Tue, 2006-06-06 09:13Richard Littlemore
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Nix the Nukes; Blix Thinks Environment is Scarier

“To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war…I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict.”

- U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix, (March 14, 2003)

Mon, 2006-06-05 11:37Sarah Pullman
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Gregory Benford - Audio Interview


We managed to grab Gregory Benford, one of the speakers at the Skeptic's Conference, over dinner on Saturday. You can listen to the 7-minute podcast here.

You'll hear his explanation of UVB-Chaff – a proposed solution to warming on our planet (also a way to prevent lots of skin cancer). This is likely to generate some ideological controversy, as those who believe we should leave Mother Nature alone take issue with those who believe we have a responsibility to use technology to solve our problems. Check it out and we'd love to hear your thoughts!
Sat, 2006-06-03 22:59Richard Littlemore
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Jesters Up-End a Day of Serious Science

“What good is a philosopher who doesn’t annoy anyone?”

This question may finally provide an answer to the riddle: What is it with Michael Crichton, anyway?

The “father of the techno thriller” was the marquee speaker at The Environmental Wars – a Science Skeptics conference during which a parade of speakers with stunning academic credentials had offered a whole day’s worth of data proving that the debate about climate change is over.

Sat, 2006-06-03 19:37Sarah Pullman
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Crichton and Stossell - Rounding Out the Skeptics Conference

Michael Crichton

Crichton says that true skeptics are a dying breed. He says that whenever there is a big mass movement, skeptics vanish, and he believes that we need skeptics, and we need them to be especially vigilant whenever debate seems to end.

He made some pretty dramatic claims about terrible things that happen in hospitals – people's tissues being stolen and sold, cadavers being stolen, bones from bone cancer patients being given in transplants, genes being patented.
Sat, 2006-06-03 18:54Richard Littlemore
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Environmental Wars: Afternoon Wrap

An interesting turn overall in the afternoon Science Skeptics forum: speakers moved from chilling analyses of future climate catastrophe to a frankly optimistic presentation that the solutions may yet be found.

Drs. Prothero and Fagan presented historical trend lines that are fairly terrifying if you follow the logical extension of their climate graphs. But Dr.Gregory Benford addressed possible innovations—methods by which humankind can take charge of the earth’s climate on purpose, instead of just screwing it up by accident. We’re trying to track him down for a podcast that will explain his most fascinating proposal – broadcasting “UVB Chaff” into the upper atmosphere to deflect ultraviolet radiation.

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