Home » Posts tagged 'science'

Tag Archives: science

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Post Archives by Category

Risk of passing multiple climate tipping points escalates above 1.5°C global warming

09/09/2022 – Multiple climate tipping points could be triggered if global temperature rises beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, according to a major new analysis published in the journal Science. Even at current levels of global heating the world is already at risk of passing five dangerous climate tipping points, and risks increase with each tenth of a degree of further warming. An international research team synthesised evidence for tipping points, their temperature thresholds, timescales, and impacts from a comprehensive review of over 200 papers published since 2008, when climate tipping points were first rigorously defined.
Risk of passing multiple climate tipping points escalates above 1.5°C global warming
Tipping points world map. Figure by Biermann/PIK, based on Armstrong McKay et al, 2020

The research, published in advance of a major conference “Tipping Points: from climate crisis to positive transformation” at the University of Exeter (12-14th September), concludes human emissions have already pushed Earth into the tipping points danger zone. Five of the sixteen may be triggered at today’s temperatures: the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, widespread abrupt permafrost thaw, collapse of convection in the Labrador Sea, and massive die-off of tropical coral reefs. Four of these move from possible events to likely at 1.5°C global warming, with five more becoming possible around this level of heating.

Lead author David Armstrong McKay from Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Exeter, and the Earth Commission says, “We can see signs of destabilisation already in parts of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, in permafrost regions, the Amazon rainforest, and potentially the Atlantic overturning circulation as well.”

“The chance of crossing tipping points can be reduced by rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions”

“The world is already at risk of some tipping points. As global temperatures rise further, more tipping points become possible.” he adds. “The chance of crossing tipping points can be reduced by rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions, starting immediately.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wide Awake

Wide Awake

Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” – Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientist, gifted orator, skilled teacher, and effective advocate for his strongly held beliefs. It is no exaggeration to say that Sagan is likely responsible for inspiring more people to pursue a career in the sciences than any other person in history. His 13-part television documentary Cosmos: A Personal Journey – which first premiered on PBS in 1980 and is still stunningly well-worth watching to this day – is widely regarded as one of the best science-themed series ever produced. Sagan knew how to turn a phrase to enchant an audience and routinely did so with a level of passion and charisma that cannot be faked.

In the climactic final episode of Cosmos titled Who Speaks for Earth? Sagan makes an impassioned plea for nuclear de-escalation. The first nine minutes of the piece are particularly spellbinding, and the introduction draws to a close with Sagan walking along a rocky shoreline where he delivers a historic monologue (emphasis added throughout):

The civilization now in jeopardy is all humanity. As the ancient myth makers knew, we are children equally of the earth and sky. In our tenure on this planet, we have accumulated dangerous, evolutionary baggage – propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, hostility to outsiders, all of which puts our survival in some doubt. We have also acquired compassion for others, love for our children, a desire to learn from history and experience, and a great, soaring passionate intelligence – the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity.

Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part of the small planet earth. But up and in the cosmos, an inescapable perspective awaits. National boundaries are not evidenced when we view the earth from space…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2 Predictions


René Magritte The voice of blood 1948 (woodblock)
1/ If the US truckers manage to organize themselves anywhere close to the way their Canadian brethren have, in projects like Convoy To DC 2022 or American Freedom Convoy 2022, they will cause absolute mayhem stateside, and the Biden admin will very rapidly lift the -announced- vaccination mandates for truckers. This will force Canada to do the same. Of course the demands of the Canadian truckers are now much broader than their own vaccines, and US truckers may well go that way too.

Already, the Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ has forced the shutdown of General Motors and Ford automotive plants, among others. On both sides of the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit and Windsor carmakers have large plants, and the present standstill comes on top of global supply chain and local staffing issues.

