Category Archives: ethics

What I’m reading …

C. E. Rasmussen, C. K. I. Williams, Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning, MIT Press, 2006. J. Leskovec, A. Rajaraman, J. D. Ullman, Mining of Massive Datasets, 2nd edition, 2016. J. Schaeffer, Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook, 14th edition, New Society … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, evidence, humanism, Hyper Anthropocene, indigenous peoples, science, science education | Leave a comment

The Azimuth Climate Data Backup Project, in association with ClimateMirror

(Updated the afternoon of 3rd February 2017.) The Azimuth Climate Data Backup Project, operating in association with ClimateMirror, is being funded via the Kickstarter available at this link. Give what you can. Thanks! See our goal statement. This is all … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, citizen science, civilization, climate, climate change, climate data, climate disruption, climate education, climate justice, Climate Lab Book, cynicism, denial, Donald Trump, education, EIA, ethics, evidence, fear uncertainty and doubt, forecasting, fossil fuels, Global Carbon Project, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, NASA, NOAA, open data, open source scientific software, rationality, reason, reasonableness, risk, science, science denier, science education, smart data, statistics, the right to know, the tragedy of our present civilization, UU, ``The tide is risin'/And so are we'' | Leave a comment

Gas leaks along the pathway of the newly built West Roxbury Lateral transmission line

(This blog post was updated 19th January 2017 with a correction to the interpretation of the leak data. The correction was offered by Professor Phillips. The blog author is responsible for the original misunderstanding. Apologies for any inconvenience.) The West … Continue reading

Posted in anomaly detection, Anthropocene, bridge to nowhere, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, energy utilities, environment, ethics, evidence, explosive methane, fossil fuel infrastructure, fossil fuels, gas pipeline leaks, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, methane, Nathan Phillips, natural gas, networks, pipelines, public utility commissions, the right to be and act stupid, the tragedy of our present civilization, the value of financial assets, ``The tide is risin'/And so are we'' | Leave a comment

Indigenous peoples win a reprieve, and, no matter what comes later, a solid victory

“The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements … Continue reading

Posted in American Petroleum Institute, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF, bridge to nowhere, Buckminster Fuller, ecological services, ecology, Ecology Action, Equiterre, ethics, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuel infrastructure, fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, indigenous peoples, land use to fight, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, Our Children's Trust, pipelines | Leave a comment

Cathy O’Neil’s WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION: A Review

(Revised and updated Monday, 24th October 2016.) Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil, published by Crown Random House, 2016. This is a thoughtful and very approachable introduction and review to the societal and personal consequences of data mining, data science, … Continue reading

Posted in citizen data, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, compassion, complex systems, criminal justice, Daniel Kahneman, data science, deep recurrent neural networks, destructive economic development, economics, education, engineering, ethics, Google, ignorance, Joseph Schumpeter, life purpose, machine learning, Mathbabe, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, model comparison, model-free forecasting, numerical analysis, numerical software, open data, optimization, organizational failures, planning, politics, prediction, prediction markets, privacy, rationality, reason, reasonableness, risk, silly tech devices, smart data, sociology, Techno Utopias, testing, the value of financial assets, transparency | Leave a comment

“Holy crap – an actual book!”

Originally posted on mathbabe:
Yo, everyone! The final version of my book now exists, and I have exactly one copy! Here’s my editor, Amanda Cook, holding it yesterday when we met for beers: Here’s my son holding it: He’s offered…

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, Buckminster Fuller, business, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, complex systems, confirmation bias, data science, data streams, deep recurrent neural networks, denial, economics, education, engineering, ethics, evidence, Internet, investing, life purpose, machine learning, mathematical publishing, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, moral leadership, multivariate statistics, numerical software, numerics, obfuscating data, organizational failures, politics, population biology, prediction, prediction markets, privacy, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, rationality, reason, reasonableness, rhetoric, risk, Schnabel census, smart data, sociology, statistical dependence, statistics, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the value of financial assets, transparency, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

JASA demands code and data be supplied as a condition of publication

The Journal of the American Statistical Association (“JASA”) has announced in this month’s Amstat News that effective 1st September 2016 “… will require code and data as a minimum standard for reproducibility of statistical scientific research.” Trends were heading this … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, citizen science, engineering, ethics, evidence, new forms of scientific peer review, numerical software, planning, rationality, reasonableness, resiliency, science, statistics, stochastic algorithms, testing, the right to know | Leave a comment

Newt Gingrich and Van Jones. Right on.

