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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomFlying against the evidence, esp scientific evidence, is a long-standing and valuable tradition.

    I agree that it's long-standing. Usually (but not quite always) it is the opposite of valuable.

    What particularly concerns me is that the amount of ridiculous nonsense that gets spouted on subjects like this could make it harder for any real evidence to emerge if there actually is a problem. E.g., scientists would feel discouraged from publishing results which are merely indicative of some effect but which are not ironclad where, in a more balanced atmosphere, they'd just publish with appropriate caveats and nobody would bat an eyelid.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012 edited
     
    I can walk and chew gum at the same time, unlike you (DamonHD), apparently. You strive vainly to attain the comfort of complete consistency, but I thrive on chaos, which is how the world is - really, deeply, despite Scientists' attempts to corral it. My day job is rooted in research, facts, assessing risks, putting my clients' money on my judgements - that doesn't mean I can't speculate also. I don't "spend so much of (my) time ignoring reason" that I "fall down a manhole". I can keep my intuitive antennae tuned to the future and watch out simultaneously, in fact I don't rule out the possibility of unsuspected manholes as you do.

    I can gratefully rely on Scientists and technicians to do what they believe in. I don't have to be a signed-up rationalist and they don't have to be like me, who they find so disconcerting. I know I need Scientists and technicians, but they can't bear to need me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012 edited
     
    Ed, I don't get what you mean - sounds like Scientists are so fragile that Science will burst into tears if it's not allowed to continue its ways unchallenged. I think they/it are more robust and resourceful than that. As Science reluctantly discovers how full of ambiguity and indeterminacy the cosmos is, it's a pity Scientists can't learn to swim happily in that.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomEd, I don't get what you mean - sounds like Scientists are so fragile that Science will burst into tears if it's not allowed to continue its ways unchallenged.

    No, that's not what I mean. What I mean is that it's difficult to figure out what's really going on when the conversation is polluted and polarized by people who twist everything to their own prejudices irrespective of the actual evidence.

    I think they/it are more robust and resourceful than that.

    Good.

    As Science reluctantly discovers how full of ambiguity and indeterminacy the cosmos is, it's a pity Scientists can't learn to swim happily in that.

    Just because the universe is indeterminate at the quantum level and often very sensitive to initial conditions at a broader level doesn't mean it's reasonable to just make stuff up and expect to be taken seriously.
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      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     
    I take back those last to posts, to Ed and Damon, who I respect greatly for what they know and share with us.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     
    Joiner - the point about the graph is that the biggest killer (wasps) has tiny peaks. Or more generally peak size does not correlate with deaths well at all.

    Take a look at the other visualisations - there is some good stuff in there. Plane crashes, financial bailouts, climate change, radiation levels.
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