I’m putting up white lights this year.
Some things that caught my eye today:
2007 is going to go down as one of the top-10 warmest (global surface temperatures) on record. Right now, it’s on track to be the second warmest ever, behind 2005. Expect the record to be broken in the next couple of years.
Scientists think they have figured out the physical cause behind the aurora borealis/australis. 5 NASA satellites measured tightly wound bundles of magnetic fields that provided the energy necessary to illuminate the skies.
Sides are still being taken at the Bali Climate Conference. The U.S., Japan, and Canada don’t want to discuss actual numbers as targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the E.U. wants some sort of goal laid out now. Said the U.S. negotiator, “The main effort here in Bali is to get all of the countries to agree, in concept, that they will collectively support a long term global goal for reducing emissions.” What are you doing there if you haven’t already agreed to the concept of supporting that goal? And what would you define as long-term? 50 years? 500? Never? Important concepts that I haven’t seen asked yet. A January conference in Hawaii might produce progress. I have the feeling that a drastic reduction in shoreline will be what eventually spurs people to action.
Billions of dollars in corporate welfare (our tax dollars) will continue to flow without restraint to energy corporations. You know, the same companies who are barely scraping by with profits that set records every quarter. Funny that, I thought Republicans always said tax dollars belong to us. And don’t they dislike entitlement programs? Why are entitlements for corporations okay but for citizens, they’re not? Curious…
On Saturday, a draft text was produced suggesting that developed nations cut emissions between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. How did the U.S. respond? Not well.
As a result, the language was dropped by Monday. This isn’t the best news, but there’s a lot of negotiation left to do. Those 1990 levels are the critical ones. I’ve seen proposals from political candidates that use 2005 as the baseline. Bad idea, folks. It’s some progress, but not what is needed to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Disturbingly, it has been reported that CNN has left Bali, citing a lack of significant news. Maybe if a ‘significant celebrity’ would show up, the U.S. corporate media could be bothered to actually do their jobs.
HAHAHAHA. I crack myself up.
So a report came out yesterday that describes something cool that Voyager 2 recently found:
There are interactions between the outwardly moving gas from our sun and the ‘stuff’ in interstellar space. The heliosphere is the bubble of gas from our sun. The region where that bubble meets the interstellar gas is called the ‘termination shock’.
In December 2004, Voyager 1 crossed that boundary. Earlier this yea, Voyager 2 crossed it. The difference? Voyager crossed it more than once. Which means as Voyager 2 continued to speed out from the solar system, the termination shock moved in towards our solar system and back away from it more than once. So Voyager 2 got multiple readings of the boundary. It also allowed scientists to make the observation that instead of a perfect;y spherical or ovoid heliosphere, the southern (bottom) portion is more dented than the northern (top) portion that Voyager 1 traveled through.
Pretty cool, huh?
Click on the link and look down the page a bit – there’s an artist’s figure that shows what’s going on.
Oh, this also means that despite traveling for nearly 31 years, neither probe has officially moved into interstellar space. We’ll have to wait a while longer for that monumental event.
I’ve thought about starting a blog for some time. At the risk of adding one more thing to the already too-long list of things I do, I’m going to start my own today.
I’ve got plenty of experience – I’ve read blogs (predominantly political) for years. I’ve commented and written diaries at community sites for years.
But I want my own space. I want to use this as a place to flesh out half-thoughts; to rant and have all the responsibility fall only on my shoulders; to include the non-political things that I take an interest in (trust me, there’s plenty out there!).
So here’s my new space; my own canvas upon which I will throw whatever I please.
Yay for me!