Freelance science journalist and communications consultant

Rob Ford and the planet

Apologies for the blatant exploitation of an ostensibly tangential news story to drive traffic to this blog. But I think there is a connection, and it’s high time I resurrected Class M. The spark is, of course, the revelations about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s contempt for the people who elected him. Toronto doesn’t deserve to…

Among those who spend their working lives and/or spare time worrying about climate change, there are many subjects that still provoke heated debates, so to speak. Chief among them is the wisdom or folly of turning to natural gas as a “bridge” between the carbon-intensive oil- and coal-dominated present and the clean renewable future that…

NY Times kills environment desk

Inside Climate News reports that “The New York Times will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven reporters and two editors to other departments. The positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor are being eliminated.” Is this a good thing or bad? The conventional response would be that…

The pseudoskeptical argument goes something like this: the last decade hasn’t been significantly warmer than the previous decade, so global warming has stopped. And because the causes of anthropogenic climate change have not stopped, the link between fossil fuel combustion and global warming is therefore broken. This is, of course, complete nonsense. The video above…

Guns, climate and growing up

Every now and then someone who ordinarily makes a fair amount of sense writes something that serves only to remind us that even the extraordinarily smart can be extraordinarily wrong. So it was with Sam Harris‘s defense of gun rights, The Riddle of the Gun. First, Harris insists that “the correlation between guns and violence…

Compare and contrast

This is worth a few seconds of your life. Trust me. I’m serious.  

The Barry Bonds of storms

The other day I found myself looking for reading material in a clinic waiting room and for the first time ever I picked up a copy of Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s not that I never used to care about business. I just found business publications and business journalists rarely demonstrated a decent level of understanding of…

Frankenstorm predicted

OK, no one can predict a specific weather event months in advance. But what we can do is anticipate expected frequency of events. Back in February of this year, Nature Climate Change published a paper, Physically based assessment of hurricane surge threat under climate change, (PDF bypasses Nature’s paywall) that predicted more frequent storm surges…

Did Climate Change Supersize Hurricane Sandy? asks Chris Mooney in Mother Jones. Look. We know there’s more moisture in the atmosphere because when you warm a gas it holds more vapor. So that means there’s more precipitation when a storm blows in. And we know the sea level is rising because when you heat water,…

More from Michael Mann

Now on CNN: Imagine you are sitting in your office simply doing your job and a nasty e-mail pops into your inbox accusing you of being a fraud. You go online and find that some bloggers have written virulent posts about you. That night, you’re at home with your family watching the news and a…