Environment

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Environment

The old saw that ‘we hang together or we get hung separately‘ is a perfect description of how the left has disintegrated into irrelevance. Too often, groups will focus on modest gains for their own narrow constituency, while selling out other allies. Over the long term, each component of the coalition is so weakened, making…

Admittedly, some boycotts have worked: Glenn Beck seems to have been seriously harmed by the boycotts against his advertisers. But what happens when the corporations you want to boycott have massive market share? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate-backed lobbying group that has essentially written many laws at the state level, including…

Sheril has the details: That’s what Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature just did. Embarrassing for Florida and a travesty for the Everglades. They’ve dismantled the South Florida Water Management District-the state agency charged with protecting the Everglades. As The Sierra Club explains, this wasn’t belt tightening, but an attack on science and…

Actually, Apartment Buildings Are Sexy

David Wogan brings up an important point–if we’re serious about global warming, we need to lower the amount of energy buildings use: Consider this: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, our nation’s buildings consume over 40 percent of the energy consumed across all sectors – that is even more energy than consumed by the…

Or something. A while ago, in “Michele Bachmann, Light Bulb Vigilantes, and the Dim Bulbs of the Tea Party“, I described the fear that the psychiatric wing of the Republican Party (and its dominant wing) has towards more energy efficient light bulbs. This is what appears to drive that fear: On her way out, Dee…

Monday, The NY Times had an interesting story about Zurich, Switzerland’s intentional policy of making car-based transportation utterly miserable–and thereby convincing people to use other transit options: While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments…

It would be nice if educational ‘reformers’ took a break from busting teachers unions to deal with the infiltration of pseudo-scientific falsehoods into the science curriculum: …the most brazen example is buried in the middle of the story: a coal-industry produced propaganda film for kids selling the lie that the atmosphere needs more greenhouse gas:…

Last week, James Q. Wilson, writing in The Wall Street Journal, described several of the factors that have led to a sustained decrease in crime. One reason is increased incarceration: One obvious answer is that many more people are in prison than in the past. Experts differ on the size of the effect, but I…

There’s a recent study that examines the effect of pollution on educational performance in Michigan. Basically, the authors found that test scores were significantly lower for the two ‘most polluted’ quintiles of schools (i.e., the worst forty percent), even after controlling for income, school absence, school location, and other factors. But there’s something else obvious…

Over the last couple of weeks, Chris Mooney has written several interesting posts and articles about how human cognition affects the incorporation of evidence, especially scientific evidence (e.g., global warming) and what that means for politics. At the back of my mind have been nagging issues of the assumptions Mooney has been making. The assumptions…