Showing posts with label Global Warming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Warming. 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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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Global Data Competition Winner

Three weeks ago I posted about our submission to the Global Data competition Phase 2. There were 9 teams from all over the US and Asia.  Projects were scored on a through scale on a topic related to global warming.  I am very grateful for my teammates Jim Lohse, Jackson and Nikki Pontsler, and Nimesh Jha for their support.  The summary of our analysis can be seen here.

In Phase 1 there was contestants were given a series of satellite photos from Mars and asked to decide whether a volcano was depicted.  The team or individual with most accurate classification was the winner.  Jianmin Sun of West Jordan, UT won with an accuracy of 99.8769.

The winner of the Global Data Competition Phase 1 and 2 were announced at the Intermountain Big Data Conference on Nov 21.  Our team, Captain Paul's R-eality was lised as the winner.  My summary of the analysis can be seen here.

I received this tweet on Sunday. 

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Global Data Competition Submission

  I have been busy last week working on the analysis of climate data and air quality data for Utah in 2013 for the Global Data Competition.  Above is the document I submitted and my team put together in this graphical display (Thank you Jim, Nikki, Jackson, and Nimesh),  

The first page in the embed seen above give the descriptive statistics for the analysis.  The next one is a mixed model analysis of the merged data set for three air pollutants (Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, and Sulfur Dioxide) stations and the outcome of departure from normal temperature (DPNT) in tenths of degrees FahrenheitWe found no effect of pollutants but there was an effect of elevation with higher levels elevation in meters and a significant random effect of date.  Date was by month.

The model was rerun with the full data set.  There was a significant 0.0004 degree increase in the departure from normal temps for every 1 meter gain in elevation.  There was a significant random effect of date.
Jnnuary correlation

Because of this result I looked at the correlation with DPNT and elevation for each month in 2013 in Utah.  The correlations are presented in the table at the bottom of this post.  There were significant positive correlations for the winter months of December thru March with DPNT increasing in each of these months with elevation. The scatter plot for January where the relationship was strongest. In the summer months of July thru September, there were significant negative correlations which were weaker in magnitude (distance from zero) than those for January and December.  The scatterplot for July (the strongest negative correlation) is presented below.
July Correlation

The significance of higher temperatures at higher elevations in the winter months means a smaller snow pack in the mountains.  This has implications for the ski industry in Utah as well as the water tables in Utah which depends on the spring snow melt.  This can contribute to drought conditions throughout the west.  The winner of the competition will be announced at the Intermountain Data Conference on November 21.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Facebook Experiment Update and Global Data Competition

Post Type
Post from group
Post from page
promoted post

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.


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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