21 Year old, Abigail Borah, Speaks Out in Durban

While American Politicians are hesitant to push the climate issue both nationally and internationally,  a youth speaks out against inaction.

Thanks to recent big pushes by the energy industry, there has been over a 15 percentage point shift in America’s belief in global warming. Unfortunately, that shift has been towards the opinion that the consensus of the scientific community is nothing but an elaborate conspiracy perpetrated by “so called” expects against the larger community that can’t be bothered to do any research themselves. With pubic belief as it is, politicians have been hesitant to take on the issue directly.

That seems to be the case in Durban, South Africa, where the international community has gathered to discuss climate change. However, given the “climate” of the talks, this conference will likely not see any major moves to legally binding changes necessary to have a sizable impact.

Seeing the inevitable inaction on the horizon, 21 year old Abigail Borah, a member of the youth climate delegation spoke out to the powers that be. [Read more...]

Glen Beck Freaks Out Over South Korean Skyscraper

Because everything in the world must revolve around Beck and the United States, no exceptions.

On my morning drive to work, I put down my book on tape on my trusty Kindle and decided to tune in to the Glen Beck radio show. Amid selling GBTV and yet another stadium public performance, I could tell that the radio host was a bit more touchy than normal. He was pissed and the target was South Korea. His rage was so pure that he was demanding that the U.S. pull all of our troops out of the country immediately. Why? Because one of the S. Korea’s planned skyscrapers made him think of 9/11. [Read more...]

Science to the Rescue

From Science Daily.

The world is becoming overpopulated and climate change will lead to mass famine, if not for science riding to the rescue. Much like the greatest human being ever and his green revolution, the research of On Sun Lau, Xi Huang, Jae-Hoon Lee, Gang Li and Jean-Benoit Charron has set the stage for what may be the next great leap of agriculture needed to feed the ever-growing human species.

Manipulating Plants’ Circadian Clock May Make All-Season Crops Possible

“Farmers are limited by the seasons, but by understanding the circadian rhythm of plants, which controls basic functions such as photosynthesis and flowering, we might be able to engineer plants that can grow in different seasons and places than is currently possible,” said Xing Wang Deng, the Daniel C. Eaton Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale and senior author of the paper.

The trick they discovered involves the interaction between two types of genes, one which produces proteins during the day to repress the expression (if I am using that term correctly) of the night time events in the circadian cycle.  Further research in this area could one day lead to high yield crops that could modified to thrive in areas of reduced or extended daylight outside the natural range of the species or have faster yield times.

Though students of Yale, I will note the nationality of the authors, while their work will aide all of humanity, it is sad for me to see how the U.S. continues to fall behind in fields where we once dominated. A continual reminder of the poor state of our education system and the science-phobia which pervades my culture, I should really learn to speak Chinese before too long but that’s a whole different rant for another day.

The team’s research appears in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

The Science Guy vs Fox, Round Two

On August 29th Bill Nye made a return appearance on FOX News hot on the heels on “Moon Volcano” affair in which the pundit, Charles Payne, attempted to shun away Global Warming with anecdotal evidence; in this case Hurricane Irene.

Mr. Nye goes on to give a great breakdown on basic science while Mr. Payne attempts to talk around him and toss some dirt towards Al Gore.

David over at VideoCafe has the video hosted and some choice quotes. The video is well worth a viewing if just for the one instance where Mr. Payne admits that the world is warming up. The most minuscule of admissions, but one more than you normally see on that network.

Common Metal Bitten by Radioactive Spider, Becomes Super Aluminum

A team of scientists have successfully produced a new form of Aluminum that exists only under immense pressure such as the conditions found at Earth’s core on the nanoscale. Published in Nature Communications, the team pulsed laser light into a sapphire in order to mimic the internal events of the earth and have the sample melt properly. The material may yeild new insights into the electromagnetic forces at play in the heart of our planet, Science Daily reports.

When asked about the ramification of his team’s discovery, Professor Juodkazis said.

“Using this focused laser technique, we may now be able create a range of superdense metals that have extraordinary properties,” he said. “The creation of superdense silver or gold, for example, could lead to many new possibilities for bio-sensing and plasmonics.”

I’m sure Glen Beck and Rush are already working on their commercials for SUPERGOLD.

“When the collapsed economy collapses again and your gold that you purchased with your worthless cash, itself becomes worthless, BUY SUPERGOLD!”

Summer is Coming

A recent computer model based study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts the impact of biomass CO2 releases from thawing permafrost may be an even larger problem than previously expected, transitioning from a carbon reducing ecosystem to a carbon producing system by the end of the century.

Of course, since this is just a model based study the results will have to be confirmed in the field before the situation merits screaming “The End is Nigh.”

 The study disagrees with previous permafrost models that predicted future vegetation in the former tundra would soak up enough carbon to induce a net carbon loss of the permafrost system but that may not be the case as several hundred years’ worth of decay finally gets some fresh air.