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WELCOME to our web site


Who are we? Our organization includes researchers, engineers, teachers, students, service providers and community members engaged in analyzing, teaching and applying basic scientific principles for the common good. We focus on how scientific discoveries are made and utilized by our society: Who benefits? Who does not, and why?

We have meetings about once a month. to plan activities, and to discuss readings and topics for articles. We also publish an occasional newsletter - click on link under Sections to the left to see the complete archive. If you would like to receive information by e-mail about our events, please write to dcmetrosftp@aol.com

SftP's NATIONAL ORGANIZATION has been revived! Fourteen local groups throughout the US (including one in Mexico) have already affiliated. The website is
       https://scienceforthepeople.org

and the relaunched SftP magazine is now at
      https://magazine.scienceforthepeople.org
                 

The list serve, which was started in 1998, continues to be active at
          http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE
producing high-quality articles and discussions about the issues we focus on here. Go to the link, read the articles (open to all) and sign on to the list serve!


And, see our own Newsletter archive for original articles by DC Metro Science for the People members

                                           ============================   2019 ============================

 

2018 MARCH for SCIENCE WASHINGTON DC

RALLY and MARCH

On April 14, 2018, thousands of people around the world gathered to march for science and to hold elected and appointed officials responsible for enacting equitable evidence-based policies that serve all communities and support science for the common good.



See coverage in Science News


 

 

 

================================================================

 

<<< Past events >>>

=================================

==>Apr 2017 <==

Earth Day /Climate Action Week

Science for the People Events

Sunday April 23rd 2017    7-10pm  3 Events
  La Casa 3166 Mt. Pleasant St., NW WDC
  Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

=>Reception 7:00 pm
=>Panel and Community Discussion:8:00 pm  Military Recruitment, the Psychology   of Killing and War
=>Community Discussion: Why Did We March, and Where Do We Go From Here?

Tuesday April 25th  7-10pm  2 events
 
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St  NW W
   Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines
 
=>Panel: Community Lens: Public Transportation in the DMV
=>Panel: The Challenges of Climate Change, Militarism, and Extractionism

 

Thursday April 27th  7-10pm  2 events
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church,1525 Newton St  NW WDC
Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

=>Community Discussion:  Food Justice and the Fight Against Hunger
=>Panel  :Updates on Drug Laws and its Local Ramifications, Challenging Forensic    Evidence, and a Brief Discussion of the History of Drug Experimentation

-------------------------------------------------

DETAILS of SftP events:

SUNDAY APRIL 23RD    7-10pm
La Casa  3166  Mt. Pleasant St., NW  WDC
Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

Reception 7:00 pm

Discussion: 8:00 pm  Military Recruitment, the Psychology of Killing and War

Pat Elder is director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, working to prohibit the automatic release of student information to military recruiting services from the nation's high schools. Counter-Recruit.org, documents the deceptive practices used by the US military to recruit students into the armed forces.  Pat is author of Military Recruiting in the United States, which provides a fearless and penetrating description of the deceptive practices of the U.S. military as it recruits American youth into the armed forces. The book describes how the military encourages first-person shooter games and places firearms into the hands of thousands using the schools, its JROTC programs, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program to inculcate youth with a reverence for guns.

Maria Santelli has served as executive director of the Center on Conscience & War since 2011. Previously, Maria was coordinator of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. In that capacity, Maria organized Another Side: Truth in Military Recruiting, bringing the voices and experiences of combat and other veterans to thousands of students across the state and in Indian Country. In 2008, Maria became the founding director of the New Mexico GI Rights Hotline, providing direct services and resources to callers and serving as a leading voice statewide on issues affecting service members and veterans, including conscientious objection, military sexual violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, and truth in recruitment.

 Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of the Tell the Word activity created by Gordon Cosby, Bill Branner, and Kayla McClurg of the Church of the Saviour. A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), Ray has been teaching there for more than 20 years. A CIA analyst serving seven Presidents,Ray’s duties were for him an earlier genre of “speaking truth to power” – and included responsibility for conducting the morning briefing of the President’s Daily Brief.After retirement, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the unconscionable way intelligence had been “fixed” to “justify” attack on Iraq. The media tells us the intelligence was “mistaken;” yet another lie.  No mistake, it was out-and-out fraud. Rayhad an unusual chance to challenge then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on this: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=v1FTmuhynaw.  Things did not work out quite so well for Ray five years later when he challenged then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a silent standing witness: http://www. democracynow.org/2011/2/18/ex_ cia_analyst_ray_mcgovern_ beaten

Community Discussion:  "Why We Marched On April 22nd and Where Do We Go From Here"
Irv Weiner, Moderator
Charles Van  Verharen (Ethics and Technology)

TUESDAY APRIL 25TH   7-10pm - 2 panels
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St  NW WDC
Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

7-8:30 pm
Panel: Community Lens: Public Transportation in the DMV 

A look at one of our region's most crucial resources; public transportation. This panel will explore how equity, worker rights, and our changing climate are connected. How does air pollution, climate security, and health converge with current plans for WMATA? Hear from local experts as they share their view of the current state of public transit in our region. Panelists will offer community solutions for how we can have a robust public transportation system that is safe, reliable, affordable, and reduces the impact of climate change. 

Moderator: Sigute Meilus , Executive Director, Americans for Transit

Panelists:

Zuri Tesheira: ATU Local 689
Ben Ross: Action Committee for Transit
Claudia Barragan:  Environmental Justice Committee, DC Sierra Club
David Schwartzman: DC Statehood Green Party

Co-sponsors: 
Americans for Transit
Environmental Justice Committee, DC Sierra Club
Economic Justice and Climate Change/Environmental Justice Committees, Metro DC
DC Metro Science for the People
DC Statehood Green Party

8:30-10 pm
Panel: The Challenges of Climate Change, Militarism and Extractivism
  
Speakers include:

David Schwartzman  (Prof.  Emeritus, Howard Univ, biogeochemist, environmental scientist www.solarUtopia.org)

Climate Catastrophe or The Other World that is still Possible.  Summary: I will address the status of international (Paris) agreement to confront climate change, the challenges to curb both greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and agricultural sector, the way forward to still make possible an effective prevention program keep warming below 1.5 deg C including the main obstacle, the Military Industrial (Fossil Fuel Nuclear State Terror and Surveillance) Complex. Finally why  removing this obstacle will open up a path of ecosocialist transition out of the global system of capitalism, and why extractivism can be greatly reduced as a result

Sankar Sitaraman is Assoc. Prof., Mathematics Dept., Howard Univ.  He has developed and taught  “Patterns in Environmental Mathematics” and organizer of  Nature Lovers’ Meetup   http://nature-lover.net/math

Sankar  will present A Gandhian Approach to Climate Change.  Climate change is not simply an environmental issue, it is also a socio-political and moral issue that involves questions of injustice and inequality.  As such it is perhaps dealt with better by adopting the approach taken by Gandhi in India and the civil rights leaders in the U.S.  What are some non-violent actions that can be taken to awaken people’s sense of fairness and responsibility to the planet and their fellow human beings?  How could we communicate and work together to solve this problem in a way that does not create violence, anger and division?  How do we live in a way that is sustainable but also sets an example and inspires more people to do the same? 

John Tharakan is a Prof in the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard Univ. His research interests are in environmental biotechnology, appropriate technology development, education and social justice, sustainable development, and the ethics and philosophy of technology. He serves as Faculty Adviser to HU’s Engineers Without Borders, which takes students to work in developing communities on appropriate technology projects to deliver clean water and renewable energy. 

John will discuss Appropriate Technology, which empowers people from the grassroots and the ground up. It’s focus is human centered, focused on sustainability and justice, promoting access to water, renewable energy, safe and healthy food, clean air, access to health care, education, information and communications technologies, all while promoting ecological sustainability. The ethic of AT resides in the promotion of technologies that are culturally sensitive, ecologically sound and economically sustainable, in juxtaposition against most current technological development which is resource-extractive, environmentally and socially destructive, and promotes inequality. This is the regular military-industrial-fossil fuel-agrobiz-nuclear technology complex, which is simply not sustainable. AT is.


Paki Wieland is a deeply rooted anti-war activist, working to promote awareness of the role U.S. militarism in climate chaos. Paki was in Paris and had the opportunity to both observe the decisions governments were discussing but most moving to witness testimonies of Indigenous people from around the globe. “I was inspired by their stories to travel to Standing Rock and join the movement to stop the pipeline as a means of making amends for centuries of genocidal behavior by supporting Indigenous rights.” Paki is a member of Code Pink and her work in Western Massachusetts has included facilitating non-violence training for social and environmental justice activists. Paki is also producing two radio programs on her local community radio station and doing videography on progressive issues for her community television station. Paki will discuss her broad experiences as an environmental and anti-war activist.

Co-sponsors:
DC Metro Science for the People
DC Statehood Green Party
.

THURSDAY APRIL 27th   7-10pm
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St  NW WDC
Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

Community Discussion:  Food Justice and the Fight Against Hunger  Michele and Rick Tingling Clemmons

Because food is a necessity that has been and continues to be used as a tool of oppression, we need to be able to control our access to and ability to obtain it. because there are so many different groups working on various aspects of the food issue, at varied points, based on interests and uneven development; and this uneven development often leads to internecine struggles, we really need to find a way to better educate ourselves collectively and build unity among the groups so that we can organize to take control of our needs – learning and growing. We can attain everything that we are organized to take!  When necessary goods and services - i.e., food, clothing, health, housing, education, energy, and a fair forum for obtaining our rights to these things - became commodities, the problems of ordinary people were heightened, this despite the fact that our class, the working class, is the one that makes and produces EVERYTHING. We live under a [food] system that makes its money off of the suffering of the people. The divide and conquer aspects of that system play a critical role in the development or its lack thereof, in a fight for better, safe, affordable, more nutritious food.  The challenge is that safe, better, affordable, more nutritious food does exist, just not for poor, working people.

Updates on Drug Laws, Challenging Forensic Evidence and a Brief Discussion of the History of Drug Experimentation

Adam Eidinger is co-founder of DCMJ, and Social Action Director for Dr. Bronner’s. DCMJ is a community group dedicated to equal rights for cannabis users and their families. Due in large part to his drive for change DC residents may grow and possess cannabis in small quantities without fear of arrest.  In July 2013 DCMJ transitioned to the DC Cannabis Campaign in order to pass Ballot Initiative 71 and in May of 2015, converted back to the community group DCMJ.  DCMJ's growth coincided with the June 2013 ACLU issued a report highlighting the billions of dollars wasted on racially biased arrests.  This report, along with the Washington Lawyers Committee report highlighted the need to end marijuana arrests in Washington, DC because historically these laws targeted minorities. Today, more work remains on the reform of DC marijuana laws but a congressional rider by Maryland Rep. Andy Harris now blocks the DC government from writing new laws that might further protect cannabis users from arrest.  Adam has organized numerous act of civil disobedience to raise the call for change including using cannabis in political demonstrations

John Kelly is author of Tainting Evidence: Inside The Scandals at The FBI Crime Lab, and Prevent Your Wrongful Drug Conviction with Simple Science, offering free one-hour consultations on marijuana defense.Book: Beat Marijuana Charges Without Plea Bargaining.  about.me/ JohnFXKelly, Twitter:@falsepositives.

Mai Abdul Rahman (Palestinian Author, Organizer and Producer; Commissioner, DC Office of Human Rights (fmr), Tent of Nations, Love Thy Neighbor, Iqraa, Muslim Women's Association, DC Muslim Caucus, African Amer. for Peace in the Middle East and North Africa) will address the ramifications of the drug war on minority populations in DC.

Also:

Brief discussion relating to Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain. The book documents the 40-year social history of LSD, beginning with its synthesis by Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in 1938. During the cold war period of the early 1950s, LSD was tested as an experimental truth drug for interrogation by the United States intelligence and military community. Psychiatrists also used it to treat depression and schizophrenia. Under the direction of Sidney Gottlieb, the drug was used by the CIA in cooperation with participating colleges, universities, research foundations, hospitals, clinics, and penal institutions. LSD  was tested on prisoners, mental patients, volunteers, andunsuspecting human subjects -  https://erowid.org/library/books_online/acid_dreams.pdf.


===================================================================

 


With presentations by DC Metro Science for the People members Jane Zara ands David Schwartzman


                  From 2015...

>

 

 


PANEL with presentations by DC Metro SftP:

How can science be used to empower rather than undermine communities?

Panelists: Mai Abdul Rahman, Jane Zara, John Tharakan, David Schwartzman
Moderator: David Schwartzman

See full description of DC Metro SftP presentations here.


Peoples Climate March - New York City Sept 21 2014






                               


 

Conference Link: http://science-for-the-people.org/

 

 

Panel by DC Metro Science for the People

DC Metro Science for the People:
Continuing our Legacy in the 21st Century!



Chair: David Schwartzman

Presenters:












Science for the People in the community:
We submitted grant proposals for funding under the
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1D Small Grants program for 2009.
These three proposals have been funded:

   * Is My Neighborhood Hazardous to My Health?
   * Urban Gardening in Mt Pleasant
   * Forensic/Legal Counseling for Indigent Arrestees
Just below is a photo of David Schwartzman and Jane Zara explaining
the effects of air pollution on lichen growth to summer
school students at Bancroft School.
(Aug, 2009)

See also  PHOTOS from June 24, 2012 Tent city/Fair Housing Teach-in




-
DC Metro SftP members David Schwartzman and Jane Zara conduct a class in
Bancroft School under the grant "Is Our Community Hazardous to Our Health".
--
 



  After Typhoon Haiyan, Guiuan Province, Phillippines, Nov 19, 2013 (Bryan Denton, Corbis Images)







                    

                                  --- Jialing River, Chongqing, China during 2007 drought ---



--                     

                   --- Near São Luis, Maranhão state, Brazil May 2009 ---



--                     

                   --- Mountaintop removal in Kentucky ---



 

 


 

ARTICLES by DC METRO SftP

Education Research vs. Rhetoric: Congressional Hearings on No Child Left Behind, by Tim D'Emilio (Jan 4, 2007)
Torture: America's Brutal Prisons, by John.Kelly (Jan 5, 2007)
Salvage Logging - New Scientific Scandal
, by Doug Boucher(Aug 15, 2006)
Junk Science, Wrongful Convictions and Terrorism, by John Kelly (Aug 20, 2006 )
Research Evidence and the Debate on Education: Reform vs. Change, by Tim D'Emilio
(Aug 20, 2006)
Somethin's Fishy About Agricultural Biotechnology, by Preston Covington and Jane Zara
(Aug 31, 2006)
Response and Resistance to Corporated-Backed Agrobiotechnologyby John Tharakan
(Aug 31, 2006)

==>> Many more of our articles are in the SftP NEWSLETTER <<==

 

 

 


 



 

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Anomalies of annual average temps 1880-2018. Source: NASA GISS
     land (red), ice-free sea(blue).

For information and projections on sea level rise check here:
      http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/


LATEST POSTS
   Please contribute relevant news items to be posted here - this review
                  - send links to peter.caplan@yahoo.com


 Posted May 1, 2020: Review by DC Metro SftP's David Schwartzman of the controversial new film produced by Michael Moore, Planet of the Humans (link to complete film). Schwartzman concludes that the film dangerously damages the global movement for sustainability by blaming the environmental crisis on overpopulation and downplaying the role of the true culprit - labeled in the film as a "cancerous form of capitalism", which his review identifies as "militarized fossil capital driving perpetual wars for the control of oil". [David Schwartzman, Popular Resistance, 04/30/2020]
 
See also these reviews: Tom Athanasiou, Ecoequity; Timmon Wallis, Portside; and Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams - this last includes a bunch of other commentaries.

 Posted Apr 28, 2020: The greatest scam in history. " ... the climate-change scam that beat science, big time...science failed to have the necessary impact in significant part because of disinformation promoted by the major fossil-fuel companies, which have succeeded in diverting attention from climate change and successfully blocking meaningful action".[Naomo Oreskes, TomDispatch, 11/10/19 ]

 Posted Oct 27, 2019 :Review of "The Great Biomass Boondoggle" How the world has been led to believe that burning mature living trees instead of coal produces carbon-neutral green energy.[Mary Booth, NY Review Daily, 10/14/19]
                      
                      Photo by Kyle Spradley

 Posted Oct 27, 2019:  Why Trust Science? Interview with science historian Naomi Oreskes on her new book. How science came under attack from the right — and how it can bridge that gap. See also this interview with Oreskes. [Paul Rosenberg, Salon, 10/13/19]

Posted Oct 27, 2019 Posted Oct 27, 2019:  Solar panels pair surprisingly well with tomatoes, peppers and pollinators In 'agrivoltaics,' crops and solar panels not only share land and sunlight, but also help each other function more efficiently.[Russell McLendon, Mother Nature News, 09/30/19]
                      
   

  Posted Oct 27, 2019:   Climate Risk in the Housing Market Has Echoes of Subprime Crisis, Study Finds. "Banks are shielding themselves from climate change at taxpayers’ expense by shifting riskier mortgages — such as those in coastal areas — off their books and over to the federal government, new research suggests." [Christopher Flavelle, NY Times, 09/27/19]

  Posted Oct 27, 2019:   Daniel Ellsberg interview:  Bomb spending still rising; Hiroshima lies persist [ Dennis Bernstein, Covert Action, 09/24/19]

  Posted Oct 27, 2019: Climate Change Needs a Short-Term Plan and a Global One [Dan Adkins, Democratic Socialists of America, 09/19/19]

  Posted Oct 27, 2019: Scientists Shouldn’t Listen to the Fossil Fuel Industry. Geoengineering is a Scam.Oil and gas companies aren't only polluting our air, water, and soil. They've injected themselves into our education system as well. [Josue De Luna Navarro, IPS, 09/19/19]
               
                Photo: phil noble Reuters       
          

  Posted Oct 27, 2019: On Climate and Food, What’s the Lesson We Insist on Missing? [Francis Moore Lappe, Truthout, 09/17/19]

  Posted Oct 27, 2019: Earth warming more quickly than thought, new climate models show. A new generation of more-detailed climate models that will form the basis for the 2021 IPCC report are showing even more alarming outlooks, including increased estimates of the senstivity of near-surface temperatures to elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases.[Marlowe Hood, Phys.org-ScienceX, 09/17/19]

  Posted Oct 27, 2019: Socialism with a bit of greenwash can’t save the planet either. [Mike Haynes, rs21, 09/14/19]
                  
                    Illustration from Climate&Capitalism, April 2015
               

Posted Oct 27, 2019: Radical deregulation: "New Culture Divide" Between Trump and Corporate America? - Interview of Public Citizen's Amit Narang. [Janine Jackson, Counterspin via FAIR, 09/13/19]

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA After Trump’s Dorian Tweets, Sources Say. Turns out that the political appointees occupying top posts at NOAA sold out the agency at the request of the head of NOAA's parent, the Department of Commerce, in an attempt to provide cover for Trump's criminal interference in the public warning graphics released by the National Hurricane Center as the killer Category 5 storm was approaching the US. DOC is led by Wilbur Ross, now notorious for his failed attempt to force the 2020 census to question everybody about their citizenship. [Flavelle,Friedman, and Baker, NYT,09/10/19]
                              
                                 Look out, Alabama!

 Posted Sep 11, 2019: New IPCC Climate Change and Land: Report Warns of Vicious Cycle Between Soil Degradation and Climate Change. [Real News Network, 08/08/19] Here's the full report - and a 13-minute video summary.

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: How Bodycams Distort Real Life. Another technological solution to a human problem maybe making the problem worse. People viewing an incident from the narrow perspective of the officer's videocam are found to have a bias in favor of the cop and the result is that "bodycams...look less like a tool to keep cops in line and more like a tool to monitor civilians." [Albert Fox Kahn, NY Times opinion, 08/08/19]

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Edward Snowden Shares His Story in New Memoir That Hits Shelves in September [Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, 08/01/19] - but two weeks later - Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden. [Jake Johnson, CommonDreams, 08/16/19]  

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Amazon, Microsoft Battle Over Pentagon’s ‘War Cloud. The future of warfare - as the Pentagon sees it - lies, of course with Big Data, residing in the cloud. But whose cloud - Oracle, Amazon, IBM, or Google's? One "defense" think tank says “You’re talking about a cloud where you can go from the Pentagon literally to the soldier on the battlefield carrying classified information.” A hacker's dream? [Matt Obriend, AP, via truthdig, 07/10/19]

Image: US Maine Corps,Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI)

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Why natural cycles only play small role in rate of global warming. Bottom line: 20th-century climate warming? It's all us. [Karsten Haustein, et al., Carbon Brief, 05/25/19]

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: We Built an ‘Unbelievable’ (but Legal) Facial Recognition Machine"Over decades, businesses and individuals have installed millions of cameras like the ones we used, inadvertently setting up the infrastructure for mass surveillance". No need for police and government spies; the genie is out of the lamp - our faces are already being recorded on hundreds of video devices in public places [Sahil Chinoy, NY Times, 04/16/19]

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Where does your plastic go? Global investigation reveals America's dirty secret. A Guardian report from 11 countries tracks how US waste makes its way across the world – and overwhelms the poorest nations. [Erin McCormick, et al., Guardian, 06/17/19  

image: Minh Khai, Vietnam; photo: Bennett Murray, The Guardian

  Posted Sep 11, 2019: Can articial Intelligence be used to Improve Stock Trading?Exciting news from the frontiers of Big Data - but will it improve the human condition? Well, maybe your condition if you're a hedge fund manager and you have access to megacomputers crunching megadata, you may be able to make a killing - until the other hedge managers with more megabucks and mega-AIs wipe you out, along with your investors. Games in the jungle go on; and so do climate chaos, war, and massive floods of refugees. [Bernard Marr, Linked In, 02/24/19]
See also - AI has beaten us at chess, go and Jeopardy. Now it's taking on something much harder.[Isabelle Roughol, LinkedIn, 02/10/19]

  Posted Dec 23, 2018: The Coming of Hyperwar, or "Alexa, launch our nukes! " With the ever-accelerating growth of AI, "commanders might increasingly be forced to rely on ever more intelligent machines to make decisions on what weaponry to employ when and where. At first, this may not extend to nuclear weapons, but as the speed of battle increases and the 'firebreak' between them and conventional weaponry shrinks, it may prove impossible to prevent the creeping automatization of even nuclear-launch decision-making." [Michael Klare, TomDispatch, 12/18/18]

  Posted Dec 23: The Trump Administration’s War On Science - Worse Than the Inquisition? A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists identifies "the most damaging and egregious examples of anti-sciencepolicy and practice at the DOI under [former] Secretary Zinke. 'Science Under Siege at the Department of the Interior' documents fourbroad categories of abuse: systematically suppressing science;failing to acknowledge or act on climate science; silencing and intimidating agency scientists and staff; and attacking the science-based laws that help protect America’s wildlife and habitats today and for future generations. [Basav Sen, In These Times (web only), 12/17/18]

  Posted Dec 23:  Climate change caused the “Great Dying,” aka the planet’s worst extinction. The mass extinction 252 million years ago has been undeniably linked to climate change, which, according to a new study, was triggered by the rapid release of greenhouse gases caused by a series of massive volcanic eruptions. The warming wiped out 80% of all species, including 96% of all ocean-based species, the latter due in part to loss of dissolved oxygen. (see this)The rate of atmospheric warming was some 10C over a few thousand years; we are headed for 3C just by 2100. [Carl Zimmer, NY Times, 12/07/18]

  Posted Dec 23: Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us. 35 percent of the American work force now works freelance in some capacity, either as a main source of income or as some kind of side hustle. "This number is growing constantly — 94 percent of the new jobs created in the last decade or so were freelance or contract-based." Near-universal access to broad-band internet and social media has brought the exponentially-growing gig economy - Uber, AirBnB, TaskRabbit, and the like, and the like - which has led to "... a collapsing middle class, as well as close to zero job security and none of the benefits associated with it..." See also this Guardian article on the gig economy [Ruth Whippman, NYT Opinion, 11/24/18]
            

 Posted Dec 23: Report: Solar geoengineering could be ‘remarkably inexpensive’ - spreading particles in stratosphere to fight climate change may cost $2bn a year. "The researchers said they were not advocating the deployment of solar engineering, but believed it must be assessed. 'It can only be part of an overall climate policy portfolio that first includes [emission cuts], adaptation and carbon removal from the atmosphere...' ” According to Prof Joanna Haigh at Imperial College London, however, “This plan is a distraction that may well encourage weaker action on emissions reduction.” [Damian Carrington, Guardian,UK, 11/23/18]

  Posted Dec 23: Fourth Annual Climate Assessment, Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States The National Climate Assessment (NCA) assesses the science of climate change andvariability and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century.As each successive climate change prediction brings darker and darker news, it was predictable that the Trump regime chose to release this latest ominous report on Black Friday, when everybody, including mass media workers, is busy shopping and traveling. (see Joe Romm piece, nov 24) This was coupled with another perfect presidential tweet - “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?”. Just ask the folks in California about that.... See also commentaries by Coral Davenport in NYT and and Joe Romm in Think Progress

Clear Lake, CA, July 31 - Josh Edelson/Getty

  Posted Dec 23: Hands Off Mother Earth! - Manifesto Against Geoengineering [geoengineeringmonitor.org, 10/04/18] Endorsed by local regional and international organizations, as well as individuals, this wake-up call argues that "geoengineering perpetuates the false belief that today’s unjust, ecologically- and socially-devastating industrial model of production and consumption cannot be changed and that we therefore need techno-fixes to tame its effects. However, the shifts and transformations we really need to face the climate crisis are fundamentallyeconomic, political, social and cultural."

  Posted Nov 13: Bad-Science Warning: The “Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart” (MISTRA). The is universally-cited study is heavily relied upon in attempts to show that genes are the most important determinant of human behavior. This latest study pokes serious holes in MISTRA, including the fact that the raw data have never been made available to the scientific community. [Jay Joseph, Mad in America, 11/06/18]

  Posted Non 13: An international struggle for science and justice. The writers, biologists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), members of the promotional core of Ciencia para el Pueblo (Science for the People-Mexico), have declared that "facing a corporatist techno-science in service to capital accumulation, we must take the opposing side of a critical science linked to struggles for justice. Construction of a science from, with, for and of the working people is a key task of those fighting for social liberation and respect for all life on Earth." [Inari Sosa, Paulina Zedillo and Fercho Tekuatl; Socialist Worker, 11/06/18]

  Posted Nov 14: Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism and the Making of America.Joel Kovel, Basic Books, New York,1994. it was published in 1994, but we suggest this book here because it is still relevant to the US in 2018. We also wish to commemorate the recent death of Joel, a long-time associate of some of us in DC Metro SftP. From a review in the Library Journal: "Kovel, a psychiatrist and professor of social studies at Bard College, traces the evolution of anticommunism in this country from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 to the collapse of the 'evil empire'' in the age of Reagan and Bush."
 

  Posted Nov 13: Urban Planning Guru Says Driverless Cars Won’t Fix Congestion. "Zero- or single-occupant vehicles, even ones that can drive themselves... cause congestion, eat up energy, exacerbate sprawl and emit more carbon per passenger-mile.” Computer simulations have shown that “without pretty radically increasing the number of people per vehicle, autonomous systems will increase total miles traveled.” [John Markoff, NY Times, 10/27/18]
         

  Posted Nov 13: How Scientists Cracked the Climate Change Case. CSI: The planet. NASA's Gavin Schmidt, editor of the Real Climate, neatly summarizes the evidence of the crime, the motives, the weapons used, the fingerprints - and demolishes all arguments that the perps were anybody other than the human despoilers of the planet. [Gavin Schmidt, Op-Ed, NY Times, 10/24/18]

   Posted Nov 13: Trump’s Air Pollution Adviser Denies Link Between Dirty Air and Health Problems. All that bad science and fake news have given air pollution a bad name, according to Tony Cox, chief of EPA's airpollution directorate. Cox was appointed by Trump on recommendation from a US Chamber of Commerce coal industry spokesman. [Jason Plautz, Truthdig(from Reveal), 10/24/18]

  Posted Nov 13: Trump no longer sure whether climate change is a hoax! But, he still insisted, on CBS' 60 Minutes on Oct 14: "... something’s changing, and it’ll change back again... I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage." [Emily Stewart, Vox, Oct 14]
               
               Pool/Getty/Images

              
Posted Nov 13  Miami Meteorologist John Morales Is Looking For Higher Ground. One of the leading voices in the struggle to educate the public about climate change and the forces that are causing it, John Morales is on nightly TV in the right place at at the right time - Florida - the state that has made strenuous efforts to suppress even the mention of sea-level rise from State government docuents, even as the streets of Miami are now suffering routine flooding, even in fair weather. [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post US, 10/12/18]

  Posted Oct 14: The Earth is not For Sale: A Path Out of Fossil Capitalism to the Other World That is Still Possible. Peter Schwartzman (Knox College, USA) and David Schwartzman (Howard University, USA, member of DC Metro SftP).
   From the publisher: "This book provides a thought provoking outline of the solutions already in hand to the challenges now facing humanity with respect to prevalent gross social and economic inequalities, ecological thresholds and tipping points, and the ever-looming threat  of climate catastrophe. The authors find these solutions in the arenas of renewable energy systems, agroecological methods,  and reimagined social organization. Clarity is brought to the political and economic obstacles standing in the way as well as the false solutions and alleged barriers that pervade the discourse thereby delaying and obstructing progress to the solutions advanced. "

 - World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd, October 2018, 344pp https://doi.org/10.1142/10827

 Posted Oct 14: IPCC Special Report on 1.5C - responding to climate change is far more like a marathon than a sprint. Gavin Schmidt suggests looking carefully at the thesummary for policy makers (SPM) and the FAQs and the responses. His own take: "...near-term reductions in carbon emissions by ~70% are required to even stabilize CO2, and to stabilize temperature, even further (net) reductions are required. And worse still to stabilize sea level, eventual temperature drops would be required. Key links are: Full report; summary for policy makers; FAQ ; Press release. Be sure to check out th evariety of responses below made climate researchers in many countries. [Gavin Schmidt,Real Climate, 10/07/18]
  See also, Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040. [Coral Davenport, NY Times, 10/08/18]

  Posted Oct 14: Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and an unnatural disaster. Meteorologist-journalist Eric Holthaus describes how Hurricane Michael looked to the National Hurricane Center as it suddenly strengthened to 155 mph, gathering freakish amounts of energy from the anomalously-warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, just before coming ashore at Mexico Beach, FL on Sep 10. Last year it was Irma (which cost the state $50 billion); now here's another one for climate-change-denying Governor Scott to ponder. The photo was taken two days later. The survival of that large house amid the devastation was later explained here . [Eric Holthaus, Grist, 10/10/18]
          
              Mexico Beach, FL Oct 12 Photo: Daniel R Clifford, TIMES

  Posted Oct 14: Climate Change Needs a Short-Term Plan and a Global One.The forecast of energy demand for 2016-2040 made by the International Energy Agency shows some developed countries making some reductions in carbon emissions, but these will be dwarfed by massive increases everywhere else. This demand must be met with renewables, and requires some new kind of Marshall Plan on a global scale to create and fund new models for fossil-free development. [Daniel Adkins, DSA Weekly, 09/19/18]

Posted Sep 29: Harbingers: Florence, Forest Fires, and the Future. A combination of over-cautious climate-change predictions by scientists, neglect of already-apparent indications of additonal carbon-releasing feedbacks, and outdated economic models has led to a dangerous low-balling of the urgency of controlling carbon. Burning no more carbon than the IPCC limit is far from a guarantee of staying below 2C warming; it gives us only a 66% chance of doing so. [John Atcheson, Common Dreams, 09/26/18]

  Posted Sep 29: Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex. We should be grateful for the massive militarization of scientific research, astrophysicist, Hayden Planetarium director, and national-media-darling Tyson is reassurring his audiences - just look at all the cool high-tech benefits it promises to provide. He's pushing closer Pentagon-NASA cooperation and now Trump's Space Force. [T.J. Coles, Counterpunch 09/14/18]

  Posted Sep 29: Anti-Vaccine Activists Have Taken Vaccine Science Hostage. Americans who don’t want to vaccinate are increasingly getting their way; the paranoid scare stories exagerrating possible harm from vaccines are having the perverse effect of intimidating legitimate discussion and research into improving the safety of vaccines. Scientists are discouraged from publishing anything negative about vaccines for fear of further feeding the anti-vaxxers, and other anti-science types as well. [Melinda Wenner Moyer, Opinion, NY Times, 08/04/18]

  Posted Sep 29: Enabling Armageddon:The Air Force’s Strange Love for the New B-21 Did you like the B-52, and the B-1 and B-2 bombers? You'll love the Pentagon's latest offering - the B21 stealth bomber designed to carry thermonuclear weapons as well as conventional missiles and bombs, penetrating sophisticated defenses unseen. Feel safer? The Air Force wants 200 of these babies - for only half a billion each. You do the arithmetic. Not only radar-proof, this latest monstrosity will be Congress-proof, because of the nation-wide distribution of fat components contracts. [William Astore, Tomgram, 06/03/18]

  Posted Sep 29, 2018 Why thousands of AI researchers are boycotting the new Nature journal. Do we still need profit-making commercial publishers to distribute results results of academic research to the world? Should the researchers or their colleagues or libraries have to pay steep fees to make the their findings available? Should the ability to pay determine the ability to pay? [Neil Lawrence, Guardian UK, 05/29/18]

 Posted May 23, 2018: The chief of NASA, at a televised May 17 town hall meeting with agency employees said “I don’t deny the consensus, I believe fully in climate change and that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way...” This,from a former Oklahoma senator who was picked by the White House to preside over a round of deep cuts to NASA's $2 billion earth science program, targeted at its efforts to continue and advance critical space-based research on climate change. [Eric Niiler, Wired, 05/17/18]

  Posted May 23, 2018: This woman fundamentally changed climate science — and you’ve probably never heard of her. Eunice Foote was (in 1856) the first scientist to make the connection between carbon dioxide and climate change, predating the work of John Tyndall. She was also a significant figure in the early women's rights movement and signer of the Seneca Falls declaration. [She joins an elite group of women scientists whose work was long ignored or suppressed by the male scientific establishment of their time, including co-discoverer of nuclear fission, Lisa Meitner and the developer of the first viable computer program (in 1845), Ada Lovelace.] [Kyla Mandel, Think Progress, 05/18/18]

  Posted May 23, 2018: - it's too creepy, new e-mails show. How convenient - you may no longer need to use thos pesky passwords to get into your computer and all those hundreds of accounts. Rekognition, Amazon's new face recognition software is no secret, but lack of control over its applications will have serious consequences for you if you're concerned about your rights of privacy and protection from illegal searches. In some states, you can refuse to show ID to a police officer; with Rekognition, the cops need not even ask.[Sidney Fussell, Gizmodo, 05/22/18]

  Posted May 23, 2018: Britain’s biggest CO2 emitter is building Europe’s first of a kind “negative emissions” plant. If the world is to meet climate goals set by the Paris agreement, it is generally agreed that some kind of bioenergy source with carbon capture is needed. Britain is now testing a wood-burning power plant with net negative emissions. Is this possible? It depends on how you calculate net emissions. [Akshat Rati, Quartz(via Daily Climate), 05/21/18]

  Posted May 23, 2018: National parks report on climate change finally released, uncensored(!) Yes, sea level is rising and yes, if you fight hard enough, delay publication long enough, and put your scientific career in the line of fire, you can now use naughty words like, gulp, "anthropogenic" in an official National Park Service report focusing on the effects of rising sea levels. Provided that it be published quietly - no press releases, thank you.[Elizabeth Shogren, Reveal (via Truthdig), 05/18/18]

  Posted April 29, 2018: Cracking the Crypto wars. The crypto wars continue: As encrypting of communications grows ever more sophisticated, the demands from law enforcement and national security sectors for "special access" via back doors to devices grow more insistent. Here's a thoughtful analysis of the current situation.[Steven Levy, Wired, 04/25/18]

  Posted April 29, 2018: Denial by a Different Name - It’s Time to Admit That Half-Measures Can’t Stop Climate Change Climate denial may be "... a short-term strategy to buy time while industry-aligned lawmakers and think tanks work out a longer-term plan for carbon trading and pricing schemes and, ultimately, geo-engineering." [Kate Aronoff, The Intercept, 04/17/18]

Exxon Mobil refinery St. Bernard Parish, La 2015. Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP

  Posted Apr 29, 2018: Chatbots & Artificial Intelligence (AI) transform Human Resources & Hiring. If you're looking for a job, your resume will probably be vetted by a chatbot, thanks to AI and natural language processing, part of the coming wave of automation taking over "human resources" departments, which will "add a new dimension to work force management and HR domain using cutting-edge technology" [Muqbil Ahmar, LinkedIn, 04/09/2018]

  Posted Apr 29, 2018: Updates from the 2018 March for Science. "...although the turnout around the world was significantly smaller than last year, supporters haven’t lost any of their energy. The global grassroots movement has evolved from having a million people take to the streets in 2017 in more than 450 cities to year-round advocacy for science and for evidence-based policies by government officials." There was even a rally in Antarctica at a weather research station atop 200 meters of ice shelf. [Science News Staff, Science, 04/14/2018]

  Posted April 29, 2018 . Facebook "...did not condemn what Cambridge Analytica did with the data it extracted from the social network — instead, [its] outrage has focused on Cambridge Analytica‘s deception." This just might have something to do with the fact that Facebook itself is doing many of the same things, and not only for businesses; and its vast reach is still growing. [Sam Biddle, The Intercept, 04/13/18]

  Posted Apr 9, 2018: Leaked Memo: EPA Shows Workers How To Downplay Climate Change. The memo was issued shortly after Pruitt banned the use of tons of medical research results, "shuttered [EPA's] program on climate adaptation, and proposed eliminating funding for programs that deal with rising seas and warming temperatures." It instructs EPA communications directors on consistent ways to dodge potentially embarassing questions from the public. [Alexander Kaufman, Huffpost, 03/28/18]

  Posted Apr 9, 2018: For Bolton, the Slaughter of 1 Million Iraqis Is a Job Qualification. (Actually, closer to 2 million). For anyone out there with doubts about John Bolton's qualifications to begin serving on April 9 as Trump's new national security advisor: he has reaffirmed his support for the 2003 invasion (which he helped bring about by manipulating intelligence), and ihas recently been advocating bombing North Korea and Iran.[Dahr Jamal, Truthout, 03/27/18]

  Posted Apr 9, 2018: Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 million Pentagon Program at Porton Down (UK). Questions are being raised about the poisoning of a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter by a supposedly Russian-made nerve gas. It happens that the victims were living just 14 kilometers from Porton Downs, the site of numerous US and UK military experiments involving the testing on animals of deadly chemical and biological agents [Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, South Front, 03/27/18]
      

  Posted Mar 31, 2018: Hard Choice for Cities Under Cyberattack: Whether to Pay Ransom. Cyberattacks as weapons of war have stolen the headlines (see Mar 16 post), but they are also growing more sophisticated and ambitiousin the form of "ransomware", or locking the files of computers and demanding payments to unlock them. Victims so far have been individuals and hospitals and even small cities; but last week the city of Atlanta, largest so far, has become the latest target. [Alan Blinder and Nicole Perlroth, NY Times, 03/2918]

  Posted Mar 31: Gray Matter: How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’ Are genetic differences across races significant? New gene sequencing techniques are revealing detailed data about genetic ancestry and this may once again re-open this old debate. (see comments published a week later in the NYT) [David Reich, NY Times, 03/23/18]

  Posted Mar 31: Are you ready? Here's all the data Facebook and Google have on you. Did you keep your location tracker turned on when you went for a walk two years ago to visit a friend or maybe a demonstration last night? Excellent; you can log in to your Google mail and instantly see your path traced on a detailed map. And so can any hacker... See also the post just below.[Dylan Curran, The Guardian UK, 03/29/18]

  Posted Mar 31: The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections. A free personality test? - just download an app, 300,000 people said sure, didn't read the fine print and you've granted access to all 50 million of their Facebook "friends". Thanks to Cambridge Analytica and similar outfits, their personal data have been weaponized into a political tool that opens the door to personally-tailored propaganda messages that has already used in efforts to swing public opinion on such issues as guns, race, and wars.[Roberto Gonzalez, Counterpunch, 03/23/18]

  Posted Mar 31:  NIH courted Alcohol Industry to Fund Study on Benefits of Moderate Drinking. [Roni Caryn Rabin, NY Times, 03/17/18]  Claudia Pine from SftP in Idaho commented "I guess I'm waiting now for the CDC to finally do gun research -- funded by the NRA. Objectives will be to show how guns build happy families! "

  Posted Mar 31: The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion. Fifteen years after the catastophic US 2003 invasion of Iraq, the ensuing destabilization throughout the region with the rise of various murderous movements hs led to immense suffering and massive numbers of refugees. Updated estimates of deaths which, just in Iraq, number some to 2 to 3 million - most of these in the aftermath of the war. See also this devastating review of the selling of the invasion to the media and thence to the public; also this NY Times op-ed by Iraqui novelist Sinan Antoon. [Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies, Common Dreams, 03/15/18]

  Posted Mar 31:  In the classroom: Mailings to Teachers Highlight a Political Fight Over Climate Change 31% of high school science instructors teach that climate change is up for debate, 10% say it's natural and 5% don't even mention it, says a nationwide 2016 poll. And, that was before the notorious Heartland Institute last spring, mass-mailed unsolicited packages containing made-for-classroom denialist propaganda to teachers in schools and colleges nationwide. A small group affiliated with Cornell U is planning to mail corrective materials.[Katie Worth, Frontline, 03/23/18 - from a post by Phil Gasper, SftP]

  Posted Mar 16:  Cyberattack in Saudi Arabia Had a Deadly Goal. Experts Fear Another Try. (more details in Tripwire). A cyberattack launched last August against Saudi Arabia has emerged as front-page news, but with the possibility being floated that Iran could be involved, questions could be raised about the timing of this new article. As far as the public is told, history of the US's own cyberwarfare efforts began only in 1910 with the leak about the potentially deadly US attack, "Stuxnet" against Iran's centrifuges. Where's the rest of the story? This NATO article is typical of the continuing secrecy.
[Nicole Perlroth and Clifford Kraussmarch, NY Times, 03/15/18]


Image credit: Tripwire

  Posted Mar 16:  A Warning Cry From the Doomsday Vault - Humanity’s food security is at risk. Sitting deep in the permafrost under the frigid island of Svalbard, east of northern Greenland, the Global Seed Vault - our last chance to preserve some pieces of the planet's shrinking biodiversity - is in danger due to warming that is far more rapid in the Arctic than over the rest of the planet (see also next post) [Jonas Bergman, Bloomberg|Quint, 03/12/18]

  Posted Mar 16: Arctic Has Warmest Winter with Sea Ice at Record Lows. Over the last three months, Dec, Jan, And Feb, Arctic surface temperaures averaged 8.8 deg F (4.9 deg C) above normal - and in late February there was a 60-hour stretch of above-freezing readings at the northern tip of Greenland with a large area of temperatures more than 15 C above normal, extending almost to the North Pole. Meanwile, Antarctic sea ice was reaching its second-lowest summer minimum. See more complete info at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). [Seth Borenstein, Insurance Journal, 03/09/2018]

  Posted Mar 12: Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer. This story came out last month - sign the petition now to help remove this dinosaur from the board. [Graham Redfearn, desmog(blog), 02/02/18]



   Posted Mar 10: $30 million military parade coming to DC this Veterans day. It's more than just a waste of money on presidential narcissism, says reporter Queally, but also a priming of public support for maintaining a permanent state of war by further glorification of militarism [John Queally, Common Dreams, 03/10/18]


   Posted Mar 10: Tepco's 'ice wall' fails to freeze Fukushima's toxic water buildup. Seven years after the meltdowns and explosions, ovver a hundred tons of groundwater per day are still seeping into Fukushima reactor site. The toxic water must be pumped out, decontaminated and stored in tanksthat now number 1,000, holding 1 million tonnes. The Tepco utility says it will run out of space by early 2021.[Aaron Sheldrick, Malcolm Foster,Reuters, 03/08/18]

  Posted Mar 10: EPA's Science Advisory Board Has Not Met in 6 Months. According to some board memebers, EPA chief Scott Pruitt is delaying calling any Board meetings so that the terms of academic scientists will expire and can be replaced by industry types. John Tharakan of DC Metro SftP served a 2-year term on this SAB and has provided relevant links from Snopes and Vice.[Scott Waldman, E&E News (via Scientific American),03/06/18]

 image published here

 Posted Mar 10: Vegas gun range billboard changed to read, “Shoot a school kid only $29”. The billboard, advertising a local shooting range, had originally said “Shoot a .50 caliber only $29. A guerrilla artist collective called "Indecline" claimed responsibility (vandalism for the people?) [Tess Owen, Vice, 03/02/18]

  Posted Mar 10: Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy. This critique of rapid transition to renewables tries to make its case by pointing to the intermittent nature of wind and solar and assuming 100% renewables, current prices and current technology for energy capture and storage. [James Temple, MIT Tech Review,02/26/18]

  Posted Mar 10: How New York City Won Divestment from Fossil Fuels. NY City will divest the $5 billion of its pension funds presently invested in fossil fuel stocks. They will sue the big five - ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips - for hiding evidence that burning fossil fuels causes climate change, costing the city billions of dollars spent on climate remediation. What were the tactics used by organizers to gain this important victory? [Nancy Romer, Portside, 03/02/18]

