We're on the eve of a cross quarter day - May Day is halfway between the Spring equinox and the Summer Solstice. Beltane is what it was called in the Gaelic lands - so light up the bonfire and dance the night away.
It has been noted that there seems to be a tendancy for those who are climate skeptics to reject many other results of science and replace the results with pseudosience. It has also been noticed that free market people often are into pseudoscience.
A study pushed in Psychological Science looks at the connections. Unfortunatley it is firewalled, but here is a summary. Not terribly surprising - I certainly see a lot of it - but clearly something that deserves further study as the selective rejection of a large bodies of robust learning is interesting.
NASA Faked the Moon Landing—Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science
Stephan Lewandowsky1 Klaus Oberauer1,2 Gilles E. Gignac1
1University of Western Australia 2University of Zurich
Although nearly all domain experts agree that carbon dioxide emissions are altering the world’s climate, segments of the public remain unconvinced by the scientific evidence. Internet blogs have become a platform for denial of climate change, and bloggers have taken a prominent role in questioning climate science. We report a survey of climate-blog visitors to identify the variables underlying acceptance and rejection of climate science. Our findings parallel those of previous work and show that endorsement of free-market economics predicted rejection of climate science. Endorsement of free markets also predicted the rejection of other established scientific findings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking causes lung cancer. We additionally show that, above and beyond endorsement of free markets, endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the Federal Bureau of Investigation killed Martin Luther King, Jr.) predicted rejection of climate science as well as other scientific findings. Our results provide empirical support for previous suggestions that conspiratorial thinking contributes to the rejection of science. Acceptance of science, by contrast, was strongly associated with the perception of a consensus among scientists.
Dark lightning is the most energetic radiation produced naturally on Earth, but was unknown before 1991. While scientists now know that dark lightning naturally occurs in thunderstorms, they do not know how frequently these flashes take place or whether visible lightning always accompanies them.
In 2006, two independent satellites -- one equipped with an optical detector and the other carrying a gamma ray detector -- coincidentally flew within 300 kilometers (186 miles) of a Venezuelan storm as a powerful lightning bolt exploded within a thundercloud. Scientists were unaware then that a weak flash of dark lightning had preceded the bright lightning.
But last year, Østgaard and his colleagues discovered the previously unknown gamma ray burst while reprocessing the satellite data. "We developed a new, improved search algorithm…and identified more than twice as many terrestrial gamma flashes than originally reported," said Østgaard. He and his team detected the gamma ray flash and a discharge of radio waves immediately preceding the visible lightning.
Simultaneous observations of optical lightning and terrestrial gamma ray flash from space
N. Østgaard1,2, T. Gjesteland1,2, B. E. Carlson1,2,3, A. B. Collier4,5, S. Cummer6, G. Lu6, H. J. Christian7
1Birkeland Centre for Space Science, University of Bergen, Norway
2Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Norway
3Carthage College, Wisconsin, USA
4SANSA Space Science, South Africa
5University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
6Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Duke University, North Carolina,USA
7University of Alabama in Hunstville, Alabama, USA
We present the very first simultaneous detection from space of a terrestrial
gamma-ray flash (TGF) and the optical signal from lightning. By fortuitous coincidence
two independent satellites passed less than 300 km from the thunderstorm system that
produced a TGF that lasted 70 μs. Together with two independent measurements of
radio emissions we have an unprecedented coverage of the event. We find that the
TGF was produced deep in the thundercloud at the initial stage of an intracloud (IC)
lightning before the leader reached the cloud top and extended horizontally. A strong
radio pulse was produced by the TGF itself. This is the first time the sequence of radio
pulses, TGF and optical emissions in an IC lightning flash has been identified.
Bike use in NYC, although very low by European standards, has increased dramatically in the past few years. Soon a bike sharing system will go live and probably push usage a bit higher. What hasn't happened is the blending of pedestrian, bike and vehicle traffic that the Europeans have sorted out. Some of it is the nature of the bike lanes and some of it is the actions of the cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. The NY Times reports on the tensions. There are many existence proofs these issues can be worked out, but it is clear you just can't have an increase in cycling and expect things to just sort themselves out.
This week's Quirks and Quarks features a chat with Marlene Zuk of the University of Minnesota on evolution and a misunderstanding of what it is by many. (18 minutes mp3) Her hook is paleofantasy and she briefy talks about the pseudoscience associated with the paleo diet.