June 26, 2017 9:21 pm

Tuesday, We’ve Extended “Earth in Human Hands, with David Grinspoon,” with Cosmic Queries about Climate Change with Bill Nye and Chuck Nice

Join us for another Extended Classic on StarTalk All-Stars. This week, we’ve extended one of our more popular episodes, Earth in Human Hands, with David Grinspoon.

David, aka Dr. Funkyspoon, is an astrobiologist, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, StarTalk All-Stars host and author. For this episode, which is focused on the subject of his recent book, Earth in Human Hands, he invited science journalist Andy Revkin and comic co-host Chuck Nice to discuss what’s happening to Earth during the Anthropocene age – and what might happen in the future.

Composite map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC.

Composite map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC.

We’ve extended this show with a Facebook Live session where Chuck and Bill Nye answered fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about climate change, including “How long does the human species have if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate?” and “What are things normal, everyday people can do to help improve scientific knowledge in their community?”

Bill and Chuck also enlighten us on The Solutions Project. Here’s what The Solutions Project is, as described on their website:

From our homes and smart phones to the electricity running our local grocery store, clean energy is not only possible – it’s already happening. Solutions Project accelerates the transition to 100% clean energy by championing a movement that is more inclusive, more collaborative, and more celebratory. Through storytelling, grantmaking, and capacity building, we honor clean energy leaders, invest in promising solutions, and build relationships between unlikely allies.”

I think The Solutions Project is awesome. Although it seems a little audacious at first, what great movement didn’t seem that way in it’s early days? And like they said, clean energy is already happening all around us, we just have to find ways for it to expand. Clean energy is making a difference in arenas you might not even expect, like one of my favorite examples: Formula One Racing.

Since 2014, the word “engine” has no longer been used to describe what’s under the hood of a Formula One race car. The correct term is “power unit” due to the change in engineering that’s been introduced over the last three years. Now, instead of just having a regular internal combustion engine, the unit is now powered by two systems: internal combustion and electrical energy.

The electrical energy system harvests and recycles energy from the car’s exhaust and braking systems. It’s still just as powerful as a normal V8 engine, but these power units result in 35% less fuel consumption. This tells me that if energy efficiency can be introduced, implemented, and successful in an arena where you need to have the most power possible, and has heavily relied on fossil fuels in the past, The Solutions Project is on the right track. No pun intended.

Please join us tomorrow night for Extended Classic: Earth in Human Hands, with David Grinspoon at 7pm EDT right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen