Happy holidays

December 13th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

I’m off to England for a few weeks. Enjoy the holidays, everyone.

I’ll be absurdly pedantic for you

December 12th, 2002 § Six comments § permalink

Part of the Friends theme song goes as follows:

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year

Shouldn’t the second line be “When it hasn’t been your year, your month, your week, or even your day”? The word “even” implies that the last item in the list entails the smallest amount of happiness.

I cannot believe I am actually posting this on my Web site.

Studying the climate

December 2nd, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Another article from the New York Times describing the Bush administration’s plan to study global warming for another 10 years before doing anything about it, then explaining the likely consequences of this plan:

Under what is considered a best-case model, global annual emissions of carbon dioxide will have to start declining by 2020 to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million. Even at that level, there would probably be substantial losses…including a global die-off of coral reefs.

Societies have probably already missed that turning point, scientists say, and the longer societies wait to act, the higher the eventual greenhouse plateau and the greater the consequences.

If emissions do not start declining until 2033, carbon dioxide concentrations will plateau at 550 parts per million—more than double preindustrial concentrations. That level raises the likelihood of more calamitous consequences, including intensified storm and drought cycles, wider extinction of species and perhaps the eventual freeing of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which could raise sea levels a century or two from now 15 feet or more, inundating coasts where most human settlements are concentrated.


November 29th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

I think I overdosed on pie.

Reading on a hell of a feeling

November 25th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Prangstgrüp is a bunch of wacky kids at Columbia University who perpetrate goofy stunts on an unsuspecting public. Like, for example, performing a musical in a library. This is probably one of the ten funniest things I have ever seen.

Thin ice

November 18th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Because of global warming, Montana’s Glacier National Park may run out of glaciers within the next 30 years. Visitors to the park are beginning to understand why they should be concerned about climate change; the park’s superintendent says that people “wanted to know what I was going to do about stopping the glaciers.”

More federally-mandated morality

November 17th, 2002 § Three comments § permalink

In yet another fine example of “compassionate conservatism,” the Bush administration has begun to appoint critics of condoms to an AIDS advisory panel. It’s all part of the Bush administration’s efforts to promote abstinence instead of responsible, effective sex education programs.

The ethics of meat

November 11th, 2002 § Three comments § permalink

Michael Pollan has yet another terrific piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine about the ethics of eating meat. After examining the philosophical underpinnings of vegetarianism, Pollan concludes that the act of eating meat is fine; it’s the way we raise meat in the United States that’s troublesome. Worth a read no matter what your eating habits might be.

Incidentally, Pollan is lecturing at UC Berkeley tomorrow (Tuesday) night. I wish I could go.

Hot lobster

November 9th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Scientists have discovered an apparent correlation between increased temperatures in Long Island Sound and the declining health of the area’s lobster population. Put simply, lobsters in the Sound are dying and could disappear entirely.

Christ on a clutch

November 8th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

A coalition of evangelical Christians is trying to convince thousands of churchgoing Americans that Jesus wants them to get better mileage. The campaign presents transportation choices as an ethical issue, encouraging Christians to consider the environmental consequences of their SUVs.

Meanwhile, under President Bush–whose favorite philosopher, as you may recall, is Jesus–the Environmental Protection Agency is forcing fewer polluters to pay fines, and collecting less money in fines overall.

Where am I?

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