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Jul 26, 2018 19 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
For #TBT I am going to Tweet my old @guardianscience Political Science (RIP) columns.
Here is the first one from 2013
➡️Letter from America: a memo to chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport…
#TBT with @jameswilsdon also 2013
➡️Why Monbiot's attack on Walport misses the mark…
#TBT Another from 2013, though I could dust it off for 2018 it seems
➡️Have the climate sceptics really won?…
#TBT More from 2013, turns out the world survived goal line technology & moved on to VAR. My generally optimistic view of such tech in sport hasn't changed.
➡️How innovations such as goal-line technology make sport better…
#TBT 2013 is when the most recent IPCC reports came out & I wrote about how many were ignoring its conclusions on extreme weather. Fun times.
➡️After Haiyan: how to act on scientific advice that's politically inconvenient?…
#TBT in 2014 I wrote about the debate over the role chief scientific advisor to the president of the @EU_Commission
(The role was indeed subsequently abolished & replaced with a "mechanism")
➡️Science advisers should be supported, not sacked…
#TBT in 2014 on the tendency of science advisors to advocate, not advise
➡️Government science advice: where are the honest brokers?…
#TBT in 2015 I wrote about efforts I've seen up close seeking to harm or end academic careers, (in this case, @BjornLomborg) drawing on @AliceDreger Galileo's Middle Finger
➡️Why discrediting controversial academics such as Bjørn Lomborg damages science…
#TBT Here in 2015 I applaud Ernest Moniz (Obama's Energy Secretary) role as a science advisor, and the lessons learned. I also got to compare him to a psychotic assassin 😉
➡️Ernest Moniz and the physics of diplomacy…
#TBT After the 2015 UK elections I discussed the failures and pathologies of data journalists who treat elections like horse races
➡️Psephological pseudoscience…
#TBT In 2015 I took on issues surrounding the use and misuse of science as a truth machine in policy and politics . . .
➡️Fooling ourselves with science: hoaxes, retractions and the public…
#TBT In 2015 I also explored the vision of technology in the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis
➡️Is science policy a theological matter?…
#TBT This is one of my favorite @guardianscience columns that I wrote, again in 2015. Should we prepare for meeting ET?
➡️If we discover extraterrestrial life, what happens next?…
#TBT In 2016 I wrote three @guardianscience columns on issues raised in The Edge…
➡️Anti-doping & science…
➡️Technology, disability & sport…
➡️"Sex Testing"…
#TBT Getting near the end. In 2016 I offered some thoughts on what scientists could do after the big science march in the crazy world of Trump
#TBT Last year I wrote about the performance-aiding Nike shoes (which I now have a draft paper on)
➡️Nike’s two-hour marathon project reveals technological inequities in sport…
#TBT Almost missed this one ... also in 2016, with @Jackstilgoe we offered some thoughts on how scientists might survive (or better) in the coming Trump admin
➡️They may not like it, but scientists must work with Donald Trump…
#TBT, Finally, science policy under Trump & the fact that with a few exceptions (notably EPA) his admin could care less about science, which may be just fine (given the alternatives)
➡️Donald Trump isn’t waging war on science. He just doesn’t care…
#TBT It was fun to look over these, some of which I had forgotten I'd even written. Thanks again @jameswilsdon @Jackstilgoe @kieronflanagan @guardianscience
It was a great opportunity 🙏
Now to find a new gig for science policy columns . . . 😉

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More from @RogerPielkeJr

Oct 8, 2018
1⃣A short thread on what the new @IPCC_CH report says about trends in extreme events, specifically: heat waves, drought, floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes. Let's go . . .
2⃣Temperature extremes: Nor change from AR5 or SREX
Very likely= ⬇️cold days and nights
Very likely= ⬆️warm days and nights
Likely= "consistent changes are detectable on continental scale in North America, Europe and Australia"
3⃣Drought. No change vs AR5
"low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at global scale... likely to be trends in some regions of the world, including increases in drought in the Mediterranean and W Africa & decreases in droughts in central N America & NW Australia"
Read 11 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
A comprehensive look at US hurricanes, climate modes & damage⬇️
Klotzbach, P., Bowen, S. G., Pielke Jr, R., & Bell, M. (2018). Continental United States hurricane landfall frequency and associated damage: Observations and future risks. BAMS.…
Higher numbers of east coast landfalls & damage occur in ENSO neutral years
(climate variability is so out of vogue, I know😉)⬇️
US east coast population & housing units have increased dramatically since 1940
Read 8 tweets
Aug 8, 2018
Earl & Simmonds 2018 Spatial and temporal variability and trends in 2001–2016 global fire activity. JGR:A 123:2524-2536.
"There is a very strong decline in global fires (stat sig at the 0.1% confidence level; hereafter p < 0.001), present in each season except Dec–Feb (p < 0.1)"
Earl & Simmonds 2018:
"most of these large‐scale regions of the world exhibit little change or decreasing in fire activity except India (box 14) and China (box 17—...), with a weak nonsignificant signal in Canada"…
"The mainland United States (box 3) displays no 2001–2016 trend in [active fires] ... This is also the case for the satellite‐based [burned area] studies (Andela et al., 2017; Giglio et al, 2013), though BA has been found to be increasing in some surface‐based U.S. studies" . . .
Read 4 tweets
Aug 8, 2018
"the incidence of floods over mainland France is found to be stable over the last 35 years and even falling once we account for the heightened population pressure"…
"rates of forest fire destruction display a significative downward trend, the anthropogenic rate fell from about 5% to 2% (over the period 1973–2017) while the natural rate is about 100x smaller and likewise falling. . . "…
". . . The latter fact proves that the incidence of natural forest fires over the French mediterranean seaboard is receding over the last 44 years."…
Read 4 tweets
Aug 7, 2018
Climate chg is real & can/will impact fire
Evidence still matters (or not?)
Keeley & Zedler 2009:
“Over the last 130 years there has been no significant change in the incidence of large fires >10 000 ha”
Biggest known CA fire? Maybe 1889
To discuss.
Conclusion of Keeley & Zedler 2009 (spoiler, it’s us in many ways)
Changes in climate, resulting from GHGs, or just variability can of course influence fire
But whatever we do on GHGs (& I’ve got plenty of good ideas) the problem of fire is here to stay and caused often by our settlements in fire-prone regions, which impacts both risk & exposure
Read 6 tweets
Aug 1, 2018
This NYT article on climate policy history brings together alternative history with a disaster movie plot (brave scientists warns the world). The world was not on the brink of rapid decarbonization in the 1980s. It's a fun story though⬇️
What Frank Press (NAS prez, Carter science advisor) wrote 1989:
"Substantial reduction of CO2... responsible for 1/2 of the temp rise, will require a change in the energy economy of the world at a cost of 100s of Bs to Ts of $ & may not be technically possible over next 40 yrs"
More Press 1989 (a Democrat, scientist):
"I cannot recommend such large investments at this time in view of the uncertainties, but this does not mean doing nothing. I do urge you to undertake the following program . . ."…
Read 4 tweets

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