Warming Accelerating, Tyson Explaining, People Changing
Everywhere you look these days, Neil deGrasse Tyson is talking about science, climate change, and how we all need to think with more clarity. This week Tyson was talking about Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest Presidents in history - and a Republican. Lincoln would be appalled at modern Republicans, whose claims to reject science are purely for political gain. Tyson (rightfully) says, let the scientists give the data, and the politicians can make policy. You can read more here.
The bottom line: All scientists need to make more effort at communicating.
Germany is the most progressive country, by far, when it comes to climate change. Germany has a huge installed base of solar panels, and is working hard in many areas, especially in renewable energy sources. We re avidly following events in Germany; there are many aspects to 'doing the right thing'. We just saw a story of a completely waste-free supermarket about to launch in Germany, read more here. Also there is a photo of this supermarket at the bottom of this article.
Fuel cells are gaining steam. Fuel cells use natural gas to produce heat, and electricity - with far less emissions. The
Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) in Dresden is now making a fuel cell the size of domestic heater, that can power a home - producing heat, and up to 1KW of electricity. This could change everything, if the cost can be reduced. Fraunhofer is doing testing of the units in 150 homes, and is working to reduce the cost of the unit. You can read more here.
97% of the world's scientists now support Climate Change.
Billionaire Tom Steyer has put up $2 million to create a fund to help those who are hurt by Climate Change. He hops that others will donate to this fund. Congressional Republicans, who claim to care about regular people, are not doing anything to help those who are hurt by Climate Change.
The Antarctic ice sheet continues to grow, which no one understands. There is considerable study underway.
Thursday June 5 was World Environment Day, which was celebrated around the world. Not as big as Earth Day, but still important and recognized by many. Maybe everyday should be Evironment Day!
While most people are pessimistic, some optimistic. While American government policies are a disaster, there are many people making an effort especially in renewables, and startup companies. People are changing - and that can be powerful. Here is an interesting article on some of the good trends in fighting global warming.
City planning is accelerating all around the world, to deal with the effects of Climate Change.
But here is Plenty of Bad News Too:
Ever heard of 'Plastiglomerate'? This is a new kind of rock in our world, where plastic trash on beaches combines with sediment, basaltic lava fragments and organic debris (such as shells) to form a new object, like a rock, and that lasts for centuries. Future scientists will be able to use this 'plastic rock' material to study our civilization. Some plastics will melt when warmed and they combine with the natural materials around it. Plastiglomerate will last from 100's to even thousands of years. It is a sad commentary on what we are doing to the environment. People should care. When you see climate deniers and skeptics complaining about scientists, ask yourself: why don't they care? You can read more here.
The Texas GOP has called for Republicans to ignore Climate Change. Maybe we should all just ignore Republicans in the elections?
Jamestown, the oldest English settlement in the US, is about to be swept away by rising waters; part of it already is. Its further evidence of the rise in sea level. You can read more here.
Newsweek has reported that the Canadian government has prohibited Meteorologists from talking about Climate Change. Another form of backward thinking. In Canada, Meteorologists are listened to more than most scientists. But Canada has the world's 3rd largest oil reserves, mostly in the form of Tar Sands. Clearly, Canada has its priorities wrong. It is surprising in a way as Canada is often seen as a clean, progressive country.
And the worst news, which we have every week, is that CO2 emissions not only continue to happen, but continue to rise. This is the big driving force behind Global Warming. We could do something about it - but we need the US Congress to take a leadership position, and they refuse too. China also needs to take a leadership position in this area, instead of just focusing on economic growth. They re not mutually exclusive; Germany shows how sensible policies can be found.