Tag Archives: ClimateChange

TheESP – Ep. #206 – From Peter’s Pence to Francis’ Pants

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This week we note that the Swedish Skeptics’ article from last week concerning Thomas Erikson’s nonsense personality book “Surrounded by Idiots” has gotten some attention from other skeptics, among other things Pontus was a guest on the last episode of the Skeptic Zone podcast to talk about it.
In history this week we talk about Desmond Morris and his role in the Aquatic Ape hypothesis and then Pontus Pokes the Pope about the fact that the two living popes are at odds regarding celibacy and also that the charity money from Peter’s Pence goes straight into the coffers of the Vatican.
In the news this week: Contrary to what you may have heard, Finland does not plan to go to a four-day working week, in Russia 800 science papers have been retracted and the Eurobarometer shows that EU citizens are concerned about climate change. Andrew Wakefield will screen the new film Vaxxed II at a public venue in Notting Hill, the Goop Lab will feature the Dutch “Iceman” Wim Hof, an Italian court has against scientific consensus ruled that mobile phones cause brain tumours and John Cook is publishing a comic book about climate change denial. We hope Skeptics will help translate it!
We end by handing a Really Wrong Award to the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice for believing in lie detectors.
Enjoy!

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

Our story from last week regarding the “Surrounded by…” books has been picked up by both the Skeptic Zone podcast and Steve Novella’s Neurologica blog. Check them out!.

0:08:48 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Desmond Morris, British zoologist and anthropologist was born on 24 January 1928. He was instrumental in popularizing the Aquatic Ape hypothesis.

0:19:27 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Celibacy Controversy Deepens, Francis Diverts Charity Millions to Cover Vatican Losses

0:27:22 NEWS

0:57:10 REALLY WRONG
UK: Lie Detector Tests for Convicted Terrorists as a Security Measure

1:02:39 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To spread healthy ideas among even the lowest classes of people, to remove men from the influence of prejudice and passion, to make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization, and that is what deserves protection of governments who want to insure the stability of their power.”
/ Georges Cuvier, (23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), French naturalist and zoologist, widely recognised as the father of comparative anatomy and paleontology – from Rapport historique sur les progrès des sciences naturelles (1810) /

1:03:50 OUTRO

1:05:05 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #205 – Surrounded By Idiots

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This week we note that at the time of recording, American-Swedish astronaut Jessica Meir is busy preparing and conducting the second ever all-female spacewalk.
In history this week in 1964, Italian philosopher, author and skeptic Massimo Pigliucci was born, and we discuss some of his contributions and influences.
Pontus Pokes the Pope to note that old Benedict comes out of retirement to fight for celibacy, potentially creating a headache for poor Francis, who is supposed to say the final word on the matter shortly. In other papal news, disgraced former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick goes missing to avoid the wrath of the Holy See.
In the news, the Spanish Catholic Church inexplicably thinks that celibate priests constitute the best expertise in preparing young couples for marriage while Uri Geller reminds us that he’s no more crazy than the UK Government and so, applies for a job there.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab is soon coming to a Netflix screen near you, trying to convince us that spending a fortune on utter bullshit is the way to female empowerment. Luckily the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project (GSOW) with Susan Gerbic has already launched an excellent Wikipedia page pointing out the stupidity of that.
A Swedish MP spreads conspiracy theories on the Australian wildfires and we try to set the record straight. A Danish study shows what the harm really is with HPV anti-vaccination propaganda and the Swedish Skeptics (VoF) wants to alert the world about bogus personality tests that’s makes the rounds internationally. Beware of the book ‘Surrounded by Idiots’!
We end by handing a Really Wrong award to the College of Medicine that, backed by Prince Charles, wants to teach GPs and alt med quacks Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), despite that it clearly is pseudoscientific nonsense.
Enjoy!

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

We give a shoutout to American-Swedish astronaut Jessica Meir who right now with her colleague Cristina Koch continues to do all-female spacewalks.

0:03:06 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Italian philosopher, author and skeptic Massimo Pigliucci was born on 16 January 1920.

0:08:41 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
It’s the Return of the Sith – Now Advocating Celibacy
Senator Palpatine
himself (aka Benedict XVI) breaks his promise to stay out of politics and publishes a book on the hottest catholic controversy right now – celibacy. Francis has no reason to be happy about it. In the meanwhile, Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop, known sex molester and alleged briber of popes, disappears as a thief in the night rather than facing Francis’ verdict.

0:13:25 NEWS

0:36:28 REALLY WRONG
College of Medicine and Integrated Health Offers Course in NLP

0:41:22 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“What skeptics are about is to keep that candle lit and spread it as much as possible.”
/ Massimo Pigliucci, (16 January 1964 – ), Italian Professor of Philosophy /

0:41:58 OUTRO

0:43:13 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #202 – 2019 Wasn’t All Bad

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This week we wrap up the year and wish all our listeners a Happy Holiday. We revisit something we got wrong about Das Goldene Brett last week and celebrate the birthday of Johannes Kepler.
For Pontus Pokes the Pope we examine what the Pontifical Secret is all about and what it may mean when Francis now has declared it cannot be used to hide sex abuse. We also deliver our first ever film review, on the rather nice but totally fictional movie ‘The Two Popes’.
In the news we talk about Chemophobia, HPV vaccinations for boys and again marvel at the stupidity of the Prince of Wales. We also discuss doctors paying for positive on-line reviews, the measles situation in Turkey (it’s bad) and how anti-vaxxers and making millions from ‘natural supplements’ goes hand in hand. Also, the supreme court in the Netherlands has upheld a ruling against the government for not doing enough to fight climate change.
We end the episode and the year by looking back to find that several good things happened too in 2019, even if they sometimes go unnoticed or are quickly forgotten.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

Correction from last week’s mention of the satirical prize ‘Das Goldene Brett‘. No, the name is NOT a biblical reference.

0:07:22 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
 Johannes Kepler was born on 27 December 1571. He was a German astronomer, mathematician and astrologer 

    • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kepler/

0:11:55 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
No more Secrets!? Plus a Bonus Film Review of ‘The Two Popes’

0:22:43 NEWS

  1. EUROPE: Chemophobia: Nearly 40% of Europeans Want a Chemical-Free World
  2. FRANCE: Ministry of Health Recommends HPV Vaccination for Boys
  3. UK: HRH The Prince of Wales is announced as College of Medicine Patron
  4. GERMANY: Doctors Pay for Positive On-Line Reviews
  5. TURKEY: Measles Cases Quadrupled in 2019
  6. INTERNATIONAL: Anti-Vaxxer has Made Millions on Natural Health Products
  7. NETHERLANDS: Supreme court rules demand for climate action

0:45:25 REALLY RIGHT
A List of Things in 2019 That Made the World a Better Place

0:52:50 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”
(Statement from unpublished notes for the ‘Preface to Opticks’ (1704) quoted in ‘Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton’ from 1983 by Richard S. Westfall)
/ Sir Isaac Newton, (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27), English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian and author /

0:55:25 OUTRO

0:56:40 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #201 – HPV vaccines are safe!

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This week we start our journey towards episode 300 and first reflect on climate change with Greta Thunberg as Time Magazine‘s person of the year and Australia heading for a sever heatwave just in time for Christmas.
John Nevil Maskelyne, skeptic, magician (and inventor of the pay toilet) was born on 22 December 180 years ago. Pontus Pokes the Pope who has been very busy over the year and seems to have big plans also for 2020.
Then there is some more climate change news, with the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission, we see a trend of apps trying to tell us what to eat and then a scumbag from episode 51 back in December 2016 finally gets well deserved jail time.
Das Goldene Brett (the Golden Board) has been awarded to homeopathy manufacturer Hevert by the GWUP in Austria and the CFIIG increase their paranormal challenge reward to $250,000. Will anyone ever win it?
We close the show by explaining why new research into HPV vaccines show that it’s perfectly safe, but still have to issue a Really Wrong award to a Danish doctor who denies it all via some unusually creative logical fallacies.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:49 GREETINGS

Greta Thunberg has deservedly been appointed Person of the Year by Time Magazine and Australia is heading for the hottest Christmas ever.

0:05:49 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
On 22 December 1839, John Nevil Maskelyne was born. He was a stage magician, skeptic and the inventor of the pay toilet

0:08:16 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Busy Francis is planning his succession and the future of the Church. Also, homosexuality may be “normal” (duh!)

0:15:08 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: European Green Deal Announced in Brussels
  2. INTERNATIONAL: Yuka App Lets Consumers Determine if the Products/Cosmetics are Good or Bad for Them
  3. AUSTRALIA: Slapping Therapist Sentenced to up to 10 Years
  4. AUSTRIA: Homeopathy Company Hevert Awarded “Das Boldene Brett” by GWUP
  5. INTERNATIONAL: CFI Paranormal Prize Money Increased to $250K

0:37:23 REALLY WRONG
HPV Myth Exposed – But Danish Anti-Vaxx Doctor Refuses to Accept It

0:47:11 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Skepticism is a way of freeing the dogmatic mind, and that’s where its value lies.”
/ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer /

0:47:54 OUTRO

0:49:09 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #200 – Two hundred!

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This week we celebrate our 200th episode and that we continue our journey into our fifth year!
We re-unite with our first ever guest, Gábor Hraskó (president of the Hungarian Skeptics) to philosophize a little about Skepticism and what has changed over time. And throughout the show we hear fantastic congratulation greetings from dear friends from across the world!
We go on to bring up the eradication of Smallpox and Pontus Pokes the Pope to examine a potential $4 billion threat to the Catholic Church. And a Catholic Minecraft server sounds intriguing as well…
In the news we talk about reliable climate change models, Etiopathy, the measles epidemic both globally and in Samoa. Polio is still a threat to consider and we revisit the topic of Assisted Death and the Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies.
Finally, András does his very best Master Yoda impression to celebrate that we have lasted this far!
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Welcome with Gábor Hraskó; Greetings from friends 1; This Week; Greetings from friends (2); Pontus Pokes the Pope; Greetings from friends 3; News; Greetings from friends 4; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:52 Intro

0:01:15 Welcome, with Gábor Hraskó

Gábor Hraskó remembers warning us regarding us starting a new podcast back in 2015. Well, we are happy that we ignored him! We talk about skepticism in general and the difficulties of communicating skepticism to the public and remember highlights from the past.

0:18:34 Greetings From Friends 1:
Annika and Scotty Harrison, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew and Eran Segev of the Australian Skeptics

0:19:52 This Week in Skepticism – the Eradication of Smallpox

On December 9, 1979, the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication signed their names to the statement that “smallpox has been eradicated from the world.” It was a milestone in that it was the first time a disease was eradicated by human effort.

0:22:55 Greetings From Friends 2:
Susan Gerbic from Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, Sean Slater of the Edinburgh Skeptics and Heidi Roberston of Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters

0:24:13 Pontus Pokes the Pope – A New Threat for an Old Pope. Plus: Holy Minecraft 

New laws in in the US have opened up a whole new industry for lawyers who are now advertising to find more abuse victims. Frankie is preparing his 50 anniversary as priest and a Father Roberts has created a Vatican Minecraft server to ‘foster a less toxic community’ on-line.

0:28:00 Greetings From Friends 3:
DJ Maynard, Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg of ECSO and Sisyfos (Czech Skeptics) and Trish Hann of the Skeptic Zone

0:29:09 News

INTERNATIONAL: Climate Models Have Accurately Predicted Global Warming

WORLD: Etiopathy – A SCAM Like So Many Others

INTERNATIONAL: Measles Update – 2019 Three Times as Bad as Last Year, plus Samoa Follow-up

INTERNATIONAL: Update on the Global Polio Situation and Implications for the EU/EEA

BELGIUM: Euthanasia – The Champion Who Picked a Date to Die

INTERNATIONAL: The End of Placebos is in Sight

EUROPE (Spain): Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies – latest update

0:53:40 Greetings From Friends 4:
Skeptics with a K crew from Merseyside Skeptics, Brian Eggo of Glasgow Skeptics and Mandy-Lee Noble of the Skeptic Zone

0:54:45 Quote and Farewell
“Do! Or do not! There is no try!”
/ Master Yoda /

0:57:29 Outro

0:58:44 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #196 – 99.9% of All Scientists

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This week it’s the return of Brian(!) as we have sent András on a field trip to Malaysia. We celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Glasgow Skeptics and then explore signs that some bishops in the Catholic Church at least seem to be trying to do the right thing regarding the abuse scandals, however without much help from Francis. He may instead worry that he has opened Pandora’s box by allowing discussions about married priests and female deacons.
In the news ‘Trick or Treatment’, the book by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh, has received an award and a study indicates that organic farming may actually be worse for the environment in some cases, something that leads to protests from organic defenders filled with logical fallacies.
WHO is getting hard criticism for its inclusion of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, which is also illustrated by a study the shows that TCM is causing a growing number of cases of fatal liver failure.
A French study shows that MD’s who receives gifts from pharmaceutical companies prescribe too much of the wrong drugs, the 500 not-so-qualified ‘experts’ who denied the climate change emergency are challenged by over 11,000 real scientists and Lidl has a silly solution to too much sugar in your coffee.
Finally, the Swedish government gets a Really Wrong award for their decision to subsidize the abusive Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

We welcome Brian Eggo back on the show and send a belated but sincere thank you and good luck to Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg and her Jakub.

0:04:59 This Week in Skepticism

0:10:45 Pontus Pokes the Pope – More conferences on abuse, plus Francis has opened Pandora’s box

After the bishops’ conference in Leicester there is now also one in Lourdes to figure out what to do about the sex abuse issues in the Catholic Church. Also, Francis may have regrets for opening Pandora’s Box as German bishops want to get married too.

0:16:30 News

UK: ‘Trick or Treatment’ book by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh gets award

Edzard Ernst: https://edzardernst.com/2019/11/an-unexpected-honour-for-trick-or-treatment/

ENGLAND and WALES: Entirely Organic Farming Could Raise Emissions by 70%

INTERNATIONAL: Academies warn against unregulated use of Traditional Chinese Medicine

INTERNATIONAL: Drug-induced liver injuries after TCM (Trad Chinese Medicine) SCAM

FRANCE: Doctors who receive gifts prescribe worse

INTERNATIONAL: 11,000 Scientists Warn About Climate Change

GERMANY: Retailer ‘Lidl’ sells a spoon with a bump as remedy against too high sugar consumption

0:50:32 Really Wrong: Sweden – Jehovah’s Witnesses to Receive Government Grants

0:57:49 Quote and Farewell

“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing”
/ Oscar Wilde, 16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900, Irish poet and playwright /

0:59:26 Outro

1:00:41 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #191 – No dick, no vote

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This week we declare that we’re fans of Brian Cox and we deliberate some more on the book ‘Shoot for the Moon’ by Richard Wiseman (see ep. 190) and how we can apply the lessons learned from Apollo in our skeptical endeavors.
We then look into the soap opera that is the currently ongoing Synod in Rome that has created a big controversy for Francis, even before it has begun (and in addition he insists you need a dick to vote on the outcome). That is a developing story that we absolutely will come back to in the upcoming weeks.
Massimo Polidoro (see ep. 189) has yet another new book out AND has launched a new YouTube channel. Does the man never sleep? We take a look at why Greta Thunberg is constantly attacked, and our message is that if she gets on your nerves you should listen to what she says, not how she may make you feel.
The Swedish liberal Centre Party takes a very controversial stand against male circumcision and the World Health Organization has issued new recommendations regarding flu vaccinations.
We end the show with a deep dive into the climate change debate, handing out both a Really Wrong Award to the Climate Intelligence Foundation and a Really Right to the site Climatefeedback.org.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:49 Greetings

We talk about Brian Cox on tour and some more about Richard Wiseman’s book Shoot for the Moon)

0:08:14 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Synod for the Amazon 

Married Priests? Only in the Jungle…

0:15:17 News

ITALY: Massimo Polidoro has a new book out, plus a new YouTube channel!

INTERNATIONAL: Attacks on Greta Thunberg

SWEDEN: Political party votes for ban of circumcision – but leader asks everyone to ignore it

INTERNATIONAL: WHO recommendations regarding flu vaccine

00:36:48 Really Wrong and Really Right: To Climate Intelligence Foundation for the letter signed by “500 scientists” and to Climatefeedback.org for setting things straight

00:46:53 Quote and Goodbye

“If we [humans] disappeared overnight, the world would probably be better off […] It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
/ Sir David Attenborough, born 8 May 1926, English broadcaster and natural historian /

00:52:25 Outro

00:53:40 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #189 – with Massimo Polidoro

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This week we first hear from the fantastic Massimo Polidoro who tells all about CICAP Fest from two weeks ago.
We then look forward to a new film which is a fictional tale about the relationship between pope Benedict and Francis and report that there is a new book is out which brings attention to the brewing schism within the Catholic church (this makes Francis rather unhappy).
In the news, Russia is not very successfully trying to cover up the fire in the smallpox lab (ouch!), Sweden extends the HPV vaccinations to ALL kids (not just girls) and the Hungarian Skeptics scores a win for kicking out alt med quackery from a medical university.
Russian bot farms spreads both anti and pro vaccination memes in order to undermine people’s trust in information in general and we again get confirmation that the climate change is escalating. The ‘fake’ city of Bielefeld did not manage to find anyone to prove its non-existence and Swedish politicians try to score populist points with crime fighting proposals that will be totally ineffective or even counterproductive.
We end the episode by being deeply disappointed in the German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who totally failed to end homeopathy funding. For that, he receives this week’s Really Wrong award.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

Climate change rebellion is going on all over the world!

0:04:03 Interview with Massimo Polidoro

We hear more about the CICAP Fest the great success with the science festival in Padua.

0:15:33 Pontus Pokes the Pope – New book makes Francis talk openly about the schism

About the new film “The two Popes”:

About the book and Francis’ view on Catholic schism:

0:20:03 Skeptical News

RUSSIA: Fire in Russian Lab with smallpox-virus

SWEDEN: Boys to be included in HPV vaccination program

HUNGARY: Germanic New Medicine in physicians’ further education at Medicel University

RUSSIA / INTERNATIONAL: Malicious Bots and Trolls Spread Vaccine Misinformation

CLIMATE: 2015 – 2019 hottest five-year period ever

GERMANY: Bielefeld 1 million remains unclaimed

SWEDEN: Researchers criticize political approach to fighting crime

00:43:43 Really Wrong: To Jens Spahn for not ending funding of homeopathy in Germany

00:48:26 Quote and Goodbye

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
/ Plato, 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC, Greek philosopher /

00:52:25 Outro

00:53:40 Out-takes