Photo: Rae Breaux/FossilFree.org

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: Energy efficiency is leaving low-income Americans behind. Poor people in general cannot afford up-front costs of buying energy-efficient homes and renovations; while there are programs available for homeowners, the people that really take a hit are the renters. Landlords have no incentives to upgrade even when tenants are paying energy bills that may be comparable to the rent... [Michael Stein, Grist, 02/21/18]

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: Are Modern Cities Sustainable? Exploding population growth, by a factor of 40 over 5 decades in some megalopolises(mostly in the slums and shanty towns of the global south), - happened just when real wages were falling and unemployment and prices skyrocketing. The cause? Globalization "... a corporate takeover of the land: a new colonialism, forcing millions of people from the countryside."...[Susan Roberts, Counterpunch, 02/16/18]
  Shanty town, San Juan Puerto Rico.  Photo by Everett, fineartamerica.com  

 Posted Feb 26, 2018: From Disruption to Dystopia: Silicon Valley Envisions the City of the Future. From smart cars to smart houses and now - smart cities. We will be even happier, fitter, more productive as we trade away whatever remains of our privacy and autonomy... [Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast, 2/18/18]

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: Cover Me: Robotic Gunner Screened Human Soldiers in U.S. Army War Game. Armed airborne drones have been terrorizing third-world cities for years, but deploying remote-controlled weapons-firing machines next to our ground troops had been slower to come off the drawing board. Until now... [David Axe, Daily Beast, 2/17/18]
                
                     Robot soldiers - Daily Beast

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: The Tyranny of Convenience. More leisure, more time to learn; or loss of privacy and autonomy? "The easier it is to use Amazon, the more powerful Amazon becomes — and thus the easier it becomes to use Amazon."...[Tim Wu, NY Times, 02/16/18]

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: The Autonomous Drones are Here. Paranoid nightmare comes true: Yes, maybe you ARE being followed; no pilot needed. Once this puppy records your image, it follows you everywhere... [Farhad Manjoo, NY Times, 02/13/18]

  Posted Feb 26, 2018: Take Back the Tap [pdf] - the big water hustle. 64 percent of bottled water is sourced from municipal water taps and the rest is no more healthful than tap water. Bottled water may be expensive, but you can save by buying it by the the gallon; at $4 a gallon it costs only about 2000 times as much as municipal tap water...(EcoWatch)[Food and Water Watch, Feb,2018]

                                

  Posted Feb 26, 2018:   What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer. It's the guns, stupid! Why all the mass shootings? Mental health? Video games? Race? More crime? (e) none of the above; it's the guns, stupid. Read also about the success story of gun control in Australia, and now, from Parkland, an account of the devastating organ damage inflicted by AR-15 rounds. [Max Fisher and Josh Keller, NY Times, 11/07/17]

    
          photo credit Scott Olson/Getty Images, NY Times

======================articles from before 2018 are below======================

DC Metro Science for the People participation in Earth Day/Climate Action Week Apr 22-29, 2017.
<=== Details at left

  Posted Apr 22, 2017: Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica.New research based on improved models of Antarctic ice sheet and glacier dynamics and investigations of ancient super-high sea levels, a sea-level rise of up to 2m is possible as early as 2100, assuming continued CO2 emissions at the current levels. [Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney, Wash Post, 03/30/17]
  But not to worry, says Junk Science.com: "Because the failed computer models says so… most of us will not live to see the year 2100, much less 2500. Unfalsifiable nonsense."

Posted Apr 20, 2017:  Science for the People covered by Science magazine!!As scientists prepare to march, Science for the People reboots. [Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 04/04/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017:  Which Way for Science? by the Science for the People editorial team

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice. Sidelight: Speculation about why this exhaustive study went unpublished: The scientist had hoped for a different outcome.[Sharon Begley, Scientific American, 04/19/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: An Example of Capitalism Literally Milking the Poor. Breast milk of third world mothers is a commodity to be marketed, no longer just to well-off Western mothers, but now also to be made into ice ceam and lollipops, and even to serve as a superfood for fitness fetishists.[Julie Bindel, truthdig, 04/19/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: Policy Advisers Urge Trump to Keep U.S. in Paris Accord (...but at arms' length) The idea is for the Trump regime to try to improve its image before an increasingly appalled world opinion, but actually do little or nothing to slow down the approaching catastrophe[Coral Davenport, NY Times, 04/18/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: Tinkering With the Environment to Fight Climate Change (see graph at top of this page) This NYT journalist seems to say yes, try dumping tons of sulfur into the stratosphere to make clouds more reflective. But if this shows promise, where's the incentive to stop dumping ever more carbon into the atmosphere and hastening the acidification of the world's seas? And if it fails and we've squandered more valuable time or unleashed dangerous side effects?[Jon Gertner, NY Times, 04/18/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: What Is the "Mother of All Bombs" that the U.S. just dropped on Afghanistan? It's the largest nonnuclear ordnance ever used by the U.S. in combat. [Larry Greenmeier, Scientific American, 04/13/17]

   Posted Apr 20, 2017: Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year. [Justin Gillis, NY Times, 01/18/17]

  Posted Apr 20, 2017: Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year. [Justin Gillis, NY Times, 01/18/17]


-----------------------^^----  2017---- ^^---------------------

-----------------------vv----  2016----vv -----------------------

   Posted June 12, 2016: Scientists are getting organized to help readers sort fact from fiction in climate change media coverage. How is the public to know and take into account the reliability of a finding? A new project, Climate Feedback, is attempting this with a newly-launched rating system at climatefeedback.org. Read the comments also at the end of the Vincent article. [Emmanuel Vincent, RealClimate, 05/24/16]

   Posted June 12, 2016: Policing the dystopia As ongoing US wars in the Middle East fade from the front pages, war at home is escalating, with spy drones entering into domestic surveillance and with stepped-up militarization of police forces. And now police are making surrepitious use of the smart phones in our hands and the "internet of things". Example: In operation "Stingray", cell phone calls are intercepted by fake transmission towers set up by police and used for mass spying in chosen neighborhoods.[Matthew Harwood and Jay Stanley,TomDispatch, 05/19/16]

   Posted Jun 12, 2016:  Your iPhone’s 500,000-mile journey to your pocket The assembly line of that little device is not a line but a journey traveling through various factories in various countries, accreting components as it accumulates miles. And the component raw materials, some rare or precious have already logged thousasnds of miles. And then in a year or two, you throw it in a closet and buy a new one. [Edward Humes, Wired, 04/12/16]

  Posted June 12: A new Titanic? US and Canada prepare for worst as luxury Arctic cruise sets sail. "...coast guard officials from the US and Canada will train for a cruise ship catastrophe: a mass rescue from a luxury liner on its maiden voyage through the remote and deathly cold waters between the Northwest Passage and the Bering Strait." Thanks to global warming, 1700 passengers and crew will get to see the wonders of the Canadian Arctic this August - if all goes well... [Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 03/28/16]

  Posted June 12: Twitter taught Microsoft’s AI chatbot to be a racist pig in less than a day. 'It took less than 24 hours for Twitter to corrupt an innocent AI chatbot. Microsoft unveiled Tay — a Twitter bot that the company described as an experiment in "conversational understanding." The more you chat with Tay, said Microsoft, the smarter it gets..." Result: people starting tweeting the bot with all sorts of misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist remarks. And Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users.' GIGO?; Microsoft apologized the next day [James Vincent, The Verge, 03/24/16]

Posted Jun 12: Has James Hansen foretold the ‘loss of all coastal cities’ with his latest study? Hansen (with 18 co-authors) in a 52-page paper argues (in Gillis, NYT) that "fresh water pouring into the oceans from melting land ice will set off a feedback loop that will cause parts of the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to disintegrate rapidly". Contrary to usual procedure, a pre-publication version of the study was released for public comment and subsequently modified. [Graham Redfearn, Guardian, 03/24/16] See also Justin Gillis's articles in the NYT here and here. See the abstract of Hansen article , or the complete article(pdf). See also the pre-publication discussion.

Posted Jun 12: Obama’s Most Dangerous Legacy "The Obama administration has made drones the weapon of choice for responding to perceived terrorist threats." George W. Bush oversaw forty-eight drone strikes in Pakistan; to date, Obama has already overseen 354 killing between 1,900 and 3,000 people in Pakistan, including over one hundred civilian victims.[David Cole, NY Review of Books, 02/24/16]

Posted Feb 26: In Zika Epidemic, a Warning on Climate Change. The warmest year (globally averaged) in recorded history, a surge in numbers of pregnant women reporting symptoms associated with the mosquito-borne tropical disease zika and subsequent increases in microcephaly reported in their newborns has led to global fears of an epidemic of zika and calls for massive spraying, research on effects of past releases of genetically-altered mosquitoes and calls for abortions for women reporting zika symptoms. Have the zika virus or the mosquitoes mutated? Are the statistics on microcephaly reliable? Are human-caused climate changes in play? [Justin Gillis, NY Times, 02/20/16]

   Posted Feb 26: The Elite of the Deep State Pull the Strings of the Marionette Theater in Washington. Excerpts from Mike Lofgren's book, "The Deep State". A defense analyst for the House and Senate Budget Committees from 1995 to 2013, Lofgren witnessed the decline of a Congress run by "...politicians, whom I began to see less and less as leaders and more and more as corporate errand boys, [for] the titans of Wall Street..." [Mike Lofgren, truthout, 02/18/16]

   Posted Feb 26: Massive US-planned cyberattack against Iran went well beyond Stuxnet; "Nitro Zeus" reportedly targeted Iran's air defenses, communications, and power grid. An ambitious plan for cyber warfare in case nuclear disarmament negotiations failed, was developed jointly with Israel early in the Obama administration, and has only temporarily been shelved, according to a Feb 16 NY Times article. The story behind this dangerous project is the subject of a new Alex Gibney documentary shown last week at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, "Zero Days".[Dan Goodin, Arstecnica, 02/16/16]

   Posted Feb 26:  We Are Hopelessly Hooked. We average over three hours a day glued to our mobile devices; for some students, this number is over three times larger. "What does it mean to shift overnight from a society in which people walk down the street looking around to one in which people walk down the street looking at machines?" Designers of these addictive programs use techniques such as those described in Stanford professor Nir Eyal's book "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products". [Jacob Weisberg; NY Review of Books, 02/25/16 isssue]

  Posted Feb 26: What You Get When You Mix Chickens, China and Climate Change. The world is eating four times as much chicken as it did in 1970; a large number of these birds are raised in filthy virus-soaked conditions in Asia; wild birds carry the virus to distant places. This is old news; but the rapid warming of the Arctic has been changing breeding grounds and allowing the mingling of eastern species and their pathogens with western types and providing new pathways for dangerous new outbreaks. [Sonia Shah, NY Times, 02/05/16]

  Posted Feb 26: Slurp, Baby, Slurp: How Ethanol Became a Wedge Issue in Iowa. What does renewable fuel really do? If we're talking about government-mandated ethanol made from government-subsidized corn, "...it takes 75 gallons of water and 50 acres of land to grow enough corn for a single gallon of ethanol, but mixing ethanol into gasoline reduces mileage by 3%. [Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords, 01/27/15]

   Posted Feb 26: Is Climate Change Supercharging Storms Like Jonas And Sandy More Than We Thought? "A new analysis suggests that human-caused climate change may be having a much bigger impact on East Coast superstorms than we thought. A global slowdown in crucial Atlantic Ocean currents — caused by global warming — appears to be supercharging both precipitation and storm surge." The abnormally-warm oceans off the East Coast may arise not only directly from general global warming, but as an indirect result of changes induced by rapid climate change in global ocean circulations [Joe Romm, ClimateProgress, 01/26/16]

   Posted Feb 26: NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015. "Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and NOAA." Fifteen out of the 16 warmest years have occurred since 2001. Said NASA-GISS director Gavin Schmidt, “2015 was remarkable even [with]... an assist from El Niño, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend (see graph) that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing.”[NASA press release, ed. Karen Northon, 01/20/16]


   Posted Feb 26: Scientists, give up your e-mails. Congressional committees demand access to scientists' research related e- mails, which are then released to the press and often mined for apparently damaging material, often quoted out of contest, and used to harass and threaten scientists and their institutions. But e-mail seizures have also been key in exposing the lies of the tobacco and Big Pharma. What to do? [Paul Thacker, NY Times, 01/09/16]

   Posted Feb 26, 2016: Dietary Guidelines: A Plate Full of Politics. The 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report has distorted valid research due to corporate pressure, says the founder of True Health Initiative. Example: "it is 'okay' to eat 'processed meats and poultry' provided that nutrient thresholds are respected. This is absurd in the aftermath of a WHO report identifying processed meat as carcinogenic, in addition to its many other established liabilities."[David Katz, Huffington Post, 01/07/16]

   Posted Feb 26, 2016: Kate Marvel's Climate Sensitivity Paper Pulverizes Denier Argument. Marvel and co-authors in a December 14 paper in Nature asked how sensitive global warming is to each of the main natural and human-caused contributions. Their important finding was that the cooling effects of aerosols (dust and smoke) had been underestimated, so that if the air had been cleaner, the warming we've observed so far would have been even greater. Various mass-media reports from climate deniers on this finding have completely misunderstood the meaning of the research, by design or through ignorance. [Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, 01/12/16]

   Posted Dec 31, 2015: U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014 The NYT brings us this reassuring Christmas message: even in the face of a recession-caused stagnation in global arms sales, the US has obligingly increased its share to cement its hold on first place. Overall, "...as in previous years, the vast majority of arms were supplied by large, established countries to developing ones, which made $61.8 billion in total purchases in 2014." [Nicholas Fandos, NY Times, 12/25/15]

   Posted Dec 31, 2015: How Close Are We to 'Dangerous' Planetary Warming? How much time do we have to get serious about controlling greenhouse gases? Here's some downplayed evidence that the projected rate of global warming has been underestimated - due to two factors; one is that the compensating cooling due to reflection by pollution particles will be reduced as we stop burning coal. The second relates to how we calculate the sensitivity of global temperature to a givewn xcarbon load. See this key . [Michael Mann, Huffington Post (blog), 12/23/15]

  Posted Dec 31, 2015: Son of "Climategate": Judicial Watch Sues for Documents Withheld graphicFrom Congress in New Climate Data Scandal. It's still witch-hunting season: NOAA research finds no pause in global warming; House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas freaks out, demands tons of documents, including e-mails; AAAS defends NOAA, Smith backs off a bit, so right-wing attack dog Judicial Watch sues under FOIA. Comment following the article: "Climate Scamming... [created] to make life miserable for the common people so the Elite Liberal Progressives can Tax the very air we breathe and exact power for their own good..." [Judicial Watch: Press Room, 12/23/15]

   Posted Dec 26: Privacy and the Internet of Things. Mainstream-oriented Windows Secrets celebrates the already-here internet of things, but helpfully points out that IOT's microminiaturized sensors will be collecting data from every part of our environment, as well as our bodies - data that will be stored in the cloud and "if GPS is added to a sensor, we can know exactly where the data came from." [who's this "we"?]. Even more interesting, on-board software on ever increasing numbers of consumer products is owned by the manufacturer and you, the owner, can be prosecuted for tinkering with it! [Doug Spindler, Windows Secrets, 12/03/15]   

  Posted Dec 26: Scientists Seek Moratorium on Edits to Human Genome That Could Be Inherited. Genetic engineering has just taken a giant leap; now instead of just using gene manipulation to cure diseases, it is possible to edit with precision the DNA in human germ cells, material that comes drectly from egg or sperm, so that the changes can be passed on to future generations. Recognizing that the risks of changing the human genome are profound, an international (including China) group of scientists, has called for a moratorium on making inheritable changes to the human genome. The proposed ban has been criticized [pdf] on the grounds that it would prevent critical research on the full implications of the technique.[Nicholas Wade, NY Times, 12/03/15]

Posted Dec 26: The Kafkaesque Sacrifice of Encryption Security in the Name of Security. In the name of national security, the dangerous practice of opening a "back door" for government access to massive data servers controlled by communications giants. However, the foolishness of this idea has been exposed by, among others, a high-level group at MIT which reminds us that "If law enforcement’s keys guaranteed access to everything, an attacker who gained access to these keys would enjoy the same privilege." [Daniel Solove, LinkedIn-Pulse, 12/02/15]

  Posted Dec 26: Surprise! The NSA Is Still Spying On You. The good news: beginning Dec 1 the USA Freedom Act forced the NSA to suspend its bulk collection of phone data. The bad news: "The NSA’s sprawling, inefficient surveillance apparatus is still a privacy threat" through ongoing programs such as PRISM, the internet spying program and many others. [Kate Knibbs, Gizmodo, 11/30/15]

   Posted Dec 26: Global warming "hiatus" - R.I.P. Even without this year's unprecedented departures from from normal (stimulated by El Niño), the past decade's much-publicized apparent pause in the relentless rise of global surface temperatures is shown to be just another artifact of poorly-understood statistical noise and an excess of caution by climate scientists.(see discussion also) [Stephan Lewandowsky, et al., RealClimate, 11/26/15]

   Posted Dec 26: Growing Stupid Together - "Reality-concealing rhetoric" and our responses to terrorism. We refuse to face the reality, writes Indian novelist Pankaj Mishra, that "that the West’s post–September 11 policies of preemptive war, massive retaliation, regime change, and nation building have failed, catastrophically failed". [Pankaj Mishra, New Left Review (nplus one magazine), 11/23/15]]

   Posted Dec 26: Hang on to Your Wallets, Bankers Are Coming After Your Cash. Interest rates at banks are approaching zero; if they go negative, you pay the bank to hold your cash. OK, so I'll keep my cash at home and use it to buy everything...not so fast - some banks in Europe have already acted to try to eliminate cash from the economy. Some stores in Scandinavia already refuse to accept cash. Is the push to eliminate cash a way of insuring that banks facing failure will have our money to bail them out? Will a cashless society eliminate all anonymity in our purchases? Will it be used to strangle fundraising by dissident groups? [Ellen Brown, Alternet, 11/20/15]

   Posted Nov 12: Climate change could erase years of global anti-poverty efforts, study finds. A new detailed study, "Shock Waves: Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Poverty", directed by economist Stephane Hallegatte and funded by the World Bank, finds that current efforts to reduce the numbers of people living in extreme poverty are likely to be undercut by the effects of climate change on crop yields, diseases and natural disasters. The study used a data base of 1.4 million families in 92 countries and found that the poorest are likely suffer the worst. [Matt Petronzio, mashable.com, 11/8/15]

