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

Is the new Tesla Model S right for you?

The man revolutionized the way we generate and use elecrticity. The car is revolutionizing the way we make, buy and drive cars.

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 28, 2013

This week, I bought the world's game-changing automobile. Here's my review.

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

VIDEO: A Presidential Debate on Climate

Climate change, science and the next four years.

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012

Thursday morning I moderated my first live presidential debate, on Capitol Hill.

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.

From the Heartland: schoolchildren, climate, and... mass murder?

Astounding lack of judgment reveals propaganda outfit's radicalization

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | May 04, 2012

The Heartland Institute is preparing a $100,000 school science curriculum on climate change coming to a school near you. Among their logical leaps is a new billboard featuring mass murderers and totalitarians who believe in climate change. This is science?

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.

An Open Letter to Arianna Huffington

How the Huffington Post is still blowing it on science but has a chance to make a real difference

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 17, 2012

When the publication's science editor publishes antiscience propaganda, what can we learn?

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?

Academic Freedom Wins In Cuccinelli Climate Case

Supreme Court Tosses Virginia Attorney General's Attack on UVA and Michael Mann

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 02, 2012

In a big win for academic freedom over the forces of creeping authoritarianism, the Virginia Supreme Court today sided with the University of Virginia in its fight against Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's investigation of former UVA climate scientist Michael Mann.

Why is Heartland Institute's president Joe Bast so concerned?

A revised computer analysis incorporates suggestions from the embattled climate denier

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Feb 29, 2012

It's possible that the program identified Bast as the most likely author because so much of the strategy memo appears to be cut and pasted from other Heartland documents. So I decided to take Bast up on his suggestion and rerun my stylometric analyses.

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

A book review of Michael Mann’s saga from the front lines

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Feb 27, 2012

What makes The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars an important addition is the thread of Mann’s evolution in thinking as he followed the simple logic of science where it led, something we want any graduate student to do, and as a result was increasingly forced to defend his work, himself, and ultimately the future of the planet. A harrowing ride through the politics of truth and denial.

The most likely author of the Heartland Institute climate strategy memo?

A computer analysis may suggest the document's most likely author

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Feb 23, 2012

A lot of fuss is being made about the provenance of the Heartland Institute's climate strategy memo. Heartland says it's a fake. I decided to test that.