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In this post: the large versions of the Environment and Humanities channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.


Environment. A glacier off the coast of Patagonia. From Flickr, by angela7dreams


Humanities. De humani corporis fabrica in Hunting Library, San Marino, CA. From Flickr, by brewbooks

Reader comments of the week:

It wouldn’t be a week at the Environment Channel without some global warming news, and this time it comes courtesy of James Hrynyshyn at Island of Doubt. James looked into All you ever wanted to know about the Global Carbon Budget but were afraid to ask. According to James, the prognosis is not good:

Some of the world’s top climatologists, under the collective title of the Global Carbon Project, have released what is widely considered the definitive accounting of the greenhouse-gas emissions situation. And the news is, as you might expect, not good. Nature’s Climate Feedback bloggers sum it up as ‘We’re all doomed.’

The commentors latched onto the dire thinking with reader The Backpacker wondering if there was anything we can do:

I have been thinking for a long time that we where boned, not that I know anything about it I am just a pessimist. But really is there any hope, or should we just get used to a warming climate and rising sea levels.

Don’t worry Backpacker, impending economic collapse will get you long before global warming

Things got more heated in the figurative sense when the Humanities Channel took a look at the past and the future of eugenic. Razib of Gene Expression noted that when people talk about eugenics today, None dare call it eugenics! Razib mentions that with the rising affordability of genetic testing, parents might terminate pregnancies if they think something will be wrong with the baby. Said Razib:

Genetic decisions will be made in the bedroom well before they ever get to the boardroom or legislature. They will be made through the collective choices of many individuals, not through government fiat. At least for now. Eugenical thought is bubbling in the background and suffusing the Zeitgeist. No one dare call it eugenics. It is ‘personal genomics.’

Naturally, a topic this touchy got the commentors in a tizzy, with reader DuWayne saying:

It was very exciting to see this post. I really think this is an increasingly important discussion to have, but one that just leaps into hysterics because of the mere mention of eugenics. Eugenics is not a four letter word. Hell, my partner and I had to consider this ourselves, when an idiot nurse gave us the impression that our now nine month old, was at a significantly elevated risk for DS. Also being the parents of a six year old with severe ADHD, it wouldn’t have been a question – we would have chosen to terminate.

Some other Environment posts we thought were cool this week were:

Emptied Oceans: The Latest Project from Shifting Baselines

Lipstick on an energy pig

The Queen of Clean Energy

Energy Race 2008

Where The Auroxen Roam

And from the Humanities channel:

The sexes do not differ on science

The origins of agriculture now extended

Guess the Nobels, Win a Prize

Against over-specialization.

The hook-up culture

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!