Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Yesterday, Josh Rosenau warned about a state board of education hearing in West Virginia, and our hopes that the board would reverse a series of climate change-distorting revisions added late last month.

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Last Tuesday afternoon, NCSE’s intrepid (but at the time, flu-ridden) communications director forwarded me an urgent request for assistance. Slate science editor Laura Helmuth was moderating a panel at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, and one of her panelists had bailed. Could I step in tomorrow, to talk about opinion journalism for scientists and science journalists?

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Are recent natural disasters evidence for the end times, global climate change….or both?  A new survey suggests that nearly half (49%) of Americans think the former and more than three in five (62%) think the latter, meaning, because the total is more than 100%, some conclude it could be both.  

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Photo of LEED Gold Great Neck Middle School courtesy of Virginia Beach City Public SchoolsSome say climate change is too hard to teach to kids because it's so depressing...or too controversial...but here’s one school district that has turned that idea on its ear!

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When Presidents Obama and Xi met for dinner recently to discuss the new climate change agreement between their two nations, the Chinese president used the metaphor “a pool begins with many drops of water” to describe the potential for the two nations to collaborate in substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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The latest battle over Texas textbooks is coming to a head. Next week, the state board of education will vote to adopt social studies textbooks, setting the list of books approved for use in history, geography, social studies, economics, and other classes for next decade. Normally we at NCSE don’t spend much time looking at social studies textbooks, but climate change comes up in several of the books and we looked them over to make sure the science was right.

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I spent the first few hours today in an uncanny glow. On opposite sides of the planet, in utterly different realms, scientists and political leaders had, in two very different ways, accomplished the unthinkable.

The first instance actually hit just before I went to bed. News broke late yesterday that President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping had come to a binational agreement on targets for climate pollution reduction. Scratch that; it sounds too dull for what it means.

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Within the climate communication community, blaming the messenger—climate scientists—for the lack of progress on climate action has been almost as popular as blaming deniers for interfering with the message. “If only climate scientists were better communicators,” the lament goes, “then we’d see more progress on addressing climate change.”

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