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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

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A new estimate says that of 378 metropolitan areas, many could actually exist on locally grown food - if the local area is up to 200 miles away, which means New York City could claim farms in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are local to New York. 

Even then, diets would have to change, because progress has meant having diversity and choice, and if locally-grown were really necessary, the population would starve along the Eastern Seaboard and the Southwest of the U.S. And meat would only be for the rich.
While it is said that around six percent of voting Americans decide elections - the truly undecided - it is more the case that getting out the vote among your own party matters most. That is why political parties will drive their own to polling places while telling the other side the date of the election has been changed.
Are you excited about dozens of COVID-19 vaccine candidates? Do you get confused about whether or not it's as harmful to have been exposed to the 2019 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as it is to have COVID-19? Do you think the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine will either save you from COVID-19 or give you a heart attack?

If any of the above are true, you have been reading too much corporate media and witnessed coverage that they can claim is resulting from peer-reviewed journals. 
Are Proud Boys and Antifa fighting each other 'to oppose fascism' a product of the COVID-19 pandemic? No, militant groups have always attracted people with pathologies who just need a reason to be violent, but pandemics do cause social unrest, at least historically.

There is a lot more isolation than in past pandemics but also a lot more community around SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 form of the coronavirus that has locked up most developed countries. Unlike the past, where nature was just trying to kill us, and the randomness of it all caused panic, people know where it originated and how. We know how to mitigate it. We are equipped to try and help those with co-morbidities. A lot of people have died, no one downplays that, but a lot fewer than in any pandemic ever.
Did you read a paper saying we can prevent ocean damage under climate change scenarios by dumping iron into water to spur phytoplankton growth? Germans did, and were so convinced they began doing illegal live experiments

The model used a best-case scenario, which any entry-level chess player knows is a bad idea - they forgot to falsify their own hypothesis in their zeal to do something. A new paper notes that many ambitious climate action plans rely on climate engineering technologies where the risks are unknown. They are more like TED talks than real plans.
In late March of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration gave Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. The drug is already used off-label for diseases like arthritis and given how it behaves with human biology, it is plausible it might work on some with COVID-19. A peer-reviewed study found just that - but it was only epidemiology, and that is not how drug approval ever happens, any more than epidemiology alone should be how regulations happen at EPA or any policy-making group.