Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here are a few things news topics in astrobiology/planetary/climate science that I’m thankful for:
3… The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft has started phoning home! This doesn’t necessarily mean the mission is saved, and it may even be past the point where a fully functional spacecraft could reach Mars, but this is a case where “no news is BAD news.” Things have changed for the better over the last 48 hours or so.
2… Scientists that continue to pursue the worthy endeavor of climate change science. They steadily improve our understanding of what our future climate holds for us – and what we hold for it – despite attempts to ruin their credibility by repeatedly hacking into their email accounts to cherry-picking statements to make them appear biased. Oh, and along the same lines I’m also thankful for heaping, bust-your-gut enormous piles of DATA. This is how you separate skeptics from deniers. Skeptics produce their own hypothesis-testing data and will change their tune if the data consistently support the arguments they’re skeptical against. Denialists and fanatics work through character assassination and refuse to engage the data. See the difference?
EDIT: more here… http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/statements/CRUnov11 http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/rebuttalsandcorrections/phrasesexplained
1… Lastly, I’m thankful for a field full of wonderful colleagues that are standing on the shoulders of the giants that have come before. This means being thankful for those giants, including warm luminaries such as the recently deceased Lynn Margulis. And it includes being thankful for the friends and colleagues (frolleagues?) that I’ll be spending the weekend with in Florida (or that will be watching on TV) as we watch the launch of MSL/Curiosity.