Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for January 19th, 2022

White sky for a change

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As a change from the many pictures with dark backgrounds I’ve shown for the past two years, here’s a view showing two graceful goldenrod seed heads (Solidago sp.) against a white sky. This simple portrait comes from the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 on January 11th.

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Back on December 12th I reported on how the people in charge of the Centers for Disease control were continuing to put forward a false conclusion about the effectiveness of masks on students in public schools. The conclusion was false because it was based on a multiply flawed study of Arizona schoolchildren. Flaws included comparing schools that were open for different lengths of time; including several dozen non-existent schools (they were actually programs within schools); and failing to take into account background rates of infection in the different communities. You can read about the study’s defects in a December article by David Zweig in The Atlantic.

I bring this up again now because Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, still keeps touting the unwarranted conclusion of that scientifically improper study even after people have pointed out to her the things that make the study invalid. She did so as recently as January 11th in front of the United States Senate. You can watch a new Megyn Kelly interview about this with David Zweig; it takes up the first 22 minutes of her January 13th show.

I, and presumably you, have no vested interest in which way the science comes out. If students wearing masks really fare better than students without them—assuming all other factors are equal—then so be it. And if they don’t, so be it. And if it turns out that masks protect students in some circumstances but not others, so be it. What matters is the truth. But when an administration keeps insisting on the false conclusion of a study long after its multiple defects have been pointed out, we the people lose faith in our government. A Latin motto that has become an adage in our legal system is “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” or “False in one thing, false in all.” If government officials knowingly tell us something false about masks on schoolchildren, then we have to assume officials will lie to us about other things, too.

Along similar lines, you may also want to read an article by J. Scott Turner published yesterday entitled “The White House Is Undermining Science, Not Defending It.”

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2022 at 4:36 AM

Posted in nature photography

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