Extinction Emergency: Scientists test radical ways to fix Earth’s climate

Climate Extinction: Cambridge Scientists test radical ways to fix Earth’s climate

 

Climate Extinction

Scientists in Cambridge plan to set up a research centre to develop new ways to repair the Earth’s climate.

It will investigate radical approaches such as refreezing the Earth’s poles and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The centre is being created because of fears that current approaches will not on their own stop dangerous and irreversible damage to the planet. 

The initiative is the first of its kind in the world and could lead to dramatic reductions in carbon emissions.

The initiative is co-ordinated by the government’s former chief scientific adviser, Prof Sir David King. Read More

Orellana’s Robots

In 2009, the New Scientist interviewed James Lovelock, the originator, with Lynn Margulis, of the Gaia Hypothesis, that all Earth was a great living organism. At 90, Lovelock’s outlook for the human future was dim.

Do you think we will survive?

I’m an optimistic pessimist. I think it’s wrong to assume we’ll survive 2°C of warming: there are already too many people on Earth. At 4°C, we could not survive with even one-tenth of our current population.

What about work to sequester carbon dioxide?

That is a waste of time. It’s a crazy idea — and dangerous. It would take so long and use so much energy that it will not be done.

Do you still advocate nuclear power as a solution to climate change?

It is a way for the UK to solve its energy problems, but it is not a global cure for climate change. It is too late for emissions reduction measures.

So are we doomed?

There is one way we could save ourselves and that is through the massive burial of charcoal. It would mean farmers turning all their agricultural waste — which contains carbon that the plants have spent the summer sequestering — into non-biodegradable charcoal, and burying it in the soil. Then you can start shifting really hefty quantities of carbon out of the system and pull the CO2 down quite fast.

Would it make enough of a difference?

Yes. The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine percent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes, and worms. What we can do is cheat those consumers by getting farmers to burn their crop waste at very low oxygen levels to turn it into charcoal, which the farmer then plows into the field. A little CO2 is released but the bulk of it gets converted to carbon. You get a few percent of biofuel as a by-product of the combustion process, which the farmer can sell. This scheme would need no subsidy: the farmer would make a profit. This is the one thing we can do that will make a difference, but I bet they won’t do it. http://bit.ly/2Hd9kh0

Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Remain Large

 

Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Remain Large

There is now unprecedented worldwide interest in the reform of fossil fuel pricing, reflecting several underlying factors. 1 First, reducing carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from fossil fuels is central to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation commitments submitted by 190 countries for the 2015 Paris Agreement. Second, many countries are concerned about dangerously high local air pollution concentrations that frequently exceed (often dramatically so) World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, and much of this pollution comes from fossil fuel combustion. Third, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, many countries face growing fiscal pressures from rising debt levels, which are likely to be reinforced over the medium to longer term by spending pressures from ageing populations (especially in advanced economies) and financing needs for the Sustainable Development Goals (especially in developing economies). Increasing fossil fuel prices is administratively straightforward and could play the central role in addressing all three concerns.

 Information on the gap between existing and efficient levels of fossil fuel prices is a key ingredient of an informed debate on the need for, and benefits of, fuel pricing reform. It provides a basis for understanding the environmental, fiscal, and economic welfare impacts of moving to more efficient pricing, the likely social and political challenges, and a benchmark against which alternative policies (e.g., less ambitious fuel pricing or the use of non-pricing instruments) can be evaluated. This helps policymakers understand trade-offs, prioritize reforms, understand differences across countries, and communicate the case for reform. Download IMF PDF

Gaza has made its choice: It will continue to resist

And no amount of Israeli propaganda and Eurovision whitewashing can erase the legitimacy of its right to do so.

 

 We have spent sleepless nights under Israeli bombs before – in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2018. On Saturday, apartheid Israel decided to launch yet another murderous campaign of bombardment against one of the most densely populated areas on earth. 

Again, the victims were children and women. Fourteen-month-old Palestinian toddler, Siba Abu Arrar, was killed along with her pregnant aunt, Falastine, who succumbed to her wounds shortly after American-made, Israeli warplanes targeted their home in Zeitoun neighbourhood.

On Friday, like all the previous 57 Fridays, I joined thousands of peaceful protesters at the eastern fence of the Gaza concentration camp, where Israeli snipers shot and killed four Palestinians and injured 51, including children. One of those killed was 19-year-old Raed Abu Teir, who was walking on crutches, having been injured during previous protests. http://bit.ly/2Y7iy3G

 

 

 

 

Meet The Kenyan Engineer Who Created Gloves That Turn Sign Language Into Audible Speech

Meet The Kenyan Engineer Who Created Gloves That Turn Sign Language In Speech

 

 

 Twenty-five-year-old Kenyan engineer and innovator, Roy Allela, has created a set of gloves that will ultimately allow better communication between those who are deaf and those who are hearing yet may not necessarily know sign language. The Sign-IO gloves in essence translate signed hand movements into audible speech.

 

Allela’s gloves feature sensors located on each finger that detect the positioning of each finger, including how much each finger will bend into a given position. The glove connects via Bluetooth to an Android phone which then will leverage use the text-to-speech function to provide translated speech to the hand gestures of a person signing.

http://bit.ly/2H4CC1g

Balance

Our world is a finely tuned biological entity, an entity honed by by over a billion years of evolutionary adaptation.

Our world is a delicate mechanism, which, if our environment is not maintained in a healthy state, will cease to support life. 

 

Nicholas Robson, Cayman Islands 1st. May 2019