- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Please, don't feed my ego...

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on March 05, 19100 at 01:42:47:

In Reply to: Moderately my ass, lets given Farinata/Gideon an award for humility. posted by Lark on March 04, 19100 at 12:19:44:

: Watch it Loudon head, Farinata/Gideon isnt a dumb shit with principles like me, he's qualified like hell

I'm not *that* qualified, Lark; I don't have a Ph.D. like SDF, I don't even have a Masters, like RD. I just happen to have a B.Sc. in a relevant subject to this debate; there are thousands 'better' qualified than I around in my subject. If the fight for funding hadn't been so intense, I might have felt like taking it further, but I'm not up to a life of political backstabbing and power play.

(Which is what the modern university department is, unfortunately.)

But I do make an effort to stay informed in the field; by talking with friends who did stay involved and by reading various journals; it's still a subject which interests me (despite Deadly Don Davis and Electromagnetic Theory...).

: and has commited a life long learning experience to environmentalist anti-capitalism.

It's a bit early to say that yet - wait until I'm dead ;)

: By the way, do you really have to hunt out sources to disprove the environmental consequences of capitalism when all you have to do is go to the nearest river and take note of the fact that you cant see thorugh the water and it shouldnt be that nasty merky unhealthy colour?

Because it ain't that simple, really (and unfortunately).

Firstly, merely saying 'look, the water's yukky and brown' will lead any smartarse to say; 'well, yeah; s'got mud in it...' - to prove that the water is polluted to a sceptic, you need to be able to do things like chromatography on the water residues and point to peaks on graphs.

This is because the 'opposition' will usually have good scientists as well; industry can afford to pay people generously for their services; if your science threatens the bottom line of a corporation, you will come in for attacks both overt and covert. Unless your science is pretty much indisputable, there will be teams of corporate-employed brains looking for any flaws in your theory or experimental method or apparatus.

(Which is where you get sceptics like Dr. Fred Singer in; he is funded by the oil and car lobby and is one of the most vociferous critics of greenhouse theory around. Unfortunately for him, his criticisms were based on faulty data, invalidating his attacks.)

And secondly, many of the nastiest waterborne pollutants are colourless; sundry pleasant organometallic and organic compounds that will happily blend in to the water; the first thing you know about those is when fish and humans start dying.

(It would be a much easier job if all pollution was sludge brown or fluorescent green!)

Unfortunately, the physical world is a fuzzy place; you almost never get definitive results one way or the other; so you either have to build your conclusions on a lot of evidence or be very careful about how definitely you jump to conclusions.

(Quite apart from all else, premature jumping to unfortunate conclusions is a habit ascribed to lemmings; not a great omen for a scientific career.)


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