木鱼桥

新人同学自选科普前沿图书12本

最近新人同学应另一位朋友的要求,列出了十几本据说是科普,其实是会读死人的图书。不过我本
人非常喜欢里面的一句话:”Physicists do not need mysticism, and Mystics do not need
Physics, but humanity needs both.” – Fritjof
Capra,当然我也非常信任新人同学在这方面的水平,所以就转贴到我的博客上,并加入自己的书单。这些书里面,我看完的只有《裸猿》,《从混沌到有序》
看了一半,《人这种动物》看了VCD版(还是新人同学提供的),其他的听都没听过。有兴趣的朋友还可以看看新人同学的博客以及这个帖子的原帖

说明
1、以下排名不分先后。
2、图书购买地址除一本之外,全部出自当当网。

1、爱因斯坦:《爱因斯坦晚年文集》(或《爱因斯坦文集》第三卷)
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=156501(缺货)
爱因斯坦不愧是20世纪的科学巨匠,在他的晚年岁月中极精彩地展现了科学精神与人文精神的不可分割,让人觉得生命在尽头处仍然美不胜收。
如果看《爱因斯坦文集》一定就要看商务印书馆(三卷本)的,因为有人说湖南科技出的水分太多(五卷本)。商务版的前两卷内容多是物理学方面的,我也没认真看过。
爱因斯坦曾经说:“科学只能是由那些全身心被追求真理与理解的激情所渗透的人们产生的。然而,这种感情的源泉萌发于宗教的范畴。同时属于这个范畴的还有这样的信念,即用理性理解世界是可能的。我无法想像一个真正的科学家没有这种深沉的信念。”——确实就是这样的。

2、F•卡普拉:《物理学之道》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=223269(缺货)
此 书有一个副标题:近代物理学与东方神秘主义。书里有一句话:”Physicists do not need mysticism, and
Mystics do not need Physics, but humanity needs both.” – Fritjof Capra

也有人说:“在人类思想发展史中,最富成果的发展几乎总是发生在两种不同思维方法的交会点上。”不如前面一句说得明确,前者指明了是神秘主义和物理学二者
之间的关系。
此书初版于1975年,在西方各国十分热销。它代表了西方物理学界在七八十年代对东方古代系统思想的由衷赞赏(不过此热现在好像褪了
一些啦……)。此书思路独特,内容也非常充实有趣。但它一味称赞东方文明,却没有指出“系统”和“整体”其实也意味着“混淆”和“模糊”,后者正是东方文
明的最大缺点。(西方人夸东方人,但咱们不能也闭着眼睛跟着一起夸吧!)
不过此书不大易得(因为此书1983年译成中文,但近年来一直未重版)。这个网页里有一个pdf,但好像下载也蛮可怕的:http://www.k125.com/html/310.htm 或者就得去图书馆借阅了。

3、约翰•巴罗:《艺术与宇宙》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=468704(缺货)
这本书打开了一个崭新的审视生活的视野,很棒。而且写作上特别清晰,真是科学家的风范哪。(什么“文人”“诗人”,真得好好向科学家学写作啊。科学家真能把理性和激情完美地结合在书写中,真不是吹的……)
约翰•巴罗是世界顶尖的数学家和宇宙学家,目前为止一共写过十多本科普读物,已经翻译成中文的还有以下2本:
《不论:科学的极限与极限的科学》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8992051
《大自然的常数:从开端到终点》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=9174320
这2本我没有读过。不过我读过他的另外一本The Book of Nothing,讲人类文明史中“无”的概念的演化如何影响了现代宇宙论的生成,非常精彩。个人判断,这位科学家的东西不会太差。
不 过,在西方世界里约翰•巴罗最著名的一本科普图书不是以上四本中的任何一本,而是他的The Anthropic Cosmological
Principle (with Frank J. Tipler). Oxford Uni.
Press,有人译为《宇宙学的人择原理》。这本书之所以在他的著作中最走红,是因为所谓Anthropic Cosmological
Principle,就是在讨论宇宙之所以如此适于人这种高等生物生存,是否是出于上帝的设计。这本书我也没时间读,以后一定找来好好看看(可能由于宗教
信仰方面的原因,此书虽影响甚大,在中国却未得到介绍。)。

4、普里戈金:《从混沌到有序》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8992491

书初版于1979年,当时引起了西方知识界权威人士的大论战。它讨论的问题属于“自然科学哲学问题”,目标是解释“新的科学观和自然观”。更具体些说,它
把“不可逆性”、“自组织”、“时间”、“偶然性”等问题的讨论纳入了一个崭新的框架。《从混沌到有序》的另一特色是其对“时间”的讨论。哈佛大学的天文
学家David
Layzer提出过三种不同的“时间之矢”:1、基于“大爆炸”起始点的宇宙膨胀;2、基于“熵”的概念;3、基于生物进化和历史演变。在此基础上,普里
戈金进行了一番别开生面的探讨。
这是一本“闪闪发光”的书,读起来特别慢,但是特别有味。就我目前的知识量而言,尚无能力真正读懂,所以打算以后慢慢消化了。

此书的《中译本序》里,普里戈金说:“在历史上科学是被嵌入十七世纪的文化之中的,尽管这种嵌入富有成果,但是太受限制,以致对我们今天与自然的对话所引
起的问题和疑问无法给出某种解释。”十七世纪欧洲的文化,就是“经典科学”的成果和局限的共同来源。但是现代科学正在走向一个更进化的、更开放的宇宙,科
学正从“经典时代”步入“现代时代”。普里戈金认为,“当代科学的更新”才刚刚开始,人类面临的是自十七世纪以来一个重要的科学转折时期。

普里戈金的另一本书:《确定性的终结》。据说非常好,但我还没有读过。
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=218755
普里戈金是耗散结构理论的创始人,他的书也大量涉及“熵”的概念。20世纪六十年代至八十年代,西方学术界热衷于借助“熵”这一物理学概念阐释人类社会、政治、经济、宗教领域的重大问题。其中至少有两本书比较重要:《增长的极限》(http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=9184730)和《熵:一种新的世界观》(http://campus.nwpu.edu.cn/view/viewwen/Sho…p?ArticleID=507)。不过个人认为,它们在观点健全度和论述清晰上都远不如普里戈金。

5、威尔逊:《生命的多样性》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8793712(缺货)
作者威尔逊是如今活在世上的最伟大的博物学家(不是之一哦),他的科普图书两次获得普利策奖,都成了出版界的奇迹了。
他的另外一本《生命的未来》也写得非常好:
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8992369
可惜这位出色的博物学家在中国知名度很低,哪怕在高校师生中也是这样,真是不能不让人感叹了。

6、威廉斯:《适应与自然选择》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=429414(缺货)
一流的生物进化论学者,一流的读物。
威廉斯赞赏的一个同行,道金斯《自私的基因》也不错:
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=165487(缺货)
感觉科普读物在生物进化论方面介绍得有点儿不够,总是物理学占了上风。我个人倒是有点儿偏爱生物的,可能是因为考大学时没上成生物系吧,一直耿耿于怀。

7、马文•明斯基:《心智的社会》
Marvin Minsky , Artificial Intelligence, with Seymour Papert, Univ. of Oregon Press, 1972.
此书据我所知还未译成中文版。我也没读过英文版,因为真的没时间读(而且看英文的科普图书还是慢哪……)。
马文•明斯基在《心智的社会》一书中提出,将意识移植到机器之内是可能实现的。

说:“第一批现代的计算机在20世纪50年代出现,但是,直到20世纪60年代才出现了速度更快、内存更大的机器人,人工智能领域此时才真正开始发展。出
现了许多有用的系统发明,到了20世纪70年代末期,人工智能在很多领域得以应用。然而,甚至在这些应用技术正在传播之时,领域内的理论进展却开始慢了下
来。”这就是他在《心智的社会》一书中想解决的问题。
其实,正是人工智能科学家从思想上缔造了MATRIX(《黑客帝国》)的原型。马文•明斯基
在《心智的社会》中最早提出以电子脉冲形式存在的人脑活动可以被复制、移植,并以数字化的方式存入计算机里;另一位人工智能科学家汉斯•莫拉维奇也有奇
想,在一本名为《换脑儿童》的书里,他描述了人脑中的意识如何通过外科手术般的操作方法输入电脑。

