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Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 719

by BergZ (#48636357) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

A quip popularly attributed to Carl Sagan.

You know what Carl Sagan had to say about climate change?
"For our own world the peril is more subtle. Since this series [Cosmos] was first broadcast the dangers of the increasing greenhouse effect have become much more clear. We burn fossil fuels like coal, and gas, and petroleum putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thereby heating the earth. The hellish conditions on Venus are a reminder that this is serious business. Computer models that successfully explain the climates of other planets predict the deaths of forests, parched crop lands, the flooding of coastal cities, environmental refugees; wide spread disasters in the next century, unless we change our ways. What do we have to do? Four things:
(1) Much more efficient use of fossil fuels. Why not cars that get 70 miles-per-gallon instead of 25?
(2) Research and development on safe alternative energy sources, especially solar power.
(3) Reforestation on a grand scale.
and (4) Helping to bring the billion poorest people on the planet to self-sufficiency, which is the key step in curbing world population growth.
Every one of these steps makes sense apart from greenhouse warming! Now, no one has proposed that the trouble with Venus is that there once was Venusians who drove fuel inefficient cars, but our nearest neighbour nevertheless is a stark warning on the possible fate of an earth-like world."

~Carl Sagan, Cosmos (episode 4: Heaven and Hell (update - 10 years later))

Dr. Sagan clearly believed that the "extraordinary claims" of climate science were backed up by extraordinary evidence.

Comment: "Skepticism" CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 719

by BergZ (#48635091) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

"The vast majority of the loudest global warming proponents are certainly not scientists. Most of them are environmental activists, with their own agenda to advance."

The "skeptics" of Evolution said the same thing.
They said "the vast majority of the loudest Evolution proponents are certainly not scientists. Most of them are atheists(/secularists) with their own agenda to advance."

I didn't accept that argument from Creationists. Why would I accept it from you?

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 2) 719

by BergZ (#48634615) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'
I find it even more interesting that the skeptics that have collected data and built models ended up convinced that the Climatologists are correct:
"CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."
~Dr. Richard A. Muller

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 1) 561

by BergZ (#48427283) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

"Look either we are all equals or some of us need special treatment. It can't be both."

I think you have the word "equal" confused with "identical" (it is a common mistake).
Two things can be different but still equal.

Even special treatment does not preclude the possibility of two types of things being equal: So long as both groups require some sort of special treatment then they can still be equal.

+ - Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "Spider silk is touted for its strength and potential to be used in body armor, sports gear, and even artificial tendons and implants. Now several companies including EntoGenetics, Kraig Labs, and Araknitek have developed genetic approaches to producing commercial quantities of the stuff. One method is to implant spider genes into silkworms, which then act as spider-silk factories. Another is to place the gene that encodes spider web production into the DNA of goats; these “spidergoats” then produce milk containing spider-silk proteins that can be extracted. There’s still a long way to go, however, and big companies like DuPont and BASF have tried and failed to commercialize similar materials."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:More feminist bullshit (Score 1) 728

by BergZ (#48111787) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win
You perceive women as having a privilege of being given the "benefit of the doubt" and getting public sympathy by default (that you claim men do not receive).
Suppose we accept your premise: Why not solve the imbalance by encouraging people to extend those same social privileges to us men?
Those privileges, that you claim are exclusive to women, make the world a more compassionate and understanding place. I think we need more of that for everyone.

Comment: Re:Argument from authority to counter an ad hom. (Score 2) 263

by BergZ (#48107269) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana
Supporters of prohibition frequently believe that the "lazy, stupid, stoner" effects of marijuana persist after the intoxication has passed (and that eventually they become "burnouts" in the style of Cheech & Chong)
"Stoner" is the marijuana stereotype equivalent of "the town drunkard" (and thus counts as an ad hominem).
We all know that the "drunkard/alcoholic" stereotype does not apply to the vast majority of alcohol consumers. The next step is to get the public to understand that "the stoner" stereotype does not apply to the vast majority of marijuana consumers.

