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Filosofia Italiano Uncategorized

Cosa Differenzia l’Homo Sapiens dagli Altri Animali?

Differenziare la specie “Homo Sapiens” dagli altri animali mi sembra un esercizio poco pratico perche’ inevitabilmente perdente. Qualunque cosa ci possa venire in mente, non potendo noi esulare dal fatto che siamo “Homo Sapiens”, non potremo che trovare comunque e sempre il modo di giustificare la supremazia e la peculiarita’ della nostra specie.

C’e’ un’altra faccia della medaglia, in questo ragionamento: che dice che qualunque cosa faccia l’Homo Sapiens, lo stesso comportamento e’ replicato in maniera straordinariamente simile da qualche altro animale. Anche questa e’ una certezza, perche’ di specie animali ce ne sono davvero tante.

Categories
AGW Omniclimate Policy

Spare a Thought for the BBC Journalists' Pension Plans

(thanks to SBC for pointing this one out)

In a sentence: the BBC Pension Trust has been investing left, right and centre in climate-change-related products. If the AGW bubble bursts, so many a journalist’s pension funds will evaporate.

It is surely a coincidence that the BBC Climate Change Propaganda Committee has been remarkably active in pumping up the case for Anthropogenic Global Warming for quite some time now.

Investors fall short on climate risk assessment – IIGCC
London, 17 April: Investors are more aware of climate change than previously, but are failing to fully assess the risks it poses when the financial implications are not clear, according to the European investor body Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).

In its first report of members’ activities, the IIGCC found that investors are struggling to assess the risk posed by uncertainties over future climate change regulations and the physical impacts of global warming. But an increasing number of asset managers are focusing on the issue and are expanding their ability to analyse the effects of climate change.

“The IIGCC’s report highlights that the investment community has come a long way in understanding and analysing the investment implications from climate change, but also that there is room for further progress from investors, companies and government,” said Peter Dunscombe, chairman of the IIGCC and also the head of investments for the BBC Pension Trust.

The report also found that asset managers increasingly are looking to invest in low-carbon or clean energy funds, are working with companies to improve their disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and are using environmental rankings or analysing climate change impacts on their whole portfolio. And around 80% of pension funds and asset owners are asking their managers to exercise their voting rights on climate change issues.

But only 30% of respondents are integrating climate change considerations when appointing fund managers or seek advice on the matter from their advisors, reports the IIGCC. Investors are also failing to engage with companies on unavoidable climate change risks and climate-friendly products.

Categories
Astronautics Astronomy & Space English Moon NASA Science Skepticism

Phil Plait’s Moon Hoax London Speech – Report

I had the honour to attend tonight in London a speech by Phil Plait “The Bad Astronomer” on the “Moon Hoax Hoax” (i.e. the hoax perpetrated by those that believe the Apollo manned lunar landings were a fake).

The presentation was organized by the UK’s Skeptic Magazine as part of their Skeptics in the Pub‘s monhtly gathering, taking advantage of Plait’s schedule in-between his Colorado home and a visit to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

In front of a large crowd downstairs at the Penderel’s Oak in Holborn, Plait chose to wear a hat after dazzling us with an impressive hairdo (or lack thereof).

So how to respond to people still clinging to the odd notion that NASA has been able to pull off a multi-decadal hoax involving tens of thousands of people, something much more difficult that actually landing on the Moon itself? The Bad Astronomer went through familiar questions and answers, here summarized:

(1) No stars in Moon photographs? Obviously not. Those are pictures of bright spacesuits and a bright terrain directly hit by the Sun’s rays.

(2) Shadows are not parallel, “demonstrating” multiple light sources? First of all, multiple light sources cause multiple shadows, and there is none of that in the Apollo pictures. Furthermore, shadows are not parallel on Earth either: it’s called perspective!!!

(3) Astronaut’s suits in the dark shadows on the Moon are not black? Of course not, they are illuminated by the surrounding, bright lunar surface.

(4) Waving flags on the Moon? Sure, with nothing much to dampen any vibration, that’s exactly what to expect.

(5) No crater from the LEM’s landing engine? Large thrust, over  a large surface, means low pressure, hence…

(6) No flames from departing LEM’s upper half in Apollo 17 video? Flames are only visible for certain types of rocket fuel. Even the Space Shuttle’s main engines produce a barely visible blue flame at take-off.

There are two main problems with “moon hoaxers”: one, as Plait pointed out, is that they choose to tell only that part of the truth that suits them. The second, if I may add, is that they invariably never ever reveal what evidence would convince them to change their mind.

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I have only one remark for the Bad Astronomer: sometimes he goes too hard for it. All Moon-hoaxers’ claims I have seen so far are already ridiculous enough. Is it really necessary to build jokes around stuff that is already laughable on its own?

Anyway…it’s been great to meet somebody that enrolled me some time ago as one of his minions. Here some pictures from the evening…