Pretending Not To Panic is intended to summarize news that is,
significant, factual, based on data, logic, and apolitical
people who are eager and anxious about the future.
The ‘apolitical’ criterion continues to limit the available content because so much of the news is now politicized by extremes. As an optimist, political extremism and the pandemic will hopefully be temporary. As a pessimist, there’s the possibility that this is the ‘new normal’. The good news for the blog is that years of collecting content means many news items have already been covered. Now is more the time for updates, especially as scientists return to their studies, labs, research, and publications.
Here are the top ten posts in 2021, a year that provided plenty of reasons to be eager and anxious.
- From 2017 – Artificial intelligence programs have developed their own language for talking with each other. This may make for more efficient communications; but, we may be unable to monitor or translate what they say.
- From 2021 – Estimates for the US to reach effectively zero emissions are now $145B over thirty years. (Compare to the US Defense’s current annual budget of over $720B.)
- From 2020 – Climate temperature models are improving narrowing 1979’s estimates of 3F to 9F to a narrower but more troubling 4.5F to 7F.
- From 2020 – Sail power is returning to commercial use for trans-oceanic travel. They’re slower (12 days to cross the Atlantic versus 7 by diesel), but also reduce emissions by 90%.
- From 2019 – The Magnetic North Pole is accelerating from 9 meters every 433 days to 55 kilometers per year.
- From 2021 – Prior to the pandemic, issues like terrorism only accounted for ~26,000 deaths worldwide while health related issues killed about a thousand times more.
- From 2021 – Several large countries no longer have the sustainable birth replacement rates of 2.1: US (1.6), Russia (1.6), China (1.3), Japan (1.3).
- From 2016 – Since 1990 the energy intensity, the amount of energy required to generate a unit of GDP, has decreased 30% and continues to decrease.
- From 2015 – New technology and design methods update the air well concept. A 30 foot tall bamboo well can produce about 25 gallons of water a day.
- From 2021 – Drones called slaughterbots only weigh 7kg, are being mass-produced, and deployed in wars.
Thanks for reading, visiting, and sharing. I hope this helps you. I know it helps me.