April fools

Nancy Szokan wrote a short piece in the Washington Post under the headline: Scientific hoaxes span the centuries. On this day reserved for foolery, she cited some described by Jonathon Keats in Discovery magazine.

He notes “a 17th-century mishmash of bogus medical texts and sex advice that remained in publication for 200 years,” “a Chinese fossil that duped National Geographic,” and “a fake research paper” with numerous errors submitted by Science magazine to 300-plus journals; and accepted by 157 of them.

Wait…that last one sounds familiar. Now I remember. I just read an Associated Press report by Seth Borenstein (often published in the Wilmington StarNews) from the United Nations political “panel.” According to panel chairman Rajendra Pachauri, we are facing a “specter” because of—yes, again, global warming—the biggest “science” hoax of the 20th-century. What is this ghostly new apparition that haunts us?

Strangely, carbon dioxide that we are told causes warming because, we are told, it is increasing will “reduce yields” of some key crops. Hold it: I was taught in plant physiology that CO2 absorbs into plant leaves and adds growth. Sure enough, Borenstein dutifully writes: “Even though heat and carbon dioxide are often considered good for plants… (wait for this)

the overall effect of various aspects of man-made warming is that it will reduce food production compared to a world without global warming, the report said.” Aha! No matter how good climate is, or was, our activities will always make some of it comparatively maleficent—the report says so. But this is not science. It is chicanery.

Reports can be deceptively wise. They can see into the future and predict how life will be. And warming reports don’t ever see anything good or better for us; especially if we refuse to retrogress in our lifestyles. Thus, they can bamboozle us.

The April fools are alive and working on their next big tomfoolery, yet it will be difficult to top the man-made global warming swindle. But it is written: “There’s a fool born every minute.”

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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