Tags >> Science
Jul 12
2010

Fog and Redwoods

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , water , trees , Science , research , parks , history , environment , education , coast , climate change , California

Bruce Robinson

A new analysis finds there are fewer foggy days along the Northern California coast than there were  100 years ago. That’s bad news for the venerable coast redwoods.

In addition to charting a reduction in the number of foggy days over the past century, U.C. Berkeley researcher Todd E. Dawson says their study also found fewer hours of foggy conditions on the days when the mist was present.

In their analysis, Dawson and  his colleague, James Johnstone, found there was a relationship between drought years and fog conditions, but it’s not what one might expect.

Read the abstract of their published paper on this research here.

 

Jun 28
2010

Weather & Climate Change

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , technology , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , research , politics , ocean , nonprofit orgs , Green , environment , education , current events , climate change , carbon

Bruce Robinson

Carl Mears has been studying the weather for years. Now he’s trying to do something about it.

Carl Mears will be the featured speaker at a community gathering June 30 at 5:30 pm at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Santa Rosa.  His topic:  “What’s really going on with the Climate? A scientists’ perspective.”

For some, the phrase "climate change" has supplanted "global warming" as this issue is discussed. Mears says he understands the scientific reasoning behind that, but dislikes the political connotations.

May 24
2010

Gray Whales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Science , policy , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , environment , education , current events , coast , climate change , California , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

Once there were four types of Gray whales in the world’s oceans. Today, only the California Gray Whale survives in sustainable numbers, and its future is looking grim.

Gray whales are not just some of the largest creatures on the planet, says Sue Arnold, CEO of the Gray Whale Coalition, as a species they are also among the oldest.

Protecting the whales is not just an ecological and environmental issue, Arnold says, but there is an economic concern for California, too.

The whale hunting quota of 140 killed in each of the next ten years is now proposed in a “draft compromise” before the International Whaling Commission. But Arnold says the only current gray whale killing is happening in a remote area of Siberia.

Changing conditions in the arctic waters of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia/

Mar 22
2010

"Deadly Persuasion"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , women , teens , speaker , Science , research , public safety , protest , policy , media , legislation , journalism , Ideas , families , events , education , corporate responsibiliyt , children , business , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Advertising isn’t just annoying, contends industry critic  Jean Kilbourne, it can be genuinely harmful, especially in promoting additions to alcohol, tobacco or even just shopping.

Kilbourne observe that many of the most prolific advertisers are trying to promote regular consumption of their products, which although legal, are nonetheless highly addictive. So they are, essentially, working to promulgate addictions.

 

Politics is another area in which Kilbourne worried that the growing reliance on campaign advertising is inflicting powerful and distorting influence, implicitly facilitating corruption of candidates while discouraging public participation in the electoral process.

 

Those concerns have been exacerbated by the recent Supreme Court decision affirming “corporate personhood,” and striking down any limits on campaign spending by corporations. Kilboure fears that decision will have far-reaching and terribly destructive consequences.

Jean Kilbourne will deliver her presentation, “Deadly Persuasion” about advertising and how it tries to manipulate us, in the Sonoma State University Cooperage, Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm. Here's a summary/preview:

What are advertisers really selling us?

Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.

In her slide presentations, Jean Kilbourne examines images in advertising with the incisive wit and irony that have delighted and enlightened her audiences for years. With expert knowledge, insight, humor and commitment, she brings her audiences to see that, although ads may seem harmless and silly, they add up to a powerful form of cultural conditioning. She is known for her ability to present provocative topics in a way that unites rather than divides, that encourages dialogue, and that moves and empowers people to take action in their own and in society’s interest.

She explores the relationship of media images to actual problems in the society, such as violence, the sexual abuse of children, rape and sexual harassment, pornography and censorship, teenage pregnancy, addiction, and eating disorders. She also educates her audiences about the primary purpose of the mass media, which is to deliver audiences to advertisers. The emphasis is on health and freedom — freedom from rigid sex roles, freedom from addiction, freedom from denial, and freedom from manipulation and censorship.