Articles to 2014-02-25

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

I wanted to rubbish Alcock et al. but again found Feynman’s rule on primary sources confirmed. From the Nature’s research highlights through the abstract to results the interpretation better fits the data moving from utter nonsense to quite a sensible analysis. That said their data are open to an alternative analysis. Both groups end up with improved mental health over the whole time range and both groups tend to move to a higher standard of accommodation with more space. One group achieves the change smoothly while the other shows a dip in middle. Could it be that the preference for suburban environments is purely an unfounded prejudice affecting people only as long as it takes them to find it wrong?

One subsidiary result from Kratz et al. is, that milk from health-food shops, or more precisely milk from grass fed cows, really is better than milk from stabled ones.

For Piffer also see Genoves although notwithstanding the bias her reported results seem sound to me. See also Clark 2007 (list of 2012-09-01).

Even if there was a climate induced acceleration in current sea level rise, even if that climate change was anthropogenic, and even if it were to be stopped and reversed at huge effort and cost, all that would not help people in the plains of Bangladesh in the least, because their flooding is mainly caused by ongoing land subsidence. There is no chance whatever of this report by Hanebuth & Linstädter et al. ever finding its way into the main stream press.

A very important point about science in politics is half hidden in the article about Nutts by Kupferschmidt: “He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy.” This was an official statement by an acting home secretary and can be correctly paraphrased as “Politicians won’t accept any advice from scientists not agreeing with their preconceived preconceptions in advance.” Not that it comes as a surprise but this outright, shameless admission explains a lot.

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