Funny how that happens

June 30, 2012

After all the angst over the U.S. not ratifying the Kyoto accords or implementing cap and trade, it turns out CO2 emissions in America are  expected to decline.

So, to summarize, the United States of America basically blew the global greens off completely, trampling all over their carbon tax and cap and trade agendas, and earning wails and shrieks of hatred at the Rio+20 Summit — while making huge strides toward reducing CO2 emission levels.

It’s almost as if there is no connection between the green policy agenda and environmental progress.

Shocking, isn’t it?

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More bad “science”

June 19, 2012

FATTIES are DESTROYING THE WORLD, scream mad professors

Are these scientists really trying to improve public health?

No, they are trying to cut energy usage and thus carbon emissions – for all that this is not their job nor their field of expertise. We can be sure that they don’t know much about energy, in fact, as their saving of 59 kcal/day per adult is tiny: this is 0.07 of a single, measly kilowatt-hour. A human being, for these purposes, can be considered as a mobile space heater using about 3 kilowatt-hours of food energy per day, so the saving on human food energy we could achieve by stunting our kids is just 2.3 per cent.

This is why people don’t trust “science”. It’s stopped being actual science.

TSA screeners spooked by Apple’s ‘futuristic artifact’

related: Dear TSA: I am not your customer

I already wrote my congressman and both senators suggesting a great way to cut the budget would be to eliminate the TSA. I’ll do it again after the next election when I’ll have a new senator (Hutchison is retiring) and a new congressman (because of redistricting.)

Movie review

June 14, 2012

All this week Julia’s been working at Cub Scout Twilight Camp (Texas is too hot for Day Camp) and Andrew has been going to the Tot Lot there. Tonight while they were gone Amanda, David, Jonathan and I watched The Mikado on Netflix. (The 1939 production by the D’Oyly Carte company.) When it was over, Amanda said, “That was the most ridiculous movie I’ve ever seen. It was totally awesome!” Po0h-Bah is her new hero.

Trusting Science

June 12, 2012

Unsettling Science

Corrupt, incompetent scientists? Lax research standards? Systemically flawed peer review processes? These problems, alas, are anything but rare. Stories like Stapel’s, plus reports on thefindings of the evidence-based medicine movement about the unreliability of much medical science, and studies like Leslie John’s in Psychological Science (which revealed that the vast majority of psychologists engaged in questionable research practices and that one in ten falsified data)–not to mention the various alarmist exaggerations of some climate researchers–demonstrate that in many cases scientists have no one but themselves to blame for the loss of public faith in their work. Through laziness, politicization of findings, and outright falsification, the practitioners of some of our most important sciences have discredited their disciplines. Every Stapel and Hauser strengthens the voices of science skeptics — and rightly so.

Read the whole thing.

Real science is still worth trusting. The problem is that when science gained prestige and influence, it started attracting people who wanted those things more than the truth. Science is about reproducible results derived from carefully collected and freely available data, not just what a group of people who call themselves scientists say.

Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.

June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury passed away this morning at age 91. News coverage and more coverage and more coverage, and some thoughts. My favorite book by him was Something Wicked This Way Comes.