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Losing the Public Debate On Global Warming 1181

Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who first made warnings about climate change in the 1980s, says that public skepticism about the threat of man-made climate change has increased despite the growing scientific consensus. He says that without public support, it will be impossible to make the changes he and his colleagues believe need to occur to protect future generations from the effects of climate change. 'The science has become stronger and stronger over the past five years while the public perception is has gone in completely the other direction. That is not an accident,' says Hansen. 'There is a very concerted effort by people who would prefer to see business to continue as usual. They have been winning the public debate with the help of tremendous resources.' Hansen's comments come as recent surveys have revealed that public support for tackling climate change has declined dramatically in recent years. A recent BBC poll found that 25% of British adults did not think global warming is happening and over a third said many claims about environmental threats are 'exaggerated,' compared to 24 per cent in 2000. Dr. Benny Peiser, director of skeptical think tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation, says it's time to stop exaggerating the impact of global warming and accept the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change. 'James Hensen has been making predictions about climate change since the 1980s. When people are comparing what is happening now to those predictions, they can see they fail to match up.'"

DoD Paper Proposes National Security Through a Culture of Restraint (and Stigma) 310

decora writes "An SAIC analyst has written a paper [PDF] calling for the 'stigmatization' of the 'unattractive' types who tend to discuss government secrets in public. The plan, described in the Naval Postgraduate School Homeland Security Affairs journal, is to promote self-censorship as a 'civic duty'. Who needs to censor themselves? Amateur enthusiasts who describe satellite orbits, scientists who describe threats to the food supply, graduate students mapping the internet, the Government Accountability Office, which publishes failure reports on the TSA, the US Geologic Survey, which publishes surface water information, newspapers (the New York Times), TV shows, journalism websites, anti-secrecy websites, and even security author Bruce Schneier, to name a few."

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