Letter to Senator Purdue: Please Do Not Support Trump’s Bullying & the Paris Cancelation

Letter to Senator Purdue: Please Do Not Support Trump’s Bullying & the Paris Cancelation I received a reply to my recent letter to Georgia Senator David Purdue regarding the firing of James Comey from his position as F.B.I. Director.  I was impressed with the specific detail that was included in the letter from Senator Purdue. […]

Climate Change: Are We In Trouble?

This is a reblog from the Moyers & Company website. It’s an article written by John Light that I’ve reblogged here as a follow up the May 7th post entitled Extreme Earth: Coming to an Environment Near You. The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why. (via Moyers & Company) This […]

Extreme Earth: Coming to An Environment Near You

The Earth’s climate has changed rapidly over the past fifty years, but when people talk about climate change, they frame it as a future threat. David Popeik, in Scientific American guest blog, says that “climate report nails risk communication.”  He suggests that the National Climate Assessment that was released by the White House presented a powerful […]

A Heads Up: Smoking is to Cancer as Greenhouse Gas Emissions are to Climate Risks

On March 5, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed the state’s budget into law.  The bill has a footnote that prohibits the Department of Education from spending any funds to check or revise the state’s science standards. The reason this footnote was added to the Wyoming budget is because it satisfied some members of the legislature […]

NBC’s Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

NBC's Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

Is the Monster Storm, Sandy, Connected to Global Warming?

The Superstorm that is slowly moving toward the Middle Atlantic and Northeast states appears to be an anomaly by most weather standards.  Or is it?  Could this superstorm be related to Global Warming?  More specifically, could it be related to the the melting of the the arctic sea ice? Climate change, according to some, has […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5’s Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5's Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

AAAS Vigorously Opposes Attacks on Climate Change Researchers

Yesterday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published an open letter on its website with the headline: AAAS Board: Attacks on Climate Researchers Inhibit Free Exchange of Scientific Ideas.  In the letter, the Board said: Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But […]

Teaching Climate Change

Is climate change real? Is the greenhouse effect based on fundamental science? To what extent are “debates” on TV news outlets using split screen technology peer review or rhetoric? Do large companies abuse the concept of peer review by using rhetoric to cast doubt on scientific findings? These are questions that should underscore student’s pursuit […]

350.org

I signed onto an organization called 350.org. According to materials I received, 350.org is sponsoring climate change actions around the world. The banner will take you to the 350.org site for further details about how you and your students might get involved. Receiving this information is perfect timing for post later this week about Australian […]

Ozone: An Inquiry into Air Quality

Atlanta leads the nation today in air quality—that is to say that it’s ozone forecast for today exceeds all other cities in the nation.  As shown in the AirNow map below, most of the Eastern part of the nation is in the moderate to USG ozone levels.  Moderate AQI (Air quality index) is 51 – 100. […]

Climate Change: How the New Congress Will Help the Earth Get Hotter

When the new Congress convenes in January, 2011, it will get hotter in the House & Senate with an influx of Representatives and Senators (all Republicans) who continue the conspiracy that global warming is a hoax, and that humans are not contributing to the warming of the Earth.  This group of elected officials (especially in […]

Coming Storms: Not the Ones Related to Global Warming

Yesterday’s post, Got Science?, was initiated after I received an email from the Union of Concerned Scientist requesting that I take a pop quiz on global warming, and to request a sticker that says on it “Got Science?” The recent elections will mean that there will be changes in the Chairmanships of all of the […]

Got Science? Take a global warming quiz to find out.

I received an email from the Union of Concerned Scientists today inviting me to get a free sticker “Got Science?” if I would take a pop quiz on global warming.  The quiz asks you to decide whether a series of statements are “False: Not Science” or “True: Got Science!”  After I took the quiz, and […]

The Legacy of Katrina

This weekend is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, and much of the Gulf Coast region.  Perhaps the best way to start this post is to watch this video which I embeded from the nola.com Hurricane Katrina page.  The video is a sunrise service (February 9, 2007) amongst residents of New […]

What are students to make of the number of extreme weather events?

