"Behind it all lurks the overweening bureaucracy. Overpaid, overperked and underworked, insidious and international, they build their empires and extend their tentacles of control into the very heart of the lives of ordinary people. Research and educational policies are decided by people who think mathematics means arithmetic and have no conception of physics at all. Real research has all but come to an end, being largely replaced by populist surveys designed to catch the eye of the popular media. Mickey Mouse universities offer frivolous courses, while school children are subjected to a treadmill of continual testing between bouts of propaganda. In short, people are being deprived of the mental equipment to make a judgement of their own on any matter of importance. So Orwellian!" - John Brignellhttp://www.numberwatch.co.uk/zealots.htm
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
'...during 2011 as a result of being awarded funding from the Beacons Programme (an engagement fund supported by Cardiff University, University of Glamorgan, BBC Wales and Techniquest).'
Here is the front cover of their materials:
Notice the central pictures, enlarged below:
What were they thinking? 'This should get their attention'? 'This should scare them witless'? 'This should help get us even more funding'?
The above document can be downloaded from here.
I want to find time to go through this document in detail. In the meantime, I note this nonsense from page 7:
The sun shines down on the surface
of the earth. About half the heat
naturally reflects back out into space.
When greenhouse gases such as
carbon dioxide and methane are
released into our atmosphere, they
trap heat and stop it reflecting back
out into space. This causes additional
warming of the earth surface,
ocean and atmosphere… just like a
Now of course it has long been established that this not how a greenhouse works - so the grand conclusion is nonsense.
Furthermore, the gases do not 'trap' heat and stop it getting back to space, nor is the infra-red radiation involved reflected from the Earth so much as generated by it - so the third sentence is also wrong. The second sentence is also wrong, if by 'heat' they mean the solar input - the Earth's albedo is more like 0.3 and of course all the energy received from the sun and absorbed by the earth is in fact re-emitted. Only the first sentence survives:
'The sun shines down on the surface of the earth.'
Even that is a bit of an over-simplification since at any time half of the earth does not have the sun shining down on it.
My preliminary study of this document is not at all encouraging. It does seem intended to produce alarm. Alarm that is not, in my view, justified. If this initital impression is confirmed further, then I will be sure to accuse the authors of gross irresponsibility, of dereliction of their basic duty as adults to protect the young from scaremongering.
Note added 26 October 2011. Mostlharmless has more criticisms of the Cardiff Concoction here: http://mostlyharmless-room-101.blogspot.com/2011/09/education-or-muddled-disinformation-and.html#more
I am still hoping to find time to work through the materials, but so much else is going on just now.