Science

It’s gimmicky and I find it hard to see personal cars and automobile infrastructure as part of a sustainable future, but this video still has historical relevance:

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Through a variety of mechanisms, anthropogenic climate change is worsening wildfires. For instance, warm winter temperatures were a key factor in British Columbia’s apalling mountain pine beetle epidemic, and trees killed by the beetles may be more susceptible to fire. More directly, high temperatures dry out forests and raise fire risks. Page 44 of the […]

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“Nothing sways them from the habit—not illness, not the sacrifice of love and relationships, not the loss of all earthly goods, not the crushing of their dignity, not the fear of dying. The drive is that relentless… If human life was so simple that people learned from negative consequences, well then human history would be […]

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Sometimes convincing moral arguments take the form: outcome X is unacceptable, and since it arises from behaviour A then behaviour A can no longer be allowed to continue. This is implicit in many of the hundreds of posts I have written about climate change, but I thought it would be good to have an open […]

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The New York Times has a good piece on the late stages of the Voyager missions as they pass into interstellar space. It’s especially interesting to read about some of the unexpected faults they have encountered, and the ways they need to work within the limits of the 1977-era hardware.

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A recent Economist article describes a novel camera design with the promise to be far thinner than those that exist now, with some novel features: Not only do Dr Hajimiri’s cameras have no moving parts, they also lack lenses and mirrors—in other words, they have no conventional optics. That does away with the focal depth […]

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Gwynne Dyer makes some good points about glacier/snowpack, river flow, and geopolitical stability in this video, at 39 minutes 18 seconds:

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[U]ranium enrichment is the process that separates U-235 from U-238 in order to increase the proportion of the former isotope. Separation is measured by the kilogram separative work unit (SWU), representing the amount of uranium processed and the degree to which it is enriched. The gas centrifuge exploits the mass difference between these two isotopes […]

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I was surprised to see that I don’t seem to have ever put up a post about 3D printing, despite the variety of ways in which it’s interesting. The Economist has recently printed a few articles: 3D printers start to build factories of the future 3D printing transforms the economics of manufacturing A better way […]

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CPSA is keeping me busy, but there have been some interesting news stories in the last few days: ‘Mark my words’: Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion will proceed, Alberta premier vows Trump Advisers Wage Tug of War Before Decision on Climate Deal Financial firms lead shareholder rebellion against ExxonMobil climate change policies Trump pulling U.S. out […]

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