Comment: Re:Argument from authority to counter an ad hom. (Score 2) 263

by BergZ (#48106761) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana
Pointing out that Carl Sagan (or Nobel prize winners, etc) liked to smoke marijuana is a valid retort to the popular misconception that "marijuana users are lazy, stupid, stoners" (an ad hominem frequently used by supporters of prohibition).
Knowing that some of the greatest minds of our era are marijuana smokers disproves that misconception.

+ - MIT Thinks It Has Discovered the 'Perfect' Solar Cell->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A new MIT study offers a way out of one of solar power's most vexing problems: the matter of efficiency, and the bare fact that much of the available sunlight in solar power schemes is wasted. The researchers appear to have found the key to perfect solar energy conversion efficiency—or at least something approaching it. It's a new material that can accept light from an very large number of angles and can withstand the very high temperatures needed for a maximally efficient scheme.

Conventional solar cells, the silicon-based sheets used in most consumer-level applications, are far from perfect. Light from the sun arrives here on Earth's surface in a wide variety of forms. These forms—wavelengths, properly—include the visible light that makes up our everyday reality, but also significant chunks of invisible (to us) ultraviolet and infrared light. The current standard for solar cells targets mostly just a set range of visible light."

Link to Original Source

Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report 708

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the midsummer-2045 dept.
New submitter SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) writes According to Bloomberg a leaked climate report from the IPPC speaks of "Irreversible Damage." The warnings in the report are, as such, not new but the tone of voice is more urgent and more direct than ever. It states among other things that global warming already is affecting "all continents and across the oceans," and that "risks from mitigation can be substantial, but they do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation action."

Comment: Re:Case closed (Score 1) 127

by BergZ (#47611111) Attached to: Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide
I guess what made me think that might have been the story you had in mind was the part about big corporations looking to destroy the reputation of scientists that discover health problems related to the corporation's products.

The story about Tyrone Hayes (and his persecutors at Syngenta) were in my mind when I read about the court verdict that Dr. Michael Mann's persecutors at the "American Traditions Institute" must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
I celebrated that verdict because the struggle of Dr. Mann and the struggle of Dr. Hayes are, in my mind, the same:
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to demand Dr. Hayes hand over his private emails?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance FOIA requests?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance lawsuits?
Sherry Ford's spiral-bound notebook of dirty tricks tells the whole tale.

There are few things that I'm sure of in this world, but one of those things is:
I am certain that somewhere there is a carbon copy of Sherry Ford employed in the one of PR departments of the Fossil Fuel industry right now, and that Sherry Ford has an identical spiral-bound notebook full of the same dirty tricks that they'd love to pull on Dr. Mann.

It seems to be a common theme of big corporations:
If they can't find a valid flaw in the scientist's research then they order their PR people to attack the reputation of the scientist.

Comment: Re:Case closed (Score -1, Flamebait) 127

by BergZ (#47609079) Attached to: Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

"There was an article in the New Yorker last year - I wish I could find it - that talked about the enormous about of pressure being put on academic journals that affect big industries. It described cases where Monsanto and another big corporation set out to destroy an otherwise well-respected scientist who discovered a high health risk from one of their products."

It sounds like you're describing:
"A Valuable Reputation
The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta’s public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was “discredit Hayes.” In a spiral-bound notebook, Syngenta’s communications manager, Sherry Ford, who referred to Hayes by his initials, wrote that the company could “prevent citing of TH data by revealing him as noncredible.” He was a frequent topic of conversation at company meetings. Syngenta looked for ways to “exploit Hayes’ faults/problems.”
In 2005, Ford made a long list of methods for discrediting him: “have his work audited by 3rd party,” “ask journals to retract,” “set trap to entice him to sue,” “investigate funding,” “investigate wife.” The initials of different employees were written in the margins beside entries, presumably because they had been assigned to look into the task. "

Syngenta couldn't find any legitimate scientific flaws in Hayes's research so they waged a PR war against him.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke