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.
Sat, 2006-06-03 18:51Richard Littlemore
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Some Spin from Adler

On the lookout for miscommunication at the Science Skeptics conference, it was interesting to hear the gentle spin from Professor Jonathon Alder. In a presentation entitled The Fables of Environmental Regulations: A Re-examination of the Reasons for Federal Environmental Regulations, Dr. Adler built an impressive case suggesting that any federal intervention in the environmental regulatory field was problematic.
Sat, 2006-06-03 18:49Richard Littlemore
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What Goes Around Comes Around

I once attended a Kyoto implementation process conference in Toronto during a snow storm so severe that then-Mayor Mel Lastman called out the military to help the population deal with nature’s irritability. The deniers, on that occasion, spoke up for “global warming,” overlooking the aspects of climate change that increase the likelihood of dramatic weather events.

It’s statistically and scientifically silly to an equal degree, but I was wishing this afternoon that I could invite those climate confusers to stand with me in the Pasadena sun during the breaks at the Skeptics Conference on Saturday. It was 34 degrees C, 94F for hardy Americans – leaving little room for a comfortable round of global warming …
Sat, 2006-06-03 18:16Sarah Pullman
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Afternoon Report-Out from the Environmental Wars

It’s been a long day here at the Environmental Wars Conference. It’s 6pm now, and have been listening to speakers since 8:30am, save an hour and a half for breaks. Someone should tell the Skeptics Society that good conferences should have great coffee, and make it easily available in the mid-session slumps.

This afternoon featured Jonathan Alder, Greg Arnold, and Dr. Paul MacCready. Alder spoke about the Fables of Federal Environmental Regulation (check out Richard’s post for more on that), Arnold spoke about market mechanisms for reducing pollution, and MacCready spoke about Doing More with Much Less – human powered transportation, electric cars, and other such wonders.


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