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Solar cycle affects human fertility and lifespan

David Archibald points at a very interesting paper that suggests that children conceived during solar activity peaks were less likely to survive and had a whopping 5 year deduction from their lifespan. But don’t panic if you were a peak baby, the affected people were born to poorer women in Scandinavia in the 18th and 19th century. Mortality was 8% in the first year. One in twelve babies didn’t make it. Things were different then. Richer women were somehow able to compensate, or repair the damage. The authors seem fairly sure it has something to do with UV, but I’m not convinced. Solar effects include magnetic effects, solar wind, neutron bombardment, and cosmic rays. There are plenty of things to choose from. Lots more papers to come on this.

Marvel that the sun might influence our lifespan and fertility, but not “do much” to the climate. ;- )

There is much to discuss in comments — many of us wondered if there is a dietary connection, but this effect does not seem to be due to famine, or less food (wheat was cheaper at solar maxes).

– Jo

Guest Post by David Archibald

Solar Activity At Birth

It is now more than 20 years since David Juckett and Barnett Rosenberg published their paper “Correlation of Human Longevity Oscillations with Sunspot Cycles” in the journal Radiation Research.  They had found an interesting correlation between the level of solar activity at birth and lifespan, with lower solar activity resulting in longer lifespans.  From the abstract of that paper:

“An examination of past human mortality trends revealed that the mean longevity of birth cohorts from 1740 to 1900 for United States of America (U.S.) Congressional Representatives exhibited oscillations that coincided with the 9- to 12-year sunspot cycle. Cohort mean longevities were 2-3 years greater during times of low sunspot activity than at peak activity. This phenomenon was confirmed in data from members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament and from University of Cambridge alumni. An additional longevity oscillation with a longer period was visible in the data and may also be related to sunspot cycles.”

A new paper on this subject has just been published by the Norwegian trio of Gine Skjaero, Frode Fossoy and Eivin Roskaft in the journal Proceedings B of the Royal Society: “Solar activity at birth predicted infant survival and women’s fertility in historical Norway”.  From the abstract of that paper:

“Using data on temporal variation in sunspot numbers and individual-based demographic data (N 8662 births) from Norway between 1676 and 1878, while controlling for maternal effects, socioeconomic status, cohort and ecology, we show that solar activity (total solar irradiance) at birth decreased the probability of survival to adulthood for both men and women. On average, the lifespans of individuals born in a solar maximum period were 5.2 years shorter than those born in a solar minimum period. In addition, fertility and lifetime reproductive success (LRS) were reduced among low-status women born in years with high solar activity.”

 

solar cycle timing and survival rates

….

 

Relative to the Biblically allotted span of three score years and ten, a 5.2 year reduction in average lifespan relative to those born during solar minimum is 7.4% shorter.  What is new about the Norwegian study is that they also looked at the effect on female fertility.  On top of lifespan, being born in a solar maximum period also significantly reduced fertility for women born into the poor category, but not for wealthier women or for men.  The effect of socio-economic status on the relationship between solar activity and fertility suggests that high-status pregnant women were better able to avoid the adverse effects of high solar activity.

The paper speculates that the effect is due to degradation of the B vitamin folate by ultraviolet radiation.

The Scandinavian region has a lot of good population records and follow-up research on such a profound effect can be expected.

David Archibald

 

REFERENCE

Gine Roll Skjærvø, Frode Fossøy, Eivin Røskaft (2015)  Solar activity at birth predicted infant survival and women’s fertility in historical Norway, Royal Society Proceedings B,  DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2032 [Full paper]
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54 comments to Solar cycle affects human fertility and lifespan

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    Does having been around when the Aurora Australis was active when I was a kid count for radiation exposure?

    Life on Earth has developed over a few million years and always in the Earths huge magnetic field and always under the Sun.

    Besides occasional passes through radiation belts in the Galaxy we have evolved and no doubt have some considerable ability to take a fair bit of variation when it comes to being zapped by high energy stuff.

    Nonetheless this is interesting and look for ward to how it works out.

    KK

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    • #

      There was some discussion that a slightly different spread of geneotypes were selected at high solar activity times (meaning that some embryo’s survived that wouldn’t have, and visa versa), leading to a slightly different mix of genes in that cohort. Another study I saw on solar effects on biology talked about mutation rates being higher, and it’s possible that species have adapted to make the most of both these effects.

