Category Archives: Science in the New Millenium

Can GeoEngineering Beat Global Warming?

If the Paris accords fail, GeoEngineering may offer our last best hope for beating global warming… but there is much we do not yet know. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at a 2 million year high, with most of the rise since 1900. In response, global temperatures are rising rapidly. If nothing is done to… Read More »

Does Life Exist on Other Worlds?

SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) has a new lease on life – and a Goldilocks planet to listen at. Eighteen years ago this month, the film CONTACT was released, exploring the possibility of contact with life on other stars. The central idea of the film was to listen: Radio signals can travel through space,… Read More »

Was Malthus mistaken?

Next Tuesday, for the first time in history, the world will have six billion inhabitants. It is with a certain sense of shock that I realize the world’s population has doubled since I graduated from high school in 1960. The world seemed to me already full of people then, the cities crowded, spreading suburbs and… Read More »

Restaurant forensics

This last week we learned of two Manhattan high school students who, in a science project, gave us a glimpse of the future.  They asked a simple question: “When you buy fish, do you get the kind of fish you think you are buying/”  Anyone who has bought fish at the market or ordered fish… Read More »

President Obama and the Polar Bears

The Obama administration faced up to an unusual and unusually interesting legal issue these last weeks.  At the heart of it were polar bears.  You know, the big white ones that live in the artic and can be seen cavorting at the Saint Louis Zoo.  Who doesn’t love polar bears? A photo of a cute… Read More »

Crime Scene Investigation

Television replaced radio as America’s primary means of home entertainment in the 1950s, and in the half-century since many critics have complained that its great potential as an educational venue has never been fully realized. However, programs marketed as entertainment are sometimes suprisingly educational, none more than the CSI programs shown on the CBS network… Read More »

E85 and Global Warming

Every mile you drive your car releases about a pound of CO2 into the air. How many miles do you drive in a year? Now think about the natural gas that heats your home, the electricity that lights it ( mostly generated by the burning of fossil fuels). Your life is pumping an enormous amount… Read More »