Posts filed under “UnScience”
So I get this email from a colleague today offering me “proof” that global warming is a scam. His “overwhelming evidence”?
Wow, 49 Scientists? That’s really impressive (at first glance!) Let’s see if it holds up to scrutiny.
Whenever I see a single number out of context, it makes my Spidey sense twitch. What is the significance of subset 49? What is the parent set – 50? 100? 1000? 18,000? 50,000?
To put this into some context, let’s look at the data. NASA currently employs 18,000 people. In the 1970s, half of their employees had professional degrees. Let’s ballpark it down to about a third of these folks today are scientists or engineers. Since NASA began in 1958 with 8,000 workers, they have many tens of thousands of employees. I can’t guess how many — 40,000, 50,000 people? And many of those were scientists and engineers.
Of all these people, living and dead, 49 got together and wrote a letter.
Now that we have some context, that strength of the initial participation looks rather silly. These 49 people — only one of whom is an actual meteorologist — are an extremely tiny percentage of current (or former) NASA Employees.
I am always suspicious when I see as single number out of context. It often serves as a tool for deception.
Just another example of confirmation bias at work.
Statistics: Scientific Consensus on Climate Change? (December 31st, 2009)
49 Former NASA Scientists Send A Letter Disputing Climate Change
Business Insider, Apr. 11, 2012
Those of you who have been blog readers for a long time know the uncanny correlation between my travel and market dislocations. The ugliest example was the flight back from Dallas to NY during the flash crash. Landed — hmmmm, down 300 — but had no idea what happened. January 2009, February 2011, August 2011…Read More
Last week, the Wall Street Journal published from a group of anthropogenic climate change deniers — a small group of engineers, retired weathermen, and scientists,
none one of whom worked in the the field of climate science.
A much larger group of scientists, most of whom actually work in the field climate change, submitted a signed letter in response. The cowardly editorial board of the WSJ rejected the rebuttal letter. In response, the pre-eminent science journal Science, known for scientific rigor, decided to published it: “Climate change and the Integrity of Science” (January 27th, 2012). (The WSJ did publish yesterday (Feb 1), a letters to the editors from Kevin Trenberth, a scientist).
Ever since what once was the best paper in the US was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, its value as a source of business news been continuously degraded. I spend more time on the Journal’s many excellent blogs than I do the print paper. And their iPad app sets the bar for media integration into a tablet. I may still read the print Journal, but I am down to 2 sections, Money & Investing and Personal Journal (called Friday/Weekend on those days).
This is a tragedy. Great journalism is becoming increasingly rare, and a vibrant independent press is a necessary part of any Democracy. Not only was the Journal a once great institution, but I have many friends and colleagues who work there — along with an increasingly large roster of those who used to.
Murdoch’s Foxification of the WSJ has reduced its reliability to me as an investor. Its objectivity is is no longer unquestioned. The obvious disregard for facts, for science, and the rabid disregard for Truth in the service of Murdoch’s ideology is slowly poisoning the rest of the paper — it now reaches beyond the OIpEd pages. At a certain unknown point in the future, I fear the entire publication may simply become too untrustworthy for investors to rely upon. At that point, I suspect Bloomberg will buy the FT, put out a US edition, and media watchers will begin the countdown to the final days of the WSJ.
That is a terrible shame. No one should take any delight in the destruction of what was once a great Wall Street institution.
The full list of signatories to the rejected rebuttal are after the jump. And for a slice into the world of cognitive dissonance, check out the comment stream following the published letter to the editor — its hilarious, in a sloping forehead kinda way.
Murdoch’s WSJ Changes Creates Opening for NYT, FT ( April 24th, 2008)
Read It Here First: “De-Financializing” the WSJ (April 28th, 2008)
WSJ Jumps the Shark (January 22nd, 2010)
Read It Here First: WSJ Becomes Fox-ified (July 16th, 2011)
Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal
CEO Pacific Institute, MacArthur Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
Two incontrovertible things: Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real, and the Wall Street Journal is Political Rag
Science Blogs, January 27, 2012
This weekend, the Washington Post published the follow up piece to the Nov 5th Big Lie column. I supplemented that with a run of charts to illustrate the facts I cited. The pushback continues from the usual sources. We can group folks repeating the faux arguments into 3 distinct categories. Some of these reveal disturbing…Read More
Craig Reucassel interviews comedy genius Sacha Baron Cohen in character as his latest creation: climate skeptic Lord Christopher Monckton From boingboing: Australian comedy-news program The Hamster Wheel covers archconservative British politician Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, a Thatcherite climate denier, and former editor for The Sunday Telegraph and other right-wing papers. The Hamster…Read More
Whenever I go off on a rant when writing some critical polemic screed, I try not to edit myself. Just get it all out in print, and we can worry about editing down for style and clarity later. That works especially well if you, as a writer, have a some idea of where you want…Read More
As a longstanding Apple fanboy (circa 1989), I have been following the outpouring of love and affection for Steve Jobs with great interest. I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Steve Jobs’ biographer last night (video here), and I was aghast at something I learned: After Jobs learned of his pancreatic cancer, he delayed surgery…Read More
The answer is No — this appears to be a thoroughly disproven concept.
Hat tip @Lippard for the correction
Water — just a liquid or much more? Many researchers are convinced that water is capable of “memory” by storing information and retrieving it. The possible applications are innumerable: limitless retention and storage capacity and the key to discovering the origins of life on our planet. Research into water is just beginning.
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Discuss: > Source:: A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial NYT, October 2, 2011
Just days after Hurricane Irene swept up the East Coast, causing massive flooding in Vermont and leading to almost 40 deaths, Fox Business Network personality Charles Payne just had to ask, is global warming really to blame?
His guest, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” said there is evidence to suggest it is a result of global warming, but that climatologists will need more time to fully connect the dots. Nye went on to lay out in plain terms some of the facts of climate change, including rising temperatures in the Pacific ocean. The two debated a Newsweek story claiming radical weather is the “new normal,” with Payne asking Nye if that was “irresponsible, or is there any science behind it?”
Well, Nye said, “there’s a lot more science behind it than saying it’s not.”
“The world is getting warmer,” he added. “Everybody, the world is getting warmer.” Nye went on to give some context to former Vice President Al Gore’s remarks comparing global warming skepticism to 20th century racism before Payne said, “you’re confusing our viewers.”
Watch the video:
You’re ‘Confusing Our Viewers’ On Climate Change
Talking Points Memo