Junk Science

John Stossel: Junk science locks up innocent people

On TV crime shows like “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order,” science gets the bad guys. In real life, “science” often ensnares the innocent. Former NYPD Detective Harry Houck gets annoyed when TV shows make forensic science look infallible. “You watch a detective get down and look at a body (and say), ‘He’s been dead for three hours now… (H)e ate dinner four hours ago,'” scoffs Houck. “I can’t do that.” On TV, experts identify killers by their bite marks. In real life, experts claim they can do that. The TV show “Cold Case Files” covered the trial of Alfred Swinton. He was convicted of murder because a bite-mark expert said his teeth matched a bite on the victim. “A perfect match!” said Dr. Gus Karazulas, the “forensic odontologist” whose testimony clinched the conviction. Karazulas sounded impartial and objective. “A forensic scientist is not on the side of the prosecutor or defense,” he said on “Cold Case Files.” “We look at the evidence.” But Swinton was innocent. Lawyer Chris Fabricant helped get him released from jail by doing a DNA test, a much more reliable, less subjective form of science. Fabricant scoffs at bite-mark testimony: “The doctor was just wrong. It’s an unreliable technique.” The more room there is for an expert witness’s unique interpretation of the data, the more that can go wrong, says Fabricant. “Bite mark is similar to you and I looking at a cloud. I say to you, ‘John, doesn’t that cloud look like a rabbit?’ And you say, ‘Yeah, Chris, I think that does look like a rabbit.'” That kind of junk science puts innocent people in jail. I told Fabricant that I assumed most people in jail are guilty. Also, many people say crime is down because aggressive law enforcement has locked so many people up. “If you think that maybe even 1 percent of convicted defendants may be innocent,” replied Fabricant, “we have 2.6 million people in prison today, (so) we are talking about tens of thousands of (innocent) people!” Fabricant works with the Innocence Project, a group that works to get innocent people freed from prison. Through DNA evidence, the project’s lawyers have helped free 191 people. That confident bite-mark expert who got Swinton convicted now admits he was wrong. “Bite mark evidence is junk science,” he told us via email. He resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. But police still trust bite marks. “Let’s say one tooth is missing in the front” of a bite mark, explains Houck. “You’ve got to go, well, our suspect’s got one tooth missing in the front. That’s pretty good!” Houck says he’d demand other evidence. But not all cops do — especially when scientific “experts” say someone’s guilty. Bite marks are just one dubious method police and prosecutors use.

For more, click on the text above.

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” – the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data. Pruitt told Daily Caller: “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” This decision will correct a longstanding injustice at the EPA, perpetrated against the U.S. taxpayer. For years the EPA has been able to behave as a law unto itself, cavalierly passing regulations which restrict freedoms, hamper business and hold back the U.S. economy for reasons which have much more to do with left-leaning environmentalist politics than with objective science. The problem dates back to the early 1990s when the EPA decided it wanted to regulate fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 but couldn’t find any hard scientific evidence proving it was harmful. Steve Milloy takes up the story in the Wall Street Journal: “PM2.5 was not known to cause death, but by 1994 EPA-supported scientists had developed two lines of research purporting to show that it did. When the studies were run past the EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, it balked. It believed the studies relied on dubious statistical analysis and asked for the underlying data. The EPA ignored the request. As the EPA prepared to issue its proposal for PM2.5 regulation in 1996, Congress stepped in. Rep. Thomas Bliley, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, sent a sharply written letter to Administrator Carol Browner asking for the data underlying studies. Ms. Browner delegated the response to a subordinate, who told Mr. Bliley the EPA saw “no useful purpose” in obtaining the data. Congress responded by inserting a provision in a 1998 bill requiring that data used to support federal regulation must be made available to the public via the Freedom of Information Act. But it was hastily written, and a federal appellate court held the law unenforceable in 2003. The controversy went dormant until 2011, when a newly Republican Congress took exception to the Obama EPA’s anticoal rules, which relied on the same PM2.5 studies. Again the EPA was defiant. Administrator Gina McCarthy refused requests for the data sets and defied a congressional subpoena.” The EPA has form here. Its first administrator, William Ruckelshaus banned the use of DDT in the U.S. despite copious evidence that it was not harmful to human life. A seven month EPA hearing, presided over by Judge Edmund Sweeney, concluded in a 9,000 page document: “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man…DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man…The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.” Ruckelshaus simply ignored it because it did not suit the result he wanted. Needless to say, the environmentalists are furious that the EPA now has to stick to science rather than political activism. The New York Times has billed it as “an attack on science” – as if, somehow, scientific experiments conducted in secret for political ends are somehow more representative of “science” than experiments which are both open and independently reproducible.

Agreed!!  And well said, James.  James Delingpole is responsible for that outstanding op/ed.  For more, click on the text above.   Excellent!!     🙂

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” – the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data. Pruitt told Daily Caller: “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” This decision will correct a longstanding injustice at the EPA, perpetrated against the U.S. taxpayer. For years the EPA has been able to behave as a law unto itself, cavalierly passing regulations which restrict freedoms, hamper business and hold back the U.S. economy for reasons which have much more to do with left-leaning environmentalist politics than with objective science. The problem dates back to the early 1990s when the EPA decided it wanted to regulate fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 but couldn’t find any hard scientific evidence proving it was harmful.

Kudos to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for trying to bring some sanity to the EPA.  For more on this excellent op/ed from James Delingpole, just click on the text above.    🙂

‘Junk science’? Studies behind Obama regulations under fire

Scientific studies used by the Obama administration to help justify tough environmental regulations are coming under intensifying scrutiny, with critics questioning their merit as the Trump EPA reverses or delays some of those rules. In one case, agencies determined the research used to prop up a ban on a pesticide was questionable. On another front, the Environmental Protection Agency never complied with a congressional subpoena for the data used to justify most Obama administration air quality rules. “EPA regulations are based on secret data developed in the 1990s,” Steve Milloy, who served on President Trump’s EPA transition team, told Fox News. “For the EPA, coming up with cherry-picked data is standard operating procedure.” Milloy, author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA,” was previously a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission and is among critics who accuse federal agencies of carefully selecting scientific research to fit a political agenda. In October, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive to ensure that individuals serving on EPA advisory committees don’t get EPA grants and are free from potential conflicts of interest. “Whatever science comes out of EPA, shouldn’t be political science,” Pruitt said in a statement. “From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the agency.” Environmental groups blasted the decision. “For Pruitt, anything that helps corporate polluters make money is good and science and facts are just roadblocks he wants to tear down,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. Pruitt has become one of the most controversial members of the Trump administration in its first year, cast by his detractors as battling the kinds of regulations his agency is supposed to be upholding. But his office suggests many of those rules were flawed from the start. Click here to take a look at some of the most controversial studies behind those regulations:

Report: Renewable Energy Is Bigger ‘Scam’ than Bernie Madoff and Enron

The greatest scam being perpetrated against taxpayers and consumers is renewable energy, according to a new analysis published by the Australian, greater even than Ponzi, Madoff and Enron. While sinking enormous financial resources into propping up renewable energy prospectors, national governments are providing no perceptible benefits to their citizens, writes Judith Sloan, a renowned Australian economist who has served on the Australian government’s Productivity Commission. “With very few exceptions, governments all over the world have fallen into the trap of paying renewable energy scammers on the basis that it is necessary, at least politically, to be seen to be doing something about climate change,” Sloan writes, before providing readers with an avalanche of economic data to back up her assertion. In Australia, more than 2 billion taxpayer dollars a year are funneled to renewable energy handlers by virtue of the operation of the renewable energy target and the associated renewable energy certificates, Sloan observes. At the same time, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency “shovels out hundreds of millions of dollars annually to subsidise renewable energy companies, many of which are overseas-owned,” she states, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was given $10 billion in equity by the Gillard Labor government “to lend or grant money to renewable energy companies.” Despite this enormous taxpayer “investment,” so-called renewable energy has yet to pay any dividends or to suggest it will be economically viable for the foreseeable future. Sloan’s grim analysis of the state of renewable energy as a financial sinkhole in Australia is mirrored by other countries such as the United States. According to Forbes, on a total dollar basis, wind and solar together get more from the federal government than all other energy sources combined, despite the fact that neither is anywhere close to self-supporting. Wind has received the greatest amount of federal subsidies. Solar is second. Based on production (subsidies per kWh of electricity produced), however, solar energy “has gotten over ten times the subsidies of all other forms of energy sources combined, including wind,” writes energy expert and planetary geologist Dr. James Conca. During the Obama years from 2010 through 2013, federal renewable energy subsidies increased by 54 percent—from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion—despite the fact that total federal energy subsidies declined by 23 percent during the same period, from $38 billion to $29 billion. In absolute terms, between 2010 and 2013 solar energy alone saw a 500 percent increase in federal subsidies from $1.1 billion to $5.3 billion. In this same period, subsidies for fossil fuels decreased by 15 percent. from $4.0 billion to $3.4 billion, and subsidies for nuclear energy fell by 12 percent, from $1.9 billion to $1.7 billion. One of the more pernicious side-effects of the enormous government subsidies for renewable energy, Conca found, is that they actually increase the cost of energy. This cost, however, is transferred from the energy consumer to the taxpayer, “and so goes unnoticed by most Americans,” he stated. While during the period between 2010 and 2014 nuclear energy cost about 4¢ and 5¢ per kWh to produce, solar energy cost between 80¢ and 100¢ per kWh, or 20 times as much to produce. This despite the fact that nuclear energy is “as renewable as wind” but doesn’t enjoy the same star status among environmental activists. Returning to the case of Australia, Sloan argues that if one were to sum up all the taxpayer-funded subsidies, grants, concessional loans, guarantees and the like the aggregate amount “dwarfs any other government industry assistance aid.” Something similar has happened in Germany, Sloan states, where Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to shut down all the country’s nuclear power plants, to be replaced with “renewable energy.” The target for 2030 is for 50 percent of the nation’s power to come from renewables. The ill-fated Energie­wende, the country’s program for energy transition, has hit serious hurdles, Sloan notes, not least the extraordinary cost that now totals some €650 billion. In an odd twist of fate, late last year the wind simply didn’t blow for several days and a thick fog surrounded many parts of Germany, and thus the output from renewables fell to just 4 percent of total demand. It was Poland, “with its black coal-fired electricity plants,” that came to rescue Germany from its self-induced energy crisis. The best approach for the future, Sloan concludes, entails “acknowledging that enough is enough when it comes to subsidising renewable energy.” The sector has been showered with favors with little to show for it, she observes, and it is high time “it stood on its own two feet without any preferential treatment or financial assistance.”

Agreed!!  And it’s about time someone actually said all of this.  This outstanding analytical op/ed was written by Dr. Thomas D. Williams, PhD.  Excellent!!    🙂

Analysis: Climate Alarmists Finally Admit ‘We Were Wrong About Global Warming’

Climate alarmists have finally admitted that they’ve got it wrong on global warming. This is the inescapable conclusion of a landmark paper, published in Nature Geoscience, which finally admits that the computer models have overstated the impact of carbon dioxide on climate and that the planet is warming more slowly than predicted. The paper – titled Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C – concedes that it is now almost impossible that the doomsday predictions made in the last IPCC Assessment Report of 1.5 degrees C warming above pre-industrial levels by 2022 will come true. In order for that to happen, temperatures would have to rise by a massive 0.5 degrees C in five years. Since global mean temperatures rarely rise by even as much as 0.25 degrees C in a decade, that would mean the planet would have to do 20 years’ worth of extreme warming in the space of the next five years. This, the scientists admit, is next to impossible. Which means their “carbon budget” – the amount of CO2 they say is needed to increase global warming by a certain degree – is wrong. This in turn means that the computer models they’ve been using to scare the world with tales of man-made climate doom are wrong too. One researcher – from the alarmist side of the argument, not the skeptical one – has described the paper’s conclusion as “breathtaking” in its implications. He’s right. The scientists who’ve written this paper aren’t climate skeptics. They’re longstanding warmists, implacable foes of climate skeptics, and they’re also actually the people responsible for producing the IPCC’s carbon budget. In other words, this represents the most massive climbdown from the alarmist camp. But you certainly wouldn’t guess this from the way the scientists are trying to spin their report. Click here to continue…

French: Betsy DeVos’s Critics Rely on Junk Science and Sheer Malice

Honestly, even for a person who’s been hardened by decades of campus ideological and legal battles, it’s hard to believe how thoroughly unhinged, how intellectually bankrupt is the argument against protecting due process on campus. Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Trump administration would shortly begin a regulatory rulemaking process designed to protect college students from sexual assault while also protecting the fundamental constitutional rights of the accused. More precisely, DeVos signaled her intention to withdraw the Obama administration’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter that unilaterally and lawlessly required universities to adjudicate sexual-assault claims under a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard (the accused is responsible if there’s a 50.1 percent probability he committed the crime) but without protecting due process. Obama’s policy resulted in a kangaroo-court system where accused students often don’t have access to counsel, the ability to effectively cross-examine their accuser (indeed, the Obama admin specifically urged that accused students not be permitted to cross-examine accusers), or even access to all the evidence in the case. Judging from the Twitter reaction to DeVos’s remarks, you would have thought that she’d declared open season on young women on campus. Under the hashtag #StopBetsy, ideologues and celebrities declared that DeVos was taking the “next step on our path to authoritarianism.” Or, in the words of the reasonable non-hysterical folks at the Women’s March, she was “making campuses safer for rapists.” The makers of a deeply flawed campus-rape documentary called “The Hunting Ground” slammed DeVos, saying, “Her proposal should scare the hell out of every parent in this country with a college bound child — schools will become much more dangerous places for their children.” But what is this terrible proposal? While the details are yet to be revealed, from her remarks it’s clear that she wants to protect students from sexual assault and to protect students from kangaroo courts. In other words, she may well require schools to protect students’ ability to employ counsel, cross-examine witnesses, see the evidence against them, and try their cases before a truly impartial tribunal. This is basic stuff. It’s the essence of due process, and it’s unthinkable for any person facing such serious, state-mandated charges to face justice without these basic protections. So, what’s the objection? Why do some activists seemingly come unglued at the mere mention of “due process”? To put it simply, it’s because many of them believe and propagate a pile of junk science seasoned with a heaping helping of far-left ideology. This toxic combination causes them to believe the following fantastical story: That one in five women on campus will be sexually assaulted at some point in their college careers, that virtually no woman would lie or be mistaken in alleging a sexual assault, and that even the absence of evidence is somehow evidence of rape. In these circumstances, due process is at best a mere formality. At worst, it’s the rapist’s friend. But that story is wrong — terribly wrong — and it’s facilitating injustice on a national scale. First, the one-in-five statistic is based on seriously flawed studies that, among other things, improperly define sexual assault or base their findings on a low-response survey of two colleges. In fact, the authors of arguably the most influential source for the one-in-five statistic have explicitly said that it was “inappropriate” to use their survey as a “baseline” for campus rape. In 2014, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released its own, more rigorous survey, and its results were far, far different. It found that the rate of rape and sexual assault was “higher for nonstudents than for students.” The annual rate of sexual assault for young women enrolled in college was 6.1 per 1,000, or less than 1 percent. Too high, but far from the extraordinary and shocking crisis of one-in-five, even when tallied over multiple years. But what about the notion that “women don’t lie about rape,” often memorialized in the #BelieveAllWomen hashtag — popularized by none other than Hillary Clinton herself? That’s based on flawed research as well.

Indeed..  To read the rest of this eye-opening, and excellent legal op/ed by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

Gore documentary called ‘bad science’ as sales plummet

It was a tough weekend for Al Gore. Not only did “An Inconvenient Sequel” continue its nosedive at the box office, but the climate change documentary also drew a scathing rebuttal from a leading climate scientist. Climatologist Roy W. Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, released Saturday an 81-page e-book on Amazon titled “An Inconvenient Deception: How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy.” “After viewing Gore’s most recent movie, ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,’ and after reading the book version of the movie, I was more than a little astounded,” Mr. Spencer said on his blog, Global Warming. “The new movie and book are chock-full of bad science, bad policy, and factual errors.” Mr. Spencer said the sequel, like its 2006 predecessor “An Inconvenient Truth,” implies repeatedly that naturally occurring weather episodes are the result of human-caused global warming — for example, a shot in which the former vice president stands ankle-deep in a flooded Miami street. “That flooding is mostly a combination of (1) natural sea level rise (I show there has been no acceleration of sea level rise beyond what was already happening since the 1800s), and (2) satellite-measured sinking of the reclaimed swamps that have been built upon for over 100 years in Miami Beach,” said Mr. Spencer. Mr. Spencer isn’t new to the warming debate — he’s a well-known climate skeptic — but there’s no disputing his credentials: He’s an award-winning former NASA senior scientist for climate studies who continues to work with NASA on the U.S. Science Team. The author of three previously published books on climate change, Mr. Spencer said he wrote the point-by-point rebuttal in two weeks after the Aug. 4 wide release of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” which took another plunge last weekend at the box office. The movie earned $331,007, a 59 percent drop from the previous weekend’s gross of $816,150, for a total to date of $3 million. Meanwhile, the per-screen gross plummeted from $1,468 to $644, according to Box Office Mojo.

