LHC Safety and the Law

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by rpenner, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Dat punk-ass ATLAS gonna sprocket the whole damn space-time continuum. The CMS is where it's at. Fo' shizzle!
     
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  3. udarnik Registered Senior Member

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    The only "mainstream" physicists to have been associated with this mess are Ranier Plaga, whom the OnScreenScientist eviscerated here:

    onscreen-scientist.com/?p=34

    and one H. Kimball Hansen, emeritus at BYU.

    It should be noted that neither Hansen nor Plaga were particle physicists, and that by the time Hansen got involved he had been retired for 7 years after a 30m year career at BYU, and that Plaga is apparently no longer with Max Planck, but is a low-level bureaucrat at the Department for New Technologies and Scientific Foundations of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

    nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7191/full/453048a.html#a1

    This is the affidavit from H. Kimball Hansen for the Brookhaven case, posted on LHCdefense.org, which is actually rather lukewarm in its support:

    The following is a sworn affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, Walter L. Wagner v. Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC,Case No. 00CV1672 [2000]:


    I, H. Kimball Hansen, Ph.D., declare under penalty of perjury as follows:

    I am a Professor, emeritus, of astronomy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. I was a member of the faculty there between 1963 and 1993, and from 1968 through 1991 I was also Associate-Editor of The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

    I have read the First Amended Complaint, the Affidavits of Drs. Richard J. Wagner and Walter L. Wagner, the Safety Review[1] referenced therein, and the science article on strangelets by Joshua Holden, and am familiar with the issues therein with respect to operation of the RHIC.

    I concur that the so-called 'supernova argument', used in the Safety Review to ostensibly show the safety of the RHIC, is wholly faulty. It presupposes the stability of small strangelets, with life-times on the order of centuries or longer, long enough to travel great distances through space. The authors had previously asserted, that to be dangerous, strangelets only needed to have lifetimes on the order of a billionth of a second, just long enough to travel a few centimeters and reach normal matter outside the vacuum of the RHIC.

    There are a number of theoretical arguments that show that strangelets might be dangerous, and there are faults in the arguments presented, to date, to show the safety of the RHIC. I am of the opinion that it would be wise to avoid head-on collisions in the RHIC until a more thorough safety review, preferably before the physics community as a whole, has been obtained. However, the fixed-target mode of operation for the RHIC would be acceptable.

    DATED: May 17, 2000

    [signed]
    H. Kimball Hansen, Ph.D.

    [1] Review of Speculative "Disaster Scenarios" at RHIC


    This is pretty much the extent of the physicists who have supported LHC alarmism. I figure it's good to get this out in the open on every forum that laymen are likely to run to for information before the instrument gets back up and running, because there is going to be another flurry of publicity.
     
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  5. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Replace with:

    Bugaboo: "Supernovae", Collapse of the vacuum, and other super-obvious things not associated with p-p collisions at \(\sqrt{s} \leq 7 \, \mathrm{TeV}\)
    Competent, Published Paper addressing it: M.S. Turner and F. Wilczek "Is Our Vacuum Metastable?" Nature 298, 635-636. (1982) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v298/n5875/abs/298633a0.html
    Competent, Published Paper rebutting it: P. Hut, and M. J. Rees "How Stable Is Our Vacuum?" Nature 302, 508-509. (1983) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v302/n5908/abs/302508a0.html
    Competent, Published Paper rebutting it: J. Ellis, G. Giudice, M.L. Mangano, I. Tkachev and U. Wiedemann "Review of the Safety of LHC Collisions" Journal of Physics G 35, 115004 (2008) http://arxiv.org/abs/0806.3414
    Competent response:


    Less than one month to go for Docket No.: 08-17389 at the 9th circuit appellate court (PACER service sign up required). At that time we will see Wagner's last chance to make the argument that the LHC, situated on the French-Swiss border and controlled by an internation organization of 20 European government is, in fact, a major US Federal Government project, significantly funded and/or controlled by the US and subject to US the NEPA law.

    I am not a lawyer, and definately not a bookmaker, but if I were here's how I'd place the odds:

    p = 5% Walter wins as technicality (19-to-1 against) only to go to a more expensive defeat in Hawai'i on the very issues the district court decided to not rule on.
    p = 14% Walter loses after oral argument (6-to-1 against)
    p = 66% Walter loses before chance of oral argument. (1-to-2 against)
    p = 14% Walter loses before US Government replies (6-to-1 against)
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    What exactly is the point of taking legal action in the U.S. over an accelerator in Europe?
     
  8. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    In spite of what most European scientists are willing to admit, the US is a major underwriter of the LHC. In fact, I don't know that the LHC could operate without US involvement. Specifically, the US government funds the Dept. of Energy and the Nat'l. Science Foundation, which fund experimental high energy research at major Universities. I also think that DOE and NSF give money directly to CERN, but I'm not sure about this.

    Either way, if the judicial system ordered a freeze on the government funding the LHC, it more or less couldn't operate---especially in these times, it would not be possible to find someone to contribute as much money as the US does to CERN to cover the operating costs.
     
  9. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Wagner's contention (which has survived to this point) is that somehow the LHC is a "major Federal action" and requires NEPA review for potentially environmentally hazardous results of its operation.

    The judge agreed with the US government in that case law clearly supports a finding of no "major Federal action" when 10% or less of the funding and no control of operation is in Federal hands -- which are the uncontested facts of the case. (This appears to be the one and only point in a narrow case to be reviewed by the appellate court.)

    The judge has not yet ruled if Wagner failed to file his case in a timely fashion (and other more technical issues), which means even a win in the appellate court could just mean being slapped back down in the Hawaiian court or being transferred to a court in Washington D.C.

    Even if all the "let's sue in US court armed with the NEPA law" action was found sound, Wagner's case fails because he's not armed with physics. He's not claiming they haven't checked for known physics problems, but all the unknown physics problems. The NEPA has language in it so that these speculations unsupported by evidence and logic are not demonstrations of problems with safety review -- you can't hold up a highway construction project because Russell's Teapot prefers rail system infrastructure and is willing to rain down fire and damnation until it gets its way.

    But the point of filing suit in the US is that US lawsuits are usually cheap entertainment for plaintiffs. Both Wagner and Sancho filed this suit pro se, representing just themselves as individuals -- Wagner (B.S. Biology, J.D.) cannot even act as Sancho's lawyer. It's not about physics. It's not about justice. It's not about social niceties. Perhaps it is only about self-promotion from someone holds a thirty-year grudge against physics because his work misinterpreting scratches on a plastic plate as a lab technician did not outshine Newton.

    // Edit -- Yes, 10% is a lot of funding, but the US doesn't get a vote on LHC operations. But unless the US has some sort of time machine, when you are arguing from ignorances as Wagner is, you should sue when then monies are allocated, not after they were already spent.
     
  10. Farsight Valued Senior Member

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    Can I encapsulate the argument for you? The fact remains that CERN say it's perfectly safe but they're hoping for the unexpected. How anybody can square this away I don't know. Especially in this day and age when a playground slide is too dangerous for kiddies. To be honest, I think it's safe too. But I don't know it's safe. So I wouldn't bet the farm.

    You know, when I first heard about Turok's "bouncing universe" I thought yeah sure. Now I think I know how it works.
     
  11. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Farsight, I think the people who built the LHC cannot be said to be hoping for the unexpected -- clearly they expect lots of things to happen and have built the detectors to measure those things. They expect to measure things better than they have been measured before and hope to measure things which have never been directly measured before. As far from actual unexpected things, like LHC transforming into a truly giant robot, I am certain CERN is not hoping for that.

    If we understand physics, then the LHC is safe. This can be demonstrated theoretically based on specific alleged models of danger as well as empirically for broad classes which generalize the results of theories permitted by our current observation of the universe. That's not a foregone conclusion, but it is a very basic one which proceeds from both specific detailed calculations and heuristics which have been a staple of particle physics research since at least the 1960's. New forms of matter quickly decay to the lowest mass object which preserves their electric, color, flavor or baryon number charge -- and this conservation of charge is not dangerous. Since at least 1983, examination of cosmic rays has resulted in formal limits on collider disaster scenarios. Strange matter, if it exists at zero temperature and zero pressure, is not a high-temperature phenomenon, and the LHC is a high-temperature machine. It's for basic reasons like these that the average expert in these fields doesn't find it even interesting to try and create detailed formal analyses of bad ideas like the current crop of aphysical mumbo-jumbo.

    On the other hand, if we don't understand physics, then no claim of safety, LHC-related or not, is well-founded, and the issue of "proving" safety is irrelevant.

    But the dishonest tactics of the anti-LHC crusaders are shameful and entirely about the merchandising of fear and not about hard work and physics. They equate their own personal ignorance and lack of ability with that of experts. They prey on the under-informed like Chaya. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7609631.stm

    If you'll notice, the anti-LHC forces have no experts backing their claims. Where are the papers which challenge our understanding? Where is the academic level debate? Even Wagner, the lawsuit enthusiast has stated in this thread that he doesn't wish to talk physics. If this is a metaphysical debate, then it doesn't belong in court for the same reason that the claim that God will strike us down if we don't switch on the LHC doesn't belong in court.

    Finally, I don't see how Turok and LHC safety argument connect.
     
  12. Farsight Valued Senior Member

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    They are hoping for the unexpected, Robert. Take your pick of this:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?sour...=1T4ADBF_en-GBGB240GB240&q="lhc" "unexpected"

    And the very purpose of the LHC is to deliver the understanding that we currently lack. That's why we can't "prove" safety, and why the reassurances from CERN are meaningless. Again, there's lots of material out there:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4ADBF_en-GBGB240GB240&q="lhc" "risk assessment"&meta=

    No, we don't understand physics I'm afraid. That's why we do experiments. However I believe I understand more than most, things like energy, mass, charge, particles, the forces. People have difficulty in believing this, so much so that they refuse to examine what I say. There's a huge issue of conviction here. It's a common problem, most often seen in religion, but not limited to religion. It's a "people problem". There are no papers that challenge our understanding and no academic-level debate because of the conviction issue best paraphrased by "The Trouble with Physics", and an issue best called "The End of the World is Nigh". Stick your neck out and you'll have trouble getting past peer review. Do it with the LHC and you'll get called names. With the LHC, nobody wants to stick their neck out. Especially since if you cry danger and if you're right, nobody will ever know. It's a no-win situation, so people keep their heads down.

    The Turok and LHC connection is that IMHO Hawking radiation is back to front. Whilst I think strange matter is hogwash, I'm still unhappy about you-know-what:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4ADBF_en-GBGB240GB240&q="cern" "micro black hole"&meta=

    Virtual particles are a useful concept in QED calculations, but no particle, no matter how transient, conveys negative energy. Combine two out-of-phase photons and you're left with no photons. Both photons were positive energy, conservation of energy means the photon energy has gone into the "vacuum energy" of space. Play this backwards and you can separate this energy into two photons, and the micro black hole swallows them both. OK, sometimes one gets away, so a black hole gives off Hawking radiation. But it grows.

    I don't think anything spectacular will happen. But like I say, and in all seriousness, I feel uncomfortable about betting the farm.
     
  13. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Polemics don't disguise the fact that "danger" is just an argument from ignorance.

    When this "Robert" character joins the discussion, I am confident he will support me.
     
  14. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    That's 2009/02/04 to the rest of you. So I log on to read the filed brief and find ... nothing. How very disappointing.

    //Edit -- Just checked in Hawaii and the opening brief was not filed there, either. Does Wagner have an explanation?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  15. Farsight Valued Senior Member

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    I don't argue from ignorance. My argument is very logical. And you obviously have no answer to it.

    Sorry about the Robert. My mistake.
     
  16. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    It is, of course, possible that the LHC will produce hordes of fire breathing dragons (the total energy in the beam is equivalent to a fully loaded aircraft carrier moving at something like 20 knots) which could fly out and take over the world. There are, however, no reasons for us to expect this outcome.

    If you'd read the objections and arguments over the past few pages, you'd see that the collisions in the LHC are happening all the time in our solar system and in our galaxy, some at far greater energies than we could ever hope to engineer. There are no black holes consuming our sun, or Jupiter, or even the earth, so we have very good reason to assume that such events won't happen in the LHC.
     
  17. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    News update -- http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/02/05/1781943.aspx
    Cosmic Log says James Tankersley forwarded the reported appellate brief, but this still has not been filed on the relevant Appeals Docket #: 08-17389. The Deadline was Wednesday. The delay might be mail, one of formatting, or one of slowness of paperwork shuffling. I am cursed by my heady Internet age expectations.

    Neither LHC Defense (Wagner's site?) nor LHC Facts (Tankersley's site?) has a copy of the brief.

    We only have this summary from Alan Boyle:
    But we don't know if it is from both Sancho and Wagner, if it cites any case law, or how the "consultative role" of the U.S. is (mis-)represented.

    Judge Gillmor applied a two-prong test and skewered the issue of jurisdiction. Wagner, as last reported on this thread, was considering a strategy of demanding a bright line rule. Now, perhaps because of correspondence here, it seems that his strategy has changed. But the more than 10% and control tests seem sane, lawful and reasonable to me. Wagner hasn't always managed all three in my eyes. How I long to see that brief.
     
  18. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    I phoned the SF circuit court clerks office, where I talked to a nice clerk who tells me for a pro-se, paper, mailed opening brief that it might be filed on PACER by the 13th.
    --- But....
    I checked back after lunch and it's here!

    Section III (A) -- Wagner has sued the DOE, NSF, Fermilab, and CERN (under the wrong name) and up to 100 unnamed John Does. In this pleading he talks about the funding of LHC by the US Government through "DOE, etc." This leaves it to the court's imagination which of the defendants are "etc." A cynical court might speculate that Wagner is of the opinion that CERN is part of the US Government.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Wagner admits that Government funding of LHC has been going on for 11+ years. This undisputed fact could cost him the war even if he wins this battle.
    Unlike Wagner, I believe the Large Hadron Collider is not made more accessible to non-particle-physicists by calling it an "atom smasher" since the nuclei are completely flayed of their electrons by the time they are introduced to the ring.
    Verbatim: "Recent considerations of theoretical physics have arisen which show that the use of the machine [which is anticipated to be completed for use in late 2009] could result in the creation of novel forms of matter [e.g. "strangelets'' "micro-black-holes'' etc.) that could prove environmentally destructive by slowly converting Earth into either a large lump of strange matter, or into a small black hole." This is, unsupportable. Specifically, the second "could" should, on the face of the literature, read "could not."
    Wagner asserts that NEPA should have forced some administrative board to consider Wagner's arguments in some form. I am not qualified to parse the NEPA law to see what exactly the government process is, if Wagner was correct and the literature said that the hypothetical products of the LHC could, in fact, prove environmentally dangerous, but as this is not the case, my reading says that NEPA doesn't force the government to audit imaginary threats, especially those at odds with fundamental physics and observation.

    Section III (B): Wagner says that the court made an error in declaring that funding of 7.7% of the LHC and no control makes it not a "major Federal action" that would be subject to the NEPA law. (Thanks to Alan Boyle of Cosmic Log, I knew that already, but it's good to see it's in the right place.)

    Section III (C): Wagner's paperwork was filed in a timely basis. Finally, an assertion I have no reason to question.

    Section III (D): Technical language for "they booted me out of court."

    Section IV :

    There it is, in bold print. Wagner thinks he should not have lost on that point just because case law, including cases he brought into the record, supported making that decision. He thinks the large dollar amount (less than 2 orders of magnitude greater) makes the dollar amount qualitatively different than the case law examples. I disagree, unless he has relevant case law to support a threshold amount, Wagner is once again arguing from the special basis that an invisible threshold exists which only he is aware of. He repeats the length of time that the Federal government has been funding the effort, which if I were deciding this on the basis of common sense would either skip ahead to the statue of limitations or divide the dollar amount by the funding period. He claims that the Federal government, which initially was a LHC competitor with Tevatron and the started Superconducting Supercollider (SSC), was deeply involved in the planning of LHC. But the existing two-prong test speaks of "control" not "involvement" which here I read as "negotiated." The US government is CERN's partner, not its toady, so of course there is negotiation. Somehow, Wagner claims the US government initiated the LHC project. Once again, I think this perception is uniquely his. He equates the US's "observer" role as a "lobbying" role and that as a "controlling" role. Ridiculous! He then brings into the discussion of whether NEPA should declare something a "major Federal action" is the magnitude of the asserted environmental disaster. Well in that case, since Wagner asserts (aphysically) that the LHC could cause merely the destruction of the Earth, I will borrow a page from Prof. Dixon and assert the act of ruling in Wagner's favor could cause the destruction of everything in the future light-cone, and since my "concerns" trump Wagner's, NEPA requires that Wagner be imprisoned and denied due process, and the mere lucky happenstance that this hasn't happen yet for the paltry few number of times that a court has ruled in Wagner's favor ought not to prejudice the court against my argument.

    Finally, Wagner says that the percentage funding is not 7.7% as the District court calculated, but 100%. Yes, 100% of the US dollars that contributed to LHC funding was funded by the US government which used real money, dollars, not that sissified, made-up stuff like pounds and euros. (Right now, James Tankersley should be doing something newsworthy and dramatic, like throwing himself into industrial machinery, to protest the stupidity of his own side.)

    Section V (A): Myopically, he tries to make the LHC look like an American program. He claims "no State or Local funding" but ignores the 20 member states of CERN because he didn't want to do the research of where the monies come from. He denies monies that aren't Dollars are even monies.

    He claims the risk isn't from building the LHC, but from operating it, but his complaint and the dollar amount indicate that construction is the issue. Wagner is a man who doesn't know his own mind. He claims that the risk issue is significant despite the court's ruling which doesn't indicate that the district court agreed.

    He claims that the risk wasn't known when funding was allocated and any NEPA document would have been due. This is true. The risk is still not known -- it's an argument from ignorance not from physical theory. He claims that the conditions in the LHC are unlike those anywhere in the universe, which is pedantically true, but misses the big picture of the cosmic ray safety arguments which date back to 1983. Collisions at least as energetic as those which happen in the LHC happen every day in our own backyard (Earth's upper atmosphere). Since Walter Wagner's only exposure to physics professionals are with a 1970's cosmic ray team, this is hard-to-explain blindness. The request to read all seven of the affidavits of the original court will not endear Wagner to the appellate court -- but if they do read these, they will see that not even Wagner's "experts" agree on how the LHC poses a danger, which weakens the thought that it might pose a danger. Since none of the "experts" are in fact "experts," then Wagner could face sanctions of having their testimony excluded.

    Wagner says "some" of the issues were addressed by the 2008 "LSAG Safety Report" -- but that didn't change the design of the LHC one whit -- it just showed that (at least) "some" of the (bizarre) inventions of Wagner's affiants are made-up and aphysical. Wagner makes up new physics and claims that the "nowhere in the universe" actually exists in the universe. He invents new motives for the LHC designers in that they want to create "strange matter," according to Wagner. But actually, the LHC operates at too high an energy for droplets of cold strange matter to form. It looks like Wagner has confused "strange matter" with "quark-gluon plasma."

    Wagner talks about ideas "proven to be wrong" in probably an aphysical sense. In a violation of good lawyerly practice he cites the whole of his own affidavit instead to referring to the paragraph numbers. He gives original "expert" testimony in the appellate brief. Wagner shouldn't be suing the LHC -- he should be suing his law school for not flunking him out.

    He plays games with the definition of words in the Amici brief by Nobel Laureates.

    He states in bold text that the only acceptable prerequisite is that someone needs to prove as impossible that any imagined disaster will happen. That's not the job of mathematicians or physicists or EPA reviews to work with the imagination of the uneducated.

    Section V (B): What is Luis Sancho a doctor of? What is Richard Wagner a doctor of? What is Walter Wagner a doctor of? (Oh, that I know -- he's got a J.D. from a lesser school of law.) What is Paul Dixon a doctor of? (Psychology.) All this puffery of titles is a smoke screen to hide that his "experts" are not relevant.

    * Ironically, I remember reading about cases where it was argued that a Ph.D. from some of the best schools in the world was not, perhaps, up to the standards of, say Mississippi Tech., but Wagner alludes to this when he claims that foreign currency can't be in the same class as "dollars."

    In this section, Wagner also takes pot-shots at the Government side for not following "local rules." He was admonished by the judge for smirking in court and for also not following the rules on September 2. (But that transcript is not part of this appeal.)

    Section V (C): Wagner omits the judges findings that the US Government funded no more than 7.7% of CERN, compared to case law that spoke of 10% or less, and omits that Judge Helen Gillmor found also that the US government had no control over the operation of the LHC. Wagner is focused on the length of time and the "dollar" amount.

    Section VI -- What are the facts as Wagner sees them?
    1. Wagner characterized the 1997 International Cooperation Agreement as an agreement to build LHC, when I think it reads more a "pay-to-play" swap of resources for access. Nowhere is the sense that if the US doesn't sign, then the LHC won't be built.
    2. It's very unclear where he gets his numbers from. Does "Document 20" say what he says it says? If he's referring to docket 20 from Hawaii, that has 17 attachments and is 258 pages long. Boy, Wagner is unreasonable. Ah, it's attachment 9. One possible read is that not-yet-allocated $72.450 million is largely for supporting the detectors, not the operation of LHC itself, and for doing the research for upgrades, also not operations. But Wagner calls it operations.
    3. While the US contractors are responsible for the design of components, that's a long distance from design, purposing and control of the LHC. Wagner sees them as identical.
    4. Rather than proving that the US initiated the LHC in 1997, as Wagner insists, Attachment 4 of Document 20 shows that CERN itself approved LHC in 1994.
    5. Wagner reads "non-voting seat" and calls this "lobbying" and therefore "control."
    6. Wagner argues rather than state facts, because no one can assign a non-zero probability to an event outside of physics. Where Wagner's hypotheses of danger are physical, they have been proven not to exist, and where they are aphysical they are irrelevant fancies.
    7. Wagner asserts, without reference, that CERN members contribute in equal amounts to LHC and asserts that the maximum of 7.7% is really 10% when including undocumented European labor costs, it might be as little as 4%. This is at best lying through rounding and on the whole is a distortion.

    Section VII: Wagner argues briefly. (At least here it will be appropriate).
    Wagner complains, as he did in this thread, that different cases in case law had different situations, not all equivalent to each other.
    Wagner mistakes Judge Gillmor's use of a two-prong test as a one-prong test based on percentage total funding.
    Wagner attempts to portray Judge Gillmore's reliance on case law to establish judicial error.
    Wagner remembers Judge Gillmor did use also the second prong, but was silly to interpret "non-voting" as not "controlling."

    Section VIII: Wagner argues long-windedly. (Shoot me, shoot me now.)
    1. Wagner says $531 million is a lot of money. He reuses his unsupported "double" assertation. He reuses his "Dollarz iz teh onleez moneez" argument. And he says that $531 million is quantitatively different than the amounts of funds in the case law cases. (A cynical judge might ask if this means that the Bush and Obama stimulus packages are then major Federal actions that might foreseeably lead to the burning of more fossil fuels and speeding up climate change and other environmental effects making these actions also subject to NEPA.)
    He cites two phrases where clearly the question is one of the federal relative percentage of project funding and claims the Judge erred in reading them the natural way.
    Wagner claims that the judge should have ignored case law (this assertion lacks a basis) and ruled based on the dollar amount (this assertion lacks a basis), ruled on the duration of a project (this assertion lacks a basis, since there is such a thing as a statue of limitations seems contrary to law), rule on his claim (contradicted by documents he cites) that the US initiated the LHC project, yadda, yadda, yadda. [Wasn't Wagner suppose to support this in his September 2nd court appearance?] Wagner repeats himself several times.
    2. Wagner conflates design of subsystems for design of the system and operation of detectors for operation of collisions. You would think someone who made a decade-long crusade against colliders would learn about them.
    3. Wagner gives a sketch of an argument on how partial funding + observer status = control. But since title to those expensive magnets and detectors has been given to CERN, it's obvious that the US is paying to play, and that it is CERN who holds all the cards. Also, Wagner cites "permanent" over and over, but that word is not used to describe the US's role as a non-voting observer. It is pay-to-play.
    4. Wagner manages to say not much, as far as I can tell.
    5. Wagner argues from ignorance -- and manages to distort what he can

    Section IX:
    Despite no case law indicating that the LHC funding level or duration is qualitatively different than previous cases, Wagner asserts it just is. Despite no case law indicating that pay-to-play observer status is "control," Wagner asserts it just is. Wagner asserts 10% is the same as 7.7% is the same as probably 4% which is more than 5% a number he made up. (It seems likely to me that CERN funding is proportional to GNP for member states.) Despite the lack of case law to support the contention that U.S. Dollars are the only form of funding that matters, Wagner asserts it just is. Wagner flip-flops if he is suing because the US authorized construction or because the US wants to continue to be involved -- but it doesn't matter since what matters is what funding was approved by congress before the case originally went to trial.

    Section X -- Claim that there are no related cases before the courts. Stab in the back to the European litigation team at ECHR.
    Signature: There's a space for signature for Luis Sancho but either he signed it in non-photocopy-blue or this is just Wagner's appeal. [In the September 2 transcript, Wagner was warned to not act as Sancho's lawyer, advice which is appears he intended to disregard by including this signature line.]

    Wagner lists one address for both himself and Luis Sancho. ¿Porqué?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  19. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    4,833
    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2009/02/global-warming-denial.html

    Where have we seen these before?
    • Conflation of words that can have either the same or different meanings on the basis of context.
    • Conflation of argument from authority with reliance on communities of hard-working experts.
    • Alleging Conspiracy
    • Selectivity (cherry-picking)
    • Fake experts
    • Impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts)
    • General fallacies of logic, and
    • continuing to repeat arguments long after they have been debunked.
     
  20. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Anyone who is interested in reading the complete appellate brief that was filed, to see how it compares with the "analysis" by rpenner, may PM me and provide me with an email address, I will email it to them as an attachment. It's only 25 pages of a Word document.
     
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    33,264
    So when does the LHC start operations again if the law suits don't stop it? I thought it was to be operational in March of this year?:shrug:
     
  22. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,967
    The latest word is September, I think.
     
  23. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,833
    Indeed, it is so brief it doesn't refer to attachment number, page number or paragraph of 250+ page documents in the case record. But if the intent was to have the appellate judges read and re-read the government-submitted affidavits and attachments, well done.

    The assumption that Wagner is off-base when he guessed that the CERN member states contributed equally to construction costs of the LHC is strongly supported by the 1954 "Convention for the establishment of a European Organization for Nuclear Research" which also corrects long-standing misconceptions of what the acronym "CERN" stands for. http://documents.cern.ch//archive/electronic/other/legal/articles/LSL00000014.pdf
     

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