DAILY DOSE: America’s unintentionally funny climate ask; A black hole rips a star to shreds.

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DO AS I SAY… AGAIN…

Chalk it up to America saying one thing but doing another. Old news there. In this case, amidst its climate change platitudes at COP27, Washington decided that it would rely on Big Business to fund its climate change aspirations. Needless to say, not everyone’s a fan. Per the Associated Press,

When it comes to helping poor nations cope with climate change, the United States government left its wallet at home. So it hopes its friend, big business, can help pick up the tab.

Unable to persuade Congress or the American public to spend billions of dollars more a year in climate financial aid, the U.S. government is trying to make it easier for private corporations to send cash to the developing world in exchange for looking green at home.

The plan, announced Wednesday by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, essentially amounts to tapping private funds to finance developing nations’ transition to clean energy by selling “high quality” carbon credits to companies trying to make their carbon emissions “net zero.”

“Our intention is to put the carbon market to work, to deploy capital otherwise unemployable, to speed the transition from dirty to clean power,” and replace dirty coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources, Kerry said at a launch event.

Is anyone really surprised by American climate change intransigence? I didn’t think so. https://bit.ly/3TsaiYt


RUSH TO NATURAL GAS HURTS EMISSIONS.

The war-induced energy crisis has caused a rush to natural gas. The ramifications of this shift can seriously affect annual emissions levels. Per Reuters,

Countries scrambling this year to source more natural gas to replace supplies from Russia are risking years of emissions that could thwart climate goals, the research collaboration Climate Action Tracker said on Thursday.

Efforts to stave off disastrous climate change collided this year with a global energy crisis of scarce gas and soaring fuel prices, as Russia sharply cut gas deliveries to Europe following its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

"We're witnessing a major push for expanded fossil gas LNG production and import capacity across the world – in Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and Australia – which could cause global emissions to breach dangerous levels," said Bill Hare, CEO of research institute Climate Analytics, which together with NewClimate Institute forms Climate Action Tracker (CAT).

The planned projects could emit 10% of the world's remaining carbon budget - the cumulative amount that can be emitted if warming beyond 1.5C is to be avoided, CAT said. Among the projects are new gas drilling in Canada and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity in Germany and Vietnam.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another when it comes to tackling emissions levels. https://reut.rs/3TouYRg


THE MIGHTY BLACK HOLE.

Black holes are just amazing. Even massive stars can’t hold ground against them. Per space.com,

A hitherto undiscovered black hole announced its presence to astronomers when it ripped apart and devoured a star that wandered too close to it.

The intermediate-mass black hole located in a dwarf galaxy a million light-years from Earth shredded the star in an occurrence that astronomers call a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE). The TDE made itself visible when it blasted out a flare of radiation so powerful that it briefly outshone every star in its dwarf galaxy home combined. 

This TDE could help scientists better understand the relationship between galaxies and the black holes within them. It also provides astronomers with another intermediate black hole to study. "This discovery has created widespread excitement because we can use tidal disruption events not only to find more intermediate-mass black holes in quiet dwarf galaxies but also to measure their masses," research co-author and UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) astronomer Ryan Foley said in a statement.

It’s still remarkable that Einstein’s general relativity predicted the existence of black holes. https://bit.ly/3fU2XTO


THE LONG GOODBYE.

With a couple of months left with Dr. Anthony Fauci at the helm of NIAID there are bound to be a lot of “exit interviews” hitting the media. We’re good with that. He’s had an illustrious career. Here’s one from Wired,

Beginning in 2023, we won’t have Dr. Anthony Fauci to kick around any more. After 54 years in government service, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as the White House’s chief medical advisor, is leaving his jobs—don’t say “retiring”—and, at 82, is headed to his next adventure.

It’s hard to imagine anything more adventurous than what he has been through in the past three pandemic years. The country—well, most of it—sympathized with his anguish as he tried to decode the ever-shifting challenges of Covid while his former White House boss, at various times, named the infection with a racial slur, claimed it was no worse than flu (it’s killed a million people in the US alone so far), and suggested it might be treated with a good injection of bleach. Fauci’s role as the highly qualified, avuncular explainer-in-chief heading a critical research lab won him many fans, but as the pandemic progressed, it also made him a target for those who sniffed conspiracy or simply got sick of following guidelines that might save their lives…

For my fourth interview with Dr. Fauci…I decided to ask him about how he regards the psychology of denial—and also to get a glimpse of what we have in store for us this winter.

From the early days of HIV/AIDS to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci has done his best. The man deserves all the praise in the world. https://bit.ly/3g0KiFM

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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