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Professor David Archer and the University of Chicago, in whose Department of the Physical Sciences he teaches, have made available for free online a series of 24 lectures (well, 23 plus an introductory bittock) explaining the science of climate change in-depth but for nonscientists.

The lectures are, alternatively, downloadable from here.

It's interesting to speculate how many "climate skeptics" will take this freely available course. My guess is, of course, a cynical one -- they'd rather watch a Christopher Monckton pander to their ignorance -- but, hey, I could be wrong.

h/t Open Culture
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Ken Ward Jr of the South Charleston Gazette has posted a frightening piece about the fact that, in the upcoming gubernatorial contest, West Virginia's voters have this choice:
  • a moron
  • another moron
Here's how his article opens:

Well, given their earlier answers to similar questions during the primary campaign (see here, here and here), none of this should have come as much of a shock. But it’s still something to see when the anti-science attitudes of West Virginia political leaders and candidates are put out there so clearly . . .

At last night’s debate between the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates (the broadcasters group that sponsored the event refused to allow third-party candidates to take part), Hoppy Kercheval of  West Virginia MetroNews asked: Do you believe man’s actions are causing the world to warm?

Republican Bill Maloney replied simply:
We’re in a cooling cycle.

Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin said: Once again, there are differences of opinion as to whether we’re in global warming now.

Now, we all expect Republican politicians to choose the moron option when asked anything about science -- after all, their science education comes in the form of packets of high-denomination used bills from Exxon and the Koch Brothers -- but it's alarming to find a Democrat doing the same.

Proof of human beings co-existing with DINOs, I suppose . . .

h/t Climate Progress
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Denying Science is running a little late -- pub date is now October 4 rather than the scheduled August 23 -- but the first review is in, from Nicole Parker at New York Journal of Books. It's a pretty favourable review, concentrating mainly on the antivaxer section of the book (as befits Parker's specialist field). I'm very pleased, you bet.

Meanwhile, we batten down for the arrival of Hurricane Irene at the weekend. This evening we went out to get some D batteries for the flashlights. Ho ho ho. In the end I bought an LED flashlight that takes AA or AAA batteries, depending on what you have handy. We've got lots of those, and I bought an extra emergency 20-pack just to make sure.

With seven cats to keep track of, this weekend may be no joke . . .

It's difficult to ignore the irony that most people in the US, even confronted by a grotesquely increasing frequency of extreme weather events, continue to believe that "there's no such thing as global warming". On the other hand, should I be surprised? Just 38% of the US public think evolution is real despite countless observations of it actually happening, right now.

Teh stoopid, it is all around us. We should batten down our hatches to protect against that as much as against Hurricane Irene.

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There's a must-watch video up on YouTube at the moment, the latest in Peter Sinclair's excellent Climate Denial Crock of the Week series. At a glance you'd assume its main focus to be Christopher Monckton, who's on another tour of Australia promoting AGW denial (that being one of only two countries in the developed world where he's not likely to be laughed out of the room), but most of it comprises an interview done for the BBC's Horizon between Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, and James Delingpole, perhaps the stupidest of the Telegraph's crop of climate change-denying columnists . . . a feat that takes some doing, bearing in mind you have Christopher Booker and Richard North in the hunt.

(a) Delingpole has no scientific training, yet presumes to instruct the President of the Royal Society on the nature of the scientific enterprise -- on what science actually is.

(b) Then, when asked a perfectly straightforward question that probes the intellectual integrity of his rejection of established climate science, he finds himself flabbergasted, lost for an answer.

(c) Later, we discover, he wrote to complain of being "intellectually raped" because he was stumped for words in front of Horizon's many viewers. The real reason he was dumbfounded is because, of course, he was found dumb.

In the little Consumer Guide to Prominent AGW Denialists that I put as the conclusion to my book Denying Science, I obviously didn't have space to describe all of them. Delingpole is on the list of those I decided to omit. In a sense I now wish I'd included him after all, because his pretensions really are hilarious; on the other hand, his views are so plain daft that surely no one could possibly take them seriously: better to devote my available space to others equally foolish, but at least not so obviously so.

realthog: (Default)

“The planet used to be dramatically warmer when we had dinosaurs and no people. To the best of my knowledge the dinosaurs weren’t driving cars.” -- Newt Gingrich
realthog: (leavingfortusa)

. . . is
here, complete with photos and video. It's the Alaskan Women Against Palin (and in effect pro-Obama) rally; a good count reckons over 1400 people attended, making it nearly half as big again as the official pro-Palin rally today -- the one you will see reported on CNN and rest of the parrots. It's also reckoned to be the largest political rally in Alaska's history.

March 2013

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