BAN #83: Green Boulder, Surly Amy

January 28, 2019 Issue #83


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Is it hot in here, or is it just anthropogenic global warming?

Climate change is real, y’all

I live in rural Boulder country, well outside of town, but this doesn’t mean I’m any less proud to hear that Boulder made its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emission by 16% from 2005 to 2017… fully three years ahead of the deadline!

That rocks. I’m seeing a lot of this, with electric vehicle quota being made, GHG reduction goals ahead of schedule, conversion to greener energy production well apace of desire. It’s heartening.

Boulder’s goal is to be on 100% renewable energy by 2030. I expect they’ll be able to do it; the city is very progressive, has a big tech industry (so is already wired in and ready for the next thing), and understands the incredible need for this. I hope this city shines as a role model for others, and helps towns across the country — across the planet — to wean themselves off of dirty fossil fuels.


Follow o’ the Letter

Someone you should follow on social media

So the most ironically yet appropriately named friend I have is Surly Amy.

Is she surly? Well, yes. Is she also thoughtful, kind, and generous? Also yes.

I met Amy back in the days when we both had high hopes for the skeptic movement, working to make the world think more clearly. I knew right away she was intelligent and funny — two of my favorite characteristics in people — and then found out quickly that she speaks her mind and isn’t shy about it. Also a thing I like.

[D’awwwww! Credit: Phil Plait]

Amy is an outspoken feminist, and I’ve turned to her many times when I realized my own insulated view of the world (note my skin color, age, sex, social and economic status) might not reflect reality for others not like me. She has always been there with an insightful comment or ten, and I’m the better for it. And a few years ago when I was in L.A. helping write a science show for Netflix, she didn’t hesitate to offer her guest room to me, even though I needed a place to stay for two months. We had a lot of fun hanging out and watching Bob’s Burgers together.

[Two of Amy’s necklace’s with a common theme. Credit: Amy Roth]

She’s also an artist, and a really good one. She created Surlyramics, a line of ceramic jewelry imprinted with sciencey/skeptical/feminist phrases, which are cool. She also paints, and has recently been experimenting with pouring paints on canvas with extremely interesting and beautiful results. My daughter is heavily interested in neuroscience, and so my wife and I commissioned Amy to paint a neuron for her, and it was a huge hit. She has two stores on Etsy: one for stickers and jewelry, and the other for her paintings.

[My daughter with her painting by Amy. Credit: Phil Plait]

Toss her some cash via Patreon, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

And hey: Next week is her birthday, so buy something for yourself as a gift for her!


Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

Monday Jan. 21, 2019: Saturn's rings are way younger than the planet itself… and they're disappearing.

Tuesday Jan. 22, 2019: Spectacular 3D simulation of a massive solar flare… from start to finish

Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019: An asteroid impacted the Moon during the lunar eclipse!

Thursday Jan. 24, 2019: Shalom, Moon: Israeli non-profit SpaceIL plans to launch a Moon lander in February

Friday Jan. 25, 2019: One of Earth’s oldest rocks may have been found… on the Moon


Et alia

You can email me at thebadastronomer@gmail.com (though replies can take a while), and all my social media outlets are gathered together at about.me. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to this newsletter! And feel free to tell a friend or nine, too. Thanks!