In 2014, the world's top polluter, China, told the United States president they unequivocally would not even discuss emissions caps or targets until 2030 and American speechwriters quickly tried to spin that into a positive. China had never even agreed on a future date before, they rationalized, so that was progress.
Well, not really, but it was as much as almost everyone else was going to do under the Paris Climate Agreement.
In February, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a bombastic press release to announce its 2019 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility was going to to Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana, anti-glyphosate protesters who claim a causal connection between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease.
AAAS has long been a political body, its leadership has come solely from one political party for the last 35 years. and that means it is often going to pick and choose the science it accepts based on its political skew. But a whole lot of Democratic scientists are in biotechnology, they recognize the consensus on glyphosate and GMOs is even greater than it is climate change, and the blowback to this award announcement happened rapidly.
It's November of 2019 which means that we have officially arrived at the opening of the science fiction cult classic "Blade Runner." Let's talk about what it got right.
I was at a local theater showing of "Evil Dead: The Musical" a few weeks ago and at the end was a lot of 1980s music. The crowd that evening was overwhelmingly high school theater geeks and they knew every song, from "Come On Eileen" to "Take On Me." They knew them well enough to mash up dances from other periods while they were singing.
Rutgers University wants kids to be afraid this year. Not of ghosts and goblins, but Halloween itself. So they have published 7 hyperbolic risks designed to terrify parents
Allergies! Marijuana brownies! Makeup!
Getting advice from a poison control center at Halloween is as demoralizing as ordering a steak with a microbiologist: they know so much about absolute risk they have forgotten what real risk is.
Wildfires happen multiple times per year here in California, we even make light of it by joking "the mudslides will put out the wildfires" when the seasons turn.
Given that pollution surges due to fires are well-documented here, it would seem obvious that if pollution was going to cause more deaths, it would be during wildfire season.
It's no secret to anyone who even modest command of history that America has long meant freedom. Every oppressed religion moved here, to the one country that did not have a national religion, separating it from the Anglican Church (imagine if the President got to approve the Bishop of Pittsburgh!) or any of the countries in the Holy Roman Empire.