idahoemily

Emily Her – Idaho Statesman photo

Not just the NRA taking a beating among the emerging generation.

Turns out young people don’t want their planet to be par-boiled any more than they want to get shot with an AR-15.
Who could have known?

New York Times:

A years-long battle over whether Idaho would require its science teachers to teach about global warming was resolved Thursday when the State Senate education committee voted to adopt standards that included sections on human-caused climate change.

Idaho’s legislature had scrubbed all mentions of human-caused climate change from its teaching standards last year. The State Department of Education then put forth revised standards, but this month the House education committee voted to gut the supporting content, which was designed to help teachers assign coursework and included multiple mentions of climate change. On Thursday, the Senate committee approved the revised standards in full, including the supporting content, on a 6 to 3 vote that drew support from both parties. Because both chambers did not agree to reject the standards, they will go into effect.

State Senator Janie Ward-Engelking of Boise, a Democrat on the education committee, said the supporting content was important to include. “When a new teacher comes in, they need to see all the concepts that they’re responsible to teach,” Ms. Ward-Engelking said. “To be honest, it’s kind of embarrassing that it’s been so controversial.”

The climate science standards won out in part because of activism by students like Senior Emily Her, of Timberline High School in Boise.
Below, in an Op-Ed, she expressed her initial frustration at the roadblocks “conservatives’ kept throwing in the way of science.

Idaho Statesman:

On Feb. 1, I entered the Idaho Capitol to testify in front of the House Education Committee in support of the revised science content standards. I clutched my testimony in one hand, and in the other a thick, binder-clipped petition containing the names of more than 1,000 Idahoans.

Of the hundreds of standards  previously approved, only these five standards referencing anthropogenic climate change were struck down. I knew my audience was the same elected officials that rejected the first incarnation of these standards in 2016. Every year since, these standards have been further developed by a diligent team of scientists and educators with the students’ best interests in mind, yet they continue to be met with skepticism.

Emboldened by the support of public comments (over 99.5 percent favoring the proposed standards), the petition I held that garnered over 1,000 Idahoan signatures in three days, and the absolute belief that students have the right to a holistic education, I sincerely believed my testimony would be heard.

In it I highlighted my experiences as a student engaging in inquiry-based learning. Unfortunately, during my testimony, the words “climate change” spurred an immediate reaction from Chair Julie VanOrden of Pingree. She immediately interrupted me by saying, “Excuse me … but we need to talk about the standards themselves. If you would stick to that topic that would be great.”

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A lot of comment this week on the new video about Jerry Taylor, formerly a reliable climate “skeptic” voice on Fox News and elsewhere – who turned completely when he actually started looking at the data with an open mind.
Turns out that’s not a unique experience.

The Physicist:
Richard Muller made himself a high profile name in the anti-science community by making a number of outrageous and uninformed statements about climate scientists and science some years back.
That’s probably what helped him attract Koch Brothers funding to re-examine global temperature records. To his credit, he assembled a crack team and did a comprehensive analysis.
Spoiler, they found what every other crack team had found before.

The TV Meteorologists:

At an American Meteorological Society event a few years ago, Greg Fishel, a TV Weather caster from Raleigh, NC, came up to shake my hand. Apparently the Climate Crocks videos were an important part of his process in moving from “hard core” denial, to  reality. Read the rest of this entry »

windresourceUS

A high-resolution map based on NOAA weather data shows a snapshot of wind energy potential across the United States in 2012. (Credit: Image by Chris Clack/CIRES)

A lot of the biggest advances in renewable energy might not be the most obvious.
The United States is richly blessed with renewable resources, solar and wind, but a lot of those resources are not in places where the majority of the population lives. Hence transmission lines.
Transmission has always been important to generation – typically transmission costs can be up to half the cost of new energy from even traditional sources like coal and nuclear power.

Another big road block is resistance from local landowners and governments to placement of new transmission lines from high wind and solar, much of it in the central US,  to high population areas of the east and west.

It’s important, because if this bottleneck can be resolved, according to recent research, the US could move quickly to very high renewable penetration in electricity.

solarresource_US

A high-resolution map based on NOAA solar irradiance data shows a snapshot of solar energy potential across the United States. (Credit: Image by Chris Clack/CIRES)

NOAA:

The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers.

The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity at costs similar to today’s.

“Our research shows a transition to a reliable, low-carbon, electrical generation and transmission system can be accomplished with commercially available technology and within 15 years,” said Alexander MacDonald, co-lead author and recently retired director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder.

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measles

Popular Science:

Before the measles vaccine existed, 9 out of every 10 kids got the disease before age 15. Two million people died from it every year. It’s easy for most of us to forget that, because we’ve had an effective measles vaccine since 1960.

Measles is so infectious that it spreads to 90 percent of those who come in contact with an infected person, though symptoms don’t occur until at least a week later. It starts with the usual: a fever, a cough, a runny nose. A few days later, you develop little white spots inside your mouth. The rash begins soon after. Red dots spread from your hairline all the way down to your feet and your fever spikes, sometimes soaring over 104°F. Most people survive, but if there are complications, death rates can hit up to 30 percent. Pneumonia is the most common fatal side-effect, but patients can also experience swelling of the brain, which can cause permanent deafness or blindness. Prior to the invention of the vaccine, between 15,000 and 60,000 people went blind because of the measles each year.

And yet, despite having a cheap way to prevent one of the most infectious diseases in the world, most countries in Europe still haven’t met the target goal for vaccination coverage. That means those countries continue to have deadly outbreaks.

 

Something happening here.

 

 

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