8、波伦:《植物的欲望》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8992365
看看目录就能勾起你阅读的欲望,这是超一流的科普写作的最大特点。原来植物的世界是如此精彩纷呈,一点也不输动物界和微生物界啊。

9、戴思蒙•莫里斯:《人这种动物》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=481596
戴思蒙•莫里斯,英国动物学家。此书出版后BBC为其拍摄了专题片(与原书对应,共6集),也影响颇大。VeryCD里有下载的,没有中文字幕,不过挺好懂的。在这里:http://lib.verycd.com/2005/10/18/0000070182.html
他的另一本《裸猿》是其成名之作。所谓“裸猿”,就是指“人”这种动物。
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…oduct_id=717234
可能达尔文之后就少有动物学家这么惊世骇俗过吧,《裸猿》一书颇有意于“教育”凡尘众生。个人觉得《人这种动物》写得更好些,特别是其中描绘的猿的进化与海洋的关系,最动人心魄。

10、布罗克曼:《第三种文化》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=7383968
之所以叫“第三种文化”,是因为前面还有两种:自然科学和人文学科。而且这两种文化老是在打架。《第三种文化》的贡献在于,不仅指出了“打架”之外的第三种可能,而且指出了某种“更广泛的人”存在的可能。
关于两种文化“打架”的历史,可以参看以下几本书:斯诺:《两种文化》,索卡:《知识的骗局》、《高级迷信》。

11、库恩:《科学革命的结构》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=9036861
库恩的《科学革命的结构》是科学哲学领域内的公认经典名著,也是真正的继往开来之作。
此书的写作背景,可以参看这一本《〈科学革命的结构〉导读》:
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=8857899

12、安东尼•黑,帕特里克•沃尔特斯:《新量子世界》
http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p…duct_id=9004712(缺货)
《新
量子世界》是湖南科技“第一推动力丛书”中较新的一本,2005年出版。书评里说:“《量子世界》是第一本不用数学思维介绍量子物理的科普读物。”在目前
出版的有关量子力学的科普读物中,这一本以其全面、清晰的讲解能力独树一帜。更有特色的是,此书最后一章讨论了科幻小说对量子力学的各种编织和想象:“因
为宇宙比以前任何一个艺术家能想象的都要奇妙得多。为什么现在的诗人们不说这个呢?”此外,全书最后附有“术语表”、“引文来源”和“索引”(这在科普读
物中颇为少见),展现了原作者强大的学院知识背景。
物理学家理查德•费曼在《序言》中对读者说:“也许你们学会的不仅仅是如何欣赏这种文化,甚至也愿意参加到这个人类思想诞生以来最伟大的探索中来。”“我最希望的是,你们能够像真正的物理学家们一样,欣赏到这个世界的美妙。”——说得真好。

这12本书各有特色,但它们也有一个最大的共同之处:让读者觉得生命真美。它们都是诚实又出类拔萃的著作,只要细心去阅读,任何聪明诚恳的青年都能从中得到丰厚的回报。

新人同学的说明:

1、这个自选科普图书12本是上周写给水弓的,但是既然写出来了,也很想和更多朋友交流一下。

2、
这12本图书是建立在近三四年的阅读基础上的,是科普图书的精选。之所以说它“前沿”,一是因为从内容上来说确实处于“现代科学”的前沿,这是知识界的共
识;二是其中相当部分颇有阅读难度,不如一般的科普图书亲切、易读。(以后有机会,我会再发一个介绍“流行”科普图书的贴子。)——因此,这个“前沿”不
是我界定的,而是一种客观现实。

3、这12本书的线索我大多得自一位优秀的大学文科教授。他虽是文科类顶尖人物,却和工科院士们颇有来
往,彼此爱慕对方的行当。结识这样一位老师是我人生的幸运,也更让我懂得了知识“传承”、“更新”的必要性和价值。因此,这份书单是送给老师的,也是我向
自然科学事业贡献的第一份微薄之力。

4、希望各位朋友喜欢,也希望它有点儿用处。

2007年03月19日 Posted by | 个人 | 一条评论

(转贴)怀旧者效应

冰人幽灵·外篇 怀旧者效应  作者:[美]斯坦利·施密特(美国科幻杂志《模拟》的主编)

  编译:成言

  译文原载:《科幻世界》2005.03

  我经常收到许多忧心忡忡的读者的信件,抱怨时下的科幻小说每况愈下,有些读者甚至愤怒地质问道,为什么新作家的作品与老作家的相比判若云泥,甚至难以望其项背?

  凑巧的是,写这些信的大多数人都已经带着质疑的眼光阅读科幻小说很多年了。在写这篇文章之前,我收集了几封这样的信件,而他们多出自七八十岁的老人之
手——只有一个未满三十。好吧,尽管没有任何金科玉律规定,不同年龄层的读者都应该喜欢新事物,或者喜欢与自己同时代的文章甚至于先前的作品,但是,如果
有数量可观的人群——其中大多数年龄较大——都抱怨说"事情都不如从前那么好了",而这样的抱怨又几乎出现在每个领域,甚至每个历史阶段,那就应当引起我
们的关注了。

  对那些经常发生在年龄较大的人身上的规律性现象,我一直都感兴趣,因为这些人大都经验丰富,博闻强记。对此我提出了一个概念——"怀旧者效应"。它是
指人们随着年龄的增长而越来越难以理解和认同新事物的一种倾向。我所发现的证据表明,这一效应不仅是真实的、普遍的,而且在文学、绘画、音乐,或者其他领
域,都影响颇深。例如,在科学家大谈延长人类生命可能性的同时,或许也应该审慎地问:究竟有多少人真地想要不朽?

  我认为,"怀旧者效应"至少涉及到三个联系紧密的现象,而任何人身上都可能出现其中—个,或者两个,甚至三者全有。

  第一,人们倾向于只回忆过去最优秀的作品,并错误地认为这些作品在过去是十分常见的。这一点似乎无庸多言。"好"这一判断,在艺术或者文学领域,都意
味着"能在记忆中留下持久的印象",相反,"不好"则不会。对于经验丰富的人来说,他们通常没有必要去详细追究对每一个判断的记忆,所以,在他们的脑中,
往往只保留了对"好"的作品的印象。但是,这并不能改变"好"与"不好"熏莸同器的事实,而且,"不好"的作品在数量上要远高于"好"的。有时候,我听见
人们说,过去的科幻充满着经典力作,而科幻作家们更是各展其长,百花齐放。有人甚至说,那时候也不像现在这样,充斥着自大的编辑、排字工和校对员造成的低
级印刷错误。

  说这些话的人似乎忽视了一个事实,那就是,"事情都不如从前那么好了"这种抱怨,恰恰说明他们所极力缅怀的人,正是从那些他们早已经遗忘的作者中脱颖
而出的。对这些人的观点,显然我不敢苟同,因为在我的办公室里还保存着所有的过往期刊。最近,为了编辑文选,我对其进行了仔细的研究。我发现,那些被遗忘
的作品中,其实也隐藏着不少闪光之处(我还发现了不少印刷错误)。

  怀旧者可能还会说,当他们重读那些经典篇章时,往往会觉得它们不仅值得怀念,而且仍能激荡人心。但是,值得重读究竟说明了什么问题呢?它不过表明,重温一遍自己所熟悉的事物可以唤起人们美好的回忆罢了。

  第二,人们阅读得越多,就越难从新作品中发现新意。还记得那些曾经让你捧腹大笑的笑话吗?在你听过之前,它们的确是有趣的。但是,当你熟悉了这类笑话
的搞笑套路之后,就很难为其所动了,因为那些曾带给你惊奇和新鲜感的元素都已不复存在。同样的道理,你可能会继续发现某些笑话、音乐、体育活动,或者某些
人能给你带来些许新意,然而,你对这些新事物接触得越多,它们就会越使你回想起过去。如果你生活的全部乐趣都依赖于从新体验中寻求不同于过去的新刺激,那
么,你就会感到有越来越多的东西让你无聊透顶。

  第三,另一方面,随着年龄的增长,人们也开始下意识地排斥新事物。一般来说,人的年龄越大,就越害怕新的、不熟悉的东西,而越怀念旧的、熟悉的东西。
虽然他们口口声声说自己并不抗拒新鲜事物,但实际上,他们可能只接受那些按照过去的眼光看来是最好的作品——对热烈渴求新颖和另类的年轻人来说,这类作品
不能满足他们的需求。所以,每当艺术领域——包括文学和音乐——出现某种新形式时,老一辈的人几乎都会加以抵制,而年轻人则会大力追捧,其热烈程度大大超
乎后人对其做出的客观判断。