      From the paper below – two ideas – but obviously everyone is speculating:

      One proximate explanation for the relationship
      between solar activity and infant mortality may be an
      effect of folate degradation (vitamin B) caused by UVR
      [11,37,38]. Folate is needed for DNA synthesis and for the
      maintenance of the epigenome [39] and is thus essential for
      the development of healthy and fecund individuals during
      gestation [13]. Folate deficiency during pregnancy is associated
      with higher morbidity and mortality (reviewed in
      [40]), and hence, increased folate degradation in solar maximum
      periods could result in folate deficiency in pregnant
      women and, consequently, fetal loss [19,20] as well as
      reduced subsequent survival of children [13]. Another candidate
      explanation may be the selection for specific genotypes
      associated with folate loss and vitamin D biosynthesis at
      the time of conception or early pregnancy in relation to
      solar activity. While folate is UV labile, vitamin D biosynthesis
      is UV dependent. Previous studies have found that
      photoperiod can influence both vitamin D receptor and
      nuclear folate gene variants via differential embryo survival
      [11,19]. Importantly, the genotypes that influence embryo
      survival are also associated with late-life clinical phenotypes
      [11,19]. Thus, the selection of these vitamin D and folaterelated
      gene variants could partly explain the association
      between mortality and solar activity found in this study.

      61

      • #
        Stephen Harper

        Jo,

        Don’t you just hate people who have got nothing much to add to the discussion except to play schoolmaster? Well sorry, I am about to do it again! It’s vice versa. No visas were involved (or harmed)in the creation of this Latin expression.

        Fascinating post. One wonders where we might be in our understanding of life cycles in a couple of hundred years. We are only scratching the surface at the moment.

        (PS And I won’t even even mention those superfluous apostrophes. You know, like embryos (correct) for embryo’s (incorrect).)

        72

  • #
    Tim

    “The effect of socio-economic status on the relationship between solar activity and fertility suggests that high-status pregnant women were better able to avoid the adverse effects of high solar activity.”

    Could it be that an adequate diet provided an insulating layer of fatty tissue around the uterus?

    Much more information here:
    http://staff.kings.edu/weiweizhang/The%20future%20us%20orange.htm

    80

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Good point Tim. High-status pregnant women perhaps had other factors such as better diet as you suggested, better pre-natal care, were generally healthier women, and had more access to medical treatment. I wonder if alcohol also could have had an effect. Perhaps better housing and thus less thermal stress. It seems to me that going back to historical data that long ago presents some additional uncertainty from factors such as these.

      83

    • #
      Peter Carabot

      Mmmm, perhaps, High Status Pregnant Women (HSPW) didn’t have to work outside in the sun all day long, they had a more sheltered life….

      40

      • #
        gai

        Those were my first thoughts. Move vitamin D but less B.

        Mom ended up with rickets because it was thought the sun was bad for children.

        00

  • #
    sean

    I recall reading that the affects of periods of low solar activity don’t show up for about 5-7 years in the temperature records due to the moderating influence of the oceans. So the worst storms and cold would arrive at the peak of the solar cycle. In that case, people at high latitudes in agrarian economies might be subject to nutritional stress. If would be interesting to see if there are records of the price of wheat or other grains to see if there in an inverse correlation in food prices and mortality. If so, this is nothing more than an indication of scarcity at a critical time in a poor baby’s life.

    30

    • #

      They considered famine and it did not correlate:

      For example, infant mortality increases during years of famines [43]. However, SSmax years did not follow famine years in these populations [30,31]. Why, then, is the fitness of women more sensitive to high solar activity during early life than is the fitness of men?

      30

  • #
    Len

    The three score years and ten and 80 for those who are strong is from Psalm 90:10. This Psalm was supposed to have been composed by Moses and the length of life referred to those on the 40 years walking in the desert before entering the promised land. By the way do the Israelis recognised the tradition owners, the Canaanites, before any function like the lefties here impose on us?

    10

  • #
    Wayne Job

    The sun spot count and the difference between rich and poor life spans would be the availability of good food as the climate varies, global cooling and warming, with the usual lag.If children do not get good tucker when young bye bye long life.

    20

  • #
    ROM

    Solar cycle affects human fertility and lifespan?

    Possible; Maybe!
    Probable? Ummm!

    The relevant facts far as I can reason it out to justify my suggestions following

    *High latitudes
    *Birth at Solar activity peaks
    *Poor socio-econoimic status ie; at the bottom of the heap.

    My guess would be a subtle food quality problem from the increased solar radiation in various solar radiation bands aided and abetted by the long daily exposure times of the crops and food sources to this more intense solar radiation at those high latitudes where the likes of the amino acids and proteins and etc of the already very low quality grain and other produce consumed by low socio-economic people living on the edge of survival were subtly altered or damaged.
    These shortages or down grading of the essential nutrients in the grains and food consumed by these low socio-economic groups would lead to a further reduction in the essential elements in the mother’s milk that are critical to the very early and initial health of an infant.

    A paucity of these essential nutrients starting with the mother’s milk so early in life along with a continuing severe stress on health due to the very low quality food and sometimes no doubt insufficient food, when prolonged through childhood and well into a life time will lead to shorter lifetimes for that cohort.

    The various components of grains and other food sources which were grown, not for their quality but rather for their abilities to grow fast and produce a fair measure of grain or the same for other foods in the very short seasons of the high latitudes were probably quite marginal in essential food quality in the first place.
    Then inflict a good dose of more intense solar radiation for perhaps 14 hours a day in mid summer at those high latitudes, including damaging solar maximum UV intensities amongst other heightened solar radiation at the solar maximum at those higher latitudes on the grain as it was forming in the head.

    There is a good possibility that there was a reduction or a subtle damaging and deleterious from human consumption requirements, in those essential starch, amino acids and proteins in what were already very marginal quality food grains by solar maximum radiation increased intensities particularly those qualities that were already lacking or degraded in the cheapest and the most likely least nutritious grains available.

    The richer and more wealthy groups could afford better quality foods and grains so even though the foods they consumed were also affected, they avoided the perhaps subtle down grading of those solar maximum radiation affected very low quality foods of the poor by consuming better quality, more expensive food and more of it to begin with.

    In the Himalayas a friend of mine who comments here on occassions, told me of a barley that through centuries of selection by the monks in some of the highest monasteries in the Himalayas had selected and adapted a barley variety that from emergence to maturity took only an incredible 40 days.
    All to fit the extremely short growing seasons of those high altitudes
    Not only that but that barley grows at heights well above any where other varieties of crops can be grown.
    Mind you as a then barley researcher he described the quality as s**t.

    Even the Canadians can only mange grain crops from emergence to maturity in about 80 days in the furthest north grain areas up around Peace River in Alberta and even further north of that today.

    If any research on this shortened life time / solar maximum was to followed up on I would be looking at trying to find a source of grains of the same variety dating from those 1860′s solar max and a comparative solar minimum periods and doing a very comprehensive analysis on the quality aspects of all the starches, sugars, proteins, amino acids and everything else that makes up a food grain to see if there was any changes that could be detected in grain quality that might be due to increased solar maximum radiation effects at those high Scandinavian latitudes.

    30

    • #

      During solar max times wheat was cheaper. I would think Mums were more likely to be eating more rather than less during the peak times.

      We show that for all 10 time moments of the solar activity minimums the observed prices were higher than prices for the correspondent time moments of maximal solar activity (100% sign correlation, on a significance level < 0.2%).

      REFERENCE
      Pustilnik (2003) INFLUENCE OF SOLAR ACTIVITY ON STATE OF WHEAT MARKET IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

      See also my comment.#3.1

      Yes, I wondered the same thing.
      But no, it does not appear to be about food – at least not in an obvious way. The paper is seriously limited in that it did not consider solar wind, charged particles, magnetic effects, or cosmic rays.

      50

      • #
        tom0mason

        I wonder why they stuck to wheat as the correlating factor?

        If wheat is plentiful then surely most all other grasses, and animal fooder plants would be to, thus all grazing animals should be more plentiful. Also milk and milk products should have a peak in supply.

        Sunshine and rain brings abundance.

        Just thinking out loud…

        30

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      ROM

      For someone who has spent so much time harvesting and lugging wheat you have a very detailed knowledge of the “science” of grains.

