Ooooo, we’re getting closer. Saturn’s moon Encleadus gets deep-dived by the Cassini spacecraft, over its north and south poles (49km), looking for organics from its oceans. Humans have just completed surveying the Solar System, now the colonization stage begins. Onward to Mars! Enriching our species with knowledge, as is the human’s niche.
Enough of this exploration nonsense!What’s happening with real people in Earth’s mud? Well, the world is getting richer: poverty drops to single digits (9.8%) down to 700 million, even with a growing population. Food Glut: record food harvests & low prices = feeding future billions (one?) on less land with less fertilizers. Lifespans worldwide are up. Great!
How is the politicized science going? UNs Paris 21st “caring” climate meeting should be fun. The 18yr global temp pause(cooling?) continues, even with increasing CO2; Arctic ice is thickening and the deep oceans are still cold & alkaline. But watch the $1.5 trillion sing, like Ulysses’ sirens on the rocks. A bit of critical thinking wax might help, or maybe not
How about wayward scientists? Well, Nicole Janz is whipping them into shape: Hiding data = breaking professional standards = scientific misconduct. And no-raw-data-required Nature Journal is reluctantly joining in: Humans are remarkably good at self-deception. But growing concern about reproducibility is driving many researchers to seek ways to fight their own worst instincts. As Feynman says: you [scientists] are the easiest to fool.
The Great Enrichment (unplanned prosperity) continues apace, says Deirdre McCloskey, by individual humans specializing, innovating & freely networking, mostly despite the policies of Big Gov, Big Enviro, Big Business etc. So, its time to relax on these calm autumn days and marvel at our 10 000 BC humans spreading out over the mighty Eurasian continent, as we are now doing out into interplanetary space.
Posted in Antarctic, Arctic, Astronomy, Books, Brain, Climate, Health, Optimism, Political Climate, Recycling, Technology
Magnificent Martian mountianscapes beckon (10 Sept 2015) with briny water in wet sand flowing downhill in warm near zero sunshine. However hype & fear overtook science as NASA exaggerates to get money for its future Phobos outpost and the Planetary Protection Office bans landings in life-likely spots from “filthy humans”: eco-doomers already on Mars? No mid-ocean alkaline hydrothermal vents there so, evidence-based science please!
Wo! Pluto – sunset on 3.5km ice mountains by a frozen nitrogen sea in an orange methane misty sky. Back on Earth, we’re still battling the twin demons of science: fear & greed, with evidence & reason. First up: The Sahel desert is greening again, from more CO2, leading to increased plant water use efficiency. Also, duelling population projections – but they don’t mention their failed predictions & future fertility rebound evidence. Organic foods take another scientific beating – more about money than facts. Herded humans, again? And, an old favourite: logic & evidence contradictions in the “hottest year ever” meme. Oh well.
Getting more personal : Hans Rosling – Don’t trust The Media to understand the world, check facts & arguments yourself. University trigger-warnings protect students offended by critical thinking. However academic resistance is beginning. Good & about time!
So lets try evolving away from being herded humans. If our new ancestor Homo naledi could care for their dead 2.5 million years ago then lets care even more for our living with skepticism, optimism and calcuated daring as we expand across the extensive reaches of space and speed up the evolution of innovations (new good ideas) in our minds.
EU and US race to Jupiter’s moons to be 1st to find extraterrestrial life out in the Universe. Who wants to finish 2nd? Doing what humans do best, gathering knowledge, so we all win. Mars may have fossils but live life is best. From mid-Atlantic alkaline hydrothermal vents to ice protected Jovian oceans? As The Martian says: Lets science the sh*t out of this!
However, back here on Earth, some mad pursuit of emotion over reason continues: “Environmental threats have a habit of turning out less bad than feared … the remedies sometimes prove worse than the disease … the environmental movement has repeatedly denied people access to safer technologies and forced them to rely on dirtier, riskier or more harmful ones. It is adept at exploiting people’s suspicion of anything new. Indoor air pollution (cooking over wood fires indoors) is the world’s biggest cause of environmental death. It kills an estimated four million people every year. To argue that the increasingly small risk of dangerous climate change many decades hence is something they should be more worried about is positively obscene.” And Psychology is 60% wrong. Oh well.
Bioethics is seduced by fear too: “Biomedical research, then, promises vast increases in life, health, and flourishing. Just imagine how much happier you would be if a prematurely deceased loved one were alive, or a debilitated one were vigorous — and multiply that good by several billion, in perpetuity. Given this potential bonanza, the primary moral goal for today’s bioethics can be summarized in a single sentence. Get out of the way.”
However, the walrus seem to be happy : “Pacific Walrus populations “increased from 50,000 to 100,000 animals in the late 1950s to more than 250,000 animals by 1985,” and they are believed to have now reached their maximum carrying capacity. Alarmists suggest the increasing use of land haul-outs is a sign of disaster, caused by the loss of sea ice. However all the evidence argues that as walrus populations increase, so does the use of land haul-outs. It is a sign of the walrus’ successful recovery. A beach packed with walruses is evidence of better conservation, not global warming doom.” Even the scare of irradiated food is now having the light of reason shone on it. Yum, goodbye bacteria poisoning.
So, lets madly pursue reason, not be madly overcome by emotion: “The state of our science is strong, but it’s plagued by a universal problem: Science is hard — really f**king hard. If we’re going to rely on science as a means for reaching the truth — and it’s still the best tool we have — it’s important that we understand and respect just how difficult it is to get a rigorous result. Science is not a magic wand that turns everything it touches to truth. Instead, “science operates as a procedure of uncertainty reduction. The goal is to get less wrong over time.” The scientific method is the most rigorous path to knowledge, but it’s also messy and tough. Science deserves respect exactly because it is difficult.” So lets pursue knowledge that is hard, so all humans can enjoy the wonders of life on Earth …. and also those off it.
Reason Pursuing Brady
Time to dream of distant shores, time to let imagination soar.
Time to search out worlds afar, time to reach out for the stars.
Dawn space probe orbits asteroid Ceres, its white spots beckoning. Asteroid mining next, for building space colonies? New Horizon space probe aims for a speedy bulls eye through the Pluto system. Philiae lander wakes up on Comet 67P ready for duty. CubeSat’s solar sail is deployed in Earth orbit ready for 2016’s full scale sailing. Evidence for humans beginning their off-Earth migration?
Time to dance to the joys of life, time to sail into wide blue horizons. Time to leave our worrying save-the-world warriors behind. The new Eco-Modernist Manifesto (no relation to the Communist Manifesto?) belatedly welcomes humans back to Earth: “human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are not only possible, but also inseparable” as skeptics have been showing since the 1970s. But most enviros are still not so hospitable.
Also, bee numbers increase with neonics, but that won’t stop the politics. Oh well.
Chocolate “sting” paper tricks science journalists worldwide. Roger Pielke Jr says it best: “meaningful relationships ought to be detectable with simple methods and robust to alternative methodological approaches. If the effect you are looking for requires a complex model, data transformed away from intuitive units or sophisticated statistics to detect, then the effect that you think you have found is probably not practically significant”, as in Climate, Environment, Nutrition, Social & Psychology “Science”.
And new (political ideological) “skeptic movement” blocks out skeptics. How one’s name changes one, as evidence and argument are exchanged for Groupthink “right thinking” – the desire for impressive answers leads to excess certainty and an over-reliance on experts to quell doubts. Unfortunately today not enough skeptics see the value of critical thinking when it leads to an honest “I don’t know”.
So … time to dream on shores afar and time to dream of humans off to the stars.
Time to relish life in the summer sun & time to live the life of cake mate.
Open Space Enjoying Brady
Moving from an emotion-based to an evidence-based society has its pleasures: Generating sensory hair cells to restore hearing gets even closer. Ceres, the large asteriod belt dwarf planet, shows its white spots to the orbiting Dawn spacecraft: ice lakes or geysers or …?
More:“Good news! The United Nations report on global food markets predicts that food prices will be driven down this year by high food inventories.” Peak cropland, peak farming, forest transition and nature rebound are spreading across the globe, despite the Enviro’s best efforts to stop it. “Environmentalism is a rather new political ideology, and possibly a religion or a substitute for traditional religion. Embracing new, abstract, and somewhat ambiguous values like “nature” and “the environment” is just assumed to be equivalent to rationality or something.” Now that’s an opposing viewpoint
And more: Brave souls are even trying to drag Social Psychology into the 21stC. “If you must criticize scholars whose work challenges yours, do so on the evidence, not by poisoning the land on which we all live.” & “I didn’t care whether students agreed with Lomborg’s conclusions or not but rather that they developed skills of critical thinking.” Oo-wee, way to go humans! And in highly politicized (gender & enviro)
science studies too. Bees are back and going Eco, with activist “scientists” churning out “papers” to support their master’s upcoming US and EU policies to ban neonic pesticides to placate Green voters. Another political maze? Like: China’s largest solar panel maker just crashed, Ponzi like – Oh dear. And the Ozone “Hole” naturally (magnetically?) cycles up again from its most recent 2006 low. And the world continues cooling … Hmm …
Chatham House Rules (don’t say who said what) do wonders for scientific free speach: Lancet (world leading medical journal): “A lot of what is published is incorrect.” & “The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.” But across the Atlantic – 60 yrs of false dietary advice ends, with the US gov now saying: “Cholesterol is healthy, saturated fat is healthy, salt is healthy and sugar is unhealthy.” No “sorry” from these nutrition”people”. Best to just forget them and move on to a happier, healthier world. So many worries waged on our world by the wayward worry warriors, it’s almost … silly. However, watching these recent “spring cleaning” attempts gives one hope that all these warriors will be swept out soon … or surely by 2100? 2200?
Evidence-based watcher Brady