Friday, December 25, 2009

Tis the Season

With all the holiday philosophy being tossed about this time of year perhaps it's time to bring to mind three goals that will truly make this a world worth living in.
1. Environmental sustainability
2. Population stability
3. Ending extreme poverty

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yellowstone in Washington?

A recent gravitational study shows that the Yellowstone magma plume is much deeper than originally thought. It also indicates that same plume may have been the source of the Columbia River flood basalts some 17 million years ago.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm just wondering what it is that the climate change deniers really want? Do they want to just continue consuming fossil resources until there is nothing left when we have what it takes to develop either renewable or much more plentiful resources? Do they want to keep running up greenhouse gas concentrations until it is too late? Or do they want other people to change but for them to just keep consuming and polluting just as they always have?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

50 reasons

A British newspaper published a list of 100 reasons why global warming is natural. The New Scientist website takes a look at the first 50 of those reasons. They are all bogus. There's no reason to think the last 50 are any less bogus.

Bachmann Invokes 'Charge Of The Light Brigade'

This really par for the course. She likens her crowd of supporters to the heralded Light Brigade. During the Crimean War a snafu sent a detachment of British cavalry against a well-entrenched artillery position. The artillery tore them to shreds. But maybe that's what she expects from her people. To ride without question into the valley of death in her name and be annihilated. Sounds about right for people like her.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Look at Climate Change

It turns out that a great number of climate change criticisms that have been gaining popularity of late in the wake of email scandal are themselves highly suspect. Given the slippery nature of making predictions about the climate future, the best way to improve the model is to subject them to rigorous criticism. Unfortunately, when the criticism is so flaky it just lead the climate change folks to do work that is less than the best.

Sensing without nerves

Some people who don't have the typical nerve endings in the skin to sense pain, heat, and pressure seem to be able to live a fairly normal life. That's because a second sensory system is in play. It turns out the nerves in blood vessels and sweat glands that we thought only regulated things actually contribute to sensation. This may be the mechanism involved in unexplainable pain conditions like migraines and fibromyalgia.

Al Franken

In a bit of video watch Al Franken in action. He calls John Thune (R-SD) to task for completely misrepresenting the facts about the health care bill. Minnesota has a damn fine senator there.

Rick Warren

Rachel takes a look at the celebrated Rick Warren. On the one hand he says:
During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going.
But there's that pesky tape in which he says:
Let me just say this really clearly, we support Proposition 8, and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. So, I urge you to support Proposition 8 and pass that word on.
So much for his respect for the truth.