Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Eclipse Essay

Art and Environment
STEM
Environmental and Science Education
Edward Hessler

The Atlantic has re-published Annie Dillard's essay, Total Eclipse. It is a classic that was first published in 1982, first appearing in Teaching a Stone to Talk.  It is beautifully written and will be available "until the day after the 'Great American Eclipse' on August 21."

Thanks to The Atlantic for republishing this glorious essay and making it freely available. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sustainability in Iceland

CGEE Student Voice
Sustainability Abroad
by Jenni Abere


Iceland is a unique country that draws crowds of tourists because of its natural beauty. It's got waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, geysers... These attractions brought my family to Iceland for a week, and while I was there, I noticed that Iceland is an interesting country from a sustainability standpoint.

Skógafoss, one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland.

As Icelanders are known to brag about, 85% of their energy is produced domestically from renewable sources. While driving in the southwest, we glimpsed a large geothermal plant. The unique geology of Iceland meets a lot of their energy needs.

Near this plant is the town of Hveragerði, the geothermal capital of Iceland, and home to many attractions. An hour hike into the hills beyond the town will bring you to a stream fed by hot springs -- a perfect temperature for soaking! This was one of my favorite things we did in Iceland.

Hveragerði also claims two restaurants which use geothermal steam to cook their food. Geothermally-cooked rye bread is a traditional treat. Some of the food is locally produced as well. There are many greenhouses in this area that are heated with geothermal energy.

We enjoyed a lunch of soup and bread cooked at this geothermal restaurant in Hveragerði.


Tomatoes growing in a greenhouse at the geothermal park in Hveragerði.
The white pipes behind the plants carry hot water directly from the ground. This greenhouse is hot enough to grow bananas!
Electricity produced at geothermal plants provides light for the greenhouses, a necessity in a place as far north as Iceland.

Traditionally, Icelandic cuisine features little produce. Much of the cuisine is based on meat, dairy, and seafood. Animal agriculture represents a huge use of land in Iceland. There are sheep nearly everywhere you look. There are also large numbers of horses and cows. Much of the farmable land is used to grow hay to feed the livestock during the winter. These animals are hardy enough to stay outside during the long winter, when they eat from large hay bales instead of grazing.

One surprising fact about Iceland is that there is very little wildlife. Besides sea birds, you would rarely encounter a wild animal on land. In fact, the only native land mammal at the time of human settlement is the Arctic fox. Since then, small mammals like mink and rabbits have populated the island. There are also herds of reindeer, although they are not originally native. Many of the plants are not native either.

This is one unique aspect of sustainability in Iceland. There are very few wild animals for livestock to compete with. This means that animal agriculture in Iceland has a smaller footprint than in many other places around the world.

We encountered this sheep while on a hike.
Judging from the number of sheep we saw outside of fences, there may be a sizable feral sheep population in Iceland.

Of course, fishing is very prominent in Iceland. Common menu items include trout, salmon, herring, lobster, mussels, shrimp... Less common menu items include shark, whale, and puffin. Whaling is taboo in America, but Icelanders maintain that the whales they hunt are not endangered.

The water in Iceland also provides energy in the form of hydroelectricity. When we drove inland to see the Hekla volcano, we passed a large hydroelectric dam on a river. Iceland has a steady supply of rushing rivers in thanks to the many glaciers.

One river is home to the famous Gullfoss waterfall. In the early 20th century, some Icelanders wanted to dam the river to produce energy. Sigríður Tómasdóttir, known as Iceland's first environmentalist, protested the project in order to protect the natural beauty of the falls.

Gullfoss is one of Iceland's biggest tourist attractions, and part of the "golden circle." 

Although the story of Sigríður is more myth than fact, it presents an enduring conflict: Do we produce renewable energy or preserve natural beauty? Dam projects are often halted for concerns about wildlife in the river, but many of Iceland's frigid glacial rivers are fish-free.

Iceland has several large glaciers, noted by the Icelandic word jökull. On our trip, we saw Eyjafjallajökull (the notorious glacier-topped volcano), Snæfellsjökull, and Myrdalsjökull. We got the closest to a tongue of Myrdalsjökull called Sólheimajökull. This long outlet is a canary in the coal mine for climate change, and has shrunk rapidly over the last several years.

