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  • Birthday 02/09/55

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    Colorado State University
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    Saving humanity/civilization, Gaia theory, biochemistry and biophysics, earth sciences, cosmology, history, economics, ecology, sociology, psycholgy, feminism, anthropology, philosophy, citizenship, agriculture, soil sciences, microbiology, evolution, religion, genetics, epigenetics, humus, biochar, graphene, Artificial Intelligence, networking, Type I civilization, C.P. Snow, E.O. Wilson, Klaus Kinder-Geiger, Stephen J. Pyne, Steven Stoll, Charles C. Mann, biogeochemistry, and climate science. Sustainability issues.
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    BSc in Chem/Biochem from CSU via UNLV & George Mason Univ.
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    Biochemistry, Carbon-cycle ecology, and all.
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    Univ. Research Library, Preservation.
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    connecting good science with good citizenship
  1. Ingesting electrons (and holes) occurs with all foods, doesn’t it? Think about salt. Supplementing the diet with medicinal charcoal should provide some graphene, since the char is essentially like "inertinite" macerals, and thus contains graphene. Fig. 7. Structure of biochar with different functional groups present on its surface (Adapted and redrawn from Brennan et al., 2001; Lehmann and Joseph, 2009). ~
  2. The Pope might suggest that AGW is intrinsically linked to the level of consumption by that population, rather than the actual level of human population. It is the footprint of the population, for good or bad, that makes the difference. As the Pope said in his encyclical, Laudato Si: “The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world.” –161 “The impact of present imbalances is also seen in the premature death of many of the poor, in conflicts sparked by the shortage of resources, and in any number of other problems which are insufficiently represented on global agendas.” –48 The Pope also mentions how certain populations “…need to acknowledge the scandalous level of consumption in some privileged sectors of their population….” –172 “In the end, a world of exacerbated consumption is at the same time a world which mistreats life in all its forms.” --230 "What is needed is a politics which is far-sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of the crisis." –197 Ultimately, I think you’ll agree that…. ”There can be no ecology without an adequate anthropology.” –118 “The poor and the earth are crying out.” –246 ~
  3. Greenhouse gases can be considered a type of pollution, but the toxic effects of pollutants directly on organisms and local or regional ecosystems is usually a separate topic from the global effects of climate change caused by human activity. Some pollutants, such as soot or sulfates, can also contribute to climate change. Some greenhouse gases can have toxic effects on organisms or ecosystems, so the definitions can be problematic. Is there a specific homework problem you are working on, or are you asking about these questions in general? ~
  4. Here is a good introduction. Just click on "Schedule" for a list of links to each lecture. The first five chapters seem to cover the questions you are asking about. Plus, the "Toy Models" link is fun to play with too. ~
  5. Here's a review for the video from your post: Some people can't (or don't want to) view videos, so a short summary and/or some quotes would be nice, and iirc, technically it is required by forum rules. Since the review doesn't have the solution that you mentioned, could you provide a quote or summary that explains this part about "how to solve global warming?" In addition to what you've mentioned above, some scientists have also figured out ways to convert CO2 into graphene, for building materials, or even converting CO2 into fuels. Plus there is the old traditional method of turning CO2 into charcoal (via pyrolysis of biomass), which has many co-benefits including the great improvements to sustainable agricultural practices. Workable answers are available, but (socio-politically) workable implementations are not yet widely enough available. ~
  6. There seem to be many mechanisms that drive evolution, or at least the rapid development of specific adaptations, beyond the regular rate of “new trait” development that comes simply from random mutations. Mechanisms for human genomic rearrangements: [2008] Mechanisms of change in gene copy number: [2009] I recall reading about a mechanism that duplicates certain genes and then transposes the copies to a new location where they then undergo extra mutation, while the originals maintain normal function, as in the 2009 link above. This was, iirc about 6-8 years ago, thought to be unique to humans and one other primate, and the genes affected were located in an area associated with development of the digestive tract during embryogenesis. This seemed especially interesting at the time, after also having heard that some of the same genes used during embryogenesis of the digestive system were also used later during gestation in the embryogenesis of brain systems. So istm, pressures to change diet could affect brain development in more than just a nutritional manner. === Googling the terms, indel human unique mechanism of action, brought up the 2008 link above, plus other interesting links. Following a suggested term from that search, “fork stalling and template switching,” brought up the 2009 link above, plus other.... Searching other terms from within these two links, such as recombination hotspot, should be even more interesting. ~
  7. See? You're still treating the emergence of complexity as a totally random event, instead of seeing how complexity emerges fairly easily out of any system composed of simple, diverse, robust, chaotic parts. Do you see the big difference? ~
  8. Sure, it is not simple to create a protein, or any complexity, but the beautiful complexities and stability are built up from simple parts following simple rules. And there is not much diversity among those simple parts and rules, but just enough to make things interesting and unpredictable. Being "robust" is just a measure of how strongly the simple parts will resist change and how strongly the simple rules will stay the same. Being "chaotic" refers to the freedom for parts to mix and match in different ways and times, but also within certain relatively strong yet simple limits. And out of that simple chaos, stable complexity is born, the beauty of proteins and planets and people is born, and a diversity much much more vast than the puny diversity of the original parts is also born. ...or words to that effect ~
  9. That can't be right, unless you are just talking about random processes, instead of unidirectional, natural processes. Actually the laws are not too many, and they are all fairly simple, acting directly and immediately. There are many examples showing that stable complexity will emerge whole, out from any limited but energized collection of simple, diverse, robust, and chaotic “building blocks.”
  10. ...just to set the record straight: Runaway greenhouse heating is NOT in the headlines, or bylines, of climate science. The idea that warming would “continue unabated” is not what any climate scientists are worried about. It is only the rise of a few degrees (or a few more) that would be significantly catastrophic enough for scientists —as well as informed policy makers—to be significantly concerned about. === There is ONE major exception to this statement about how: “There is NO point …for at least 400,000 years that the Earth's climate is anything faintly ‘normal’ or unmoving.” There is no point.... Except for the past 10,000 years, where we have only varied (around a fairly level average of 15C) by about +/- one degree. For ten thousand years now, our climate has not varied globally more than a few degrees, fairly slowly over hundreds or thousands of years; from the mid-Holocene climate optimum or Roman warm period or the Medieval Warm Period to the various intervening “dark ages” or cooling periods such as the Little Ice Age. Over more than 500 years, between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, the average temperature change was only about one degree C. And now we’re facing several degrees or more, over just decades, which also includes unprecedented* ocean acidification, all of which will persist or get worse for centuries to follow! That is why there are some “panic stricken headlines” around to see. *unprecedented…since before we first walked upright. === Now.... We're headed off into warmer territory, above our long "level average," into temperatures seen only briefly during the last Eemian interglacial ...or more likely temperatures higher than those. ...or for a longer view: ...fairly level, relatively, but now ...we will be heading up steeply to levels not seen for millions of years! To quote the National Academies Press: "At current carbon emission rates, Earth will experience atmospheric CO2 levels within this century that have not occurred since the warm “greenhouse” climates of more than 34 million years ago." ...which would look sort of like: ...relative to previous interglacials. This would be back to a climate that hosted a vastly different flora and fauna; back to a climate that existed before agriculture or honeybees or even primates had evolved ...or could evolve to survive. ~
  11. This comment shows how mistaken your perspective on climate science is, because the theory (about how rising CO2 levels will cause climate warming) isn’t based on “the changes we observe.” The theory is based on well-established physics. The changes we observe are simply confirming the theory. ~
  12. ...hopefully, by the time we need to think about excess biochar, our carbon emissions will be much lower and the critical balances restored, so the program could be scaled back to some "maintenance" level. But.... This is the sort of "geoengineering" we need to be doing! It can help undo several of the hazardous geo-changes that civilization has already engineered, increasingly, over the past several millennia*, centuries, and decades. Restoring our croplands and rangelands, as well as restoring the CO2 balance, is key to sustainably feeding billions of people as this century unfolds. It is like biomimicry, or maybe that should be called "ecomimicry," in that this sounds like geoengineering that helps restore the base of the food chain. ~ *per Ruddiman hypothesis
  13. ...not sure how it is done, but consider that creating a one carat diamond by placing "carbon atoms next to each other" with optical tweezers would require the placement of 1022 atoms into the proper configuration. And placing one atom per second would take a little over 300 trillion years! ~
  14. I’d like to see what you think a good example would be, from science, of a circumstance where “consensus” did “quickly change.” Years ago I enjoyed this book, Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics no.16; Paleoclimatology; Crowley & North; 1991, about Earth’s climate systems and how they developed, which explains “who (Or rather what) caused it.” And with that understanding, it should be obvious why the current situation, where CO2 levels now exceed anything seen since before our species evolved, is a critical concern. Do you have a particular question, or concern of your own, about the level of that understanding and overall concern?
  15. Yes, and "biochemistry" is even more complex, because you need the "epigenetic, transcriptome and proteome analysis" for each individual's own microbiome also ...along with the understanding of how it all interacts and works. But its not too complex, if you have more complete knowledge, the right analytical tools, and enough computing power. And along the way, we can fix many smaller problems too. ~ p.s. Scientific American had an interesting overview last year.