Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pentagon and neocon - global climate disruption is a threat multiplier

Your climate-doubting uncle needs to know that the Pentagon, the insurance companies, and this forward-thinking neocon with "impeccable conservative credentials" see the threats posed by climate change and the need for action:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Advice from Gelman & Fung, in AmSci piece on Freakonomics shortcomings

Good advice for all of us (yes, including me) -
"It is easy to be preemptively defensive of one’s own work, or of researchers whose work one has covered. Viewing alternative points of view as useful rather than threatening can help take the sting out of critiques. And if you’re covering subject matter outside your expertise, it pays to get second—and third and fourth—opinions."
- from Freakonomics: What Went Wrong? Examination of a very popular popular-statistics series reveals avoidable errors

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

(Minor) grocery alert - pudding precaution

If you bought instant pudding recently, perhaps on sale, at a local store, taste it before you commit an entire dessert to it.  (Mine - 2 of 2 - had mold.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trip report - "Wild Weather" Climate One panel talk at SF's Commonwealth Club Dec 13

Tuesday afternoon I drove down to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco  for an evening Climate One event titled  "Wild Weather", a panel discussion with a host, 3(?) IPCC authors and an extreme-weather crop insurance startup CEO.  I've blogged it here at my climate blog (the Climate One blogger did a more complete post), and the take-home local message - besides the obvious "yes climate is changing, extreme weather events are increasing, and things can be done to adapt,  in the short run at least"  is that unless others from up here want to go too, & discuss & brainstorm along the way, San Francisco is too far to go for an event like this. 

An extra $13k a year

"If the average American family still got the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would have... $13,000 more in their pockets a year.

What we need to do . . . other than moving back toward a balance that would begin getting that $13,000 a year into middle-class pockets . . . is to put Americans to work modernizing our infrastructure with projects that will serve us well for 20 and 50 and 100 years. Projects that can be financed cheaply now, when the cost of borrowing is low and contractors are eager for work."
From Nick Hanauer in Bloomberg Businessweek; h/t Andrew Tobias.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Durban and everything that matters - The Economist on climate talks and the long view

"A hundred years from now, looking back, the only question that will appear important about the historical moment in which we now live is the question of whether or not we did anything to arrest climate change. Everything else—the financial crisis, the life or death of the euro, authoritarianism or democracy in China and Russia, the Great Stagnation or the innovation renaissance, democratisation and/or political Islam in the Arab world, Newt or Mitt or another four years of Barack—all this will fade into insignificance beside the question of whether we managed to do anything about human industrial civilisation changing the climate of Planet Earth..."

How many people do you know, who've been impacted by the past year's floods and other weather disasters? Know anyone with stock in Toyota? ("Toyota Motor Corp., poised to lose its crown as the world's largest carmaker this year, cut its profit forecast 54 percent after Thailand's worst floods (but see 2012-07 update below) in almost 70 years disrupted production.") Insurance companies?
(for those impelled to note that no single event can be laid at the feet of climate change: see fractional risk attribution. (or (update) the mid-2012 NOAA report; Texas drought said to be many times more likely, because of climate change))

* 2012-07 update/correction:  while projections (and ocean salinity data) do indicate that dry areas will (and do) get drier and wet areas wetter, a July 2012 NOAA report - looking at (and finding) links between some recent extreme weather events and climate change - did not find the 2011 floods in Thailand to be linked to climate change.

"We will be judged by those who come after us, both by what we did do and what we didn't do, in the time given to us."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Climate hero Anjali Appadurai calls her...elders to account, at Durban climate talks

Edited; I wasn't comfortable with the tone.
Next time, let her speak - and rouse the old guys from negotiating business as usual - first.

"It always seems impossible, until it's done."

Friday, December 09, 2011

PRWatch - Grassroots vs. Astroturf, checklist of differences

"The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is providing a real-time case study of the difference between a true grassroots movement and a corporate-backed astroturf movement. ..."LinkRead here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dave Roberts - The brutal logic of climate change - 2C *not* safe, yet we're headed for worse. Course change needed ASAP. (Anyone else awake locally?)

See Dave Roberts on this, in Grist. Summarized:
A new [? - ed.] peer-reviewed paper by climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows ... paints a grim picture:
  • The commonly accepted threshold of climate "safety," 2 degrees C [3.6 degrees F] temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, is now properly considered extremely dangerous;
  • even 2 degrees C is drifting out of reach, absent efforts of a scale and speed beyond anything currently proposed;
  • our current trajectory is leading us toward 4 or 6 (or 8 or 10) degrees C, which we now know to be a potentially civilization-threatening disaster.
Wouldn't it be smarter to talk about this?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture

Adaptation's not going to fix this. (Those who say "let's just adapt" to climate change, & not fight it, aren't thinking it through.)

Two recent papers clarify climate change cause, continuation

(edited - plus a Thursday update from study author Knutti below.)
Two peer reviewed papers, taking different approaches, document the human influence on and the continuation of global warming.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oxfam: climate change to harm food security - lower crop yields, higher crop losses from extreme weather (like 2010's)

See this ClimateProgress post: Oxfam: Extreme Weather Has Helped Push Tens of Millions into “Hunger and Poverty” in “Grim Foretaste” of Warmed World

From Oxfam's report:
"...[Besides the gradual decline in crop yields from climate change,] more frequent and extreme weather events will compound things further, creating shortages, destabilizing markets and precipitating price spikes, which will be felt on top of the structural price rises predicted by the models. One need not rely on imagination to understand how this could play out for the world’s poorest people. Looking at the toll extreme weather events are taking on global food security since 2010 alone paints an alarming picture."

"We will be judged by those who come after us, both by what we did do...and what we didn't the time given to us." (link)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lost in Deep Time

This little 2+ minute clip of Richard Alley talking about ways of looking at the Grand Canyon is wonderful.

h/t Planet 3.0

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Via Andrew Tobias, lifelong Republican David Frum speaks to your Republican family members

So help them listen - set them up with this article from Frum while you're busy in the kitchen.

