• Science,  Trump

    Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States

    On the one hand: Report released today by the Trump administration finds climate change “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us.” w/@chriscmooney https://t.co/so4HrQMbOP — Brady Dennis (@brady_dennis) November 23, 2018 “This report draws a direct connection between the warming atmosphere and the resulting changes that affect Americans’ lives, communities, and livelihoods, now and in the future,” the document reads, concluding that “the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’…

  • Science

    Meanwhile, up in the sky…

    Eclipse was at 88 percent of totality in my part of Virginia. Never got particularly dark, but the light became very mysterious. Here it is toward the end through a sophisticated setup of a pair of eclipse glasses superimposed on the lens of a cheap digital camera.

  • Science

    Weather ≠ climate redux

    As one who believes that human-caused global warming is a threat to the survival of much of life on Earth, and that urgent action is required to counter it, I want to go on record that the current warm spell on the East Coast of the US is no more evidence for global warming than the snowball which Senator James Inhofe threw on the floor of the Senate last winter is evidence against it. Local weather is not the same as global climate. And the long-term trends of global climate are clear– as the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson illustrates:

  • Science,  UK Politics

    Jeremy Corbyn on homeopathy

    Just for the moment: Set aside Jeremy Corbyn’s mention of his friends in Hezbollah and Hamas and his support for the antisemitic Raed Salah. Ignore his refusal to be interviewed by The Jewish Chronicle when he learned who was to conduct the interview. Never mind his solidarity with the repressive regimes in Cuba and Venezuela. Forget that he essentially blamed Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine on American “expansionism.” For the moment, let’s focus on his belief in the utterly discredited practice of homeopathy. @leftoutside I believe that homeo-meds works for some ppl and that it compliments 'convential' meds. they both come from organic matter… — Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) March…

  • Environment,  Health Care,  Science

    Scientifically-ignorant legislators on parade

    To conclusively disprove the existence of climate change, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma picked up some snow outside the US Capitol building and threw it on the Senator floor. Seriously. Inhofe is the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Seriously. He is one of the growing number of Republicans who deny being scientists. “I’m not a scientist, and don’t claim to be,” Inhofe said on Thursday. He then cited, among other things, a Newsweek article from 1975 (whose author recently lamented the way climate change deniers use his work), archaeological evidence, and Scriptures, in addition to the snowball, as evidence that refutes the claim that “somehow…

  • Science

    Anti-science bullshit of 2014

    Mother Jones magazine tallies some of the worst anti-science bullshit of 2014: anti-vaccination scares, political interference with basic research, the effort to redefine certain forms of birth control as abortion, the persistence of creationism (or, if you prefer, “intelligent design”), continuing climate change denial (Fox News ought to at least be able to come up with more reputable deniers than Donald Trump) and, of course, Ebola hysteria. Deservedly, the fact-checking website PolitiFact.com presented its not-so-coveted 2014 Lie of the Year Award to the exaggerations and fear-mongering about Ebola. (In 2013, just as deservedly, PolitiFact.com gave the award to President Obama’s foolish promise that under the Affordable Care Act, “If you…

  • Cities,  Cycling,  Environment,  History,  Science,  Technology

    Roads Were Not Built For Cars

    Carlton Reid’s Roads Were Not Built for Cars is a revisionist history, reclaiming the role of bicycles in the development of roads and the cars that dominate them. When a class, a race, a gender reclaims its history it is usually in the cause of self-assertion. After reading this I was indignant when a privileged usurper tooted me for walking across the entrance of a cul-de-sac which they were turning into. Listen, these are my f***** streets too, you know. The later Victorian age. The railway lines had cut through the country on their purpose-built tracks and profoundly changed ideas of mobility. The roads, once well maintained for mail coaches,…

  • Science,  Stateside

    Jindal versus the “science deniers”

    Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal– who probably will be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016– has accused the Obama administration of being “science deniers.” That would be the same Bobby Jindal who mocked the idea of monitoring volcanic activity. The same Bobby Jindal who signed the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008, permitting the teaching of alternative theories to evolution in the state’s public schools. (Seventy-seven Nobel Laureates have signed a letter calling for the law’s repeal.) The same Bobby Jindal whose administration tried to provide state-funded vouchers for students to attend schools that teach creationism instead of evolution. So when Jindal talked about “science deniers” in…

  • Science,  Stateside

    Holocaust abuse: the climate change edition

    I’ve posted before about Holocaust abuse: the practice of invoking the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews before and during World War II in utterly inappropriate circumstances. Holocaust abuse is practiced widely on both the Left and the Right: ranging from comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto to comparing American tax policy and supposed loss of “economic liberty” to the slaughter of six million Jews. Now we have William Happer, a physics professor at Princeton, telling CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that “the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”…