Posts

August 11, 2014

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9:01 PM | What’s On Topic for Planet3.0
This site is about sustainability in the large, that is, the possibility that the Earth, including both human civilization and rich ecosystems, will sustain for a very long time into the future. Sustainability means avoiding foreclosing on the options available to future generations. This site is intended for honest discussions as to how we can do this.

August 10, 2014

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11:42 PM | Net Global Radiative Imbalance
Improvements in characterizing global interannual variation and trend in global heat flux. Yes there probably is an upward trend. There is substantial uncertainty in the vertical axis offset, though it probably is warming. And yes, El Nino years are cooling years. Does this surprise you? Allan, R. P., C. Liu, N. [more]
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9:58 PM | Has the era of the ‘climate change refugee’ begun?
The Washington Post reports that a Tuvalan couple has obtained refugee status in New Zealand at least partially on account of sea level rise. [more]
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2:27 PM | Cross-cultural cultural cognition road trip: Australia
I was soooo psyched that Guy, S., Kashima, Y., Walker, I. & O'Neill, S. Investigating the effects of knowledge and ideology on climate change beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology 44, 421-429 (2014) were able to make good use of the cultural cognition worldview scales in their study of Australians' perceptions of beliefs about climate change that I've decided to go & investigate matters there for myself. I'll be giving these open lectures in Melbourne next […]

August 09, 2014

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2:49 PM | Welcome To Hell’s Nightclub
Ladles and Jellyspoons!  I give you 36 seconds of the Guitar Center in Times Square. (h/t @jodyavirgan) Pity the poor workers there? In that vein:  what’s the worst job you ever held? How long did you last?
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10:18 AM | Detrimental dissent – impacts of uncertainty on public support for environmental policy
Environmental issues are inherently complex and multi-faceted. The innate variab...

August 08, 2014

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10:32 PM | SLS manager says program still on track
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket remains on track for a first launch in December 2017 despite warnings in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) about cost and schedule problems, the program’s manager said Friday. Speaking at the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention in Houston, SLS program manager Todd May said the program [...]
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7:30 PM | Everything’s Bigger In Texas, Even The Stupid…
….hell, especially the stupid. Exhibit ∞:   A top Texas official just announced that the state plans both to sue the EPA over its new carbon rules, and just because nullification has always worked out so well, ignore the hell out of them too [vie The Hill]: The top environmental regulator in Texas said the state may choose not […]
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6:28 PM | What would a *valid* measure of climate-science literacy reveal? Guy et al., Effects of knowlege & ideology part 2
This is part 2 of my “journal club report”  on the very interesting paper Guy, S., Kashima, Y., Walker, I. & O'Neill, S. Investigating the effects of knowledge and ideology on climate change beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology 44, 421-429 (2014). GKW&O present data relating a sample of 300 Australians’ “climate literacy” scores to their “belief in” human-caused climate change and related perceptions. Last time I explained […]
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5:00 PM | Simon Jenkins on computer science
In a polemic in The Guardian today, Simon Jenkins argues for a(nother) shake up of the UK’s education system, with less focus on STEM and computer science in particular. This kind of misinformed ranting on the utilitarian view of STEM and why the UK should focus on being a service industry appears to be his […]
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3:52 PM | August 2014 Open Thread
More thread.
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3:19 PM | NICE and Roche at loggerheads (again)
  NICE has today (8th August 2014) announced that it cannot recommend Roche’s latest breast cancer drug, Kadcyla (a combination of trastuzumab and emtansine) for routine use on the NHS because it is too expensive and hence not cost-effective.  The draft ‘no’ was actually published in May, but there has been a press release issued today ...read more
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3:17 PM | Wildfires: Reality vs Stasis
Grist reports another example of a fixed budget being overwhelmed by an accelerating problem: the US national firefighting budget is nearly spent, though the wildfire season is just getting going. [more]
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3:01 PM | Is Climate Change Already Increasing Population Migration Pressure?
A retired physicist claims that a root cause of recent refugee migration is anthropogenic climate change. [more]
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10:01 AM | Does pay for performance work or doesn’t it?
Martin Roland discusses the effects of pay for performance, following on from our study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.

