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    Daily Digest 9/24 – Climate Study ‘Pulls Punches’ To Keep Polluters, How The Sahara Could Power The World

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, September 24, 2018, 2:31 PM


Remembrance For Walter Mischel, Psychologist Who Devised The Marshmallow Test (tmn)

There was just one problem with that conclusion, as Mischel himself explained to Alix Spiegel, in an episode of the podcast Invisibilia called “The Personality Myth.” He told her: “That iconic story is upside-down wrong — that your future is in a marshmallow — because it isn’t.”

So why does this myth seem to persist?

These are the horrifying things a nuclear war would do to the planet (Thomas R.)

While one could argue that those effects would vary across the globe and that all parts wouldn’t be equally affected, we haven’t discussed radioactive particles contaminating existing food and water supplies. There’s also the destruction of the ozone layer that needs to be taken into account. The firestorm smoke would heat up the stratosphere by 50-100 degrees Celsius or more, and the resulting temperature-fueled chemical reactions would deplete the ozone layer to values now found at the perpetual hole in the ozone layer in Antarctica.

There have been 263 days in 2018 — and 262 mass shootings in America (tmn)

Regardless of whether Gun Violence Archive’s count fits everyone’s definition of a mass shooting, the point is the same: The US regularly — almost daily — has shootings in which multiple people are wounded or killed.

Medical Malpractice Deaths over 500 Times Higher than Accidental Gun Deaths (thc0655)

The number of overall gun deaths in 2015—accidental, homicides, and suicides—was approximately 36,000, two-thirds of which were suicides. So 250,000 malpractice deaths is nearly seven times higher than gun deaths, even when counting intentional gun deaths.

How The Sahara Could Power The Entire World (Michael S.)

But for sheer scale it is typically nuclear construction that provides the biggest numbers. In this regard consider the proposed $20-$30 billion ITER nuclear fusion project. The point? We already spend huge sums to experiment with and develop increasingly carbon free power sources. From a technological perspective the Sahara wind/solar project is practically “old school”. It relies exclusively on so called off the shelf, existing technologies.

France reverses car tyre sea sanctuary — an environmental flop (Stabu)

Sedentary creatures such as the local scorpion fish didn’t use them, Genovese said, while “grouper fish, conger eels and sea bream swim around them, but no species really got used to it”.

Worse, a study in 2005 by researchers at the University of Nice showed that the tyres were leaking toxic chemicals into the environment, including heavy metals, which are a threat to human life.

10 Unexpected Things The World Is Running Out Of (Thomas R.)

Kiss your party balloons goodbye; helium is on its way out. This is a very unfortunate thing because it is used so for much more than the stuff of fifth grade memories. This nonrenewable resource is also used to cool down superconducting magnets in MRI machines as well as for leak detection in testing containers subjected to high pressure. Many scientists use it to achieve the lowest temperatures of any cryogen to enable them in order to view quantum mechanical phenomena cleanly.

First North Carolina Got a Hurricane. Then a Pig Poop Flood. Now It’s A Coal Ash Crisis. (Don R.)

After the carbon in coal gets oxidized, what’s left is a list of metals that you hope are not present in jewelry: lead, mercury, selenium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and a bunch of other bad actors. For decades people suspected that the gunk in the pools might leach into groundwater, or that a storm could breach the walls of a pool and the ash slurry would get into a river or lake. There were indications that they might cause problems—the fish and amphibians in the lakes and streams near coal ash ponds had reproductive problems, organ damage, higher metabolic rates indicating some kind of physiological stress. Metals accrued in the animals that ate them. In one particularly disturbing outcome, researchers found tadpoles with scoliosis and mouth deformations—they were missing not just teeth but whole rows of teeth.

Ottawa crawls out from under the debris of tornadoes that destroyed homes, left tens of thousands without power (Paul D.)

Tens of thousands of people are without power as hydro and construction crews continue to tackle the worst of the devastation in Ottawa in the aftermath of two powerful tornadoes that destroyed hundreds of homes.

Climate study ‘pulls punches’ to keep polluters on board (Paul D.)

They say scientists working on the final draft of the summary are censoring their own warnings and “pulling their punches” to make policy recommendations seem more palatable to countries – such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Australia – that are reluctant to cut fossil-fuel emissions, a key cause of global warming. “Downplaying the worst impacts of climate change has led the scientific authors to omit crucial information from the summary for policymakers,” said one reviewer, Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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