The Climate Struggle Literally Hit Home in 2022

That transition to an all-electric life—no more gas stoves or water heaters, either—will also create jobs. One estimate reckons that the IRA will create nearly a million per year over a decade. These should serve both red and blue regions: Rural areas might have solar or wind farms that need building and maintenance, while bluer urban areas have lots of buildings that need better insulation and heat pumps. “What a great opportunity for us to create jobs that are going to be highly skilled, well-paid labor that can’t be outsourced very easily,” says Foley. “You can’t insulate your attic from China.”

In an increasingly polarized US, the green economy stands to benefit the whole political spectrum. November’s midterm elections showed just how serious American voters have gotten about climate change. Democrats focused in large part on the end of Roe, to be sure, but also on climate, with

It’s Time to Break Bad Pandemic Learning Habits

I’ve been in academics for more than 20 years as a member of the physics faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. Here, the department is small enough that all of us get to share in the course load, which is quite nice—it gives me an opportunity to teach a wide range of courses, from physical science (for non-science majors) all the way up to quantum mechanics.

During the first years of the pandemic, everyone in education had to adapt, and most of our activities weren’t conducted in the most ideal environment. At my school, we started off by moving all classes online using Google Meet. (That wasn’t too much fun.) This was supplemented with short lecture videos. (I actually enjoyed making those.) Next, we implemented a hybrid model where some students would be in class and some would be online. (This was terrible.)

While remote learning can have

Dear Electric Vehicle Owners: You Don’t Need That Giant Battery

“People just don’t want to get stuck,” Melin says. Understandable. And in that case, those people have plenty of options for long-range electric cars, if they’re willing to pay for it. But within the climate movement, fears of those kinds of reactions have grown intense. Some prefer to instead offer a message of low-carbon abundance—that clean energy technology can do everything we do now, and more. By that theory, the electrification of the Ford F-150, the best-selling automobile in America, stands above criticism. (One analyst, who did not want to be named, said he thinks the truck is “evil,” whether it’s electric or not.)

Yet even a truck could be much more efficient in terms of materials if it did not promise trips that went as far. Long trips are “drastically overrepresented in people’s minds,” says Tobias Brosch, a psychologist at the University of Geneva who has studied why people

Here’s What’s Next for Pig Organ Transplants

Starting in the 1960s, doctors attempted transplants of kidneys, hearts, and livers from baboons and chimpanzees—humans’ closest genetic relatives—into people. But the organs failed within weeks, if not days, due to rejection or infection. These efforts were largely abandoned after “Baby Fae,” an infant with a fatal heart condition, died within a month of receiving a baboon heart transplant in 1984. (Her immune system rejected the heart.) 

By the 1990s, researchers turned their attention to pigs. Their organs are more similar in size to human ones and take only months to grow to a size suitable for donation. Unlike primates, there’s less concern about them passing on HIV-like viruses to patients (though pigs harbor different kinds of viruses). And scientists thought pig donors would be more accepted by the public, since they are already raised for agriculture.

But biological differences between pigs and humans make transplantation much more challenging. So

A New Computer Proof ‘Blows Up’ Centuries-Old Fluid Equations

For centuries, mathematicians have sought to understand and model the motion of fluids. The equations that describe how ripples crease the surface of a pond have also helped researchers to predict the weather, design better airplanes, and characterize how blood flows through the circulatory system. These equations are deceptively simple when written in the right mathematical language. However, their solutions are so complex that making sense of even basic questions about them can be prohibitively difficult.

Perhaps the oldest and most prominent of these equations, formulated by Leonhard Euler more than 250 years ago, describe the flow of an ideal, incompressible fluid: a fluid with no viscosity, or internal friction, and that cannot be forced into a smaller volume. “Almost all nonlinear fluid equations are kind of derived from the Euler equations,” said Tarek Elgindi, a mathematician at Duke University. “They’re the first ones, you could say.”

Yet much

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