Monthly Archives: October 2010

Trick or Treat? GM offers a real ECO car?

October 31, 2010

Did GM kill the VOLT???…for the $20,000 difference between this and the VOLT… any owner can buy a lifetime of gas even at 2012 prices of $5 per gallon. But, in 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco to start at $18,895 with 40 MPG is a BIG eco car with a ton of lux additions… AutoBlogGreen: General Motors has finally slapped a price tag on the ultra-efficient, all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Starting at a base price of $18,895, the compact Cruze Eco is certainly not one of the cheapest vehicles in its class, but it’s definitely one of the most efficient. Though not official yet, GM expects that the Cruze will be rated at 40 miles per gallon highway, a number that outshines all others in its segment, at least for now. The Cruze Eco’s higher-than-average base price can likely be attributed to its long list of standard features found on the Cruze Eco include 10 air bags, OnStar, keyless entry, XM Radio, 17-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires, most of which are either optional or non-existent in the compact class. The Eco version features GM’s 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo and standard six-speed manual transmission.  AutoBlogGreenI will try to ignore that
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Three Charts That will Scare the $#^#$ out of tax payers

October 31, 2010

Staff members at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee “spent four months, night and day, and weekends” assembling this amazing graphic of our “Health Care Reform”… In addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays: $569 billion in higher taxes; $529 billion in cuts to Medicare; swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million; 17 major insurance mandates; and the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board. Brady admits committee analysts could not fit the entire health care bill on one chart. “This portrays only about one-third of the complexity of the final bill. It’s actually worse than this.” Download High Resolution PDF of Chart  As it is, the JEC’s chart is both an incredibly impressive piece of graphic design and a jaw-dropping glimpse of the health-care Hell that awaits the American people, unless they elect a new Congress to shutter this entire fiasco before it renders this republic irretrievably ill. Even those who believe that government actively should heal the American people must wonder if that goal really required something this staggeringly convoluted.
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Happy Halloween (Scary Quote ;-)

October 31, 2010

I was going to go Trick or Treating dressed as the Deficit, but when I got in costume I couldn’t move—too big. And it really scared the little kids. ~Bob.
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BOOOO! All your neighbors are drugged zombies

October 31, 2010

AutomaticEarth: It’s not like Japan has one and the US has the other: America has both zombie banks AND zombie homeowners. Plus a lot of zombie unemployed, Wal-Mart greeters and burgerflippers, and I’m not all that sure it doesn’t have a zombie government too. Why Are Distressed Homeowners Still Paying Their Mortgage? Japan struggled for 20 years with “zombie banks”—so called because their debts, if properly recognized, made them insolvent. Here in America, we have millions of zombie homeowners. Why is this any better? What drives the US economy today is zombie money. One part is the keystrokes that make up TARP, stimulus and quantitative easing, the other is the funny accounting that allows the gamblers to pretend they didn’t lose their wagers. When the banks go belly-up so does the real economy. Then again, the only way to prevent a banking collapse is to actively make the real economy collapse. And even that prevention can only be just temporary. ‘This is the biggest fraud in the history of the capital markets’ When we had the financial crisis, the first thing the banks did was run to Congress and ask for accounting relief. They asked to be able to avoid
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Booooo!…. they run with your money.

October 31, 2010
Click to View

If you think kids costumes are scary this Halloween, look at your account statements in 6 months – Booooo! Todays Run Cash “Dash to the Crash” activistpost - If you’re a baby boomer who still believes in the stock market since the financial collapse of 2008, listen up. The floor of this Ponzi scheme is The largest companies in three of the most important leading sectors of the market have seen their executives classified as insiders sell more than 120 million shares of stock over the last six months. Top executives at these very same companies bought just 38,000 shares over that same time period, making for an eye-popping sell to buy ratio of 3,177 to one. The grand total for the three sectors are “as awful as we have ever seen since we began doing this exercise years ago,” said Newman, who was ahead on such trends as the dangers of high-frequency trading and ETFs before the ‘Flash Crash’. “Clearly, insiders are seeing great value only in cash. Their actions speak volumes for the veracity for the current rally.” It’s pretty difficult to excuse these levels of insider looting, but the experts are doing their best to claim that these poor executives
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Booooo!…. Oil $4 Per gallon

October 31, 2010

BloomBerg - For now, crude oil is holding at around $80 a barrel, but this will not last much longer. A dollar devaluation, even in the face of commodity market manipulation, would eventually lead to an oil spike. A trade war would exacerbate this scenario by reducing the steady flow of oil into the U.S. OPEC members are now calling for oil to rise to $100 a barrel to counter weakness in the dollar. This would bring us back to $3 to $3.50 a gallon gas, if crude values and supplies remain at that level….I suspect with added currency instability, $150 a barrel oil is conceivable within the next 6 months. Two years ago, high gas prices frustrated Americans, but were still bearable. Today, after two years of static 20% real unemployment and trillions in lost savings, $150 oil would crush what’s left of this economy. – Booohoo.
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Trick or Treat? Children Now Too Fat to Fit In Class Chairs

October 30, 2010

SlashDotA recent survey of 750 schools has revealed that on average children have grown too large for their chairs and desks. From the article: “The Education Department said schools were running healthy eating programs. ‘The department takes the issue of childhood obesity seriously and works with a number of agencies to address the issue,’ a spokesman said. ‘We have a number of initiatives to support school communities as well as promote healthy eating.’ He said parents needed to enforce the message about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle at home.” …children risked weight problems or diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver. She said parents should check if their children’s waist measurement at the belly button was less than half their height. Having to wear clothing more than two sizes bigger than their age group could also indicate a problem. A Teachers Federation spokesman said it was also common for students in Years 5 and 6 to be taught in Year 3 classrooms with small chairs.Read full here
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Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

October 30, 2010
Daihatsu Mira EV - Photo by the Japan EV Club

SlashDot“We all know that battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only provide around 100 miles per charge. A German-based company has changed all that with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 375 miles at moderate highway speeds. … It doesn’t end there. The company responsible for the battery pack, DBM Energy, claims a battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source. Unlike the small Daihatsu which was heavily modified by a team in Japan earlier this year that achieved a massive 623 miles on a charge at around 27 mph, the Audi A2 modified by DBM Energy was able to achieve its 375 miles range at an average speed of 55 mph.”
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Save energy like and engineer ;-)

October 30, 2010

See more from SMBC
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One EMP burst and the world goes dark

October 29, 2010

USA Today  Modern society relies on technologies vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse effects that, if strong enough, can induce currents that burn out wires and circuits.  The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses. End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America’s future? Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines. The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender. “We are not today hardened against this,” he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. “It is an enormous catastrophic threat.” Meanwhile, in Congress, a “Grid Act” bill aimed at the threat awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives. Fear is evident. With the sun’s 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios. “We’re taking this seriously,” says Ed Legge of the
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NASA Solar Shield will likely get its chance soon enough.

