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June 01, 2012


And we are in a time when presidential candidates can fling around any statistics in their speeches with no regard to whether those statistics are correct or not. All that matters is that the candidate look good. I'd say this fits right in with what North Carolina is doing. And to think I even considered NC as a place to live! I shudder at the thought!

What a shame. It's such a beautiful state, too. I wonder if the sane residents are paying attention to what's going on?

The sea level rise, versus hurricane are just really rediculous comparisons. They don't have anything to do with one another (other than a hurricane can temporarily make the sea level rise).

Sea level rises and falls depending upon the climate - true. The climate has been very warm in the past (Kansas used to be a seabed), as it has been very cold in the past (NH used to be under massive walls of ice/snow). It will do the same in the future regardless of what mankind does. To think otherwise jsut means that you don't beleive Mother Nature has any power any more (which, looking at hurricanes, is patently rediculous).

Hell, our weathermaen can't predict what will happen in 7 days, NOAA has an abismal record lately of predicting hurricane amounts (above average predicted for the last several years - no, wrong again) - and you think we can predict what will happen in 100 years? In the 70's, the next ice age was predicted to hit soon. In the 90's it was the whole world will be a desert in the next 20 years. Lately, more and more scientists are saying, oops, our bad, it's not trending the way we thought - because get this, a couple of years of data, do not a trend make on the scale of things.

I'm not saying the NC law is good, or bad. Just that what the author was putting out there to make us EMOTIONAL about the subject (and thus, more likely to agree with him), was not reasonable.

Buffy--I don't really see the connection between candidates' use of statistics and trying to legislate scientific methodology; but, I'll give it some thought.

ME--Maybe the NCians cringe as much as I do.

Bogie--We are surely not starting from the same page. The author, as I read him, was using reductio ad absurdum. My real point of posting the article is to posit that it is stupid to try to put into the statutes of a geo-political entity the algorithm that scientists must use - for anything. Even if the algorith were the best known of the day, science will surely improve upon it tomorrow - regardless of what branch of science one is addressing.

Sticking to something I (think that I) know somewhat more about: It would be equally stupid for the statutes of a state or nation to state within what energy range physicists must restrict their search for the Higgs boson.

I could easily have merely posted the proposed bill. My own reaction would have been precisely the same.

What is wrong in N.C.? Scientists may be off base in some ways, but I'm not convinced the legislators are remotely capable of intelligently assessing the information on this matter, or have any business passing some of the legislation they do.

Earlier this week watched a TV pgm on the encroachment of the ocean into Louisiana which I first became aware of several years ago. Part of this is attributed to the consequences of the oil spill, but there are other climate change factors.

I'm intrigued by how much can be attributed to the slight earth tilt change and how much from man-made pollutants. Don't think anyone really knows, but I'm not prepared to dismiss either causes as contributing to the changes of which we're concerned.

I need to start reading Scientific American again as always enjoyed it.

Joared--My vote would be that there is nothing wrong with NC - just with some of the legislators and the people who advise them. I'm not familiar with the TV program that you watched. I do know that encroachment of salt water has been an issue for some years. However, that is due to the human population's having pumped so much fresh water out of Louisiana's aquifers. As we all learned after Katrina, New Orleans is a whole 'nuther thing. Over the years subsidence of the soil has sunk the city lower and lower, and that was coupled with destruction of the protective delta wetlands.

Although in my younger years, I enjoyed reading Scientific American (SA), somewhere along the way I lost track of it - probably when I was doing serious research in graduate school, for which I would not have been able to cite a journal that was not peer reviewed. On this item about the proposed NC bill, I had heard a rumor about it and the SA article was listed in the search engine results. As my blog is more opinion than fact, I can stray beyond the bounds of peer review journals!

Ah, my bad.....my head is fuzzy these days. I had come from reading about politicians who are bending statistics to suit themselves, to reading about the N.C. government limiting which years could be used to determine whether the sea is rising, and it all felt like ridiculous manipulation to me. I agree with you that there is no point in putting the algorithm into a legislative bill. One day people could refer to this outdated bill in the same breath as the comment from the head of the Patent Office who once said that they might as well close, since everything had already been discovered. I hope that cleared up what I was trying to say. If not....I'm still fighting the gunk. Sorry.

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