Science

When making decisions about technology, both false positive and false negative errors are possible. By that, I mean it’s possible for us to miss or ignore how a technology has unacceptable consequences for people and the rest of nature. DDT or the drug thalidomide were such false negatives: wrongly considered to be acceptable for use […]

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I have mentioned methane before in the context of agriculture (specifically the meat industry) and in terms of the so-called “dash to gas” in Europe. More broadly, the desirability or undesirability of gas is a major issue in environmental politics. On the basis that electricity produced using gas produces fewer emissions per kilowatt-hour than electricity […]

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft, designed to study Jupiter’s magnetic field to help us better understand the planet and solar system, will be burning its main engine to circularize its orbit around the gas giant later today: At about 12:15 pm PDT today (3:15 p.m. EDT), mission controllers will transmit command product “ji4040” into deep space, to […]

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Compared with trying to counteract climate change resulting from greenhouse gas pollution through solar radiation management (SRM) — essentially reflecting sunlight away, as with stratospheric sulfate injection — actually removing CO2 from the atmosphere by weathering rocks which form carbonates seems more attractive in many ways. The SRM approach may cause major side effects in […]

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I just finished Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. This eloquent, captivating, and informative book provides an intimate account of her life with manic depression, including her work as a doctor and a researcher of mental illnesses. At times the book is lyrical and poetic, both when providing rich […]

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The presidential committee at the University of Toronto just recommended divestment! They lay out criteria for excluding stocks based on their climate change impact and “recommend… that the University of Toronto instruct its investment managers to divest immediately” from such holdings. They specifically identify ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, the Peabody Energy Corporation, Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural […]

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A bit of what I have seen online so far: Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments — George Monbiot James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud’ Why James Hansen is wrong on COP21 Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era […]

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There’s a mass of news coverage and punditry about Alberta’s newly-announced pre-Paris climate change plan: Alberta’s climate change strategy targets carbon, coal, emissions Alberta gives the oilsands a climate change deal it can live with Alberta’s climate-change plan: Breaking down the numbers Alberta pitches a big-bang climate plan: With carbon taxes and phase-outs, the game […]

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When I see people out walking dogs, I like reaching a hand out to the creatures and seeing their reactions. Usually the humans are happy about this and volunteer information about the dog’s name and breed. Occasionally, there are people who pointedly ignore me and yank hard on the leash to punish the dog for […]

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Every photo taken by the Apollo astronauts is now online. Mother Jones has picked out some favourites.

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