Election recap: Much ado (and cash) results in nothing

What do millions of dollars in television ads and mail and voter outreach get you? The status quo in Wisconsin and California.

Factory Farms

Will the Butterball raid yield any real results?

If turkey were beer, Butterball would have the brand power of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors combined. From six plants, the company produces 1 billion pounds of turkey each year and exports the meat to over 50 countries. Given this dominance, the Butterball brand has been a priceless asset to the company — until Thursday morning. At about 9:00 a.m., officers from the local sheriff’s office raided a Butterball semen collection facility in Shannon, N.C. (Industrially bred Broad-Breasted White turkeys must be artificially inseminated to reproduce.) The raid has not yet produced confirmed arrests, but if the events of the past year …

Climate deniers refuse to accept skeptical scientists’ results

So you know how we kind of use "climate change deniers" and "climate change skeptics" interchangeably, because news stories get super boring if you don't mix it up? We're not wild about doing that, because skepticism is in fact a great scientific value that people should embrace, whereas denialism is just sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la." And nothing has made that clearer than the skeptical scientists who, despite their Koch funding, found evidence of global warming — and the dogmatic deniers who refused to accept their results. Richard Muller and his team at Berkeley …

The People Have Spoken?

Poll results on energy, climate, and offshore drilling are all over the map

More evidence that polls are to be taken with a thousand grains of salt:  A few days ago, former Obama pollster Joel Benenson released the results of a survey showing that 61 percent of those queried support a comprehensive clean energy bill that would charge energy companies for carbon pollution, and 39 percent said they are more likely to support it in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. Now an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll concludes that 60 percent of Americans support more offshore drilling, despite the gurgling mess in the Gulf of Mexico.  And 53 percent think the potential …


Poll results handily explained by what bloggers think

First things first: Another week of waiting for details of Senate legislation left little public grist this week. The Economist runs a climate package, which is worth reading. Beyond that, it’s a good time to take a step back. Last week, Gallup released results of its latest global warming poll. They found that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans believe that the seriousness of global warming is “generally exaggerated.” That’s up from 41 percent in 2009 and 31 percent in 1997. The gap narrowed between people who believe climate change is anthropogenic or natural, 50 percent to 46 percent. Thirty-two …

The Root of the Matter

A tasting of nine “natural” root beers yields surprising results

Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer. (Okay, if you want to split hairs: Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer when you must stay sober.) The problem is that when you take your wilting self to the cool respite of the beverage aisle, you discover that nothing in this life is simple. Perhaps, like me, you go with the simple criterion of avoiding anything produced by Big Soda and loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Ha! If only it were this straightforward. …