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Things Are Good: Help NASA Find Asteroids

Everyday we face an existential threat to our planet from outer space! Asteroids can hit the planet at any moment and ruin our days. To help us prepare for such an event NASA (and other space agencies) are searching for and tracking asteroids. By knowing where they are we can potentially deflect an asteroid to not hit the Earth. Now you can help in this process using your computer at home.

The computer program was created through NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter challenge, itself a part of the space administration’s larger Asteroid Grand Challenge, and was done in partnership with the Redmond, Washington-based Planetary (Read more…)

350 or bust: NASA video shows a year of CO2 pollution

A ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern […]

The Disaffected Lib: Running on Empty

It’s not gasoline either.  We’re not that lucky.  We’re fast running out of something that eclipses fossil fuel in significance – groundwater.  Underground water has been propping up the Green Revolution for decades.  In our quest for ever more food we’ve been tapping into our aquifers, pumping for all we’re worth.  Now they’re running dry.

The latest “bombshell” report comes courtesy of NASA but, as I read the news summary, I couldn’t help but think of Maude Barlow who, for years, has been writing about this and telling anyone who would listen.  Maybe NASA will get the world’s attention.

A (Read more…)

350 or bust: Climate Change: Look At The Big Picture Or Nothing

For this TED Talk Tuesday on 350orbust, climatologist and climate modeler Gavin Schmidt from NASA’s Goddard Institute For Space Sciences discusses climate modeling. You can’t understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It’s the whole, or it’s nothing. In this illuminating talk, he explains how he studies the big picture of climate […]

Dead Wild Roses: Civilization, Capitalism, Consumption – Why stop the Orgy?

I’m glad I’ll be dead when humanity’s collective shit hits the fan. I used to get all wrapped up in debates about Capitalism and the slow motion Seppuku we’re committing. I was genuinely flummoxed when my arguments were characterized as hopelessly naive and that my positions were unfounded vis-a-vis economic reality (a.k.a the dominant capitalist consumption paradigm).

Bollocks to that noise.

I’m out of fucks to give about important economic arguments and how super-fucking-awesome capitalism is. I will not be around when glitz comes off of our over-consumption and enough of humanity realizes how hard (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Coming Soon, Your Eyes on the World

Astronaut Chris Hadfield reconnected countless millions of people to the wonders of space.   His space station performance of the David Bowie classic “Space Oddity” has racked up more than 17-million hits on YouTube since its release two months ago.

Now two Vancouver brothers have come up with a venture to let you share something of the experience that crews of the space station enjoy.   Their company has a deal to install and operate two cameras that will be attached to the space station and will stream real time video back to us on terra firma.

One (Read more…)

350 or bust: A Fork In the Road

“Transition to a post-fossil fuel world of clean energies will not occur as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy. Fossil fuels are cheap only because they are subsidized and do not pay their costs to society. Air and water pollution from fossil fuel extraction and use have high costs in human health, food [...]

Walking Turcot Yards: Mars Rover Self Portrait

The next step is probably self consciousness.

“NASA has snapped its most amazing self-portrait yet of the Curiosity rover on Mars, showing the robot posing with its ultimate destination: a huge Martian mountain.

The new view of Curiosity on Mars is actually a mosaic of dozens of high-definition color photos taken by the rover between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. The image shows Curiosity surrounded by the tracks of its wheels, with the 3-mile-high (5 kilometers) Mount Sharp rising into the sky in the distance.

NASA featured the latest Curiosity portrait as its image of the day Thursday (Dec. 27)

LeDaro: NASA: World won’t end on December 21, 2012

So take a long breath, exhale and relax and keep shopping for Christmas and look forward to 2013.

DeSmogBlog: Black Day in July for Greenland Ice Sheet

How hot is it this year?

Maybe the breaking of thousands of temperature records across the USA so far this year didn't get your attention.

Perhaps you have yet to be presented with the scary facts in Bill McKibben's latest article about Climate Change's New Math.

Well if you missed those cheery bits of reporting, have a gander at this shocking graph from that shows a mind-blowing change in Greenland's ice sheet "albedo." It has literally fallen off the chart in comparison to previous years.

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DeSmogBlog: Oil Sands Fact Check: New API Front Group


How do you sell a rotten bag of goods? Rule number one of effective propaganda: repackage it into something seemingly less grotesque.

In that spirit, the Houston Chronicle recently reported the American Petroleum Institute (API) has created yet another front group, this one to promote tar sands crude, one of the dirtiest sources of fuel in the world, as a safe and secure energy resource.

It's name? "Oil Sands Fact Check" (OSFC).

read more

Drive-by Planet: Earth: the planet we risk destroying

This NASA video of planet Earth is a slow glide, unlike the time lapse version that is available.

Time and motion feel natural. It’s like being on the craft watching the vistas and the distant horizon unfold before our eyes.

Some of the captures are absolutely stunning. It shows Earth from many angles and perspectives… under cloud cover, beneath open skies, in changing light, in gathering darkness… in all its majestic beauty…

the planetary home we risk destroying.

