from the world's big
Freeman Dyson Answers Climate Change Critics
Question: What has been your reaction to the controversy over your opinions on global warming?
Freeman Dyson: It doesn’t disturb me at all. I always believe in talking to my opponents and staying friends. I mean you know it’s with the people I disagree with the most strongly I’m actually quite friendly with and there is no… It doesn’t make… It doesn’t disturb me if they disagree with me.
Question: Is a moderate position on climate change now considered radical?
Freeman Dyson: Well, I don’t know. It changes from week to week. What I’ve noticed is there has been a strong increase in skepticism and just in the last couple of weeks, and I suppose it has something to do with all these snowstorms we’ve been having. I don’t know, but certainly I’ve seen the politicians becoming much more skeptical just recently. That of course I welcome. I think that actually means they’re recognizing the way things are.
Question: If climate change does cause problems, how might we realistically be able to engineer solutions?
Freeman Dyson: Well there are all sorts of ways. There was a couple of farmers in Minnesota I was just reading about who decided to change from feedlots to grass. They are raising beef. These are farmers who are just raising cows for beef and a certain amount of milk as well, and they decided to switch from feedlots, which is of course the fashionable way of raising cows. You keep them on a very crowded feedlot and feed them on corn, so you’re growing corn to feed to the animals. Instead of that you put them out to grass, but you manage the grass in a clever way with moving fences around, so they actually eat the grass much more evenly. It turns out this pays and it’s, they’re doing extremely well just going back from feedlots to grass and it has a big effect on the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in proportion to the area that they’re using, so it means that if the whole of the Middle West would do this it would make a very substantial difference to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and so that kind of… that’s the sort of practical thing you can do, just sort of managing the land more intelligently, and it’s rather like building dikes around New Orleans. I mean it’s not all that spectacular, but it actually works. So changing from feedlots to grass I think it’s sort of… It’s not… It doesn’t solve the whole problem, but it solves a certain chunk of the problem and there are other things you can do. Doing less ploughing makes a huge difference. Ploughing is one of the main causes of carbon going into the atmosphere because you expose the soil to the atmosphere. It means the carbon gets oxidized and becomes carbon dioxide and floats off into the atmosphere, so if you can farm without ploughing it actually helps, and it doesn’t matter how much coal and oil you’re burning. It still helps.
Recorded March 5th, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
When the physicist expressed reservations about climate change, he stirred heated controversy. "It doesn’t disturb me at all," he says.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.