Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

November 7, 2005

Can’t Sell the Moon

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:58 pm

Some business plans are just out of this world.

Stupid Headline Tricks

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:50 pm

I’ve heard of delayed airline flights, but this is ridiculous!

Hat tip: James Taranto.

Greenpeace Fined for Environmental Damage

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:05 am

Hot on the heels of the news that PETA workers have been arrested for cruelty to animals, we have this little gem:

Greenpeace to be fined as Rainbow Warrior damages Philippines coral reef

Mon Oct 31, 9:50 PM ET

TUBBATAHA REEFS, Philippines (AFP) – Greenpeace is to be fined after its flagship Rainbow Warrior II damaged a coral reef in the central Philippines during a climate change awareness campaign, marine park rangers said.

The ship and its crew were assessed a 640,000-peso (11,600-dollar) fine after the 55-meter (180-foot) motor-assisted schooner ran aground at the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park on Monday, park manager Angelique Songco told AFP.

The Rainbow Warrior II arrived in the reservation in the middle of the Sulu Sea, about 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Manila, last weekend as part of a four-month Asia-Pacific campaign to promote earth-friendly energy sources, said Greenpeace campaign manager Red Constantino.

He said the crew made dive sorties to inspect the effect of global warming on the coral formation, which is listed among the World Heritage sites of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

I guess this proves that global warming damages coral reefs — indirectly, because it attracts Greenpeace boats that damange them!

“The chart indicated we were a mile and a half” from the coral reef when the ship ran aground, Constantino told AFP. He said the August 2005 navigational map was provided by the mapping office of the Philippine government.

Or maybe global warming causes reefs to grow so fast, they’re a mile and a half longer than when they were last measured. Maybe they inadvertently proved that global warming is good for coral reefs!

Constantino said the healthy state of the Tubbataha Reefs did not disprove the theory of global warming, which he described as an “extremely complicated science.”

Well, that just about says it all — as far as the scientific integreity of Greenpeace goes. The hallmark of science is the primacy of observational evidence over opinions and theories, as expressed through the notion of a “refutable proposition” — the notion that a theory must predict some facts which in principle might turn out not to be true, and when facts are found that are inconsistent with that theory, the theory must be discarded or modified.

Greenpeace has said that this particular experiment produced facts inconsistent with the theory of global warming, but that this does not disprove the theory of global warming. Of course the theory is “complicated” and it may well be possible for global warming to occur without damaging coral reefs. But you can be sure that if the reefs were found to be damaged, Greenpeace woudl have been right out front attributing the damage to global warming.

Which just goes to show that Greenpeace has the scientific method exactly backwards — according to Greenpeace (and many other “scientific” political organizations) they find facts that agree with their theory “prove” it, but facts that contradict their theory do not disprove it. The scientific method is based on precisely the opposite principle:

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature … . If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.

Keep in mind that the environmentalism is a political movement, not a scientific movement.

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