Archive for science over politics

Quickie: State Dep't. underestimated #KeystoneXL emissions, per study



Today's Quickie, via the Los Angeles Times:

Building the Keystone XL pipeline could lead to as much as four times more greenhouse gas emissions than the State Department has estimated for the controversial project, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change that relies on different calculations about oil consumption.

“The sole reason for this difference is that we account for the changes in global oil consumption resulting from increasing oil sands production levels, whereas the State Department does not,” wrote authors Peter Erickson and Michael Lazarus, scientists based in Seattle with the Stockholm Environment Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Of course, who would trust a nonprofit, fact-based scientific organization when we can rely on the expertise of wealthy, self-serving TransCanada Corporate oil oozers?

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?


VIDEO: "If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry leaves trail of death, Rubio sucks"


marco rubio sucks

Adam Mordecai  posted some brilliant video snarkitude at Upworthy that caught my eye:

There are members of Congress who don't understand or accept basic science concepts. This hilarious video is dedicated to them.

Dedicated to the ignorant, stubborn, backward, self-serving Republicans who lack foresight and continue to cater to Big Oil, Mother Earth and her inhabitants be damned.

This one is a must-watch:

Brought to you by the amazing

Go to

Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. But we propose a new naming system. One that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy. If you agree, sign the petition at


Mid Day Distraction- 3 y/o deaf boy hears dad’s voice for 1st time


Something in my eye. Via John.


VIDEO: Oops! Climate change denier Gov. Jan Brewer's caught-on-camera Moment of Cranky



At about :50, you can see a rather irked Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (or as my pal @Geoff9Cow likes to call her, Gov. Ashtray) didn't realize the KTVK-TV  camera was still rolling when she said, "Where in the hell did that come from?" in response to a question about climate change.

When she was asked about whether human beings have had any responsibility for giving Mother Earth a rising fever, she said:

“Everybody has an opinion on it, you know, and I probably don’t believe that it’s man made. I believe, you know, that weather elements are controlled maybe by different things.”

Climate deniers like Brewer are creating preventable disasters that will affect generations to come. And unbelievably, Neanderthals like these still hold positions of power:

Marco Rubio is unsure how old the Earth is. He is a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee.

Michele “Man-Made Climate Change is ‘Manufactured Science” Bachmann sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The soon-to-be forgotten moron on climate change, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, sits on the Science Committee, as does Paul Evolution, Embryology and Big Bang Theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell, Climate Change is a Hoax” Broun.

Global warming skeptic Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) set to chair House Science Committee.

This is all just a bad dream, right? Please?


Global warming skeptic set to chair House Science Committee


Marco Rubio is unsure how old the Earth is. He is a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee.

Michele “Man-Made Climate Change is ‘Manufactured Science” Bachmann sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The soon-to-be forgotten moron on climate change, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, sits on the Science Committee, as does Paul Evolution, Embryology and Big Bang Theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell, Climate Change is a Hoax” Broun.

Accepting reality and scientific findings isn't the GOP's strong suit.

Via Amanda Terkel at HuffPo:

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a skeptic of man-made global warming, is set to take over the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the 113th Congress.

That makes about as much sense as the Republican party's inability to accept the 2012 election results and Susan Rice's qualifications and credibility, let alone their unwillingness to take a step or two into the 21st century.

Here's their the new chairman of the Science Committee, in all his ignorant glory:

"The [ABC, NBC and CBS television] networks have shown a steady pattern of bias on climate change... During a six-month period, four out of five network news reports failed to acknowledge any dissenting opinions about global warming, according to a Business and Media Institute study. The networks should tell Americans the truth, rather than hide the facts."

He also referred to environmentalists and others who warn about the seriousness of the issue as "global warming alarmists."

This despite an overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that what we humans are doing to Mother Earth is a major cause of climate change. Maybe Lamar should take a peek at disturbing images like these:

Dems, please do your activist thing and help us win back the House in 2014. Then maybe we'll get an informed representative with a functioning brain, common sense, and contemporary sensibilities to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.


