Absolutely, Positively Not a Sign of Global Warming
July 19, 2012
This isn’t a post about how hot the U.S. is getting. This is a post about how hot Greenland is getting—and why, maybe, we should care about it. On July 16, a NASA satellite photographed a iceberg breaking off from the Petermann Glacier, a massive sheet of ice that is on the northwest side of Greenland, contiguous to the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada.
David Thomson on Films: Should Horses Be Sacrificed For Art?
March 20, 2012
In every way it is regrettable—that three horses have died in the making of Luck over a period of twelve weeks; and that the slowly developing series is going to be cut off, not exactly in its prime, but with glimpses of that glow in the distance.
HBO’s New Show Has Good Credentials, But Is That Enough?
February 14, 2012
Last Friday, the New York Times ran a double-page-spread ad for the new HBO series Luck. It featured quotes like “Sumptuous,” “Addictive,” “Compelling,” “Brilliant,” “Astonishing,” “Breathtaking.” (You know the sort of thing, you could write it yourself.) But after three episodes of Luck, I’m still hedging my bets and crossing my fingers—or just waiting to hear a line clearly. The show has plenty of credentials and promise.
In the Belly of the Beast
February 12, 2011
While the speeches by various conservative bigwigs at the annual CPAC conference in Washington, D.C., are always fun—who doesn’t love listening to Ron Paul rail against foreign aid or Mitt Romney explain that, unlike Barack Obama, he wouldn’t need to ask his Treasury Secretary for economic advice?—that’s not all that's on offer. Down in the basement of the Marriott Wardman Park is a convention hall lined with various groups hawking pamphlets and piles of swag.
Man's Inhumanity To Mann
August 30, 2010
Of all the pet causes by climate skeptics, the obsession with Michael Mann has always struck me as one of the weirdest. Most of the broader public probably has no idea who Mann even is—he was one of the climatologists who created the "hockey stick" graph that used various bits of proxy data (such as tree-ring samples and ice-core measurements) to reconstruct global temperatures over the past 1,000 years. Mann and his co-authors found that the current spate of global warming is unprecedented during that time span.
"Climategate" Continues To Sputter Out
June 25, 2010
Over at Newsweek, Sharon Begley notes that a couple of newspapers have now retracted some of their "Climategate" allegations.
Virginia's Climate-Science Witch Hunt Goes Too Far
May 07, 2010
The lead letter in Science this week is signed by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences and begins: "We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular." They go on to explain that, yes, there are always uncertainties in any scientific enterprise, but at this point there's too much compelling evidence that humans are drastically warming the planet to wave away and dismiss.
Review Panel: "Climategate" Was Overblown
April 15, 2010
You know, anyone who feels strongly about those e-mails that leaked out of East Anglia last November probably isn't going to change their mind about "Climategate" no matter what various outside investigations conclude. But for the record, a committee of independent experts commissioned by the UK Royal Society has just concluded that there's no scandal here. Some of the key conclusions: --We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it.
How Important Are Those Stolen Climate E-mails?
November 25, 2009
I've been away for a few days and have only just caught up with the story of the hacked e-mail accounts at the University of East Anglia's Climactic Research Unit (CRU). Juliet Elperin has a nice rundown in The Washington Post. From what I've gathered, the stolen e-mails reveal that climatologists are: a) engaged in a lot of boring and dry data-crunching, b) extremely hostile toward global-warming skeptics like Cato's Pat Michaels, and c) not always nice people. But does this add up to a "scandal," as folks like James Inhofe are crowing?
Execution Without Conviction
July 08, 2009
On a Wednesday night in San Francisco, opening night, in a theater no more than half full, the truth was as inescapable as rain at a picnic. Johnny Depp just wasn’t cutting it. He wasn’t even making the attempt. Once again, Michael Mann had poured his nearly liquid talent over a gangster picture without ever thinking to ask himself why. That oddly vague title Public Enemies--why isn’t it called Johnny D. or just Dillinger?--was turning into a startlingly detached and affectless movie.