Skeptical Facts

Here are links to skeptical articles that present reasoned facts that dispute commonly held truths in The Media. It is often hard for the average person to get a balanced view of an issue by simple google or wikipedia searches, these sites are often more than biased on emotional subjects. These links can be a start to critical thinking on a subject of interest.

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Environmental Organisations

Green activists and Big Business often engage in alliances that the average citizen is unaware of. This Times Higher Education articles (29 July 2010) shows clearly these links.

It is becoming evident as to the huge amounts of money and power that Green activist groups possess and use to influence the decisions of democratically elected governments.

Greenpeace for example seems to be heavily financed by big business and often uses these funds for purely political aims not based on science. Emotions not facts often drive it’s activities.

Likewise, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is a half billion dollar per year “business”. And likewise this wealth seems to be more and more used for politics.

Greenpeace’s violent tactics are now drawing scorn from common people around the world.

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Energy, Oil and other resources

Peak Oil: By Seth Myers

Here are some articles that give evidence for the enormous amounts of energy: oil, coal, gas, shale gas and nuclear as well metals and other resources that the Earth abounds with today. Indeed, energy and fossil fuel use is increasing world wide. It is Renewable Energy that appears to be running out. Malthusian predictions seem constantly popular no matter how much the evidence points to optimism about energy, resources and the world’s future.

 

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The Dark Side of Science Journalism

Why in a world that is so dependent on science, do some people not trust scientists? …
Why ask a scientist … to investigate and consider the problem with scientists? …
science journalism has become confused with science PR and communications.
They were described as having gone over to the “dark side” …

 (28 June 2011) A recurring problem in the reporting of science is that of asking the scientist to investigate themselves. Much of what is being produced by science journalists is about re-telling science stories rather than investigating science. Too many journalists approach scientists as priests rather than as fallible sources thereby rendering themselves as unquestioning vessels instead of professional diggers and reporters … Much of the coverage that is called science journalism is PR and communications masquerading as journalism. This is a dangerous moment for science journalism to be confused about its purpose.

SMCs (Science Media Centres) are actively encouraging the trends towards lazy ‘copy and paste’ journalism, are becoming too powerful and are vulnerable to being hijacked by maverick scientists, campaigners and funders alike. Connie told us that she teaches her students to do real journalism – to ‘dig out’ original stories, ask the tough questions to mainstream scientists and to keep a distance between themselves and the scientists they report.

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UNs Renewable Energy supports Human Poverty

(11 May 2011) Traditional biomass means cooking on wood stoves, it means difficult wood collection (done mostly by women), it means smoke inhalation and deforestation. Basically, traditional biomass is another way of saying abject poverty. It means no access to energy at all. Calling traditional biomass renewable energy is more than a stretch. It is bad enough that they are considering a lack of access to energy to actually be renewable energy, but what is even worse is that they consider it half of world’s total amount of renewable energy!

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Peak Population Projection Uncertainties

(14 April 2011) “Projections, of course, are based on such assumptions. If the assumptions prove false as time goes on, so will the projectionsGenerally, all demographic projections suffer from two kinds of potential errors: errors resulting from incorrect or incomplete empirical information about recent population size, structure and current vital rates (baseline errors) and errors resulting from the uncertainty about future trajectories of fertility, mortality and migration.

 

(21 Feb 2011) The distribution is highly skewed with a mode in July 2012, a median in January 2013, and a mean in April 2013. There is a 60 percent chance that the world’s population would reach 7 billion between February 2012 and July 2014. According to the United Nations, the “Day of 7 Billion” should be celebrated on August 26, 2011 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2010). As indicated in Figure 1, the chance that this milestone occurs later than that date is over 90 percent.

 
The probability of peaking turns out to be almost the same in every decade from 2040- 2050 through 2090-2100… The probability that the global peak population would be in the decade 2060-2070 is only around 16 percent. The median year of the peak is 2072, but this provides little guidance because the central 60 percent of the distribution of the peaking dates is between 2052 and 2095.

 UN (3 May 2011) The low variant, whose fertility remains half a child below that of the medium, produces a population that reaches 8.1 billion in 2050 and declines towards the second half of this century to reach 6.2 billion in 2100.”  So maybe just 1 billion to go  🙂 It seems, from the UNs history of over-projections,  that a peak of 9 billion around 2075 is the best we can “project” now  😉

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Energy Use

(10 Feb 2011) The wealth of a country is proportional to its energy use. “The figure at the top of this post comes from Gapminder (the exact graph can be found here), and shows the very strong relationship of the wealth of a country to its energy use.”

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

(Nov 2010) Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong… much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies—conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain—is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed.

His work has been widely accepted by the medical community; it has been published in the field’s top journals, where it is heavily cited …  80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials. The article spelled out his belief that researchers were frequently manipulating data analyses, chasing career-advancing findings rather than good science, and even using the peer-review process—in which journals ask researchers to help decide which studies to publish—to suppress opposing views… Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. That article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

If we don’t tell the public about these problems, then we’re no better than nonscientists who falsely claim they can heal,” he says. “If the drugs don’t work and we’re not sure how to treat something, why should we claim differently? Some fear that there may be less funding because we stop claiming we can prove we have miraculous treatments. But if we can’t really provide those miracles, how long will we be able to fool the public anyway? The scientific enterprise is probably the most fantastic achievement in human history, but that doesn’t mean we have a right to overstate what we’re accomplishing.”

“Science is a noble endeavor, but it’s also a low-yield endeavor,” he says. “I’m not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life. We should be very comfortable with that fact.”
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Biofuels: a growing evil

(27 Oct 2010) The point about biofuels, which wouldn’t exist at all without massive taxpayer funded subsidies, is that by displacing agricultural land that would otherwise be used for food production, … It’s reckoned that America and Europe alone are currently providing about $12bn annually in “incentives” to produce biofuels

It may not matter too much to Americans if food prices double, but if like the bulk of the world’s population you are subsisting, it can quite literally be the difference between life and death… My point is that when governments go looking for solutions to problems, they frequently end up creating new ones. Biofuels, which cost a bomb, are sending food prices through the roof, and far from benefiting the environment seem to damage it even further, are a case in point.

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900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

(25 July 2010) “The following papers support skepticism of AGW or the negative environmental or economic effects of AGW. Addendums, comments, corrections, erratum, replies, responses and submitted papers are not included in the peer-reviewed paper count. These are included as references in defense of various papers. There are many more listings than just the 800 papers. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.”
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The Teflon Doomsayers

(26 Sept 2010) “Pessimism is of course a proven fund-raising tool: “save the whales!” is always going to bring in more cash than “the whales are being saved!” But much more than that, we have today the amusingly ironic spectacle of tenured professors with salaries, health insurance, lifetime job security, and excellent retirement plans courtesy of TIAA-CREF being showered with worldly rewards (bestselling books, “genius” awards) for telling us that progress is an illusion and the end is near . . . while still preening themselves as daring outsiders courageously taking on the mighty and powerful. The fact that it takes no daring at all to adopt such an intellectual posture these days does not stop any of the practitioners of this business model from invariably announcing themselves to be the bearers of “dangerous” or “heretical” ideas and congratulating themselves for “speaking truth to power.”

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Ecological Footprints – a good idea gone bad

Ecological Footprints: WARNING! Contains Absolutely No Science.”

Unfortunately, the particular form of the EF as advanced by Mathis Wackernagel and the GFN contains three fatal flaws. It wildly underestimates the available rain-fed cropland. It assumes that people in Britain farm like people in Africa. And it arbitrarily assigns huge weighting to CO2.

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Green History

An essay investigating the historical roots of the environmental movement which seems to explain the causes of a lot of the green scares that the West has been suffering over the last 40 years.

On the first Earth Day, in 1970, some scientists predicted that pollution would make 'breathing helmets' necessary in ten years' time.
On the first Earth Day, in 1970, some scientists predicted that pollution would make “breathing helmets” necessary in ten years’ time.
Also see the video 🙂

 

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The Obesity Scare

Here come a few skeptical articles showing the lack of scientific evidence behind the Obesity Scare, now being eagerly promoted in Western countries.

“For children and the elderly, body mass values can be especially misleading because the relationship of lean body mass to height changes as they get older.”

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 Global Fisheries NOT collapsing
Plastic NOT polluting the oceans
Methane levels  drop rapidly after Gulf oil spill  
The Ozone Hole hoax 
Ozone Hole Gone
The Overpopulation myth
Swedish Climate Alarmist Supports UN Poverty Blunder
Species Extinction Mistakes
Precautionary Principle Problems

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