Using graphene to filter and desalinate saltwater

As the global population increases and water supplies become less predictable due to global warming, finding sources of clean drinking water becomes even more critical. Just ask residents of Cape Town, which expects to run out of water around April 12nd! The obvious solution is to desalinate ocean water, but that’s a very energy-intensive process. Well, researchers in Australia found a way to use a graphene film to act as a filter; its structure allows water molecules to pass through but blocks larger contaminant particles. Most membrane filters get clogged up quickly, but this one keeps working even as it gets coated in contaminants. It’s nowhere near a commercial product yet, but is a promising solution to a growing global concern.

(more at FastCompany)

Kids fighting to protect the climate for their future

Climate change is not something that will impact the old farts in Congress, which perhaps explain their inaction on the issue.  It will, however, greatly affect today’s children.  I’ve been watching an effort to use the American judicial system to force change on this issue, and while its original trial date of February 5th was delayed due to Trump tactics, that case is proceeding.  It’s worth reading more about at ourchildrenstrust.org.  From the website:

Their complaint asserts that, through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

The reason for this blog post though, is to raise awareness of a new initiative, this one targeting the government of Washington state.  Their approach is similar, arguing that the state’s actions,

…severely endangers plaintiffs and their ability to grow to adulthood safely and enjoy the rights, benefits, and privileges of past generations of Washingtonians due to the resulting climate change.

It’s hard to argue with this line of reason.  Well unless you’re a climate change denier of course!   Read more here.

Trump pulls US out of Paris agreement

Sadly, but not surprisingly, President Trump has announced his decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.  It’s not clear exactly when this can happen…if it’ll actually take the years that some people say (he said he’ll stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the agreement, which could take up to four years, but do you really believe what he says?).  He says he wants to ‘renegotiate’ the agreement, something that the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy said was not possible (in a joint statement today).  It doesn’t matter though…it sends a message to the world that the US will no longer be a global leader.  Other countries will rise up to take that place and will prosper from that.

The NYTimes article linked to above is a good source for more information, as is this article at Wired.

2016 was the warmest year on record

2016 officially came in as the hottest year in recorded history for this planet (as previously reported here, it was the second warmest if looking only at the US).  Both NASA and NOAA independently came to this same
conclusion, using data from over six thousand weather stations around the world.

Care to guess what year is #2 in the list?  Yep, 2015.  And you guessed it, #3 is 2014.  Even a Republican can’t deny this trend.  Ok, well that’s not true, they’re expert climate change deniers, they’ll deny anything for personal gain.  And we *can* expect 2017 to be cooler than 2016 due to the waning El Nino.  So it’s up to the rest of us to call them out on their bullshit and not let them fuck up this planet any more.

Here are some external links if you’d like to read more about this:

Climatecrocks.com

Newatlas

Engadget

 

The latest in global warming

Unless you’re ignoring the science, the Earth continues to exhibit signs of global warming.  2016 came in as the second hottest year (behind 2012) on record for the US.  With El Niño expected to fade in 2017, things should cool off a little this year but the upwards trend continues.  As for the ice in the oceans, global sea ice levels have never been as low as they are currently.  Troubling signs overall, and with climate change deniers poised to take control of the US, attempts to avert this impending disaster are not likely to succeed.  🙁

Senators go on the record on Climate Change

Some recent votes have put Senators on the record on their position on climate change.  Despite them not being climate scientists themselves, many of them are choosing to ignore the conclusions that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists have reached.  Specifically, Senators defeated a proposed amendment that stated that “climate change is real (and) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”  To any educated person, that statement is kinda obvious and not a big deal.  However, 49 Senators voted ‘NO’ to that statement.  Children of the world…these 49 people are blocking efforts to combat climate change at the Federal government level in this country.  The science is indisputable…your future is being put at risk by these and others that agree with them.  Know this, and remember this, for in the coming years, chances are there will be some pretty creative spin put on the climate change issue as people worldwide are forced to face the reality…they’ll talk about uncertainties, doubts that people had…but know that the IS no doubt in the climate science community.  The only doubt is that which is created by those who seek to block efforts to reduce CO2 emissions (the ‘why’ is a subject for another day, but a quick tip there, just follow the money).

Read more at NBC or ThinkProgress.

The names of the Senators who voted ‘NO’ are shown below (full results are here).  Note that Harry Reid (D-NV) did not vote on this amendment so his position is unknown.  Note that not a single Democrat voted ‘NO’.   To their credit, five brave Republican Senators broke ranks and voted ‘YES’!  Nice to see…but we need more like them!

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