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Posted Dec 24: Group IQ. A new MIT study shows that teams of people display a collective intelligence that has surprisingly little to do with the intelligence of the team’s individual members. Rather, the most important factors may have to do with group dynamics, including the absence of a strong leader or the presence of women [Carolyn Johnston,Boston Globe,Dec 19]

Posted Dec 24: Astronomer Sues University, Claiming Religion Cost Him a Job. After thousands of years of discrimination, torturing and burning of atheists and other dissenters, it looks like, at least at the University of Kentucky, the shoe may be on the other foot: C. Martin Gaskell, seeking a position at U of K alleges that he was turned down because he is an evangelical Christian. He denied being a creationist, but certain public statements that he has made apparently scared the hiring committee. [Mark Oppenheimer, NY Times,Dec 18]

Posted Dec 24: Dire Development Issues Converge in the Drylands. The recently-launched United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (UNDDD) are scheduled to run from January 2010 to December 2020 to raise awareness and develop action plans to protect the drylands, home to one in every three people on earth. They are "an ancient and natural sanctuary to some of the rarest species of animal, bird and plant life on the planet". According to reports from the UNDDD, "one in every three crops under cultivation today has its origins in the drylands." They also support half of the world's livestock. [Kanya D'Almeida,IPSnews,Dec 17]

Posted Dec 24: Economic Crisis Looms, But Clean Energy Shines On. Portugal, in the midst of one of the worst economic crises of any EU state, is continuing its exemplary progress in renewable energy. Based on 2008 figures, 23.2 percent of the energy consumed in Portugal came from "green" sources, compared to the 10.3 percent average of the rest of the 27- member bloc. In efforts to encourage similar progress abroad, Portugal recently signed an agreement with Brazil "to establish technical, scientific, educational and cultural cooperation" between the two countries, especially in the field of solar energy. [Mario de Queiroz, IPSnews,Dec 16]

Posted Dec 24: Anthropology Group Tries to Soothe Tempers After Dropping the Word ‘Science’. "The American Anthropological Association had caused a stir by dropping the word “science” from its long-range plan". Is anthropology a science? Will political science be next? [Nicholas Wade,NY Times, Dec 13]

Posted Dec 24: Losing Time, not Buying Time. "Control of methane, soot, and other short-lived climate-forcing agents has often been described as a cheap way to "buy time" to get carbon dioxide emissions under control. But is it really?" A very clear and useful comparison of the time scale of CO2 vs methane and other climate-change actors. [Raypierre Humbert, RalClimate, Dec 6, 2010]

Posted Nov 27: New York City Prepares for Nation's Largest Bike Share System. "New York City is preparing to set up the largest bike share system in the nation. The city is issuing a request for proposals for one-way, short-term bike rentals, a system that has augmented the transportation network in dozens of European cities as well as in Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC."[Andrea Bernstein, WNYC News (via CommonDreams),Nov 23]

 Posted Nov 27: None flew over the cuckoo's nest: A world without birds. "According to Henk Tennekes, a researcher at the Experimental Toxicology Services in Zutphen, the Netherlands, the threat of DDT has been superseded by a relatively new class of insecticide, known as the neonicotinoids. In his book The Systemic Insecticides: "A Disaster in the Making", published this month, Tennekes draws all the evidence together to make the case that neonicotinoids are causing a catastrophe in the insect world, which is having a knock-on effect for many of our birds."[Kate Ravilious, The Independent,Nov 15]

 Posted Nov 27: As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data on Rising Seas. "Scientists long believed that the collapse of the gigantic ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica would take thousands of years, with sea level possibly rising as little as seven inches in this century, about the same amount as in the 20th century. But researchers have recently been startled to see big changes unfold in both Greenland and Antarctica." See also a set of interesting and informative comments on this article in Real Climate.[Justin Gillis, NY Times, Nov 14]

 Posted Nov 27: Organizing in the Internet Age. Mark Engler asks " 'how do we support and develop the revolutionary potential in the Internet' in the face of efforts by corporations and governments to control and monitor how we operate on this new digital terrain? "[Mark Engler,Yes! Magazine, via Common Dreams, Nov 2]

 Posted Nov 27: Wind Turbine Syndrome. An MD practicing in upstate New York near a wind farm relates an impressive list of increasing health effects generated by windmill-created infrasound, which has hitherto-unknown effects on the inner ear. [Dr. Nina Pierpont, Counterpunch, Oct 31]

 Posted Nov 27: Pennsylvania Township Declares Freedom from Fracking. The small town of Licking, PA has taken a stand against "fracking", a method of extracting natural gas that creates serious groundwater pollution problems. Defying a state law exempting gas-drilling companies from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the township council has banned disposal of fracking waste within its boundaries. The city of Pittsburgh is considering a similar and stronger measure. [Mari Margil, Ben Price, Yes! Magazine, Oct 27]

 Posted Nov 27: The Arms Sales Economy. After an alarming plunge from about $36 billion in 2008 to an anemic $22 billion in 2009, the U.S. arms industry, with the help of some new mega-sales to Saudi Arabia, is looking forward to fatter balance sheets in 2010 and even cheerier news in the coming year.[Christopher Brauchli, Counterpunch,Oct 24]

 Posted Nov 27: Latin American Mayors in unanimous support for Nuclear Weapons Convention. FLACMA (Federación Latinamericana de Ciudades, Municipios y Asociaciones de gobiernos locales) signed an agreement with Mayors for Peace in support of the campaign to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020. FLACMA is the Latin American branch of the UCLG, the world wide organization of local governments.[2020 Vision Campaign]

 Posted Nov 27: Taking Early Retirement May Retire Memory, Too. Results of a simple memory test seem to back up what everybody already seems to believe - that keeping active keeps the mind functioning better. However no support has been found for the belief that mastering things like memory exercises, crossword puzzles and games like Sudoku carry over into real life, improving overall functioning. [Gina Kolata, NY Times Oct 11]

 Posted Nov 27: Moonlighting as a Conjurer of Chemicals. Isaac Newton, passionate alchemist? Who knew? Looking at this through 21st-century eyes, it seems inconceivable to us that Newton would have wasted any time on this pursuit. But what was happening in the world of 17th century that led this genius down such a road? [Natalie Angier, NY Times, Oct 11]

 Posted Nov 27: American Science’s Racist History Still Haunts the World. Was the infamous Tuskegee experiment (in which uninformed black men were used as experimental subjects for studying syphylis) - was unique, a similar atrocity has been revealed, this time in Guatemala, just 60 years ago. The scientists were again American; this time the innocent subjects were Guatemalans. [Michelle Chen, Colorlines, Oct 6]

 Posted Nov 27: Introduction to Feedbacks. One of the most difficult mechanisms to explain to the public is just how positive and negative feedback processes operate in a normal atmosphere and in an atmosphere undergoing a rapid transition. This article is important to improve our understanding so that we can better answer questions on these subjects. (See also More on Feedbacks, a more in-depth continuation of the subject by the author.)[Chris Colose, RealClimate, Sep 23]

 Posted Sep 11: Weird Weather in a Warming World. To what extent can recent floods droughts, record snows, and heat waves be attributed to global warming. How much is alarmist hype? [Andrew Revkin, NY Times, Sep 7]

Posted Sep 11: Big Oil Rallies to Save Big Oil. A nationwide series of rallies kicked off in Texas this week urging Congress to block legislation proposed in the wake of the BP oil disaster that would regulate the oil and gas industry more strictly and eliminate tax breaks.[Sue Sturgis, Facing South(via Common Dreams), Sep 2]

 Posted Sep 11: Ninth Circuit: The Government Can Use GPS to Track Your Moves (without a Warrant). "That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states." There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high.[Adam Cohen, Time(via CommonDreams), Aug 19]

 Posted Sep 11: Pain Ray, Rejected by the Military, Ready to Blast L.A. Prisoners. This energy weapon , being used at the Pichess Detention Center in Los Angeles, is a small-scale version of the Active Denial System, the experimental crowd control device tested in Afganhistan but quickly removed after complaints about its use on locals. Proponents praise it as more effective than the taser. Watch out, street demonstrators...[Noah Schachtman, Wired, Aug 24]

 Posted Sep 11: Rising Temperatures Reducing Ability of Plants to Absorb Carbon, Study Warns. One of the favorite fall-back position of discredited climate-change denialists has been that the extra CO2 would promote plant growth. But new satellite measurements indicate that the extra stresses being created by the changing climates is in reality causing a decrease in net plant growth and hence a decrease in carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. But not all plants will suffer; there is evidence that poison ivy will thrive in a warmer world. [Alok Jha, Guardian(via Common Dreams), Aug 20]

 Posted Sep 11: The Persistence of Missile Defense In spite of the fact that it doesn't seem to work, NATO has just proposed to substitute missile defense for missile offense as part of its mission. This may be built on Obama's missile-defense plan proposed last year. "Obama rejected Bush’s plan to install 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. However, Obama’s replacement plan does not significantly differ in magnitude from the Bush vision". [Tom Sauer, Counterpunch, Aug19]

 Posted Sep 11: How the Defense Industry is Hosing Obama and the Taxpayer ... Again. Former Pentagon employee, Franklin Spinney, considers the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review as an essential weapons for "waging [the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex's] unremitting budget war to extract money from the American people", while unable to account satisfactorily for money already received.[Franklin Spinney, Counterpunch, Aug 16]

 Posted Sep 11: A Battle in Mining Country Pits Coal Against Wind. Surface coal mining in West Virginia and the surrounding mountain states means mountaintop removal, a labor-saving method that has already affected over 500 mountains in this area. Using the land for wind farms would generate far less energy - initally. But when the coal is exhausted, and all that remains is rocky debris and polluted streams, the windmills keep producing - forever.[Tom Zeller, Jr., NY Times, Aug 14]

 Posted Sep 11: Three Digital Myths. An analysis of the Wikileaks furor raises questions about the power of social media in the coverage of war, the idea of the borderless nation-state and the survival of the press (the leaks depended on mass media for dissemination). [Christian Christensen, Le Monde Diplomatique, Aug 9]

 Posted Sep 11: Communicating Science. “The thing about scientists that I find most interesting is the inherent hubris that comes to them with their great knowledge,” A lot of federal scientists take the approach of information pushers, [Margaret] Davidson [of NOAA]says. ”They’re pushing it out there and hoping that somebody picks it up and finds it useful.” “the reality of life is that you’ve got to have a transformation function, to make things accessible and useful.”[ Mason Inman, blog.agu.org, Jun 29]

 Posted Sep 11: Physicist Who Chose China Over Atom Bomb. Joan Hinton, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb, but spent most of her life as a committed Maoist working on dairy farms in China, died on Tuesday in Beijing. She was 88. In 1948, alarmed at the emerging cold war, she gave up physics and left the United States for China [William Grimes, NYTimes, June 11]

 Posted Jun13: The Climate Majority. Notwithstanding the wide publicity given climate change skeptics, a substantial majority in the U.S. believes not only that climate change is real, but also that it is due to human activity. The misleading poll results indicating the contrary are largely due to the way in which the questions were constructed.[Jon Krosnick, op ed, NY Times, Jun 8]

 Posted Jun13:Government Impotence and Corporate Rule. The Gulf catastrophe is "...not merely a human and environmental horror, but also an appalling deterioration in our nation's governance. Just as we saw in Wall Street's devastating economic disaster and in Massey Energy's murderous explosion inside its Upper Big Branch coal mine, the nastiness in the gulf is baring an ugly truth that We the People must finally face: We are living under de facto corporate rule that has rendered our government impotent".[Jim Hightower, truthout, jun 2]

 Posted Jun13:Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it. The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta [which supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports] have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades. "...more oil is spilled from the delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP's Deepwater Horizon rig last month".[John Vidal, Guradian,May30]

 Posted Jun13: Stemming the Brain Drain of Health-Care Workers From Developing Countries. "Low-income countries invest significant resources to train health workers. Active recruitment of their doctors and nurses systematically deprives communities and entire populations of their right to health. The loss of these investments equates to a form of reverse foreign aid." Overcoming U.S. efforts to weaken the agreement, international health leaders meeting at the annual World Health Assembly unanimously adopted a voluntary global code to regulate international movement of health care workers.[Amy Hagopian, Eric B. Williams and Emily DeRiel, Seattle Times(via CommonDreams), May 29]

 Posted Jun13: U.S. Defense Spending Far Outpaces Rest of the World. The U.S. budget for fiscal year 2011 is $720B, up 67 percent from 2001's $432B, accounting for inflation. This accounts for 44.32 % of the global total spending of 1.57 trillion dollars, with the rest of NATO and non-NATO Europe accounting for another 22.43 percent. The Middle East and North Africa, account for 7.03 percent, Latin America and the Caribbean for 3.69 percent, and Sub-Saharan Africa a mere 0.77 percent. And, U.S. spending is 73 times that of Iran.[Amanda Bransford, IPSnews, May 28]

 Posted Jun13: UN 'to Seek' End to CIA Drone Raids. The UN Human Rights Council will hear a report June 3 from special special rapporteur Phillip Alston stating that the "life and death power" of drones should be executed by regular armed forces rather than intelligence agencies. This finding is directed at CIA directed remote killing of selected suspects in foreign countries, co-ordinated from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia [Al Jazeera English, via CommonDreams, May 28]

 Posted Jun13: The noble and ancient tradition of moron-baiting. Martin Gardner, long-time publisher of the a popular and challenging math column in Scientific American, died last week at the age of 95. Gardner was also a prolific author and receives a special tribute here for his classic "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science", originally published in 1952, but unfortunately still relevant today. [Ben Goldacre, BadScience, The Guardian,May 28]

 Posted Jun13: On Attribution. A clear and timely discussion about the role of experiments, models and statistics in attributing effects to causes. [Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, May 26]

 Posted Jun13:Struggle Over the Xingú Dams A new system of dams on Brazil's Xingú river "would be the third largest hydroelectric dam complex in the world...requiring the diversion of the water from a 60-mile stretch of the river's channel through canals and underground tunnels to two massive arrays of turbines". Widespread protests are taking place among ndigenous nations of the region, and farmers and environmentalist, who point out that despite its enormous impact, its capacity of 11.2 gigawatts would be attainable only during the rainy four months of the year, the average power generated would be only 4 GW and the expected lifetime quite short, due to silting.[Terence Turner, Counterpunch,May 18]

 Posted Jun13:A Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan. As paraphrased by the authors, the Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report, released in February by the U.S. "The technologies now in hand will make it possible for the United States to build a global missile defense system that is so capable, flexible, and reliable that potential adversaries will see that they have no choice but to de-emphasize their efforts to use ballistic missiles as a way to obtain their political goals." However, the Pentagon's own test results point to very different conclssions.[George N. Lewis and Theodore A. Postol, Arms Control Today, May 2010]

 Posted Apr 25: The Open Veins of Climate Change. A noted Uruguayan writer sends a message to the Cochabamba Summit:..."we are fed up with the hypocrisy of the rich countries, which is leaving us without a planet while it delivers pompous discourses to conceal the hijacking." [Eduardo Galeano, YES! Magazine, via Common Dreams, Apr 23]

 Posted Apr 25: Why Is the US Cutting Off Climate Aid to the Poorest Country in South America? In an interview at the World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, with Bolivia’s lead climate negotiator Angélica Navarro, who calls on the developed world to pay a climate debt to poor nations suffering the impact of climate change. She highlights the lack of input at Copenhagen from the world's poorest countries - those affected most by climate change.[Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, Apr 21]

 Posted Apr 25: Inventing Disorders. On the dangers of inventing behavioral disorders and the over-diagnosis and over-medication of young children. According to British pharmacology expert, Dr David Healy, author of the book, "Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder," some of these drugs "are known to cause a range of neurological syndromes, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and other problems."[Evelyn Pringle, Counterpunch, Apr 21]

 Posted Apr 25: Years of Regulated Manslaughter in the Coalfields. In the wake of the recent disaster in West Vriginia, the worst in 40 years of mining in the U.S., the author gives a recent history of similar disasters, which have claimed a total of over 100,00 lives in thed mines ; to this must be added the tens of thousands more from black lung disease and the environmental damage due to the extraction (from mines or mountains) and of course the large percentage of global warming due to the burning of coal - to come up with the true price of this "cheap" source of energy. James Hansen's may be right: Stop using coal. [Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post, Apr 12]

 Posted Apr 25: Building a Green Economy. Krugman, after quickly disposing of the arguments of climate modeling deniers, offers a conventional economic market model-based approaches to estimating costs of slowing down climate change. The link above leads to the RealClimate blog, which has interesting comments on the article.[Paul Krugman, NY Times, Apr 11]

 Posted Apr 19: Floods in Rio:A Tragedy of Local and Global Dimensions. A lethal combination of environmental neglect, extreme poverty and the worst downpours in 40 years, probably amplified by global warming, contributed to over 200 deaths in the state and city of Rio de Janeiro last week.[Fabiana Frayssinet, IPS Apr 9]

 Posted Apr 19: Advice for Eco-germophobes: get rid of antibacterials. In this interview, Dr. Sarah Janssen of NRDC advises egular soap and water is preferable to using so-called “antibacterial” soaps because regular soap and water are just as effective at eliminating “germs”. So called “antibacterials”, like triclosan or triclocarban are no more effective and carry potential health risks, so we advise avoiding their use."[Paul McRandle, NRDC SimpleSteps,Apr 1]

Posted Apr 12: Economists need their own uncertainty principle. "Financial speculation is risky by definition. Yet the danger is not that the risks exist but that the highly developed calculus of risk in economic theory — for which Nobel prizes have been awarded — gives the impression that the risks are under control." Do economists suffer from physics envy? [Philip Ball, NatureNews,Apr 5]

 Posted Apr 12: A TV Show and Congress Tackle School Lunches This Mar 30 article inte the NY Times reported on the tremendous interest in improving school lunches. Local groups are working hard on this issue, as evidenced by this DC blog (see Apr 4 entry) devoted to better food in the schools, maintained by the local organization Parents for Better DC School Food.[Kim Severson, NY Times, Mar 30]

 Posted Apr 12: Landfill or incineration: the climate change dilemma. " Which does less harm when it comes to greenhouse gases isn’t easy to pinpoint". Interesting discussion about tradeoffs in waste disposal. [Catherine Porter, TheStar.com, Apr2]

 Posted Apr 12: I patent your ass. And your leg. And your nostril. "This week the Association for Molecular Pathology, working with the American Civil Liberties Union, won a major victory, overturning just some of the patents owned by a company called Myriad on the BRCA1 gene for breast cancer." - an interesting critique of the patenting of genes.[Ben Goldacre, The Guardian(Bad Science, Apr2]

 Posted Apr 12: Global warming and astrology. South Dakota legislators conclude “that there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena…” [Treehugger.com, Feb 26]

 Posted Apr 12: Exposing the dirty money behind fake climate science. Cargill is the largest privately-held U.S. corporation.Can you name the second? (Neither could we). It's Koch Industries, a conglomerate with annual revenue almost $100 billion, co-founder Fred Koch also co-founded the john Birch Society, funder of right-wing causes and which quietly funneled $50 million to the climate denial people between 1997 and 2008, according to a new Greenpeace report. See also the cool interactive version.[Greenpeace International, 3/30]

 Posted Apr 12: Scientists and Weathercasters at Odds on Warming. "A study released on Monday(Mar 29) by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin found that only about half of the 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and less than a third believed that climate change was 'caused mostly by human activities.' The reasons for this widespread ignorance have been debated ( see Hot Air in the Columbia Journalism Review - excellent!), but may boil down to the fact that the TV weatherperson has minmal training in climate modeling - and not much in meteorology either.[Leslie Kaufman ,NY Times,mar 29]

 Posted Mar 29: Secrets of the Tribe. Anthropolgist Barbara Johnston reviews Jose Padilha's film screened at Sundance in January. Critical cultural and political issues were raised by the behavior of a steady stream of anthropologists (the "tribe"in the film's title) that filed into the Amazon to study the Yanomami during the 60's and 70's. The problems raised by these visits and consequent suffering are still unresolved and are the focus of ongoing debates[Barbara Johnston,Counterpunch, Mar 21]

 Posted Mar 29: Dark Matters. "The past 50 years of particle physics has also driven us to realize that for what we see to make sense, a host of new elementary particles quite likely exists." - an update on the quest to identify the nature of "dark matter".[Lawrence Krauss, Scientific American, April 2010]

 Posted Mar 29: Diary of a Wimpy Health Care Bill. Rose Ann Demoro, Executive Director, National Nurses United, AFL-CIO and California Nurses Association gives a brief summary of the pluses and minuses of the bill, the dangers ahead and the need for more much deeper changes.[Rose Ann DeMoro, Huffington Post,Mar23]

 Posted Mar 29: The Five Characteristics of Scientific Denialism. This is a summary by blogger John Cook (interviewed Mar 25 in the NY Times) of an an informative article that appeared in 2009 in the European Journal of Public Health by Diethelm and Mckee, explaining the patterns behind recent campaigns to sabotage public acceptance of critical scientific findings. The five are conspiracy theories, fake experts, cherry picking, insistence on certainty, and logical fallacies. Examples include smoking/cancer, HIV/AIDS vaccinations/autism and of course climate change.[John Cook, Skeptical Science, Mar 17]

 Posted Mar 29: What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West? "Across western North America, from Mexico to Alaska, forest die-off is occurring on an extraordinary scale, unprecedented in at least the last century-and-a-half — and perhaps much longer. All told, the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the United States have seen nearly 70,000 square miles of forest — an area the size of Washington state — die since 2000." The outbreak is attributed to outbreaks of tree-killing insects, able to survive at higher altitudes due to warming temperatures. [Jim ARobbins, Environment360, Mar 15]

 Posted Mar 29: The Climatic Consequences of Nuclear War. The 'nuclear winter' projections made in the 80's were conservative. According to new research, "...models have shown that even a 'successful' first strike by Washington or Moscow would inflict catastrophic environmental damage that would make agriculture impossible and cause mass starvation."[Steven Starr, Bull. At. Sci. Mar 12]

 Posted Mar 29: Most Believe God Gets Involved. "New research shows that most Americans believe God is directly involved in their personal affairs, and that the good or bad things that happen are “part of God’s plan," according to a report in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion." 71% of those surveyed believe that good or bad events are "part of God's plan for them". [Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times, Mar 10]

 Posted Mar 29: “The Rosenfeld” Named After California’s Godfather of Energy Efficiency. A group of Berkely (Lawrence) Lab scientists proposed, in a refereed article in Environmental Research Letters, to define the rosenfeld as electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year, the amount needed to replace the annual generation of a 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant. The proposal was intended to honor Arthur Rosenfeld for his pioneering work in the field.[Julie Chao, News Center, Berkely Lab,
Mar 9]

 Posted Mar 29: The Unpersuadables: When Facts Are Not Enough. Monbiot reflects on what it feels like to be defending scientists on the issue of climate change, after a career of exposing their biases, narrow-mindedness and dependence on corporate funding.[George Monbiot, The Guardian, via CommonDreams, Mar 9]

 Posted Mar 29: Should Scientists Fight Heat or Stick to Data? Paul Ehrlich says "...we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules." Randy Olson says he's tired of "...overly academic analysis of what are the actions of basically thugs." Time to say "no more Mr. Nice Guy"?[Andrew Revkin, NY Times, Mar 9]

 Posted Mar 29: The Fugitive Humanity of City Spaces. The problem of the continuing evictions of the urban poor : "What is likely to happen in cities where informal housing appears to be growing beyond the control of government and state agencies, where the only response of authority still lies in the bulldozer and paramilitary forces to clear those they see as encroachers and trespassers?"[Jeremy Seabrook, Share The World's Resources, via CommonDreams, Mar 8]

 Posted Mar 29: Brain food: does activism make you happy? In a study of700 college students, "subjects who did the brief activist behavior reported significantly higher levels of subjective vitality than did the subjects who engaged in the nonactivist behavior". Activism: Just another cheap high? [Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian, Mar 2]

 Posted Mar 29: The Newest Hybrid Model. Florida Power and Light is constructing an experimental solar add-on to a 3800-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant, the nation's largest. The 75 MW solar booster itself (to be the world's largest, after the 310-MW Mojave Desert plant) will not involve solar cells, but use sunlight essentially to boil water to help drive existing turbines during daytime, when demand peaks in Florida.[Jad Mouawas, NYTimes, Mar 4]

 Posted Feb 15: IPCC errors: facts and spin. Himalayagate, Amazongate, Seagate, Africagate, calls for IPCC director Pauchuri's head - what do these media feeding frenzies have in common? All stem from misreadings or trivial errors found in the 2800-page IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. [RealClimate,Feb14]  See also “AmazonGate”: how the denial lobby and a dishonest journalist created a fake scandal. [Tim Holmes, Climate Safety, Feb 9]

 Posted Feb 1:Nuclear Does Not Make Economic Sense Say Studies. . While safety and environmentalmconcerns have not dampened the current enthusiasm for a nuclear-power renaissance, new studies by several independent European organizations and Citibank(!!) asserts that due to the enormous technical and financial risks it will no longer be profitable for private capital to finance new nukes.[Julio Godoy,IPSnews,Feb 12]

 Posted Feb 15:‘Global Weirding’ and Climate Skeptics’ Slushy Logic. Errors by the IPCC and recent snows in DC and Copenhagen have opened opportunities for global warming denialists seeking to distract attention from long-term trends. [sarahlaskow, AlterNet, Feb 12]

 Posted Feb 15: Skeptics Find Fault With U.S. Climate Panel. The erroneous report of melting Himalayan glaciers and the stolen e-mails are still being inflated and echoed through the denialosphere. The NYT stumbles to the rescue with quotes from a Wyoming senator, the yellow press of London and the notorious Lord Monckton, all calling for the decapitation of IPCC chair Pachauri, who the reporter helpfully notes, is a vegetarian. Not a single bona fide researcher in the field was cited. Not a word about the motives of the e-mail hackers.[Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYT,Feb08]

 Posted Feb 15: Biological threats: A matter of balance. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists took issue with a recent Congressional report (by the Graham-Talent WMD Commission) that "asserted that a life-altering bioterrorist attack is highly likely to take place within the next four years." The BAS called the findings exaggerated and the remedies too narrowly-focused and urged instead that efforts should be made in " improving public health capabilities to respond to any kind of infectious disease threat" [Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemial Weapons, Bull. Atomic Sci., Feb 02]

 Posted Feb 15:Job Opportunity - Don't Miss. Do you have training in ultamatonic field patterning, quantum singular activity and radio esthetics? Put it to use, now at Maperton Trust. Salary 20,000-24,00 per annum (units not stated) [Ben Goldacre, BadScience, The Guardian,Jan 30]

 Posted Feb 15: Vaccine-Autism Study Is Retracted. The Lancet, a major British medical journal has just "retracted a flawed study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism and bowel disease " Large numbers of British parents had refused the to have their children immunized, leading to a resurgence of measles, and there is still widespread skepticism. "Britain's General Medical Council ruled [that the co-ordinator of the research , Andrew] Wakefield had shown a ''callous disregard'' for the children used in his study and acted unethically [AP, NYT, 2/2]

 Posted Jan 28: World's Glaciers Continue to Melt. Although a lot of publicity was given to the erroneous Indian claim (which appeared in the latest IPCC report) that Himalayan glaciers were retreating, glaciers across the globe are continuing to melt so fast that many will disappear by the middle of this century. Confusion has arisen because glaciers at very high altitudes may continue to grow in the short term because of increased snowfall. [Juliette Jowit, Guardian(via Common Dreams), Jan26]

 Posted Jan 28: If It’s That Warm, How Come It’s So Damned Cold? An Essay on Regional Cold Anomalies With Near-Record Global Temperatures. [James Hansen, et al., RealClimate, jan17; updated Jan 27]

