Let’s start off with a spoiler: The jerk in the sunglasses is the SAME GUY who’s explaining all the science-y stuff. (Whoa! Inception!) Because sometimes the only person you really need to convince is yourself. And all the doubters. Never forget the doubters.
A lot of misconceptions (13, to be exact) were confronted here with some solid facts. How solid? Here’s what our fact-checkers found:
- CLAIM: Global warming wasn’t happening so they changed the name to “climate change.” FACT: “Global warming” is technically correct; however, “climate change” indicates the wide range of problems (stronger storms, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, etc.) our planet is facing.
- CLAIM: The globe isn’t warming. FACT: 13 of the 14 hottest years occurred this century. And the trend is even more clear when satellite data is included.
- CLAIM: In the past, scientists said the earth was cooling. FACT: Some scientists in the 1970s predicted cooling, but six times as many papers during the same period said it was warming.
- CLAIM: The earth is cooling. FACT: It’s not just temperature that shows the warming. Sea levels are rising 3 mm a year, which indicates oceans are warming and, therefore, expanding. Also, Arctic sea ice is melting at unprecedented rates.
- CLAIM: Arctic sea ice is increasing. FACT: Look at the bigger data set, not just the latest little uptick, and you’ll see the overall trend is downward.
- CLAIM: The sun is responsible for warming. FACT: The sun was getting brighter in the 1930s, but since the 1950s, the sun has been getting dimmer — and yet, temperatures continue to rise.
- CLAIM: Humans emit only a tiny fraction of CO2. FACT: That’s true — 30 gigatons from human activity vs. 780 gigatons from natural processes. But the earth isn’t in balance like it used to be, and current CO2 emissions are outpacing the balance. We know the increase is man-made because the isotope carbon 13, which is less common in fossil fuels, is dissipating in the atmosphere. In other words, we’re seeing more CO2 in the atmosphere, and it’s got the molecular signature of fossil fuels.
- CLAIM: Volcanoes emit way more CO2 than humans. FACT: Volcanoes emit about 0.25 gigaton, less than 1% of what humans emit.
- CLAIM: Water is by far the most potent greenhouse gas. FACT: Yes! But water in the atmosphere is increasing because the air is warmer. It’s still a CO2 problem that creates a positive feedback loop. More CO2, more warming, more water, still more warming, and on and on…
- CLAIM: Predictions have failed. FACT: Most predictions actually agree with observations. A model from 1988 did disagree, but that’s when we thought climate sensitivity was higher. If you rerun the model with 3 degrees of warming for every doubling of CO2, the predictions are right on.
- CLAIM: The earth has warmed and cooled in the past. FACT: Past changes were due to tilt, precession of tilt, and orbit of the earth — the Milankovitch cycles.
- CLAIM: CO2 lags behind the temp rise. FACT: 90% of temperature increases start after CO2 rises.
- CLAIM: Global warming isn’t that bad. FACT: It means more intense weather, acidic oceans, and rising sea levels, along with a bunch of other terrible stuff. We’d be much better off just reducing carbon now, rather than paying the price later.
Over the past 80 million years, not much has changed with the basic biological function of breast-feeding. The only thing that’s really changed is the debate about breast-feeding vs. formula. (For the record, I know what matters is that each mom makes the decision that’s best for herself and her baby.)
I’m a dude, so I didn’t know about a lot of this stuff. There’s some really cool information about breast-feeding, formula, different types of milk, and some of the debates surrounding breast-feeding.
We are way too quiet about this all-too-common tragedy.
Human evolution today isn’t physical, it’s mental. And it’s a total mindf*ck. In a good way!
This is so bizarro that I wouldn’t blame you if you started off identifying with the Wall Street guy. But don’t worry: He gets schooled on economics by that diner waitress. What I will blame you for is clicking out of this window before the musical portion of this video starts at 5:20.
- At 0:40, the older guy sets the scene.
- At 2:00, the waitresses give us a whole new perspective.
- By 3:00, we know who’s winning the horse race.
- At 4:20, the Goldman Sachs Guy gets embarrassingly honest. (The waitress teaches him something shocking about how money works.)
- From 5:00, get a tour of the modern-day blues.
- Follow the numbers at 7:17 to see just how real this gets.
How do you make sure your head doesn’t explode when you see the complexity this world has to offer? Let’s take a quick politics break and learn some fancy science about cool things doing fun things in the ocean.
The kind of logic used by dudes who insist that fake geek girls are real hurts my brain. Luckily, these two nerdy dudes have seen the light, and their smooth Vulcan logic is like music to my ears.
I particularly enjoyed the scenario set up around 6:30 and the conclusion they draw at 7:30. Because, yeah. Accurate.
Remember a couple of months ago when Ebola cases in West Africa started popping up in your news feed? What we couldn’t bring ourselves to do then is exactly what we need to get serious about now.
I know it’s popular to panic and say “Shut it down! Shut it all down!” when it comes to air travel. But insulating ourselves won’t stop the spread of Ebola. Fellow Americans, we have to own up to it — most of us simply didn’t pay that much attention when Ebola was “just a West Africa problem.” But now it has our attention, and we have to be smart about it. This may not be the popular sentiment, but the only reliable way to prevent the spread of Ebola is by quelling it at its epicenter. That means putting our resources to work where they can make the most difference. That means you and I caring about what happens with this disease overseas, supporting U.S. money and help being directed to West African Ebola treatment, and worrying a little less about wearing our full-body latex to the airport. Are you ready now?
Here’s what’s been happening on the front lines.