Sandy Dechert, Author at PlanetSave - Page 2 of 8

Author: Sandy Dechert

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We Expect To Land On A Comet Today… [UPDATE: Done.]

It’s only taken ten years and four billion miles. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, a two-part probe with orbiter and lander, arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6 after the long trip. [UPDATE 10:50 CST: Philae’s on the ground!] Despite a faulty thruster, Rosetta successfully launched Philae, the 220-pound lander, from orbit several hours ago. […]

November 12th

How Michael Mann Views Sunday’s IPCC Synthesis Report

Michael Mann, originator of the hockey stick graph that shook world science in the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report and contributed to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, posted some thoughts today about the final IPCC climate synthesis report released by the UN on Sunday. Mann’s take on the key points of the report, which calls for zero fossil fuel […]

November 2nd

Good Halloween Biotech Read: Frankenstein’s Cat

A very readable, thought-provoking, and balanced look at Halloween biotech, Frankenstein’s Cat emerged from extensive research and interviews with scientists, conservationists, ethicists, and entrepreneurs by science journalist Emily Anthes. Animal prosthetics, cloning, and animal-machine hybrids comprise most of the stories, with forays into cryogenics and endangered species protection through biotechnology. Genetics, electronics, and computing come alive here in […]

October 31st

Durban Group Holds Bonn UN Climate Talks

In Bonn, Germany, the last round of formal negotiations before December’s key climate convention in Lima, Peru, is under way. From October 20 to 25, national governments of the worldwide UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will continue working together at the Bonn UN Climate talks on a new draft climate agreement. The elements developed […]

October 22nd

ExxonMobil Says Goodbye To Russian Arctic Oil Well (Part 1)

You may well ask why PlanetSave, a blog usually dedicated to positive developments and actions to save the earth, is reporting news about ExxonMobil and a Russian arctic oil well. The oil discovery appears to have nothing to do with solar or wind or most of our usual topics—we’re talking fossil fuels here, which have caused much […]

October 8th

Blood Moon Wednesday AM Preps Earth for Halloween

This year, nature brings us a special pre-Halloween treat: a blood moon. In the US and Canada, lift your eyes skyward in the early hours tomorrow morning for the second total lunar eclipse of 2014. The Moon veiled slowly red and back the first time this year in April. Just over 5% larger than that phenomenon, Wednesday […]

October 7th

Happy World Animal Day? WWF Extinction Report

Today’s World Animal Day, celebrated across the globe since a 1931 convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, conceived of it as a way to highlight the plight of endangered species. They chose October 4 because it’s the Catholic Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Since then, people have used the […]

October 4th

WHO Shares Plan For Ebola Vaccines

There’s progress on international Ebola vaccines. You may be hearing it here first. From the tone of today’s US media, it comes none too soon. The news was actually released on Wednesday but apparently got lost in American hysteria about the Dallas case. From September 29-30, the World Health Organization consulted with more than 70 experts […]

October 3rd

Take Three Minutes To Climate Watch This Weekend

It’s still Climate Week, though the marches and summit conference are over. If you’d like to spend some time doing a brief climate watch this weekend, here are a few suggestions. These short takes are the result of surveying over 500 free and publicly available videos. Each takes around three minutes or less to watch. […]

September 26th

The UN Climate Summit, Streaming Live All Day (VIDEO)

Years ago, countries of the world committed to lock in a new international climate agreement at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change conference in Paris, informally called COP 21. It’s coming up fast, considering that for the past 50 years, scientists have been expressing their sense of an impending showdown between the people of earth and […]

September 23rd

What’s Funny About Climate Change?

The People’s Climate March is over, but unfortunately the real phenomenon has just gotten started. A lot of great cartoons, photoons, and stories are going around the internet these days about climate change. All of them keep the subject top-of-mind, but with a touch of humor we can’t really do without. Herewith, one of Michael […]

September 22nd

What Is Climate Change? (VIDEO)

Remember the difference between weather and climate? We know what happens when the weather changes—it’s obvious. Climate is another story. Read on. When it rains, you put on a raincoat or take your umbrella when you go out. It snows: time for high boots, a heavier coat, scarf, and warm gloves. And sunny days, well, […]

September 16th

Good News For Climate Watchers

If you’re concerned about the world’s climate (including what’s happening in the United States), today’s a great day to self-educate. Two good news for climate watchers opportunities are available. First, 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope starts today at noon and continues for the next 24 hours, live from Brooklyn, New York. The program […]

September 16th

Solar Prices Drop 80 Percent Since 2008, Onshore Wind Also Falls

This year, we have seen the largest-ever outpouring of reporting and planning for inevitable climate change in the Anthropocene. One of the latest studies, REthinking Energy, draws on worldwide research and financial analysis to form some conclusions about changing our mix of energy, one of the major drivers of the phenomenon, as earth’s population continues to […]

September 12th

Last 2014 Supermoon Tonight!

