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America's energy future
May 25, 2001: Derided as "slick," by SUV-cruising House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, dismissed for failing to provide "one more kilowatt to California, this summer" by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, called "distructive for birds and wildlife" by Audubon Society President, John Flicker, and condemned as a "scam" by Kert Davies of Greenpeace, the report "Reliable, Affordable, and Environmentally Sound Energy for America's Future" prepared by the US National Energy Policy Group outlines the place of energy in the American economy and the challenges that America faces if it is to avoid disruptive energy shortages, while reducing the environmental impacts of energy use

After Kyoto: A realistic approach to climate management
April 5, 2001: Last week, President Bush announced that America will not ratify the Kyoto Treaty to limit atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Although this decision has evoked widespread protest, it provides an opportunity for a more productive approach to climate management

Global Warming and the Press
Based on a recently published scientific assessment of the causes of global warming, articles in the New York Times and other major newspapers inferred that carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning has not been a factor. As an examination of the study in question shows, this is the exact opposite of the truth

"Jefferson Fathered Slave’s Last Child:" Journal Article Raises a Question of Credibility?
Nature has long maintained that the media should discount scientific claims that have yet to be authenticated by publication in a scientific journal. However, as a recent article demonstrates, what is published in Nature may be highly, if not deliberately, misleading to the media

The BMJ's Experiment With Online "Peer Review"
As an alternative to peer review, the value of publishing unedited articles for indiscriminate public comment is open to question

Nature vs. NASA: A Question of Scientific Correctness?
The argument that public release of scientific data should occur only after publication in a peer-reviewed journal threatens scientists' freedom of speech

Does Peer Review Serves Bureaucracy Better Than Science?
Does peer review contribute to the advancement of science, or does it serve, primarily, the convenience of administrators at a cost to originality and open debate in science?


Science Made Complex

Xavier Gros

Student enrollment in science programs is declining in many western nations. The reason, Dr. Gros suggests, is an elitism in science that discourages scientists from communicating their work and ideas in the simplest terms to the widest possible audience

America's Amazing Carbon Sink
on the implications of a report that North America's forests absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than North Americans emit through fossil fuel combustion

A Dubious Proposal: Forest Giant's Rainforest Conservation Plan Is Unsupported by Scientific Data
Canada's largest forest company has responded to a boycott of products from British Columbia's coastal rainforest by proposing to substitute selective logging for clear-cutting. In return, it wants to harvest more old-growth timber

Energy, Environment and War

Peter L. Levin

Environmental costs of energy use and the resulting potential for international conflict, it is argued, can be reduced through public policy initiatives to adjust economic incentives and promote new energy technologies

Science, the State and Freedom of Speech
A dispute over the management of Canadian fisheries science shows how government information control negates the value of scientific research

Science and Subjectivity
Does science have a firm grip on reality, or is scientific knowledge, as some sociologists of science maintain, a mere social construct reflecting the interests of those who command the scientific enterprise?

That's No Way to Treat a Penguin
Concerning a study of Emperor penguins

Isn't Every Sheep a Clone?
The deeper implications of Dolly


Quotes, With Comments, On Items Seen In Print

The Scientific World-View: An Oxymoron?
Has specialization in science gone so far that scientists are no longer able to explain the broad implications of their work to the public or even to specialists in other scientific disciplines?
See letter: From Peter Martin

Cars, Carbon and Climate
While a gas tax proposal sends the popularity of the German Greens into a nosedive, Chrysler corporation makes hay with its new, less-than-thrifty sport-utility vehicle

Technology Refused
Innovation, not science and society, is now the focus for Technology Review (Editorial Jan/Feb, 1998). Readers of the magazine, however, are not uncritical enthusiasts for innovation as these comments show

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