Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Wild Thing

Play  Gresham   by Jay Moynihan   (2016)

"Hey Kids! Go Outside, Already
This program was originally broadcast on March 26, 2015.American kids today spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors. We hear a new call to raise the "wild child."In the space of a generation, American children have been largely pulled out of nature. By one study, the average American boy or girl now spends, on average, just four to seven minutes a day outdoors. There are all kinds of reasons, but at heart it’s a lifestyle change. More screens, more protectiveness, more scheduled lives. American kids under what some call “house arrest.’ My guest today says that childhood divorce from nature is costing us, our children, dearly in physical and mental health and more.  This hour On Point, getting the kids back to nature. Raising the “wild child." -- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dr. Scott Sampson, dinosaur paleontologist and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Author of the new book, "How To Raise A Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling In Love With Nature." Host and science advisor of the PBS Kids series, "Dinosaur Train.
Erin Kenny, co-founder and director of the Ceadarsong Nature School. Author of Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way. "

Play  Many Trails Park  by Jay Moynihan  (2016)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Complexity & Water Management

View Under Bridge, From River Walk in Tucson, jay moynihan  (2014)


Water management is a wicked problem, but not an unsolvable one






http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/Complexity/2016/0713/Water-management-is-a-wicked-problem-but-not-an-unsolvable-one

Friday, July 08, 2016

The Challenge and Fun of Working on Adaptation

Henry Cox, cook, Australia 1985. by William Allard. From the Sugar Train for National Geographic Magazine


This radio reminds me of how we cannot take anything for granted in our path through rapid change.

http://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/as-the-climate-warms-what-toll-will-heatwaves-take/

The guest in the radio spot runs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness of Columbia University

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sounds Like a Doubter to Me Ray*


"Chris Hedges sits down with Tim DeChristopher, founder of the Climate Disobedience Center. The two analyze how the industrialized world fails to significantly confront climate change, beginning with the “exercise in make-believe” that was the 2015 Paris climate conference."
http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/days_of_revolt_chris_hedges_tim_dechristopher_discuss_20160426

* In homage to the skit "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Inquisition " on Dear Friends by the Firesign Theatre (1972)


Tribal Government CCA Resources



I recently co-facilitated a workshop concerning climate change adaptation for staff of a tribal government. In preparing for that, i came across some cool links.

ORCA Database
"ORCA is a searchable database developed by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - you can search for news articles, videos and audios, adaptation planning guidebooks and tools, assessments and reports, and much more."

Adaptation Planning Tool Kit
"This "toolkit" is a collection of templates and other resources developed by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) to assist tribes in their climate change adaptation planning process. The materials provided are not "one-size-fits-all" solutions, and users are encouraged to modify the materials to better represent the needs and priorities of their own tribe. The primary users of these materials will be the tribe’s climate change working group.

Adaptation Planning Background Material
Checklist
Template: Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning Guide
Template: Tribal Resolution for a Climate Change Adaptation Initiative
Worksheet: Adaptation Planning
Spreadsheet: Adaptation Planning
Template: Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Guides and Tools for Climate Change Adaptation Planning
Example Tribal Climate Change Assessments and Plans”

Tribal Climate Change Guide
Pacific NW based, but of general value. Some rare sections, such as funding.

“The BIA Tribal Climate Resilience Program
 "goal is the mainstreaming of climate considerations at the project level through leadership engagement, delivery of data and tools, training and tribal capacity building. Direct funding supports tribes, tribal consortia, and authorized tribal organizations to plan for climate resilience through competitive awards for tribally designed climate training, adaptation planning, vulnerability assessments, supplemental monitoring, capacity building, and youth engagement. The ocean and coastal management effort supports planning, science and tools, and capacity for coastal tribe's ocean management. Ocean and coastal proposals need not address only climate related concerns.”

Whyte, K.P., M. Dockry, W. Baule, D. Fellman, 2014. Supporting Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning Through Community Participatory Strategic Foresight Scenario Development. In: Project Reports. D. Brown, W. Baule, L. Briley, and E. Gibbons, eds. Available from the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) Center. http://glisa.umich.edu/media/files/projectreports/GLISA_ProjRep_Strategic-Foresight.pdf


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Suggested Reading


"The Anthropocene Review, a trans-disciplinary journal issued 3 times per year, brings together peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of research pertaining to the Anthropocene, from earth and environmental sciences, social sciences, material sciences, and humanities. High impact research articles, authoritative and stimulating reviews, and brief ‘perspective’ articles are especially welcome. Its overall aim is to communicate clearly and across a wide range of disciplines and interests, the causes, history, nature and implications of a world in which human activities are integral to the functioning of the Earth System."

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

A New Guide to the Buzzing Confusion

"Climate Feedback organizes scientists from around the world to comment on the accuracy of a variety of climate change media articles using the emerging technology of web annotation. Scientists’ comments, or ‘annotations’ are layered directly onto the original texts allowing readers to easily identify where and why the coverage is consistent (or inconsistent) with state-of-the-art thinking and knowledge in climate science.
Climate Feedback assigns each article a “credibility” rating based on the annotations and evaluations made by the participating scientists, giving readers an overall guide to the accuracy of the text. We call these evaluations ‘Feedbacks’.
All Feedbacks will be archived on our site, creating a useful resource for anyone to easily compare and contrast the credibility of different news sources."
http://climatefeedback.org/

Intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYsNYvO6uVk

"Boomerangs versus Javelins"

"For advocates of climate change action, communication on the issue has often meant “finding the right message” that will spur their audience to action and convince skeptics to change their minds. This is the notion that simply connecting climate change to the right issue domains or symbols will cut through the political gridlock on the issue...."
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/06/boomerangs-versus-javelins-the-impact-of-polarization-on-climate-change-communication/ 

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Friday Post: Kim Robinson


An interesting talk by the author of my favorite cli-fi book.

Earth and Future Generations: Imagining Post-Capitalism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csvroehk7Ww 
How about a little bit of Kim & Ursula K. Le Guin?

another talk, Transformation without Apocalypse 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlp2WvtjeGk

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seat Belts, Cigarettes & Oil

"Oil Giants In A Changing Climate
How will the oil giants do business in the climate change future? Shareholders at Exxon, Chevron and more want to hear their plans. So do we."
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2016/05/25/climate-change-big-oil-paris-talks 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Damn the Pigoons, Full Speed Ahead?

"The goal of the pigoon project was to grow an assortment of foolproof human tissue organs in a transgenic knockout pig host - organs that would transplant smoothly and avoid rejection, but would also be able to fend off attacks by opportunistic microbes and viruses, of which there were more strains every year. A rapid-maturity gene was spliced in so the pigoon kidneys and livers and hearts would be ready sooner, and now they were perfecting a pigoon that could grow five or six kidneys at a time."
From Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. ( 2003)
Margaret did it again...

In Search For Cures, Scientists Create Embryos That Are Both Animal And Human

Friday, May 13, 2016

Does our Tech Mirror Our Biology?


Just a rumination.

While listening to a lecture today, I heard a person say that Photosynthesis & Combustion are opposites? Never thought about it like that. Lets see...

"Photosynthesis is a complex series of reactions carried out by algae, phytoplankton, and the leaves in plants, which utilize the energy from the sun. The simplified version of this chemical reaction is to utilize carbon dioxide molecules from the air and water molecules and the energy from the sun to produce a simple sugar such as glucose and oxygen molecules as a by product. The simple sugars are then converted into other molecules such as starch, fats, proteins, enzymes, and DNA/RNA i.e. all of the other molecules in living plants. All of the "matter/stuff" of a plant ultimately is produced as a result of this photosynthesis reaction. An important summary statement is that during photosynthesis plants use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen." 
"Combustion occurs when any organic material is reacted (burned) in the presence of oxygen to give off the products of carbon dioxide and water and ENERGY. The organic material can be any fossil fuel such as natural gas (methane), oil, or coal. Other organic materials that combust are wood, paper, plastics, and cloth. Organic materials contain at least carbon and hydrogen and may include oxygen. If other elements are present they also ultimately combine with oxygen to form a variety of pollutant molecules such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

 Metabolism occurs in animals and humans after the ingestion of organic plant or animal foods. In the cells a series of complex reactions occurs with oxygen to convert for example glucose sugar into the products of carbon dioxide and water and ENERGY. This reaction is also carried out by bacteria in the decomposition/decay of waste materials on land and in the water.
 An important summary statement is that during combustion/metabolism oxygen is used and carbon dioxide is a product. The whole purpose of both processes is to convert chemical energy into other forms of energy such as heat." 
 ibid
Metabolism  is the set of ...chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are the conversion of food/fuel to energy to run cellular processes, the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates, and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. ...Metabolism is usually divided into two categories: catabolism, the breaking down of organic matter by way of cellular respiration, and anabolism, the building up of components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids. Usually, breaking down releases energy and building up consumes energy."
In Air Water Ground , I mention how what our species apparently does is externalize its morphology & metabolism; and we call that "technology". Yep, maybe so. 

Climate Change 101 From the Atmospheric Chemist Perspective


General Chemistry 1B. Lecture 11. Global Warming: Why, When, and How

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMhsN6vQACg 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Another Curt Stager Lecture

"Most debate over global warming looks only as far ahead as 2100 AD, but what happens after that? As Curt Stager, author of "Deep Future: the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth," argues, our fossil fuel emissions will interfere with climates for much longer than most of us, scientists included, yet realize. Even in the best-case scenario, the world won't fully recover for tens of thousands of years, and possibly much longer. What will life in that shockingly deep future be like? Some will win and some will lose. On the bright side, we've already prevented the next nation-crushing ice age. But as the Earth finally starts to cool down again, "climate whiplash" will force people, animals, and plants to reverse their adaptive strategies. Losers may then become winners - but exactly how the future plays out is ultimately up to us as we search for a sane, sustainable path forward in this new geologic epoch, the "Age of Humans."
The Planet Ocean Seminar Series offers four lectures each academic year, featuring prominent speakers from UNCW's own faculty and other leading research institutions, from well-known environmental organizations and from government agencies"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ3WnrjD15g

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In Case You Still Think the Term "Anthropocene" is Not Warranted


"Earth’s spin axis has been wandering along the Greenwich meridian since about 2000, representing a 75° eastward shift from its long-term drift direction. The past 115 years have seen unequivocal evidence for a quasi-decadal periodicity, and these motions persist throughout the recent record of pole position, in spite of the new drift direction. We analyze space geodetic and satellite gravimetric data for the period 2003–2015 to show that all of the main features of polar motion are explained by global-scale continent-ocean mass transport. The changes in terrestrial water storage (TWS) and global cryosphere together explain nearly the entire amplitude (83 ± 23%) and mean directional shift (within 5.9° ± 7.6°) of the observed motion. We also find that the TWS variability fully explains the decadal-like changes in polar motion observed during the study period, thus offering a clue to resolving the long-standing quest for determining the origins of decadal oscillations. This newly discovered link between polar motion and global-scale TWS variability has broad implications for the study of past and future climate."
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/4/e1501693

Monday, April 04, 2016

Getting a Rise Out of the Media

"Sea levels could rise nearly twice as much as previously predicted by the end of this century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, an outcome that could devastate coastal communities around the globe, according to new research published Wednesday. "
On-Point show on the story (should be streaming by tonight):
I find it interesting how sea level seems to be the one aspect of the current rapid climate change era that gets a headline, at least for a day. In human time spans sea level change  is very slow, but it does have that Shake & Bake* / Jerry Bruckheimer cache to it. 
Of course another reason is that it affects so many people. Humans tend to create large group habitats on the coasts of oceans and seas.
In addition, one should also think about the salinization of coastal freshwater aquifers also. Sea level rises due to the thermal expansion of the sea water. That means it is also pressing into the coastline. That is also causing problems in some places, such as South Florida.


* The late film critic Judith Crist coined the use of the phrase "Shake & Bake" as a genre name for the then emerging disaster films.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire *

A PowerPoint with narration about the link between early childhood brain development and workforce quality and lower social costs. Last few slides contain links to resources on the subject.
https://counties.uwex.edu/shawano/files/2014/04/foundations-of-workforce-development-voice-over-jsm-03232016-sound-for-internet.pptx

*This title is the title Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, by nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman, a book for the popular audience covering the pioneering neurological work he and others did in the 1980's and early 1990's. 
"Your brain develops depending on your individual history. 
What has gone on in your own brain and its consciousness over your lifetime is not repeatable,
ever - not with identical twins, not even with conjoined twins."
Edelman

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

For all the Paleoclimatology Fans Out There


Ruddiman, W. F., et al. (2016), Late Holocene climate: Natural or anthropogenic?Rev. Geophys.54, doi:10.1002/2015RG000503.

"Abstract
For more than a decade, scientists have argued about the warmth of the current interglaciation. Was the warmth of the preindustrial late Holocene natural in origin, the result of orbital changes that had not yet driven the system into a new glacial state? Or was it in considerable degree the result of humans intervening in the climate system through greenhouse gas emissions from early agriculture? Here we summarize new evidence that moves this debate forward by testing both hypotheses. By comparing late Holocene responses to those that occurred during previous interglaciations (in section 2), we assess whether the late Holocene responses look different (and thus anthropogenic) or similar (and thus natural). This comparison reveals anomalous (anthropogenic) signals. In section 3, we review paleoecological and archaeological syntheses that provide ground truth evidence on early anthropogenic releases of greenhouse gases. The available data document large early anthropogenic emissions consistent with the anthropogenic ice core anomalies, but more information is needed to constrain their size. A final section compares natural and anthropogenic interpretations of the δ13C trend in ice core CO2."

"For over a decade, paleoclimate scientists have argued whether the warmth of the last several thousand years was natural or anthropogenic. This brief comment updates that debate, ..."


Monday, March 14, 2016

New Report on Teaching About Climate Change in American Schools


Eric Plutzer, A. Lee Hannah, Joshua Rosenau, Mark S. McCaffrey, Minda Berbeco, Ann H. Reid. 2016. Mixed Messages: How Climate is Taught in America’s Schools. Oakland, CA: National Center for Science Education. http://ncse.com/files/MixedMessages.pdf

"These results demonstrate that the landscape of climate change education is particularly complicated. No single policy or program will fundamentally change how climate change is taught in U.S. classrooms. But we hope that the results of the survey — the first to investigate in depth exactly what is being taught in the public schools about climate change, by whom, and how — will help guide those whose goal it is to ensure that today’s students and the next generation of citizens have the scientific foundation that will allow them to grapple with complex proposals to address the challenges of climate change."
http://ncse.com/files/MixedMessages.pdf

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Goats and Tortoises and Fisherman Oh My

“People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. "But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” 

A very interesting RadioLab:
https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/582892


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Not Really Something New

Wealth = {choices + mobility}.
That equation has probably been true since at least the rise of human agricultures (plural intentional).
But an interesting playing out of that calculus is underway in the Miami area. 


"Taking the High Ground—and Developing It As sea levels rise, investors in Miami are buying up land with higher elevation, sometimes displacing low-income residents.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/03/taking-the-high-ground-and-developing-it/472326/

BTW: If you live in the Miami area, check out http://eyesontherise.org/app/ , an online app by Florida International University to help you visualize the changes. As in the graphic above.

and, Once in a lifetime

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meanwhile, over at RealClimate

"One way to view the greenhouse effect is the vertical distance between the place where incoming energy is deposited and where the average outgoing heat loss takes place. This distance depends on the concentration of greenhouse gases, and at what height the OLR can escape to space without being reabsorbed by air above..." 
An interesting piece:

What is the best description of the greenhouse effect?

And, a post with links to some on-line climate science and modeling classes...

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Looking at Things in Context




I stumbled upon a series of "Systems Literacy" videos http://www.context.org/foundation-stones/tools/systems-presentation/ 
The site as a whole I stumbled on awhile back, and it seems to contain some really useful stuff. 
Background is here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

American Academy of Pediatrics & Climate Change


 "In the 2015 policy statement, the AAP states that:
  • There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that the broad effects known commonly as "climate change" are the result of contemporary human activities.
  • According to the World Health Organization, more than 88 percent of the existing burden of disease attributable to climate change occurs in children younger than 5 years old.
  • Climate change poses a threat to human health and safety, but children are uniquely vulnerable.
  • Failure to take prompt, substantive action would be an act of injustice to all children."  
https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/climate-change/Pages/About.aspx

A Refreshing Political Debate



 ""Solar trees," which suspend solar panels over parking spaces in San Diego, collect electricity. Generating solar power like this is just one rung on a ladder the city will have to climb to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2035."


Wow. If you live where i do, Wisconsin, this story is is very refreshing as a local politics story.
I mean, if you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, who do you back; the utility that is 50% renewables already, or community supported distributed generation?
 ""A thriving business environment is one in which the quality of life is high so that we can attract the best and brightest talent from around the nation [and] around the world," says Sean Karafin with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce."...
http://www.npr.org/2016/01/26/464323475/san-diego-mulls-whether-to-let-city-not-utility-buy-alternative-energy

Friday, January 22, 2016