 Posted Jan 28: Who's Afraid of the HPV Vaccine? NSF research into how people decide which scientists to believe indicates that it has to do with cultural credibility, i.e., shared values. [ScienceDaily, Jan14]

 Posted Jan 28: A Rebuttal to a Cool Climate Paper.
A widely circulated June 2009 Geophysical Review Letters paper authored by Richard Lindzen (long-time global-warming-minimizer) and Yong-Sang Choi, attempting to once again challenge the results of climate models, was roundly rebutted in a communication posted at RealClimate on the grounds if misleading use of observed sea surface temperature data and the use of a model lacking an interactive ocean. [Andrew
Revkin, NY Times, Jan 8]

 Posted Jan 28: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a chilling 7-minute video. "Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. " [Posted on YouTube in April 2009]

 Posted Jan 28: No Gender Gap in Math. More nails have been hammered in the coffin of dead theories about inherent differences in math ability between girls and boys, as seen in this international study. [Christie Nicholson,Sci. Amer., 1/6]

 Posted Jan 28: Climate Change Scepticism Will Increase Hardship for World's Poor. [Adam Vaughan, Guardian,via CommonDreams, Jan 4] Rajendra Pachauri, chair of IPCC, warned of increasing attacks from vested interest via global warming deniers, which could seriously weaken the chances for a strong agreement in Mexico and have further endanger the world's poor.

 Posted Jan 28: On issues like global warming and evolution, scientists need to speak up. Increasing public distrust of scientists suggests that they should get their hands dirty and speak more to the public instead of each other. ' "Why target us? We're the good guys. And if we become more media savvy, we'll risk our credibility." There is only one answer to this objection: "Look all around you -- at Climategate, at the unending evolution wars -- and ask, are your efforts working?" The answer, surely, is no. '[Chris Mooney, Wash Post, 1/3/10]

 Posted Jan 28, 2010: The Temperature of Science. James Hansen traces the path from his first historical analyses of global temperature data in 1980 to his present status as a target of hate mail and threats, necessitating an armed escort to a talk he presented in Houston last month. Contains useful charts of temp trends 1880-2010. [James Hansen, e-mail to public, 12/18/09]


Posted Dec 15: U.S. Business Interests Suspected in 'Fabricated' Climate Scandal. "Business interests and US partisan politics are behind the furor over leaked emails that have whipped up a controversy at the Copenhagen climate talks, Canadian according to Canadian IPCC scientist Andrew Weaver and author James Hoggan(writer of "Climategate"). [By Staff , Agence France Presse,Dec 14]

 Posted Dec 15: Water Is the Missing Link in Copenhagen. Global Public Policy Network on Water Management (GPPN), which has been working to raise the profile of water in past climate change negotiations, leading up to Copenhagen, is trying to gain attention for one of its core messages, that water "is the primary medium through which climate change impacts will be felt by populations and the environment." .[Thalif Deen, IPS, Dec 14]

  Posted Dec 15: Deniergate: Turning the tables on climate sceptics. Refutations of some of the more persistent myths about the sources of the global warming still being widely circulated, such as sunspot cycle length and cosmic rays .[Michael Marshall and Michael Le Page, New Scientist, Dec 14]

  Posted Dec 15: Mike Gravel’s Lament: Fighting Another Dumb War. "Barack Obama, who is as mesmerized by the red, white and blue bunting draped around our vast killing machine as the press, the two main political parties and our entertainment industry, will not halt our doomed imperial projects or renege on the $1 trillion in defense-related spending that is hollowing out the country from the inside."[Chris Hedges, TruthDig.com, Dec 13]

  Posted Dec 15: Climate technologies: a leap into the unknown. Geo-engineering to the rescue? "The failure of industrialized countries to offer anything close to the emissions reductions commitments required to avert catastrophic climate change has stimulated a flurry of activity in recent months in the arena of new technologies to "rescue" the planet. [Oscar Reyes, Znet, Dec 12]

  Posted Dec 15: Copenhagen climate change blah blah. Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre oasks "why do roughly half the people in this country (UK) not believe in man-made climate change, when the vast, overwhelming majority of scientists do? Discussion follows. [Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Dec 12]

  Posted Dec 15: Small Farmers Can Cool the World. A study presented by Klimaforum09, at an alternative meeting in Copenhagen representing the world's small farmer, finds that industrial agriculture is the largest single contributor to carbon emissions. [Stephen Leahy, IPS, Dec 11]

  Posted Dec 15: The American Health Care Pyramid. The giants in the banking industry get bailouts, but No guarantees for working Americans, who receive very little from their government: unemployment insurance and food stamps, which add up to a poverty existence. Poverty wages or poverty assistance. And now new levels of poverty health care.[Carl, Ginsburg, Counterpunch, Dec 11]

  Posted Dec 15: No Slowdown of Global Warming, Agency Says. According to preliminary analyses released by the World Meteorological Organization, 2009 was the fifth-warmest year on record and the decade 2000-2009 was the warmest on record. The previous warmest was the 90's. [Revkin and Kanter, NY Times, Dec 9]

  Posted Dec 15: Climatologists Under Pressure. "Stolen e-mails have revealed no scientific conspiracy, but do highlight ways in which climate researchers could be better supported in the face of public scrutiny."[Editorial, Nature, Dec 3]

  Posted Dec 15: Agent Orange's lethal legacy: For U.S., a record of neglect. With U.S. veterans seeking compensation for their Agent Orange-caused illnesses facing delays and a slow-moving bureaucracy "...untold numbers of Vietnamese -- including many who weren't even alive during the war -- also suffer from maladies associated with the defoliants. Tens of thousands more are at risk today from dioxin that remains in the environment at dozens of former U.S. military bases."[Chicao Tribune, Jason Grotto and Tim Jones, 5-part series began Dec 4]

  Posted Dec 15: We May Be Born With an Urge to Help. Interesting evidence for apparent helpfulness instinct in toddlers. But, " Sociality, the binding together of members of a group, is the first requirement of defense, since without it people will not put the group’s interests ahead of their own or be willing to sacrifice their lives in battle. Lawrence H. Keeley, an anthropologist who has traced aggression among early peoples, writes in his book “War Before Civilization” that, “Warfare is ultimately not a denial of the human capacity for cooperation, but merely the most destructive expression of it.”[Nicholas Wadw, NYTimes, Nov 30]

 Posted Nov 14: AHIP (Americas's Health Insurance Plans) Pollster Disrupted by Singing Troupe of Protesters.A health nsurance industry conference was disrupted on its final day by a creative and polished bit of guerilla theater. See the video [Sam Stein, HuffingtonPost, Oct 23]

 Posted Nov 14: Digital Dumping and the Global ‘E-Cycling’ Scam. Where does that old computer go once you think you've recycled it? The 'recycler' may simply "take your electronic items for free, or pocket your recycling fee, and then simply load them onto a sea-going container, and ship them to China, India or Nigeria." "The Basel Action Network investigated Nigeria's e-waste situation and detailed its findings in a shocking report..."[Gbemisola Olujobi,CommonDreams.Nov12]

