It seems everywhere I look these days Government Grants are being allocated to prove the causal effect of climate change on all sectors of society. Many would consider this a noble cause and fiercely defend the awarding of hard-earned taxpayer monies to the endeavour.
Far be it from me to sit here, typing away, criticizing the scientific world for studies that will lead to advancement in the knowledge and understanding of planetary climate change – AKA Global Warming amongst other titles. I don’t have to do that work; you see someone kindly did it for me in advance.
Gemma Jones reporting in the Daily Telegraph in March 2012 tells us:
Studies of sleeping snails and determining if Australian birds are getting smaller because of climate change have also been allocated funding in the latest round of grants totaling $300 million by the Australian Research Council.
A study of “an ignored credit instrument in Florentine economic, social and religious life from 1570 to 1790” secured $578,792 for a researcher from the University of Western Australia.
The council insists the study was approved because it had modern-day relevance to the global financial crisis as it shows how Florence in ancient times recovered from an economic downturn and because no one had studied that element of history before.
Another project titled “Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality” by a Queensland university secured $197,302. The council said it was an important psychology project.
The study to determine if birds are shrinking was awarded $314,000 and another of sleeping snails to determine “factors that aid life extension” was given $145,000. Studying the early history of the moon will cost taxpayers $210,000 and another study looking at “William Blake in the 21st century” comes with a $636,904 bill.
Gemma also expresses the opinion that: “Australian Research Council criteria has been extended beyond the scientific, the innovative and the practical to include some real airy-fairy stuff.
Thanks for that one Gemma it saved me from saying it.
Now I feel very sad that this blog seems to be specifically attacking the Australian Government (sarc) when surely this new venture of spending taxpayer’s money to do obscure research with particular criteria and pre determined end point firmly set, must have a universal flavour?
In The UK you can buy a book from the Government ranging in price (dependent upon where you come from on the ladder) from £395 to £1,250 which will (quote)
• Increase your success rates for climate research funding
• Learn about changing policy landscapes in this sector
• Gain insights into case studies of successful and failed applications
• Save time looking for funding opportunities using our extensive list
• Find out who influences policy and how to get in touch
Now for the truly peculiar and most outrageous study I have come across to date, the Ig Nobel Award would have to go to a group of Italian Scientist who are purported to have studied the diminishing size of the male penis.
According to the report, the study’s leaders claim to have bona fide research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago.
The post on the study doesn’t say how the research was conducted or give numbers. But it does provide several reasons for the supposed shrinkage, including weight gain, stress, smoking and alcohol.
The report also says air pollution has been shown to “negatively impact penis size.”
(that just made me think about Tasmania and all the wood fires that burn, to help keep the population from freezing during the cold and damp winter months! – just a passing thought of no particular relevance! Perhaps that is why Tasmania was known as the Nation’s Penal Colony!)
Our friends over at WUWT have been having a field day with this particular one. A sample of comments for your amusement:
There’s no end to proving and disproving global warming alarmism:
CBS News, in an alarming story headlined “Male Genitalia Shrinking”, is reporting that global warming may be responsible for a ten per cent reduction in male private parts over the last fifty years. According to this alleged Italian study: Air pollution has been shown to ‘negatively impact penis size’.
So no hockey stick there.
We may have to call these Italian scientists as expert witnesses.
A reader chimes in:
Here we go again with something about global warming which can be disproved immediately. Go outside when it is -20 degrees (either F or C) and expose the aforementioned item to the atmosphere and see if it shrinks more at that temp or at 100 degrees F. I rest my case.
This science stuff is easy!!! 😉
(Oh yes, do this in an isolated place or the authorities may haul you off to the hoosegow. They probably won’t buy the argument that you are conducting a scientific experiment on global warming.)
More reader comments:
“We may have to call these Italian scientists as expert witnesses.”
(But the evidence may not stand up in court:)
I thought shrinkage was due to cold, proving that the hockey stick graph really is hiding the decline.
Whew!!! Sure glad that’s been explained.
Talk to any old man. Nothing’s the same as it was 50 years ago.
Thank you WUWT – well it was an open thread.
OK enough frivolity for one day, suffice to say it is time we questioned exactly where, and to whom, our hard-earned tax dollars are being allocated and subsequently frittered. The length of male genitalia in Italy is of no particular consequence to me.
Enjoy your weekend.