Monday, December 19, 2011
  Notable exception!

Couple days ago I expanded on a wonderful pithy saying by Jim Hopkins:

"Journalists never admit they're wrong; they just stop being wrong."

This is basically the journalistic side of Kuhn's paradigm shift. Bad science is never publicly refuted by other scientists; it just fades when the bad scientists die out.

In the item I mentioned several of the enviro crimes of the last century, including the acid rain scam.

Today we have a notable exception to the Hopkins rule, and it's coming from Fred Pearce, one of the New Superstitionist high priests!
Ronald Reagan was right. Well, nearly. One of the former US president's most ridiculed statements was that acid rain came from trees.

Up to half the acidity in rainfall over the US in summer does indeed come from volatile compounds given off by plants – just not the compounds Reagan was thinking of.

Formic acid is produced when we burn fossil fuels and biomass, and when plant compounds called terpenoids are oxidised by sunlight....

New satellite data shows more than 100 million tonnes of formic acid is produced naturally each year – far more than thought and 10 times the total from all known [artificial] sources.

Not only an admission of wrongness but a vindication of Great Satan Reagan!

Bravo to Fred Pearce for breaking this destructive rule, and helping to rebuild civilization.

When the high priests pull their usual fade-out routine, leaving only heretics speaking the truth, it's easy for the Establishment to ignore truth. The lies are no longer repeated every picosecond, but the truth is still coming only from Unpersons.

When a high priest comes out and explicitly admits the truth, even the other high priests have to acknowledge that something has changed.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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