Latest posts by Joe Bast (see all)
- I Finally Read Walden - May 5, 2020
- COVID-19 Reading: A Sand County Almanac - April 21, 2020
- No, Beto, There is No Impending Climate Refugee Crisis - April 10, 2019
- Lynn Dicks, a “Natural environment Research Council Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK,” says “lies and exaggeration on both sides are a necessary part of the democratic process to trigger rapid policy change” and “when I saw the exaggerated pollinator [bees]-decline claim attributed to me in The Guardian I did not seek to correct it….” Amazing. Shouldn’t she be fired? But given her title, maybe she doesn’t really currently have a job.
- A review by Robert P. Crease of the new book Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson by Phillip Schewe (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013), which mentions in passing and in a dismissive fashion his skepticism about global warming. You would think that when one of the world’s most eminent theoretical physicists denounces global warming alarmism in the most plain and emphatic terms possible that the folks at Nature would take him seriously. But no…
- Two articles about fracking, one claiming the “production of shale gas and oil in the US is overhyped and the costs are underestimated” and the second praises environmentalist efforts to slow down fracking in China. I suppose lowering emissions by trading gas for coal takes second place to the mission of slowing down the world’s engines of commerce.
- A report that the National Academy of Sciences will receive a staggering $350 million from BP, the British oil company, during the next five years, “money that officials at the NAS say the were surprised to receive.” No mention of any potential conflict of interest here, since the reporter clearly views this as a “good guy” getting money from a “bad guy.” How much of the money will end up fueling junk science? Given the recent scandals involving peer reviewed journals, probably quite a lot. The final sentence of the article quotes a biologist in Florida saying “Once the cheques start showing up, there will be an enormous amount of pressure to spend.” And the result will be more alarmism about more natural phenomenon, since after all, that’s what publishers want.
- Three articles on global warming and tropical carbon sequestration. Two are pretty technical, but I gather that the first article (nontechnical) tries to explain away the implications of the second article, which lowers the probability of a tropical rain forest die-back “by almost two orders of magnitude from 21% to 0.24%” (p. 343). The third article also appears to challenge the notion that ecosystems are fragile: “This indicates biome-scale resilience to the interannual variability associated with the early twenty-first century drought — that is, the capacity to tolerate low, annual precipitation and to respond to subsequent periods of favourable water balance” (p. 349). That would seem to be good news, but good luck finding it framed that way in Nature or reported in the MSM.