Saturday, November 30, 2013

If You Avoided The Mall Yesterday, You Won Black Friday

Black Friday shopping - Lemur style!Once again, a small but fanatical portion of the American population has gone nuts on Black Friday, and thanks to the internet we have a supercut video of all the most abhorrent capitalism gone wild. What's most insane: Black Friday isn't necessarily a good deal!

I wonder if stores are starting to ask themselves if hyping DOORBUSTER TRAMPLE YOUR KID'S THIRD GRADE TEACHER FOR A DIGITAL CAMERA THAT WILL BE OBSOLETE BY FEBRUARY RAGING BLOODBATH OF FURY DEALS is scaring off more customers than it's attracting. I actually had a few non-holiday items I needed to buy yesterday, but put it off until the weekend because I'd rather be forced to listen to Kanye West talk politics for an hour than go anywhere near a mall on Black Friday.

Call me a socialist for even raising the question, but ... maybe you'd enjoy the holidays a bit more by ordering a few key presents online & giving everybody else a bottle of local wine?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Judge Rules Falmouth Wind Turbines Cause "Dental Injuries"

Falmouth wind turbineBarnstable County Superior Court Judge Christopher Muse has declared wind turbines cause dental injuries:
Neil and Elizabeth Andersen, who live about a quarter of a mile from the turbines, said they caused "continuous insomnia, headaches, psychological disturbances, dental injuries, and other forms of malaise" they had not suffered prior to the turbines’ construction.

"The court finds the Andersens claims that they did not experience such symptoms prior to the construction and operation of the turbines, and that that each day of operation produces further injury, to be credible," the judge wrote.

Continued operation of the turbines at previous levels put residents at risk of "irreparable physical and psychological harm," he judge wrote.
Let's break down the ways Judge Muse is ignoring reality:
  • What exactly causes these problems? Wind turbine opponents don't have an answer - that's why they throw out dozens of discombobulated theories (sound! infrasound! air pressure! shadows! electromagnetism!) in hopes you might find one plausible. Meanwhile, a comprehensive independent assessment of all available research showed no basis for the litany of conditions blamed on "wind turbine syndrome."
  • Why are so many people immune from "wind turbine syndrome"? Why do a few people say they feel sick in so many different ways, while so many of their neighbors - and even children in the same household of "syndrome" sufferers - feel great? Judge Muse doesn't have an answer, but science does. Research shows it's a communicated disease: People who expect to feel sick do, while those who don't expect to get sick don't. Turning off the turbines won't cure that - turning off Fox will.
  • Why do wind turbines only make people sick at night? Why don't they make people sick during the day? Either Judge Muse is leaving people at great risk of illness during the day, or he's admitting his own logic doesn't hold water.
A judge willing to create his own reality is the last hope for Falmouth's wind turbine opponents, whose neighbors don't believe their increasingly absurd claims. In April, voters at a town meeting declined to have a referendum on tearing down the turbines. Town officials decided to have the referendum anyway, so in May voters rejected tearing down the turbines by a 2-to-1 margin.

If you live in Falmouth, join the hundreds of residents who support the wind turbines. And no matter where you live, like Friends of Falmouth Wind on Facebook.

Friday, November 22, 2013

John F. Kennedy & Our Environment: "We All Breathe the Same Air"

"For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal."
President John F. Kennedy, American University, June 10, 1963
Some suggested reading on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Why I Don't Go To Church, Doug Phillips Edition

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae

The more science learns about the universe, the more amazing it is. If gravity was a tiny bit stronger, the whole universe would've collapsed on itself, and if it was just a tiny bit weaker, the whole thing would've flown apart. And that was just the first day! Why does everything seem so perfectly tuned for us to be here today? Nobody knows! It's amazing!

But when I have kids, I'm supposed to drag them out of the house at 9am on a cold Sunday morning so some guy who's cheating on his wife can tell me gays are icky?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Climate Deniers, Super Typhoon Haiyan Is Looking At You

Typhoon Haiyan

One year after superstorm Sandy became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, Super Typhoon Haiyan just became the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record, hitting the Philippines with sustained winds of 190-195mph and gusts to 235mph. That's as strong as a top-of-the-scale EF-5 tornado ... except Haiyan's eye is eight miles wide.

Why is the storm so historically strong? NOAA blames warm deep water. When climate science deniers claim a global warming "pause," the heat isn't missing - it's right there lurking in the ocean, waiting to put super typhoons on steroids.

Better burn all the coal and oil while we still can.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Journalists Are Only Against Some Cancer

24/52 Air pollutionCountless "objective" journalists advocate for mammograms to stop breast cancer.

Katie Couric advocates for colonoscopies to stop colon cancer.

Air pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil definitively & scientifically causes lung cancer. Where are the journalists advocating for Environmental Protection Agency limits on air pollution?

Why are the first two OK, but not the third? Or is advocacy for stopping cancer only OK if there's no big money starting the cancer?

UPDATE: A Facebook commenter points out that media's unwritten rules sometimes allow an advocacy exception when the journalist is personally affected, i.e. Megyn Kelly suddenly caring about maternity leave.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Watch Trailer for Showtime's Global Warming Series "Years of Living Dangerously"

Here's the trailer for Showtime's upcoming documentary series on the impacts of climate change, executive produced by James Cameron & Arnold Schwarzenegger, called Years of Living Dangerously: