Site: Trust, yet verify

Slant: Sceptic

Active: yes

Topics in which I have an interest are: catastrophic anthropogenic global warming & climate change, renewable energy sources, science communication, alarmism, media,… but especially the view of the layman in these issues.

Recent Articles

Trust, yet verify: “Climate Risks” as conclusive as the link between Smoking and Lung cancer?

Via the Cliscep post “Don’t call me an alarmist,” says alarmist, I landed on this livescience article: Treading the Fine Line Between Climate Talk and Alarmism. It is an op-ed written by Sarah E. Myhre about climate change communication and her wish not being called an alarmist. One thing that caught my attention in the

2017-06-25 22:15   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: selecting 33 answers in just one minute?

Looking at the data of the second experiment of the Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation paper, I came across something rather strange. The time to complete the survey was recorded also and some of the participants finished the survey in an incredibly short timespan. Let me first explain how I got there. I incidentally stumbled on

2017-06-17 18:26   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: the conclusion that could not be a conclusion

This is already the third post on the Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation paper of Cook, Lewandowsky and Ecker (2017). This post will focus on one paragraph in the general conclusions of this paper (my emphasis): The ongoing focus on questioning the consensus, in concert with the gateway belief status of perceived consensus, underscores the importance

2017-06-10 12:24   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: false balance and the perceived consensus

When I hear the complaint that there is a problem with false balance media coverage in the climate debate, then I am always surprised. False balance meaning both sides of the debate getting equal time, so the perception is that they are both equally likely, even when this is not the case. Personally, I am

2017-06-09 00:19   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: definitions (or the lack thereof)

John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky (together with Ulrich Exker) have released a new paper at the beginning of May 2017. It is called Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence. The paper is about (skeptical) “misconceptions” and how to “neutralize” them by means of the inoculation theory. It is a topic…

2017-06-04 21:51   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Mindfulness and sustainable behavior: how to find a correlation where none might exist

Since recently I discovered that there is a whole field of what is called ecopsychology. A couple days ago I started reading a paper by Amel, Manning, Scott and Koger (probably more about that later) and I wondered whether those four had previous papers as well on the subject. Apparently they had. Members of this

2017-05-25 23:54   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: It is not fair!

Yet another puzzling Facebook post from the owner of the Tesla powerwall (translated from Dutch, my bold emphasis): Thanks to the backwards running meter, we did NOT receive an electricity invoice in the first 7 years (there are no fixed cost at Ecopower). However, this is not fair, since we have still put 70% (see

2017-05-01 05:39   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Just an innocent bystander?

The more I look into the story of the family that owned a Tesla powerwall (see previous four posts), the more I get the impression that there is more to the story than what meets the eye. In the article (and also the video that was linked to), it was the man of the family

2017-04-23 13:50   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The powerwall and clear numbers: a difficult combination

A couple days ago, I read with increasing astonishing a new post on the kermtstroomt facebook account (the account of the family that owns the powerwall that was the subject of last three posts). The subject was the number of days that they didn’t need to draw power from the grid (translated from Dutch): There

2017-04-18 15:28   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Easily through the night on a fully loaded powerwall

This is already the third post on the Tesla powerwall series and especially how it is (mis)presented in the mainstream media. This misinformation is not only limited to the mainstream media, it is also strong in social media. The subject of this post is a facebook post by the owners of the Tesla home battery

2017-04-16 12:18   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Break-even in thirty years (for something that probably will not last half that time)

The half-news show continues. The subject of previous post was the hurrah story from Belgian newspapers about a family that installed a Tesla powerwall. My impression was that things that didn’t fit the narrative were excluded, therefor coming to an overly positive success story. I wasn’t really sure whether this was caused by a wrong

2017-04-09 17:20   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Fully self reliant on solar power for 42 days (out of 210)

From the only-half-of-the-news-will-do department, this newspaper article titled Family from Limburg uses a home battery for one year already: “our house runs on its own power for weeks”. Not only this newspaper, all the other newspapers jumped on the story. Basically, a family from Kermt (a small village in the Belgian province Limburg) has solar

2017-04-02 11:51   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Sugar versus fat: why so many scientists got it so wrong for so long

Looking for more background when I was writing previous post, I came across a very lengthy, but nevertheless interesting story in The Guardian. This long read is titled The sugar conspiracy and the subject is the battle between the theory that sugar is the (main) reason for the obesity epidemic and the established theory that

2017-03-26 12:04   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The lessons we learn from nutritional science

My employer is concerned about the health of his employees and subscribed us all to a health newsletter. Every two weeks we receive some health tips in about ten to fifteen lines, based on the latest findings in health science. In the last newsletter, there was one article that jumped out on me. It was

2017-03-19 23:49   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The experts who forgot that wind energy is intermittent

A final post in the energy fact check series from SER. Fact check number 4 is titled “Do wind mills run mostly on subsidies?“. This is the reasoning why subsidies are necessary according to the fact check: since the cost of wind energy is somewhere between €0.074 to €0.098/kWh for onshore wind and €0.133 en

2017-03-12 23:31   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The (actually not so) “excellent” fact check

There was some controversy on the third fact check of SER on energy. This fact check is titled “Nearby residents have mostly nuisance and little benefit from windmills” (Dutch). Two action groups against wind mills read the fact check and were not amused. They claimed that the information of the fact check was not objective

2017-03-05 18:08   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: A future for solar energy in the Netherlands: fact check or wishful thinking?

The subject of previous posts was a statement in the second energy fact check of the “factchecker energie” from the Energy Agreement of the SER (Social Economic Council of the Netherlands). The question that get answered in this second fact check is whether solar energy has a future in the Netherlands. This post will focus

2017-02-26 23:21   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Do wind and solar “complement” each other during winter?

The second fact check of the “factchecker energy” of SER is titled: Is there a future for solar energy in the Netherlands?. Although the author of this fact check admits that solar energy only has a very tiny share (0.1% of the energy consumption) and it needs to be balanced by other flexible energy sources,

2017-02-18 21:38   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Half News: (installed) capacity of wind energy has overtaken coal

From the half-news department comes the article titled Capacity of wind energy has overtaken coal in De Morgen (the Flemish Guardian). This is how it is explained (translated from Dutch): Last year, the installed capacity of wind power in Europe surpassed that of coal. This according to figures from the industry association WindEurope. In terms

2017-02-11 20:10   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Breaking windows for a better economy?

Last week, I came across the “factchecker energie” from the Energy Agreement of the SER (Social Economic Council, the Netherlands). The goal of this fact checker is to give, ahem, “objective information about sustainable energy to civilians and companies”, because the “heated discussions on this subject are not always based on facts”. Nice to hear

2017-02-04 10:14   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The IPCC is not alarmist because it understates sea level rise (while using words like “endgame” and “5 minutes to midnight”)

Almost three weeks ago, I wrote a post on the “climate myth” that the “IPCC is alarmist”. I then focused on how an actual statement from Dr. Roy Spencer was changed beyond recognition before it was “debunked” in a skepticalscience article. The climate myth “the IPCC is alarmist” is tackled in their article by the

2017-01-28 22:40   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Some fun with the escalator

Previous post about the “climate myth” that the “IPCC was alarmist” was about an actual statement from Dr. Roy Spencer that was contorted into something that was not recognizable as his statement anymore. In that post, I made the remark that fabricating arguments of the other side seems some sort of a habit of the

2017-01-16 19:49   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Déjà vu: fabricating a “skeptic” claim

Almost a week ago, I got a comment on my post about the framing of the Greenland melt as worse than it is. It contained two videos and two links. One of those links went to the skepticalscience website and the commenter encouraged me to read it in order to get more information on the

2017-01-09 00:16   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The “experts” who counted their chickens before they hatched and don’t know the difference between equal and minimum

Remember the news item from the post of last week with the story of the “experts” claiming that the “drought” of December 2016 was the direct result of climate change? To recapitulate, the VTM news brought on December 27 the story that there were only 7 days with rain in December due to a high

2017-01-03 21:10   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Flemish (onshore) windmills have almost the same capacity as a nuclear reactor

The journalists of our beloved Flemish media seem to go ballistic lately. Yesterday there was the item in the VTM news about the current “drought” that was “direct result of climate change”. Today the VRT news felt it had to compete with that and went full stupid in an article with the sensational title: Flemish

2016-12-28 13:20   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: A wet/dry December because of climate change

The Flemish TV news (VTM) of this evening left me completely and utterly bewildered (translated from Dutch, my emphasis): December is almost over and if the forecast doesn’t change, it will remain dry for the rest of the year and then there will only be seven days with rain during this month. That is very

2016-12-27 23:00   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: The noble art of framing the Greenland melt as worse than it is

The subject of previous post was a scene in the documentary “Before The Flood” in which Leonardo DiCaprio had a conversation with Jason Box in Greenland. I then came to the conclusion that they didn’t give a honest representation of the facts. This post will build on that, but it will expand it to how

2016-12-22 19:18   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Oh, My God! Greenland is melting!

After the claim of the projections of the climate models being “really conservative”, the scene continued with a conversation about the Greenland ice loss: [Jason Box] If climate stays at the temperature that it has been in in the last decade, Greenland is going away. That is interesting. When I heard this claim, it started

2016-12-13 13:34   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Projections for the future: really conservative or just unreliable?

In the documentary “Before the flood” there was this scene in which Leonardo DiCaprio was in a conversation with Jason Box on a glacier in Greenland. This came after a scene of Leonardo DiCaprio in his earlier days when he still was thinking that global warming could be solved with small individual actions, like changing

2016-12-09 23:50   Click to comment

Trust, yet verify: Calimero on the hockey stick controversy

When I was about ten years old, there was an animated cartoon series on television, called “Calimero”. Calimero is a cartoon character, a black chick in a family of yellow chickens. It is a charming, innocent hatchling, still wearing half of its egg shell on its head. In each episode it is getting into situations

2016-11-28 22:42   Click to comment

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