What’s In

Every year the Washington Post publishes a list of “What’s Out and What’s In” for Washington, D.C. On New Year’s Day, we always spend a few minutes with friends trying to guess “What’s In.” I thought it might be fun to do the same for environmental science and policy, even though this list of about 20 is rather depressing.

What’s Out                                                            What’s In


Precautionary Principle                                  Risk

Endangered Species                                         Trophy Hunting

Forest Fires                                                           Raking the forests

Air Pollution Controls                                     Premature Death

Carbon Taxes                                                       Budget Deficits

Native Wildlife                                                    Feral Cats

Climate Change                                                  It could change back

Bear’s Ears                                                            Coal Mines

Renewable Energy                                            Natural Climate Solutions

Carbon Dioxide                                                  Methane

Pastafarianism                                                    Creationism

Clean Water                                                        Developing Wetlands

Marine Protected Areas                                Fisheries Depletion

The  Paris Accord                                             America will have a great climate

Deliberative  Discourse                                 The Wall

Ducks Unlimited                                                Unlimited AR-15s

Mass Transit                                                        Parking Decks

Sea-level Rise                                                      Houses on Stilts

Epidemiology Studies                                     Strengthening Transparency

Pollinators                                                             GMO Crops

Windmills                                                              Off-shore Oil

Fuel-efficiency standards                            Big Beautiful Cars

Peer Review                                                        Alternative Facts

2 thoughts on “What’s In

  1. I am disappointed to see you use your science site to go political again. You have wonderful credentials as a scientist. However, you are no smarter than the average guy/gal on the street when it comes to politics. In fact the average guy feels economic and social dislocation much more acutely than you, as he or she has not the safety net of tenure. I very much enjoy your science commentary, but when you stray into politics you are just another person in the crowd, whose expertise does not exceed anyone else’s. You break your promise to us to render science free from the bias of anecdotal and subjective political opinions. If you don’t print this letter, you shouldn’t print your political opinions in THIS Forum, where we expect empirical data, not ‘a priori’ speculation. In the end you will have only readers who share your political beliefs, and that is the worst strategy for educating anyone. If you preach to the choir, they are the only ones who will sing for you.

    I love the science. It is what will keep all of us talking rationally.


    1. “What’s In” is a list of phenomena as gathered by an observational scientist during the past couple of years.
      How this list is interpreted—whether the phenomena are good, cost-effective, sensitive, and based on science—is a political- or value-judgement of the reader. The blog is silent on interpretation.

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