Shared posts

19 Feb 21:35

Alabama Lawmaker Proposes Mandatory Vasectomies For Men Turning Fifty. Ted Cruz Responds.

by Eric Quintanar

show us your tits!

Alabama lawmaker Rollanda Hollis (D-AL) proposed a law in the state legislature earlier this month that would require all men to celebrate their 50th birthday with a mandatory vasectomy — and pay for it themselves. 

“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” says Hollis in the text of the bill. “This bill would require a man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first.”

Ted Cruz, the 49-year old Texas senator, responded to the proposal requiring 50th birthday vasectomies with strong opposition, and a reminder about the threat of big government. 

“Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything…literally! Alabama Democrat proposes bill mandating all men have vasectomy at age 50 or after third child,” tweeted Cruz on Sunday. 

According to AL, Hollis said that the bill was a response to the Human Life Protection Act, which was passed last year and prohibits abortions after the baby’s heartbeat begins to form at around six week: “We can’t put all the responsibility on women. Men need to be responsible also.”

The news agency also reported that Hollis believes she is both “pro-life and pro-choice,” and that Hollis said she does “not believe that women should use abortion as a birth control, but I do believe that if a women is raped or if it’s incest or anything like that, then she has the choice to do what she wants to do.”

While Hollis doesn’t expect the bill to pass, if the bill were to become law, men could expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $3,000 for the procedure. 

According to The New York Times, as of last October, the Human Life Protection Act has been barred from going into effect by federal courts, prompting local lawmakers to decry the intervention as simply another instance of judicial activism.The bill would shield women who receive abortions from criminal liability, but would give prosecutors the authority to pursue up to 99  years in prison for anyone who performs an abortion. 

“This legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who signed the bill into law. 

However, Steve Marshall, the state attorney general, has claimed that the primary intent of the proposal was not to go into effect immediately, but to trigger a challenge to a Supreme Court case that has enshrined abortion as a constitutional right for decades. 

“As we have stated before, the state’s objective is to advance our case to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Marshall in a statement last October, who says the effort is designed to prove that Planned Parenthood v. Casey was “wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion.”

19 Feb 15:51

Can we quit cobalt batteries fast enough to make electric cars viable?


I assume recycling is at its peak today, and unfortunately will loose favor as all trends do...

Electric cars depend on cobalt as a key ingredient in their batteries, but a new analysis reveals we may run out by 2030, while car firm Tesla is moving to other types of battery in China
18 Feb 20:06

Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy After ‘Decades’ Of Sexual Abuse Claims

by Emily Zanotti

I knew a pedophile when I was in scouts as a kid. He didn't bother me, but years later he worked as a senator aid and went into pedo-rehab. His name I believe was Robert McGee if I recall... I think the missionary system is next for bankrupcy, lots of predatory behavior, but off shore... Thank God for the free press!

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday morning following “decades” of sexual abuse claims and fears that a class action lawsuit filed by alleged sexual assault victims could leave the organization destitute.

Fox News reports that the declaration, filed in Delaware where the Boy Scouts are incorporated is designed to halt “the hundreds of lawsuits the BSA is facing that allege sexual misconduct by people within the 110-year-old organization over the years.” Many of the lawsuits are new, but reference decades-old incidents, filed following several states’ decision to drop the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims so that victims could sue not just the Boy Scouts, but several religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.

One class action suit, based in Washington, has more than 300 plaintiffs from 34 states, per Fox.

Instead of enduring trial, the Boy Scouts say they will set up a “Victims Compensation Trust” to “fairly compensate victims harmed during their time in scouting and to keep the 100-year-old nonprofit running for years to come.”

“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” the president of the BSA said in a statement issued to media Tuesday morning. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”

The trust fund seems like the most logical way to handle a settlement, dividing up the organizations billions in a way that provides restitution to victims but also ensures the Boy Scouts will not fade from existence — something BSA advocates have been fearing for years as interest and, subsequently, membership, has dried up.

“You’re talking about thousands of perpetrators,” one attorney representing the alleged victims told reporters, comparing the class action suit to similar suits against the Catholic Church. “You’re talking about tens of thousands of victims. This will be the largest bankruptcy the country has ever seen, and likely one of the largest corporate bankruptcies. It will be far larger in terms of the numbers of victims and far more complicated than any of the bankruptcies we’ve seen so far involving the Catholic Church.”

As part of the settlement plan, NBC News reports, individual lawsuits, filed outside of the class action, will be “halted and transferred to federal bankruptcy court for adjudication” alongside the 300-person class action.

Alongside Tuesday’s bankruptcy filing, the BSA has also issued an open apology to victims of sexual abuse.

“As a father, a former Scout, and the National Chair of the Boy Scouts of America, I am truly heartbroken that you were harmed during your time in Scouting and that you carry unfathomable pain,” writes Jim Turley, BSA’s national chair. “I am outraged that individuals took advantage of our programs to commit these heinous acts.”

“I am also outraged that there were times when volunteers and employees ignored our procedures or forgave transgressions that are unforgivable,” Turley continues. “In some cases, this led to tragic acts of abuse. While those instances were limited, they mean we didn’t do enough to protect the children in our care – to protect you. On behalf of myself and the entire Scouting community: I am sorry. I am devastated that there were times in the past when we failed the very children we were supposed to protect.”

The apology will also reportedly run as a full page ad in several national newspapers.

BSA says its scouting programs will continue while the bankruptcy filing moves through court and a trust fund is created. The Chapter 11 filing is also only for the national organization, not independent councils. The lawsuits, though, are far from the only trouble dogging the BSA. Interest in the hundred-year-old organization has waned considerably in recent years, and some major pipelines for BSA membership, like the Mormon Church, have parted ways with the organization amid the BSA’s efforts to “modernize” by including female scouts and allowing openly gay scout leaders.

17 Feb 21:10

Driving transformation with laser-guided autonomous vehicles

by Georgia-Pacific

hmmm, toilet

See how the machines are making work safer at one Georgia-Pacific plant in Crossett, Ark.
17 Feb 20:23

Cork-coated spacecraft to be chucked out of the ISS for re-entry test


chucked out of ISS.

A spacecraft designed to study re-entry into Earth's atmosphere has a nose coated in cork, a cheap and lightweight alternative to other materials
17 Feb 13:56

Cyborg grasshoppers have been engineered to sniff out explosives


teaching terrorists to mix smells...

The super-sensitive smelling ability of American grasshoppers has been used to create biological bomb sniffers, which could prove useful for security purposes
14 Feb 21:44

Amazon seeks deposition from Trump and top defense officials on lost $10B cloud contract


fuck jeff b

Amazon wants to depose President Trump along with current and former top defense officials after the Pentagon awarded a $10 billion cloud contract to Amazon’s competitor, Microsoft.
14 Feb 17:50

Babies are more likely to be conceived in autumn but we don’t know why


new year eve parties, stupid

In the northern hemisphere, babies are most likely to be conceived in winter and least likely to be conceived in spring, according to an analysis of 14,000 women
13 Feb 20:14

Philadelphia fintech leaders: The dream of blockchain isn't dead

by Michelle Caffrey

the dream of you making money managing BTC is dead.

In 2017, everyone was excited about blockchain. The lofty promises that flooded the media just a few years ago about the distributed ledger technology, the backbone of cryptocurrency trading, were wide-reaching and ambitious. Early advocates proclaimed it would replace the need for central banks, prevent counterfeiting and fraud, and ultimately alter the global economy on the same scale as the internet.  So far, little has come to fruition.  After the hype surrounding blockchain swelled from…
10 Feb 21:18

Snoop Dogg Denies Threatening CBS’s Gayle King After Backlash: ‘I’m Not A Violent Person’

by James Barrett

hes an unconvicted murderer, like OJ lite.

Amid growing backlash — including from the president of CBS News and a former Obama national security adviser — entertainer Snoop Dogg insisted Sunday that he “didn’t threaten” CBS News anchor Gayle King in a viral, profanity-laced rant last week responding to King’s questions about a past sexual assault allegation against the late-Kobe Bryant.

“I’m a non-violent person,” the rapper said in an Instagram video post Sunday, as reported by Urban Hollywood. “When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family. Now with that being said, what do I look like wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that.”

“I didn’t threaten her,” Snoop Dogg insisted. “All I did was said, ‘Check it out. You’re out of pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you.’ We’re very non-violent. We just want to say that first and foremost, we speak from the heart. Some of you who have no heart don’t understand that.”

In his response to King’s interview questions to former WNBA star Lisa Leslie Tuesday about the 2003 Bryant allegation (video below), Snoop Dogg warned King that she better “respect a family and back off, b*tch, before we come get you.”

“We expect more from you, Gayle,” he declared. “Don’t you hang out with Oprah? Why y’all attacking us? We your people. You ain’t coming after f***in’ Harvey Weinstein asking them dumba** questions. I get sick of y’all. I want to call you one. Is it OK if I call her one? Funky dog-head b*tch! How dare you try to torch my f***in homeboy’s reputation. Punk mother f***er! Respect a family and back off, b*tch, before we come get you.”

Before going on air Wednesday, King posted a video lamenting the clip of the Leslie interview and slammed her own network for releasing the excerpt of the interview without her knowledge and “totally taken out of context.”

“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, and I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too,” Gayle said in a video posted on Instagram. “I am mortified. I am embarrassed and I am very angry. Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview — totally taken out of context — and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring. It’s jarring to me. I didn’t even know anything about it.”

Amid reports that she was receiving threats and was not handling the fallout well, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky condemned the “reprehensible” threats leveled at King.

“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” Zirinsky told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”

Among many others, Snoop Dogg’s rant earned the rebuke of former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, who tweeted in response: “This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for [Gayle King], you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”

The clip of King’s interview with Leslie that started the controversy was posted by CBS Tuesday. In the clip (below), King asks Leslie if she feels that Bryant’s legacy is “complicated” by the sexual assault allegation brought against him in 2003 — an allegation he denied and a case that was ultimately dismissed after the 19-year-old accuser refused to testify.

“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge, which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?” King asked.

“It’s not complicated for me at all,” Leslie replied. “Even if there’s a few times that we’ve been at a club at the same time, Kobe’s not the kind of guy, never been, like, ‘Lis, go get that girl, or tell her, or send her this.’ I have other NBA friends that are like that. Kobe, he was never like that. I just never … have ever seen him being the kind of person that would … do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That’s just not the person that I know.”

“But, Lisa, you wouldn’t see it, though,” King countered. “As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”

“And that’s possible,” Leslie acknowledged, but added: “I just don’t believe that, and I’m not saying things didn’t happen. I just don’t believe that things didn’t happen [sic] with force.”

“Is it even a fair question to talk about it considering he’s no longer with us, and that it was resolved, or is it really part of his history?” asked King.

“I think that the media should be more respectful at this time,” said Leslie. “It’s like, if you had questions about it, you’ve had many years to ask him that. I don’t think it’s something that we should keep hanging over his legacy.”

07 Feb 16:50

Jigsaw Tool to Help Journalists Spot Doctored Images

Jigsaw has released a free tool, designed to help journalists identify doctored photos, including those generated through the use of artificial intelligence. 

05 Feb 21:59

British GQ has revealed the 50 most influential people in Britain


wat, no Colin Furze?

British GQ has revealed the 50 most influential people in Britain. The list has been broken down into sub-categories - including science, politics, culture, media, and sport.
05 Feb 19:00

An artist created Google Maps traffic jams by pulling a wagon full of smartphones


he has lots of employees with cellphone plans.....

Here's an amusing story about an artist, Google Maps, and a wagon full of smartphones. Simon Weckert, an artist based in Berlin, Germany, has gathered a lot of attention with his latest Google Maps Hack. 99 second hand smartphones are transported in a handcart to generate virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. Through this activity, it is possible to turn a green street red which has an impact in the physical world by navigating cars on another route to avoid being stuck in traffic. #googlemapshacks The artist's website lists the experiment as a "Performance & Installation". The artist...

04 Feb 19:59

Gun owners aren't happier, don't sleep better at night


stupid research

(University of Arizona) New research challenges claims by special interest groups and popular culture about the personal benefits of gun ownership. University of Arizona sociologist Terrence Hill found that gun owners and non-gun owners report about the same levels of happiness and sleep disturbance.
04 Feb 17:51


by Glenn Reynolds

i dont understand what he means??


02 Feb 22:08

Fast Charge: It's over for the smartphone – we just don't know it yet

by Chris Smith

i predict consolidation of apps.
For example, ALL EAT NOW APPS into one app.

ALL SHOP-LOCAL APPS into one app.


Feature stagnation, unjustifiable stratospheric pricing and rising issues with privacy, addiction and mental health spell doom for the smartphone. We’re entering an era of smartphone dystopia and its days on top are numbered.

Something is festering in the smartphone world and it’s time we had an honest chat about it. Amid all of the usual hype about the Moto Razr, Samsung Galaxy S20, and Apple’s iPhone 11 absolutely crushing it, there’s an elephant in the room few are acknowledging – it’s over for the smartphone, we just don’t know it yet.

After a decade of relentless growth and utter dominance, the not-so-humble handset has peaked, and the entire experience is as good as it ever needs to be. The pinnacle has been reached, be it in the context of power, speed, design, battery, cameras, display or apps. I’m not saying manufacturers shouldn’t chase perfection, but the wishlist has been exhausted.

Related: Best small phones 2020

Tangible improvements lessen with every generation. Gains are becoming increasingly minor. The megapixel race – a myth the first time around – is somehow a thing again. Once again consumers are being enticed with larger screens (6.9-inches!?) to compensate for true improvements. 120Hz refresh rates, which will only truly benefit a tiny fraction of the smartphone buying public, are already being pushed as the next must-have feature.

OnePlus 120 Hz Fluid Display image

In another other era we’d be talking about malaise and stagnation. In another era the next best thing may be along to replace it, as the smartphone swiftly did for the multitude of gadgets we once carried. The problem is no-one knows what the next big thing is, or whether there is one.

The ever-rising cost(s)

While the technological leaps have stagnated, prices have not. Instead of the best phones costing $1,000 (a fairly recent leap in itself), manufacturers are beginning to keep the very best specs behind a new elite tier of Pro and Ultra devices. Thanks largely to the presence of 5G modems, you can add another two hundred to your next upgrade. Samsung’s soon to be announced Galaxy S20 Ultra will cost at least $1,300, according to the latest rumours.

Those exclusive features are said to include a 108-megapixel main camera, 5,000mAh battery and a 10x optical zoom courtesy of a new periscope-style arrangement. The latter is very clever, but this is a feature the smartphone industry convinced us wasn’t important many years ago. So we stopped buying/carrying our dedicated compact cameras because phone pictures were good enough in most instances. Now the same industry wants us to get all excited about optical zoom.

Huawei P30 Pro periscope camera cross section

There’s just no North Star for the smartphone anymore. Bereft of truly ground-breaking innovation, manufacturers are now just changing the presentation, folding the screens in half, adding barriers to usage and charging even more money for the privilege. As I explained in an article last week, the advent of foldable phones isn’t driven by consumer demand. They don’t yet solve a single obvious pain point.

Existential crisis

This relative inertia at the very top is just one of a number of existential crises emerging that are bordering on the dystopian. There’s a growing realisation that our phones may be doing us more harm than good, an ever-widening love-hate relationship with these domineering devices.

Manufacturers are now selling phones for when you’ve had enough of your phone. Think about that. You’ve just spent $1,300 on the best technology available, yet buy another one to use on the weekends. That one costs $100 and acts like its 1998.

Related: 10 budget smartphones to escape your flagship

This represents a very real yearning for regression, which goes beyond the current affinity for retro nostalgia. It reflects a need to get away from these devices that for many of us steal time, sap motivation and have highly detrimental effects on our mental health.

As a result, tech companies are on the defensive. Those building the major operating systems and frontline apps are spending more and more time building tools to limit our usage.

Google now offers a PDF printout of a paper envelope for its Pixel 3a phones that, when placed over the phone (like the proverbial paper bag), will only enable you to use the camera and the phone app. What next? The Pixel 5 ships with a blindfold? It’s all very Black Mirror.

Apple continues to develop and improve Screen Time as part of its digital wellness drives. Admirable, some might say. But the app sends you a report each week that’ll likely make you feel guilty and inadequate if your phone usage goes up. It’s like the drug dealer simultaneously trying to wean you off, while lambasting you every time you experience a relapse. It’s messed up, man.

Many public spaces, like the well-regarded Samuel Smith’s chain of pubs is banning smartphone usage, in order to “protect public conversation.” Others are doing the same, marketing themselves as “digital detox” pubs. Phones have reached a tipping point where they’re in the same category as smoking.

They’re increasingly considered anti-social, detrimental and unwanted distractions from healthy activities. People are fed up with only ever having someone’s half attention. Maybe at 37, I’m just outdated, but I’m as guilty as anyone of this rampant smartphone overuse. I hate feeling beholden to this incredible hunk of metal, glass and plastic, yet as a guy living away from his home country, I clutch onto it like a lifeline. Just reading this piece back, feels like a cry for help. Just writing it convinced me to go and buy a book.

The ramifications for privacy have become catastrophic. There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle. We were all, especially journalists, asleep at the wheel, wowed by what smartphones could do. We have failed and continue to fail to do due diligence. Now even our everyday face-to-face conversations are instantly reflected in Instagram adverts. Where does it end?

These devices are so incredibly brilliant, so useful, so helpful and so beneficial in so many ways, that it’s almost sad to see it come to this, but the narrative has changed. Phones are no longer seen as a force for good. What comes next must change this. It can’t be just an AR headset from which there truly is no escape for the eyeballs and the mind. Any ideas?

Fast Charge is our weekly mobile-focussed column where we delve deeper into the world of smartphones, wearables and more. Find it on Trusted Reviews every Saturday morning.

The post Fast Charge: It's over for the smartphone – we just don't know it yet appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

30 Jan 20:44

NASA to add 'space hotel' to ISS, in privatization push

by Stephen Johnson

plus maid service

  • NASA awarded a contract to startup Axiom Space to attach a "habitable commercial module" to the International Space Station.
  • The project will also include a research and manufacturing module.
  • The move is a major step in NASA's years-long push to privatize.

NASA and startup Axiom Space plan to attach a "space hotel" to the International Space Station, a major step in the years-long push to privatize the aging station.

Axiom Space, a Houston-based space station manufacturer that was co-founded in 2016 by former ISS program manager Michael T. Suffredini, won a competition among other private space companies to connect a "habitable commercial module" to the space station's Node 2 forward port. Axiom and NASA are still negotiating the terms of the contract, but the ISS add-ons will reportedly include:

  • Crew habitat
  • A large window for viewing Earth
  • Research and manufacturing facility

Axiom said these three modules will form the "Axiom Segment," with the first module launching in 2024. According to NASA Spaceflight, Axiom has already signed a $55 million contract with a prospective space tourist. What's included in that price tag? For starters: 10 days in microgravity at an altitude of 250 miles, which would allow "private astronauts to truly live the experience of life in space," Axiom wrote in a blog post.

But first, space-tourist-hopefuls would have to pass through physical and medical exams, and 15 weeks of expert training. After that, the trip sounds pretty comfy:

"There will be wifi," Suffredini told the New York Times last year. "Everybody will be online. They can make phone calls, sleep, look out the window. [...] The few folks that have gone to orbit as tourists, it wasn't really a luxurious experience, it was kind of like camping. [...] Pretty soon we're going to be flying a butler with every crew."

In a blog post, NASA wrote:

"Developing commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit is one of five elements of NASA's plan to open the International Space Station to new commercial and marketing opportunities. The other elements of the five-point plan include efforts to make station and crew resources available for commercial use through a new commercial use and pricing policy; enable private astronaut missions to the station; seek out and pursue opportunities to stimulate long-term, sustainable demand for these services; and quantify NASA's long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit."

NASA's push to privatize the ISS

When a Russian rocket launched the first module of the ISS into space in 1998, NASA expected the space station to operate for about 15 years. But the agency has extended the life of the ISS twice, with funding currently set to expire in 2024. NASA spends between $3 and $4 billion per year operating and shuttling astronauts to and from the station. That's a decent chunk of the agency's $22.6 annual budget. What's more, the "major structural elements" of the ISS are certified only through 2028.

Meanwhile, NASA has been eyeing other projects, namely: putting humans back on the moon in 2024 and establishing a lunar presence. So, to save and redirect money, the agency has been starting to hand over the aging space station to the private sector, which could use it for commercial research and space tourism.

But some have questioned the move to privatize the ISS, including NASA's own inspector general, Paul K. Martin.

"An obvious alternative to privatization is to extend current ISS operations," Martin wrote in a 2018 report. "An extension to 2028 or beyond would enable NASA to continue critical on-orbit research into human health risks and to demonstrate the technologies that will be required for future missions to the Moon or Mars."

Martin noted that "research into 2 other human health risks and 17 additional technology gaps is not scheduled to be completed until sometime in 2024," meaning that any slip-ups in the process would mean such research might go uncompleted. He also wrote that it's "questionable" whether the private sector could turn a profit on the ISS without "significant" government funding. The Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded research and development center, also found that it "is unlikely that a commercially owned and operated space station will be economically viable by 2025."

The implication is that, if the ISS is handed over to the private sector, taxpayers could end up indirectly supporting space tourism for the ultra-rich. Whether that's worth any of the research benefits that might come from the ISS post-2024 is anybody's guess.

As the ISS enters its final years, China plans to complete construction of a manned space station in 2022.

28 Jan 18:34

Sticky notes offer messages of hope after student scrawls cry for help on bathroom wall

by Mary Jo DiLonardo
A student's desperate plea on a bathroom wall is met with powerful messages of support.
24 Jan 15:43

'That monster behind him': Trump weighs in on potential Mark Zuckerberg presidential run


at least this would keep Zuck busy....

President Trump said a potential presidential challenge by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg "wouldn’t be too frightening."
23 Jan 20:00

Alabama police search for girl, 13, who vanished two days ago on her way to school

Amberly Nicole Flores (pictured) disappeared after leaving her home in Alabama Tuesday morning to walk to the school bus stop. She was seen getting into a dark Mercedes SUV (inset).
23 Jan 19:10

Harvey Weinstein arrives at court to face Sopranos actress and accuser Annabella Sciorra


that cocksucker started the metoo movement to get off these charges. I hope people realize that.

Sciorra's, left and inset in The Sopranos, rape allegation is too old to be charged as a separate crime, but prosecutors hope it will show that Weinstein, right, was a repeat sexual predator.
21 Jan 22:20

Greta Thunberg at Davos: 3 straw-man arguments from Twitter & YouTube comments

by Stephen Johnson

love this girl.

  • On Tuesday, Thunberg gave a speech at an event in Davos, Switzerland.
  • She mainly spoke about the failure of world leaders to act on climate change.
  • Also speaking at Davos was President Donald Trump, who didn't mention Thunberg by name, but dismissed the "prophets of doom" who are calling for increased climate change policies.

Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, spoke on Tuesday at an event hosted by The New York Times and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As world leaders in business, politics and industry gathered in the small ski town to discuss the future of the global economy, Thunberg gave a speech criticizing these same leaders for failing to act on climate change.

"We demand at this year's World Economic Forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments: Immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction," she said. "Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies. And immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, 2030, or even 2021. We want this done now."

You can watch her full speech below.

Immediately after her speech went online, commenters on YouTube and Twitter began criticizing Thunberg. That wasn't surprising. Thunberg has been a target of conservative criticism even since making her now-famous "How dare you" speech at a United Nations climate summit in September 2019. President Donald Trump has also joined in, tweeting that the young activist needs to "chill" and go see a "good old fashioned movie with a friend!"

On social media and YouTube, you're likely to run into a few common critiques of Thunberg. Here are three that deserve a closer look.

