It amazes me how dueling scientists make the news. I mean when a group of scientists support one side of an issue there are always at least a few scientists on the completely opposite side of the issue.



Of course, the most recent high visibility large-scale example is global warming. During April while checking various news sources, most of them internet-based, I ran across several prime examples of specific scientific studies. The study results I'm referring to were announced by scientists with "findings" contrary to the majority of scientific belief.



Tops was the Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor claiming, as the Los Angeles Times wrote, "ethanol, widely touted as a greenhouse-gas-cutting fuel, would have serious health effects if heavily used in cars, producing more ground-level ozone than gasoline."



I'm not going to refute the findings, as have many other scientists, organizations and an editorial that ran in this space last week. I'm just pointing out how there always is a scientist to stir the pot and grab money for research countering the prevailing point of view.



Another Stanford University scientist made headlines more than a year ago when he claimed that it takes more energy to produce ethanol than the energy released from ethanol used as a fuel. That caused quite a stir, too.



During April I also found lower-level news items that had devilish scientists trying to earn there few minutes of fame, and I wasn't really looking for odd-ball scientific claims.



A third Stanford-based atmospheric scientist issued an Energy Department-funded study that said planting of trees to absorb carbon dioxide might actually contribute to global warming when trees are planted at higher altitudes. The author-scientist cited the "albedo effect" that might occur because the dark surface masses of dense forest leaves retain more of the sun's heat than they reflect and this will cause regional temperatures to be higher than without the trees.



Then came a scientist's environmental study of Brazilian farm ground that reports land formerly part of the Amazonian rainforest and now primarily planted to soybeans is receiving local rainfall four times lower than land cleared and being used as cattle pasture.



And, let's not forget the almost monthly study from somewhere in the world that basically says pesticide use is so bad it is endangering the world's population. I guess I didn't look far enough to find April's version of a specific scientific claim related to that issue.



For me, it finally comes to the point of feeling like too many scientists are gnats-pesky, biting, swarming, interfering, of little-known value-and they just make me want to plug my ears.