The error of our ways

I’ve just finished reading an extended article from Thursday’s Guardian. It describes how guidelines on low-fat diets arose and explains how they have been rigorously defended to the exclusion of other theories – to the detriment of health, science and some careers.

Sugar Conspiracy

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd, under the terms of its Open Licence.

I was struck by the parallels with global warming, and pertinent quotes are pasted below.

I am sure I don’t need to spell out the analogous climate tales; the highlighting in bold below is mine. The article is well worth reading in full.

In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?
by

 Political origins

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Food for thought

How would you present climate change from a sceptical viewpoint to a lay audience in a 20 minute talk? That’s what a friend has volunteered to do and recently asked for my help. In particular, could I provide some illustrations?  The audience is likely to be mostly middle-aged men of varied backgrounds, most of whom will have given the subject little thought other than absorbing media coverage. I do know one person who will attend and that person is an environmental professional, a believer in CAGW, but is usually open-minded and definitely of a sceptical disposition as far as non-climate things go.

After the initial “yes – of course!”, I began to wonder where to start… And the more I thought about it the more I found I would want to include. Continue reading

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New music for old

For a bit of fun on a wet Saturday, some music on unexpected instruments – songs as you’ve not heard them before, starting with an excellent version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal – on a barrel organ.

Next up New Order’s 1982 hit Blue Monday without a synthesizer in sight.  Continue reading

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Nous sommes tous Parisienne

Paris

Update – March 2016 – For Brussels

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A long musical search

Back in the late 80’s I fell in love with a recording of Latin American harp music. It has taken me more than twenty-five years to discover its identity.  Today I am very happy to say I’ve found it.
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Earth Art: more trees

Whether they’re wet (river deltas, tidal channels) or dry (desert, erosion), I never cease to be fascinated by these images. The first two even have ‘leaves’ and are especially beautiful:
20 Continue reading

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Rose tinted temperatures

Here’s an odd thing. Having experienced such cold weather on holiday in July, I went to take a look at the Met Office maps and graphs, and the UK mean temperature map for July 2015 was a bit of a surprise – it was quite rosy and warm-looking.
2015_7_MeanTemp_ActualThe map of anomalies, however, told a different story: Continue reading

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How Time Flies…

Is it really more than 3 months since I last posted something?  I can easily believe it.  What excuse would you like me to make? I have many, but thankfully this time I’ve no reason to blame a black dog – far from it. In fact, life is good. Continue reading

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Well said that man

Found at Bishop Hill and reposted here so I can find it again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytzTMqs8XKA Continue reading

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Iceberg of disagreement

This was new to me. Not the differing forms of disagreement, but that someone bothered to put it into a simple but convincing hierarchy. Nice!

Graham's_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement-en.svgFigure: “Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement” from clear refutation to mere vituperation, based on the essay “How to Disagree” by Paul Graham (source: Wikimedia.)

 From the original article: Continue reading

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