Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Read with caution" anti-climate-crank text and links, for safekeeping

I'm about to replace this text, which NCVoices was displaying above the "climate contrarians" column, but I didn't want it to disappear altogether, so here it is:
"...we've managed to create some people who seem to be opposed to the persistence of a viable planet" (link) - and to the health and well-being of the next 50 generations.

You'll find them down below. (And those who don't much care* were in the next column over.)

"We will have to do this because if we don’t, our children will curse our lack of courage and our selfishness. ... 2009 is to climate change what 1939 was to WWII." *

See the NCFocus Layman's 1-minute guide to smart thinking about climate, on smart, quick strategies for becoming informed; or just use the risk-management approach Craven suggests.
And read
The Parallel Universes of Climate Change

(And look here (blogs) or at the Climate Denial Crock of the Week videos (here's the list, with one on Watts) for debunking of new contrarian claims. )

I'm replacing it with this:
This is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further 'smoking gun' claims begins with:
"Show me the peer-reviewed journal* article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story."
(from The Economist, Scepticism's limits )

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not the three wise men, but almost as good

Four geese just flew to above my house, proclaiming; then wheeled and flew back to whence they came.

I hope it was good news...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SPD's Customer Appreciation Day is tomorrow, Xmas eve

Just thought I'd mention it in case you, like I, couldn't remember.

(The eggnog is good. The wings is good. The festive spirit is good...)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Observation on conservatives and climate - suggestions?

From Jonathan Chait (here) at TNR (h/t TB):
A decade ago, nearly all conservatives rejected the connection between carbon emissions and climate change. Though many still do, a growing minority of right-wingers now accepts the mainstream scientific position. However, rather than proceed from that premise to some program of reduced emissions, they have feverishly devised a series of rationales for unlimited carbon use.
... The telling thing here is not that these arguments are provably wrong... It’s that those conservatives who have accepted climate-change science immediately jumped to some other reason to oppose government action.

...virtually no conservative intellectuals seem to settle, even temporarily, on the view that climate change is real and that government regulation is therefore appropriate. They cling to climate-science skepticism like a life preserver, and then, when they can’t hold on any more, they grasp immediately for a different rationale. If government intervention appears to be the answer, they must change the question.

I think we're seeing this locally as well. I'd welcome suggestions as to how you go about working with people who reject out of hand the most - perhaps the only - effective solutions.
(Particularly welcomed: ideas from the "let's work together" commenters in this thread on Pelline's blog, from earlier this month.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stop going green. PLEASE. For your children's sake.

"No more compact fluorescent light bulbs. No more green wedding planning. No more organic toothpicks for holiday hors d'oeuvres. ..."

Instead, two things. Read Mike Tidwell's To really save the planet, stop going green (published Dec. 6 here in the Washington Post). Then, if you get it, send it to your friends.

(The problem with most save-our-climate outreach is that it ignores our built-in single-action bias – so the people who it reaches take an action, typically a personal-carbon-footprint one, and then feel that they’ve pitched in. But if we're going to do one thing, it had better be the the thing that matters – and Tidwell's column makes it clear what that is.)

Get your friends and neighbors on board (if they’re not there yet, give them a subscription to a science magazine this Christmas), then share the column with them.

And you could help encourage its spread by sharing the book What's the Worst That Could Happen?, which exhorts us to:

Be the virus.
(and transmit the column)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter warmth product ideas

Someone should sell these.

1. The new, ultra-fuzzy socks that CVS has been selling - currently all ankle-length, that I've seen - should be available in knee-sock height.

2. A sturdy short smock, waist length at most, with a 9+ inch, stomach-area pocket in front, and another pocket at same height in back - along with two Snuggle Safe microwavable heat pads. Which, when heated, go into the pockets...
(This could be a home business, for someone with a sewing machine; sell at Victorian Xmas to extremely grateful buyers.)

The advantage of the SnuggleSafes, over the drape-around-your-neck microwave gel heat pads, is that the latter invariably seem to end up springing a leak, when you leave them in the nuker too long. And then what do you do with the escaping gel?

Actually, that's a third product idea:
3. A gel-proof "overcoat" sleeve, to re-seal your leaking microwave-gel-pad into, for continued use.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Downtown Nevada City sidewalk report: icy, treacherous, unsanded. Beware.

Next morning update: much better. See comment below.
In the short time I was in town today - including just now - I saw two people who'd fallen. One had a bloody face; one had hit the back of her head. Many downspouts drain directly onto the sidewalks, which - in the snow-thaw-freeze weather we're having now - means the sidewalks sport many rivers of ice. Unsalted, unsanded rivers of ice - the word at City Hall is "the sidewalks are the responsibility of the businesses, so we can't call Maintenance to do it" - and the merchants aren't prepared for this kind of weather, and may not realize it's their responsibility to make the sidewalks safe.

Result: Nevada City's a boomtown for personal injury lawyers today; but if you're not one and you don't want to hire one, get yourself a pair of YakTrax, or go out to dinner somewhere else tonight.

Confidential to homeowners who shoveled plowed snow back into the street yesterday (where it turned to slush, melted, refroze): thank you, it's much more exciting to walk down the hill now.

As for the YakTrax - Mountain Recreation (where I got mine; 491 E. Main, GV) says they have 9 pairs left, but no Mediums.