Environment

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Category archives for Environment

My zombie story

The zombie plague was a dud. When the first cases emerged, scattered around the globe, everyone knew exactly how to put them down: destroy the brain. The world had been so saturated with zombie comic books, zombie TV shows, zombie novels, and zombie movies in the greatest, if unplanned, public health information program ever, that…

You know what is really impressing me about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos? That he doesn’t hesitate to draw connections between science and how we live our lives — there is an implicit understanding that science has become fundamental to how we see the universe. Last night’s episode was no exception. What started as an explanation…

The climate change denialists are a bit thin-skinned; they’ve also been exposed as a bit on the wacko side. The journal Frontiers in Psychology is about to retract a paper that found that denialists tend to have a cluster of weird beliefs (NASA faked the moon landings, the CIA was in charge of the assassination…

Who trusts Marcia McNutt?

After informing us of her environmentalist cred — she drives a hybrid car and has solar panels on her home! — Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of Science magazine, makes a remarkable statement. I believe it is time to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil from the tar sands deposits of Alberta,…

Every time you use a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy another bottle of water you are contributing to the deluge of one-use, throw-away plastic products that pile up in our landfills or float out to sea. One group in Baton Rouge is trying to raise consciousness with Sacred Waste, a performance art…

The truth about lorises

The latest celebrity fad is getting pet lorises. They’re adorable! They have such big eyes and a funny face! And look, they like to get tickled! Aww, so cute. I want one. At least, that seems to be the typical response in followers of pop culture. Anna Nekaris, a professor of primate conservation at Oxford…

Friday Cephalopod: Super-powers!

Molluscs have amazing super-powers. But you know what? So do humans. We air-breathing terrestrial bipeds are able to enter strange alien worlds and return with a digital record of the events that even the lubbers among us can appreciate.

This is a very special bird from Arkansas that will become much more common with more oil pipelines running through the middle of the country. Won’t it be great to be able to readily make an entry in your birding book, soon enough?

You know those deep icy fields of methane hydrates Japan wants to tap for natural gas? (One of the worst ideas ever, by the way.) They’re inhabited, by polychaetes like Hesiocaeca methanicola. (via NatGeo, which is a bit too uncritical of the idea for my taste.)

Halos in the sky

I just got back from this evening’s Cafe Scientifique — where were you guys? — and I got to see lots of pretty pictures of halos and sundogs and light pillars. One of the nice things about living in Morris is that we actually get a lot of that weird atmospheric phenomena here, because we…