Archives for posts with tag: Anthony Watts

I usually just reblog from Anthony’s site, but this one seemed to need a bit more. So, for my friends with concerns regarding GMO and all things modern with respect to food, here is an article where a poor study was published, then retracted, by a science journal.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/28/science-self-corrects-bogus-study-claiming-roundup-tolerant-gmo-corn-causes-cancer-to-be-retracted/

Each of Anthony’s articles is read by thousands (or more) and each garners lots of comments, some from quite knowledgeable people. Sadly, it is not possible, nor polite, to weed through and keep only the good comments. Zeke’s comments are among the best on this topic.

WUWT posts the story pointing out how good science self-corrects. The point of the post is to contrast to climate science articles that get discredited thoroughly, yet they stay published, without retraction. Food and medicine research tend to self correct more than much of science, but there seems to be lots of latitude and variability along the way. Mistakes in food and medicine show up so fast that it cannot help but self-correct. There is also plenty of expertise in these fields, and high-profile. Sadly, these fields are still prone to politicization. It is sad when a disease or an advance in food science becomes politicized because of the delays for good and the protection of the bad. Lots of harm. Politics and science should try hard to stay far apart.

So, my summary of the situation with the GMO food, the peer review process raised lots of questions, but the authors answered. The journal published. (That is how they make their money, after all.) Then there were lots of questions and accusations from the readership. The journal got directly involved, reviewed hard themselves, and realized the reviewers shouldn’t have given up. While the authors still hold to their findings and conclusions, even they admit the results are shaky. Overall, it would appear the study really shows no cause for concern.

An obvious side effect of the publication of results that are at best questionable and inconclusive is that the fear-mongers latched on to it and publicized and raised the alarm bells, heedless of any rather obvious problems in the study.

For me, the subject of GMO is moot and meaningless. Humans have genetically modified everything they could figure out how to, in every way they could figure, for as far back in history as we can discern. For bible scholars, I’ll ask, what do you think Jacob was managing with the cattle betwixt himself and Laban?

We first figured out how to select the varieties that suited us best and promote procreation among those. Our skills improved over the generations. We eventually figured out the science behind it. Then we figured out the genome. At each step we have figured out better, or at least faster, ways to genetically modify organisms, especially those we eat.

It is easy to fear. It is best to simply keep your eyes open and stay alert to new dangers. Making up fears and dangers before they exist is a sure way to live a miserable, low-productivity life.

 

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Anthony Watts rightly makes fun of the Mann-child and the Lewandowskyites here, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/01/mann-and-lewandowsky-go-psychotic-on-skeptics/

Anthony correctly states that the alarmists are losing the argument so they are now trying to suppress dissent. (Not new, actually. It has been part of their tactics from the beginning.)

Anthony correctly points out that this is the tactic the soviets used where they asserted that only crazy people would disagree with them, so those who disagree must be locked away and medicated into oblivion and silence.

I agree with Anthony that the likes of Mann and Lew need professional counseling and help. If they are not yet dangerous to themselves or others, they are likely to be soon. They really seem to need help. The paper sited is truly sad. Emotionalism, not science.  Read the rest of this entry »

Here is another interesting looking book:

How to Cure a Climate Change Denier (Kindle Edition)

by Paul Caruso

Amazon is selling it as a Kindle edition for four bucks.

Anthony points it out on his most-excellent blog, Watts Up With Thathttp://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/30/how-to-cure-a-climate-change-denier/.

The “Look inside” selection has a passage that caught my eye. Since the text is configured to protect it, I’m typing from memory, and my quote below is inexact. Mr. Caruso points out that the “97% consensus” lacks force, and he explains what it is, then he says (approximate quote), “Even if the majority of climate scientists believe in global warming, the majority of priests believe in God.” He then asks what this proves? Does it prove God exists? He wonders if it rather indicates that those who believe in God are more likely to enter the priesthood.

Seems an apt analogy. I like it.

I’m pretty sure that nearly 100% of all holy men (and women) believe in god. They are experts in most every regard, and they are true authorities in the matter. Of course, this variety of holy man disagrees with that variety, but we can major on the similarities for the moment.

