Daily Archives: March 28, 2012

I'm really excited about Skeptically Speaking this week

Marie-Claire Shanahan is going t be interviewing David Dobbs about his book, Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral on Skeptically Speaking.

So, that would be one of my favorite people interviewing one of my favorite authors about one of my favorite books which is, in turn, about one of my favorite topics, on my absolutely favorite radio show/pod cast which is usually run and operated by one of my favorite people. Holy crap!

As you know, I interviewed David about this book on Bloggingheads a while back.

The interview will be on April 1st, Sunday at 6:00PM Mountain Time, and will be a podcast available on Friday of the same week. You can be part of the “live audience” on Sunday, and join the chat room. I’ll see you there!

All the details can be found here.

Michael Mann on Climate Scientists and Smear Campaigns

Climate scientist Michael Mann is no stranger to smear campaigns. Man has the distinction of having made important contributions to climate science, for which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize. He is famous to many of you for having come up with the “hockey stick” metaphor.

Michael Mann is a good scientist who has done honest, important, and high quality work, but there are those who don’t want to hear about the results he and other climate scientists have come up with. So, they hate him. And by “hate” I don’t mean that they sit there not liking him. I mean, they actively hate him. They wake up every morning and try to think of things to do to ruin his life, and they conspire with each other to carry out these nefarious acts, and in some cases, they are paid by special interests to do these things.

We all get this hate, to one level or another. I was amused the other day when one of the haters, someone who had made death threats against me, had apparently pressed the button on his Linked In account to “find people to link to” and thus accidentally sent me an invitation to “Link In.” I get an email that says “I want to kill you” then I get an invitation to link up. Made me laugh.

But in reality this is no laughing matter. Even though we all take a certain amount of crap for either being a climate scientist or a person who teaches about climate change or a blogger or journalist who covers these issues honestly and critically, no one has taken the crap that Michael Mann has had to take. I don’t know how he does it.

Anyway, Michael has written a commentary for CNN that covers not so much the attacks on him, but rather, the attacks on climate science more generally. He talks about the theft of emails and subsequent dissemination and misuse of their contents and related events:

In the most infamous episode, somebody stole thousands of e-mails and documents from leading climate researchers, including me. They cherry picked key phrases from the e-mails and published them out of context, like a black-and-white political attack ad with ominous music. Fossil fuel industry-funded groups gleefully spread the e-mails online and badgered the mainstream media into covering the “controversy” they had manufactured.

It was no accident that this happened on the eve of a major international climate change meeting. … The dozen independent investigations that did follow — all of which exonerated the scientists — got much less media coverage than the original nonscandal.

Go read his essay. Also, please, please check out the comment section and say something not horrible there to help diffuse the crap that I’m sure is going to appear there over the next few days!

Michael Mann is the author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.

Don't Miss one of the Most Important Interviews of the Year!

I will be interviewing Maggie Koerth-Baker this Sunda, April 1st, no fooling.

Maggie Koerth-Baker is the author of the new book, “Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us”. Maggie is the science editor and a regular writer at Boing Boing, and hails from the Twin Cities. She was once described as “A lighthouse of reason in a churling ocean of stupidity,” which is exactly why we all need to read her book and listen to her interview Sunday, April 1st on Minnesota Atheists Talk Radio.

From the publisher’s review of “Before the Lights Go Out”:

“Hi, I’m the United States and I’m an oil-oholic.”

We have an energy problem. And everybody knows it, even if we can’t all agree on what, specifically, the problem is. Rising costs, changing climate, peaking oil, foreign oil, public safety–if the fears are this complicated, then the solutions are bound to be even more confusing. Maggie Koerth-Baker… makes sense out of the madness. Over the next 20 years, we’ll be forced to cut 20 quadrillion BTU worth of fossil fuels from our energy budget, by wasting less and investing in alternatives.

To make it work, we’ll need to radically change the energy systems that have shaped our lives for 100 years. And the result will be neither business-as-usual, nor a hippie utopia. Koerth-Baker explains what we can do, what we can’t do, and why “The Solution” is really a lot of solutions working together…

Please call in or email with questions, listen to the interview live, or pick up the podcast which is usually available later in the day.

The interview is April 1, Sunday, no fooling, 9:00AM Central. We don’t know yet if we’ll be gathering for a post show brunch at Q-Cumbers, but you can watch this space, or listen to the show live, to find out.

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday, April 1st, at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

Predators, Prey and Me. (Corrected)

Just wanted to let you know that Matt Soniak, science writer, was interviewed on Skeptically Speaking last Sunday, March 25th, and a cleaned up version of the interview will be released on Saturday as a podcast . Matt was talking about Predators and Prey.

And, on the podcast there will be a pre-recorded conversation with Desiree Schell and me on “Man the Hunter” (more or less), a new installment of “Everything you know is sort of wrong.”

Details here.

What Happened on that JetBlue Flight?

This is the second time this–airline employee freaking about 911 and/or Iran–has happened in recent days, the first time being with a flight attendant.

As mentioned in that report, JetBlue lost another flight attendant in August, 2010 for apparently different reasons:

Only in Boston would you find a Helocoptah.

Please enter your best stab and conspiracy riddled explanation for these events below.