Saturday, 16 June 2007

Bad Science keeps up the good work

The bad science that I am referring to is the name of the column in the Saturday guardian that sets out to debunk the bad science that is peddled by the charlatans that try and scare people about the dangers of everyday life.

Recent excellent articles have included ones on people selling devices to cancel out electromagnetic rays , the bad science behind the recent Panoram program on wifi and about Gillian Mckeith (the one who is obsessed by poo and has decided to stop calling herself a doctor - perhaps because she isn't qualified).

This weeks one concerns a Professor David Colquhoun who had some very sensible questions about claims made by a Dr Ann Walker for a herbal remedy conisting of red clover. His questions were posted them on his UCL (University College London Blog).

Apparently (and according to the Guardian article) the response were legal threats from Dr Walkers husband to which the university apparently caved in to. The good news was that the blogosphere rallied to the Professors side and deluged the Provost of UCL with letters demanding the reinstatement of his blog.

Even better was the fact that the theories being put about by Dr Walker were discussed in great length and to no great surprise most of them appeared not to believe a word.

The media world needs more people like Ben Goldacre to stop the myth peddlers from scaring people into buying things that they don't need.

Monday, 11 June 2007

CO2 sponge losing ability to soak up extra emissions

As predicted by the majority of the scientists who are actively involved in climate change research, the world appears to suffering from a feedback loop, whereby an increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, means the earth is less able to deal with the CO2, thus exacerbating the problem.

The Southern Ocean which traditionally has been able to soak up a proportion of the CO2 that the earth generates, has not been able to keep up with the increase in CO2, meaning that the other natural spongues such as the forests will have more difficulty in keeping up.

Michael Moore knows how to sell a film

People don't tend be ambivalent about Michael Moore and that's certainly the case in the US. While to our supposedly more sophisticated European tastes we might find him a little obvious and crude, he is certainly the only person on the left taking on the Bush establishment in such a vocal and public manner.

He is latest film Sicko examines the American health care system and includes taking policeman and fireman who suffer from respiratory problems due to 9/11 to Cuba for treatment.

It appears that the Michael Moore has helped out his nemesis Jim Kenefick who runs the site According to the Guardian, Moore anonymously paid $12,000 towards his Keneficks wife's treatment.