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Monthly Archive: July 2006

Jul 31 2006

Global warming-5: The emergence of a paradigm

The need to take global warming seriously is not slam-dunk obvious to most people. In my own case, over time I have slowly became convinced that there was an emerging consensus among scientists studying the issue that planetary warming was a serious matter. Like most people, I do not have the time or the expertise …

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Jul 28 2006

Global warming-4: Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?

Is there a scientific consensus on global warming? Naomi Oreskes from the Department of History and Science Studies Program, University of California at San Diego, thinks so. She published a study in the journal Science (December 3, 2004, volume 306, p. 1686) which argued that the scientific community had arrived at a consensus position on …

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Jul 27 2006

Global warming-3: The science behind global warming

To understand the science behind global warming, it may be helpful to look at a simplified version of the science behind it. Consider two objects, one that is luminous (i.e., an object that we can see without the aid of a light source) and another that is not luminous. Examples of luminous objects are the …

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Jul 26 2006

Global warming-2: Understanding the problem

Understanding global climate concerns is not easy because it is a complex issue which involves many factors and theories, is based on data that span millennia and is not easy to extract, involves sophisticated theories and computer modeling, and requires long chains of inferential reasoning to arrive at conclusions. Compared to it, evolution, that other …

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Jul 25 2006

Global warming

It is undoubtedly true that, while the increasing level of warfare in the Middle East in the immediate issue of concern, the question of global warning is the preeminent long term issue facing the planet today. It represents one of the rare situations when the health of the entire planet is at stake. The only …

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Jul 24 2006

Killing Lebanon

I had thought of moving on to other topics this week, away from the depressing news of the violence in the Middle East to the other depressing (but at least science-related) topic of global warming. But I simply could not ignore the news over the weekend about the destruction of Lebanon and its capital Beirut …

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Jul 21 2006

Power hubris in the Middle East

(See part 1 , part 2, part 3, and part 4 of this series.) Politicians love power. They try to obtain as much of it as possible and think that the more they have, the better able they are to solve any problems and crush any opposition they encounter. But what frequently gets overlooked is …

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Jul 20 2006

The seductive illusion of power’s efficacy

(See part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series.) To understand the dynamics at play when governments take on guerilla groups and insurgencies, it requires a look at the role that perceptions of power play. People often quote the Bible passage that “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 …

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Jul 19 2006

The warmongers

(See part 1 and part 2 of this series.) Most people are rightly appalled at the rapid escalation of war in the Middle East region, knowing that it will worsen an already bad situation. But not everyone is dismayed. Some people are actually pleased that this crisis has arisen. It has to be recalled that …

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Jul 19 2006

The warmongers

(See part 1 and part 2 of this series.) Most people are rightly appalled at the rapid escalation of war in the Middle East region, knowing that it will worsen an already bad situation. But not everyone is dismayed. Some people are actually pleased that this crisis has arisen. It has to be recalled that …

Continue reading »

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