... Mr Cohn does his best to affirm that the urgent necessity of acting to retard warming has not abated, as does Brad Plumer of the Washington Post, as does this newspaper. But there's no way around the fact that this reprieve for the planet is bad news for proponents of policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions treaties, meant to slow warming by moderating the release of greenhouse gases. The reality is that the already meagre prospects of these policies, in America at least, will be devastated if temperatures do fall outside the lower bound of the projections that environmentalists have used to create a panicked sense of emergency. Whether or not dramatic climate-policy interventions remain advisable, they will become harder, if not impossible, to sell to the public, which will feel, not unreasonably, that the scientific and media establishment has cried wolf.
Dramatic warming may exact a terrible price in terms of human welfare, especially in poorer countries. But cutting emissions enough to put a real dent in warming may also put a real dent in economic growth. This could also exact a terrible humanitarian price, especially in poorer countries. Given the so-far unfathomed complexity of global climate and the tenuousness of our grasp on the full set of relevant physical mechanisms, I have favoured waiting a decade or two in order to test and improve the empirical reliability of our climate models, while also allowing the economies of the less-developed parts of the world to grow unhindered, improving their position to adapt to whatever heavy weather may come their way. I have been told repeatedly that "we cannot afford to wait". More distressingly, my brand of sceptical empiricism has been often met with a bludgeoning dogmatism about the authority of scientific consensus. ...
Americans donated $316 billion to charitable causes in 2012, a 3.5% increase from 2011, a new report by the Giving USA Foundation found. But while charitable donations to education increased 7% to $41 billion, religious donations dropped slightly (by 0.2%) to $101.54 billion. “Americans continue to be the most generous people in the world, despite discretionary income percentages nearing all-time lows,” says Eileen Heisman, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust. But donors are writing the checks to different recipients.
5. I'm not endorsing this analysis but here is The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage.
6. Gil Press says The 'End Of Innovation' Crowd Doesn't Get IT
In one camp are economists such as Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen that tell us that we have reached “a technological plateau.” We are experiencing today the waning of the economic impact of the technological revolutions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The IT revolution, they argue, is different from earlier technological revolutions in its more limited impact on productivity growth and standards of living.
In the other camp are economists such as Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, who recently told the graduating class at Bard College:”…innovation, almost by definition, involves ideas that no one has yet had, which means that forecasts of future technological change can be, and often are, wildly wrong. A safe prediction, I think, is that human innovation and creativity will continue; it is part of our very nature. Another prediction, just as safe, is that people will nevertheless continue to forecast the end of innovation.”
Can't get a loan from a bank to start your business? You can create a Kickstarter and raise all the money you need from the people who'd be interested in your product in the first place.
It's amazing to see the ways people are coming up with to better take advantage of the web to collaborate on and share the things that we used to have to pay for ourselves.
Despite the political fallout from the Fukushima crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy remains committed to commercializing small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technologies.
Turns out, prefab may be the most environmentally friendly way to build a house. When a house is built in a factory there's less waste -- materials can be precision measured and cut -- plus a prefab structure can be erected within a couple of weeks -- avoiding months and months of workmen driving greenhouse gas spewing trucks to the site. One speaker at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference earlier this year, Bill Haney -- founder and CEO of Blu Homes, cited another advantage of prefab housing: "No one can build a traditional house on time or on budget. Psychology Today cited a study that said it's more painful to build a house than it is to have a loved one die."
Haney has added a high-tech element to his prefab green houses. Applying technology developed at MIT, Blu Homes designs its modern structures using steel frames that fold on hinges much like a card table. Today, most prefab homes must be delivered at great expense on wide-load trucks that are too big to travel on many roads and have to be accompanied by escort cars. A Blue Home, by contrast, can be folded up to fit on an 18-wheeler, allowing the house to be shipped relatively cheaply and easily from the company's factory in Vallejo, Calif.
13. A fascinating piece on Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis
The material they found was “a mixture of human DNA, microorganisms and contaminating DNA from other bones and surrounding soil,” said Cole, but they were able to fully reconstruct a 600-year-old strain of leprosy and map its genome, only to find that it is essentially identical to living leprosy infecting people in the developing world today.
Cole told NPR, “If the explanation of the drop in leprosy cases isn’t in the pathogen, then it must be in the host, that is, in us.”
The scientists believe that a certain gene that makes people highly resistant to leprosy spread through the population of Europe, gradually conveying a kind of mass immunity.
Admittedly, I’m just beginning to work this out, but if we think of Bible as Story and we read the earlier bits as indispensible building blocks in the narrative development toward its resolution than there’s no need to denigrate the earlier in view of the later bits of the story. Each part has its place in the story bringing it to its final act, although even this analogy must be carefully delimited. Because “final” in this sense does not mean “The End, but a new stage of the story. So because of the earlier blocks of the story, later scenes and characters become “narratological necessities” (to quote my good friend Daniel Kirk). Furthermore, if there is something of an “incompleteness” to the earlier parts of the story, it is incomplete only as earlier scenes are incomplete without subsequent ones. It is correct then to see the Bible’s story as progressive. In Stephen Wellum’s words, “it is a word-act revelation that is progressively given” (Kingdom Through Covenant, 90). Instead of using the label “progressive revelation” it may be more useful in stressing the storied nature of the development to call it “storied revelation”- Scripture is a story that unfolds. All of this, of course assumes that God has generated His Story and that story is contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Christian canon.