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The War on Science



from Kevin Drum Mother Jones:

Are the Climate Skeptics Right?

I got an email this week from an old high school buddy. I haven't seen him in years, but after he left Pacifica High School a year ahead of me he went off to Princeton and then to UC San Diego, where he got his doctorate in earth sciences. For the last 20 years he's been a geology professor at Yale University. Smart guy.

His name is Jeffrey Park, and he wanted to alert me to his latest paper, published Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters. The subject of his paper is atmospheric CO2, which, as we all know, is the major greenhouse gas that drives global warming. But that's in the long term. In the short term, it's the other way around: Changes in temperature drive changes in the amount of CO2. The strength of this change was last calculated 20 years ago, so Jeff decided it was time for an update.

His results were grim: In the past there used to be a five-month lag between short-term temperature changes and the resulting changes in CO2 levels. Today it's at least 15 months. So what is it that's keeping CO2 in the atmosphere so long these days? In the dry language of science, his paper explains: "Our hypothesis implies that human activities have lately outpaced the ocean's capacity for absorbing carbon."

Here's the less technical version: "Think of the oceans like soda," he says. "Warm cola holds less fizz. The same thing happens as the oceans warm up." By itself, that's unsurprising, but the magnitude of the change was much bigger than he expected. Like a lot of other recent results, it suggests, ironically, that climate skeptics are right: Our models of climate change really are wrong. Unfortunately, they're wrong in the wrong direction. It's not that global warming isn't happening, it's that it's happening even faster than anyone ever imagined.

Mamma Mia, I miss charm city and its seeming lack of fundies.

There was this ad on the Darwin article page: Brainwashed? A little Religion Can Be a Good Thing. Actually, I read some of the ad/article, and it didn't seem terrible, but the existence of it made me think about the way ads attach themselves to certain posts on the web. Some of the stuff that lands here can be especially humorous. Right now, there's a quizzical ad for pimpin up your webpage. I almost didn't type it because it probably means this ad will stay here.

Does that mean that if I start start posting about Christian singles, it'll bring back the busty blonde christian?

give it a try. ;~)

How can anyone, much less a reporter, watch the "facilitated communication" that's going on with the Belgian patient and say that anyone can "clearly see" he is communicating? It's mind boggling. Perhaps the "brain scan" really does reveal that he is conscious (I've no basis for disputing that), but if he is he must be doubly frustratrated now that he has watch a "facilitator" fabricate messages that are then attributed to him.

I was reading about the war on Christmas when I saw this quote:

" 'This is Christ-mas. It’s a no-brainer if you ask me,' Lisa Blackstock said."

If it is Christ's Mass, does that mean she will be in church on that day? Or will she be sitting next to a pagan symbol (the tree), opening presents and reveling in our consumer culture?

If you are a true believing Christian, you should avoid all the pagan trappings that have been attached to the holiday and donate the money you would have spent on presents to the poor. It's what Jesus would have done, right?


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