Science and Ideology

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pope calling on people to protect the global climate

The Conversation
Andy Hoffman, University of Michigan and Jenna White, University of Michigan

pope@2xThis summer, Pope Francis plans to release an encyclical letter in which he will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change.

His statement will have a profound impact on the public debate. For one, it will elevate the spiritual, moral and religious dimensions of the issue. Calling on people to protect the global climate because it is sacred, both for its own God-given value and for the life and dignity of all humankind, not just the affluent few, will create far more personal commitment than a government call for action on economic grounds or an activist’s call on environmental grounds. Continue reading

Vaccinations causing Holocaust According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

robert kennedy jrChildhood vaccinations are apparently causing a holocaust and killing the brains of our children, claims Robert F. Kennedy Jr. according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.  The environmental lawyer and activist addressed the audience at a Sacramento, California, screening of the documentary Trace Amounts, which links autism to thimerosal, a vaccine preservative.

“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone, This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”- Kennedy Jr.

The goal of the film screening is to stop California SB-277,  a bill that would require schoolchildren in the state to be vaccinated, and parents would no longer be able to send unvaccinated children to school with waivers for religious or personal beliefs. Exemptions would be available only for children with health problems. Continue reading

Reported Link Between Fracking and Radon Gas is Purely Hypothetical

radonIn the last few days dozens of articles have suggested a causal link between fracking and an increase in radon levels in homes in Pennsylvania.  Headlines range from conservative as USA Today’s article  – “Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground” and CBS News with a question “Is fracking causing a spike in radon levels?” to inflammatory headlines from liberal activists stating that a link between fracking and rising levels of radon gas in homes near fracking sites has been established based on a study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless[2]noble gas, occurring naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium.

In fact no such link was found by the study.  The authors say they focused on Pennsylvania because it has one of highest residential radon levels in the country, and because the state has a huge, detailed database of home radon measures.  They found that levels in some sites had risen since 2004, which is the date they claim fracking started to increase, however there is no controlled analysis of claim. The authors state the study is a preliminary “first look” into a “possible connection” between fracking and radon. Continue reading

Media Confuses Climate Change with Wisconsin Work Ethics

Although climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is not the function of every public agency. Many have a sole purpose defined and paid for by taxpayers.  Bloomberg Business and most of the media reports on the issue were jumping on this story and paraphrasing each other without any original thought.

Last Tuesday, the Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands voted 2-to-1 to prohibit staff “from engaging in global warming or climate change work” while on the clock at the Board of Commissioners. According to the board, working on climate change, or even just talking about it while at work, is a waste of public funds. Continue reading

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