Archives for Environment

Peace in the Middle East: Could Alternative Energy Be the Solution?

I have been thinking about the situation in the Middle East and also the rise of oil prices, peak oil, and the problem of a world economy based on energy scarcity rather than abundance. There is, I believe, a way to solve the problems in the Middle East, and the energy problems facing the world, at the same time.…

A Bottle That Purifies Enough Water for a Year

This is a really great invention — a hand held water bottle that can purify a year’s worth of water. It removes not only parasites and bacteria, but also viruses. It was just announced recently at a defense industry tradeshow and was a big hit among military commanders who need a better way to get water to their troops.…

Russian Scientists Discover Radiation Absorbing Mineral

Russian
scientists in the Khibinsky Mountains in the Arctic Circle have made an
important scientific discovery. They’ve found a new mineral which
absorbs radiation.

    It does not yet have an official name and is known only as number 27-4.

Scientist Says "Never in Our Imagination Could This Happen." Famous Last Words?

Whenever a scientist says something like, don’t worry our new experiment could never get out of the lab, or don’t worry the miniature black hole we are going to generate couldn’t possibly swallow up the entire planet, I tend to get a little worried.…

Plans for a Lunar Ark to Save Humanity

Researchers at the International Space University (ISU), of which I am an alumnus, are proposing an interesting initiative to build an ark on the moon to preserve human civilization and biodiversity, and the Internet, in the event of a catastrophe on earth, such as a comet impact, nuclear war, etc.…

Networked Genome — New Finding Shatters Current Thinking

A new finding has discovered that the human genome may be highly networked. That is, genes do not operate in isolation, but rather they are networked together in a far more complex ecosystem than previously thought. It may be impossible to separate one gene from another in fact.…

Steorn Set to Demo "Free Energy" Device Tomorrow

Steorn, the Irish company that claims to have invented a mechanical device that generates unlimited free energy with no fuel, is scheduled to demonstrate their device publicly for the first time in London tomorrow. A panel of 22 independent world experts has been recruited to study the device.…

Children of Men Needs to Be Seen

Go see the film Children of Men — it’s a bleak, brilliant, entirely convincing vision of the near future — and has great action too. Here’s a YouTube video that makes the case for why this film should win an award.…

Minding The Planet — The Meaning and Future of the Semantic Web

NOTES

  • Master Copy can be found at this URL or http://tinyurl.com/yynb93
  • Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST
  • License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to http://www.mindingtheplanet.net from yourversion, thanks.

All Seafood Gone by 2050 — Overfishing and Overpopulation

New research suggests that all the world’s ocean seafood stocks will be gone by 2050…

WASHINGTON (AP) – Clambakes, crabcakes, swordfish steaks and even
humble fish sticks could be little more than a fond memory in a few
decades. If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, the
populations of just about all seafood face collapse by 2048, a team of
ecologists and economists warns in a report in Friday’s issue of the
journal Science.

A World Without Elephants

This is so sad. Elephants are increasingly being wiped out due to encroachment by nearby human populations, and also by inept human attempts to help them — and of course by poaching. As their species is increasingly backed into a dead-end corner, and as older elephants are separated from their herds, younger elephants are developing psychological disorders and are becoming violent.…

Zooming Out in Time

For an interesting read — download this wonderful presentation on zooming out in time as a way to predict the future. It’s from a talk given at the Long Now Foundation. Nice visual slides illustrate how the world changes over vast timescales.…

Dolphins are Smarter Than We Think

This is an interesting article about recent evidence of deep thinking by dolphins:

At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the
dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the
institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their
pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for
fish.

You've Heard about Global Warming … Now Comes "Global Cooling"

Russian scientists are now predicting a period of "Global Cooling" will begin in 2012. Well at least the good news is that Al Gore can make a sequel. And I guess this means San Francisco will have even colder summers…er winters…now?…

US Rice Supplies Inadvertently Contaminated

It has just come out that supplies of rice in the USA have been contaminated with a gene that was not approved for human consumption

Amazon Desertification May Start Next Year — Global Warming Could Increase by 50% — Note to Self: Find New Planet

Amazon Rainforest Faces Desertification

Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’

And that could speed up global warming with ‘incalculable consequences’, says alarming new research

The Independent (U.K.), July 23, 2006

The vast Amazon rainforest is on the
brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for
the world’s climate, alarming research suggests.

Electronic Smog

Are you living in a cloud of electronic smog? New research has shown that fields from electrical wiring and devices in the home and office should be considered to be a form of pollution. Recent studies are finding that many cancers and other diseases may be directly related to exposure to these electrical fields.…

Study Discovers Whale Song Syntax

New research into the mathematical properties of whale songs reveals that they have a complex language:

The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the
animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that
whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases
that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.

Doomsday Vault to House World Seed Bank

The Norwegians are planning to create a deep underground vault near the North Pole to house a backup copy of seeds for all known varieties of crops. The goal is to ensure food supplies and enable humanity to regenerate in the event of nuclear war, global warming or other catastrophes.…

Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas

The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.

The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.

Hydrino Power — A New Source of Energy?

A new source of inexpensive, renewable energy that depends on a modified form of hydrogen has quantum theorists up in arms: they say it violates the laws of quantum mechanics. The inventors, on the other hand, claim they have extensive proof that it works.…

NASA Makes Plans to Deflect Possible Asteroid Hit in 2036

This just in

NASA has outlined what it could do, and in what time frame, in case a
quarter-mile-wide asteroid named Apophis is on a course to slam into
Earth in the year 2036. The timetable was released by the B612
Foundation, a group that is pressing NASA and other government agencies
to do more to head off threats from near-Earth objects.

Snow in Somalia – First Time in History – Global Warming?

It just snowed in tropical Somalia, for the first time in history. Is this further evidence of chaotic global climate change? Read the article here.

How to Save the Amazon Rainforest

I read the an article today about how Brazil is gradually losing the fight to save the Amazon. The worlds’ rainforests are a global resource — not only are they
directly important to the air we all breathe, they also harbor a huge,
still untapped, reservoir of species diversity which could be of
profound importance to science and future medical and pharma research.…

Future Evolution of Human Species

Here is a thought-provoking article that discusses several possible directions for the future evoloution of the human species. It includes comments by Richard Dawkins, as well as several scenarios with pictures of what humans might look like in the distant future.…

New Ice Age Coming Much Sooner than Expected?

Significant new research findings indicate that a new ice age may be starting sooner than anyone expected…

CLIMATE change researchers have detected the
first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current
that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing.

New Data Indicates Earth 3 Million Years Overdue for Mass Extinction

A new study claims that life on earth emerges and is wiped out in 62 million year cycles. The dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago. That implies we are 3 million years overdue for a mass-extinction cycle. Or maybe we’re 3 million years into one?…

Study Finds that Second-Hand Smoke Dulls Children's Brains

A new study has found that exposure to even low levels of second-hand smoke at home had a significant negative impact on children’s reading and math performance at school.

Interesting New Magnetic Motor Announced: Big Claims Made

If you are interested in alternative energy, here’s something new to look at — a new magnetic motor based on ideas that originated with Nikola Tesla. The makers claim it is an "economical solution for the world’s power and energy needs." Well, we’ve heard that before, but it’s good to keep an open mind — maybe someone will get it right eventually.…

Dolphins Save Humans from Shark Attack

Here is an interesting true story about how a group of humans were saved from a shark attack by a group of dolphins.

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