October 29, 2010

They’re out there, biding their time. Waiting patiently. And when you least expect it, they’re going to plunge you and everyone you care about into total darkness.  Luckily, we can see solar storms coming from about 93 million miles away, and NASA is now in the process of creating a “Solar Shield” that should be able to minimize the damage to power grids caused by electromagnetic disturbances in the atmosphere and ground caused by foul weather on the sun. But NASA has a plan to battle these blackouts with blackouts. If transformers are offline at the time the storm hits they will not be affected, so the trick is to figure out where and when a storm is going to hit before it reaches the atmosphere. To do that, NASA’s SOHO and two STEREO spacecraft identify a coronal mass ejection (CME) heading toward earth and create a 3-D image of it, allowing researchers to characterize its strength and determine when it will hit. Solar Shield is experimental at this point, and its hard to know how successful it will be, mainly because it hasn’t had the trial by fire it needs to see if it works. Solar weather has been
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World’s Fastest Supercomputer… Is Now In China

October 29, 2010

Nvidia- Tianhe-1A, a new supercomputer designed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops, making it the fastest system in the world today.
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Sorry, it’s important… pooponomics

October 28, 2010
pooponomics

link : http://www.mint.com
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Oil Could Hit $100 Barrel Soon – JPMorgan

October 28, 2010

Guardian – Chinese demand could push crude to $100 a barrel soon, according to JP Morgan, with the weaker dollar and restocking of French oil inventories once strikes end also helping to drive up oil prices. “The key risk is that we are being too cautious and that the threat of $100 per barrel oil that is implicit in our fourth quarter 2011 oil forecast arrives much sooner than we expect – driven by not only a weak dollar, but also by rampant Chinese and emerging market demand and the rebuilding of French strategic stocks,” said Lawrence Eagles of JP Morgan. Read on at Guardian
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Fun with numbers by age…

October 28, 2010


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There is no such thing as a vegan…

October 27, 2010

GOOD - This awesome illustration shows us how amazingly (and disconcertingly) inescapable cow-derived products are, and comes to the hilarious conclusion that there is no such thing as a vegan. If you’re a vegan, do you go to pains to avoid the things listed here? Did you even know about most of this? From GOOD Via Gizmodo  Is It Cheaper to Be Vegan, Vegetarian, or a Meat Eater?
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Nissan Leaf goes 116miles on single charge – Test Drive

October 27, 2010

Sure the Chevy VOLT’s future looks bleak… Heck, GM doesnt even want the word Chevy anymore The electric Nissan Leaf will begin appearing in select U.S. markets by the end of this year, and will be available nationwide in 2011. Enlarge this image.Credit: Nissan Don’t worry Nissan & FORD to rescue! Both Nissan and FORD make full electrics with 100 mile ranges without bailout money GOOD – (LEAF i.e. “game changer”)In a recent test drive, a Nissan Leaf has traveled 116.1 miles on a single charge. The Leaf was originally marketed as delivering 100 miles per charge. In mid-October, Nissan revised its range estimates to “between 62 and 138 miles” per charge.  According to Engadget, the pilot of this test drove “casually and slightly below the speed limit,” but not “like an obsessed hypermiler.” The air conditioning was turned on for the duration of the test run. Just as Nissan and China announce they both have plans to invest billions in the U.S. and open massive plants in America…  The Detroit Free Press is reporting that GM will indeed build the Chevy Volt in China. *(Ford – 100 mile range electric 120 volt recharge)
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Ninety-Five Percent of “Green” Marketing Is Misleading

October 27, 2010

GOOD – We all know marketers try to mislead us into thinking their products are “eco-friendly” or whatever. But now we can quantify the phenomenon (it’s huge): More than 95% of consumer products marketed as “green,” including all toys surveyed, make misleading or inaccurate claims, says a report today. The number of products claiming to be green increased 73% since 2009, according to a survey by TerraChoice, an Ottawa-based marketing firm owned mostly by Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. The UL network does independent product testing and certification. “The biggest sin is making claims without any proof,” says Scot Case of UL Environment, adding that companies want consumers to “just trust them.” The report finds “vagueness” is the second-leading problem (a shampoo claimed it was “mother-earth approved”). You can get the full report here. The good news? The number of products making accurate environmental claims was up from 2 percent in 2009 to 4.5 percent this year. Hopefully that trend continues. The Federal Trade Commission’s new guidelines should help a lot. -GOOD
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Scary Wage Data Suppressed from News (i.e. election time)

October 27, 2010

Now that a handful of companies own and control all of the news media (now NPR)… anything that can have a ‘negative’ impact on what they want voters/public to see is removed. Impossible? Not a single news organization reported this data below when it was released October 15, searches of Google and the Nexis databases show. Nor did any blog, so the citizen journalists and professional economists did no better than the newsroom pros in reporting this basic information about our economy. From Tax.com …some really scary breaking news, from the latest payroll tax data. Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social Security Administration show. Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined, but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold. Measured in 2009 dollars, total wages fell to just above $5.9 trillion, down $215 billion from the previous year...These figures show, far more powerfully than the official unemployment measure known as U3, how both widespread and deep the loss of jobs was in 2009. While the official unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, deeper analysis of the data by economist
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70 MPG Mazda is a VOLT / hybrid killer

October 26, 2010

SlashDot – The Mazda2 will return a fuel economy of 70 mpg — without the aid of any electric motors. This is because the car will feature Mazda’s next-generation of drivetrain, body and chassis technologies, dubbed SKYACTIV. The new Mazda 2 will come powered by a SKYACTIV-G engine, Mazda’s next-generation direct injection gasoline mill that achieves significantly improved fuel efficiency thanks to a high compression ratio of 14.0:1 (the world’s highest for a production gasoline engine).
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U.S. Slips to 49th in Life Expectancy

October 26, 2010

You work longer, have less vacation, are less happy and die sooner No wonder everyone’s on medication … or is that the problem :-O Reuters: Americans die sooner than citizens of a dozen other developed nations and the usual suspects —They found that 15-year survival rates for men and women aged 45 to 65 have fallen in the United States relative to the other 12 countries over the past 30 years.“But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspects — smoking, obesity, traffic accidents, and homicides — are not the culprits,” Meunnig said in a statement. Instead, poor healthcare may be to blame, the team at Columbia University in New York reported.“The U.S. doesn’t stand out as doing any worse in these areas than any of the other countries we studied, leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role in this relatively poor performance on improvements in life expectancy.” In June, the Commonwealth Fund, which advocates on and does research focusing on healthcare reform, reported that Americans spend twice as much on healthcare as residents of other developed countries —
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1 Billion People have less than nothing….

