Field of Science

Climate change denial - the bad side of blogging

The Phactor admits he is unable to read or completely understand research that is outside his area of expertise. Oh, here and there you make mistakes, interpret or explain something incorrectly, but generally if you want to be an authority, to speak with some expertise, knowledgeably, you must first have an expertise in something and second stick to it. As a result, my reaction to blog reports that cosmic rays, not human activities, are affecting climate change and global warming was skeptical, always a good initial position, because you simply have to wait for people with real expertise to explain things. Unfortunately, as residents of the blogosphere know, blogs have a way to propagating, link by link, and spreading, especially if the purported information appears to support a favorite position or cause. So it is always a pleasure when someone with real expertise, someone who can read the actual research paper on cosmic rays, and then explain what it really says, and what it doesn't say, and then show how bloggers who can't and don't read such papers spread disinformation on climate change. However we live in a world where disinformation works quite well to convince the easy to convince that they have it right and the experts have it wrong. The Phactor gives the little video on climate change at the link above 2 thumbs up.


Frederick B. Essig said...

I hate to see this fine post sitting with no comments. As a botanical educator myself, I appreciate good, educational botanical content on the web. One of my special interests is botanical terminology, and I am probably out of the mainstream quite often. For example, I find the common usage of the term “pistil” unsettling, because it is used for both individual carpels and for structures consisting of several fused carpels. The difference is important, especially when discussing ancient angiosperms with separate carpels (apocarpous), like the Schisandra and Magnolia illustrated in your post. Carpels are the individual, ovule-containing chambers that evolved from folded structures in the first angiosperms. The preferred technical term for all the carpels in a flower, whether separate or fused together, is gynoecium (Greek for “ladies room”). If we must use the older term “pistil,” I’d prefer to use it only for a unit of several fused carpels, or at least to specify “unicarpellate pistil” if it is a single carpel. But then why not just say carpel? OK, enough botanical nit-picking for today. Keep up the great posts!

Frederick B. Essig said...

Oops! New to the blogosphere and the above comment got attached to the wrong post. It belongs under the post about the ancient flowers of the Schisandraceae