Category Archives: Uncategorized

Climate Change Science Resources

Spread the love

Books about climate change science and policy

Dire Predictions: The Visual Guide to the Findings of the IPCC by Michael Mann is a visually rich, detailed, but very accessible retelling of the IPCC scientific basis report. I recommend this volume (get the most current one) for use in classrooms as well as for general reading.

Climatology versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics by Dana Nuccitelli. The main thrust of Dana’s book is to put climate science deniers’ models and predictions to the test. If they are so right, and real climate scientists are so wrong, and this fight has been going on for decades, we should be able to see a divergence between what real scientists say and what fake scientists say, with the latter (the denier’s choice) being more correct. But it isn’t. Real science got climate science right, fake science did not.

Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know® by Joe Romm. Here, Romm addresses a wide range of questions people have about climate change, but with a focus on what you need to know in order to inform decisions in your actual Life. Climate change is real, and matters. You are real, and you matter too. How do these two real things that mater intersect?

Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment by Paul Douglas and Mitch Hescox. I know a lot of my readers are atheists, and this book is written by a Christian fundamentalist and some sort of Bishop. Put Paul, a friend and colleague, is a true blue scientist even if his politics have not always been that blue, and he is sincerely committed to the cause of promoting good climate science and fighting the deniers. (Those of you who live in the Twin Cities already know about Paul Douglas, I’m sure.) So, while this book might not be for you, it might be for your Uncle Bob, if Uncle Bob is a fundamentalist Christian.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited Paul Hawken, with a forward by Tom Steyer, gives a ranked list of things that can be done, by people, governments, institutions, and corporations, to decarbonize our economy.

Books about science denialism and related topics

The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazyf by scientist Michael Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles is a newspaper-political-cartoon style commentary, with text, putting climate change denial in proper context.

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway demonstrates the links between the tobacco industry’s efforts to control their narrative and cause several generations of kids to become addicted to nicotine, and the climate denial industry, well funded by Big Oil, doing roughly the same thing but for petroleum. The links are both in form (science denial through doubt), function (gaining money and power) and often, in who participates, with many individuals doing both jobs.

The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It by Shawn Otto is the single best and most comprehensive overview and careful analysis of the war on science. Otto even covers what to do to help win this war.

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by Michael Mann is an accounting of the denialist attack on his imprtant “hockey stick” research and parallel stories.

Web sites or organizations

NASA Global Climate Change

Get Energy Smart Now!


Carbon Brief

World Meteorological Oragnization

Paul Douglas Weather

Twitter feeds

I started out copying the twitter handles off of the account profiles from my own internal and private Twitter list of climate tweeters. Then, I started to break out in a cold sweat, and I think it was memories of spending hours messing around with blogrolls back in the day. So I stopped, renamed the list to make more sense, and make it public. That makes so much more sense. This way, if I update the list, it is updated for you as well, if you subscribe to it.

So, check out my Climate Change Tweeters Twiiter list!


The Copenhagen Diagnosis

IPCC Reports

Spread the love

Do Recycle. Don’t Relax

Spread the love

I have two quick things to say about recycling, and these are narrowly focused comments, but please feel free to discuss the issue more broadly in the comments, because I’m writing something more detailed and you can possibly influence that.

1) Do recycle. We have seen a handful of recent reports on authoritative (supposedly) media (like public radio) explaining how the entire recycling industry has collapsed and all the recycling goes into the trash, so YOU should therefore put your recycling in the trash as well. This is INCORRECT at several levels. More on that later. The short version: Let the recycling company decide what gets put in the trash. Your information will never be accurate or up to date compared to theirs.

2) Don’t feel too good about recycling, even if you do it all the time. It isn’t enough to save the planet. Do more. Now. More than that even.

Spread the love

Language: The mysterious magical murmuring that we do

Spread the love

Karen Stolznow is a well studied linguist and a spectacularly famous podcasting skeptic, who has published the following items:

God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States

Haunting America

Would You Believe It?: Mysterious Tales From People You’d Least Expect (in which I have a chapter!)

Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic (see my review here)

Hits & Mrs.

Karen was our most recent guest on Ikonokast Podcast. CHECK IT OUT

Spread the love

A History of Impeachment

Spread the love

There are books about impeachment that are relevant today. I’ve already suggested that you have a look at Impeachment: An American History by Jon Meacham, Peter Baker, Tim Naftali, and Jefrey Engel. I also noted that the newest edition of “Impeachment: A Handbook” is out.

And now, there is a new volume:

High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump by Frank Bowman.

For the third time in forty-five years, America is talking about impeaching a president, but the impeachment provisions of the American constitution are widely misunderstood. In High Crimes and Misdemeanors, constitutional scholar Frank O. Bowman, III offers unprecedented clarity to the question of impeachment, tracing its roots to medieval England through its adoption in the Constitution and 250 years of American experience. By examining the human and political history of those who have faced impeachment, Bowman demonstrates that the Framers intended impeachment to be a flexible tool, adaptable to the needs of any age. Written in a lively, engaging style, the book combines a deep historical and constitutional analysis of the impeachment clauses, a coherent theory of when impeachment should be used to protect constitutional order against presidential misconduct, and a comprehensive presentation of the case for and against impeachment of President Trump. It is an indispensable work for the present moment.

Spread the love

Junction City, Off the Record: Tales From Ogden, Utah’s Notorious Underworld in the Roaring ‘Twenties

Spread the love

The newly published book, Junction City, Off the Record: Tales From Ogden, Utah’s Notorious Underworld in the Roaring ‘Twenties, by Jim Spas, my one time brother in law, is worthy of a close look. Jim comes originally from New York State, but has lived in the west for most of his life. He has a strong sense of history and interconnections between things local and personal, like the development of a town or small city over time, the surrounding landscape, and broad historical events. To get a sense of this quality, have a look at Jim’s blog. Continue reading Junction City, Off the Record: Tales From Ogden, Utah’s Notorious Underworld in the Roaring ‘Twenties

Spread the love

Alicia Plerhoples for Fairfax County Board Chair

Spread the love

I know some of you are in Fairfax County, Virginia. If you are, please send this around to your climate-loving local people who are presumably voting in the upcoming primary election (June 11th).

From Adam Siegel, Virginia-based energy expert and climate hawk spotter:

Fairfax County Democratic voters face — for the first time in decades — a real choice as to their nominee for Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. It isn’t just that there are four candidates seeking our support, but that a reasonable person paying even superficial attention to the race should be able to articulate reasons to vote for (or not vote for) each of the four. This is a good situation for voters, and a reason why I have thought long and hard before coming out with a public endorsement in this race. After consideration of many factors (see discussion below), the choice has become clear to me…

For the details, read: Alicia Plerhoples for Fairfax County Board Chair: Adam Siegel Explains His Choice

There is another endorsement of Alicia Plerhoples here.

Plerhoples herself is also covered here: Under my leadership, says Plerhoples, Fairfax will be a greener county

Also, look at Dick Saslaw’s race. I hear he is a fossil fuel favorer and it might be nice to have him not running in the election, so when the Democrats take back the Senate, their Majority Leader is not a Carbon-symp. This is Virginia State Senate district 35, where Yasmine Taeb and Karen Elena Torrent are primary-ing Dick Saslaw. I have nothing to provide in the way of guidance for choosing between those two candidates.

Spread the love

Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, Are All About The Same

Spread the love

How does this sound? In a two person race (among Democrats and LD’s),

Biden 43%
Sanders 41%

(statistical tie)

Biden 41%
Harris 38%

(statistical tie)

Sanders 42%
Harris 37%

(that may be statistically significant, but just barely)

Sanders 37%
Warren 40%

(statistical tie)

Conclusion: Among these front runners, they are all about the same, among Democrats, nationally. Note that recent polls showing Biden with a huge lead are all, as far as I know, among the First Four contests.


Spread the love

Celestial Calculations: This Book Promises To Not Hurt You

Spread the love

To calculate the exact location of a star, planet, or satellite, read the appropriate chapter in this book, download the source code, data files, or binaries, as needed from the publisher, and off you go on a wild adventure that combines star gazing, mathematics, and coding.

I am especially attracted to science or technology books that contain something the reader can work with. A book about a programming language should walk the reader through developing a good example of useful code. A book about computational science should include templates for workflow in data analysis. It is rare, though, to find a book about a pure science (as opposed to technology) that does this. Celestial Calculations: A Gentle Introduction to Computational Astronomy (The MIT Press) by J. L. Lawrence is one of those pragmatic publications.

J.L. Lawrence comes from the world of technology. He is a CTO of a company that builds computer systems for satellite-launching customers including the government. So, one might imagine that he has an interest in pulling out the old slide rule and doing applied rocket science.

Consider the situation of a serious amateur astronomer. You can look at the stars and planets through a good set of binoculars, or an amateur telescope. After a while, you may want to upgrade to a telescope that can be linked to your laptop for positioning. Or you might build a star tracker to allow your camera to get a nice shot of a comet. And so on.

But eventually you may also want to get into the math of the heavens, combining that with some coding skills you can easily pick up, and figure out how to locate planets, find specific stars, track the moon’s behavior with great accuracy, and convert between all the values of time and space that happen when round objects of various sizes find themselves falling towards each other in great, seemingly infinite time, spirals. And so on.

Celestial Calculations is written for amateur astronomers who want to use accessible math combined with extensive ready to go code written manly in python, java, and visual basic.

The prose that discusses the math and astronomy is straightforward and accessible, and if you read the book just for that you will come away much better informed about the solar system and broader universe. If you do that, you will probably skip about 20% of the technical discussions and math (maybe a bit more). The math is very clear and you can work through the concepts in your head, more or less, to get the idea, and appreciate the dynamic relationships between things in space. The programming is all relegated (but with notes in the book) to a major on line archive that you can download and use on your own computer to make the calculations, and modify as you wish.

The software is developed with a Microsoft Windows user in mind. The software should run on any platform, but you may have to fiddle with paths and other environment issues if you are using a non-Windows machine.

Spread the love

Hawking’s Black Holes and Baby Universes Cheap

Spread the love

Black Holes and Baby Universes: And Other Essays in kindle form cheap right now.

In his phenomenal bestseller A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking literally transformed the way we think about physics, the universe, reality itself. In these thirteen essays and one remarkable extended interview, the man widely regarded as the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein returns to reveal an amazing array of possibilities for understanding our universe.

Building on his earlier work, Hawking discusses imaginary time, how black holes can give birth to baby universes, and scientists’ efforts to find a complete unified theory that would predict everything in the universe. With his characteristic mastery of language, his sense of humor and commitment to plain speaking, Stephen Hawking invites us to know him better—and to share his passion for the voyage of intellect and imagination that has opened new ways to understanding the very nature of the cosmos.

Spread the love

Cheap early Carl Hiaasen book!

Spread the love

Fans of Carl Hiaasen who have not yet read his book Trap Line can get it right now cheap in Kindle form.

Though he is one of Key West’s most skilled fishing captains, Breeze Albury barely ekes out a living on the meager earnings of his trade. Meanwhile, Cuban and Colombian drug smugglers thrive all around—and they have their sights set on Albury and his fishing boat.

After the smugglers cut his three hundred trap lines and crush his livelihood, Albury is forced to run drugs to survive. But when he gets busted by the crooked chief of police and becomes a target of the drug machine’s brutal hit men, Albury becomes a vigilante on the seas of Florida, unleashing a fiery and relentless vengeance on the most dangerous criminals south of Miami.

Along with Powder Burn and A Death in China, this is one of the early suspense thrillers written by Carl Hiaasen and Bill Montalbano, a writing team praised for their “fine flair for characters and settings” (Library Journal). Perfect for fans of the Doc Ford novels by Randy Wayne White, Trap Line is an action-packed preview of Hiaasen’s stellar Florida-set crime novels including Sick Puppy, Tourist Season, and Razor Girl.

See THIS for more info on the author.

Spread the love

Dune, ersatz Holmes, cheap books

Spread the love

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel Book 1) by Brittany Cavallaro is the second in a series of Holmes Not Holmes books. The series consists of:

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel Book 1)

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel Book 2)

The Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes Novel Book 3)

And, Frank Herbert’s Dune Messiah also cheap on Kindle.

Spread the love

A Smarter Open Recent Files Function in Office

Spread the love

I’m talking about LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but the concept applies to any office suite. Specifically, we are talking here about the behvioar of the “Open Recent Documents” function under the “File” menu on the typical Office style application. This menu item shows you the most recent several documents you’ve had open, so you can re-open one right away. Continue reading A Smarter Open Recent Files Function in Office

Spread the love