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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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Let's be honest; life began on land.  I know, I know, that is blasphemy and Neil Shubin will stand on high and strike me down with my inner fish for saying such a thing, but while life began in water, life began on land.   

And that took land plants.  Thanks, embryophytes!

Generally, I have never cared much about plants.  I am kind of an anti-vegetarian in the sense that I don't eat plants, instead I regard plants as those things food eats in order to become bigger food.  I get the importance of plants scientifically, though.
Hurricane forecasts were way off again last year so if you're still wondering if a trained chimp 'can predict hurricanes better than NOAA'(1) a Nature Geoscience article has good news for you; forecasts can still be wrong 75% of the time but now can be wrong for years in advance too.
University of California president Mark G. Yudof has issued an 'open letter' to California to talk about the budget problems the system is facing and how they want to deal with the issues facing the state- "I am writing today to let Californians know about the fiscal realities that confront the university, and also about some recommendations I intend to bring next week to our governing Board of Regents. First, though, I'd like to provide a bit of background."

So I will list what he writes and then translate that into economic reality, as seen by people who actually live here but are not employed by the state.
Conservation scientists from London's Natural History Museum (NHM) are traveling to Paraguay to record biodiversity.   The problem?  The Dry Chaco region they want to visit is home to the indigenous Ayoreo Indians, who are being put at risk by the trip, according to an indigenous peoples' advocacy group.

The Dry Chaco is a dry section that also covers parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil and some of the Ayoreo people have never had contact with the outside world.
"Far from being conservative, the Republican stance on global warming shows a stunning appetite for risk", writes Bracken Hendricks in the Washington Post.   
MAFIA life used to be simple; whether you liked "Morte Alle Francia Italia Anela" or "Morte Alle Francese Italiani Avanti"(1)  they both meant kicking the snot out of the French, who had a pesky habit of causing trouble prior to Italian unification and weren't much better afterward.

But then it became about money, and causing trouble for people in order to protect them from trouble they caused.  Eventually, the right people could not stay bought and the wronged people started to have enough so crackdowns by law enforcement occurred, to bloody effect.