Monday, 6 January 2014

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises - News and views for Monday 6 January

News and views noted along the way. Some links to things I’ve found interesting today.
  • Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises -"Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth's atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world's nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future is also partly uncertain -- there is considerable uncertainty about how we will arrive at that different climate. Will the changes be gradual, allowing natural systems and societal infrastructure to adjust in a timely fashion? Or will some of the changes be more abrupt, crossing some threshold or 'tipping point' to change so fast that the time between when a problem is recognized and when action is required shrinks to the point where orderly adaptation is not possible? Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change is an updated look at the issue of abrupt climate change and its potential impacts."
  • New York State Is Set to Loosen Marijuana Laws
  • The Marijuana Experiment - "On New Year’s Day, government-licensed recreational marijuana shops opened in Colorado, the first place in the world to regulate the drug “from seed to sale.” Later in 2014, marijuana retailers will open in Washington State. As public opinion shifts away from prohibition, these two states will serve as test cases for full-on legalization."
  • End the broadband panic meme - "It happens about every twelve months, maybe with more frequency recently. Another reporter writes about how the US is falling behind international rivals in the supply of broadband. I am growing very tired of this meme... while it is irritating to have slow service at home, US productivity does not depend much on that. Household broadband is less important for economic growth than the broadband to business. And what really matters for productivity? Speed to business. The number of minutes it takes a household to download Netflix is statistically irrelevant for productivity growth in comparison to the time it takes to download information to conduct business transactions with employees, suppliers, and customers. We get measures of broadband speed to homes because that is what we can easily measure, not because it really matters."
  • With a bit of luck, the U.S. could actually hit its 2020 climate change goals - This week, the U.S. State Department released its 2014 Climate Action Report, explaining how the Obama administration plans to meet its official goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. That's considered a first step toward further global efforts to address climate change.
  • Katharine Weymouth - An interview with the Washington Post publisher in the Post Bezos Era
    As a single mother who’s also the Post publisher, what’s your daily life like?
    I definitely do a lot of juggling. My kids are at two different schools in three different buildings. On the mornings I am in town, I wake up at 5:50, go for a 2-mile run with my friend Carolyn, end at Starbucks—couldn’t live without it—come home, make breakfast for the kids and lunch for one, take the dogs out, feed the dogs, put drops in one dog’s eyes, drive the kids to three different drop-off points, and get to work by 9:30. My day is typically filled with meetings. At the end of the day, if I don’t have a business dinner, I go home to have dinner with the kids, catch up with them, make sure they have done their homework and put them to bed. Sometimes we have a family night watching Homeland or Scandal. Otherwise, like every other single parent, I pay the bills, run the house, fill out the school and camp forms, make the doctor appointments, make the play dates, schedule the activities, buy the groceries, cook, put furniture together, and I’m not too bad with a cordless drill.
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