Science and Ideology

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80.44% of people surveyed favor mandatory labels on food containing DNA

Of course almost anything you buy has labels, and food products especially have their ingredients listed. Perhaps this is a trick question or people misunderstand it, or they think it was inappropriately asked. In any case this survey question from the Oklahoma State University Food Demand Survey questions people’s understanding of issues such as GMO product labeling. The lack of science education and scientific understanding can lead to bad public policy swayed by uneducated voters.

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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

Extensive New Study finds Fracking not related to Groundwater Contamination

es-2014-05775c_0006Previous studies using very small sample sets reported that there may be higher concentrations of methane dissolved in groundwater near wells using hydraulic fracking methods in northeastern Pennsylvania.1,2

The new peer reviewed study by Syracuse University published in Environmental Science and Technology used a database of over 11,000 sites, hundreds of times larger than the previous studies.  No statistically significant relationship was found between dissolved methane concentrations in groundwater from domestic water wells and proximity to pre-existing oil or gas wells. Previous analyses used small sample sets compared to the population of domestic wells available, which may explain the difference in prior findings compared to the new findings using over 10,000 data points.  Continue reading

Liberal media misrepresents Florida reprimand of employee about ‘climate change’

Why are some in the liberal media falsely inflaming this story? They do not need to. The banning of the term ‘climate change’ by Florida officials is clear by now. There is no reason to embellish it with misleading stories by letting ideology distort reality. The Huffington Post, ran a story called ‘Florida Environmental Staffer Says He Was Reprimanded For Talking About Climate Change’, The Guardian called it “Florida employee ‘punished for using phrase climate change'”, The Washington Post called it “Fla. official says he was punished for using ‘climate change’ in report”

According to his reprimand, (read it yourself) it was not for using the term ‘climate change’ but for falsifying the results of a meeting, and for advocating against the Keystone pipeline on official documents. Whether the pipeline causes global warming or not is a political view, even though global warming and climate change are facts, it is not scientific consensus that Keystone will cause increased fuel use, only a shift in fuel use. Our position is that it may by making oil easier to get. Continue reading

New study shows homeopathy worthless

The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia recently released their results of an investigation into homeopathy and homeopathic claims finding it to be nothing more than junk science and medical quackery.  They warn the public:

“Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”

Continue reading

Study Shows Diablo Canyon Safe From Earthquakes and Tsunamis

greeen nuclear

CGNP rally in support of Diablo Canyon in February 2015. LompocRecord.com

Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, can safely withstand earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding that could potentially occur in the region according to a new report released March 9, 2015 by PG&E.   Evaluations were performed at the direction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

As part of its response to the Fukushima event in Japan in 2011, the NRC directed all U.S. commercial nuclear power plants to perform a reassessment of the potential seismic and flooding hazards to their facilities. The seismic hazard analysis at Diablo Canyon was performed using an NRC-mandated process known as the Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee, or SSHAC. Under the SSHAC process, existing and new seismic information was peer-reviewed and publicly evaluated by third-party, independent seismic experts. Continue reading

Gun violence lower when gun ownership is higher

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.48.00 PM, Mar 17, 2015

Pew Research Center Poll

A recent post described the disparity between the rate of actual gun violence and that of perceived gun violence. With actual ownership up, and actual gun violence down since 1968, the opposite of what the public believes. The disparity is due to campaigns of gun control activists promoting the idea that guns cause crime.

A Gallup poll of gun ownership shows that among white Americans, one in three own guns, almost twice the rate as non-white Americans. However, data on gun crimes from the Department of Justice for these groups shows the rate of gun violence among non-whites is several times higher.  Also gun ownership among older adults, (>29 years old) is three times that of younger people yet the younger group is responsible for twice the rate of gun violent crimes.   Continue reading

Gun Homicide Rate Down, Public Perception Opposite

gun controlA Pew research poll has shown a remarkable disparity between what American believe about firearm violence and reality, and the relationship between gun ownership and local crime rates.

Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago despite a dramatic increase in gun ownership. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower. Continue reading

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