Communication and Politics

Category archives for Communication and Politics

In what New York Magazine is calling the most-read article in the publication’s history,  David Wallace-Wells writes about what will happen if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels soon. In a nutshell: the climate “will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us.” This has made more than a few climatologists rather…

Anyone asked to identify the two biggest forces for change in the world today could do worse than choose artificial intelligence and climate change. Both are products of technology whose effects are only beginning to be felt, and the ultimate consequences of both will almost certainly be transformative in every sense of the word. Other than that, there…

Nature Climate Change has wandered into political science with a study from Stanford University. Seth Werfel’s examination of the “crowding-out” effect — the idea that humans have a tough time pursuing more than one strategy to solve a problem — is worth considering, even if its finding aren’t exactly earth-shattering. The problem is laid out right…

Peter Gleick’s alleged crime

Another day, another distraction from the real issue at hand. Yes, a hitherto respectable member of the climate science community, MacArthur fellow, and all-round good guy has admitted appropriating someone’s identity to obtain private records of a climate-denial think tank. Was this wrong? Yes, although no more so than was the ostensible betrayal of trust…

Someone has leaked a treasure trove of insider documents from the Heartland Institute, which until now has been a major source of climate change obfuscation in the U.S. There’s plenty of illuminating information to chew on, including detailed budgets and an IRS 990 form. Shades of “climategate” reversed? Much is being made of one line…

For reasons that can only reflect poorly on the paper, the Wall Street Journal recently decided it was a good idea to publish an op-ed that recycled some the of the most soundly discredited notions associated with the climate change denial movement. The piece was signed by 16 ostensible “scientists,” though only four have any…

Calling it like it is

Two examples of why blogs are better than mainstream news coverage, when it comes to confronting reality and doing something about it, one from the climate wars, one from the front lines of women’s health. First, Andy Revkin, a former New York Times journalist who still blogs there. He calls out a coal-industry-backed attempt to…

Tea Party shenanigans

As if you needed another reason to lament the state of American politics: Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as…

The lukewarmer fallacy

From the Idiot Tracker comes this pearl of wisdom: One of my least favorite lukewarmer fallacies is the concept of “no regrets” policies — that we should push ahead with policies that can be sold to the right wing as energy independence or job creation or whatever appeals to those in denial of the science.…

Republicans with cooler heads

Barring a miraculous revival of the fortunes of Jon Huntsman, Republicans this year will, for the first time, elect a presidential nominee who does not believe that humans are responsible for global warming. How did things get this bad? The Climate Desk team found a few of the last Republicans among the party’s leadership who…