(Frum's Republican creds: "been a Republican all my adult life...worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. ... believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. ... voted for John ­McCain in 2008)

"This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation."

The A.T. excerpt is here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More stolen emails; since it worked for a while last time...

Latest (Sat.&Sun.&Mon.) update: After a quick check, it looks like Barry Bickmore best summed up this batch: Contrarians File for Intellectual Bankruptcy. (First batch best post was by Peter Watts.) Mr. Steele didn't reply to my email note (from the "Wed. update" below), and didn't print my comment, but did provide a list someone had compiled of links to "bombshell" excerpts - I looked at the first 3 ("you don't have to drink the whole carton of milk to tell that it's sour" ), and 2 of them could be rebutted just by looking at the email they were excerpted from, printed right below the excerpt. I put out a couple calls to check on the third; see all three at end of this post (and in comment). The "'Going out of business' sale" is hoppin', over on the right.

Wed. update: RealClimate
contextualized the excerpts, in post & in comments. Also, I submitted a comment (3 times; though as of Sat., it hadn't appeared. I also emailed.) at local emeritus denier Russ Steele's blog asking him to provide 3-5 excerpts he considered egregious, offering to look into them.

Excerpts & findings have been appended to this post.

Here's the UEA statement:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sticking points in accepting human-caused global warming; from a Republican, Mormon former skeptic

Utah geophysicist and former doubter Barry Bickmore had doubted human-caused climate change, since his understanding was that:
  • There was lots of scientific controversy about human contributions;
  • Climate projections were based solely on complex computer models of physical systems, which (having worked on them, he knows) are easy to screw up;
  • There’s always uncertainty involved in science.
In this recorded presentation, Barry says, "I briefly talked about how I had made the transition from being a climate change “skeptic” to being an outspoken advocate of mainstream climate science. I then discussed how it is that people like me can so effectively avoid the truth about climate change."

The talk is well worth watching for anyone who still harbors doubts; its conclusion, which is quite strong, also serves as a guide to what's covered:
These contrarian objections almost always have a kernel of truth:

* Liberals do sometimes spin environmental issues;
* There are some legitimate climate scientists who object to the consensus;
* There might be a climate Galileo on the horizon;
* Non-experts should try to figure out climate science as much as we can;

There’s always room for doubt, especially in science. But when we are:

* turning veterinarians & metallurgists into climate experts;
* pointing to articles in dog astrology journals;
* putting forward potential Galileos who can’t put together any decent evidence;
* and relying on a fake member of parliament who claims to have developed a miracle cure-all;

- then we’re trying too hard to avoid the truth.

(It's 40 minutes long, so if you're short on time, you can
read the notes.)

For more detail (on climate physics, etc), see Barry's previous talk, Climate Change: What We Know and How We Know It.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Adm. David Titley: assessing climate science is like being a ship's navigator

Perspective from the military in under 4 minutes.
(You never rely on just one instrument or one piece of data)

Youtube animation, earth's temperature change 1800-present

This is hot -- it starts from (presumably) the earliest weather stations for which we have recordings, then marches onward through time, extending to the present day:

Friday, November 04, 2011

"Report an Error" for Nevada County media?

Which local blogs, newspapers, radio and TV show hosts are run by people want to know if they've made an error, so they can correct it? Would you like to know? One way to find out is to suggest that they join the Report an Error Alliance.

Lightbulbs not enough - Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases

(Update: and no, global warming hasn't stopped.)
Read Seth Borenstein's story - Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Gases from 2009 to 2010; we're speeding up in the wrong direction, dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere faster than ever. If we continue on this trajectory, we're aiming to cook your kids, metaphorically speaking.

Think, folks, please; that head on your shoulders isn't just decorative.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Link: The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers; NYTimes, 2010

This is for the teacher I met yesterday (who, not surprisingly - and, for reasonable people, not controversially - favors investing in the future, via education; & who hadn't yet seen the article): The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Al-Jazeera segment on Koch brothers' influence

The segment is 24 minutes long, and features Lee Fang of ThinkProgress and Lisa Graves of SourceWatch, plus of course the Koch brothers themselves. Go watch & discuss, here at Climate Progress.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BEST climate study finds yes, earth is warming

Wed Oct 26 (belatedly) - Real Climate covers it from the science side; there are some oddities.
Oct Mon Oct 24 update: Planet3.0 best
sums this story up (and articulates my discomfort):
"...if we were doing science and not politics, [this result] would be of no real consequence. Which means that when we pay attention to it, we are paying attention mostly to politics masquerading as science."
This (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) is a partially-Koch-funded project, initially embraced by global warming delayers, which - now that its results indicate the measured warming is not just an "urban heat island" (UHI) artifact - has [not been well received in some skeptical quarters.]

I haven't been paying much attention, but it's getting a surprising amount of coverage from climate blogs - e.g. here (Class M), here, here, here, Mother Jones here.
From Class M:
"Because the [submitted BEST] papers haven't been peer-reviewed, there's no telling whether their failure to falsify the no-UHI effect will even be added to the literature. The general practice in scientific journals is to not pay too much attention to papers that confirm what we already know. "

Journalism sampler; from NCFocus, Warming101 blog, and SourceWatch

Some of the journalism I've done -

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Machiavelli in The Prince, on resistance to societal change

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it."
(h/t Revkin, via Planet3.0)

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to assess whether a commentator is credible? One simple way

If the communication is about science, listen and see if it's sprinkled with these misleading terms. And, if you can, ask the commentator: do you feel you'd be better at assessing the evidence than 97% of the experts in the field?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The high cost of inaction. Estimate: Last 7 years' inaction means roughly 3/4 degree F additional warming

Update: to help your well-meaning friends who could contribute effectively, pair this "high cost of delay" info with Steve Easterbrook's The power to change systems, on the need to find & use leverage points for solving systemic problems. To "work smarter not harder" is essential now.