Sólheimajökull is one of the most easily accessible glaciers, and therefore a popular site for guided glacier walks.
For a quick stop, you can park and follow a path to get a good view of the glacier. 

The natural landscape in Iceland has been conserved thanks to several factors including: the climate and geology that makes much of the land useless for industry or agriculture; the small population of only 300,000; and the efforts of the government to establish parks and reserves.

Tourism provides another incentive to preserve Iceland's wilderness, its biggest attraction. But it also provides a conflict, since tourists can triple the population of the small country in the busy summer months. This is a burden on Iceland's resources, requiring more energy, food, and living spaces. Not to mention, all tourists have to take an airplane to the remote island, and then drive once they're there, producing greenhouse gases. 

Iceland is currently one of the most sustainable nations. Hopefully as tourism continues to boom, this won't change. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

The 4th R

Schooling
Edward Hessler

Recess, of course!

Dr. Michael Hynes is the superintendent of the Patchoque-Medford schools on Long Island. He has been a long-time proponent of essentially making recess an official part of the school day.

Here is a short video for which I thank Diane Ravitch who posted about it today on her blog. Ravitch's aim is to have an ongoing discussion of better education for all students. Dr. Ravitch  also includes a letter from Superintendent Hynes to the NYS Superintendent of Schools and the NYS Board of Education to "strongly consider and discuss a mandate" for recess.

I let the tape run after I watched it while I attended to other things and noticed that it is followed by a TEDx talk by Dr. Hynes. Didn't pay much attention but caught a few words about his visit to his former school to see his transcript so I suspect it has something to do with recess and other ideas he has interest in, one of which is meditation, a practice that is being used in some schools with success for dealing with and understanding the tensions of daily life.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Human Gnomen

STEM
Environmental and Science Education
Miscellaneous
Edward Hessler

There are three Internet sites that I seldom miss checking. Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is one.

On August 12, 2017, APOD featured a short video of a human sundial, well almost completely human. 

The Liverpool Museum has a nice step-by-step link on how sundials work. You can check it out here.







Saturday, August 12, 2017

Three Portraits from A Corner of Japan

Miscellaneous
Population

Edward Hessler

Japan's population is mostly urban, about 94% according to data cited in the introduction to a video made by Eiji Iwakawa.

In this film he shows three portraits of villagers who live in Yadorigi, a small village in southern Japan. Their lives may surprise you given the overwhelming urbanization of Japan. Each of them is likely to warm your heart.  Their lives are fascinating and their views often thoughtful. Who wouldn't want to know them?

It is long (30 minutes) but I hope you can find time to watch at least one segment. I liked them all (choosing to watch them in segments) but if you think you have time for only one my suggestion is pick one right out of the blue and let it serve as a place holder for the other two. 

Who knows you may return later.

Three cheers!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Keeping the Water in Iraq

Water and Watersheds
Sustainability
Environmental and Science Education
Edward Hessler

For more than seven years, Nabil Musa, an Iraqi water keeper has been traveling his country to promote the importance of clean water.

Ensia just published a short article and video about him and his work.

Friday Poem

Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Today's poem is about a morning coffee in Italy.

A coffee in a white porcelain cup. Not bad; only a saucer missing.

It is by Billy Collins.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Water & Watersheds
Environmental and Science Education
Edward Hessler

"It has become a rite of summer," writes NPR's Dan Charles. "Every year, a 'dead zone' appears in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an area where water doesn't have enough oxygen for fish to survive. And every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissions scientists to venture out into the Gulf to measure it.

"This week, NOAA announced that this year's dead zone is the biggest one ever measured. It covers 8,776 square miles (2,272,974 ha)— an area the size of New Jersey."

You may read Charles's essay (or listen to it) here. The written piece includes a striking photograph and an equally striking diagram as well as link or two.

h/t NPR, Dan Charles

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Five Day Forecast

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

xkcd has a great take on the nature of the 5-day forecast.