  我在这里并不是想否认科幻作品可能存在质量下降的趋势,也不是想要求所有人都对任何新事物抱以欢迎态度,我要说的是,人们在分析"繁荣"和"衰退"等
主观性很强的问题的时候,不能不考虑到自己的主观因素。人们必须明白,他们的记忆更倾向于保留下按自己的标准认为"最好"的作品,而同时忽略了其余。这一
倾向让现在看起来很"糟"——不论这是否正确——仅仅因为他们还没有足够的时间来忘却现在的那些"不那么值得记住"的作品。人们也必须明白,他们看过的东
西越多,他们熟悉的东西就越多,而这会使他们更难发现新想法,因为他们已身陷"旧"物的泥潭。人们还必须明白,他们可能会越来越害怕接受新观念,而越来越
喜欢在熟悉的观念、形式和风格中寻找到满足。

  由于人们身上可能出现上述三种现象而全然不觉,所以,也许会有人同时具有我所说的"怀旧者效应"的后两种——尽管它们看起来相互矛盾。这种人不停地寻
求新鲜刺激,而又屡屡失望而归,懊恼不已,但每当他找到新作品的时候,又发现它们只会引起他的不安与厌恶。这样,他就更加渴望看到能给他带来慰藉的"旧"
作品,而当他发现了与过去风格相似的新作品时,就会立刻指责这不过是对经典著作的蹩脚的模仿,并振振有词地说自己早就拜读过那些经典,而且到现在还记忆犹
新。

  我在这里并不是想攻击任何有过此类经历的人,因为这并不是什么"坏"事,只是出现在人们身上的——些状况罢了,但是,很可能我们没有一个人可以完全避免。

2007年03月17日 Posted by | 个人 | 留下评论

最新回复

老罗在牛博论坛上刊登了K老师的最新回复《 关于致癌性、DDT 和 “反环保主义”宣传》,并作了推荐。我浏览了一下全文,认为这篇文章清楚表明了很多东西,所以作这么一个简单回复。至于详细回复,只好再说了,对此我只好对K老师,老罗和各位关注的朋友说声抱歉。

2007年03月15日 Posted by | 个人 | 留下评论

后记

首先,我要道歉,那就是我的情绪化。在看了两篇ΚΕΦΙ的文章之后,我极度反感他的居高临下,盛气凌人的态度。以致于我在回帖文章中,花了大量的篇幅来批评他的态度。批评别人的态度,正常情况下是不应该发生的,我也知道这点肯定会被人诟病,不过说我批评别人态度的人,怎么不回去看看ΚΕΦΙ里教训别人态度的姿态?难道仅仅是因为我把关于态度这点明明白白摆到台面上来了?

其次, 我还要道歉。对于global warming的问题,我的认识是不够清晰的,哪怕到现在为止。我写上一篇文章,关于ΚΕΦΙ《重复澄清》以及他的态度,主要是因为我被ΚΕΦΙ的态度所激怒。怎么说呢,我是无法冷静地阅读他的回复,现在去看依旧无法冷静。他的文章中充斥这种高高在上的优越感,牛博网上的一些读者可以忍受这种说教式的讨论,我表示悲哀。老罗把这篇文章推荐了,我只好哭一下。

不过现在回想起来,牛博网上以这种态度说教的人还不少,还包括老罗。只是我之前并没有认识到,或者说我默认这种态度有时候是必要的。现在我发现,这种态度已经让牛博成了所谓“牛人们”的个人秀场所,除了胡缠,太簇等很有限的几位博客以外,无法形成一丁点讨论的味道。不信的可以去看看牛博网的回复,不管是博客中的还是论坛中的,几乎都毫无营养。老罗强烈谴责那些坐沙发的人,但也是以高高在上的态度谴责的。

我重新回想起了新人对我说的话,网上辩论是没有意义的,因为我们跟他们所讨论的不是一样东西。除了浪费时间以外,毫无用处。我当然知道很多论坛确实是这样,但我曾经以为,牛博网不是这样的。

小白和我,是带点理想色彩的年轻人,试图在中文网上,对global warming 和 DDT 进行那么一点理性色彩的讨论。结果我们发现我们失败了,而且败得那么惨,小白的最新博客见这里:《关于这场辩论》。我不得不承认,是我高估了罗永浩和牛博网,当然还有一个方舟子。

现在我要好好考虑一下,为什么我会对方舟子、罗永浩这么信任。这当然是有原因的,而且有大把的原因。方舟子打假的贡献怎么说也不过分,罗永浩创办牛博网,网罗了一批牛人,可以让我这样的人,看到很多牛人的牛文,也是一件功劳很大的事情。至少我是很感激的。

不过就像昨天晚上新人、小白和我讨论,谈到方舟子的时候,新人说,方舟子的昨天跟今天是一样的,没有进步。而小白反应说,他其实在退步,因为他的专 业知识忘记得差不多了,连silent spring这样明显的夸大和不实都看不出来。小白说她对方舟子非常失望,我也对他很失望。不过我总存着一点心思认为,方舟子也仅仅是被欺骗的,我相信他会改正他在这点上的错误的。

关于方舟子,另外推荐一篇文章,是安替写的,方舟子,一个根本无法成为朋友的同道中人,他是以一个基督徒身份写的,不过事不同理同。安替在这里为我们展现了宽容的意义与难得。

对于老罗,建议一下,老罗应该好好学习醉钢琴的两篇文章:敌人的权利给老罗的情书。醉钢琴的文字我非常喜欢,一如既往,就算新人不这么认为我也喜欢。

好了,就这样了。

 

2007年03月10日 Posted by | News and politics | 17条评论

关于ΚΕΦΙ《重复澄清》以及他的态度

ΚΕΦΙ终于在牛博上更新了《重复澄清》一文,来回复小白的《澄清《澄清》》,证实了我对小白说的,ΚΕΦΙ在准备一篇长文来回复,而不是将保持沉默。

小白从来没有说过否定全球变暖,而ΚΕΦΙ一而再再而三地提到小白否认全球变暖,不知道是出于什么原因。ΚΕΦΙ的这篇文章,大约有一半在证明全球
变暖是科学家的共识(不过ΚΕΦΙ有意混淆全球变暖共识和人为全球变暖共识不知道是什么原因。另外一半则在逐字逐句地评价小白找出来的证据)。

ΚΕΦΙ再次强调了一下,“有九成以上的把握相信,人为造成的温室气体聚集,是20世纪中叶以来全球气候变暖的主导因素”。 大家看清楚了,他说的是,人为的因素,是全球气候变暖的“主导因素”。不过我去查了那篇文章的原文
原话是这样的:"leading to very high confidence that the globally averaged net
effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of
warming",翻译过来就是说,从1750年以来,我们有很大把握(也许是90%以上?)说人类活动是全球平均气温升高的一个原因。ΚΕΦΙ完全曲解
了这句话的原意,我对此为“牛逼”的ΚΕΦΙ表示悲哀。

接下来,ΚΕΦΙ在文章中有这样的话:

该调查将Science杂志涉及气候变化的928篇学术相关论文分成六类:
1.明文认可“全球变暖是共识”的、
2.评估影响的、
3.提出缓解方案的、
4.研究方法的、
5.分析古气候的、
6.反对“人为全球变暖是共识”的。
它们中,
有75%的文章属于前三类,即明说或者蕴含对“人为全球变暖共识”的承认
有25% 的文章属于第4、5两类,不涉及对“人为全球变暖”的态度,
没有文章属于第6类,即没有任何一篇反对“人为全球变暖是共识”。

我们先来看看,那篇他引用的文章
面说了什么。“IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific
opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities”.
翻译过来就是说,IPCC
毫不含糊的陈述,科学界的共识是地球的气候是被人类活动所影响的。关于这个共识,我想没有人怀疑吧。但我们回过头来看看ΚΕΦΙ的陈述,他在第1和第6条
所提到的两个共识都不是他所引的文章所提到的共识。而且一个共识,竟然被ΚΕΦI变成了两个不同的共识,不知道是什么原因。在那个共识下面,文章中确实分
了6类,它们是:consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation
proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the
consensus position.
这样我们就完全明白了,ΚΕΦΙ完全是在误导我们。而且就算完全按照他的思路,我也无法从前面3类里面看出,“明说或者蕴含对“人为全球变暖共识”的承
认”,只能看出对"全球变暖共识"的承认,而这点小白与我都没有否认过。这样,ΚΕΦΙ这篇文章中最有分量的资料看来是立不住脚的。

作个小结:ΚΕΦΙ在文章中提出了三个证据,结果只有最后一个证据,算是站得住脚的。不过那个证据是三个证据中最没有说服力的,因为仅仅牵涉到了一位科学家。与此相对的是,第一个证据是一篇最新的summary文章,而第二份证据牵涉了928篇文章。

下面,我对 ΚΕΦΙ谈话的态度作个总结,当然这并不影响我们讨论的结论。讨论他的态度的原因是,他的态度实在是太恶劣了。

1,ΚΕΦΙ谈到邹承鲁说的那句话:“一个真正的科学家,即便由于种种原因不能戳穿假话,或者无法说出真话,或者可以选择不说话,但至少要做到不说假话,不主动用假话去邀功请赏,去谋财害命。”,竟然说“邹老这话标准太低”,声称“出于比邹老更牛逼的境界”。我希望ΚΕΦΙ
先去考察一下邹老当年的科研环境和政治环境,跟你现在所处的环境做个比较,然后再想想怎么说话比较合适。ΚΕΦΙ这么说,我只能认为ΚΕΦΙ这个人既不踏
实也很嚣张,而且还是毫无理由的嚣张。我在牛博上浏览文章相当长时间了,知道ΚΕΦΙ是怎样一个人,所以我才会预测ΚΕΦΙ会写一篇很长的文章来回应,因
ΚΕΦΙ跟cason,戈尔一样,也是偏激的人,会选择偏激的方式。当然,我这么说并没有否认ΚΕΦΙ的结论。我再一次重申小白和我的话:因为偏激,所以至少是值得怀疑的。

2,我们都是希望把事情弄清楚,我们都在找
各种资料,希望能够得到更客观的结论,然后平实地呈现给大家看。不过在所用的方式上,我个人是非常讨厌ΚΕΦΙ的方式,用各种颜色的红笔蓝笔甚至粉红色的
笔划得到处都是,很有一种风雨欲来的压迫感。当然我可以理解国人只要结果不喜欢材料的心理,不过用在这种比较严肃的讨论中非常不适合。就像我和小白非常讨
厌戈尔的电影和《寂静的春天》一样,因为很煽情(当然,《寂静的春天》更可恶,不仅煽情,而且大量引用没有经过证实的资料)。而ΚΕΦΙ也正在做这样的事
情,生怕别人漏掉他的正确之处以及别人可能的错误之处。小白怎么看待ΚΕΦΙ的文字我不知道,但我是强压着恶心逐字逐句地看ΚΕΦΙ的文章的,太晃眼了。
其实这也是ΚΕΦΙ偏激的一个表现。

牛博网上其他人也用红色蓝色,但绝大多数只是用来区分自己的话和引用别人的话,做到你这样的,据我所知,绝无仅有。你划得再多,也不能提高你的文章质量。建议你去看看波普尔《自由主义的原则》一文,那才是好文章,因为所有句子都应该被划出来。当然,若你看不出这篇文章的价值,我爱莫能助。

3,关于第一个问题,小白说:“这0.5摄氏度的变化在媒体的宣传和夸大下已经变成了人类面临灭顶之灾的预兆,给公众的感觉好像变化的不是0.5度而是50度。”结果,ΚΕΦΙ回复,“我无语了。看来上升50度才是xiao概念中的“灭顶之灾”。” 如此曲解别人的话,我对ΚΕΦΙ表示敬佩。可能原因有两个,一个是ΚΕΦΙ语文学的不好,另外一个是ΚΕΦΙ故意曲解别人的原意。不过我倾向与第二种原因,因为他曾经在他的博客上教人家学成语,想来语文是不错的。而曲解别人的意思,他在这最新的文章里,前面已经分析过了,他做了至少3次了,而且后面在评论小白的话的时候,还出现了好几次。最明显的一次在这里:

小白说:

大气中二氧化碳含量从二战之后到现在增加了30%,但全球气温并没有大幅度变化。气温是由无数复杂因素所影响的,CO2的影响占多少成分无法确定。

ΚΕΦΙ评论:

xiao同学竟然拿二氧化碳增长幅度对比气温增值来说明二氧化碳不是全球变暖因素

4,小白的参考资料,一共47篇文章。

5,我看完了ΚΕΦΙ的这篇文章之后,有一个感觉就是,他既是研究冰川的专家,又是研究温室气体的专家,当然更是研究全球变暖的专家。我们来看看他的语录:

任何具备气候学常识的人(生态学常识都不必了)都应该明白…

我暂无篇幅和时间详述“区区几度”对海洋气候的影响,对水含氧量的影响,对冻土和冰川的影响,对疾病传播的影响等等等等

这种意见恰恰是最典型的“否认全球变暖”的意见,也是反对意见里最外行、最无知的那一类。

xiao同学和其他读者很有必要了解一下全球冰川融化的概况和趋势,

如果在80、90年代有谁这么胡扯仍可原谅;到2007年还这样说,你就是火星人了。

xiao这里拿60年代末一度流传的“气候变冷”谬论来类比现在“气候变暖”的科学知识,是一个老掉牙的、把一切“气候危机”意识归在一起“连坐”的做法,不仅本身不说明问题,也体现了对这几十年气候学发展的无知,对于没有根据的流言和有测量分析的科学都不能区分。

请问xiao同学你仔细了解过GCMs吗?你学习过气候建模是怎么回事儿吗?听起来好像你以为一个“模型”
不准就推翻了“全球变暖”,你大概不知道“全球变暖”是从简单理论到庞大的跨领域复杂理论体系,在统计学的指导下对成万上亿的、不断演进的模型们进行的大
规模计算而获得的严格结论。实际上,随着模型的演进,数据的积累,结论从总体上越来越不乐观,现实越来越比想象得紧迫。

你至少应该知道海平面持续上升是定论吧?你至少应该从平均气温变化想到全球气温分布变化吧?你至少应该想到大洋环流吧?你至少应该想到海洋生态吧?你至少应该想到流行病吧?你至少应该想到极端气候事件吧?

… …

等等诸如此类,那是琳琅满目,挂满了ΚΕΦΙ“牛逼”“专家”的文章中的角角落落,让我不禁好奇起来,这位ΚΕΦΙ“牛逼”“专家”到底是什么来头?

另外,鉴于ΚΕΦΙ讨论态度非常恶劣,我在此声明,若ΚΕΦΙ不声明道歉,我将再也不回复他的文章。

2007年03月9日 Posted by | 个人 | 3条评论

关于ΚΕΦΙ《重复澄清》以及他的态度

ΚΕΦΙ终于在牛博上更新了《重复澄清》一文,来回复小白的《澄清《澄清》》,证实了我对小白说的,ΚΕΦΙ在准备一篇长文来回复,而不是将保持沉默。

小白从来没有说过否定全球变暖,而ΚΕΦΙ一而再再而三地提到小白否认全球变暖,不知道是出于什么原因。ΚΕΦΙ的这篇文章,大约有一半在证明全球 变暖是科学家的共识(不过ΚΕΦΙ有意混淆全球变暖共识和人为全球变暖共识不知道是什么原因。另外一半则在逐字逐句地评价小白找出来的证据)。

ΚΕΦΙ再次强调了一下,“有九成以上的把握相信,人为造成的温室气体聚集,是20世纪中叶以来全球气候变暖的主导因素”。 大家看清楚了,他说的是,人为的因素,是全球气候变暖的“主导因素”。不过我去查了那篇文章的原文, 原话是这样的:”leading to very high confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming”,翻译过来就是说,从1750年以来,我们有很大把握(也许是90%以上?)说人类活动是全球平均气温升高的一个原因。ΚΕΦΙ完全曲解 了这句话的原意,我对此为“牛逼”的ΚΕΦΙ表示悲哀。

接下来,ΚΕΦΙ在文章中有这样的话:

该调查将Science杂志涉及气候变化的928篇学术相关论文分成六类:
1.明文认可“全球变暖是共识”的、
2.评估影响的、
3.提出缓解方案的、
4.研究方法的、
5.分析古气候的、
6.反对“人为全球变暖是共识”的。
它们中,
有75%的文章属于前三类,即明说或者蕴含对“人为全球变暖共识”的承认
有25% 的文章属于第4、5两类,不涉及对“人为全球变暖”的态度,
没有文章属于第6类,即没有任何一篇反对“人为全球变暖是共识”。

我们先来看看,那篇他引用的文章里 面说了什么。“IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities”. 翻译过来就是说,IPCC 毫不含糊的陈述,科学界的共识是地球的气候是被人类活动所影响的。关于这个共识,我想没有人怀疑吧。但我们回过头来看看ΚΕΦΙ的陈述,他在第1和第6条 所提到的两个共识都不是他所引的文章所提到的共识。而且一个共识,竟然被ΚΕΦI变成了两个不同的共识,不知道是什么原因。在那个共识下面,文章中确实分 了6类,它们是:consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. 这样我们就完全明白了,ΚΕΦΙ完全是在误导我们。而且就算完全按照他的思路,我也无法从前面3类里面看出,“明说或者蕴含对“人为全球变暖共识”的承 认”,只能看出对”全球变暖共识”的承认,而这点小白与我都没有否认过。这样,ΚΕΦΙ这篇文章中最有分量的资料看来是立不住脚的。

作个小结:ΚΕΦΙ在文章中提出了三个证据,结果只有最后一个证据,算是站得住脚的。不过那个证据是三个证据中最没有说服力的,因为仅仅牵涉到了一位科学家。与此相对的是,第一个证据是一篇最新的summary文章,而第二份证据牵涉了928篇文章。

下面,我对 ΚΕΦΙ谈话的态度作个总结,当然这并不影响我们讨论的结论。讨论他的态度的原因是,他的态度实在是太恶劣了。

1,ΚΕΦΙ谈到邹承鲁说的那句话:“一个真正的科学家,即便由于种种原因不能戳穿假话,或者无法说出真话,或者可以选择不说话,但至少要做到不说假话,不主动用假话去邀功请赏,去谋财害命。”,竟然说“邹老这话标准太低”,声称“出于比邹老更牛逼的境界”。我希望ΚΕΦΙ 能 先去考察一下邹老当年的科研环境和政治环境,跟你现在所处的环境做个比较,然后再想想怎么说话比较合适。ΚΕΦΙ这么说,我只能认为ΚΕΦΙ这个人既不踏 实也很嚣张,而且还是毫无理由的嚣张。我在牛博上浏览文章相当长时间了,知道ΚΕΦΙ是怎样一个人,所以我才会预测ΚΕΦΙ会写一篇很长的文章来回应,因 为 ΚΕΦΙ跟cason,戈尔一样,也是偏激的人,会选择偏激的方式。当然,我这么说并没有否认ΚΕΦΙ的结论。我再一次重申小白和我的话:因为偏激,所以至少是值得怀疑的。

2,我们都是希望把事情弄清楚,我们都在找 各种资料,希望能够得到更客观的结论,然后平实地呈现给大家看。不过在所用的方式上,我个人是非常讨厌ΚΕΦΙ的方式,用各种颜色的红笔蓝笔甚至粉红色的 笔划得到处都是,很有一种风雨欲来的压迫感。当然我可以理解国人只要结果不喜欢材料的心理,不过用在这种比较严肃的讨论中非常不适合。就像我和小白非常讨 厌戈尔的电影和《寂静的春天》一样,因为很煽情(当然,《寂静的春天》更可恶,不仅煽情,而且大量引用没有经过证实的资料)。而ΚΕΦΙ也正在做这样的事 情,生怕别人漏掉他的正确之处以及别人可能的错误之处。小白怎么看待ΚΕΦΙ的文字我不知道,但我是强压着恶心逐字逐句地看ΚΕΦΙ的文章的,太晃眼了。 其实这也是ΚΕΦΙ偏激的一个表现。

牛博网上其他人也用红色蓝色,但绝大多数只是用来区分自己的话和引用别人的话,做到你这样的,据我所知,绝无仅有。你划得再多,也不能提高你的文章质量。建议你去看看波普尔《自由主义的原则》一文,那才是好文章,因为所有句子都应该被划出来。当然,若你看不出这篇文章的价值,我爱莫能助。

3,关于第一个问题,小白说:“这0.5摄氏度的变化在媒体的宣传和夸大下已经变成了人类面临灭顶之灾的预兆,给公众的感觉好像变化的不是0.5度而是50度。”结果,ΚΕΦΙ回复,“我无语了。看来上升50度才是xiao概念中的“灭顶之灾”。” 如此曲解别人的话,我对ΚΕΦΙ表示敬佩。可能原因有两个,一个是ΚΕΦΙ语文学的不好,另外一个是ΚΕΦΙ故意曲解别人的原意。不过我倾向与第二种原因,因为他曾经在他的博客上教人家学成语,想来语文是不错的。而曲解别人的意思,他在这最新的文章里,前面已经分析过了,他做了至少3次了,而且后面在评论小白的话的时候,还出现了好几次。最明显的一次在这里:

小白说:

大气中二氧化碳含量从二战之后到现在增加了30%,但全球气温并没有大幅度变化。气温是由无数复杂因素所影响的,CO2的影响占多少成分无法确定。

ΚΕΦΙ评论:

xiao同学竟然拿二氧化碳增长幅度对比气温增值来说明二氧化碳不是全球变暖因素

4,小白的参考资料,一共47篇文章。

5,我看完了ΚΕΦΙ的这篇文章之后,有一个感觉就是,他既是研究冰川的专家,又是研究温室气体的专家,当然更是研究全球变暖的专家。我们来看看他的语录:

任何具备气候学常识的人(生态学常识都不必了)都应该明白…

我暂无篇幅和时间详述“区区几度”对海洋气候的影响,对水含氧量的影响,对冻土和冰川的影响,对疾病传播的影响等等等等

这种意见恰恰是最典型的“否认全球变暖”的意见,也是反对意见里最外行、最无知的那一类。

xiao同学和其他读者很有必要了解一下全球冰川融化的概况和趋势,

如果在80、90年代有谁这么胡扯仍可原谅;到2007年还这样说,你就是火星人了。

xiao这里拿60年代末一度流传的“气候变冷”谬论来类比现在“气候变暖”的科学知识,是一个老掉牙的、把一切“气候危机”意识归在一起“连坐”的做法,不仅本身不说明问题,也体现了对这几十年气候学发展的无知,对于没有根据的流言和有测量分析的科学都不能区分。

请问xiao同学你仔细了解过GCMs吗?你学习过气候建模是怎么回事儿吗?听起来好像你以为一个“模型” 不准就推翻了“全球变暖”,你大概不知道“全球变暖”是从简单理论到庞大的跨领域复杂理论体系,在统计学的指导下对成万上亿的、不断演进的模型们进行的大 规模计算而获得的严格结论。实际上,随着模型的演进,数据的积累,结论从总体上越来越不乐观,现实越来越比想象得紧迫。

你至少应该知道海平面持续上升是定论吧?你至少应该从平均气温变化想到全球气温分布变化吧?你至少应该想到大洋环流吧?你至少应该想到海洋生态吧?你至少应该想到流行病吧?你至少应该想到极端气候事件吧?

… …

等等诸如此类,那是琳琅满目,挂满了ΚΕΦΙ“牛逼”“专家”的文章中的角角落落,让我不禁好奇起来,这位ΚΕΦΙ“牛逼”“专家”到底是什么来头?

另外,鉴于ΚΕΦΙ讨论态度非常恶劣,我在此声明,若ΚΕΦΙ不声明道歉,我将再也不回复他的文章。

2007年03月9日 Posted by | 无法归类 | 一条评论

DDT and Silent Spring

这是下面的书中DDT一栏的全文(包括reference)。当然,这本书内还有其他很多地方也提到了DDT以及silent spring,但比较分散,而且输入也比较困难。若有兴趣的可以去找这本书看原文。若有什么输入错误的地方,请指正。

这段文字现在还只有英语,没有中文翻译。小白和我比较忙,这些天应该没有时间翻译,大家将就着先看。

Book Name: Standard handbook of Environmental Science, Health, and Technology

Editor: Jay H. Lehr & Janet K. Lehr

Location: (p21.63-21.66)

21.3.11 DDT

“The greatest killer in Africa is not AIDS or sleeping sickness, but malaria which kills an estimated 2 million children each year” (1)

Did you know?

