Can Cooperation Save our World?
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
3M ago
If there ever was a time when cooperation was needed, it is now. “Societies across the globe are struggling to find and negotiate an effective and fair distribution of climate actions between state actors, civil society, citizens, the private sector and other actors.” This past year was the warmest in recorded history. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the principal cause of global warming, has never been higher and continues to climb. We have nearly reached the maximum threshold temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed to in the 2015 UN climate accord. Does this mean t ..read more
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CO2 Turned to Rock is Gone for Good
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
What is the best way to save humanity from climate change? Should we cut back on fossil fuels, remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, shield the earth through solar radiation management, or devise strategies for people to adapt to inevitable changes? Given that we have had limited success curbing greenhouse gases while world temperatures continue to rise, why choose only one best strategy? We need to explore them all, and we are making progress in most areas—just not fast enough. One proposed strategy, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, could make a huge dent in the problem. I’m not sayin ..read more
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Women Scientists: The Recognition They Deserve
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
Are strong women overlooked and even disliked because of a cultural bias? In addition to the attention this has received recently, I have suspected a similar theme in some of the reviews of my first novel, Watermelon Snow. Although generally favorable (4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon), some comments have been critical of one of the protagonists, Kate, a glaciologist leading a group of graduate students on a summer field project on the Blue Glacier in Washington state. One person commented, “The main character was pretty rigid and demanding a lot of the time.” Another expressed a more negative vie ..read more
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Can Cli-Fi Solve Global Warming?
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
Before becoming an author, I was a high school science teacher, behavioral scientist in a technology corporation, consultant to an Alaskan health corporation, and strategic planner for a public school district. As I entered retirement, I wanted to continue making a contribution of some kind. I asked myself what is the biggest problem we face that I might help address. The answer was screaming everywhere, we must tackle climate change or face a slow-moving disaster affecting all of humanity. I decided to address this serious real-world problem by writing climate fiction, or cli-fi for short. Wh ..read more
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Will Gaia Save Mother Earth?
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if the Earth regulated the environment to neutralize the harmful effects of climate change? If such a mechanism existed, it would let humans “off the hook” for having to deal with global warming. Such a self-correcting system was speculated in the 1970’s by a chemist James Lovelock and the microbiologist Lynn Margulis. They named this the Gaia Hypothesis which, according to Merriam-Webster asserts that the, “living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (such as temperatur ..read more
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Martin Eberhard – Co-inventor of the Tesla Automobile
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
The story of Tesla is the saga of a young, idealistic engineer Martin Eberhard.  He co-founded Tesla Motors because he saw the need to abandon fossil fuels in order to stop carbon dioxide pollution of the atmosphere by automobiles. I am grateful that Martin, my wife Nancy’s nephew, agreed to share some of the rationale for his revolutionary automotive adventure. What is your training and background? I have an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering, and a MS Degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I spent most of my career in startu ..read more
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Todd Sanford – Climate Scientist
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
Bill: For someone who is concerned about climate change, I am fortunate to live in Boulder with its large number of scientists working for agencies based here including the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and several environmental research departments at the University of Colorado. Todd Sanford is a neighbor and one of those climate scientists who I was introduced to recently. He graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog and review the geoengineering elements of my upco ..read more
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Ancient Viruses Emerge from Nature’s Deepfreeze
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
What happens when living organisms are frozen in ice or permafrost? They are preserved, much like the meat or vegetables in your freezer at home, and they can often remain intact for decades or centuries. I was surprised to learn while doing research for my cli-fi novel, Watermelon Snow, that ancient frozen viruses are still viable 30,000 years later. Earth’s freezer, or cryosphere, is huge and “includes solid precipitation, snow, sea ice, lake and river ice, icebergs, glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets and ice shelves, and permafrost and seasonally frozen ground.” Among many other things, the ..read more
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The Ötzi Iceman: Praise for N-of-1
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
How many 5,300-year-old men do you know who have melted from a glacier? Not many, I’m sure. Meet the Ötzi Iceman whose reconstructed likeness is pictured above. His skeleton was discovered in 1991 by climbers high in the Alps near the border between Italy and Austria. His mummified remains were exposed because the ice that had encased them for thousands of years was receding due to climate change. After the climbers contacted authorities and it was determined that the body was prehistoric and one of a kind, the remains were relocated to a refrigerated room in the South Tyrol Museum of Arc ..read more
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Psychology of Climate – Words to Actions
William A. Liggett Blog
by Bill Liggett
2y ago
The biggest challenge facing humanity now is climate change, so shouldn’t we use every tool we have to address it? How can we change attitudes? How about behavior? How can we help people see a path toward reducing greenhouse gasses? The social psychologist Sander van der Linden suggests, “The ultimate solution to climate change lies with (changing) the psychology of the individual.”   I welcome any effort to use social science (e.g. sociology or anthropology) to answer these concerns, but my training in applied social psychology makes me consider all the factors that influence attitudes a ..read more
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