CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas to worry about. According to Lisa Jackson of the EPA, the ‘methane expo’ (that ended today) will help us mitigate climate change by finding ways to capture and use it. A ‘methane partnership’ between several countries has been in existence since 2004 and has already been capturing methane (according to the EPA) for years.
Methane comes from a lot of sources. It’s coming up from the melting ocean beds, it’s emitted right now from the melting permafrost, mostly in Siberia and Canada, and global warming is going to make this situation worse. This excerpt is from the Atlantic, today:
“Unexpectedly huge quantities of Siberian methane are being released into the atmosphere, according to a new study. The resulting feedback loop could dramatically outpace the climate models that scientists and policy makers have been using as they attempt to roll back emissions.
When it comes to climate change, methane is bad news: It is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing increased atmospheric temperatures. A National Science Foundation study in today’s issue of Science found that melting permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is causing an annual release of nearly 8 million tons of methane. Eight million tons is a relative a pittance compared to the 80 million metric tons produced by livestock around the world each year.”
That’s a lot of methane! It’s true that cows produce a lot of CO2 and methane (they emit both) and there is a fear that some day cows will become illegal to raise for food. I doubt that will ever happen completely, but it’s true that if people stopped eating beef and other mammals the CO2 and methane levels would decrease a lot. There is no need at all for humans to eat other mammals, and mammals bred for meat are responsible for a surprising amount of greenhouse emissions. Many of these emissions could be eliminated by eliminating these animals as a food source, which would decrease their populations, and decrease the pollution commercial animal farms produce too.
In 2006, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that livestock accounted for 18% of greenhouse gases, making livestock emissions ?one of the most significant contributors to today?s most serious environmental problems.? However recently, Worldwatch Institute, a Washington D.C. environmental think-tank, reported that livestock emissions actually account for 51% of greenhouse gases. Source.
It’s very clear that we need less cattle in the world raised for food. Also see this from today: Huge methane leak in Arctic Ocean. More on the methane expo after the break . . .
From the EPA: Why is there so much concern about methane emissions?
Methane is [30-50] times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. Over the last two centuries, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled, largely due to human-related activities. Methane now accounts for 16% of [...]
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Uh-oh. People have often sent me strange photos like this; apparently, cephalopod porn can get you arrested in the UK.
The charge involving the sea creature states the image was of someone "performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely an octopus/squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character".
Yeah, it is kind of disgusting to see poor cephalopods tormented with the weird, creepy anatomy of vertebrates. It's also offensive to see that the Swansea police can't tell the difference between squid and octopus.
But why should we have laws that regulate on the basis of feelings of disgust? As long as no one is harmed, this is the kind of act that ought to be regarded as inappropriate anywhere but in the privacy of one's home. They have some ridiculous charge that the pictures showed situations which could lead to "serious injury to a person's breasts" or genitals, except that it also says the cephalopods were dead. It sounds like a silly law to enforce some people's squeamishness, not to protect the public.
I'd also recommend looking up the work of Hokusai, Teraoka, or Saeki (but not if you live in England! That could land you in jail). Erotic art with cephalopods has a long history.
The story also says, though, that the guy had "indecent photos of children", which is something that can cause harm, if true. It's fair to go after that, but it's another situation where one man's indecency is another man's family photos of kids playing in the bathtub. I'd have to know more details about the photos before condemning anyone.Read the comments on this post...
More Americans now drink sugar-sweetened sodas, sport drinks and fruit drinks daily, and this increase in consumption has led to more diabetes and heart disease over the past decade, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
That recent atheists-hate-ken-miller piece had more words from Jerry Coyne than from me — and his situation was just like mine, saying mostly laudatory things about Miller, only to have our criticisms used to paint a false picture of the beleaguered Dr Miller.
The story did Miller no favors, either. His ludicrous argument about amputees is going to get wide circulation every time we feel in the mood to deflate theistic evolutionists.
Which is all the freakin' time.Read the comments on this post...
Are we over estimating remembering and underestimating learning? Current research by Nate Kornell, an assistant professor of psychology at Williams College, and Robert A. Bjork of the University of California, Los Angeles address this question and was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
It certainly isn't the Netherlands.
This isn't news any more. News would be an official Catholic organization that wasn't a front for repressed perverts and apologists for child abuse.Read the comments on this post...
I noticed people were getting a little anxious for the latest Molly award, but I usually try to hold off to a weekend. It's worth waiting a few days, right? Anyway, the Molly for January 2010 goes to Paul W. You're all expected to follow his example and write treatises in the comments from now on.
Now you have to get to work and leave votes for the February Molly in the comments here.Read the comments on this post...
A young child at a Boulder pre-school has been kicked out for an awful crime. The child was enrolled in a Catholic preschool, and also has two mommies. I'll leave you to guess which of those two is the awful crime.
According to teachers at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School, a meeting was held Tuesday to discuss the issue. The staff was told a student would not be allowed to re-enroll because of his or her parents' sexual orientation. The staff members were also told not to talk to the media.
Another interesting twist is that the staff at the school are described as "disgusted" with the decision; it came from on high, straight from the priests at the archdiocese. It's a case of the more secular staff knowing what the decent thing they ought to be doing is, and the religious buffoons using their holy dogma to do evil.Read the comments on this post...
I was much anticipating Cassini's encounter with Helene on Wednesday. It looks like there was a problem with the pointing of the spacecraft, something that used to happen much more frequently on Cassini, but I don't see it much anymore, so that Helene falls off of the edges of many of the images. When I say "problem" I don't mean there's anything wrong with Cassini; I am sure Cassini pointed where it was told to, it's just either that there ....
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Wired’s Ryan Singel is weary about Michael McConnell’s sales pitch for cyber-weapon capabilities. According to his post on the Threat Level blog, some of the plans he’s been proposed to the NSA could be used for a massive crackdown on[...]
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