The Island of Doubt

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In case anyone is wondering why I haven’t posted anything for the past few days, what with all the fuss over the IPCC and all, it’s not because I’m reluctant to comment on it. It’s just that my little piece of western North Carolina is only now recovering from an ice storm that knocked the…

It’s not so much that the pseudoskeptics who dominate the climate change denial camp are particularly clever, but they have been rather fortunate, and the forces aligned on the side of science have turned out to be human after all. The result is the denial camp is winning, and those on the defensive have some…

Never mind that the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record. Or that 2009 tied for the second-warmest year. Neither of those stories are consuming much airtime and web- and print-space. No, the biggest stories on the climate beat involve allegations of fraudulent activity on the part of some of the…

James Delingpole continues to enjoy the privileges of blogging on the Daily Telegraph‘s imprimatur, despite his repeated misstatements on climatology. His latest affront to journalistic norms comes in the form of another alleged failure of a team of IPCC authors to cite real science. He’s calling it “Amazongate.” Oh dear.

The public-scientist disconnect

So, to recap: More than 96% of working climatologists say the global mean temperatures are rising, but only 34% of the public believes “Most scientists think global warming is happening.” How did we let this happen?

I’ve never met David Rose of the U.K.’s Daily Mail. And, while his past reporting on climate issues has tended to misrepresent the science of the day, it is entirely possible his editors are to blame for the fictionalization of his latest story. So I won’t point fingers at this juncture. Regardless, the affair is…

The minority report

Here is Justice Stevens’ core argument against his five colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court, each of who believes corporations are legally equivalent to citizens, as laid out in the dissenting opinion in Thursday’s ruling on Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission. The basic premise underlying the Court’s ruling is its iteration, and constant…

By ruling that corporations are entitled to exercise unrestricted political speech, the U.S. Supreme Court has just made it much more difficult for Americans to make the transition from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a clean-energy economy. Most democracies, including, until this morning, the U.S., recognize the danger of giving corporations free rein to influence the…

I awoke this morning in a universe with a quantum signature that differs from that of the universe in which I fell asleep. I know this because it’s the only way I can explain last night’s Republican victory in the safest Democratic seat in the Senate. It’s just like that episode of Star Trek: TNG,…

The Massachusetts vote

Dear Massachusetts voters: If for some reason you haven’t yet decided who should get your vote in today’s Senate election, consider this little piece of information about Republican candidate Scott Brown, courtesy of the Boston Globe: Brown typically skips climate change and global warming when discussing the environment; he sees the emissions debate as an…