Al Gore is a documented fraud.  So, kudos to Mr. Spencer (and actual credible climate scientist) for writing his actual scientific rebuttal, and offering it for sale on Amazon.com  Excellent!

Al Gore Says God Told Him to Fight Global Warming

Former Vice President Al Gore is now telling his climate disciples that God commands us to go forth and fight global warming. Engaging in some advanced publicity for his new global warming film spectacular, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Gore told Interview Magazine that God didn’t create global warming and wants us to fix it. In his comments, Gore equated the fight against global warming to a religious-based, moral crusade similar to the civil rights fight, women’s suffrage, and the abolitionist movement during the Civil War era. Gore insisted that it is a moral imperative to fight against climate change. “Regarding the climate movement,” Gore said warming to his point, “there are people who say, ‘God is in complete control of everything that happens, and if the Earth is getting warmer, then maybe God intends that.’” Gore then rejected that conceit. “Well, no,” the million-dollar mansion-owing former veep insisted. “God intends for us to take responsibility for how we treat God’s creation, and if we choose to use the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as an open sewer for 110-million tons of global-warming pollution every day, the consequences are attributable to us.” He concluded saying, “And if you are a believer, as I am, I think God intends for us to open our eyes and take responsibility for the moral consequences of our actions.” Gore’s new film is a sequel to his famed “An Inconvenient Truth,” a shockumentary filled with mistaken assertions and failed predictions. Despite the many inaccuracies of his previous film, in an interview last year Gore still insisted that he “underestimated” how bad global warming is. “I wish the film had over-estimated the seriousness of the crisis, but unfortunately it actually underestimated how serious it is,” the one-time Tennessee Senator said.

Here at The Daily Buzz, we’ve been talking about how these extreme-liberal, enviro-wackos have been treating their liberal global warming/climate change agenda almost like a religious cult.  To these people, environmentalism IS their religion.  And now, Al Gore is saying that his cause has a holy calling.  Gee…isn’t that amazing?  Al Gore is a total and complete fraud.  His first film is full of factual inaccuracies, and his predictions have been a total bust.  And yet, people still listen to that idiot….probably because they’re suckers and follow him, and drink his cult Kool-Aid.

Robert Kennedy Jr.: We need laws to ‘punish global warming skeptics’

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of climate change’s loudest activists, said there should be a law that lets authorities punish skeptics and deniers – those who engage in “selling out the public trust,” he said, in an interview with Climate Depot during New York City’s recent People’s Climate March.

RFK JR is your typical arrogant, self-righteous, sanctimonious gazillionaire, limousine liberal elitist. He is ALL for freedom of speech, until you say something he doesn’t like. Then, he wants a “law” passed to shut you up, and put you in jail. THAT is the very definition of fascism. People ask me all the time why I call people like RFK JR, Obama, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and others “Nazis.” I think this pretty much explains why. Freedom of speech, ESPECIALLY political speech, is a freedom we value here. RFK JR should move to N. Korea, China or some other communist nation where such freedoms don’t exist, and they DO imprison those with differing opinions or political views. He might like it there…although China is the biggest polluter in the world. I doubt they’d want him to express HIS opinions in the open there, lol. Talk about irony..

I think Robert has his panties in a bunch over that interview he did at the march with Michelle Fields who caught him in his own hypocrisy. He made a complete fool of himself! Anyway, so now he’s saying that those who are skeptical of so-called “global warming,” should be punished. Wow!! Just fathom how scary that is! Yes, hes a Nazi.