‘NASA Scientist Hansen Arrested at Tar Sands Protest - A Grim Sign of the Times’
From Rolling Stone:
This photo of the world’s best known and most outspoken climate scientist, James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, handcuffed and hauled off to jail yesterday may not achieve the iconic stature of the Blue Marble photo, but as a symbol of our times, it’s pretty potent.
Hansen’s arrest was no surprise – in fact, it was deliberate. Hansen was taking part in a civil disobedience action at the White House organized to halt the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring dirty oil from the Canadian tar sands down to US refineries in the Gulf. Hansen is just one of more than nearly 1000 protesters who have been arrested since the action began on August 20 (it continues through September 3 – you can learn more about it at tarsandsaction.org).
Check out the rest of the article here.
Also, for those interested, Hansen has posted a collection of remarks, notes and powerpoints explaining how greenhouse gas emissions associated with the pipeline and the development of unconventional fossil fuels risk breaching tipping points in the global climate system. The collection also includes Hansen’s “conservative climate plan” to avoid such a scenario.
And a picture of pizza has 10,000 notes.
Aidan Dwyer took a hike through the trees last winter and took notice of patterns in the mangle of branches. His studies into how they branch in very specific ways lead him to a central guiding formula, the Fibonacci sequence. Take a number, add it to the number before it in a sequence like 1+1=2 then 2+1=3 then 3+2=5, 8, 13, 21 and so on a very specific pattern emerges. Turns out the pattern and its corresponding ratios are reflected in nature all the time, and Aidan’s keen observation of how trees branch according to the formula lead him to test the theory. First he measured tree branches by how often they branch and at what degree from each other.
To see why they branch this way he built a small solar array using the Fibonacci formula, stepping cells at specific intervals and heights. He then compared the energy output with identical cells set in a row. Aidan reports the results: “The Fibonacci tree design performed better than the flat-panel model. The tree design made 20% more electricity and collected 2 1/2 more hours of sunlight during the day. But the most interesting results were in December, when the Sun was at its lowest point in the sky. The tree design made 50% more electricity, and the collection time of sunlight was up to 50% longer!”
His work is certainly piquing the interest of the solar industry, and even more impressively he is demonstrating the power of biomimicry — a concept that many see as the pinnacle of good design, but one that thus far has been exceptionally difficult to achieve. Way to go!