Top Ten Junk Science Stories

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ghostrider, Apr 7, 2006.


  1. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Top Ten Junk Science Stories of the Past Decade
    Thursday, April 06, 2006
    By Steven Milloy
    June 29, 2005
    My web site JunkScience.com celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 1, 2006. To mark the event, this column spotlights 10 big junk science stories of the last 10 years. In no particular order, they are:


    1. The most toxic manmade chemical? That’s what some called dioxin, a by-product of natural and industrial combustion processes and the “contaminant of concern” in the Vietnam-era defoliant known as Agent Orange. Billions of dollars have been spent studying and regulating dioxin, but debunking the scare only cost a few thousand dollars.

    Keying off Ben & Jerry’s claim on its ice cream packages that “there is no safe exposure to dioxin,” we tested Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and found that a single serving contained about 200 times the dioxin that the Environmental Protection Agency says is “safe” – and who’s afraid of Ben & Jerry’s? Read more…


    2. Dial “F” for Fear. Since the 1993 Larry King Live broadcast featuring a man suing a cell phone maker claiming his wife died from a cell phone-induced brain cancer, many cell phone users have worried about phone safety. But studies failed to identify any risk.



    The final blow to the scare came in 2002 when notorious trial lawyer Peter Angelos’ $800 million lawsuit – alleging a Maryland physician’s brain cancer was caused by cell phone use – was dismissed (like the 1993 suit) for lack of evidence. Read more…


    3. Powerline scare unplugged. Fears that electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) created by power lines and appliances caused cancer started in 1978. Parents worried about power lines over schools. Consumers worried about electric blankets. Power companies worried about burying power lines. The National Academy of Sciences finally unplugged the scare in October 1996, concluding that no evidence showed EMFs presented a health hazard. Read more…

    4. Hormone Hysterics. Tulane University researchers published a 1996 study claiming that combinations of manmade chemicals (pesticides and PCBs) disrupted normal hormonal processes, causing everything from cancer to infertility to attention deficit disorder.

    Media, regulators and environmentalists hailed the study as “astonishing.” Indeed it was as it turned out to be fraud, according to an October 2001 report by federal investigators. Though the study was retracted from publication, the law it spawned wasn’t and continues to be enforced by the EPA. Read more…

    5. Secret Science? EPA air pollution rules issued in 1997 governing airborne particulate matter (soot) are estimated to cost $10 billion annually. The EPA claimed soot in ambient air causes tens of thousands of premature deaths every year.

    Congress asked thr EPA to disclose the scientific data underlying the claims. EPA refused. A subsequently enacted law requiring that taxpayer-funded scientific data used to support regulation be made available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act has yet to be enforced. The EPA is preparing to make those very same rules even more stringent. Read more…


    6. Obesity statistics lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added to our bodyweight panic in 2004 by announcing that obesity kills 400,000 people annually, a number approaching the death toll attributed to smoking (440,000). Criticism of the estimate from CDC’s own statisticians caused the agency in 2005 to back-off the estimate – adjusting it downward by 93 percent to 25,814 annual deaths. Read more…


    7. ‘Ear-ie’ biotech scare. “Who plays God in the 21st century?” captioned an Oct. 11, 1999 full-page ad in the New York Times attacking genetic engineering. Placed by a coalition including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, the ad featured a photo of a shaved laboratory mouse with what looks like a human ear attached to its back.

    The caption stated, “This is an actual photo of a genetically engineered mouse with a human ear on its back.” As it turned out, it wasn’t a real ear and it had nothing to do with genetic engineering. A template in the shape of a human ear was seeded with human cartilage cells and surgically implanted on the back of a mouse. The cartilage cells grew into the ear-like structure. The technology’s purpose is to help children who are either born without ears or who lose their ears through injury. Read more…


    8. PETA: Milk drinking makes for future felons. With its web site repeatedly alluding to acts of animal cruelty committed in childhood as being predictors of adult criminality, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sponsored an in-school curricula teaching children that eating meat and drinking milk constitutes “animal cruelty.”

    PETA’s “Milk-Stealing Ming,” for example, was depicted with his mouth attached to an unhappy cow’s udder, alongside a “wanted poster” describing his crimes and exclaiming, “cows make milk for their babies, not for maniacs like Ming.” Read more…


    9. Choking on chips. Swedish scientists alarmed us in April 2002 that cooking high-carbohydrate foods – like potatoes and bread – formed acrylamide, a substance linked with cancer in lab animals. But even if lab animals were reasonable predictors of cancer risk in humans – a notion yet to be validated – someone of average bodyweight would have to eat 35,000 potato chips (about 62.5 pounds) per day for life to get an equivalent dose of acrylamide as the lab animals. Read more…


    10. The Mother of all junk science controversies. The most important junk science story of the last 10 years is global warming. Though climate varies naturally and ongoing climate change is within that natural variation, the global warming lobby seems bent on railroading us into economy-killing regulation.

    The Kyoto Protocol is being ignored by its EU signatories. Global warmers admit that the drastic and impossible step of halting all greenhouse gas emissions would have no impact on climate. Sky-high energy prices threaten our economy. Yet many yearn for global warming regulation. Read more…

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189706,00.html
     
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    ABC just had a blip on the news about #2 last Friday (3/31). They said the risk is there, Swedish study. Use hands-free.
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Seems like the chicken little syndrome has crossed species into humans after all.
     
  4. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    Top Ten Junk Science Stories/ #10 Global Warming

    Here is something from the BBC about number 10: Global Warming

    BBC Sci/Tech Web Site

    Scientists blame sun for global warming

    The Sun is more active than it has ever been in the last 300 years
    Climate changes such as global warming may be due to changes in the sun rather than to the release of greenhouse gases on Earth.

    Climatologists and astronomers speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Philadelphia say the present warming may be unusual - but a mini ice age could soon follow.

    The sun provides all the energy that drives our climate, but it is not the constant star it might seem.

    Careful studies over the last 20 years show that its overall brightness and energy output increases slightly as sunspot activity rises to the peak of its 11-year cycle.

    And individual cycles can be more or less active.

    The sun is currently at its most active for 300 years.

    That, say scientists in Philadelphia, could be a more significant cause of global warming than the emissions of greenhouse gases that are most often blamed.

    The researchers point out that much of the half-a-degree rise in global temperature over the last 120 years occurred before 1940 - earlier than the biggest rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

    Ancient trees reveal most warm spells are caused by the sun
    Using ancient tree rings, they show that 17 out of 19 warm spells in the last 10,000 years coincided with peaks in solar activity.

    They have also studied other sun-like stars and found that they spend significant periods without sunspots at all, so perhaps cool spells should be feared more than global warming.

    The scientists do not pretend they can explain everything, nor do they say that attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be abandoned. But they do feel that understanding of our nearest star must be increased if the climate is to be understood.

    Guess what this was a BBC report from Feb 1998.

    So before we sign up for Kyoto Protocol and bankrupt our economy lets first figure out what may or may not be the culpret.

    Regards, prepareordie
     
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    See ghrit... The sky is falling. ;)
    :)
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Maybe dinosaurs will rise again if it warms up enough? [raspberry]
     
  7. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

     
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yummmy, that should make a nice big slab of ribs.
     
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Planning for a follow up on the butchering tutorial already? :lol: :lol:
     
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    :D
     
  11. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    [bestpost]
     
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