 Posted Nov 14: Empires and the Sullying of History. A historical description of the use of anthropolgists in the pursuit of colonialism and war, and the notable anthropologists who exposed and resisted this misuse.[Robert Lawless, Counterpunch, Nov 6]

 Posted Nov 14: Is Your Doctor's Continuing Ed Funded by Drug Makers? Doctors maintain their medical credentials by taking Continuing Medical Education courses - heavily funded by the drug giants and larded with drug ads.[Martha Rosenberg, Counterpunch,Nov 4]

 Posted Nov 14:You want the Amazon to survive? Then pay us not to pump the oil, says Ecuador. In a lawsuit that has dragged on for 16 years, Texaco (which Chevron acquired in 1993) is accused of dumping "more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest between 1964 and 1990, and claim(s) that 1,400 deaths occurred in the region as a result[Huw Hennessy in Quito, CommonDreams, Nov 1]

 Posted Nov 14: Powering a Green Planet: Sustainable Energy, Made Interactive. A special web-only-with graphics piece, arguing the practicality of a massive shift by 2030 to a hydro/wind/solar powered economy. Discussion follows. [M.Z. Jacobson, M.A.Delucchi, Scientific American, Nov 2009]

 Posted Nov 14: Waste heat in solar energy generation - another myth destroyed. The author shows the absurdity of a claim made in the book Superfreakonomics by Levitt , using elementary math and inormation available to everybody [Ray Pierrehumbert, RealClimate, Oct 29]

 Posted Nov 14: Book review of "Climate Cover Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming." An exploration of climate change contrarianism...exploring the PR techniques, phony 'think tanks,' and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth." [RealClimate, Oct 20]

 Posted Nov 14: Crisis Has Hurt Investment in Renewables. "Interest in investing in renewable energies seems to have waned as a result of the recession and the drop in oil prices, despite the pressing need to find ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, which are blamed for global warming. " [Emilio Godoy, IPS,Oct 10]

 Posted Nov 14: Spreading Hysteria about Swine Flu "Hysteria". In view of the uncertainties inherent in predicting the spread of any new disease, Soldz criticizes the commentators who promote public distrust of the need for a vaccination program. They use "the common commentator's trick to pose the options as 'hysteria' or forgetting about it, as if those are the only options. Of course, hysteria is never useful. But cautious alertness often is. " [Stephen Soldz, Znet Sep 29]

 Posted Oct 12: Southeast Asia: Back to Traditional Farming to Beat Climate Change.] A perceived increase in the duration and intensity of droughts and floods and decrease in a reliability of the changeover between rainy and dry seasons, together with damage from deforestation and monoculture has led to experimentation with traditional methods and seeds. [Anil Netto, IPS, Oct 9

 Posted Oct 12: Dwindling Fish Catch Could Leave a Billion Hungry. A mega-shift in ocean productivity from south to north over the next three to four decades "[due to climate change]will leave those most reliant on fish for both food and income high and dry. [Stephen Leahy, IPS, Oct 9]

 Posted Oct 12: Boxer-Kerry Climate Bill Greenwashes Nuclear Power. Riccio reviews the dangers, both economical and environmental, of bringing back nukes. [Jim Riccio, CommonDreams, Oct 8]

 Posted Oct 12: Our Love Affair With Our Lawns vs the Water Crisis. According to a 2007 NASA study, "Lawns are America's largest irrigated crop -- we have 63,240 square miles under cultivation -- and we use roughly 19 trillion gallons of water annually to care for them." (Note: This could cover the whole continental U.S. to a depth of a centimeter)[ Dara Colwell, AlterNet, Oct 2]

 Posted Oct 12: IFPRI study highlights future food shortages due to climate change. Using two different models of climate change, the International Food Policy Research Institute predicted large increases in food prices by 2050, especially in South Asia, due to declining yields caused by lack of rain and increased temperatures.[ifpri.org press releases, Oct 2]

 Posted Oct 12: G-20 Protesters Faced New Weapons. In addition to the old standbys tear gas and pepper spray, Pittsburgh police unleashed bean bags fired from shotguns,flash-bang grenades, batons and, for the first time on the streets of America, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), used basically to screech people off the streets. More advanced weapons are in the pipeline, including heat rays, puke rays and sonic bullets.[Mike Ferner, Consortium News via CommonDreams]

 Posted Oct 12: It's Not Sex, It's Money. Instead of looking at the population growth of the very poor, ii's time to focus on the environmental impacts of the rich, says George Monbiot. [UK Guardian, via CommonDreams, Sep 29]

 Posted Oct 12: How to read articles about health and health care. Would you read an article called “Coffee pretty unlikely to cause cancer, but you never know”? Probably not. But the headlines that do attract your attention are often misleading. Here are some simple questions to ask about mass media science reports. [Alicia White, Bad Science, Sep 16]

  Posted Sept 11: Why Not to Buy a New Computer for College. What portion of those rare elements vital in small quantities for the latest electronic toys originate in genocidal war zones in Africa? Global Witness delineates how multinational companies are "pillaging natural resources and fueling holocaust in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)." [Deena Guzder, CommonDreams, Sep 10]

  Posted Sept 11: The Mystery of Chernobyl. It has been reported that "it has been reported that the abandoned town of Pripyat has become a wildlife haven." Now, 23 yearsa after the accident, a team of scientists is now investigating the effects of the released radiation on local wildlife.[Sanjida O'Connell,CommonDreams, Sep 9]

  Posted Sept 11: No Flies on S.F.'s New Composting Law. The city of San Francisco is distributing over 100 composting bins daily to speed compliance with its new composting law which mandates that by Oct 21, every home and business will have separate bins for trash, recyclables and compost. [Heather Knight,CommonDreams, Sep 9]

  Posted Sept 11: Whole Foods Fair Trade and Organics. Open letter from Organic Consumers Association blasts Whole Food Markets for greenwashing and threatens a boycott. [Ronnie Cummins, Counterpunch, Sep 9]

  Posted Sept 11: Dr. Pepper's Wet Dream. Water, Government Subsidies and Transfer of Wealth in the Middle of the Desert. " For the past three years, [California]has been in the grip of a devastating drought," with water deliveries cut in half. Yet here in Victorville on the edge of the Mojave Desert, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, has announced plans a facility that will "suck up hundreds of millions of gallons of water a year from this water-scarce area to supply soft drinks to 20 percent of its domestic market." [Yasha Levine, AlterNet, Sep 8]

  Posted Sept 11: Ending Africa's Hunger. An in-depth look at the dangers of bringing a second edition of a Bill Gates-funded Green Revolution to Africa. [Raj Patel, et al, The Nation, Sep 2 (sep 21 print issue) ]

  Posted Sept 11: Water: the Newest Wave of Corporate "Social Responsibility". A major opportunity for a corporate PR coup, " World Water Week has [attracted]...companies selling water, beverages, and water and sanitation services to grab a seat at the table, as water practices and policies are discussed." [Diane Farsetta, Counterpunch, Sep 2]

  Posted Sept 11: Wall Street's Health Care Takeover. Former flack for the health insurance mega-lobby speaks out: "I'm ashamed that I let myself get caught up in deceitful and dishonest PR campaigns that worked so well, hundreds of thousands of our citizens have died, and millions of others have lost their homes and been forced into bankruptcy, so that a very few corporate executives and their Wall Street masters could become obscenely rich." [Wendell Potter, Common Dreams, Sep/1]

  Posted Sept 11: Ian Plimer’s homework assignment. A detailed response to a new set of questions posed by Ian Plimer, one of Britains most often-quoted climate-change deniers, who is widely quoted on Fox News and other far right meida. [Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, Aug 24]

  Posted Sept 11: The brutal truth about America’s healthcare. "The LA Forum, the arena that once hosted sell-out Madonna concerts, has been transformed – for eight days only – into a vast field hospital. In America, the offer of free healthcare is so rare, that news of the magical medical kingdom spread rapidly and long lines of prospective patients snaked around the venue for the chance of getting everyday treatments that many British people take for granted. "[Guy Adams, The Independent, Aug 15]

  Posted Sept 11: Protesting at Climate Ground Zero. Accounts of direct action to raise consciousness about global warming, featuring a daring nine-hour ascent of the inside of a 600-foot smokestack at England's Kingsnorth coal-fired power plant. [Tomdispatch.com, Aug 11]

  Posted August 13: G.M. Puts Electric Car’s City Mileage in Triple Digits. 230 miles per gallon - for an electric car? Yes, for an EPA standard 100-mile trip, you run it until the battery quits after 40 miles, then the small gasoline engine kicks in and feeds the battery to get you another 60 miles. That's how this number was calculated. Thus, if you drove only 40 miles, your gas mileage would be infinite. Nissan's Leaf will get 367 "miles per gallon" using the same EPA standard. Just thought we'd clear that one up for our readers. By the way, for non-home owners - sorry, there doesn't yet seem to be any way of re-charging your batteries, which takes 8 hours. But, confusing numbers aside, the development of the Volt may show that GM (now 60% government-owned) may at last be serious about innovation. [Bill Vlasic and Nick Bunkly. NY Times, Aug 12]

  Posted August 13: 10 Questions to Ask If You Find Yourself at an ObamaCare Town Hall Meeting. Or if your in-laws are visiting...[David Lindorff, Counterpunch, Jul 12]

  Posted August 13: Let's Talk About Tasers. "Tasers were sold to the public as a tool for law enforcement to be used in lieu of deadly force", but there is increasing evidence that this weapon "is becoming a barbaric tool of authoritarian, social control."[Digby, CommonDreams, via Salon, Aug 11]

  Posted August 13: Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security. What's that? National security! The all-purpose justifier is at last being wheeled onto the field of the battle on carbon emissions. Talk about lives lost due to starvation and flooding is turning more and more to talk of threats of political unrest and the need new military interventions. [John M Broder, NY Times, Aug 8]

  Posted August 13: The World's Rubbish Dump: A Garbage Tip that Stretches from Hawaii to Japan. Another story on the vast "trash vortex" in the Northern Hemisphere portion of the Pacific, composed mainly of discarded plastic and foam products, detectable from ships but not dense enough to be seen on satellite imagery. [Kathy Marks, The Independent (via CommonDreams, Aug 6]

  Posted August 13: Jelly Fish and Warm Oceans. This Wash Post blog writer points to accounts of increasing numbers of jellyfish, including the giant jellyfish, reportedly connected with rises in sea surface temperature. One interesting figure from NOAA that he references from a previous article indicates that "June's combined average global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest on record since 1880, and world ocean surface temperatures set an all-time record high for the month".[Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Aug 5]

  Posted August 13: India: Rural Communities Turn to Traditional Climate Mitigation. In Tamilnadu, southern India, and Uttar Pradesh, northern India, villagers, helped by NGOs including Oxfam, have revived ancient systems of storing surface and groundwater that are putting them in a good position to contend with anticipated increases in monsoon rainfall intensity. [Keya Acharya, IPS news, Aug 5]

  Posted August 13: Crackdown Against Environmental Criminals Follows Greenpeace Report. Shoe Brands Get Tough on Leather Suppliers to Save Amazon Rainforest. As a result of a 3-year investigation by Greenpeace, "Some of the world's top footwear brands, including Clarks, Adidas, Nike and Timberland, have demanded an immediate moratorium on destruction of the Amazon rainforest from their leather suppliers in Brazil".(see related Alcoa story below)[Damian Carrington and Tom Phillips, The Guardian,(via CommonDreams), Aug 4]

  Posted August 13: Organic food no better than normal food? Ben Goldacre takes a hard look at the PR techniques of the organic food movement and also at issues of faith-based reasoning vs Big Science. Good discussion follows. See also Jun 30 post just below on Huffington Post.[Ben Goldacre, BadScience, The Guardian, Aug 1]

  Posted August 13: The Huffington Post is crazy about your health. Curing swine flu with deep-cleaning enemas? Getting cancer from candida? Autism from vaccinations? De-tox and deep-cleaning therapies for everyone? Parikh criticizes the Huffington Post as being callous in its "lack of substance" and failing to provide citations of controlled experiments to back up claims.[Rahul Parikh, Salon,Jul 30]

  Posted August 13: Alcoa Razes Rain Forest in Court Case Led by Brazil Prosecutors. Detailed and troubling look at how uncertain environmental enforcement by Brazil combined with sustained pressures from powerful multinationals, including Alcoa and Cargill, are combining to continue the destruction of the rain forest through minies, cattle ranches and industrial-scale agriculture. "We are not going to reduce global warming if we don't do something about deforestation in the Amazon," says Doug Boucher [member of DC Metro Science for the People], director of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at Concerned Scientists. "It's that simple, and very alarming. The Amazon is a big part -- if not the key part -- of a solution to deal with global warming."[Michael Smith and Adriana Brasileiro, Bloomberg.com, jul 30]

 Posted July 31: Organic Versus Conventional Food: UK Report Flawed. The review study (see next article below) was criticized by the Soil Association of the UK, citing Michael Hansen of Consumer's Union, [who said that] "including older studies, with crop varieties that no longer are on the market, and which did have more nutrients, only serves to lessen the possibility of finding any significant differences between organic and conventional foods."[Paula Crossfield, Huffington Post, Jul 30]

Posted July 31: Organic has no health benefits. A new review study (by Alan Dangour - see abstract), commissioned by the UK The Food Standards Agency concluded that "There is little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce". [BBC News, Jul 29]

 Posted July 31: India's 20 GW solar energy plans. India announced a $19B 20-year "National Solar Mission" which by 2030 is expected to put online 20GW of photo-voltaic-generated solar power (the equivalent of about 15 large nuclear power plants), . This would amount to 10-12% of India's estimated power needs for that year. China has already announced plans of about this scale, sheduled for completion in 2020.[Reuters-India, Jul 28]

 Posted July 31: Rich Nations Vulnerable to Water Disasters. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned yesterday that the state of California, for example, the world's fifth largest economy, "could see prime farmland reduced to a dustbowl, and major cities running out of water by the end of the century". Other areas that can suffer from redistribution of rainfall due to climate change include Spain and Australia.[Thalif Deen, IPS news, Jul 28]

