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Using insights from social science to understand climate change deniers

I learned some years ago that climate change is not a popular subject for presentations. Groups with so-called climate skeptics find that the doubters and deniers, often a small minority, take over the discussion with arguments that shift over time...

Posted July 24, 2012    

Decarbonizing California requires relying more on electricity, once it's low carbon

A 2006 California law, Assembly Bill 32, obligates the state to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (30% below business as usual), and to 80% below that level by 2050 (90% below business as usual). How is it to done? A...

Posted February 4, 2012    

The Discussion Continues: Nuclear Power in Japan

This began as an answer to one letter writer in Friends Journal, and grew. The information that surprised me most is the answer to this question: How does the danger from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors compare to other health dangers, such as Tokyo...

Posted November 29, 2011    

Global Warning

People hear climate change through different concerns. Some hear threats to the environment, others to people, and others still to national security. (Of course, there is overlap.) For those in the national security category, the National Security...

Posted November 17, 2011    

Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power in Japan

The Ocean of Light above the Ocean of Darkness "...there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness." (George Fox, An Autobiography)   Grief was our first reaction when...

Posted August 16, 2011    

Summary of IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report, Special Report Renewable Energy Sources (SRREN), is due out soon. The summary for policymakers (pdf) is available now. The questions this report addresses are important: how much electricity...

Posted May 12, 2011    

Does Improving Efficiency Do Any Good?

The New Yorker has done much to introduce non-scientists to scientific thinking (eg, Kolbert's articles on climate change), but now aims to confuse us, or so it appears, by presenting real concerns in a too simplistic manner. David Owen's recent...

Posted January 3, 2011    

What Can I Do at Home?

The question frequently arises: what can I change in my own life? I want a short, easy to implement list. Your question is now answered in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report, Household actions can provide a behavioral...

Posted October 31, 2009    

Public Concern and Scientific Warnings Diverge

Thanks to the AAAS blog ScienceInsider:• According to PEW, a declining number of Americans see climate change occurring, 58% in October 2009, down from 71% in April 2008. The numbers seeing climate change as anthropogenic are down to 36%, from...

Posted October 22, 2009    

Challenging Old Beliefs on Nuclear Power

Many Friends (Quakers) historically have been anti-nuclear power because of concerns about nonproliferation. And nuclear waste. Also economics. And because some would like it if it could all be done with renewables. Etc. In recent years, many...

Posted August 25, 2009