From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.
An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.
An Italian court has cut the sentence given to a convicted murderer by a year because he has genes linked to violent behaviour — the first time that behavioural genetics has affected a sentence passed by a European court. But researchers contacted by Nature have questioned whether the decision was based on sound science. . . .
For the new report, Pietro Pietrini, a molecular neuroscientist at Italy’s University of Pisa, and Giuseppe Sartori, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Padova, conducted a series of tests and found abnormalities in brain-imaging scans and in five genes that have been linked to violent behaviour — including the gene encoding the neurotransmitter-metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA). A 2002 study led by Terrie Moffitt, a geneticist at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, had found low levels of MAOA expression to be associated with aggressiveness and criminal conduct of young boys raised in abusive environments.
In the report, Pietrini and Sartori concluded that Bayout’s genes would make him more prone to behaving violently if provoked. “There’s increasing evidence that some genes together with a particular environmental insult may predispose people to certain behaviour,” says Pietrini.
On the basis of the genetic tests, Judge Reinotti docked a further year off the defendant’s sentence, arguing that the defendant’s genes “would make him particularly aggressive in stressful situations”. Giving his verdict, Reinotti said he had found the MAOA evidence particularly compelling.
The National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was ‘transphobic’). In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought I would outline the studies here. For reference, in a previous post, I listed the results of every study that ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?). There are 12 such studies in all, and they all came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.
The Post conveyed criticisms alleged about two of those: “One study of Dutch children, in particular, assumed that subjects had ‘desisted’ purely because they stopped showing up to a gender identity clinic.” Although unnamed, the claim appears to be referring to Steensma et al. (2013), which followed up on 127 transgender kids. Of them: 47 said they were still transgender; 56 said they were no longer transgender (46 said so directly, 6 said so via their parents, and 4 more said so despite not participating in other aspects of the study); and 24 did not respond to the invitation to participate in the study or could not be located. Because all the medical services for transition are free in the Netherlands and because there is only one clinic providing those services, the researchers were able to check that none of the 24 had actually transitioned despite having the opportunity to do so. Steensma therefore reported that (80/127 =) 63% of the cases desisted.
Many of my old acquaintances who used to berate me for not doing enough to save the planet, are now zealous SJWs. What happened to your old cause?
Alarmist scientists have been caught red-handed tampering with raw data in order to exaggerate sea level rise.
The raw (unadjusted) data from three Indian Ocean gauges – Aden, Karachi and Mumbai – showed that local sea level trends in the last 140 years had been very gently rising, neutral or negative (ie sea levels had fallen).
But after the evidence had been adjusted by tidal records gatekeepers at the global databank Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) it suddenly showed a sharp and dramatic rise.
The whistle was blown by two Australian scientists Dr. Albert Parker and Dr. Clifford Ollier in a paper for Earth Systems and Environment.
The paper – Is the Sea Level Stable at Aden, Yemen? – examines the discrepancies between raw and adjusted sea level data in Aden, Karachi and Mumbai.
Let’s remember that level of presumptuous garbage getting written. My concern is that when the lies get too big to ignore, the left will simply pretend this never existed.
—” The grandiose narcissist doesn’t seem motivated to avoid rejection, but just to try to maximize his or her pleasure in gaining attention and power. The vulnerable narcissist doesn’t just seek to avoid negative outcomes or even rejection, but to avoid outcomes that will reflect unfavorably on his or her self-image.”—
Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by September 2016 – they were wrong
Scientists such as Prof Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, and Prof Wieslaw Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, have regularly forecast the loss of ice by 2016, which has been widely reported by the BBC and other media outlets.
Prof Wadhams, a leading expert on Arctic sea ice loss, has recently published a book entitled A Farewell To Ice in which he repeats the assertion that the polar region would free of ice in the middle of this decade.
As late as this summer, he was still predicting an ice-free September.
Yet, when figures were released for the yearly minimum on September 10, they showed that there was still 1.6 million square miles of sea ice (4.14 square kilometres), which was 21 per cent more than the lowest point in 2012.
The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Ever
1. Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual.
2. Satellite temperature data does not support the assumption that temperatures are rising rapidly:
3. Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years:
4. The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980:
5. Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations:
6. There is a natural inverse relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels:
7. The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes:
8. There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution:
9. Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years
10. “Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming:
I am tired of pointing out leftist hypocrisy. It’s too easy. My new interest is underlying causes. Here are a few theories, and after writing them, they all seem like restatements of the same theory:
1. Thomas Sowell’s paradigm that conservatives see the world in terms of trade offs, while the left sees it in terms of good vs evil. If you believe yourself to be fighting evil, lies are more acceptable.
2. Haidt’s morality chart showing Harm-Care and Fairness as the ONLY positive dimensions of morality for radical leftists. (Sanctity, Authority, Loyalty are not only less important, but in fact, negatives.) Perhaps they are on one hand, desperate to exercise Harm-Care, and on the other indignant toward the “Sanctity” and “Authority” of the rules of debate: truth telling, consistency, precise meaning.
3. Evolutionary biology as the consilient field of all social sciences: The left is intuitively female, the right is intuitively male. If you’re exercising the moral instincts that evolved with childrearing, it makes perfect sense that you treat every impulse and whim as if it were a universal principle. We want mothers to care for babies and families in such a devoted, uncompromising way. But this moral intuition cannot be allowed to govern all of society because it’s so inconsistent and impulsive. It needs limits. The male moral intuition evolved to solve the prisoners dilemma of facing danger as a group (duty, honor, courage), and therefore, much more readily embraces “no matter what” type rules and principles.
New York City underwater? Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015. Or at least that was the wildly-inaccurate version of 2015 predicted by ABC News exactly seven years ago. Appearing on Good Morning America in 2008, Bob Woodruff hyped Earth 2100, a special that pushed apocalyptic predictions of the then-futuristic 2015. The segment included supposedly prophetic videos, such as a teenager declaring, “It’s June 8th, 2015.
One carton of milk is $12.99.” (On the actual June 8, 2015, a gallon of milk cost, on average, $3.39.) Another clip featured this prediction for the current year: “Gas reached over $9 a gallon.
“It’s not true!”
Watch the video below and think about Theodore Dalrymple’s observation about communist propaganda:
—“the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”—
Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is wildly overrepresented in prisons. Take a crowd of 100 people of the street, and chances are just one to three of them will have ASPD. Take 100 people from a prison, and you can expect 40 to 70 of them to have the disorder.
That’s significant, because ASPD has been linked with aggression, irritability, disregard for rules, disregard for other people, and dishonesty.
It’s a controversial diagnosis — broad, ill-defined, and overlapping heavily with other disorders like psychopathy.
But there’s reason to take it seriously. Twin studies suggest that genetics explain about half of the variance in ASPD diagnoses, and environmental factors the other half.
The settlement of Polynesia has always fascinated me. There are even two pieces of archeological evidence for Polynesian contact with the Americas — evidence of a species of chicken in present day Chille, and, more romantically, Polynesian canoe technology among a Calfornia NAI tribe.
But how did they cover those endless streches of pacific ocean?
. . . Sharp’s reassessment caused a huge amount of controversy and led to a stalemate between the romantic and the skeptical views.
By the mid-to-late 1960s it was time for a new hands-on approach. Anthropologist David Lewis sailed his catamaran from Tahiti to New Zealand using stellar navigation without instruments. . . . At the same time, ethnographic research in the Caroline Islands in Micronesia brought to light the fact that traditional stellar navigational methods were still very much in everyday use there.
Polynesian navigators employed a whole range of techniques including use of the stars, the movement of ocean currents and wave patterns, the air and sea interference patterns caused by islands and atolls, the flight of birds, the winds and the weather.
Harold Gatty suggested that long-distance Polynesian voyaging followed the seasonal paths of bird migrations.
The first settlers of the Hawaiian Islands are thought to have sailed from the Marquesas Islands using Polynesian navigation methods. To test this theory, the Hawaiian Polynesian Voyaging Society was established in 1973. The group built a replica of an ancient double-hulled canoe called the Hōkūle‘a, whose crew successfully navigated the Pacific Ocean from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti in 1976 without instruments. In 1980, a Hawaiian named Nainoa Thompson invented a new method of non instrument navigation (called the “modern Hawaiian wayfinding system”), enabling him to complete the voyage from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti and back. In 1987, a Māori named Matahi Whakataka (Greg Brightwell) and his mentor Francis Cowan sailed from Tahiti to Aotearoa without instruments.