13 July 2012

Anything but water (Friday the 13th edition)

4. British pound exchange rates. Note the 27% spread.
Don't get ripped off, take money from an ATM.
  1. Dan Ariely describes how transparency can lead to more corruption and "green" consumption can increase overall consumption. The solution is NOT to hide facts and dump oil on flowers, btw.

  2. "The latest issue of PloS Medicine focuses on ‘big food’ – 7 articles that examine the activities and influence of the food and beverage industry on health." Is sugar worse than tobacco, in damaging our health, environment and economies? Any other contenders?

  3. New discoveries of "cheap" fossil fuels mean that we're going to burn them and defer moves into more expensive, alternative energies. The climate is already screwed, and this will make it worse. Is current weather a sign of disasters to come or are they already here? [watch the video!] These questions remind me of Bambi (climate deniers) vs. Godzilla (climate impacts). Guess whose happy bubble is about to be smashed?* I've got to get to that Julien Simon essay on excessive optimism. He will only be right in the unlikely event that we manage to save the Earth in addition to ourselves.

* I had beers with an atmospheric scientist last night and asking him about CC... "Chaos and destruction," he said. How? CC will speed up the hydrological cycle, so that we get more "fat tail" events -- more extremes in weather -- and our systems (and cultures) are not built for that. Then we started talking about climate refugees. More beer, please.

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