Category Archives: Boston Ethical Society

Today, now, and what of the future?

From Aldo Leopold in his A Sand County Almanac: One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, agroecology, Aldo Leopold, American Association for the Advancement of Science, argoecology, being carbon dioxide, biology, Boston Ethical Society, Botany, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Darwin, climate, climate change, David Suzuki, Earle Wilson, Ecological Society of America, Ecology Action, ethics, George Sughihara, Glen Peters, global warming, Grant Foster, Humans have a lot to answer for, Hyper Anthropocene, population biology, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, Spaceship Earth, sustainability, The Demon Haunted World, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the tragedy of our present civilization, tragedy of the horizon, unreason, UU Humanists | 2 Comments

On lamenting the state of the Internet or Web

From time to time, people complain about the state of the Internet or of the World Wide Web. They are sometimes parts of governments charged with mitigating crime, sometimes privacy advocates, sometimes local governments or retails lamenting loss of tax … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, an ignorant American public, an uncaring American public, Anthropocene, being carbon dioxide, bollocks, Boston Ethical Society, bridge to nowhere, Buckminster Fuller, capricious gods, Carbon Worshipers, card games, civilization, climate change, consumption, corporate responsibility, Cult of Carbon, Daniel Kahneman, data centers, David Suzuki, denial, design science, ethical ideals, Faster Forward, Hyper Anthropocene, hypertext, ignorance, Internet, Joseph Schumpeter, making money, Mathbabe, networks, organizational failures, superstition, Ted Nelson, the right to know, the tragedy of our present civilization, transclusion, Xanadu, ZigZag | Leave a comment

Leaders (say they) Don’t Know About Lags

Maybe they don’t. Most people don’t. On the other hand, there’s little more to them than understanding skeet, realizing aiming where the clay pigeon is now is a useless tactic for hitting it. Aim where the pigeon will be is … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Meteorological Association, AMETSOC, anti-intellectualism, anti-science, atmosphere, attribution, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, Carbon Worshipers, climate change, climate disruption, climate economics, climate education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cult of Carbon, dynamical systems, environment, ethics, evidence, forecasting, geophysics, global warming, Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, moral leadership, Our Children's Trust, Principles of Planetary Climate, rights of the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, the right to be and act stupid, the tragedy of our present civilization, tragedy of the horizon, unreason, UU, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

CO2 efficiency as a policy concept

I listened to the following talk, featuring Professor Kevin Anderson, who I have mentioned many times here before: While I continue to be hugely supportive of distributed PV as an energetic and democratic solution, as inspired by John Farrell at … Continue reading

Posted in Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Boston Ethical Society, climate disruption, ILSR, John Farrell, Kevin Anderson, lifestyle changes, local self reliance, moral leadership, naturalism, personal discipline, Spaceship Earth, Unitarian Universalism, UU, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

These are ethical “AI Principles” from Google, but they might as well be `technological principles’

This is entirely adapted from this link, courtesy of Google and Alphabet. Objectives Be socially beneficial. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias. Be built and tested for safety. Be accountable to people. Incorporate privacy design principles. Uphold high standards of … Continue reading

Posted in American Statistical Association, artificial intelligence, basic research, Bayesian, Boston Ethical Society, complex systems, computation, corporate citizenship, corporate responsibility, deep recurrent neural networks, emergent organization, ethical ideals, ethics, extended producer responsibility, friends and colleagues, Google, Google Pixel 2, humanism, investments, machine learning, mathematics, moral leadership, natural philosophy, politics, risk, science, secularism, technology, The Demon Haunted World, the right to know, Unitarian Universalism, UU, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

Remember. But remember, too, we are no longer in the 19th century. Our risks today are much bigger.

Hat tip to Tamino. Thoreau’s “Slavery in Massachusetts”. But, recall, the stakes we gamble upon today are much bigger than those, as big as they were. See here for further details. But watch the episode if you really want to … Continue reading

Posted in Boston Ethical Society, bridge to nowhere, ethical ideals, ethics, UU, UU Humanists, UU Needham | Leave a comment

Memorial for Reverend Edwin Arthur Lane, 30th September 2017

At First Parish Needham, Unitarian Universalist: As tranquil streams that meet and merge and flow as one to seek the sea, our kindred hearts and minds unite to build a church that shall be free — Free from the bonds … Continue reading

Posted in Boston Ethical Society, Unitarian Universalism | Leave a comment

‘Near classified information’ and the militarization of environmental degradation

EPA Anti-Leak Campaign EPA employees are currently receiving instruction in “unauthorized disclosure training,” teaching them not to leak classified or near-classified information. This training is part of a government-wide eradication effort following National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s memo to agency … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Meteorological Association, American Statistical Association, AMETSOC, anti-science, Azimuth Backup Project, Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, bridge to somewhere, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, citizen data, citizen science, citizenship, climate justice, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, criminal justice, Cult of Carbon, denial, destructive economic development, Donald Trump, ecological services, ecology, Ecology Action, environment, environmental law, Environmental Protection Agency, Equiterre, fear uncertainty and doubt, Hyper Anthropocene, James Hansen, rights of the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, science, science denier, science education, United States, ``The tide is risin'/And so are we'' | Leave a comment

On the responsibilities of scientists

On 4 September 2017, I added a blog post here titled “On the responsibilities of engineers”. Scientists have responsibilities, too. And I am delighted to say that the National Academies have just demonstrated a proud example of how such responsibilities … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, anti-science, attribution, Boston Ethical Society, chemistry, citizenship, compassion, Donald Trump, dump Trump, ecology, Ecology Action, economics, environment, environmental law, Environmental Protection Agency, ethics, evidence, fossil fuels, justice, land use to fight, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, pollution, rationality, reason, reasonableness, risk, science, science denier, secularism, sustainability, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the stack of lies, the value of financial assets, tragedy of the horizon | Leave a comment

Unitarians, Dublin, IE

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Happy Newtonmas!

When knowledge conquered fear … And, what better way to celebrate than watching the National Geographic Cosmos episode, When knowledge conquered fear, hosted by the great Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

Posted in abstraction, astronomy, astrophysics, atheism, Bill Maher, Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, Buckminster Fuller, Carl Sagan, Cosmos, geophysics, Isaac Newton, mathematics, Neill deGrasse Tyson, physics, science, science education, the show | Leave a comment

Pale Blue Dot

Compassion, yes. Love, no.

Posted in astronomy, astrophysics, atheism, Bill Maher, Bill Nye, bollocks, Boston Ethical Society, Carl Sagan, citizenship, civilization, compassion, ecology, geophysics, humanism, NASA, physical materialism, physics, population biology, Sankey diagram, Spaceship Earth, statistics, stochastics | 1 Comment

Ahmed: arrested for having electronics in his possession simpler than a smart phone

I have made my comments at The Times news article on the subject. If I, as a youngster, brought my Newtonian telescope lens-in-progress into school, and because it looked like it was wrapped in putty, would I, in this day, … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, astrophysics, atheism, Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, Carl Sagan, citizenship, civilization, Dan Satterfield, disingenuity, education, engineering, ethics, humanism, ignorance, physical materialism, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, science education, Susan Jacoby, the right to know, Unitarian Universalism, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

“Does Local Climate Information Stimulate Action?” | Tyndall°Centre for Climate Change Research ®

Does Local Climate Information Stimulate Action? | Tyndall°Centre for Climate Change Research ®. In an experiment, we asked people, who live in the U.S. state of Vermont, to what extent they care about other communities/people (self-transcendent values), or their own … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, Carbon Tax, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate, climate change, climate disruption, compassion, demand-side solutions, economics, environment, ethics, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, humanism, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, meteorology, sociology, temporal myopia, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

“Allocating a 2° C cumulative carbon budget to countries”: Gignac and Matthews

Abstract Recent estimates of the global carbon budget, or allowable cumulative CO2 emissions consistent with a given level of climate warming, have the potential to inform climate mitigation policy discussions aimed at maintaining global temperatures below 2° C. This raises … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, Boston Ethical Society, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, Carbon Tax, chance, chemistry, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, climate justice, compassion, conservation, consumption, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, ecology, education, energy, energy reduction, environment, ethics, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, geophysics, global warming, humanism, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, meteorology, mitigation, open source scientific software, physical materialism, physics, population biology, prediction, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, science education, scientific publishing, sociology, solar power, sustainability, temporal myopia, the right to know, time series, UNFCCC, UU Humanists, wind power | Leave a comment

Science Deniers

A good term, science denier, by Dan Satterfield. And assuredly the WUWT crowd is part of them.

Posted in Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, Carl Sagan, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, climate change, climate zombies, disingenuity, education, environment, geophysics, global warming, history, humanism, ignorance, investing, meteorology, natural philosophy, obfuscating data, rationality, reasonableness, reproducible research, risk, science, science education, sociology, temporal myopia, the right to know | Leave a comment

Excellent. With musings on religion and mass extinctions.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I can feel the same way about some religions. Now, it’s not that many aren’t doing good, and many aren’t getting people to realize that we have painted ourselves deeply into a climate corner, but it … Continue reading

Posted in art, atheism, Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, bridge to nowhere, Carl Sagan, citizenship, climate, climate change, climate education, climate justice, climate zombies, Darwin Day, denial, ecology, environment, ethics, fossil fuels, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, history, humanism, mass extinctions, Neill deGrasse Tyson, physical materialism, politics, population biology, rationality, reasonableness, science, science education, sociology, temporal myopia, the right to know, UU Humanists | 1 Comment

The ShoutROC action on the climate rally, Concord, MA, 19th April 2015.

