Environment

Posting this with no comment because it is expected and so obviously bone-headed Trump: US President Donald Trump’s administration has disbanded a government advisory committee that was intended to help the country prepare for a changing climate. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the committee in 2015 to help businesses and state and…

SEE END OF POST FOR IMPORTANT UPDATE A while back, I read Confederate Saboteurs: Building the Hunley and Other Secret Weapons of the Civil War by Mark Ragan. The central theme of the book was the invention, more or less, of the submarine and the torpedo, curing the Civil War, but the South. The torpedo…

Harvey the Hurricane will hit Texas roughly between Corpus Christi and Victoria (but stay tuned for exact details). Harvey is passing over water that is significantly warmer than usual, owing to global warming. This storm was too disorganized to even, under normal conditions, to have a name, just a day or so. But, when this…

The most charitable comment I can come up with for the just-released Department of Energy Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability is the refusal of the authors to use what is surely a candidate for Most Overused Term of the Year: resilience. Not that resilience isn’t important, but it’s to their…

Avian vascular anatomy revealed

This is such a beautiful award-winning image of the complex vascular networks in a pigeon. The image was captured using  CT scan technology and a novel contrasting agent called BriteVu that allows visualization of even tiny capillaries. This image was captured by Scott Echols who is a member of the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project, whose…

Over the years, the field guide and the coffee table book have merged, and we now have coffee table-ish books (but serious books) that include a species description of every critter in a certain clade. In the case of Horses of the World by Élise Rousseau (Author), Yann Le Bris (Illustrator), Teresa Lavender Fagan (Translator),…

Health and environmental groups sue EPA over new rules on toxics

Three lawsuits by different public health and environmental groups are challenging EPA’s new regulations on prioritizing and evaluating toxic chemicals. The regulations stem from amendments made by Congress last year to the 40 year old Toxic Substances Control Act. The groups argue that EPA is ignoring congressional intent.

The Kelly Fallacy

General John F. Kelly is retired from the US Marine Corps, where he commanded the Southern Command. He replaced political operative Reince Priebus as President Trump’s Chief of Staff. The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking staff member in the White House, and was formalized as such in 1961. This is not…

Spike in Greenhouse Gasses

Greenhouse gases go up and down in three ways. First, there is the annual up and down cycle that happens because there is more land in the Northern Hemisphere. I won’t explain that to you now because I know you can figure out why that happens. Second, there is natural variation up and down aside…

EPA’s new focus: Fox

I have a feeling that foxes are in trouble with the new EPA administration, but FOX is in great shape. According to an analysis by Media Matters, Scott Pruitt has spent considerably more time appearing on Fox News than other networks. In fact, he’s spent twice as much time on Fox as he has on…