DDT has saved more lives in the past 50 years than have antibiotics as a group. The banning of DDT is probably the largest act of genocide in human history. The Nationals Academy of Sciences estimated that DDT saved 500 million lives before it was banned (2).

Since DDT was banned, the incidence of malaria has increased enormously worldwide and the disease has again become a leading cause of death. Every 12 seconds, a child dies of malaria (3).

There is evidence suggesting that DDT is an anticarcinogen (4).

DDT’s “cousin” DDD is an anticancer drug used against inoperable adrenal-gland cancer (4, 5).

My guess is that most of you hadn’t heard the above facts. Rather, what you’ve heard, or read, is that DDT is toxic, has caused eggshell thinning in birds, accumulates in fat tissues in our bodies, and is still found in the environment. The facts are that DDT was given a bad rap in 1972 when it was banned from usage, and over 25 years later many people are still unaware of the truth.

Let’s look at some of the facts. Early in this century, the only effective way to control malaria was to eliminate stagnant water, such as swamps and landfills, where Anopheles mosquitoes bred. Then beginning in 1943, the organochlorine pesticide DDT became available and this proved to be a godsend in the Third World, curtailing the disease dramatically. In India, by the early 1960s, the annual incidence of malaria had declined from one million to 100,000 (6) and in Sri Lanka, the number of cases dropped from over two million to 17 (7). In 1942 DDT was shown to kill body lice without adverse effect on humans, and it was used by all Allied troops during World War II. Thanks to DDT, a 1944 typhus epidemic in Naples was halted. No Allied soldier was stricken with typhus fever (carried by lice) for the first time in the history of warfare. In World War I, by contrast three million people died of typhus in Russia and Eastern Europe, and more soldiers died from typhus than from gunfire.

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s best seller, Silent Spring, Indicated DDT as a killer of birds, fish, and wildlife (9). This eventually led to a long (seven-month) federal hearing in 1972 on the risk and benefits of the material. The DDT hearings were ordered by then EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus, who appointed Judge Edmund Sweeney as the hearing examiner. Scientists were not the only ones to give exonerating testimony that DDT used properly presented little harm to humans, beast, or birds. The World Health Organization also pleaded at the EPA hearing that DDT was very beneficial in fighting malaria in many parts of the world and should not be banned (10). After 125 witnesses and 9362 pages of testimony, Judge Sweeney’s final conclusions were that:

DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to humans
DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to humans
The use of DDT under the registrations involved does not have a deleterious effect on fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife (7, 10).

In a better world this would have been good news. It was met instead with journalistic and environmental hysteria across the nation. Less than two months after the hearing, the EPA administrator Ruckelshaus single-handedly banned almost all DDT (8, 10). This ban on DDT was considered the first major victory for the environmentalist movement in the United States (11). It Gave credibility to pseudoscience, and created an atmosphere in which scientific evidence can be pushed aside by emotion, hysteria, and political pressure. This technique of making unsubstantiated charges, endlessly repeated, has since been used successfully against asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, and Alar to mention a few (7).

DDT was soon replaced by less persistent organophoshates, such as parathion and malathion. These chemicals belong to the same chemical family as nerve gas and are far more dangerous than chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT. They have caused serious poisoning, often fatal, among unsuspecting farm workers who had been accustomed to handling the relatively nontoxic DDT (6).

This ban didn’t help third world people. National Institutes of Health malaria expert Robert Gwadz says, “The legacy of Rachel Carson was not altogether positive. The incidence of malaria in India is now back up to more than a million and more than 500,000 in Sri Lanka” (6). In South America where DDT spraying has been continued until more recent times, data from 1993 to 1995 showed that countries that recently discontinued their spray programs are reporting large increases in malaria incidence. The only country in South America reporting a large reduction in malaria rates (61 percent), is Ecuador, which has increased use of DDT since 1993 (12, 13). The allegations against DDT have been repeated so often and stated with such passion that over 25 years later that the public remains convinced of their validity (14).

 

Toxicity of DDT

DDT is known to be safe to humans. It has never caused death, even in persons attempting suicide (15). Farm workers were sometimes poisoned by organophosphate insecticides, such as the parathions, which are hundreds of times more toxic to man than DDT and which were touted as superior substitutes to DDT (15). It is known from controlled studies in human volunteers that experimental ingestion of 35 mg DDT per kg of body weight per day, for a period of two years, produced no adverse effects, acute or chronic, in any of the subjects (5, 7). Doses of five grams of DDT (and even more) have been administered to human beings in the successful treatment of barbiturate poisoning, according to Walter Ebeling of UCLA. Professor Ebeling notes also that five grams of DDT are roughly four times as much as the average American will assimilate in a 70-year lifetime (16). A study of workers at the Montrose Chemical Company, who accumulated 38 to 647 ppm of DDT residues in their fatty tissues, revealed no cases of cancer in 1300 person-years of exposure – a statistically improbable event (17).

One of the more interesting examples verifying the nontoxicity to humans is the experience of J.G. Edwards, Professor of Biology at San Jose State University. Says Edwards, “After remembering my own days of dusting hundreds of civilians during the war in Europe with 10 percent DDT to kill lice and help prevent millions of cases of deadly typhus, I thought I should try to convince people that the environmental extremists were wrong. Thereafter, at the beginning of each DDT speech I made I would publicly eat a tablespoon of DDT powder. I believe it was a successful effort. It resulted in a full page photograph of me doing that in Esquire magazine (September 1971). The caption stated that I was eating 200 times the normal intake of DDT to show it’s not as bad as people think” (18). Today, as Edwards approaches his 80th birthday, he is still as adamantly opposed to the anti-DDT propaganda as he was 26 years ago. Edwards, an avid climber, continues to conquer peaks than 10,000 ft. DDT exposure surely hasn’t hurt him.

In 1969, rodent studies suggested DDT was a carcinogen. However, there results were refuted by a 1978 National Cancer Institute report that concluded, after two years, of testing on several different strains of cancer prone mice and rats, that DDT was not carcinogenic (11). In a 1994 study in the journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers concluded that their data did not support an association between DDT and breast cancer (19). Very recently, Robert Golden, a Ph.D. toxicologist in Potomac, Maryland, stated, “The one endocrine modulator environmentalists love to hate, the pesticide DDT, would cause no endocrine effect in a fetus exposed to more than a pound of DDT over a course of a pregnancy” (20).

Bruce Ames and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a method of ranking possible carcinogenic hazards (21).  They call this a HERP Index (Human exposure over rat potency). A value of 100 on this scale means that people are getting the same dose in mg/kg that caused cancer in half the tested rats. DDT has three major breakdown products: DDA, DDE, and DDD (18). Table 21.3.11 shows that the average U.S. daily intake of DDE from DDT (HERP = 0.0003 percent) is less than the HERP from chloroform in a glass of tap water and thus appears to be insignificant compared to the background of natural carcinogens in our diet. Even daily consumption of 100 times the average intake of DDE/DDT would produce a possible hazard that is small compared to other common exposures such as mushrooms, coffee, beer, and wine shown in Table 21.3.11.

Table 21.3.11 Ranking Possible Carcinogenic Hazards*

Possible hazard#

 

Human dose of rodent

HERP %

Daily human exposure

carcinogen

0.0003

DDE/DDT, daily dietary intake

DDE, 2.2 ug

0.001

Tap Water, 1L

Chloroform, 83 ug

0.1

Mushroom, one raw

Hydrazine mixtures

0.005

Coffee, 1 cup

Furfural

2.8

Beer, 354 ml

Ethyl alcohol, 18 ml

4.7

Wine, 250 ml

Ethyl alcohol, 30 ml

  • *From Ames and Gold (21).
  • # U.S. EPA’s one-in-a-million hypothetical risk is 0.000015 on the HERP scale, or about 400,000 times below the level that would give cancer to a rat.

 

Further support is provided by Stephen Safe, a toxicologist at Texas A&M, who tested the effects of organochlorine compounds in the average human diet. He concluded that the total estrogenic activity of these compounds is 40-million-fold lower than that from the natural components of vegetables and other foods consumed daily such as soybeans, barley, cabbage, and corn (20, 22).

 

Persistence in the Environment

One often heard claim is that DDT cannot be broken down in the environment. Actually, DDT is broken down rather rapidly by heat, cold, moisture, sunlight, alkalinity, salinity, soil micro-organisms, hepatic enzymes of birds and mammals, and a great many other environmental factors (18). Only in unusual circumstances where soil is dark, dry, and devoid of microorganisms will DDT persist. Under normal environmental conditions, DDT loses its toxicity to insects in a few days (7). If it didn’t break down, it would have been unnecessary to apply it again in order to control pests. Edwards provides a list of more than 140 articles documenting the breakdown of DDT in the environment (18).

A key reason that traces of DDT are sometimes still found in environmental samples is that we can now detect extremely minute amounts of anything. In the span of about two decades, detection limits have been reduced by about six orders of magnitude (23). Some analysts have even reported DDT in samples collected before DDT existed. For example, University of Wisconsin chemists were given 34 soil samples to analyze. They reported that 32 of 34 samples contained DDT. What the chemists didn’t know was that the soil samples had been hermetically sealed in 1911, and no DDT existed in the United States until 1940 (24, 25). The author wrote later: “The apparent insecticides were actually misidentifications caused by the presence of co-extracted indigenous soil components.” Still later it was found that red algae also produces halogen compounds that are misidentified as DDT by gas chromatography. Also, halogen compounds containing bromine or iodine, rather than chlorine, may falsely register as DDT on the gas chromatograph (26). Various PCBs were commonly misidentified are chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides during the 1959s and 1960s, and were routinely reported as “DDT residues.”

 

Claims About Bird Declines

In Silent Spring, published on 1962, Rachel Carson stated that the American robin was on the verge of extinction (9). That same year, Roger Tory Peterson, America’s leading ornithologist, wrote that the robin was most likely the most numerous North American bird (18, 27). Carson’s notion that the most prolific bird was about to fall extinct was one of the most eye-catching assertions in Silent Spring and brought the book considerable publicity.

Peregrine falcons and eagles were also high on Carson’s list. In reporting on declines in population of these species she tended to heap the entire blame on pesticides and ignored all data that would refute her theory (16). Peregrine falcons were extremely rare in eastern United States long before there was any DDT present. By the time DDT was introduced there were literally no peregrine populations in eastern United States, but the anti-pesticide extremists later placed the blame on DDT anyway (18). Bald eagles in the lower 48 states were on the verge of extinction in the 1920s and 1930s, long before DDT was discovered. They were shot on sight for fun, bounty, or feathers, trapped accidentally, killed by impact with buildings and towers, or electrocuted by power lines. There is still high mortality because of the physical hazards, but much less to shooting and trapping (because if caught engaging in either activity you may now face a prison term). The most surprising thing is that the environmental industry and the news media continue to attribute the increase to just one thing – the 1972 ban on DDT (18). Continuing the saga of showing that DDT was not bad on eagles, a recent study at the University of Wisconsin at Madison Reported that lack of a suitable food supply in Lake Superior and, not DDT, was responsible for reproductive problems in eagles (28).

There was no mention at all in Silent Spring of the increases of birds observed by naturalists, including those participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts. Naturalists counting hawks migrating over Hawk Mountain, PA, also reported great increases in the number of raptors, following the widespread use of DDT. Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, of San Jose State University, has documented those bird increases and also cited numerous feeding experiments that revealed DDT in normal bird diets did not cause the deaths of any birds (18, 26). Dr. William Hazeltine, another concerned California scientist, regarded pesticides as one of the least important causes of avian dislocations. The chief culprits, he said, were hunters, trappers, falconers, campers, and general encroachment of humans into nesting and feeding areas (16).

 

Bird Egg Shell Thinning

On close inspection even the oft-repeated eggshell thinning threat to bird life holds little validity. DDT opponents alleged then and now that DDT caused eggshells to be thinned/softened for certain types of birds, causing failure to hatch and populations to decline. Thin egg shells are a phenomenon that predates use of DDT. It’s been known for decades and there are many causes: diets low in calcium or vitamin D, fright, high or low daily temperatures, various toxic substances, and bird diseases such as Newcastle disease (7). It has been demonstrated repeatedly in caged experiments that DDT and its breakdown products do not cause significant shell thinning, even at levels many hundreds of times greater than wild birds would ever accumulate (26). The most notorious cause of thin eggshells is the deficiency of calcium in the diet. Some early researchers deliberately fed their birds only calcium deficient food (0.5 percent rather than the necessary 2.5 percent calcium) and then attributed all shell problems to the DDT and DDE they had added to that calcium deficient diet. Edwards reported that after much criticism about the use of calcium deficient diets that were known to give the false impression regarding DDT shell thinning, the tests with DDT and DDE were repeated, but with adequate calcium in the birds’ diet. The results proved that with sufficient calcium in their food the quail produced eggs without thinned shells (26).

Another method to obtain data is to measure the thickness of eggshells in museum collections. Measurements of the shells of hundreds of museum eggs have revealed that red-tailed hawk eggs produced just before DDT was used had much thinner shells than did eggs produced 10 years earlier. Then, during the years of heavy DDT usage, those hawks produced shells that were 6 percent thicker. Golden eagle eggshells during the DDT years were 5 percent thicker than those produces before DDT was present in the environment (26). More recently, R.E Green found that thrush eggshells in Great Britain were thinning by the turn of the century, 47 years before DDT hit the market. He speculated that the thinning may have been an early consequence of industrialization and that acids formed when pollutants belched out of coal furnaces and smokestacks may have changed soil and water chemistry enough to reduce the availability of calcium, which is critical in the diet of birds that are producing eggshells (29).

PCBs were later shown to cause dramatic thinning of eggshells, as well as other adverse effects on birds, yet environmentalists continued to place the blame on DDT despite the fact that feeding birds high levels of that pesticide did not cause them to produce thin eggshells. There are many environmental contaminants that do cause shell thinning. Oil, lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, manganese, selenium and sulfur compounds have been shown to have adverse effects upon birds, including severe shell thinning (26).

 

Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification

“Bioaccumulation” refers to an increase in the concentration of a chemical in the environment (e.g., in water, sediment, soil.) “Biomagnification,” on other hand, refers to increses of chemicals as they are passed up food chains. As Ottoboni (5) points out, “The quantity of chemical that can be stored in any body can never exceed that which would be in equilibrium with the exposure. The chemical cannot remain in the storage depot without being replenished continually from the outside. Thus, the popular notion that foreign chemicals stored in a depot become immobilized and permanently fixed in the body, with additional exposure increasing the quantity stored ad infinitum, has no basis in fact. The claim that our bodies can become ‘walking time bombs’ is nonsense.” She sums it up best by pointing out that bioaccumulation in not inherently good or bad, but in the public mind it is considered, almost universally, to be the latter.

Biomagnificatiion proponents claim that pesticide levels are “magnified” at each step of food chain, for example, from algae to planktonic crustaceans to small fish to large fish to predatory birds or mammals. The consumption of low levels of pesticides within each prey animal is presumed responsible for increased amounts in higher predators (8). DDT is constantly broken down and excreted by the animals at each step of the food chain. If tiny crustaceans are analyzed, wet-weight, but the fish that ate them are analyzed dry-weight, the difference in the amounts of dilution by water creates an impression that the dry sample contains a greater amount of pollutants than the wet sample. DDT is attracted to fat tissues more than to muscle tissues, so comparisons between samples of these two types will indicate “magnification” into the fatty tissues, even if they are samples from the same animal. Likewise, brain tissues attract more DDT than fatty tissues. Anti-DDT activists were careful to measure crustaceans, wet-weight, and compare them with levels in dry-weight muscle samples in fish, dry-weight fatty tissue in ducks that ate the fish, and dry-weight fatty tissue in ducks that ate the fist, and dry-weight brain tissue in the hawks that ate the fish. If they measure ALL sample wet-weight, there is not “biomagnification.” (18, 26, 30).

