November 2007

The following is probably only of interest to technically inclined readers:


As climate changes, many species are moving. Sometimes, it is from lower to higher altitudes, in order to live in familiar temperatures. Sometimes, it is from south to north for the same reason. Such natural adaptation is inevitable and, while it is a coping mechanism for individual species, it invariably changes the composition of ecosystem. […]


This morning, I had a French conversation class. The advantage of being in the first class of the day was that nobody else showed up. As such, I learned a lot of vocabulary relating to Welsh mountain climbing, desalination, battery and fuel cell technology, and fossil fuels. There will be two one-hour classes a week, […]

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People who do not spend half their lives on the internet may not have heard about the One Laptop Per Child Program. This non-profit initiative has produced an inexpensive laptop meant to be used as an educational tool by children in the developing world. The device has been reviewed by the New York Times and, […]


Many thanks to everyone who called or sent various kinds of electronic messages for my birthday. I will respond to all of them, in the fullness of time. Special thanks to the various people who sent me kind gifts. In emulation of Emily, I will list a few in order to highlight the amusing diversity: […]




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At several points in the past, Arctic native groups including the Inuit have been effectively involved in the development of international regimes for environmental protection. Perhaps most significant was the role of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in the development of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Studies done on the human health impact […]


The point is increasingly well made by numerous sources: once you add carbon sequestration, coal is no longer an economically attractive option. In Indiana, a 630 megawatt coal plant is being built for $2 billion. That’s $3,174 per kilowatt. If we expect investors to seek a an 11% return on investment over a 20 year […]


My reading plan with Emily is proceeding apace. I have chosen the book for her to read in December, and she has chosen the first three for me. Keep an eye on my blog and Emily’s for commentary as it emerges. No doubt, I will produce an index entry at the end of April, linking […]


A number of severe problems are facing the world’s oceans and the living things that dwell within them. There is the exchange of invasive species through shipping, worldwide overexploitation of fish stocks, the acidification of the ocean from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, changes in salinity that threaten major ocean currents, and pollution (including eutrophication from […]