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Coffee Party Science
News, information, and actions in defense of science as a method for predicting outcomes and making policy.
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Middle Aged People The 'Pinnacle Of Evolution'

Middle Aged People The 'Pinnacle Of Evolution' | Coffee Party Science | Scoop.it
People in their forties and fifties might mourn their changing figure or the passing of childbearing age, but these changes are key to the success of the human species, Dr David Bainbridge said.
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U.S. Science Foundation: Dinosaur feathers may have been used for mating, not ... - The State Column

Bright Side of News*U.S. Science Foundation: Dinosaur feathers may have been used for mating, not ...The State ColumnA team of scientists say that a recently discovered fossil sheds light on how dinosaurs may have attracted mates.
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Health irrelevant, tobacco firms tell court

Health irrelevant, tobacco firms tell court | Coffee Party Science | Scoop.it

by LENORE TAYLOR, Sydney Morning Herald


BIG tobacco companies have told the High Court they ''deny the content'' of documents lodged by the federal government making the case that smoking causes lung cancer.


In a hearing on the tobacco companies' court case against the government's new plain packaging laws, the companies have tried to block ''barrow loads'' of documents setting out evidence that smoking causes cancer on the basis that they were not relevant to the constitutional point being argued.


But two of the companies, Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco, also took issue with some of the content of the documents. [MORE]

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Rick Santorum: 'Tell That To A Plant, How Dangerous Carbon Dioxide Is' (VIDEO)

Rick Santorum: 'Tell That To A Plant, How Dangerous Carbon Dioxide Is' (VIDEO) | Coffee Party Science | Scoop.it

by CHRIS GENTILVISO, Huffington Post


On the eve of a pair of crucial Southern primaries, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum turned his attention to the environment.


The former Pennsylvania senator focused on energy development in Mississippi, prodding voters to trust his judgment.


"The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is," he said.


Santorum has used the environment as a talking point in criticisms of both his GOP rivals and President Barack Obama's administration. Back in early February, he targeted Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for allegedly buying into the "bogus" science of man-made climate change. At the same time, Santorum placed himself as a candidate who never believed in the "hoax of global warming." [MORE]

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Solar Flares 2012: Another Storm Coming

Solar Flares 2012: Another Storm Coming | Coffee Party Science | Scoop.it

by CLAYTON SANDELL, ABC News


Don’t put away the tinfoil hats just yet.


Government space weather watchers say a new geomagnetic storm is on the way following an eruption on the surface of the sun Friday morning.


It should arrive at Earth on Sunday, but like the storm that arrived Thursday and is just passing, the impact is expected to be fairly minimal.


“It is going to affect the Earth,” said Bob Rutledge, a forecaster at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder Colorado. “It’s headed fairly directly at us.”
While the storm is expected to reach “strong” or G-3 levels, (scale here) “we don’t believe it will have the sustained intensity of the storm we just had,” said Rutledge. [MORE]

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Report: Great Lakes ice cover diminishes 71 percent since 1973

Associated Press


DULUTH, Minn. - A published report says the amount of ice covering the Great Lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years, a drop that the lead author partly attributes to climate change.


The report published last month by the American Meteorological Society said only about 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over this year.

"There was a significant downward trend in ice coverage from 1973 to the present for all of the lakes," according to the study, which appeared in the society's Journal of Climate.


Researchers determined ice coverage by scanning U.S. Coast Guard reports and satellite images taken from 1973 to 2010, the Duluth News Tribune reported ( http://bit.ly/z5DoW8). They found that ice coverage was down 88 percent on Lake Ontario and fell 79 percent on Lake Superior. However, the ice in Lake St. Clair, which is between Lakes Erie and Huron, diminished just 37 percent.


The study's lead researcher is Jia Wang of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Ann Arbor, Mich. He attributed the decline to several factors, including broad climate change and smaller cyclical climate patterns like El Nino and La Nina. [MORE]

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How ALEC is Destroying the Teaching of Climate Change Science, One State at a Time

How ALEC is Destroying the Teaching of Climate Change Science, One State at a Time | Coffee Party Science | Scoop.it
Tennessee just became the fourth state in the nation to include climate change denial in their science education curriculum. Who's behind this crafty legislation? You guessed it.


March 22, 2012 | Steve Horn, Alternet

Photo Credit: Helder Almeida via Shutterstock.com


The month of March has seen unprecedented heat and temperatures. A rational thinking, scientifically-grounded individual could only posit, "Well, hmm, I bet climate change has something to do with the fact that in Madison, WI, it is 80 degrees in mid-March. Sometimes it's 60 or 70 degrees colder than this!"


While that individual would be positing something that is the well-accepted scientific consensus, in some states, under law, that is only a "controversial theory among other theories."


Welcome to Tennessee, which on March 19th became the fourth state with a legal mandate to incorporate climate change denial as part of the science education curriculum when discussing climate change.


First it was Louisiana, back in 2009, then Texas in 2009, South Dakota in 2010 and now Tennessee has joined the club, bringing the total to four U.S. states that have mandated climate change denial in K-12 "science" education.


Many other states could follow in their footsteps as well, given that, as DeSmogBlog exposed in late-January, this is an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bill, a near miror image of its Orwellian-titled "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act." [more...]


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