Cosmologist Sean Carroll (CalTech) couldn't resist adding another row at the bottom, making it much more long term.  The differential of temperature change is interesting when you try to consider all that time.
This is a physics blog so there are some interesting takes and comments from physicists and bound to be more. Not to be missed.
h/t Sean Carroll

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Murmurations

Behavior
Biological Evolution
Edward Hessler

You've probably seen a video of a starling murmuration.  These murmurations are mesmerizing.  The birds appear to be in communication as they turn and fly in perfect synchrony without colliding.  It is as though there is a "super-mind" regulating this dance in the sky.

Here is a video of one.

So, what is known about this phenomenon? Andrea Alfano writing in The Living Bird, a publication of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology describes current knowledge as well as what is not known. Such flocks are leaderless and this challenges our minds and imaginations.  A smart swarm, so to speak.

Alfano provides a link to Grainger Hunt, a scientist with the Peregrine Fund. He makes this observation about a murmuration resulting from an encounter by a large flock of starlings with a hungry peregrine falcon. "Here is a peregrine, intent upon a meal, and the focus of each desperate starling is avoidance. The wondrous cloud is thus secondary—an extraneous property, emerging from independent attempts by each individual, within the multitude of self-interested starlings, to escape the falcon— and how better than by getting in the middle of the flock and staying there until the peregrine leaves? At each point during a peregrine attack, there are safe places to be, and there are unsafe ones, and so each starling strives to place others between itself and the falcon." 

This is a common-sense analysis based on ideas we have about adaptation. Alfano reports on a recent computer analysis (see link in her article) that begins to provide needed details on the mechanics of the behavior..  The researchers found that starlings co-ordinate "their movements with their seven nearest neighbors."  However, this doesn't explain such movements.  There is still much to be learned on how the birds do this.

In a more recent paper published in PlosOne, the authors call attention to a basic difficulty of studying this behavior. Empirical analysis is very difficult.  In this situation, computer models become useful.  The model the researchers used was based on the idea of self-organization. Among the findings was that group size influences the variability of the shape of the murmuration. A bonus of the study is that it led to several hypotheses that can be tested empirically. The authors made the following comment on the limitations of their study, notably shortcomings of the model.  It also points out the complexity of murmurations and some of the variables that might be involved.

"Despite its usefulness, our model has shortcomings. First, of such complex animals as birds, it concerns merely their movement behaviour in relation to the position and heading of others and of the roost, while using a simple model of flying behaviour, ignoring e.g. flapping flight. It ignores any behaviour related to other motivations, such as nutritional, reproductive or motivations to avoid a predator. It also ignores environmental disturbances, e.g. by physical forces, such as wind. Thus, in nature, there will definitively be additional reasons that cause flock shape to be variable beyond those that we consider in this paper. Indeed, in the model the variability of shape of, for instance, small flocks of 200 birds is below that observed in real flocks in nature.
The use of models is beginning to play a much more important role in K-12 science education.  They are used widely by scientists in all disciplines. Here is a summary table on developing and using models as described in the Next Generation Science Standards.
 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Choosing a School

Education
Environmental and Science Education
Miscellaneous
Edward Hessler

Another slice from the Onion, an article to help us help kids make the right school choice--the best fit of school and kid.


Friday Poem

Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Louis Menand's "The Defense of Poetry: Can a poem change your life?", (The New Yorker, July31, 2017) called my attention to August 4 1914 when Great Britain declared war on Germany.

He also wrote that "on August 5th, the first war poem appeared in the London Times--"The Vigil," by Henry Newbolt. I was very surprised by the quick response of a poet. This means, of course, that there is only one choice for today's poem.

For information about Sir Henry Newbolt see here.

There is a short bio of Professor Menand, a regular contributor to The New Yorker and also to the article mentioned above here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Women in Science
STEM
Biodiversity
E. Hessler

Science Friday has a first-rate series, Breakthrough, Portraits of Women in Science.

The featured scientist for the June 30 program, was Dr. Karyn Rode who as a United States Geological Survey (USGS) biologist studies the polar bears of the Chukchi Sea. She focuses on their health, mostly what they eat and then how quickly they metabolize their food.

