Tag: global climate change

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert – Trump’s Global Warming Logic

The host of CBS’ “The Late Show” Stephen Colbert uses Trump’s logic against him.

Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science

This week we shall explore misconceptions about science generally, and then take a few specific cases for further examination.  There are a few concepts that are essential to understand about what makes science work, and why it is the best tool that we have to understand the natural world, and to use science to improve the human condition.

There are two fundamental large scale misconceptions about science, and we shall treat them first.  Then there are an almost unlimited supply of what I call false science, meaning that scientific terms and logic based on incorrect premises are used in attempts by those who actually know better to influence people.  The fundamental misconceptions are sort of to be expected from folks who are not educated in science, but he false science is used by nefarious persons to influence those not versed in real science, usually for a monetary or a social goal or goals.  Please let us explore.

Happy Undead Nuclear Halloween

…a Zombie nightmare rides again.


Photo: Jonathan Lee. Me, Bob Del Tredici, Steve Wing and my hubby casing the FedEx Global Education Center lecture hall at UNC-CH, where all buildings and all departments are now owned by Big Business and Corporate sponsors, much to the dismay of the research faculty.

There are a great many important issues on our plates these days. Health Care (or merely insurance) Reform, two wars of invasion and occupation that show no signs of ending any time soon, an overstretched and vastly underappreciated military, a serious economic collapse and ever-lengthening Great Recession, home foreclosures, unemployment, torture as government policy, war crimes of the last administration stubbornly ignored, and the never-ending assault on the Constitution our erstwhile leaders swore to protect and defend. We who like to think of ourselves as Progressives and are keeping up with issues and actions via the ‘net and blogosphere do what we can on all of the issues, even if not all of them are The Most Important Issue we are personally engaging in our real life spheres. I am adding one more, which probably won’t be at the top of the list for most, but which has been around long enough that it does deserve a place in the lineup of things progressives should keep track of.

This week my husband and I were invited to attend and participate in a lunchtime seminar and evening lecture presentation by Robert Del Tredici of Vanier College in Quebec, Canada. “Looking Into the Nuclear Age: On Life, Art and the Bomb” was stunning. We’d been invited by epidemiologist (and friend) Steve Wing of UNC Chapel Hill, who hosted the event along with artist Elin O’Hara Slavick. Steve had conducted an independent epidemiological study of cancers in the area of Three Mile Island back in the early 1990s, and came to conclusions that directly contradicted those of previous studies and the U.S. government, which has insisted to this very day that no one was harmed by the meltdown.

Steve’s study was to have been evidence in a class action lawsuit in the 1990s with more than 2,000 plaintiffs who had developed cancer after the accident at TMI in 1979. My husband and I were to have been the backup evidence to support his study in that lawsuit, having been the designated “reporting agents” under provisions of 10CFR.21 for the health physics contractor at Three Mile Island immediately following the accident. Neither we nor Steve ever made it to court, as the lawsuit was finally dismissed for “lack of evidence” when the defendants convinced Judge Rambo that the only evidence admissible must be the coverup the guilty parties themselves provided. Duh.

In Asia: The Best, The Worst, and the Most Criminal Of Humanity

Some of the worst of humanity, serial bomb blasts in the Indian city of Jaipur, killing 80, injuring 200:

Asia Times Online attempts to analyze the event, including the possibility that this is state-sponsored terrorism used as a type of cheap negotiation tactic.

Updated (3x) Over 200,000 Dead In Burma: Vloggers Respond

First, breaking news this morning. There has been a 7.8 earthquake in China that has left four schoolchildren and one adult dead:

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for “all-out” efforts to rescue victims of an earthquake measuring 7.8 that has hit south-western China.

The quake struck 92km (57 miles) north-west of Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu, at 1428 (0628 GMT).

The children were killed, and more than 100 others injured, when primary school buildings collapsed in the Chongqing area, a large municipality near Sichuan province, Xinhua added.

Another person is reported to have died when a water tower collapsed in the city of Mianyang, in Santai County.

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asi…

The Bangkok Post gives further details of the magnitude of the quake:

Government and local officials said the quake struck at 2:28pm local time (1:28pm in Thailand) in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province. It was felt in cities hundreds of kilometres away, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in addition to Bangkok.

“Major tremors” were felt by residents of cities closer to the epicentre, including Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, and nearby Chongqing, the official news agency Xinhua said.

link: http://www.bangkokpost.com/top…

(Meanwhile in Myanmar below.- ek)

Updated – Burma’s Military Junta Deports Aid Workers

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar said Friday it was not ready to let in foreign aid workers, rejecting international pressure to allow experts into the isolated nation where disease and starvation are stalking cyclone survivors.

One week after the devastating storm killed tens of thousands, Myanmar’s ruling generals — deeply suspicious of the outside world — said the country needed outside aid for those still alive, but would deliver it themselves.

The foreign ministry announcement came as a top UN official warned time was running out to move in disaster experts and supplies to prevent diseases that could claim even more victims.

Instead, the ministry said some relief workers who arrived on an aid flight from Qatar on Wednesday had been deported.

link: http://afp.google.com/article/…

Al Jazeera has an exemplary in-depth analysis of this tragedy, including an extended round table featuring UN Humanitarian Chief John Holmes, Bo Hla Tint, spokesperson for the Burmese Government in Exile and Marie Lall of the Asia Programme at Chatham House: