down because of the following:

      Due to the Federal government shutdown,
      NOAA.gov and most associated web sites
      are unavailable.
      Only web sites necessary to protect lives
      and property will be maintained.

      Even NASA is shut for the same reasons???

      30

      • #
        Eddie Sharpe

        If the US stays shut down for long enough, will anyone notice ?
        Apart from all those unfortunate govt. employees, if the shutdown were to continue indefinitely, how much would be saved every day ?

        71

        • #
          Rod Stuart

          Very little, Eddie. The whole thing is orchestrated to impose maximum pain for minimum gain so that the population will blame the wrong people. It might actually be prep work for the next global financial crisis, in an effort to deflect the blame away from the perpetrators.

          10

    • #
      Paul in Sweden

      Dave, I subscribe to the Bonnier History magazine in Swedish. This was done more so that I could learn the Swedish language. The obsession with WWII & Hitler throughout each and every issue I find nauseating. But I do find articles that briefly hold my interest so I will continue to hold my subscription. -Paul

      20

      • #
        Dave

        Paul,

        I didn’t realise how big the group is, especially in Europe.

        Here’s a list of their Brands.

        Seems Popular Science is only one of many hundreds of Brands.

        00

  • #
    Mike of NQ

    Never been called a spambot before!

    20

    • #
      michael hart

      How can I tell if I am one? :)

      20

      • #
        Brian G Valentine

        You find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to repeat IPCC reports as if no one has read them

        50

      • #
        Heywood

        “How can I tell if I am one? “

        Some examples.

        You put ‘ the Realist’ after your name and lurk in week old threads whinging about moderation.
        You think that the same YouTube video of your boyfriend’s documentary posted ad nauseum is proof of CAGW.
        Your avatar is a head shot of yourself with a concerned looking head tilt and stupid grin.
        You use your middle name and surname as an alias and demand everyone calls you ‘doctor’.
        Your avatar is a leaf.

        170

        • #
          AndyG55

          “You use your middle name and surname as an alias and demand everyone calls you ‘doctor’.’

          I will be referring to that one as “Sheldon” whenever he pops his head in.

          I invite everyone to do the same.

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          • #
            AndyG55

            ie.. SEEMS to know stuff,
            (seeming is a major trait of green non-environmentalists)

            but has basically no idea how to link it to reality.

            71

        • #
          PhilJourdan

          hey! I think I ran into that person! Called herself (I think it was a her, the avatar was female) Canadian Realist.

          00

        • #
          Gee Aye

          there is another leaf?

          00

  • #
    ianl8888

    The people have got it wrong

    They must be dismissed and a new people appointed immediately

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    u.k.(us)

    I’ll admit to being “dumb”, it’s what led me here.
    A search for knowledge.
    I should keep my mouth shut and just listen (who ever learned anything by talking ?).
    I’m trying :)

    50

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Note to the editors and publisher at Popular Science:

    Life’s tough. Get used to it. You’re not immune and your complaint falls on deaf ears.

    90

    • #
      Dave

      .

      That’s an amazing statement by the company Roy:

      “The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.”

      Like you said, toughen up people (must be a bunch of wimps), it’s a hard joint out there.

      10

  • #
    incoherent rambler

    The worrying part: I have noted that long held beliefs are not easy for people to discard. We have an indoctrinated generation that will find it difficult to discard the “undisputed” science that they have been taught in the primary, secondary and tertiary systems.
    I fear that the credibility of non-junk science will take a battering.

    50

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      On the other hand; when this finaly blows over in another 20 years time and is proven false, all of those indoctrinated people will be so disillusioned with “the science”, they will never believe another thing spoken to them by anyone in authority.

      00

      • #
        Retired now

        Sadly I don’t think this will be the case. If its anything like previous mass marketing “science” they will still believe they were right and that somehow their beliefs changed activity which changed outcomes which meant that they were right all along because we no longer have much of a problem. They will now be on the next band wagon.

        10

  • #
    PhilJourdan

    Anthony had this story. I guess they think they can generate traffic with no interaction. I guess the faithful will visit. But they appear headed for oblivion.

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    • #

      Phil, they didn’t generate a lot of comments anyhow…

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      • #
        Brian G Valentine

        This undoubtedly had something to do with the very low quality of what they published

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      • #
        Dave

        Jo,

        They’ve got a response from regulars here. And from one there’s this:

        Peer review is good for science when the peers are educated professionals. When the people reviewing are just anti-science conservative high school dropouts who think they can detest climate models when they can’t even find the root of a linear equation, the reviews are just obnoxious.–Joe Hays, via Facebook

        Seems like there are the same type of trolls all over the world with the same attitude as some here.

        10

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          I gather that quote was from a reader, and I guess for them it may be true.
          I myself learn as much if not more, from the comments below the article as from the article itself.

          For an online magazine though, I would think that attracting readers and comments would be a good thing. Newspapers use this tactic to good effect (points at James Dinglepole). It attracts readers Because they Can comment.

          PopSci want the people (and their money) but not the interaction. So much for interactive-media, lol.

          20

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        They probably wouldn’t pay the Rent-A-Troll fees.

        10

  • #
    Speedy

    Jo

    you just need to get the word to the PopSci guys that they can come here and read. And comment.

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    “Popular Science” ought to go back to touting flying cars “affordably available in a few years” and “secret weapons” that the Military isn’t ready to confirm or deny.

    “Scientific” American and Nude Socialist need new editorship or just resign themselves to bankruptcy.

    I won’t be shedding any tears

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  • #
    Peter Hume

    Again the elephant in the parlour is government funding on science. What Pop Sci is explicitly afraid of, is that open and critical discussion will affect science funding! If science were funded voluntarily, no such issue would arise. Thus we see once again that government funding of science has, and must have, a corrupting effect. This arises out of the very nature of the State: that group in society claiming a legal monopoly of the use of force.

    Since all science necessarily involves interpretation of data, there is no way the State can avoid a conflict as between society’s interest in knowing what is true, and the State’s interest in using its coercive monopoly to fund an intellectual bodyguard to propagate untrue beliefs favourable to the State and its dependents.

    In the resulting conflict of values, the state funding of science can no more be justified that the state funding of religion.

    Government funding of science should be abolished.

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    • #
      Brian G Valentine

      Well no, Government funding of science shouldn’t stop, but the Government ought to be funding research contrary to accepted doctrine.

      Science cannot continue without systematic tearing apart of what is found to be “accepted” and not based on fact.

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      • #
        Peter Hume

        Doesn’t explain why government should be funding it. Nor does it explain how government could possibly avoid the conflict of interest that I mentioned above, and which is at the root of the whole global warming scam.

        For example, let’s suppose they’re going to fund research “contrary to accepted doctrine”. What, equally fund every hypothesis in the world? No, obviously not. Someone’s interpretation is going to be more favoured with funding by other people’s money, than someone else. But how to choose? There is no way this judgement of value can be “scientific”, and there is no way for government to know whether it would involve greater net benefit to society than would obtain from the unhampered use of the funds by the original owner that government took them from. And that is quite apart from the ethical question of looting A to satisfy B.

        No, sorry, it won’t do. Government funding of science should be abolished.

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        • #
          Brian G Valentine

          No. Private enterprise isn’t going to fund basic science that does not carry a transparent objective.

          Major corporations such as General Electric and IBM used to fund such science, but the management (responding to shareholders) did not enough contribution to the bottom line.

          With that gone, there is only the government.

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          • #
            Peter Hume

            Private enterprise isn’t going to fund basic science that does not carry a transparent objective.

            Well if the people don’t want it, why should they be forced to fund it? What makes you think they haven’t got better things to spend their money on?

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            • #

              To some degree, I agree with you. However, how would you let people know what studies are available? “Pet” causes of celebrities (you know, climate change, organic food, no vaccines) will be funded at a higher rate than funding for less “glamorous” causes. I am not fond of government funding, but I’m not sure what a better way is. Then there’s the question of medical research for “orphan” diseases–not likely a corporation will fund that. Maybe Bill Gates or Oprah?

              Corporations would probably fund research that helps them out, but we will need a lot of corporations doing research. We do waste a lot of money on worthless studies at the moment, but some of those are funded by colleges and universities. The private sector is not immune from the science bias. I suppose we could put research projects in a hat and draw them out…..

              21

              • #
                Justin Jefferson

                However, how would you let people know what studies are available?

                Google?

                “Pet” causes of celebrities (you know, climate change, organic food, no vaccines) will be funded at a higher rate than funding for less “glamorous” causes.

                I don’t think there’s any reason why every question should be funded equally, and there’s no reason why people shouldn’t fund what research they want – it’s a good thing.

                You can’t assume that government has superior wisdom or selflessness. The argument is precisely that that’s an irrational belief system. There’s simply no evidence or reason for believing it’s true, and lots of reasons that it’s not true.

                It’s not only celebrities or corporations who can fund science: classic example is Charles Darwin’s father. But to the extent that some research requires large capital, it’s unreasonable to be prejudiced against corporations. And in any event, government is a corporation.

                There’s no reason why corporations should not supply the kind of scientific research that is demanded by the great mass of society by their voluntary decisions – in a word, the market. Government emphatically does not supply superior wisdom. The only thing governments have on offer, that is not otherwise available, is superior force.

                I think government is more, not less likely to fund trendy or fatuous causes, as we have just seen on a grand scale, precisely because they don’t pay the costs of their mistakes, and the payers, by their payment, have no way of signalling what they want or don’t want. It’s not just in climate science. There loads of waste going on in “sustainability”, sociology, in fact all over the place. But it seems the downside is never taken into account in asserting the net benefits of government funded research: irrational.

                “Corporations would probably fund research that helps them out”

                So will governments. The difference is, corporations are funded voluntarily, governments under compulsion.

                “but we will need a lot of corporations doing research.”

                The question is precisely how is anyone to know what research is needed. People don’t only have a need for science. They have other competing needs for resources, many of which are more urgent or important. How are you to know how much scientific research is needed, if not by society’s demonstrated preference?

                “We do waste a lot of money on worthless studies at the moment…”

                (Where “we” = the State.) If it’s voluntarily funded, it’s not wasted, because those who paid knowingly undertook the risk.

                …but some of those are funded by colleges and universities.

                Most of which are State-funded.

                “The private sector is not immune from the science bias.”

                It’s immune from the biases inherent in funding science by compulsion, and that’s the point.

                “ I suppose we could put research projects in a hat and draw them out…..”

                Who’s “we”? If it’s done voluntarily, by all means, but people are unlikely to agree to indiscriminate funding of plainly fatuous research.

                If it’s not done voluntarily, it’s not “we”, it’s a minority elite sub-set of society backed by force, namely the State.

                10

              • #

                I am going to assume you are new and have no idea what my previous comments were. Otherwise, the lecture on the evils of the state would look as ludicrous to you as it does to me. I made a serious request for ideas get a lecture on how evil the government is.

                If anyone has any useful answers, I am interested.

                00

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            With that gone, there is only the government.

            Brian,

            Suppose you’re right. What level of incompetent supervision and management, what degree of corruption are you willing to accept to advance science for science’s sake? I only ask because the history of the last few decades of government funded science very well shows Peter Hume to be correct.

            If, for instance, IBM chooses to not continue research into faster more capable computer hardware and software they will eventually lose out in the market place. It’s All the research they did that put them into the position they enjoy today and failing to keep it up will knock them right out again. And their research was well managed by comparison to government funded research and well focused on the company’s business goals.

            On what does government funded research focus? I think we all know it’s any old vagrant idea some researcher thinks he has a right to look into. Brian, it just doesn’t work that way.

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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              At first I wasn’t going to mention some rather spectacular solar energy flops that were sponsored to the tune of millions by the DOE (department of Energy). But I think that’s an appropriate reminder of how responsible government can be with our money — not very! :-(

              30

            • #
              PhilJourdan

              Very true. One has but to look at the carcasses of companies that gained a near monopoly in their field only to see it disappear when technology moved on. Anyone bought a US Robotics Modem lately?

              00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Very true. One has but to look at the carcasses of companies that gained a near monopoly in their field only to see it disappear when technology moved on. Anyone bought a US Robotics Modem lately?

                Good point. However, modems continue to be useful items even though the demand is way down because dial-up Internet access is declining rapidly. I have fax capability from the computer I’m using to type this comment, thanks to a modem.

                00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I recently bought a $300 plus combination scanner, printer, copier, fax machine, car washer and babysitter — the do it all box in other words. It’s fax capability is troublesome and very clumsy compared with fax software I bought shortly after Windows 2000 appeared. The HP hardware seems to be OK but the software that’s supposed to handle all its features is the usual junk I’m used to getting from HP. I should have known better.

                I’m not giving up my modem and WinFax Pro.

                Inkjet printing is a lot more expensive per page than my laser printer into the bargain. We still have our old HP flatbed scanner and its software and it’s easier to use for copying because I get to specify the destination printer. So advances in technology aren’t always a real advancement in utility.

                00

              • #
                PhilJourdan

                @Roy Hogue

                However, modems continue to be useful items

                True! So are buggy whips. But their dominance is dead, as are most of the companies that make them.

                00

    • #
      wayne, s. Job

      Money is not the problem, intelligence and original thought after the propaganda in our school systems is the problem.

      Yet some rise above it and do wonderful things, bucking the system and taking crap often for decades, before the calcified thought processes of consensus science has an epiphany. Thus it has always been.

      10

  • #
    michael hart

    You would think, wouldn’t you, that the alleged 97% wouldn’t be so lazy and inarticulate as they apparently are?

    Either that, or ‘evil-oil’ must be paying us some fantastic rates to work overtime.

    40

  • #
    Backslider

    Well, well well…. clearly just an indication of just how scary AR5 responses will be to them.

    It’s certainly one way to duck for cover…. just watch others follow suit.

    20

  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Off Topic and Off the Wall

    “I believe that the report is a watershed; we have clear evidence from our climate scientists that global warming is happening and that we as humans are playing a critical role, which is the underpinning of the President’s Climate Action Plan. The plan places a strong emphasis on mitigating the risks of climate change through further investments in clean technologies aligning with our all-of-the-above energy strategy. The President’s plan also brings forward a strong focus on the need to prepare for climate change because we are already experiencing the anticipated impacts of global warming,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

    10

  • #

    Hmm,

    probably lucky that they did stop open Commenting at PopSci.

    Just yesterday (04Oct2013) they published this:

    Surprise! Conspiracy Theorists Are More Likely To Disavow Vaccines, Climate Science And GM Foods

    It’s an article dealing with the Lewandowsky paper?

    Nice to see how PopSci gets their articles so quickly.

    Tony.

    80

    • #
      AndyG55

      Its not just the great speed of publication..

      its.. “why the **** are they publishing it at all !” ???????

      50

      • #

        I really suppose I should explain why I even visited the PopSci site in the first place.

        I’m wondering about Science, mainstream Science and how it’s being reported, keeping in mind that these Scientists are people who have had years and years of in depth serious and difficult education to finally become the Scientists that they are.

        What worries me is that so many of them are utterly clueless when it comes to calling for replacements for what they warn against, the supposed catastrophe of CO2 induced Climate Change. They call for the shutting down of those coal fired power plants, and how they can readily be replaced by renewable power plants, I know, MY usual hobby horse.

        These people are Scientists and almost to a man, they actually believe that they can be replaced by (in the main) wind and solar plants.

        What astounds me is that people with so much education and working in a field where they are constantly doing research, hardly any of them have actually bothered to even find out is this is something that can be done.

        So now, picture this.

        I’m a nobody, and I tell you that wind power and solar power cannot ever replace coal fired power. I can actually show it and explain why.

        They are Scientists and they say, unflinchingly that it can be done. Then, journalists, without ever checking, (and why would they, because a Scientist told them) just repeat verbatim what was said, and with the backing of authority, the information is then out there that wind and solar are the saviours they are made out to be.

        You are a member of the general population who wants to find out.

        Tell me, who are you going to believe?

        That’s why I’m checking in so many different places to see if any of these Scientists have actually done some research into the matter.

        I’m also checking other sites as well, and PopSci is just one of those. So, having actually gone to their site, I then entered wind power into their site’s search engine to look for articles to see what they actually said.

        The most recent article is dated ….. Sept 23rd 2010.

        Yes, three years ago.

        It’s an article with 9 short lines of text, and has the usual misinformation that this plant will power 200,000 homes.

        Like I said.

        Just who are you going to believe?

        I’m fighting a mostly futile battle. I’ve given up commenting at other sites, because there’s just no point to it. No one believes a word, or I’m misrepresenting what they are saying.

        Tony.

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        • #
          ROM

          Tony, I also started and ran with an “Alternative Energy Scam” thread on the weatherzone climate forum since shut down after the WZ principals meekly buckled to the pressure of a small badly bred bunch of deep green warmist water melon trolls amidst much boasting from those trolls whose sole aim was to get that whole WZ climate forum with it’s group of very knowledgeable skeptics shut down thus denying another well viewed forum to the skeptics to put their case.

          I suggest that Jo could tell the odd story or two on her problems with that sort of breed of trolls.

          However there was one item that did give me a lot of heart and still does and that was the view count for that “Alternative Energy Scam” thread. That thread was getting a lot of views which were amongst the highest numbers of the climate forum. And those views were mostly lurkers who were either not registered with WZ or were registered but didn’t want to openly get involved with the arguments / debate as I guess most of them were not sure they were knowledgeable enough in the energy situation field.

          The people who count aren’t necessarily the ones who make the greatest noise on blogs and forums such as this one. The ones making the posts and noise are the information and opinion generators who others look to for information and opinions.
          The real Decision Makers in our society and there are a few research papers on this as the pollies or their back offices could probably point you at, are very ordinary people who work at ordinary jobs and occupy ordinary positions and status in society. They are all a part of that great amorphous mass of humanity that needs to be convinced about something for it to actually happen.
          The Decision Makers are indistinguishable from any other person but they have one characteristic in common. They will readily express an opinion what ever it might be and others stop and listen.
          Then later you will hear the phraseology as in “X” said this or that in the pub / party/ at work and etc last night / yesterday and etc .
          The “X’s” of this world are the real decision makers and it is they who are often quietly at the forefront researching and in finding the real truth and reasons behind most of our societal occurrences. And it is those Decision Makers, those apparently ordinary men and women who will read your’s and other’s posts to try and find what is the real truth, the real situation as against what they are being told to believe which today increasingly raises the BS antenna status amongst an increasing number of the populace to a new level.
          From their reading and information gathering they will form an opinion what ever it might be and then express their opinion in various ways in various and numerous places and others will listen.
          For those reading this you might even be able to identify some decision makers in your own circles, the ones most others listen to and then repeat elsewhere what they have said.

          You posts on energy and most realise that energy and it’s price and availability are key requirements for our society to run and operate, has a decided impact outside of the almost deliberate and totally pathetic ignorance of the ivory tower inhabitants, a sentiment of yours I agree with, on all those who read your posts and think about the consequences of what you write about and no doubt check your claims against other sources.

          Your impact subtle as it might be to the eye, is arguably having a much greater influence than you might realise although don’t ever expect any personal credt for it .

          And no doubt you are up to speed on this but an entire wind farm in the UK has been ordered demolished after the green company lost a court case against a couple. plus the largest wind farm to be built in the UK on the Shetland Islands has been ordered by the courts not to proceed

          Shetland windfarm project suffers court setback over rare bird
          Judge rules Viking project should not have been given planning consent as ministers failed to follow EU birds directive

          These instances are only two of a rapidly increasing trend across Europe as the real home truths about the so called and falsely so, renewable energy finally starts to dawn on the populace and getting the renewable energy advocating pollies very, very nervous indeed,
          After all does any pollie ever want to be remembered for and be accused of for causing thousands of needless deaths from hypothermia and / or for destroying a nation’s industrial base by pricing energy out of the economic reach of business and industry and the ordinary person?

          Wind as an energy source and a mind boggling scam is the quickest way to take from the poor and give it to the rich as has been said. It is on the point of a major collapse in Europe as subsidies and prices and unaffordability and total unreliability all come together to show the so called renewable energy systems up for what they really are.
          And it is highly knowledgeable people even without any relevant qualifications like Tony from Oz who are driving the nails into the renewable energy’s coffin.

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            Graeme No.3

            Much as I agree with your comments I think I should point out that the transfer of wealth from the poorer to the richer is most quickly done by PV solar with feed in tariffs.

            Those who can afford it, get rebates, even money back on their “investment” and avoid the rising cost of electricity. Unless of course if they’re pensioners who are expected to state what benefit they get from solar so their payments can be cut.

            Those who can’t or haven’t the opportunity (renters etc.) get charged the full rate plus the cost of the rebates plus the costs of up-dating the grid (the so-called gold plating) to handle thousands of semi-independent little power stations.

            Yes, I have solar. I hesitated for years until one lefty told me in condescending tones that he considered it “a moral duty” to install solar. So I got solar, although I expect that feed-in tariffs will soon be removed as unjustifiable, and I will wind up with a small loss. I hope he does too.

            40

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            ROM
            there are some curious aspects to that story. I will take the number of turbines at face value for the moment but note that the paper gives 2 total capacities indicating those turbines will be either 3.6 or 4.4 MW nominal capacity.

            At 370 mw and the expected 44% load (or capacity) factor that supplies just less than 1 kWh to the claimed 175,000 houses, which is the usual lie.

            But there is only around 23,200 people on Shetland, and spread across 15 islands, although the majority live on Mainland where the turbines are intended to be installed. To reach the entire population would require some expensive cables. Indeed trying to supply the Hillswick area which is connected (just) to Mainland would require digging up the road at Mavis Grind. The latter is a peninsular with the Atlantic on one side of the road and the North Sea (actually Sullom Voe) on the other, and not much land in between. (A bare 2 lanes and about 2-3 foot of shoulder each side until the drop, from memory. I certainly hesitated to cross when there was a truck coming the other way).

            Given that population and the expected output, gives 178 kVh per person per day. That’s more than Al Gore uses! Where the hell would the rest go? To Scotland via Fair Isle (nature reserve), Orkney, John O’Groats and down to Aberdeen via Inverness? That’s 3 lots of stormy seas with powerful tides then a long run before you get anywhere near a consumption area).

            As for Alex Salmon and his plans to base an electricity grid on a variable and unpredictable source, the sooner he is carted off to the looney bin the better.

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            • #
              Graeme No.3

              The other is that 50 sq. miles = 129.5 sq. km.

              That means they are crowding the turbines. It is well known that the maximum energy extractable is 2.6 MW per sq. km. and 2.0 MW per sq. km. for wind varying a lot in direction.
              This is due to the ‘wind shadow’ effect from the turbulence generated by the blades.
              Even at the most favourable rate they should be building a maximum of 93 of the smaller turbines and 76 of the larger.

              Their original demand for 153 indicates the builders are incompetent or making an ambit claim with the expectation of approval for a reduced number.

              What does this matter? It means that the load factor will be reduced and their efficiency and output won’t be what they claim. Still, I don’t imagine that either the lawyers or politicians involved have a clue.

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          Dave

          .

          TonyfromOz,

          You say this:

          “I’m fighting a mostly futile battle. I’ve given up commenting at other sites, because there’s just no point to it. No one believes a word, or I’m misrepresenting what they are saying.”

          But siht mate, I goggled TONYFROMOZ and got about 570,000 results in (0.37 seconds) – but that’s because I’ve got a slow computer. Tony, with Google, and all the other followers you have, keep giving to the basturds everyday and on every website.

          I would love to have your ability to describe the things you do, but I don’t, but every time I see you give a link from here to another website, I go to it.

          I tried GeeAye and got nothing, it sent me results for GeoEye instead, but when you search him, it’s not him. Haaahaahhaa.

          Keep up the great work TonyfromOz.

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            Gee Aye

            Flattered though I am to be googled, seriously, why bring me into this?

            01

          • #
            Gee Aye

            oh and there is a space between the Gee and Aye so try “Gee Aye”. Not many hits still but at least fewer geoeyes

            01

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              Dave

              No offence GeeAye,

              I was just highlighting the vast difference between some of the contributions, that’s all.

              “so try “Gee Aye”” – No thanks, you’ve already done it, so I’ll leave it to you to spread this important information to the world.

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              • #
                Gee Aye

                it is important information! Some weird things appear that have nothing to do with me but fortunately a lack of offensive images.

                01

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      (Time to see if I can trigger the auto-mod filter with my reply.) [congrats, you were successful]ED — [Shame about that] -Fly

      What’s really astonishing is that PopSci can’t even get basic journalistic practices right.
      The article is substantially not original research, they learned of the Lew paper via a story on the leftist establishment rag Mother Jones. The MJ article roped in 9/11 with this rhetorical question:

      What about 9/11 — do you suspect the US government deliberately allowed the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks to happen in order to concoct an excuse for war?

      PopSci represented this proposition with these words:

      9/11 was a hoax

      If AQ terrorists really did fly planes into those two targets and everything the 9/11 Commission Report said about the attack itself was true, then whatever else one might say about government foreknowledge of the whole macabre event, 9/11 is not a hoax because the event itself was not designed to deceive anybody. Indeed, by definition, to achieve political change the terrorists would want everyone to know who they were and what grievance they were trying to avenge. By even the broadest definition of “hoax” the MJ paragraph about 9/11 does not qualify, not even when allowing PopSci’s uncritical pro-government opinion.

      In fact the MJ article does not even use the word “hoax”. That word appears in the Lew paper abstract only in connection with

      specific beliefs that inconvenient scientific findings constitute a “hoax.”

      The 9/11 attack is not a “scientific finding”, only reports relating to the event could be described as “scientific findings”. I doubt most people would call the 9/11 Commission Report a “scientific finding” even if they believe every word of it, since the NIST Report forms only one part of the range of topics covered by the Commission.

      If PopSci doesn’t understand the meanings of the words they use or can’t even represent other literary works properly, why would anyone think they can represent the state of scientific knowledge on complex topics properly?

      Just hasty journalism or a deliberate hit piece, the difference doesn’t really matter.

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      Eddie Sharpe

      Is it any suspense they feel the need to suppress feedback when choosing to publish junk sci. like Lewandowsky’s ?

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      One supposes they checked the blogosphere and panicked at the hosing they were going to take. “Off with the comments!” was the cry.

      Perhaps we are taking that “science” name too literally. It’s more “pop” than science. Actually, this makes the Sandra Bullock article look much better–at least it did not seem to push any really, really bad science.

      20

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    ROM

    Something i never see but strongly suspect.
    The public at large despite the regular knocking of the public’s collective intelligence, occasionally deserved, we see even here on a regular basis is a damn sight more educated today than they were even only a decade and half ago.
    By “educated” I do not mean in a formal sense but through access to the internet, the source of a colossal amount of information, a very large percentage of the general populace now has far more knowledge of a far greater range of subjects with a far more sophisticated understanding on the background to that knowledge than any time in previous and past history.

    Knowledge is power.
    If used wisely Knowledge leads to wisdom and greater power even if not in a strictly formal sense.
    And the public is using that new power to imprint it’s beliefs and opinions onto so many aspects of our society.

    The internet has given the ordinary person that knowledge and they are exercising that knowledge to knock down so many shibboleths that the old media indulged itself in when passing on the knowledge to the populace in times past.

    This dramatically increased level of knowledge and the often quite educated commentary surrounding a subject has destroyed the old media’s control of knowledge which it has enjoyed since Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press invention and the consequent knowledge revolution starting in 1439.

    We see the same major paradigm shift today with the invention of the internet as was seen when the printing press was invented which prior to that, the church and it’s hierarchy controlled the flow of information often harshly when it conflicted with their influence and power, They controlled the interpretation of information to suit their own ends, They controlled the type of information and dictated the levels and availability and to whom the information would be made available.

    From there it has been a steady progression in the amount and range knowledge and information available to the public and individuals as the global communications first through the print media, then radio and TV to within the last couple of decades. But there was no major factor that significantly changed the way the media operated up until the World Wide Web and the internet became almost universal, the creation of which was quite startling in the speed of it’s creation and it’s ultimate ubiquity .

    All those publications dealing with science that were mentioned above as having been cancelled [ I also have cancelled most of those publications mentioned. that i used to subscribe too ] ]as they fell from their former lofty positions in the public eyes, were products of some 3 generations ago and a direct descendant of Guttenberg’s revolution.
    Three generations is significant as that old german saying my mother used quite often “Clogs to Clogs in three generations”.
    The creative founder[ s ] starts the business, His / her descendents of the immediate generation following are imbued with the view of the founder for the business and put great effort into ensuring that business will prosper. The third generation comes along, takes one look and say to themselves. we can have a hell of a lot of fun with all this money and and power and they then proceed to blow the lot.
    So it is with most of those publications mentioned

    Then came the Internet and in my view another major and historical paradigm shift in the way knowledge in immense. unadulterated or corrupted by self intereseted media intermediaries but also with a new ability to twist information but including also the built in ability to check any and all information and data against other sources, all of this information suddenly became available at an infinitesimal cost to the ordinary person along with an immense range of opinions and understandings of the new fount of knowledge which the public now had access to in spades.
    [ I remember very well buying an expensive set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas' in the 1960's and spending many, many hours poring over them looking for a nugget of information or doing something similar re farming in the library of our local Ag research establishment . Now it's hit a few keys.spend a few minutes winnowing the chaff from the kernels of information one is looking for and getting on with it. Print media can't possibly compete with that! ]

    And quite suddenly those old media outlets were being challenged along with the information and knowledge and of their self interested slant that they were placing upon that knowledge and the interested public now know it via their access to so many alternative sources of knowledge and opinions via the internet and have reacted in a quite savage fashion to what they often see as false, fictitious, light weight and highly corrupted data and opinion in not only the old media but in science, governmental circles and business and law circles..

    Just how new and just how massive is the impact and how ubiquitous is the Internet very few folks ever stop to think about.
    My son was the fortieth person on the internet here in Horsham in west Vic in 1994, less than two decades ago.
    And Horsham city has a population of some 13,000 and is on the main rail and road route between Melbourne and Adelaide as well as being the communications and business centre for central western Victoria.
    For the media , the old world is fast passing.
    How many will adapt and survive in the new order of cheap universal information and knowledge access?

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    tom0mason

    And so Galileo Galilei you have the temerity to question Pope Science?
    :-)

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    Nobias

    I am no longer a reader of Popular Science but as I remember, it reported the scientific investigations of others and did not undertake scientific research on its own accord. If my recollection is correct then I think that its mission statement is appropriate. Therefore, the criticism that it acts unscientifically:

    ‘A scientist’s job is not to “spread the word of ‘science’ “, it’s to find the truth.”

    is a tough one, unless it has behaved in such a way as not to take a neutral position or, for example, to allow its readers from hearing in equal emphasis, opposing views.

    10

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Nobias,

      I understand why you’ve quite reading PopSci. They always had a rather shallow treatment of subjects tailored to a general audience not very astute about the details. But then I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up a copy in a hospital waiting room recently and it actually had an interesting article about the discovery of the Higgs Boson that was enabled by the monster particle accelerator buried under Cern, Switzerland. There wasn’t a mathematical treatment to be sure but it actually dealt with a nontrivial physics discovery in a way that went beyond what I had been used to seeing in PopSci.

      So I guess that sometimes they get a little deeper than usual. Or maybe they’ve improved their act somewhat. On the other hand, the rest of that issue was a waste as far as real interest.

      I’m still in doubt that the money spent to find that Boson is justified in terms of return to the taxpayers who enabled it with their hard earned money.

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        Joe V.

        What else would you have fed the (Higgs) scientists on in the meantime Roy ?

        10

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          Roy Hogue

          What else would you have fed the (Higgs) scientists on in the meantime Roy ?

          Joe,

          That’s an entirely fair question. So don’t mistake my intent. It isn’t just to stop the physics research.

          I wouldn’t necessarily feed them on anything. I could hope instead that a lot more of our money would go toward research into the prevention, treatment and search for a cure for diabetes, which is a slow agonizing killer. You can add many others to that list, like cancer and AIDS. Then there are our real pollution problems that still need attention. The list is long.

          Of course, this change of emphasis might leave some of the physicists high and dry, or… …force them into working on solutions to those real pollution problems.

          I note with considerable respect that it’s entirely possible for the the work done on the Higgs field to lead to whole new technologies in the future that would be very beneficial. On the other hand, that position is highly speculative at the moment. It’s like the position many have used to shoot down criticism of the lunar landing program — it spawned a big leap forward in technology. My argument is that those things would have happened anyway. Probably slower of course but the incentive was already there so it would have happened because the commercial and military market was there. Witness the skyrocket success of Apple, all made possible by the integrated circuit, which was not spawned by the lunar program even though development was probably accelerated by it.

          I’m not particularly a critic of the space program by the way.

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            Retired now

            I could hope instead that a lot more of our money would go toward research into the prevention, treatment and search for a cure for diabetes, which is a slow agonizing killer. You can add many others to that list, like cancer and AIDS.

            I’ve seen concerns similar to these expressed a number of times on this site, even from Jo herself. If you think climate “science” is bad then turn the same critical eye to medical science. I had a year’s sabbatical where I was able to sink myself into medical research outside of my main area of enquiry and was horrified to find that the research was about the same level of science as climate science. Bad. And the research is driven by drug company marketers who have refined defining the research question and method down to such a fine art that they will get the result they want and by using marketing methods apply minuscule results to whole populations otherwise not shown to be beneficial. The level of corruption is so bad that dealing with climate science trolls is like taking candy from a baby in comparison.

            And sadly I’ve seen people who lump AGW supporters in with those who question the medical establishment. Horror of horrors when I looked for research supporting the use of vaccines (I was a supporter of vaccination until then) I couldn’t actually find it. Every time I asked a vaccination supporter for evidence all I got was marketing hype and ad hominem attacks. So with a lack of evidence it also has gone on my “suspect list” of treatments along with everything else I looked at during my sabbatical.

            I remain skeptical of all claims of efficacy and effectiveness in medical treatment as a result.

            10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Retired now,

              Like you, I’m skeptical about a lot of things. The world of preventive medicine is particularly a joke. I’m suddenly faced with all manner of “experts” telling me I’m in deep doo-doo if I don’t stop doing all the things I’m doing and start doing all the things I’m not doing. I’m told I need everything from pro-biotics and Co-Q-Ten (I don’t even know what that is) to huge doses of vitamin C every day to stay healthy. How did I ever manage to reach nearly 3/4 of a century without all that expert advice? I never had a bit of any of that stuff even available. So I know exactly what you’re talking about.

              The question now is what can we do about it? I think the proposal I made several threads back to make a whole lot less government money available for research would go a long way. It would force better prioritization, management and oversight of what’s being done — or at least has a much better chance of that happening. The side benefit would be a lot more money staying in the hands of those who worked for it and have the right to use it for their own benefit. For what private industry does it’s a matter of getting back to healthy skepticism about claims by someone who want’s to sell you something. We need to teach our children critical thinking. Maybe let’s call it analytical thinking — demand the evidence first.

              I sat by watching Michael Landon — a man who didn’t succumb to the Hollywood fame syndrome but remained rather humble, who managed his life well, a man I respected — die of colon cancer all the time believing that coffee enemas were going to help him. I wanted to slap him across the face to wake him up. As tragic as his situation was, I couldn’t stand the foolish remedy he was publicly touting as beneficial right up to the end. How many others will now try something that won’t help them?

              Yes! It’s really bad and the real culprit is us. :-(

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                Retired now: While I am not a fan of many vaccinations, the resurgence of whooping cough deaths in babies would seem to indicate value in said vaccine. As for chicken pox, shingles, flu, etc, not so much. Maybe measles–the nasty kind, not the 3 day ones. I do wonder if so many vaccinations in young children mess with their immune systems. Preventing really bad diseases made sense, then we started on the “inconvenient ones”, like chicken pox, because of day care. Parents did not want sick kids. The shingles vaccine is especially problematic–60% efficient or less, for a disease you have a 33% chance of getting (I’ve had them, by the way). But the commercials are designed to maximize fear of the disease. It can cause permanent nerve damage, but it’s not that common.

                Roy: Michael Landon went with coffee enemas? When my dad had lung cancer, my “naturalist” brother wanted him to try that (my dad did not follow the suggestion). I sounded bizarre to me.

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                Roy Hogue

                Roy: Michael Landon went with coffee enemas?

                Right up until he couldn’t do anything at all.

                But for really bizarre try this (no! don’t actually do it). Now we have our teenagers and college students doing it with drugs and alcohol. According to what I’ve seen, an amount of alcohol that might get you rip roaring drunk by mouth, would be absorbed so fast in the colon that it could be fatal. You would pass out before you could do anything about it. It’s common enough that it got mentioned on Law and Order SVU as a cause of death by the medical examiner — something they just absolutely had to stick in as a sidebar to the main plot.

                People will do some awesomely stupid things. Bizarre is not even close to the right description.

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            Geoffrey Cousens

            Roy;genetically modified pigs were created years ago to supply cheap insulin only to be banned by greeies.

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              Geoffrey Cousens

              Whoops,thats greenies.

              10

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              Roy Hogue

              Insulin was once thought to be the magic solution to diabetes. Just take the right amount every day at the right time and go on with your life happily ever after. In reality it turned out to be more like slapping a bandage on an ulcerated sore. Yeah, you protect it from infection. But you don’t treat the root cause and your problem persists, gets worse and finally it takes your life.

              Is that an exaggeration? Not really! Insulin is not much more than a bandage that slows down the real problem and hides the insidious behind the scenes work of the disease, putting off the inevitable but not stopping it. If you become diabetic and you don’t die from accident or age related problems first, you are guaranteed to die from the many complications of the disease. And having lived through this — my first wife was diabetic — I feel compelled to say, it isn’t pretty.

              A diabetic today has the benefit of better management and has a much better chance than the diabetic of 20 or 25 years ago. But the basic problem is still there. The cause is only suspected, not known. There is no cure, only speculation about what might be possible. And this disease is much more prevalent than you think. Go into any room full of people and ask the diabetics to raise a hand. If they’re honest you’ll be profoundly surprised.

              I apologize to any diabetics reading this if I appear to be alarmist. But this is a real problem affecting millions as I write this, not smoke and mirrors BS or theoretical research into sub atomic particles.

              Sheri, I know you’re diabetic because you’ve said so and though you didn’t say it I believe you realize that what I’ve just said is the truth.

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                I agree to some extent. So far, I have been fortunate to not have complications. I knew diabetics who did. The type 2 explosion is a very serious problem. Type 2 tend to get more complications because it can be a long time before they get a correct diagnosis. Type 1 is pretty dramatic–you know right away you have that.
                There is an article in PopSci (since that’s the topic!) on an “artificial pancreas” — only it’s not really such. It’s a pump that is smart enough to stop putting out insulin when one’s blood sugar drops too low (as it often does in the middle of the night). That’s a far cry from a pancreas, which knows when to release insulin and how much. People ask my why I don’t get a pump–”it’s just like your own pancreas”. My pancreas, when it worked, was much smarter than a pump currently is. Roy is correct that often people think you just take insulin and everything is okay. But if you are “brittle” like I am, your blood sugars can vary wildly and you have little control over it. You learn to deal with and make the best of it but you’re still dealing with a chronic illness.

                As for research, I know diabetes can be very bad, but I also watched (long distance) high school classmates die of cancer before age 50. One went through chemo at least twice. She looked so tired and worn out at the end (she also had a husband die). So I guess I would throw in we need to study all the nasty diseases–cancer, MS, MD, cystic fibrosis, etc. that plague humanity.

                While looking for the Higgs-Bosen may be fascinating, it seems of little practical value. Unless theoretical physics is on a subject that can eventually be weaponized (like the current nuclear missiles and bombs), perhaps we should spend a bit less looking for the beginning of the universe and start paying more attention to the universe we live in now.

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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                To that list I added cancer, AIDS and by inference, a lot of other problems that plague the human race and are not presently curable or even preventable by any effective means. AIDS, of course, is preventable by avoiding promiscuous behavior. But hormones overrule judgment all too frequently.

                Diabetes simply happens to be something that has affected me personally and dramatically. And now my son is also diabetic. He’s doing well and taking care of himself. But as a father I can’t ever give up caring, even to the point where sometimes it’s very painful emotionally.

                I’m profoundly glad to hear that you are free of complications and I hope it continues that way.

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                I will fully admit my preferences are emotion-based. The person from high school was someone I was very fond of. Many of my high school class members have died of cancer before age 55. So that affects me. I really have not known that many diabetics. The two diabetics that were in high school when I was both died of low blood sugars–at young ages. I would think that most people are drawn to curing specific illnesses because people they know died from that disease. That’s what fund-raising is often geared too. It just means we’re human!

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        wayne, s. Job

        Roy if your read the real results of the Higgs Bosun you will find that it was a last minute before they were shut down moment. The discovery was similar to 97% of scientists believe in global warming using similar statistics. Thus for me their imaginary particle remains imaginary like many of their friends with charm and spin borrowed from the Aether that according to them does not exist, but some how does when they need it.

        If billions was spent on a pet project that you propounded and nothing was found what would you do? PANIC

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          Roy Hogue

          If billions was spent on a pet project that you propounded and nothing was found what would you do? PANIC

          I’m no theoretical physicist and I certainly don’t follow it seriously. But I got curious yesterday and did some reading on the Higgs Boson — the Internet is a gold mine if you want reading material. Most of it is simply too deep for me. I can get what they think the thing is and what it supposedly does. But the theoretical basis for believing it’s there and describing its interactions is beyond me (my physics background ended with quarks). So my opinion about it hasn’t much weight. But I’ll offer it anyway and see if anyone agrees with me.

          Both what you said above and what I read reinforce my general impression for a long time that scientists all too easily build mountains of “fact” from the proverbial mole hill of evidence. There appear to be a lot more questions than answers.

          You can easily put climate science in that category as you said.

          It did immediately occur to me that the Higgs Field looks mighty like the Aether that the Michelson–Morley experiment shot full of holes.

          The real problem with all this is that it’s so far removed from the concerns of we ordinary every day mortals that we have no reason to give a hoot about it. We even have some reason be outright resentful of the money being spent that way. Finding the Higgs Field isn’t going to buy a diabetic’s insulin, pay the mortgage or pay to train and equip the doctor you need when your life hangs in the balance.

          So we need better priorities.

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    Eddie Sharpe

    I’d never noticed Popular Science until this hoo ha.
    I’m sure it wasn’t done for publicity, but any overtures towards reducing audience interaction can have that effect. They will possibly see a blip in interest.
    A quick shuftee at their front page suggests it is populist junk though, designed to appeal to a movie generation.
    Meet Cady Coleman, The Astronaut Who Taught Sandra Bullock How To Look Cool In A Spacesuit

    Need I look deeper ?

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    janama

    well we have our own science magazines here in Australia. One of the leading ones is Australian Science.

    Here’s is what they are reporting about the latest IPCC report.

    http://www.australasianscience.com.au/article/issue-october-2013/experts-respond-ipccs-5th-report-climate-change.html

    30

    • #
      janama

      BTW – one of the two Patrons for this magazine is our own ABC’s Robyn Williams.

      30

      • #
        janama

        I picked one of the scientists at random – here’s his profile:

        Dr Gary Hawkins
        Job Title:
        Principal Research Fellow

        Gary received his PhD from the University of Reading in 1999 for research in the area of optical thin film engineering, with a thesis on the optical characterisation and application of absorptive and dispersive mechanisms to infrared filter materials for predictive multilayer filter design modelling. He is a Chartered Physicist and Member of the Institute of Physics (1994), a Member of the Optical Society of America (1995) and a Member of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (1999). Gary has worked at the University of Reading since 1985, during which time he has been actively involved and responsible for many projects in the specialist design, research and fabrication of precision infrared optical filters and coatings for the astronomical, atmospheric and planetary remote sounding instrumentation communities. He has authored and co-authored over 30 journal and conference papers and published one book on the effects of Space exposure on infrared filters and materials (ISBN 07049 04098). He has occupied the appointment as Head of the Infrared Multilayer Laboratory since 2002 and is a Principal Research Fellow at the University.

        20

        • #
          janama

          How about this doozy.

          Dr Emily Shuckburgh, British Antarctic Survey

          Arctic sea ice has declined significantly and new research is starting to shed light how this affects our weather in the UK. The Antarctic Peninsula has seen significant warming and the breakup of a number of its ice shelves. The Southern Ocean around Antarctica has warmed throughout its depth. And it has now been possible to estimate the contribution of melting of the polar ice sheets to sea level rise.

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          • #
            AndyG55

            “The Southern Ocean around Antarctica has warmed throughout its depth’

            Which is causing the sea ice to increase….

            30

          • #
            Angry

            The Antarctic ice sheet has not been losing mass—the East Antarctic ice sheet, which contains about 90% of the world’s fresh water, is not melting–it’s growing! The same is true for Antarctic shelf ice. The only part of Antarctica that may be losing ice is the West Antarctic Peninsula, which contains less than 10% of Antarctic ice. Temperature records at the South Pole show no warming since records began in 1957.

            Some melting has occurred in Greenland during the 1978-1998 warming, but that is not at all unusual. Temperatures in Greenland were warmer in the 1930s than during the recent warming…

            Arctic sea ice declined during the 1978-1998 warm period, but has waxed and waned in this way with every period of warming and cooling so that is not in any way unusual. Arctic sea ice expanded by 60% in 2013…. The total extent of global sea ice has not diminished in recent decades.

            Read More Here:-

            http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/andrewbolt/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/unspinning_the_ipcc_alarmism/

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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Very well qualified in his field – somebody we can respect.

          But remind me, what is the definition of “Climate Scientist” again?

          10

    • #
      Joe V.

      From that link:-
      Dr Richard Allan of the University of Reading said:

      On the slowdown:

      “…. heat has continued to accumulate within the oceans since 2000 – at a rate equivalent to over 250 billion 1kiloWatt electric heaters spread across the planet – consistent with rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.”

      Blimey, that would be almost 1800 heaters for every square mile of ocean, while we thought plastic bottles were a problem.
      I guess that explains why they all sunk to the bottom then, unlike the plastic bottles.

      Isn’t Richard Allen the one that famously describes Global Warming as:
      s proceeding in “lumps & bumps” ?

      40

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I think Dr. Allan is overheating. ;-)

        40

      • #
        Eddie Sharpe

        Give the guy a break. I guess it’s more tasteful than attempting to portray it in equivalents of Hiroshima bombs, even though he tends to use SkS as a source.

        20

      • #
        AndyG55

        “at a rate equivalent to over 250 billion 1kiloWatt electric heaters spread across the planet ”

        but think of all the yummy CO2 released in powering them :-)

        20

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        … heat has continued to accumulate within the oceans since 2000.

        Eureka! There is the answer. Global warming/climate change is caused by the Y2K millenium bug.

        20

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Obviously.
          Y2K was fixed by adding 2 digits, so Climate “scientists” have been adding arbitrary numbers to those recorded in order to fix the problem of reality not matching theory.

          10

        • #
          Eddie Sharpe

          NZ was one of the first places that it hit, so they’ve been dealing with it longest.

          Is this guy serious ? He implies a lot , mentioning the measurement buoys, but on that amount of warming he’s just flying a kite. Blaming the deep ocean, because there’s insufficient evidence there .

          ,

          20

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    klem

    “equivalent to over 250 billion 1kiloWatt electric heaters spread across the planet..”

    Is this supposed to dumb it down so the lay person can understand it? I haven’t a clue what 250 billion electric heaters would look like.

    A few months ago, didn’t they come up with the Hiroshima bomb equivalent? We all laughed and called it the Hiroshima metric, and it quickly disappeared from the blogosphere. Now this one is even worse, it might be called the electric heater metric. Lol!

    10

  • #
    Eddie Sharpe

    The kilowatt electric fire is a metric that most people can easily relate to, from when electric fires had bars anyway. 250 billion is still meaningless to most people though. That’s just 4.5 one kw electric fires per standard sized (6,400squ m) football pitch. As most of these fires have at least 2 bars though, it is less than 3 domestic electric fires per football pitch (1 for each goalie a small one for the ref. perhaps)..

    Compared to the power in daylight that’s is nothing.

    .

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    scaper...

    Well, there are a few heaters in the Arctic Ocean. Along the Gakkel Ridge.

    The publications in the link might be an interesting read but off to Bribie Island to take some solar readings and to look for the heat in the ocean.

    I should apply for a study grant and charge lunch at the pub to the taxpayer.

    00

  • #
    Sunray

    Sadly, I have seen this treachery before, just insert a few “running dog lackeys” in the script for a trip back in time. Well, I suppose it is off to the Re-education Camps for many of the commenters herein.

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    Ross

    I’m sure I have read of these sort of “studies” been done before but it is worth repeating. From Andrew Bolt’s blog we have a report of a study into peer reveiw of a fake study/ paper and what happened to it.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/peer_reviewed_nonsense/

    They say the study was done on “open access” journals
    (these are ones that don’t have subscriptions) so maybe it is a sort of “rear guard” action study by the established mainstream Journals.
    No matter which you look at it , it makes a mockery of peer review and all the importance placed on it by the IPCC and thw warmist crowd.

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    pat

    worse than stopping comments is the MSM’s failure to inform the public about negative CAGW policy stories, especially those that expose failure or manipulation in the carbon dioxide trading market. MSM subscribes to Reuters, yet won’t even pubish such stuff as this:

    Nasdaq OMX axes CO2 market maker programme over poor results
    LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX has terminated its lucrative European carbon market maker programme due to disappointing results, the company said Friday, after its share of trade all but disappeared…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2617524?&ref=searchlist

    EU pins carbon market reform to backloading, narrows options: sources
    LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Further reforms to the EU’s carbon market will not be put forward unless lawmakers agree on plans to temporarily delay sales of CO2 permits, the European Commission’s top climate official told a meeting this week, sources said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2617240?&ref=searchlist

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    pat

    on the other hand, MSM rushes to publish Reuters’ spin on the aviation emissions story, which is actually about the EU’s humiliating BACKDOWN, & vague plans to do or not do something in the future:

    5 Oct: SMH: Reuters: UN aviation body reaches emissions deal
    The United Nations body in charge of civil aviation has reached a consensus on a market-based system to curb carbon emissions from airlines by 2020, but rejected a proposal to let Europeapply its own plan to foreign carriers in the meantime…
    The resolution sets up steps the ICAO’s 200 or so member states need to take between now and the next assembly in 2016…
    Until then, many delegates will look back fondly on their time in Quebec’s largest city. Talks were brightened by an average of three cocktail parties per night hosted by different countries, some of whom were angling to win a coveted seat on ICAO’s 36-member governing council.
    Diplomacy and good will were in full force during the first week, when representatives of countries at policy loggerheads clinked glasses of Singapore Slings, or chatted over plates of sushi, samosas and other national dishes…
    The committee agreed to “develop a global MBM (market-based mechanism) scheme for international aviation” in 2016, as decided by the ICAO’s governing council in early September.
    ***But ICAO Assembly president Michel Wachenheim amended the text to reflect requests made by some developing countries, including India, to say the 2016 decision should take into account the “environmental and economic impacts” of different global MBM options, “including feasibility and practicability.”…
    IATA plans to work with the ICAO’s governing council over the next three years to design a scheme…
    Europe wanted the ICAO to help shore up the continent’s ETS, which is central to its climate policy and requires all airlines using EU airports to pay for emissions.
    Analysts say the European Parliament could reject the Montreal package, but would have to act quickly to endorse any extension of the European Commission’s decision to “stop the clock” on its law in time for an April 2014 deadline.
    Some environmentalists felt let down by the outcome.
    Friday’s agreement lacked the “guts” that the environmental community has been looking for from the aviation industry, said Bill Hemmings, program manager for aviation and shipping for Brussels-based environmental group Transport & Environment.
    “After all was said and done, much was said and not much was done,” Hemmings added.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/un-aviation-body-reaches-emissions-deal-20131005-2v0ep.html

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    pat

    the scientific argument will always be framed as partisan by the MSM, but everyone understands the costs:

    5 Oct: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: Carbon tax too expensive’, says industry
    Ministers are under renewed pressure to scrap their controversial green “carbon tax” after delays in European Union state aid left British heavy industry without promised protection from the costs of the levy.
    Tata Steel and BASF have warned that the so-called carbon price floor — levied on fossil fuels used in power generation — is putting them at a competitive disadvantage.
    The Government promised that energy-intensive industries would be offered a £100m compensation package to protect them from the unilateral tax, which was introduced last April.
    But the compensation has been held up for several months awaiting EU state aid approval, with businesses already facing millions of pounds in costs. ..
    If approval were rejected, it could call the whole tax into question. Industry hopes that the Government may be prompted to review the tax, especially after the Conservatives indicated that they were looking to mitigate rising energy costs in the wake of Ed Miliband’s price freeze pledge.
    “We shouldn’t put British industry at a disadvantage against Europe and the US: for our manufacturers this would be assisted suicide,” Michael Fallon, the energy minister, said last week…
    Andrew Mayer, head of UK public affairs for BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, which employs about 2,000 people in Britain, said: “Without clarity on state aid approval for energy intensive rebates from the CPS [carbon tax] we are facing a 5pc rise in our energy costs today and 20pc from April 2015.
    “Even with that clarity, many of our customers and smaller sites are still facing that increase. It is an unsustainable policy that is damaging UK competitiveness. It should be scrapped,” he continued…
    The carbon tax was originally intended to encourage new low-carbon power plants such as wind farms and nuclear sites by making it increasingly expensive to run coal and gas works that emit carbon.
    But it has failed to secure the low-carbon investment — with ministers now offering developers additional subsidy packages — and critics say it simply serves to push up the price of electricity…
    Tony Cocker, chief executive of energy supplier E.On, has described it as a “stealth poll tax” that would hand windfall gains to existing nuclear plants. In a meeting with business leaders in February, before becoming energy minister, Mr Fallon called the carbon tax “a fairly absurd waste of your money”, mistakenly saying that the policy had been inherited from Labour. …
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10358461/Carbon-tax-too-expensive-says-industry.html

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      Eddie Sharpe

      Tata, isn’t that Pachy’s outfit, who’ll be threatening to leave Britain again if they don’t get their way. ? Its all right for them but sod the British public, just compensate the big industries so it can go straight back to the industrialists in India who need it more, or they’ll just take the jobs to India ?

      Meanwhile the lame Tories in Govt., talk platitudes against the tax while waiting for the Brussels bureaucrats of the European Commission to do something about allowing compensation. I can see the EC falling over itself to come up with a solution (Not).

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    pat

    hilarious!

    3 Oct: Bloomberg: India’s Ultra-Mega Solar Plant to Sell Record-Low Power
    India plans to sell power at a record-low rate from a 4-gigawatt solar photovoltaic farm that will more than double the nation’s sun-powered capacity.
    Six state-owned companies, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) and Power Grid Corp. (PWGR) of India Ltd., will form a joint venture to build the first gigawatt by the end of 2016 and sell their output at a maximum 5,500 rupees ($89) per megawatt-hour…
    ***The price is 10 rupees cheaper than the lowest solar power bid in India …
    The venture will receive a government grant, Kapoor said in New Delhi, without elaborating…
    The rate at which the joint venture will sell power compares with 4,500 rupees per megawatt-hour charged by new coal power plants…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-03/india-s-ultra-mega-solar-plant-to-sell-record-low-power.html

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      janama

      The venture will receive a government grant, Kapoor said in New Delhi, without elaborating…

      yeah sure – cheap power!

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    pat

    comments closed on this blog thread at Scientific American:

    5 Oct: ScientificAmericanBlog: David Wogan: Surplus fossil fuels make it even harder to stay within our carbon budget
    Kevin Bullis has written a smart piece at MIT Technology Review about how mankind is likely to blow by the 1-trillion ton carbon budget…
    Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the IPCC report, thinks we’ll hit that trillionth ton around 2040…
    We have now entered a period of energy surplus where we produce energy from “unconventional sources” using technological breakthroughs like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing…
    We’re still in the early stages with unconventional fuels. As Charles C. Mann articulated in his story for The Atlantic: “we will never run out of oil.” Now, “never” isn’t the word I would choose, but in the time scales that we’re concerned with (years, decades, centuries), I’m inclined to side with Mann: there are plenty of fossil fuels in the ground (and under the sea if you consider methane hydrates). Before long, unconventional fuels will be considered conventional. And we haven’t even tapped into what’s recoverable with heating actual shale deposits for fuel.
    If the world should be decarbonizing, and rather quickly according to the latest IPCC report (again, 1-trillion ton budget!), a surplus of fossil fuels is not exactly the news you want to hear…
    (STRANGE CONCLUSION?) The decision is ours then, not on geology or other natural constraints. It’s up to us to craft policies, develop trade agreements, or implement technologies that keep us within our carbon budget in a period of fossil fuel abundance.
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/10/05/surplus-fossil-fuels-make-it-even-harder-to-stay-within-our-carbon-budget/

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    Nathan

    No problem Fly, I thought if it got posted it would take a tangent from the main debate here on this blog. You all do such a good job I will take it on the chin. :-)

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    mem

    “bedrock scientific doctrine” = the science is settled = you will accept and not dispute! Now where did I hear that before? Ah yes,the now ex Australian PM Ms Julia Gillard when introducing the disasterous carbon tax (soon to be no more) which is where Popular Science is now headed.

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    Leon

    Future publication by Popular Science:
    “Green Energy–The Maginot Line Against Global Warming”
    Dissenting opinions not allowed…..

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    New Scientist recently published a serious article on a perpetual motion machine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EmDrive

    Most modern science publications are a joke.

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    blackadderthe4th

    [Your opinion is what interests people here] as is communicated here!

    ‘5 Things We Learned About Climate Change’

    ‘Last week from 258 scientists from 39 countries, came together to tall us about the planet. They were and are the IPCC…for giving world leaders hard facts about GW so that they make informed decisions…2200 page of facts…and the media, you know how they are…that’s why we are here…if there is just 5 things you need to know what 200 plus scientist said about the climate, it is this!

    1. The warming of the planet…indisputable…in fact some of the changes haven’t occurred in hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of years…for one thing the last three decades have been the warmest since 1850 and in the Northern hemisphere it’s been the warmest stretch in 14 centuries…snow and ice have shrunk and sea levels have risen…

    [It was as warm 1000 years ago. WArmer 7000 and 120,000, and 5 million, and etc etc years ago. Yawn. Jo]

    2. A supposed period of 15 years pause…well internet buddies there was no pause…so warming happened, but you wouldn’t know that by reading some of the headlines…anyway…another key point the panel makes all these key points is that all these climate trends…

    The pause refers to the surface. The Met Office, Pachauri, everyone except BA acknowledges this and most admit the models didn’t predict that – JO]

    3. …with rise in GHG, gases that trap HEAT…now at levels that haven’t been seen in 800,000 years…to put in to context levels are 40% higher than the industrial revolution, late 1700s…the panel point out all these changes also changes we are making ourselves

    [Correlation is not causation - Jo]

    4, Yes global warming is all about us…it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid 20th c…the panel put the warming at 95%-100%

    [Yep. Foreign committee set up to find a crisis -- finds one -- with models that have serious flaws. - Jo]

    5. Finally it is virtually certain that there will be more extremes…temperature rises are likely to be 0.3 and 0.7…but if we keep farting out…co2 and methane…more concentrated we could be looking at a planet 4.8C hotter…I’m not here to lecture or the IPCC…but just hope the world leaders take time to take attention…’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGG7JGT4Fdo

    [not links to pages that they have already seen] well 1 gets you 50 they haven’t seen this one! Because the chances are the average person who frequents your site would not be looking out for this sort of information.

    [You are going over old ground.], if I am, then that is because the same old myths against AGW are are been put forward as evidence!

    [the logic behind your reasoning] pretty bleeding obvious and I refer you to the last link! Because, for one, that site deals with many different subjects and is logical! As you would see if you subscribed.

    FAO Jo
    [and I've never argued that a tiny concentration can't have any effect? - Jo] but your visitors to this site wouldn’t agree. And I haven’t seen statements on this site that you are in agreement that tiny amounts, of co2, can have drastic effects. For example global warming. It could be worthwhile if you came out with a statement making your position clear, in fact that could be the subject of your next blog!]

    BA I’ve said many times that CO2 probably causes some warming. I have never promoted the “it’s tiny” line. No I don’t feel like jumping through hoops for you. – Jo]

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    Last week politicians got together to tell us the planet was warming. This was the POLICY document and 100% political. Perhaps you cannot tell science from politics??? Oh wait, the preponderance of evidence says that you certainly cannot properly identify science and differentiate it from politics and no comprehensive theory to the contrary has ever been proposed, let alone proven.

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