View it here.

Rode describes how she became a polar bear biologist at this site.  Scroll down to her biographical video. Graduate students and post-docs often take a winding path to their ultimate career in which serendipity plays a big role.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bee Development

Environmental and Science Education
Biodiversity
Edward Hessler

The first twenty-one days in the life of a bee in 60 + 8 seconds.

The movie was made by Anand Varma.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Behavior
Environmental & Science Education
Miscellaneous

O. K. you have probably seen this touching video of a chimpanzee leaving Dr. Jane Goodall and her co-workers on the occasion of re-entry into the wild but....

It made me think of so many human scenes in which a child leaves for the first day of school or college or for a job in a distant city or simply moving out.  And also about our many deeply shared behaviors between humans and chimpanzees (and other primates).

Here it is. I recommend you keep the sound off but this may be my bias. I didn't care for the music, finding it distracting.

You might want to have a tissue handy just in case.

Relationships between humans, chimpanzees and bonobos are shown here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Poem

Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Today's poem is by Raymond Carver.

His career was dedicated to short stories and poetry.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Prairie Lexicon

Nature
Prairie
Edward Hessler

I've written previously about Cindy Crosby's blog Tuesdays in the Tallgrass.

This recent entry must be passed on.

It made me smile.

Great words and great pictures.

And additionally, it is still July.

Wordplay.

h/t again to Molly for giving me a prod to take a look.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Windshield Wipers

STEM
Technology
Environmental and Science Education

So have you ever thought about windshield wipers and who invented them?

There was a great piece on NPR today (7/25/2017) by Birmingham, Alabama resident Mary Anderson. The idea occurred while she was riding a New York City street car in a snowstorm. She noticed that the conductor had to get out every few minutes to wipe the windshield.

There must be a better way.

There was and Mary Anderson invented it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Two Worlds: Nature and Sociocultural

Nature
Miscellaneous
Edward Hessler

This cartoon is from the July 24, 2017 issue of The New Yorker.

It speaks for itself...loudly!

So, nature or nurture?!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

David Hockney on Nature

Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Art has to move you and design does not, unless it's a good design for a bus.--David Hockney

Painter, photographer, printmaker, stage designer and artist David Hockney is one of the most influential and well known artists of our time. He is outspoken, always articulate and witty.

He was born July 9 1937, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He has lived on-and-off in California and England for much of his life. He is the Brit who has become known as the artist of Southern California.

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you're an artist.--David Hockney

Lucy Walker, Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a short film (6 minutes) that covers the content of his art as he talks about his life and art. One of these is nature.

Mr. Hockney's home page shows the range of his work and also includes a fine, illustrated biography.

Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill.--David Hockney

Hockney is the author of a book on how he thinks painters, especially the great masters used lenses to make their paintings so realistic. Here, Hockney, a showman with no-small ego, explains his ideas in an interview with Charlie Rose. 

The book led American TV magicians Penn and Teller to make a documentary featuring inventor Tim Jenison who used optics to re-paint a classic Vermeer, The Music Lesson. Tim's Vermeer played to mixed reviews for which see here and here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Poem

Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

I recently re-read today's poem on 3QuarksDaily and thank their poetry guy, Jim Culleny for reminding me to do that.

Danez Smith's powerful poem is found here.

Smith  was born in St. Paul, MN.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

On Smiley Faces

Biological Evolution
Biodiversity
Nature
Edward Hessler

Ed Scholer and Tim Laman of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology have found evidence supporting the existence of a new species of the Superb Bird-of-Paradise (Lophorina superba).

This announcement in Cornell Lab eNews (July 2017) includes a short film of the dance of the original Superb Bird-of-Paradise.  As it dances, the bird transforms into the shape of a "psychedelic smiley face." The film describes and shows how modified feathers involved in this astonishing transformation create this pattern. Four different groups of feathers are involved.

You may read about the new species of the Superb Bird-of-Paradise here. The researchers found that the courtship dance differs, the vocalizations are different and the shape of the displaying males is different. In addition, another group of researches have found differences in DNA. This is an example of how scientists work, seeking corroborating evidence.

