Monday, February 08, 2021

Bad Science or Bad Journalism? Both?

Two recent articles raised my hackles. First this one on the closing of the only coal carbon capture plant in the US. The only person quoted in the article is a professor of environmental engineering at Rice University. Why not a representative from NRG Energy who actually owns the plant? Not even saying NRG declined comment for this article was a red flag to me. Carbon Captured has been around for decades but the reporter here seems to connect it only to the Trump Administration mentioning Trump twice in the article.

The article says NRG took the plant offline after a "crash in oil prices." It's a coal plant not an oil refinery but whatever. With Biden in office oil prices have skyrocketed. According to the reporter's logic - wouldn't this be a great incentive for NRG to reopen the plant? I have more questions after reading the stupid article then if I never saw it.

The second article was: Long-term study reveals harm in regular cannabis use. A click-bate headline if ever there was one. "Regular cannabis use has harmful effects regardless of the age a person starts using, a University of Queensland-led study has found." It was this bit that really bugged me, "Compared to non-users, regular cannabis users were more likely to engage in high-risk alcohol consumption, smoke tobacco, use other illicit drugs and not be in a relationship at age 35." 

The article doesn't bother to define "high-risk alcohol consumption." And no mention is made about which habit started first. My guess is most people in the study probably started drinking or smoking cigarettes first then got into pot. I'm not trying to defend or promote regular cannabis usage but the slipshod nature of the article bugged me. It would have been more correct to simply say "study shows people with multiple bad habits are less likely to be in a relationship at age 35."  To which the average person would say, "Well Duh!"

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