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A Time to Kill: Meryl Dorey and her AVsN give medical advice on seizures.

Originally posted on reasonablehank:

After an extensive investigation into the Australian Vaccination skeptics Network, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission issued a Public Health Warning on April 30 2014 [my bold]:

Public warning

The Commission has established that AVN does not provide reliable informationin relation to certain vaccines and vaccination more generally. The Commission considers that AVN’s dissemination of misleading, misrepresented and incorrect information about vaccination engenders fear and alarm and is likely to detrimentally affect the clinical management or care of its readers.

Given the issues identified with the information disseminated by AVN, the Commission urges general caution is exercised when using AVN’s website or Facebook page to research vaccination and to consult other reliable sources, including speaking to a medical practitioner, to make an informed decision.

The Commission has recommended that AVN amend its published information with regard to the above issues and the Commission will monitor the implementation of these…

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Russia’s warming faster than the rest of the planet—and seeing disease, drought, and forest fires as a result

Originally posted on Quartz:

When Vladimir Putin declined to support the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty to limit carbon emissions, he famously quipped that higher temperatures might actually benefit Russia since its people would have to spend less on fur coats.

Well, he’s getting his wish. Changes in wind and ocean currents caused by global warming shift heat around unevenly, causing some areas to heat up dramatically even as other regions cool. Russia, it turns out, is in the unusually hot category. Between 1976 and 2012, average Russian temperatures rose 0.43°C (0.8°F) a decade—more than twice the global average of 0.17°C—according to a new report out by Russia’s climate and environment agency (pdf, link in Russian).

The increase in the average temperature in Russia.

Trends in Russia’s average temperatures.

This is a big problem for a variety of reasons, say Russia’s climate scientists. Hotter temperatures appear to be driving a spike in episodes of dangerous extreme weather:

Dangerous-extreme-weather-is-on-the-rise-in-Russia-Incidents-e-g-floods-drought-cyclones-5-year-moving-average_chartbuilder (2)

The frequency of forest fires

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Ice sheets thick as a denialist’s head

Originally posted on Millard Fillmore's Bathtub:

Cartoonist Randall Munroe at XKCD demonstrates ice age issues.

Of course it was a cartoonist. Where else does one go to find the truth these days, but the cartoons?

XKCD dramatically shows differences in North American cities and their relationship with their local ice sheets, 21,000 years ago.

XKCD dramatically shows differences in North American cities and their relationship with their local ice sheets, 21,000 years ago. Cartoon by Randall Munroe.

Enric Sala wrote about our disappearing ice for the World Economic Forum — a post worth reading.

Twenty kilometres in 20 years. That’s how much the Ilulissat glacier has retreated as this mighty, flowing river of ice crumbles into the ocean. It sounds like a lot. But I did not fully realize what this meant until we flew over the Ilulissat icefjord. It takes 10 minutes for the helicopter to fly over the amount of ice that has been lost because of global warming – in this glacier alone.

The speed at which the glacier moves has doubled…

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Information Aversion

Originally posted on Azimuth:

Why do ostriches stick their heads under the sand when they’re scared?

They don’t. So why do people say they do? A Roman named Pliny the Elder might be partially to blame. He wrote that ostriches “imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed.”

That would be silly—birds aren’t that dumb. But people will actually pay to avoid learning unpleasant facts. It seems irrational to avoid information that could be useful. But people do it. It’s called information aversion.

Here’s a new experiment on information aversion:

In order to gauge how information aversion affects health care, one group of researchers decided to look at how college students react to being tested for a sexually transmitted disease.

That’s a subject a lot of students worry about, according to Josh Tasoff, an economist at Claremont Graduate University who…

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Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby

Is this any way for a government minister to behave? The fact is, Greg Hunt is a AGW denier like the rest of his lunatic fringe party. He says he accepts the science underpinning climate change but then flags and implements policies that don’t reflect the science. He is either a fraud, completely incompetent or stupid…..or all three.

Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby.

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Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling

from Graham Readfern at the Guardian.

Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott's top business advisor, claims the world should prepare for global cooling

Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott’s top business advisor, claims the world should prepare for global cooling. Photograph: Daniel Munoz/Reuters/REUTERS

Maybe Maurice Newman was hoping nobody would check.

In an opinion column yesterday, the climate science denying (yes, I just said it right up front) former ABC chairman and head of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council launched into another of his embarrassing attacks on climate science and the laws of physics.

Given we’ve been here before, I’m starting to think that Newman might actually have written some clever computer code that first scrapes climate science denial blogs for conspiracy theories and common misrepresentations and then turns them into 950-words for The Australian newspaper.

The column, which warned of a concocted threat of “global cooling”, made several remarkable and wrong scientific claims…. read the rest here


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Elon Musk should refuse California’s offer to waive environmental rules for Tesla

Originally posted on Quartz:

This post has been updated. 

It looked like it was over, but the interstate battle to secure Tesla’s $5 billion “gigafactory” battery plant rolls on.

Last month,  Tesla confirmed that the facility, which is being designed so Tesla can produce more lithium-ion batteries—and, ultimately, more cars—was basically Nevada’s to lose. But officially, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (whose governor, Rick Perry, has been lobbying hard for the facility), and the electric automaker’s home state of California are still in the running. Founder Elon Musk has said the company will break ground on a second site in one of those states as a hedge. The approach is clever, from a shareholder perspective, because it also means Tesla can secure more concessions and inducements from the states in contention.

And that’s already happening. The LA Times reported yesterday that California governor Jerry Brown is negotiating with the automaker to exempt it from aspects of the California…

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