   Posted Nov 12: The Cyberthreat Under the Street "You may access it wirelessly, but ultimately you’re relying on a bunch of physical cables that are vulnerable to attack". E-mails, landline or cellphone calls, credit card info, hospital records - this is just some of the information that was blocked during recent attacks on buried fiber optic cables in San Francisco. Junction points where many lines come together are particularly vulnerable to sabotage, yet many are located in old, unprotected buildings.[Kate Murphy, NY Times, 11/07/15]

   Posted Nov 12: How Ubernomics are changing the way we work. E-Bay, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and their competitors - are we looking at a new economic model? We can now choose a product or service provider by-line ratings by peers. But, how does a worker in the "sharing economy" appeal an unjust rating? Explain to the boss? Sorry, there isn't any boss. Complain to the union? No union. And you can't argue with a rating algorithm. [LLoyd Alter, Mother Nature News, 11/05/15]

   Posted Nov 12: Struggling for workers' rights, climate sanity, consumer protection, open internet, access to medicine, endangered species - any way you look at the Trans-Pacific Parnership, you lose. [Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, 11/05/15]

Posted Nov 12: Patriotism for Sale: The Pentagon's Pro-War Propaganda Scheme with Pro Sports. Big bucks are flowing from DoD to stage patriotic events to benefit the military's recruitment efforts. From "Tackling Paid Patriotism", a Nov. 5 report by U.S. Sens. McCain and Flake: "In 2013, a roaring crowd cheered as the Atlanta Falcons welcomed 86 National Guard members who unfurled an American flag across the Georgia Dome’s turf." Paid for by us - to 72 professional sports teams. [Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams, 11/05/15]
               

   Posted Nov 12: Haze Suffocating Southeast Asia. A combination of a major El Niño, continued slash-and-burn agricultural practices, the worst forest fires in decades, peat fires and major drought have produced an enormous area of smoke and haze over southeast Asia. Indonesia reports thousands hospitalized, schools closed and local states of emergency declared. The rate of CO2 release this season is estimated to be comparable to that of the entire US, which has an economy 20 times as large. A massive overhaul of agricultural practices is needed, especially the runaway expansion of palm oil production for export.[Chandran Nair, theworldpost, 11/03/15]

   Posted Nov 12: The Costs of Solar Energy to the Environment. As we get beyond burning carbon to move electrons, are we about to hand over solar to the same corporate players that have long dominated the power industries? Here's a useful discussion about centralized vs decentralized generation of electricity, followed by a lively debate among readers.[Room for Discussion, NY Times, 11/03/15]

   Posted Nov 12: Scientists confirm their fears about West Antarctica — that it’s inherently unstable.The news about Antarctica keeps getting worse, and this report on new research clearly explains how warmer-than-normal seawater is destabilizing large ice sheets in contact with the ocean in a process that may have reached the point of no return and will lead to disastrous rises in sea level, far beyond those now anticipated. [Chris Mooney, Wash Post, 11/02/15]

   Posted Oct 31: EU Parliament Votes to Drop Charges and Offer Asylum Protection for Edward Snowden; a resolution passed by European Parliament Oct 29 calls on member states to prevent whistleblower's extradition, rendition. Snowden is has been living in Russia since 2013 said "This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward". The resolution, passed by a vote of 285-281, is not binding.[Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, 10/29/15]

   Posted Oct 31: Exxon an early leader in climate change research? As ear;y as 1977, Exxon in-house scientists were becoming convinced of the, warning that the planet was warming, that it was due to CO2 from burning of fossil fuels, and that the industry would have to make big changes within 10 years. Exxon listened and launched a research program, but then put on the brakes, fired its climate scientists and began a campaign of denial and deception abosut the science that continues to this day. Just like Big Tobacco. [Daily Take Team, Truthout, 10/20/15]

   Posted Oct 31: An Ecological Socialist's Reflection on Edward O. Wilson's Sociobiology The noted sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson has made important and controverial contributions to the long-simmering debate about to what extent the behavior of humans and their societies is coded in our genes. Science for the People member Kamran Nayeri discusses the arguments of Wilson and others here, with special attention paid to the interactions of genes and culture. [Kamran Nayeri, forhumanliberation.blogspot.com, 10/16/15]

   Posted Oct 31: Alaska Governor's Puzzling Math: To cope with climate, we must drill more oil. See if you can follow Gov. Bill Walker's logic here: In response to financial difficulties brought about by falling oil prices, Alaska must expand fossil fuel drilling in order to pay for the damage caused by climate change. Make sense? [Deirdre Fulton, CommonDreams, 10/12/15]

   Posted Oct 31: Welcome to a New Planet: Climate Change "Tipping Points" and the Fate of the Earth. What will climate change look like? A straight line, an accelerating curve - or maybe a sudden and irreversible jump associated with a "tipping point"? The interactions of warm and cold air with salty and less salty oceans are in a delicate balance, threatened in several critical areas by massive dumping of carbon products in the atmosphere. Triggers to initiate a catastrophe can be provided by disruption of the Gulf stream (already in progress) caused by meltwater from Greenland ice, itself a side effect of the disappearing Arctic ice; and a surge of warming from the release of methane from melting permafrost could contribute as well. The drying out of the Amazon has its own tipping points, and with enormous consequences for the global biosphere and ocean/atmospheric circulation as well. [Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch | News Analysis, 10/08/15]

   Posted Oct 31: Not Just Consumer Fraud, VW Scandal Called 'Crime Against Climate' "What Volkswagen did wasn’t just consumer fraud, it was a crime against ... future generations relying on us for a livable planet," said Peter Galvin, director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity...Volkswagen did this intentionally and knew that the effect would be a staggering release of pollution." The LA Times estimates (here) the expected effects of the VW software hack on increased lung disease and smog. [Deirdre Fulton, CommonDreams, 10/07/15]

   Posted Oct 31: Motherhood, Screened Off. What is the effect on young children of seeing their parents absorbed into the private world of the smart phone for hours each day, interrupting every activity to read or send texts or chat about unknown subjects with unknown people or listen to inaudible music? [Susan Dominus NY Times, 09/24/15]

    Posted Sep 27: A New Front: Can the Pentagon do business with Silicon Valley? A Pentagon project called Hacking for Defense is searching for new ways for the military to identify promising Silicon Valley technologies - to help accelerate the growing of tech wars with Russia and China - and no doubt rdestined to bring new toys into the hands of a US police departments in a neighborhood near you. [E.B. Boyd, California Sunday Magazine,via Techmeme 09/20/15] /

   Posted Sep 27: What Megablazes Tell Us About the Fiery Future of Climate Change. Pervasive drought and record temperatures have turned forests from Fresno to Fairbanks into tinderboxes. [Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 09/15/15] Read more here.

   Posted Sep 27: Apple and Other Tech Companies Tangle With U.S. Over Data Access. In the latest chapter in the battle over on-line privacy, where the internet giants are attempting to strengthen encryption to prevent US government back-door access, Apple refused to comply with a Justice Department request to turn over text messages in a criminal investigation. A possible US law suit is being discussed. [Apuzzo, Sanger and Schmidt, NYTimes, 09/07/15]

   Posted Sep 27: Bjørn Lomborg, just a scientist with a different opinion? The scientific credentials of media personality and climate-change skeptic Lomborg, are found lacking and his published articles are found to be almost all opinion pieces, seldom or never cited by peers and employing common debating tricks to obfuscate the facts. [Stefan Rahmstorf, RealClimate, 08/31/15]

   Posted Sep 27: Why NASA’s so worried that Greenland’s melting could speed up. Greenland's contribution to the global rate of sea-level rise is three times that of Antactica, according to satellite studies released by NASA - this despite the disparity in size. The rapid warming of the Arctic is causing unprecedented surface melting on top of the ice sheet as well as accelerating the flow of glaciers into the sea. [Chris Mooney, Washington Post, 08/29/15]

   Posted Sep 27: WTO Ruling Against India's Solar Push Threatens Climate, Clean Energy. India's ambitious plan to develop 100,000 megawatts of solar power (equal to some 100 large fossil-fuel plants) was blocked by the World Trade Organization due to a US lawsuit. Why? Because incentives offered to manufacturers within India would violate free-trade rules of the same type that are included in the TPP.[ Nadia Prupis, CommonDreams, 08/27/15]

   Posted Sep 27: The harrowing story of the Nagasaki bombing mission. Carrying a fully-armed atomic bomb (Fat Man) through the night, under attack by flak and under pursuit by Japanese fighter planes and running short of fuel in threatening weather...Of course, had the mission "failed" and Japan had been given some extra time to surrender, some 300,000 Japanese civilians wouldn't have been incinerated (see discussion after article). [Ellen Bradbury and Sandra Blakeslee, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 08/04/15]

   Posted Aug 31: The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths. How is it that even the enormous scientific advances of the last 50 years have been unsuccessful in dismissing false "faith-based" convictions held tenaciously by sizeable portions of the US public, including such obvious examples as creationism, climate-change denial - and some still-debatable ones such as resistance to fluoridation, vaccination, and GMOs. Are the doubts about establishment and corporate science raised by groups such as us in Science for the People contributing to the re-spreading of anti-science and superstition on the right? [George Johnson, NYTimes, 08/24/15]

    Posted Aug 31: