Science Under Attack

26 01 2011

…or trust no one, only the data.  If you have the time I highly recommend giving this a viewing.

Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse examines why science appears to be under attack, and why public trust in key scientific theories has been eroded – from the theory that man-made climate change is warming our planet, to the safety of GM food, or that HIV causes AIDS.

Of course if you don’t have the time the video could be summarized with this:

(The graph here shows data from the COBE mission, which looked at the background microwave glow of the universe and found that it fit perfectly with the idea that the universe used to be really hot everywhere. This strongly reinforced the Big Bang theory and was one of the most dramatic examples of an experiment agreeing with a theory in history — the data points fit perfectly, with error bars too small to draw on the graph. It’s one of the most triumphant scientific results in history.)

I Don’t Understand Climate Change Deniers

8 04 2010

You can watch this first to get a taste of the source of my confusion.

So help me out here, why is it that so many people are flagrantly misrepresenting the facts and denying the massive corroborative evidence that global climate change is not just happening but is largely caused by recent human activity?

This isn’t some trivial or subjective academic argument about some arcane aspect of philosophy, this is about the very future of the human species. Sure the uneducated and simpleminded in the population will be easily misled by their favorite teevee station. You know, the one that pretends that the world is actually very simple, everything is black and white, and if you’re watching us then YOU are the smart one…And did I mention very pretty. Hey look, Walmart has NASCAR branded Snuggies!!

Now I’m a pretty cynical guy but even I have a hard time believing that the coal and oil industries (being the most likely beneficiaries of such misrepresentations) could possibly have such an overwhelming disregard for the environment and the future of the human race. Why dismiss the objective science when they could instead work to advance it and even work towards better solutions that could save their industries and the planet for future generations?

At the end of the day isn’t this supposed to be about the survival of our children and grandchildren? Has the incessant capitalist drive for quarterly profits completely obscured our ability to see the devastating long term folly of such blind pursuits of greed and avarice? Am I that naive and cynically deficient?

I simply cannot comprehend how so many people watch the Bill O’Reillys and the Rush Limbaughs for reasons other than freak-show pity, but instead take them seriously. So while some of us (and many more scientists) are trying to figure out what the actual problems are and how we might fix them the pig people turn up Glen Beck’s radio program to make jello salad of their brains, eat another Big Mac, and pump the liquefied corpses of their children into their gas tanks for one last bender to Vegas before Jesus himself comes to clean up the mess they’ve made.

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

America Is Fucked

13 12 2009

When polls show that more Americans believe in guardian angels (55%) than they believe the scientifically established fact that humans are responsible for accelerating global climate change (36%) I think we can extrapolate that America is pretty close to 100% proper fucked.

Honestly, when can we drop prayer from schools and replace it with a mandatory class on critical thinking skills?

Are Scientists Really Faking Global Warming Data?!

13 12 2009

With the recent stealing and release of years worth of private climate scientist emails some have found what they believe to be damning bits of evidence to suggest that scientists are fudging the numbers.  Because the people making these claims apparently cannot be bothered to read (much less comprehend) the context in which such quotes were made I offer you this video that explains the context in which scientists wrote such evidently “deceptive” things.

(Irony spoiler, the scientists are not the ones being deceptive here)

Of course if you’re a global warming denier I doubt you’ll even take the time to watch a video unless it comes from Fox News.  I had to try though.

(Tip of the thorny crown to Atheist Media Blog)

Global Climate Change? No Problem, God Will Fix That!

29 03 2009

I regularly blather on about how religion impedes rational thought, but I’m sure there are some moderates that still don’t believe me.  Obviously in these modern times such antiquated but quaint stories of love and redemption wouldn’t really impact current debates on important issues.  Right?  I mean that would be completely insane.  Right!?

From the March 25, 2009 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

There isn’t a face palm big enough to  express my exasperation at this sort of willful ignorance, not to mention the impact such thinking can have on the rest of us.  I just wonder when these people will wake up.

It cannot be soon enough.