London traffic, climate lawsuits and the paradoxical nature of science

Here are some links to several recent articles by LML External Fellow Mark Buchanan

London’s traffic problems won’t be solved by a new driving tax

Bloomberg Opinion 22 February, 2022

How do you get to work in the morning? If you live within one kilometer, or about half a mile, of a bus or train stop, there’s a good chance you take public transit. If you live further away, you’re much more likely to drive.

That fact matters a great deal to cities around the world facing looming problems of traffic congestion, from traffic jams to smog. READ MORE

No science without shadow

Nature Physics 18, 122 (2022)

Alexander Grothendieck, born 1928 in Berlin, was among the twentieth century’s most talented — and mysterious — mathematicians. A child of parents with Jewish ancestry, he was sent to France in 1938 to escape the Nazis. Grothendieck later studied mathematics. For several decades, he dominated in areas ranging from algebraic geometry to category theory, before abruptly dropping research entirely — in part, due to growing disillusionment over the military uses of scientific research. READ MORE

How to win more global warming lawsuits

Bloomberg Opinion 29 January, 2022

The fight against global warming is rapidly moving into the courtrooms. In the past few years, in landmark cases in the Netherlands, Germany and France, courts have agreed that state and corporate entities have a duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and demanded they adopt more aggressive policies. A Dutch court, for example, ordered the government to reduce emissions to 25% below 1990s levels, forcing it to go beyond its proposed goal of 17%.

These rulings mark an encouraging shift. READ MORE

Pinning down the proton

Nature Physics 18, 2 (2022)

Where does the name ‘proton’ come from? The term was originally coined by New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford in 1920, or so many sources imply. And yet, Rutherford never seems to have made such a suggestion in a published paper. I looked at a number of his works and lectures from 1919 and 1920, finding nothing at all. READ MORE

Even the best climate forecasts are shaded by clouds

Bloomberg Opinion 25 August, 2021

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report has confirmed much that we already knew: Human activities have caused an unprecedented warming of the Earth and, as a result, we’re seeing more frequent droughts and heat waves, extreme rainfall and record-breaking temperatures.

Still, many aspects of climate remain uncertain, and some are quite puzzling. READ MORE

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