Archive for the 'The No Science Zone' Category

Hybrids cars: a step in the right direction!

A myth moving around the blogosphere reports that a ‘scientific study’ has shown that GMC Hummers are actually better for the environment than hybrids like the Toyota Prius, because of the cost and pollution involved in manufacturing the battery.  “Bunk”, states this analysis in Slate Magazine, which notes that the so-called study has lots of faulty assumptions, such as assuming the lifespan of the Prius is only 109,000 miles, while that of the Hummer is 379,000 miles. 

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UCS announces newest “Science Idol” winner

The Union of Concerned Scientists annouced the winner of its “Science Idol” editorial cartoon contest today. The winning entry and 12 finalists drew attention to government interference in science. You may order a 2008 calendar featuring the 12 finalists from the UCS, if you are interested.

Previous surgeon general says science censored by Bush

The previous surgeon general testified that the Bush Adminstration overruled scientific study for political reasons with regard to abstinence education and birth control policy.

Coal a “king” alternative fuel?

Unfortunately, to please the industry lobby, both key congressional Democrats and Republicans are supporting a) subsidies/loans for coal-to-liquid production plants, b) minimum prices for the new fuel, and c) big government purchases of coal for the next 25 years….More on this folly in the NYT. The move to use more liquified coal would likely increase Greenhouse gas emissions, as this NYT graphic shows: Equiv_GreenhouseGas_Emissions.  The Washington Post also has an editorial (May 30) on how an outdated federal program, the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service, actually encourages use of coal rather than cleaner alternatives.

Swindled by the “Great Global Warming Swindle”

The film mentioned toward the end of tonight’s, April 9, ICAN meeting has been subject to scientific and editorial review, and it has lots of holes (Watch it online here). An extensive analysis by the Independent Weekly found the film full of errors, out-date-information, and some lies sprinkled in. Here are some quotes:

…graphs used out-of-date information or data that was shown some years ago to be wrong. Yet the programme makers claimed the graphs demonstrated that orthodox climate science was a conspiratorial “lie” foisted on the public….

The programme-makers labelled the source of the world temperature data as “Nasa” but when we inquired about where we could find this information, we received an email through Wag TV’s PR consultant saying that the graph was drawn from a 1998 diagram published in an obscure journal called Medical Sentinel. The authors of the paper are well-known climate sceptics who were funded by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and the George C Marshall Institute, a right-wing Washington think-tank.

One of the scientists featured in the film, Carl Wunsch (MIT), says he was misquoted several times, and now wishes to lodge a formal complaint with the directors.

Many bloggers with much more time and energy than myself have debunked the film. Find them here ([1], [2], [3], [4], and on RealClimate’s excellent site). Here’s a quote from “RealClimate.org”:

On Thursday March 8th, the UK TV Channel 4 aired a programme titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. We were hoping for important revelations and final proof that we have all been hornswoggled by the climate Illuminati, but it just repeated the usual specious claims we hear all the time. We feel swindled.

Happy reading. I wish I had all these facts at the tip of my tongue in tonights meeting.

US negotiaters try to tone down UN Climate Report…

(From Washington Post reports, April 7): “…In particular, U.S. negotiators managed to eliminate language in one section that called for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, said Patricia Romero Lankao, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., who was one of the report’s lead authors.

   

“In the course of negotiations over the report by the second working group of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.S. officials challenged the wording of a section suggesting that policymakers need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because countries will not be able to respond to climate change simply by using adaptive measures such as levees and dikes.

“In that instance, the original draft read: ‘However, adaptation alone is not expected to cope with all the projected effects of climate change, and especially not over the long run as most impacts increase in magnitude. Mitigation measures will therefore also be required.’ That second sentence does not appear in the final version of the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.”

Global warming, who wins and who loses?

An article by Gregg Easterbrook in this month’s Atlantic Monthly purports to answer this question. I found the article both simplistic and narrowminded. Simplistic because it approaches warming as a process that will affect all locations of the same latitude (or altitude) similarly, while the science suggests it is much more complex than that... Narrowminded because it views the ‘win’ and ‘lose’ purely from a human economic perspective, without regard to biodiversity, ecology, or other more inclusive moralities. More on this at Grist.