Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Lots of Tuesday Links

with one comment

* Steve Benen has another post with more details on the new health care compromise. There’s also more health care coverage from Atul Gawande in the New Yorker this week.

* TPM uncovers something rather interesting in its reporting on the independent investigation stemming from those ACORN videos:

The videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O’Keefe’s and Ms. Giles’s comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding.

I certainly hope more specific information on this follows; just how drastic were these voiceover replacements? My bullshitometer must be completely on the fritz; even granting the videos were plainly disingenuous, I never really considered the possibility they could be out-and-out frauds.

* Science finally explains why I’m such a terrible sibling/husband/colleague/person: It’s all my younger brother’s fault.

* James Fallows compares Climategate coverage in the New York Times and the Washington Post and discovers the Post is terrible. Weird to see Time of all places getting the story basically right:

According to PSU’s Mann, that statistical “trick” that Jones refers to in one e-mail — which has been trumpeted by skeptics — simply referred to the replacing of proxy temperature data from tree rings in recent years with more accurate data from air temperatures. It’s an analytical technique that has been openly discussed in scientific journals for over a decade — hardly the stuff of conspiracy.

As for Mann and Jones’ apparent effort to punish the journal Climate Research, the paper that ignited his indignation is a 2003 study that turned out to be underwritten by the American Petroleum Institute. Eventually half the editorial board of the journal quit in protest. And even if CRU’s climate data turns out to have some holes, the group is only one of four major agencies, including NASA, that contribute temperature data to major climate models — and CRU’s data largely matches up with the others’.

It’s true that the e-mails reveal CRU climate scientists were dismissive of skeptics, often in harsh terms, but that’s not unusual for scientists. Science is a rough arena, as anyone who has ever survived a doctoral examination knows, and scientists aren’t shy about attacking ideas they believe are wrong — especially in private communication. Still, Jones et al. could have been more open and accepting of their critics, and if it turns out that e-mails were deleted in response to the Freedom of Information request for data, heads should roll. (Jones maintains that no e-mails or documents were deleted.)

Ultimately, though, we need to place Climategate/Swifthack in its proper context: amidst a decades-long effort by the fossil-fuel industry and other climate skeptics to undercut global-warming research — often by means that are far more nefarious than anything that appears in the CRU e-mails.

* [Many] More Americans Believe in Angels than Global Warming. Both climate change and evolution edge out ghosts and UFOs by only a few percent.

* But don’t worry: ‘Forget Earth – let’s move to Mars!’ Ecological crisis solved.

* Ecology as ideology: How China uses environmental rhetoric to justify displacing minority groups.

* History as the nightmare from which we are trying to awake: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Barack Obama, slavery, and white guilt.

* Film School Rejects considers the culturally significant films of the decade. New York Magazine says the ’00s is when TV became art. More lists from Fimoculous’s annual list of lists. Kottke’s doing one too.

* How the Apocalypse Would Happen if Heaven Were a Small Non-Profit.

* LRB pans Woody Allen’s two most recent films, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Whatever Works, which we watched this week and about which I concur entirely (though Larry David almost rescues Whatever Works.)

* Whiskey Fire reviews Stanley Fish’s review of Going Rogue.

* Another 100 Greatest Quotes from The Wire.

* And Twitter is ablaze with news that Mystery Science Theater is now on Hulu.

One Response

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  1. […] James O’Keefe, the gonzo journalist whose deceptively edited tapes brought down ACORN, has been arrested with four others for allegedly attempting to illegally […]


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