It’s the thing. And it addresses how media and people forget about the actual statistics, and focus on the White Hot Bright Light. A study by Gelman, Fagan, and Kiss A study by Freyer A counterpoint to the Freyer study … Continue reading

Posted in American Statistical Association, Bayes, Bayesian, citizen science, criminal justice, Daniel Kahneman, ethics, evidence, fear uncertainty and doubt, humanism, Lives Matter, logistic regression, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, MCMC, organizational failures, population biology, rationality, reasonableness, risk, statistics, Susan Jacoby, the right to know | Leave a comment

Climate Lamentation: Call & Response

(At the site of the West Roxbury, MA, Spectra/Algonquin explosive pipeline) Cry out! Cry out! Wail in lamentation for all that climate change has wrought … And will wreak upon the children and grandchildren, upon the poor and the disenfranchised, … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF, bollocks, bridge to nowhere, Carbon Worshipers, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, destructive economic development, electricity, electricity markets, energy utilities, environment, ethics, explosive methane, false advertising, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, fracking, global warming | 4 Comments

Frum on Trump

Great interview, on On Point.

Posted in atheism, Boston, citizenship, civilization, corruption, cynicism, David Suzuki, denial, Donald Trump, economics, ethics, evidence, false advertising, fear uncertainty and doubt, ignorance, politics, risk, the right to know, the stack of lies | Leave a comment

Our Children’s Trust

Washington State Climate Lawsuit has a second win for the plantiffs. Detailed complaint here. The details are available at Our Children’s Trust. In granting the youth a remedy, Judge Hill noted the extraordinary circumstances of the climate crisis, saying, “this … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, bridge to somewhere, carbon dioxide, case law, citizenship, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate justice, corruption, Ecology Action, environment, environmental law, ethics, fossil fuel divestment, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, James Hansen, MA, Massachusetts, organizational failures, Our Children's Trust, politics, public utility commissions, PUCs, rate of return regulation, rationality, reasonableness, regulatory capture, science, Spaceship Earth, sustainability, the energy of the people, the right to be and act stupid, the tragedy of our present civilization, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Kevin Anderson’s latest

Also note Oxfam’s “World’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while poorest 3.5 billion account for just a tenth“. Update, 2016-04-28: And what, exactly, does the Paris agreement (COP21) mean? See this story.

Posted in adaptation, agriculture, Anthropocene, biofuels, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, bridge to nowhere, bridge to somewhere, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, Carbon Worshipers, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate change, climate data, climate disruption, conservation, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, denial, destructive economic development, disruption, distributed generation, ecology, efficiency, electricity, electricity markets, energy, energy reduction, energy storage, energy utilities, environment, ethics, evidence, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, grid defection, Hyper Anthropocene, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, Kevin Anderson, liberal climate deniers, local generation, microgrids, natural gas, rationality, reasonableness, science, sustainability, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the tragedy of our present civilization, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Techno Utopias

Professor Kevin Anderson on Techno Utopias. The Paris “COP21” agreement is/was not only expecting miracles, it was counting on them. Y’think climate disruption causes ecosystem disruption: Try geoengineering. Well the answer was simple. If we choose to continue our love … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, bollocks, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, carbon dioxide sequestration, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, coastal communities, complex systems, consumption, COP21, corporate supply chains, denial, disingenuity, economics, environment, ethics, evidence, exponential growth, extended supply chains, FEMA, finance, fossil fuels, games of chance, geophysics, glaciers, global warming, greenhouse gases, greenwashing, Hyper Anthropocene, icesheets, ignorance, IPCC, James Hansen, Kevin Anderson, Lenny Smith, liberal climate deniers, living shorelines, MA, meteorology, Neill deGrasse Tyson, oceanography, physics, planning, population biology, rationality, Ray Pierrehumbert, reasonableness, regime shifts, Sankey diagram, science, sea level rise, selfishness, silly tech devices, Techno Utopias, the right to know, the value of financial assets | 1 Comment

Massachusetts Solar Suburbs (a Google group)

