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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Space exploration can transform humanity - Herald letter

I missed this in Thursday's Herald. It is the last letter & I had come to expect them not to publish. It is published exactly as I sent it in.
Britain has a new space agency. The government have provided £12 million to build a new HQ in Swindon. This is twice the Ansari X-prize for the first private launch into space which started Virgin Galactic. Unfortunately the government aren't actually providing any more money for space itself. Virtually all our present money goes to Europe for a space programme which, with 15 times the budget of Russia, clearly wastes rather more than 14 15ths.

It is not that the government doesn't know how important space development is. At £6 bn a year it is one of our very few successful & growing industries (9% a year). If government would put the money spent on Europe into X-Prizes like the one mentioned Britain could easily be the world leader in this industry. Nobody in government even denies this would work (in any case it would cost nothing if it didn't, such being the difference between prizes & most government spending.

We are on the ground floor, literally, of an industry that is transforming the human race & the total role of our government is to carry out a Mori poll showing the public understand how important this is & as a result announce a token new "agency" keep funnelling money to the usual bureaucrats.

reference - govt report ref to the Mori poll on page 68
UK X-Prize Foundation proposal

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Friday, March 26, 2010


Via Mr Euginides & Dizzy together with a plea that instead of celebrating Earth Hour (last year they called it Earth Day) by switching off all your lights (8.30pm on Saturday 27th March) we should celebrate Human Achievement Hour by keeping them on. My suspicion is that most people will do the latter & only the most useless & pretentious parts of government will do the former which seems appropriate. eg Zimbabwean children will hold a candlelit picnic & the WWF fakecharity are pushing it.

This orbital picture shows, in a way 1,000 words couldn't do, what is wrong with pure socialism & indeed Luddite "environmentalism". One may argue correctly that less pure socialism/Luddism we have in Britain is less destructive but that is an argument only that it is less horrible not that it is in any way good.

There is a close relationship between electricity use & GNP with the developed world averaging just under $4 of GNP per kWh, China doing $2.45, Britain $6.3 & those significantly above being undeveloped, artificially increasing wealth by having oil, or so failing that electricity & the rule of law doesn't go beyond the capital city, or all 3.

There are a noisy minority who would do this in Britain if they could, though they have less organising ability than Kim. This extremely silly letter published in the Morning Star inviting us all to prove our socialist purity by supporting North Korea in the World cup. To be fair it was followed by a reply saying otherwise but to continue being fair that was followed by a further reply saying that "many reactionaries would take comfort" from the 1st reply.

My previous poll on the desired size of government showed that while there is a normal curve centering around about 17% of GNP being government spending there was a another small bump at +90% who clearly can never be even close to placated by anything acceptable to the overwhelming bulk of us (& of whom I am ungenerous enough to suspect none live out of anything but the public purse). Placating the Luddite parasites need not be done & by doing so we have just been paying Danegeld, since, as my post yesterday showed, the parasites will tell any lie to build a poorer nation if it will pay them.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


Last night I attended the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow lecture in which Professor Anne Glover, the Chief Science Advisor & also on the committee of NERC told us all about how dreadfully catastrophic global warming was. I am afraid I was not impressed.

The lecture started by saying how important it is that we stick to the evidence. The sceptics have even done some good by making people focus on the evidence & that was what she intended.

Her evidence for warming turns out not to be that catastrophic warming is actually taking place but that human caused CO2 emissions are rising dramatically & that this means warming must happen. She used this graph foreshortened for the period 1850-2000 & with the perpendicular graph in units of 1 - 25 but without saying in what units This caused me to dump the question I intended to ask, which was about the fact that virtually the entire "scientific consensus" is among the government paid.

Other evidence, from the Antarctic, being that the CO2 in air is higher than it has been in millenia (this being from ice cores & is questioned since it is possible the CO2 leaks more than Oxygen). No mention of the fact that ice at both poles is increasing & that in the Antarctic it never stopped doing so.

