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Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things [Greg Laden's Blog]

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2017/04/28/out-of-the-gate-bret-stephens-punches-the-hippies-says-dumb-things/

Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.

This week sees the first NYT installment by the ex Wall Street Journal columnist and author Bret Stephens (also former editor of the The Jerusalem Post). He is a professional contrarian, well known for his denial of the importance and reality of climate change, as well as other right wing positions. I assume the New York Times added Stephens to their stable of opinion writers to appease the new Republican Majority in Washington DC. And, maybe that is a good idea. But they should have gone with a principled conservative who is interested in things like facts, rather going with a modern philistine like this guy.

Just consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers.

Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.

First, let’s admit that time passes, so a 2014 report based on pre-existing information mainly from a year or two earlier is out of date in 2017, in a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change. As I note here, it is becoming increasingly common for climate science deniers to use the aging IPCC report to make an outdated point. The IPCC report is a good starting point for understanding the scientific basis of climate change, but it is not a current document and should not be treated like one. Editors of the New York Times, please take note of this and hold your columnists to a higher standard.

Or, for that matter, hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking. Stephens’ 0.85 degrees has to refer to the planet, not the Northern Hemisphere, as he claims. The editors of the New York Times still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right? I would hope so. Also, we understand that this average (the 0.85 for the globe, or the higher value for the Northern Hemisphere) is a low ball estimate for two reasons. One is statistical, as explained in the IPCC report Stephens pretends to have read. The other is because the estimates have a problem now being increasingly realized in that they ignore a lot of earlier warming. (This all has to do with baselines and confusions about them, and the often unexamined and incorrect assumption that the first century of burning coal does not count because it was so long ago. Trust me, it counts.)

And, that is not a modest number. It is a significant number, and the warming in the pipeline which will not go away on with wishful thinking from climate contrarian columnists, is an even larger and even more significant number.

But never mind the pesky details such as facts. Or that he separates the indisputable form the probabilistic, when it is all probabilistic and none is indisputable (science is not really ever indisputable). His overall argument is utterly stupid.

Listen: he says that Hillary Clinton read the polling data wrong, a certainty (her victory in November) turned out to not happen, therefore we should not put much stock in a widespread scientific consensus as we have for the basics of climate change. I note, however, that the chance of Clinton winning was around 50-50, and that only one candidate can win. And, oh, yes, she did win the popular vote, which is actually the measure were are talking about when referring to polling data. So, Stephens has that totally wrong. As your analogy goes, so goes the rest of your argument, Bret.

Stephens’ run up to this point involves some very attractive conspiratorial ideation (very attractive if you are a conspiracy theorist, that is) using the argument that the more sure science is of something, the more likely it is to be a complete lie based on a vast conspiracy. That whole idea is so conspiratorial that I was forced to use the word “conspiracy” or a form of it three times in one sentence and five times in one paragraph. How about that?

I’m pretty sure Stephens was listening to the widespread complaints about his hiring at the NYT, and perhaps heeding his masters’ voice in the editorial room, because he does in the end admit that climate change is real and mostly what the scientists say. He has, rather, adopted a rather Revkinesque view of climate change — and I know this is Revkinesque because Stephens blames this half assed idea directly on Andy Revkin twice in this one column. That view is this: Breathless yammering about climate change has now and then emanated from out of control hippies who don’t know the science. Therefore, the science is less certain than the scientists say it is.

OMG, what hogwash. I can rearrange the letters in the name of a great American President to spell hairball conman. Therefore that president was a hairball conman.

What is to be said about a columnist who responds in his first installment to an honest and widespread critique by scientists and their supporters by making so many foolish statements about science? I’m not sure, but wise people say this is a reason to cancel their subscription to the New York Times in protest.

The New York Times has often been a little iffy on climate change, but it has not been a total rag. The Grey Lady’s reputation took a real hit in this area with the addition of Stephens. Even the other writers at the New York Ties are put off by it.

Some more reactions:

@BretStephensNYT Yes, there's a small chance #climatechange won't be as bad as proj. BUT also a good chance to be MUCH worse: @theresphysics pic.twitter.com/NIZQEwCLxw

— Hunter Cutting (@HunterCutting) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

By hiring @BretStephensNYT, @NYTimes chooses to truly imitate @WSJ: good reporting, BS #climate #science denial/deception in the OPEDs. https://t.co/hy96SphaST

— A Siegel (@A_Siegel) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Stunning debut at the Times pic.twitter.com/3emNK7m4ng

— Gabriella Paiella (@GMPaiella) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

"In his final column, Bret Stephens says reasonable people can be skeptical about the dangers of bathing in gasoline and lighting a match." pic.twitter.com/kHNzURRyGN

— Brandon Wagner (@BWagnerelli) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Possibly the last edit of @BretStephensNYT's first column for @nytopinon? (I can't be certain of it's authenticity…🙄). pic.twitter.com/czmyISuVsy

— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things [Greg Laden's Blog]

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2017/04/28/out-of-the-gate-bret-stephens-punches-the-hippies-says-dumb-things/

Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.

This week sees the first NYT installment by the ex Wall Street Journal columnist and author Bret Stephens (also former editor of the The Jerusalem Post). He is a professional contrarian, well known for his denial of the importance and reality of climate change, as well as other right wing positions. I assume the New York Times added Stephens to their stable of opinion writers to appease the new Republican Majority in Washington DC. And, maybe that is a good idea. But they should have gone with a principled conservative who is interested in things like facts, rather going with a modern philistine like this guy.

Just consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers.

Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.

First, let’s admit that time passes, so a 2014 report based on pre-existing information mainly from a year or two earlier is out of date in 2017, in a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change. As I note here, it is becoming increasingly common for climate science deniers to slip this one past. The IPCC report is a good starting point for understanding the scientific basis of climate change, but it is not a current document and should not be treated like one. The editors of the New York Times, please take note of this and hold your columnists to a higher standard.

Or, for that matter, hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking. Stephen’s 0.85 degrees has to refer to the planet, not the Northern Hemisphere, as he notes. The editors of the New York Times still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right? I would hope so. Also, we understand that this average (the 0.85 for the globe, or the higher value for the Northern Hemisphere) is a low ball estimate for two reasons. One is statistical, as explained in the IPCC report Stephens pretends to have read. The other is because the estimates have a problem now being increasingly realized in that they ignore a lot of earlier warming. (This all has to do with baselines and confusions about them, and the often unexamined and incorrect assumption that the first century of burning coal does not count because it was so long ago. Trust me, it counts.)

And, that is not a modest number. It is a significant number, and the warming in the pipeline which will not go away on with wishful thinking from climate contrarian columnists, is an even larger and even more significant number.

But never mind the pesky details such as Stephens does not have facts. Or the fact that he separates the indisputable form the probabilistic, when it is all probabilistic and none is indisputable (science is not really ever indisputable). His overall argument is utterly stupid.

Listen: he says that Hillary Clinton read the polling data wrong, a certainty (her victory in November) turned out to not happen, therefore we should not put much stock in a widespread scientific consensus as we have for the basics of climate change. I note, however, that the chance of Clinton winning was around 50-50, and that only once candidate can win. And, oh, yes, she won the popular vote, which is actually the measure were are talking about when referring to polling data. So, Stephens has that totally wrong. As your analogy goes, so goes the rest of your argument, Bret. Into the dumpster.

Stephens’ run up to this point involves a some very attractive conspiratorial ideation (very attractive if you are a conspiracy theorist, that is) using the argument that the more sure science is of something, the more likely it is to be a complete lie based on a vast conspiracy. That whole idea is so conspiratorial that I was forced to use the word “conspiracy” or a form of it three times in one sentence and five times in one paragraph. How about that?

I’m pretty sure Stephens was listening to the widespread complaints about his hiring at the NYT, and perhaps heeding his masters’ voice in the editorial room, because he does in the end admit that climate change is real and mostly what the scientists say. He has, rather, adopted a rather Revkinesque view of climate change — and I know this is Revkinesque because Stephens blames this half assed idea directly on Andy Revkin twice in this one column. That view is this: Breathless yammering about climate change has now and then emanated from out of control hippies who don’t know the science. Therefore, the science is less certain than the scientists say it is.

OMG, what hogwash. I can rearrange the letters in the name of a great American President to spell hairball conman. Therefore that president was a hairball conman.

What is to be said about a columnist who responds in his first installment to an honest and widespread critique by scientists and their supporters by making so many foolish statements about science? I’m not sure, but wise people say this is a reason to cancel their subscription to the New York Times in protest.

The New York Times has often been a little iffy on climate change, but it has not been a total rag. The Grey Lady’s reputation took a real hit in this area with the addition of Stephens. Even the other writers at the New York Ties are put off by it.

Some more reactions:

https://twitter.com/HunterCutting/status/858064484484603904/photo/1

By hiring @BretStephensNYT, @NYTimes chooses to truly imitate @WSJ: good reporting, BS #climate #science denial/deception in the OPEDs. https://t.co/hy96SphaST

— A Siegel (@A_Siegel) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Stunning debut at the Times pic.twitter.com/3emNK7m4ng

— Gabriella Paiella (@GMPaiella) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

"In his final column, Bret Stephens says reasonable people can be skeptical about the dangers of bathing in gasoline and lighting a match." pic.twitter.com/kHNzURRyGN

— Brandon Wagner (@BWagnerelli) April 28, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Worst of the worst for worker rights and safety: “Dirty Dozen� profiled in new report [The Pump Handle]

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2017/04/28/worst-of-the-worst-for-worker-rights-and-safety-dirty-dozen-profiled-in-new-report/

Ignoring workers’ safety concerns.

Failing to fix hazards.

Directing employees to do unsafe tasks.

Repeatedly violating safety laws.

Falsifying training records and safety audits.

Lying to safety inspectors.

Who would do such things?

Regrettably, far too many employers and 12 of them are profiled in the report “The Dirty Dozen 2017: Employers who put workers & communities at risk.� It was released this week by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) as part of global commemorations of Worker Memorial Day.

National COSH asked its expansive network of health and safety activists to nominate employers for the shameful designation. They received loads of suggestions. The group whittled down the long list to 12, using criteria such as the severity of worker injuries and the companies’ histories of repeat violations.

The brief profiles of each company is more than enough to illustrate their indifference to safety and workers’ rights. The behavior of the companies is inexcusable. The worker deaths and injuries caused by these employers are senseless.

Take the case of Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services (DTCS) which is just one of the “Dirty Dozen.” DTCS’s disregard for employees’ lives resulted in the death in October 2015 of Armond Stack, 49. He was killed inside an oxygen-depleted railway tanker that he was assigned to clean with two co-workers. DTCS failed to monitor the air inside the tank to determine whether it was safe. Doing so is fundamental for working inside a confined space because toxic gases can build up.

But the circumstances preceding Mr. Stack’s death make the fatality even more horrific. DTCS had been busted two times earlier by OSHA for exposing workers to the same hazard. (There’s no doubt that DTCS broke the law many other times without being caught.

The company was cited by OSHA in 2012 for two willful and nine serious violations of confined space safety regulations. The company never paid the penalty. The government referred the debt to a collection agency. An OSHA inspection in 2014 resulted in eight repeat violations of those same confined space rules. The company paid a $55,625 penalty.  Not too long afterwards came the day that Armond Stack, 49, was killed on the job.

As noted in the “Dirty Dozen� report,

Mr. Stack and two co-workers quickly were affected by the lack of oxygen inside the railway tanker. “One worker staggered out and called for help. Another recovered once emergency crews arrived on the scene. Armond Stack, an Algiers, Louisiana native, had no pulse. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.”

The company is challenging the three repeat, two willful, and four serious violations identified by OSHA, as well as the proposed $226,000 penalty.

I scratch my head trying to figure out how DTCS can stay in business?

Why would any company hire DTCS for a tank cleaning project?

What firm sells them insurance?

I ask the same questions about National COSH’s other “Dirty Dozen” companies:

Atlantic Drain Services (Roslindale, MA)
California Cartage (Long Beach, CA)
Dollar General (Goodlettsville, TN)
Environmental Enterprises (Spring Grove, OH)
Fuyao Glass America (Dayton, OH)
Nissan USA (Franklin, TN)
Pilgrim’s Pride (Greeley, CO)
PrimeFlight (Nashville, TN)
TransAm Trucking (Olathe, KS)
Valley Garlic (Coalinga, CA)
X-Treme AG (Kerman, CA)
Samsung Seoul, South Korea

Among all the fine content in National COSH’s Dirty Dozen report, two short lines are sticking with me:

“There’s no reason for a worker to die in a trench. Or in a confined space. Or from a collision with an unguarded machine.”

Today is Worker Memorial Day, but those lines are appropriate for us to repeat every day of the year.

 

 

 

 

Worst of the worst for worker rights and safety: “Dirty Dozen� profiled in new report [The Pump Handle]

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2017/04/28/worst-of-the-worst-for-worker-rights-and-safety-dirty-dozen-profiled-in-new-report/

Ignoring workers’ safety concerns.

Failing to fix hazards.

Directing employees to do unsafe tasks.

Repeatedly violating safety laws.

Falsifying training records and safety audits.

Lying to safety inspectors.

Who would do such things?

Regrettably, far too many employers and 12 of them are profiled in the report “The Dirty Dozen 2017: Employers who put workers & communities at risk.� It was released this week by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) as part of global commemorations of Worker Memorial Day.

National COSH asked its expansive network of health and safety activists to nominate employers for the shameful designation. They received loads of suggestions. The group whittled down the long list to 12, using criteria such as the severity of worker injuries and the companies’ histories of repeat violations.

The brief profiles of each company is more than enough to illustrate their indifference to safety and workers’ rights. The behavior of the companies is inexcusable. The worker deaths and injuries caused by these employers are senseless.

Take the case of Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services (DTCS) which is just one of the “Dirty Dozen.” DTCS’s disregard for employees’ lives resulted in the death in October 2015 of Armond Stack, 49. He was killed inside an oxygen-depleted railway tanker that he was assigned to clean with two co-workers. DTCS failed to monitor the air inside the tank to determine whether it was safe. Doing so is fundamental for working inside a confined space because toxic gases can build up.

But the circumstances preceding Mr. Stack’s death make the fatality even more horrific. DTCS had been busted two times earlier by OSHA for exposing workers to the same hazard. (There’s no doubt that DTCS broke the law many other times without being caught.

The company was cited by OSHA in 2012 for two willful and nine serious violations of confined space safety regulations. The company never paid the penalty. The government referred the debt to a collection agency. An OSHA inspection in 2014 resulted in eight repeat violations of those same confined space rules. The company paid a $55,625 penalty.  Not too long afterwards came the day that Armond Stack, 49, was killed on the job.

As noted in the “Dirty Dozen� report,

Mr. Stack and two co-workers quickly were affected by the lack of oxygen inside the railway tanker. “One worker staggered out and called for help. Another recovered once emergency crews arrived on the scene. Armond Stack, an Algiers, Louisiana native, had no pulse. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.”

The company is challenging the three repeat, two willful, and four serious violations identified by OSHA, as well as the proposed $226,000 penalty.

I scratch my head trying to figure out how DTCS can stay in business?

Why would any company hire DTCS for a tank cleaning project?

What firm sells them insurance?

I ask the same questions about National COSH’s other “Dirty Dozen” companies:

Atlantic Drain Services (Roslindale, MA)
California Cartage (Long Beach, CA)
Dollar General (Goodlettsville, TN)
Environmental Enterprises (Spring Grove, OH)
Fuyao Glass America (Dayton, OH)
Nissan USA (Franklin, TN)
Pilgrim’s Pride (Greeley, CO)
PrimeFlight (Nashville, TN)
TransAm Trucking (Olathe, KS)
Valley Garlic (Coalinga, CA)
X-Treme AG (Kerman, CA)
Samsung Seoul, South Korea

Among all the fine content in National COSH’s Dirty Dozen report, two short lines are sticking with me:

“There’s no reason for a worker to die in a trench. Or in a confined space. Or from a collision with an unguarded machine.”

Today is Worker Memorial Day, but those lines are appropriate for us to repeat every day of the year.

 

 

 

 

Worst of the worst for worker rights and safety: “Dirty Dozen� profiled in new report [The Pump Handle]

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2017/04/28/worst-of-the-worst-for-worker-rights-and-safety-dirty-dozen-profiled-in-new-report/

Ignoring workers’ safety concerns.

Failing to fix hazards.

Directing employees to do unsafe tasks.

Repeatedly violating safety laws.

Falsifying training records and safety audits.

Lying to safety inspectors.

Who would do such things?

Regrettably, far too many employers and 12 of them are profiled in the report “The Dirty Dozen 2017: Employers who put workers & communities at risk.� It was released this week by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) as part of global commemorations of Worker Memorial Day.

National COSH asked its expansive network of health and safety activists to nominate employers for the shameful designation. They received loads of suggestions. The group whittled down the long list to 12, using criteria such as the severity of worker injuries and the companies’ histories of repeat violations.

The brief profiles of each company is more than enough to illustrate their indifference to safety and workers’ rights. The behavior of the companies is inexcusable. The worker deaths and injuries caused by these employers are senseless.

Take the case of Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services (DTCS) which is just one of the “Dirty Dozen.” DTCS’s disregard for employees’ lives resulted in the death in October 2015 of Armond Stack, 49. He was killed inside an oxygen-depleted railway tanker that he was assigned to clean with two co-workers. DTCS failed to monitor the air inside the tank to determine whether it was safe. Doing so is fundamental for working inside a confined space because toxic gases can build up.

But the circumstances preceding Mr. Stack’s death make the fatality even more horrific. DTCS had been busted two times earlier by OSHA for exposing workers to the same hazard. (There’s no doubt that DTCS broke the law many other times without being caught.

The company was cited by OSHA in 2012 for two willful and nine serious violations of confined space safety regulations. The company never paid the penalty. The government referred the debt to a collection agency. An OSHA inspection in 2014 resulted in eight repeat violations of those same confined space rules. The company paid a $55,625 penalty.  Not too long afterwards came the day that Armond Stack, 49, was killed on the job.

As noted in the “Dirty Dozen� report,

Mr. Stack and two co-workers quickly were affected by the lack of oxygen inside the railway tanker. “One worker staggered out and called for help. Another recovered once emergency crews arrived on the scene. Armond Stack, an Algiers, Louisiana native, had no pulse. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.”

The company is challenging the three repeat, two willful, and four serious violations identified by OSHA, as well as the proposed $226,000 penalty.

I scratch my head trying to figure out how DTCS can stay in business?

Why would any company hire DTCS for a tank cleaning project?

What firm sells them insurance?

I ask the same questions about National COSH’s other “Dirty Dozen” companies:

Atlantic Drain Services (Roslindale, MA)
California Cartage (Long Beach, CA)
Dollar General (Goodlettsville, TN)
Environmental Enterprises (Spring Grove, OH)
Fuyao Glass America (Dayton, OH)
Nissan USA (Franklin, TN)
Pilgrim’s Pride (Greeley, CO)
PrimeFlight (Nashville, TN)
TransAm Trucking (Olathe, KS)
Valley Garlic (Coalinga, CA)
X-Treme AG (Kerman, CA)
Samsung Seoul, South Korea

Among all the fine content in National COSH’s Dirty Dozen report, two short lines are sticking with me:

“There’s no reason for a worker to die in a trench. Or in a confined space. Or from a collision with an unguarded machine.”

Today is Worker Memorial Day, but those lines are appropriate for us to repeat every day of the year.