Thursday, 9 July 2015

If you aren't worried, then you aren't paying attention.

Ballad of the Sad Climatologists

...Guy McPherson, a biology professor at the University of Arizona who concluded that renewables would do no good, left his job, and moved to an off-grid homestead to prepare for abrupt climate change. "Civilization is a heat engine," he says. "There's no escaping the trap we've landed ourselves into." [jump]
The other topic [Jason Box] is obsessed with is the human suffering to come. Long before the rising waters from Greenland's glaciers displace the desperate millions, he says more than once, we will face drought-triggered agricultural failures and water-security issues—in fact, it's already happening. Think back to the 2010 Russian heat wave. Moscow halted grain exports. At the peak of the Australian drought, food prices spiked. The Arab Spring started with food protests, the self-immolation of the vegetable vendor in Tunisia. The Syrian conflict was preceded by four years of drought. Same with Darfur. The migrants are already starting to stream north across the sea—just yesterday, eight hundred of them died when their boat capsized—and the Europeans are arguing about what to do with them. "As the Pentagon says, climate change is a conflict multiplier."
His home state of Colorado isn't doing so great, either. "The forests are dying, and they will not return. The trees won't return to a warming climate. We're going to see megafires even more, that'll be the new one—megafires until those forests are cleared."
It's not a pretty article, but necessary reading. If you have a panic disorder of some sort, maybe keep your meds within easy reach if this sort of thing affects you. I had to find my inhaler and cry for about 30 minutes. But, I know crying fixes nothing. Apathy fixes even less.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Really interesting article in New Scientist about the reasoning behind denialism.

From the article:
"Many denialist movements originate as cynical efforts by corporations to cast doubt on findings that threaten their bottom line. Big Tobacco started it in the 1970s, recruiting scientists willing to produce favourable data and bankrolling ostensibly independent think tanks and bogus grass-roots movements (see "Manufacturing doubt"). One such think tank was The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), set up in 1993 by tobacco company Philip Morris (American Journal of Public Health, vol 91, p 1749). TASSC didn't confine itself to tobacco for long. After getting funds from Exxon, it started casting doubt on climate science."

Both of my parents are climate change deniers and I have had many a heated and irrational (on their side) discussion with them about this. It's almost impossible to point out facts or figures about recent rises in temperature or melting icecaps. They won't hear it and reject the idea outright, claiming that it's a left-wing conspiracy to bring about more government regulations and, ultimately, a one world government. I've recently given up the hope of ever swaying their opinion since you can't use logic to fight those who are completely illogical.

More at the link: Living in Denial

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Rush hour in Utrecht.

I live in Cambridge, UK where there is a large cyclist population but nothing compared to this. Many times, because of the traffic, it's faster to walk across town than it would be to drive there. I'd love to see more of Cambridge traffic turn into cycling traffic.

Edited for video: One of my mates pointed me to this video of Cambridge traffic. Thought it was a nice comparison. We have loads of cyclists but still tonnes of vehicle traffic.

Monday, 3 May 2010

RITI Printer

I'm fairly intrigued by the idea of using coffee grounds or tea dregs as toner, as this printer does. I don't drink coffee but all my housemates do and it would be nice to put all those grounds to good use. I especially like the idea of having no cartridges to throw away and it's powered by the user.

More information at Greener Gadgets.