Tag Archives: Climate Change

TheESP – Ep. #185 – Rain dance for the Amazon

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This week it is true that the Amazon (Amazonas? Amazonia?) is burning and glaciers are dying, but misinformation is still everywhere. Especially, meditation and rain dances will not help.
Instead we should learn from John Locke, born this week in 1632, and who taught us the benefits of empiricism.
Even though the Cardinal Pell story seems to be all over for him, the Vatican still faces a giant dilemma on how to handle it.
There’s a 1 million Euro award for you if you can prove that a German city doesn’t exist, Nobel laureates are sometimes cranks, but you can learn key concepts for making informed choices if you read Nature Magazine.
Edinburgh hesitates in kicking out non-elected religious school board members, Valigia Blu gets Italian Skeptic award from CICAP, the UK loses status as “Measles free” and study from Australia suggest that political views are perhaps not so much of a factor in vaccination resistance.
Finally, we conclude that no matter what they think in Turku University in Finland, climate change is definitely man-made and whoever says differently are Really Wrong.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

The fires in the Amazon make people desperate to help, but perhaps they should find something more useful than meditation and performing rain dances. That and a funeral for the Okjökull glacier in Iceland get us on a long discussion about climate change, flight emissions and future transportation.

00:15:24 This Week in Skepticism

John Locke, English philosopher and physician and one of the first British “Empiricists” was born on 29 August 1632.

00:18:31 Pontus Pokes the Pope – The Pell case is not over for Francis.

00:24:31 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Bielefeld in Germany offers €1 million to anyone who can prove its non-existence

FRANCE: Anti-vaxx disinformation – the ‘Nobel decease’ is still a problem

INTERNATIONAL: Key concepts for making informed choices

SCOTLAND: Edinburgh delays decision to remove church voting rights in school boards

ITALY: CICAP awards Valigia Blu for their efforts to bring rationality into journalism

UK: Measles in the UK: ‘Elimination status’ is lost

INTERNATIONAL: Do our political views influence vaccination rates?

00:50:25 Really Wrong: FINLAND: Is climate change not man-made?

00:55:34 Quote and Goodbye

“False and doubtful positions, relied upon as unquestionable maxims, keep those who build on them in the dark from truth.”
/ John Locke, 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704, British philosopher /

00:58:44 Outro

00:59:59 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #182 – Anthroposophical Ups and Downs

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This week we reflect on the current heatwave and on climate change, we give a shout-out to James Randi who turned 91 this week(!) and Pontus pokes the pope for letting his Archbishops lash out against vulnerable minorities.
In the news it’s confirmed (again) that vaccinations have nothing to do with autism, we hear how Anthroposophy nuts has managed to weasel their way into the University of Basel and how pseudoscience for children is fought by good people in Spain.
Retraction Watch is turning nine years and you should support them and again in Spain there are good forces working against pseudoscience by cleverly promoting policies regarding homeopathy. Finally, we deliver a Really Right award to the Swedish government who as of 1 September has rendered the Anthroposophy-nonsense history in Sweden.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Radio Spots; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:37 Intro

00:01:00 Greetings

There are heatwaves everywhere and guess what? We are to blame. Edzard Ernst has a new boo out and you can bring your copy to Ghent in a couple of weeks to get it signed!

00:11:19 This Week in Skepticism

On 7 August 1928 James Randi, ‘Grandfather of Skepticism’, was born. Happy birthday and many happy returns!

00:15:14 Pontus Pokes the Pope – In Poland, ‘Rainbow plague’ is the new threat replacing communism.

00:27:08 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new study reinforces the conclusion that autism is primarily genetic

SWITZERLAND: A chair of anthroposophical medicine at the University of Basel

SPAIN: Position Statement From The Spanish Association Of Paediatrics Medicines Committee Concerning The Use Of Alternative Medicine And Pseudo-Science In Children

INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch turning nine years

SPAIN / EUROPE: Spain wants EU law changed that classifies homeopathy as medicine, and you should help!

00:45:33 Really Right: The end of Anthroposophical ‘medicine’ in Sweden!

