In The Wall Street Journal today, Nick Timiraos reports that city councils across the country are squabbling over the pluses and minuses of letting homeowners keep chickens in their backyards: Enthusiasts say chickens make great pets, especially for young children, and that their eggs taste much better than the store-bought kind. Ms. Palermo also uses chicken waste as fertilizer for her vegetable garden and composter and feeds grass clippings, carrot tops, and other green waste to her birds.
Over at Grist, Dave Roberts conducted an in-depth interview with Sarah Forbes of the World Resources Institute, who directs their research efforts into carbon-capture and storage for coal plants. If anyone's finding themselves in dire need of a primer on CCS, read the interview. But let's give a blockquote to this exchange on China: [Roberts]: China has hundreds of old-fashioned pulverized coal plants. The argument is that they’re not going to stop burning coal because it’s cheap. But attaching a CCS facility onto a pulverized coal plant is one of the most expensive options.
In “Will Shakespeare’s Come and Gone,” John McWhorter recommends that Shakespeare be rewritten for the sake of clarity.
As inspiring as it is to see 37-year-old Lance Armstrong un-retired, healthy, and near the front of the pack at this year’s Tour de France, it’s hard not to be distracted by what he’s wearing. In place of the relatively wholesome U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel jerseys he wore during his previous wins, Armstrong is currently racing in the blue-and-yellow of the Astana Cycling Team. Which means that one of America’s last golden boys is a walking (or riding) advertisement for the Kazakh government.
As the economic data continues to send mixed signals about the pace and timing of an economic recovery, we’ve been treated to a chorus of warnings about the next danger: inflation. An early July client survey done by Credit Suisse showed that investors were “almost unanimously concerned” with inflation. Writing in The Wall Street Journal last month, Arthur Laffer announced that the very policies that stemmed the recession--low interest rates, massive government spending--will provoke an inflationary scenario reminiscent of the 1970s, or worse.
The world's not exactly lacking for ideas on how to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles. We can ratchet up fuel-economy standards. Invest in public transit. Switch over to diesel. Invent some sort of non-crop biofuel. Cross our fingers and hope we get the three or four technological breakthroughs needed to make hydrogen-powered cars a commercial reality. (Okay, that last one's a long shot.) Realistically, greening the transportation sector will probably require a slew of different approaches.
WASHINGTON--This week's hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court represent the opening skirmish in a long-term struggle to challenge the escalating activism of an increasingly conservative judiciary. The Senate's Republican minority does not expect to derail Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic and only the third woman to serve on the court, and they realize that their attack lines against her have failed to ignite public attention, or even much interest. Her restrained record as a lower court judge has made it impossible to cast her credibly as a liberal judic
Japanese elections don't tend to attract much interest here in the United States, even compared with, say, French or British elections. Maybe that's because the races haven't been terribly competitive: The Liberal Democratic Party has ruled almost continuously for the past 50 years. But it looks like that's about to change, as Prime Minister Taro Aso just called for an election on August 30, and the increasingly unpopular LDP will quite likely get the boot. So why's this being mentioned on an environmental blog? Because there's a hidden climate angle here.
Because TNR blogs are now obsessed with link round-ups: * El Nino's back. But will it bring record-shattering heat waves? * Four big ways a Senate climate bill could differ from the House version. * China's 1960s-era nuclear tests: not as sanitary as you might think. * Some OPEC members are cheating on their quotas and pumping out more crude, which may explain the recent oil-price drop. (Well, that and people are realizing maybe a global recovery's not just around the block, after all.) * Third World cities like Bogot
This week's New Scientist has an in-depth cover story by Anil Ananthaswamy on the science of sea-level rises. Famously, back in 2007, the IPCC forecast a sea-level rise of between 19 and 59 centimeters by 2100 as a result of global warming. That doesn't sound so terrible... except that the IPCC explicitly refrained from factoring in all sorts of important phenomenon, such as "future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow." There just wasn't enough information at the time to include that stuff. In reality, sea-level rises are almost certain to be much higher.