10 May 2015
The internet is so grand, and being over 55 I think I appreciate this more than those who never lived in a world without Google. One thing I like to do in this space is to link to great science online and I actively look for it. So here are some interesting things of various lengths that will tell you more about the world we live in. Granted, it’s not nearly as intriguing as a “gubmint take over of Texas”, but these reads have the added bonus of being based on sane reality. Understanding confirmation bias is the absolute first step on the road to being scientifically literate. Science literacy is not nearly so much about knowledge as it is about assessing and filtering what you see and read in a critical way.
No, It Was Not The Polar Vortex
The ENSO blog on Climate.gov deserves some real notice. I have a good feel for ENSO as a synoptic forecaster but a deep knowledge requires talking to a specialist who researches it full-time. There is a load of great info on this blog and I have learned a lot from it, but you do not have to be a meteorologist to do the same. They write this very well for the general public. Start with Dr. Hartman’s take on why the last two winters in the Eastern U.S. were brutal and why California is turning to dust in the wind. Then read more of their recent posts.
We’re Number One, We’re Number One
Climate.gov has a good piece on how March 2015 was the first month in 800,000 years that the CO2 levels averaged over 400 ppm.
Sometimes The Truth Is Unpopular-Tell It Anyway
My long time friend Greg Fishel is the Chief Metr. for WRAL-TV in Raleigh, and he aired an excellent half hour program on climate change last week. Since North Carolina actually outlawed taking into account the best science on sea level rise in coastal planning, what Greg did was quite gutsy. Science always wins in the long run though, because it is based on observation and testing, rather than a pet belief that fits more comfortably with someone’s world view.
More and more broadcast meteorologists are talking about climate, even in areas where there is real fear that it will alienate viewers. The online news site Climate Progress did a story about this trend as well (I’m quoted in it, and so is my friend Jim Gandy (at WLTX in Columbia), who has talked a great deal about climate change on air in South Carolina.
Spiders and Snakes
Been bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider? I think I have, but most people just think they have. After reading Dr. Greg Laden’s post, I’m unsure just what bit me. I know a lot more about spiders though, and I still have a serious phobia of snakes.
By The Time I Get To Phoenix You’ll Be Thirsty
SLATE has a well done piece by (Meteorologist Eric Holthaus) on the coming water crisis in Arizona that has information that many folks know nothing about. It is looking ever more likely that we have an El Nino event coming in the fall, but if you read the ENSO blogs above you know that this does not automatically mean rain for the West, or even that an El Nino will develop. If the drought continues into 2017, it is going to impact everyone living in California, Nevada, Arizona, and everyone who buys the things the farmers grow there as well.
This Weeks Great Quote From Neil de Grasse Tyson
This is SO TRUE! ALWAYS find yourself in places where you are the dumbest person in the room. Then shut up and listen. No better advice can be given to a student (of any age).
Get The Jab
My father lived with polio all his life, my son will always be autistic. Vaccines could have prevented the first, and had nothing to with the second. Get the Measles jab.