      :) KK

      20

  • #
    ROM

    An added thought. Dietary again

    Scandinavians are arguably a sea peoples living as they do so close to the North Sea
    What pattern if any do the great North Sea fisheries follow during solar maximums and minimums?

    Changes in the North Sea fisheries that can be related to solar maximums and minimums would have changed the dietary inputs of the Scandinavians of that time

    70

  • #
    doubtingdave

    The scandanavians were great pioneers of statistical studies and kept the earliest population census records at that time ,I suspect that’s what was used for this study. But as we all know here you can manipulate stats anyway you want .Didn’t women marry and have kids at a much younger age and so mother and baby would have been much more vulnerable anyway and wealthier women were able to keep ” abreast of problems” by for example employing a wet nurse for feeding issues. As Frankie Howard would’ve said ” titter yee not”

    30

    • #
      tom0mason

      @doubtingdave

      Ladies and Gentle-men, just a small thing, … no, — Madam – PLEASE!
      Ooooh! Aren’t they rude!

      So where was I…Oh, yes that’s right.

      You see, no … it’s the name. Yes.
      The name I’ll have you know, is Francis Alick Howerd, or Frankie to his friends…

      No, …listen! Scoff ye not at poor Francis –
      Nay, nay and thrice nay’ to Howard!

      Oh please yourself!

      40

    • #
      tom0mason

      My comment is awaiting moderation.

      00

      • #
        tom0mason

        Whilst trying to evoke the idiomatic verbal dexterity and humor of the dead comedian Frankie H, and try to use his voice to mildly reprimand ‘doubtingdave’ over the spelling of dear Frankie’s name, I appear to have fallen foul of the moderation of this site.

        Titter yee not!
        TM.

        30

      • #
        tom0mason

        Again “comment is awaiting moderation”

        Titter yee not

        00

  • #
    JohnM

    A correlation shouldn’t be assumed to be a link. Jo, didn’t you show that US postage charges for letters correlates well with average global temperature? Even if there is a link it could be via third agent (e.g. increased trade and therefore increased risk of imported disease).

    Also, we are told that much of a person’s character is established within the first 15 months. It might be that babies borne during periods of high TSI have good quality nutrition and their bodily systems develop in a certain way that makes them more susceptible when the nutrition quality falls.

    50

  • #
    Mark D.

    Well now I have to re-consider the Zodiacal markers too.

    30

  • #

    If solar peak UV light kills off CO2 exhaling fungi that would mean less CO2 at ground level during solar peaks. So does this mean CO2 will make you live longer and has an increased effect on the very young?
    http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/life-expectancy-around-the-world-has-increased-19786

    40

    • #
      PeterK

      Siliggy: I wonder why? Could one of the possibilities have anything to do with cheap energy…mmmm……..I really wonder about that and…maybe abundance of food because of more CO2…mmm…yes, I wonder!

      20

  • #
    Popeye26

    “to avoid the adverse effects of high solar activity”

    What are the “adverse” effects of high solar activity?

    Oh – That’s right – man made global warming – OF COURSE. I should have realised before I asked such a stupid question. :-)

    Cheers,

    40

  • #
    RoHa

    This sun thingy seems to be both dangerous and a nuisance. Can’t we get rid of it somehow?

    50

  • #
    Stephen Garland

    Did they consider aflatoxin levels in the food?

    40

  • #
    MacSual

    Were any studies done to see if there was a rise in different viruses during those periods that may have had an effect on either the fetus or the mother or the young child.
    The anomalies of this type of study could be problematic considering the lack of data from those early periods,but all the same an interesting study,one that should be looked into in more depth,maybe the various govts Unis etc could throw just a morsel of their CAGW budgets at it.

    50

  • #
    pat

    12 Jan: CarbonBrief: Mat Hope: Long-term economic shocks imply taking strong, early action on climate change, study shows
    The paper, published in Nature Climate Change today, shows that poor countries are particularly vulnerable to long-term economic shocks associated with a warming world. The results bolster the sense of increasing urgency surrounding international climate negotiations…
    The new research by two Stanford University academics models the impacts of rising temperatures on countries’ economies. It says previous models underestimate the long-term economic shocks associated with climate change.
    Models currently struggle to quantify all the likely economic impacts of climate change. The Stanford University study tries to improve them by broadening the economic impacts they include…
    Today’s paper takes a well known climate economics model, Yale professor William Nordhaus’ DICE model, and adjusts it to account for these longer term impacts…
    The study acknowledges that there’s still a lot of uncertainty around this sort of modelling. For instance, it’s hard to know precisely what the impacts of climate change will be, and when and where they may hit.
    But such research is still useful as it shows the huge amount of action required to cut emissions…
    It also helps to establish the economic incentive to do so by quantifying – albeit, with large uncertainties – the cost of the social impacts of climate change.
    Today’s paper shows the incentive may be greater than previously thought, with poor countries facing the biggest economic threats of all.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/long-term-economic-shocks-imply-taking-strong-early-action-on-climate-change-study-shows/

    guess too many people (including the CAGW crowd) take their vacations in August!

    10 Jan: RTCC: Climate calendar: Key dates for your 2015 diary
    August: If anything’s happening in August – please let us know
    http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/09/climate-calendar-key-dates-for-your-2015-diary/?utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=7583b8095f-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-7583b8095f-303439889

    00

  • #
    pat

    Big Oil promotes CO2 emissions trading in Forbes today (Norway’s Statoil, two thirds owned by the Govt of Norway):

    12 Jan: Forbes: by Statoil: Linking Carbon Markets To Climate Change
    By the end of the century 1,400 cities and towns could be submerged due to rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to a recent study. The impact of climate change is becoming more severe: ice caps are melting, water is becoming scarce in some places, many fish and animal species face extinction, and heat waves are becoming the norm…
    At Statoil we believe that one of the best ways to combat climate change is to ensure a cost on carbon pollution. According to Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy, Climate Change Group, the benefits of a carbon price are already visible…
    Linking already well-functioning carbon markets, either though bilateral recognition of allowances under cap and trade or through a linked set of policy instruments, is the single most effective way to reduce global emissions. The impact, as Hege Marie Norheim, Statoil’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability, points out, would be substantial: “Introducing a cap and trade form of carbon pricing is likely to have the biggest positive impact that we can hope for in a short period of time. We believe that it will dramatically improve our ability to face the challenges of climate change.”…
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/statoil/2015/01/12/linking-carbon-markets-to-climate-change/

    20

  • #
    pat

    12 Jan: US News & World Report: Alan Neuhauser: Most Republican Voters Support Carbon Regs
    Republican lawmakers strongly oppose environmental regulation, but a majority of GOP voters think otherwise.
    Action, action, they want action.
    Even as Congressional Republicans fiercely oppose White House efforts to take on climate change and rein-in greenhouse gas emissions, most GOP voters actually support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, according to a new analysis by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications…
    Nearly two-thirds of Republican voters also back granting tax rebates to people who buy solar panels or energy-efficient vehicles, the poll found…
    ***Yale researchers calculated the results by combining six national surveys from the past three years…
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/12/most-republican-voters-support-carbon-regs

    what Neuhauser…and Yale below…fail to spell out clearly is that the “six national surveys” were all carried out by spooky old CAGW-invested Yale!

    Yale Project on Climate Change Communications: Not All Republicans Think Alike About Global Warming
    These results come from combined data from six nationally-representative surveys of American adults, which were conducted semi-annually in 2012, 2013, and 2014…
    The survey instruments were designed by Anthony Leiserowitz, Geoff Feinberg, Seth Rosenthal, and Jennifer Marlon of Yale University, and Edward Maibach and Connie Roser-Renouf of George Mason University…
    http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/article/not-all-republicans-think-alike-about-global-warming/

    10

    • #
      Anton

      “Action, action, they want action.”

      Yeah. Politicians always do; It’s their job and that’s why there should be few of them. As for me, I think there is much to be said for sloth; in the 1980s I woke up late and avoided being blown up by an IRA bomb in London.

      The “leisure industry” is a great oxymoron. If I want leisure I lie down.

      I enjoyed my time in aus but it was too warm to hibernate in winter, sorry.

      00

  • #
    Bobl

    Its a correlation with no mechanism, an interesting anecdote. I think they need to look at lags, it could well be that the parents of children born at a Solar maximum are the factor, or that the maximum death rate is in teen years, or maybe wars get fought in good weather. For example war in iraq and afghanistan is fought in seasons correlating with good weather. When wars are fought husbands can be in short supply – hence lower fertility.

    Could be anything!

    10

  • #
    sophocles

    Very interesting paper.

    Here are two more points to consider about those times:

    1. the 18th and 19th Centuries were not uniformly warm as recent times have been. The Dalton Minimum of 1790 – 1840 was colder. The 18th Century was coming out of the Maunder Minimum(f-f-f-freezin’) with periods of both warming and (slight) cooling right through to about 1780 – 1790. People and crops could both be affected. Lack of warmth would be a differentiating factor between the poor and the better off. Remember, Scandinavia’s geographic position is pretty close to the Arctic Circle …

    2. White people mostly—most if not all the sample would have the melanin-deficiency gene, with elevated melanoma risk from UV exposure. OTOH, it wss an evolutionary necessity to maintain the Vitamin D manufacture in the skin. I’ve no idea just how well it work{s/ed). But Scandinavia’s geographic position has to be taken into account again.

    20

  • #
    pat

    must read all.
    but the excerpts below, which begin this deceptive and lengthy piece, start with a lie about why there are no comedies mocking CAGW, & indicate clearly how the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications surveys are all about manipulating public perception:

    Jan/Feb 2015 issue: Yale Alumni Mag: What do Americans think about global warming?
    Tony Leiserowitz can tell you. It’s not what you might expect
    By Neela Banerjee
    (Neela Banerjee ’86 covers energy and environmental issues for the Los Angeles Times)
    Not a whole lot—judging by the comedians and writers who gathered one autumn afternoon in New York City to figure out, as one speaker put it, whether comedy has “the chutzpah to say what other media won’t” about global warming. Fake news shows and sitcoms boldly go to places that much of mainstream media avoids, sending up America’s views of politics, sex, and money. The panel, organized by the Writers Guild of America–East, aimed to help comics do the same for the upcoming UN Climate Summit. But climate change is so controversial, admitted the comedy writers on the panel, that they are as skittish about the issue as politicians running for re-election.
    Sitcoms today avoid discussing real problems, said Norman Lear, creator of All in the Family. The New Yorker would rather have “insult jokes” between husbands and wives than cartoons about climate change, said cartoonist Sidney Harris. “People like to laugh at what they agree with, and they don’t like to laugh at what they don’t agree with,” said Rory Albanese, a former writer and executive producer of the Daily Show. Maybe the way to reach people on climate change, he mused, is to draw them to fake websites. “The trick has to be it can’t be associated with the left,” he said. “The website has to be, like, ‘MachineGuns.com.’”
    Sitting next to Albanese and politely listening to the unanimous lament was Anthony Leiserowitz (pronounced lizer-witz), director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the only member of the panel who wasn’t part of the entertainment industry. It fell to him, in a room full of funny people, to lighten things up and breathe a little optimism into the discussion.
    “The perception among many in the media, in politics, and so on—that you can’t talk about this because half the country is against you?—it’s false, it’s wrong,” Leiserowitz said, his voice rising slightly. “It’s only 15 percent. They’re a really loud 15 percent, and they have convinced much of the country it’s not safe to talk about it, but it’s just not true.”…
    He got his doctorate at the University of Oregon in environmental science studies and policy, under the psychologist Paul Slovic, a pioneer in the study of risk perception. Leiserowitz came to Yale in 2007 at the invitation of James Gustave Speth ’64, ’69LLB, then dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who gave him wide latitude to assess what needed to be done to engage American society on climate change…
    http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/4018/what-do-americans-think-about-global-warming

    20

  • #
    pat

    academic debate among the faithful:

    7 Jan: Union College, Schenectady, NY: Talk on climate change to kick off ESPE series
    The Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering (ESPE) Winter Seminar Series kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 14 with a talk by Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk Community College, at 7:30 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.
    Mandia’s talk, “Communicating Climate Change: Sometimes It’s Not about the Science” is free and open to the public.
    Mandia is the co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, organizations that serve as counters to the organized climate-denial industry.
    The series, now in its 18th year, is a focal point of the ESPE program’s curriculum.
    The theme of this year’s interdisciplinary series is “Building an environmentally literate public: Communication and education in the Anthropocene.” The goal is to present four different viewpoints on these interrelated topics…
    Other speakers in the series (all at the Nott, 7:30 p.m.)…
    Wednesday, Jan. 28: Anthony Leiserowitz (director, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication). Leiserowitz and his project have led some of the most careful studies of public opinion related to climate change science and policy. Their reports on the “Global Warming’s Six Americas” have fascinating implications for effective environmental communication…ETC ETC
    Past speakers in the series have included leading voices in environmental issues such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Lonnie Thompson and Bill McKibben.
    http://www.union.edu/news/stories/2015/01/talk-on-climate-change-to-kick-off-espe-series.php

    00

  • #
    pat

    if only George Carlin could be resurrected! more evidence as to why the MSM is imploding. note the climate change experts plural boils down to the one and only climate change communicator, Leiserowitz:

    19 Sept: HollywoodHealth&Society: What’s So Funny About Climate Change?
    What do you get when you mix TV legend Norman Lear with climate change experts and some of the funniest comedy writers around, and put them all in front of a packed house?…
    In addition to Norman Lear, the Sept. 19 panel—presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) and co-sponsored by the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE)—featured Rory Albanese, showrunner for The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore and former showrunner, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart; Chris Albers, writer for Borgia and writer/producer, Late Night, The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, and Late Show With David Letterman; Sidney Harris, science cartoonist for The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and other publications; Lyn Lear, environmental activist and producer; Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication; and Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and author of Lizz Free or Die: Essays…
    Serving as co-moderators for the panel were Michael Winship, senior writer, Moyers & Company, and president of the WGAE; and Marty Kaplan, director of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center…
    “We hope today’s discussion will inform and inspire you to address this extremely critical issue in your work,” HH&S Director Kate Folb said in welcoming the full house, which included TV writers/producers from shows including The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, SNL, South Park, Two & a Half Men, Drop Dead Diva, Supernatural, NOVA, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Days of Our Lives…
    “The other side is a small minority that has intimidated the country into not talking about the issue,” Leiserowitz said. “Six Americas,” a study conducted by the Yale Project, demonstrates that only 15 percent of Americans are dismissive of climate change. The report found that a majority of people are alarmed, concerned or cautious, he said…
    Calling it a “gateway drug,” Leiserowitz said that comedy is uniquely suited to conveying the message about global warming. “We come back because we love to laugh,” he said…
    ***“Comedians have become trusted,” Winstead (co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show) said. “People believe they’re truthful and don’t have an agenda—other than finding a common enemy and then pointing up the hypocrisy.”
    “It can’t just be the comedy shows and a couple hosts on MSNBC who are carrying the water,” she added. “We need better messaging.”
    https://hollywoodhealthandsociety.org/events/whats-so-funny-about-climate-change

    702 views; comments are disabled. approx 1hr 40mins. for masochists only:

    26 Sept: Youtube: What’s So Funny About Climate Change?
    The discussion kicked off scheduled events surrounding the city’s UN Climate Summit 2014 (Sept. 23), including the People’s Climate March (Sept. 21) and Climate Week NYC (Sept. 22-28).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657QXr65y0U

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    Roy Hogue

    As I read this I kept asking myself, exactly why do we need to know about this from the 18th and 19th centuries? Is there not some more useful research we could spend our money on? I could make a long list, starting with a search for a cure for diabetes. And yes, I know research is going on but we always seem to be behind the 8-ball when it comes to results.

    For the sake of full disclosure, I do have a vested interest since my son is diabetic. And I get a bit upset at priorities that don’t make sense.

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    doubtingdave

    Thanks mods for deleting my double post yesterday a consequence of a small smart phone screen poor eye site and fat fingers.Thanks also to Tom0mason for your mild rebuke it was taken in good spirit and you made me titter.Just one little niggle Tom0 “humor” or “humour”. Back on topic is it possible that Icelandic volcanic activity could of affected the results ? Stunting crop growth or blocking the sun ? There was a lot of eruptions in the the 17th 18th and 19th centuries, you can see this at a site called ICELAND GEOLOGY a short history of volcanic eruptions in Iceland .

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