Archive for category Science
Chris Hayes is the first cable host to interview Tim DeChristopher. Rachel Maddow announced such an interview a couple of years ago, but then substituted some hack from EarthJustice who didn’t approve of civil disobedience.
My favorite part is when Tim explains that it’s already too late to avoid the tipping points that trigger drastic climate change, but that makes it even more urgent to reform our political system. The current corrupt regime won’t be able to cope with a planetary emergency.
On December 19, 2008, in a courageous act of civil disobedience, Tim DeChristopher protested an oil and gas lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah’s red rock country, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management. DeChristopher decided to participate in the auction, signing a bidder registration Form and placing bids to obtain 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned.
The auction was later declared illegal by incoming Obama Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.
Nonetheless, DeChristopher was aggressively persecuted by George W. Bush-appointed federal prosecutors a judge who’s tenure included Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch. DeChristopher courageously refused all plea offers to avoid jail time. On July 26, 2011, Judge Dee Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison;
Peaceful Uprising is organizing a screening of Bidder70 in Salt Lake City: the first that Tim will be able to attend since the movie premiered last year! In conjunction with this event, the filmmakers (Beth & George Gage) have partnered with a film distributor, Gathr Films, to organize countrywide simultaneous theatrical screenings.
An hour-long post-screening discussion and Q&A with Tim will be streamed so that everyone, no matter where they are watching, will be able to participate: by watching and/or sending questions via Twitter. It wouldn’t be a true PeaceUp celebration without song, which is why we’ve invited our dear friend Bryan Cahall (whose song Arise you will recognize in the movie) to join in a jam session as well.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Sign up to host your own local screening of Bidder 70: http://
2. Join PeaceUp in helping Gathr spread the word, by inviting your friends to their Facebook event, sharing it via the Twitter webs and updating your Facebook status:https://www.facebook.com/
3. Contribute to Bidder70?s IndieGoGo Distribution campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/
4. Come to Salt Lake City. Details about our SLC Screening can be found by clicking HERE.
I am about out of energy for this week. But I do have the smoking remains of an irony meter sitting in the corner crying to be heard. And a tiny little mangled… something. Something Confucius might have called Ren. Something I almost forgot about. Read the rest of this entry »
“I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that the climate is changing. I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all-in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural. I think there’s a divergence of evidence. I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change, and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”
—Republican Congressman from Texas Joe Barton, during today’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation which would authorize Congress to approve the Keystone pipeline.
Yeah. New rule, if you think talking about 4000plus year old myths borrowed from a culture that in turn borrowed them from another that borrowed them from still another culture should be sited as scientific evidence to use against something that pretty much every peer reviewed climate work has found actual evidence for, you are too god damn stupid to be allowed to open your slobbering slack jawed maw in public. You are certainly the last person who should be allowed to vote on legislation that demands at least a sixth grade level of science comprehension. In fact, you should likely have your legal status as an adult human being taken away to protect yourself and others.
In short, you might be a Texas republican.
Hell, at least Idaho and Texas keep doing their level best to make sure Utah isn’t the national embarrassment.
Joe Romm of Think Progress points out that, among the other things they are completely wrong about, the political opponents of climate science also think that we can go backwards by cutting carbon emissions.
This notion that we can reverse climate change by cutting emissions is one of the most commonly held myths — and one of the most dangerous, as explained in this 2007 MIT study, “Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change: Adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter.”
…The fact is that, as RealClimate has explained, we would need “an immediate cut of around 60 to 70% globally and continued further cuts over time” merely to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of CO2 – and that would still leave us with a radiative imbalance that would lead to “an additional 0.3 to 0.8ºC warming over the 21st Century.” And that assumes no major carbon cycle feedbacks kick in, which seems highly unlikely.
We’d have to drop total global emissions to zero now and for the rest of the century just to lower concentrations enough to stop temperatures from rising. Again, even in this implausible scenario, we still aren’t talking about reversing climate change, just stopping it — or, more technically, stopping the temperature rise…
We all need to understand that it’s too late to prevent global warming, and that climate change is happening now. It’s irreversible (except over thousands of years). All we can do at this point is try to minimize the amount of warming, and develop plans to cope with the effects of climate change on our economy and way of life. But our political system thrives on myths, and the truth is still getting shouted down.
UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh is claiming contrary to basic physics that “carbon in the atmosphere may actually be making things cooler, not warmer.”
It came as no surprise to people concerned about the environment that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline was shoddy and misleading. It’s been suspected for some time that the fix is in for the Obama administration to approve the pipeline. Andy Kroll of Mother Jones discovered just how badly this is being rigged (emphasis added).
The contractor that produced the bulk of the report was Environmental Resources Management (ERM), an international consulting firm. On the day the State Department published the Keystone impact report, the agency also released a cache of documents that ERM submitted in 2012 to win the contract to produce the Keystone environmental report. That cache included a 55-page filing in which ERM stated it had no conflicts of interests writing the Keystone report.
But there was something strange about ERM’s conflict-of-interest filing: The bios for the ERM’s experts were redacted.
Here’s what those redactions kept secret: ERM’s second-in-command on the Keystone report, Andrew Bielakowski, had worked on three previous pipeline projects for TransCanada over seven years as an outside consultant. He also consulted on projects for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, three of the Big Five oil companies that could benefit from the Keystone XL project and increased extraction of heavy crude oil taken from the Canadian tar sands.
Another ERM employee who contributed to State’s Keystone report—and whose prior work history was also redacted—previously worked for Shell Oil; a third worked as a consultant for Koch Gateway Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Shell and Koch* have a significant financial interest in the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. ERM itself has worked for Chevron, which has invested in Canadian tar sands extraction, according to its website.
President Obama has the final say regarding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. He delayed the process until after last year’s election. A final decision on the Keystone XL remains months, if not a year or more, away. Will it be thumbs up or thumbs down?
A residential subdivision was evacuated due to the toxic spill, and Interstate 40 was closed.
Perhaps in a Hall of Fame somewhere in a child’s imagination or somewhere else:
Somehow a catolog of great music spanning decades doesn’t measure up to the Rock n’ Roll hall of fame.
If I were they, I would tell them to keep it!
I’m sure The Moodies don’t really want my input here. I once heard a horrible story about people in wheelchairs showing up at their concerts wanting to be healed.
All they were trying to do is enlighten us.
One of the reasons it seems so difficult to take the “facts” of the gun debate seriously is that one side has been obscuring the facts so well. As business insider (and several other places) pointed out in January,
The CDC isn’t allowed to pursue many kinds of gun research due to the lobbying strength of the National Rifle Association.
As a result of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying efforts, governmental research into gun mortality has shrunk by 96 percent since the mid-1990s, according to Reuters.
That seems odd. Would we let the cigarette companies tell doctors they can’t study the health effects of smoking? Why would the NRA be able to do that?
Prior to 1996, the Center for Disease Control funded research into the causes of firearm-related deaths. After a series of articles finding that increased prevalence of guns lead to increased incidents of gun violence, Republicans sought to remove all federal funding for research into gun deaths.
So, after a study that (to the surprise of only complete idiots) found that it isn’t so much that people kill people, but yeah, guns actually make killing people a whole lot easier, the GOP killed research into gun deaths? I find that hard to believe. I mean what are they, anti-science? Next you will tell me the GOP is against climate change studies…
Because of the NRA’s successful campaign to eliminate the scientific research into the public health effect of firearms, very few researchers specialize in the field anymore, University of California, Davis, professor Garen Wintemute told Reuters. He said there isn’t enough money to sustain research.
Since there is a lack of funding for independent research, the gun debate has been lacking in unimpeachable statistics that could effect a change in the status quo.
A more suspicious person would think that they are hiding something. Hell a really suspicious person would think the NRA gets a kickback for every gun sold.
I’ve always been fascinated by the symmetrical shapes of the honeycomb, but a couple of days ago, I got blown away by an image of the planet Saturn.
The planet Saturn stands out from all the others in our solar system because of it’s beautiful, and mysterious rings, but I have never seen anything like this before. It’s going to be making me wonder for the rest of my life. I like wondering. I think it’s healthy to contemplate about scientific discoveries, even if they don’t seem to make sense.
I’m not sure how I missed reports of this strange phenomenon happening on Saturn, because it’s existence has been known for a long time. New photos have brought it back to light.
I have a website that I visit every day which features pictures and videos of amazing and often mysterious things about the earth and the universe around it, with commentary by scientist’s who give their knowledge or best guesses about the content. This particular entry – February 20 2013 – really made me sit up in my chair.
Apparently Saturn, which has no solid surface, harbors a cloud formation shaped like a hexagon which is large enough to house four earths. It’s not sort-of a hexagon; it’s a hexagon with six equal length sides. But, that’s not all. It rotates and it’s been there for at least 20 years!
What do you think could cause this?
An estimated 40,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. on Sunday for the Forward on Climate Rally on the National Mall. The rally preceded a march to the White House to urge President Barack Obama to take action against climate change and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
350.org founder Bill McKibben said at the rally, according to a statement, “For 25 years our government has basically ignored the climate crisis: now people in large numbers are finally demanding they get to work.” He added, “We shouldn’t have to be here — science should have decided our course long ago. But it takes a movement to stand up to all that money.”
The future is here, in the form of 20 upcoming sci-fi films. Including long-awaited adaptations of the classic stories Ender’s Game and The Forever War. The list begins with a 2012 release that I missed – maybe it will turn up somewhere.
“Robot and Frank” (2012)
Starring: A robot (Rachael Ma) and Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon and Liv Tyler
Director: Jake Schrier (first feature film)
Frank is an aging ex-convict living alone. To help, Frank’s son (played by James Marsden) buys a robot (with the voice of Peter Sarsgaard) to help around the house and keep the old man company. Frank’s initial suspicion gradually gives way to delight when he discovers that the robot may be able to help him with his criminal exploits.
“Oz The Great And Powerful” (March 8, 2013)
Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz
Director: Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man 3”)
A stage magician is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum.
“Oblivion” (April 19)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Olga Kurylenko
Director: Joseph Kosinski (“Tron Legacy”)
Jak Harper is a drone repairman whose longstanding battle with alien invaders is drawing to an end. But when his aircraft lands on a barren Earth one day, his encounter with a mysterious woman named Julia throws everything he thinks he knows about the war into doubt. Based on a graphic novel the director wrote back in 2005.
Read the rest of this entry »
One of the popular global climate change denier lines has been that while the arctic was melting, the Antarctic was gaining ice, and those stupid PhDs just aren’t smart enough to know that weather can be different in different places. That’s higher learning for ya! Pinheads! Intellectuals! Don’t know anything!
(Also, as one well known Faux news caster might say, “tide goes in and comes out, you can’t explain that!”)
A few minor issues with that. First of all, even if Antarctica is gaining ice, this doesn’t actually change whether or not the earth is warming. Different weather in different places? Yeah, pinhead scientists. Also, while there might be ice gain, there was definite loss. The climate is certainly shifting.
Sadly, it also turns out that even the misleading statement that there is ice gain in Antarctica is wrong. Not just misleading, because the more important truth is hidden, but actually wrong.
“We can state definitively that both Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass, and as [the] temperature goes up we are going to lose more ice.”
I am not sure that will change the minds of the deniers. If basic reality is not convincing, how would carefully studied reality be any more convincing? But it is always good to see more data.