Tag: the future

New Planet Discovered in the Goldilocks Zone — Imagine the Possibilities

Newly Found Planet Could Hold Water

March 22, 2010 [fair warning: FoxNews Link]

A newly discovered gas giant planet may have an interior that closely resembles those of Jupiter and Saturn in our own Solar System, and may hold water, the building block of life.

The newly found Corot-9b is one of a class of heavenly bodies called exoplanets — planets like Earth and Saturn that are discovered outside of our solar systems. More than 400 have been found so far, and of the billions of stars in the sky, many are likely to have planets.


Although the planet itself is a gas giant and hence has no solid surface to stand on, what if it possessed a moon like Saturn’s Titan? If the temperature were towards the lower end of the estimated range, then any moon would be an ice ball. If it were towards the upper end, it would be rather too hot for liquid water. But what if it were somewhere in the middle … ?

New worlds await.  

But do we have the ingenuity to challenge the obstacles, and one day … Manage to Reach Them?

“No bailout can stop the sinking”

Chris Hedges is a war correspondent and a Pulitzer Prize winner.   He is also one of the “truthiest” people out there, and is one of the few who actually has a handle on things.    Sad thing is, the truth is damn scary.  


Warp Drive: The Possibilities, the Impossibilites, and the Urgent Necessity 20090717

“Warp” Drive has been bandied about often in science fiction, to good or bad results.  In a nutshell, warp drive means that a vessel can travel faster than the speed of light, sometimes much faster.

This of course is silliness, or creative license.  Or is it?  Let us examine it from both a scientific aspect and a philosophical one.

Sing C. Chew: ecology, history, and the future

This is, in short, a book review of Sing C. Chew’s new book Ecological Futures: what history can teach us.  Chew is important because he wants to incorporate ecological data into historical discussions of the rise and fall of civilizations; his most recent book attempts to use this “ecologized” version of history to make a solid (if somewhat scary) prediction about the future of the human race.  Chew doesn’t mean to scare us, however; what’s scary are the implications of his naturalistic point of view when it comes around to analyze the disastrous course our civilization has taken in its relations to the natural world.

I will end with a short set of prognostications of my own, related to reflections in the book review.

SING C. CHEW is Associate Professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University and editor of the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations.

(crossposted at Big Orange)

Hope, Despair and the Climate Crisis

This is about how we respond to the Climate Crisis and the relentless bad news about it-with despair, or with hope.  I’ll tip my hand and say it is really about how to fight off despair and find hope for the future.

It’s not easy to find hope.  For thanks to the climate crisis, the prospects for a livable future just keep getting worse.

I’ve written many times about the Climate Crisis over the past several years on various community blogs, and I notice several repeated reactions in comments.  Some offer their favorite solutions, or write about what they are doing personally to limit their carbon footprint.  But many responses are more emotional.

 There is fear, partly the product of quite natural denial-not denying the reality of global heating, but staying in denial about it as much as possible, while obsessing on much smaller issues.  There is anger, about how we allowed this to happen, etc. And there is despair: the world is coming to an end, and there’s really nothing we can do about it.

Despair, like anger, is another expression of fear.  But it is not entirely irrational.  How can it be, when we do face the real possibility of catastrophe?  

People have basically two reasons for despair: they believe that in its present state, humanity won’t meet this challenge.  There are too many political, economic and cultural barriers.  Humanity isn’t smart enough yet, mature enough, enlightened enough. And then there’s human nature: greed and fear will overcome.  

The second reason for despair is that resistance is futile: that the tipping points have all been passed, and there’s nothing humanity can do anyway to prevent catastrophe.  

It’s hard to argue with either of these reasons.  They may prove to be true.  But there are also counterarguments to each of them.

2007 A Year of Advancements and Dissapointments

Politically we have seen our Representatives FINALLY start doing what they were hired to do,

unlike the previous Congress, Investigate and hold Hearings, way too numorous to list all.

We have some seeking to find the answers to all the wrongs committed by an administration

shown time and again to be Incompetant and Corrupt! And we have many, who once controlled,

playing the Obstructionists on every issue raised.

These Obstructionists were extremely lax in

their roles as the peoples representatives when they did hold that control, and will continue to be so,

we would have already seen a change in their ideology, whatever the hell that is!

One Extremely Important Issue that stood out, of the previous Congress, and the Media didn’t even question,

as they were beating the War Drums, and using three words ‘Support The Troops’ to marginalize

anyone questioning the Policies of the Administration, was ‘What About The Troops?’.

The Future

A burn mark on the repurp chair, worn fabric at it’s junction points, the soft sound of fingers tapping on an iboard, each wall of the small pyramidal room is lit up in vapors of light.

South – Red

East – Green

North – Blue

West – Gold

It is raining outside, the sound of it bouncing off the thin walled structure is reassuring,  a small man moves positions on the repurp chair.  He has not noticed Eddi.  Silently Eddi moves her eyes around to examine the content streaming seemingly backwards across the walls.  Maps, Charts, Philosophy, Medical Reports, Robot System Requests, Rental Agreements, Ancient Calendars, behind all of that, in another layer almost out of view and on all four screens is a grainy image of a young woman.

The man is standing behind Eddi, he has something sharp pressed against her left ear.


Climate Crisis Future: Danger for Democrats

In a previous Kos post as well as on my Dreaming Up Daily, I speculated on the emerging Republican plan for the Climate Crisis. Basically it is to mix denial with assertions of doing something, in order to essentially do nothing (or not enough) to stop greenhouse gas pollution, while waiting to use the opportunity of a climate-related disaster in the U.S. to shift attention to their version of crisis management, which is disaster capitalism.

The Democrats are much different, yet there are also two sets of problems I foresee for them–one of which has pretty much the same result for the future as the Republican plan, and the other involves a lack of preparation for near-term crisis, and how the Republicans are likely to try to take advantage of that.

Crucial to this analysis is my insistence that the Climate Crisis has two very different parts: the threat of truly catastrophic changes in the future if we don’t stop greenhouse pollution now (the “Stop It” component) and the need to address serious problems and disasters that are going to happen in the relatively near future because of climate change–problems it is too late to stop (the “Fix It” component.) Follow for the analysis.