Mandating ethanol

This process breaks, however when political pressures undermine this natural market of ideas and switch the incentives for challenging hypotheses into punishment.

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I have written two articles at summarizing this position and the debate.

Riley Anderson was a C student in high school, bored by the work and driven partly by a desire to stay on the football team.

I would add that if anything, the incentives tend to be balanced more towards challenging conventional wisdom.

If someone puts a stake in the ground and says that A is true, then there is a lot more money and prestige awarded to someone who can prove A is not true than for the thirteenth person to confirm that A is indeed true.

He also goes on to lament something that is very familiar to me — there is a strong argument for the lukewarmer position, but the media will not even achnowledge it exists.

Either you are a full-on believer or you are a denier.What is more, in the small print describing the assumptions of the “representative concentration pathways”, it admits that the top of the range will only be reached if sensitivity to carbon dioxide is high (which is doubtful); if world population growth re-accelerates (which is unlikely); if carbon dioxide absorption by the oceans slows down (which is improbable); and if the world economy goes in a very odd direction, giving up gas but increasing coal use tenfold (which is implausible).But the commentators ignore all these caveats and babble on about warming of “up to” four degrees (or even more), then castigate as a “denier” anybody who says, as I do, the lower end of the scale looks much more likely given the actual data. Following what the psychologist Philip Tetlock called the “psychology of taboo”, there has been a systematic and thorough campaign to rule out the middle ground as heretical: not just wrong, but mistaken, immoral and beyond the pale.Look what happened to a butterfly ecologist named Camille Parmesan when she published a paper on “ Climate and Species Range” that blamed climate change for threatening the Edith checkerspot butterfly with extinction in California by driving its range northward.The paper was cited more than 500 times, she was invited to speak at the White House and she was asked to contribute to the IPCC’s third assessment report.Unfortunately, a distinguished ecologist called Jim Steele found fault with her conclusion: there had been more local extinctions in the southern part of the butterfly’s range due to urban development than in the north, so only the statistical averages moved north, not the butterflies.

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