“Humans are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization and everything that lives on Earth.” So begins a report in Nature attempting to quantify safe and just Earth boundaries. The findings “are meant as a transparent proposal for further debate and refinement by scholars and wider society.” I took them at their word; let’s consider and then debate their proposals.
Sweden garnered both intense criticism and high praise for its conservative pandemic response. How did the country's COVID-19 outcomes compare to those of the US and other countries? From deforestation to climate change and pollution, headline after headline warns that we're rapidly destroying our planet. These scandalous assertions are out of step with the latest evidence.
ChatGPT is a recently released artificial intelligence chatbot that has soared to international prominence through its ability to conduct conversations and write on various topics using a variety of styles. I asked ChatGPT to respond to two related questions on the issue of global warming.
Mara Altman wrote in the NYT that people of shorter stature are better for the planet. Mara claims that the natural resources needed to support a shorter person are less than for a taller person, even though the author acknowledges that shorter people live longer (which may negate the benefits of short stature). Since both genetics and environment determine a person’s height, it was not clear whether the author was advocating that: we manipulate the human genome to breed shorter people, we pair couples to include at least one short partner, or we restrict protein intake with a vegan lifestyle to reduce human stature.
Dreary, despondent headlines about pollution and climate change are the norm. But they are not painting an accurate picture. Many countries are making serious efforts to protect the environment. Human ingenuity is the ultimate resource. My latest over at BigThink.
Carbon offsets seem like an ideal corporate solution. Trade your excess carbon for some organization producing "too little" carbon and balance the books. If only nature used double-entry book-keeping. As this reprint from The Conversation points out, "Satellites detect no real climate benefit from 10 years of forest carbon offsets in California."
The New York Times has again attacked an upstanding scientist based on claims made by duplicitous activist groups. This episode illustrates why the public's trust in media is plummeting.
Contrary to the story pushed by activist groups and reporters, recent research has shown that genetically engineered crops and the pesticides often paired with them have yielded impressive environmental benefits.
Not that they asked my advice, but if a group is going to pour food on a famous oil painting, in a protest against oil companies, don't you think that they should have at least chosen the right food?
Many activists and reporters claim we should eat little or no meat to prevent climate change. But instead of presenting arguments, proponents of this radical proposal seek to disqualify their critics with personal attacks.
The Non-GMO Project claims that drought-tolerant crops won't help "feed the world" as climate change threatens crop yields. The evidence says otherwise.
How good is the evidence implicating climate change as a cause of heart attacks? Not very. Let's take a critical look at some of this research.