October 24, 2010
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VOLT mpg rang erred by about 500%???

October 24, 2010

First of all, let’s talk about fuel economy… In August of last year, we heard GM’s then-CEO Fritz Henderson claimed with all the marketing might it could muster at a Detroit-area press event, that the Chevy Volt would get 230 MPG in city driving conditions. Now, as the Volt’s being tested by the auto trade press, we’re seeing some surprisingly low fuel economy figures amid the expected lavish praise buff books are heaping upon the Volt. Let’s see what they’ve found out. Popular Mechanics saw just 37.5 MPG in city driving. Car and Driver apparently didn’t choose to use their wheel time for any city driving — but found with all-electric driving “…getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic-basically the worst-case scenario-yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited back-road loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s.” Motor Trend, like the rest of the trade press other than Popular Mechanics, didn’t appear to do any testing in city conditions, but did find that “Without any plugging in, should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s.” They
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Ford – 100mile range electric charges on standard outlet

October 24, 2010
Ford – 100mile range electric charges on standard outlet

Ford anticipates owners of an electric version of its Focus hatchback can charge on a standard 120 Volt Outlet Sydney Morning Herald – Owners using the normal powerpoint 120 volt system will need to plug the car in several times a day to ensure they have enough reserves of electricity in the car’s batteries to fit in a full day of driving. Ford says it expects electric car owners to need to plug in at up to 30 times the frequency that petrol-engined Focus owners will need to visit the petrol station.”Between plugging in and unplugging at home, work or other places, Focus Electric owners are likely to recharge their vehicles two to four times each day  compared to once a week for gassing up (52 times a year),” the car maker says. The range of the 2011 Ford Focus Electric is up to 100 miles on a single charge, depending on usage, temperature, and other variables.
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Wikipedia has barred Global warming propagandist Connolley

October 24, 2010

FinancialPost:   William Connolley, arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit. Connolley did not wield his influence by the quality of his research or the force of his argument but through his administrative position at Wikipedia, the most popular reference source on the planet. Through his position, Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia, allowing only those that promoted the view that global warming represented a threat to mankind. As a result, Wikipedia became a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist. His career as a global warming propagandist has now been stopped, following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. In the decision, a slap-down for the once-powerful Connolley by his peers, he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming. In addition, because he rewrote biographies of scientists and others he disagreed with, to either belittle their accomplishments or make them appear to be frauds, Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field. FinancialPost.com
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Department of Homeland Security Secretary “Opts Out” of body Scan?

October 24, 2010

Airline passengers might want to consider a trip to the gym before heading to the airport now that high-tech body scanners have been unveiled at Kennedy Airport. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday hailed them as an important breakthrough for airport security and the fight against terrorism. FAIL – Going through one is optional for all travelers, but Napolitano hoped to ease any fears that airport staff would use them to leer at passengers. Yet when it came to testing the devices – which produce naked X-ray images of passengers - she turned the floor over to some brave volunteers.???? Read full at NY DailyNews
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NPR – GOP Victory May Be Defeat For Climate Change Policy

October 24, 2010

NPR (liberals, against conservations against free speech “The more carbon that gets released into the atmosphere, the higher the average temperature rises… yet the majority of Republicans running for House and Senate seats this year disagree.” Ken Buck, the GOP senate candidate in Colorado admits he’s a climate change denier. Ron Johnson, who leads in the polls of Wisconsin’s senatorial race, has said that “it is far more likely that is just sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.” … Conservatives in Congress are turning against the science behind climate change. That means if Republicans take control this November, there’s little hope for climate change policy.” – NPR Comment: Please notice this link is to the official NPR website and that this is a transcript that was read on air (also notice who gets credit for writing it). Why is the so-called non-partisan public radio corporation taking sides on a political issue with the public treasury paying for what is not only open advocacy of a position, but partisan in its intent, nature, and effect? Maybe this is why? Left-wing buys NPRJust days after declaring himself himself
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InfoGraphic: The Growing E-Waste Situation

October 23, 2010

GOOD – Click image for the big picture
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What if Solar Power had Fossil-Fuel-like subsidies?

October 23, 2010
What if Solar Power had Fossil Fuel Subsidies?

From One Block Off the Grid.
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California About to Fall Off Into Ocean (of Unpayable Debt)

October 22, 2010

Why California is About to Fall Off Into an Ocean of Unpayable Debt, We’re talking about a perfect storm: more state services needed for an aging population, a workforce that will spend more years in retirement than they did contributing to the funds, and a smaller ratio of working-age taxpayers and contributing state workers to pay for it all. Some of the key findings in the report include: By around 2012 or 2013, the three major state pensions’ obligations will be more than five times as large as total state tax revenue. Not only will California’s growing senior population depend on Medi-Cal and other state services, but public school enrollment is likely to rise in the coming years. The state can ill afford to fund pensions by cutting back on these services. In 2009, the pension liability came out to $3,000 per working-age adult in the state. By 2014, it will triple to over $10,000 per working-age Californian. Raising employee contributions alone will be less effective over time as the ratio of actively contributing members to benefit recipients continues to decrease. Currently, the average state employee contributes to the system for 25 years, but will receive benefits for 26 years
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Clean Cities Now – September Issue

October 22, 2010

Clean Cities Now is the official biannual publication of Clean Cities, an initiative designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, idle reduction technologies, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel blends, and fuel economy. This issue contains articles about: Readying U.S. cities for the widespread deployment of electric vehicles Propane conversion options for light-duty vehicles Using the mobile FuelEconomy.gov site to compare vehicle specs Regional coalition success stories Answers to questions about vehicle weight ratings and E85 equipment certified by Underwriters Laboratories.
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A little more salt and a lot higher I.Q.

