Great Barrier Reef: how a spectacular coral spawning event is helping to breed heat-tolerant corals | Great Barrier Reef | The Guardian

Scientists have carefully collected spawn bundles by moonlight in a bid to help save the reef
— Read on www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/26/great-barrier-reef-how-a-spectacular-coral-spawning-event-is-helping-to-breed-heat-tolerant-corals

Humanity’s Impact | Studio Birthplace

Short film Humanity’s Impact explores the question:
‘How many plastic bottles do we produce globally in real time?’
And the accompanying Augmented Reality app 
invites users to interact with the data on a personal level.
Animated Series
Did you know that globally, we produce about 1 million plastic bottles per minute?
What does that number even look like? This is what you’re about to find out in Humanity’s Impact.

Set in a 1960s American suburb test site that is populated with plastic test dummies, the film unleashes 20,000 bottles per second that crash onto the unknowing cast of dummies. The bottles burst through the kitchen window, and engulf the family dog. The suburban paradise is quickly flooded, revealing the terrifying scale and rate at which we pollute our planet. Only 9% of the overwhelming pile of plastic bottles actually gets recycled, the rest is dumped or burnt, or ends up in landfills and our oceans.
Augmented Reality App
To be able to understand our own consumption behavior better, we partnered with interactive design studio Superposition to release the augmented reality app Humanity’s Impact to help users relate to consumption-related data on an even more personal level. For example, users can drop 20,000 bottles into their own kitchen or bedroom, pledge to reduce their own plastic use, track their progress, take a photo with their data and share it on social media to motivate others to take part. The app is available for free right now on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
view more work
Before we made the highly successful film Wasteminster for Greenpeace, we made the pilot film Humanity’s Impact. With the film, we wanted to explore if we could make visible the incredible data related to humanity’s impact on our planet, putting a picture to the numbers.

Both the animated series and the accompanying augmented reality app unleash impressive data simulations, visualizing the tremendous scale in which our consumer culture operates.
The project aims to create awareness and inspire action towards a more sustainable future
— Read on www.studiobirthplace.com/humanitysimpact

Why flat-Earthers are a clear and present threat to an AI-powered society

There are almost certainly people from every walk of life, in every industry, at every school, in every police precinct, and working for just about every news outlet who believe things about artificial intelligence that are simply not true.

Let’s make a short list of things that are demonstrably untrue that the general public tends to believe:

Big tech is making progress mitigating racial bias in AI
AI can predict crime
AI can tell if you’re gay
AI writing/images/paintings/videos/audio can fool humans
AI is on the verge of becoming sentient
Having a human in the loop mitigates bias
AI can determine if a job candidate will be successful
AI can determine gender
AI can tell what songs/movies/videos/clothes you’ll like
Human-level self-driving vehicles exist
And that list could go on and on. There are thousands of useless startups and corporations out there running basic algorithms and claiming their systems can do things that no AI can do.

Those that aren’t outright pedaling snake oil often fudge statistics and percentages to mislead people concerning how efficacious their products are.
— Read on thenextweb.com/news/why-flat-earthers-clear-present-threat-ai-powered-society

Jane Goodall Q&A: Discussing climate change, solutions and hope – The Washington Post

‘We’ve got to get everybody around the world to say — we will not be defeated by climate change, we will not be defeated by loss of biodiversity. We will defeat covid, we will fight to prevent another pandemic.’
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/10/19/jane-goodall-book-climate-change/

Why the U.N.’s Biodiversity Conference Is So Important – The New York Times

Countries are gathering in an effort to stop a biodiversity collapse that scientists say could equal climate change as an existential crisis.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/climate/un-biodiversity-conference-climate-change.html

NASA Turns to the Cloud for Help With Next-Generation Earth Missions | NASA

As satellites collect larger and larger amounts of data, engineers and researchers are implementing solutions to manage these huge increases.
— Read on www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-turns-to-the-cloud-for-help-with-next-generation-earth-missions

Protected Too Late: U.S. Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions – The New York Times

The animals and one plant had been listed as endangered species. Their stories hold lessons about a growing global biodiversity crisis.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/09/28/climate/endangered-animals-extinct.html

The shape of things to come.

South America drought: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia suffer climate change – The Washington Post

From the frigid peaks of Patagonia to the tropical wetlands of Brazil, worsening droughts this year are slamming farmers, shutting down ski slopes, upending transit and raising the price of everything from coffee to electricity.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/09/24/argentina-brazil-south-america-drought/

We Need Software Updates Forever

Consumers have relied on the good graces of device makers to keep our gadget firmware and software secure and up-to-date. Doing so costs the manufacturer some of its profits. As a result, many of them are apt to drop support for old gadgets faster than the gadgets themselves wear out. This corporate stinginess consigns far too many of our devices to the trash heap before they have exhausted their usability. That’s bad for consumers and bad for the planet. It needs to stop.

We have seen a global right-to-repair movement emerge from maker communities and start to influence public policy around such things as the availability of spare parts. I’d argue that there should be a parallel right-to-maintain movement. We should mandate that device manufacturers set aside a portion of the purchase price of a gadget to support ongoing software maintenance, forcing them to budget for a future they’d rather ignore. Or maybe they aren’t ignoring the future so much as trying to manage it by speeding up product obsolescence, because it typically sparks another purchase.
— Read on spectrum.ieee.org/we-need-software-updates-forever

Opinion | What Does It Mean for a Whole Nation to Become Uninhabitable? – The New York Times

“It’s changing quite rapidly,” says a hunter in Canada. “And I’m not old at all. I’m 31.”
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/opinion/climate-change.html