That’s Why Carbon Is A Tramp
Crash Course Biology #1
Let Hank from SciShow (etc.) tell you all about chemistry as the basis for biology in their first Crash Course: Biology episode. Carbon’s a promiscuous little molecule that wants to bond with all kinds of stuff, plus bonds, electron shells and the octet rule … in less than 12 minutes!!
Click here to check out the rest of this revolutionary YouTube biology class, which is better than your biology class, but I’d like to think not better than a biology class I would teach.
S&P Downgrades Planet Earth, Citing Unbalanced Carbon Budget, Reckless Political Debates and Role of “Deniers”
Chris Mooney channels his inner Onion writer:
Washington, D.C.—In a move that came as a shock both in this city and throughout the planet on which it is located, Standard & Poor’s late Monday downgraded Earth from its unique HHH rating—the only one in the galaxy—to HH .
The coveted HHH rating—meaning, “extremely habitable”—has become indefensible, the ratings agency said, due to continuing failures to balance the atmospheric carbon budget and an increasingly toxic political debate that renders better policies unlikely any time soon.
“Atmospheric carbon inputs continue to outweigh carbon outputs (or sinks), leading to a growing and unsustainable carbon ‘surplus,’” wrote S&P. “Unlike fiscal surpluses, this surplus is very dangerous and is already triggering rising temperatures, heat waves, droughts, and extreme weather patterns.”
Under the new HH rating, the Earth is still considered “highly habitable” for humans. However, S&P also changed the planet’s outlook to “negative,” suggesting the possibility of further downgrades.
“Clean coal” in climate context still oxymoron.
Well, it is a lot of money - “they were dropping the larger, $668 million project because they did not believe state regulators would let the company recover its costs by charging customers, thus leaving it no compelling regulatory or business reason to continue the program.”
In climate economics, as in life, people act on incentives. If you don’t provide incentives (by putting a price and a $ charge on their pollution), no company can defend carbon capture to its shareholders. Because without incentives, their innovative environmental stance becomes just another unnecessary budget item for the finance department to cut in order to make a profit.
This is 100 huge steps backwards for greenhouse gas regulation and pollution control. Thanks, Congresscritters.
Coal vs. Banana: A two-minute explanation of the carbon cycle
What do a banana and a piece of coal have in common? Both are made of carbon and both provide us with energy. Coal stores carbon that was in the atmosphere millions of years ago. A banana, on the other hand, stores carbon that was in the atmosphere just a few months ago. As NASA scientist Peter Griffith explains in this video, when we burn coal, we release old carbon back into the atmosphere far faster than things like bananas can store it. As a result, carbon gases build up in the atmosphere and warm the Earth.
The obvious solution to global warming, then: CREATE MORE BANANAS.
No, but seriously. This is an excellent demonstration of a fundamental climate issue, because we all love tropical fruit.