Fraser Code, Physicist

Explainer of Things

Science and Society Blog

Science and Society Blog

On taking the Climate out of the Environment.

Posted on 30 April, 2017 at 16:25 Comments comments (6566)

On the CBC News I recently heard some disturbing information that references to 'man made climate change' were being removed from the US government’s environmental website, https://www.epa.gov.  To see for myself what was happening, I searched on that site for the occurrence of the words “global warming and man made carbon dioxide emissions” and got 2,270 hits. One of these was

Glossary | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US ...2016-03-03

https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/glossary.html

This page defines important terms that appear throughout this website, "A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change."


But when I followed the link to this article, I read:


This page is being updated.

Thank you for your interest in this topic. We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt. If you're looking for an archived version of this page, you can find it on the January 19 snapshot.

Here's what our Public Affairs Office released about these changes. (link - https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-kicks-website-updates )


And following this link, I quickly found the following statement:


“WASHINGTON – EPA.gov, the website for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is undergoing changes that reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt. The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts. The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures. For instance, a screenshot of the last administration’s website will remain available from the main page.”


Today, it appears that Science is not a priority in Washington, but populism and a short-term road to quick profits in American $$$. (But this is at the expense of the long term future of the entire world’s economy!) For more, read the following article in April 28th’s Washington Post. (manual link - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/04/28/epa-website-removes-climate-science-site-from-public-view-after-two-decades/?utm_term=.bfec5970c37c )


April 22, 2017, the Worldwide March of Science Day

Posted on 22 April, 2017 at 10:45 Comments comments (1411)

Background: a recent headline in the Washington Post - Historians say the March for Science is ‘pretty unprecedented’ .

Today my heart is with all those across the world, who march for the cause of  Science. For years, scientists have been saying that we live today in a "So-called Age of Science". The reason is that our politicians and popular cultures do not understand the basic scientific method of discovering new knowledge in a rigorous way. Most people like simple answers. Few scientists have the gift of producing simple explanations of what they do, and what they have discovered about nature and humanity. But a few have this ability, and have begun producing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that explain their work at a level that fills teenagers with enthusiasm. Yes - high school level MOOCs that make up for the fear some teachers have of their own ability to teach math and science! MOOCs give these scientist-communicators an international reach, and multiply the number of people they can influence. Spending resources of education, with everyone having exposure to some science (such as 'Physics for Poets') will make our society productive, exciting, and employed. Think about it. If you can, march every day for Science and make it closer to you own life! Facts are stranger than fiction. The Cosmos which is our life support system is far richer and deeper than we can now imagine. Science will always produce challenges for human thinking, and jobs will always be available for those who love scientific thought.