– The Amateur Scientist’s Fat Jesus art contest is just the awesomest thing since the last totally awesome thing. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this idea before, it’s so brilliant. Rebecca Watson’s winning, obviously.
– Remember those leaked emails that revealed how all this global warming malarkey was just one big massive hoax conspiracy by dastardly scientists in the pocket of Big Weather? Yeah, not so much. The UK’s Parliamentary Science & Technology Committee have released their report, detailing the findings of their investigation into the “scandal”, and have found “no reason… to challenge the scientific consensus” of anthropogenic climate change. The scary-sounding talk of using a “trick” and “hiding the decline” was people being casual with the language, using colloquial terms that might sound incendiary when removed from all context, and there was no evidence of systematic fraud of any kind. So, shush now. (H/T to PZ.)
– … You know, when I decided to do a quick link round-up and save my latest scathing anti-theistic rant until tomorrow, I was sure I had more than two links to talk about.
– Actually, Jack of Kent is providing some interesting commentary again. The House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee, which is apparently a thing we have in this country, voted yesterday on a reduction of what are called “conditional fee arrangements” (or CFAs), which (if I’m getting this right) are the bonuses to their fees that lawyers can claim in certain types of “no win, no fee” cases. Mr of Kent is very much in favour of the proposed reduction in CFA uplift, but it was blocked yesterday by a number of MPs, including Tom Watson. Mr Watson has today explained his decision to oppose this particular change, while supporting a reform of the libel laws in general. It seems well thought out and articulate, and I do tend to find it encouraging when people expend this much thought and effort on important decisions.
Jack of Kent is not impressed, however. Specifically, he finds Mr Watson’s claim that the proposed change “could significantly reduce the chances of people receiving justice” to be entirely without supporting evidence. Even though I have only a tenuous grasp of what’s going on, I’m actually quite enjoying all this. Watching these discussions happen on Twitter in real time is sort of like a soap opera, only interesting.
And amidst all this, and with Simon Singh’s big decision tomorrow morning, there’s no better time to sign the libel reform petition, wherever in the world you might be. This is one of those things to actually give a shit about, people.