See RealClimate for the story: The high cost of inaction. The post - on an update of an earlier article by Pacala & Socolow in Science - buries the lede, which is:
"[The 2004-2011] seven years of inaction, even if we immediately begin implementing the ["wedges" climate action] strategy now and fully carry it out over the next century, have larger climatic consequences over the next century than one might expect (namely, "an additional ~50 ppm of CO2 would be added to the atmosphere by 2111.)"
- which they estimate would translate to ~0.4 degree C global temperature increase, or .72 degree F.

Inaction today has major repercussions; it's another point unknown to the average citizen.

"Democracy doesn't work if people don't know what is going on."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Brunswick and Sutton Streets

There was a whole lotta honkin' going on during afternoon rush hour at Brunswick & Sutton in Burger Basin, as Occupy Wall Street came to Nevada County today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Email to an intelligent climate doubter

Since this missive is general & could be of use to others, here it is (slightly edited). One Q to ask doubters, gently: "What other sciences do you understand better than 97% of the experts in the field?"

("Pat" was not my correspondent's name)
Hello again Pat ...

If you'd like general perspective from scientists (the "diamond planet" guys) from outside the "climate debate" fray, try Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method

Here's what I found out when I checked out the "Mars is warming" claim you'd heard (I checked by doing a science-aligned climate info search, at ; there are probably other such website aggregations to search, and definitely better ones, but it's the one I put together); came up with these:

Most concisely, "Mars is not warming globally." (from the Skeptical Science "arguments"(links + 1-liner responses) page)

Or detail, from the climate scientists' blog here:
"Globally, the mean temperature of the Martian atmosphere is particularly sensitive to the strength and duration of hemispheric dust storms ... to the extent it is sensible to speak of a mean temperature for Mars, the evidence is for significant cooling from the 1970′s, when Viking made measurements, compared to current temperatures. However, this is essentially due to large scale dust storms that were common back then, compared to a lower level of storminess now. The mean temperature on Mars, averaged over the Martian year can change by many degrees from year to year, depending on how active large scale dust storms are. ...[R]apid shrinkage of the South Polar Cap... trend ...continued... [but] The shrinkage of the Martian South Polar Cap is almost certainly a regional climate change, and is not any indication of global warming trends in the Martian atmosphere. Colaprete et al in Nature 2005 (subscription required) showed, using the Mars GCM, that the south polar climate is unstable due to the peculiar topography near the pole, and the current configuration is on the instability border; we therefore expect to see rapid changes in ice cover as the regional climate transits between the unstable states."
Pat, you strike me as an intelligent person, someone who wouldn't take kindly to being fooled - so you might consider whether news sources that suggest this "Mars is warming" (& thus that current Earth climate change is due to natural causes) thing, without bothering to check it out first with credible experts, have credibility on matters of science, or if they're just hoping to get their audience to engage in motivated reasoning.

Good talking to you -
(presuming that some variant of "Tikkun olam" is part of [church]'s fundamental philosophy, but I could be mistaken)
...which brings up a question: which religions do teach that we have no responsibility to others, and are free to let the place go to rack&ruin?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Two Minutes of Elizabeth Warren ("to fix this problem, don't do those things")

Very much worth two minutes of your life.

"How we got into this hole - ... that's $4 trillion right there; part of the way you fix this problem is don't do those things..."

(hat tip Andrew Tobias; discussion at Sierra Voices )

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Way to Make Motor Fuel Out of Wood? Add Water (maybe)

This NYTimes article on a Georgia company's new way of turning wood chips into biofuel is encouraging - if it works out, it'd be great news for meeting Nevada County's energy needs and clearing our underbrush.
(and no, I have not tried to work out the math here.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tea Partiers confident in doubting climate science - The Economist

From American public opinion and climate change: No green Tea -
"Tea Partiers, unsurprisingly, tend not to believe in the phenomenon (the 53% who don't believe in global warming just outnumber the 52% who don't believe humans evolved from other animals) and are the most strongly opposed to all sorts of government action on the issue (yet quite keen, like majorities in all sorts of polling, on research into new energy sources). They also distinguish themselves in their assessment of their knowledgability, with 30% considering themselves very well informed on the issue and a majority happy that it needs no more information on the subject."

What is this pest? on almond, walnut, locust...?

It swathes a branch tip in webbing, and the leaves disappear.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Steve Sanfield "Freedom Riders" quote

"Back then, they thought we were crazy... People then thought the Freedom Rides were a useless venture, but they did change things. And it taught me that if you believe in something deeply enough, you can bring about change."
- from Liz Kellar's Storyteller shares tale of freedom in Civil Rights era

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Venue ideas? Wed eve starts 24 hours of climate reality - for your bemused friends

Can anyone suggest a gathering place that's free tomorrow evening, where we could join together to watch this? We would need a large screen with internet connection; and NC Library community room & Seaman's Lodge are both taken.
and I, so far, am drawing a blank.

Email from - Wednesday Sept 14 - yes, tomorrow - starting at 5pm, for us - begins 24 Hours of Reality from the Climate Reality Project -
"a 24-hour worldwide marathon all about the reality of the climate crisis. Around the world, from New York City to South Africa to the Solomon Islands, people will use the power of the Internet to present their stories of living with climate change, and make clear the connection between extreme weather and the corporate carbon pollution that's changing our climate.

All the presentations...will be streamed live at"

Best points made:

"The timing of 24 Hours of Reality couldn't be more perfect -- it's just 10 days before Moving Planet, the global day of bike rallies and on-the-ground events to call for climate action. It's that one-two kick of awareness and activism... "
"Many of us within the 350 movement already get the basic science and reality of climate change -- yet we sometimes struggle with getting our friends to really grasp the urgency. This event is a great opportunity to help your friends see why you care so much (plus, you can always pick up a new communication tip or two)."

Stories from each of the world's time zones will be featured, starting at 7 pm in that time zone.(*)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tom McClintock aide's denial retracted - he was an ALEC member from 2000-2003

I asked Igor Birman to confirm that the initial denial that McClintock had been a member of ALEC had actually come from McClintock himself; it seemed odd that his name was on ALEC's Alumni list (link) and that ALEC staffers weren't responding to my emails about the discrepancy.

Birman's response today:
"Tom was indeed a member of ALEC between roughly 2000 and 2003."

“Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult,”

Wow. Read it, send it to your friends.
(Or send them Andrew Tobias's
post with excerpts; it too links back to the original.)

From the article:
"A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this [Republican] obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. ..."

Thank you Mike Lofgren.

Friday, September 02, 2011

TPM: Former Doolittle staffer & Abramoff lobbyist Kevin Ring 'Not Entitled' To Leniency

Based on roughly 30 seconds of deep thought, I disagree with the feds on this.
(Recommendation: read & decide for yourself)

Help? Dan Logue's ties to American Legislative Exchange Council?

I seem to be having some difficulty getting staffers of Assemblyman Dan Logue to answer a few Qs about his ties, if any, to ALEC. If you read this, and you know of a Logue aide who's typically responsive to his constituents, please tell me who - you can email me at (don't forget the .us!) at gmail.

As of yesterday, arrest count is 843

This according to 2005 whistleblower and current Climate Science Watch director Rick Piltz, who was among the honorees.

"Stopping the pipeline, which would carry the tar sands carbon bomb from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, can be viewed as a litmus test of Obama’s character and integrity on climate change."
Applause to Rick, and to the other 842.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

They're getting arrested and going to jail - for our kids, and for our young & middle-aged folk, and for the generations to come

See also Sierra Voices, Hundreds Arrested in D.C., Including Dr. James Hansen, Protesting Tar Sands Pipeline.

These people - the imprisoned Tim DeChristopher, and the 500+ arrested (including Bill McKibben, James Hansen, and a luminous Daryl Hannah) for opposing the proposed Keystone XL "tar sands" pipeline - whose opening would likely be "game over" for the climate, according to Hansen (link) - are the vanguard, and an inspiration to us, to take meaningful action.

Faced with a civilization-threatening global problem, just acting locally is a cop-out.

In a recent letter from prison, DeChristopher wrote that the authorities offered to reduce his 2-year sentence to just 30 days - which he's now served already - if he'd recant and apologize for his act of nonviolent civil disobedience.

As for the 500 plus, my hat is off to you.

If you haven't heard Mary Jorgenson's first-hand recollections of being a Freedom Rider in the 1960s civil rights struggle, she's appearing tomorrow at the Jewish Community Center in GV - details here.

Joy and resolve, folks. And intelligent, civil, effective actions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just 55 cents of each NevCo United Way dollar reaches county's nonprofits

Updates: UWNC CEO responds, below; and (Sept 20) I've checked with some past & present recipients.

It's true that nobody could call the United Way of Nevada County's Maltman Drive digs "opulent"; nor do the salaries of their one executive director and two hourly staff seem excessive. "Vis-a-vis other United Way organizations, we probably fall in the lower quartile of expenses", UWNC Board President Rich Bulotti told me.

But in a small community, the modesty of these administrative costs are more than countered by the modesty of the donations collected - and nearby counties banded together under a single "umbrella" United Way group manage to have considerably lower overhead.

New at The Conversation: how media misreporting undermines a functioning democracy

"Misinformation sticks in people’s memories, even when they acknowledge a correction, and even when they earnestly seek to discard a memory they know to be false*."
"Today, The Conversation launches a week-long series, looking at how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy. To kick off, Stephan Lewandowsky asks how media misreporting undermines a functioning democracy."
Read the rest at Selling climate uncertainty: misinformation and the media. While The Conversation is Australian, the problem is far from unique to that continent, and it can be seen in spades, in our community.

* sorry for the raised voice...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great climate science&policy talk/challenge for your right wing friends&family

Earlier this summer Dr. Scott Denning went into the deniers' den & gave an excellent talk at the Heartland Institute conference, pointing out that libertarians and conservatives have been AWOL in developing constructive climate policy, and challenging his audience to quit being ostriches (his term was "cowards") and step up to the plate - "we need you".

Here's the talk:
(...or if you're short on time, here's the transcript)

Rule of thumb: if that chain email says "Fox News learned...", check it out

An "outrage" email I got today said:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who's in league with ALEC?

Sept 6 update: Igor Birman reports that McClintock was an ALEC member after all, circa 2000-2003.

Mon, Tue updates: a Friday email from Kim Pruett (who says this info came from Igor Birman) reports that Tom McClintock is not and has not been a member of ALEC; although this appears to conflict with ALEC's online records; and LaMalfa aide Mark Spannagel says LaMalfa's answers were no, he's had no ALEC involvement. Still awaiting word from the Logue camp.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The humble climate contrarian - an oxymoron

Is it humble, to feel that with no training you're a better judge of a scientific field than the scientists who've spent their lives in it? - or just to feel that it doesn't signify anything, if their understanding of the meaning of their research* differs from yours?

Monday, August 08, 2011

NevCity Loitering ordinance coming up Wed., says Stephen Greenberg

I talked to Stephen Greenberg (an attorney, as y'all presumably know) about the resurrected anti-loitering ordinance effort this weekend (as did Jeff Pelline on or before last Friday; his post & comments has links to relevant resources, e.g. the agenda packet), and Stephen filled me in on a few additional points:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Open question - help me interpret this?

A caution, for those jumping to conclusions: this community does have (rather) more than one community leader.

What does it mean when a community leader answers a question readily & in the negative, when you're not recording, but when afterward you have second thoughts and (repeatedly) email him and leave voicemails asking he'd be willing to be recorded answering no, he doesn't respond?

Assume that the Q is one that's it's legitimate to ask.

Yes, I'm pretty sure I know what this means; but if there are plausible alternatives...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Of people and pit bulls

(Something to chew on, as a masticatory exercise for the reader. And apologies in advance - this is a breedist post, based only on old reading about pit bulls and no personal experience with them. Perhaps they're just more susceptible than (some) other breeds, to influence from bad upbringing.)

The problem with pit bulls is that they either don't recognize, or don't care to heed, the normal social "ok, I'm not fighting you" body-language message sent by other dogs - once the other dog gets assigned the "enemy" role, that's where it stays.