Justin Trudeau won’t be able to tow the trucks on the bridge away. He also won’t be able to send in the military against his own people (neither will Joe Biden). If the truckers persist, they win. It really is that simple. They are serious, as the mayor of Windsor ON understands:

“You have a number of people who are … part of the protest group who have openly stated … they feel such a passion for this particular cause that they are willing to die for it,” Mayor Drew Dilkens told reporters on Wednesday. “If you have people who hold that sentiment, the situation can escalate and get very dangerous for police and those members of the public in very short order. It’s fair to say we don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How much does it cost to buy a scientist? Less than you would imagine, and it is perfectly legal

How much does it cost to buy a scientist? Less than you would imagine, and it is perfectly legal

Not a long, long time ago, in a region not so far, far away, a private company decided to set up a CO2 extraction plant. The idea was to extract carbon dioxide from the ground and to use it to make effervescent soft drinks and things like that.  Yes, exactly the opposite of the “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) that we are supposed to do to combat global warming.When the story became known, the debate flared on the media. People and associations took sides against the new plant. The university was involved, and several scientists released interviews where they noted the contradiction of extracting CO2 instead of burying it. Fortunately, the public outrage was sufficient to force the regional government to stop the plan. The plant was not built and, with some luck, never will be.

All is well that ends well, but there is a detail in the story that you may find interesting. It happens that I know very well the university of the region I am talking about. In particular, there was a faculty member, a geologist, who was supposed to be an expert on the geological properties of the area where the CO2 extraction was supposed to take place. He was a person who could criticize the story from a soundly based scientific viewpoint. But, during the debate, curiously, he remained silent. And, perhaps not so curiously, I discovered that he had accepted a research grant from exactly that company planning to extract CO2.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVII

Teotihuacan, Mexico (1988) Photo by author

Got involved in a discussion after an Facebook Friend (Alice Friedemann, whose work can be seen here) posted a study on the decline of ‘rationality’ over the past few decades.

My initial response was as follows:

My initial thought is that this shift is more the result of a paradigmatic shift in academia itself from ‘Modernism’ to ‘Post-Modernism’ that has slowly filtered into the mainstream than anything else. As a university student during the entire decade of the 1980s, I was exposed to A LOT of Post-Modernist philosophy that questioned ‘Rationality’. Off the top of my head I recall a number of the philosophies I was exposed to coming from such academics as: Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Claude Levi-Strauss, Michel Foucault, Clifford Geertz, Friedrich Nietzche, Martin Heidigger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stephen Jay Gould, G.W.F. Hegel, H.G. Gadamer, Thomas Kuhn, and Jurgen Habermas. The topics included: rationality, literary criticism, deconstruction, deconstructive criticism, hermeneutics, philology, metaphysics, and dialectics. These all reflected a questioning of the strict ‘factual’ or ‘rational’ universe at one level or another — especially the ‘subjectivity’ verses ‘objectivity’ aspects of ‘science’. Here’s just a few of the books I still have in my dwindling collection:

The conversation has brought back some of my interests that arose during my university education (the ten years were in the pursuit of four degrees from biology/physiology to psychology/anthropology that culminated in an M.A. in archaeology and B.Ed. for a career in education; retired almost ten years now). It’s been a while (decades) since I studied this stuff but here are my two cents on the topic:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s okay to look up

It’s okay to look up

I am told I should look into filing a copyright claim against the Netflix movie Don’t Look Up, since I wrote a version of it in my 2015 book, The Consciousness of Sheep, and for exactly the same reason:

“We’ve all seen this movie before: A giant asteroid is heading straight for us, and it looks like a big one. Although somewhat smaller than the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs – together with 90 percent of life on Earth – this one could well destroy human civilisation. If it hits a landmass, it will spew pollution into the upper atmosphere. This will initially produce a global ‘nuclear winter’ in which temperatures plummet and plant life withers as sunlight is blocked out. Those of us that survive the impact will face starvation as harvests fail. In the longer-term we face runaway global warming as the gases trapped in the upper atmosphere act like a blanket to prevent heat radiating into space. Even if the asteroid hits an ocean, things may not be much better. Super-size tsunami waves will sweep around the planet wiping out 70-90 percent of the World’s cities and causing massive damage to infrastructure. The water vapour that erupts into the sky is three times more powerful a greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide that humanity routinely pumps into the atmosphere. This, too, threatens runaway global warming…

“What would we humans do if this was for real?

“The decision to act now should be obvious except for two compounding factors. First, governments in the modern world tend not to trust the people. So they have been trying to keep the lid on the whole thing while telling the population to carry on with business as usual…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Don’t Look Up’: Hollywood’s primer on climate denial illustrates 5 myths that fuel rejection of science

DiCaprio and Lawrence look at cell phone in a still from the movie.
In ‘Don’t Look Up,’ scientists played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence watch with horror as people willfully ignore warnings of an impending disaster. Entertainment Pictures/Alamy Stock Photo

Every disaster movie seems to open with a scientist being ignored. “Don’t Look Up” is no exception – in fact, people ignoring or flat out denying scientific evidence is the point.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play astronomers who make a literally Earth-shattering discovery and then try to persuade the president to take action to save humanity. It’s a satire that explores how individuals, scientists, the media and politicians respond when faced with scientific facts that are uncomfortable, threatening and inconvenient.

The movie is an allegory for climate change, showing how those with the power to do something about global warming willfully avoid taking action and how those with vested interests can mislead the public. But it also reflects science denial more broadly, including what the world has been seeing with COVID-19.

The most important difference between the film’s premise and humanity’s actual looming crisis is that while individuals may be powerless against a comet, everyone can act decisively to stop fuelling climate change.

Knowing the myths that feed science denial can help.

As research psychologists and the authors of “Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It”, we recognize these aspects of science denial all too well.

Myth #1: We can’t act unless the science is 100% certain

The first question President Orlean (Meryl Streep) asks the scientists after they explain that a comet is on a collision course with Earth is, “So how certain is this?” Learning that the certitude is 99.78%, the president’s chief of staff (Jonah Hill) responds with relief: “Oh great, so it’s not 100%!” Government scientist Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) replies, “Scientists never like to say 100%.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Covid: A Collision of Historical and Scientific Illiteracy

Covid: A Collision of Historical and Scientific Illiteracy

It’s been a year since I’ve written anything for this blog. The reason, frankly, is that I have been at a loss for words. What has happened to human society in the last two years has been, for anyone with an understanding of history, beyond belief.

Of course, it should not be beyond belief because we know history repeats itself. And in the last two years it has been repeating with a vengeance.

I spent 18 years working to understand, and help others understand, the crimes of September 11, 2001. Those crimes were never honestly investigated apart from the work of independent researchers. The official accounts are widely known to be false and those who have taken the time to look deeper have found that there are good reasons to believe that people within government and major corporations were involved in planning and executing the attacks.

September 11th was a deception used by rich and powerful people to steal resources, consolidate power, and control the masses. It was just one example of such a mass deception.  Others include the following.

  • The CIA’s assassination of JFK
  • The false Gulf of Tonkin incident that escalated the CIA’s war in Vietnam
  • The deceptions used to justify the 1991 Gulf War
  • The government-sponsored 2001 anthrax attacks
  • Claims of weapons of mass destruction used to justify the second invasion of Iraq
  • The many manufactured terrorist events following 9/11
  • Previously hyped pandemics, including the 2005 “Bird Flu” and 2009 “Swine Flu” that were grossly exaggerated by the World Health Organization for the benefit of big pharma companies

Along with these conveniently over-looked crimes, the last 18 months have shown that the 9/11 lie was not taken seriously. Anyone who still believes that governments and media care about our health has forgotten that deep state actors murdered thousands of citizens on 9/11…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Pundits ‘Don’t Look Up’ from Progress

Why Pundits ‘Don’t Look Up’ from Progress

The new film about a total apocalypse of the human race is being slammed by many film reviewers. But when I chat to people who have seen it they think it brilliant. And my Facebook wall is full of friends writing versions of OMG what a film! So what might these extremely different reactions tell us?

When I read the reviews of ‘Don’t Look Up’ they seem to misunderstand the film. Even the reviews from environmentalists who slag off the other reviews miss what is seen as important about the film by me and people who are alive to the very latest climate trends.. So here are my two cents on the film and – like all important art – the lessons from the reactions it has generated.

Judging by its output since WWII, the role of Hollywood has been to produce stories that celebrate human power (mostly male), including conquest, progress, success and heroic individualism. The stereotypical ‘Hollywood Ending’ is not only good but is thanks to one special person. Even tragedies and horror films would typically include some of those themes. Compare American output to French films and those aspects of Hollywood content are quite clear. Such aspects are not accidental. They align with an ideology of modernity and progress that has dominated global cultures for… well there are many views on how deep it goes.. But at least since WWII.

With that background, a film that was released for Christmas and ends with all the main characters expressing love for each other before they are obliterated along with the entire human race is not very usual! Don’t Look Up is the first time I have seen ‘doomer humour’ in a film with the biggest stars.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Rise and Fall of Scientism. Do we Need a new Religion?

The Rise and Fall of Scientism. Do we Need a new Religion?

What is religion, exactly? Hieratic monks singing their hymns? Fanatics performing human sacrifices? Old ladies praying the rosary? Pentecostals speaking in tongues? It is all that and more. And it is not something we can ignore. Religions are not old superstitions, but part of the way the human mind works. They are communication tools designed to build empathy in society. 

You surely noted how a new religion is being born right in front of our eyes. It includes a complete set of sacrifices, canons, saints, prayers, and competition of good and evil. It does not officially include the belief in an all-powerful God, but it worships an abstract entity called “Science.” We may define it as “Scientism.”

I am not a religious person, not at all. But I recognize that religion can be a good thing. It is a life hack that gives you a moral compass, a code of behavior, a social purpose, a certain dignity, and support as you go along the various passages of life. For some, it also provides a path to something higher than the mere human experience in this world. So, I am not surprised that many people have embraced Scientism with enthusiasm.

The problem is that there are evil aspects of religion. Witch hunts, human sacrifices, fanatic cultists, the Spanish inquisition, suicide bombers, and more. Even moderate religions, such as Christianity, can be perfectly evil when they try to scare you into submission, or use force or deception for the same purpose.

So, what kind of religion is Scientism, good or evil? As for everything that moves through the vast virtual entity that we call the “memesphere,” it keeps changing and adapting to an evolving situation in which humankind is facing enormous challenges, from resource depletion to ecosystem collapse…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Science, Forests, Bears, and Clouds

Science, Forests, Bears, and Clouds

Last night at sunset, a big chill, dark red clouds to the west. And the half moon, above the black cypress trees to the right, silhouetted against the fire of the dying sun.

Below  Bellosguardo, that silent little wall where sometimes a black cat walks, and to the left you can see the snow on the mountains, and, below, the city of the old enemy, Fiesole….

We go up towards Marignolle, and Marco recites to me the verses of the mad poet, Dino Campana:

To the ghostly garden of mute laurels

To the green garlands

To the autumnal earth

A final greeting!

Walking between the silent walls that hide the secrets of an occult city, we arrive at the villa of the ancient family.

From one end of the great hall, Abraham looks at us in an eighteenth-century painting, as he prepares to sacrifice Isaac; from the other end, the ancestor of the family looks at us in a portrait, and has the same beard and the same look (and faith) as Abraham. And between the two, the menorah, on the wooden sideboard that bears the date MDCXXXVII engraved on it.

We gathered to hear Anastasija Makarieva, black hair, almond-shaped blue eyes and high cheekbones, from the Institute of Nuclear Physics in St. Petersburg. An institution heir to that other half of the world, which not only managed to build Soviet atomic bombs from scratch, but explored worlds unknown to Westerners.

Anastasija (with the accent on the “i”) doesn’t deal with atomic bombs at all, but with forests.

We’ve all heard of the forests of the Amazon, but we never talk about the perhaps even larger ones that stretch from the Baltic to the Pacific.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World Scientists’ Warnings Into Action, Local to Global

World Scientists’ Warnings Into Action, Local to Global

Abstract

‘We have kicked the can down the road once again – but we are running out of road.’ – Rachel Kyte, Dean of Fletcher School at Tufts University. We, in our capacities as scientists, economists, governance and policy specialists, are shifting from warnings to guidance for action before there is no more ‘road.’ The science is clear and irrefutable; humanity is in advanced ecological overshoot. Our overexploitation of resources exceeds ecosystems’ capacity to provide them or to absorb our waste. Society has failed to meet clearly stated goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Civilization faces an epochal crossroads, but with potentially much better, wiser outcomes if we act now. What are the concrete and transformative actions by which we can turn away from the abyss? In this paper we forcefully recommend priority actions and resource allocation to avert the worst of the climate and nature emergencies, two of the most pressing symptoms of overshoot, and lead society into a future of greater wellbeing and wisdom. Humanity has begun the social, economic, political and technological initiatives needed for this transformation. Now, massive upscaling and acceleration of these actions and collaborations are essential before irreversible tipping points are crossed in the coming decade. We still can overcome significant societal, political and economic barriers of our own making. Previously, we identified six core areas for urgent global action – energy, pollutants, nature, food systems, population stabilization and economic goals. Here we identify an indicative, systemic and time-limited framework for priority actions for policy, planning and management at multiple scales from household to global. We broadly follow the ‘Reduce-Remove-Repair’ approach to rapid action. To guide decision makers, planners, managers, and budgeters, we cite some of the many experiments, mechanisms and resources in order to facilitate rapid global adoption of effective solutions…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are We Already Living In A Brave New World? – Huxley’s Warning To The World

Are We Already Living In A Brave New World? – Huxley’s Warning To The World

In the 21st century, how far away are we from Huxley’s dystopian vision of the future?

“It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in the process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and will always exist to get people to love their servitude.” 

– Aldous Huxley, interview at University of California Berkeley (1962)

Is it too late to turn back the forces of technocracy and the scientific dictatorship?

The answer to this question is becoming more murky by the hour.

The following video presentation was produced by the Academy of Ideas, entitled, “Do We Live in a Brave New World? – Aldous Huxley’s Warning to the World.”

Watch: 

Source: 21st Century Wire

When Everything Is Artifice and PR, Collapse Beckons

When Everything Is Artifice and PR, Collapse Beckons

The notion that consequence can be as easily managed as PR is the ultimate artifice and the ultimate delusion.

The consequences of the drip-drip-drip of moral decay is difficult to discern in day-to-day life. It’s easy to dismiss the ubiquity of artifice, PR, spin, corruption, racketeering, fraud, collusion and narrative manipulation (a.k.a. propaganda) as nothing more than human nature, but this dismissal of moral decay is nothing more than rationalizing the rot to protect insiders from the sobering reality that the entire system is unraveling and heading for its final reckoning: collapse.

We’ve become so accustomed to the excesses of marketing that we’ve lost the ability to recognize the difference between “science” that’s been carefully designed to reach a pre-planned conclusion and science that accepts the outcome, even if it harms well-funded interests.

The vast expanses of ignorance greatly aid this artifice. Even though high school physics, chemistry and biology are sufficient to tease apart the vast majority of rigged experiments, trials and studies, few Americans have the interest or fortitude to read Phase III trial results, etc. critically, and so the corporate media can trumpet bogus results without fear of exposure: all the statistical tricks and gimmicks are passed off as “science” to the distracted and gullible.

And if someone dares to examine the results critically, then those benefiting from the ignorance make the results “secret” until the year 2929. And that’s the entire game in a nutshell: maximizing private gain from artifice, PR, spin, corruption, racketeering, fraud, collusion and narrative manipulation, all masked by an putrid spew of virtue-signaling and PR.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

When Science Speaks in Tongues: The Unstoppable Rise of Gibberish

When Science Speaks in Tongues: The Unstoppable Rise of Gibberish

I have no objections to the idea that God (or the Goddess) can speak to people. And maybe the Lord really spoke to the apostles the day of Pentecost. But if you plan to fool other people, then “speaking in tongues” (known also as “glossolalia” in modern terms) can be a good idea. You start with uttering something that vaguely sounds like a language. Then you “translate” it into something that you report as the word of God. An easy trick that sometimes works. Even in science, some researchers seem to use this trick to gain academic points by publishing articles that contain mostly gibberish, or even only gibberish. We could call it “scientific glossolalia”. 

You may have heard the recent news of 44 scientific papers being retracted from a scientific journal after they were discovered to be nothing but gibberish. The usual reaction in these cases is to speak of “a few bad apples.” But this fraud exposes a problem that goes deep, very deep, in science. Science suffers from “glossolalia” — a syndrome that makes people utter meaningless sounds as if they were speaking a real language.

To start, “papers” are the main output of a scientist’s work. It is the harsh law of “publish or perish,” meaning that for a scientist publishing something — anything — in an academic journal is the first line of defense against being fired.  Even if a scientist has no money, no grants, no instrumentation, no ideas, they have to show that they are doing something. Woe betide the scientist who does not publish at least one paper every year! Anathema! Abomination! Horror! May you be eaten by the h-index bugbear who punishes those who sin so hideously against the sacred rules of science!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Click on image to purchase @ FriesenPress