register

Mark Farmer's picture

Mark Farmer

MEMBER FOR 4 years 5 weeks

Fans

recent comments

UGA restricts travel to Ebola countries

“It’s a disappointment to me. I’m p----d off and embarrassed and completely weirded out that a journalism institution that should be seeking out facts and details is basically pandering to hysteria,”

I echo those sentiments with regards to UGA's Grady College. Is this how we define "journalistic courage"?
By uninviting Ms. Williams UGA caved into the irrational pressure that folks like Paul Broun and David Purdue are spreading. Fear spreads a lot faster than ebola and politicians know it.
By pandering to this hysteria UGA is condoning, and fostering it. Exactly the opposite of what a school of journalism should be doing.

Ms. Williams is not sick with ebola. And even if she were, what are the chances that a UGA student or employee would come in contact with her saliva, blood, vomit or feces?

posted @ Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 09:07

Ebola concerns prompt UGA to postpone Liberian journalist's lecture

"Frankel and three other writers are also scheduled to speak about what journalistic courage means during a symposium at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication."

Such as the journalistic courage it would take to NOT feed the hysteria over a disease in which one has to come in physical contact with the body fluids of an actively sick individual in order to spread the disease?

Ms. Williams does not have ebola., And if she were to feel unwell I am certain that given what she has seen and experienced in west Africa she would not knowingly put others in jeopardy But for UGA to uninvite Ms. Williams from delivering this prestigious lecture shows how even a college that is supposedly dedicated to reporting the truth can succumb to the pressure of fear.

posted @ Monday, October 20, 2014 - 08:41

Ambrose: Further work needed on global warming issue

I wish Mr. Ambrose had attended tonight's lecture in the UGA Chapel by Professor Shepherd.
http://anthropocene.uga.edu/
If he had he would have learned that the "no warming since 1998" is a twisting and cherry picking of the data. The warming of the worlds' oceans (70% of Earth) has continued unabated.
He would have learned of the multiple ways in which humanity has, and continues to, alter the climate both local and globally.
He would have that the "Let's not do anything right now, there is too much uncertainty" response is misguided and dangerous for our grandchildren's futures.

He would have learned something.

Please come on Oct. 9 when Dr. Dan Everett will speak about the transition to a carbon-free energy economy.
http://anthropocene.uga.edu/lecture/economics-transition-away-fossil-fuels

Spoiler alert!! It is not as costly as Mr. Abrose would want you to believe.

posted @ Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 21:40

Bryce: Solar energy surging, but hydrocarbons here to stay

Mr. Bryce indirectly raises an important point. All the green energy production in the world will not matter if we cannot curb the growth of our demands for this energy. We need to begin reducing our total energy demands at the same time we seek alternative non-carbon based solutions.
Every 10% reduction in demand means that many fewer coal plants.
Every 10% increase in mpg means that many fewer gallons of oil.
Every 10% reduction in the global birthrate means that many fewer mouths to feed in 2025.

Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers believes that 50 years from now we will still be generating electricity in the same way we do today.
Such thinking a century ago would mean that our homes and churches today would be lit by oil lamps, fueled from the rendered blubber of slaughtered whales.

We CAN move away from fossil fuels.
For the sake of future Americans we must.

Shameless plug for the Anthropocene lecture series.
http://anthropocene.uga.edu/

Please Come hear:
Economics of the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Dr. Daniel M. Everett

posted @ Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 08:38

World is on brink of unprecedented wave of extinction, says UGA's Farmer

@makeitso:
Since you are interested in this topic I hope that you will attend Dr. Everett's lecture
Economics of the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Daniel M. Everett
Dept. of Computer Science & Terry College of Business

http://anthropocene.uga.edu/lecture/economics-transition-away-fossil-fuels

posted @ Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 13:35

World is on brink of unprecedented wave of extinction, says UGA's Farmer

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - @mpd0.59:
Either the professors research was so sloppy that he didn't pick up on the glitch or he was satisfied to use the false data. Because of this gross error, all his findings are suspect.
[/quote]

Since you are obviously too busy to check the Mauna Loa data yourself I am happily providing it for you. Below are months in 2014 and the measured and averaged CO2 levels (in ppm) for that month.

March - 399.58
April - 401.29
May - 401.75
June - 401.15
July - 399.00

The three months above 400ppm were not a "blip" as you imply but rather part of the natural seasonal cycle of CO2 flux in the northern hemisphere. As photosynthetic rates ramp up with summer, CO2 levels go down. Typically September and October have the lowest annual averages, and then it begins to climb again. The average increase in CO2 for 2013 was 2.05ppm for 2012 it was 2.66

I stand behind my statements and I provide easy to verify data to back them up.

