Author Archives: alan

C is for Carbon (and That’s Good Enough for Me)

Sesame Street is 50 years old. Wow. Those mornings in front of the TV with my children are still so vivid. Happy Birthday, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Bert & Ernie, The Count, and all the rest! We love … finish reading C is for Carbon (and That’s Good Enough for Me)

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Give it a try – Don’t fly

I’m waiting for tomorrow’s climate strike with great anticipation. My generation has failed the planet. A younger generation is demanding the action that their parents and grandparents were too ignorant, too fearful, too complacent, too wedded to lives of wealth … finish reading Give it a try – Don’t fly

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Mobilize for the Climate, Global Strike, F, 9/20

People all across the globe will join together on Friday, Sept 20 for a Climate Strike. Individually, we can do a lot. Together, we can do so much more. Join in. For more info about Portland events go to Climate … finish reading Mobilize for the Climate, Global Strike, F, 9/20

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Freakin’ Farmers

I spend a lot of time at tea shops and I’ve noticed that public sharing of words starting in “f” (well, certain f-words) feels more frequent today than in times past. Fantasy? Or fact? According to How farming reshaped our … finish reading Freakin’ Farmers

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Divestment = Politics or Morals?

Demands that Reed College divest its endowment funds from some dubious source of profit or another have percolated around campus for as long as I have taught here. At my first convocation ceremony in the Reed gym (Aug. 1989) I … finish reading Divestment = Politics or Morals?

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The Carbon Footprint of Academic Travel

The 18 January 2019 issue of Science contains a letter, Airborne in the era of climate change, written by two European scientists, Kévin Jean and Chris Wymant. They write, “The IPCC’s 2050 target of carbon neutrality is strongly challenged by sectors … finish reading The Carbon Footprint of Academic Travel

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The First Day of Spring

Was today the first day of Spring? How does one tell? In other parts of the country Spring’s heralds are sunshine, warmth that penetrates to your bones (not yet, Portland, not yet), a second robin, and daffodils in bloom. Portlanders … finish reading The First Day of Spring

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Lab Safety 10 Years After Sheri Sangji

C&E News has published an article, 10 years after Sheri Sangji’s death, are academic labs any safer? (Dec. 28, 2018), that is a must-read for all chemists who either go into labs themselves or are responsible for sending others into … finish reading Lab Safety 10 Years After Sheri Sangji

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Church of England promises to divest from fossil fuels

Science magazine (13 July 2018) reports (News | In Brief, p. 114) that the Church of England has decided to divest itself from fossil fuel companies. The Church divested itself of £12 million in assets from tar sands and coal … finish reading Church of England promises to divest from fossil fuels

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PSU Chemists May Have Unlocked Juul’s Appeal

E-cigarettes are often promoted as a “healthy” alternative to cigarettes (“The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul” New Yorker, 14 May 2018). The public health appeal of this is simple: nicotine is notoriously addictive (even without the flavorings … finish reading PSU Chemists May Have Unlocked Juul’s Appeal

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