Department Of Yet Another Reason To Listen To As Many Science
And Nature-Themed Podcasts As You Can
Reason 349: because you have the chance, at 7 am while out for a walk, to hear gems such as the following:
“It’s the first report of tool-assisted masturbation in wild animals…” 
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Department Of Calling All Scientists And Entrepreneurs: Save The World
Dateline: Saturday am; morning; listening to the People I (Mostly) Admire podcast with guest Ken Burns. As is customary in PIMA podcast’s format, midway in the interview the host, Steven Levitt,  takes a break from the interview and, with producer Morgan Levey, reads and discuss a letter from a PIMA listener. In this episode the letter was from a listener who wrote to Levitt about a petition called “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends.” Levitt, who has said that “Putting a price on carbon is the single most efficient, effective, implementable way to fight climate,” has been a proponent of the carbon tax for years; however, he’d not heard of the petition, which has been signed by over 3,500 of his fellow economists. 
“So, I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but this statement signed by all these very notable and highly respected economists has been out for three years and we are no closer to a carbon tax now than we were three years ago.”
“Oh, if anything we’re farther away. I think there was some glimmer of hope that we would have a carbon tax, but I think that really faded with the new Inflation Reduction Act that was passed, the big spending bill. Which devotes an enormous amount of resources towards fighting climate change, but on a different path. It focuses on subsidizing particular industries and technologies. It’s not the way economists would’ve done it, but in the end, public policy isn’t really about economics, it’s about politics. And… there’s a lot more support for giving subsidies to solar energy than there is for a carbon tax.”
Levey & Levitt talked about the carbon tax and other methods to mitigate global warming, and about how ultimately it was more comfortable for people to, say, subsidize solar energy. Moiself thought about the downside people point out about solar energy: on cloudy or rainy days there’s much less UV light (for the photovoltaic cells on solar panels to convert to energy) – and there’s none at night.
Only clean/renewable energy is going to get us out of this mess. So, the major players in that category are solar, wind, and hydro (we arguably could have avoided this climate mess had we embraced nuclear, but that seems stalled  ). Now, I don’t know if this term exists or if moiself just made it up, but what about *percussive energy?* What about a way, akin to solar panels, to harness the energy of raindrops hitting some kind of energy producing/capturing device?
This sounds like a job for SNOW ! 
“The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Through a global network of local, regional and national science fairs, millions of students are encouraged to explore their passion for developing innovations that improve the way we work and live. Each May, a group of these students is selected as finalists and offered the opportunity to compete for approximately US $5 million in awards and scholarships.
Guided by the belief that advances in science and engineering are key to solving global challenges, Society for Science & the Public has organized and produced the competition since it was founded….”
( intel.com/ISEF factsheet )
The fair has been reborn/renamed, as the Regeneron ISEF. ISEF awards are given to projects in four categories: Global Health; Agriculture and Food Security; Climate and Environmental Protection; Working in Crisis and Conflict.
Moiself found a picture of some of the award winners from 2021:
In the faces of these young scientists I see another kind of renewable energy: Hope.
Calling all ISEF participants: whatever your category was, switch to Climate and Environmental protections. Without that, we will have no use for awards in those other categories. Without a habitable habitat there will be no global health or food security (except for the proverbial toast that we will all be). 
Yo, Catherine, Daniel, Michelle, Franklin, Jon, Atya, Neha: please, will you and your like-minded friends get to work on percussive energy, and more? Your adults have failed you; we have failed us all.
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Department Of Holding A Thought For Religious Believers Who’ve Experienced The Trauma Of Recent Natural Disasters (aka, “acts of god”)
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Punz For The Day
Natural Disaster Edition
What song title do you get if you cross a card game with a hurricane?
Bridge Over Troubled Water.
I went into the kitchen and saw a hurricane making a pot of tea.
“Hmm,” I thought, “there’s a storm brewing.”
I’m writing a book on hurricanes and tornadoes.
It’s only a draft at the moment.
What do a tornado, a hurricane, and a redneck divorce have in common?
Somebody’s gonna lose their trailer.
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May we encourage young/future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs
to save the planet;
May our economists do more than sign petitions about carbon tax;
May we be treated to WTF?! podcast facts;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 University of Chicago economist, professor, and author. And podcast host!
 I’d had no idea the world had more than 3500 economists.
 Science Nerds of the World
 I think the last couple of years the fair was put on hold, another pandemic casualty. Then it was reborn, and remaned.
 And no need for footnotes.