Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Silliest Science Magazine Story of 2006

At the beginning of every New Year, many media outlets publish there best of and worst of the previous year. In keeping with that tradition and fulfilling my duty to mock those that take themselves way too seriously, I give you THE SILLIEST SCIENCE MAGAZINE STORY OF 2006, Epidemiologist Does His Part to save the planet by attending the Burning Man Festival (my title)."

The news story labeled a "Campaign" is laugh out loud funny. It begins,

Since 2004, David Shearer has enjoyed yearly visits
to the Burning Man festival, which draws more than 35,000
revelers, artists, and anarchist tent-dwellers to Nevada’s Black
Rock Desert in early September.

Wow, what a devoted fan. He's been two times!

But last year, the epidemiologist turned–environmental consultant
decided to take the event’s Leave No Trace principle one step further. He calculated the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the
actual burning of the man statue, a yearly highlight. The growth, transport, and burning of the wood in the 38-ton statue, Shearer found, produced 110 tons of equivalent carbon emissions. To offset those emissions, he and a
colleague, Jeff Cole, began raising money for renewable-energy projects such as methane capture in Pennsylvania and wind farming in South Dakota.

Someone get this man a medal, a Congressional Medal of Honor while you're at it! Gee, if they're so concerned about the effect the festival will have on the global environment, maybe they shouldn't be holding such a event. Think of all the meals that could be cooked by people in third world countries with the wood that it takes to make one Burning Man! Think of the children!

Now, Shearer is encouraging participants to purchase similar credits to offset travel to the festival, onsite energy use, and the ubiquitous fire art that pervades the festivities. “I’m trying to rebrand the idea of being cool,” he says.

Yes, folks, be responsible global citizens if you are going to be a hypocrite and attend a pointless festival that will pump tons of carbon emissions into the earth's fragile ecosystem!

Seriously, the self-righteousness of Science magazine when it publishes stories like this is nauseating. I read the editorials and politics section of Science sheerly for amusement. It's funny to see the editorial board pretend to be objective scientists and fall all over themselves praising the Democrats and bashing the Republicans when both parties are not likely to give them the funding that they want. Scientists can never get enough funding. It's something they always whine about.

And I feel like a downright John McCain "maverick" when I don't agree with most of the the crap they're selling especially regarding stem cell research and global warming hysteria. Since when did science have the market cornered on truth? Oh yeah, but I'm just one of the "Jesus freaks" so my opinion doesn't matter.

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