Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2010«

Simple Sam learns about water vapour feedback

August 31, 2010

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Sam came back to me with a question about climate feedback cycles and water vapour. “In that diagram you showed before, I noticed that water vapour was put in a different feedback loop from the other greenhouse gases,” says Sam.  (See here.)  “Why is that?  Is it because no one can blame people for water […]

James Hansen, Activist

August 28, 2010

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“How did you become an activist?” I was surprised by the question.  I never considered myself an activist.  I am a slow-paced taciturn scientist from the Midwest.  Most of my relatives are pretty conservative.  I can imagine attitudes at home toward “activists”. I was about to protest the characterization – but I had been arrested, […]

I Have a Dream

August 28, 2010

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I have posted parts of I Have a Dream speech before.  Now that American right-wing groups led by Glen Beck are attempting to by-pass Martin Luther King’s legacy and revile everything he stood for in right-wing rally in the same place at the same time, it is appropriate to reprint it to remind us all […]

Extroverts

August 28, 2010

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I’m an introvert. Everybody—except sociopaths and psychopaths—is an introvert to some extent.  That’s the part of you which pays attention to your effect on others. Extroverts don’t care that much.  They assume that their own acceptance in society is enough to wipe away any missteps.  They’re right, because as humans we’re programmed to deal with […]

Of the rationality of chimps

August 27, 2010

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Culture is a conspiracy. That’s not a theory.  That’s part of the definition. Monkey see, monkey do.  (catchphrase)  Applied to children, descriptive of their imitative behaviour, and signalling to them—through insult and teasing—that their imitative behaviour in the present instance is not desirable. Thus insulting the monkey. No monkey sees or does so slavishly as […]

Simple Sam Learns About the 4 Lines of Evidence

August 26, 2010

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The Earth’s climate has changed, Sam. “I heard you say that before,” says Simple Sam. Temperatures all over the world have gone up in the past century, the oceans are warming, glaciers worldwide are melting, the hurricanes are howling stronger.  And the evidence tells us that greenhouse gases put in the air by human activities […]

Removing noise from the climate record: a case study

August 25, 2010

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I like old time rootsy music, Charlie Patton, Jimmie Rodgers, Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Cannon’s Jug Stompers, and other, more obscure, artists. But if you are familiar with the old 78 rpm discs from which such music is taken, you will know that they have more snap, crackle and pop than a bowl of […]