October 22, 2010

Worldwide, about two billion people — a third of the globe — get too little iodine, including hundreds of millions in India and China. Studies show that iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Even moderate deficiency, especially in pregnant women and infants, lowers intelligence by 10 to 15 I.Q. points, shaving incalculable potential off a nation’s development.- NY Times
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SOH-CAH-TOA … first atomic test

October 22, 2010
The test  didn

For my nuke eng./edu. buddies Have a good weekend!
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Can Goolges Geothermal Hit replace Virgina Coal?

October 21, 2010

VIA – PeakEnergy in West Virginia – Google Hits Geothermal Jackpot in West Virginia. Along with the great news that Google is investing a ton of money in an offshore wind energy superhighway, other recent Google energy news is that a Google-funded project has discovered enough geothermal potential under a rather infamous coal state — West Virginia — to more than double the state’s electricity generation capacity. Google gave the Southern Methodist University a $481,500 grant to look into this issue and the research findings were huge. 78% more geothermal energy is under the state than was previously expected. The implications are rather clear: West Virginia could kick its dirty coal and mountaintop removal habit and start tapping into geothermal. This would be a benefit for the state economically and environmentally, meaning a better quality of life for its residents. It could also help the country become more energy secure. “The presence of a large, baseload, carbon neutral and sustainable energy resource in West Virginia could make an important contribution to enhancing the US energy security and for decreasing CO2 emissions,” the report concluded.West Virginia currently has an electricity generating capacity of 16,350 MW (~97% of that coming from coal
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Federal Reserve Buying $100 Billion of Debt per Month

October 21, 2010

There will be no sustainable energy in a unsustainable economy…“The incremental borrower of funds in the U.S. capital markets is rapidly becoming the U.S. Treasury,” Boston-based Fuss said. “Do you really want to buy the debt of the biggest issuer?” Reuters – A string of Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday indicated the central bank will soon offer further monetary stimulus to the economy, by buying $100 billion a month in in federal bonds. “If we’re going to pursue another round of quantitative easing, it has to be a large enough number to make a difference,” Lockhart said in an interview on CNBC television. “As a monthly number ($100 billion) is fairly consistent with what we did before, and so I think it would certainly be in the range of numbers one might consider … but if you were talking about $100 billion as simply the overall program, I think that’s too small,” he said. The hints of forthcoming stimulus were not enough to soothe U.S. stocks, which were down sharply on the day after an interest rate hike in China sparked concerns about the outlook for global growth. Read full at Reuters
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Federal scientists go public in face of restrictive media rules

October 21, 2010
Editorial Cartoon by  AnthonyJenkins | The Globe and Mail

The Canadian union that represents federal government scientists has created a website – PublicScience.ca – to give a voice to the work of its members. The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister’s director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work Read more at Globe and Mail Update
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Cost, price, wind & value of wind as wind drops

October 20, 2010

DailyKOS  …There was a conference on the subject last week in Atlantic City which I attended, and which generated a lot of attention (with over 1,500 attendees) and during which the federal lease for Cape Wind was signed. While no turbine has been built in the US yet*, there are high hopes that there will be some in the near future, and one of the ways to make that happen faster is to absorb the lessons from the European experience, where close to 2,500 MW have been built already. So here’s my take on what can be usefully learnt. Part of my series on Wind Power with the usual disclosure that my work (as an independent consultant) is to advise offshore wind projects find debt financing. ….support to be economically attractive to private investors,  offshore wind requires an unusual level of regulatory effort to work: first, the economics need to make sense. While offshore is more expensive than onshore,   see my article on the cost of wind, the price of wind, the value of wind). the biggest obstacle in the US: the instability created by the PTC mechanism, which needs to be extended every year or couple of years, is
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Owners & Reality Weigh in on Environmental Business Costs

October 20, 2010

A new report highlighting the economic benefits of the Clean Air Act. The report found over the past 4 decades that 1.3M jobs were created as a direct result of environmental standards. These regulations set the groundwork for the United States to be the global leader in environmental technology exports, generating 40 times the economic benefits than the costs of the regulations.  These benefits help illustrate why small businesses support the EPA in helping the United States transition to a cleaner economy. Nearly 500 small business owners from across the country signed a statement of support circulated by the Main Street Alliance for the EPA’s new standards regarding greenhouse gas emissions by large emitters. Or did it? HAASE – I am curious how this report correlates to the  “Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms Report” by the U.S. Small Business Administration stating that the annual cost of federal regulations in the United States increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008. Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008? They put the cost of environmental regulations in a range between between $175 billion and $280 billion when
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Medieval Italian Town Powered By & Selling WindPower

October 20, 2010
Italian wind  turbines

With renewable power, Tocco da Casauria, in central Italy, produces more electricity than it uses, making money off the surplus. It’s a remarkable story.  In central Italy, where ancient towns and villages are tucked into the mountainous landscape, suddenly giant wind turbines can be seen on the horizon.  Faced with sky-high electricity rates, small communities across a country known more for garbage than environmental citizenship are finding economic salvation in making renewable energy. More than 800 Italian communities now make more energy than they use because of the recent addition of renewable energy plants. A quintessential Italian town of 2,700 people in Italy’s poor mountainous center, with its well-maintained church and ruined castle, Tocco is in most ways stuck in yesteryear. Old men talking politics fill gritty bars, and old women wander through the market. The olive harvest is the most important event on the calendar. Yet, from an energy perspective, Tocco is very much tomorrow. In addition to the town’s wind turbines, solar panels generate electricity at its ancient cemetery and sports complex, as well as at a growing number of private residences. read more at NY Times… (Via Amherst Times)
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Pollution Bill directly targeted at the consumers wallet

October 20, 2010

New Tactic in California for Paying Pollution …Faced with a fine of at least $29 million for exceeding federal ozone limits, the San Joaquin Valley’s air quality regulators are proposing an annual surcharge of $10 to $24 on registration fees for the region’s 2.7 million cars and trucks beginning next year. A decision is expected when the governing board meets on Thursday. “We, the people, are the ones whom we need to point the finger at,” said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which administers federal and state pollution laws here. “I think it’s fair to say that this is the first time that a strategy has been directly targeted at the consumer, not at the manufacturer of the car or the manufacturer of the engine or of all the other pieces,” said Susana M. Hildebrand, the chief engineer for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A provision of the Clean Air Act that sets fines for exceeding pollution limits originally required industrial companies to pay them; in fact, the provision, which was added to the law in 1990, was specifically devised “as a hammer to get them to do more,” as Mr.
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Chavez in Russian & Iran for talks on boosting oil, gas and Nuke Deals

October 20, 2010
UPI POY 2009 - News and  Features.

HI, We are in control of your oil… and hate you. Chavez in Iran for talks on boosting oil, gas ties … nothing is going to stop us, we are free, sovereign and independent.” AP/FoxNews- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was holding talks Tuesday with Iranian leaders expected to focus on boosting cooperation between the countries’ oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Chavez, who is on his ninth visit to Iran as president, praised Caracas’ ties with its close Mideast ally, saying they “are solid and very, very deep.” In remarks carried on Venezuelan state television, Chavez said relations with Tehran are based both on “shared interests” and a mutual belief in the importance of Iranian sovereignty. The Venezuelan leader, who has backed Iran in its confrontation with Western powers over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, said he and Ahmadinejad would discuss “the tensions that (U.S.) imperialism is generating” in the Middle East and “the unfair sanctions imposed on the people of Iran,” referring to the U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. Total Imports of Petroleum (EIA)(Thousand Barrels per Day) Country Jul-10 CANADA 2,534 MEXICO 1,289 NIGERIA 1,174 VENEZUELA 1,084 UPI – Venezuela-Russia nuke deal a new
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PeakChina – The Three Chinas

October 20, 2010
PeakChina – The Three Chinas

Watts Up With That-  The choices we make about energy, the environment and climate will be limited by The Three Chinas. The Real China - One of the Chinas is very real and familiar. It has a population of 1.4 billion. China is developing quickly, trying to do in 50 years what America did in 100. As a result, they have doubled their energy use since 2000, becoming the largest energy user in the world. China’s energy use may well double again by 2020. (The figures in the report did not match reality, but their estimate of 7.5% annual growth looks fairly okay). Coal currently provides 70% of China’s energy. That may drop to 65% by 2020. It may not. If China doubles its energy use (to 200 quads) and 65% of it comes from coal, that will be 130 quadrillion BTUs generated from burning coal, in China, in 2020.  China’s coal plants are much dirtier than those used in the developed world. The Second China - This very real China will be replicated by the natural growth of the human population to 8.5 billion by 2035, and 9.1 billion at its peak later this century. That’s more than the
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Can effort & fitness add 8 years?

October 20, 2010

The Associated Press reports it’s the latest evidence for an apparent Hispanic paradox. NPR – it turns out, Hispanics born recently can expect to live longer. How much longer? Well, a Hispanic person born in 2006 can expect to live to the ripe old age of about 80 years. For non-Hispanic the expected lifespan can be up to 8 years shorter. …about 39 percent of the 45 million Hispanics — are immigrants. Moving from one country to another takes some effort and fitness. So the United States may be attracting relatively healthier people from Mexico, the largest source of Hispanic immigrants, and other countries, according to the AP. Read more at Angry Radio NPR
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China Halting Shipments of Rare Earth Minerals To US

October 20, 2010

China, after putting at least a temporary stop to rare earth exports to Japan, is now doing the same with exports to the US; according to the linked article, this is in response to recent US promises to investigate certain Chinese trade practices. - SlashDot
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Disposable life…Life Expectency a Home’s Technology

October 20, 2010
Disposable life…Life Expectency a Home’s Technology

A HipHugger - …the National Association of Home Builders has released a new study detailing the lifespans of many of our home’s electronics. So…about how long can you expect to have that new fridge? The Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components lists everything from building materials to technology…Many of our major household appliances and gadgets will last over a decade, which is excellent when it comes to keeping what we have for as long as possible. It notes items such as: Appliances: * Dishwasher: 9 years * Food Waste (“Garbage”) Disposer: 12 years * Microwave Oven: 9 years * Gas Range:15 years * Standard Refrigerator: 13 years * Freezer: 11 years * Washer: 10 years * Gas Dryer: 10 years * Furnaces: 15 to 20 years * Tankless Water Heater: 20+ years * Gas Water Heater: 10 years * Heat/Smoke Detectors: 5 to 10 years * Wireless Home Networks: 50+ years See more at A HipHugger
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Upper Mississippi River now a “Wetland of International Importance”

October 19, 2010
Upper Mississippi River now a “Wetland of International Importance”

WI -DNR: The floodplain forests along the Upper Mississippi River, including more than 130,000 acres in Wisconsin, are now officially recognized as a global treasure. “The designation is a recognition of just how critically important this is for a multitude of species,” says Jeff Janvrin, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist who has worked on habitat restoration projects along the river for more than 20 years. “It’s also recognition of the hard work people have been putting in to protect the river over the many generations.” The complex series of forested backwater channels, marshes and islands in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa are home to more than 100 fish species and 42 mussels species. Mississippi River wetlands provide habitat to more than 300 birds and a flyway for 40 percent of the waterfowl in America. A slideshow featuring a sampling of these natural resources is found on the Wisconsin Wetlands page of the DNR website.
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BPA Declared Toxic In Canada

October 19, 2010

NY Times — The government of Canada formally declared bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to create clear, hard plastics, as well as food can liners, to be a toxic substance on Wednesday. The compound, commonly known as BPA, has been shown to disrupt the hormone systems of animals and is under review in the United States and Europe. Canada’s move, which was strenuously fought by the chemical industry, followed an announcement by the government two years ago that it would eliminate the compound’s use in polycarbonate bottles used by infants and children. The compound was formally listed as being toxic to both the environment and human health in an official notice published online by the government without fanfare, a noticeable contrast to the earlier baby bottle announcement, which was made by two cabinet ministers. “Environment Canada’s announcement is contrary to the weight of worldwide scientific evidence, unwarranted and will unnecessarily confuse and alarm the public,” Steven G. Hentges, who leads the polycarbonate and BPA group at the council, said in a statement. Rick Smith, the executive director of Environmental Defence, a group that lobbied for the designation, said he hoped that the government would ban BPA from infant formula
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‘Humans will need two Earths by 2030′

