What's Worse, the Environment or the Economy?
As the Obama administration confronts the duel threats of global finance and global warming, America's European allies are addressing the two issues with renewed vigor.
The new American president favors the trading of pollution credits between companies to reduce overall CO2 emissions. The EU has called for a transatlantic carbon trading market to allow American and European companies to buy and sell pollution credits. Critics argue this market-based approach is vulnerable to abuse and that cash-strapped companies will auction off their pollution credits to make short-term profits. Given such a market, Europe stands to profit handsomely from selling credits to the US.
The details of Obama's financial stimulus package have linked the financial crisis to the global warming issue. Al Gore told the American Congress that Obama's stimulus package is a step toward creating a sustainable global economy. So far, $100 billion dollars have been pledged to encourage clean-energy development in the private sector. This falls far short of the $515 billion dollars deemed necessary by the World Economic Forum currently underway in Davos, Switzerland.
These events precede the UN Conference on Climate Change scheduled for December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark which is possibly the last chance for world leaders to agree to reduce CO2 emissions before global warming reaches its predicted point-of-no-return.
Here, flat-world proponent Thomas Friedman questions the big cheeses, including Gore, at the World Economic Forum in Davos about what is needed to combat warming between now and the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen later this year.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.