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Science and Energy

This story is adapted from a BBC report by Matthew Ponsford dated 22 October 2019.

Recent research efforts using underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs) has ventured below the Black Sea waters and revealed pieces of ancient history never before seen. They have discovered ships from several millennia of seafaring trade and war, including the world’s oldest intact shipwreck: a Greek trading ship from around 400 BC lying uncannily well-preserved on the seabed.

An English-Bulgarian team discovered the 2,400-year-old Greek trading ship last year, in addition to more than 60 other wrecks found in deep waters.

Appearing into view as the ROVs scanned the site, the ancient ship was lying on its side, the mast and rudder clearly visible as well as rowing benches and large ceramic containers in the hold.… More

TWO COSMIC MYSTERIES. I have personally encountered two cosmic mysteries early in my career – like about 40 years ago. They both involved massive, unprecedented sources of energy. The mysteries continued for decades and occasionally the two encounters kept popping up in my memory. Only in the last few years have both these mysteries been solved – and both explanations involve black holes. This is Part 2. Part 1 was posted about a month ago.

QUASARS. The first time I heard about this high-energy radiation was at the University of Arizona in 1981. I was doing research there on cosmic rays during a sabbatical from Oral Roberts University.… More

TWO COSMIC MYSTERIES. I have personally encountered two cosmic mysteries early in my career – like about 40 years ago. They both involved massive, unprecedented sources of energy. The mysteries continued for decades and occasionally the two encounters kept popping up in my memory. Only in the last few years have both these mysteries been solved – and both explanations involve black holes. This is Part 1. Part 2 will come later.

GAMMA RAY BURSTS. I flew into Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1972 to work at the famous scientific laboratory there (only an hour and a half drive from where I now live in Albuquerque).… More

I WAS IN STARBUCKS IN LUBBOCK, CLOSE TO TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY. Waiting for a woman I had never met. I told her I was tall and with a gray beard. After sipping a decaf mocha frappe, she tapped me on the shoulder and I stood and shook hands.

She was young (at least compared to me) with brown hair, attractive, and her face held a perpetual smile. Her voice and movements were filled with enthusiasm. She had just flown in from Wisconsin, where she had given a talk about the intersection of faith and climate change.

She opened her laptop and showed me a picture of Science in one circle and Faith in a second circle.… More

I gave a talk this past week called Fracking and Global Warming: What’s the Connection? I appreciate the invite by Dr John Korstad who teaches two different courses on Sustainability at Oral Roberts University (ORU).

Sustainability is getting to be a hot subject: it implies conserving the present environment for our grand-kids, to use a simple definition. For businesses the application is People, Planet and Profits: People meaning quality of life and employee retention, Planet being environmental stewardship and waste reduction, and Profit meaning responsible economic growth. At ORU, staff like Dr Korstad are leading the way.

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The world-class lecture room at ORU, where I was video’d automatically. … More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • The Delaware basin. • How much oil? • Budget surplus. • Will the shale oil boom improve New Mexico living conditions? • What about wind and solar?

THE SAN JUAN BASIN. We’ve always had the mighty San Juan basin, in the northwest of the state, but that’s been predominantly a natural gas basin. Then in the 1980’s coalbed methane came on and that boomed for quite a while. While working at Amoco, I was lucky to be able to work on coalbed methane in the San Juan basin in the late 1980s and most of the1990s.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG? Text from Australia: 71 wildfires burning. Bats and flying foxes killed by the thousands. Where was the heatwave the worst? Australia has been getting warmer.

TEXT FROM AUSTRALIA.“Heat wave in eastern Australia. 71 wildfires in New South Wales and Victoria. It’s a bit different to your part of the world in USA.”

This text was sent by my brother Clive just a few days ago – 17 January 2019. Less than a week before that I had sent him a video of a three-inch snowfall I experienced here in the USA. What a contrast!

Some of the following is excerpted from BBC News.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Einstein is a hero to me. • TV series called Genius. • The God Einstein believed in. • Richard Dawkins missed out. • Einstein defined happiness. • The full God-letter.

ALBERT EINSTEIN IS A HERO TO ME. Always has been. E = mc2 and all that. I was trained as a physicist after all. I even wrote a blog about Einstein’s startling prediction of gravity waves (when two neutron starts collide) and their even more startling discovery in late 2017.

It was surprising to hear about a letter that he wrote the year before he died called Einstein’s God-letter.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Wildfires in California. • Greenhouse gases reach new high. • New US government report – what does President Trump think?

There is a reason for Part 6 in this series on Climate Change. I am concerned that the world is on the cusp of a pretty big crisis. And I sense that events of the past couple months are moving USA opinions to a tipping point.

Part 5 and Part 6 here present information to support this tipping point. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts – please use the Comment box at the bottom of the blog.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • The situation is worse than we thought. • Between 70 and 90% of coral reefs expected to die off, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. • Individuals can do something about it. • Being aware of what we eat, where it comes from, how we travel, how we heat our homes, can impact energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. • Drastic action is required but will require global political engagement.

NEW IPCC REPORT OUT IN OCTOBER 2018. I live in the southwest USA. Seeing more pine trees killed by pine-bark beetles is sad. The huge numbers of wildfires in the west got to me this past summer.… More

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