Category Archives: General Science

The History Of Sugar And Its Health Impacts

An interesting interview with Gary Taubes:

In the science in which I was raised—physics and chemistry, the hard sciences—the last thing you want to do is get an assumption accepted into the theory of how things work without rigorously testing it, because then people will build on it and it will grow and infect the whole thought construction. You end up with, I’m going to beat this metaphor to death, but sort of a house of cards. And there will be no way to go back on it. In a field like nutrition and obesity research, you’ve now got these enormous institutional dogmas built in that I and others are arguing are simply wrong. How do you get the institutions to change their belief systems?

The British Medical Journal is running a series on nutrition policy, and their way of dealing with it is by assigning writers from these different belief systems. So I’m a co-author on an article on dietary fat, along with the former head of the Harvard nutrition department who thinks I’m the worst journalist he’s ever met and who does a form of science that I consider a pseudoscience.

It’s just nuts.

Sea-Level-Rise Acceleration

Judith Curry’s latest thoughts (this is part of a series, to be continued).

The more times goes on, the less concerned I get about climate change (not that it may not change for the worse — that’s always a possibility — but in the sense that we really understand and can predict it). For example, consider the Iceland event of 1783. If that happened today, it would be much larger than anything we’ve been doing with CO2, and it’s entirely unpredictable.

As always, our best bet is to get as wealthy as possible so we’ll have the resources to deal with whatever the future holds. Instead the climate alarmists advocate polices that make energy needlessly more expensive (and hence everything more expensive, inhibiting economic growth).

[Update late afternoon]

Judith’s weekly climate roundup, which is usually interesting.

The Webb Telescope

We had dinner with Leonard and Barbara David when we were in Colorado over the holidays. He told me that he’d been working on this piece about whether it’s too big to fail.

I’ve been concerned about the risk for years. I hope it works, but it’s not the approach I’d have taken. The next big telescope will be assembled in space, not launch origami.