 Posted July 31: The Privatization of Global Health. Large increases in global health aid going from rich to poor countries are serving to spread the for-profit delivery of health care by private entities at the expense of public systems. [Sanjay Basu, Zspace, Jul 28]

 Posted July 31:Foreign Disbelief of Topless America. Big Coal and mountaintop removal are alive and well in Obama's America (two videos included) .[Jeff Biggers, CommonDreams.org, Jul 28]

 Posted July 31: How Eating Steak, Cake and Butter Can Make You Live Longer. Eat more fat??? "Even the American Heart Association (AHA), a leader in the campaign against dietary fat, recently revised its nutritional guidelines, increasing the daily recommendations for fat. 'The science just wasn’t there,' acknowledges Robert Eckel, president of the AHA and a professor of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. [Janet Paskin, Ode,July 27]

 Posted July 31: Why Are Humans Different From All Other Apes? It’s the Cooking, Stupid. Richard Wrangham in his book “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” attibutes a central role to cooking in his explanation of the development not only of many aspects of human society, but also many physical attributes, such as uncommonly weak jaws for a carnivore.[Dwight Garner, NY Times, May 26]

 Posted July 31: World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted in Next Five Years, Study Warns. An temporary pause in global warming during the 10 year's since the El Niño peak in1998 (that led to a lot of noise-making by the denialogists) whould come to a quick end according to results just published in thd U.S. A return of El Niño coupled with a cyclic maximum in solar activity should lead to another run of record-high global temperaures in the next few years[Duncan Clark, The Guardian(via CommonDreams, Jul 27]

 Posted July 31: Climate Change to Force 75 Million Pacific Islanders From Their Homes. A new Oxfam Australia report, "The Future is Here" warns of the urgent need for action now to intensify efforts of the people in danger to mitigate the coming destruction and for the richest nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Bonnie Malkin, Telegraph(UK), via CommonDreams]

 Posted July 31: How the Food Industry Has Made Bacon a Weapon of Mass Destruction. "The confluence of factory farming, the boom in fast food and manipulation of consumer taste created processed foods that can hook us like drugs." From the vertically-integrated livestock monopolies to the manipulation of the public's food preferences to the obesity epidemic and the swine flu epidemic - it's all here.[Arun Gupta, AlterNet, July 23]

 Posted July 12: Missile Defense Yet Again. Exposing a series of Washington Post spins (and lies) on the possibility of missile defense, defense researcher Cirincione quotes a recent letter from leading physicists to Obama: "We assess that the planned European missile defense system would have essentially no capability to defend against a real missile attack. ... This system has not been proven and does not merit deployment. It would offer little or no defensive capability, even in principle. At the same time, its deployment would result in large security, political, and monetary costs."[Joe Cirincione, Huffington Post, Jul 11]

 Posted July 12: Forget Shorter Showers - Why personal change does not equal political change. Is the personal political? "Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance."[Derrick Jensen, Orion, Jul-Aug]

Posted July 12: The Organic Monopoly and the Myth of 'Natural' Foods: How Industry Giants Are Undermining the Organic Movement. "How natural is the so-called natural food in our local Whole Foods Market, coop, or grocery store? ... [is] it ...disguising unhealthy and unsustainable food and farming practices as alternatives? Is 'natural' just a marketing ploy to sell conventional-unhealthy, energy-intensive, and non-sustainable food and products at a premium price? [Ronnie Cummins, CommonDreams, Jul 9]

Posted July 12: G-8 Failure Reflects U.S. Failure on Climate Change. Jim Hansen blasts the Waxman-Markey bill as the reason for the disappointing result in Italy, pronouncing it "...no more fit to rescue our climate than a V-2 rocket was to land a man on the moon. " Hansen favors, among other measures a carbon fee at the source with a dividend returned to the public according to their success in reducing their own carbon footprint.[James Hansen, HuffingtonPost, Jul 9]

Posted July 12: Meatless Mondays: Do Something Good for the Earth and Your Health. Schools of Public at Johns Hopkins, Columbia Univerity and 27 other institutions have launhed a Meatless Mondays campaign, focused on trying to persuade the world to forego meat on at least one day each week. [Kathy Freston,AlterNet, Jul 6]

Posted July 12: Science at the bleeding edge. In media reports of scientific breakthroughs, the press rushes to bring the latest novelties to its readers, albeit in distorted form, but "...quite often news stories are focused on claims that turn out to be wrong, or if not actually wrong, heavily reduced in importance by the time the dust settles."[Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, Jul 6] (Also see "Asking for it", just below)

Posted July 12: Asking for it. "Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre tracks down the "scientists" referred to in a recent headline in the Telegraph, “Women who dress provocativelymore likely to be raped, claim scientists" [the article has since pulled by Telegraph] and finds both it and the article to be false and/or grossly distorted. [Goldacre, BadScience, jul 4]. Apropos of this, check out this cartoon in phdcomics.com

Posted July 12: Eat, Drink, Think, Change. Eric Schlosser is a producer of, and a character in, “Food, Inc.,” in which the director Robert Kenner 'takes a sprawling look at the perils of Big Food. The film is being promoted as an exposé of “the highly mechanized underbelly” of the seemingly benign food people eat every day'. [Kim Severson, NY Times, Jun 3]

Posted July 12: Summer Travel Suggestion: Come and visit the Creation Museum. Conveniently located just 7 miles west of the Cincinatti Airport. This "...state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers." Or, you can be lazy, stay home and just read what AlterNet has to say about all this. [July 2 AlterNet post]

Posted July 12, 2009: Green Power Takes Root in the Chinese Desert. While the U.S. Congress is still debating proposals that American utilities generate more of their power from renewable sources of energy, China imposed such a requirement almost two years ago. "This year China is on track to pass the United States as the world’s largest market for wind turbines — after doubling wind power capacity in each of the last four years."[Keith Bradsher, NY Times, July 2]




Geo-engineering: InVogue-realclimate.org

Human Fingerprints: Fact Sheet on Global Warming - Union of Concerned Scientists

CARGILL: Eating the Amazon : rainforest to soybeans

Global Warming and Hurricanes:     Scientists vs. Journalists

Alaska Oil Pipeline Leak - SftP member interviewed on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Aug 8

Education Research vs. Rhetoric: Congressional Hearings on No Child Left Behind, by Tim D'Emilio (Jan 4, 2007) Torture: America's Brutal Prisons, by John.Kelly (Jan 5, 2007)Salvage Logging - A New Scientific Scandal, by Doug Boucher(Aug 15, 2006) Junk Science, Wrongful Convictions and Terrorism, by John Kelly (Aug 20, 2006)Research Evidence and the Debate on Education: Reform vs. Change, by Tim D'Emilio (Aug 20, 2006)Somethin's Fishy About Agricultural Biotechnology, by Preston Covington and Jane Zara (Aug 31, 2006) Response and Resistance to Corporated-Backed Agrobiotechnologyby John Tharakan (Aug 31, 2006)