Bad Science, Politics and Magical Thinking

from website Compoundchem.com archive, April, 2014

How Bad Science and Emotional Appeals Spread Disinformation.

In today’s world, there is more false and misleading “information” than there is good science that is based on facts and not emotions and mythical or wishful beliefs. Much of what you see is either false or overblown. How can you know what to believe? It’s easy for me to say “Do your own research,” but that is often asking too much of most people who do not have analytical minds which have a habit of using critical thinking, much less have training in interpretation of scientific testing and results.  Today’s sensational and social media agenda are often driven by emotions, ideologies, politics, commercial aims or just plain stinking thinking.  The image above can help you understand factors that are important to discern fact from fiction, speculation and mythology.

Anecdotal stories do not constitute facts. Correlation does not mean causation. The flawed reasoning goes something like this: John ate a lot of apples. John got heart disease or cancer. Therefore, apples (or some chemical on them) caused John to develop heart disease or cancer. More examples of people who ate apples and got heart disease or cancer do not constitute proof that they cause disease.  Correlation does not mean causation. Maybe it is just two unrelated facts that are paired for sensational effect or to intentionally mislead you.

In humans, there are a lot of lifestyle and workplace differences between people, so one factor (apple) cannot be said to be a cause of anything without taking into consideration what else could contribute or cause the effect. Other factors such as obesity, alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, sleep habits, age, heredity, other risky behavior, etc. have to be ruled out in closely controlled studies. Small numbers of examples that seem to support the premise do not constitute “clinical trials” or proof.  To be statistically significant, very large numbers must be included along with control groups that do not use the suspected substance, preferably in a double blind study.  (double blind means neither the subject or the person giving the substance know which are real and which are placebo so their attitude cannot affect the result.)  I’m sorry, but Reader’s Digest and Facebook “statistics” are often flawed and any conclusions must be questioned and examined closely, even if it seems to come from a reliable source or even your grandmother.

It is wise to consider the source. There are powerful advocacy groups pushing agendas having nothing to do with real science or caring for your safety, which they claim.  These include anti-vaxx, organic anti-modern agriculture, anti-pesticide, anti-fossil fuel, in general anti-human progress groups that influence national and international agencies to act out of a preponderance of caution. The precautionary principle, used in the European Union, stops all progress in its tracks. If a substance with no presently known safety issues may possibly, conceivably cause some unforeseen harm in the future it cannot be used. It is also unscientific because it demands proving a negative.

Word to the wise: Be cautious and suspicious of any health claim you read or hear about.  There is often an agenda driven ideology or money-making scheme behind it.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.                             —H. L. Menchen

 

 

 

 

How sensitive is the climate to greenhouse gases? — Watts Up With That?

Nicholas Lewis gave a keynote lecture with the Title “How sensitive is the climate to greenhouse gases?” – Is it really necessary to reach zero emissions in 2050? At our “Ontgroeningsdag” event on 7 March 2019 in Amsterdam. Video follows.

via How sensitive is the climate to greenhouse gases? — Watts Up With That?

Another climate panic collapses: recent harsh winters have killed off invasive pine beetles thought to be linked to global warming — Watts Up With That?

by Dr. Roger Roots, Lysander Spooner University A decade ago, folks in northern states such as Minnesota, South and North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho were watching large swaths of their pine forests die off due to invasive pine beetles. The pine beetles bored beneath the bark of pine trees and introduced a fungus and…

via Another climate panic collapses: recent harsh winters have killed off invasive pine beetles thought to be linked to global warming — Watts Up With That?

NASA hides page saying the Sun was the primary climate driver, and clouds and particles are more important than greenhouse gases — NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood Repost from Jo Nova: The NASA site used to have a page titled “What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?“. In 2010 this page said that the Sun is the major driver of Earth’s climate, that it controls all the major aspects, and we may be on the cusp […]

via NASA hides page saying the Sun was the primary climate driver, and clouds and particles are more important than greenhouse gases — NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

Stop The Climate Stupidity — The Wentworth Report

Stop The Climate Stupidity, by David Archibald. David lets rip in a longish lecture about what he thinks is likely to go on with climate and energy. Names some names on the Australian political scene. Let’s start with the question “has the world warmed?” The place to begin is global sea ice area. This is […]

via Stop The Climate Stupidity — The Wentworth Report

UN IPCC Scientist blows whistle on lies about climate, sea level — Tallbloke’s Talkshop

Quoting from the report: ‘Mörner, meanwhile, cautioned promoters of the man-made warming hypothesis that they were going to ultimately be exposed, with catastrophic consequences for the scientific community.’ The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) is misleading humanity about climate change and sea levels, explained Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, the retired head of […]

via UN IPCC Scientist blows whistle on lies about climate, sea level — Tallbloke’s Talkshop

UN Interferes in Canada & Australia — Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Lecturing democratic nations. How dare they.

via UN Interferes in Canada & Australia — Big Picture News, Informed Analysis