Archive for June 1st, 2010
Perhaps a lot of climate deniers are frustrated by scientists because they think the scientists claim to be know-it-alls. This is far from true. It is true that scientists almost uniformly agree that humans are warming the climate and that they base this conclusion upon “the extreme rate of the 20th century temperature changes and the inability of climate models to simulate such warming without including the role of greenhouse gas pollution.” These are things that climate scientists do know, according to Quirin Schiermeier, author of “The Real Holes in Climate Science,” published in the January 21, 2010 edition of Nature (available online only to subscribers).
What don’t we know? Schiermeier presents four major categories.
The first is “Regional climate prediction rate.” Schiermeier begins the section with this: “The sad truth of climate science is that the most crucial information is the least reliable.” He indicates that researchers are struggling to develop tools to more accurately forecast regional changes in climate. People are concerned about overall heating of the planet, of course. What they are more concerned about, though is how climate change is going to affect their particular region. Unfortunately, science does not yet have the tools to make precise conclusions regarding regions or countries. This is especially true when “dealing in regions with complex typography, such as where mountains form a wall between two climatically different plains.
Precipitation. Schiermeier indicates that rising global temperatures “are likely to increase evaporation and accelerate the global hydrological cycle–a change that will drive subtropical areas and increased precipitation at higher latitudes.” Unfortunately, predicting precipitation is extremely difficult, especially winter precipitation. In fact, today’s climate models underestimate how much precipitation has already changed. Scientists are working to improve precipitation prediction by considering additional climate variables, and including high-resolution satellite observations to check their theoretical models.
[More . . . ]
Look what advertising has so often come to: The advantage of going with this company is that they won’t hit you with “hidden fees.” They won’t cheat you. Much food packaging and advertising is comparable. We won’t poison you with strange chemicals! Zero grams of trans fats! All natural!
America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
- Hunter S. Thompson
But it gets worse. In our schools we work hard to teach our children civility and kindness. For instance, take a look at this wonderful set of “Rules to Live By” displayed at New City School, in St. Louis Missouri. Who could possibly dispute the importance of any of these rules? These characteristics precisely describe the kinds of children we want to raise, right?
Now consider the accusations that we commonly hear as the centerpiece of media stories, especially political media stories. They are full of untruths, untrustworthy characters, refusal to listen and tons of vicious put-downs. Our conflict-pornography obsessed news media works hard every day to undo the lessons we so carefully teach our children.
There is something terribly wrong with us. Fixing this lack of truth and civility should be one of our highest priorities. One easy suggestion is to turn off the television or radio whenever they report fake news that is really conflict pornography. Label it as not-news and just shut it off. Or, better yet, switch over to real news like Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, where you’ll hear truth from a trustworthy reporter, who will actively listen to her guests and offer absolutely no put downs.
Character is forged by failure. There are thousands of examples, and here are a few of them:
A worthy segue is the advice of psychologist Carol Dweck: Praise hard work, not intelligence, because doing the latter makes students unwilling to take chances that risk failure.