In my last post on this blog, I discussed how Native science can inform about global climate change.  Some might say this is a stretch.  I do not.  In the Native science view of the environment, human communities are an integral part of ecological systems.  This is a fundamental concept of environmental science.  In this […]

Native Science and Global Climate Change

I wrote to a friend of mine who lives in Moscow, Russia to find out how he was doing with the extreme heat and fires that are creating the worst air pollution event in Moscow’s history.  He told me that he has been able to escape the heat by going to his daughter’s flat and […]

Advantages & Disadvantages of Plate Tectonics Theory & the Theory of Gravity

It might not make sense to some to discuss the advantages & disadvantages of the scientific theories of plate tectonics & gravity, but politicians in Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota might consider it an important pedagogical strategy. Here is how legislators in Kentucky put it in an Act relating to science education and intellectual […]

Advantages & Disadvantages of Plate Tectonics Theory & the Theory of Gravity

It might not make sense to some to discuss the advantages & disadvantages of the scientific theories of plate tectonics & gravity, but politicians in Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota might consider it an important pedagogical strategy. Here is how legislators in Kentucky put it in an Act relating to science education and intellectual […]

Global Warming: It's Only a Theory & Balanced Treatment in South Dakota Science Classrooms

Yesterday, I reported that the South Dakota state legislature moved a bill along that calls for a balanced teaching of global warming, “especially since global warming is a scientific theory and not a proven fact,” to quote HR1009.  This notion of using “theory” in science as not being viable, or as having not gone through […]

Global Warming: It’s Only a Theory & Balanced Treatment in South Dakota Science Classrooms

Yesterday, I reported that the South Dakota state legislature moved a bill along that calls for a balanced teaching of global warming, “especially since global warming is a scientific theory and not a proven fact,” to quote HR1009.  This notion of using “theory” in science as not being viable, or as having not gone through […]

Snow in Atlanta, South Dakota Wants Balanced Treatment for the Teaching of Global Warming: Go Figure

Yes, it did snow today in Atlanta, and indeed all around the southeastern region of the USA. It normally does not snow in March in Atlanta. This year has been the year snow, especially in the eastern part of the USA. Some pundants, and especially one US Senator have used this year’s snowfalls to support […]

Global Weirding: Opportunity to Teach Climate Change

Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times entitled today’s post Global Weirding is Here.  Friedman prefers to use the term “global weirding” instead of global warming because the result of global warming is very “weird” weather.  He puts it this way: The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets […]

Hacked Emails, Global Heating and Science Education

I just returned from England, which of course became the center of climate controversy after hundreds of e-mails were stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University. As we all know by now, these private emails (but what is private in the world of the Internet), contained statements by Professor Phil Jones, head […]

Things to Love & Hate about the American Clean Energy Act (H.R. 2454)

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act that passed the House (H.R. 2454) on June 26 is not only a huge document (1,428 pages), but is a huge step forward for not only the U.S., but the world in trying to come to terms with the fact that humans are inducing climate change at […]

Things to Love & Hate about the American Clean Energy Act (H.R. 2454)

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act that passed the House (H.R. 2454) on June 26 is not only a huge document (1,428 pages), but is a huge step forward for not only the U.S., but the world in trying to come to terms with the fact that humans are inducing climate change at […]

Inspiring Your Students to Understand Climate-Change & Our Energy Future

Perhaps the most important role of a teacher is to inspire students to value their intellectual and emotional abilities and to understand how they can use science to “improve the lives of those they have touched and the differences they have made” (quote from Dr. Steven Chu’s commencement speach at Caltech).  It isn’t enough to […]

Inspiring Your Students to Understand Climate-Change & Our Energy Future

Perhaps the most important role of a teacher is to inspire students to value their intellectual and emotional abilities and to understand how they can use science to “improve the lives of those they have touched and the differences they have made” (quote from Dr. Steven Chu’s commencement speach at Caltech).  It isn’t enough to […]

Some Things You Might Want Know About the House's Clean Energy Bill

In the last post I listed ten reasons to support the Energy Bill passed in the U.S. House.  Here are some things you might find interesting about the bill.  I’ve tried, I really have, to keep my opinions out of this list. It’s long, really long.  When it it was first introduced into the House […]

Some Things You Might Want Know About the House’s Clean Energy Bill

In the last post I listed ten reasons to support the Energy Bill passed in the U.S. House.  Here are some things you might find interesting about the bill.  I’ve tried, I really have, to keep my opinions out of this list. It’s long, really long.  When it it was first introduced into the House […]

Top 10 Reasons for the Senate to Pass an Energy Bill

Here are 10 reasons that I think the United States Senate must pass an Energy Bill which would then be reconciled with the House’s Clean Energy Bill (HR 2454).  They are listed in here in no particular order because they are really interrelated, and I don’t think that anyone of these is more important than […]

Scientific Illiteracy in Our House (of Representatives)

Yes, the U.S. Congress did pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), but within Congress—in the House—there was clear evidence of “scientific illiteracy.”  And no, it was not the kind of thinking that we as science teachers advocate.  It turns out that one of the U.S. Representatives from Georgia, Paul […]

Science-Free Zones

In an interesting commentary in the Austin American-Statesman, Jim Marston (director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund) wonders out-loud that citizens of Texas can not let Texas become a science-free zone. He was prompted to do so because of recent shenanigans of the State Board of Education. At last weeks’ board meeting, the […]

Science-Free Zones

In an interesting commentary in the Austin American-Statesman, Jim Marston (director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund) wonders out-loud that citizens of Texas can not let Texas become a science-free zone. He was prompted to do so because of recent shenanigans of the State Board of Education. At last weeks’ board meeting, the […]

Global warming: A bunch of hooey!

According to Mr. Don McLeroy, the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education any contribution by humans to global warming is a bunch of hooey! The Board of Education met for several days in Austin to discuss and vote on the new science standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for Texas. Most of the […]

Climate Change, Politics and Science Teaching

The new administration in Washington has made it clear that it climate change would be one of the science-related issues that it would deal with, and there is clearly some evidence to support this.  In an article in USA Today, entitled Politics heats up global warming suggested that climate scientists should get involved in the […]

Great Minds in Science Will Meet in the White House in 2009

I’ve returned to from a bit of hiatus and want to start with a discussion of how science might fare in the next Congress, and in the White House. A year and half ago I wrote a post entitled Meeting of the Minds on Global Warming: The US Congress, Al Gore, and John P. Holdren.  It […]

Teaching About Global Warming, or Should It Be "Global Weirding"

People who say “drill-baby-drill” are much like people in the 1980s when personal computers came on the scene saying we need more typewriters and carbon paper (paraphrased from Thomas Friedman–see the video in this post).  The “drill-baby-drill” is a mantra of those who are stuck in the past, with their heads in the sand,  and […]

Teaching About Global Warming, or Should It Be “Global Weirding”

People who say “drill-baby-drill” are much like people in the 1980s when personal computers came on the scene saying we need more typewriters and carbon paper (paraphrased from Thomas Friedman–see the video in this post).  The “drill-baby-drill” is a mantra of those who are stuck in the past, with their heads in the sand,  and […]

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: A Revolutionary Paradigm of Teaching for Energy and Environment

In a democracy, there are differing views on how the government and industry should deal with energy, energy sources, and the environment.  I’ve visited the American Presidency Project, and there you can read the complete platforms of the Democrats and Republicans.  You have to go the Libertarian Party and the Green Party websites to read […]

Environment Important to the People, but not at the Presidential Debates

Charles Blow had a very interesting op-ed column in the New York Times today entitled “all atmospherics, no climate.” The op-ed focused on the graph shown below, generated from survey data by the Pew Research Center, which describes the percentage of Americans who think the issues of protecting the environment, and dealing with the energy […]

Earthday: Time for A Whole Earth Energy Policy: Nuclear Anyone?

Earthday 2008 arrives in just a few days. I’ve been thinking and reading about Earthday, and about how our dependence of fossil fuels impacts all of us all of the time. From buying groceries, to going to work, to enjoying leisure activities. Our dependence on coal and oil as our primary source of energy has […]

Global Warming Legislation

Two days ago, Al Gore addressed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the Senate Committee where legislation could direct the US on a course to join the rest of the world in realizing the crisis that is represented by global warming. In January a bill was introduced into the committee dealing […]

Gentle Subversives: Rachel Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey

Yesterday I used the theme “Meeting of Minds”to focus on the US Congress and its hearing with Al Gore. Today, I would like to play this out one step further, and suggest how the members of the Congressional committees that are responsible for environmental issues and legislation might be informed by two great minds, each […]

Meeting of the Minds on Global Warming: The US Congress, Al Gore, and John P. Holdren

Years ago, Steve Allen, of TV fame, created a program entitled Meeting of the Minds. He would bring together historical figures such as Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Shakespeare for discussions among themselves of important topics. So here in Washington today we witness the meeting of the minds of Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress to […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

Carbon Emission Leaders

For thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere remained around 275 parts per million, but as seen in the graph below, that value started to increase in the mid-19th century, and then steeply increased to the year 2000 and beyond. This increase has been attributed to the industrial revolution which started […]

Britain, the European Union and Global Warming

Yesterday I wrote about truth and global warming, and indicated that science does not result in truth, it results in hypotheses and theories, which could be used to inform legislation, and action by governments and citizens. Two days ago, the British government announced that it has proposed laws that will enforce steep cuts in carbon […]

Pancakes and Global Warming

Now this is a stretch isn’t it! Pancakes and global warming. You don’t have to worry, pancakes will be around, even with the Earth heating up. But, what about maple syrup? Is global warming effecting maple trees in Vermont? Well, there was an article in the New York Times entitled Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of […]

Warmer Winter in the UK and Europe

I was reading a report today on the BBC website entitled Winter ‘second warmest on record’. It was referring to winter in the UK. In fact, the five warmest winters in UK history were in the last five years. What interested me was the reference to the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET). The HadCET […]

Teachers of Green, Part Two

Yesterday’s blog featured California, Al Gore, and scientific researchers as teachers of green. Today, I want to expand this and include one of the earliest of environmentalists, Stuart Brand. Brand authored a popular and influential book entitled The Whole Earth Catalog. A Thirtiest Anniversary Edition of the Whole Earth Catalog was published recently. Brand was […]

Teachers of Green

There was a very interesting article by PAUL KRUGMAN entitled Colorless Green Ideas in the New York Times. In it he debunked the claim that that curbing greenhouse gases would detrimental to our way of life and our economy. There are a lot of people who think that it would seriously change the way we […]

Global Warming Report Issued Today

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its report today in Paris. You can read a good summary of it at USA Today. The report says that global warming is very likely man-made caused by over a century of CO2 emissions. Warming of the Earth is very well documented, and the causual relationships are very […]

Global Climate Change Report

Writing from England, I’ve noticed great coverage in the newspapers regarding the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Report on Global Climate Change. The first phase of the report will be released on Friday in Paris. Pre-publication reports indicate that CO2 emissions have caused global warming, and the indicators such as as the reduction in glacial ice (continental and […]

Teaching About Climate Change

There was an article today in the New York Times New Warnings on Climate Change by Andrew Revkin. Revkin is a science reporter for the NY Times, and author of book on climate change entitled The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World. The book is for 6th graders […]

California: The Environmental Action State

In the past year the Governor of California has challenged the “environmentally challenged” to listen to scientific research on important issues about the environment, health, biological research, and respect for work. In a Washington Post article, many of these ideas were summarized on the heels of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Address. There are […]

Teaching Global Warming and Climate Change

I thought I would start the new year on the subject of global warming or global heating, as some have called it. How should the topic of global warming be approached in a middle or high school class? That’s what I’d like to talk about. In 2006, there were a number of events that called […]

Election Results: Good News for the Environment?

There has been some discussion that the November election results might be good for a green environment. How so? For one thing, each committee chair will now be a Democrat, and for those who believe that one of the roles of government is to enact legislation to support a greener U.S., and global environment, this […]

The Decline of the Aspen

An interesting article caught my attention as I was scrolling through the New York Times online. It was entitled Emblem of the West is Dying, No One Can Figure Out Why. The emblem? The Aspen Tree. Image: A Stand of Aspen Trees Image: Aspen Leaves One of the most beautiful trees to observe in nature, […]

Should Nuclear Energy Be A Central Part of an Energy Plan?

James Lovelock’s new book, The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity, deal with this issue, and he makes the claim that it should be the central part of a mix of energy sources to power humanity’s energy demands. Why would he make this claim when the Gaia Hypothesis is one […]

The Stone Age Didn’t End Because We Ran Out of Stones

I read an article today by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in which he quoted a legendary Saudi oil Sheik cautioning his oil colleagues that the stone age ended because humans invented alternative tools. The Sheik went on to say that the oil age is not going to end because we run out […]

The Stone Age Didn't End Because We Ran Out of Stones

I read an article today by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in which he quoted a legendary Saudi oil Sheik cautioning his oil colleagues that the stone age ended because humans invented alternative tools. The Sheik went on to say that the oil age is not going to end because we run out […]

Solutions to Global Heating

For the past several years, James Lovelock, has proposed the use of nuclear power plants as the solution to the problem of greenhouse gases, and their impact on the earth’s temperature. In fact he suggests that huge nuclear plants are the only way to go to solve the greenhouse gas problem, and the increasing need […]

Butterflies and Global Warming

I was struck by the breadth with which Elizabeth Kolbert approached the evidence to evaluate the issue of global warming. In her book, one chapter is entitled The Butterfly and the Toad. What could butterfly’s and toads have to due with global warming. Here the story on butterflies. People in England, and other parts of […]

Glacial Retreat: Evidence of Global Warming

We just returned from a trip to the Rockies, and spent several days in the Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, watching wildlife, and simply enjoying the majestic scenery of these western mountains. A million years ago, these mountains were covered with glacial ice, and the erosion caused by the ice created many “glacial-features.” One for […]

Lessons from Hurricanes about Climate Change

If you live in Florida, one word you don’t want to hear on the evening news is “hurricane.” I lived in Florida in 1972 and 1975, and I don’t recall a concern about hurricanes. But now, friends that I have that do live in Florida have been affected for the past two-three years by the […]

Climate Change Debate

One on the things that Al Gore’s book has done is to bring the issue of climate change (global warming) to the surface via his book/film/appearances/interviews, and also independent reviews and discussions in local neswspapers. In the Atlanta Journal today, there was a very good article on the Issues page entitled “Studies Change Debate’s Climate.” […]

Does Global Warming Cause Hurricanes?

No. That’s the short answer. No one factor causes hurricanes, cyclones or tornadoes. However, global warming, (especially the warming of ocean surface temperature) could contribute to an increase the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Recent studies suggest that hurricane intensities (say more category 4 or 5 storms) may have increased. One scientist, Kerry Emanuel, published […]

It’s Getting Hotter in Atlanta

Well, hot temperatures are arriving in the Atlanta area; but its been hot in Texas. What’s the fuss. It’s summer. Well last year, 2005, was the hottest year during a period of temperature measurements from 1860 to today. These measurements include combined annual land, air and sea surface temperatures. Take a look at the graph […]

It's Getting Hotter in Atlanta

Well, hot temperatures are arriving in the Atlanta area; but its been hot in Texas. What’s the fuss. It’s summer. Well last year, 2005, was the hottest year during a period of temperature measurements from 1860 to today. These measurements include combined annual land, air and sea surface temperatures. Take a look at the graph […]

Measuring CO2 in the Atmosphere

In 1958, Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling developed with funding the Mauna Loa research station for measuring CO2 in the atmosphere. Samples are collected every hour from 5 towers standing above the volcano. According to their website, “Air samples at Mauna Loa are collected continuously from air intakes at the top of four 7-m […]

An Inconvenient Truth

I’ve been thinking about writing something about Al Gore’s new book, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.A book such as this naturally controversial, but from at least two points of view. Firstly, its a scientific book written by a “recovering” politician (a term Gore used […]

Global Warning

Global Warning? Global Warming? Which is it? Well, probably both if you take the position of Al Gore, and many climate change scientists. As you know, Gore put together a slide show on the danger posed by the warming of Planet Earth, and then was approached by film producers to use the slide show as […]

Rita and Katrina, Linking Natural Disasters, People and Science

The two hurricanes, Rita and Katrina, that have impacted millions of people directly, and the rest of the US population indirectly, as well as many people around the world, bring home the importance of making science education real, and encouraging students to be engaged with real problems and events in nature. Too much science teaching […]