00:51:33 Radio Spots

00:53:45 Closing remarks, Quote and Goodbye

Seven games to teach kids Fact-checking

Quote:
“Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: ‘You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.’ Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”
/ François-Marie Arouet, AKA Voltaire, French writer and philosopher/

00:59:21 Outro

01:00:36 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #180 – Sander van der Linden on Bad News and prebunking

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This week András interviewed Sander Van Der Linden, who is a social psychologist and has done extensive research into how we should approach the fight against #fakenews and the spreading of #misinformation about #climatechange, #vaccinations and all sorts of popular social issues by applying prebunking instead of debunking. He and his team at Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab have developed a tool that can be used to inoculate people against psychological manipulations and it goes by the name ‘Bad News’.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:02:13 Interview with Sander van Der Linden

00:50:53 Farewell

00:51:55 Outro

TheESP – Ep. #170 – Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Nonsense

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In this week’s episode we talk about ‘kwakzalverij’, the Pope’s new Olympic ambitions (and female football team) and other papal adventures. There are steep fines coming for German vaccination dodgers and a study finds that absence of evidence is evidence on non-sense.
MedWatch gets the Carl Sagan award, there is another example of vegan parents that jeopardize the lives of their children and French authorities are stepping up the fight against homeopathy (Boiron is not happy).
We also look into whether the code of the Voynich manuscript really has been broken and how another populist right wing party tries to score points by questioning climate change.
We end with awarding a Really Right to a football player for not wanting to take advantage of how hard it really is to understand the odds of gambling.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:49 Greetings

A correction about the Heinz Oberhummer award and special greeting from Pilip Schunke, the winner of the SkepKon raffle! Plus our Patreon page now have different levels of support, check it out!

00:08:01 This Week in Skepticism

On 15 May 2009, the Dutch organization Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VTDK) won a court case regardning to use of the word Kwacksalver (‘quack’) when describing certain so called ‘health providers’.

00:14:35 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis goes for the Olympics, praises Mother Teresa and makes reporting abuse mandatory – but gets it wrong.

00:21:00 Skeptical News

GERMANY: A new bill aiming to threat parents refusing vaccination for their kids with fines

SWITZERLAND: Youtube health advice – The Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Non-Sense

GERMANY: The Carl Sagan Award (1000 EUR prize) goes to MedWatch – Award ceremony at SkepKon

SWEDEN: Another child suffer from parents insisting on vegan food

FRANCE: French authorities likely to stop reimbursements for homeopathic remedies soon

UK: Voynich manuscript deciphered?

GERMANY: AfD aims for political gains by denying climate change

00:57:21 Really Right

Football player Kim Källström, for not promoting gambling

01:02:53 Radio Spot

01:04:33 Quote and Goodbye
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
/Maria Skłodowska-Curie, 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934, Polish-born scientist and two-times Nobel laureate/

01:06:11 Outro

01:07:26 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #167 – Notre-Dame, Measles quadruples and Hungary wants to control Facebook

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This week we discuss the Notre-Dame fire before we celebrate this week’s icon, the Hungarian astronomer and skeptic Iván Almár. The Measles epidemic is getting even worse with the WHO showing a 300% global increase so far this year, Metabiota has launched a new website for tracking epidemics, Anthroposophs claim to be for vaccinations (they’re really not) and the Hungarian government wants to control Facebook.
Also, the “Finns party” switches to a new conspiracy theory when the old one is not attractive enough, the MMR vaccine does NOT cause diabetes and Brussels thinks 5G testing is using people as Guinea pigs. We learn (again) that stop eating sugar does not cure cancer and we give a shout-out to the Portuguese skeptics, ComCept, that are now on Patreon.
We close the show by saluting one of the champions of keeping the Internet a little bit saner: Snopes.com

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

We discuss the fire at Notre-Dame and ask you to support Rectraction Watch and also talk about the latest Skeptical Club in Budapest who debated how science fiction can shape society.

00:21:35 This Week in Skepticism

Iván Almár, born 21st April 1932. He is an Hungarian astronomer and prominent figure of SETI and the Hungarian skeptic movement.

00:26:32 Skeptical News

FRANCE: Good news: Measles cases go down in France

INTERNATIONAL: Bad news: The number of measles cases globally quadruple in 2019

INTERNATIONAL: Metabiota launches new epidemic tracker website

INTERNATIONAL: Are Anthroposophy enthusiasts for or against vaccinations?

HUNGARY: Facebook vs Hungarian government – who will win?

FINLAND: Right wing party switches to new conspiracy theory after old one loses attraction

UK: Diabetes claimed on Facebook post to be a side effect of MMR. It is not.

EU: Brussels puts 5G testing on hold in case it’s harmful

UK: Stopping all sugar intake won’t cure cancer

PORTUGAL: ComCept goes onto Patreon

01:01:04 Really Right

Snopes.com are Really Right for relentlessly debunking stupidity – most recently about Notre-Dame.

01:04:45 Quote and Goodbye
“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.”
/ Jules Verne, French writer pioneering science-fiction – Quote from Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) /

01:07:28 Outro

01:08:43 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #165 – April fools, Rigvir Scandal and Unicorn Awards

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This week we talk about some great April Fools’ pranks, we look at the Vatican’s new child abuse law, mumps outbreak in Madrid, climate change models being validated in new observations. We get a first report on why the fake cancer cure Rigvir is being banned (look out for more Rigvir news in the future), we look at how Catholic priests are burning books in Poland, how there’s a battle between Russian homeopaths and skeptics and whether the recent Swedish CAM inquiry is good news or not. The French academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have suddenly discovered that homeopathy is not a thing, Portuguese Skeptics COMCEPT has presented this year’s Unicorn Awards and the new Italian government again demonstrates that they are anti-science.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

More dodgy research on homeopathy for Dengue Fever; Elections in Ukraine; Does health matter in the European Parliament elections?; COMCEPT Manifesto; Debating Anthroposophs in Sweden; Reminder of the SkepKon raffle – Send an email to us and you can win a ticket!

  • https://edzardernst.com/2019/03/more-dodgy-research-on-homeopathy-for-dengue-fever/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47767440
  • https://epha.org/does-health-matter-in-the-european-parliament-elections/
  • http://comcept.org/2019/03/26/manifesto-saude/

00:15:36 This Week in Skepticism

April Fools’ 2019: Internet Pranks

00:22:07 Pontus Pokes the Pope

New Vatican law against abuse – not going far enough

00:26:09 Skeptical News

SPAIN: Mumps outbreak in Madrid: Dozens of cases reported at Pontifical University of Comillas

UKRAINE: Rate of measles in Ukraine is rising again: 35K cases reported year-to-date

SWEDEN: Climate change: Average temps in the north rising faster than global temps

LATVIA / WORLD: Fake cancer drug Rigvir banned

POLAND: PONTUS: Catholic Priests in Poland Burn Harry Potter Books to Eradicate Evil

RUSSIA: Russian homeopaths strike again (twice) in virology journal — and a skeptic strikes right back

SWEDEN: Government Inquiry about CAM

FRANCE: The French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have just ousted homeopathy

PORTUGAL: Prémio Unicórnio Voador 2018 (Unicorn Awards)

00:59:59 Really Wrong

Italian Government to stop issuing vaccination certificates

01:03:19 Quote and Goodbye
“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
/ Oscar wilde, Irish poet and playwright /

01:04:32 Outro

01:05:47 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #164 – Annika @ SkepKon, ESC, HPV, climate change & Jehova’s witnesses in schools

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This week we welcome Annika Merkelbach from Germany back to the show to talk about the upcoming skeptical convention SkepKon, GSoW and her series of interviews on Skeptical Inquirer’s website.
We also talk about the European Skeptics Congress to be held in Ghent the end of August, plus lots of news items and topics to mention include:
The Cancer Act 1939 of the UK, the latest wrongdoings of the Vatican, an Italian politician who’s been opposing mandatory vaccination being hospitalised with chicken pox, the death of HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan and how her campaign must have saved a lot of lives, plagiarism made illegal in Montenegro after a long and interesting battle with the problem, an email by a listener bringing hope in the fight against bogus claims asking for support on Indiegogo, students in Oxford petitioning for climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum in the UK, Holm Gero Hümmler’s new book on conspiracy theories and Jehova’s witnesses being under attack by authorities in both Sweden and the US for child indoctrination and sexual abuse.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

Programme out for European Skeptics Congress in Ghent 29 Aug – 1 Sept

00:05:30 Interview with Annika Merkelbach

We catch up with Annika Merkelbach regarding the upcoming SkepKon conference (take part in our raffel to win a ticket!) and her work with Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia and writing for the Skeptical Inquirer.

