Home | Neorenaissance - A blog from the intersection of science, politics and the creative culture

Not Your Granddaddy's Garbage Burners: Why Burning Waste for Energy Fights Climate Change

The technology is cleaner and safer than generally believed

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Jun 06, 2013

Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy

Shawn Lawrence Otto | Scientific American

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012

The United States faced down authoritarian governments on the left and right. Now it may be facing an even greater challenge from within

Language Intelligence: A Gladiator’s Guide to Eloquence

A remarkable guide to maximizing the power of words

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 11, 2012

Language Intelligence speaks to that urge that we all have to convince others of the rightness of our ideas, and shows how the masters do it in concrete, clear, and concise language.

Republican Meteorologist to Mitt Romney: How You Can Help Me and My Family

My Top Ten Reasons for Republicans to Accept Reality on the Climate

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 10, 2012

Nationally-known meteorologist Paul Douglas has a challenge for the Republican presidential nominee

Shocking New Oil Propaganda Plan to Fool Americans

ATI plans dummy businesses and fake billboards to kill wind energy

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | May 08, 2012

The Guardian has unearthed a shocking new propaganda plan intended to turn the American public against wind energy in the 2012 election cycle.

An Open Letter to State Farm about Climate Denial - UPDATE

Should corporations be funding antiscience hate speech?

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | May 06, 2012

Climate Scientist Scott Mandia writes an open letter to State Farm Insurance.

Climate Change Obama Can Believe In

Why global warming will heat campaign trail in coming months

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 25, 2012

Obama has an opportunity to use climate change as a significant wedge issue to shave votes away from Romney among moderate Republicans and Independents who believe science is the best basis for public policy.

New Poll: Even religious voters overwhelmingly want candidates to debate science

Consensus among Protestants, Catholics for science debates, science-based policies; Twice as many think the US not spending enough on alternative energy as do defense

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 03, 2012

It turns out that the presidential campaign staffers have it completely, one hundred and eighty degrees wrong when it comes to science. Overwhelming majorities of American voters want the candidates to debate the big science issues facing the country.

Republican Meteorologist says 'keep track of who the deniers are today'

Poking a Hornet's Nest

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 31, 2012

My recent Op-Ed gave me a chance to summarize how I feel about the politicization of climate science in recent years - how it's become a bizarre litmus test for conservatism.

A Message from a Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change

Acknowledging Climate Science Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 28, 2012

You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bonds' 762 home runs was sparked by alleged steroid use. But it did increase his “base state”, raising the overall odds of hitting a home run. You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say “that’s climate change”, but a warmer atmosphere increases the potential for historic spikes in temperature, and more frequent weather extremes.

Americans Deserve a Presidential Science Debate

In an age when the major US challenges revolve around science, we deserve candidates who will share their views on it

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 19, 2012

America needs and deserves a president who can show that he or she understands the importance of basing public policy on the best available evidence, as the founders intended.

Cherry Blossoms, Ice Boxes, BMWs, and Climate Change

The way to counter antiscience thinking is to make science concrete. Hot enough for you?

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 18, 2012

The way to counter antiscience thinking is to make science concrete. Hot enough for you?

Science loses status as a climate arbiter in Durban

South African Climate Summit erodes the status of scientific knowledge in future negotiations

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Dec 11, 2011

Durban ended with an extension of Kyoto, but an erosion of the status of science as an arbiter of future agreements.

Congressman to Witness: 'You Just Be Quiet!' (Video)

Rep. Don Young abuses noted historian Dougles Brinkley in stunning display

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 19, 2011

A heated exchange between two congressmen and a historian they didn't want to hear from shows what happens to democracy when knowledge is no longer the arbiter of what is true, but is simply another "way of knowing."

Rustlings From Republican Environmentalists

By guest blogger Barry Bickmore, a Republican geoscientist at Brigham Young University

By Guest Blogger | Nov 16, 2011

Let’s face it–it’s a bad year for Republican Environmentalists like me. About half of the field of Republican presidential candidates once promoted the idea of addressing climate change in some way, but all but Jon Huntsman have backed off this stance to one extent or another.

The UnAmerican War on Science

Today's antiscience politicians are not going to take America where we need to go

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 27, 2011

America didn't keep the world safe for democracy by pandering to ideological dark agers - we got ahead by using hard-headed science. It's time we get back to it, and start putting America first again.

A Global Warming Primer for Skeptics

Multiple independent lines of data show similar trends

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 25, 2011

Most skeptical conservatives are reason-minded thinkers who are simply too busy to assess vast datasets. Those people should consider the following charts.

Is EPA's Inspector General Playing Politics?

Report critical of agency instead raises questions about watchdog

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 28, 2011

A report by EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. that criticizes the agency's greenhouse gases endangerment finding is instead raising questions about Elkins and the integrity of the Office of the Inspector General.

BREAKING: EPA Inspector General Criticizes Greenhouse Gas Ruling Procedure

Report requested by climate change denier James "it's a hoax" Inhofe

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 28, 2011

A new report by the Inspector General of the EPA questions the EPA's procedures in making a 2009 endangerment finding about excess greenhouse gas emissions.

The report "calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding," according to Sen James Inhofe, the senate Environment and Public Works committee minority leader.

1100 People Rally at MN State Capitol

Otto Fires up the Crowd with ... Facts and Science?

By Guest Blogger | Sep 25, 2011

"It's pretty astonishing when a crowd cheers just to hear verifiable scientific facts," said Otto. "It speaks to how far our national policymakers have drifted from reality."