Why Global Warming?

global warming increase price

Figure I- Global Warming as a factor of hurting Korean economies

It was interesting to see many Americans did not accept global warming as a real phenomenon. Many people in Korea would say they noticed and experienced global warming in various ways such as listed following: inflation (81.6%), sale price increased due to increase in operation expense (79%), less production made (78.2%), less goods exported due to new environment restrictions (77.6%), less economic development (76.2%), and more job loss (65.8%). This result is also a surprise to me that they blamed the global warming as a factor of hurting Korean economies.

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Figure II – Local Fruits and Vegetables Migrated north.

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Figure III – Fishes caught in 1980 vs in 2000’s

The graph seems biased because it might be prepared to defend the Korean economies. In the research they might try to influence participants in its favor. Figure II shows that various certain crops’ cultivating location moved up north due to climate changes. Figure III shows that different kinds of fish were caught in 1980 due to the increase in water temperature around Korean peninsula. 52.64% of more squids, 25.94 of more anchovies, and 17.94% of more mackerels are caught in 2000, comparing to 1980.

In conclusion, Koreans noticed local vegetables and fruits has migrated north, and acknowledged the increase in price on certain kinds of salt water fish as lesser they are caught. The reason more people in America deny the global warming could be a geographic location that North America is relatively safe from climate change, so that less people noticed it has influenced their daily lives.

temperature change_1_in DEC_JAN_FEB

Figure IV- Relatively less temperature change during winter in the United States

However, it is interesting to see that many people in American deny the global warming as an ongoing phenomenon, because it has not affected their lives yet. This is a great example of how majority would react to new scientific research in certain ways- mistrust, suspicion, and denial, unless they experience it. People quickly adopted on smart phones, they would not accept the importance of scientific research until they can see how much change it can bring to their lives. To the public, it is not about how thoroughly a scientific research is proven. What matters to them is how much impact has occurred to their daily lives. I think tendency of mistrust in scientific research has to do with government. For example, the government may use global warming scientific data to increase the bills against water and air pollution. In this way, science data favored more government or big corporations than individuals, because it seems individuals can do nothing about these issues.

Credit:

Figure I, Ministry of Environment in Korea,  http://www.me.go.kr/home/web/main.do

Figure II, Weekly Chosun (a Korean press company)  http://weekly.chosun.com/client/news/viw.asp?ctcd=C02&nNewsNumb=002098100018

Figure III, Kukmin Ilbo (online article from a Korean press company)

http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0005719938&code=11151100

Figure IV, Berkeley Earth (A Measure Approach Climate Change + Strategic Analysis)

http://berkeleyearth.org/graphics/physical-effects-of-warming/

Jisung Yu

Unscientific America

“As Mark Twain put it, “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.” Take the army of aggrieved parents nationwide who swear vaccines are the reason their children developed autism and who seem impossible to convince otherwise. Scientific research has soundly refuted this contention, but every time a new study comes out on the subject, the parents and their supporters have a “scientific” answer that allows them to retain their beliefs.”

So where in fact, do they get their “science” from? From the Internet, celebrities, other parents, and a few non-mainstream researchers and doctors who continue to challenge the scientific consensus, all of which forms a self-reinforcing echo chamber of misinformation.

Almost inevitably, improvements to our educational system are put forward as the primary solution to the problem of scientific illiteracy. It is a lofty goal, of course, and nobody is against improving K-12 science education. But to look to education alone as the silver bullet is to write off as unreachable anyone who has already graduated from the formal educational system. That includes vast stretches of the population, including most voters, our political and cultural leaders, and the gatekeepers of the media.

The level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, say it’s the sun that does the orbiting–placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galileo almost 400 years ago. It also explains the extraordinary disconnect between scientists and much of the public over issues the scientists think were settled long ago

scholars working in the field of science and technology studies (STS) have largely discarded the idea that our problems at the science-society interface reduce to a simple matter of scientific illiteracy, traditionally defined. Instead, these thinkers have grown skeptical of what they sometimes call the “deficit model” that has come to dominate many scientists’ and intellectuals’ views of the public—the idea that there’s something lacking in people’s understanding or appreciation of science, and that this in turn explains our predicament.

  • Kellie Behrle

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/407346/216-million-americans-are-scientifically-illiter

http://www.alternet.org/story/141679/unscientific_america%3A_how_scientific_illiteracy_threatens_our_futureate-part-I/

 

 

Casting Doubt On Science

Shelby Simmons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ii9zGFDtc

merchants-of-doubt-poster

During class we talked about how America’s science literacy is going down, people do not understand science anymore or simple have no interest in it. We also briefly discussed the dangers of science “denialism”. There are a lot of people out there who are educated and have great rhetoric skills. There are certain people who have these qualities who will cast doubt on scientist and their studies. This should make us worried especial with American science literacy going down. As seen in this clip of the documentary Merchants of Doubt, these people are educated and persuasive and can get many people behind them. When people don’t understand the science it is easy to believe in someone who is very persuasive.

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Many times people will use science against science making it very confusing for the average person to understand the actual science. As Marc Morano the executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot.com a climate skeptic website, points out that scientist are hard to understand and boring. The lack of interest or even being able to understand science is a big issue in our country and leads to many problems. For example many people still don’t believe in global warming and it is outrageous that America still have candidates to be the President of the United States that don’t believe global warming is happening. Just this November to December, Paris had the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference where there was the cooperation of over 190 countries. That’s a lot of countries all that all agree that global warming is happening. I believe the only way to start changing the world for the better is if as a country we become more scientific literate and we stop debating if global warming is real and start thinking of what to do about it instead.

http://www.cop21paris.org/about/cop21

What We Don’t Know, Won’t Hurt Us?