Time to look up again tonight (Tuesday, September 9) for the last of five Supermoons this year! This one won’t be as spectacular as the August 10 recordbreaker, but it offers a terrific spectacle. The moon will not be as close to Earth as this until the full moon of September 28, 2015. The September […]

September 9th

Audubon Bird Study Trills A Sad Song

The National Audubon Society issued a somber report yesterday about how America’s birds will react to anticipated climate changes. Another is expected today from Cornell. According to the Audubon bird study, half of all 588 bird species in North America—including the bald eagle, a national symbol—face large climate shifts that could cut their habitats and cause […]

September 9th

More On The Goliath Grouper That Swallowed The Shark

You saw the viral video last week of a huge fish gulping down a four-foot shark off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida, right? Turns out that incident is a fairly common one. (If you missed the vid the first time around, here it is.) And here’s a similar scene from 2009, uploaded by dwhtyo, […]

September 3rd

Ebola: And Senegal Makes Five

As you may know, PlanetSave posts important health stories as well as the popular science, nature, and climate reports we’re usually known for. (In fact, we’re working toward 500 health posts over these few years!) Today we excerpt from Examiner.com some news that follows up our Ebola story and exclusive interview with public health expert Vince Silenzio […]

September 1st

Weather And Climate — Similarities & Differences

Weather and climate are similar but different. For the most part, they are very distinct phenomena. Below, we talk about the weather first, and then delve into the climate. Weather We measure what’s going on in our atmosphere over a short period of time—usually in a particular place on a particular day—by assessing the weather. Could be […]

August 28th

Climate Synthesis Sent To World Leaders By IPCC

Or do you? It’s time to pay attention to climate change now—as if it wasn’t back in 1800, when our current problems started. We all need to acknowledge that stunning industrial achievements can carry with them enormous unforeseen risks and challenges. Americans should take particular note, because on the whole we are wa-a-a-y behind on this. […]

August 27th

You Don’t Need A Telescope To Follow A Satellite (VIDEO)

Would you like to chase satellites, print out custom sky charts whenever you wish, and locate real-time iridium flares without a telescope or binoculars? Heavens Above has just the features you’re looking for. It’s dedicated to helping people observe and track, with only the naked eye, satellites orbiting Earth. Chris Peat, a physicist and space-industry […]

August 25th

World Time Calculator, or “Dial-a-Time”

Here’s one of the funniest ways to tell world time that I have ever seen. I call it “Dial-a-Time,” although that’s not the official name for it. (The official name is “xkcd.com/1335/”.) First of all, with this graphic you have to get used to the fact that you are looking at the world from Antarctica […]

August 15th

“Origami Robots” Self-Construct And Start Working

If you haven’t seen the origami robot yet, you’re in for a fantastic surprise! Evoking the potential of an ancient and wonderful Japanese art, these crawling robots can self-assemble from flat-pack designs and autonomously perform. Inspired by self-assembly in nature—such as the way complex proteins with sophisticated functions derive from folding linear sequences of amino […]

August 10th

NASA-ESA’s Hubble Finds Zombie Star

When we think of a supernova, we usually think of a massive explosion that wipes out the entire white dwarf star (dying stellar body). However, thanks to a collaboration of research scientists from leading American astronomers and astrophysicists and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, we now know that isn’t always the case. In […]

August 7th

Largest Supermoon Of The Year Comes On Sunday, August 10

The closest full moon of 2014 occurs this week, on Sunday, August 10, at 2:11 p.m. EDT. It’s the fourth and biggest of 2014’s five rogue Supermoon events. We’ll be able to see the Moon reach its perigree, when it draws closer to the Earth than at any other time during 2014. As we noted […]

August 7th

GW Bush’s Republican EPA Head Blasts Fox On Climate Change

Former NJ Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman (2013 interview screen shot from youtube) You may remember Christine Todd Whitman, the Republican who served as Governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001 and as EPA administrator for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. On Thursday, she repeatedly called out Fox Business’s Varney & Company questioners for their obtuseness on climate issues and on the intent […]

August 2nd