Hello,

Chances are if you’re reading this, my blog has been discovered absolutely randomly. You may be an atheist like me, or someone of religious faith. Either way it makes no difference to me; I just wanted a platform to express my take on the world. Everyone else seems to do it so why the hell can’t I?

My main reason for writing this is to scrutinise the world media and the way stories are presented therein. Being a scientist, I often read things in the paper or in the news that are scientifically baseless or just downright wrong. Sometimes stories and research gets twisted by the media to suit their political agendas. This pisses me off. I hope to use my blog as a means, not only for venting my frustration, but also to inform people less scientifically minded about the actual meaning behind science related stories.

I don’t think I’ll be limited to this remit, however. I have a notoriously nerdy sense of humour, so don’t be surprised if there are random references to Klingons, Jawas, Cylons or sandworms.

As I write, the top science news is that a 2007 Arctic wildfire has released large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, equivalent to that which is stored in the Arctic tundra in an entire year… So quite a lot then. The abstract and article can be found at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7357/full/nature10283.html. That amount of carbon came from an area roughly the size of Hong Kong. The authors suggest that this may be a positive feedback response from global warming. This would also coincide with the steady drop in Arctic sea ice over the last few decades (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/). Climate change skeptics would argue that all of this is the result of natural processes taking out their natural course devoid of any influence by man. They would argue this despite the overwhelming volume of scientific data to the contrary. In 1950, the population of our planet was roughly 2.5 billion people; and in 60 years that figure has almost trebled after increasing at a steady rate for the previous 150 years (Earth had a population of approximately 1 billion people in 1800). Regardless of scientific evidence, common sense would tell any intelligent person that that number of people consuming resources like gas and oil is going to affect our planet in some way. But here’s where the political motivations come into play when reporting the science of things. The best example I can think of was in the last US presidential campaign, where Palin constantly promoted how oil was the key to America’s future. Here are just a few of her ridiculous statements:

“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”

“When oil and gas prices went up dramatically and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged – directly to the people of Alaska.”

“Buck up or stay in the truck.”

Okay that last one was just funny; but as is plain for all to see, this woman is a dangerous idiot who either doesn’t understand the science or just chooses to ignore it; I am inclined to think it’s both to be honest, and if you ask me, had the Republicans won that election we may very well be looking at WWIII and our own extinction…

Everybody knows that Republicans largely ignore science in favour of their conservative (and outdated) views. This goes for politics and religion, if it’s even possible for them to separate the two… Politicians who largely have no clue at all about scientific processes and methods get to decide how the subject is presented to an audience that is probably even less well informed than them. And what do the press do? Get behind a candidate and back their views, denouncing the good work and names of those individuals that have worked for years to produce the figures in the first place. Is this right? If you ask me, it is not. I don’t have an answer on how to run things better, but I’ll keep you posted..

And so this is how the ‘climate change debate’ has come about; completely unnecessarily. Had science and common sense prevailed we would have a clear strategy for reducing our carbon emissions, but no. Politicians make meagre gestures to make it appear like something is being done, but its nowhere near enough. I believe  that in my lifetime civilisation as we know it will have changed beyond all recognition. In which direction I’m not sure, but it’s looking like the wrong one.

On that cheery note I’m going to bugger off.

Play safe campers.

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