It has been proven time and time again that a large percentage of Americans are scientifically illiterate. Think to yourself, can you name more than 10 elements on the periodic table? Sure, we could all name 100 musicians, but could you think of the name of five scientists? I know I probably couldn’t. I never even think of the fact that I know so little about science. I think of it as something I should just let scientists focus on. But, it affects our everyday lives, and we affect the future of science.

imrs.jpg

(This chart is just an example of how humans think we know all we need to about science, but in reality, on most of these topics, we were way off.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/29/americans-are-still-scientifically-illiterate-and-scientists-still-need-a-pr-team/

When it comes to socio-scientific issues such as climate change and animal testing, we, as citizens, can make a huge impact. With climate change, there are ways that we move it along by doing things such as driving cars that omit fossil fuels into the environment, for example. We don’t even think twice about it, but we may be helping cause climate change everyday. Also, as far as the issue of animal testing, we are supporting this scientific atrocity by buying the products and brands that choose to do this testing. Many of us don’t even check the bottles to see if they test on animals. I think part of it is that American’s don’t really want to think about, or understand how we are destroying or impacting our world by the simple things we do everyday.

We think science is something that should be left to the intelligent book worms that have the knowledge to understand and comprehend it, but in reality, it is not that hard to understand how the world works. If we take the time to really research and try to understand socio-scientific issues, we can quickly and effectively improve our world a great deal.

-Jocelyn Scott

Breaking Up With Fossil Fuels

 

Last spring semester, I went to see a guest speaker at TUC. The speaker was Bill McKibben, a writer turned environmental activist. McKibben gave a compelling lecture and showed a slideshow of recent events and efforts that he and his environmental organization, 350.org, had orchestrated or been a part of. McKibben also humorously showed a YouTube video in which he found out he was a cartoonized guest star, portrayed as an extremist environmentalist wacko. The video was pro-fossil fuel propaganda, made by those who are invested in fossil fuels, using a cute love story between “Joe” and his girlfriend, “Fossil Fuels.” When Joe and Fossil Fuels break up, Joe realizes basically everything in his life was there because fossil fuels made it possible.

While the video was funny because it made an antagonist out of McKibben, it was also a little bit scary to think about the effect it might have on the general population. Anyone who viewed the video without taking the time to actually educate themselves on the adverse effects of burning fossil fuels and the dangers of accelerated climate change would probably think that fossil fuels are a good thing, because the video shows how they make life convenient and nice. What the video shows to someone who realizes the dangers of fossil fuels, however, is all the more reason to find alternative, sustainable ways to produce all those things we use and love.

The fact that Americans lead the world in climate change denial (Climate Change Denial Survey) is enough evidence that many Americans are scientifically illiterate. Elected politicians and those running for president refusing to listen to scientists about climate change or accept that it is happening is either scientific illiteracy in the hands of those that have governmental power, or ties to companies that profit from fossil fuels. The denial of science by these people and citizens who vote on issues shows how scientific illiteracy can be a threat to our future as a planet in the face of climate change.

Katie Clontz

pRzXGCF

http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/22/americans-lead-world-climate-denial/

Chinese Education System and Student Suicides

This past week we spoke about the United States education system and how we are scientifically illiterate compared to the majority of developed and developing countries. Also, we compared our standardized test scores to the test scores of Chinese high school students. We concluded that United States high school students are far worse in math and science fields compared to Chinese students. The Chinese education system is extremely rigorous and stressful on the students due to high competition to get into good schools, from elementary to college. Sadly, the Chinese high-pressure high school and college examination system is contributing to a wave of student suicides.

The Chinese nonprofit organization, 21st Century Education Research Institute, conducted research on 79 student suicide cases in 2013. According to the research, “They found that almost all—92%—occurred after a teen had endured stress associated with school, in some cases an argument with a teacher.” Also, “Some 63% occurred in the latter half of the school year, when students usually experience more stress due to high school and college entrance exams.” The study’s examples included a middle school student from inner Mongolia who jumped off of a building due to his test scores dropping; a 13-year-old boy from Jiangsu province who hanged himself after failing to finish his homework; and a girl from Sichuan province who cut her wrists and took poison upon learning the results of her college-entrance exam.  One of the main factors behind Chinese students stress in the gaokao, which is the college-entrance exam. Chinese students only get one attempt per year at this exam and it is known as a ticket to a better future because Chinese colleges judge only on the test score.

Chinese students may have better test scores but it is not worth the lives that have been lost in the process. The Chinese government needs to implement more services such as, hotlines and other psychological help to prevent student suicides.

Source:

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-05-15/china-exam-system-drives-student-suicides

Andrew Traicoff

Are deniers of climate change scientifically illiterate or careless?

imageWhen we were talking about climate change in class I was puzzled as to why people still deny climate change after all of the evidence and obvious effects of climate change, and then it occurred to me, that maybe people are in denial of climate change because it is inconvenient. Maybe they don’t want to believe that their lifestyle is a cause of climate change and they they are responsible for making changes to mitigate climate change. It is inconvenient for us to ride a bike or even take a bus instead of a car. It is inconvenient to reduce meat consumption. It is inconvenient to avoid buying plastic and making sure to recycle everything. So I am thinking one of the reasons people deny it is because they don’t want to have to care. They don’t want to change, and they don’t want to hear people tell them that they need to. But the truth is we all could make lifestyle changes that could reduce our ecological footprint, myself included. I know I could take more steps to reduce my impact, including driving less. It is important for all humans to work together to decrease our impact and acknowledge that it is necessary. I do think in some cases people don’t believe in climate change because they are uneducated, but I really do think a lot of it is people being careless and deliberately choosing to not believe the facts because it is too inconvenient for them. -Madeline Howard

http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/