Tuesday, July 24, 2007

David Suzuki: "Junk Scientist"

No wonder St. John's mayor Andy Wells was a nominee for "Craziest Mayor In Canada" (Mercer Report). David Suzuki and Al Gore in the crosshairs:
Andy Wells, the outspoken Mayor of St. John's, has outraged Canadian environmentalists and physicians with his comments that David Suzuki and Al Gore are "junk scientists," and that herbicides in small amounts are safe.

I think there's a lot of junk science out there that's masquerading as true science,'' the Mayor told CanWest News Service yesterday...

"I always thought David Suzuki was a charlatan,'' he said.

Mr. Wells said Mr. Gore, Mr. Suzuki and the Sierra Club of Canada trade on fear to scare Canadians into giving them money to fund their activities.

Mr. Wells said no scientific evidence existed to show pesticide use caused cancers and he said 2,4-D -- a herbicide

No scientific evidence? Just curious what qualifications Wells has to refute the expert opinion:
"If you look at the health experts," he said, "what they're saying is any amount of these chemicals can be dangerous, particularly to children."

Stephen Hazell, executive director with the Ottawa-based Sierra Club of Canada, said Mr. Wells is free to call people junk scientists, but advised the mayor not to ignore the growing scientific evidence that pesticides cause adverse health effects in human beings.

"We know that concentrations of some of these compounds -- dioxins and furans -- are toxic in parts per billion."

One guess, which party do you think Mr. Wells votes for in elections? Quick.

There is a growing trend, wherein people seem to disregard simple science because it might inconvenience their stubborn ways. "Health experts", not lunatic charlatans, with a political agenda. Come to think of it, maybe all this denier rhetoric is a by-product of the neurological disorders caused by pesticides. Is that irony?


Anonymous said...

What would you expect from a "Junk Mayor", or is that a mayor on junk?

Everyone knows all the real scientist work for oil and chemcial industries, duh!

wayward son said...

Well I can’t believe the stupidity of people and it appears to be just getting worse. I actually just finished reading the post below and some of the comments on Globe and Mail. I only read about the top 50 and it seems that about 90% of them are deniers. I’ll be honest – I give up. When my nieces ask me 20 years from now why no one did anything about climate change I plan on giving them a print out of the 320 comments on Globe and Mail. But here are some of my favourites from the top 50 or so:

“Anyone can publish, was the paper 'peer reviewed'? If it wasn't reviewed, it's junk.”

Nature Journal ONLY publishes peer reviewed papers, and they reject about 90%, only taking the best most solid evidence.

“More junk science.”

Yes, discover is the most highly regarded scientific journal in the world. Well known for “junk science.” (For those who don’t know Nature is not a science magazine like Discover or Scientific American, it is a scientific journal, and, out of the thousands that exist, it is rated the most highly regarded in the world ahead of “Science,” “JAMA” and the New England Journal of Medicine)

“Of course, there will be other scientists who will disprove many of the theories in this paper just like they have in all the previous ones.”

Really? How many peer-reviewed reports on climate change have been disproven? Off the top of my head I can only think of Christy and Spencer’s satellite report – and they were climate sceptics.

“I'd like to know a little more about their research, to know exactly why they believe so.”

Then read Nature when the report comes out.

“The scientists gathered global rainfall data from 1925 to 1999, and then compared it to 14 complex computer climate models. - This doesn't 'prove' anything.”

Seriously how would this layman know?

“One looks in vain for the 'solid proof' that humans are 'causing' climate change. The articles gives the effects of shifting climates, but nowhere does it give any proof.”

Yes, I am sure that you have looked in vain.

“Meanwhile the same Environment Canada cannot predict the weather without a 30% uncertainty over a 48 hours period.”

Climate models don’t predict day to day weather which is much harder then long term trends. Environment Canada can tell us with strong accuracy if we are going to have a mild or harsh winter or summer.

“Typical nonsense science”

“I’m still waiting for the next ice age scientists 'proved' would be here right now.”

Few scientists ever supported an ice ages. That was more popular in the media then in the scientific community.

“And they know its because of the burning of fossil fuels and no other phenomenom why? Because it fits their theory.”

Yes it fits the theory perfectly. So does 100% of the facts. So many ignorant people who don’t understand what a scientific theory actually is.

“Even climatologists have said that humans could slow climate change, but not stop it”


“The thrust of most peoples arguments aren't against global warming but against the idea of man made global warming as opposed to naturally cyclical climate change.”

Whether people are arguing that there is no climate change or that there is, but we are not the cause, makes no difference. Both arguments are completely wrong.

“I'm not a scientist, but it doesn't take one to realize that is article is BALONEY.”

Brilliant argument.

“I don't think these scientists are going to prove anything. They haven't convinced me of anything so far.”

“Seems like it was just a waste of space to me.”

“However, CO2 is not a strong greenhouse gas!”

This latest comment comes from someone who states they are a science professor. If that is true he is the dumbest one out there.

“Ok so comparing data to 14 computer models is how we get scientific proof nowadays?”

Computers can do a lot of things very well. Models for example.

“The average temerature of the oceans has been two degrees lower then expected for the last two years. Scientists have not been able to explain why.”

The average ocean temperature is not 2 degress lower, it is slightly lower then 2004/2005 and scientists know exactly why, in fact in the current edition of Scientific American it explains exactly why – I’ll give you a hint, El Nino followed by El Nina and a temperature drop of about the exact small amount that scientists predicted. Nice try though.

Like I said I give up.

Steve V said...


Isn't that a depressing horror show?

My favorite:

"Screw it. If the planet suffers, the planet suffers - that is life. Let someone else make changes."

We're doomed :)

Anonymous said...

'Junk Scientists' sums up guys like Suzuki pretty well, Suzuki got a degree years ago and ditched the whole science thing to become a celebrity - courtesy of the taxpayer - at the CBC.

wayward son said...

"Isn't that a depressing horror show?"

Yes it is aweful. I have been taking my time slowly going through them and I just made it to a new favorite:

73. Green Jerry from Canada

"WRONG!!!!! Mt. Pinatubo spit out 1000 times more GHG's than produced by all of mankind for our entire history."

?????? Like the idiot talking about the ocean temperature he just pulls a number completely out of ass and states it as if it were a fact. Sociopath? Humans produce many times more ghgs than volcanoes each year. If my memory serves me right about 150 times more, but I will have to look it up again. I am worried that this kind of bullshit is becoming more and more widespread. Last week I watched a Q & A session in Australia after a showing of the swindle. The percentage of denialists and the level of stupidity in the questions was shocking (although after these globe and mail comments I am no longer surprised). The lastest poll that I heard out of the UK looked as though the percentage of deniers has skyrocketed there too.

It really makes no sense. The science has become so solid. The deniers have jumped from far out conclusion to far out conclusion.

I think I am going to start a blog catalogueing stupid things that people say about climate change. So that way I have a record.

wayward son said...

"Anonymous said...
'Junk Scientists' sums up guys like Suzuki pretty well, Suzuki got a degree years ago and ditched the whole science thing to become a celebrity - courtesy of the taxpayer - at the CBC."

Suzuki does not do scientific research. He takes the time to read the research others do and analyses the facts. Because of that, like any intelligent person he comes to the obvious conclusion and he is in a better position than most to convey the science to the majority of the population who don't have the time, desire or ability to look into the science themselves.

You clearly have no idea what a "junk scientist" is. But if you want to know take a look at Fred Singer, Tim Ball and Patrick Michaels.

Anonymous said...

When is somebody going to create a vacination against stupidity?

More and more I just want to buy a farm, become self sufficient and hide. Some day years from now when they are at my gate starving, begging, I'll have the priveledge of saying "RELEASE THE HOUNDS"

Anonymous said...

So, those who are not scientists are judging those who are?

What's next - this guy going to do brain or heart surgery because he's read something?


Steve V said...

"When is somebody going to create a vacination against stupidity?"

Brain flu?

Steve V said...

CBC just gave the Mayor ten minutes to unleash his irrational tirade, basically uninterrupted. It was funny, because Wells was ranting about pesticides, and mid-sentence morphed the conversation into a condemnation of global warming. What a crank, and it was disappointing that someone with a no pedigree was allowed to spout nonsense without a real expert to counter.