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The title of this post is also the title of a new peer reviewed paper by Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Orskes, James Risbey, Ben Newell and Michael Smithson, published in Global Environmental Change. The article is Open Access, available here. Stephan Lewandosky has a blog post on it, in which he notes, … we examine the…

Oil train derailments are becoming more common, mainly because of the very large number of oil trains, often with over 100 tank cars, taking oil out of the Bakken fields and bringing it to coastal refineries or storage facilities. You are certainly aware of the recent Amtrak derailment in Pennsylvania. From Reuters: An Amtrak train…

Note: The original title of this post was “A Global Warming Fingerprint Confirmed: Upper Troposphere Warming” because I was thinking that upper troposphere warming was a fingerprint. John Cook contacted me to let me know that he didn’t think it was. The reason it is not is that more than one thing can cause upper…

Bjorn Lomborg has written an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the decision of the University of Western Australia (UWA) to nix previously developed plans to accept a $4 million dollar payment from the conservative Australian government, to be matched by university money, to implement a version of Lomborg’s Copenhagen Institute there, to…

Global warming is typically measured at the surface, with data from thermometers all across the land areas and sea surface temperatures combined. That isn’t the whole story, of course. Much of the added heat, an effect of human generated greenhouse gas pollution, goes into the upper 2,000 meters or so of the ocean. But we…

Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones recently posted an item called “Scores of Scientists Raise Alarm About the Long-Term Health Effects of Cellphones.” I like Josh’s work, but there are some problems with this article I want to point out, some of which parallel problems in the more general discussion of cell phone safety. Before looking…

As an anthropologist, I find the interface between technology and the larger culture in which it is embedded fascinating. You all know the old story of the family cook who habitually cuts the ends off the roast before slipping it in the oven. One day her child, hoping some day to be the family cook,…

Ana is coming up the Atlantic

I remember joking with my friend Ana about how her name would be attached to the first named storm in the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season. It turns out Ana is an exceptional individual. Both of them. Ana, my friend, is an actor and is currently engaged in a project I’ll be telling you more about…

Sometimes science sees something change – there is more of something, or less, or more importantly, there is a change in the rate of some phenomenon or in its pattern of variability. But sometimes science looks out there in the world and observes something that was probably there all along (though there may be changes…

Over the last several weeks we’ve seen the University of Western Australia accept a $4 million dollar Federal grant to develop a “Consensus Centre” in the mold of Bjorn Lomborg’s non profit, with Lomborg as a key player. Lomborg has been heavily criticized for his lack of scholarship and seemingly biased policy related to climate…