350 or bust: Summer Solstice And Other Miracles

I’m busy attending an intensive course on citizen advocacy at the Canadian School of Peacebuilding this week, which doesn’t leave much time for blogging. So, have a happy summer solstice, everyone – summer officially begins at in North America at 7:09 P.M. EDT ! Here’s a picture from the NASA archives of the sun during [...]

350 or bust: Science Brings Rare Planetary Event To Our Living Rooms

For those of you who, like me, didn’t have a pair of eyeball-protecting goggles to watch as the planet Venus crossed the face of the sun this past Tuesday, here’s some stunning HD images released by NASA yesterday. The pictures were collected by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which is, according to NASA, “the most [...]

DeSmogBlog: Shrinking Arctic Ice May Cause Mercury Poisoning

Arctic-MultiYear-Ice-1980-150×150 (1).jpg

NASA has shown repeatedly that the Actic icecap is melting, and melting faster than climate models predict. This new visualization is stark and should be of obvious concern, simply because of the impact on sea levels. Now there is a potentially new threat. The process of shrinkage may cause a chemical reaction that could poison the Arctic ecosystem with mercury.

The disappearance of old, thick ice in the Arctic means an increase in bromine released into the atmosphere. The new, thinner ice has more salt and this is where the bromine comes from. As it melts it interacts

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Shrinking Arctic Ice May Cause Mercury Poisoning

350 or bust: For My Grandchildren

From the March 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach California, NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen speaks about why he must speak out climate change. A powerful and moving video – please watch, and share with your family and friends, and on social media. * Do you want to become a climate hero, for your [...] NASA space hackathon (in Vancouver) this weekend

So, many, many things I’d like to blog upon at the moment. I’m in Brasilia at the Open Government Partnership meeting, so obviously lots to talk about there, and, of course, Canada Post has completely lost it and is suing a company over postal code data but it’s been twenty hour days and those post more thought (and rest).

In the mean time, if you are in Vancouver, the very cool people over at Steam Clock Software – and Angelina Fabbro in particular – are organizing the Vancouver edition of the NASA International Space Apps challenge THIS WEEKEND at the

. . . → Read More: NASA space hackathon (in Vancouver) this weekend

DeSmogBlog: 49 Cliff Clavin’s Walk into a Bar and Talk Climate Change


This is a guest post from Dr. John Abraham

You could almost set your watch by it.  It has become a regular absurdity that a bunch of non-scientists try to tell the world that they know something the experts don’t. 

Those of us who watched that iconic television show called Cheers remember Cliff, the mailman.  He considered himself the expert on everything even though it was painfully obvious he knew very little about anything. 

Well we got our latest batch of Cliff Clavin wisdom this past week when 49 former staff members from NASA wrote

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: 49 Cliff Clavin’s Walk into a Bar and Talk Climate Change

DeSmogBlog: Debunking GWPF Briefing Paper No3 – The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

This post is part 3 of a series examining the UK-registered educational charity the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the work it allegedly does explaining global warming to the public.

In part 1 the GWPF and its principles (or lack of them) were examined. In part 2 the many serious and fundamental flaws in GWPF Briefing Paper No2 were laid bare. So it will be good if we can find something positive to say about the GWPF here in part 3.

The GWPF Briefing Paper No3 The Truth About Greenhouse Gases examined here is a longer

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Debunking GWPF Briefing Paper No3 – The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Climate deniers, take note: if you work at it, you might be as smart as this toddler. For more info on this toddler and the unique approach to learning his parents have employed, go to Robeson

350 or bust: NASA Video Debunks Climate Deniers in 26 Seconds

As obvious as tumor on a smoker’s chest x-ray, this 26-second video of the 131 years of temperature data demonstrates the consequences of our addiction to burning fossil fuels. It shows what climate scientists have been warning our governments about for years – climate change is real, it’s happening now, and the window for action [...]

Red Tory v.3.0.3: To the Moon, Alice!

It’s beyond absurd that alleged “small government” Republicans are adamantly opposed to “wasting” taxpayer dollars on doing much of anything that would repair the basic elements of America’s crumbling infrastructure (i.e., boring employment-creating undertakings that would fix roads, bridges, airports, etc. and improve daily life for ordinary folks), but will propose fantastic manned missions to Mars or pledge to establish a pointless colony on the Moon. Seriously?

When President John Kennedy engaged the American nation in the “space race” it was not only an aspirational challenge and morale booster at the high-water mark of the Cold War, but

. . . → Read More: Red Tory v.3.0.3: To the Moon, Alice!

350 or bust: Why I Am Putting All My Eggs In The Citizens Climate Lobby Basket

Citizens Climate Lobby is a well-organized grassroots organization made up of Canadians and Americans who want a sustainable future for their children, and are willing to work on creating the political will for a sustainable climate. In the process, they are empowered to claim their own political power in a way many citizens don’t these [...]

Things Are Good: How do We Define Life?

Most of the news that gets covered here is related to new discoveries and good events happening around the world, but sometimes we need to take a step back from those discoveries and think deeper about what it all means. Recently NASA launched its most ambitious mission to Mars and they hope to find evidence of life.

But what is life?

Philosophers for hundreds of years have tried to answer this question and depending on who you ask we are closer or no closer than we were when humanity first asked such a question. Some people rely on old writings

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: How do We Define Life?