Today’s links to interesting news and analysis.
- Technology might re-make the oil sands business
- The great western drought: Lake Mead could be dry by 2021 (it provides 90% of Las Vegas’ water)
- America re-segregates
- Today’s new climate science scandal
- Here’s a real comment policy: RealClimate does hard core censorship
- Fox News is the most balanced, per a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs of George Mason U
Excerpts and details
(1) Technology might re-make the oil sands business
“Battle for the oil sands“, Globe and Mail, 18 December 2009 — “Across Alberta, companies have spent years developing new technologies that promise cheaper, greener production.”
(2) The great western drought: Lake Mead could be dry by 2021 (it provides 90% of Las Vegas’ water)
“Lake Mead Could Be Dry by 2021“, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 12 February 2008 — “Analysis of current and scheduled use and human-induced climate change sparks urgent warning from researchers at Scripps Institution.” Even assuming no climate change, they estimate 10% odds of depletion by 2014 (2015 with global warming), and 50% odds by 2027 (2021 with global warming). See the abstract here, and more information at the US Bureau of Reclamation website.
(3) America re-segregates
A powerful report from some confused analysts: “Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge“, Gary Orfield, The Civil Rights Project, January 2009 — Excerpt:
Fifty-five years after the Brown decision, blacks and Latinos in American schools are more segregated than they have been in more than four decades. The Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in the Seattle and Louisville voluntary desegregation cases has not only taken away some important tools used by districts to combat this rising isolation, but this decision is also certain to intensify these trends.
- Segregation is fast spreading into large sectors of suburbia and there is little or no assistance for communities wishing to resist the pressures of resegregation and ghetto creation in order to build successfully integrated schools and neighborhoods.
- Desegregation plans that were successful for decades are being shut down by orders from conservative courts, federal civil rights officials have pressured communities to abandon their voluntary desegregation efforts, and magnet schools are losing their focus on desegregation.
Large numbers of multiracial schools are emerging but we know little about how to realize their promise. Although there are serious interracial conflicts in schools and neighborhoods shared by two or more disadvantaged minorities, very little research or assistance has been provided to solve those urgent problems. The percentage of poor children in American schools has been rising substantially and black and Latino students, even those whose families are middle class, are largely attending schools with very high fractions of low-income children who face many problems in their homes and communities.
As immigration continues to transform many sectors of American society this country is falling far behind in building faculties that reflect the diversity of American students — 44% of whom are now nonwhite — and failing to prepare teachers who can communicate effectively with the 20% of homes where another language is spoken as immigration continues to transform many sectors of American society. Millions of nonwhite students are locked into “dropout factory” high schools, where huge percentages do not graduate, have little future in the American economy, and almost none are well prepared for college.
(4) Today’s new climate science scandal
- “Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri “, Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2009 — “The head of the UN’s climate change panel – Dr Rajendra Pachauri – is accused of making a fortune from his links with ‘carbon trading’ companies.
- For an explanation of how this violates the UN’s ethics policies: “Does the IPCC Chairman Have Conflicts of Interest?, Roger Pielke Jr., 20 December 2009.
(6) Here’s a real comment policy: about RealClimate does hard core censorship
The RealClimate team does not want to confuse the faithful. And if that means censoring skeptical comments, esp the ones with logic and evidence, that’s how propaganda works. From the liberated CRU emails:
From: Michael E. Mann
To: Tim Osborn
Date: 9 February 2009
… Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.
You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone.
(7) Fox News is the most balanced, per a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs of George Mason U
From the “Election Watch: Campaign 2008 Final“, Winter 2009 — Excerpt:
The “FOX difference” lay not in what they covered but in how they covered the campaign. It will come as no surprise to learn that FOX carried the most positive portrayal of McCain and Palin and the most negative portrayals of Obama and Biden. By the same token, however, the tone of FOX’s coverage of the candidates was, if not the fairest, at least the most balanced of the four networks we monitored.
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