This week in science: Calentamiento de la Tierra

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 26-04-2014-05-2008

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IPCC Chart

A common quip when deniers go into denial mode on climate change is that the climate has changed massively in the past. It’s natural! Search around and it’s not hard to come across this week, like any other:

Paraphrasing Rand Paul 23 April 2014 — The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, anybody who’s ever studied any geology knows that over periods of time, long periods of time, that the climate changes. I’m not sure anyone exactly knows why … but we have twenty-thousand year cycles … it has been much warmer than it is today. We have data for 100 years, tell me what 100 years of data is in an Earth that is 4.6 billion years old?

Sen. Paul occasionally fights the GOP headwind by pointing out inconvenient facts, and credit is due for getting the Earth’s age spot on. So let’s put this dismissive climate tactic in terms a tea party MD might appreciate: disease has been with us for millennia. So how does a friendly neighborhood leper or your kid getting chewed on by a rabid skunk—or weaponized Anthrax—really matter in the great scheme of things? Medical science has only been around for a little while and this stuff has been happening for thousands of years. It’ll all work itself out naturally.

  • City busting bolides impact our planet once or twice a year on average, but so far population centers have been lucky. Oh, and the seer, Pat Robertson, predicted this all along!
  • I don’t know much about this topic, but I have come to trust Orac a great deal over the years and based on that track record, whoever has the Clintons’ ear, please, PLEASE, pass this on:

    The Dunning-Kruger effect and motivated reasoning can indeed affect even people like the Clintons … Sadly, functional medicine has even found its way into academic — or, as I like to put it these days, quackademic — medicine.

  • Solar power may have reached the necessary commercial efficiency point, close enough that the “magic” of the “free market” suddenly needs to be taxed and slapped down, ironically by those who used to demand more market freedom! And here’s one possible solution to the remaining storage issues.
  • On a tech note, what John Cole wrote here: how is it that so many high profile news/websites, with presumably healthy budgets, are going from already lousy to utter train-wrecks full of embed glitches, comically bad layouts, unusable search functions, and endless, awful redesigns?
  • Newspace is good for America and Americans, plus it is the most viable path to harvesting the off-world resources anytime soon. Or we can keep sending a ton of money to the Bare Chested Manly Man of Moscow:

    The U.S. just renewed a contract to send six more U.S. astronauts to and from the space station on a Russian vehicle at the cost of nearly $500 million. And so, while we are sanctioning Russia in all of these other ways, we have also just sent them $500 million.

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