What has me irked is I am likened, in anti-Semitic fervor, to a Holocaust denier, while evangelical atheists strut smugly as skeptics, as though the label can only be used in their special sense, as the “It” religion of the day.

Mr. Caruso also points out that researchers follow available funding. At least clergy don’t generally do that. (With some exceptions, of course, some even horrid. That is why the Lord cautioned that one cannot serve both God and money.)

I have a quote below that I pulled from Anthony’s site (WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/26/newsbytes-global-warming-downgraded-james-lovelock-recants/), which he pulled from Bishop Hill (link below), with additional credits, from James Lovelock.

I love that Lovelock says fundamentalists have taken over environmentalism. I think despite the fact that he is a zealot himself, he finally noticed just how religious and dogmatic it all has become. Gaia, Mother Nature, or some ideal of greenness has come to replace God in the modern religion, which is a hybrid of the faith of our fathers, the love of nature, and simple self-worship. Read the rest of this entry »

I watched PBS Frontline earlier tonight, and I wrote the following, and sent it to Frontline comments and the PBS ombudsman.

Being in general conservative, I rarely watch Frontline, as your progressive views offend me, but I heard via Mr. Anthony Watts’ blog of the “Climate of Doubt” episode. I expected a one-sided hit piece. You even exceeded my low expectations. Have you no fact checkers? Could you not review the “97%” claim and read the shoddy paper from which it came? Did any of you read any of the Climategate emails? Do you not realize how impossible it is for the release to have been accomplished by an outsider? We normally hold whistleblowers up as heroes. Have you no one who might look into the facts of history for “funding” of skeptical views on the “science” of global warming? Could you not find the records that compare the billions of dollars funding the “team” and climate research, mostly from tax dollars, versus the thousands directed to skeptical efforts, almost entirely from private sources? What about the global situation versus just here in the USA?

The old saying is “follow the money.” What happened to that?

PBS recently interviewed Anthony Watts. Could none on your staff visit his website and review the breadth of references and discussions there of facts? Did any of your staff read any of the materials put out by the people and organizations you lambasted? If you did, you addressed none of it in the episode.

Dare I point out that we hardly have a consensus in science about such fundamentals as gravity? Do you not understand that arguments from majority and consensus are arguments from authority? Is not argument from authority the basis of religion? Science tests. Science admits ignorance and fallibility. Science checks, and checks again. There is no reveled truth, only reproducible results. Science is never settled. Climate science is hardly more mature and testable than psychology and the other soft sciences; some would say even less mature.

The alarmists and advocates of anthropogenic driven climate change that leads to catastrophe can readily and exactly be compared to religious fundamentalists. The easiest comparison is to the young-earth creationists. The group points to their authority in holy writ. They point to their technical training, degrees, honors, and scientific papers of their cohort, and they hand-wave regarding the circular and incestuous nature of their research and findings depending upon one another and a few agreeable and acceptable “outsiders.” I know this because I have been trying to stand for truth against such beliefs for nearly my entire life.

Truth will out. The facts will triumph. In the end, it will be the alarmists eating crow, or at least needing to. Whether they will ever admit their folly is another matter. (Shockley never admitted eugenics was bogus.)

In the episode it was stated that the sea will win. Of course. It will rise and fall as it always has, higher and lower than we can imagine, and we will deal with it. The facts are clear; sea level is not a problem. Even if it rises enough to matter, it will rise slow enough to deal with without catastrophe nor excessive economic hardship. Mr. Watts collects several sources of factual data here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/ocean-pages/ocean/

Here is an easy to understand perspective on the whole thing: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/12/historical-video-perspective-our-current-unprecedented-global-warming-in-the-context-of-scale/

If you succumb to your prejudice against Mr. Watts, perhaps you will better appreciate PhD geologist, Christopher R. Scotese and his paleomap project, which he started before any global warming controversy, here: http://scotese.com/climate.htm

Dr. Scotese describes his graphic, which clearly shows that the history of earth is MUCH warmer than the alarmists predict for our near future. He states, “During the last 2 billion years the Earth’s climate has alternated between a frigid “Ice House”, like today’s world, and a steaming “Hot House”, like the world of the dinosaurs.”

