Epic Greenfail of the Day

Featured image I hate to pile on the our earnest scientists trying to save the earth, and I’ve already given out a Green Weenie today, but this story is just too irresistible: Satellite tagging caused northwest orca’s fatal infection National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a male orca died due to an infection at the site where it had been satellite-tagged. An expert panel says a dart tag deployed on endangered Puget »

Follow the Science, They Say

Featured image When it comes to the climate uber alles crowd, environmentalists insist we “follow the science.” Well let’s see whether Greenpeace follows this science. This morning in Washington DC there will be a press conference where a petition by 107 Nobel laureate scientists will call on Greenpeace to cease its reactionary opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Washington Post reports: 107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs By »

Why Did Agriculture “Arise”?

Featured image Narratives of human history conventionally say that agriculture “arose” around 13,000 years ago. But why? At Watts Up With That, Susan Corwin suggests a plausible explanation: Because it would work as CO2 became plentiful! All the academic articles say: “and then agriculture happened”. The “accepted wisdom”/consensus is: …here was no single factor, or combination of factors, that led people to take up farming in different parts of the world. But »

Epic Correction of the Decade

Featured image Hoo-wee, the New York Times will really have to extend itself to top the boner and mother-of-all-corrections at the American Journal of Political Science. This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even »

The Crisis of Scientific Credibility

Featured image Last year we had ten-part series on the problem of science fraud, and we return to the subject now because pop culture is catching up, which is usually a sign of larger public trouble. The Puffington Host is on the story, reporting on the widespread practice of selective use of data and statistical techniques to produce “meaningful” results that are essentially bogus. Dan Sarewitz has a good column on this »

A Taxonomy of Climate Camps

Featured image Physicist Richard Muller of UC Berkeley offers up a remarkably unbiased classification of climate change thinkers in the unlikely venue of the Puffington Host. I think it isn’t half bad: In my book, “Energy for Future Presidents” (pg 74) I give the following categories: Alarmists. They pay little attention to the details of the science. They are “unconvincibles.” They say the danger is imminent, so scare tactics are both necessary »

Climate Egg on Their Face

Here’s another sign of the bankruptcy of both the climatistas and the liberals who fawn over “democracy” until the people don’t do exactly what they want. Science authorities in Britain put the naming of a new Arctic research ship to an online vote of the public. And the public chose—by a landslide margin—”Boaty McBoatface.” Which I suppose is better than “Big McLargehuge,” for you MST3K fans out there. Anyway, Her »

From the Annals of Scientific Objectivity

Featured image In the last few years the virtues of a low-fat diet have gradually come undone, though some “nutritional anthropologists” keep the faith like those Japanese soldiers in the island jungles who refused be believe World War II was over. Yesterday the Washington Post reported on how the full data from a major nutrition study that helped cement the old conventional wisdom was never fully analyzed, but might have saved us »

How Green Is Thy Planet?

Featured image Deciding which is the greatest single blunder of the climatistas is a difficult contest, because you have so much to choose from. Aside from their dreadful leading spokesspecies (Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Leo di Caprio—Green Weenies all), perhaps the stupidest move was the decision to call carbon dioxide—the compound that humans exhale to the tune of about 800 lbs per person per year—a “pollutant.” Sure, it’s »

Are the Social Sciences Scientific?

Featured image In principle, the scientific method can be applied to anything, I think. But it works better when you’re talking about, say, physics than when the subject is human behavior. The social sciences derive their prestige (such as they have) mostly by piggy-backing on the hard sciences, but there have been numerous scandals lately where the findings of “scientific” experiments have been impossible to replicate. To be fair, this happens in »

Is CDC Ignoring the Horrifying Zika Virus?

Featured image Last summer, my friend David Lebedoff published a thriller titled Buzz, in which a terrorist group found a way to weaponize mosquitoes. (Buzz is available on Amazon, including a Kindle edition for a mere $4.99.) Now, tragically, the nightmare fantasy envisioned in Buzz has been surpassed by reality. The Zika virus is ravaging South America and spreading rapidly. Probably you have heard about it: the virus is spread by mosquito »

Trees Like Carbon Dioxide! Who Knew?

Featured image This is going to annoy some climatistas. The next issue of Forest Ecology & Management includes an article that finds rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere are mostly good for our forests. Here’s the complete abstract: Physiological and ecological factors influencing recent trends in United States forest health responses to climate change Abstract The health of United States forests is of concern for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, forest commercial values, »

Settled Science: Liberals Are Simple-Minded

Featured image The nation’s best science reporter, Reason’s Ron Bailey, has the story: It is almost a truism among psychological researchers that conservatives are simple-minded and dogmatic. Liberals, meanwhile, are supposed to be more complex and open-minded thinkers. But a new paper is calling those conclusions into question. Writing in the journal Political Psychology, a team of researchers led by the University of Montana psychologist Lucian Gideon Conway III reports the results of four studies that together »

Taking the Wood to Politicized Science

Featured image Very soon the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is going to select a new president, and the leading (perhaps only) candidate appears to be Dr. Marcia McNutt, who is currently editor-in-chief of Science magazine. The problem with Dr. McNutt is that she consistently turns a blind eye to qualified dissenting scientists on a wide variety of subjects, often summarily rejecting their submissions without even the pretense of review. Dr. Peter »

Finally—An Explanation for Al Gore

Featured image The climatistas—or at least Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress—are all abuzz about a brand new study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health that finds elevated levels of CO2 make us stupider. Finally—an explanation for Al Gore! Anyone who exhales as much hot air as he does is certain to damage his own brain cells. The study is actually focused on establishing the superiority of “sustainable” »

The Problem With Science in Four Headlines

Featured image It has long been conventional wisdom that the so-called “hard” sciences are largely immune to the undertow of political correctness. Hence it is hard to take in these headlines from the latest issue of Nature magazine without a heavy sigh: Indigenous Peoples Must Benefit from Science U.S. Astronomers Rally to End Sexual Harassment Climate policy: US environmentalists must turn out to vote Of course, it is only Republicans who politicize »

Annals of Social Science, or Annulment of Social Science?

Featured image Don’t miss Andrew Ferguson’s cover feature “Making It All Up” in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard on the various scandals besetting behavioral science (though as we’ve observed here several times, the problem of scientific fraud isn’t limited to the social sciences by any means). This won’t come as news to our regular readers, but still: Two economists recently wrote a little book called The Cult of Statistical Significance, »