Album available. Y’think this is play stuff? These start slow, but, in the end, they are overwhelming. Go ahead, try to say “No, we’re gonna consume all we want, and what’s left is YOUR problem” to this citizen:

Posted in Boston Ethical Society, Carbon Tax, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate change, climate education, compassion, conservation, ethics, fossil fuel divestment, history, humanism, reasonableness, the right to know, Unitarian Universalism, UU Humanists | 1 Comment

We are trying. And the bitterest result is to have so-called colleagues align themselves with the Koch brothers

I attended a 350.org meeting tonight. One group A group presenting there called “Fighting Against Natural Gas” applauded themselves for assailing Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island for his supportive position on natural gas pipelines. Now, I am no friend of … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, astrophysics, Boston Ethical Society, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide sequestration, Carbon Tax, chemistry, citizenship, climate, climate change, climate education, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, demand-side solutions, ecology, economics, energy reduction, engineering, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, JAGS, meteorology, methane, model comparison, NASA, natural gas, NCAR, Neill deGrasse Tyson, oceanography, open data, physics, politics, population biology, Principles of Planetary Climate, Python 3, R, rationality, reasonableness, reproducible research, risk, science, science education, Scripps Institution of Oceanography | 4 Comments

“Gray matters [not much, truly]” (Christian Robert)

Gray matters [not much, truly].

Posted in atheism, Boston Ethical Society, capricious gods, citizenship, civilization, education, ethics, history, politics, rationality, reasonableness, the right to know | Leave a comment

International Darwin Day: 12th February 2015

http://darwinday.org/ http://darwinday.org/about/

Posted in atheism, biology, Boston Ethical Society, Charles Darwin, civilization, Darwin Day, ecology, environment, evolution, science, science education, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

The B-Team

Yes!! B Team Leaders Call for Net-Zero Greenhouse-Gas Emissions by 2050 About the B Team. See also Track 0

Posted in astrophysics, biology, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, carbon dioxide sequestration, Carbon Tax, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate change, climate education, compassion, conservation, consumption, demand-side solutions, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, forecasting, geoengineering, geophysics, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, meteorology, NOAA, oceanography, physics, rationality, reasonableness, science, sociology, the right to know, wind power | Leave a comment

Exciting if improbable news

There’s a report in the Financial Times today that UN negotiators are considering a proposal to phase out oil, coal, and gas by 2050. There’s a second permitting fossil fuels to be used, but only in countries which ensured “net … Continue reading

Posted in biology, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, carbon dioxide sequestration, Carbon Tax, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate education, consumption, ecology, economics, energy, energy reduction, environment, fossil fuel divestment, geophysics, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, meteorology, methane, nuclear power, oceanography, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, risk, solar power, wind power | Leave a comment

“Stochasticity!”

RadioLab’s show/podcast this week was a tour of the world of probability, and its interface with people. I judge it great, but, then, I would. Their description? Stochasticity (a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness), may be at the … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bayesian, Boston Ethical Society, citizen science, citizenship, education, ethics, mathematics, maths, rationality, reasonableness, risk, statistics | Leave a comment

Why I don’t eat commercially caught fish

And, of course, I don’t eat land animals either. I will sometimes have scallops and clams.

Posted in atheism, biology, Boston Ethical Society, ethics, humanism, oceanography, Unitarian Universalism, UU Humanists | 1 Comment

Carl Sagan Speaks

Posted in atheism, Boston Ethical Society, Carl Sagan, Neill deGrasse Tyson, politics, rationality, reasonableness, risk | Leave a comment

Defeating “The Index” in Gilbert, Arizona

“Home rule” means a lot of things. But, as the Catholic hierarchy in Rome once did, the educational authorities of Gilbert, Arizona, USA, are apparently taking it one step too far. Dan Satterfield reports that certain pages in a biology … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, biology, Boston Ethical Society, citizenship, ecology, education, environment, humanism, physics, rationality, reasonableness, science, scientific publishing, the right to know | Leave a comment

“It’ll be okay: Trust me”, redux

Professor Steven Koonin offers up another dollop of vague, specious criticism of climate science in his editorial in The Wall Street Journal. He is credentialed, no doubt authoritative. But compelling arguments for a position should be judged as if the … Continue reading

Posted in art, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, Carbon Tax, citizenship, climate, climate education, conservation, ecology, economics, education, energy, engineering, environment, forecasting, geophysics, mathematics, maths, meteorology, oceanography, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, science | 8 Comments

“People are too insignificant to affect climate”

Setting aside outright fabrications (1) such as those promulgated by the Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), laughingly selected as the Chair of the House Committee on Science, a common claim in the Comment sections at The Hill and elsewhere is that … Continue reading

Posted in biology, Boston Ethical Society, carbon dioxide, citizenship, civilization, climate, conservation, ecology, environment, history, humanism, rationality, reasonableness, science, Uncategorized, Unitarian Universalism | 1 Comment

‘We’re due for one; it’s time’

The title is a paraphrase. This post is written with some irritation at a NOAA meteorologist, (presumably Dr) Glen Field who, on camera, flaunts his poor knowledge of probability and statistics, and misleads the public in doing so. See this … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian, Boston Ethical Society, climate, climate education, compassion, ecology, economics, engineering, environment, geoengineering, history, humanism, NASA, notes, obfuscating data, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment