September 29, 2011

Not Just the Daily Grind: Today’s Must Reads (or so) - Sept. 29, 2011

A giant statue of St Michael in Mexico City (CNS photo/Greg Tarczynski)
  1. World Economy 2011: An FT Special Report (reg. required). 
    The need for concerted action is greater than ever, as imbalances across the eurozone are replicated globally. (You might enjoy this one in particular, especially if you are in low spirits: Financial institutions stare into the abyss)   
  2. New Fox News Poll - Herman Cain rises to top 3, Newt Gingrich up, Rick Perry down after debate debacle (He lost ten points of his once substantial lead!).
  3. Ron Paul’s Republican problem - On the one hand, his call for fiscal austerity resounds with tea party-affiliated primary voters. On the other, his views on foreign policy—including the idea that America all but incited the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11—are decidedly less popular.  (How many Paul-ites are actually Republicans? Awful question, I know)
  4. Herman Cain: How high can he rise?
    Ever since his straw poll win in Florida last weekend, it’s been pretty clear that Cain has some momentum. (Be it as it may, but who said Republicans are racist?)
  5. The saint who threw Satan out of heaven - (Today is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel—not a saint for hopeless cases, such as both the eurozone crisis and Rick Perry... but he is the First Knight of the Kingdom, after all!)

A Lesson in Good Science (and Humility) for Global Warming Faithful from CERN Scientists

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” said last Friday cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees soon after a team of scientists working at CERN (European Scientific Research Organization), published a research paper in which they announced that neutrinos generated at the CERN research facility located in Switzerland were found to travel faster than the speed of light. Which was indeed an “extraordinary claim,” and in fact the team—a collaboration between France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research and Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory—took many months to carefully check, recheck and check some more their data before deciding that they could not disprove what their own eyes were telling them. As a matter of fact, as the so-called “scientific method” demands, a good scientist never says “never.” That’s also why Antonio Ereditato, who participated in the experiment and speaks on behalf of the team, said: “We will continue our studies and we will wait patiently for the confirmation.”

Never say never. But now, if we expand our field of vision to include the issue of global warming and climate change, a question arises spontaneously:

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if left-wing politicians, the environmental left and the mainstream media took a minute to reflect that if something so set in stone as the absoluteness of the speed of light might be overturned, perhaps these claims that the “science is settled” when it comes to global warming are a bit misplaced? Wouldn’t it be nice if all of those people put some effort into understanding the scientific research that tends to refute the alarmists – and there’s plenty of it out there – rather than turning the issue into a show of hands?