20060320

Species loss worst since the dinosaurs

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CNN.com - Report: Species loss worst since the dinosaurs - Mar 20, 2006: "OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- Humans are responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010, a U.N. report said on Monday."

I find it hard to believe that we are living in a period of a mass extinction event. I wonder how the science is behind this determination works. This is something to take very seriously. I also wonder about the living web of life. As we cut threads here and there, the web will eventually unravel. How long could this continue and remain unnoticable to the public at large? How long would the world remain sustainable for us?

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20060313

A Few Things Ill Considered

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A Few Things Ill Considered

I found this site while reading an article from Real Climate. It summarizes the arguments commonly found in disputes between global warming skeptics and climate scientists.

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20060301

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

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RealClimate >> Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!: "Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. The events commemorating Darwin's birthday anniversary last Sunday, together with the recent conclusion of an important court case concerning the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID) in public schools prompts me to some musing concerning the relation of the Evolution/ID dialog to similar issues arising in connection with anthropogenic global warming. The age of the two theories is similar as well: Darwin introduced his theory in 1859, whereas Fourier initiated the study of the effect of atmospheres on climate with his 1821 treatise, stimulating the chain of developments leading to Arrhenius' enunciation in 1896 of the theory that human influences on the atmosphere's CO2 content could change the climate."

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20060123

Houses Woven Out of Trees Proposed

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Discovery Channel :: News :: Houses Woven Out of Trees Proposed: "Growing a home from living trees instead of building a home from felled timber is the goal of an architect from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mitchell Joachim, part of the MIT Media Lab's Smart Cities Group, along with ecological engineer Lara Greden and architect Javier Arbona, propose a home that is actually an ecosystem.
The Fab Tree Hab goes beyond sustainable housing and so-called green design — building with materials that have a low impact on the environment and human health."

This could be more than the ultimate tree house experience. I could see this used in a science fiction context where a group of people and/or aliens use nature to fabricate their village. Architecture and family planning go hand in hand. If children are coming, plant trees for the extension. By the time they need their own rooms, the walls have been woven into place.

This could be used as a naturalistic interior of a space settlement. The hollow interior of the sphere, torus, or cylinder can be terraformed as a natural environment. Any structures needed can then be woven in place from trees and bushes. If the settlements have a relatively small population, they could live above ground in these houses. Otherwise they can live "below" in the shell, close to nature. Beyond the residential shell, are the hidden industrial and protective shells.

These ideas apply to terraformed domes, asteroids,and planets as well.

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20050630

RealClimate

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RealClimate - Climate Science: "RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science"

This looks line a nice site to get familiar with the science behind global warming. I admit that beyond the basics, I'm kinda in the dark here. The recent article The Wall Street Journal vs. The Scientific Consensus is an interesting display of how myths about global warming get propagated.

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20050518

Power of the Future: 10 Ways to Run the 21st Century

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Power of the Future: 10 Ways to Run the 21st Century: "Scientists are racing to perfect greener sources of energy to improve the environment and reduce dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Some predict a hydrogen economy. Others say solar is the way to go. Wilder schemes involve sky-high wind turbines or antimatter engines. LiveScience explores the expectations, myths and realities of 10 top possibilities."

A look at 10 power strategies including solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).

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