My COVID-19 lecture for UF students

Here is a publicly available version of my COVID-19 lecture. Feel free to share. Also feel free to offer critiques, factual corrections, and suggestions. Note that I am not a specialist in epidemiology and I know some my friends have medical backgrounds. I welcome any corrections. I produced this because my students are so poorly informed about SARS-CoV-2. Much of this is their fault because … Continue reading My COVID-19 lecture for UF students

No slack for UF and the methane power plant

Some have objected to my concerns about the new fossil-gas power plant at UF because they feel the administration’s options are financially limited due to the extreme expense of retrofitting the campus to remove dependence on methane to produce steam and chilled water. The new plant is budgeted at $200 million. Secondly, they point out the the new plant could easily be converted to hydrogen, … Continue reading No slack for UF and the methane power plant

Mission failure at the University of Florida

A version published in the Gainesville Sun 3 September 2021 The mission of higher education is the maintenance and renewal of civilization. This statement comes as an epiphany to many who hear it for the first time. Public higher education in the US has been diminished at the hands of legislatures and business interests who believe that higher education exists solely to serve the economy. … Continue reading Mission failure at the University of Florida

White guys and aliens

Published on Medium “An invasive species is defined as a species that is: 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and, 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” – USDA legal definition “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is … Continue reading White guys and aliens

Death taxes and science denial

This is a more recent version of a post that I made in 2017. It seems clear that attacking science never goes out of style (ask Galileo and James Hansen), so I guess it is time to revisit this issue. Indelible in my memory is that day that I lost my political virginity. In March 2007 I was just beginning to deliver an invited talk … Continue reading Death taxes and science denial

The economy of nature and the case for big government

I am an economist. As a professional ecologist I have been trained in the economy of nature. It is only those economists that service the financial industry who treat the human economy as if it is separate from the economy of nature. Since the time of Adam Smith the evidence has been overwhelming that they are tragically wrong. I continue to be impressed by the … Continue reading The economy of nature and the case for big government

Their money and your life - the clarity of climate change and COVID-19

There are several parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, but perhaps the most disturbing is the intentional disregard of the value of human life in favor of money. This is hardly the first time since the end of WWII that money vs. lives has defined our daily lives. From the institutionalized denial of the damage from smoking tobacco, to the utter failure of … Continue reading Their money and your life - the clarity of climate change and COVID-19

On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

An Australian NGO has been following the anthropogenic decimation of our planet for the past few years. The group, known as The Commission For The Future of Humanity, notes that there are ten existential issues that could spell the demise of civilization during this century. No single one of these is unfolding in isolation because they are potentially mutually reinforcing calamities on a global scale. … Continue reading On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5

The Breakthrough Institute has been busy. Their director of climate and energy has published a critique of the use of RCP8.5 as BAU.* While it is true that many papers misinterpret RCP8.5 as being the worst case scenario and that this is equivalent to BAU, the authors of the RCPs recently reminded the climate community that RCP8.5 assumed maximum burning of coal , which is not what is … Continue reading Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5