Tag Archives: UK

TheESP – Ep. #184 – Not well for Pell

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This week we start by noting that the measles numbers in Serbia from last week must be nonsense (it’s much worse) and again urge you to support Retraction Watch. We then report on Cardinal Pell’s failed appeal in Australia and the pope’s totally misguided efforts to help the people of Syria.
Brexit spells disaster for science in the UK, a British ‘Grief Vampire’ is touring in Sweden, but on a positive note, the Homeopathy Information Network provides help on fighting homeopathy in all of EU.
A Lithuanian man wants you to sleep with bees (don’t try this at home), Spanish Skeptics (ARP-SAPC) team up with the authorities to educate teachers on how to spot pseudoscience, and the Swedish government wants to implement a national digital register to keep track of vaccination rates.
Finally, we hand out a Really Wrong award to a private hospital in Finland for charging lots of money for an unproven cancer treatment.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; 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 numbers on measles for Serbia must be much worse than reported. Also, please support Retraction Watch if you can.

00:10:27 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Not well for Pell and Rosaries for Syria.

00:18:34 Skeptical News

UK: Danger to science of no-deal Brexit

SWEDEN / UK: UK TV-medium touring Sweden

GERMANY / EUROPE: INH taking action in support of Spanish initiative to give homeopathy the same legal status and requirements as other medicinal products

LITHUANIA: Sleeping on beehives

SPAIN: EduSalud conference for teachers on pseudoscience and health

00:38:52 Really Wrong: Experimental cancer clinic in Finland charges huge amounts

00:44:10 Quote and Goodbye

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.”

/ Dara Ó Briain, Irish comedian and television presenter /

00:46:01 Outro

00:47:16 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #179 – Religious Liberty?

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This week we celebrate Britt Hermes’ lawsuit victory and that Annika got married (yay!) and urge everyone top make plans for ESC in Belgium – there’s still time to get your tickets!
We hear about celebrated scientist and skeptic David Colquhoun and we get into how the term ‘Religious Liberty’ is so misunderstood and misused by the church.
András gives us a special interview with Heather and Mark Pentler of the Edinburgh Skeptics who reveal all about the upcoming Skeptics in the Fringe in August.
In the news it is formally confirmed that France is stopping public funding for homeopathy and there are signs that Germany may go the same way. HPV vaccinations get included also for boys in the UK, same sex marriages and abortions get allowed in Northern Ireland (upon time). The WHO releases a report that shows that we have not improved global vaccination rates in the last 8 years, but we learn in other news at least that measles vaccinations will now become mandatory in Germany.
Finally, ‘psychic healer’ Jeanette Wilson gets a Really Wrong award for her current tour of the UK and for her stupid nonsense in general.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

The lawsuit against Britt Hermes is over since Colleen Huber has chosen not to appeal. A big shout out to our collaborator Annika who got married! And don’t forget to make plans for the European Skeptics Congress in Ghent, Belgium, on 29 August – 1 September.

00:08:42 This Week in Skepticism

On 19 July In 1936, David Colquhoun, British Pharmacologist and prominent skeptic was born.

00:16:02 Pontus Pokes the Pope – ‘Religion Liberty’?

You keep using that phrase – I do not think it means what you think it means…

00:21:04 Interview: Mark and Heather Pentler of the Edinburgh Skeptics

András caught up with our friends in Edinburgh how have prepared to fill the Skeptics in the Fringe calendar for 23 evenings straight in August! Be there if you can!

00:37:19 Skeptical News

FRANCE / GERMANY: French health minister confirms end of homeopathy funding – is Germany next?

UK: HPV vaccinations for boys

NORTHERN IRELAND: Same sex marriage and abortions allowed

WORLD: WHO global vaccination rates for 2018

GERMANY: Mandatory measles vaccinations from March next year

00:53:40 Really Wrong

‘Psychic healer’ Jeanette Wilson is touring the UK

00:58:57 Quote and Goodbye
“The great experimental principle, then, is doubt, that philosophic doubt which leaves to the mind its freedom and initiative, and from which the virtues most valuable to investigators in physiology and medicine are derived. ”
/ Claude Bernard, 12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878. French physiologist who helped establish the principles of experimentation in the life sciences. /

01:00:53 Outro

01:02:08 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #177 – Monarchy is stupid!

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This week Jelena discloses the location of her new place to live – and it’s far away! Then we hear about how Pasteur would not have been even close to pass today’s ethical guidelines when he tested his rabies vaccine, that the Catholic Church will discuss marriage for priests but rather walk out of the game than play football against pro-choice opponents.
A huge meta-analysis covering 60 million people clearly shows the benefits of HPV vaccinations, the Good Thinking Society needs our help in challenging the PSA over homeopathy accreditation and France will stop funding homeopathy which directly hits the finances of Boiron.
A much-publicized study is very premature in claiming that there is a link between microbiomes and autism, Iceland recognizes the need to allow for gender neutral names and absurdly under the legal system in Sweden, your man gets a milder sentence for beating you, if it turns out you have “provoked him” by being unfaithful.
Finally, apropos Prince Charles’ latest endorsement of homeopathy, Pontus goes on a rant against monarchy and hands him a Really Wrong award.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

Big news everyone: Jelena goes all American! (But nothing changes for the show…)

00:04:16 This Week in Skepticism

On 6 July In 1885: Louis Pasteur saves boy from rabies with his new vaccine, but also cut quite a few corners in ways that would never be allowed today (if even then).

00:10:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Married priests? Maybe, but only if far away!

Priests to be married? Not anytime soon and not anywhere near Rome, but a big synod will discuss it in Rome in October. Plus, the female Vatican soccer team walks out on a game rather than face pro-choice protests.

00:14:48 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Huge meta-analysis confirms how well HPV Vaccination programs work

UK: Good Thinking files Judicial Review over PSA reaccreditation of Society of Homeopaths

FRANCE: Boiron shares down 22% after HAS’s recommendation to stop funding homeopathy

INTERNATIONAL: Backlash for study of microbiome’s importance in autism

ICELAND: Gender neutral given names and family names allowed

SWEDEN: Supreme court ruling still in effect: If you have been unfaithful, your man gets a milder sentence when he beats you

00:29:54 Radio Spot

00:31:47 Really Wrong

Prince Charles has been announced a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy which illustrates why monarchy is a stupid system.

00:35:44 Quote and Goodbye
“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”
/ Lise Meitner, 7 November 1879 – 27 October 1968. Austrian-Swedish physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics /

00:36:41 Outro

00:37:56 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #176 – Fighting Pseudo-therapies

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This week we clarify the difference between a ‘skeptic’ and a ‘denier’ when it comes to climate change and plug the Rationalist International Conference (Cambridge, 27-28 July) before Jelena debunks the myth that an American businessman once got tricked into buying Tower Bridge in London.
In a special interview we talk to Fernando Cervera, one of the founders behind the European manifesto against pseudo-therapies.
Pontus pokes the pope for the way the Catholic Church keep screwing (pun intended) their congregations.
Then we get a new segment, ‘Annika Reports!’, where Annika Merkelbach interviews speaker and archaeologist Mirko Gutjahr at Cologne Skeptics in the Pub.
In the news this week, we have the results from the world’s biggest study of vaccine attitudes, UK holidaymakers are warned to get vaccinated before visiting Europe and a Spanish doctor is suspended for promoting the old myth that vaccines cause autism.
Finally, we hand out over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interview with Fernando Cervera; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Annika Reports!; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

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

00:00:55 Intro

00:01:19 Greetings

We clarify the difference between a Skeptic and a climate change denier and highlight that the Rationalist International Conference takes place in Cambridge 27 – 28 July.

00:07:38 This Week in Skepticism

On 30 June In 1894, Tower Bridge across the River Thames in London was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and it is now very much an icon of the city. However, the story about how Robert P McCulloch was conned into buying London Bridge thinking he actually paid for Tower Bridge in 1968 is just an urban myth.

00:12:24 Manifesto against Pseudo-therapies – Interview with Fernando Cervera

00:21:39 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Neither compassion nor compensation

It’s all about the money: Rather than compensating their victims, Catholic US dioceses transfer their assets to other entities and declare bankruptcy.

00:25:46 Annika Reports! – Interview from SiTP in Cologne with Mirko Gutjahr

00:32:46 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Biggest global study on vaccine attitudes

UK: UK health authority tells holidaymakers to get vaccinated to go to Europe

SPAIN: Spanish doctor suspended for claiming vaccines cause autism

00:41:34 Really Wrong

Over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

00:44:56 Quote and Goodbye
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
/ Galileo Galilei, 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642. Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer and polymath. Also notably, not a fan of the Pope /

00:46:39 Outro

00:47:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #173 – The ‘Tender Pope’, Homeopathy and SkepKon interviews

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This week we catch up a bit regarding VoF (the Swedish skeptics) and talk about a new Manifesto against pseudoscientific treatments. We also get a bit nostalgic about a UK referendum about Europe – in 1975.
Then we get two interviews from SkepKon by our special correspondent on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. We check in with Francis who has been in Romania and also apparently is happy to cultivate his future legacy as the ‘tender’ pope.
Sense About Science calls for volunteers for their Evidence Week, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube take a stance against MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) and other dangerous nonsense, and University of Vienna makes an effort to repair its past endorsement of homeopathy. More news about Natalie Grams and the totally bogus legal threat she is facing and also that her organisation, Homeopathy Information Network, has launched a repository of excellent information in English.
The fake cancer drug Rigvir has now been de-registered by the State Agency of Medicines (ZVA), but some forces are still pushing for continued distribution. In Belgium, a consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy, and then we end by giving a Really Wrong award to Keele University for keeping a an anti-vaxxer and bad researcher on their payroll.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

Some catching up regarding VoF, aka the Swedish Skeptics who will have a tent at Järvaveckan in Stockholm 12-13 June. If you’re in the neighborhood you should come and say hi!
We also welcome the initiative to a new European manifesto against pseudoscientific ‘treatments’ and we urge everyone to sign it.

00:13:39 This Week in Skepticism

6 June 1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum, putting “the uncertainty behind us” regarding the Common Market. Ooh, if only!

00:15:55 SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach

Two interviews from SkepKon by our special on-site reporter, Annika Merkelbach. This week we here from Dr. Claudia Preis (@PCandlovingit) and Philip Schunke (@pschunke)

00:24:06 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Frankie has been on a PR-tour in Romania. He is also preparing his future legacy as the ‘tender’ Pope (sounds yummy!).

00:28:28 Skeptical News

UK: Evidence Week

INTERNATIONAL Amazon, Facebook and YouTube Take Action against Health Misinformation

AUSTRIA: Medical University of Vienna makes progress in teaching medical students about SCAM

GERMANY: Update on last week’s news about Natalie Grams

GERMANY: INH launched a renewed website

LATVIA: Rigvir is de-registered but the circus is not over yet

BELGIUM: Belgian consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy

00:48:53 Really Wrong

To Keele University for allowing a UK Professor who is linking vaccinations to autism to raise money through their funding portal.

00:53:44 Quote and Goodbye
“Science … warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonise with my aspirations.”
/Thomas Henry Huxley, British biologist and a prominent defender of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection/

00:55:28 Outro

00:56:43 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #166 – A Black Hole, Two Popes and HPV vaccination works

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This week we celebrate the first picture of a black hole, Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday and the fact that we can poke two Popes in one week. HPV vaccination is shown to really work, a Spanish Bishop sells gay ‘cure’ courses, babies cannot live on sunshine and laughter and in Hungary you better follow the vaccination schedule for your child.
Also: Fines for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edzard Ernst goes to a SCAM conference, Norwegian government anonymizes job applications and NHS in the UK takes further steps against homeopathy.
Finally, it turns out that Scotland has some strange rules that give the church a bypass on democracy.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

First picture of a black hole! Pontus argues with climate change deniers after a panel debate during the Science Festival in Gothenburg; The Uncertainty Handbook needs translators

00:15:19 This Week in Skepticism

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (German: [ˈhaːnəman]; 10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.

00:24:01 Pontus Pokes the Pope(s)

Double whammy! Pope Benedict comes back for a rematch as Francis tells a student not to ask so many dumb questions

00:30:43 Skeptical News

SCOTLAND: HPV immunisation of 12 and 13-year-old girls has led to 89% decline in disease

SPAIN: Bishop in ‘gay cure’ controversy defended by church

SWEDEN: Baby almost dies from a diet of vegan food and sunshine

HUNGARY: Hungarian couple’s appeal rejected at the Constitutional Court regarding their vaccine exemption

SWEDEN: Follow up from 2 weeks ago: Jehovah’s witness who showed homophobic films gets 4000 Euro fine

FRANCE: Edzard Ernst on SCAM practice in France

NORWAY: Government wants to anonymize job applications

UK: Homeopathy prescribing set to be blacklisted under NHS England plans

00:57:19 Really Wrong

Unelected church representatives in local Scottish councils

01:03:19 Radio Spot

Laura Brennan, HPV vaccination champion

01:01:29 Quote and Goodbye
“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
/Charles Darwin, 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882, English naturalist, geologist and biologist/

01:04:05 Outro

01:05:20 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #156 – Edzard Ernst, Click to Pray, deaths by pseudotherapies and vaccination news

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This week we bring you lots news and topics from across Europe including Annika Merkelbach’s interview on Skeptical Inquirer’s website with Natalie Grams, whose book has just been published in English, Edzard Ernst‘s birthday, a praying application issued by the Vatican called “Click to Pray“, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to deal with reported non-reportings of clinical trials, a great achievement by Ben Goldacre and the AllTrials campaign (one of the great projects of Sense about Science), how 1 on 20 adults in Britain do not believe the Holocaust actually happened, a Spanish report estimating deaths by pseudotherapies, BARF – special food for your pets as part of the raw food movement, a dangerous book just published with the title ‘Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach’, the Ministry of Health in Ukraine finally taking action to tackle the measles epidemic in the country and the Swedish government deciding to finally include Chicken pox vaccinations in the national program.

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

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

00:00:26 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:03:51 This Week in Skepticism

Edzard Ernst, born 30 January 1948.

00:10:25 Pontus Pokes the Pope

God comes on-line: Francis launches “Click to Pray“.
Plus what to look out for before the Bishops meeting in February.

00:16:23 Skeptical News

UK: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on board with AllTrials done by universities to be reported

UK: Holocaust remembrence day: New poll finds one in 20 adults in Britain do not believe it happened

SPAIN: Estimation of how many deaths could be traced back to pseudotherapies

DENMARK / GERMANY: BARF for your pets!

INTERNATIONAL: Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach

UKRAINE: Finally, actual action plans by the Ministry of Health to tackle disaster

00:47:47 Really Right:

SWEDEN: Chickenpox vaccinations to (finally) be included in national program

00:52:03 Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

00:53:34 Quote
“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
/ Immanuel Kant,German philosopher

00:54:34 Outro

00:55:49 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #155 – Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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This week we’re back to bring you news and info about a wide range of topics including Francis Bacon and his importance in the development of #science, how the ‘good pope’ John Paul II was a misogynist, why we admire the works of Sense about Science so much and how they came up with yet another campaign that deserves much attention (the ‘Evidence Hunter Activity Pack’), how facilitated communication is a thing in Sweden despite all the evidence that suggests it does not work at all, why we should be cautious with consuming #probiotics (thanks to Prof. Edzard Ernst for the heads up), plus Skepkon 2019, the German annual conference for skeptics organised by gwup | die skeptiker is coming up, while a Swedish acupuncturist is on trial for almost killing two patients and the county of Killarney in Ireland calls to remove #fluoride from drinking water, despite the lack of any indications that it could be harmful (while its benefits are many).

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

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

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:04:33 This Week in Skepticism

Francis Bacon: English philosopher and Statesman, born on 22 January 1561.

00:09:54 Pontus Pokes the Pope

John Paul II once refused to shake Irish President’s hand because she was not a man, and Cardinal Arborelius threatens to leave Swedish Missionary Council because of abortions.

00:16:28 Skeptical News

UK: New educational material developed by Sense About Science: Evidence Hunter Activity Pack

SWEDEN: Facilitated communication

INTERNATIONAL: Probiotics are not risk free

GERMANY: Tickets released for SkepKon 2019

SWEDEN: Acupuncturist on trial for almost killing two customers

00:38:28 Really Wrong: IRELAND: Killarney Council wants to ban water flouridation

00:41:07 Farewell

00:43:04 Quote
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
/Francis Bacon

00:43:54 Outro

00:45:09 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Intro

00:00:55 Greetings

00:06:16 This Week in Skepticism

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon (or any other planetary body outside Earth).

00:09:45  Pontus Pokes the Pope

Cardinal George Pell in court for charges of sexual misconduct towards children.

00:15:58 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: Italy’s anti-vax health minister fires 30 experts from Higher Health Council
  2. Russia: Homeopathy in disguise
  3. Sweden: Macchiarini charged in court after all
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  4. UK: Charity Commission publishes new guidelines for CAM charities
  5. Spain: The Skeptical Circle of Spain announces winners of the Pepe Cervera and the José Carlos Pérez Cobo prize.
  6. Sweden: Baby Acupuncture against Colic
  7. Belgium: Belgian authorities investigate case of autistic woman’s euthanasia

00:43:20 Really Right

  • Ovidiu Covaciu, educating people about vaccinations in a Facebook group.

00:46:38 Quote

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”
/Taylor Swift, American singer and songwriter/

00:48:01 Outro

00:49:16 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