Peter Gleick, The Heartland Revelations and Situational Journalism

Peter Gleick, renowned scientist, great guy, crappy journalist.

First, let me catch you up. On Valentine’s Day, there was a release of documents from the Heartland Institute documenting their budget and the status of their fund raising, as well as their strategy for protecting corporate interests in light of overwhelming evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming and other climate change requires us to alter our global energy strategy. Heartland has been involved in science denialsm for some time. They are one of the groups that worked to deny evidence of the negative health effects of smoking, among other things. Heartland, a Libertarian “think” tank is a relatively small player in the overall climate discussion, and the documents indicate that the annual balance of their budget has been diminishing owing to reductions in contributions. Nonetheless, the documents painted a picture of systematic dishonesty. In particular, the documents seemed to indicate that Heartland was launching a bought and paid for effort to interfere with the teaching of good science in our K-12 educational system, replacing honest science with the willful misdirection we know of as science denialism. (more…)

Creationist bill in Indiana shelved

This happened:

“A bill passed last month by the Indiana Senate that would have allowed schools to teach religious stories of creation along with the theory of evolution when discussing the origins of life in science class is dead,” according to the Indianapolis Star’s education blog (February 14, 2012). The bill in question is Senate Bill 89. As originally submitted, SB 89 provided, “The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.” On January 30, 2012, however, it was amended in the Senate to provide instead, “The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.”

… Then it died in the house.

Read the rest here at NCSE

Three related items including Important News on Climate Change Denialism

Eugenie C. Scott on Denialism of Climate Change and Evolution

On Rationally Speaking:

Our guest Eugenie C. Scott joins us to talk about a new initiative of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) to tackle denialism of global warming. Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in the public sphere, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is some overlap between the two issues, but far more people are climate change deniers than evolution deniers. What is interesting to skeptics, however, is the similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled,” or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims.

Podcast is HERE

American Academy of Pediatrics Condemns Delta Airline Video

Apparently Delta Airlines plans to continue showing this video.

Here is a letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the President of Delta Airlines:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) objects to the paid advertisement/public service message from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) being shown throughout the month of November on Delta’s in-flight programming. The ad urges viewers to become informed about influenza and how to stay well during the flu season without resorting to the influenza vaccine.

While hand washing and covering sneezes are parts of a larger strategy to prevent the spread of influenza, influenza vaccine continues to be the best way to protect against the disease. It is especially important in enclosed settings where disease droplets can easily spread to passengers sitting in close quarters, especially infants and children and those with special health care needs.

The AAP and many other child health organizations have worked hard to protect children and their families from unfounded and unscientific misinformation regarding vaccine safety. The influenza vaccine is safe and effective.

By providing advertising space to an organization like the NVIC, which opposes the nation’s recommended childhood immunization schedule and promotes the unscientific practice of delaying or skipping vaccines altogether, you are putting the lives of children at risk, leaving them unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Diseases like influenza can have serious consequences. From September 2010 to August 2011, 115 children died from influenza disease, most of whom were unvaccinated.

The AAP’s 60,000 member pediatricians urge you to remove these harmful messages, which fail to inform the public about the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccine. Please do your part to help reassure parents that vaccinating their children is the best way to protect them from influenza disease, particularly during this busy travel season.

Please sign this petition.

Michele Bachmann FTW!!!

Michele Bachmann! We thought you were out of the race, but then you went and WON the Tea Party Debate by telling Rick Perry that he was a fascist. Then, you went ahead and joined the Anti-Vax movement!

I’m pretty sure the anti-Vax movement does not overlap much with the Tea Party, so this is a major boost for Minnestoa’s Own Michele Bachmann!

(Click to see video)

Michele, I truly hope this keeps you in the race and advances you in the polls. Seriously. I want that very very much.

Please help climate scientists who are under attack to defend themselves.

Please read and pass on.

Climate researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers. (For context please see: http://wapo.st/pQg0JC and http://wapo.st/oiua7V) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has recently stated: “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.” The complete AAAS statement is available at http://bit.ly/p04sIq

Please visit the site Scott A. Mandia has set up and donate a few bucks after you read his post.

Climate Change News

You will recall that in July a paper came out claiming that clouds, not CO2, caused climate change (I simplify slightly). Later, the Editor in Chief of the journal that published the paper resigned. Well, today, a paper came out that addresses the science side of the original paper. The origional paper appears to have been both poorly done and probably improperly (as in unethically done). The paper that just came out shows that clouds do not cause climate change. Climate science remains intact. Climate change denialism takes another hit.

I’ve written it up here. Deltoid has this covered as well.

In addition, there is some interesting reading here, here, here, and here.

Enjoy.

CloudGate Link Farm

I just posted a summary of the latest rather startling event in Cloud Gate, the curent scandal in the Climate Change Denialist world:

CloudGate: Denialism Gets Dirty, Reputations Are At Stake

Please go have a look and leave any questions you have. If I can’t help you with the questions, I’ll find someone who can.

Meanwhile, this latest event, which involves the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of a peer reviewed scientific journal, has created a lot of discussion in a very short period of time. Thus, the link farm to help you keep track:

The Original Paper is here.

Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation … is here (pdf).

Blog posts and press reports about the resignation: