Another warming contrarian who can’t/won’t shoot straight

February 12, 2010

Joanne Nova is, I gather, a former television personality in Australia now blogging away against science and the study of climate change at JoNova.  Here’s how far off the track she is:  She’s been sucked in by Monckton,  as some great scientist and hero — he whose biggest achievements are to call scientists “bedwetters” and attack the reputations of famous dead women (what is it about Monckton and dead women?).

Her latest post is a hoot. She’s claiming that the case for global warming is coming apart.  She illustrates it with this PhotoShop™ masterpiece (note the “JoNova” in the lower lefthand corner, and note it well):

JoNova's PhotoShop of Glen Canyon Dam for an article on wildly inaccurate claims about climate change; original photo copyright by Wild Nature Images.

JoNova defaces photo of Glen Canyon Dam. Original photo copyright by Wild Nature Images.

Glen Canyon Dam poses problems for serious advocates of environnmental protection for many reasons, not the least being the death of Glen Canyon.  This dam represents one of the greatest losses of the environmental movement.  That’s not why Nova chose the photos, I’m sure — I’d be surprised if she could find Glen Canyon on a map, and I’m all but certain she’s clueless about the controversy about the dam (don’t even wonder whether she’s ever read Ed Abbey).

Regardless where one stands on the issues around Glen Canyon Dam, one cannot look at this photo without seeing the white stripe from the water behind the dam, running about 50 feet up the canyon walls.

Check out the original, copyrighted photo here, at WildNatureImages.com (and maybe buy a copy — it’s a great photo of the dam, Lake Powell and the area; no bluer sky anywhere).  I presume that, even with the huge “JoNova” on it, Nova will allow free duplication of her original work; but why didn’t she credit the guy who took the photo (Ron Niebrugge) and the people who put it on the internet for her (WildNatureImages.com)?  Update:  Nova is giving credit, now.

The original, without comment, is at once more beautiful, more awe-striking, and more accurate a portrayal of the effects of climate than Nova’s doctored version:

Glen Canyon Dam - photo by Ron Niebrugge, at WildNatureImages.com

Glen Canyon Dam, photo by Ron Niebrugge, at WildNatureImages.com. Displayed here with express written permission.

See, climate change is thought to be one of the culprits for that white line. Glen Canyon Dam is in straits right now, as is the Colorado River Compact that created the legal justification for constructing the dam, because precipitation in the mountains where the Colorado River is born has fallen dramatically in the past couple of decades — and Lake Powell has shrunk to a vestige of its former self, of its planned extent, of the extent hoped for in cooler times.

Lake Powell's drop, circa 2008, photo by Marco Ammannati via National Parks Traveler

Lake Powell's drop, circa 2008, photo by Marco Ammannati via National Parks Traveler. Caption from National Parks Traveler: "At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, years of drought, possibly an indicator of climate change, have revealed Lake Powell's bathtub walls. Spring runoff, however, could soon make those bathtub walls vanish."

JoNova uses a photograph showing the harms of climate change, to claim that climate change does not occur.

Is this the stupidest anti-climate change statement ever made?

Offer your candidates for dumber or stupider claims below.  It’s time we started counting and cataloging.

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What if we actually encouraged students to use technology?

February 12, 2010

This is the headline that roped me in, at The New York Times: “Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus into Rolling Study Hall.”

And a short excerpt:

But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops.

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

What would your bus drivers say?

(File under “If you teach them, they will learn — and behavior problems will fade away.”)

Don’t miss the end of the article:

A ride through mountains on a drizzly afternoon can be unpredictable, even on the Internet Bus. Through the windows on the left, inky clouds suddenly parted above a ridge, revealing an arc of incandescent color.

“Dude, there’s a rainbow!” shouted Morghan Sonderer, a ninth grader.

A dozen students looked up from their laptops and cellphones, abandoning technology to stare in wonder at the eastern sky.

“It’s following us!” Morghan exclaimed.

“We’re being stalked by a rainbow!” Jerod said.

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