by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
Nature has an editorial entitled Face up to Fraud. Excerpt:
Many people in science would rather not talk about the problem of research misconduct, much less act on it. After all, who directly involved would benefit from a serious crackdown? Certainly not the institutions at which the misconduct takes place — they are nominally responsible, but can face legal repercussions, embarrassing headlines and a public-relations disaster if they expose cheating academics. It is much easier to shuffle miscreants out of the side door with vague references and a promise of silence, effectively pushing the problem somewhere else, and onto someone else.
So it is perhaps a sort of progress that the British Medical Journal and the international Committee on Publication Ethics were able to organize a meeting on the subject in London last week, gathering representatives from universities, funders, journals and lobby groups to discuss how the problem could be tackled in the United Kingdom (see Nature http://doi.org/hmx;2012). The meeting broke little new ground, but its organizers do, at least, deserve credit for trying.
Chip Knappenberger has a post at Master Resource entitled “Global Lukewarming: A Great Intellectual Year in 2011“. An extensive overview of recent data and research from the lukewarmer perspective.
This one is for Oliver: Climate change: what would Eisenhower do? The article itself doesn’t actually answer the question, rather it discusses a new book Exposing The Climate Hoax: Its All About the Economy. From the blurb:
The possibility of global warming has spawned one of the most controversial debates of our time and opinions seem to fall along the political lines of thought. Whether it is or isn’t happening, human caused or natural, is still hotly debated. While some scientists can be politically motivated, math and physics can not. John P. Reisman takes the debate head on from a conservative perspective to separate wishful thinking from pragmatic reality. Take a thrilling journey into the perfect storm of politics, perspective, security, economics, psychology and science in “Exposing the Climate Hoax.”
Fighting Climate Change Online at the Security & Sustainability Forum has this interesting quote from Al Gore:
“The architecture of the public square on the Internet is very similar to when the country was founded, when the print-based media were dominant. Individuals have easy access, almost no barriers to access, ideas matter”
Tom Fuller has a new blog 3000 quads. From the About page:
3000 Quads is about energy for the 21st century. The world’s population is now estimated to peak at between 9 and 10 billion people somewhere around 2075. If they use energy at the same rate as the average American, they will consume 3,000 quadrillion btus.
Some interesting articles contrasting issues and solutions in China, Australia, South Florida and Boulder, Colorado.
The effects of climate change could seriously damage the Chinese economy in the near future, according to the Chinese government’s latest research into the phenomenon. Both food and water supplies are threatened with critical shortages, while an increase in flooding and drought could ravage vulnerable areas.
The 710-page “Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change” [link to Executive Summary] was published last year, but only recently entered the public domain. Authored by teams of government-supervised scientists, the report builds on an initial assessment conducted in 2007 to provide evidence and forecasting which will shape, rather than set, government policy.
From Australia: Infrastructure Sector Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change. Excerpt:
Australia’s infrastructure is not prepared to withstand the consequences of catastrophic climate change events such as floods, droughts, coastal erosion, tropical cyclones, fires and seal level rise. The report released today calls on all stakeholders to address regulatory frameworks gaps, which are acting as barriers towards effective climate adaptation. It analyses the extent to which existing regulatory regimes support action by major infrastructure sectors in adapting to climate change.
The report addresses the regulation of pricing, performance and reliability of essential services provided by physical infrastructure – particularly, electricity, water, transport, communications and waste. It also examines the ability of planning regimes, environmental impact assessment and government procurement processes to take into account risks arising from climate change.
Florida counties band together to ready for effects of global warming, by Michael Lemonick Subheading: While U.S. action on climate change remains stalled, four south Florida counties have joined forces to plan for how to deal with the impacts – some of which are already being felt – of rising seas, higher temperatures and more torrential rains.
The Boulder City Council’s website touts a “Climate Action Plan” as one of its primary goals. “The current goal is equivalent to the Kyoto Protocol target – to reduce emissions to a level seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012,” it says. With the city’s carbon tax set to end early next year, it’s worth asking: Is reducing carbon dioxide emissions the best way to respond to global warming?
With or without global warming, people — especially those in developing nations –face threats from extreme temperature, coastal flooding, hurricanes, malaria, poverty, starvation, and water stress. While global warming may increase these risks, scholars including Indur Goklany and Bjorn Lomborg convincingly argue that directly reducing these threats and promoting prosperity save more lives at lower cost than attempts involving emissions reductions.