Category Archives: Environment

Wilson: Scientific Regress

[Editor’s note: an excellent review of the state of “science”. Especially appropriate if you are a fan of the myth of global warming.]

Scientific Regress

by William A. Wilson, May 2016. First Things.

The problem with ­science is that so much of it simply isn’t. Last summer, the Open Science Collaboration announced that it had tried to replicate one hundred published psychology experiments sampled from three of the most prestigious journals in the field. Scientific claims rest on the idea that experiments repeated under nearly identical conditions ought to yield approximately the same results, but until very recently, very few had bothered to check in a systematic way whether this was actually the case. The OSC was the biggest attempt yet to check a field’s results, and the most shocking. In many cases, they had used original experimental materials, and sometimes even performed the experiments under the guidance of the original researchers. Of the studies that had originally reported positive results, an astonishing 65 percent failed to show statistical significance on replication, and many of the remainder showed greatly reduced effect sizes.

Their findings made the news, and quickly became a club with which to bash the social sciences. But the problem isn’t just with psychology. There’s an ­unspoken rule in the pharmaceutical industry that half of all academic biomedical research will ultimately prove false, and in 2011 a group of researchers at Bayer decided to test it. Looking at sixty-seven recent drug discovery projects based on preclinical cancer biology research, they found that in more than 75 percent of cases the published data did not match up with their in-house attempts to replicate. These were not studies published in fly-by-night oncology journals, but blockbuster research featured in Science, Nature, Cell, and the like. The Bayer researchers were drowning in bad studies, and it was to this, in part, that they attributed the mysteriously declining yields of drug pipelines. Perhaps so many of these new drugs fail to have an effect because the basic research on which their development was based isn’t valid.

When a study fails to replicate, there are two possible interpretations. The first is that, unbeknownst to the investigators, there was a real difference in experimental setup between the original investigation and the failed replication. These are colloquially referred to as “wallpaper effects,” the joke being that the experiment was affected by the color of the wallpaper in the room. This is the happiest possible explanation for failure to reproduce: It means that both experiments have revealed facts about the universe, and we now have the opportunity to learn what the difference was between them and to incorporate a new and subtler distinction into our theories. […] Continue reading

H/T WUWT

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Ball: Paris Climate Conference: A Sideshow To More Frightening Use Of False IPCC Climate Science

Reprinted from WUWT Paris Climate Conference: A Sideshow To More Frightening Use Of False IPCC Climate Science by Dr. Tim Ball,  January 3, 2016.  from  WUWT President Obama used the Paris Climate Conference to advance his legacy: an agreement was … Continue reading

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Witness the Carbon Footprint of This Fully Armed and Operational Climate Summit

Witness the Carbon Footprint of This Fully Armed and Operational Climate Summit by John Hayward, November 30, 2015. Breitbart. Skepticism about climate change dogma is reaching a generational peak. One of the reasons is that climate change alarmists stubbornly refuse … Continue reading

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E&E Legal: Private Interests & Public Office: Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda

E&E Legal Releases Report Exposing Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a … Continue reading

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Ball: Another Model -vs- Reality problem – National Weather Offices: Canada, A Case Study With National And Global Implications.

Another Model -vs- Reality problem – National Weather Offices: Canada, A Case Study With National And Global Implications. By Dr. Tim Ball, June 8, 2015 [crossposted from WUWT. Parts of this article also appeared at The Rebel.] An article by … Continue reading

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Moncton: Does the Leader of the Free World Really Know So Little About Climate Change?

[Reprinted from WUWT.] By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, May 21, 2015 Mr. Obama’s remarks at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Commencement May 20 demonstrate the extent to which his advisors are keeping him divorced from the facts. The bulk of … Continue reading

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Kessler: Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios

Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios by Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, March 2, 2015 “I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is … Continue reading