Hawaiins Sueing Doomsday Machine

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http://fliptomato.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/litigious-lhc/
In the case Sancho & Wagner v. DOE, CERN, NSF, W. Wagner and L. Sancho are litigating (the American way) to postpone the LHC. Their reason? There should be further investigation of the possible production of environmental threats such as: Earth-eating black holes, Earth-eating strangelets, Earth-enslaving armies of apes from parallel dimensions, or even the dreaded ManBearPig. [...] This isn’t the first time the LHC has been cast as a `doomsday machine.’ The Cocktail Party Physicist wrote a nice piece on it a while ago, and you can find references all over the blogosphere [1]. The whole `LHC can destroy the world’ scenario had been something of a running joke among physicists, until the press pounced on it and a few people took it too seriously.
Sanchez & Wagner v. DOE
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/27/823924.aspx [Broken]

Hmmmmm....
 
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  • #2
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But I love that album!

Oh, the LHC?

God damn Hawaiians, they have sun, fruit, the ocean, hot women, and they STILL complain?
 
  • #3
One of the plaintiffs claimed to have discovered the magnetic mono-pole, sorry but that's where I would stop listening to him.
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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I prefer the http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/science/29collider.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin". So... assuming this is crackpottery (which it sure sounds like), why the patooties is it ending up all over the media?
Because the media can't tell the difference between crackpottery and legitimate news either. Besides, it makes for an eye-grabbing headlines that sells.

This is just one example where "crackpots" are no longer just confined to being internet nuisance.

Zz.
 
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  • #6
I don't understand what the big deal is! I think it would be a crime to spend all this money on a collider and then to not turn it on to see all the super-cool results.
Look at it another way -- even if they DO end up creating a black hole on Earth, such an event could only galvanize public support for funding a massive star-trek style human project to colonize the solar system!!! And who here can be against THAT? :)

In all seriousness (not that this lawsuit actually deserves it), let's hope that just like the other much-hyped lets-settle-science-in-the-courts type case (the Dover evolution trial), the judge will be convinced by a little thing called highly unambigious science.
 
  • #7
I prefer the http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/science/29collider.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin". So... assuming this is crackpottery (which it sure sounds like), why the patooties is it ending up all over the media?
because scary news stories sell!!! I remember reading something like this back when RHIC was turning on. In fact, if anything, this time around I havn't read anything on the possibility of creating a false vacuum that engulfs the rest of the universe. So I guess, we should all be happy because this is progress.
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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One of the plaintiffs claimed to have discovered the magnetic mono-pole
That's a claim that bound to go south!
 
  • #9
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No, actually, he discovered an entirely north monopole.
 
  • #10
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Why Hawaiians? The LHC is way the hell away from them, no?
 
  • #11
Moonbear
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Why Hawaiians? The LHC is way the hell away from them, no?
Yeah, they live on volcanoes, but are worried about the LHC? :rofl:
 
  • #12
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Lawsuit status update: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/16/1146317.aspx" [Broken]
Highlights
  • Trial date is set for June 16, 2009.
  • The federal government plans to file for dismissal by June 24, 2008.
  • Luis Sancho and Walter Wagner plan to file for a preliminary injunction that would put a hold on LHC operations.
  • The two motions, once filed, could be heard together during a yet-to-be-scheduled session.
 
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  • #13
CERN doomsday black hole lawsuit dismissed by Hawaiian judge:

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20080928_Doomsday_suit_dismissed.html

U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor dismissed a so-called "doomsday lawsuit" filed in Hawaii to stop the operation of a subatomic particle accelerator in Europe.

Gillmor said the plaintiffs failed to prove that U.S. support of the project is a "major federal action" under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The judge noted that the United States provided $531 million for the construction of the $5.84 billion collider; less than 10 percent of the total cost.
Unfortunately, this judge seems to have taken seriously some of the popular sensationalism surrounding this case when she writes that

She said there is a disagreement among scientists about the possible ramifications of the collider.

"This extremely complex debate is of concern to more than just physicists," Gillmor said.
Is this over?

But [the judge] said the proper venue for the debate over U.S. support for the program is in Congress, not the federal courts.
Let's hope that if this goes to congress, that the congresspeople don't base their decision to support (or withdraw) future physics funding by hearing about this type of sensationalism from the popular press.
 

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