Trump’s War on Science

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH The New York Times Editorial Board has published a lengthy editorial on the Trump administration’s persistent efforts to deny scientific consensus and to place in positions of power people who share that disdain for scientific truths that conflict with narrow corporate interests and Far-Right ideological talking points. The editorial begins by…

Imagining an Unimaginable Amount of Rain

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH   Poetry has been defined as the effort to express the inexpressible. In the context of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, I think that much the same can be said for many disciplines, ranging from statistics to engineering. Consider the following numbers: Estimated volume of rainwater from Harvey that has…

Teaching Limits to Enhance Creativity: The Pedagogy of Degrowth

BY LUIS I. PRÁDANOS Every time I mention the obvious in a classroom—that most industrial economic activities deplete energy and materials and, therefore, constant economic growth in the context of a limited biosphere is a biophysical impossibility—I am moved by some students’ honest reactions. Their response will be some variation of “That makes sense. Why did nobody tell us before that as the global economy grows, the living systems of…

Facts, Falsehoods and the First Amendment

POSTED BY HANK REICHMAN Late last year I posted a piece about climate scientist and AAUP Committee A member Michael Mann’s important victory in his ongoing libel suit.  The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in a 111-page opinion that Mann can sue two conservative writers over allegations that they defamed him.  The case centers on…

25th Anniversary of the “World Scientists' Warning to Humanity”

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH Some 1,700 of the world’s leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued this appeal in 1992. The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity was written and spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall, former chair of Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS’s) board of directors. INTRODUCTION Human beings and…

Climate Scientist Awarded Damages

BY HANK REICHMAN [CORRECTION: Professor Mann has pointed out to me that the damage award was made two years ago.  Someone tweeted a link to a story on it this week and I mistakenly thought it was current.  Nevertheless, the issue certainly is still alive] The Virginia Supreme Court has [in July 2014] ordered the…