She acknowledged that sea level in Scotland is actually falling ie that the land is bouncing back from the last ice age faster than any sea level rise but that in Bangladesh the rise would matter. During a previous lecture to a junior school one of the pupils had said they didn't care about Bangladesh but that she had pointed out to him that in that case the people of Bangladesh would want to come here - mass population movement being another of those things global warming is responsible for.

This was followed by an acknowledgement of the value of having sceptics around because "there is no such thing as truth or certainty" in science.

Then the familiar graph showing how temperature, or at least measured temperature, has risen & also that it has fallen over recent years, though that was ignored & described as "we're experiencing climate change now."

Then there was a graph showing the probabilities of various levels of temperature increase - apparently we have an 85% chance of 2 degree warming. However apart from saying the graph proved the chances she didn't say how this relative certainty had been achieved.

This was followed by another showing what catastrophic effects such increases will have, particularly on food production - though no mention of the increased growth caused by more CO2 & the only mention of all the Canadian & Russia tundra that would become fertile was to say it would be worse at the equator. To be fair to Scotland she did say that warmer weather here might not be bad particularly with the "increase in day length in Scotland" - I kid you not. Presumably some heretofore unknown effect of global warming is that it will tilt the Earth's axis to lengthen our day.

Another effect of warming is an increase in extreme weather such as parasites moving. An example is the midge causing Bluetonge disease in cattle. This previously could only survive in Africa but has now settled in Scotland entirely because of global warming.

She then lectured us on all the non-carbon energy systems we will have to adopt - except without mentioning nuclear.

This must be achieved by the spontaneous enthusiasm of the populace. The role of government is "legislation", "information", "eduction" & "leadership".

Then I learned something I had not appreciated. I have previously written on how the government's decision to reduce CO2 by 42% by 2020, means a reduction in electricity production & thus national wealth of 50%. One of her slides showed that Holyrood has also decided that we must get rid of 100% of CO2 production in making electricity by 2030. That would leave us with about 10% from existing hydro & probably about another 5% from windmills etc. The former requires a 7% annual recession for 10 year - the latter 9% annual decline for 20 years. Perhaps I underestimated when I said the former decision, made unanimously by all parties & MSPs meant they are all clinically insane.

Having slid by that bombshell she assured us that doing all this will only cost us 1% of GNP, because Stern said so, compared to paying 8% of GNP to bail out the banks. Apart from anything else that piece of sleight of hand omits that 1% a year is not the same as 1% in total.

She finished by saying how she had visited the carbon storage project & how "my jaw dropped in amazement" at the technology. The gentleman next to me quietly said "this is Scotland's chief science advisor!".

Audience Questions. The first was about Professor Lovelock quoted as saying that it was all to late anyway. She disagreed.

Then I got mine. First I said I had to point out that Professor Lovelock, having seen the fraud going on, had evidently changed his mind & said that only the sceptics had kept the debate sane. My question was about he CO2 graph - firstly that the period of sharpest rise, roughly 1940 - 75 was, on the other graph she had shown, a period of reduced temperature. Secondly that she ought to be aware that manmade emissions accounted for only 3% of the total & that had total CO2 production been shown the graph would have been of a 3% rise rather than a 2,500% rise.

She replied saying how much she valued the contribution of sceptics it is just that they "don't provide evidence" for their doubts. Really she did. Then that what mattered is that the entire system is so well balanced & there is no countervailing way of reducing CO2 so even a tiny increase is disastrous.

Since plant growth increases with more CO2 that most certainly is a method of taking more out but I contented myself by saying that with CO2 being 300 ppm of the atmosphere & mankind producing only 3% of it that is 9 parts in a million which is not much to cause catastrophe.

She replied by saying that it was so finely balanced that just a 2 - 3C rise would be enough to melt Greenland. I wished to reply that since we have had a 4C rise during the climate optimum of 9,000 - 5,000 BC but Greenland has been unmelted for at least 650,000 years that could not be correct but was told, quite properly since it is a lecture not a debate, that my time was up.

She was also asked a couple of questions about nuclear power. Particularly had she, in her role of chief science advisor, advised the government that it was impossible to keep the lights on without nuclear? The questioner, correctly in my opinion, implied that it was her absolute duty to give good such good advice on the issue. She ducked a direct answer saying that some less chiefly advisers knew more about nuclear but agreed that "nobody ever said wind can provide baseload - baseload is coal, gas & oil" (though presumably not in 2030).

She also rather praised recession as a way of cutting CO2 saying of the graph shown "if I had extended the graph it would have shown another dip".

While this lecture may do for frightening younger schoolchildren the Royal Phil is a society with a lot of very qualified members, moreso than me & I think are entitled to expect something more serious.


Dear Professor Glover,
I attended your lecture at the Royal Phil last night & have written it up for my blog. I think it fair & accurate but hope you will let me know if you think otherwise or if there is any assertion in it you wish to alter.

I was interested to see that you are a senior person on the £400 million a year NERC. The boss of NERC did once, through the columns of the Guardian, challenge sceptics to a public &/or online debate but when the challenge was accepted, for some unknown reason, went silent. Would you be willing to take part in a public debate on warming? If you are going to be busy all this year do you know of any other representative of that government information propagation organisation who would?

Neil Craig

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Last year I put in a submission to the UK Space Review saying how we could become the world leaders in space exploitation, without spending any new money but simply by taking what is currently given to ESA & putting it into an X-Prize Foundation.

They didn't actually have the courtesy to let those who contributed to the review when the report came out & in this case that is understandable.

Their report uses the word "prize" 5 times - in each case to refer to the possibility of space related industry being worth £40 bn a year by 2030 (roughly 10% growth annually) as a "prize" worth doing a lot to obtain. A lot in this case turns out to mean "position of the UK within the ESA community needs to be strengthened"; "an effective networking support structure across the industry and with academic involvement"; a supportive regulatory environment, mainly involving controlling band width eg "As part of its Climate Change agenda, the Government should make a clear international signal that it backs the retention of the C-band frequencies in current use for satellite services as a key component of its support to the poorer nations"; "Outer Space Act needs to be reformed. The new Agency needs to end the insurance-based regime, which deters all UK launch service initiatives. One result of this is a possibility that we will deter Space tourism operators from developing UK launch locations because the Outer Space Act requires operators to provide the UK Government with an unlimited indemnity against damages resulting from an accident and provide £100 million insurance cover"; "The case for raising awareness is a strong one" - "an Ipsos Mori study of public awareness, which concluded that although public interest in Space was high, awareness of UK Space and the benefits Space can deliver was low"; "Despite the clear and reasonable
recommendations of previous work, there has been a consistent failure of implementation"; "We envisage a Cabinet Office led process to formulate and agree a policy across Departments at Ministerial level".

And that's pretty much it. It is agreed that space development is a fast growing (9% annually) part of the economy apparently worth £6 bn at the moment & easily able to rise to £40 bn. Currently the government nominally put in £268 million to ESA however that should not be taken at face value. NASA gets $18 bn but now has actually less spacegoing capability than Russia spending $0.9 bn so at least 95% of their money goes on the "job creation programme for the southern states" & others. ESA's record, with half the money NASA has available isn't 1/4 as good - they haven't yet put a living being in space. At best then they can be only 2.5% efficient so that means the total actual space budget for Britain is £6.6 million. One thousandth of what it creates for the economy, 1/6,000th of what we are nominally aiming for & 1/60th of what we spend through NERC on about 25 environmental reports on global warming, bumblebees etc annually.

So the proposal is, apart from a very useful proposed change to the Outer Space Law stopping government stop space tourism everything else is paper shuffling & "raising awareness" of how important government is to the process - the politicians having noticed the public is aware of the importance of space but doesn't appreciate how much our lords & masters are doing.

Yesterday we got the public announcement that instead of our British national space centre we would have a British Space Agency. And there will be more money - £12 million to build the HQ which will be a "central hub for British space activity", in Swindon. Not so much a jobs creation programme for the southern states then as for Wales.

Incidentally £12 million is almost exactly twice what was put into the Ansari X-Prize for the first free enterprise space ship. It is just over half what the Scottish government are putting into an X-Prize for a commercial sea turbine.

Everything they say about this being a major "prize" an enormous opportunity, a major role in the future of our economy is true. Indeed greatly understated - if space industry grows not at the 10% they aim for but the 17.6% the US is achieving it will be not £40 bn annually but £300 bn, if we improve on that by another 7% it will be £2.4 trillion by 2030, comfortably larger than the entire UK economy now. Yet for our government it is nothing more than an excuse to use a relatively popular issue to slide money the British & European bureaucrat's putting, at best, a token £6.6 million frontage that might actually help develop space. This is not ignorance of the opportunity - nobody in the bureaucracy has disputed, in any way, that simply spending the money we are already wasting, on actually encouraging industry through X-Prizes, we could achieve the US growth rate at the very least. Nobody can dispute it but the bureaucracy doesn't exist to carry out its nominal function, it exists only to reward government employees & their friends.

However the figures remain public, so does the proposal & it can be done by any government, or even probably any junior minister, who actually wants to achieve something.

And Virgin Galactic have test flown their spaceplane.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Previously I reported how, on asking 10s of thousands of people worldwide to name as many as 2 scientists who said catastrophic warming was happening & who aren't ultimately paid by government. I got answers from 2 people. One originated with the climate correspondent of the Independent who named only Professor James Lovelock & the other was an online comment on a South African site naming only Professor James Lovelock.

I am therefore very pleased to see that Professor Lovelock, while still worried about the possibility of warming, is not quite the chief prophet of alarmism portrayed. According to the Times
the other night at the Royal Society, when a small gathering of luminaries turned up to hear that extraordinary nonagenarian, the scientist James Lovelock.

They had all come: David MacKay, chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change; Michael Green, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge; Michael Wilson, producer of the James Bond movies; Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum; and more. You knew why they had answered the Isaac Newton Institute’s invitation. They wanted to learn where one of the most interesting minds in science stood in the climate debate...

To my surprise, he immediately professed his admiration for the climate-change sceptics.

I think you have to accept that the sceptics have kept us sane — some of them, anyway,” he said. “They have been a breath of fresh air. They have kept us from regarding the science of climate change as a religion. It had gone too far that way. There is a role for sceptics in science. They shouldn’t be brushed aside. It is clear that the angel side wasn’t without sin.”...

Lovelock places great emphasis on proof. The climate change projections by the Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre — a key contributor to the IPCC consensus — should be taken seriously, he said. But he is concerned that the projections are relying on computer models based primarily on atmospheric physics, because models of that kind have let us down before...

How, asks Lovelock, can we predict the climate 40 years ahead when there is so much that we don’t know? Surely we should base any assumptions on things we can measure...

No one should be complacent about the fact that within the next 20 years we’ll have added nearly a trillion tons of carbon to the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. When a geological accident produced a similar carbon rise 55m years ago, it turned up the heat more than 5C. And now? Well, the effect of man-made carbon is unpredictable. Temperatures might go down at first, rather than up, he warns...

How should we be spending our money to prevent possible disaster? In Britain, says Lovelock, we need sea walls and more nuclear power. Heretical stuff, when you consider the vast amount that Europe plans to spend on wind turbines.

“What would you bet will happen this century?” a mathematician asked him. Lovelock predicted a temperature rise in the middle range of current projections — about 1C-2C — which we could live with.
Nothing he said that I would seriously disagree with. That the Times considers it worth pointing out that this scientist "places great emphasis on proof" shows how far our media have gone. Predictions should be treated seriously & tested both mathematically & against real world measurements - which is what the sceptics have done, against the wishes of the alarmists. Jerry Pournelle, for whom my admiration must be obvious, has regularly said that he is worried about us running an open ended experiment of dumping billions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is simply that we should actually measure the effects rather than jumping into scare stories & it is equally true when Lovelock says it.

I have always said that I regard their position on nuclear power as a touchstone of the integrity of any "environmentalist" supporting the possibility (let alone alleged 95% certainty) of catastrophic warming. Nuclear is the only way of producing reliable continuous power in quantity without CO2. If you truly believe CO2 is causing a catastrophe for civilisation then you simply cannot fail to enthusiastically support it. Lovelock has been almost alone among environmentalists in consistently doing so - the only other one I can think of is Bishop Hugh Montefiore who was drummed out of FoE for saying it.

My guess would be that CO2 warming will be less than 1-2 degrees but we could certainly live with that - it puts us up with the Medieval Warming & probably still less than the Garden of Eden like Climate Optimum of 5,000-9,0000 BC. I am also more sanguine even than Pournelle because I believe any geo-engineering problem can be solved once we have space industrialisation, which we can have any time we decide on it, because "we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts - And solving global warming, if it actually ever turns out to be a problem, by building tinfoil parasols on bank holidays.".

I have previously mentioned Lovelock's Gaia theory, that the Earth's biosystems have positive feedback that help survival. Though I incline to an alternate idea that we live in a multiverse so the undeniable statistical improbability of us being here is the result of universes where things went otherwise & the Earth is not habitable not having observers to see. Whichever is correct that statistical improbability exists & it cannot be the conventional "nothing out of the ordinary, move along" one.

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Monday, March 22, 2010


This is a thread I will update regularly. My other articles on this are here. If anyone has links to further evidence of hormesis (or indeed of the opposing LNT theory) I would be obliged if you would let me know.

The present position among supporters of the official scare story is "epidemiological data relating to low levels of exposure are compatible with a range of curves describing the variation of the underlying risk with the level of exposure, including a curve that is steeper than the LNT relationship (a ‘supralinear’ curve), no risk below a certain level (‘threshold’), or even a protective effect (‘radiation hormesis’)" so they went for LNT.

A list of links paper giving some more recent evidence, pdf, beneficial effects on small animals, therapeutic radon, British Journal of Radiology paper, Spas - where people think it works, Ramsar the world's highest natural, paper, Prof John McCarthy, Professor Bernard Cohen, radon mine results show hormesis