I think we've all known people that act the same way.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Some info from early Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation docs

Just ran across the "Search the files of the Registry of Charitable Trusts" Calif. Attorney General webpage, and found some history on the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation, the anti-environment charity vehicle of George Rebane, Russ Steele and John McDaniel; history which, not surprisingly, exposes more anti-environment roots.
(Also, SESF is "delinquent"; is this meaningful?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brin on blackmail

Food for thought, when you see someone in a position of influence behaving wildly out of character. Includes this advice:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This hero didn't stand a chance - Tim DeChristopher sentenced, 2 years in prison

Wed. update, DeChristopher's statement to the court: I Do Not Want Mercy, I Want You To Join Me.

"Tim DeChristopher, convicted earlier this year with two federal felonies, will be spending two years in prison for his creative act of non-violent protest against an illegitimate oil and gas lease auction set up by the Bush administration in late 2008."

Details, updates and links to other coverage here.

Reminder, Mine film/discussion tomorrow (Wed) night, Nevada Theater

Information over at Sierra Voices...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

GVG's stablemates at Francisco Partners

It's an intriguing herd.

Setting the record straight - nearly impossible, unless...

A good one from Coby Beck, reporting that...
"...simple human nature, of the sort the most earnest and conscientious of us all possess, lends itself to being deceived by whomever yells loudest, even when the verifiable truth follows quietly and obsequiously after. An article titled "Setting the record straight almost impossible" describes a new study... by Ullrich Ecker and colleagues...that shows just how insidiously difficult it is to remove misinformation once it is planted in the mind.

... even strong retractions do not undo the damage... But one line from Dr. Ecker: "If you make them suspicious of why that information was presented in the first place, such as by saying it was a deliberate attempt to mislead you, then they can more readily dismiss it," does give some ... hope. "

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buy local? not so fast...

Locally-contrarian food for thought (link) -
"When country A enacts a blockade or economic sanctions against country B, does country B become more prosperous or less? Does country B thank country A for the good fortune of being forced to “buy local,” or does it claim that country A has committed an act of war?

Free Banking – The Folly that is “Local” Currency: “More importantly, the object that the local currency movement would achieve if it could—that of of “keeping trade within the community”–is, like all forms of protectionism, a highly dubious one: As Tim Harford succinctly puts it, “the gains from more trade with locals are more than offset by the losses from less trade with strangers. Otherwise economic sanctions would be a blessing.”"

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Experts and Global Warming (and us) - NYTimes, the Stone

A great piece, from Tuesday: On Experts and Global Warming, by Gary Gutting
In short:
We non-experts are in no position to argue against the consensus of expert scientific opinion. ... once we have accepted the authority of a particular scientific discipline, we cannot consistently reject its conclusions. To adapt Schopenhauer’s famous remark about causality, science is not a taxi-cab that we can get in and out of whenever we like.

[irksome comment deleted, 2011-07-20]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A taste of Burning Man at Stonehouse - the Now-a-saurus

If you were driving through the Plaza(*) intersection in Nevada City about 8pm tonight, you likely spied something alien...

Where to find highlights from TEDGlobal (streamed in TEDxGV)

Many thanks to those who put on the TEDxGrassValley event yesterday - which was mostly contemporaneous streaming from TEDGlobal 2011 with the addition of several local speakers.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Machinery of Climate Denial - on KVMR today, Mashey's talk via Radio Ecoshock

Why is this message news, to people who encounter it?
If you'd listened to KVMR today at noon(*), you'd already know it - and you'd know why it's news to others.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Update on Brunswick resurfacing (not), widening (not) of bike-scary parts

In spring 2010 I'd posted about my understanding from talking to Dave Keck of NevCo roads maintenance, about their plans for resurfacing Brunswick Rd & making it a little more bike-safe. But it sounds like I'd misunderstood -

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Weighing in on journalism as a discipline of verification, over at Keachie's

Over at Keachie's; factoring in the opportunity cost. Feedback please.

A semi-correction - Among other things there, I asked "how do you report a Gish Gallop talk", leaving the answer open/unknown; but the right answer is probably something along the lines of "pick & dissect the first N distortions, where N is a very small number"; climate bloggers are increasingly doing this.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Nevada County Tea Party, meet Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis

July 9 update: minor wording for increased clarity.
After being, as usual, struck dumb by Mark Meckler's dynamic diatribe Wednesday night on how the United Nations (Agenda 21) and sustainability folks (ICLEI) want to take away your freedoms (link, link) - how *do* you bridge a chasm like that? - I realized one helpful resource might be this passage from David T. Moore's Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis (pdf) from the National Defense Intelligence College:

ButtePIC questions...

Updated 2011-07-10 (edited title), 2011-07-06 (some add'l info, though whether it's *all* the add'l funding is unclear; see bottom of post.)

Anyone have suggestions on how to find out what ButtePIC's other (i.e., non Workforce Investment Act) funding streams were?

Friday, July 01, 2011

A tale of two pavers

Last month's Soapbox Derby was held on Nimrod St, recently resurfaced by (sez Brenda at City Hall) Sierra Nevada Construction. They did a beeauutiful smooth job, as the soapboxers and subsequent skateboarders can attest.

And then there's the bone-jarringdensity-building GV resurfacings of Idaho-Maryland to Sutton to the Dorsey Drive intersection...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Green is the new Red" says Mark Meckler in surprise appearance at local Tea Party meeting

Updated July 4.
Last night's Nevada County Tea Party meeting was an event not to be missed; speaking were NCTPP head Stan Meckler, Sixteen-to-One mine head Mike Miller, Dan Logue representative/ "political wet work" veteran Cliff Wagner, and in a surprise appearance, the Tea Party Patriots' Mark Meckler with an impassioned "Green is the new Red" talk in which he equated sustainability with tyranny.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wally Herger campaign manager is ButtePIC's interim executive director (and before that, board member)

Butte County Private Industry Council interim executive director John Peace was Representative (2nd District) Wally Herger's campaign manager, according to a photo caption from 2006 and a Redding Record Searchlight story in 2008.

Peace is also Executive Director of the Oroville Economic Development Corporation and a member of NorTEC.

But to address the obvious query, Peace indicated his ButtePIC positions did not result in Herger exerting influence there: in response to my emailed Q "Did Herger, or anyone acting at his behest or on his behalf, cause monies to be brought into ButtePIC, or have influence on who received funding?", Peace replied, "Absolutely not."

The ButtePIC imploded earlier this year, under its previous head.

Peace declined to answer more questions about ButtePIC finances, pending completion of an audit (by Tenney & Co. of Marysville/Yuba City); but according to NorTEC assistant director Michael Cross, this audit (projected to be complete somewhere around the end of July) is only addressing Workforce Investment Act funds. (Cross also said Butte County is doing a separate audit, of how their county funds were spent.)

There's also a bankruptcy filing in the works; I've emailed Peace asking when it's expected to be filed.

*I believe Peace has been a ButtePIC board member for some years (he was in 2010), but am not certain when he joined; to my knowledge, the composition of the ButtePIC board was never posted online.

Thurs June 30 update: I'm having trouble finding out from Mr. Peace what the other funding streams were, that came through ButtePIC into Nevada County projects, and I haven't gotten a response about the bankruptcy filing details either.

The Conversation [with experts, after death threats] - Clearing Up the Climate Debate

It's about time...a series from Australia, on Clearing Up the Climate Debate
(the death threats largely came from the U.S., unsurprisingly; when will our society grow up?)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Links to SacBee on NevCo "hard money", "culture of fraud"

June 5, Nevada County DA took 'hard money' loan favors
("Nevada County's hard money losses were particularly severe due to a deeply rooted culture of fraud, according to investors, convicted brokers and public records.")

June 6, 'Hard money' lending has sordid past in Nevada County
("Since 1991, four Nevada County brokers have gone to prison, four others have lost their licenses, and four borrowers have been either charged with or convicted of bilking investors. ... Hard money brokers operate under a weak, loosely monitored set of regulations riddled with loopholes and jurisdictional confusion and conflicts. ")

June 7, Editorial: Nevada County district attorney needs to resign

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Global weirding in Calif., from Sat SacBee

"Expect the unexpected"; Researcher says climate change may be cooling California
""It's what I call global weirding," said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "This has been a very strange year all over the planet."

What's going on?

First of all, this spring's weather is not unprecedented, just uncommon. California has had wet, cold spring weather before, notably in 1983, a year that produced record Sierra snows.

This year, the blame falls on a complex interaction between La Niña and another phenomenon called a negative Arctic oscillation, Patzert and others said.
One theory gaining traction is that climate change, in fact, may be to blame.

The theory was developed in several published papers by Judah Cohen, an atmospheric scientist in Massachusetts.

Cohen argues that ice melt in the Arctic has produced more snowfall across Siberia. All that snow creates a giant cold air mass that diverts the jet stream, contributing to the negative Arctic oscillation.
Colder and snowier winters caused by global warming? It may be one of the counterintuitive consequences of climate change, he said.

"We don't understand everything, and we don't understand how the different feedbacks affect different parts of the climate system," said Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a private firm in Lexington, Mass. "It's very complicated. So we should expect the unexpected."

Friday, June 03, 2011

Audubon meeting: Wind energy and effects on wildlife

Our local Audubon Society's meeting last night featured a talk examining wind energy's detrimental effects on wildlife - specifically, on bats and birds.

At one point the speaker showed this image:
[Big print]Caution: this sign has sharp edges; do not touch...
(fine print: "Also, the bridge is out ahead")

...which seemed apropos since the talk didn't address the prospect of any effects on wildlife from this:

projected temp. increases, 2000-2100

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ken Caldeira, reframing the climate problem. Ask your conservative friends this.

From 2009 in The Economist's Is it worth it? What economists have to say about mitigating climate change :
"Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution, puts the same point a different way. “If we already had energy and transportation systems that met our needs without using the atmosphere as a waste dump for our carbon- dioxide pollution, and I told you that you could be 2% richer, but all you had to do was acidify the oceans and risk killing off coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, risk melting the ice caps with rapid sea-level rise, shifting weather patterns so that food-growing regions might not be able to produce adequate amounts of food, and so on, would you take all of that environmental risk, just to be 2% richer?” He has, he says, often asked audiences this question; nobody has ever answered “yes”."

Mind vs. machine (on the Turing test)

From the March 2011 Atlantic, via Grist, read Brian Christian's Mind vs. Machine; it does bring to mind certain online communities and commenters...
Among the findings reported: computers are really good at starting & maintaining a fight.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Twisters & climate change, in NY Times

"...the consensus of fair-minded research — ignored by those who assume to know better in the Republican Congress — is that an earth warmed by an excess of man-caused carbon emissions will cause more weather extremes. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air — that’s an axiom that a congressman with a set of talking points paid for by Exxon cannot wish away. Torrential flooding in all parts of the world could easily be part of a new phase brought on by just a few upticks in ocean temperatures. The forecast is simple: You ain’t seen nothing yet..."

- from Timothy Egan's Twister's Tale: Violent Weather and Common Sense NYTimes commentary piece

Friday, May 27, 2011

Data - Tornados in California, 1950-2011(so far)

In case you're curious - I wanted to see what kind of trend we've seen.

(ignore the big blue square that's thinking outside the box; that was an accident.)

Source data here - which, following more or less in Tamino's footsteps, I extracted from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center's archived data, and from 2000+, year-by-year data, available as annual reports/maps - e.g. nationally for 2011, or, just for CA, e.g. for 2011 so far (11)

Apparently tornado detection is more sensitive than it used to be, so the apparent increase in numbers for Calif. might not reflect an actual increase.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tonight's Tea Party Patriot meeting, and a cultural difference

These people have patience far beyond mine; I am in awe.

Bryan Welch (of Utne & Mother Earth News)

At the New Life Eco Fest last weekend I caught the Saturday talk by Bryan Welch, publisher of magazines Mother Earth News, Utne Reader (e.g.: Get the Koch Brothers Out of Your Gear ), & Natural Home and Garden.

Ben Santer, on why it matters

My Ben Santer interview piece did air tonight, but without the "why it matters" section:
"Anyone who has kids, or grandkids, has some investment in the future; you really need to have some understanding of what the climatic shape of things to come is going to be like in the 21st century.

If you try to get that understanding from one person alone, or one source alone, you may be misinformed; and you may miss the opportunity to really have some say, in what kind of world you leave behind for your kids and grandkids. And that would be a great shame."

Year of the twister

"America's deadliest tornado season since 1953 continued its relentless onslaught of violent tornadoes yesterday. Numerous destructive and deadly tornadoes raked Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas..."
- Jeff Masters today (link)
It's not just in the midwest and the east.
"There's a tornado warning for Tehama County..."; "tornado warning for Butte County..."; "tornado warning in Nevada County..."

"The preliminary [U.S.] count for April 2011 is 875 tornados, which is more than three times as many as the previous record of 267 back in 1974. Yeah, more than three times as many. This year’s April count is only preliminary, and may well be revised downward as duplicate reports are identified. But it’s still one hell of a hockey stick."

See Tamino for the rest.

Also recommended for big picture: Bill McKibben's Keep Calm and Carry On

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If you have a voluble climate-delayer friend, I have a request

In the Santer interview critique, someone suggested leading into it (and/or into other such interviews) with the voice of someone asserting one of the typical climate myths. And since the only climate-confused person I talk to these days, I don't see regularly...

I'm looking to make/get a recording of one of the following claims -

"But Al Gore's house..."
"Humans emit just a tiny fraction..."
"We should be cautious, and wait until we know more..."

Yes, it likely won't be too hard to find someone who holds these beliefs & will share them, but if your friend wants some time in the limelight...

Tonight, CBS 60 Min. - NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake

For details, see the Climate Science Watch post National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake appearing on CBS 60 Minutes May 22 in his first television interview -
"...[Drake] disclosed evidence of multi-billion dollar corruption and mismanagement in the NSA and illegal domestic surveillance...faces retaliatory prosecution under the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers...will be appearing on a special two-hour episode of 60 Minutes..."

Reasons to use a human-powered lawnmower

Why I love human-powered lawnmowers -
  • Free exercise
  • No unpleasant internal-combustion exhaust fumes
  • You can mow in early a.m. without irking your neighbors
  • and finally...the rote work of it is, somehow, ideal for facilitating rumination (of the cognitive variety, if you lack livestock; or of both types, if you've got them.)

    Update: Yow - I had no idea. It turns out that rumination, of the psychological variety, means chewing over upsetting experiences; I'd thought it just meant sifting for pattern & understanding.
    (Which it also does: "to meditate or muse; ponder." (link))

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Critique my Ben Santer "how to get reliable climate info" intervew, please

Dear reader, I have a favor to ask: I need feedback on this interview, which I'd like to optimize for airing on KVMR. It won't take long, it's only about 6 1/2 minutes.

See over here at my other blog for details, links, feedback so far, etc.

(I've also got material for another Santer piece, and for one or more (equally) short pieces featuring Ken Caldeira; stay tuned.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peak Oil's Orlov and Ruppert to speak Sunday, at Green Life Eco Fest; Orlov also Sat.

Yow! From the APPLE email (links added):
Keynote Speakers [at Green Life Eco Fest] Include:

Michael Ruppert authored "Confronting Collapse" and "Crossing the Rubicon". Michael spoke in Grass Valley a few years ago to a sold out crowd at the Vets Hall.

Dmitry Orlov authored "Reinventing Collapse" and "Hold Your Applause"

They are speaking on Sunday May 22nd at 11:00 AM
[Judith Kildow will be speaking at 10am Sat.]

Tickets are available at the gate and at the APPLE Center. Adults are $8 and children are free.
Here is Ruppert's flyer for the event.

Orlov says:
"I'll be at the Eco-Fest this Saturday and Sunday. ... I'll be speaking on making the best of your Energy Elves (they are like the old fossil-fueled Energy Slaves except much smaller; I seem to have made my peace with them) on Saturday at 11:15."

If you could ask a climate scientist one question, what would it be?

I've been doing an informal survey on this; what would your question be?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

National Academy to US.: for heaven's sake, wake up

"The risks associated with doing business as usual are a much greater concern than the risks associated with engaging in ambitious but measured response efforts. This is because many aspects of an 'overly ambitious' policy response could be reversed or otherwise addressed, if needed, through subsequent policy change, whereas adverse changes in the climate system are much more difficult (indeed, on the time scale of our lifetimes, may be impossible) to 'undo.' "
For more: NPR's Top U.S. Scientists To Nation: Global Warming. Really. We Are Not Kidding - or Skeptical Science, National Academy of Sciences on Climate Risk Management - or Climate Progress, National Academy of Sciences slams climate disinformation campaign, flawed media coverage:
...“Many factors complicate and impede public understanding of climate change”:

"Most people rely on secondary sources for information, especially the mass media; and some of these sources are affected by concerted campaigns against policies to limit CO2 emissions, which promote beliefs about climate change that are not well-supported by scientific evidence. U.S. media coverage sometimes presents aspects of climate change that are uncontroversial among the research community as being matters of serious scientific debate. Such factors likely play a role in the increasing polarization of public beliefs about climate change, along lines of political ideology, that has been observed in the United States."

Or see the report itself.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Climate scientists who've been interviewed on KVMR

I want to settle a disagreement, in which I'm pretty sure of my position, but without more data it's hard to be certain. It'd help to have a (much) more complete list, of who's been interviewed about climate science on KVMR in the last several years; if anyone has more info...?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Productive thinking: Mercier on how to avoid confirmation bias

Don't think alone; and do seek out people who disagree: (link)

"People mostly have a problem with the confirmation bias when they reason on their own, when no one is there to argue against their point of view. What has been observed is that often times, when people reason on their own, they’re unable to arrive at a good solution, at a good belief, or to make a good decision because they will only confirm their initial intuition.

On the other hand, when people are able to discuss their ideas with other people who disagree with them, then the confirmation biases of the different participants will balance each other out, and the group will be able to focus on the best solution. Thus, reasoning works much better in groups. When people reason on their own, it’s very likely that they are going to go down a wrong path. But when they’re actually able to reason together, they are much more likely to reach a correct solution."

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Meckler/McClintock Tea Party Patriot town hall meeting - talks and Q&A

A report of the on-stage parts of the Tea Party Patriot town hall meeting held last week on Wednesday, April 27, 2011: talks by Mark Meckler and Tom McClintock, followed by a joint Q&A.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Climate science exchange with TPP's Mark Meckler, and Qs for y'all

Minor edit, May 5 (added "analogy" quote)
Tea Party Patriot co-founder Mark Meckler shared the stage with Tom McClintock at Wednesday's TPP Town Hall Meeting, and afterward he spoke with me for a few minutes about climate science and credibility.

Tom McClintock on climate change, in his own words

It seems Tom McClintock was proud enough to post the text of his (March 2009) climate denial speech on his own website, here. (Hat tip to Frank, who'd posted an audio excerpt, for alerting me. )

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What may I blog about? A journo practices & standards Q

My question to you: What aspects of last night's Meckler/McClintock forum are legitimate turf for blogging?

Salient aspects & facts:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dialogue with Tom McClintock on Climate Change

It was a very brief dialogue.

Is Reasoning Built for Winning Arguments, Rather Than Finding Truth?

This is fascinating (and, after this evening, apropos). Mercier and Sperber, via Mooney:
"If reasoning evolved so we can argue with others, then we should be biased in our search for arguments [since] In a discussion, I have little use for arguments that support your point of view or that rebut mine. Accordingly, reasoning should display a confirmation bias: it should be more likely to find arguments that support our point of view or rebut those that we oppose. Short (but emphatic) answer: it does, and very much so. The confirmation bias is one of the most robust and prevalent biases in reasoning. This is a very puzzling trait of reasoning if reasoning['s purpose was]... bettering our beliefs—especially as the confirmation bias is responsible for all sorts of mischief….[but] Interestingly, the confirmation bias needs not be a drag on a group’s ability to argue. To the extent that it is mostly the production, and not the evaluation of arguments that is biased—and that seems to be the case—then a group of people arguing should still be able to settle on the best answer, despite the confirmation bias…As a matter of fact, the confirmation bias can then even be considered a form of division of cognitive labor: instead of all group members having to laboriously go through the pros and cons of each option, if each member is biased towards one option, she will find the pros of that options, and the cons of the others—which is much easier—and the others will do their own bit."
Why we need other people to bounce stuff off of: (whether we realize it or not)
"When people reason alone, there will often be nothing to hold their confirmation bias in check. This might lead to distortions of their beliefs. As mentioned above, this is very much the case. When people reason alone, they are prone to all sorts of biases. For instance, because they only find arguments supporting what they already believe in, they will tend to become even more persuaded that they are right or will develop stronger, more polarized attitudes."

The only known antidote to error

"Not even those of us who are scientifically trained actually do objective science consistently well. Like all other humans, we are predisposed, with biased, emotionally prejudiced human minds, to first see what we want or expect to see.
The one tool that has ever allowed humans to penetrate the veil of their own talented called Reciprocal Accountability. Or criticism, the only known antidote to error. We may not be able to spot our own mistakes and delusions, but others will gladly point them out for us! Moreover, this favor is one that your foes will happily do for you! (How nice of them.) And, in return, you will eagerly return the favor. In our enlightenment - and especially in science - this process is tuned to maximize truth-output and minimize blood-on-the-floor. But it requires some maturity. Some willingness to let the process play out. Willingness to negotiate. Calmness and even humor.

It doesn't work amid rage or "culture war." Which is precisely why culture war is being pushed on us. By those who want the enlightenment to fail."
- David Brin

McClintock/Tea Party town hall tonight; what will you ask?

Who/what/where/when: (from NCTPP)
Wednesday night, April 27. ...Tea Party Co-founder Mark Meckler and Congressman Tom McClintock....will be discussing budgets, deficits, and taxes, and plan to take questions from the audience.
...The Horsemen’s Club, 10600 Bubbling Wells Road (off Brunswick), Grass Valley. Event starts at 6:30...
What to ask McClintock?

I understand he voted No on this:
Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.
Is it true that he voted against it? If so, which part(s) does he not accept?

Can he see a shift in coloration from left to right in this image?

Here's a letter (link) from a science-aligned Republican to his science-doubting congressman; feel free to adapt it.

One person (not me) suggests asking: "where were you really born?"

Also, this from Krugman (myth vs. fact on spending under Obama) might provide some ideas.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science - Mooney, in MoJo

How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link; in the latest issue of Mother Jones.
"...motivated reasoning... our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts..." etc.

Very much worth reading.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On April 28, Tim DeChristopher Climate Trial Presentation, NSJ

Ran across this while perusing The Union's calendar (which I don't find easy to use; how do you de-clog calendars to filter out the usual repetitive stuff?)

Tim DeChristopher Climate Trial Presentation

WhenThursday, April 28, 2011, 7 – 8:30pm
WhereNorth Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Event typeYouth/Leadership
Event descriptionThe trial of Tim DeChristopher: a multi-media presentation by the Finding the Good traveling semester students. In March 2011, the students and faculty of Finding the Good traveled to Salt Lake City for the trial of activist Tim DeChristopher, who derailed a BLM oil and gas lease auction at the end of the Bush administration. This presentation tells their story and is a fundraiser for the film, "Bidder 70."

7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the N. Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on the San Juan Ridge.

For information, call (530) 265-5490.

Is there a good western Nevada County events calendar somewhere, that I don't know about?

(The Union's calendar is full of exercise classes and ongoing art displays and doesn't allow the kind of filtering I'd like (and AFAIK doesn't have permalinks to events); KNCO's seems decent but underutilized (and yo, folks, Reno is not in western Nevada County); KVMR has its own & some of its radio folks' events only; they point us to Nevada County Gold's calendar (quality events, but sparse) and to Yubanet (underutilized, and again, with many nonlocal events))