Science and Technology

How to win “Net Zero”, and soon

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 15/05/2019 - 12:43
net zero

On 2 May, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published official advice on the UK’s emissions’ reductions, Net Zero. It argues that the UK should aim to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050.

CCC, a government-appointed body, mostly of academics, notes that the government is seriously failing in 15 of 18 areas, and set to miss its current, more conservative, targets. CCC’s proposed targets themselves aren’t ambitious enough, but they point in the right direction and are worth unpacking. Inadvertently, they indicate the need for democratic planning of the economy.

Letters

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 10/04/2019 - 08:20

As Aristotle is one of the “giants” on whose shoulders Marx stands, we should take an interest in issues of distortion or vulgarisation of Aristotle’s key ideas. It might be that Martin Thomas’s comments on Aristotle (Solidarity 499) carry a “trace” of this process.

Letters

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 20/03/2019 - 10:24

Janine Booth (Solidarity 494) writes that ″[t]he brain wiring that is now called dyslexia has probably existed for thousands of years, but it did not become a problem and was not labelled “dyslexia” until written language became widespread.″

She does acknowledge that this ″so-called impairment, [this] disability, is constructed by something that has developed socially i.e. the form that language takes.″

Letters

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 27/02/2019 - 11:37

Janine′s article on “Neurodiversity, capitalism, and socialism” in Solidarity 494 was interesting and informative. I agree with most of what she advocates. However, I′d like to query her implication that “text-heavy” newspapers are no longer very important, and that alternative media (videos, meetings) can replace them.

Letters

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:10

Japanese language not more socialist

Janine Booth’s article on neurodiversity and socialism (Solidarity 494) was valuable and interesting, but I want to query one (maybe unintended) implication.

Replacing nuclear by… gas?

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 30/01/2019 - 12:08
gas power

Hitachi has shelved plans for a new nuclear plant at Wylfa, Wales, months after Toshiba scrapped plans in Moorside, Cumbria, and Horizon suspended work at Oldbury, Gloucestershire. These withdrawals by three private Japanese corporations leave gaps in the UK government’s already bad climate and energy strategy.

Many old reactors are due to retire through the 2020s, and coal-fired power stations are due to be phased out by 2025. These new nuclear plants were due to fill the energy gap while contributing to the UK’s (insufficient) climate goals.

Where are the women in physics?

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 14:50
Emmy Noether

Physics pervades our lives, not just in the experiences of gravity, momentum, heat and cold that our ancestors would have felt but with the engines, electricity, communications and computing that are now taken for granted. The laws of physics have been elucidated by a group of people unknown for much of human history - scientists - and this group has been largely, but not entirely, male, the balance changing slowly throughout the last century.

Save the planet, stop fracking!

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:39

On 8 October, a scientists’ panel convened by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after surveying more than 6,000 scientific studies, reported that the world is on course for catastrophic warming by the end of the century, due to carbon emissions.

And this same week the first UK site for “horizontal fracking” looks set to start in Lancashire.

“Fracking” pumps pressurised liquid deep underground to fracture rock, releasing natural gas. “Horizontal fracking” also drills sideways, accessing larger underground areas.

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