I have just created the Massachusetts Solar Suburbs Google group. It’s Welcome Message reads: Welcome to the Massachusetts Solar Suburbs! This group exists to provide a forum for owners of solar installations, typically residential, or serving residences, to share their … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, Carbon Tax, Carbon Worshipers, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate, climate change, climate disruption, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, destructive economic development, diffusion, diffusion processes, economics, education, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, energy utilities, engineering, environment, ethics, fear uncertainty and doubt, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, global warming, Google, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, MA, meteorology, microgrids, optimization, physics, planning, politics, public utility commissions, rationality, reasonableness, risk, Sankey diagram, solar energy, solar power, SolarPV.tv, sustainability, Tony Seba, wind energy, wind power, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Social implications of our silly experiment with Earth

Climate is changing. Climate change is threatening to human elites. Climate solutions are “fetishizing the billionaire class”. And on the risks and damage from neoliberalism. Exponential growth, meaning keeping the permitting of new homes in the suburbs, is lethal. We’re … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, Bill Gates, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, civilization, climate change, environment, ethics, exponential growth, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, James Hansen, rationality, reasonableness, zero carbon | Leave a comment

About that “hide the decline” thing …

(Hat tip to Climate Denial Crock of the Week) It’s amazing what you can do when you take words out of context. Watch The Daily Show some time. But that’s entertainment, not governance. Hide the decline? The email doesn’t say … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, climate, climate data, climate disruption, denial, environment, ethics, evidence, fear uncertainty and doubt, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, meteorology, oceanography, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, science, temporal myopia | Leave a comment

First Light

Updated: 1828 EST, 24th December 2015 Our solar PV array is up, operating, and generating. It consists of 29 SunPower X-Series X21-345 panels (specs below), generating 345w at peak, with optimizers. The generation capacity is 10 kW. The array is … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, citizenship, clean disruption, climate change, climate disruption, conservation, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, ecology, economics, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, energy utilities, environment, ethics, fossil fuel divestment, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, investment in wind and solar energy, La Nina, microgrids, public utility commissions, PUCs, solar energy, solar power, SolarPV.tv, Tony Seba, zero carbon | 5 Comments

Climate Conclusions: The American Petroleum Institute (1980)

The following are excerpted from a memorandum quoted by the Inside Climate News team, documenting the minutes of a 29th February 1980 of a task force on climate change at the American Petroleum Institute. Hat tip to Climate Denial Crock … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, American Petroleum Institute, AMETSOC, Anthropocene, bridge to nowhere, Carbon Cycle, carbon dioxide, Carbon Worshipers, Chevron, climate, climate change, climate data, climate disruption, climate models, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, denial, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, evidence, Exxon, fear uncertainty and doubt, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, Gulf Oil, Hyper Anthropocene, meteorology, natural gas, open data, physics, pipelines, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, reasonableness, science, selfishness, Standard Oil of California, sustainability, Texaco, the right to know, the value of financial assets | Leave a comment

“No – no words. No words to describe it.”

Some celestial event. No – no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should’ve sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful… I had no idea. (From Carl Sagan’s Contact, the movie version.) Hat tip to Climate Denial Crock of … Continue reading

Posted in AMETSOC, Anthropocene, astronomy, astrophysics, Bill Nye, carbon dioxide, Carbon Worshipers, Carl Sagan, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, conservation, consumption, COP21, Disney, ecology, education, energy, environment, ethics, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, James Hansen, meteorology, NASA, NCAR, NOAA, oceanography, physics, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, reasonableness, science, science education, Spaceship Earth, sustainability, Walt Disney Company, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Schwarzenegger: “I have heard all your questions … There are two doors.”

“I, personally, want a plan. I don’t want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged. … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, Arnold Schwarzennegger, bollocks, Cape Wind, clean disruption, conservation, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, economics, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, environment, ethics, exponential growth, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, Hyper Anthropocene, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, microgrids, planning, politics, public utility commissions, PUCs, solar energy, solar power, SolarPV.tv, Tony Seba, University of California, wind energy, wind power, zero carbon | Leave a comment

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee vs National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administation

Originally posted on Open Mind:
[Climate blogger Michael Tobis has written the best summary of the Smith-vs-NOAA brouhaha that I’ve yet seen. Please read it in its entirety, then follow the link and read it again. More important, pass it…

Posted in AMETSOC, Anthropocene, bollocks, bridge to nowhere, Carbon Worshipers, citizen science, citizenship, clean disruption, climate change, climate disruption, climate justice, denial, disingenuity, education, environment, ethics, Exxon, fear uncertainty and doubt, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, hiatus, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, meteorology, NCAR, NOAA, physics, politics, rationality, reasonableness, science, statistics, time series, zero carbon | Leave a comment

“More benefits for everybody”

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-day-after-how-solar-can-thrive-in-the-post-net-metering-era/408357/

Posted in Anthropocene, bifurcations, Carbon Worshipers, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate, conservation, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, economics, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, energy utilities, engineering, ethics, forecasting, Hyper Anthropocene, investment in wind and solar energy, mesh models, meteorology, microgrids, mitigation, optimization, planning, politics, public utility commissions, PUCs, rationality, reasonableness, Sankey diagram, solar energy, solar power, SolarPV.tv, sustainability, taxes, wind energy, wind power, zero carbon | Leave a comment

What the future of energy everywhere looks like

What will the energy landscape look like after utility companies are either dead, dying, or revert to a tiny portion of their territory? Silicon Valley CCE Partnership gives us all a clue. It’s been described in the San Francisco Chronicle, … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, capricious gods, chance, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, conservation, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, dynamical systems, economics, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, energy utilities, engineering, environment, ethics, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, investment in wind and solar energy, living shorelines, mesh models, meteorology, microgrids, mitigation, obfuscating data, oceanography, physical materialism, physics, pipelines, planning, politics, prediction, probabilistic programming, public utility commissions, PUCs, quantum, reasonableness, reproducible research, risk, Sankey diagram, science, sea level rise, selfishness, solar energy, solar power, SolarPV.tv, Spaceship Earth, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastics, Svante Arrhenius, taxes, temporal myopia, the right to know, the value of financial assets, transparency, UU Humanists, WHOI, wind energy, wind power, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Holy F_____’ Sh__: Bill Gates, climate champion

Bill Gates. In The Atlantic. “We need an energy miracle.” “Bill Gates versus global warming.” I gotta say, whatever you think about him, he is truly alive, and engaged. He changes his opinion when the evidence indicates it. And that … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, Bill Gates, climate change, climate disruption, education, energy, engineering, environment, ethics, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, investment in wind and solar energy, meteorology | Leave a comment

How nice it is that Nature and probability bend to developers whims!

As I have mentioned before, it’s so nice that Nature and probability bend to the whims of property developers and their Town Fathers, with the willing participation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you had property at risk … Continue reading

Posted in capricious gods, chance, citizenship, climate data, conservation, denial, ecology, engineering, environment, ethics, games of chance, ignorance, living shorelines, mathematics, meteorology, obfuscating data, planning, politics, precipitation, prediction, probability, rationality, reasonableness, risk, spatial statistics, University Station, Westwood | 1 Comment

“Too late to prevent climate change: Here’s how we adapt” (Alice Bows-Larkin)

Here’s how we adapt.

Posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, astrophysics, bridge to nowhere, capricious gods, carbon dioxide, chance, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, forecasting, fossil fuels, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, mathematics, maths, meteorology, mitigation, oceanography, physics, planning, prediction, probability, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, statistics, sustainability, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Risks and Carney at LLoyd’s: Climate change is a ‘tragedy of the horizons’

Carney mentions three channels for climate change to affect financial stability. Physical risks, or impacts today on insurance liabilities, and value of financial assets. Liability risks, or risks that could arise tomorrow, should those harmed by the effects of climate … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, carbon dioxide, citizenship, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, investing, physics, rationality, reasonableness, risk, the value of financial assets | Leave a comment

The Art and Science of Stefan Rahmstorf

Updated, 21st September 2015 I particularly like the last scene from TDAT. James Hansen and Makiko Sato have an update titled “Predictions Implicit in ‘Ice Melt’ Paper and Global Implications”. WHOI has studied the Irminger Sea and continues the study … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, art, bifurcations, carbon dioxide, Cauchy distribution, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, destructive economic development, disingenuity, ecology, economics, education, environment, ethics, Exxon, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, humanism, Hyper Anthropocene, icesheets, IPCC, James Hansen, mathematics, maths, physical materialism, physics, rationality, reasonableness, science, sea level rise, statistics, sustainability, the right to know | Leave a 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

Exxon knew, in detail

The Exxon Corporation (XOM) turned its back on its own evidence-based, scientific culture when it came to climate change. It’s a very sad story. There are now more parts available. (The above letter is reproduced from The New York Times … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, carbon dioxide, civilization, climate change, climate disruption, denial, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, Exxon, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, physics, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, sociology | 3 Comments