The fracture lines are countless, but probably the most important one runs through public opinion. A recent poll showed only 36 percent of Americans believing that the evidence of humaninduced climate change is firm, down from 47 percent in early The rise of unemployment has perhaps made people more reluctant to accept adverse news on living standards.
There is also considerable public confusion about climate science and possible remedies.
Vested interests, especially coal and oil, play their predictable role. Half the states produce at least some coal, and around 30 states produce at least a bit of oil. In the dozen or so major coal or oil states, opposition to climate change action is politically powerful and well organized. Oil-producing states in the Gulf of Mexico tend to resist climate action even though the Gulf is probably already experiencing damage from rising hurricane intensity. The environmental community is also divided. Many environmental groups oppose nuclear power and any use of coal, even with carbon capture and sequestration technology.
Conservationists have fought many renewable energy projects, opposing wind power near farms and coastlines, solar thermal plants in the desert and high-voltage transmission lines near residential communities. Another factor is the bargaining approach to climate legislation. Rather than defining a plan toward a low-carbon economy, the White House has left the negotiations to Congress and the lobbyists. The result is sprawling draft legislation, hard for the public to understand and replete with hidden and overt financial transfers to vested interests, especially in the allocation of emissions rights under a complex cap-and-trade system.
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Perhaps the legislation can still narrowly pass, which at this point would be the best option. Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University www. An extended version of this essay is available at www. Here are some components. It could impose a timetable of emissions standards for electric utilities and for vehicles, which together account for around three fourths of carbon emissions.
Second, if cap-and-trade stalls, the administration and Congress should rethink their opposition to the much simpler option of a carbon tax. A predictable carbon tax would be much more effective than the cumbersome and nontransparent cap-andtrade system and might win broader assent as part of a package of deficit reduction. Third, the public needs to hear a plan. The public is scared that even this modest goal would slam jobs and living standards.
The Wall Street Journal leads the campaign against climate science, writing editorials charging that scientists are engaged in a massive conspiracy. I have made repeated invitations to the Journal editors to meet with climate scientists publicly for an open discussion or debate, but all have been rebuffed. The public will learn to appreciate that the scientific community is working urgently, rigorously and ingeniously to better understand the complex climate system, for our shared safety and well-being.
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Me neither. No one has.
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Gupta started us off by recalling that when he was in medical school the residents were taught to mark the time of death to the minute, when death can often take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours to occur, depending on the conditions. In other words, people who have near-death experiences NDEs are not actually dead! It takes two, three, five, 10 minutes to go through a dying process.
He was in a near-death state. There was nothing miraculous to explain. Fuzzy language is pervasive in such discussions, and no one uses it better than Dr. We do not exist in the body. The body exists in us. We do not exist in the world. The world exists in us. So the opposite of life is not death. The opposite of death is birth. And the opposite of birth is death. And life is the continuum of birth and death, which goes on and on.
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And tomorrow you see a fewer number of waves…. What you call a person actually is a pattern of behavior of a universal consciousness. But, you know, we had a different Jeff when you were a teenager. We had a different Jeff when you were a baby. Which one of you is the real Jeff? But things that I heard and validated and subsequently believed convinced me that there were things that I could not explain. There were things that were happening at that moment, that near-death experience moment, that simply could not be explained with existing scientific knowledge.
The fact that we cannot fully explain a mystery with natural means does not mean it requires a supernatural explanation. Such uncertainty is at the very heart of science and is what makes it such a challenging enterprise. Krauss, a theoretical physicist and science commentator, is Foundation Professor and director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University www. His newest book, Quantum Man, will appear in I have tried to reassure those children and not a few adults that this date represents nothing more cosmically special than the year of the next presidential election.
Having said that, however, I just realized there might be a genuine connection between and an end-of-days menace! Global transportation allows me to circumnavigate the globe in less than three days with jet planes. Modern medicine has eradicated the once unstoppable scourge of smallpox, allowed in vitro fertilization and freezing of embryos for women who would otherwise be barren, and developed prenatal surgical techniques for correcting fetal heart defects in the womb.
We are living in an era with one of the greatest extinction rates in recorded history, which began with wholesale slaughter of entire species for food and has progressed as we have dismembered a large part of what was the dominant incubator of life on earth, the rain forests. This fact is not in dispute. Forget the change in temperature over the past decades. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere boosts, by gas-liquid equilibrium, the amount of carbonic acid in the ocean, which in turn lowers the marine pH level.
And measurements of the pH level in the ocean over the past two decades show precisely the slow reduction that is expected from such a rise in carbon dioxide. As that pH level continues to fall on its present trajectory, it will eventually reach a point where calcium carbonate — a dominant component of shelled animals and coral reefs— will dissolve in seawater.
That reality is what we most need to grapple with to address environmental challenges and stimulate the economies of both the developing and the developed worlds. The thought that anyone whose beliefs could so override the evidence of those realities might be a serious contender for the White House scares me more than any Hollywood disaster movie could.
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Find out how to raise your ZQ at www. Having penetrated the haze with infrared images, radar and a descent probe, the mission has discovered a dynamic landscape of rivers, lakes, dunes, mountains and possibly volcanoes. It is a frigid version of Earth, where methane substitutes for water, water substitutes for rock, and weather cycles last centuries.
Studying Titan is already elucidating the geologic processes of our own planet, such as dune formation and climate change. For three weeks, the Huygens probe had coasted, dormant, after detaching from the Cassini spacecraft and being sent on its way to Titan.
Those of us watching anxiously felt a deep personal connection with the probe. Not only had we worked on the mission for a large part of our careers, but we had developed its systems and instrumentation by putting our minds in its place, to think through how it would function on an alien and largely unknown world.