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Category Archives: Climate Change

How Central Park Was Created Entirely By Design & Not By Nature

Oepn Culture: An Architect Breaks Down America’s Greatest Urban Park – “New Yorkers have a variety of sayings about how they want nothing to do with nature, just as nature wants nothing to do with them. As a counterpoint, one might adduce Central Park, whose 843 acres of trees, grass, and water have occupied the middle of Manhattan for a century and a half now. Yet that “most famous city park in the world,” as veteran New York architect Michael Wyetzner puts it in the Architectural Digest video above, is both nature and not. Though Central Park may feel as if it has existed since time immemorial, organically thriving in its space long before the towers that surround it, few large urban spaces had ever been so deliberately conceived. In the video, Wyetzner (previously featured here on Open Culture for his explanations of New York apartments, subway stations, and bridges, as well as individual works of architecture like Penn Station and the Chrysler Building) shows us several spots in Central Park that reveal the choices that went into its design and construction.”

The Best Inventions of 2023

TIME: “Every year for over two decades, TIME editors have highlighted the most impactful new products and ideas in TIME’s Best Inventions issue. To compile this year’s list, we solicited nominations from TIME’s editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process, paying special attention to growing fields—such as AI, green energy,… Continue Reading

Discarded toys are creating an e-waste disaster. Here’s how to stop it.

Grist – Toys that move, make noise, and light up are winding up in landfills — but they could be recycled, with better policies. “…According to a recent report by the WEEE Forum, a multinational nonprofit organization focused on the management of “waste electrical and electronic equipment,” the world threw out more than 7 billion… Continue Reading

Bright satellites are disrupting astronomy

Via Prof. Sam Lawler @[email protected] – Nature article non paywalled. “The summary: astronomers spent a lot of time asking SpaceX and other large satellite operators to pretty please make their satellites fainter and/or use fewer satellites. And then BlueWalker 3 was launched by some tiny company and is one of the brightest things in the… Continue Reading

A free, public database of virtual power plants in the United States

Jim Moran – VPP Data: “The public database of U.S. VPPs is available here. Background – The goal of this database is to track all Virtual Power Plant (VPP) activity in the United States – all planned, active and ended pilots and programs and their VPP software platforms, trade allies, and incentives offered. The key… Continue Reading

Recycling won’t solve the plastic problem. Here’s what will.

Sarah J. Morath is a professor of law and associate dean for international programs at Wake Forest University – The Hill: “There is no shortage of news about plastic’s ubiquity or its harms. Microplastics are in clouds, drinking water, playgrounds and our blood. Marine mammals are entangled in and ingest plastic at alarming rates. Plastic… Continue Reading

Education Department lists schools under investigation for ‘possible discrimination’ based on shared ancestry

The Hill: “The Department of Education released a list of higher education and K-12 institutions that are under investigation for alleged shared ancestry violations Thursday as part of the Biden administration’s effort to address reports of rising discrimination in schools. “Hate has no place in our schools, period. When students are targeted because they are–or… Continue Reading

Climate Equality: A planet for the 99%

Climate Equality: A planet for the 99%, 20 November 2023, Oxfam – The world faces twin crises of climate breakdown and runaway inequality. The richest people, corporations and countries are destroying the world with their huge carbon emissions. Meanwhile, people living in poverty, those experiencing marginalization, and countries in the Global South are those impacted… Continue Reading

AI is outperforming our best weather forecasting tech, thanks to DeepMind

ZDNET: “Climatologists have spent decades amassing data on how the weather has changed at points around the globe. Efforts such as ERA5, a record of climate back to 1950, developed by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), are a kind of simulation of the earth over time, a record of the wind speed,… Continue Reading