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Recent Articles

Democracy

I’ve mostly avoided writing about Brexit, as it’s a pretty depressing situation. There are many aspects of this issue that I find frustrating, but something I find particularly irritating is when politicians claim that not leaving the EU would be…

Guest essay: The Missing Key

This is a guest essay from Peter Miesler, who writes the blog Citizen’s Challenge. The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” “… missing was a much more fundamental division crying out for recognition. Specifically, the magisteria of Physical Reality…

The significance of the “pause”

I wrote a post a while ago about there being no “pause” in global warming. It was based on a paper by Risbey et al. called [a] fluctuation in surface temperature in historical context: reassessment and retrospective on the evidence,…

Fact mongering

I thought I would highlight an essay that some of my regulars might find of interest. It’s by Adam Briggle in Issues in Science and Technology and is about Fear mongering and fact mongering. The article is essentially about responsible…

We have 12 years

Patrick Brown has a recent blog post about whether, or not, the IPCC claims that we have 12 years to avoid catastrophic global warming. As his post highlights, there are a number of problems with this claim. Firstly, the IPCC…

Kenneth Smith

Since today is the 100th anniversary of the Iolaire disaster, I thought I would reblog this post that I wrote a few years ago and that mentions it. If you want to read more about the sinking of the Iolaire,…

2018: A year in review

Well, it’s the end of another year, so I should probably do a round-up of what’s happened on the blog. The blog seems to be ticking along quite well, but I still don’t really know what I’m doing; I just…

The exoplanets around GJ 9827

I hope everyone is having a good break. I have a bit of free time, so thought I would mention a paper I’ve just finished. It’s about the the three super-Earths that orbit a star known as GJ 9827. The…

Sarah’s Wand

In the spirit of We Are Science, here’s an edited chat with Dr. Sarah Taber, whom I’ve met over the tweeter. She has things to say about land ownership, farming, and AGW. Enjoy. [Willard, so W] hello [Dr Sarah Taber,…

There was no “pause” in global warming!

There are a couple of new papers that essentially analyse the various analyses of the supposed “pause” in global warming. One, lead by James Risbey considers fluctuation[s] in surface temperature in historical context: reassessment and retrospective on the evidence. The…

Decarbonising the electric power sector

Since I’ve been trying to better understand some other aspects of the climate change topic, I recently read a paper by Jesse Jenkins, Max Luke, and Samuel Thernstrom. It’s about Getting to Zero Carbon Emissions in the Electric Power Sector,…

Tame and Wicked Problems

Reiner Grundmann has a new paper on The rightful placeful of expertise. It’s rather long, but there were a couple of things I wanted to highlight, and it gives me chance to try and stress something I was trying to…

Between conflation and denial

I’m on my way back from Cambridge, where I had a very pleasant evening with our Stoatness. I also happened to have a look at Climate etc., where Judith is promoting a new paper by Peter Tangney, a Lecturer at…

The plausibility of RCP8.5

I’m on the train to Cambridge for a meeting that starts tomorrow. Since I had nothing better to do, I thought I would have a quick look at the RCP8.5 data. There’s been quite a lot of criticism of the…

An STS perspective

I saw something a while ago that I been thinking about and thought I would write a short post in the hopes of clarifying my understanding (which is sorely lacking). The suggestion was that all those involved with climate change…

10% of GDP?

The latest National Climate Assessment has just been released (National here means the USA, if you want the UK Climate Projections you can get them here). It’s already proved somewhat controversial, mainly because of a headline figure that following a…

Extinction rebellion

In the UK, there has been quite a lot of coverage of a new group called Extinction Rebellion, not all of it positive. I really don’t know what to think about it. In (my) ideal world experts would provide information…

Limits to growth?

I’ve been doing some reading to try and better understand the debate between decoupling and degrowth. I should acknowledge upfront that I haven’t really grasped the complexities of these issues, so this post will probably be rather confused and rambling.…

New ocean heat content analysis

I wanted to just briefly mention the recent paper that [quantifies] ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition, by Resplandy et al. The interesting thing about this paper is that it uses proxies to infer the…

A defense of science?

Susan highlighted a New York Times article about Bruno Latour, that I had actually seen and had been considering writing about. I have written about Bruno Latour before and I’m still not sure what to make of this article. One…

Why do we do research?

I thought I would briefly comment a little more about the claims made in John McLean’s thesis. Something to bear in mind is why we do research. Essentially, research is very simply about trying to understand something; to answer some…

John McLean, PhD?

A recent PhD thesis from James Cook University has been receiving a reasonable amount of attention on sites that either dispute anthropogenic global warming (AGW), or its significance (I won’t link to them, but you can probably find them if…

THE GWPF’s annual lecture

Since I had nothing better to do with my afternoon, I watched the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s (GWPF) Annual Lecture, given this year by Richard Lindzen. If you really want to watch it, you can find the link here, but…

The IPCC Special Report

I guess the big news at the moment, which is almost old news now, is the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC. I’m not even all that sure what to say about it. It’s not presenting anything wildly…

Ceci n’est pas un Sokal

Yet another hit piece by Freedom Fighters against “ideologically-motivated scholarship, radical skepticism and cultural constructivism.” Yascha Mounk called it Sokal Squared. On closer inspection, there’s no Sokal there. Inspired by Michael Lukas I contend it’s more of a Veritas scam.…