Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagClimate change

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Aerial view of coal power plant high pipes with black smoke moving up polluting atmosphere at sunset.

Medical Journal Crosses a Whole New Line

Is blaming commercialism for global warming genuine science? Or just ideology?

The Lancet is at it again. Having previously strived mightily to transform global warming into a planetary health emergency, it has now published a screed attacking “commercialism” for killing the planet. Besides repeating the usual bromides about the need to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels and transform food production into “regenerative agriculture” — which probably means no more meat — the piece uses the usual politically progressive anti-clarity lexicon that turns the prose of leftist advocacy into impenetrable gobbledygook. From “Climate Change Mitigation: Tackling the Commercial Determinants of Planetary Health Inequity,” by Australian National University’s professor of “health equity” Sharon Friel: Taking this bold mitigation action requires disrupting the consumptogenic system — the system of institutions, actors, multisectoral policies, commercial activities, and norms Read More ›

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Group of people with posters protesting against climate change outdoors, closeup

More Ideological Alarmism in Yet Another Top Journal

Ideology continues to harm the scientific endeavor.

As trust in our institutions — including science — sinks, the world’s most prestigious professional journals keep churning out ideological tracts that undermine necessary scientific objectivity. Terrified of Climate Change Nature — perhaps the world’s most prestigious science journal — just published a screed in which a scientist urges colleagues to take “direct action” to convince us that radical change must be instituted now to save the planet from climate change. The author, astronomer Bernadette Rogers, is terrified of climate change and left her work in that field to pursue radical political advocacy. From, “The Climate Emergency Demands Scientists Take Action and Here’s How” I left my job as Head of Science Operations at the Gemini South Observatory in 2014, driven to ‘do more’ about Read More ›

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View from space of orbiting mother earth; view of China, South East Asia, India

You Can’t Have Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet…or Can You?

Busting the myths of population growth and economic scarcity

Wired recently came out with an interview with economics data analyst Gaya Herrington proclaiming the doom of humanity if we don’t “shift the paradigm” NOW. Herrington said, Very succinctly, we are at a now-or-never moment. What we do in the next five to 10 years will determine the welfare levels of humanity for the rest of the century. There are so many tipping points approaching, in terms of climate, in terms of biodiversity. So—change our current paradigm, or our welfare must decline. The Planet Can’t Sustain Rapid Growth Much Longer | WIRED Population alarmism is not a new chipmunk at the park. It’s been burrowing its nose into the popular imagination for decades now. But is the hype merited? Are we really Read More ›

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stained glass window

AI Plays the Reverend

An AI chatbot gave a sermon at a church in Germany, allegedly telling congregants "not to fear death."

An AI chatbot gave a sermon at a church in Germany, allegedly telling congregants “not to fear death.” University of Vienna theologian and philosopher Jonas Simmerlein was responsible for the service and for giving the ChatGPT bot its prompts. Talk about eerie. Even churches are starting to incorporate AI into their homilies. Simmerlein noted that overall the chatbot gave “a pretty solid service,” and included psalms, prayers, and also mentions of climate change and Ukraine. Not all the congregants got the same impression. Per the report from Fox News, in conjunction with the Associated Press, some church attendants felt put off by the chatbot’s mechanical and impersonal delivery. One woman expressed, “There was no heart and no soul,” Heiderose Schmidt, Read More ›

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electric car parked in front of home modern low energy suburban house 3d rendering

Electric Cars: Fantasy or Salvation?

Many are extolling the benefits of electric cars, especially to reduce emissions

Many are extolling the benefits of electric cars, especially to reduce emissions. Some jurisdictions are even banning the sale of gas-burning cars in the near future. The panel discusses the future of electric vehicles, their benefits as well as the challenges of their widespread adoption (including manufacturing issues and power supply limitations), and some of the practical issues associated with owning and operating an electric vehicle. Read here for further analysis on the panel and the participants’ various views on electric cars. There, Peter Biles writes, Despite their disagreements, the panelists shared various insights on the development of electric vehicles. As their conversation indicates, global economic issues are in the mix when we talk about electric cars. -Peter Biles, Are Read More ›

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population of a small planet

Gale Pooley on the Humanize Podcast

Are we really living on a dying planet?

Are we living on a dying planet? Are the doomsday prophecies of scarcity and widespread starvation due to population growth real? It’s the mainstream assumption, parroted by a number of influential voices. But not everything has taken the bait. Dr. Gale L. Pooley, senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty and co-author of the groundbreaking 2022 book Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing, talked with Wesley J. Smith on the Humanize podcast on his work in economics and the ideas behind the book. Pooley co-wrote Superabundance with Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute. Smith and Pooley enjoyed a conversation pushing back against the widespread pessimism that is inherent in the scarcity narrative. Their Read More ›

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Electric Cars at COSM 2022

Are Electric Cars Really the Future?

Panelists at the 2022 COSM conference discuss the pros and cons of electric vehicles

On November 10th, the COSM conference hosted a special panel on electric vehicles (EVs for short). Brian Mistele, founder and CEO of Inrix, a leading provider of traffic information, car services, and transportation analytics, moderated the discussion. Aside from Mistele, the panel included Howard Hayden, professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut and editor of The Energy Advocate, Walter Myers, Principal Manager on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform, and Tony Posawatz, an automotive industry pioneer and chief executive of Fisker Automotive. They brought a range of perspectives on the pros and cons of EVs and where the auto industry is heading. Posawatz kicked off the panel by giving a brief overview of automobile history. He said, There was electric and folks Read More ›

Pinterest Logo Icon Around Earth. Popular App Concept.

Pinterest Bans Climate Change “Misinformation”

Pinterest might be the first company to implement such a strict ban, but what if it's not the last?

Last week, Pinterest banned climate change misinformation from its platform, becoming the first major social media company to do so outright. The policy raises free speech concerns. Since not all scientists agree on the nature of climate change, what causes it, and what the solutions are, how is the issue to be discussed if alternate points of view are banned from public platforms? Pinterest is an image-sharing social media site, where users share ideas that they can “pin” to their own boards on everything from recipes to interior design to fashion. On April 6, Pinterest announced their new climate misinformation policy, aimed at “remov[ing] content that may harm the public’s well-being, safety or trust.” As of the policy announcement, any Read More ›

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Group of demonstrators on road, young people from different culture and race fight for climate change - Global warming and enviroment concept - Focus on banners

Google and YouTube Demonetize Climate Change Skeptics

But how did Google acquire the authority to declare what is "misinformation" or "scientific consensus"?

The Google Ads team announced a new policy last week banning the monetization of content critical of a current consensus around climate change. Beginning in November, both Google and YouTube will: …prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change. This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change. Google Ads team, “Updating our ads and monetization policies on climate change,” posted October 7, 2021 This does not mean that Google and YouTube will block any and all content that denies Read More ›

El santuario de Gaea

Our AI Overlords Will Save Earth, Says Prominent Scientist

AlphaGo, the Go-playing computer program, is the start of telepathic superintelligences that will tackle climate change

James Lovelock, both distinguished scientist and founder of the Gaia concept of Earth, need only live to July 26 to be a centenarian. In his new book, co-authored with Bryan Appleyard, he sees the Go-playing computer program AlphaGo as the start of a new type of life that will save the planet, as he told New Scientist recently: Specifically, about the new AI overlords: In his new book Novacene, James Lovelock says the creation of AlphaGo was the start of a new kingdom of life that will create and think for itself. He’s optimistic that this new kingdom of life will want to keep us around like we keep plants in gardens. “James Lovelock says artificial intelligence is the start Read More ›