Monday, March 10, 2014
A rather vacant Keith Kloor article concern-trolling over the imminent "extinction" of the environmental movement linked to a much better Wonkblog post. The recent 2014 Pew study showed 32% of Millennials identifying as environmentalists compared to 42% of the prior generation - equating to extinction in the mind of Kloor. The Wonkblog post also linked to a 2011 Pew study, the source for the graph above that Kloor somehow missed. The 2014 poll generally showed Millennials as less likely to accept labels for themselves like political party affiliations.
My rule for trying to clarify an argument is to consider a thought experiment where factual conditions are reversed and try to understand that situation. For a trend like whether generational replacement is endangering enviornmentalism, ask whether the reverse trend would lead to a reverse conclusion. So let's look at the graph above together with change in self identification, and posit instead that Millennials were more likely to call themselves environmentalists but less likely to support environmental policies than older generations. Is that better or worse than what's actually happening?
While fewer Milleninals identify as Democrats, they're definitely siding with more liberal policies on many issues (and on other issues, no real change, so Republicans are at best keeping pace in some areas and losing drastically in others). I think what we may be seeing is a refusal to accept the environmentalist label while accepting the viewpoint. Every year, over one percent of the voting demographic shifts from the 47% supporting renewable energy to 71% supporting renewables. I wouldn't call that bad news for environmental politics.
Where Wonkblog may be right about a real environmental problem is that adopting the environmentalist label helps lead to further involvement and leadership. There's an ironic contrast in environmentalism - non-Hispanic whites as a group aren't more pro-environment than other ethnicities. Non-whites are generally equivalent to or slightly more pro-environment than whites, excepting Hispanics who are significantly more pro-environment than whites.
Despite that demographic fact, the environmental movement is disproportionately white (and older). The other demographic groups are supporting the environmental movement when they could be leading it. Making that happen remains a challenge for environmentalists, regardless of the label people give themselves.
One other hopeful note: accoding to the full 2014 study (p. 45), in 1999 about 39% of Gen Xers labelled themselves as environmentalists and now 42% do, so the trend is positive as people get older and more experienced.
Posted by Brian at 1:30 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2014
UPDATE: Now streaming at CSPAN
Somebunnies have told Eli that twenty eight US Senators will be
filibustering taking part in an all night midterm review about climate change from Monday night at 22:00 to Tuesday morning at 9:00. These are the members of the Senate Climate Action Task Force. They got a hash tag #Up4Climate, streaming video link when available. In the meantime, here is the latest from Whitehouse on Monday (almost)
Remember to tell your study group. Eli will bring the carrots, Ms. Rabett the dip.
Posted by EliRabett at 11:49 AM
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Here's the article that convinced me to try it after shaking off the Candy Crush demon.
Posted by Brian at 7:48 AM
Friday, March 07, 2014
Cosma Shalizi just got tenure at Carnegie Mellon. He writes
It's also hard for me to feel triumph because, by the time I get tenure, I will have been at CMU for nine years and change. Doing anything for that long marks you, or at least it marks me, and I'm not sure I like the marks. The point of tenure is security, and I hope to broaden my work, to follow some interests which are more speculative and risky and seem like they will take longer to pay off, if they ever do. But I have acquired habits and made commitments which will be very hard to shift. One of those habits is to think of my future in terms of what sort of scholarly work I'm going to be doing, and presuming that I will be working all the time, with only weak separation between work and the rest of life. I even have some fear that this has deformed my character, making some ordinary kinds of happiness insanely difficult. But maybe "deformed" is the wrong word; maybe I stuck with this job because I was already that kind of person. I can't bring myself to wish I wasn't so academic in my interests, or that I hadn't pursued the career I have, or that I had been less lucky in it. But I worry about what I have given up for it, and how those choices will look in another nine years, or twenty-nine.Of course, from Eli's POV on the other side, this is exactly the point of the tenure track, to identify those gerbils, who, after the treats are delivered will continue spinning the wheel. Papers to write, experiments to do, thoughts to be thought. The wheel spins and never stops. It is an intelligence test. We fail.
Posted by EliRabett at 7:20 PM
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Shameless self-promotion: on GoGreen America radio tomorrow 9 a.m. Pacific Time to talk climate divestment
Posted by Brian at 3:18 PM
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
My civil war predictions aren't so hot, but let's see how my war-war predictions turn out: I think Putin means to consolidate control in Crimea and not invade the other parts of eastern Ukraine. There are good political and strategic reasons for thinking he'd go after Crimea and not the rest, but I'm basing my guess on the assumption that the smart time to invade another country is when it's unprepared. With a shaky government and unsteady military, that was last week. Now Putin's given the government time to sort out who in the military it can trust, go on alert and start calling up the reserves.
All that would have been predictable in advance to Putin's top military leaders, who would've told him then that if you're going to take east Ukraine, take east Ukraine. I've seen some speculation that he's waiting for a provocation as an excuse to go in, but that doesn't make sense to me - he wouldn't need an authentic provocation when he could just make one up. Every day that goes by makes an invasion more difficult and therefore less likely to be in the original plan.
I could be wrong of course. An invasion will defeat Ukraine's military regardless how much warning time is given, so maybe Putin doesn't care about the cost to Russia, but I'd think he would care about how triumphant-looking and problem-free it seems. A war could also happen by accident, the way people used to think that World War I started.
And then there's the claim that Putin is in an information bubble and believes at least some of his own propaganda. If that's true then it's hard to understand what world he perceives. OTOH, I don't think the actions so far make as little sense from the viewpoint of an authoritarian populist semi-dictator as westerners claim, so I'm not sure this KGB officer is that far unmoored from reality.
So that's my guess of no invasion for the rest of Ukraine, but it shows my level of confidence that I'll just check the news one last time before posting.
UPDATE: we should also start the timer for news about significant Russian migration and settlement activity in Crimea - I give it six months. Will be interesting to see how our Likudnik congresscritters handle that one. And that btw may be the one good thing about all this for Crimean Tatars that hadn't yet moved back - they won't be stuck across a fortified border.
Posted by Brian at 11:12 PM
Monday, March 03, 2014
While copy-editing a paper, Eli was looking for the APS (American Physical Society) style manual, but fortunately Google knew better and delivered him to the APS style manual, but a different APS, and not for authors, but instructions to the copy editors, including this gem
The Angry AuthorSometimes you will encounter an author who, despite best efforts, intractably insists on something outrageous or is just a nasty, hostile person. It happens. The first thing that you should do is keep yourself calm and keep from escalating the situation. State that you understand that the other person is upset and that you will handle the situation to the best of your ability. Let them know how feasible it will be to change the article: if the paper is still in its editing stage or in revisions, this is an easy matter; if the issue has been postscripted, a Corrigendum may be necessary depending on the problem. You may have to tell the author that you will contact them with more information at a later time after you do some detective work to find out why something was changed from the original. When discussing the problem, do not focus on (or even really discuss) whose "fault" it was. Instead, after acknowledging the author's feelings on the matter, give a general apology because you recognize that they are unhappy, and shift the author's attention to the fact that the matter can be resolved.
Whenever possible, remember that e-mail is your friend! You will always have an easily pastable, dated record of the matter and the exact words of you and your correspondent. It can be printed and put in the folder as a warning to others or given to your Journal Supervisor or Editorial Manager. If your initial conversation with the author was by phone, tell them that your next communication will by via e-mail, and keep all subsequent contacts that way (even if they respond by phone again). Make certain that the author understand that it is to keep things more clear for everyone concerned.
After any mentally trying contact, be sure to talk to your Journal Supervisor and/or Editorial Manager. They should be informed of such matters because 1) they don't want you to be upset, 2) may want to contact the author themselves or have a prior understanding with the author, and 3) have concerns regarding the production of the article. Why keep dealing with a jerk to yourself? You don't have to go it alone. Share the joy and let everyone know! After all, many times the same author will write papers for us again, and your experience allows things to be easier for everyone in the future.
Posted by EliRabett at 8:06 PM