For those of you who are tired of reading today: A history of Earth's average temperature, provided courtesy of the amazing webcomic xkcd.com.
When Barack Obama becomes the first serving US president to visit Hiroshima on May 27, there is one group of atomic bomb survivors who will certainly not be there to watch his motorcade drive through the city. These are the North Korean victims of the atomic bombing, a group whose existence remains virtually unknown and unmentioned in the heated international debates about the North Korean nuclear threat.
In the American press, there has been much discussion of Germany’s Energiewende—a plan that not only aims for a nearly carbon-free economy by 2050, but also seeks to achieve this ambitious goal with no nuclear power at all.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies is an astonishing book with an alarming thesis: Intelligent machines are “quite possibly the most important and most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced.” In it, Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has built his reputation on the study of “existential risk,” argues forcefully that artificial intelligence might be the most apocalyptic technology of all.
In its Voices of Tomorrow feature, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists invites graduate students, undergraduates, and high school scholars to submit essays, opinion pieces, and multimedia presentations addressing at least one of the Bulletin's core issues: nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, climate change, biosecurity, and threats from emerging technologies.
“Again, I was hit, and vaguely sickened, by Greenland’s inhuman scale,” Elizabeth Kolbert remarks near the end of her latest article for the New Yorker, a long report on the unusual melting taking place on Greenland’s ice sheet and what it means for the people who live there, the scientists who work there, and, more broadly, life on Earth.
We read lots of sorry news when it comes to energy, but there is cautious reason for hope. Case in point: An article in the Tuesday, October 25 issue of The Guardian that said that renewables, or green energy, accounted for more than half of the new net electricity generation capacity added last year around the world. Every day, nearly half a million solar panels were installed, while wind turbines were added at a rate of two per hour, said a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.
A compilation of quality nuclear policy news published on the Web, around the world.
Iran Nuclear Deal
In this New York Times op-ed, Bulletin columnist Ariane Tabatabai explains why and how the United States and Iran can and should institutionalize their relations, so political pressures in each country do not derail the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program to peaceful purposes. The op-ed is an interesting bookend to Tabatabai's most recent column for the Bulletin, which examines the possibilities for scientific cooperation between Iran and the United States.