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Jeff Opperman's Posts

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Will nature always be the last book on the shelf?

Photo: Martin DeutschCross-posted from Cool Green Science. Driving with my kids the other day, I saw a sign announcing: "Borders Books Going Out of Business: 90% Off!" We headed in with great enthusiasm, thoughts of nearly free books dancing in our heads. The place was swarming with bargain hunters. The remaining inventory had been moved to the front; the rest of the cavernous box store was gloomily empty behind movable partitions. Though there were still thousands of books, I quickly realized the store had been picked clean, like a carcass where all the soft parts were long gone and just …

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When the levees broke: the flood that made rock 'n' roll

Image: Vicki & Chuck RogersCross-posted from Cool Green Science. Recommended background music as you read this post: "Black Mud" by the Black Keys. This spring has seen record floods and a great deal of attention on what floods do. And to most people, what floods do is cause destruction. Floods do destroy. But floods also create. In 1927, an epic flood on the Mississippi River killed hundreds and wreaked massive property damage. But in its wake of destruction, that flood created rock 'n' roll. To be fair, rock 'n' roll, like the Mississippi, is a seriously big river, one with …

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Which cities can best adapt to climate change?

The most climate-resilient U.S. city might surprise you.Photo: Scallop HoldenCross-posted from Cool Green Science. Earlier this month, 35 mayors from major cities around the world convened for the Resilient Cities 2011 Conference and released a declaration [PDF] that highlighted the recent rise in natural disasters and the imperative for cities to increase their resiliency and ability to adapt to climate change. But what does it mean for a city to be "resilient" to climate change? Which cities are most resilient -- and what makes a city vulnerable? Grist recently ran a slideshow featuring "the top 10 climate ready U.S. cities" …