One of the first studies in radiobiology (1898) found that X-irradiated algae grew faster than unirradiated control groups. Stimulated growth was noted in trees (1908) and increased life span in invertebrates (1918) and insects (1919). X-Rays stimulated seedlings (1927), plant growth (1937), along with guinea pigs, rabbits and mice (1940's). Increased life span was the rule in low dose irradiated rats, dogs, and even house flies (1950's) + University of Kyoto summary + Taiwanese apartments contaminated by Cobalt 60 for 20 years where the cancer rate among thousands of people was reduced by 96.4% + summary article + summary article by Donald Miller MD + Radon study in Massachusetts + "There is very likely an optimum dose rate of radiation for good health just as there are optimum levels for essential vitamins & trace elements in our diet ... the recommended average dose (RAD) of radiation will be significantly higher than the annual dose most humans receive from background" Professor John R Cameron in a paper also summarising the evidence that British radiologists had better longevity than other doctors + history article + Professor Cohen's study of hundreds of thousands of homes across the USA proving lung cancer has an inverse relationship with radioactive radon "the importance of smoking for determining variations in lung cancer rates among counties is less than twice that of radon" + Cows exposed to 150 rads for experimental purposes in 1946 put to sleep in 1964 due to their refusal to die as expected - plus other evidence + angelfire radioadaption articles home + "There is no evidence to support the LNT model for chronic exposures, such as those due to natural background radiation - which ranges around the world from less than 1 to more than 200 mSv per year. Cancer instances are, if anything, lower in areas of high background radiation" - 15th Pacific basin Nuclear Conference + "cases are now known where average Rn levels are very high, and in all of these cases lung cancer rates are well below average ... they indicate at least a factor of 4 disagreement with linear, no-threshold predictions" + Low Doses of Very Low-Dose-Rate Low-LET Radiation Suppress Radiation-Induced Neoplastic Transformation In Vitro and Induce an Adaptive Response + Society of Nuclear Medicine & American College of Nuclear Medicine submission to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission "Clear and reproducible data show effects known as “hormesis” + Australian Radiation Protection Soc "Low doses of radiation induce adaptive responses that can reduce, rather than increase risk. These protective effects have both upper and lower dose thresholds" "The problem with a lot of these discussions is that you eventually get to the point where you don't have any more data," said Professor Gillies McKenna of Oxford University, Cancer Research UK's expert on radiation oncology. "Even the data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki — there weren't enormous numbers of cancers created in those cases, so we have to extrapolate what we think would happen at low dose." said defending the LNT theory from criticism by Prof Wade Alison (in fact, as can be seen here, there is plenty of evidence, just none for LNT. + "The linear hypothesis is unsupported by any direct evidence, and there is a lot of evidence against it" Professor John McCarthy, Stanford + "The author shows how proponents of the LNT assumption consistently reject, manipulate, and deliberately ignore an overwhelming abundance of published data and falsely claim that no reliable data are available at doses of less than 100 mSv" + "Several statistically significant epidemiologic studies contradict the validity of this concept [LNT} by showing risk decrements, i.e., hormesis, of cancer mortality and mortality from all causes in populations exposed to low-dose radiation + "..person living in Ramsar for one year can be in excess of 260 mSv ... There are more than nine hot springs in the area with different concentrations of radioisotopes, and these are used as spas by locals and tourists. This high level of radiation does not seem to have caused ill effects on the residents of the area and even possibly has made them slightly more radioresistant, which is puzzling and has been called "radiation paradox" + Paradox - A politically incorrect result of observation + My letter in New scientist - I am entitled to a little boasting - actually they only published it on the online edition & only then because they owed me for having published an extremely stupid letter disputing what I said about nuclear & getting the figures wrong by several thousand times + Google search

Overview + overview + Australian Nuclear Organisation + The High Background Radiation Research Group has investigated thyroid nodularity and cancer rates in the Guangdong Province in China, an area with a natural radiation level 3
times normal. For the years 1975-1978 the high background area had a cancer mortality rate of 36.53 per 10 person-years, compared to 52.85 per 10 person-years for the control area [though overall it says "inconclusive"]
+ "The hormesis hypothesis has been confirmed many times. One study was by the Swedish Army, which accumulated data on conscripts (Sweden has universal manhood conscription) from areas of known high radiation and compared their health statistics to recruits from areas matched in other characteristics. The conclusion was very much in favor of the hormesis theory. One participant in the study was Claes-Gustav Nordquist, the Surgeon Colonel of the Lifeguards Regiment who was until his retirement one of the leading oncologists in Sweden. There have been many others, but Claes is an old friend so I learned a good bit about the details of that study." J. Pournelle + overview + article by Dr Donald Miller + an evolutionary reason why radiation may lengthen life - comment 03-31-2010, 05:56 PM lazybratsche + Extensive evidence suggesting hormesis article + abstract of Evidence for beneficial effects of low level radiation & links to 19 other articles citing it+ radiation using spas + book Radiation hormesis By Thomas D. Luckey + proven in experimental animals

A list of links paper giving some more recent evidence, pdf, beneficial effects on small animals, therapeutic radon, British Journal of Radiology paper, Spas - where people think it works, Ramsar the world's highest natural, paper, Prof John McCarthy, Professor Bernard Cohen, radon mine results show hormesis

ethics - LNT fear kills hundreds of thousands + LNT "pulled out of thin air without any knowledge on which to base them - Eisenhower's science advisor,
1946 Nobel winner deliberately lied to promote rtadiation scare
new mathematical tool

A History of how we got here + Hormesis Overview, paper by TD Luckey + article how politics overrules evidence "U.S. Regulatory Report NCRP-136 ..concluded that most people who get a small dose of nuclear radiation are not harmed by it, and in fact are benefited. That’s what the science said: Most people would benefit by receiving more radiation. But curiously, the report’s final conclusion was just the opposite

20th Dec 11 - Berkeley Lab, through a combination of time-lapse live imaging and mathematical modeling of a special line of human breast cells, have found evidence to suggest that for low dose levels of ionizing radiation, cancer risks may not be directly proportional to dose. This contradicts the standard model for predicting biological damage from ionizing radiation  
This, subject to being repeatable, appears to be indisputable proof that LNT is false. Not necessarily that hormesis is correct but certainly consistent with it. As I write here.

Recent evidence including a study of health of airline crew who are exposed to calculable amouints of radiation. Scientists actively looking for confirmation of LNT instead found cancers "generally lower than in the comparison population" which is consistent only with hormesis.

A pdf  summary.


I have been sent a list dealt with here. It consists of arguments from authority (the powers that be say it so it must be true) which are, by definition, intellectually valueless and even more wrong scientifically and some very careful selection of random fluctuations which would be unworthy even of publication in looking for evidence in real science let alone being accepted as proof.

Nobody anywhere else in the world appears to have been able to produce anything as good.
This article claims to have investigated the Taiwan apartments case and found that the population were so much younger than the national average that the 97% hormesis effect disappears and a small LNT one does - it reads to me to be going into it with an agenda and involving a data dredge but it exists and I know of no refutation

This article claims 4.98% [standard error (SE) = 1.5] per 10-mSv cumulative dose received after age 45 under a 10-year lag, and 7.31% (SE = 2.2) per 10-mSv cumulative dose received after age 45 under a 20-year lag at Oak Ridge. It does not appear to have been replicated anywhere else and is more consistent with a data dredge fitting up random data (would the same effect have been there if it was workers after age 40 or 50 or a 3 year or 15 year interval) in a data dredge.

An online debate where both sides put the case as fully as desired., an entire audience of scientists shamefacedly admitting they know it is a fraud


UNSCEAR the international regulatory agency admits that there is no basis for the LNT claim

This is the Forbes article announcing this news

I celebrate here and here and on ThinkScotland here.

In a world where decisions were made primarily on the basis of fact thjat would be an end of it. Tomorrow morning 95% of nuclear regulations would be ended and we would start pouring concrete for hundreds of new reactors.

 In this world the news has been reported by Forbes and ThinkScotland and that's about it and doubtless, just as the anti-GM & anti-shale gas campaigns have wotked without ever having to produce any evidence of harm or even a credible means by which harm can be done this campaign will keep running. But from now on it is running on empty.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010


Jerry Pournelle has highlighted my previous thread pointing on the Mohole Project & the fact that it would not have meant blowing $60 million to a politically connected company if it had been done by a prize rather than a favoured grant.
You once said "I have never understood why prizes are not popular. They cost almost nothing..."

I have blogged on the Mohole scandal - the developers of the idea were dealt out of the game to be replaced by a company without experience but a long record of donations to LBJ's campaigns, which proceeded to blow $60 million (a lot in the 60s) while achieving nothing. Maybe I am overly cynical but that is an instance where a general prize would have either have achieved or cost nothing & it is clear exactly why that was not the popular choice with those in charge.

The corollary to that is that any politician opposing prizes may reasonably be assumed to have an ulterior motive, though not all debts are paid in money. An assumption which, if it became widespread, would concentrate some minds wonderfully

Neil Craig

The Mohole Scandal used to be more widely known, but it was long ago. It wasn't a prize it was a contract. They insisted it would be "professional" to pay a fee to -- surprise -- Brown and Root. But there was never a prize offered. If you want a given result, offer a prize for it. If no one does it you have lost little. If someone does it, pay the prize when it is completed.

I propose a Lunar Colony, $10 billion to be paid to the first American company that puts 31 Americans on the Moon and keeps them there alive and well for three years and a day. No money to be paid until the conditions are fulfilled.

Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo where apparently Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services?are making a fortune, Plus ca change

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