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Old 05-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #51  
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Main Entry: carp·ing
Pronunciation: \ˈkär-piŋ\
Function: adjective
Date: 1567
: marked by or inclined to querulous and often perverse criticism

How dare I question any conclusion. Sorry. Just looking for some answers. Got any yet?








Scientific issues often deal with items that are too complex and technical for many people to grasp. When these issues touch on public policy, the problem of educating the public is compounded because partisan special-interest groups often mischaracterize or disregard the best available evidence in order to further their agendas. Obviously, this can often result in the enactment of ineffective or counterproductive laws or government programs and also unnecessarily excite the public.

A National Academy of Engineering report says, "As a society, we are not even fully aware of or conversant with the technologies we use every day. In short, we are not ‘technologically literate.'" (1)

Peer review is supposed to help in this area. What is it?

"Peer review is the process by which research and scholarship are evaluated by other experts in one's field. The depth and breadth of formal peer review varies by field; for example, the number of reviewers, as well as whether or not they and article authors will remain anonymous to one another, differs across science, social science, and humanities disciplines. Informal peer review also takes place after research results are published in an article; others in the field weigh in with observations and experiences that question, critique, or support the authors' assertions," reports Leslie Madsen. (2)

Yet, as John Moore writes in Nature,

"It's been peer reviewed so it must be right, right? Wrong! Not everything in the peer-reviewed literature is correct. Indeed, some of it is downright bad science. Professional scientists usually know how to rate papers within their own fields of expertise (all too often very narrow ones nowadays). We realize that some journals are more stringent than others in what they will accept, and that peer review standards can unfortunately be too flexible. A lust for profits has arguably led to the appearance of too many journals, and so it can be all too easy to find somewhere that will publish poor-quality work." (3)

Peer reviewers merely give advice to the editor as to whether a paper should be published. There is no warranty that the results are correct or that they can be reproduced. The reviewers whom the editor picks say yes, we would like to see this in the journal; that is the start and finish of it. (4)

Yet, the term ‘peer review' is often equated with ‘gold standard'. Hence, the politically motivated, lazy or unscrupulous can use the peer-reviewed literature selectively to make arguments that are seriously flawed, or even damaging to public policy. Chris Mooney, in The Republican War on Science (Basic Books, 2005) provides several examples of how this operates in the political world. (3)

Ragner Levi observes,

"As every experienced medical reporter knows, there is no guarantee that published studies are reliable-far from it. Though peer reviewed articles are generally less biased than non-reviewed articles, even highly unreliable results can be published in peer reviewed scientific journals. In a randomized controlled trial looking at peer review, a paper with eight significant errors was sent to 420 reviewers in JAMA's database. None spotted more than five errors, and most not more than two." (5)

Here's another example. Another report in JAMA found that one-third of studies published in three reputable peer reviewed journals didn't hold up. John Ioannidis looked at 45 studies published between 1990 and 2003 and found that subsequent research contradicted the results of seven of those studies, and another seven were found to have weaker results than originally published. In other words, 32% did not withstand the test of time.

This translates into a lot of medical misinformation! Ioannidis reviewed high-impact journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Lancet, along with a number of others. Each article had been cited at least 1,000 times, all within a span of 13 years. In a number of cases, the explanation for the discrepancies was in precisely what you'd suspect, sample size. The smaller the group, the shorter the study, the more likely it was that subsequent, deeper investigation contradicted or altered the original thesis. Where was the peer review? (6)

Garrett Lisi notes,

"This old system persists because academic career development often depends on which journals scientists can get their papers into, and it comes at a high cost-in money, time and stress. I think a better peer review system could evolve from reviewers with good reputations picking the papers they find interesting out of an open pool, and commenting on them. (7)

There is hope for improvement. In his book The Great Betrayal, Horace Freeland Judsonb agrees there is a distressing downward spiral in the peer review system, but holds out hope that ‘open review,' which prevent reviewers from hiding behind anonymity, and open publication on the Internet rather than in peer reviewed journals, may solve some of the problems. (8)

Notes

1. Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology, G. Pearson and A. T. Young, Editors, (Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 2002), 1

2. Leslie Madsen Brooks, Peer review in science -- is it broken? | BlogHer, March 14, 2009

3. John Moore, "Perspective: Does peer review mean the same to the public as it does to scientists?," Nature, (2006), doi: 10.1038/nature05009

4. Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, "The Hockey Stick Debate: Lessons in Disclosure and Due Diligence," (Washington, DC, George Marshall Institute, May 11, 2005)

5. Ragner Levi, Medical Journalism, (Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University, 2001), 64

6. John P. A. Ioannidis, "Contradicted and Initially Stronger Effects in Highly Cited Clinical Research," JAMA, 294 (2), 218, July 13, 2005

7. Greg Boustead, "Garrett Lisi's Exceptional Approach to Everything," seedmagazine.com, November 17, 2008

8. Horace Freeland Judson, The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science, (New York, Harcourt, Inc., 2004)
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:16 AM   #52  
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We have to be sensitive to marketing issues too, right?



Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus
JOHN M. BRODER
Published: May 1, 2009
WASHINGTON — The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”



The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.

Asked about the summary, ecoAmerica’s president and founder, Robert M. Perkowitz, requested that it not be reported until the formal release of the firm’s full paper later this month, but acknowledged that its wide distribution now made compliance with his request unlikely.

The research directly parallels marketing studies conducted by oil companies, utilities and coal mining concerns that are trying to “green” their images with consumers and sway public policy.

Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. “We know why it’s lowest,” said Mr. Perkowitz, a marketer of outdoor clothing and home furnishings before he started ecoAmerica, whose activities are financed by corporations, foundations and individuals. “When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. “Energy efficiency” makes people think of shivering in the dark. Instead, it is more effective to speak of “saving money for a more prosperous future.” In fact, the group’s surveys and focus groups found, it is time to drop the term “the environment” and talk about “the air we breathe, the water our children drink.”

“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.

Mr. Perkowitz and allies in the environmental movement have been briefing officials in Congress and the administration in the hope of using the findings to change the terms of the debate now under way in Washington.

Opponents of legislation to combat global warming are engaged in a similar effort. Trying to head off a cap-and-trade system, in which government would cap the amount of heat-trapping emissions allowed and let industry trade permits to emit those gases, they are coaching Republicans to refer to any such system as a giant tax that would kill jobs. Coal companies are taking out full-page advertisements promising “clean, green coal.” The natural gas industry refers to its product as “clean fuel green fuel.” Oil companies advertise their investments in alternative energy.

Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University, an expert on environmental communications, said ecoAmerica’s campaign was a mirror image of what industry and political conservatives were doing. “The form is the same; the message is just flipped,” he said. “You want to sell toothpaste, we’ll sell it. You want to sell global warming, we’ll sell that. It’s the use of advertising techniques to manipulate public opinion.”

He said the approach was cynical and, worse, ineffective. “The right uses it, the left uses it, but it doesn’t engage people in a face-to-face manner,” he said, “and that’s the only way to achieve real, lasting social change.”

Frank Luntz, a Republican communications consultant, prepared a strikingly similar memorandum in 2002, telling his clients that they were losing the environmental debate and advising them to adjust their language. He suggested referring to themselves as “conservationists” rather than “environmentalists,” and emphasizing “common sense” over scientific argument.

And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, “climate change” is an easier sell than “global warming.”
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #53  
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For our gentle readers who might like to contemplate this further, let's take a look at "carbon trading" and where that may lead. Interesting stuff.





The Bottomless Well: The Twilight Of Fuel, The Virtue Of Waste, And Why We Will Never Run Out Of Energy
by Peter Huber and Mark P. Mills

Peter W. Huber
Bound to Burn
Humanity will keep spewing carbon into the atmosphere, but good policy can help sink it back into the earth.



Cheap coal, like that extracted from this Chinese mine, is essential to the developing world’s economic growth.Like medieval priests, today’s carbon brokers will sell you an indulgence that forgives your carbon sins. It will run you about $500 for 5 tons of forgiveness—about how much the typical American needs every year. Or about $2,000 a year for a typical four-person household. Your broker will spend the money on such things as reducing methane emissions from hog farms in Brazil.

But if you really want to make a difference, you must send a check large enough to forgive the carbon emitted by four poor Brazilian households, too—because they’re not going to do it themselves. To cover all five households, then, send $4,000. And you probably forgot to send in a check last year, and you might forget again in the future, so you’d best make it an even $40,000, to take care of a decade right now. If you decline to write your own check while insisting that to save the world we must ditch the carbon, you are just burdening your already sooty soul with another ton of self-righteous hypocrisy. And you can’t possibly afford what it will cost to forgive that.

If making carbon this personal seems rude, then think globally instead. During the presidential race, someone was heard to remark that he would bankrupt the coal industry. No one can doubt Washington’s power to bankrupt almost anything—in the United States. But China is adding 100 gigawatts of coal-fired electrical capacity a year. That’s another whole United States’ worth of coal consumption added every three years, with no stopping point in sight. Much of the rest of the developing world is on a similar path.

Cut to the chase. We rich people can’t stop the world’s 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can’t even make any durable dent in global emissions—because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we’re foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.

We don’t control the global supply of carbon.

Ten countries ruled by nasty people control 80 percent of the planet’s oil reserves—about 1 trillion barrels, currently worth about $40 trillion. If $40 trillion worth of gold were located where most of the oil is, one could only scoff at any suggestion that we might somehow persuade the nasty people to leave the wealth buried. They can lift most of their oil at a cost well under $10 a barrel. They will drill. They will pump. And they will find buyers. Oil is all they’ve got.

Poor countries all around the planet are sitting on a second, even bigger source of carbon—almost a trillion tons of cheap, easily accessible coal. They also control most of the planet’s third great carbon reservoir—the rain forests and soil. They will keep squeezing the carbon out of cheap coal, and cheap forest, and cheap soil, because that’s all they’ve got. Unless they can find something even cheaper. But they won’t—not any time in the foreseeable future.

Full article here:Bound to Burn by Peter W. Huber, City Journal Spring 2009
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:19 AM   #54  
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Jungle:

Brilliant, as always.

A segue from a previous post that Jungle pontificated from, and my comment http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/mo...cap-trade.html (Cap and Trade; 3-16-09):

How do you get the destitute in the third-world to stop burning tires, leaves, twigs, and dried dung for fuel?

Oh, right...give them carbon-credits. Get 20 credits and you get a bag of rice from UNICEF.


Big Business and Big Government are in the business of herding masses of people towards their next money-making scheme or pacification plan. Cap and Trade might work in the Western-world, where we are 'enlightened,' and guilt is a major societal controlling-force (feel guilty if don't buy a hybrid car, are against any 'social reform,' or eat meat).

But the majority of the people on this planet have never heard of Al Gore, Obama, Cap and Trade, and probably don't know what Carbon---or for that matter, an atom---is. Tell them their cooking fire is going to cost extra? Won't work...who's going to enforce it?

Anyone else notice how the great 'swine flu' pandemic has fallen out of the news after only 4 days? Guess there wasn't any money to be made from it.

But there's plenty of money to be made from the fear of carbon.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:38 PM   #55  
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Have you ever read anything good about global warming? Why is all the news always bad?

Objectively speaking, any environmental change should have both positive benefits and negative effects. For example, theory predicts and observations confirm that human-induced warming takes place primarily in winter, lengthening the growing season. Satellite measurements now show that the planet is greener than it was before it warmed. There are literally thousands of experiments reported in the scientific literature demonstrating that higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations -- cause by human activity -- dramatically increase food production. So why do we only hear one side about global warming?

Perhaps because there's little incentive for scientists to do anything but emphasize the negative and the destructive. Alarming news often leads to government funding, funding generates research, and research is the key to scientists' professional advancement. Good news threatens that arrangement.

This is the reality that all scientists confront: every issue, be it global warming, cancer or AIDS, competes with other issues for a limited amount of government research funding. And, in Washington, no one ever received a major research grant by stating that his or her particular issue might not be such a problem after all.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:26 AM   #56  
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Originally Posted by ryan1234 View Post
So why do we only hear one side about global warming?
"Global warming" is really the wrong label to apply. It's really global climate destabilization we're talking about.

In your example, a longer growing season may also mean that insects harmful to the crops stop dying off in the winter. Declining snow pacts to replenish the aquifers means water becomes an issue. Rain fall patterns change so breadbasket states like Kansas and Nebraska in the corn belt may turn into desert states like Nevada and Arizona. Really inconvenient if you're a farmer in Kansas.

For those who believe addressing global climate change now is an economic boondoggle, I would submit that the price is going to go up the longer we wait.

Last edited by N2264J; 05-04-2009 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:34 AM   #57  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2264J View Post
"Global warming" is really the wrong label to apply. It's really global climate destabilization we're talking about.

In your example, a longer growing season may also mean that insects harmful to the crops stop dying off in the winter. Declining snow pacts to replenish the aquifers means water becomes an issue. Rain fall patterns change so breadbasket states like Kansas and Nebraska in the corn belt may turn into desert states like Nevada and Arizona. Really inconvenient if you're a farmer in Kansas.

For those who believe addressing global climate change now is an economic boondoggle, I would submit that the price is going to go up the longer we wait.
I'm terribly sorry... Global climate destabilization it is- global warming is far too specific.

I think you are missing my point. The science really never seems to be "settled", only the politics. Consider the past predictions 30 years ago. Perhaps we will be reading this 30 years from now scratching our heads as to why anyone entertained or predicted such an idea. The inconsistencies among scientists over the years are astounding, and yet only previous scientists have been wrong. New scientists are always right!

Consider 2000-2005; "Scientists" professed that the ice caps are melting in two seperate instances.

1) Down in Antarctica, scientists made headlines in several periodicals by claiming that global warming (as was called back then) was actually melting away Antarctica.....

“Study shows Antarctic glaciers shrinking” –Associated Press, April 22, 2005

A month after such a story was created, they realized that... wait! Simple physics would suggest that Global Warming around Antarctica should be causing increased snowfall thereby increasing Antarctica's land mass...so all of the sudden, Antarctica is growing again! Amazing! So which is it really?

“Warming is blamed for Antarctic’s weight gain” –New York Times, May 20, 2005

2)Up in the arctic,

In August 2000, the New York Times headlined on the front page that "The North Pole is Melting" and that "the last time scientists could be certain that the Pole was awash in water was more than 50 million years ago."

It turns out that two United Nations scientists were onboard a Russian icebreaker serving as a tourist ship when they encountered water at the North Pole. They told this to the newspaper without bothering to check the historical record. Open water is occasionally found at the North Pole at the end of summer. The Times ultimately retracted the story -- but that retraction appeared far away from the front page.

Why didn't the polar scientists check first before calling the paper? And why didn't the New York Times check the facts before publishing? The answers are obvious. Stories like this sell newspapers and generate government research grants. There's no incentive in telling the larger truth, not for science, not for the media, and certainly not for those public officials who lavish funding on global warming science.

The bottom line here is what I've said before... Science isn't settled on all of this, but the politics are. Who wants us to throw an increasing amount of money on this flim-flam?

As a side note: I'm certainly no Al Gore, or even a leading climatologist... however I do live in FL... we don't have much snow down here, but we do have aquifers and springs so I'm not sure where you are going with water being an issue.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:19 AM   #58  
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The science really never seems to be "settled"...
That's correct. We're learning all the time.

Einstein had a different idea about the physical world from Newton and so gravity is still theoretical to this day.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #59  
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I had a theoretical apple fall out of the tree and hit me on the head over the weekend.

May explain a few things.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:40 AM   #60  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2264J View Post
"Global warming" is really the wrong label to apply. It's really global climate destabilization we're talking about.

In your example, a longer growing season may also mean that insects harmful to the crops stop dying off in the winter. Declining snow pacts to replenish the aquifers means water becomes an issue. Rain fall patterns change so breadbasket states like Kansas and Nebraska in the corn belt may turn into desert states like Nevada and Arizona. Really inconvenient if you're a farmer in Kansas.

For those who believe addressing global climate change now is an economic boondoggle, I would submit that the price is going to go up the longer we wait.
Global warming was, and is, the meme used by your side when dealing with grade schoolers and half-wit adults. Your simple syllogism--CO2 causes warming and, since it is warming it is caused by CO2. It is a demonstrably bad logical sequence, but it moved the ball as long as temps increased. Now that the temps are going down you are trying to move off your global warming position. No way--you guys own that position, it got you where you are, and now you're going to have to live with it.

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