If you note, during the Tertiary, near the boundary of the early Eocene, the indicated temperature for the global average was approximately 14°C higher than the currently indicated global average. I hardly need to point out that this is much warmer than even the most alarmist of projections. Note also that the early Eocene is when we see the emergence of most modern mammals, including us primates, and ungulates did quite well, perhaps because a warm earth is a green earth.

Regardless of your fast-and-loose attitude to facts, truth, and testable science, and your obvious slant on politics, the most disturbing aspect of the episode to me was the hate. Yes, it is an overused and trite word nowadays, but you treated skeptics, including me, by association and implication, with ridicule and spite. It seems you must have conscientiously intended to make Dr. Singer seem to be a doddering and senile old codger, worthy only of your condescension. Us-versus-them is key to your argument. You alienate and even dehumanize those who refuse to conform to the consensus, establishment view. You imply I am heartless and selfish, focused only on myself and my own present comforts. Note that others are going so far as to medicalize skepticism. There seem to be efforts to lock people like me away as contrarians and deniers, putting us on par with the likes of Ahmadinejad, who for fanatical religious reasons denies the holocaust of WWII. (No one seems to suggest that he be locked away, at least no one from the left of the political spectrum.) So, you see, I take this all rather personally. I care deeply for my children, and I strive to provide a better world for my posterity for ages to come. I am simply convinced that Luddite views cannot work—they kill. Alarmism and apocalyptic thinking are invariably harmful.

Technology advances in ways that we cannot predict even over a few months. The world of today was unimaginable to people born only a century ago. The pace of change and advancement is quickening. We cannot tell what may or may not result from our choices decades hence. We never have. We never will. We must think ahead and plan wisely, but fighting weather via a war on fossil fuel is the epitome of folly. Thinking we can control the weather at all is the height of hubris.

As a closing note, you had Lord Monckton calling global warming alarmism by the title of Penn and Teller’s television series. Keep in mind that these champions of the con point out that we just don’t know. They point out that there are many motives that are not compatible with science and sound thinking that drive environmentalism in general, and global warming alarmism specifically. They don’t quite call it a hoax, but I agree with my Senator.

Reblogging on my site can make no statistical difference, but I can, and I will. I am sorry for this loss. My condolences to all, especially the Phelan family. Thank you Ms. Phelan for letting us know, and thanks to Anthony for posting.

When I lost my father, a short Charlie Peackock song comforted me. It still brings a tear to my eye when I hear it.

 

It just happened again, I wanted to call you up

I wanted your opinion about something

It’s funny how I valued it so little before

And now that I can’t have it, I value it more

Why didn’t God let me know? I could have had pleaded your case

With Christmas around the corner

He’d have seen it was bad timing and in poor taste

But He didn’t ask me and I didn’t know

It was your time to go

Couldn’t cuss, couldn’t cry, couldn’t crawl

Threw my hands up in the face of it all

So this is what it’s like to be the child

Of a man who’s dead and gone

Well, the next time I see him it will be in a different light

When we look at each other all we’ll see is what’s right

And if I am indeed my father’s crown, I will lay my body down

At the feet of my Savior and I will sing forever

With the perfection my father so desired

Every note in tune, every rhythm flawless

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

[Charlie Peacock]

RIP REP

Watts Up With That?

UPDATE: Details on the wake, funeral, and memorial fund are below. Given the circumstances that I’ve just now learned about, I ask WUWT denizens to help the Phelan family with funeral costs in lieu of flowers. See the update below – Anthony

I received this communications a short while ago. It is with the greatest sadness that I must announce this.

Diane Phelan
Message: Dear Anthony and the WUWT moderators:

I am the daughter of Robert Phelan and I unfortunately have some bad news to pass on.  My father passed away suddenly last night from what we believe to be a heart attack.  I know you had a party planned on the 18th.  I would hate to say it’s cancelled because knowing my father, he would want the celebration to continue, but I’m hoping we could have a conversation first.

I’m so sorry to have to bring this news…

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