Science & Society

Psst!  Wanna Buy Some Truth?

In case anyone has missed my many articles on the topic of global warming-induced climate change: I am totally convinced that humans have been causing global warming to an ever-increasing extent since we discovered the use of fire1.  I am also totally convinced that global warming has caused the global climate to change from the average conditions prevailing over thousands of years.  A change from the average is bad because it is making seasonal weather conditions less predictable for farming, fishing and food production generally.

Not long ago, I read an article Apocalypse now? Nuclear proliferation is the least of our worries, to which the sub-editor helpfully added the heading soon, a massive solar flare will bring the world to a halt claims the author of a new book.

Earlier today, President-Elect Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and, at least according to RFK, Jr., wants the prominent Democratic anti-vaccine activist to head a commission on vaccine safety.

Alternative Title:
“Inevitable ‘Society of Walls’ versus the True Legacy of Donald Trump: Dear Donald, please reform Academia!

Confusion and misinformation are so intense in our time that even my readers, though at the right end of the IQ Bell curve, ask: How could deeply and widely knowledgeable scientists support Donald Trump in spite of his mentioning autism when criticizing vaccination procedures and doubting the “global warming consensus”?
In Scotland, traditional New Year greeting is

Lang may yer lum reek


meaning “long may your chimney smoke”.  So may you never be short of fuel for your fire.

So, if I understand this article rightly, this might be a bit difficult for Alaskans in 2017.

EPA To Alaskans In Sub-Zero Temps: Stop Burning Wood To Keep Warm

If you are sick and need to be readmitted to the hospital after already spending time there, your chances of being allowed back in have dropped since the weight of federal law has imposed penalties on readmissions under the Affordable Care Act, in an effort to contain costs that have ballooned out of control with almost 11 million new people on Medicaid rather than in private exchanges.

The authors of the analysis are cheering this as policy efforts that  motivate health care providers to improve performance but they didn't actually analyze successful medical treatment, they simply used the metric of readmission.

Nibiru easily ranks as the pseudoscience doomsday scenario I get most questions about. Many people, including teenagers, are terrified that we are all about to be killed by a planet called Nibiru which they think is going to hit Earth or do a close flyby in the very near future, for instance many of them have come to believe that it is going to hit us some time before Christmas, or shortly afterwards.

We've had fake news world ending prophecies for centuries. But now we have exaggerated scientific scenarios to add to the list, so that we can get scared by asteroid impacts, nuclear war, runaway warming and so on. These are mixed with pseudoscience, and hoaxes, to the extent that it's often hard to figure out what is fake doomsday news, what is exaggerated, and what is the sober truth. It's easy to get a feeling of a doomsday helplessness. Yet we are far from helpless. These fake scenarios distract us from many real issues that we can do something about. Some vulnerable people, including teenagers, get so terrified by this fake doomsday news that they become suicidal. I've written many doomsday debunking articles, and have now published a new kindle book Doomsday Debunked.

The City Colleges of Chicago treats adjunct faculty like full timers when it comes to workloads but pays us worse than a full time fast food worker in Chicago IL.  I am the treasurer of this local of the IEA-NEA which covers seven campuses spread across the city of Chicago. Educationally City Colleges of Chicago can be compared to City University of New York (where this guy teaches Astronomy and Physics you know him .. Michio Kaku teaches at a community college.)  The WTTW , the PBS TV station in Chicago, story shown in the video below is a bit misleading and I want to expand on it.   

John Glenn one of the first seven NASA Astronauts and a former Senator of many terms has died at the age of 95.  His life was rich and full and at this point his loss is not a tragedy.  All that is left to say is God Speed John Glenn.  May you now explore a plane of existence we will all see someday and do so surrounded by souls like yourself with love and grace.