Friday, May 30, 2014

New SpaceX Spacecraft Unveiled

Via Boehner Says He’s ‘Not Qualified’ To Talk About Climate Science. Here’s How Scientists Responded.

"Boehner Says He’s ‘Not Qualified’ To Talk About Climate Science. Here’s How Scientists Responded."
House Speaker John Boehner.
House Speaker John Boehner.
CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

When House Speaker John Boehner told a group of reporters on Thursday that he would not discuss climate change on the grounds that he, himself, was not a scientist, he joined the ranks of other prominent Republican politicians who have refused to talk about the issue on the same grounds.
“I’m not a scientist,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott last week, when asked if he thought man-made climate change was affecting the weather. “I’m not a scientist,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in 2009, his first in a long line of statement denying climate change. “I’m not sure, I’m not a scientist,” said Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) said of climate change in 2010 (Grimm changed his mind on the issue this past April).

The tactic is an interesting (and seemingly effective) way for politicians to avoid acknowledging or denying the reality of climate change while still getting to fight against any regulation to stop it. But actual climate scientists say the tactic is irresponsible, dangerous, and ignores the fact that credible scientific information is readily available.

“Personally, I don’t think it proper for any American to use that argument,” said Donald. J Wuebbles, a distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and coordinating lead author for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 assessment report.

Wuebbles, who was also a lead author on the recently released National Climate Assessment, said that report was written by scientists and other experts specifically so that members of Congress could understand climate change and how it affects the country. With that report available, he said, climate change should be “readily understood by any policymaker.”

“The assessment represents the latest understanding of the science and is the most comprehensive report ever prepared for the American people on climate change,” Wuebbles said. “The report itself was done for Congress under a law passed by Congress.”

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, went even further, calling Boehner’s comments a “pathetic dodge” that doesn’t make sense in the context of political decision-making.

“What if we asked ‘Senator: do you advocate drinking toxic sludge?’ or ‘Senator: is jumping off the north rim of the Grand Canyon safe?’ or ‘Senator: should I place my head in the jaws of this lion?’,” Mann said. “Would the response still be be ‘I don’t know, I’m not a scientist’?”

Mann noted that politicians have no qualms making statements about other political issues — abortion and public health, for example — because they are supposed to use established science to inform their decisions. Climate change, though, is a different story, he said.

“Why is it somehow different when it comes to the climate change threat and the need to regulate carbon emissions — something opposed by fossil fuel interests like the Koch Brothers who fund so many of these politicians campaigns — why is it in this case different?” he said. “That, of course, is a rhetorical question.”

2013 American Meteorological Society president Marshall Shepherd, however, said both politicians and scientists need to back away from inflammatory rhetoric and start actively working together on solutions. He acknowledged that politicians should not make statements about climate change without knowledge of peer-reviewed science, but said climatologists must also live up to their responsibility to make sure policymakers are well-informed.

“I am certain that no policymaker is an expert on many different topics that cross their desk but they have to be considered,” he said, noting that scientists have an “obligation to ensure that public and policymakers don’t fall victim to being duped because of lack of science knowledge.”

“I think scientists that are too overtly political or activist lose credibility. Likewise, a stakeholder or policymaker speaking definitely on climate without any background or from non-peer reviewed perspectives is also dangerous,” he said. “I have long argued that we have to remove the vitriol and name-calling and work to help each other in the discussion.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Via Occupy Wall St. / FB:

Via JMG: Maya Angelou Dies At Age 86

Legendary poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died in her North Carolina home at the age of 86.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines confirmed Angelou was found by her caretaker on Wednesday morning. Angelou had been reportedly battling health problems. She recently canceled a scheduled appearance of a special event to be held in her honor. Angelou was set to be honored with the “Beacon of Life Award” at the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon on May 30 in Houston. Angelou is famous for saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In 1993 Angelou read her now famous poem On The Pulse Of Morning at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. I was overcome with goosebumps when the poem name-checked gay people at such a prestigious event. Pulse remains one of the very few poems I can (mostly) recite from memory.

There is a true yearning to respond to 
The singing River and the wise Rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew The African, the Native American, the Sioux, 
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheik, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, 
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher. They hear. 
They all hear The speaking of the Tree. 

Via Folha de S.Paul: Universidade eleita melhor da América Latina tem inglês obrigatório

 Folha de S.Paulo - Educação - Principal

Criada em 1888, meio século antes da USP, a PUC do Chile tem uma prova de proficiência de inglês obrigatória aos novos alunos. "Quem vai mal tem de fazer aulas obrigatórias", disse à Folha a porta-voz da universidade, Ana María Bolumburu.

O resultado é que cerca de metade dos artigos científicos produzidos na escola chilena são em colaboração internacional.

Já a USP tem de 25% a 30% dos trabalhos acadêmicos feitos com estrangeiros. Os dados são de um levantamento do especialista em indicadores científicos Rogério Meneghini, feito a pedido da Folha.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

NASA Hidden Objects Nibiru Planet X Nemesis



Again! Axis Shift Patterns Point to June 14, 2014!

Via Being Liberal / FB

Via Utne: Bad at gratitude? Six practices of people who know how to say "Thanks!"

Six Habits of Highly Grateful People

12/18/2013 4:27:00 PM
Just be thankful for what you got
Bad at gratitude? Six practices of people who know how to say "Thanks!"
This article originally appeared at Greater Good, the online magazine of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

I’m terrible at gratitude. 
How bad am I? I’m so bad at gratitude that most days, I don’t notice the sunlight on the leaves of the Berkeley oaks as I ride my bike down the street. I forget to be thankful for the guy who hand-brews that delicious cup of coffee I drink mid-way through every weekday morning. I don’t even know the dude’s name!

I usually take for granted that I have legs to walk on, eyes to see with, arms I can use to hug my son. I forget my son! Well, I don’t actually forget about him, at least as a physical presence; I generally remember to pick him up from school and feed him dinner. But as I face the quotidian slings and arrows of parenthood, I forget all the time how much he’s changed my life for the better.

Gratitude (and its sibling, appreciation) is the mental tool we use to remind ourselves of the good stuff. It’s a lens that helps us to see the things that don’t make it onto our lists of problems to be solved. It’s a spotlight that we shine on the people who give us the good things in life. It’s a bright red paintbrush we apply to otherwise-invisible blessings, like clean streets or health or enough food to eat.

Gratitude doesn’t make problems and threats disappear. We can lose jobs, we can be attacked on the street, we can get sick. I’ve experienced all of those things. I remember those harrowing times at unexpected moments: My heart beats faster, my throat constricts. My body wants to hit something or run away, one or the other. But there’s nothing to hit, nowhere to run. The threats are indeed real, but at that moment, they exist only in memory or imagination. I am the threat; it is me who is wearing myself out with worry.

That’s when I need to turn on the gratitude. If I do that enough, suggests the psychological research, gratitude might just become a habit. What will that mean for me? It means, says the research, that I increase my chances of psychologically surviving hard times, that I stand a chance to be happier in the good times. I’m not ignoring the threats; I’m appreciating the resources and people that might help me face those threats.

If you’re already one of those highly grateful people, stop reading this essay—you don’t need it. Instead you should read Amie Gordon’s “Five Ways Giving Thanks Can Backfire.” But if you’re more like me, then here are some tips for how you and I can become one of those fantastically grateful people.

Make the jump here to read the full article on Utne

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Climate Change Debate

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Via Earthjustice / FB:

BRAVO! Germany is saying "nein" to dirty energy by heavily investing in solar energy, and the results are stunning: the country just broke the world record by producing 5.1 terrawatt hours of clean energy in July - that's more than 6 times the entire amount produced by the USA! 

If a cloudy country like Germany (which has no deserts and is the size of New Mexico) can excel in solar energy, why can't the USA? The answer is government priorities. While we continue to subsidize fossil fuels and embrace controversial tactics like fracking, Germany is showing the rest of the world what smart policies can do. That's why our attorneys are helping to spearhead solar energy in places like Hawaii.
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