Greetings everyone and Happy December to all of you! The beginning of “meteorological winter” is upon us for we who live in the Northern Hemisphere. So far, it’s been warmer than usual and mild…no surprise there…with drought conditions persisting and worsening across the western and southern USA states. As 2016 draws to a close, there’s not a little concern for the future of science in America. I’ve discussed the future years and what we expect..and will demand…with many friends, acquaintances, and colleagues in the scientific community. The consensus of deep concern is unanimous. That is addressed in several links within this post. On that note, let’s get started.
For your consideration, here are this week’s links…
GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING
Depending on which demographic of the population you ask, scientists aren’t the authority on science.
This article addresses a recent “hot button” topic of fake news and how we, as fallible humans, swallow hook, line, and sinker (so long as it meets ones socio-political agenda) without first resorting to critical thinking, objective research, and scientific analysis. Here’s an excellent “Ten Questions For Fake News Detection” tip sheet that will be of great help. (1 page PDF file). Friendly tip: never get “news” from Facebook…chances are it has as much valid sincerity as a snake oil salesman.
While on the topic of fake news, it begs the question, “If politicians can lie without condemnation, what are scientists to do?” Post-Truth: A Guide For The Perplexed.
As the economic and social impact of the tech world increases, the skills we teach our children for success in a rapidly changing world need to keep pace with technology.
SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY
An unsettling read from the Union of Concerned Scientists on why 2,300 scientists have good reason to be very worried about the future interaction of science and public policy.
Naming stars may sound easy, but it can be a truly daunting task of cosmic proportions.
Over 100 million trees have died recently in California’s drought-stricken forests. With no relief in sight, this is an unfortunate trend that’s likely to worsen.
Nearly every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists today. In spite of our best efforts in recycling, we’re facing a pollution dilemma with no easy answers.
The “Red River Rivalry” continues…but over a recent topic of discussion. Oklahoma and Texas disagree on how to handle fracking-induced earthquakes and the oil and gas companies responsible for them.
A “must-read” for those living in tornado prone regions of North America from Climate Central. “Outbreaks of tornadoes — where multiple tornadoes form over an area in just a few hours or days — are responsible for most of the devastating destruction caused by severe weather, and a new analysis has reached a worrying conclusion about the worst of these outbreaks.”
Unfortunately, we’ll be seeing more of this in the years to come. Basically, it’s an outright denial of sound evidence that has stood the rigorous test of the scientific method. “Climate scientists have denounced the House committee on science, space and technology after the Republican-held panel promoted a misleading story expressing skepticism that the earth is dangerously warming.”
Recently, the US Senate passed a major bill to improve weather forecasting…and that’s very good news.
Finally, with winter having finally made its arrival across North America, the National Weather Service has an excellent Winter Weather Safety site that addresses many underrated hazards that can inconvenience, injure, or even kill you.
And that’s a wrap for this post! A big “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.
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