Hope to see you at the next Anthropocene lecture. They are free and open to the public.
http://anthropocene.uga.edu/

Like us on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/anthropocenelectureseries

posted @ Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 13:23

World is on brink of unprecedented wave of extinction, says UGA's Farmer

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."  Yogi Berra.  [/quote]

I am gathering from your comments that you were not present for my lecture on Thursday evening so let me recap for you. Yes, predictions can be difficult, especially when it comes to climate change. This is why I focused on ocean acidification as it is straightforward and easy to calculate and to predict. Basic chemistry really.

[quote]     Why  do we give any weight to these  wild eyed professors who run down the street with their  pants on fire shouting their radical  predictions?  
     This guy is employing false data.  The 400 ppm CO2 report was a brief blip 
 from one reporting station in Hawaii and researchers published a correction a short time later.  The reporter should have challenged  the Professor on this false statement alone.   If your foundation is built on false data, your entire structure will crumble.  Me thinks he has received funding from the Environmental/Industrial Complex.
[/quote]

I've never received a dime of funding from anyone other than the NSF for my research on protistan evolution. Happy to provide you with a copy of my CV.

Nope, not false data and not a blip. A steady increase in CO2. Check the data yourself here:
http://aco-ssds.soest.hawaii.edu/ALOHA/
and here:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
and here for Bermuda:
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Hog+Reef
and here for the Canary islands:
http://www.tellusb.net/index.php/tellusb/article/view/15256
and here for New Zealand:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/baring.html

 [quote]  This guy also fails to report that while some species may become extinct, other new species (plant and animal) are being discovered.  
[/quote]

Being discovered and being created are two very, VERY different things. Net biodiversity on Earth is in steep decline. To imply otherwise is disingenuous (i.e. a lie).

  [quote]   The release of e-mails from the CRU in East Anglia was most interesting. One of the leading researchers championing the CO2 theory could not understand why tons of carbon was being emitted into the atmosphere but global temperatures were not increasing.  The thought never occurred to him that his hypotheses was incorrect.  
[/quote]
More arm-chair quarterbacking. My lecture said nothing about changing temperatures. But since you were not there you would not know that, you can only throw stones from the sidelines.

[quote]     The  IPCC  about a year ago  was forced to admit they could not identify one specie which became extinct as a result of global  warming. 
[/quote]

Ughh. Again with the warming? I said that species were going extinct due to hunting, habitat destruction, and introduced pests being spread around the world by humans. Would you like the reams and reams of data that supports that?

[quote]     Depending on the reporting data, there has not been any global warming for 13 to 17 years 10 months.  Let is not forget that the Sahara was once a sea, parts of Sweden was a tropical forest the Earth has been hotter and colder than now.  
[/quote]

Even Forbes magazine acknowledges that June 2014 was the warmest June in recorded history:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2014/07/21/june-was-hottest-on-record/

And July was the fourth hottest ever.
But I digress, it is the changing chemistry of the oceans that worries me the most. we have somewhere between 50 and 75 years before the coral reefs around the world begin to disappear for good.

posted @ Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 12:55

Rogers: In Hostile Territory: Remembering the slaying of Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn

[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - This poem about a terrible incident that occurred in the south fifty years ago reminds me of the time I got lost driving a rental car late at night among high-rise urban housing projects up north.
I was terrified.
[/quote]

I grew up in the shadow of such northern high-rise housing projects. I never had anyone threaten me because of the color of my skin.

Thank you Jerry for keeping alive the memory of Lt. Col. Penn and for the reminder that intolerance of others is perhaps the worst of sins.
Who was it who said?
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

posted @ Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 09:24

Smith: UGA Chapel is magnificent edifice

"Today, an evolutionist would be welcomed to express his views to a chapel audience."

Indeed. Last year the Chapel served as a magnificent venue for the Origins Lecture series which dealt with everything from the origin of the universe to the origin of mankind.
This fall we hope it will prove equally wonderful for our next lecture series "Welcome to the Anthropocene" which will chronicle humanity's influences on the biology and chemistry of the planet.

posted @ Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 14:35

Conant: Step away from the screen to improve political climate

[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - Thanks goodness for Fox News!
By itself, Fox News balances out the liberal propaganda put out by the mainstream media television networks!
[/quote]

I think that once again you have missed the entire point of this article.

As for the author's advice? It really works. When my mother discovered the internet I started receiving all sorts of nonsense that supported her political leanings. When I started fact checking these with Snopes and then sending the links back via "Reply to All" she quickly became embarrassed at how easily she had been duped. Now she herself fact checks these propaganda pieces that are supposedly written by knowledgeable people and in most cases stops herself from propagating the nonsense.

Seriously people, it is now so easy to access solid data on a whole range of issues, PLEASE do some research before forming an opinion.

posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 - 08:01

What Others Say: President's move on coal makes sense (The Miami Herald)

[quote][b]Eastville[/b] - @proftom: Carbon dioxide's not insulation .
[/quote]

Sorry, but yes it is. We have known how CO2 traps infrared radiation through bond bending and bond stretching for over a century. There is lots of empirical data that shows beyond any doubt that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere (the entire increase being the result of human activity) is trapping IR in precisely the radiation wavelengths absorbed by CO2. It is a cause and effect relationship, not simply a correlation.

Simply saying that CO2 is not causing global warming is pure and simple denialism.
If you are truly interested in learning about the science behind these claims take a look here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-gree...

posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 08:31

What Others Say: President's move on coal makes sense (The Miami Herald)

@Used2baFreeCountry:

[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - I am so old that I remember when we had presidents who wanted America to have lower energy costs, instead of trying to get them to skyrocket. .
[/quote]

If you take away the government subsidies and other benefits offered to the fossil fuel industry then wind power is already lower cost energy. Do you get to dump your waste for free? The fossil fuel industry does. Try looking at the total picture.

posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 07:29

Sikora: Renewable energy sources offer credible options

Using peak solar and wind electricity to make hydrogen is a reasonable idea. In addition to having a potential role in transportation, hydrogen can easily be converted back to electricity when needed via fuel cells. Although one loses energy with every conversion if the initial energy is carbon-free we (and future generations) will ultimately be the winners.
People like Mr. Ambrose are no better than those who yell "Fire" in a movie theater. They are risking our future for the sake of protecting the fossil fuel industry.

posted @ Monday, June 9, 2014 - 18:50

I can only assume that Jim Thompson was required by corporate headquarters to publish this worthless bit of dreck. The ABH usually has far higher standards that to print a string of unsubstantiated lies propagated solely to incite fear for political purposes.

posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 - 19:24

I can only assume that Jim Thompson was forced by corporate headquarters to print this utterly worthless opinion piece. It is devoid of facts and full of fear mongering lies.

posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 - 19:17

I can only assume that upper management forced Jim Thompson to publish this opinion piece that offers no factual data to support any of Mr. Ambrose's statements. Indeed, it is nothing ore than an unsubstantiated bit of fear mongering, exactly of the sort he professes to reject.
Truly a waste of the time it took to read it.

posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 - 13:23

"The Environmental Protection Agency says rates will sit there as if nothing is happening. My own observation is that when the government mandates changes that must at least initially be expensive, as some of these absolutely will be, the costs are passed on to consumers."

I guess that Mr. Ambrose is not old enough to recall how bad air pollution was back in the 1960's or 1970's or how the removal of lead from gasoline has dramatically improved the quality of life for millions of Americans. But I do recall these things and I am exceedingly grateful to President Nixon for having the courage and foresight to empower the EPA to make our lives better. I believe that Americans forty years from now will similarly thank President Obama for taking steps to do the same.
I have to pay the costs of having my trash hauled and disposed of at the Clarke County landfill but somehow people like Mr. Ambrose feel that those who use our common air and our community water as a free dump should not have to pay any of these costs.
I was also struck by the fact that he provided no data to back up his opinions and that he did nothing but try to engender unsubstantiated fear to win his argument.
In summary this is one of the worst opinion pieces on the subject of climate change that the ABH has ever printed. I can only guess that someone in the corporate office forced Jim Thompson to publish it.

posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 - 11:29

Ga. GOP Senate hopefuls try to separate themselves

"Phil Gingrey, another House member and a physician like Broun, said he doesn’t agree with the administration that “carbon dioxide is definitely a greenhouse gas...There’s no doubt that methane is a greenhouse gas.”

CO2 and methane are both greenhouse gasses. We've known this for over a century. It has to do with bond bending and bond stretching and the absorption of infrared energy.

Where did Dr. Gingrey take his chemistry courses?

posted @ Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 10:24

Farmer: Hydrogen holds promise as energy source

[quote][b]kconner[/b] - The bumpy road starts when you start cutting into the profits of the oil industry.
[/quote]

The next billionaires are going to be the ones who hold the patents to things like artificial photosynthesis and hydrogen storage. There is a LOT of money to be made here in the coming decades. I think it would be great if the patents for these inventions were right here in the U.S.A. That way energy bullies like Russia could not use natural gas as a political weapon.
There are LOTS of good reasons for the U.S. moving away from a carbon based economy, even if China and India do not go along.

posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 - 11:37

4.8 quake shakes Yellowstone National Park

Y'all know that there is a supervolcano under Yellowstone that if it blows will destroy most of the US that is to the east of it, including Georgia.

Sleep tight!

posted @ Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 20:24

What Others Say: Global warming isn't gravity (The Augusta Chronicle)

"Well, excuse us, but there is plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary,"

No, there is NOT evidence to the contrary. That is the whole point.

Unless you embrace the cherry picking tactics of the climate change denialists "There's been no warming for the past 16.5 years" (Technically true since 1998 was an abnormally warm year but if you calculate for the past 15.5 years, or 14.5 years, or 17.5 years then it HAS been warming). "The polar ice cover increased by 40% in 2013!" (Again, technically true, but only because ice cover in 2012 was the lowest in recorded history. If we look at all the satellite data from 1978 we see an overall LOSS of ice cover of frightening proportions.)

Kerry is absolutely correct about the data, and the vast, vast majority of climate scientists agree with his conclusion that humans are contributing to climate change.

So yes, if you choose to hitch your wagon to some climate change denier who happens to have a Ph.D. don't be surprised if he drags you over a cliff.

That doesn't mean that the rest of us want to go along for the ride.

posted @ Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 09:18

Hood: Accidental science behind Groundhog Day

Great piece! Funny and educational. Nicely done.

posted @ Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 11:05

Weisbrot: New economic approaches could address climate issues

More and more free enterprise experts are supporting a carbon tax and an interesting approach is being advocated by former South Carolina Republican congressman Bob Inglis, Executive Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative
http://energyandenterprise.com/about/

They advocate taxing carbon and at the same time reducing corporate taxes (revenue neutral). This would reduce something we don't want (increased CO2 in the atmosphere) and promote something we do want (increased corporate productivity and full employment).

Not sure I can see a problem with this approach.

posted @ Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 11:29

Stossel: Time to chill on global warming

@Jerry NeSmith: Thank you Jerry. That is EXACTLY the point I wanted to make. Mr. Stossel's assertion that increased CO2 is no big deal is completely at odds with the scientific data.
The Vostok ice core data gives us a very good idea of what has happened in the past 400,000+ years. Namely CO2 levels naturally varied between 280 ppm to a low of 175 ppm. Today we are over 400 ppm.
Not only that the but natural variation was at an average rate of 1 ppm per 1000 years. Today it increases at a rate greater than 2 ppm per year.
That is the difference between driving a car at 60 mph or cruising down the highway at 120,000 mph.
We biologists are concerned about the RATE of change for the simple reason that gradual environmental change = evolution. Rapid environmental change = extinction.
It's the Ecology stupid.

posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 21:43

Farmer: The dangers of anecdotal evidence

@davidxto: I brought up the Koch brothers because they were the primary financial backers who funded Dr. Muller's Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature "BEST" project. Thus they are relevant to this discussion and Dr. Muller's work not solely because they support conservative political causes but because as ones who make millions from the fossil fuel industry they cannot be considered unbiased participants. So yes, some of this IS political.
Yet if scientists such as Dr. Muller were truly in it for the big bucks as some claim, then he had no greater teat to suck from than that of the Koch brothers. Instead he chose to extoll what the data indicated. That global warming is real and that human activity is largely to blame.
This was the central premise of my piece. Sorry if you missed it.

posted @ Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 22:09

Find us on Facebook & Twitter

Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter

blogs

  • Andrew
    Shearer

    Blog: Watching movies by myself

    Summary:  I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more

  • Jim
    Thompson

    No cartoons on racism

    As you might imagine, the vast majority of the editorial cartoons available these days for publication through the syndicate which supplies cartoons to the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens are addressing the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer has touched off a number of demonstrations -- some peaceful, but many not at all peaceful, with tear gas fired by police officers and gunshots fired by some protester. read more

see more blogs