For instance, Australia’s new prime minister, Tony Abbott, has called the science on climate change “absolute crap” and already abolished the country’s Climate Commission. In 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for the most important job in the world, was of the view that “we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet”. Here in the UK, the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, a Conservative, is, in the words of the Financial Times, a “known climate change sceptic”. So, too, is a Conservative member of the Commons energy and climate change committee, Peter Lilley.
Denialism abounds. In March, a YouGov poll found that only 39% of the British public believed human activity was making the world warmer, down from 55% in 2008, while the proportion of Brits who believed that the world wasn’t getting warmer had quadrupled – up from 7% in 2008 to 28%.
Depressingly, you can draw no other conclusion from these facts than that the conspiracy theorists are winning. The deniers of global warming have come in from the cold. The “merchants of doubt”, to borrow a phrase from the science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, seem to have perfected the dark art of “keeping the controversy alive”, sowing seeds of doubt and confusion in the minds of politicians, journalists and voters, in spite of the scientific consensus.
Thus, I use both the terms “denier” (rather than “sceptic”) and “conspiracy theorist” advisedly. After all, they either deny that the world is warming or deny that mankind is responsible for this warming. Remember: 97% of climate scientists agree the world is warming and that mankind is responsible. Consider also: a survey by Oreskes of every peer-reviewed abstract on the subject “global climate change” published between 1993 and 2003 – 928 in total – couldn’t find a single paper that rejected the consensus position on human-induced climate change.
The real sceptics are the cautious scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who, year after year, assess and reassess the new data and go through thousands of peer-reviewed studies, forming groups and committees to check and doublecheck the results.
As for the “conspiracy theorist” tag, let me be blunt: climate-change deniers are the biggest conspiracy theorists of all. In order to embrace the delusions of the deniers, you have to adopt the belief that tens of thousands of researchers, some of them awardwinning scientists, from across the world (not to mention the political spectrum) have conducted behind the scenes, undetected by the media, a campaign of peer-reviewed deceit in defiance of empirical data. How else to explain what the US Republican senator James Inhofe, a darling of the deniers, calls “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against the American people”?
Yet it isn’t just barmy GOP politicians. Or the gaffe-prone prime minister of Australia. Take Richard Lindzen, the doyen of the selfstyled “climate sceptics” and a tenured professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Earlier this year, I interviewed him for my al-Jazeera TV series Head to Head; unlike the vast majority of his fellow deniers, Lindzen has the advantage of being a trained scientist who has bothered to study our planet’s climate.
Why, I asked the softly-spoken professor, did he think national academies of science from 34 different countries – including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Russia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and South Africa – had all signed up to the IPCC consensus position on man-made climate change?
Richard Lindzen: “They’ve been told: ‘Issue a statement on this.'”
Me: “Told by who?”
RL: “Well, I’d rather not say, to be honest.”
Me: “Why not?”
RL: “Because in each case, it would be in some ways embarrassing – I mean, each of them are dependent [sic] on the goodwill of the government. And if they’re told ‘sign on’, they’ll sign on.”
Huh? Are we expected to believe that 34 different national academies of science are all working hand in glove with their country governments to exaggerate the impact of carbon-dioxide emissions on the climate and cover up the supposed evidence of global cooling? To what end – and on whose orders? Greenpeace? Al Gore?
To be honest, I don’t have a problem with most conspiracy theorists. If they want to believe that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” or that the Nasa moon landings were “faked”, so be it. Each to his own. In any case, most of these cranks and clowns do no harm to anything, other than their own reputation (or non-reputation).
But the climate-change deniers of today, with their astonishing combination of manufactured doubt, faux outrage, mass paranoia and evidence-free pseudoscience, are endangering our planet. According to the World Health Organisation, “climatic changes already are estimated to cause over 150,000 deaths annually”. The poorest countries, incidentally, bear the brunt of these preventable fatalities.
It’s no laughing matter. This particular conspiracy theory costs lives.
Mehdi Hasan is the political director of the Huffington Post UK and a contributing writer for the New Statesman, where this article is cross-posted
Working out and keeping fit is not an easy task! We need to remember that we are all different. Some of us have an easier time losing weight and toning up than others. You may be able to bench press 300 pounds or run a 5K in 20 minutes, but that doesn’t mean that you are able to easily get a shredded six-pack.
Here are five reasons why you may not be seeing the results that you want:
1. Proper Nutrition
Eating is half the battle! People can work out five days a week and burn hundreds of calories, but if they are not fueling themselves properly, all that hard work is squandered. The body needs good nutrition to make sure that it is able to support the work being done.
Eating a diet rich in protein, vegetables, fruits and good fats is the way to go if you are looking for a boost in workouts. Change out the pasta for quinoa. Snack on raw green beans instead of pretzels and chips if you want a crunch. Choose the salmon instead of the T-bone steak. Making decisions like these will send you on your way to better results.
Another common misconception is that we need to eat three full meals a day to support proper nutrition. In reality, we should be eating five to six smaller meals a day. Here is my eating schedule: 7 a.m. breakfast, 10 a.m. snack, 1 p.m. lunch, 4 p.m. snack, 7 p.m. dinner. Try your own version and see how fast your body makes the transition to a more efficient well-oiled machine!
2. Lack of Periodization
I know what you are asking yourself. What does that funny word that I can’t pronounce mean? Well, periodization (period-i-zation) refers to the periodic change in your workout regimen. This is something that almost everyone overlooks, and it is one of the biggest culprits impacting your results.
Let me paint a picture for you. There’s a middle-aged man at the gym. You see him every day. On Monday he does bicep curls. On Wednesday he performs bench press. On Friday, he feels saucy and runs on the treadmill. He does this every week for the entire year you are at the gym. Here is the issue with our friend. First, you need to stop watching him work out (just kidding, we all stare a little and wonder). Now really, he is never going to see results. The human body needs variety. For example, if you were to eat the same lunch everyday for a year, you would get sick of it and want something new for lunch. The same goes for the body and working out. The body needs to be fed a different workout plan every so often to keep it from getting stale.
Change your workout every three to four weeks. This amount of time gives your body the ability to work hard and make gains. But before it starts to get used to the daily routine, you fool your body and make a quick change to a new routine. That change will literally shock your muscles and force them to work harder in order to keep up with the change. You will be surprised at how quickly you will see results by changing your routine every several weeks.
3. Lack of Intensity
Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, the amount of effort you put into a workout may be your downfall. How can you tell if you are working hard enough?
Let’s start with sweat. We all sweat differently, but if you see that salty goodness dripping off your brow, you are probably working at a pretty high rate. Sweat happens in reaction to your body overheating, and overheating happens when the body is working. Sweat = results.
Let’s move onto your breathing. Heavy breathing signals that your body is working hard. If you are moseying around the gym floor, chatting away as you press your weights, this is not working hard. Work harder, breath harder, get results!
Finally, while you don’t want you to push yourself till you drop — you need to feel your heart racing. As your heart rate increases, you move toward the training zone in which results happen!
P.S. If you notice that you have mastered an exercise, it may be time to up the ante. Add weight to the bar. Perform more sets or reps. Keep pushing yourself to the next level.
4. OMGD Syndrome
Yes, I made OMGD Syndrome up. It stands for One Muscle Group Per Day Syndrome, and it is contagious! Unfortunately, it can lead to a lag in results.
Too many people focus each workout on one muscle group. When I first started lifting weights and training, I had this syndrome. I had one day devoted to chest. The next day was devoted to back. The next day focused on arms. Now, don’t get me wrong, incorporating a weight-training program into your life is a major benefit. It is the manner in which you incorporate it that will give you the results you want.
There is a major benefit to exercising multiple muscles groups during each workout. An example would be combining chest exercises and back exercises into a day devoted to upper-body training. This provides for a more diverse and efficient session and it can be done by performing supersets using two to three exercises.
Congratulations, you are my new client! (Just go with it.) If the theme of our session is upper-body strength, we can take three exercises and turn them into a circuit. For example, you can start with a dumbbell incline bench for 10 reps, then kettlebell bent over rows for 10 reps, followed by a decline push up for 10 reps. Do this for three rounds and you’ll notice a big difference.
You are probably thinking that I made up “overtraining.” How can one overtrain? First of all, isn’t the point of training to keep pushing yourself to be better and better until you achieve your best? Well, sure it is. But, rest and recovery are just as important as the actual training session. If you do not give your body the much-needed rest after a long series of intense workouts, then your body will not produce the lean muscle mass you want. It will actually do the opposite by burning off muscle. This is called muscle glycogen depletion. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen. Many times people overtrain themselves to the point of exhaustion or injury.
How do you know if you’re overtraining? Here are some things to look for:
Over tired/lack of motivation
DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness)
How do you avoid overtraining? Well, that is easy:
Get a good night’s sleep
Hydrate (I would drink up to a gallon of water a day)
Train five days and take two for yourself (rest, rest, rest!)
Training is not only physical. It is mental. If you are not in a good mental state, then your productivity will suffer and this will directly affect your results!
Remember, results are hard to come by, but they are not impossible. Sometimes we need a little tweak to our routines to make them work. Fitness is different for everyone. What works for one may not work for the other. It is up to you to find what does work for you and run with it. Make fitness your own.
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A new poll shows that many of us have no idea. But even for those who keep track of their steps, it doesn’t necessarily translate to better behavior: More than half of this group doesn’t meet basic government recommendations to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes a day.
The poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the World Heart Federation for World Heart Day on Sept. 29, included responses from 7,367 adults in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, China, India and Spain. They were asked questions online in August 2013 about the amount of time they estimated walking every day at a casual pace, and the amount of time they walked every day at a faster than normal or brisk pace.
“Awareness is the first step to a healthy heart. Paying attention to how much we walk should be as simple as watching what we eat,” Dr. Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation, said in a statement. “On World Heart Day, we are urging people to take action to protect their hearts. By reaching the recommended guideline of minimum 30 minutes of moderate exercise, which includes brisk walking at least five days a week, many premature deaths can be prevented.”
The poll showed that about one in three U.S. and U.K. adults aren’t aware of how much they walk every day. Meanwhile, only one in six people in India say they don’t know how much they walk each day. People in the U.S. and U.K. also reported less brisk walking than people in India and Brazil.
And of all the respondents from the six countries who did know how much they walked each day, 55 percent said they walked briskly fewer than 30 minutes a day.
According to government guidelines, adults should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise each week. The old adage to get 10,000 steps in a day hasn’t been shown in research to have any more muscle strength or balance benefits than people who walk fewer than 7,500 steps daily, according to a 2011 study reported by Reuters, but researchers of that study did find that extra walking is good for weight control and endurance.
While there’s no question that running will burn more calories and promote weight loss better than walking, Greatist points out that walking can still promote heart health by lowering risks of high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Need some help monitoring your walking and other fitness activity? Check out our reviews of some of the most popular fitness trackers on the market today — or opt for an old-fashioned, tried-and-true pedometer (which has been shown in its own right to get you moving).
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