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Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

In a victory for climate scientists, jurors in Michael Mann’s defamation case against Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn awarded Mann $1 million in punitive damages for defamatory comments made in 2012. In a unanimous decision, jurors agreed that both Simberg and Steyn defamed Mann in blog posts that compared Mann to convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State University. They announced that Simberg will pay $1,000 in punitive damages and Steyn will pay the larger $1 million. Standing in front of the courthouse smiling with his legal team after the verdict was read, Mann told DeSmog that he trusted the jury to see through the “smoke and mirrors” that the defense used during the trial.

After 12 Years, Trial Against Alleged Defamers Begins For Climate Scientist

A defamation lawsuit 12 years in the making brought by climate scientist Michael Mann opened January 18th in Washington, D.C. Superior Court. The two conservative commentators accused of defamation mounted separate defenses, and both continued to disparage Mann during the first day of this long-anticipated trial. The case centers around statements made in 2012 by right-wing blogger Rand Simberg and Fox TV personality Mark Steyn that attacked Mann, a scientist and professor who holds a doctorate from Yale. Simberg is an analyst at the far-right think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has a long track record of platforming climate science denialists.

NIH Researchers Vote To Form A Union For The First Time

Hundreds of early-career researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have voted overwhelmingly to form a union, nearly completing the official process required to do so. They plan to call on the agency — the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research — to improve pay and working conditions, and to bolster its policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and excessive workloads. About 98% of the research fellows who participated in the ballot voted on 6 December to form the union, with 1,601 voting in favour and just 36 against. Barring any objections, the result will be certified by the US Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) after five business days, and the union will become the first ever to represent fellows at a federal research agency and the largest union to form in the US government in more than a decade.

Climate Crisis ‘Countdown Clock’ To Hold Governments To Account

Top scientists have launched a yearly report series to plug knowledge gaps ahead of COP28 crunch climate talks in the United Arab Emirates. Their novel new “countdown clock” project aims to provide up-to-date information on the climate crisis. In particular, the report aims to inform the public and policymakers on the world’s progress in meeting international climate targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned the world is on course to cross the key warming threshold of 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels in the early 2030s. The UN scientific advisory panel is in charge of summarising research on the climate crisis.

Every Degree Matters: Why We Can’t Give Up On Climate Action

As the impacts of the climate crisis become more evident, people are understandably struggling with how to respond. Clearing the FOG speaks with climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, author of "Our Fragile Moment: How lessons from Earth's past can help us survive the climate crisis," about the reality of our current situation and how major climate changes in the past have shaped the world and human societies. Mann urges people to avoid a doomsday mindset and explains that the actions we take now to stop fossil fuels and to develop resilient systems, no matter how bad it gets, matter for the future of humanity.

Education, Science, And Sovereignty: PROINPA Vs. The US Blockade

High up in Venezuela’s Andes, the township of Mucuchies is home to a campesino-led initiative striving for sustainable agricultural production. Integral Producers of the Highlands [PROINPA, for the organization’s Spanish-language initials] is widely recognized not only for its top-notch seed potatoes but also for its scientific initiatives such as a state-of-the-art biotechnology lab, a germplasm bank, and, most recently, an aeroponic seed production facility. One of the secrets to PROINPA’s success is its democratic organization and its emphasis on education. Founded 24 years ago, the organization’s structure has an assembly of associated producers as its topmost level of decision-making, meaning that the producers themselves are in charge.

Scientific Consensus On Post-Growth Over Green Growth

According to new research, a scientific consensus is forming for a new economic paradigm that looks beyond growth. This post presents proof and answers why green growth no longer seems viable. At present, there are two main strategy options for countries to achieve sustainability: green growth and post-growth. The green growth approach seeks more economic growth while decreasing environmental impacts at the same time. There is a good chance this is what your country currently tries to do. In contrast, the post-growth approach seeks to secure the well-being of people and nature regardless of economic growth. It seeks to create a prosperous future beyond growth.

I’m A Scientist Who Spoke Up About Climate Change

Shortly after the New Year, I was fired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory after urging fellow scientists to take action on climate change. At the American Geophysical Union meeting in December, just before speakers took the stage for a plenary session, my fellow climate scientist Peter Kalmus and I unfurled a banner that read, “Out of the lab & into the streets.” In the few seconds before the banner was ripped from our hands, we implored our colleagues to use their leverage as scientists to wake the public up to the dying planet. Soon after this brief action, the A.G.U., an organization with 60,000 members in the earth and space sciences, expelled us from the conference and withdrew the research that we presented that week from the program. Eventually it began a professional misconduct inquiry. (It’s ongoing.)

On The Hudson River, A New Model Of Environmental Stewardship

New York City - Adjacent to the Hudson River, along the west side of Manhattan, are some of the world’s most valuable commercial and residential properties: townhouses and mixed-use developments like Hudson Yards and much-loved public spaces like Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Greenway, which unite city residents and visitors with the river. But those civic and private investments often end at the water’s edge. Just offshore lie neglected and largely dysfunctional shallow water habitats. The Hudson River Foundation, where I serve as president, has long sought to address the myriad problems plaguing this vital waterway. Despite substantial progress over the past 40 years, the river continues to carry the burden of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, or PCBs, that were frequently dumped into it during the 20th century and are likely carcinogenic to humans.

On Contact: The Corporatization Of Science

Science in the United States almost exclusively serves the interests of corporate and military power. Science historian Clifford Conner writes that the corruption of scientific endeavor exploded with the 1942-1945 Manhattan Project, the first “big science” venture, in which the government spent massively on developing the atom bomb. Science, from this point forward, became big business. Scientists are employed in “hypothesis-driven” research to promote the interests of the food industry, the tobacco industry, and the fossil fuel industry, attacking or silencing scientific studies that cast doubt on the claims of these industries. The result is a society awash in lies, many of them buttressed by bogus scientific studies carried out to reach the conclusions demanded by those who pay for the studies.

Citizen Scientists Are Filling Research Gaps

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in 2020 disrupted field research and environmental monitoring efforts worldwide. Travel restrictions and social distancing forced scientists to cancel studies or pause their work for months. These limits measurably reduced the accuracy of weather forecasts and created data gaps on issues ranging from bird migration to civil rights in U.S. public schools. Our work relies on this kind of information to track seasonal events in nature and understand how climate change is affecting them. We also recruit and train citizens for community science – projects that involve amateur or volunteer scientists in scientific research, also known as citizen science.

How Can We Comprehend The Climate Crisis?

The science is clear. If we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the same rate we have been doing for the past decades, 80 years from now, our planet will be at least four degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. "And the warming won't stop there," climate researcher and oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf told DW. "It will continue to rise to seven or eight degrees over the next 100 years. Human civilization won't survive that." Normally, we respond to danger quickly; we put out fires, run away when we feel at risk, and protect our children in every way we can.

EPA’s ‘Secret Science’ Rule Meets With An Outpouring Of Protest

As the deadline approached for public comment on a controversial "transparency" rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, 39 top scientific organizations and academic institutions joined together on Monday to warn that if finalized, the regulation would greatly diminish the role of science in decisions affecting the environment and the health of Americans. In a letter submitted to the EPA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest scientific society, and a wide array of other professional groups and universities, strongly opposed the rule, which they said is "not about strengthening science, but about undermining the ability of the EPA to use the best available science in setting policies and regulations." 

How The Fossil Fuel Industry Undermined Climate Science

Scientists have been seriously investigating the subject of human-made climate change since the late 1950s and political leaders have been discussing it for nearly as long. In 1961, Alvin Weinberg, the director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, called carbon dioxide one of the “big problems” of the world “on whose solution the entire future of the human race depends.” Fast-forward nearly 30 years and, in 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), promising “concrete action to protect the planet.”

11,000 Scientists Say That The ‘Climate Emergency’ Is Here

“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any great existential threat and to ‘tell it like it is,’” begins the “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” published in BioScience. It continues, “On the basis of this obligation … we declare … clearly and unequivocally, that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” The declaration was co-written by William Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University and the founder of the environmental advocacy group Alliance of World Scientists, and undersigned by more than 11,000 scientists and climate experts.
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