August 07, 2014

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8:40 PM | The Lambs Still Scream…
…for the performance artist formerly known as Ann Coulter [via TPM]: In the column, titled “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded To ‘Idiotic,’” Coulter called Dr. Kent Brantly’s humanitarian work in Liberia nothing more than the efforts of an ego-driven Christian and “the first real-world demonstration of the economics of Obamacare.” …Coulter then said Brantly left the country to […]
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3:30 PM | Does "climate science literacy trump ideology" in Australia? Not as far as I can tell! Guy et al., Effects of knowlege & ideology part 1
It was so darn much fun to report my impressions on Stocklmayer, S. M., & Bryant, C. Science and the Public—What should people know?, International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 2(1), 81-101 (2012), that I thought I’d tell you all about another cool article I read recently: Guy, S., Kashima, Y., Walker, I. & O'Neill, S. Investigating the effects of knowledge and ideology on climate change beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology 44, 421-429 (2014). 1. […]
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10:56 AM | Medicalising life
Medicines have been getting into the mainstream news quite a lot in recent times. A couple of days ago saw the publication in Annals of Oncology of a review of the evidence for a protective effect of aspirin in reducing cancer in the general population. The role of aspirin in cardiovascular disease prevention is well ...read more
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9:30 AM | Wealth and religiosity disagree while some Hindus look the other way
My extended family’s annual trip to Tirupati is coming up. Because a more indecisive bunch doth not exist, my relatives have been planning the trip for the last week. One creepy fact their discussions threw up is that, in 2013, … Continue reading →
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9:22 AM | Science Cheerleader William: pursuing a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology, former cheerleader at the University of MD!
Today we get to hear from William (a.k.a. “Rock”), a male cheerleader who is pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology at the University of Maryland.  What turned you on to science and when? I remember as a child that I wanted to be a dolphin trainer because I thought that was the only career I could have in marine biology, similar to what other children may think, but as I got older I was steered away from that goal...[ Read Full Story ]
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9:02 AM | Carey: aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin and former University of Wyoming cheerleader
As an engineer, we get stereotyped as “introverts” and “nerds." I am happy to show that I am bubbly, outgoing, and an extrovert as an engineer. I love telling people what I do for a living and surprise them!!
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3:00 AM | For planets, one thing leads to another
One of the biggest benefits of being a journalist is that you become aware of interesting things from various fields. As a science journalist, the ambit is narrowed but the interestingness, not at all. And one of the most interesting … Continue reading →
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2:34 AM | Products of uranium-235 fission
When I read, it’s always one thing leading to another. Someone tipped me off about a piece in Science about CTBT compliance monitoring efforts, and I ended up making this incredibly ghastly but satisfying mindmap of the product yield of … Continue reading →

August 06, 2014

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8:53 PM | Science Cheerleader Amessia: Epidemiologist and WNBA Cheerleader
  What turned you on to science? What’s funny about my current profession is…I WASN’T a big fan of Science in High School! I had the goal of working in the medical field and knew that if I wanted to excel in it, I had to learn to love Science. Science has so many components that it was hard to gain a desire for it because you are often exposed to the areas that don’t interest you. I didn’t want...[ Read Full Story ]
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5:43 PM | As Texas celebrates winning SpaceX spaceport, Florida regroups
On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry confirmed what had neen widely speculated for weeks, if not months: SpaceX would establish a commercial launch site on the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas. The state is providing about $15 million in funds to support spaceport development, although the release notes that construction will involve “$85 million [...]
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4:18 PM | Female parliamentarians
India: GDP (per capita, 2013 US$) v. Gross intake ratio in first grade of primary education, female (% of relevant age group) v. Women in parliament (each point corresponds to a year in 1997-2013) India: Women in parliament v. GDP (per capita, 2013 US$) r = 0.8866Filed under: Data & Stats
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12:45 PM | Aerospace Engineer and former cheerleader, Carey, leads Science Week event at Mint Hill Library in Charlotte, NC
Guest post from Carey! I had the awesome pleasure of representing Science Cheerleader for the afternoon during Science Week at the Mint Hill Library in Charlotte, NC. The program was aimed at 5-11 year olds, both males and females. It was a great experience discussing rockets and my career at Lockheed Martin. To engage the students, we made rockets with straws and then had a competition by turning their rockets into balloon rockets. The kids were very excited to try...[ Read Full Story ]
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5:58 AM | Let’s Not Mistake “Legal” With “Smart Business Practice”
I work in organizational development focused on worker safety and I have been employed as such for the better part of 20 years. I am essentially a safety strategy consultant, an architect, if you will, of safety infrastructures that help companies to build on the services I provide them and sustain gains in safety in [...]
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4:38 AM | Are Office Safety Programs a Waste of Time and Money?
Big companies are expanding their safety programs to their office settings – so says a recent, nationally published article. The stated goal: Get everyone thinking about safety. Is this really going to help? The other day, a colleague forwarded to me a link to a Wall Street Journal article, “Safety cops patrol the office for [...]
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4:13 AM | (Infographic) Top 10 Deadliest Jobs In The USA
Source: Simplifiedsafety.com Related Training DVDs: Construction Safety Orientation Training Video This thorough and exciting program is ideal for anyone who works at a construction site. View Product Workplace Safety 101 A Guide for New Employees Gives new hires the tools to develop solid safety habits and hazard [...]
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