The first Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) was lost on the way to space because of fraudulent metal provided by a supplier. The OCO was rebuilt at OCO-2, which has since collected data on the spatial distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth. OCO-3 will be attached to the International Space Station, which will further fill in […]

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This Montreal Gazette story opens with a line which I expect will become increasingly commonly heard as climate change impacts worsen: “Premier François Legault said Sunday it might be necessary to force people in flood zones to move away to avoid taxpayers having to constantly pay to repair their homes.” That seems sure to be […]


I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever […]

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A worldwide effort by the Event Horizon Telescope has produced the first false-colour image of a black hole.

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I have written before about the cognitive and emotional (and insomniac) downsides of checking the news too often. It seems worth re-emphasizing how twitter is a worst-case scenario in this regard, at least for people more interested in developments in matters of public interest than developments in the lives of friends and acquaintances, where facebook […]

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Blair King (whose blog bio says he has an “Interdisciplinary PhD in Chemistry and Environmental Studies”) is one of the people who had sent a tweet arguing that only people who use few or no fossil fuels can call for decarbonization and who I linked to this rebuttal post. He subsequently wrote his own response […]


Don’t you hate it when people who use fossil fuel based products for everything from travel to medicine to telecommunications criticize the fossil fuel industry or say that we shouldn’t build big new fossil fuel projects? We have a civilization that depends so much on fossil fuels, and yet these environmentalists want us to stop […]


Another case of conspiratorial thinking, selfish politicians, and conflict threatening to make a deadly serious threat into a dire global emergency: Pockets of “reluctance, refusal and resistance” to accept Ebola vaccination were generating many of the new cases, Salama said. “We also see a very concerning trend. That resistance, driven by quite natural fear of […]


LOX and RP-1 never burn absolutely clean, and there is always a bit of free carbon in the exhaust, which produces a luminous flame. So when you’re looking at TV and see a liftoff from Cape Kennedy—or from Baikonur for that matter—and the exhaust flame is very bright, you can be sure the propellants are […]


Finally somebody in authority sat down and thought the problem through. The specifications of JP-4 [jet fuel] were as sloppy as they were to insure a large supply of the stuff under all circumstances. But Jupiter and Thor [ballistic missiles] were designed and intended to carry nuclear warheads, and it dawned upon the thinker that […]