'Young people aren't really willing to make sacrifices'

There are a few common critiques of Thunberg in this comment: 1) Greta is all idealism without concrete pragmatic solutions; 2) the world needs to keep producing fossil fuel for power; 3) young people aren't willing to make sacrifices to reduce emissions.

The first critique has some truth to it, while the second seems like a "there is no alternative" fallacy. But let's focus on the third argument, which says that young people say they care about curbing climate change, but they aren't actually willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Is that true?

A 2019 survey from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation provides some clues. The results showed that:

  • Almost two-thirds of teens who believe in human-caused climate change (55% of all teens) said they think they can help make a difference when it comes to reducing the effects of climate change.
  • 41% say they've taken action to reduce their own carbon footprint.
  • About 25% report engaging in some type of political action in the past 3 years to express their views on climate change, including 15% who say they've participated in a school walk-out, 13% who have participated in a protest or rally, and 12% who have contacted a government official.
But other research suggests that even people who care about environmental issues, and who take steps to mitigate their carbon footprint, are less likely to make lifestyle changes if they're inconvenient, such as reducing AC use in the summer or using public transportation instead of driving. Even if it turns out young people aren't willing to make sacrifices, that argument might be missing the point.
It assumes that personal sacrifice and responsibility are the main — or only — routes to reversing climate change. Sure, using plastic straws or learning to go without AC in the summer might make a small dent. But focusing solely on personal sacrifice takes the onus of responsibility off of industries and governments, and places it onto less powerful consumers. If the international community is going to significantly reduce emissions, it's going to require major actions on the part of both consumers and industry, possibly including global hard caps on resources.

Greta's voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was hypocritical

To attend a United Nations climate summit in New York City on September 23rd, Thunberg sailed from England to the U.S. on an emissions-free sailboat called Malizia II. Thunberg, who has helped to promote the "flight shaming" movement, was criticized because several crew members scheduled international flights just to facilitate the voyage. The general thrust of arguments like these is that Thunberg is a hypocrite who's unwilling to make the sacrifices she's calling for, or at least that she's naive to think she can operate in the modern world without leaving a carbon footprint.

Are these critics right to call out her supposed hypocrisy? Or is this a type of whataboutism that distracts from the core issue?

I'd argue that it is fair to call out Thunberg — if her lifestyle demonstrably doesn't line up with what she's preaching. After all, Thunberg is not only petitioning governments to do more on climate change, she's also encouraging the shaming of people who book commercial flights. If she's unwilling to make similar sacrifices, she should expected similar shame. What's more, Thunberg's personal environmental footprint is important for another reason, as Nives Dolsak and Aseem Prakash write for Forbes:

"...policy advocacy is effective if one walks the climate talk...The bottom line is that when people take personal responsibility, they begin to have skin in the game. Climate action becomes personal and it makes them more politically assertive in demanding policy changes."

Still, Thunberg's personal environmental footprint says absolutely nothing about the truthfulness of her claims about climate change. Thunberg, for example, could be a truck-driving, flight-booking environmental nightmare who makes it a point to leave the lights on wherever she goes, but that wouldn't change the science on climate change one bit. In short, it's worth considering potential hypocrisy, but it shouldn't distract from the core argument.

Children shouldn't lecture the public about climate change

Should the public be interested in what a teenager has to say about climate change? To answer that, you have to balance two key points. One is that Thunberg is a teenager who's not a scientist and doesn't have anything particularly novel to say about climate change or policies that might mitigate it. Climate science is complex. It takes years of study to understand the intricacies of how the climate works, and though scientists generally agree that human activity is warming the planet, they still have much to learn about the extent to which things like greenhouse gas emissions affect, say, storm patterns in the Caribbean.

Thunberg is not conducting such research. Rather, she takes research from climate scientists (mainly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and uses her pretty impressive rhetorical abilities to animate the public, especially young people.

"Speaking as a climate change scientist who has been working on this issue for 20 years and saying the same thing for 20 years, she is getting people to listen, which we have failed to do," Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development in Bangladesh, told NBC News. "I thought it was the most powerful speech I've ever seen."

But even if Thunberg is getting people to care about an important issue, that doesn't necessarily mean she's doing it in a productive way. (For example, Thunberg has said, and reiterated at Davos, that she wants people to "panic" about climate change.) What's more, it's possible that she is over-relying on the projections of the IPCC, which doesn't have a perfect track record.

Still, there's another angle to the "she's only a child" critique — one that has to do with the main stakeholders of the future of climate change. If mainstream predictions are correct, Thunberg and those her age are likely to suffer far more from the downstream consequences of climate change, compared to the industry leaders and policymakers working in 2020. Given that young people will inherit the world and societal structures that today's policymakers build, it seems unfair to say that their opinions — even if underdeveloped, or based on emotion — count for nothing.

21 Jan 19:39

Trump administration pushing to overturn rulings against Bayer, Monsanto for health damage caused by glyphosate (Roundup)

by Ethan Huff

change the legal system if desired, not one pet-case.... Bad boy!

(Natural News) California is leading the charge in holding Monsanto (now owned by Bayer AG) accountable for the widespread health damage caused by its cancer-causing herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). But the Trump administration is actively fighting against this justice-seeking endeavor by pushing to overturn a landmark court ruling that found Monsanto guilty of basically committing crimes...

Read More

21 Jan 15:46

BIG QUESTION: Why is the U.S. vaccination rate still below 50%, after all the fuss, propaganda and scare tactics?

by S.D. Wells

Jenny McCarthy.

(Natural News) Are vaccines really as “safe and effective” as the manufacturers and CDC always claim? Obviously not. Currently there are no epidemic- or pandemic-style breakouts of infectious diseases, yet half of all Americans are against vaccines and either haven’t received any lately or simply never have or will. Instead, we see over 100 million...

Read More

21 Jan 02:55

YouTube blocks Virginia pro-2A live streams to censor patriots and control the narrative

by Mike Adams

i saw that. Opportunity knocks for a competitor

(Natural News) YouTube is now blocking pro-America live streams from the pro-2A rally in Richmond, Virginia. Pete Santilli’s live stream was just taken down moments ago, replaced with a warning message from YouTube that says, “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.” The live stream was taken down as Santilli was live...

Read More

20 Jan 17:21

SpaceX says 'picture perfect' test paves way for human mission


i will never trust spaceX like I do NASA. Case in point, my neighbor is a UNION Pilot. He convinced me that without a pilot-union, wallstreet would allow plane failures. Airtravel is too important to leave to insurance companies. Soo, SpaceX needs union pilots perhaps!

Elon Musk's SpaceX simulated a successful emergency landing on Sunday in a dramatic test of a crucial abort system on an unmanned astronaut capsule, a big step its mission to fly NASA astronauts for the first time as soon as this spring.
19 Jan 03:28

Bad Map Projection: South America


isnt that all fractals are?

The projection does a good job preserving both distance and azimuth, at the cost of really exaggerating how many South Americas there are.
16 Jan 17:51

Tattoo Ideas


ok ok, so you made me look up Eurion Constellation. Fascinating!

The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification.
16 Jan 17:47

Mozilla lays off 70 people as non-search revenue fails to materialize

by Timothy B. Lee

mozilla is dead to me

A Firefox logo is seen outside Mozilla's office in San Francisco.

Enlarge / Mozilla's office in San Francisco. (credit: Getty Images | Iuliia Serova)

Mozilla has laid off 70 people, TechCrunch reports. It's a significant move for an organization that employs around 1,000 people worldwide.

"You may recall that we expected to be earning revenue in 2019 and 2020 from new subscription products as well as higher revenue from sources outside of search," wrote Mozilla interim CEO Mitchell Baker in a memo to staff obtained by TechCrunch. "This did not happen."

Baker said Mozilla had decided not to shelve its $43 million innovation fund, which focuses on creating new Mozilla products. She said Mozilla would provide "generous exit packages and outplacement support" to those who were let go.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

14 Jan 18:16

Listen to this pug and you'll understand why the makers of 'Halo' hired him for voice-overs

by Ben Bolton
Gyoza the pug was hired by 343 Industries to make alien sounds for the company's new Halo video game, "Halo Infinite."