Articles to 2021-02-27

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

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With one voice Wiesendanger’s paper is being repudiated as unscientific. This is how I heard about it (Streisand). His study was first endorsed and then reviled by leading executives at his university. For my taste this exudes a distinct smell of Stalinism. Was political pressure applied on career administrators? Allegedly all he has done is cobble together quotes from Twitter, Blogs, and Youtube. If it is as meaningless as that, why does it evoke such strong reactions?

In fact he does mention such sources but only as background and to document public reaction to news and events. All his arguments are based on the reputable scientific literature, mostly peer reviewed. He cites his sources at length, usually several paragraphs, and demonstrates that none of his quotes are biased or taken out of context. He makes a strong point and is able to demonstrate that just the relevant kind of experiment – looking if and how highly pathological strains might become human transmissible – were done at Wuhan and that an escape is conceivable. And most importantly he makes no definite claims about what the source has been and only criticises the extraordinary rapidity with which the virological community has committed itself to one hypothesis alone – for which substantiation is still lacking in spite of intensive search – and refuses to even consider the alternative. The reaction to this study is quite out of proportion to its content.

I have not checked any of the sources and don’t see the need. Nobody so far has accused Wiesendanger of falsification or misrepresentation, all of the critcism so far was purely ad hominem and that alone tells me a lot.

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Anthropogenic climate change is a fact and in the main it tends to be hugely detrimental. Thaler et al. provide just one more pertinent example. The main problem with the devout single issue carbon religion is, that they detract from the real problems and thus make things much worse. Biofuels are not mentioned in Thaler et al. but they are a well known and proven driver for intensification and resultant soil degradation.

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