A science brief by James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato can be found at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies website. Models, they say, can be a tool for understanding climate change, but paleoclimate studies are necessary to evaluate the impact of human-imposed warming. And, as we learn in APES, as the ice sheets melt, the surface albedo decreases, the surface warms, which makes the ice sheets melt, and the surface albedo decreases, the surface warms, and...well, you get the point. A nice positive feedback loop. But what does it mean for us right now?
A great program to bring light to millions of Filipinos without power. From the site:
"Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to disprivileged communities nationwide. Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities."
Amazingly innovative and quite easy to assemble, these solar-powered "light bulbs" are made of a simple combination of water and bleach. Watch the short video at the website - very cool use of recyclables without involving electricity. - LINK
I've been cleaning old crap out of the basement..just took a load of old electronics parts, wires, etc. to the recycling center, with more to go later. I'm also reading Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff, a so-far wonderful description of what underlies the enormous quantity of "stuff" we purchase, consume, and dispose of. I like the idea of downshifting in my consumption, and this book is a great way to motivate me. In her introduction, she refers to Einstein's observation of paradigms, and how problems cannot be solved from within the same paradigm in which they're created. A paradigm change is needed to steer us away from the consumption-driven economy, and it is probably an enormous undertaking. Leonard reminds the reader in the intro that water is involved in almost everything we buy (I'm going to try to determine my water footprint at the link she provides, www.waterfootprint.org). She also groups those that approach the problem of consumption into several categories:
While I drove my kids to their summer camps today, I listened to Frank Stasio's The State of Things on WUNC radio. His guest was NC State ecologist/evolutionary biologist Robert Dunn, whose book is entitled The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today. Amid the discussion of bellybutton bacteria and forehead mites is an interesting look at the coevolutionary relationships we have with the ecosystems that thrive on and in the human body. I'm definitely putting it on my reading list for my AP students. - Link
Who is Riss?
"No one warned me that life would involve science, except my science teacher. But, of course, he's going to say that. He's got a job to protect."
- Stephen Colbert, I Am America (And So Can You)
E - The Environmental Magazine
Environmental News Network
Environment News Service
Information is Beautiful
NASA Goddard Institute
National Science Foundation
WUNC NPR News
WUNC The State of Things