Sunday, March 21, 2010

Remember When "Scientific American" was about Science?

I'm actually old enough to remember when Scientific American was a respected magazine about science.

Unfortunately, it has morphed into yet another source of 'global warming' silliness as again evidenced by this story (?) about Sarah Palin. The author took great offense that Ms. Palin said, "[it is] Arrogant and naive to say that man overpowers nature."

What Ms. Palin says is so obviously correct I would hardly think it would be a controversial statement, let alone one meriting an article in SA to "refute" it.  I don't know of any scientist that doesn't think humans affect the climate but we hardly "overpower" it.  If you doubt what I just stated, trying standing in front of a tornado and see how much "power" you have over it.

What made the article so jarring is that minutes before I read the SA story, I read about the volcanic eruption in Iceland. If this volcano lets loose, it may affect the climate of the northern hemisphere due to injecting soot into the stratosphere.

What can humans do to prevent the volcano from erupting?  Nothing.

Or, take the recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and elsewhere.  What can humans do to prevent them?  Nothing.

So, if we can't stop tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena, it would seem that Ms. Palin gets the best of this argument. I certainly don't look to Sarah Palin for scientific enlightenment, but if this is quality of scientific journalism practiced at SA these days, she might make a useful addition to their editorial board.

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