How Junk Science Makes Our Kids Poor

August 29, 2007

Governments’ use of Junk Science makes the general population disdainful of all science, Junk and honest. So less kids become scientists, moving scientific progress from our societies that distort science to those that don’t.

The most damaging distortion is a failure to quantify – here’s a Brit example:

Shocking pictures highlighting the danger of smoking are to be put on cigarette packets to try and persuade people to kick the habit…

One picture is expected to show a woman with an empty pram alongside the warning that smoking reduces fertility.

Another is likely to warn that smoking causes impotence by showing a drooping cigarette to symbolise erectile dysfunction.

The problem with this advert is that it defies common sense – until the 1960s, smoking was the rule rather than the exception, and yet:

In 2004 the UK fertility rate was 1.77 children per woman, considerably lower than the 1960s peak of 2.95 children…

Most young Brit families know that a) they have less kids than their parents and grandparents and b) said parents and grandparents smoked. Our household jokes that Mrs G’s smoking and drinking while pregnant with Gandalf junior stunted his growth to a mere 6′ 7″.

The second damaging distortion is pols politicizing science to increase tax and regulation.

This is another Brit example, on of course the Global Warming scam.

The opposition Tories just dropped their deranged Greenfly project (my ellipsis):

(The Torry leadership has) rejected a widely ridiculed proposal by David Cameron to restrict people to one return short-haul flight per year at a standard rate of tax and charge more for subsequent aircraft trips.

Only to replace it with another, even nuttier scheme (my emphasis):

Plans that would curb drastically the number of flights taken by British travellers are being considered by the Conservatives with new taxes on air travel and a halt to airport expansion.

Short-haul flights would receive particular attention: VAT would be levied on fuel for domestic flights for the first time and airlines would be forced to give over airport slots to long-haul trips. All flights would be subject to a separate per-flight tax based on the amount of CO2 generated, replacing the air passenger duty and shifting the burden from passengers to airlines, although this might force up ticket prices anyway.

This entire policy is based entirely on the views of 52 scientists:

…the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scientific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report.

The Associated Press reported recently that only 52 climate scientists contributed to the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.”

(The link is an excellent demolition of the scam by Fred Singer, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at UVa).

The Brit public might be inclined to shrug off one mistake, but after decades of false alarms (Global Cooling, mass epidemics of herpes/AIDS/CJD/SARS), they now conclude all scientists are dishonest.

So smart Brit and American kids decide to be lawyers or hackers rather than scientists.

And that hands the future to the many Asian nations that have a stricter regard for the truth.


Over-Compliant Brits

June 9, 2007

Brits are much readier than Americans to tolerate unreasonable imposition – that’s probably why they’re stuck in the EU.

We saw an example when flying out of Heathrow last week. The security people still require passengers to put their on the X-Ray belt and walk shoeless for about 15 yards through the metal detector. They don’t provide disposable socks so it’s a yucky experience. The passengers around us complained bitterly to each other about this, but complied anyway.

Keeping quiet is silly.

Heathrow security is operated by the British Airports Authority (BAA) which is paid to do the work by the Brit Home Office.

BAA, like any other state-financed enterprise, keeps costs down at the expense of its customers – in this case by making hundreds of thousands of them walk shoeless on its dirty floors.

I asked the security team for disposable socks, and when told they had none, politely invited them to find another solution. They sat me comfortably in a chair, took my shoes for X-Ray and returned them so I stayed unpolluted.

If everybody did this, screening times would go through the roof and BAA would cough up the few cents needed to stop its customers picking up nasty infections – either by buying the socks, or by deploying the little machine the Italians use to scan shoes while still on the wearer.

In the 15 minutes we took to clear security, I was the only one to refuse the dirty floor treatment.

Here’s another example from the Motoring section of the London Daily Telegraph (my ellipsis):

I’d like to urge drivers to carry their Certificate of Motor Insurance with them at all times when driving… (because of) the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system (ANPR), which gives police details of whether vehicles have current road tax, insurance and MoT (mandatory vehicle test).

Unfortunately, the Motor Insurance Database (MID) is not always up to date. The police now have “stop and seize” powers for uninsured vehicles and if their only point of reference is an incorrect entry (or no entry at all) on the MID, then properly insured drivers can find themselves having their cars seized.

If this problem is correctly stated, Brit cops can’t or won’t keep their database up to date. So the solution isn’t for properly insured drivers to carry a certificate to stop the cops wrongly seizing their cars, but to encourage them to fix their database.

One good way to do that is for unlawfully dispossessed owners to make a public stink and obtain expensive reparations. Most people don’t have the time or money to do this, but those that do should consider it a civic duty.

Because soon Brits may be forced to carry ID cards, and if the government fails to maintain that database properly, lots of law abiding folks are going to suffer much worse fates than having their cars seized.

This compliance explains why the Brits, who spent so much blood and treasure freeing Europe from the Nazis, have become a vassal state of Brussels.

(This isn’t to discourage readers from carrying Insurance Certificates – you need them in an accident.)