Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Greta Thunberg and Young Idealism



Watching Democracy Now! last night I saw 16 year old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg being interviewed for the hour about her activism, her Asperger's, dealing with cyberbullies, and her trip to the US on a purely wind powered sailboat provided by Prince Albert of Monaco.  She came to the US in much the same way her Viking Ancestors did to Newfoundland.  According to her, she is vegan and does not use any technology that contributes to climate change.  You can see her interview above.



Watching her made me think of Malala Yousafsai, a teenager in Pakistan who was attacked for going to school by the Taliban.  She later became an outspoken advocate for girls education in the world and was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Her struggles were different from Thunberg's but their stories are similar in how young people who were in the right place and the right time can make change.



Another person I was thinking of was Temple Grandin, another person with Asperger's who became an expert on cattle and how better to design slaughterhouses.  Thunberg may not approve of Grandin's work with cattle but they share a singular determination on what interests them.  

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! asked her about her plans of activism while she is in the western hemisphere including going to the White House to protest and the COP25 summit in Santiago, Chile.  One thing that Democracy Now! host did not ask her about if she would like to meet with President Trump or James Inhofe, the leading climate change denier in the US Senate.  I can't help but wonder how she would handle such a meeting.  

Thunberg is someone with strong principles while Trump is a man with no principles except making money and being cruel to immigrants.  It would make a funny Saturday Night Live sketch though she might not see the humor in it.  If she were to go on Sean Hannity's show she would be walking into the belly of the beast like Thor taking on the Kraken.  

She does respond to eloquently a New York Times article by Christopher Caldwell saying that she has to wait to persuade more people and not take a my way or the highway approach.  It would be great to be a fly on the wall at a meeting between Trump and Thunberg.


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Citizen Science



Last week I watched a special live broadcast by the PBS show Nature titled American Spring.  It was a three night event with the first episode discussing birth and rebirth, the second covering migration. and the third was on connections. You can see episode 1 above.  The series chronicled the efforts of citizen scientists in the Spring to gain valuable information about wild life.  

All sciences started out with citizen scientists such as Ben Franklin dabbling in electricity.  Philosophy is the mother of all the sciences.  It began with people (usually elite people who didn't have to worry about surviving) pondering the nature of the universe.  As science progressed by building off of what came before, it became increasingly elitist.  Likewise as scientific equipment becomes more advanced, the cost of conducting science became more and more prohibitive and dependent on government funding.

The sciences have become more and more ivory tower as the funding for it has become harder to come by and jobs have likewise become harder to maintain.  This is what I suspect is driving the call for amateur citizen scientists to get involved in the process.  This call for volunteers is to help fill the gap in funding for professional scientists.




Certainly getting involved in the process can be rewarding when people have the time to do it.  I still find it rewarding to pursue my brand of citizen science on this blog after eight and a half years though I've made little money off of it.  As science becomes more and more automated we all may be citizen scientists, though not always by choice.  


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Facebook Experiment Update and Global Data Competition



Post Type
11-Oct
18-Oct
Friend/family
2
2
Friend/Political
2
0
friend/share
2
2
Post from group
1
3
Post from page
2
1
promoted post
1
2

I looked  at the types of posts from the first 10 posts I saw in my news feed on Facebook.  Though some of the counts are different from one week to the next, there was no significant difference according to Fisher's exact test for the ungrouped table seen above (p=0.7336) and the grouped table seen below (p=0.6307).  This could be due to a low sample size but, as a pilot study, this was a method of estimating differences without knowing the result.  A large sample size would be needed to reach the universal p-value for significance of 0.05.


post
11-Oct
18-Oct
friend
6
4
group
1
3
page
2
1
promoted
1
2

That was a fun exercise. Now I am working on the Global Data Competition to showcase my skills.   I will be on a team working on global climate change.  I will report on the results.

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Global Warming, Wikileaks, and Statistics: What Barry Sanders Can Teach Us.