What is junk science?

Junk science is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special interests and hidden agendas.

Examples of special interests include:

  • The media may use junk science to produce sensational headlines and programming, the purpose of which is to generate increased readership and viewership. More readers and viewers mean more revenues from advertisement. The media may also use junk science to advance personal or organizationsl social and political agendas.
  • Personal injury lawyers, sometimes referred to simply as trial lawyers (as in the American Association of Trial Lawyers or ATLA), may use junk science to extort settlements from deep-pocketed businesses or to bamboozle juries into awarding huge verdicts.
  • Social and political activists may use junk science to achieve social and political change.
  • Government regulators may use junk science to expand regulatory their authority, increase their budgets o advance the political agenda of elected officials.
  • Businesses may use junk science to bad-mouth competitors’ products, make bogus claims about their own products, or to promote political or social change that would increase sales and profits.
  • Politicians may use junk science to curry favor with special interest groups, to be politically correct or to advance their own personal political beliefs.
  • Individual scientists may use junk science to achieve fame and fortune.
  • Individuals who are ill (real or imagined) may use junk science to blame others for causing their illness. Individuals may also use junk science to seek fame and fortune.

CAUTION: Being wrong is not the same as being guilty of junk science.

The scientific method calls for trial-and-error until the truth is determined. More than likely, this means many trials and many errors. Scientists learn from their errors. So wrong science is part of the scientific method. (See Junk Science Judo, pp. 43-44)

Wrong science becomes junk science only when its obvious or easily-determined flaws are ignored and it is then used to advance some special interest.

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70 responses to “What is junk science?

  1. I hope you die of the AIDS.
    PS- Please publish my Email. I’m no coward. Tready@gmail.com

  2. Timothy, that is so rude. You may not be a coward, but you are hateful and ignorant.

  3. Like most NO SMOKING,PITBULL HATERS

  4. @Timothy: It is not nice to wish death by AIDS on someone.
    @Steve: It is definitely not nice to wish death on the human race by spewing your nonsense.

  5. thank god for thinkers like you and me.

  6. Steve does science and the world a great favor by maintaining this web site. True scientists are in search of one thing only and that’s the TRUTH. Scientists should have no agenda but to discover what is true and factual. Pointing out that we, as humans, are not infallable and even the brightest scientist make mistakes or draw incorrect conclusions is not “spewing nonsense.”

    • Same old activist slurs, pretty tedious really.

      You may want to see a little more about the unskeptical John Cook – see here for a starter course.

      And for heaven’s sake don’t let an inconvenient detail like Steve not having a Fox-sourced income put you off…

      Nonetheless, welcome to the conversation Steve Lake.

  7. I’m glad I retired from being a scientist. Now days everyone
    thinks they know more. You know like Rick Perry, Texas Gov,
    expounding on global warming, evolution and the like. His
    qualifications? Flunked organic chemistry in college! IMO,
    for every scientist that has an ‘agenda’, there are a hundred
    dupes influenced by political viewpoint that are footsoldiers
    in the war on science. Yep, retirement is fine…

  8. As a retired scientist, here are a few observations and thoughts on research and bias.

    People and researchers always have agendas of some sort– not a motive to deliberately deceive, but a genuine belief about what is true. If the data don’t agree something was wring with the experiment In psychology (where I started) some examples: from late 70′s on: women and man are identical, IQ differences between one group and another are not ‘real’. kids with working mothers aren’t as mentally balanced as others, divorce does not harm kids, violence in young men is a result of video games and TV (pick your decade) , home schooled kids have lousy social skills.

    To my surprise medicine, although more low key, was not very different. Grant money comes with a price tag — tacit endorsement of some point of view (or no renewal). Foundation money, very similar.

    There is a pressure in research to “dumb it”, keep it simple, conclusive but not so much that “more research” (read next grant) isn’t needed, important seeming, and in keeping with currently respected beliefs/topics in the field,

    I have seen people willing and even wanting to suspend beliefs, to accept and even enjoy the unexpected, not writing the conclusion before doing the experiment. In spite of it all, the obstacles truth has a way of popping up as long as you follow the scientific method and don’t lie about or make up your results.

    Still, research whether in academia, think tanks, or anywhere else usually is neither an intent to deceive nor a quest for truth. IMO, Be as suspicious of scientific results as you are of everything else you read.

    Yipes, sorry this is so long. Professional hazard?

    Thank you for this site.

  9. RE: Global warming, aka “Climate Change” thanks to Uncle Al the kiddies pal is just another creation of politicians to bilk the taxpayer of their money through increased regulation and mandated “stimulus” financing of green jobs. I remember watching All The President’s Men when I was 20 years old and Deep Throat’s advice holds true today: “follow the money.”

  10. Fascinating. This blog wants us to believe that current mainstream science is biased in the direction of “liberals,” while arguing at the same time that Fox News, The Cato Institute, and The Free Enterprise Action Fund are not biased.

    Thanks for the amusement.

  11. And I love that you call the blog “Junk Science,” because, indeed, that’s what it is.

  12. Steve, keep up the good work. Don’t let the Haters get to you.

  13. I have not seen any comments by qualified physicists or engineers about the socalled smart grid. Somebody ought to provide an analysis.

  14. Great comments from the smart, intellectual,tolerant, diverse leftist. Obama lies, they believe.

  15. lets just put it this way..everything is special interest..and depending on what side of the isle you sit junk science..

    it is the idiots that think eating at macdonalds..getting mercury filled amalgam teeth …having their homes built with asbestos fibers and lead paint..cell phones on their ears for hours every day…is good for them or healthy for them..because the body is impervious to anything…

    these idiots that can make web sites..possibly are just fat..lards that take interest in saying dumb crap..to raise a ruckus…and make people see how dumb humanity is..when they open there mouths..that humans are impervious to such things…

    keep eating your MACDONALDs..don’t eat vegetables..chew on AMALgams…I HOPE YOUR FAMILY has GRAMS of it stuffed in there mouths because it it cccccompletelyyyy safe …um make more water pipes and house building materials of asbestors fibers..paint your childrens rooms with lead paint..infact just eat lead..it is safe..

    oh wait did i mention that i own stock and on the board of MACDONALDS..and the AMALGAM industry and need to keep my dividends up!

    !!!!!it is all safe!!!!!!!!! my scientists–agree!!!

  16. You can definitely tell who the liberals are.
    Liberals insult and wish illness, injury and death upon anyone who doesn’t agree with them or the ideology they espouse. To go against or challenge the expected norm (as seen through their eyes) is a sacrilege. They are beyond question or reproach. A liberal’s viewpoint is… “It is because we say it is.”
    Why question is… Why is this?
    Here we are on a website that is examining science as presented to the people for purposes of achieving an objective; primarily science a political objective. A counter is provided to the science provided that one would expect should result in a debate about the science itself. However, rather than make a counter argument, the liberals here just go off and start insulting the people. Unfortunately, this is par for the course.
    How about doing a little research and then coming back with a response. If the info presented here is flawed, then point out what is flawed. To me this makes much more sense than calling someone stupid and wishing they and their family die miserable deaths.

  17. “Liberals insult and wish illness, injury and death upon anyone who doesn’t agree with them or the ideology they espouse….How about doing a little research and then coming back with a response…this makes much more sense than calling someone stupid and wishing they and their family die miserable deaths.”

    First off, they can’t. If they looked at the data objectively, they wouldn’t be able to continue supporting the AGW hypothesis. The ad hominem attacks are symptomatic of someone who cannot win the argument based on facts; this is an age old principle of debating…if you can’t win on the facts, attack the person. This is how I first came to realize that the AGW must be bunk…the constant stream of personal attacks on those who question the theory.

    Second, look up “narcissistic rage”, and the other behavioral markers of NPD; the demands for “perfect mirroring” and “narcissistic supplies”. The personality is based on the four primitive defenses: denial, projection, rationalization, and splitting. All of these are rampant in the rhetoric coming from the AGW camp.

    Splitting is especially informative: all others are viewed as either entirely good, or entirely evil. There are no shades of gray. To the narcissist, all love is conditional, and dependent on performance…particularly your performance at providing “perfect mirroring” (complete agreement and adoration). Fail at that, and you get split–deemed worthless and evil. Hence, we get calls for “…die of AIDS…”, “…Nuremburg-style trials…” for “…high crimes against humanity…”, comparisons to Holocaust deniers, etc ad naseum.

    Do we have to keep calling them ‘liberals’? It’s such a misnomer… a true liberal would not resort to ad hominem attacks, but rather would respect others’ right to disagree. Reasonable men (and women) will disagree reasonably. They are not progessives, either… unless you think putting people you disagree with to death is ‘progress’. They are leftists, or socialists, or statists…but definitely not ‘liberals.’

    • Well thought out and reasoned. Good tips for persuading others or simply to irritate zero growth nuts.

      • Joel in Milwaukee

        Ive seen the same behavior/ tactics from conservatives. This is not a liberal problem, it’s a personal problem many people have on both sides of the political aisle.

    • HERE HERE, Kudos to the thoughtful intellect.

    • Ben of Houston

      Gene, interesting post. However, I know several liberals who are honest and believe what they believe reasonably and rationally. I might disagree with their reasons or reasoning, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. We typically agree that all politicians are horrible and the media are liars and then go get beer.

      Pointing your finger at an entire side and saying “liberals are crazy” makes you no better than those you criticize.

  18. It all makes sense to me if I change “green” to religion. If you don’t believe you will go to hell, original sin, etc. and junk science is the bible.

  19. Global Warming was exposed as junk science and a hoax so they seamlessly switched to “Climate Change”. We’re supposed to BELIEVE that humans are responsible for it via increased carbon dioxide. In fact, REAL science shows that global warming causes increased carbon dioxide not the other way around like Al Gore wants us to believe. The mechanism is oceans. 2/3 of the planet is oceans that absorb CO2 when they cool and release it when they warm.

    Governments and Wall Street banksters push the agenda for selfish reasons. Governments see carbon taxes as a money grab. The banksters create more derivatives based on the artificial asset of carbon credits and they want to reap obscene profits, commissions & bonuses. In both cases, we the people suffer with higher taxes and increased cost of everything.

    Wake up! Carbon dioxide is not poison; it’s plant food. Water vapor and methane are much more “insulative’ than carbon dioxide. Let’s ban water!

    Belief of any sort, whether it’s religion, junk science or climate change is for fools and gullible old women.

    Keep up the good work Steve.

    • Arby Justice Wilder

      Well done. This will stop them in their tracks. Reply to a AGW beleiver with this. If we are causing climate change, why are all the planets and some of the moons going through the same changes?

  20. Hi Steve.

    I’ve been visiting your site for years, primarily to learn the latest global temp anomalies, and I, too, hope you keep up the most admirable work you do.

    Some time ago you slightly changed the address to the temp page (where you list the latest month’s results from UAH, GISS, HadCRUT, etc.), and my bookmarks randomly revert to the old version. When they do, it takes me ages to locate the page again. There’s no sign here anywhere, even in the Search results, of your famous temperature page. Why don’t you put up a link to it?

    Please help me find it again! Thanks.

    Richard Treadgold.

  21. There are so many things that point out that what we read about in “the media” is tainted, I do not trust that source for relevant information on AGW anymore. Instead, I digest a few blogs, one of which being Junk Science. In days gone by I listened to Voice of America and Radio Moscow and knew the “truth” was somewhere inbetween!
    I know that temps are going up, we had an “all time high” for the date just yesterday! What I really want to know is: “WHY?” Can anyone here help me with the following two questions?:
    1) Find a recent scientific empirical study that concludes that an atmospheric CO2 increase causes a temperature rise. and 2) If water outgases CO2 when its’ temperature increases, then how does that same water become more acidic when it becomes warmer?

  22. There is no study or peer reviewed paper that can be duplicated that conclusively ties manmade C02 to temperature increases. There are some speculative papers whose methodology would get you thrown out of college that purport to tie increases in C02 to temp increases. However there are papers that tie C02 increases to temp increases. Inverse to what was being claimed. C02 increases are an effect of increases not a cause. The relationships between computer models and actual observational data have become incestuous in nature and are interchanged by the alarmist community when actual facts come up short in pursuit of their social agenda.

  23. Ed, thank you. Since I cannot prove a negative, how should I approach the subject with a scientist who believes that CO2 drives temperature? To me, this is the crux of the matter. Al Gore, et al state that the science is settled, but do not elaborate. I subscibe to the so called greenhouse effect, however, I think that is a relatively small player in the overall scheme of our global weather system. Also, although never so identified, I believe there is an upper limit to how much the greenhouse effect can affect the temperatures because there is a saturation level at which increased CO2 has no additional effect – it would be nice to see a graph of CO2 concentration vs ecpected greenhouse effect.

    I do believe that the Biosphere…in Arizona would be a perfect spot to conduct research into how changes in atmospheric CO2 would affect the energy balance.

  24. fJeffrey,

    You have to start by remembering that you are not really talking to a scientist… you are talking to someone who has been converted to a religion. That he is educated and employed as a scientist is secondary to his emotional commitment to ‘the cause’. Having said that, it is better to address the flaws in their process than to argue the point–for to do so implies that you accept their (dysfunctional) process.

    What you are getting is a manipulative debating device called ‘burden of proof’. That is, the sensitivity of the global temperature to CO2 concentrations is claimed to be high; they have no proof of this, so instead they resort to this manipulative device, and try to get you to accept the burden of proof that their hypothesis is *not* true.

    Don’t take the bait. Do not argue all the reasons why CO2 is not the driver of global temperature, because as soon as you start down that road you have accepted the manipulation: you have accepted that the burden of proof is yours.

    This is junk science. Those who promote a theory are, in the scientific method, bound by the burden of proof. The warmists can’t prove the existence of a causal relationship between CO2 and climate; at least, not in any statistically significant way. So, they try to get you to relieve them of the burden of proof.

    BTW, the burden of proof fallacy is a variation of the argument from ignorance fallacy, and you can see that being used right in the IPCC summary. It states that the causality of CO2 vs. temperature is because the rise in temperature cannot be accounted for with just the natural forcings. This argument assumes things not stated, i.e. that we know all of and have fully characterized the natural forcings (sun, cosmic rays, what have you), as well as the feedbacks. Both assumptions are false. The basis of the IPCC position that CO2 drives global temperatures is a logical fallacy, the argument from ignorance.

    They are also depending upon the fallacy ‘post hoc propter hoc’…i.e. since the temperature rise followed the rise in CO2, then it must be caused by the rise in CO2. This is also a non sequitur.

    Also, Al Gore is not a scientist. He took two courses in science in college, and got ‘D’s’ in both. His movie is so full of fallacies that a judge in England determined that, as it stood, it was not science, but propaganda. It can now only be shown to English schoolchildren if accompanied by a document outlining the nine (not a complete list) of fallacies contained in the movie.

    When you talk to the warmist faithful, also note the extensive use of the other fallacies: bandwagon, appeal to authority, biased sample, and the violation of Popper’s principle of falsifiability…i.e. that which cannot be falsified cannot be considered true.

    The warmists, who want us to spend tens of trillions on revamping our entire society to fit within the bounds of their ‘green’ agenda, need to come up with actual proof before we go down that road. Of course, when faced with that, they will tell you that the consequences of not stopping the carbon emissions are so horrible that we must ignore any uncertainty and do it anyway. This is, of course, yet another fallacy: the appeal to fear. It is also not falsifiable.

  25. Thank you Gene! I have felt all of your points and I agree that the scientists must be held to the scientific method. When that happens (including making all of the fundamental data freely available to all other creditable scientists so that the experiments can be done and re-done again and again), just like measuring the speed of light (for instance).

    However, we were just a hair’s width away from clamping the world into a tight box during the Copenhagen Climate Summit, sprung apart only by the insistence of the Chinese. The people behind the funding of AGW Theory will stop at nothing to get their way.

    The reason I have the two questions (CO2 causing warming; ocean warming & acidification) is because, to me, these are the crucial junctures in the AGW arguement. Of course there are multiple others, but these are the fundamental points they cannot get beyond; and, they have been brought forth through the media to the point that most people are aware of them. All I am trying to do is get the AGW crowd to comment on them — but, they won’t, or can’t.

    Secondly, as an Engineer, I truly have a thirst for knowledge and actually want them to tell me what their evidence is. Believe me, I have asked them (all the way up to Mann) and have been rebuffed at every occasion.

    Thirdly, I believe the AGW crowd has positioned this as a ‘problem’ that can only be dealt with at the highest levels, preferably by giving authority to the UN, with the lowest level in the US at the Federal level. I have absolutely NO access to the decision makers. The best I can do is vote in someone who carries my torch (and I don’t see any of them), so here I am talking with you (no offense). My Congressman and Senators, Governor and President are “all in” with AGW. Am I whistling Dixie here?

    But, I will not quit. They have been at this for a long time (I have personal knowledge from 1976 of some of this effort). Maybe all they have is what Arrhenius came up with? I’ll agree when I am convinced from empirical data.

    • Jeffrey,

      I am an engineer, too (electrical).

      Of course you have been rebuffed. *They dont have the hard data*. They cant admit that. So, we get all of these evasions. But, you cannot hope to convert any of them…it is as a religion. The best we can do is convince the moderates that the left has failed to make their case. Without the moderates, the cant gey their agenda put i.to place.

  26. In the meantime, we have found so much natural gas in the US, we could be energy independant within 10 years of development. If allowed by the environmentalists, the gas could replace coal to power the national electrical grid – no need for those wind turbines. Also, LNG could replace the diesel in all trucks; after that, could be an alternative to gasoline.

    If only……we are still trying to understand Nuclear Fusion. Hope we get there in my lifetime!

  27. Our real hope lies in nuclear fission. If we get the alarmists and obstructionists out of the way we could replace fossil fueled electrical generation in 10 years and replace it with nuclear. During that same time span we could convert oil heated homes to electric heated homes and reduce emissions at the same time. In the history of nuclear power in the U.S., the safety of our reactor designs give it a record of zero radiation related deaths while delivering clean inexpensive energy. We could generate unlimited energy from nuclear plants and reduce our emissions to less that they were over a hundred years ago.

  28. This blog(yawn) is just another example of a pseudo intellectual narcissistic conservative with just enough smarts to twist anything into an anti-liberal campaign. Go figure, I am not even a liberal and I am saying this, shows you how obvious his agenda is. I must admit, I was entertained with this diatribe for about 10 minutes and then I grew tired of the drivel.

    • When they can’t win based on the facts, they fall back on the ad hominem attacks…

      Didn’t I say that already? I did, didn’t I.

  29. Jeffrey,

    In response to your earlier post, i.e. a responding to warmist claims about causality, of CO2 vs. warming and vs. ocean acidification: both of these ‘effects’ of CO2 concentrations have no demonstrated causality. The environmental left has, as it has always done, utilized the logical fallacy ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ (warming/acidification came after the rise in CO2 concentrations, therefore they were caused by the CO2 rise). There is no proof that either effect is a result of man’s CO2 emissions. It is a *presumption*, which they then justify by shifting the burden of proof to you. In fact, the ice core data indicate that over the history of many large temperature increases, the CO2 concentrations *lag* the temperature rises by an average of about 800 years. Even their post hoc fallacy fails.

    The ocean acidification issue is similarly flawed. It is not up to us to disprove their hypothesis, it is up to them to prove that causality, and do so in a robust, scientific, and statistically significant way. They have not done this. You can also look at Craig Idso et al “The Ocean Acidification Fiction” at http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N22/EDIT.php . They do a pretty good job of deconstructing the alarmists’ ocean acidification case. The recent changes in oceanic pH are within the range of natural variation seen over history, and there is no correlation of pH to CO2 levels. Also, the acidification theorists cannot explain how the oceans can simultaneously both warm and absorb more CO2; this idea flies in the face of basic chemistry. As the water warms (if we assume it does), it can hold *less* CO2 in solution; it outgasses the excess CO2. This is one mechanism that may explain the lagged relationship between CO2 and temperature; the oceans warm slowly, due to their large thermal mass, and thus contribute to the (later) CO2 rise by releasing the gas from solution. Nevertheless, a warming ocean cannot become more acidic due to increased levels of CO2. It doesn’t work.

  30. I was university educated in Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Astrophysics. I have also done experimental research at a major university. Some of what is said about “What is Junk Science” may be true. However, I disagree that is it ALWAYS used to advance some political or personal agenda. Some science is “Junk” because proper scientific method is not followed, or may be performed by unqualified personnel. I think the term “pseudoscience” is more to the point, and has less emotion attached.

    Science is more than just “trial and error”. The steps of proper Scientific Method are:
    (1) Formulate a question (prediction).
    (2) Gather information and resources (observation).
    (3) Form an explanatory hypothesis.
    (4) Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data.
    (5) Analyze the data.
    (6) Interpret the data and draw conclusions that may serve as a starting point for new hypotheses.
    (7) Publish results.
    (8) Retest (frequently done by other scientists for independent verification).

    You are correct that egos and agendas often get in the way, but pure science is about the truth of how the universe works (physical laws, etc). Independent verification by other scientist helps to remove the action of egos and agendas. Of course, nothing is perfect, but we strive to achieve that goal.

  31. Well said…
    Certain presumptions contained…
    Data gathered has to be a representative sample…
    The analysis has to be done with solid procedures, i.e. not introduce error or bias…
    The conclusions must follow logically from the analysis, and avoid logical fallacies…
    The publishing of results must also imply the release of the source data and methods to any and all comers, especially critics, such that the results can be duplicated, and shown not to be falsified.

    As Wegman et al said of the statistical methodology used by Mann et al to arrive at the ‘Hockey Stick’: ‘a technical skill … not significantly different from zero’.

    The CRU dataset was finally released in July 2011, after nearly a decade of stonewalling.

    Dr. Thomson, of Gore’s “Dr. Thompson’s Thermometer” fame, has, to the best of my knowledge, *still* not released the raw data behind his results, thus no one can replicate them; nor can they be falsified.

    The data analysis used by Mann et al was demonstrated to have the curious effect of producing a hockey stick, no matter what data were input, including white noise…

    The AGW climate models, upon which all of the alarmist predictions rest, have repeatedly been invalidated. The country’s forecasting expert demonstrated that a ‘naive model’ (straight line) had 12x better predictive validity than the IPCC’s climate models.

    The whole of the scientific case for the A in AGW rests on an argument from ignorance… “what else could it be?” This error has been repeated over and over, with the latest example being the BEST study out of UCB… public statements by the lead author attributed the warming found to human causes; nothing in the study demonstrated any causal relationships.

    One by one, all of the so called effects of AGW–malaria, expanding deserts, extreme weather, ad infinitum, have been shown to have failed the null hypothesis, i.e. the occurrences are not statistically different than the natural variations.

    Now, we have the IPCC taking the fall back position that the ‘global warming signal’ is so small that it will not be evident above the noise from all the natural variations for many decades… nobody seems to notice that this invalidates every alarmist claim made since (and including) Hansen told Congress in 1988 that warming was already happening and he was 99% sure that it was human caused… if it is too small to discern, how have all these studies over the last 23 years demonstrated correlation with it?

    With apologies to those climate scientists who have stuck to the scientific method, I have come to the conclusion that, in general, ‘climate scientist’ is an oxymoron.

  32. Gentlemen. Your disbelief in our ability to affect climate change is frightening. I guess you totally forgot about CFC’s. Remember that little problem? Not only would the destruction of the ozone layer have nuked us all into the cancer ward, but the increased ultra-violet would have killed off all of the plankton,which produces 2/3 of our oxygen. And the whole world banned CFC’s. When was the last time the whole world got together(quickly) and agreed on ……..anything? Was that a hoax? No. But it did PROVE,that we DO have the ability to manufacture and out gas our own destruction. And,do it in a blink of an eye. We could have launched the DSCOVR satellite out to L-1 , and done some real research, but Cheney decided no one needed that. We all agree that thru our history ,climate change has always fluctuated, but very ,very slowly. What will it take for you to look around the the world and realize……..hmmmmm,maybe this is much too fast. All you have to do is look at Australia. And by the time you say “oops”,it will be too late, because its already too late.

    • You forget basic science, comrade. CFCs are heavier than air, so they cannot reach the atmosphere. Therefore, you have no logic and you resort to ad hominem because of this fact.

  33. The science surrounding CFCs was failry clear but the science of human-induced climate change is NOT settled. The so-called increase in storms and droughts is a red herring. In the year 1900, earth’s population was about one billion. Today it is 7 billion and hardly a square foot of earth is uninhabited. A major storm happening anywhere affects many more people than a century ago and with instant news everyone hears about it so it appears that inclement weather is in the increase.

    Another example is the New Madrid (Missouri) earthquake of 1812 estimated at 8.4 Richter. Although it rang churchbells in Boston, no one mid-continent, other than toppling a few Indian teepees, was affected by it. Today, the population has grown so dense if the same size earthquake were to strike in the same area it would threaten millions of people and cause billions of dollars in damage. Admittedly earthqakes are not human-produced but the point is that devastation is a function of population growth not junk science.

  34. The illiberals not only don’t have enough facts to support their claims, not only resort to illogical methods such as ad hominem, they also do not have the courage of their alleged convictions. I still see ads for the Swiffer, which I see as a horrible waste of resources, including landfill space, which is entirely unnecessary to the purpose of cleaning floors. The old-fashioned rag mop with disinfectant solution is just as effective, and only marginally less time consuming than the throw-away mop heads. In the complete analysis, including time to earn the difference in cost and time to manufacture, the Swiffer uses much more time than the rag mop. (Did you know you can make your own rag mop at home from worn or unmated socks, saving not only money but resources?)
    I also see disposable diapers, which put human waste, a very big factor in spreading disease, in places where it cannot be effectively detoxified. I see paper plates, paper cups, plastics, and many other consumer products that are used once and discarded, all of which are only lazy substitutes for traditional reusable items. If all the people who believe or pret4e3nd to believe in AMG were to stop using these many wasteful products, the market for them would decrease drastically.
    I do not believe in AMG. However, I make more effort than the faithful to reduce my carbon footprint because I believe in not wasting resources.

  35. @Fred

    I remember CFCs. It was junk science that got them banned. Luckily we were able to come up with other refrigerants that could do the job but Freon 12 was ideal.