00:20:20 This Week in Skepticism

The UK Cancer Act of 1939

00:27:24 Pontus Pokes the Pope

The Vatican is still no place for women; Cardinal who covered up abuse not allowed to resign; A US Catholic diocese sued on consumer protection grounds

00:33:18 Skeptical News

ITALY: Politician Who Fought Against Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccine Contracts Chickenpox

IRELAND: HPV vaccine campaigner’s legacy will be to save thousands of live

MONTENEGRO: Plagiarism made illegal in the country along with other forms of misconduct

INTERNATIONAL: E-mail from the listener (re episode 158) Indiegogo does (at least nominally) have policies in place that can be used to appeal questionable projects

UK: Climate change petition: Oxford students campaign for better teaching on subject

GERMANY: Holm Gero Hümmler’s new book on conspiracy myths

01:00:34 Really Wrong

Jehova’s Witnesses child indoctrination in schools (+ plus US child molestation)

01:07:27 Quote and Goodbye
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
/ Anatole France, French poet, journalist, and successful novelist /

01:09:29 Outro

01:10:44 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #153 – New year resolutions, dating the World and standing up for Science

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Two weeks into the new year, our first episode of 2019 is finally hear and we can only hope it was worth the wait.
With the whole team together again, we are bringing you topics related to the New Year, including resolutions and hangovers, plus some science history and how James Ussher determined the age of the world (incorrectly), how Pope Francis tries to talk about families when the church is in turmoil over sex abuse scandals, a design company standing up for science in Italy, where the resigning head of the National Institute of Health slams the anti-science government, organ donation becoming opt-out in Ireland, Natalie Grams getting a nomination for the Golden Blogger award with her Twitter account, a new petition to sue French government over inaction on Climate change, Edzard Ernst‘s new book SCAM coming out in German, a new Spanish award for standing up for Science, an update on Measles and Vetenskap och Folkbildning announcing winners of the Enlightener and Bewilderer of the Year awards.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:16:08 This week in Skepticism

00:24:09 Pontus Pokes the Pope
The (52nd) “World day of Peace”

00:28:01 Skeptical News

00:51:42 Really Wrong

SWEDEN: Bewilderer of the year 2018: Thomas Erikson
https://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2018/

00:57:39 Quote and Farewell

00:59:35 Outro

01:00:48 Out-takes

Ep. #135 – ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Really Wrong; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico’s 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn’t get recognised as a religion.

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:11:50 Skeptical News

NETHERLANDS: “ET Healer” not prosecuted for possible contribution to suicide

UK: Royal homeopath dies in a bicyle accident

INTERNATIONAL: MEASLES UPDATE: Finally it makes the news (but the reported numbers are too low)

GERMANY: No preparations for alien landing situations

SWITZERLAND: Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

SPAIN: Issue #50 of El Esceptico to be released

NETHERLANDS: Wet Cupping on the rise in Amsterdam

NETHERLANDS: Pastafarianism “not a religion” – rules Dutch court

00:30:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Frankie boy cannot handle the scandal

00:35:16 Really Right: Greta Thunberg, 15, takes a stand for climate

00:40:59 Farewell and Quote

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

/Johannes Kepler German astronomer and astrologer/

00:42:20 Outro

00:43:35 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #128 – 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge, News and Climate Therapy

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Norbert Aust; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

We comment on Stephen Hawking’s funeral and give a new update on the European statistics for measles (it’s bad).

00:07:10 Short interview with Norbert Aust

We talk to Norbert Aust from the German skeptics (GWUP) and Homeopathy Information Network about their 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge

00:18:43 This Week in Skepticism

James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”. He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine “hypnotherapist” and the “Father of Modern Hypnotism”.

00:22:16 Skeptical News

00:40:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:43:05 Really Wrong

00:45:50 Quote

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”
/ Galileo Galilei, Italian polymath /

00:47:35 Outro

00:48:50 Out-takes