The Hill Newspaper on Obama's Climate Change Messaging
This past week at The Hill newspaper, Ben Geman analyzed President Obama's speech on climate change, highlighting remarks from environmentalists who welcome Obama's apparent shift in communication strategy. In the article, Geman also draws on comments by me and Harvard University scholar Theda Skocpol.
Here's how the article opens:
President Obama is channeling his inner Al Gore in his new climate push with a public relations strategy that breaks with his first term.
Obama, in short, is now talking loudly and directly about the peril of climate change as he promotes an array of executive-level actions.
“There has definitely been a messaging shift,” said Brad Johnson of the advocacy group Forecast the Facts.
“The recognition that Americans are already suffering the consequences of climate pollution is long overdue,” adds Johnson, who, alongside other activists, criticized the barely cameo status that climate had in the 2012 campaign.
The president packed last week’s big climate speech with calls to heed scientists’ warnings, a strong attack on climate skeptics, and full-throated claims that the planetary stakes are immense.
“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” he said at Georgetown University.
Here are the comments by Skocpol and me.
“Speaking directly about the need to fight climate change goes hand in hand with putting a strong regulatory approach first. As a second-term president who knows the GOP House will not legislate on carbon control issues, Obama and his people are now speaking mainly to and for environmentalists,” said Theda Skocpol, a Harvard government and sociology professor.
“And they have their eye on the judgment of history, rather than the judgment of the mass electorate,” adds Skocpol, who has written widely on the politics of global warming.
Matthew Nisbet, an associate professor of communication at American University who also analyzes the climate movement, said the White House is “fitting a message to new conditions and a new audience.”
He said that during the first term, Obama’s team was trying to get Republicans, conservative Democrats and business leaders behind cap-and-trade legislation during a major recession.
“Now they are looking to appeal to their activist base and moderate voters during a time of extreme weather and dangerous climate impacts, hence a different message strategy,” he said.
Nisbet, M.C., Markowitz, E.M., & Kotcher, J. (2012). Winning the Conversation: Framing and Moral Messaging in Environmental Campaigns. In L. Ahern & D. Bortree, (Eds.). Talking green: Exploring current issues in environmental communication. New York: Peter Lang.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Technology may soon grant us immortality, in a sense. Here's how.
- Through the Connectome Project we may soon be able to map the pathways of the entire human brain, including memories, and create computer programs that evoke the person the digitization is stemmed from.
- We age because errors build up in our cells — mitochondria to be exact.
- With CRISPR technology we may soon be able to edit out errors that build up as we age, and extend the human lifespan.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
The pizza giant Domino's partners with a Silicon Valley startup to start delivering pizza by robots.
- Domino's partnered with the Silicon Valley startup Nuro to have robot cars deliver pizza.
- The trial run will begin in Houston later this year.
- The robots will be half a regular car and will need to be unlocked by a PIN code.
Would you have to tip robots? You might be answering that question sooner than you think as Domino's is about to start using robots for delivering pizza. Later this year a fleet of self-driving robotic vehicles will be spreading the joy of pizza throughout the Houston area for the famous pizza manufacturer, using delivery cars made by the Silicon Valley startup Nuro.
The startup, founded by Google veterans, raised $940 million in February and has already been delivering groceries for Kroger around Houston. Partnering with the pizza juggernaut Domino's, which delivers close to 3 million pizzas a day, is another logical step for the expanding drone car business.
Kevin Vasconi of Domino's explained in a press release that they see these specially-designed robots as "a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey," adding "The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."
How will they work exactly? Nuro explained in its own press release that this "opportunity to use Nuro's autonomous delivery" will be available for some of the customers who order online. Once they opt in, they'll be able to track the car via an app. When the vehicle gets to them, the customers will use a special PIN code to unlock the pizza compartment.
Nuro and its competitors Udelv and Robomart have been focusing specifically on developing such "last-mile product delivery" machines, reports Arstechnica. Their specially-made R1 vehicle is about half the size of a regular passenger car and doesn't offer any room for a driver. This makes it safer and lighter too, with less potential to cause harm in case of an accident. It also sticks to a fairly low speed of under 25 miles an hour and slams on the breaks at the first sign of trouble.
What also helps such robot cars is "geofencing" technology which confines them to a limited area surrounding the store.
For now, the cars are still tracked around the neighborhoods by human-driven vehicles, with monitors to make sure nothing goes haywire. But these "chase cars" should be phased out eventually, an important milestone in the evolution of your robot pizza drivers.
Check out how Nuro's vehicles work:
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