Or at least so goes the headline from my chat with Brian Lehrer on WNYC today, encompassing the Anthropocene (and how to pronounce it) as well as our heated future. Take a listen!
“As in all things, the bacteria got there first. One tiny cell built inside of itself a new pigment, a brilliant green thanks to its ability to absorb only certain colors in the light of a younger, weaker Sun. The pigment – dubbed chlorophyll by animals that rely on this one cell’s innumerable descendants to power name-giving brains – channeled the energy in sunshine to split the waters of Earth’s early oceans. The cell took in carbon dioxide, paired it with once watery hydrogen, and made food. In the process out bubbled a flammable gas that made life as we know it possible: oxygen.
These bacteria were the first geoengineers – large-scale manipulators of the planetary environment…” And we will be the second. Read the rest over at Earth Island Journal.
Snowpocalyspe. Snowmaggedon. The brrrrizzard of 2010. And other moments in this year’s environmental history:
Did I mention there was a tornado in Brooklyn this year too?
The world descended on Copenhagen these past two weeks—and ordinary Danes don’t like it. Beyond the snarled traffic and foreigners gazing mutely into their palms to try to figure out what coins are worth, there’s all the protesters disrupting orderly Danish Christmas lunches.
Yes, these are traditional opportunities for Danes to get drunk in the early afternoon. But there is a silver lining, according to my sources, since all the police in Denmark are in Copenhagen you can be pretty secure driving drunk in the rest of the country.
I suppose that’s a consolation for all the other inconveniences.
Did I mention drunk Danes stole my Earth Journalism Award?
Or at least Earth journalism. That’s right, I’m up for an Earth Journalism Award in Copenhagen this December, but I need your help to win.
(a) You can go to the Earth Journalism Awards site and vote for me directly.
(b) You can log in to Twitter and vote for me again by tweeting my story. It’s like democracy in old New York!
(c) Then you can log in to Facebook and vote for me yet again (!) by becoming a fan of my story. Now we’re talking real democracy…
And you don’t have to feel bad. I’m not making (too many) empty campaign promises. I gain no monetary reward from victory (merely a handshake from Rajendra Pachauri). And my story is about carbon capture and storage, which just might be the only hope for restraining the burgeoning amount of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. It’s a win-win-win (which is why I recommend the triple vote.) As the saying goes: vote early… and often.
This little electronic missive is to plant a stake in the ground as well as serving as the proverbial cri de coeur: here I am, sucking up electricity on some servers somewhere and taking up the real estate that might otherwise be squatted by mine enemies. So, expect the occasional post, and a little bit of lightheartedness. The kind of thing I can’t do over at my day job: Scientific American.