Science and Ideology

Climate Change

Methane levels in the atmosphere are now rising at their fastest pace in decades – Vox

When scientists talk about the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming, they typically focus on far and away the most important one, carbon dioxide — which is emitted when humans burn fossil fuels or clear forests.  The world is actually making slow progress on CO2 — there’s been no growth in annual CO2 emissions for the past three years, thanks to a slowdown in coal burning in China.

Source: Methane levels in the atmosphere are now rising at their fastest pace in decades – Vox

Jeb’s climate nonsense: Believing climate science is “arrogance,” says the GOP “moderate”

There was a small and short-lived flurry of optimism a few months ago that perhaps Jeb Bush’s 2016 candidacy would represent a major shift in the Republican posture towards climate change. With the help of deep-pocketed fossil fuel interests, the GOP and the conservative movement have spent the past couple of decades dismissing and sneering at climate change science, casting it as a global left-wing conspiracy. But Jeb came out with some moderate-sounding rhetoric that a few eager and hopeful observers interpreted as a sign that he might actually be serious about climate change, or at least that he was less pig-headed about the science behind it than, say, Ted Cruz.

Source: Jeb’s climate nonsense: Believing climate science is “arrogance,” says the GOP “moderate” – Salon.com

If the world built nuclear power plants at the rate Sweden had, there would be no need for fossil fuels in 25 years

With all its cons and pros, at this time, nuclear power remains our best shot at decarbonizing the planet and ridding the world of its dependence of fossil fuel. During the 60s and 70s, many of the world’s governments, including France, the US or the USSR embarked on ambitious projects to electrify their nations using nuclear power. Accidents like those at Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) or Fukushima (2011) served to halt this rapid pace of deployment and even shift policy back to massive fossil fuel deployment. Anti-nuclear power public sentiment did little to help, of course. Considering that the combined power of solar, wind and hydropower can’t yet rid us of pesky oil and gas, wouldn’t it be better if we embraced nuclear nevertheless, with all its shortcoming (many of which have been addressed by modern technology)? Two researchers wondered if the world was to hypothetically shift in high nuclear gear, how long would it take to completely shelve fossil. Their analysis showed if we built nuclear power plants at the rate Sweden had between 1960-1990, this target would be reached within 25 years.

Source: If the world built nuclear power plants at the rate Sweden had, there would be no need for fossil in 25 years

Pope calling on people to protect the global climate

The Conversation
Andy Hoffman, University of Michigan and Jenna White, University of Michigan

pope@2xThis summer, Pope Francis plans to release an encyclical letter in which he will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change.

His statement will have a profound impact on the public debate. For one, it will elevate the spiritual, moral and religious dimensions of the issue. Calling on people to protect the global climate because it is sacred, both for its own God-given value and for the life and dignity of all humankind, not just the affluent few, will create far more personal commitment than a government call for action on economic grounds or an activist’s call on environmental grounds. Continue reading

Media Confuses Climate Change with Wisconsin Work Ethics

Although climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is not the function of every public agency. Many have a sole purpose defined and paid for by taxpayers.  Bloomberg Business and most of the media reports on the issue were jumping on this story and paraphrasing each other without any original thought.

Last Tuesday, the Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands voted 2-to-1 to prohibit staff “from engaging in global warming or climate change work” while on the clock at the Board of Commissioners. According to the board, working on climate change, or even just talking about it while at work, is a waste of public funds. Continue reading

Liberal media misrepresents Florida reprimand of employee about ‘climate change’

Why are some in the liberal media falsely inflaming this story? They do not need to. The banning of the term ‘climate change’ by Florida officials is clear by now. There is no reason to embellish it with misleading stories by letting ideology distort reality. The Huffington Post, ran a story called ‘Florida Environmental Staffer Says He Was Reprimanded For Talking About Climate Change’, The Guardian called it “Florida employee ‘punished for using phrase climate change'”, The Washington Post called it “Fla. official says he was punished for using ‘climate change’ in report”

According to his reprimand, (read it yourself) it was not for using the term ‘climate change’ but for falsifying the results of a meeting, and for advocating against the Keystone pipeline on official documents. Whether the pipeline causes global warming or not is a political view, even though global warming and climate change are facts, it is not scientific consensus that Keystone will cause increased fuel use, only a shift in fuel use. Our position is that it may by making oil easier to get. Continue reading

Heartland Institute is Out of Touch with regard to scientific consensus on climate change

Bast-300x168

Joseph Bast, President of Heartland Institute

The media as a ‘manufacturer of doubt’ can have a negative impact on the belief by the public that there is a no scientific consensus when in fact there is one. A Wall Street Journal article “The Myth of Climate Change ‘97%'” challenges that there is a scientific consensus by manufacturing doubt with shady arguments. The opinion co-authored by Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute[5], which is the “the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism,” according to the New York Times.  They do not address whether climate change is real or not. Instead they focus on manufacturing doubt about scientific consensus. Continue reading

‘Manufacturers of Doubt’ undermine public support for policies mitigating climate change

daf09a936076b46dac53bfa9ddd96669-origStrong scientific consensus will not generate public support for environmental policy, unless skeptical voices become almost silent.  Surveys have shown that perceptions of scientific dissent undermine public support for environmental policy[1]. Even a few vocal or organized scientific and media voices can cause a perception of uncertainty in the public, a tactic used by tobacco companies in the 50’s and 60’s to sway public opinion away from the dangers of smoking. A paper, since debunked as quackery, about vaccines and autism has led to 30% of the American public believing there is a connection according to PEW survey.[2] Likewise, organizations like the Heartland Institute[5] focus on manufacturing doubt about scientific consensus on climate change even though the scientific consensus on climate change approaches 97%.  Continue reading

‘The top of the list of energy challenges is climate change’ – Kerry

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 6.30.52 PM, Mar 12, 2015“The top of the list of energy challenges is climate change” said Kerry to the Atlantic Council today. Kerry showed he was definitely In Touch with the Science on the major environmental issue facing us today.

“For decades the science has been screaming at us, trying to compel us to act..” Kerry added that “Science is and has long been crystal clear when it comes to climate change.”

He gave an impassioned plea to look at the science explaining that climate change is “Fact based, evidence supported, peer reviewed science, and yet if you listen to some people in Washington or elsewhere, you would think there is a question whether climate change really is a problem or if we really need to respond to it. Continue reading

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