Open letter to Congress from US Scientists

Can be found here.

Money quote:

These “multiple independent lines of evidence” are drawn from numerous public and private

research centers all across the United States and beyond, including several independent

analyses of surface temperature data. Even without including analyses from the UK research

center from which the emails were stolen, the body of evidence underlying our understanding

of human-caused global warming remains robust.

The dangers of email revisited

I and many others have been following the so-called “Climate-gate” story out of the U.K. As has been well-described now, hackers broke into servers and released emails between respected climate change scientists which were, at the very least, embarrassing. This incident may have very far reaching consequences for policy, but is also a reminder of how potentially damaging electronic mail can be (at a professional and personal level).

I’ve written about this matter before, but it’s useful to remind readers of the following heuristic: if you’re not comfortable seeing your words as a headline in tomorrow’s New York Times, then it’s better not to hit that send button.
And as a corollary, always check to see who’s actually on the cc line.

Geo-engineering response to Climate Change: the opposition

Over at Science Progress, a very well written skeptical response by Joronen and Oksanen to those who are advocating large-scale geo-engineering as a response to climate change. Even if it’s a Plan B. My problem with the skeptics is this: given the high stakes, it seems better to have a Plan B than not. I have yet to hear of an alternative Plan B for run-away global warming.

Perhaps loyal readers can better inform me?


As the new semester nears….

It’s the end of July and already around DC the first leaves are beginning to show evidence of Fall color changes. At this time of year, those early reminders of the impending semester are always a bit disconcerting. I’ll be off to Woods Hole next week to focus on The Biological Bulletin. Shortly after I return, Mason’s administration will have its annual planning conference retreat and following a quick trip to Iowa for a meeting of The Great Apes Trust scientific advisory board, I’ll be returning to a new semester and even some teaching responsibilities.

Summer does indeed fly by in academia.

This Fall, Krasnow will welcome two new PI’s, two new doctoral cohorts (for Neuroscience and Social Complexity) and open our new building wing with its state-of-the-art labs. I’m really excited. At the same time, we’ll be going into the planning process for the next wing of the building, new searches and the next “Decade of the Mind” events (which I’ll have more to report on here soon).

I’ll end by reporting that, in spite of climatic reputations, the weather in Salzburg was considerably hotter than it’s been in Washington since I’ve returned–is it due to Climate Change?