The essay includes still photographs of the two species showing them in full display. The raised cape of the western male is crescent shaped. The raised cape of the more widespread Superb Bird-of-Paradise has an oval shape.

The behavior is a classic example of female choice sexual selection, a special case of natural selection. Sexual selection was first proposed by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species (1859) and developed in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).

And what a radical idea it was!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Navigating...the old way

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

An NPR program on February 22 on teaching naval cadets how to use the sextant reminded me of a course taught by Harvard particle physicist John Huth.

Huth has taught "Science of the Physical Universe: Primitive Navigation" since 2007.  He makes use of the old ways, the analogue methods using stars, sun, tides, weather and wind.  They are based in a variety of cultures and are used for both short-distance and long-distance navigation.

In Finding the Way Back, New Yorker writer M. R. O'Conner describes the course and explores some of the neurological connections.  In the end, this course is about finding one's place in the world.

Huth starts his course with a quiz very reminiscent of but considerably shorter and less encompassing than this interrogation first published in the CoEvolution Quarterly, a version of which may be found here.  "Where You At?" is a bioregional quiz and not as locally focused as the noticing kind of question Huth is likely to ask at the beginning of the course, e.g., "Which way was the wind blowing before class?"

Huth has written a book knowing where you are, methods used for centuries, The Lost Art of Finding our Way.  At this link is a short video about the book and finding one's way.  Huth, a kayacker, was haunted by the loss of two kayackers in a dense Nantucket fog.  This, I think, was the motivation for this course.

And about the sextant and midshipmen.

The Naval Academy is not the only place where celestial navigation is being taught. Indeed, I doubt that any liberal arts institution shares Harvard's record. Frances W. Wright taught celestial navigation at Harvard.  When she died she left an endowment to ensure the continuation of this course. In 2004, the course had been offered for 107 years.

Some of the endowment is used to supply the sextants that students use. There is a feature article in the Harvard Crimson about the course.  According to the Harvard Website Locator it is still being offered.

This poem by Robinson Jeffers is about the perilous passage of fishing boats in a fog. A sample:

"Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing boats, trailing each other/ Following the cliff for guidance/ Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog/ And the foam on the shore granite."








Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Coelacanth Animation.

History of Science
Biodiversity
Edward Hessler

Many of you know the story of the discovery of the coelacanth, a species thought long-extinct.

The animators extraordinaire, Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck trace "the coelacanth's incredible journey through several distinct geological periods until its recent resurfacing when it was found to be nearly unchanged" the 65 million years or so it was considered an ancient fossil.

Discoveries such as this are also the story of people, sometimes of a single person. Lichtman and Shattuck organize this story around one of them, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the curator of the local museum who sought to preserve the find.

h/t Aeon (And also a tip of the hat to Rurik Johnson who corrected an attribution. This short video is part of the Biointeractive/New York Times "Animated Life" collection of five scientific pioneers and their discoveries: http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/animated-life)



2020

Climate Change
Sustainability
Ed Hessler

In November 2020, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement of 2015.

This is about politics.

Christiana Figueres and her colleagues in a commentary in Nature note that 2020 is an important date in climatology for reasons of the physics of the atmosphere. They write, "should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable." They launched Mission 2020 in an effort to "bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020."

This is about the future of the planet.

When the comment in Nature was written, the convenors of Mission 2020 called on G20 leaders to "highlight the importance of the 2020 turning point for greenhouse gas emissions." Nineteen of them did. The G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany went as expected (G19 + 1) not only on climate but also other world issues (but see below). The rest of the world has decided to move on without U. S. support and in addition to forging new trade and diplomatic relationships.

An aside. The G20 provided this visual definition of fungible.

The aim of the Paris climate agreement was to achieve a less than 2 degree Celsius increase in temperature. The world is currently courting a 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) increase from historical norms. One reason that this might be achievable is that worldwide carbon dioxide emission levels have flattened. According to Figueres et al noted that there have been three previous instances of flattening emissions but these--1980s, 1992, and 2009  were due to global economic difficulties. The current one is due to "decoupling from production and consumption." 

This is due to the use of carbon-free energy resources. A fossil-fuel free economy is clearly possible and growing. It is also profitable and a job creator.

Figueres and her colleagues recommend six milestones to help establish priorities, noting that the "goals may be idealistic at best, unrealistic at worst."  They are relying on human ingenuity on getting the world to the Paris climate recommendation. There are six sectors and I briefly describe them below (for necessary details see the link to the commentary above).

Energy: renewable energy sources supply 30% of the world's energy. Existing coal-fired power plants are in retirement phase and no new ones are to be constructed.

Infrastructure: "Cities and states have initiated action plans to fully decarbonize buiilding and infrastructures by 2050...."

Transport: Electric vehicles represent at least 15% of new car sales. There are increases in the efficiencies of heavy-duty vehicles, decreases in greenhouse-gas emissions by airplanes, and a doubling in mass transit use in cities.

Land: Reduction in forest destruction and increases in reforestation and afforestation. Sustainable agriculture practices increase the ability of healthy soils to take up carbon-dioxide.

Heavy Industry: Halving of carbon emissions well ahead of 2050.

Finance: "Green bonds' to finance climate-mitigation and the use of capital for climate action.

Three things must be done to move these changes along.that can be done: the use of science to make evidence-based decisions,  quick scaling up with the aim of "achieving 100% renewable energy production, and plain, simple encouragement, that is, shouting, believing that this is doable. The changes Figueres et. al. requires agility and swiftness, including collaborations among "unusual partners."

Can it happen? Maybe. Maybe not.


1      I look at Mauna Loa carbon dioxide data occasionally and am stunned every time. The needle on that great dial is going in the wrong direction and as one watcher wrote on Real Climate (July 2, 2017)  recently, “It seems tragi-comic to read news stories about how we only have three years to get emissions under control. There is nothing in the atmospheric CO2 record to suggest we can or will do that.” You might want to read this twice. And yes, global emissions have stalled somewhat. Below are some carbon dioxide data expressed in part per million (ppm).


June 2017: 408.84 ppm; June 2016 406.81ppm. July 5 2017 409.05 ppm; July 5 2016 405.40 ppm.

How can one read these and not recall the words of former NASA and Columbia University climate scientist guru, James Hansen? “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted… CO2 will need to be reduced… to at most 350 ppm.” We zipped past that target in ~ 1990 and it was only recently that a new number appeared on the dial: 400 ppm (September 2016), an increase of 50 ppm.

It is impossible not to wonder whether it is possible to turn back this meter reading (at all or in an important way). James Hansen referred to the Paris climate talks as a fraud and his comments are worth reading. Ambassador John Kerry disagreed.

Dino Grandoni, writing for WaPo writes this about the final declaration signed at the G 19 + 1, "
Of course, the final written declaration is just that — words. The real test of the Paris agreement, and of the resolve of the world minus the United States to stick to it, will come if and when nations actually ratchet down emissions."

A recent piece in New York Magazine by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Planet, a worst-case climate change scenario, resulted in sharp responses. The debate is whether Wallace-Wells went too far and is needlessly scaring readers or whether the picture he paints is accurate.

In one response, Joe Romm, Think Progress wrote, "The first point to be made is that if you aren't hair-on-fire alarmed about climate change and America's GOP-driven climate and energy policies, then you are uninformed (or misinformed)."

Romm is very clear about the fact that "we are not doomed. If the nation and the world were to adopt a WWI-scale effort, we could certainly keep total global warming 'well below 2 degrees C' (3.6 degrees F), which scientists--and the nations of the world--recognize as the threshold beyond which climate change rapidly moves from dangerous to catastrophic." We have made a choice "to be doomed."

Romm urges us to read the Wallace-Wells essay. Please read the response of Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University climate change expert.

The link above to James Hansen includes links to at videos and commentary with Hansen and his granddaughter, Sophie Kivehan who is one of 21 young people and her grandfather who are suing the U. S. Government on violating the constitutional right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and property due to climate change.

Science. Politics. Sloth.