Virtually Speaking Science

Wed May 22 – 3p PT|6p ET | Virtually Speaking Science

Tom Levenson talks with author and science historian Naomi Oreskes, about extreme weather: the 5/20 Oklahoma tornado and the social costs of climate change, carbon policy and inaction.

Naomi co-authored – with Erik M. Conway – “Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming,” about Big Tobacco, climate science, the establishment of scientific consensus and the role and character of scientific dissent.

Follow @TomLevenson

coming up:

6/5 –   5p slt – Alan Boyle hosts Seth Shostak
6/12 – 5p slt – Jennifer Ouellette hosts Caleb Scharf

Like I said

A clusterfuck. Via Avedon.

Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage.

Benefits advisers and insurance brokers—bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits—are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country. They cover minimal requirements such as preventive services, but often little more. Some of the plans wouldn’t cover surgery, X-rays or prenatal care at all. Others will be paired with limited packages to cover additional services, for instance, $100 a day for a hospital visit.

A lamp powered by gravity

It’s so amazing to me that we still have engineers and designers who are more concerned with helping people than cashing in for big money. Deciwatt.org raised four times their asking amount, and the low-power lamps will be used in places like India and Africa.

I know you’ll be shocked, but…

Darrell Issa is a liar!

Rep. Darrel Issa, the committee’s chairman, said that the committee learned just yesterday that the IRS completed its own investigation a year before a Treasury Department Inspector General report was completed.

But here’s the letter he wrote to the IRS inspector general a year ago about this very thing! He even cited this article in Roll Call.

Meanwhile, the real scandals – millions out of the work force, college grads who can’t get jobs, banks stealing houses unabated — those scandals go unattended. I wonder why.

Thanks to DUI lawyer Kush Arora.

New respiratory illness popping up

If I’m not mistaken, there were similar deaths in Texas recently:

Two people have died and five others have been hospitalized in a mysterious cluster of respiratory illnesses in southeast Alabama, state health officials said.

The victims, all adults, had symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath, but the cause of the illnesses is unknown, said Dr. Mary McIntyre, the acting state epidemiologist for the Alabama Department of Public Health. The hospital is using respiratory precautions, which include requiring staff to wear special N95 masks that reduce the chance of infection.

State health officials have collected and analyzed samples of specimens from all patients. So far, one sample has tested positive for H1N1 influenza A, but it’s not clear that that is behind the unusual illnesses. There’s no evidence of other kinds of flu, including the H7N9 strain that has caused illness and death in China, McIntyre said.

Thanks to Colleen Kirby.

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