While exploring Israeli politicians’ views on evolution, and the similar rate at which the US and Israeli public rejects evolution, I wondered how the Israeli public would compare with Jews in the US. It seems more apt to compare the 5.4 million US Jews to the 6.1 million Israeli Jews (or 8 million Israelis) than comparing the US at large to Israel at large, after all.

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While discussion of Israeli elections has largely (and reasonably) focused on the different parties’ views on the occupation of Palestine and the prospect of war with Iran, the ongoing effort to craft a coalition government may carry risks for science education, too.

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Recently I found myself around the corner from Buckingham Palace in the boardroom of Rolls-Royce, maker of airplane engines and wind turbines (they spun off the luxury car division years ago), sitting across the table from the renowned climatologist Jean Jouzel, listening to his passionate plea to for us to educate society to prepare for changing climate and limit its impacts.

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I don’t know who put it on the Netflix queue, but a copy of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) arrived in my mailbox recently. That, of course, is the mockumentary starring Sacha Baron Cohen as the eponymous Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh journalist touring the United States. Much of the film, as I understand it, consists of unscripted interactions in which Baron Cohen behaves badly with unsuspecting Americans on the pretext of not understanding American customs and/or adhering to fictitious (and frequently repulsive) Kazakh customs. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, and I don’t know that I’m going to bother to watch it. Maybe I’m too tenderhearted, but I felt sorry even for the young-earth creationist Kent Hovind when he was similarly treated by Ali G—also a character played by Baron Cohen. But receiving Borat in the mail reminded me that I’ve been meaning to discuss public opinion about evolution in Kazakhstan. (My to-do list is as eclectic as it is extensive.)

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In which I go to England and am inspired to inject some optimism—and clotted cream—into the climate change discussion. 

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A few weeks ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists began its competition to find the most science-friendly President.

In the opening round of the playoffs, which had preselected eight out of the 44 US Presidents, Abe (Lincoln) went head to head with Ike (Dwight David Eisenhower).

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Those of us who live and breathe climate and energy issues know the answer to typical pop quiz questions like, "What's the nation most responsible for climate change?" Well, the largest emitter of carbon into the atmosphere is currently China, but historically the United States is responsible for the lion's share, with nearly 30% of the total emitted since the mid-1800s.

But if the question is "which corporate entity wins the dubious distinction of being the largest contributor of carbon emissions to the atmosphere?" we might struggle more.

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The 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC report is finally out! Or at least the Summary for Policymakers is out, and this is the part that teachers are going to want to use. This summary has oodles of pictures, figures and detailed information about the state of climate change, as well as predictions for the future.

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