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NickB79's Journal
NickB79's Journal
July 4, 2024

My college intern didn't realize that the Handmaid's Tale on Hulu was based on a 40 yr old book

A coworker and I were sarcastically "joking" after the USSC immunity ruling about if we're ready to welcome God Emperor Trump into our lives this November. I know his politics align with mine closely, so I was comfortable talking to him, but decided to test the waters with our intern because politics is a tricky subject, especially at work.

I jokingly said "Yeah, I hear the young people these days really love the Handmaid's Tale, and if they don't vote accordingly they'll get to experience it in real life, hahaha", loud enough that she heard me. She immediately perked up and started talking about how she loved the series, and how scary it is compared to current events right now. I commented how it's even scarier when you contemplate the source material.

She had no clue that it was originally a book written 40 years ago, and that Margaret Atwood's predictions were so eerily prescient.

I reminded her that it's up to her and her college friends to vote this November if they want to keep it a work of fiction. I think this had an impact, and I pray she spreads the word more.

June 25, 2024

CO₂ puts heavier stamp on temperature than previously thought, analysis suggests


A doubling of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere could cause an increase in the average temperature on Earth from 7 to a maximum of 14 degrees. This is shown in the analysis of sediments from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, by researchers at NIOZ and the Universities of Utrecht and Bristol. Their results were published in Nature Communications

"The temperature rise we found is much larger than the 2.3 to 4.5 degrees that the UN climate panel, IPCC, has been estimating so far," said the first author, Caitlyn Witkowski.

The researchers used a 45-year-old drill core extracted from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. "I realized that this core is very attractive for researchers, because the ocean floor at that spot has had oxygen-free conditions for many millions of years," said Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damsté, senior scientist at NIOZ and professor of organic geochemistry at Utrecht University.

7-14C is absolutely gobsmackingly insane compared to the previous estimate of 3-4C. And we'll hit the doubling point around 2060 at currently rates of carbon emissions (3-4ppm/year now)

Either there's a serious error with their methodology, or we're fucked with a capital F
May 27, 2024

A Debate Rages Over the Putative Environmental Benefits of the ARCH2 'Hydrogen Hub' in Appalachia


The project, which would produce, distribute and consume hydrogen in West Virginia, Ohio and western Pennsylvania, plans to make so-called blue hydrogen from natural gas by combining it with steam at a high temperature and pressure, a commonly used process called “reforming” that creates most of the world’s industrial hydrogen.

Instead of being released into the atmosphere, where it would warm the climate, the carbon dioxide produced by burning the natural gas would be pumped underground and permanently stored using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), a process that critics say is unproven and expensive.


ARCH2 is one of seven proposed hydrogen hubs which the Biden administration has funded with up to $7 billion as part of its effort to decarbonize sectors such as long-haul trucking and chemical manufacturing, helping to hit the national clean-energy goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Appalachian hub’s share of the public funding is up to $925 million.

CCS has been shown repeatedly to be bullshit, primary used to repressurize old oil wells and boost production. And now it's being funded by money supposedly set aside to decarbonize the energy sector, and keep us fracking for natural gas for decades to come.
May 24, 2024

Three years of high temperatures will mean we have breached 1.5C


Three individual years of high global average temperatures will be enough for scientists to conclude the 1.5°C climate goal is lost, a new analysis reveals.

In the 2015 Paris Agreement, almost every nation in the world signed up to an international treaty promising to limit any rise in global average temperatures to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for just 1.5°C of warming.
May 22, 2024

One of my neighbors was going door to door giving away marijuana plants

So I'm standing in my yard, chatting with a friend who stopped by because I had some native perennials for her. Up pulls my neighbor from a couple miles down the road in this little Japanese Kei-truck that's not even street legal, but we live in the boonies so whatever.

He asks me how my solar install went, and gives me the number of a friend who does tree removal because one corner of my roof gets afternoon shade. Then he asks if I want a few more plants, since my yard is the one that looks like a jungle. I look in the bed of his truck, and it's filled with little potted plants. I don't recognize them at first, then it hits me. I tell him thanks but it's not my thing. He tells me he was just at my neighbor/coworker's place and he took a few. Then I see a big potted marijuana bush sitting in his passenger seat, seatbelted in for safety 🤣

So he says bye and off he goes, in his little truck, happily taking his pet weed plant for an afternoon drive.

Today my coworker was asking me where in his yard he should plant his pot plants.

Is this the crime-infested hellhole Trump warned us Minnesota would become when he was here last week? 🤣🤣🤣

May 12, 2024

Russia finds vast oil and gas reserves in British Antarctic territory


Russia has found vast oil and gas reserves in the Antarctic, much of it in areas claimed by the UK.

The surveys are a prelude to bringing in drilling rigs to exploit the pristine region for fossil fuels, MPs have warned.

Reserves totalling 511bn barrels of oil – about 10 times the North Sea’s entire 50-year output – have been reported to Moscow by Russian research ships, according to evidence given to the Commons Environment Audit Committee (EAC) last week

May 12, 2024

'Only hope we've got': the audacious plan to genetically engineer Australia's endangered northern quoll


Like most Australian native species, the carnivorous northern quoll has evolved in a landscape absent of the bufotoxin. That is, until the cane toad was introduced in 1935 in a futile attempt by Queensland’s sugar cane industry to control bugs eating their crops.

Since then, the toads have spread across the northern parts of Australia. Prof John Woinarski, a leading conservation biologist at Charles Darwin University, says cane toads have – alongside feral cats and habitat clearing – been a major factor in pushing the northern quoll to endangered status.

“Quolls are very effective predators,” he says. “They’re the largest marsupial predator across much of the north of Australia.

“But when they try and kill a cane toad, they grab them by the back of the head just where the toxin glands are mostly concentrated. They die remarkably quickly and it’s an agonising death.”

Do it.
May 4, 2024

While U.S. Debates Free Speech, Pro-Hamas Rhetoric in France Is a Crime


PARIS—Protests roiling U.S. universities have ignited a fierce debate over where to set the limit between acceptable criticism of Israel and speech that encourages antisemitism and violence.

In France, government authorities are stepping in to draw the line. Courts have ruled that public speech condoning the Oct. 7 attack or legitimizing Hamas as a resistance movement amounts to condoning terrorism—a crime under French law, punishable by up to seven years in prison. French prosecutors are investigating politicians on the far-left, union officials and hundreds of other people for allegedly condoning terrorism and inciting antisemitism since October.
April 28, 2024

They turned cattle ranches into tropical forest -- then climate change hit


The dry season is about two months longer than it was when Janzen arrived in the 1960s. Climate change is making seasons more unpredictable and weather more erratic across the planet. And that’s posing new risks to the sanctuary scientists like Janzen and Hallwachs have created at ACG.

María Marta Chavarría, ACG’s field investigation program coordinator, describes the unpredictability as “el alegrón de burro.” Strictly translated from Spanish, it means “donkey happiness.” Colloquially, it describes a fake-out: short-lived joy from a false start.

Chavarría, who speaks with the upbeat tilt of an educator excited to teach, explains it like this, “A big rain is the trigger. It’s time! The rainy season is going to start!” Trees unfurl new leaves. Moths and other insects that eat those leaves emerge. But now, the rains don’t always last. The leaves die and fall. That has ripple effects across the food chain, from the insects that eat the leaves to birds that eat the insects. They perish or move on. And next season, there are fewer pollinators for the plants. “The big trigger in the beginning was false,” Chavarría explains. “They started, but no more.”

No insects, and the rain forest ecosystem shatters. The pictures of their light traps in 1984 vs 2007 are stark and disturbing.
April 27, 2024

"Alpha Male" Andrew Tate Mocked Mercilessly After Claiming Sleeping With Women Is "Gay"


Andrew Tate, notable for making controversial statements, exceeded his reputation’s expectations after claiming that being intimate with women defined a man’s queer sexual identity.

Taking to his X page (formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday (April 24), Andrew wrote: “Sex is for making children.

“Any man who has sex with women because it ‘feels good’ is gay.

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