Consequent to the heavy rain, print editions of The Hindu dated December 2, 2015, in Chennai, Vellore, Puducherry and Tirupati have been cancelled after taking into consideration the safety of those in the distribution network.
Bloomberg on some promising trends in U.S. energy production.
For the first time, widespread adoption of renewables is effectively lowering the capacity factor for fossil fuels. That’s because once a solar or wind project is built, the marginal cost of the electricity it produces is pretty much zero—free electricity—while coal and gas plants require more fuel for every new watt produced. If you’re a power company with a choice, you choose the free stuff every time.
It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. As more renewables are installed, coal and natural gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are used less, the cost of using them to generate electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas power rises, more renewables will be installed.
Tonight I am starting a two day art-making binge at something called Art Hack Day:
Art Hack Day is an internet-based nonprofit dedicated to hackers whose medium is art and artists whose medium is tech … Sixty artists-hackers and hacker-artists inhabit an art space to create an exhibit from scratch during 48h. We start on a Thursday evening with a meet & greet and provide good food, fast Internet, and equipment for collaborating on and creating new work. On Saturday evening we transition from hackspace to exhibition hall and the projects are shown to the public during a flash exhibit (open to the public just one evening).
Each Art Hack Day event has a theme, and this one is called Deluge.
The increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events, including recent years’ tropical storm systems, droughts and heat waves, are largely the result of human-induced climate change. In addition to widespread damage across the Atlantic seaside, Sandy’s flooding in New York’s Zone A confronted many artists and galleries directly with the reality of their environment, bringing undeniable gravity to a crisis that often seems distant. Decades of postponement and self-deceit will have to come to a close. But what comes next?
Come on out to Pioneer Works for the exhibition this Saturday, January 31st, starting at 7pm.
Each year more and more of the Arctic is comprised of “young ice.”
This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages from 1987 through early November 2014. The first age class on the scale (1, darkest blue) means “first-year ice,” which formed in the most recent winter. (In other words, it’s in its first year of growth.) The oldest ice (>9, white) is ice that is more than nine years old.
Ellie wrote about the climate debate within the climate movement:
After the failures (Copenhagen) and painfully slow progress (Cancun, Lima) seen at recent U.N. Climate Summits, we know we can’t trust our political leaders to get us there. The mass movement Naomi Klein speaks of shows its face here and there, but in my milieu, I see much more of the infighting, cynicism and turning away. Of course the movement Klein describes has to come from the grass roots level, not from academia, but we can’t just fight the status quo without a solution in mind. As she acknowledges, we need a destination to aim for, and a set of solutions to put in place once we get there.
I like how straightforward Hawking is about climate change (about 48 minutes in).
Charlie Rose: What worries you most about the future of the universe?
Stephen Hawking: I am not worried about the future of the universe. The universe will continue whatever happens. But the future of the human race, and of life on earth, is much less certain. We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our great insensitivity.
CR: What are we not doing to prevent these disasters that we absolutely should be doing?
SH: Not acting with sufficient urgency about climate change.
CR: Do you think we will survive?
SH: Maybe. (smiles)
I went to a public lecture by Hawking at CalTech a few years ago and was blown away by the experience. The first 10-15 minutes I was keeping up, but then suddenly I realized I wasn’t getting the math. The Q & A period was also well over my head, but I was struck by Hawking’s humor and stage presence.