Daubert Cases and Credible Science Issues
An industrial party, SQM North America has petitioned Supreme Court to review 9th Circuit decision reversing the trial court’s exclusion of hydrogeologist’s testimony under Daubert in a case involving claims of groundwater contamination alleged due to perchlorate. The Court has extended the time to file a response to the petition for certiorari to November 13, 2014. The docket sheet is available here.
A petitioner in an alleged fraudulent accounting scheme involving drug stores in New York now seeks Supreme Court review a Second Circuit decision admitted expert testimony from accounting lay witnesses not designated by the U.S. as expert witnesses prior to trial. Cuti v. U.S. , No. 13-3756 (assigned to Oct. 17, 2014 conference for consideration)
Climate Change—Science and Issues
The UN’s IPCC releases new report on climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. For a summary of the Fifth Synthesis report, released November 2, 2014. For a summary of the report read, click here. For a copy of the full IPCC report, visit here.
Ice in Antarctica increases, despite global warming. How is this possible? See the detailed article in the UK paper, The Guardian.
Sept. 2014: A Yale professor of atmospheric chemistry argues that the “conventional wisdom” urging nations to just plant more trees fails to take into account the complex interactions, and that large-scale increases in forest cover can actually make global warming worse. See N. Unger, “To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees” The N.Y. Times, Sept. 20, 2014.
Other Science and Technology Issues
GAO Report Summarizes Federal Actions and Additional Questions in Ocean Acidification. In its report, GAO reviews ongoing federal efforts, including the National Science & Technology Committee’s subcommittee on Ocean Science & Technology to understand and monitor the impacts of acidification of the oceans. The GAO’s report, issued on October 14, 2014, is available here.
New NOAA Website for Marine Debris and Programs to Address this Problem: The NOAA Marine Debris Program serves as a centralized marine debris capability within NOAA in order to coordinate, strengthen, and increase the visibility of marine debris issues and efforts within the agency, its partners, and the public. This Program is undertaking a national and international effort focusing on identifying, reducing, and preventing debris in the marine environment. Additionally, the MDP supports and works closely with various partners across the U.S. to fulfill the Program’s mission. Committee members interested in this problem should visit the NOAA website, http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/ to find out more about Marine Debris in their part of the country (or world).