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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO SHY AWAY FROM CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

ere are several reasons why I do not shy away from controversial topics here on the CFZ bloggo, and the most important of them is because - despite what anyone would like to claim - the CFZ is always honest and open in its dealings. During the recent unpleawhen various small-minded individuals spent a week or so attacking Richard Freeman and myself on various forums, one of the major allegations levelled against me was that I "censor" my blog.

Well of course I do.

When I was a small child in Hong Kong, aged maybe 8, a school project was to write a daily diary, and I was enthralled by the prospect. It was my first blog if you like. And each day the entry began "I got up, went to the bathroom, had a wee wee, washed my face, then came back into my room and got dressed..." You get the picture.

It went on and on in that vein, so in the sense that I don't write down the dull minutae of my life (yes, I am actually sipping a cup of tea and looking at a tank of guppies as I write this, and later I shall have some toast and marmalade. I am wearing a pair of cruddy old jeans and an anarchopunk t.shirt blah blah blah) of course I censor it.

I also censor some of the comments. Not - as has been accused - the ones that are critical of me, although I do draw the lines at the ones that accuse me of being a Satanist or a child molester, but the ones which are basically trying to flog mobile phones or face creams "Hi I like your blog. Click here to win free Nokia telephone".

So I do censor the blog. But not in the way I have been accused.

But I will not censor ideas. Yesterday we posted an article by Richie West in which he argued against the orthodox viewpoint that global warming is created by mankind as a result of increasing industrialisation.

As I expected, this caused a great deal of controversy both on and off the blog. Chris Clark (who has already noted his viewpoint some weeks ago) joined the fray in support of Richie, and Dan Holdsworth and Syd Henley also joined in. All of these people are folk for whom I have a great deal of respect.

Today I am posting an article by Scottie Westfall, another person for whom I have a great deal of respect, who has written a well argued article presenting a completely opposite viewpoint to Richie.

I am sitting on the fence, and I am doing it for what I feel to be a perfectly good reason. Whether or not man's depredations on our environment are directly responsible for climate change, it is undeniable that through industry, farming, over fishing, and a dozen other things that we are destroying what is left of our environment and that the results are going to be catastrophic for every species living on the planet, INCLUDING OUR OWN! So, whatever actions are taken to limit the effects of industrialisation - even if they are carried out as a result of incorrect data - can only be a good thing, and for once the end probably does justify the means...

3 comments:

Retrieverman said...

This also useful: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/23/global-warming-leaked-email-climate-scientists

Just because they lied about some data (to make some very sexed up graphs) doesn't mean that the copious amounts of other data are wrong.

What got me on the seriousness of this issue was when an ice sheet on Ellesmere Island. It was 4,500 years old. That means that it was there when the warming allowed the Norse to settle in Greenland.

http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=c5b6edcf-b38d-43ee-ac83-890644071d06

I don't have to be a genius here, but that means that the Arctic is warmer now than it was during that warming period, which is often mentioned by the global warming deniers.

Science, like all professions, has its frauds. Attack the frauds, but this does not invalidate the tons of evidence that climate change is real and we are the cause for it.

Another way to look it: Ever heard of Piltdown Man?

It was a major hoax in which an orangutan jaw had been attached to the skull of a modern human.

It was actually believed to be a missing link. It was not until over 40 years later that it was finally called a fraud.

However, Piltdown Man never negated the tons of evidence that man and the great apes share a close common ancestor. The other evidence is simply overwhelming.

The anti-global warming stuff is mostly supported by far right wing groups and fossil fuel corporations (except for natural gas, which stands to benefit a bit the others are taken down). In a weird way, it somewhat resembles the attempts of the tobacco companies to deny that cigarettes cause cancer.

What we need is a new industrial revolution. One based upon new ideas and new energy sources. We will not get out of this terrible economic downturn until we get started on this path.

Albert Einstein once said that "Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."

And this is one of those problems.

And I say this as someone who comes from a coal mining area and whose electricity is almost entirely generated by burning it.

Chris Clark said...

No, there may be times when good ends justify bad means but this is most definitely not one of them (see the quotation at the end of my previous comment). Bad science drives out good; if global warming is pushed by dishonest means it devalues by association all environmental concerns, including the legitimate science of such things as deforestation and over-fishing.

Global warming is not only disputed by a fringe of crackpots (and the expression 'denier', with its deliberate resonance with 'Holocaust denier', is as dubious a piece of smear by association as you are likely to hear); if they represent one extreme of the critics then major scientific figures like Freeman Dyson and Fred Singer stand at the other extreme. MacIntyre is not kept in the dark by CRU because he is an insignificant figure, but because his criticisms undercut the whole basis of the temperature reconstructions and have been backed up by an independent Congressional committee.

Sit on the fence about the reality of climate change by all means (the debate is not over, political claims notwithstanding), but not about the methods used to defend it: if the CFZ does not stand for scrupulous scientific honesty then we are all in trouble.

Ego Ronanus said...

I don't know about global warming. Today, cold rain was bucketing down. My hair got very wet.