Environment

Category archives for Environment

The Story of Mars

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson Oh, it’s true alright, something bad did once happen on Mars. And although there isn’t any real danger…

Weekend Diversion: The Edge of the World

“Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black And the dark street winds and bends. Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow, And watch where the chalk-white arrows go To the place where the sidewalk ends.” -Shel Silverstein No, there’s not really…

“Being told about the effects of climate change is an appeal to our reason and to our desire to bring about change. But to see that Africans are the hardest hit by climate change, even though they generate almost no greenhouse gas, is a glaring injustice, which also triggers anger and outrage over those who…

“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.” -Orison Swett Marden If you had never heard of global warming before, how would you figure out whether it’s real or not? And if it is real, how would you figure out what humanity’s role in it is? To answer this, I’ve decided to…

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” -David Attenborough It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on this blog about global warming, climate change, or most Earth-based environmental topics in general. After all, I’m a physicist — an astrophysicist…

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.” -Frank Zappa One of the most difficult things to talk about, for any self-respecting scientist, is politics. Like all of you, I have my preferences, my opinions, and my…

“But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” -Alan Watts As we move farther away from the equinox and towards the solstice, my part of the world is seeing not only more daylight, but…

“As seismologists gained more experience from earthquake records, it became obvious that the problem could not be reduced to a single peak acceleration. In fact, a full frequency of vibrations occurs.” -Charles Francis Richter You’ve all been around long enough to be familiar with the severe damage that earthquakes can cause, rattling and cracking the…

The Solar Storm of a Lifetime

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” -Alexander Graham Bell Imagine a beautiful, clear day. The Sun is shining, the skies are clear, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer day. All of a sudden, the Sun itself appears to brighten, just for…

Why the World Will Run Out of Helium

“I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.” -Jimi Hendrix Hendrix, as I told you once before, was almost right. We know of helium, conventionally, as the lighter-than-air gas that we fill balloons, blimps and zeppelins with in order to quickly and easily…