In a year when floods, hurricanes and wildfires have devastated parts of the United States, climate change has been polling as a top issue in the 2020 Democratic primaries. All 23 of the party’s current candidates agree that this global crisis is real, but they have very different proposals for dealing with it. William Brangham reports.
Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, recently launched 60 internet satellites into Earth’s orbit, with a plan to release 12,000 more satellites in the coming years. The venture, called Starlink, promises to increase internet access around the globe. But scientists are worried about what kind of orbital debris may be left behind. Loren Grush, a reporter with The Verge, joins Megan Thompson to discuss.
This planting season is the worst Kenny Reinke has seen in 19 years. Back in March, when he’d normally be fertilizing the soil on his farm in Neligh, Nebraska, much of his land was frozen. That land is still wet today, with small lakes in some areas.
“It’s too much water and too wet. We can’t get equipment across it,” he said, noting that he is now three weeks behind in getting seeds in the ground.
This spring has been one of the rainiest on record for the farm belt. It’s one more obstacle Reinke and other farmers are facing amid a shaky period of lower crop prices and falling income. Reinke fears flooding could lead to even more changes in coming months.
The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It’s home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.
Very few people have looked for microplastic concentrations at mid- to deep-ocean depths. But there’s a place along the California coast where it’s relatively easy: The edge of the continent takes a steep dive into the deep ocean at Monterey Bay. Whales and white sharks swim these depths just a few miles offshore.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute perches on the shoreline. At an MBARI dock, you can see one of their most sophisticated tools for doing that: a multimillion-dollar machine called Ventana sitting on the deck of the research vessel Rachel Carson. “It’s a massive underwater robot,” explains Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which collaborates with MBARI. “Robotic arms, a lot of sensors, machinery, lights, video cameras.”
The ‘mole’ instrument about the InSight lander hasn’t been able to dig deeper than 12 inches into the Mars surface. It is designed to go deeper and NASA will use to lander’s robotic arm to help identify the issue. — InSight Snaps Dusty Selfie on Mars: https://www.space.com/insight-mars-la… Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, was acquired by a Chinese firm in 2013 for nearly $5 billion — more than the company’s market value. The surprising purchase caused some lawmakers to wonder if there might be a hidden player. As part of the series Food for 9 Billion, Nathan Halverson of the Center for Investigative Reporting examines how the Chinese government is involved.
A Russian warship managed to avoid a collision with a U.S. cruiser in the East China Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It said the two sides were moving along parallel routes when the U.S. cruiser suddenly changed its direction and crossed the Russian ship’s course at a distance of some 50 meters. But the U.S. Seventh Fleet rejected the report, saying the behavior of the Russian ship had been “unsafe and unprofessional.”
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
Calendar – Click on Date for links entered on that Day