Color me skeptical!… Image
The supersonic jet company has signed a deal with Prometheus Fuels, which uses a carbon capture tech to make supposedly net-zero jet fuel (and other fuel). Which, okay, but people have been trying to do that at competitive cost for decades now and it hasn't panned out. Yet. So.
I go back and forth on that sort of skepticism so much. EVERY technology didn't exist until it did, so why doubt? But with climate-saving tech, so much has been promised that didn't actually come to fruition, exception being the ever-plunging prices of wind/solar. But... yeah.
This thread is what I mean -- lots of things will save the world, until they don't. But past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future results!

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More from @davelevitan

6 Jun
An interesting exercise is to imagine what exactly, if the existing attempts to limit voting by the GOP are NOT enough, would be enough to convince Manchin otherwise.
One assumes that SOMETHING would do it. Like, say a GOP-led state passed a bill saying only white people can vote. Would "partisan voting legislation" designed to stop that state's law still be off the table?
And if we can assume he WOULD be willing to go to bat for something like that, then it seems like he should have to draw an explicit line. If he feels the need to be able to "go home and explain" his votes, explain this one too.
Read 5 tweets
27 May
A year ago (+2 days) I wrote for @sciam about whether the planet would "remember" covid, based on drops in emissions and changes in pollution and how that will show up in ice cores, tree rings, and so on. The primary answer was yes, it will. 1/…
Some pollutants, like soot and some aerosols from smokestacks and tailpipes, clearly ended up dropping enough as the world locked down to show up in those paleoclimate records. 2/
But the big one, CO2 -- probably not? As it turned out, even though the pandemic did stretch out, CO2 emissions only dropped less than 7%, and bounced back by the end of 2020. 3/
Read 5 tweets
25 Apr
As usual, a fear-mongering tweet devoid of context from the Post. This is almost entirely a result of a dramatic lack of bat coronavirus sequencing effort in most parts of the world. It's not a new virus; we just haven't looked for them much yet.
Not to mention the fact that the virus is likely not any danger to humans.

From the paper, the virus "is unlikely to be zoonotic" -- meaning jump from animals to humans -- "without mutation."

But hey, get them clicks!
What the study really says is that far more resources should probably be designated for better understanding of bat coronaviruses, as well as for bat conservation.
Read 5 tweets
18 Apr
I don't have access so I can't see the paper this story is about to get the details, but couldn't this at least partially be reflecting that the more jargon-heavy papers are simply more niche and less broadly applicable and thus citation-worthy?
Jargon is usually bad, I'm just not entirely sure the work as described justifies the conclusion in full.

Anyway, if someone wants to send me the paper:…
Okay I read the paper. And... yeah, I still have the same concern! The authors are more or less ignoring the fact that many, many scientific papers are simply not intended to be widely read outside of extremely specialized fields.
Read 5 tweets
15 Mar
Deb Haaland confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, 51-40.
Fun fact, DOI manages around one-fifth of all the land in the United States. It is called "public land," which certainly has some historical baggage, and now the first Native American in the Cabinet is in charge.
Haaland succeeds David Bernhardt, a fossil fuel enthusiast described as a "walking conflict of interest," and Ryan Zinke, who tried to silence DOI officials worried about climate change's effects on Native communities. So.
Read 6 tweets
2 Mar
A thing I've been thinking about is how the US no longer appears capable of what is generally considered "national trauma." Like, post 9/11 or JFK assassination you had this general, collective grief, manifested in things like enormously high presidential approval ratings.
But more than half a million Americans have died of COVID, and there's barely a hint of collective grief.

Which is not surprising when a decent chunk of the country and the leaders that chunk exalts have spent the entire year more or less denying the tragedy's existence.
"For perpetrators, the memory of trauma poses a threat to collective identity that may be addressed by denying history, minimizing culpability for wrongdoing, transforming the memory of the event, closing the door on history, or accepting responsibility."
Read 8 tweets

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