Category Archives: Science

Climate Change Chaff

So I read this post by John C. Wright about Climate Change, and the hoax thereof.

I call the “counter-evidence” to Climate change “Climate Change Chaff”. It confuses, muddles, and messes up the story, and allows for doubt. While
I think that many people who decry climate change know better, its easy enough to lie with statistics that people can be fooled into thinking
Climate Change is a “liberal plot”.

I don’t know how you counter this, though.

Update: Been doing some reading at NOAA, and came to this:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

The Scientific Conspiracy

When I first saw the TV miniseries V, I thought the idea of the aliens making it seem that scientists were engaged in a conspiracy against the world to be ludicrous. That was unbelievable, I thought. That just smacked of stupidity–what would they hope to gain? (the answer in the show seemed pat and unconvincing)
Climate change and the debate around it have proved me wrong. Be it Theodore Beale, or Sarah Hoyt or a random publicity agent for the Koch brothers, there is a stratum of people who believe climate scientists are trying to control us all, or bring us to the dark ages, or are just deluded.
People WANT to believe they don’t have to change. People WANT to believe untrue things if its advantageous for them to do so. (You don’t have to stop burning oil, it’s okay!). Ignore all the climate scientists are telling you. Keep calm and pollute on.
Does every species end its civilization like this, in the throes of greed and self interest?

Picture of the Day: Triceratops

Triceratops by Jvstin
Triceratops, a photo by Jvstin on Flickr.

I’ve mentioned before in this space that there are only four complete Triceratops skeletons in museums: At the American Museum of Natural History, at the Smithsonian, at the Milwaukee Museum, and this one. Except for the Milwaukee one, I’ve seen them all. As it turns out, this is the largest of the quartet.

Picture of the Day: Quake Lake


Quake Lake
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

Today’s picture for you takes us to Gallatin National Forest and the aptly named (via a massive 1959 temblor) Quake Lake.

The earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale (Revised by USGS to 7.6) and caused an 80 million ton landslide which formed a landslide dam on the Madison River. The landslide traveled down the south flank of Sheep Mountain, at an estimated 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), killing 28 people who were camping along the shores of Hebgen Lake and downstream along the Madison River. Upstream the faulting caused by the earthquake forced the waters of Hebgen Lake to shift violently. A seiche, a wave effect of both wind and water, crested over Hebgen Dam, causing cracks and erosion. Besides being the largest known earthquake to have struck the state of Montana in recorded history, it is also the largest earthquake to occur in the Northern Rockies for centuries and is one of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the United States in recorded history.

Picture of the Day: Soudan Iron Formation Outcrop


Soudan Iron formation
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

Today’s picture for you is for the Geology enthusiasts.

This is an exposed outcrop (glacially polished, no less) of the Soudan Iron formation, at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. It is rock like this which drew the miners to the aptly titled Iron Range in Minnesota. I probably should have been a good geologist and provided something for scale, but this outcrop is not very large.

8 Wonders of the Solar System

Once upon a time, Omni Magazine (gah, I do date myself) had an article on the “Eight wonders of the universe”, an imaginary set of man, alien and “natural” wonders found across the galaxy and beyond. From the Amazing Yonkers Airport to the planet where the speed of light is lower, it was a fun and visually arresting piece.
Now, Scientific American has come up with 8 real wonders of the Solar System. Hugo Award-winning artist Ron Miller provides the visuals.
My favorite, by a nose is Valles Marineris…but go and see it, and the rest.