Lomborg is a hack


Oh, here’s a good takedown of that shill for the petroleum industry, Bjorn Lomborg.

Lomborg’s message to the newspaper readers has thus nothing to do with a fair portrayal of how much sea-level rise the scientific community expects. Rather it is a distortion and blatant attempt at downplaying future sea-level rise. Looking at Lomborg’s many other Project Syndicate columns shows that this is not a singular case but a regular pattern in his columns. This is all the more irresponsible given that Project Syndicate opinion pieces are widely reprinted by newspapers in developing nations, where reporting on the actual state of science is often poor and where people are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Earlier this year Lomborg travelled to Bangladesh to tell people there that “focusing on global warming instead of child nutrition is quite frankly almost immoral” (his standard false dichotomy).

It’s quite a thorough analysis, and exposes some of the most egregious of Lomborg’s sleights-of-hand. But here’s another very effective takedown: another long article on yet another small town in Alaska that’s disappearing into the sea.

[Read more…]

Who elected Jack D. Ripper?

Here’s a treat: a congressman who has been in office since 1989, and is on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

claiming Global Warming they create powerful Global gov. Claiming tooth decay they mandate chemical fluoride in our water

He’s a Republican, of course.

[Read more…]

Friday Cephalopod: Hairy & slimy

Allonautilus scrobiculatus is a rare species that can be distinguishes from the natty Nautilus pompilius by its hairy, slimy shell. That doesn’t seem like a distinction to be proud of, but I guess it takes all types to fill an ocean.

Nautilus pompilius (left) swimming next to a rare Allonautilus scrobiculatus (right) off of Ndrova Island in Papua New Guinea.Peter Ward

Nautilus pompilius (left) swimming next to a rare Allonautilus scrobiculatus (right) off of Ndrova Island in Papua New Guinea.Peter Ward

Macroevolution explained

If you’re reluctant to drop $80 on a copy of Zimmer/Emlen’s Evolution: Making Sense of Life, here’s a deal for you: the NCSE will let you download a chapter for free, the one on macroevolution (pdf). That’s a good choice. I run into a fair number of pro-science people who think the macroevolution/microevolution distinction is something made up by creationists (it’s not — it’s abused by creationists, but then they mangle a lot of science). The chapter includes a good section on punctuated equilibrium, another topic often battered badly by even people arguing on the side of science, and a bit about how random statistical variation can lead to the illusion of trends in macroevolution.

Go download it and read it now. There will be a test later.

We Now Know For Sure How Life Did Not Begin on Earth


Hey, how about these article titles?

Comet Impacts Really Could Have Been the Catalyst For Life on Earth
Comet Impacts May Have Produced The Building Blocks For Life On Earth
We Now Know For Sure How Life Began on Earth

We’re getting this sudden flurry of articles touting the contribution of organic molecules from cometary sources to the origin of life on Earth. They’re all bullshit. The media hype machine is going crazy again over science the journalists haven’t thought through.

[Read more…]