When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists Anymore

Dec 17, 2012
Originally published on December 18, 2012 9:41 am

Last week I shared an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science, and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with conspiratorial thinking.

The comments to last week's post raised many questions. Here I want to focus on one of the themes that emerged: Even if we all grant the science — that is, we accept that humans are largely responsible for climate change — what do we do about it? This question is no longer a strictly scientific one; it also requires input from economics, psychology, sociology, political science and public policy, among others.

In moving beyond scientific facts to their implications for decision makers at all levels, we shift a large portion of the burden of responding to climate change onto social scientists, not the natural scientists who have been documenting the Earth's warming. A post by Anna Barnett over at Nature.com highlights a keynote speaker at a 2009 meeting on global environmental change who opined that as much as 90 percent of research on global change should be social scientific.

Does current psychology shed any light on how to move forward? I asked Lewandowsky this very question during our conversation. He first suggested that "highlighting how denial operates" is itself an important part of getting people behind climate change:

You have to understand who the people are who deny the science and how they operate and what drives them. We know from a lot of research on misinformation that without explaining ... why people oppose it so much, it's very difficult for the average person to accept the science because the moment there is the perception of a scientific debate people sort of tend to walk away from it and say, "well, it's not settled."

In other words, people need to understand why there is the appearance of controversy in order to feel confident moving forward with (uncontroversial) scientific assumptions. In other research, Lewandowsky has found that merely alerting people to the existence of an enormous scientific consensus can shift beliefs.

Second, Lewandowsky noted that sometimes progress doesn't require a change of mind, just a change in policy and behavior. He suggested that policy makers can potentially "bypass attitudes altogether ... and move forward with policy solutions that people can agree to, independent of what their attitudes are towards climate change." As one example, Lewandowsky offered:

In Australia, at least, there is overwhelming support for alternative energies. Whenever you ask people about clean energies (solar, wind, whatever it is) they want that. They want it much more than they want fossil fuels. So I think any government that says, "OK, let's move ahead with alternative energies," sidestepping the whole issue of climate change, will actually have an agenda that is absolutely winnable and sellable, and I think that's the way forward.

Of course, there's still a lot of work to be done, for both natural scientists and social scientists, but it's nice to be able to offer some basis for optimism!


You can keep up with more of what Tania Lombrozo is thinking on Twitter: @TaniaLombrozo

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.