Science

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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I was surprised just now to see that I don’t think I have a general thread on climate change and human health. I’d say there are at least two big relevant dimensions to it. First, because fossil fuel use causes so many bad health impacts, phasing out fossil fuels brings major co-benefits in terms of […]

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The CBC has two new podcast episodes related to my research. Front Burner has an episode on the movement to divest from the bitumen sands, which tracks the movement’s progression from church groups to universities to major banks and insurers. It notes that only half as many insurers are willing to cover the industry as […]

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The International Energy Agency has released a report on what would be necessary to achieve a ‘net zero‘ global economy by 2050: Net Zero by 2050 A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector. Unsurprisingly, it replicates the carbon bubble / stranded assets argument: “The global pathway to net‐zero emissions by 2050 detailed in this report […]

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China has landed a rover on Mars and launched the first module for a space station.

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One of the case studies in my M.Phil thesis was persistent organic pollutants (POPs) — a class of mostly pesticides which have been restricted under international law because they harm humans and other species, persist in the environment for long periods, and bioaccumulate in food chains, rising to higher concentrations in each level of predators. […]

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In a development that illustrates the global dynamics of climate change China’s emissions now exceed those of the entire developed world put together. Since at least the 1990s the basic nature of a global deal to control climate change has been clear. States like Canada with the highest historical and per capita emissions need to […]

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One element of a science fiction future which I expect to see in my lifetime is the ability to directly connect human brains with computers and share instructions back and forth. That seems especially plausible now that Neuralink has demonstrated a high bandwidth BCI with two tetraplegic people. This evokes the idea of a Ghost […]

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