October 19, 2010
two-earths-1

USA Today “The over-use and pollution of Earth’s natural resources have become so extreme that, at current rates, a second planet will be needed by 2030 to meet the world’s needs, a new report warns. The Living Planet Report tells that the demands on natural resources have doubled in the past 50 years and are now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half.” The planet’s 6.8 billion people were living 50% beyond Earth’s sustainable means in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the biannual “Living Planet” report by WWF. “Even with modest U.N. projections for population growth, consumption and climate change, by 2030 humanity will need the capacity of two Earths to absorb CO2 waste and keep up with natural resource consumption,” the report says, adding that four and a half planets would be needed if everyone used as many resources as the average American. Its index of biodiversity health showed a loss of almost 30% worldwide and an even loss of 60% in the tropics between 1970 and 2007. Please read full at USA Todaya
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MIT solar-powered water desalination system

October 19, 2010

Slash…“ team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT’s compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system’s photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT’s prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions.”
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First National Geothermal Student Competition – DOE

October 19, 2010
First National Geothermal Student Competition – DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of its inaugural National Geothermal Student Competition. DOE, through its Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP), will provide up to $100,000 to fund as many as 10 collegiate teams that will participate in this competition. In this intercollegiate competition—the first ever to address geothermal education—student teams will be challenged to advance their understanding of geothermal energy’s potential as a significant contributor to our nation’s energy portfolio. Geothermal technology allows for consistently produced energy by tapping into the heat of the earth and emits minimal greenhouse gases. Expanding the use of geothermal resources as a domestic energy source will play an important role in increasing America’s energy independence. The National Geothermal Student Competition is open to all colleges, universities and other post-secondary institutions in the United States. To participate in the competition, teams should submit proposals through DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Request for Proposals link on its Business Opportunities Web page. Up to 10 teams will be selected to participate based on a competitive review of the proposals. Proposals are due November 12, 2010. Read the full DOE Announcement here
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DOE Cut Energy Use by 50% in Commercial Buildings

October 19, 2010

Find out how to save Billion$ of our nations energy loss from this free DOE Webinar October 28, 2010LINK: Strategies to Cut Energy Use by 50 Percent in Commercial Buildings
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Boycott BP is community Boycott?

October 19, 2010

Socimages: a photograph of a public relations notice at a BP gas station explains that the owner of the BP gas station is a member of the community…  The notice is clearly an effort to smooth over the negative publicity BP has recieved as a result of the oil spill in the gulf.  On the one hand, it seems obvious that it’s disingenuous for BP to claim that they are “part of the community.”  And, if one wants to boycott BP, one would not want to buy at a BP station. But, According to the National Association for Convenience Stores, 80% of the gas in the U.S. is bought at convenience stores and in only 2% of cases are these owned by major oil companies (the remainder is largely sold through superstores like Costco and Sam’s Club).  57% of the time, these stores are owned by a person for whom it is a small business and it is the only convenience store they own. So it is true that, in almost all cases, attempting to police or punish BP by refusing to buy their gas is also hurting a small business owner who has zero control over BP and its
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First Aid – Do Something Get Trained!

October 19, 2010
First Aid – Do Something Get Trained!


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In France the Oil War is On!

October 18, 2010

Independent –  France’s oil industry association, said that if strikes continued at all 12 of France’s refineries, then national shortages would follow… the French oil company, said 350 to 400 petrol stations were suffering disrupted supplies. Shortages looked set to worsen as lorry drivers pledged to halt road transport of fuel to filling stations from last night. The government has authorised oil companies to use emergency stocks, but has not yet touched its three-week strategic reserves. -Independent
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Who Got Green Stimulus?

October 18, 2010

Of the Million$/Billion$ spent on “job and business creation” where did the “GreenBacks” go??? The $92million of stimulus funding was targeted at green jobs, only about $20million has been spent... of which 80% of funding for green programs, including $2.3billion in manufacturing tax credits, went to companies who employ their primary workforce in China, South Korea and Spain. - thehayride It seems that grants for wind turbines and solar panels created manufacturing jobs overseas rather than domestically as the administration presumably envisioned. For example, a report issued last fall by American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop that proved highly embarrassing to the administration indicated that eleven US wind farms used their stimulus grants to purchase over 70% of their turbines from overseas manufacturers…while most are livid, but little can be done to force domestic purchasing without creating a trade war. And the United Steelworkers union has filed a lawsuit against China accusing them of subsidizing their manufacturers of such products so as to own the market. Quote of the week?  “A generation which ignores history has no past and no future” - PragmaticAmerican
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Wisconsin’s Unsustainable education…kids to inherit our debt.

October 17, 2010

JS Online: West Bend, WI — After living beyond its means for decades and shifting its debt onto future generations, an entire society is seeing the bills come due earlier than expected. “This is definitely the worst economic situation that school districts have faced since the Depression,”  The consequences are upon us. Three years ago, six librarians served West Bend’s six elementary schools; this year, one librarian remains. Next year, there likely will be none. In Wisconsin alone…An unprecedented three of every four school districts cut teachers this year, with an estimated 1,000 educators terminated and at least as many phased out through attrition or reduced to part time, according to the Wisconsin Education Association Council. But nowhere is the squeeze more evident than in West Bend, home to the state’s 20th-largest school district as well as one of its highest unemployment rates and a fervent anti-tax sentiment that makes budget-cutting the only apparent option. “Parents ask, ‘What should we do with our children as the West Bend School District continues to cut and cut and cut programs,’ ” said Egan, a 20-year veteran who is likely to be reassigned to teach the regular curriculum. For the first time since the
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Quote from “Keeping the Poor in Poverty”

October 17, 2010

“No one ever got a job from a poor man.” - Phil Gramm …We can’t expect to create more jobs if we punish the type of activity that creates jobs… if we wish to fight poverty, we must end those government policies — high taxes and regulatory excess — that inhibit growth and job creation. We must give people the opportunity to start new businesses and enable low-income Americans to save and accumulate wealth. Believers in the free market often seem defensive when the topic is poverty. They shouldn’t be. Nothing has done as much to lift people out of poverty as capitalism and free markets. All one has to do is look around the world to realize that those countries that provide the most economic freedom have less poverty than those that are still mired in socialism and government control. Compassion is more than talking about the plight of the poor or giving them just enough money to make poverty a bit more comfortable. Real compassion is about creating the conditions that will enable the poor to get out of poverty. Hear a little gem from Milton Friedman – Greed: “Capitalism and Freedom” (1962) advocated minimizing the role of
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Mission is to empower public with health-care knowledge

