Science

I have heard the theory that every time we remember something it is influenced by our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs at the time of remembering. That implies that the memories we think most about are the ones that have been most distorted from their original form. An exaggerated version is in effect for stories recounted […]

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Back in 2008, I wrote about the Future Leaders Survey and the gloomy views it uncovered among young people about the future of the planet. Recently, The Lancet published a study based on a survey of 10,000 people aged 16–25 in 10 countries. It demonstrates that apocalyptic psychology is a broad-based phenomenon, not exclusively concentrated […]

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There’s a voguish argument that in an era of easy information availability there is less cause to have any substantial body of knowledge memorized. I have seen articles arguing that the crucial cognitive skills for young people today are the ability to find what they are looking for, given access to the internet. I think […]

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Based on my experience of Canadian environment ministers (whatever the department is called at a given time), there are essentially two types. The rarer type is the genuine environmentalist who thinks they can get things done through the compromises of government. They’re true believers on climate change but rarely have much support from cabinet or […]

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The many human impacts of climate change are complex and often indirect, like how warmer winters in the mountains affect downstream agriculture. The most direct possible effects — however — have been on display in the brutal heat waves on the west coast, as well as elsewhere in the world. CNN recently published an editorial […]

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Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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It seems that after a recent computer failure the Hubble Space Telescope is back online in a backup mode.

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The concept of the Anthropocene holds that human beings have made changes of such enormity to the planet that they will be chemically identifiable into the distant future. That includes our changes to the atmosphere and disruption to the climate, as well as the radionuclides generated from nuclear tests, accidents, and power stations. The human […]

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By [President Jimmy] Carter’s own account, his poor opinion of nuclear power originated in personal experience. In 1952 the future president was a US Navy lieutenant with submarine experience stationed at General Electric in Schenectady, New York, training in nuclear engineering under Hyman Rickover. That December, an experimental Canadian 30-megawatt heavy-water moderated, light-water cooled reactor […]

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In perhaps the ultimate demonstration that ‘net zero’ promises are a delaying tactic meant to preserve the status quo which favours fossil fuel producers, Canadian bitumen sands giants Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, MEG Energy, and Suncor Energy have formed “an alliance to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from their operations by 2050.” […]

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