Environment

Category archives for Environment

One of the most important realizations of climate change research is exemplified in this graphic from Weather Uderground: The point is this. The PETM (Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, millions of years ago) was a period of high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere which caused significant warming. It is an example of both relatively rapid and…

This is more than a policy. It is a philosophy.

Peak Oil is a controversial concept. Some people actually think that the production of oil in nature is continuous (which is a tiny bit, but hardly at all, true) so we can keep pumping oil out of the ground and it will just keep being produced by tiny microbes. But aside from that particular, and…

This is mainly about copper mining in a part of Minnesota that has previously seen extensive iron mining. Most mineral rights across Minnesota are owned by the state, which then may lease rights to miners. Recently, 31 nonferrous mineral leases were approved by the Minnesota Executive Council, which consists of Governor Dayton, Secretary of State…

4-methylcyclohexane methanol is a chemical used to clean coal before it is burned. As you know a region of southern West Virginia where upwards of 100,000 people live has been affected by a spill of this chemical; the water supply in this area has been made unavailable for human use. A 48,000 gallon storage tank…

America’s Dangerous Pipelines

I think there is a belief that pipelines are safer than trucks,trains, or boats for shipping liquid hydrocarbon fuels. That may actually be true. I don’t know what would happen if we stopped all the pipelines and switched to vehicles. But the idea that pipelines are safe is absurd and it is time people started…

Emily S Cassidy, Paul C West, James S Gerber and Jonathan A Foley, from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, have produced a very important study for IOP Science Environmental Research Letters. (This is OpenAccess so you can access it openly!) You know Emily as one of the participants in our CONvergence panel…

Here, David Letterman interviews the man who spent two years in prison for trying to sand in the way of the Bush administration’s attempt to sell off your future. More here.

A commonly used insecticide, and possibly an increasingly widely used form of that pesticide, could be a causal factor in bee colony collapse. It is not 100% certain that this pesticide’s effects can be counted as one of the causes this problem, but there is a very good chance that neonicotinoids can cause a drop…

What is nature (worth)?

A multimedia video from the U of M.