monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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On Global State Shifts

July 5th, 2012 · No Comments

This is a edited version of a post I sent out to the E-ANTH listserv in response to a debate over a recent paper in Nature and the response to it on the website “Clear Science,” written by Todd Meyers. In this debate, it was suggested that the Barnosky paper is the latest iteration of […]

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Tags: Climate Change · Human Ecology

Jennifer Burney Lecture

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments

I’ve spent the better part of the day editing web pages as I prepare to teach two courses this spring. Given that I’ve more-or-less wasted the day with necessary but not especially intellectually rewarding tasks, I thought that I would take a moment to post something really important and scientifically interesting. Jennifer Burney, of Stanford’s […]

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Tags: Biofuels · Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology

Stanford Migration and Adaptation Workshop

March 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Information on our NICHD-funded April formal demography workshop on migration and adaptation is now posted on the website Stanford Center for Population Research (SCPR, pronounced ”scooper”).  SCPR is itself hosted by Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), which is also the umbrella organization for the Methods of Analysis Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), a […]

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Tags: Demography

Winter Weirding

January 12th, 2011 · No Comments

As I listen to the deluge of reports of horrible winter weather from friends back on the east coast, I came across this video by Peter Sinclair from his YouTube series, “Climate Denial Crock of the Week.” The part I find most compelling is the animation toward the end of this short video showing what […]

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Tags: Human Ecology

Worrying Trends

January 6th, 2011 · No Comments

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization‘s food price index is at an all-time high, meaning that the food security of millions of people is in jeopardy. In the plot below (click to enlarge), we can see that the FPI currently just exceeds its previous high in June of 2008, when riots over food shortages were […]

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Tags: Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology

Fold Catastrophe Model

September 7th, 2009 · 3 Comments

My last post, which I had to cut short, discussed the recent paper by Scheffer et al. (2009) on the early warning signs of impending catastrophe. This paper encapsulates a number of things that I think are very important and relate to some current research (and teaching interests). Scheffer and colleagues show the consequences on […]

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Tags: Human Ecology · Statistics

On Freeman Dyson's Climate-Change Skepticism

March 26th, 2009 · 4 Comments

A nice piece by Nicholas Dawidoff in the New York Times Magazine this week details the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson’s skepticism about the dangers of global warming. It seems that Mr. Dyson is concerned about the quality of the science that underlies the current scientific consensus about its perils. One gathers from reading the Dawidoff […]

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Tags: Human Ecology

Many Americans Believe That Global Warming is "Exaggerated"

March 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Results from a recent Gallup poll are rather depressing. Based on telephone interviews with a sample of 1,012 Americans, more Americans think that the reporting on global warming is exaggerated than think its seriousness is under-estimated (41% vs. 28%).  This looks like a real change since it wasn’t that long ago (2006) that the numbers […]

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Tags: Human Ecology

Cool Interview with Michael Pollan

September 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Yale e360 Magazine has a very interesting interview with author, Michael Pollan ( “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” ) on what’s wrong with environmentalism. Not surprisingly, much of the conversation surrounds food production and its environmental impacts.  I find the discussion of the energy crisis of the 1970s — and how badly we have fallen away from […]

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Tags: Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology

Citizen Science

September 15th, 2008 · No Comments

This is a cool project: Project BudBurst egages citizen scientists in recording phenological records of local flora.  The data collected in the project are used to monitor the effects of global warming on the timing of flowering, leafing, etc. throughout the country.

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Tags: Human Ecology