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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Obama Has a Plan for Climate, What If It Involves Tar Sands?

On a sweltering day in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama sweated as he laid out his new plan to combat climate change. In addition to the mandatory cuts in CO2 pollution from coal-fired power plants and the efforts to protect the country from the ravages of climate change highlighted by my colleague Mark Fischetti, Obama also found time to mention a little pipeline that would connect the tar sands in Alberta, Canada with refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas...

June 26, 2013 — David Biello

Science Will Protect Us from Climate Change, Obama Says

Science can save us from the next Hurricane Sandy. That’s what President Barack Obama will say today when he releases his Climate Action Plan, during a highly anticipated speech at Georgetown University.The plan, which consists of a long list of actions the executive branch can take with no help or hindrance from Congress, has three “pillars.” One is to cut carbon dioxide emissions, two is to “prepare the U.S...

June 25, 2013 — Mark Fischetti

WikiLeaks Defends NSA Whistleblower, Condemns PRISM Digital Surveillance

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held a press conference Monday to weigh in on Edward Snowden’s actions and comment on his organization’s role in helping the National Security Agency whistleblower seek asylum in Ecuador.Assange, who himself has been holed up in Ecuador’s British embassy for the past year to avoid prosecution for WikiLeaks work, defended Snowden’s actions...

June 24, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Prostitution Pledge Tied to Global AIDS Funding

The Supreme Court today struck down a federal requirement that forced private health organizations to denounce prostitution in order to get funding for programs aimed at preventing or treating HIV/AIDS.The decision marks a major victory for human rights and global health advocates who charged that the requirement was a U.S...

June 20, 2013 — Dina Fine Maron

Zero Evidence That Legos Harm Your Kids

LEGO toys have never been so controversial, or angry for that matter, but that should not stop your kids from playing with them. There has been a lot of noise over a study, released June 4, that looked into the evolution of the facial expressions printed on LEGO minifigures—those one and half-inch toy figurines that come with LEGO block sets...

June 20, 2013 — Arielle Duhaime-Ross

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