Exxon’s vast fossil fuel reserves “face little risk” of being left in the ground, the company said

By Brad Plumer, NYTimes, Feb 2, 2018 Exxon Mobil’s shareholders — concerned that the company’s main businesses, oil and natural gas, may be imperiled — had demanded last year that the company give a more detailed accounting of the consequences of global policies aimed at curbing emissions of earth-warming gases. Those policies include the goal of the Paris climate agreement to …

Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?

By JOANNA KLEIN 2 Feb 2018, NYTimes In an experiment, scientists sedated plants like the Venus fly trap. When the drugs wore off, the plants came back to life, almost as if they were regaining consciousness. CreditKen Yokawa, et al. Plants don’t get enough credit. They move. You know this. Your houseplant salutes the sun each morning. At night, it returns to center. …

The pattern of links at the local scale sets the options for stability and transformation. Almost everything that happens in life is the result of a network. Making, or breaking, local links is the way to change.

By Deborah M Gordon, a professor of biology at Stanford University in California. She has written about her research for publications such as Scientific American and Wired. Her latest book is Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior (2010).  We live enmeshed in networks. The internet, a society, a body, an ant colony, a tumour: they are all networks of interactions, among people, ants or cells – …

Almost four environmental defenders a week killed in 2017, four times as many as

197 people killed last year for defending land, wildlife or natural resources, new Global Witness data reveals. In recording every defender’s death, the Guardian hopes to raise awareness of the deadly struggle on the environmental frontline By Jonathan Watts, in The Guardian, Fri 2 Feb 2018  The slaughter of people defending their land or environment continued unabated in 2017, with new research showing …

‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth and acts as a ‘misinformation engine’

An ex-YouTube insider reveals how its recommendation algorithm promotes divisive clips and conspiracy videos. Did they harm Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency? The methodology behind this story By Paul Lewis in San Francisco, in The Guardian, Fri 2 Feb 2018 It was one of January’s most viral videos. Logan Paul, a YouTube celebrity, stumbles across a dead man hanging from a tree. The 22-year-old, who …

Game Over For Coal: Scientists Nail Down Pesky Perovskite Solar Cell Problem

February 1st, 2018 by Tina Casey on Clean Technica  Remember back when plastic was a new and exciting thing? That’s more or less where we are with that other p-word, perovskites. Legions of scientists around the world have been trying to tease a durable solar cell out of this optically-promising but fussy material, and it looks like a team from the National Renewable …

Tesla EV truck/semi-charging will be a collaborative venture

Tesla is collaborating with Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and United Parcel Service Inc to build on-site charging terminals at their facilities as part of the automaker’s efforts to roll out the vehicle next year. Details of the partnerships, which have not been disclosed previously, are still being hammered out, but include design and engineering from Tesla, the companies said. They declined to …

Business may have to pick up the bill for climate change, warn analysts

By Madeleine Cuff 2 February 2018 Business Green  Litigation risk from climate change joins corporate disclosure and tougher supply chains scrutiny as Verisk Maplecroft’s top environmental risks for business in 2018 Businesses are under increasing threat of being sued for their role in causing climate change, according to environmental analysts at Verisk Maplecroft. As extreme weather events become more common, and more expensive …

Smart cities are adaptive systems, where interaction between the city’s infrastructure and humans is modeled as a continuous feedback loop and enabled by a supporting cyber-system

“We view smart cities as adaptive systems, where interaction between the city’s infrastructure and humans is modeled as a continuous feedback loop and enabled by a supporting cyber-system,” explains Hector Muñoz-Avila, professor of computer science and engineering. “The infrastructures are themselves connected sharing information, which derives from infrastructure interdependencies, enabling cities to adapt to changes to over time. This includes …