Archive for the 'Science' Category

Is he stupid or simply a liar?

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

NPR: Trump’s Speech On Paris Climate Agreement Withdrawal, Annotated.

Trump: “For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase the emissions by a staggering number of years – 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries. There are many other examples but the bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”

Comment:”Under the Paris Agreement, China has pledged to halt the growth in its carbon emissions by 2030, 13 years from now. But China is on track to beat that target date by many years, according to the Climate Action Tracker. India is also ahead of schedule in meeting its Paris commitments.”

Trump: “We have among the most abundant energy reserves in the planet, sufficient to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty. Yet under this agreement, we are effectively putting these reserves under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation. It’s great wealth. It’s phenomenal wealth. Not so long ago, we had no idea we had such wealth. And leaving millions and millions of families trapped in poverty and joblessness. The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States’ wealth to other countries.”

Comment: “During the campaign, President Trump regularly blasted the Obama administration for holding back domestic oil and gas production with excessive regulations. The fact is the United States extracts more oil and gas than any other nation in the world. That’s been the case every year since 2012, and is largely due to a domestic oil and gas boom powered by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Solar and wind energy has surged as well, due to government incentives, as well as increasingly cheap production costs.”

Thanks, Trump, for ruining the planet for all of us.

“[Trump’s] speech was packed with make-believe numbers from controversial or disproven studies. It was hypocritical and dishonest.”

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Der Spiegel: Paris Disagreement Donald Trump’s Triumph of Stupidity. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G-7 leaders did all they could to convince Trump to remain part of the Paris Agreement. But he didn’t listen. Instead, he evoked deep-seated nationalism and plunged the West into a conflict deeper than any since World War II.” By SPIEGEL Staff.

“Renewable energies, said the chancellor [Angela Merkel], present significant economic opportunities. “If the world’s largest economic power were to pull out, the field would be left to the Chinese,” she warned. Xi Jinping is clever, she added, and would take advantage of the vacuum it created. Even the Saudis were preparing for the post-oil era, she continued, and saving energy is also a worthwhile goal for the economy for many other reasons, not just because of climate change.

But Donald Trump remained unconvinced. No matter how trenchant the argument presented by the increasingly frustrated group of world leaders, none of them had an effect. “For me,” the U.S. president said, “it’s easier to stay in than step out.” But environmental constraints were costing the American economy jobs, he said. And that was the only thing that mattered. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

At that point, it was clear to the rest of those seated around the table that they had lost him. Resigned, Macron admitted defeat. “Now China leads,” he said.”

A ride on the vomit comet

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Three YouTubers on a zero-g flight:

Physics Girl: Zero G Ferrofluid Fail. (10:48min)

Veritasium: Fire in ZERO-G!! (7:47min)

e-penser: Vol en zéro-G. (35:26min) This one is in French, but English subtitles are available.

This looks like so much fun! I would accept an invitation in a heartbeat, since tickets usually cost several thousands of dollars…

“Besides, there’s also the odd business of bog butter.”

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Smithsonian.com: Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets. “High-tech tools divulge new information about the mysterious and violent fates met by these corpses.”

“A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950. The dead man wore a belt and an odd cap made of skin, but nothing else. Oh yes, there was also a plaited leather thong wrapped tightly around his neck. This is the thing that killed him. His skin was tanned a deep chestnut, and his body appeared rubbery and deflated. Otherwise, Tollund Man, as he would be called, looked pretty much like you and me, which is astonishing considering he lived some 2,300 years ago.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Marsch für die Wissenschaft

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Zeit online: March for Science: Weil es keine Alternative zu Fakten gibt. “Trump und der Brexit haben sie alarmiert: Forscher weltweit demonstrieren gegen Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit und “alternative Fakten”. Auch in Berlin sind es Tausende.” Von Saskia Gerhard, Berlin.

“Den Unglauben gegenüber der Wissenschaft sieht der Physiker auch bei Populisten, wenn sie gegen Eliten wettern und die Forscher miteinbeziehen. “Aber auch in der linksliberalen Ecke spürt man heftige Skepsis, zum Beispiel bei den Impfgegnern.” Es sei schwierig, dagegen zu halten, denn diese Gruppen ließen sich durch Fakten nicht überzeugen. “Sie glauben an ihre eigene Wahrheit und vereinzelt finden sie sogar Experten, die sich auf ihre Seite stellen. Die werden dann immer wieder hervorgehoben, obwohl sie eine kleine Minderheit sind.”
[…]
In Deutschland hat der Marsch eine andere Bedeutung als in den USA, glaubt Klaus Jäger. “Wir marschieren hier aus Solidarität und um zu zeigen: Wir sind da. In den USA hat das eine andere Dimension, da wird ein Klimaskeptiker an die Spitze der Environmental Protection Agency, der amerikanischen Umweltschutzbehörde, gesetzt und Forschungsfreiheit beschnitten.””