October 26, 2012 |
I Iused to say, during doctoral examinations in theoretical physics, that the stakes were a bit more relaxed than passing or failing a medical student. After all, granting a doctorate was unlikely to result in life or death for anyone. Well, an Italian court decided this week that I was wrong. Six scientists were convicted of manslaughter because their data did not allow them to predict a 6.3-magnitude temblor in the city of L'Aquila in 2009 with enough certainty to issue a safety warning.
March 9, 2012 |
Rick Santorum sought to broaden his pitch to Alabama and Mississippi Republicans beyond his conservative stands on social issues Friday with scathing attacks on President Obama over national security, energy and global warming. At the same time, with the twin Deep South primaries now four days away, the former Pennsylvania senator kept up his religious appeals at a morning rally here at a museum for the Alabama battleship. Santorum described himself as "someone who understands the centrality of the family.
December 16, 2012
Re "Water demand to exceed supply," Dec. 13, and David Horsey's Dec. 14 editorial cartoon These two pieces offer an ironic juxtaposition: David Horsey's cartoon analyzes conservatives' unthinking rejection of climate change, and a report warns of rapidly dwindling water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. How many climate-change denialists live in those seven states? Our media privilege the discussion of religion, rationalizing that people are entitled to their own beliefs.
January 25, 2014
Re "Climate change foot-dragging," Editorial, Jan. 21 Yes, the politics around climate change - denying the overwhelming scientific evidence, misinforming about weather's relationship to climate and resisting executive branch action - create a short-term battleground for localized interests and a long-term offense against every living thing. But there is also much simple ignorance and confusion among our lawmakers, who get scared not only by the causes but also by the viable solutions.
February 20, 2012
The culture wars have been fought in the classroom for decades, waged over such issues as school prayer, the teaching of evolution and whether the Pledge of Allegiance should include the phrase "under God. " But the conflict usually pits backers of religious instruction against secularists. The latest skirmish, by contrast, is centered on a scientific issue that has nothing to do with religious teaching: climate change. Leaked documents from the Heartland Institute in Chicago, one of many nonprofits that spread disinformation about climate science in hopes of stalling government action to combat global warming, reveal that the organization is working on a curriculum for public schools that casts doubt on the work of climatologists worldwide.
January 22, 2012 |
Recently I had jury duty, and during jury selection something remarkable occurred. Early in the proceedings, the judge posed a hypothetical question to the 60 or so potential jurors in the room: "If I were to send you out now and ask you to render a verdict, what would it be? How many of you would vote not guilty?" A few raised their hands. "How many would vote guilty?" A few more raised their hands. "And how many would say you didn't know enough to decide?" Every remaining hand — about 50 people — went up immediately.
November 2, 2013
Re "Governor signs emissions pact with neighbors," Oct. 29 Gov. Jerry Brown is right to seek new ways to address climate change, but he's sabotaging his own efforts by greenlighting fracking for dirty oil in our state. The governor's support for fracking is out of step with both climate science and the electorate here, where a poll this summer found that 58% of Californians want a moratorium on the practice. To have a decent chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, we have to leave most fossil fuels buried safely in the ground, as noted by the recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2012 |
Peter Gleick, an internationally known Bay Area scientist, has returned to his post as president of the Pacific Institute after a three-month leave of absence prompted by his admission that he had assumed a false identity to obtain documents from a conservative think tank that questions global warming. In a statement released Wednesday, the Pacific Institute's board of directors said outside counsel had conducted an independent investigation that "supported what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute . This independent investigation has further confirmed and the Pacific Institute is satisfied that none of its staff knew of or was involved in any way. " Gleick, a widely quoted expert in water and climate change issues, came under a cloud in February when he admitted that he had obtained internal board documents from Heartland by assuming a false identity.
July 6, 2012
Re "Global warming in our backyard," Editorial, July 2 Thank you for your wonderful synopsis of the most recent climate science and how it pertains to Southern California. However, it is regrettable that it is still necessary to even mention climate skeptics. No news organization feels the need to mention plate tectonics skeptics when reporting on earthquakes or flat-Earth believers when reporting on space. It is a grim tribute to the success of climate skeptics and their financial backers (the Koch brothers, the Heartland Institute and others)