Taxonomy term

Voices

Comment: Volcanic versus anthropogenic carbon dioxide: The missing science

“Volcanoes add far more carbon dioxide to the oceans and atmosphere than humans.” So says geologist Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide in his 2009 best seller “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming — the Missing Science.” With this assertion, Plimer brings volcanic carbon dioxide degassing front and center in the climate change debate, reviving and reinforcing this wildly mistaken notion.

30 Jul 2010

Voices: Italian seismologists: What should they have said?

In Italy, seismologists who failed to predict the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009 could face manslaughter charges.

01 Jul 2010

Voices: Volcanoes everywhere ... is there a link?

It may seem that there has been an unusual amount of volcanic activity lately, with major eruptions occurring in Iceland, Guatemala and Ecuador. But is it really unusual, and are the eruptions connected?

The short answer to both questions is no.

03 Jun 2010

Voices: Must we capture and store carbon from coal to meet emission-reduction targets?

Last Wednesday, Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled a comprehensive energy bill (PDF) called the American Power Act. The central purpose of the proposed legislation (along with a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives in June 2009) is to significantly curb the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions.

18 May 2010

The time of our lives

How did we leverage our intellect so that humans have become a basic force of nature, modifying the world to meet our needs, and thus spawning a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene? What will the Anthropocene’s legacy be — both in terms of humanity and of Earth?

01 May 2010

Hazardous Living: Good reading - is the apocalypse upon us?

Earthquakes, volcanoes and blizzards, oh my. Is this year anomalous? Has Mother Nature turned on us and decided to shake up the planet? Are we headed toward an apocalypse?

21 Apr 2010

Comment: Peak Soil: Does civilization have a future?

First there was Peak Oil, the idea that there’s only so much oil out there and we may have reached or even passed a turning point in global oil production. In his 2007 book “Peak Everything,” author Richard Heinberg said it’s not just fossil fuels: Everything from population to food production to freshwater availability has its own point of no return.

15 Apr 2010

Voices: Greening the Gross Domestic Product

When measured in terms of annual Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, the United States is the richest country in the world, followed at a distance by China and Japan, and then several European countries, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The GDP — the value of all final goods and services produced in a country during a given year — is a simple computation that allows a direct comparison of wealth between countries.

01 Apr 2010

Voices: Redefining humanity through energy use

What is it, exactly, that distinguishes us from other species? The definition of humankind has perplexed scientists, philosophers and theorists for centuries. DNA composition differentiates species in a technical sense, but that definition is hardly satisfying. Certainly there must be something more ethereal that separates us from “lower” forms of creatures. Over the centuries, several definitions have emerged — from using tools to speaking — but have then been proven insufficient in some heuristic way. So I propose another option: manipulating energy.

24 Mar 2010

Pages