Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore

Some More Tuesday Links

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* I wrote a short blog post for HASTAC compiling some recent thoughts and links on “openness” in the university system, which are likely no surprise to anyone who follows this blog but which I include here for the sake of completeness regardless.

* It’s cute that Josh Marshall thinks Bachmann just making sh!t up means her run at the GOP nomination is over. Of course, what this actually means is that it’s now an open question whether Gardasil causes mental retardation in young girls.

* Elizabeth Warren announces for Senate tomorrow.

* Here comes Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

* The Trash|Track Project asks: Why do we know so much about the supply chain and so little about the removal chain? Via Melody.

* And via longform.org: On Gender-Identity Disorder and the DSM.

The DSM work group assigned to gender identity disorder, a panel of specialized field experts, has already bowed to some external pressures. It has made clear that it intends to change the name of the diagnosis from “disorder” to “dysphoria”—which describes a passing mood rather than a fixed state. The work group has also made public its plans to not only preserve the core GID diagnosis, but to retain an even more controversial entry: GID in children.

… The second argument in favor of keeping GID in the diagnostic manual is where things get ethically murky. The removal of the diagnosis may also remove insurance coverage for transsexual adults who are being treated with hormonal or surgical reassignment. As of now, a diagnosis of mental illness is the only mechanism that transsexuals have for medical insurance to cover mastectomies, testosterone injections, and genital reconstruction surgeries (though very few insurance companies cover any sort of gender reassignment, because it is most often considered “cosmetic”).

Megan Smith, a Nebraska-based psychotherapist and an advocate for the removal of GID from the DSM, claims that the insurance argument is the one she most often encounters. Smith believes keeping the diagnosis for the sake of insurance coverage is “unethical and unscientific.” Smith argues, “I don’t believe it’s our obligation as mental health professionals to change psychiatric evaluations in order to play ball with insurance companies.”

‘The Core of the Message Still Has to Be About the Reality We’re Facing’

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BP: Now, whenever a natural disaster happens—say, a flood or a wildfire—you typically see scientists quoted in the press saying, “Well, it’s hard to attribute any single event to global warming, although this is the sort of event we should see more of as the planet warms.” As I understand it, this sort of extra-careful hedge is becoming outdated. Scientists actually are making tighter connections between current disasters and climate change, correct?

AG: Yes, that shift in the way scientists describe the linkage is one of the elements of this new slideshow. It’s a subtle but extremely important shift. They used to say that the climate crisis changes the odds of extreme weather events—this was the old metaphor of “loading the dice.” Now, they say there’s not only a greater likelihood of rolling 12s, but we’re actually loading 13s and could soon be rolling 15s and 16s. As scientists like James Hansen [of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies] and Kevin Trenberth [of the National Center for Atmospheric Research] point out, the changes brought about by man-made global-warming pollution have reached the stage that every event is now being affected by it in some way.

In the last 30 years, for instance, we’ve seen water vapor above the oceans increase by 4 percent, and many storms reach as far as 2,000 miles out to collect water vapor. So when you have a 4 percent increase over such a large area, the storms are now fueled with more water vapor than was the case 30 years ago. That means we’re getting larger downpours. And in drought-prone areas, we’re seeing increasing intervals between downpours, which is one of several reasons why we’re seeing extreme droughts.

Brad Plumer interviews Al Gore at the Washington Post.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

Tuesday Links

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* There’s very high turnout in Wisconsin today. Probably good news, but who can say.

* Nick Mamatas says to understand libertarians, we should forget Ayn Rand and read Robert Heinlein.

* The last time CNN polled party approval, the GOP had 44% approval, 43 disapproval. In today’s poll the picture is slightly different: 33% approval, 59% disapproval. This is worse than their numbers during Clinton’s impeachment. So at least Americans have noticed what’s going on.

* Of course, two years later Republicans (kind of) won the presidency anyway. And it could easily happen again.

* A liberal is just a conservative who’s given birth: Fox’s Megyn Kelly comes out in favor of maternity leave. A little sad that this is noteworthy, but there you are.

* Chart of the day: Women Have to have a Ph.D. to Make as Much as Men with B.A.s.

* Life here began out there? NASA Proves Building Blocks Of DNA Come From Space. Naturally, the actual text of the story is a lot less definitive than the headline.

* In Wire news: Felicia “Snoop” Pearson has pled out, and will avoid jailtime if she doesn’t violate a three-year probation.

* Al Gore goes blue.

The model they’re using in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: “This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.” Bullshit! “It may be sun spots.” Bullshit! “It’s not getting warmer.” Bullshit!

* Meanwhile, Fox News Responds To Record Heat Waves By Predicting Global Cooling. Over to you, Al…

Wednesday (Nothin’ But) Links

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My Enthusiasm Cannot Be Curbed

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I deeply admire Al Gore and I’m very sorry to hear about the dissolution of his marriage, but the fact remains Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 just got awesome.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 16, 2010 at 12:12 am

Tuesday Night Links

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* “Don’t talk to the cops” just got a little more complicated. One of the knocks against Sonia Sotomayor was that she’s be too prosecutor-friendly, so it’s good to see her on the right side on this:

Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.

* Justice department to launch criminal investigation of BP. More here. Could the oil spill end BP? If the government chose to prosecute BP under the Clean Water Act, it could fine the company $4,300 per barrel leaked into the Gulf — fines independent of the liability cap. If the government won those damages, BP would currently be on the hook for $116 billion — enough to bankrupt the company immediately. Related: Robert Reich says Obama should put the company in receivership. And it looks as if BP has given up trying to contain the spill before the relief wells are completed this August.

* Peter Jackson being coy about whether he’ll now direct The Hobbit.

* Marvel as Stephen Stromberg makes an important point in a very stupid way.

* Heat wave in Northern India kills hundreds as temperatures approach 120 degrees.

* Six astronauts begin simulating this week a 520-day mission to Mars.

* Behold, the Wikipedia game.

* And you had me at “Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corporation has developed a series of bold architectural plans for the world of tomorrow.” Via Tim.

Gore on the Crisis

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Just as the oil companies told us that deep-water drilling was safe, they tell us that it’s perfectly all right to dump 90 million tons of CO2 into the air of the world every 24 hours. Even as the oil spill continues to grow—even as BP warns that the flow could increase multi-fold, to 60,000 barrels per day, and that it may continue for months—the head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, says, “Nothing has changed. When we get back to the politics of energy, oil and natural gas are essential to the economy and our way of life.” His reaction reminds me of the day Elvis Presley died. Upon hearing the tragic news, Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, said, “This changes nothing.”

Al Gore writes about Deepwater Horizon and its relation to longer-term environmental crises in The New Republic.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm