1. sagansense:

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, your excellencies, ladies and gentleman, and distinguished guests.

    I’m honored to be here today, I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.

    As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

    I believe humankind has looked at Climate Change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that Climate Change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.

    But I think we know better than that. Every week
, we’re seeing new and undeniable Climate Events, evidence that accelerated Climate Change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.

    None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact. The scientific community knows it, Industry and Governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The Chief of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that Climate Change is our single greatest security threat.

    My Friends, this body - perhaps more than any other gathering in human history - now faces that difficult task. You can make history…or be vilified by it.

    To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action.

    I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis, if we do not act together, we will surely perish.

    Now is our moment for action.

    We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our eco-systems collapse.

    The good news is that renewable energy is not only achievable but good economic policy. New research shows that by 2050 clean, renewable energy could supply 100% of the world’s energy needs using EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES, and it would create millions of jobs.

    This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation - if, admittedly, a daunting one.

    We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species.

    This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages.
    Honored delegates, leaders of the world, I pretend for a living.

    But you do not.

    The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet… is now.

    I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty. Thank you.

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Addressing the 2014 U.N. Climate Change Summit. DiCaprio was recently named U.N. Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who participated in NYC’s Climate March on September 21, which brought in over 400,000 people.

  2. drkomodo:

    The Avengers of Science

    (via sagansense)

  3. sagansense:


    Bill Nye Fights Back

    How a mild-mannered children’s celebrity plans to save science in America—or go down swinging.

    Read the full article on Popular Science

    From the article:

    We would not have this—he paused—all this, without the body of knowledge of science. He added, And to have people suppress that, ignore that, it’s certainly their First Amendment right, but it’s not in our best interest. And I don’t just mean the people of Kentucky or America, I mean humanity.

    Read and enjoy. If you tuned into the Ham/Nye “debate” you aren’t missing much, but the piece is a nice peek into the personal life of Bill and a reflection of the current state of science illiteracy in America.

  4. refinedconcept:

    Cumberland Falls Bridge, Bill Fortney
  5. lensblr-network:

    Trinity College Dublin

    Presented as part of our series Lensblr: Refocused

    Awesome staircase

  6. lensblr-network:



    What great strong, simple lines in this composition.

  7. sagansense:


    Really one of the most powerful, true things i’ve ever read.

    “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

    The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

    Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  8. jedavu:

    Part of The Insider Series, Dehi painted this stunning new character in the heavily street art saturated city of Valencia, Spain.

  9. roughpix:

    End of hostilities

    I love the contrast in this photo.

    (via telescopical)

  10. sagansense:

    On this date in 1832, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - the author and curator of literary nonsense - was born. A writer, logician, mathematician and photographer, you’d know him by his better (pen) name - Lewis Carroll.

    His notable works are known around the globe: from the poems ‘Jabberwocky' and 'The Hunting of the Snark' to his most proud achievements of literary fantasy - Alice in Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking-Glass.

    image"Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

    Although most are familiar with the illustrated diversity of Carroll’s works (Maria Popova shines light on one: Ralph Steadman’s 1973 masterpiece, over at brainpickings), the most referenced works of Carroll’s have been brought to life through Disney’s 1951 animated classic ‘Alice in Wonderland, the 2010 re-imagining by Tim Burton, and (if you can remember back this far) their 1991-1995 television series ‘Adventures in Wonderland.


    However many others I could add to the list of films and animations (like the 'Alice in Wonderland' silent film from 1903), I thought I’d shed my own light onto two which have accompanied me alongside my routine tea parties….ABC’s television series Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, and the above book from which the pictures were taken: Alice and The Space Telescope, by British Physicist, Professor Malcom S. Longair.

    imageHowever uncertain the fate (second season) of ABC’s television series may be, it launches you back into the magical realm we’re all so familiar with, but with more twists, turns, schemes and realism than you could attempt to imagine. Very well done in my opinion, as it had me hooked from the first minutes of viewing. Keep your eyes on this to see where it goes and be sure to dive back into Wonderland for yourselves and experience it from a more mysterious perspective.


    Although this book was published in 1989 before the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, that’s what makes it so fantastic to read, especially while taken on a journey through NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute (at Johns Hopkins University - now home to operations for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and the Kepler Data Management Center) with Alice and all of the quixotic characters which accompanied her throughout her time spent in Wonderland.

    image"If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there."

    Except…the world of Wonderland isn’t so “mad” or “strange” when discussed in parallel with reality. In the book, Alice is tasked with composing a lecture to describe the scientific knowledge projected to be acquired through the 1984 launch and use of the HST, extending our knowledge of the cosmos while advancing the fields of astrophysics and cosmology throughout the spacecraft’s 15-year projected lifespan in the process.

    imageThrough the looking glass mirrors….

    Along the way, Alice is guided along on her journey by the Cheshire Cat, where she’s educated on the interstellar medium (the space between the stars) where, just like the Cheshire Cat himself, nothing really stays in one place for very long. During her intervention of a planetary “caucus-race”, Alice meets large to small characters whom focus individually on, well….large to small bodies in the solar system, of course. When Alice encounters a tea party with the Mad Hatter, she poses to him riddles which still baffle astronomers/astrophysicists and cosmologists today, namely, dark matter and dark energy.

    Alice and The Space Telescope is a brilliant book which mounts the paradoxical physics of the (large) cosmological to the (small) quantum, revealing the not-so-distant relationship between our Wonderland (reality) and Lewis Carroll’s. Make sure you look for this one in your local bookstore, it’s a gem I’m proud to own.

    image"There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know."

    So yes, here’s to you, Lewis Carroll, for inspiring the minds and imaginations of naturally-born scientists young to old, encouraging us all to stay "curiouser and curiouser…"