October 17, 2010
Mission is to empower public with health-care knowledge

WashingtonPost  Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s board. If you’re not familiar with the PCORI board, you’re not alone. Created by the health-care overhaul law, it’s one of the newest and least known panels in government. But the work of its 21 members, if successful, could increase the public’s knowledge of medical treatments for everything from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder to cancer. And it could dramatically change how you discuss treatments with your doctor when the law is fully implemented in 2014. “I was very excited,” said Lipstein, president and chief executive of BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, which operates 13 hospitals with more than 26,000 employees. According to the legislation, the PCORI will act as a non-profit organization to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy-makers in making informed health decisions by carrying out research projects that provide quality, relevant evidence on how diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, monitored, and managed. Learn more: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Government Accountability Office (GAO) announcement of the 2010 appointments to the PCORI Board. Biographies of these individuals are
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Marketing & Branding disease to sell cures

October 17, 2010

Carl Elliott, CNN - If you want to understand the way prescription drugs are marketed today, have a look at the 1928 book, “Propaganda,” by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations in America. For Bernays, the public relations business was less about selling things than about creating the conditions for things to sell themselves. . . . To brand a disease is to shape its public perception in order to make it more palatable to potential patients. Panic disorder, reflux disease, erectile dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, bipolar disorder, overactive bladder, ADHD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, even clinical depression: All these conditions were once regarded as rare until a marketing campaign transformed the brand. Once a branded disease has achieved a degree of cultural legitimacy, there is no need to convince anyone that a drug to treat it is necessary. It will come to him as his own idea. Disease branding works especially well for two kinds of conditions. The first is the shameful condition that can be destigmatized. For instance, when Pharmacia launched Detrol in the late 1990s, the condition the drug treated was known to doctors as “urge incontinence.” Patients called it “accidentally peeing in my pants” and were
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…There Is No “Plan B”?

October 17, 2010

The hard news is that there is no “Plan B.” (cMartenson’s Blog) The future is likely to be more chaotic than you probably think…The impact of Peak Oil on markets, lifestyles, and even national solvency deserves our very highest attention – but, it turns out, some important players seem to be paying no attention at all. But there were two reports that really stood out for me. The first was given by Rear Admiral Lawrence Rice, who presented the findings of the 2010 Joint Operating Environment (a forward-looking document examining the trends, contexts, and implications for future joint force commanders in the US military), which spends 76 pages summarizing the key trends and threats of the world. “Energy” occupies six of those pages, and Peak Oil dominates the discussion. Among the conclusions (on page 29), we find this hidden gem, which uses numbers and timing that are eerily similar to those that I put forth in my April 2009 report, Oil – The Coming Supply Crunch: By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD. While there are two “coulds” in that statement, the mere possibility
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The next oil shock?

October 16, 2010

VIA the BigGav – Oil is “the lifeblood of modern civilisation”. This paper provides an overview of the global oil market. In particular, it examines the outlook for oil supply and demand over the next five years, and the economic consequences. Low-cost reserves of oil are being rapidly exhausted, forcing oil companies to turn to more expensive sources of oil. This replacement of low-cost sources of oil with higher-costs sources is driving the price of oil higher.  While the world will not run out of oil reserves for decades to come, it cannot indefinitely continue to produce oil at an increasing rate from the remaining reserves. Forecasts indicate that world oil production capacity will not grow or fall in the next five years while demand will continue to rise. If oil production capacity does not rise as fast as demand, the buffer of spare production capacity disappears. In such a ‘supply crunch’ the price of oil ‘spikes’ to high levels. High oil prices can induce global recessions. Organisations including the International Energy Agency and the US military have warned that another supply crunch is likely to occur soon after 2012 due to rising demand and insufficient production capacity There is
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Transport Policy at Its Worst

October 16, 2010

BigGav – New York Times has a column on the inability of the United States to build new transport infrastructure “The Chinese could build it. The Turks could build it. We can’t build it. “ We are the mightiest nation mankind has ever seen. But we can’t seem to build a railroad tunnel to carry commuters between New Jersey and New York.…The project had been in the works for 20 years, and ground had already been broken when the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, rejected the project on Thursday, saying that his state could not afford its share of the costs. This is a railroad tunnel we’re talking about. We’re not trying to go to the Moon. This is not the Manhattan Project. It’s a railroad tunnel that’s needed to take people back and forth to work and to ease the pressure on the existing tunnel, a wilting two-track facility that’s about 100 years old. What is the matter with us? P.S.  The BBC reports drilling of the world’s longest tunnel, under the Alps, has been completed – Swiss complete world’s longest tunnel. More NY Rail FAIL… UPDATE:When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently pulled out of the proposed Hudson
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China 150 to 253 gigawatts of wind power by 2020

October 16, 2010

physorg – China’s wind power capacity will increase more than five-fold over the next decade from 2009, , as the country steps up its drive to develop clean energy. “It can choose between the dirty, dangerous world of coal and fossil fuels, or the new, clean future promised by wind. The answer is obvious.” Total installed wind power capacity will reach at least 150 gigawatts by 2020 compared with 25.8 gigawatts at the end of 2009, according to the China Wind Power Outlook 2010 report. A more ambitious forecast by the publishers of the report — Greenpeace, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) — is 230 gigawatts over the next 10 years. That would be equal to 13 times the capacity of the Three Gorges Dam and could cut 150 million tonnes of coal consumption – physorg
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Is the US Already Past the Point of Peak Water?

