Even ExxonMobil says climate change is real.

So why won’t the GOP?

Excerpt:

To understand how dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change, compare its stance to that of ExxonMobil.

No one would confuse the oil and gas giant with the Sierra Club. But if you visit Exxon’s website, you will find that the company believes climate change is real, that governments should take action to combat it and that the most sensible action would be a revenue-neutral tax on carbon — in other words, a tax on oil, gas and coal, with the proceeds returned to taxpayers for them to spend as they choose.

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Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative

Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it’s becoming hard not to.

In other words, the conservative ideology, and especially one of its major facets—centered on a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, widespread availability of guns—would seem well tailored for an underlying, threat-oriented biology.

The authors go on to speculate that this ultimately reflects an evolutionary imperative. “One possibility,” they write, “is that a strong negativity bias was extremely useful in the Pleistocene,” when it would have been super-helpful in preventing you from getting killed.

::snip::

All of this matters, of course, because we still operate in politics and in media as if minds can be changed by the best honed arguments, the most compelling facts. And yet if our political opponents are simply perceiving the world differently, that idea starts to crumble. Out of the rubble just might arise a better way of acting in politics that leads to less dysfunction and less gridlock…thanks to science.

IOW, conservatives operate out of fear and a herd mentality. No surprise, I know, but now it’s backed up by solid science that conservatives are deer, looking out for predators, while liberals are free spirits looking for new experiences. Kinda like tigers, but less likely to start killing other people.

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Venus and Jupiter Conjunction

Summer teevee sucks, so here’s something for you to do tonight (Monday), Tuesday night, and Wednesday night.

If you spot clear skies any evening this week, don’t miss your chance to witness a stunning close encounter of the two brightest star-like objects in the sky.

Venus and Jupiter—both dazzling star-like objects—will appear to huddle close together in the sunset skies this week. This will be the planets’ nearest approach in over a decade.

::snip::

While limited in their scientific interest, historically Venus and Jupiter conjunctions may be a possible answer to the Star of Bethlehem legend. In the years 2 and 3 B.C. there was a similar series of three stunningly close pairings between the planets that would have caught the eye of ancient astronomers.

Continue reading “Venus and Jupiter Conjunction”

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Comet Lovejoy!

The green chunk of ice will make its closest approach to Earth this evening, and won’t be back for another 8,000 years, according to the Mirror.

::snip::

It should be viewable in Orion’s belt, appearing as a small, fuzzy spot. Although viewable with the naked eye, it is recommended that viewers use binoculars to look at the comet, and to do so in an area with as little light pollution as possible.

while you’re outside, you may as well look for the winter hexagon and winter triangle, too.

Featured in the winter hexagon/triangle is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky!

Don’t be fooled by Jupiter, which rises later and is north of Sirius. It’s not a star…

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I KNOW that SCUBA divers can’t fart below 30 feet

So I’m assuming that SCUBA divers, and whales, have a limit to how deep they can be and still poop.

(Rewilding is) a term, coined by activist Dave Foreman and broadened by Michael Soulé and Reed Noss in the 1990s, that Monbiot explains has two meanings. The first involves the mass restoration of ecosystems through attention to “trophic cascades” — the ecological processes that start at the top of a food chain and tumble down to the bottom, affecting the entire ecosystem in the process. The second involves the rewilding of places humans live—restoring some of the fauna that we’ve wiped out through hunting and habitat destruction.

“Paleoecology—the study of past ecosystems crucial to an understanding of our own—feels like a portal through which you may pass into an enchanted kingdom,” Monbiot says. “The story rewilding tells us is that ecological change need not always proceed in one direction. It offers us the hope that our silent spring could be replaced by a raucous summer.”

Hope you guys find this to be an interesting (if not useful when arguing with RW relatives) read. Please watch the TED talk, and tell my what you think.

Edit, I realize, now, that I should have left this link, here.

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99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming

new study

There is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, our new research shows.

Published in the journal Climate Risk Management today, our research is the first to quantify the probability of historical changes in global temperatures and examines the links to greenhouse gas emissions using rigorous statistical techniques.

Our new CSIRO work provides an objective assessment linking global temperature increases to human activity, which points to a close to certain probability exceeding 99.999%.

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Who DIDN’T See This Coming?

Russia targets space station project in retaliation for U.S. sanctions

MOSCOW, May 13 (Reuters) – Russia cast doubt on the long-term future of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation, as it retaliated on Tuesday against U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow would reject a U.S. request to prolong the orbiting station’s use beyond 2020. It will also bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites.

Moscow took the action, which also included suspending operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites on its territory from June, in response to U.S. plans to deny export licences for high-technology items that could help the Russian military.

Of course I’m absolutely CERTAIN the GOP, AKA “the Defense party”, will vote to raise taxes and increase funding to NASA.

Giggle, snort.

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Cool Science Stuff

Clearest explanation of this I’ve seen, so far:

Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed

Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.

It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes.

Gravitational waves from inflation put a distinctive twist pattern in the polarisation of the CMB

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