  36. JUST WAIT UNTIL JERRY BROWN IMPLEMENTS THIS CAP AND TRADE AND YOU WILL SEE THOUSANDS OF
    JOBS FLEE CALIFORNIA IN THE NAME OF CARBON CREDITS… IT MAY BE YOUR JOBS AT STAKE ON FALSE
    SCIENCE.. I AM SURE THE LEFT WILL BE HAPPY..THE WEALTHY FEW ON TOP DON,T WORRY BECAUSE OF BOXER AND HER WEALTH IN FINE WINES AND PELOSI AND HERE WEALTH IN TUNA COMPANY AND FENISTINE AND HERN CHINA BASED COMPANIES THESE PEOPLE AREADY SOLD THEIR SOUL TO THE DEVIL..WE
    ALREADY KILLED THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN THIS STATE.. DESTROYED THE DAMS AND HUNDDREDS
    OF FARMS ARREADY LEFT OF WENT BANK RUPT ALL IN THE NAME OF GLOBAL WARMING FIASCO..
    WE ARE IN GOOD HANDS AL GORE AND UNITED NATIONS WILL SAVE US AND SAVE THE earth….

    GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU ON THESE POSTS

    GOOD LUCK

    • Well put, Frank! I’ll repeat a posting on “Real Science” here:

      “Whats really amazing is that it is the California RATEPAYERS who will foot the bill, and those dimmer of wit believe that their taxes are not going up! Even worse is the removal of incentive to curb real (not CO2) pollution, as poisons and carcinogens will continue entering the environment because “pollution credits” have been purchased, allowing them to legally continue soiling air, water, and soil unabated.

      To some extent, the CA voters will get what they deserve, but the rest of the nation is generally downwind and did not (entirely) vote for this stupidity.”

      Arm yourself with FACTS and work on your friends who pushed the wrong voting levers. Do they think CO2 is a problem? Send them here:

      http://www.colderside.com/Colderside/Temp_%26_CO2.html and tell ‘em to stare at the temperature scale until it sinks in. 2012 will be even colder!

      Don’t give up! Learn from your saner colleagues who stop by “Junk Science” and “Real Science,” and are thus on the side of the Angels!

  37. Why must the U.S politicize everything? ‘The liberals say this…’ ‘The right wing are always that…’ You people are insane…
    Science is by its very nature is neutral. It has no inherent bias. Its beauty is that, assuming you are educated enough to read and understand what you are reading, we can all analyse the reasoning, methodology, results and the interpretation of the these results.

  38. I cannot agree more with Killerwindmills above. It is disgusting when science intermingles with politics as it always does.

    I do not agree with the first comment “I hope you die of Aids” – that is just absurd and we are all entitled to our own opinions. Have some respect!

  39. (Status UnKnown)

    What I am sick of is the lack of bipartisanship when it comes to solving political issues that involve science. Seriously! Quit warring with each other, man up, and do something Congress! D:<

  40. The entire body of climate change science is too large to address in a single post. But I’d like to mention a couple things.

    -Increased CO2 causes an increase in temperature. This isn’t partisan, it’s fact. All chemists and physicists agree on such basic science, just like how no one disputes that gravity exists or that air has mass. Endless experiments prove it. Look it up on mythbusters. Read a chem book. Ask a local highschool science teacher to prove it to you. Write every university in the world. The answer will always be the same. The climate is more complex of course, but when you start understanding that all the basics underlying it are correct, it begins to make some sense.

    -Ocean acidification is a result of increasing atmospheric CO2: When CO2 is absorbed by water, it forms carbonic acid. This is also a fact. One poster mentioned that oceans should contain less CO2 when warmed. That is true, gasses are LESS soluble in warmer water. But they are not INsoluble in warmer water. If you continue to increase atmospheric CO2, it is certainly possible to increase both temp. and CO2 concentration.

    These two things are basic science and we really shouldn’t waste our time debating them. The complexities of climate change and the exact source? Sure, debate away. Science is improved when facts stack up against faulty conclusions and prove them to be incorrect. But debating the extreme basics is a little silly and frustrating. It’s like society is trying to fix a toaster but part of the team is still adamant that electricity is a farce and toast doesn’t really burn if cooked too long.

    • Ben of Houston

      Will, the oceanic pH is balanced by an insane number of systems both chemical and biological that act as buffers. These buffers serve to reduce the impact of CO2 on pH.

      I suggest looking up “Le Chatelier’s Principle”. That’s a good starting point for dealing with complex equilibria

  41. @ Will – You say, “increased CO2 causes an increase in temperature.” That’s junk science. Cause and effect is one of the most difficult things for humans to understand. Take for example, a recent Dilbert cartoon. One of Dilbert’s co-workers says she’s considering marriage because research shows married people are happier than those not married.

    Dilbert provides another perspective. He says, “Who would want to marry a miserable person?” In other words, it’s not that marriage (the cause) makes people happy (the effect) but, in reality, happy people are more likely to get married than miserable people.

    Real science shows that an increase in temperature causes an increase in CO2 and the lag time can be measured in decades or more. As oceans warm, they release absorbed CO2.

    Since global warming was exposed as a hoax, the agenda seamlessly transitioned to “climate change”. Of course climate changes! It’s been changing for 4.5 billion years. It’s constantly changing just like the weather and my socks. What we’re supposed to BELIEVE is that climate change is anthropogenic i.e. caused by humans, and that has NOT been scientifically proven. That’s belief not knowledge and belief is for fools and gullible old women, not science.

  42. Perhaps I needed to be more specific. I’m not attempting to address climate change at all, nor delve into the complexities of ocean temperature cycles, etc. I’m talking about the following thing only:

    CO2 absorbs thermal radiation.

    That’s it. If people can agree on just that, with no modifiers, I think some progress can be made.

    • Perhaps you need to be less simplistic. Even the IPCC states that CO2‘s IR absorption and enhanced greenhouse forcing is logarithmic in nature, with the doubling formula of 5.35LN(2) or ~3.7W/m2 ΔF for each doubling. At what point does increased atmospheric CO2 cease to matter?

      The first half of pre-Industrial Revolution CO2 (call it 280 ppmv, slightly greater than 28) forcing is delivered by less than 20 ppmv (16 ppmv should deliver 14.8 W/m2, 256 ppmv yields 29.6 W/m2 …).

      Assuming a static atmosphere (which it isn’t) 512 ppmv should deliver 33.3 W/m2 but it will not, will it? Why not? Because autoconvection (that atmospheric property so beloved by glider pilots) ensures that air warmed near the surface lofts (becomes less dense and is displaced by cooler, more-dense overlying air). Adiabatic lapse ensures that that parcel of air cools with expansion – and as it does so radiates at differing wavelengths as it rises and expands, thus bypassing wavelengths absorbed by greenhouse gases (GHGs) and transmitting (losing, if you prefer) energy directly to space.

      This is just a trivial example of why you can not simply say CO2 is a GHG, therefore more CO2 will always meaningfully heat the planet, that simply is not true. Moreover the statement “CO2 absorbs thermal radiation” is itself conditional and incomplete – “CO2 absorbs thermal radiation in specific electromagnetic wavelengths, if such wavelengths are available“.

      Do you think you should pay a little more attention to modifiers, perhaps?

  43. Doing an investigation for Huntington Beach High School newspaper: Oiler ink, on the Effect of DDT on Bald Eagles and their reintroduction into the lower 48 states. I found a Fox News article written with a link to this site and being the ADD student and reporter I followed it. And Oh my God, I found this steaming pile. I am continuing my report past its due date simply to find the truth of this.

    * If Anyone, including the retired scientists (above) are able and compelled to help with my now Crusade feel free to contact me.

  44. Eric Pritchard

    Junk science can be created in other ways besides altering data values. The design of the study, the selection of subjects, the interpretation of the results, and the formulation of the conclusion all impact the stated results. However and unfortunately, the results are given without the conditions of the study, so readers don’t know how far the implications of the study extend.

    For example, to prove the active hormone, triiodothyronine, is ineffective while the relatively inactive hormone, thyroxine, is effective, studies picked subjects who did not have conversion (thyroxine to triiodothyronine) deficiencies. These studies also generally used a dose smaller than the recommended starting dose for triiodothyronine and used statistics that would ignore small positive responses. Consequently, these studies were interpreted to as proof that the active hormone is ineffective while the inactive hormone is effective.

    Isn’t healthcare just special?

  45. I'm "that" guy

    Wow, many of sheep don’t like being directed by wolves. I like this site.

  46. Bring back your temperature tracking graphs, back date them and keep them going for another 50 years. Then you’ll prove the earth is not getting warmer and even if it is it’s not beause of humans and even if it is because of humans it won’t be that bad and even if it will be that bad we should do nothing now and adapt and even if we can’t adapt we’ll find a new planet and even…

  47. Find another planet huh…..
    Well so far, from what I’ve seen via NASA, both The Moon and Mars look crap. When they find somewhere BETTER than Earth then maybe we can use that as our back up plan.
    That’s the problem with devotees of the scientific method. They wish we had a control planet.
    Unfortunately we don’t, and designers & engineers like me keep deploying new, weird stuff faster than scientists can test it.
    So the scientific method is inadequate!

  48. How do they do it, the junk science? Quite often they just ask lots of questions and report one of the few statistically significant results. A nutritional study may have over 100 foods giving them 5% of the results statistically significant. Walla, a paper giving a false positive result!

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