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A journal of science, thought, and action.

Cancun's Underwater Museum

24

Nov

2017

Cancun's Underwater Museum

The sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor created a unique museum combining art and science in an undersea display.

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My Life As A Turkey

23

Nov

2017

My Life As A Turkey

If you thought turkeys were just big butterballs in the Thanksgiving oven, think again.

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The Conservation Alliance

Archive Highlights

Conservatives and Conservation

Conservatives and Conservation

  Republican presidents from Theodore Roosevelt, to Richard Nixon, through George W. Bush left good environmental...

2 Nov 2017

Video Highlights

Recent Archive Highlights

My Life As A Turkey

My Life As A Turkey 23 November 2017

My Life As A Turkey

If you thought turkeys were just big butterballs in the Thanksgiving oven, think again.

Volcano May Explode, update

Volcano May Explode, update 21 November 2017

Volcano May Explode, update

Bali's Mount Agung could erupt any time.

Compassion and other creatures

Compassion and other creatures 5 November 2017

Compassion and other creatures

Compassion is considered a trait uniquely human but we should make it more inclusive.

Efficiency, efficiency, & more efficiency!

Efficiency, efficiency, & more efficiency! 4 November 2017

Efficiency, efficiency, & more efficiency!

Efficiency is the name of the game for energy, architecture, and solar design with three new developments showing the way.

Conservatives and Conservation

Conservatives and Conservation 2 November 2017

Conservatives and Conservation

 

Republican presidents from Theodore Roosevelt, to Richard Nixon, through George W. Bush left good environmental accomplishments.

 

Re-seeding Reefs...one polyp at a time

Re-seeding Reefs...one polyp at a time 1 November 2017

Re-seeding Reefs...one polyp at a time

One way to restore coral reefs could require re-seeding with transplanted corals.

Guns, Drugs & Turtles

Guns, Drugs & Turtles

The trade in wildlife is a huge international business. It is also depopulating entire species in the wild.
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Arctic Greening

Arctic Greening

The Arctic is greening and fast.
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Why Won't Elon Musk Build a Death Ray? (And Use it on Guy Fieri?)

Why Won't Elon Musk Build a Death Ray? (And Use it on Guy Fieri?)

The scientific community needs more mad scientists. I think all scientists are heroes, but where is the 21st century's equivalent of Nikola Tesla, who built an earthquake machine and allegedly fired his secretary for being too fat? Where's our Sergei Brukhonenko, who reanimated severed dog heads?
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Is De-Extinction possible? Maybe.

Is De-Extinction possible? Maybe.

Biotechnology may provide the tools to restore extinct animals from DNA in stored tissues.
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Great Photos Can Make You See the World in a New Light

Great Photos Can Make You See the World in a New Light

Average photographers are spectators. Good photographers are interpreters. In the hands of good photographers, cameras don’t just capture color, light and shade; their exposures actually expose some truth; the shadows they capture throw the world into relief, in ways that reveal meaning, or sometimes create it.

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Repairing the Wounds

Repairing the Wounds

We live in a 'world of wounds' as Aldo Leopold noted but it is also possible to make repairs using knowledge and dedicated action.
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Sources & Sinks

Sources & Sinks

The University of Wisconsin has developed an interactive carbon cycling model. It is a powerful tool for understanding the impact of CO2 on the climate and biosphere.
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That Sinking Feeling

That Sinking Feeling

Sinkholes are receiving new attention and much deserved.
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Google "Summits"

Google "Summits"

Google Maps introduced 'street views' of the Seven Summits.
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Then & Now

Then & Now

The approach of recapturing and comparing a perspective from the same location is often used to document changes in mountains landscapes over time. Increasingly, rephotography is being applied to studies of Arctic ice, city-scapes, and vegetation cover everywhere.
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The Man Who Predicted Climate Change

The Man Who Predicted Climate Change

One of the real challenges of life is gaining a proper perspective on your own size and importance. Not to walk around too cockily, believing you're the center of the universe, but also not diminishing yourself to the point of insignificance. It takes an amazing sense of proportion and perspective to recognize man's place in this world, and our impact on things. It takes a tremendous vision to see what is happening before everyone else does.
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Al Gore Might Be a Blowhard ... But Are All Liberals?

Al Gore Might Be a Blowhard ... But Are All Liberals?

Sure, there are lots of hypocritical blowhards who preach environmentalism but live in a palace. (Al Gore, Leo DiCaprio). But the hypocrites might be outnumbered. On average, Democrats use less power than Republicans, says a new study in "Economics Letters." 
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Extinction / Stinks

Extinction / Stinks

Me: Ivory-Billed? I thought those were extinct. 
Niece: They don't stink. 
Me: Not stink. Extinct. Not around. 
Niece: What?
Me: Those birds. They're extinct. 
Niece: You did. 
Me: I did what? 
Niece: Made a stinky.
 
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Where the Rivers Flow

Where the Rivers Flow

20th Century explorers called Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo River the “Everest of Rivers”.
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Chasing Volcanoes

Chasing Volcanoes

NASA has released an image of Japan's Sakurajima volcano. The photographic record is notable for the lightning bolts generated near the summit.
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The Beauty of a Graph

The Beauty of a Graph

The age of the written word is coming to an end. We're too busy for it. In the future, we'll be showing as much as possible as quickly as possible. Photography does this as well as anything. Video's even better. But if you're trying to represent not a thing but an idea, the future will belong to those who can express an idea as quickly as possible. Charts and graphs are good for this. You like charts. I like charts. Mid-level marketing managers LOVE charts. So, if the idea is, "We can only put out so much more carbon dioxide before we all fry," here's a quick way to visualize it. Big blocks represent carbon dioxide, and the flow chart below represents the consequences. This graph shows beautifully how much more carbon dioxide we can put out before doom. It's a simple and readable chart. (Spoiler alert: the outcome isn't that great.) 
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Climate Change Makes us Lazy

Colder countries are richer than hot countries. Norway and New Zealand don't have much in common -- but they're both richer than Mali and Ecuador. One plausible explanation for why countries in certain northern latitudes tend to be richer than countries in certain southern latitudes is simply that, in hot countries, it's too hot to work. When it's too hot, you don't feel like doing anything. Too hot = hammock time. Too hot = lemonade and fans. Too hot = sweat in your fat rolls. It's hard to look at spreadsheets when you're chafing. 

Imagine what climate change will do to that equation. 
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Which Fish is OK to Eat?

Which Fish is OK to Eat?

Anyone who loves grilled fish or a bit of sushi should be concerned about the sustainability of ocean fisheries.
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External to What?

External to What?

Environmental externalities are now becoming central to how best to control carbon pollution.
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The Least Subtle Documentary of the Year

The Least Subtle Documentary of the Year

This movie won't be subtle. But, neither are the folks who denied climate change -- and continue to do so. 
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If You're Interested in Photography, You're Actually Interested in Mass Communication

If You're Interested in Photography, You're Actually Interested in Mass Communication

In January, I saw the Sundance premiere of  Which Way is the Frontline From Here?  produced by Sebastian Junger about his partner and friend Tim Hetherington, the master war photographer. It was a very powerful film.



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Angry Summers

Angry Summers

A new report has been released by the Climate Commission of the Australian National University that discusses extreme weather events during the past summer in relation to climate change.
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The Republican Shift on Climate Change

The Republican Shift on Climate Change

“You believe in global warming?” Republican friends used to ask, in the same tone they'd use to ask, “You eat boogers?” Then came Hurricane Sandy; then the election; then the destruction of heat records; then growing publicacceptance of the bare facts. And the Republican attitude changes. Republican friends still think I’m an idiot, but for different reasons.

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Stars 360

Stars 360

The Grand Canyon, sedimentary layers, and stars captured in an early evening time-lapse photo.
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Do Clouds Evolve?

Do Clouds Evolve?

Do Clouds Evolve? It's a reasonable question considering the diversity we can see daily in the sky. Now, a new form is under investigation.

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2013 Rowell Award from the American Alpine Club


Aaron Huey, a remarkable photographer and seemingly tireless adventurer, was awarded the American Alpine Club's 2013 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure. Which is a pretty good name for an award. Adventure is a kind of art, and Huey does it better than most. Seemingly out of boredom, he walked across the country in 2002, just him and his dog. Seemingly out of boredom, he built a wood-fired hot tub. Maybe that's where a lot of adventure starts: boredom. Huey's a friend of mine, but he's worth getting to know in spite of that lapse in judgment. But, more than boredom, his work is driven by a sense of purpose. One of his main passions is the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and his photos of that crumbled rez appeared as a National Geographic cover story last year.
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