"The conservative mind has an amazing capacity for manufacturing reasons to reject disagreeable evidence."


Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Silver's numbers racket,” Opinion, Nov. 6

I think what I like best about Nate Silver is that he is so often right.

Sorry, Jonah Goldberg, but Silver's battleground predictions were right on.

Clara Solis
Los Angeles


Silver's unusually accurate predictions are explained by his use of validated statistical methods.

He has come under attack for his disregard of momentum, gut feelings and the musings of pundits like Goldberg who are paid to promote their ideological viewpoints.

We rely on statistical models for many decisions every single day, including for weather forecasts, in medicine and in many complex systems in which there is an element of uncertainty in the outcome.

Indeed, these are the same methods by which scientists could predict, days in advance, that Superstorm Sandy was about to hit the United States.

The Goldberg piece is one of many whining complaints about Silver I've seen from conservative shills, all of them reminiscent of the recent ignorant attacks on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science.

Clearly, the conservative mind has an amazing capacity for manufacturing reasons to reject disagreeable evidence.

Michael K. Finnigan


So what are we to make of Silver's predictions, now that the election's an accomplished fact and Silver was exactly correct?

Goldberg's preferred right-wing statisticians seem to have missed the mark. As Goldberg pointed out for us: garbage in, garbage out.

But one thing old Jonah says is true: Those of us who do math on a daily basis do indeed have a deep faith in it. After all, it got us to the moon and back. It's the one thing you can actually prove.

Think Goldberg will ever concede his error?

Paul Ryan


Goldberg was right: We do go to Silver's blog to comfort ourselves. And the reason we're comforted is that Silver's analysis is sophisticated, rigorous and correct.

Jackie Flaskerud
San Diego


It was with resigned dismay that I read the latest anti-science diatribe by Goldberg regarding Silver's mathematical model for interpreting election polls.

Goldberg's article was typical of the current climate: If you don't agree with the scientific analysis, attack the messenger.

What Goldberg ignored was the fact that Silver gained nothing by “gaming” his model to support his chosen candidate; if Mitt Romney had won, then Silver's model would have been discredited and he would be back to peddling baseball statistics.

This head-in-the-sand view of science is not simply wrongheaded partisanship that exemplifies the moral and intellectual vacuum in which many of today's Republican pundits operate. In a world growing warmer by the day, it is downright dangerous.

Ken Wilton
Manhattan Beach


Report: Rising sea level puts US Atlantic coast at risk, but N. Carolina bill would outlaw sea level projections


Image by cristinalo

In North Carolina, House Bill 819, a measure that would require sea level forecasts to be based on past patterns, "would all but outlaw projections based on climate change data."

You don't like predictions based on sound science? Pfft! Ban them. Easy come, easy go. Without all that bothersome, imposing, well-researched data, the crisis simply ceases to exist. Easy as pie!

Hey! Why don't we do that with our economic woes, too?

So while that insane North Carolina bill would legislate science and inhibit research, a report has come out offering evidence that an uh-oh-sized area along the east coast could be in real trouble. Are all those states going to pass Ostrich Head-In-The-Sand bills too?

We're talking Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to north of Boston, and even major cities including Philadelphia and Baltimore.

But to hell with the health and welfare of people when profits are what really count. L.A. Times:

Comedian Colbert brought the debate to a national audience, wisecracking in a segment titled "Sea, No Evil" on the June 4 "Colbert Report": "If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved."


The sea level on a stretch of the US Atlantic coast that features the cities of New York, Norfolk and Boston is rising up to four times faster than the global average, a report said Sunday.

This increases the flood risk for one of the world's most densely-populated coastal areas and threatens wetland habitats, said a study reported in the journal Nature Climate Change. [...]

If global temperatures continue to rise, the sea level on this portion of the coast by 2100 could rise up to 30 centimetres over and above the one-metre global surge projected by scientists, it added.

The article cites other reports and studies, but, hey, maybe they can all be legislated away, too.