CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2013 |
The world's leading climate scientists have for the first time established a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be released before the Earth reaches a tipping point and predicted that it will be surpassed within decades unless swift action is taken to curb the current pace of emissions. The warning was issued Friday by a panel of U.N.-appointed climate change experts meeting in Stockholm. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that once a total of 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into atmosphere, the planet will exceed 3.6 degrees of warming, the internationally agreed-upon threshold to the worst effects of climate change.
September 13, 2013 |
Fish began dying en masse in the waters around Honolulu after hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor early this week, and there's nothing officials can do to clean it up. Thousands of fish have died from the sugary sludge. Crabs lay dead along the harbor bottom while more fish floated listlessly, some seeming to gasp above the surface of the water contaminated by the syrupy sweetener. The spill is one of the worst man-made disasters to hit Hawaii in recent memory, officials said, not least because no one has quite seen anything like it. "There's nothing you can do to clean up molasses," said Jeff Hull, a spokesman for Matson Inc., the company responsible for the leak.
September 5, 2013 |
The Virgins A Novel Pamela Erens Tin House: 288 pp., $15.95 paper It's rare to find a book that summons the delicate emotional state of teenagers - especially when it comes to sex - without being precious or cynical, but Pamela Erens' "The Virgins" beautifully manages that feat. "It sounds laughably dramatic, but don't underestimate the metaphysical yearnings of a seventeen-year-old," the book's preppy narrator reminds us. "We beginners experienced sex as psyche more than body, as vulnerability and power, exposure and flight, being consumed, saved, transfigured.
August 15, 2013 |
Partway through Marisha Pessl's second novel, "Night Film," I began to feel as if I had been taken hostage by the book. This, I should hasten to add, is not its intent. The saga of a legendary film director, Stanislas Cordova, and the suicide of his 24-year-old daughter, Ashley, "Night Film" is willfully portentous, claustrophobic even, a novel that means to explore hidden meanings, in which each turn seems to unveil another layer until illusion and reality begin to merge. It is also, at 600-plus pages, at least a third too long, an overwrought narrative that hints at much but delivers little and, for all its feints and twists, remains surprisingly unsuspenseful in the end. Pessl is the much-lauded author of "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," which the New York Times Book Review selected as one of the 10 best books of 2006.
June 14, 2012 |
If life were a movie, the president of the United States (probably played by Will Smith) would be leaping into action to save humankind from the calamity that a new scientific report says is about to befall the Earth. A paper prepared by 22 international scientists and just published in the journal Nature warns that overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change have pushed the world toward a tipping point beyond which lie irreversible,...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2012 |
Stubborn does not come close to describing the desert tortoise, a species that did its evolving more than 220 million years ago and has since remained resolutely prehistoric. Its slowpoke take on biological adaptation has exposed modern vulnerabilities. The persnickety reptile is today beset by respiratory infections and prone to disease. Its only defenses are the shell on its back and the scent of its unspeakably foul urine. FOR THE RECORD: The subheadline on an earlier online version of this article erred in describing the desert tortoises as "endangered creatures.