The Lookout
  • AP101113150219

    A new Pew poll shows a dramatic change in opinion on climate change among Republicans that seems to mirror a new tone on the issue taken up by GOP politicians.

    In the poll, 53 percent of Republicans said there is no evidence for climate change, when only three years ago 62 percent of GOPers said they did believe in global warming. Almost 80 percent of Democrats and a majority of independents said there is solid evidence for global warming.

    Overall, 59 percent of adults thought there was good evidence that the planet is warming, and 34 percent said global warming is mostly caused by human activity. Both numbers are down steeply from 2006.

    [Rewind: Noted anti-global warming scientist changes course]

    An overwhelming number of scientists say global warming exists, is harmful and is caused by human-created carbon emissions, from cars, factories and other sources. Even climate-change "skeptics" agree that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means higher temperatures, as Bjorn Lomborg tells The Daily Beast. Lomborg made a documentary saying global pacts to reduce carbon emissions are not a good idea, but agrees that evidence for man-made climate change is undeniable.

    "Ninety-seven percent of top scientists are in agreement, but the public is split about 50-50," University of Minnesota professor John Abraham told the AFP. (The Pew poll shows that only 44 percent of Americans think most scientists believe in man-made climate change.) Meanwhile, a group of hundreds of U.S. scientists announced this month they want to speak out on climate change to battle misinformation.

    So why the disconnect?

    Read More »from Poll: Most Republicans don’t believe in climate change
  • GOP leaders: Fed focuses too much on unemployment

    BernankeBernankeA quick followup to yesterday's post noting that the Federal Reserve is increasingly being drawn into political debates from which it had once been able to remain aloof — potentially compromising its independence.

    It looks like that process is only going to speed up. Two top Republicans, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, now want to change the Fed's mission, so that it focuses only on controlling inflation, and not on reducing unemployment. That's in spite of the fact that unemployment is at a whopping 9.6 percent, while inflation remains low.

    The proposal comes in the wake of the Fed's effort to jump-start the economy by buying $600 billion worth of Treasury bonds — a move that some have said risks causing inflation to spike down the road.

    Read More »from GOP leaders: Fed focuses too much on unemployment
  • AP99042102298

    Last night in front of an audience of hundreds at a presentation at the University of Southern California, TV personality Bill Nye — popularly known as the "Science Guy" — collapsed midsentence as he walked toward a podium. Early indications are that Nye is OK, but what's odd about the incident isn't so much Nye's  slight health setback as the crowd's reaction. Or, more precisely, its nonreaction, according to several accounts.

    It appears that the students in attendance, rather than getting up from their seats to rush to Nye's aid, instead pulled out their mobile devices to post information about Nye's loss of consciousness.

    Alastair Fairbanks, a USC senior in attendance for Nye's presentation, told the Los Angeles Times that "nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed — that just perplexed me beyond reason." The student added, "Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening."

    [Rewind: Joe Biden's quick response to onstage fainting]

    Indeed, a cursory search on Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, "Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted."

    Read More »from If the Science Guy passes out and nobody tweets it, did it happen?


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  • Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry
    Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry

    The bitter rivalry between Australian Open finalists Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took root on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in 2004 and is still thriving more than a decade later -- both on and off the court. The problem was, the fairytale victory that catapulted her to global celebrity came at the expense of Serena Williams -- top seed at the time and hot favourite for a third straight Wimbledon title -- a result that the American has never forgotten. It has spurred her on to an overall record of 16-2 against Sharapova, with the Russian's last victory over the world number one coming more than a decade ago. Since 2005, the American's winning streak is 15-0, including straight sets wins over Sharapova in the Australian and French Open finals (2007 and 2013), as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Djokovic beats Wawrinka to reach Australian Open final

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic will contest the final of the Australian Open with Andy Murray after beating defending champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 on Friday. Djokovic will bid to become the first man in the professional era to win five titles at Melbourne Park. (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by ...)

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