The Climate Change Deniers are Done

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Climate change deniers have clearly set back human progress and delayed us in reducing emissions, obviously that’s no good. What is good is that they barely exist anymore. The science has always been done properly around climate change and people are living the chaos that climate change has caused; it’s as impossible to deny as a round Earth. Conversations are no longer hijacked by people who deny climate reality, and that’s a good thing.

How do we know this? Some researchers set out to determine how present climate change denialism was online only to find it declining. A really need potential spinoff from this research is how to look into other aspects of people denying science and how to engage them to better understand reality.

In a study out this week in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers found that outright denying the science is going out of fashion. Today, only about 10 percent of arguments from conservative think tanks in North America challenge the scientific consensus around global warming or question models and data. (For the record, 99.9 percent of scientists agree that human activity is heating up the planet.) Instead, the most common arguments are that scientists and climate advocates simply can’t be trusted, and that proposed solutions won’t work.

It took Cook and his team about five years to create a machine learning model that was able to reliably detect real-life climate misinformation claims. “Misinformation is messy and doing content analysis is messy, because the real world is always a bit blurry,” Cook said. First, they developed a taxonomy to sort arguments into broad categories — say, “climate change isn’t bad” — narrower claims (“carbon dioxide is not a pollutant”) and even more specific points (“CO2 is food for plants!”). Then they fed common climate myths into the machine until it was able to recognize each one consistently out in the wild.

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Philosophers Help Scientists do Better Work

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Some empiricists argue that science is a separate discipline from philosophy, and those thinkers may want to rethink their stance. The debate isn’t philosophy or science, the debate is actually how much philosophical rigour should be applied within a certain field of research. In order to effectively advance scientific fields scientists practice philosophical processes and patterns of thinking.

This hopefully comes to no surprise to many readers as we often see on this site that cross disciplinary practices usually provide the best approach. Plus, historically science and philosophy are one.

The researchers identified a substantial body of work by philosophers of science that used “philosophical tools to address scientific problems and provide scientifically useful proposals.” They call such work philosophy in science. So what kind of tools do philosophers use that can be applied to science?  The study authors don’t offer an exhaustive list, but point to activities such as making distinctions and proposing definitions, critiquing scientific methods, and combining multiple scientific fields as examples of typical philosophical tools.  And while scientists use these methods too, they don’t tend to do so as often or as rigorously as philosophers.

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Science by People for People

To the average person it might look like scientists operate in an ivory tower away from reality, which, can make engaging in scientific issues intimidating. To bridge this gap engaged citizens and scientists have launched themselves into the “citizen science” way of doing things. Basically what that means is that they’re taking science to the streets.

Through Uprose and HabitatMap, another New York-based environmental justice organization, Gomez and a handful of other youth banded together to figure out exactly how much pollution the expressway was coughing into the neighborhood. “There are no entrances to the expressway in Sunset Par–just the exits,” says fellow youth organizer Brian Gonzales. “So we’re left with thousands of cars and trucks passing through every day.” The exhaust from those cars–particularly particulate matter 2.5, which is so small that 60 particles lined up equal the width of a human hair–is especially pernicious. While larger particles may lodge in nose hairs or the back of the throat and never make it into the body, PM 2.5 passes deep into the lungs and eventually the blood. They cause short-term problems like asthma and bronchitis, and cancer and heart disease later.

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15,000 Scientists Want to Change Climate Change

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They want to stabilize the change and, ideally, change the trajectory we’re on.

Climate change is happening faster than predicted and the positive feedback loops have started (meaning that it’s even harder to stop climate change) – this is the warning from over 15,000 scientists. The Alliance of World Scientists released a statement and invite more scientists to sign on. They’re clear in what they want to do: “Our vital importance and role comes from scientists’ unique responsibility as stewards of human knowledge and champions of evidence-based decision-making.”

It all started as an assumption that scientists cared, and they care a lot.

Within two days, there were 1,200 signatures. Of the more than 15,364 signatures to date, 527 are from Canada, ranking eighth among 184 countries.

The goal of the paper is to raise awareness about the fragile state of the planet.

“The scientists around the world are very concerned about the state of the world, the environmental situation and climate change,” Ripple said. “So this allows them to have a collective voice.”

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Canadians: Support the Science Integrity Project

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Polling opens for the Canadian election on October 9th with the final day to vote on the 19th. This election, the organization Evidence for Democracy (and many more!) are asking you to vote with science in mind.

The Canadian Conservative party blatantly ignores scientific facts in their policies and this has led to some horrible practices in Canada. The good news is that you can change that this October by voting for knowledge, look into the Science Integrity Project

Our project reflects the collective wisdom of 75 leaders — in science, indigenous knowledge, public policy, civil society, and governance — who are concerned about the erosion of an evidence-based approach to public policy decision-making in Canada.

Why SIP:
The Science Integrity Project was created in response to growing concerns [1] that many public policy decisions made in Canada — and in its cities, provinces and territories — are not consistently supported by solid information derived from the best available evidence — from science and indigenous knowledge.
What is SIP:
Through a series of in-depth interviews and a national forum, we developed principles for improved decision making on the basis of the best available evidence.

Check out the Science Integrity Project

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