California extends most ambitious climate change law in US

About ten years ago back in 2006 the state of California took the very bold step of passing legislation that was designed to slash their greenhouse emissions. This was Assembly Bill (AB) 32- California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and was passed with the aim of establishing a comprehensive program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state. It has been a huge disaster and has decimated the statewide economy … oh wait, no it hasn’t. The California Air Resources Board (CARB or ARB) advises that it […]

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How Saudi Arabia successfully blackmailed the UN

This is a story from last June, so it is not a new event. I would however like to highlight it because it is an important issue, and I’m also prompted to write about it because right now the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly is taking place. Back last June Ban Ki-Moon stood up before the press to explain why he had removed Saudi Arabia from its annual UN register of children’s rights violators. In his own words, the step to […]

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Protecting the privacy of cows

This is not a serious posting, and I am not making any specific point. Instead it is something funny that caught my eye. Automated software solutions can at times results in unintended consequences and this is one such example, Google street view software takes individual privacy seriously (quick rightly) and so it will automatically blur out things that it detects such as car number plates and also of course human faces. The huge scale of it all means that it must […]

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Climate Change: Huge leap forward for Paris Agreement on 21st Sept 1

As you are no doubt aware when it comes to addressing climate change the Paris agreement is not a done deal. Currently, there are 180 signatories to the Paris Agreement.  Of these, only 27 States have also deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 39.08 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions. Signing is simply ink on paper and can be happily ignored. Ratification is something quite different, it means that the nation ratifying is […]

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a joint ratification of the Paris climate change agreement ceremony ahead of the G20 Summit at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China, September 3, 2016. REUTERS/How Hwee Young/Pool

The anti-science committee in Congress

It is indeed wholly appropriate for congress to have a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. However, what currently makes the entire endeavour a complete fiasco is that it needs to be renamed to something more like “House Committee on Anti-Science, Religion, and Superstition” because that is the direction the current chair appears to have taken. The Republicans dominate and the chap selected to lead is Lamar Smith of Texas (R), so it should come as no great surprise to discover that it reflects their […]

There has always been tension between scientists and Congress. But Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has escalated that tension into outright war.

Daft Claim: Louisiana Flooding Caused by ‘Weather Weapon’

It is perhaps inevitable that whenever something dramatic happens, up pops some nut with a truly weird explanation that attempts to explain it all as a conspiracy by “them”, where “them” is quite often some arm of government. Today’s example of that is the well-known grifter Jim Bakker who uses religion as a means of conning people. Mr Baker has a TV show that he uses to flog stuff, but in order to get you to buy, he has guests on […]

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