from the world's big
Freeman Dyson: Climate Change Predictions Are “Absurd”
Question: How do you currently rate the likelihood of climate catastrophe?
Freeman Dyson: Well that’s a big subject, of course, and I mean I don’t like the word catastrophe. I don’t think there is any catastrophe there, but certainly the climate is changing and that’s important. It’s always been changing. There has never been a time when the climate stayed put for any length of time, and so I would say all the evidence we have is that we’re having some effect on the climate. It’s not clear whether it’s good or bad. It’s not clear whether it’s going to become a catastrophe or not and as far as I’m concerned it’s very foolish to do anything spectacular to… What we should be doing is dealing with the problems in detail. I mean the first thing is we should build dikes around New Orleans, and I mean there are simple practical things we can do which really would help, like building dikes around cities which are exposed to hurricanes or tsunamis and so these kind of practical measures could be enormously helpful. I mean we’ve seen just in the last few months, we’ve seen two big earthquakes, one in Haiti and one in Chile, and what we’ve seen is that the earthquake in Chile was much larger, but the damage actually was smaller, the reason being that Chileans had taken more trouble to build buildings that would resist earthquakes and so you can… it actually helps enormously to strengthen your buildings. Of course I mean Chile has the advantage of being a richer country to start with, but it’s a dramatic proof of what you can do. You can actually take a natural catastrophe and reduce the damage by a factor of 100 or so just by quite simple measures; just by having good building codes and the same is true of climate. There are all sorts of things we can do in a practical way. It’s not -- we don’t only have to worry about warming. We also have to worry about cooling, and it could very well be the climate gets colder. Nobody knows, and there are many things we should be doing to prepare for that and they’re not all that expensive, but what I think is absurd, what I disagree with very strongly, is the idea that climate is predictable, that we can sort of do things 100 years in advance knowing what is going to happen. That is just not… That is just not the way it is.
Recorded March 5th, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
"We don’t only have to worry about warming," the physicist argues. "It could very well be the climate gets colder. Nobody knows"—and we waste time arguing when we should be preparing.
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.