Climate

More on plastic’s evil – doing your part?

A couple of scientific research papers were published this week, and further describes plastic’s evil even beyond what I had earlier understood. I am coming to the point where plastic may need the same focus as oil and coal … and unfortunately quickly.

The first from UCSB tackles microfiber and starts with what I thought was the extent of damage, “The amount of synthetic microfiber we shed into our waterways has been of great concern over the last few years, and for good reason: Every laundry cycle releases in its wastewater tens of thousands of tiny, near-invisible plastic fibers whose persistence and accumulation can affect aquatic habitats and food systems, and ultimately our own bodies in ways we have yet to discover.”Read the rest

Culture

Sickening power of wealthy countries – pun intended!

Oxfam published data estimated where all of the C-19 vaccines will go … wealthy countries or those not so wealthy. Statista in their typical flare put it together in an infographic that made me sick!

Infographic: Rich Countries Have Bought up the Bulk of Covid-19 Vaccines | Statista

If that doesn’t make you a bit uneasy or mad, try this, quote: “As covered in this infographic, Oxfam expects this to mean that “even in the extremely unlikely event that all five vaccines succeed, 61 percent of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022. It’s far more likely some of these experiments will fail, leaving the number of people without access even higher.”Read the rest

Culture

2 New leaders to watch

This week a couple of leaders surfaced on my radar that I had not known about earlier, and both are women doing just incredible things driving global change. The key attributes of the leaders I want to pay attention to …

First was highlighted from Reuters, “Growing up in a trading town in Senegal, Adji Bousso Dieng loved school and had a particular talent for maths. But with a dearth of career role models, she had no idea which path to follow. Some two decades later and a research scientist working on artificial intelligence at Google, Dieng wants to give young Africans the inspiring examples she missed out on.”Read the rest

Culture

The human cost of US war on terror

This data just breaks my heart – both due to pain we caused and that it was probably avoidable.

Infographic: America's War On Terror Displaced 37 Million People | Statista

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/22902/number-of-people-displaced-by-war-on-terror

Key phrase: Brown University’s Costs of War project released a study last week which states that it is the first analysis to comprehensively measure the number of people forced to flee their homes as a result wars involving the United States since 2001. It states that 37 million people have been displaced by America’s Global War On Terror and that estimate is likely conservative with the true figure possibly as high as 59 million.Read the rest

Climate, Culture

Climate Disasters – our new reality?

Per a Grist article this morning and thanks to the west coast governors (some of the best imho I add), we have a new word that accurately describes our current state (pun intended).

Quote: “These megafires aren’t exactly “natural,” after all — they’re magnified by the hotter, drier climate humans have created, along with a century of forest fire suppression that left more fuel to burn. And 85 percent of the time, wildfires are started by people — a smoldering cigarette, an unquenched campfire, a gender reveal party gone wrong. You could argue that even the wild in wildfires is a bit misleading.”Read the rest

Climate

What if all you eat travels no more than 150 miles

For many American (even in cities) this is possible and doable based on a recent science study. A quick summary, quote: “How local could food be in the U.S.? A modeling study estimates the distance within which metro centers could meet food needs if they tried to feed themselves locally. Some — but not all — could rely on nearby agricultural land, and dietary changes would increase local potential, according to the study.”

I remember teaching outdoor school in Maine in the 1980s and we spent a huge amount of time talking about food logistics, environmental costs and what you waste when you throw food away.… Read the rest

Culture

Distrust

There was a comment this morning in one of my favorite investment bloggers, who has been consistently non-emotional, non-dramatic and a full-on data devil, that implied politicians ARE withholding further stimulus to US economy for their own political advantage. Then, he further stated that both parties are experts are doing the same – almost as an aside without any gravity.

That level of distrust is disturbing. Add that to the possibility that Americans die from C-19 daily because politicians put their interests above our lives.

Regardless of your political bent, how can we thrive in this type of environment even if we THINK it’s true – perception can be more damaging then reality.… Read the rest

Climate

Thielsen Creek – at risk

I recently hiked the PCT around Mt Thielsen, and one of the more spectacular areas was around the junction of PCT and Mt Thielsen trail.

Sadly, unfortunately for this generation, the Thielsen fire burns uncontained.

Update from Sunday:

Thielsen. OR-UPF-000441. ICT3. 2 mi SE of Diamond Lake, OR. Start 9/8. Point Zone Protection, Full Suppression. Cause: Unknown. 5,110 ac (+0). 0% Contained. Timber. Active fire behavior. Evacuations and evacuation notices. Structures threatened. Road, trail and area closures. T2 IMT ordered.”

The beauty and grace in the balance today is beyond my prose, yet we continue to ignore the warnings of human impacts to our climate … sigh.… Read the rest

Culture

R u ready for diseased chickens on your dinner table?

Somehow I missed this one, but I will be following up w/ Senators Merkley and Wyden (not right now as they are busy helping our communities deal with fire) … diseased chickens can now be used per Bloomberg.

First, what diseases are we talking about:

quote: “In July the FSIS approved a petition from the National Chicken Council requesting that slaughterhouses be allowed to process broilers infected with Avian Leukosis — a virus that causes chickens to develop cancerous lesions and tumors. Inspectors would no longer be required to examine the first 300 birds of each flock for signs of the disease, and processors would be able to cut off tumors and lesions and then process the rest of the bird.Read the rest

Climate, Culture

CPI driven by used car prices

CPI = consumer price index (aka, consumer inflation)

Last week’s CPI report had some interesting fodder for cultural and climate discussions. The key nugget I was looking for surfaced in The Heisenberg Report today. Heisenberg has put out several pieces on urban flight driven by C-19 and social unrest. The current post links back to the others.

Here’s the tidbit that caught my eye in the CPI update – not the food cost increases which everybody could see happening real time.

Quote: “The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.6 percent in July.Read the rest

Climate

Two scientific publications to consider

While these summaries are both very, very different in their focus areas, they both describe climate change. One is a historical perspective going back 66 million years (way back!), two is about human diet and how that impacts climate (with some advice).

One: High-fidelity record of Earth’s climate history puts current changes in context

Summary: Quote – “Scientists have compiled a continuous, high-fidelity record of variations in Earth’s climate extending 66 million years into the past. The record reveals four distinctive climate states, which the researchers dubbed Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse, and Icehouse.Read the rest

Tech

Bloomberg pushes biz & tech but an ethical discussion is needed first

Note – a bit different here and maybe ‘bad practice’ but I will paste the email I received from Bloomberg this morning …

here’s my issue: the acceptance or rejection of facial recognition technology in social settings where ‘subjects’ did not OPT-IN is an ethical discussion for us as citizens. Bloomberg turned to a business or technology discussion without really addressing the ethics. I find this backwards. Let’s understand the ethics and the unintended consequences of the technology before wide implementation – Facebook worked out just fine, right?

Pasted below

Hi all, it’s Eric.
Read the rest
Tech

Autonomous vehicles – another problem solved?

Some of you know that I spent a small slice of my career leading a team working on autonomous collision avoidance for drones (which translates to cars, trucks and tractors). One of the biggest problems using visual stimuli was fog, dust and smoke particles, etc … makes vision distorted and colors, right – see?

Stanford researchers may have a solution (Summary) … quote:

Like a comic book come to life, researchers at Stanford University have developed a kind of X-ray vision — only without the X-rays. Working with hardware similar to what enables autonomous cars to “see” the world around them, the researchers enhanced their system with a highly efficient algorithm that can reconstruct three-dimensional hidden scenes based on the movement of individual particles of light, or photons.Read the rest

Climate

More on fires – Grist

Grist this morning published a terrifying article on the Western US fires.

Quote: “It’s hard to overstate how really, terribly bad this fire season has been. In California alone, wildfires have blown through 2.5 million acres of land since the beginning of the year — about 10 times more than last year, and much more than 2018’s previous record of 1.8 million acres. Meanwhile, in Washington state, fires erupted over Labor Day weekend, scorching 330,000 acres in just 24 hours. The smoke led cities across the West Coast to warn their residents to stay inside and keep windows closed to avoid breathing some of the dirtiest air in the world.”Read the rest