Posts filed under “UnScience”
From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, denialists are on the march. Why are so many people refusing to accept what the evidence is telling them?
In this special feature we look at the phenomenon in depth. What is denial? What attracts people to it? How does it start, and how does it spread? And finally, how should we respond to it?
Here is a decidedly contrarian viewpoint, from University of Alabama Professor Dr. Roy Spencer. Prof Spencer notes that the general commentary regarding the BP spill as “the worst environmental disaster in history” is wildly overblown. His graph below is designed to put this spill into perspective. Now, before you wail that he is a global…Read More
Here is a fascinating suggestion — from an economist, yet — on how to reconcile the debate between those who believe Global Warming is real and man-made, versus those who don’t: “To end this political stalemate, Dr. McKitrick proposes calling each side’s bluff. He suggests imposing financial penalties on carbon emissions that would be set…Read More
Wow, the results of this WSJ poll was surprising: > chart courtesy of WSJ > And they teed up the poll with this description: This decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years, the U.N. weather agency reported on the second…Read More
Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA, received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1998 for Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science. His most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004).
Professor Diamond argues that religion has encompassed at least four independent components that have arisen or disappeared at different stages of development of human societies over the last 10,000 years.
Fascinating discussion via Wired‘s Clive Thompson, and Stanford historian of science Robert Proctor, on Agnotology: “When it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases. [Proctor] has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is “the study of culturally constructed ignorance.”…Read More
Law office: http://halestewartlaw.com/
A recent paper by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve has gotten a lot of attention. The paper is titled Facts and Myths About the Financial Crisis of 2008 and it argues there was in fact no credit crisis. Several people have used this paper to argue that Wall Street overstated the severity of the credit crisis in order to get a bail-out they didn’t need. What these commentators have failed to heed is this paper was widely criticized within the financial community, even drawing a rare rebuke from a sister Federal Reserve Bank. In short, to argue there was no credit crisis — to say we were “punked by Wall Street” — flies in the face of every available fact on the crisis.
First, let’s provide some background for this debate. As of this writing 311 lenders have “imploded.” The XLFs — the ETF that tracks the financial sector – is down almost 70% from a high in the summer of 2007. Total credit losses at the world’s financial institutions have totaled 1 trillion dollars:
The gauge is down 46 percent in 2008 as credit losses and writedowns at the world’s largest banks surpassed $1 trillion and the U.S., Europe and Japan entered the first simultaneous recessions since World War II.
In other words, the financial sector’s economic position is terrible at best.
But the evidence runs deeper. About every six weeks the Federal Reserve issues a paper titled “The Beige Book.” This is a book complied from anecdotal evidence from the Federal Reserve Districts on the general economic environment. Every Beige book issued in 2008 has indicated credit conditions were tightening and loan demand was decreasing.
Friday flame bait: Has ever a more pedantic, tedious tome been penned by any theorist before or since Atlas Shrugged? The odious combination of ideological rigidity and academic purity makes for a compelling manifesto for the naive and weak-minded. The work has become the Das Kapital of the 20th century . . . Both were…Read More