- Chomsky Speaks on US Imperialism Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came to Columbia on Thursday to discuss hypocrisy and "schizophrenia" in American foreign policy from the early settlers to George W. Bush.
- Amy Goodman's Border Woes Have Americans in a Tizzy The alleged hounding and 90-minute detention of U.S. broadcaster Amy Goodman by Canadian border guards demanding to know her views on the Olympics is making waves throughout the U.S., and none of it is good for Canada's reputation.
- Victory at Last!: Monty Python in Afghanistan A stale crew breathing stale air has ensured that Afghanistan, the first of Bush's disastrous wars, is now truly Obama's War; and the news came directly from West Point where the president surrendered to his militarized fate.
- Wendell Berry: Large-Scale Farms Killing Land as Well as Towns A passive populace obsessed with easy answers has led to an economy that is destroying America's land, author Wendell Berry told a packed-in crowd at the University of Virginia on Thursday evening. "Simple solutions will always lead to complex problems, surprising simple minds," he said.
- America's Regression ... it's virtually impossible to find a country with as high a percentage of torture supporters as the U.S. has. In Iran, for instance, only 36% believe that torture can be justified in some cases, while 43% believe all torture must be strictly prohibited. Similarly, 66% of Palestinians, 54% of Egyptians, and over 80% of Western Europeans believe torture is always wrong. The U.S. has a far lower percentage than all of those nations of individuals who believe that torture should always be prohibited. At least on the level of the citizenry (as opposed to government), we're basically the leading torture advocacy state in the world.
As U.S. scientists with substantial expertise on climate change and its impacts on natural ecosystems, our built environment and human well-being, we want to assure policy makers and the public of the integrity of the underlying scientific research and the need for urgent action to reduce heat-trapping emissions. In the last few weeks, opponents of taking action on climate change have misrepresented both the content and the significance of stolen emails to obscure public understanding of climate science and the scientific process.
We would like to set the record straight.
The body of evidence that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming is overwhelming. The content of the stolen emails has no impact whatsoever on our overall understanding that human activity is driving dangerous levels of global warming. The scientific process depends on open access to methodology, data, and a rigorous peer-review process. The robust exchange of ideas in the peer-reviewed literature regarding climate science is evidence of the high degree of integrity in this process.
As the recent letter to Congress from 18 leading U.S. scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society, states:
"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. … If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced."
These "multiple independent lines of evidence" are drawn from numerous public and private research centers all across the United States and beyond, including several independent analyses of surface temperature data. Even without including analyses from the UK research center from which the emails were stolen, the body of evidence underlying our understanding of human-caused global warming remains robust.
We urge you to take account of this as you make decisions on climate policy.
London After Midnight / Sean Brennan