 

Summary

There days a lot of effort is spent reminding people, particularly the younger folks, about the Holocaust and World War II because it’s now more than two generations since these occurred and people tend to forget. As Tenner (31) wisely says, “With each generation, part of the collective memory of the last terrible events is lost.” Well, it’s been over one generation since DDT was banned and clearly, most people today only speak ill of DDT. They have to clue about how valuable it was, nor the politics behind its banning. Speaking of holocausts, the banning of DDT was a holocaust. Malaria, which was being controlled by DDT, has proliferated since the abandonment of DDT. As Mooney (32) points out, this was an early example of western priorities being imposed on Third World people who may have made a different trade-off had the choice solely been theirs. Also, from Ottoboni (5), “The thought that substitution of nonresistant pesticides for persistent ones will solve all of the environmental problems attributed to the latter is am example of the myopic thinking that permeates so many decisions relating to environmental protection. People apparently haven’t realized that all nonresistant pesticides merely degrade to other chemicals! The only difference is that most of these new chemicals do not have the same pesticidal action as their parent chemicals.”

 

References:

  1. Richburg, K. B>, Out of American, BasicBooks, 1997.
  2. Access to Energy, Vol. 24, No. 12 (August 1997).
  3. Wirth, D.F., and Cattani, J., Technology Review, 100: 52, Aug/Sept 1997
  4. Gribble, G. W., “Environmental Issues,” Priorities, 10(2-3): 50, 1998.
  5. Ottoboni, M.A., The Dose Makes the Poison, Second Edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold (1997).
  6. Chase, A.S., Bugs in Environmentalism, S. J. Milloy, www.junkscience.com 1997.
  7. Ray, D. L., and Guzzo, L., Trashing the Planet, HarperPerennial, 1992.
  8. Flynn, L. T., “The Birth of Environmentalism, ” Issueds in the Environment, American Councial on Science and Health, New York, June 1992.
  9. Carson, R., Silent Sprint, Houghton-Mifflin, New York, 1962.
  10. Fox, M.R., “DDT Updated,” S.J. Milloy, www.junkscience.com, Washington D.C., August 28, 1998.
  11. Lieberman, A.J., Fact Versus Fear, American council on Science and Health, New York, Sept 1997.
  12. Roberts, D.R., Laughlin, L.L., Hsheih, P., and Legters, L.J., “DDT Global Strategies and a Malaria Control Crisis in South America,” Natiional Center for infectious Disease (July-Sept 1997).
  13. Roberts, D.R., U.S. Medicine, 34:36, March 1998.
  14. Wildavsky, A., But Is It True?, Harvard University Press, 1995.
  15. Mellanby, K., “With Safeguards, DDT Should Still Be Used,” Wall Street Journal, Sept 12,P. A26, 1989.
  16. Grayson, M.J., and Shepard, T.R. Jr., The Disaster Lobby, Follett Publishing Co., 1973.
  17. DDP newsletter, Vol. XIV, No. 3, May 1997.
  18. Edwards, J.G., Remembering Silent Spring and It’s Consequences, DDP Salt Lake City, Utah (August 3, 1996).
  19. Sturgeon, S.R., et al., “Geographic Variation in Mortality from Breast Cancer among White Women in the United States,” JNCI, 87, 1896, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dec 20, 1995.’
  20. Fumento, M., “Truth Disrupters,” Forbes, 162: 146, Nov 16, 1998.
  21. Ames, B.N., Magaw, R., and Gold, L.S., “Ranking Possible Carcinogenic Hazards,” Science, 236: 271, April 17, 1987.
  22. Safe, S.H., “Environmental and Dietary Estrogens and Human Health­­-Is There a Problem?” Environmental Health Perspectives, 103:346, 1995.
  23. Marco, G.J., Hollingworth, R.M., and Durham, W., eds., Silent Spring Revisted, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1987.
  24. McKetta, J.J., “Don’t Believe Everything You Read,” in Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, Lehr, J.H., ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1992.
  25. Frazier, B.E., Chesters, G., and Lee, G.B., Pesticides Monitoring Journal, 4(2): 67, 1970.
  26. Edwards, J.G., “DDT Effects on Bird Abundance and Reproduction,” in Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, Lehr, J.H., ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1992.
  27. Jukes, T.H., “The Tragedy of DDT,” in Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, Lehr, J.H., ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1992.
  28. Milloy, S., Environment News, Heartland Institute, Chicago, Illinois, 2:9 Oct. 1998.
  29. Milius, S., “Birds’ Eggs Started to Thin Long Before DDT,” Science News, 153:261, April 25, 1998.
  30. Edwards, J.G., “The Myth of Food-Chain Biomagnification,” in Ratiional Readings on Environmental Concerns, Lehr, J.H., ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1992.
  31. Tenner, E., Why Things Bite Back, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996.
  32. Mooney, L., “The WHO’s Misplaced Priorities,” Wall Street Journal Europe, August 25, 1997.

2007年03月7日 Posted by | 无法归类 | 留下评论

关于Inconvinent Truth

今天在牛博上看到这篇文章: 难以忽视的真相:An Inconvenient Truth, 看完了,觉得有些东西不吐不快,特别是对于我如此信任的牛博,我觉得有必要作一个提醒。

我在几个月前就看了这个电影,确实非常震撼,我对全球正在变暖这个观点也深信不疑。不过我跟小白并不信任戈尔这个人,因为在那时候,小白发现戈尔曾经给《寂静的春天》(”Silent Spring”)写过一个长序,并极力推广这本书。《寂静的春天》是一部充满了煽情语言的极端环保主义者的作品,它直接导致了人类对抗疟疾的最有效的药物DDT被禁用。而作者“Carson关于DDT可能致癌的断言到今天也找不到任何直接证据;而DDT是否导致她所提到的那些鸟类濒临灭绝也没有确切的科学证据。”《寂静的春天》中当然还充斥的其他没有科学根据的语言,不过DDT的被禁用,是这本书带给人类的最大灾难(若想知道更多关于《寂静的春天》和DDT,建议仔细阅读Silent Spring, DDT 以及世界卫生组织一篇文章并查找更多相关资料)。

所以我跟小白在看完电影之后,不得不查了一下相关资料,发现科学家们并不全部认同是由人类引起了全球变暖,而且戈尔在电影所表达的观点或者所引用的论据,科学家们也并没有一致认可。我认为这个电影确实应该推荐,不过不能用完全肯定的语气,至少我们应该告诉别人,不同的意见是存在的。比如“乞里马扎罗的雪不再壮观”,根据2004年《自然》杂志发表的一份研究显示,并不是因为全球变暖,而是当地森林采伐过度,导致当地空气湿度太低,降雪量下降(见AP INCORRECTLY CLAIMS SCIENTISTS PRAISE GORE’S MOVIE)。

若要知道更多关于这个电影里有误导人嫌疑的信息,可以先看一看下面这篇文章,An Inconvenient Truth-Gore as climate exaggerator。我尝试翻译了一个段落,是关于北极熊的。

“戈尔用一段动画,显示了一头令人同情的北极熊在海里游泳,希望能够找到最后一块在北冰洋上漂浮的冰块。在2002年,世界野生动物基金会发布了一份报告,警告全球变暖正在威胁北极熊(的生存)。北冰洋冰层的加速融化意味着在冰面上捕猎海豹的北极熊喂饱自己的机会将会更少。(我)在这周看到一个令人担忧的报告显示,饥饿的北极熊在猎食同类。不过,世界野生动物基金会的报告同时表明,大多数北极熊群的大小保持稳定,甚至有所增加(报告的第9页)。并且(我们应该)记住,北极熊在更暖和的6000年前,也好好的生活在北极。当然,若整个北冰洋将不再有冰的预言在100年后成真,那北极熊(的生存)就会有问题。”

我也认为全球变暖是一个事实,不过全球变暖主要原因是人类的活动还是我们正好处在两个冰川期之间,往变暖的方向发展,科学家们并没有定论。“The Earth is constantly in a state of flux either cooling or warming, but never static. Global Warming is better for mankind than Global Cooling. Mankind is not causing global warming due to carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. We are causing more sever damage to our environment and ourselves by other polluting efforts rather than our CO2 and water vapor emissions. These are scientific fact, and they are indisputable!”(来自“Global Warming and Al Gore’s Convenient Lie – Every breath you take is polluting?”的结论)

最后,这部电影煽情得有些夸张。若作为一部向观众介绍全球变暖证据的电影,并不需要如此煽情。用小白的话,作个结尾:因为煽情,所以至少是应该被怀疑的。

2007年03月3日 Posted by | 无法归类 | 一条评论