October 16, 2010

Hugger – Peak water has been a concern for several years now, with many nations already experiencing extreme water shortages, even to the point of violence. But here in the US, it seems that water will continue to flow from faucets indefinitely. If only that were the case… In the southwest where it is arid in the first place, water crunches after years of drought are already serious, and water supplies even in more precipitous areas need to be tightly regulated. When it comes to peak water, the US is certainly not immune. Nearly a billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water right now, In an article on Huffington Post, Gleick writes of three types of peak water: renewable, where water flows are constrained over time; nonrenewable, such as groundwater sources, where we pull more than can be naturally replenished; and ecological, which is the point beyond which the cost to the local ecology of using the water is higher than the value of using it for human consumption. According to Gleick, we seem to have hit the limits of all three. There is strong evidence that the United States may have already passed the points
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Economy Puts US Nuclear Reactors Back In Doubt

October 15, 2010

“Remember those 30 new nuclear reactors the US was slated to build?   Those plans have been halted. A few years ago, it seemed like a really good idea to build a bunch of nuclear reactors. The environmental impacts of other energy production methods were becoming well known and the economy was tanking. Well, natural gas is now much cheaper, and as a result it looks like building a single nuclear reactor in Maryland is such a risky venture that Constellation can’t reach an agreement with the federal government for the loans it needs to build that reactor. The government wants Constellation to sign an agreement with a local energy provider to ensure they’ll recoup at least some of the money on the loan, but Constellation doesn’t like the terms. So, the first of those thirty reactors has officially stalled, with no resolution in sight. It looks like it’d take an economic meltdown to trigger nuclear reactor production in the US.” Also: The New York Times reports that the oft-touted nuclear renaissance is manifesting itself in the real world – Sluggish Economy Curtails Prospects for Building Nuclear Reactors. 
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WooHooo! IT Security Salaries To Rise In 2011

October 15, 2010

I wouldn’t hold my breath but /. is reporting“IT security professionals in the United States can expect starting salaries to increase in 2011, according to a new salary report released today. The guide suggests larger increases in base compensation expected in high-demand segments including information security related positions. According to the report, companies are hiring security professionals to help foil fraud, prevent network breaches and comply with new regulations, to keep confidential information safe and secure.”
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EIA Energy projections… taking hits while we’re down..

October 15, 2010

The average household winter heating fuel expenditures will continue to increase 4-12%EIA – Projected Winter Fuel Expenditures by Fuel and Region Natural Gas - EIA expects households heating with natural gas to increase 4 % this winter …residential prices had 6-% increase in average household. Heating Oil – EIA expects households heating with heating oil to increase 12 %…The average Northeast household is projected to spend 13 % more. Propane –  About 6 % of total U.S. households heat with propane…residential propane prices increase by over 15 % from last winter. Electricity – Households heating with electricity can expect electricity expenditures are 2 % lower this winter because a 4-% decline in consumption more than offsets a 2-% increase in prices. 
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Wastewater… an endless resource.

October 15, 2010
Wastewater… an endless resource.

AlterNet – “Clean Energy from Wastewater On the Rise” Producing biofuel from wastewater seems like a natural equation: take a resource that is produced incessantly, and is an environmental pollutant, and turn it into energy—and, in turn, reduce fossil fuel consumption. Doing this on a large scale is much easier said than done, so it isn’t necessarily a widespread practice—but it might be getting there. Here’s a look at a few projects or companies that are transforming human waste into usable energy. 1. Biodiesel from sewage sludge is not only possible, but can cost just cents more than regular, petroleum-based diesel. 2. A town in England just started using sewage to heat about 200 homes, and similar projects will only expand throughout the country over the next year. 3. Sewage grease: a company called BlackGold Biofuels makes FOG-to-Fuel, a system that converts fats, oils, and greases (FOG), which tend to clog sewers, into biodiesel. The company says that the system “contributes to reductions in sewer overflows, utility cost-savings, reduced carbon footprint, and increased energy security and independence.” 4. Another technology currently in development would transform the scum in wastewater into electricity: microbial fuel cells (MFCs), “which utilize electrothermically-active bacteria grown
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Freezing out grandma & kicking her to the curb

October 15, 2010

“Facing the prospect of no cost-of-living adjustment for a second consecutive year, disabled, poor and and senior advocates said they were doing the math this week to figure out where to pinch their daily budgets. “That doesn’t go up, but everything else does,” said Ma ry Huffer, a Lafayette resident who is on disability and counts on Social Security to help pay her bills. “Food, gas and everything else keeps going up. That’s the economy. “I think it’s very sad, the situation we’re in. The elderly fall far behind. I can only make so much without losing benefits. It’s not a place I choose to be in.” The cost-of-living adjustment is set automatically each year as an inflationary measure adopted by Congress in the 1970s. According to the Social Security Administration, 64 percent of the more than 58 million people receiving benefits rely on those payments as their primary source of income. “When people aren’t getting COLAs they certainly feel like they’re falling further and further behind, particularly in this economy,” said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. COMMENT:FAIL – In our history’s hardest economic times we have decided NOT to raise the cost of living for recipients of
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Size of Africa -Information Is Beautiful

October 14, 2010


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Climate change is a bit of a standing joke in the science community.

October 14, 2010

Telegraph, you put up a post you imagine is fairly routine – and suddenly the internet goes mental. US physics professor: “Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudo scientific fraud I have seen in my long life” definitely belonged in the latter category. I claim no credit for it. All I did was print, verbatim, a resignation letter written by a distinguished US physics professor Hal Lewis to the American Physical Society. Possibly I helped give it legs by singling out the juiciest quote in the letter and putting it in the headline. That’s all. The true hero of the hour is Professor Lewis for having the courage to stick out his neck and say what so many thousands of other scientists around the world would dearly love to say too: that the global warming industry is a scam and sham. But they can’t because, like all of us, they have to make a living. I’ll leave it to a commenter called Scotchman to explain how it works: No surprise here. Don’t know if any of you are scientists but climate change is a bit of a standing joke in the science community. Want funding for a study
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China overtakes U.S. as biggest energy consumer: IEA

October 14, 2010

Reuters China has become the world’s largest energy user, having overtaken the United States, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. “China is now the largest energy consumer by our definition,” the executive director of IEA, Nobuo Tanaka “Probably half of the oil demand increase comes from China. Nobody knows when it (will) slow down.” More on The Energy China Syndrome China energy depletion – net importer of oil & U.S. coal ? China, setting the world’s oil prices . 1994, the International Energy Agency released a statistic that attracted little attention but years later would transform oil markets and the global economy. China, the west’s energy watchdog said at the time, had just become “a net importer of oil on an annual basis for the first time since the 1960s”.  EPIC – The energy depletion and environmental consequences are game changing.
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Super Soaking solar power costs

October 14, 2010

The Atlantic is covering a Lonnie Johnson’s idea I mentioned n 2008: “Super Soaker Inventor Develops Efficient Solid-Sate Heat Engine“In March 2003, the independent inventor Lonnie Johnson faced a roomful of high-level military scientists at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Virginia. Johnson had traveled there from his home in Atlanta, seeking research funding for an advanced heat engine he calls the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Converter, or JTEC (pronounced “jay-tek”). At the time, the JTEC was only a set of mathematical equations and the beginnings of a prototype, but Johnson had made the tantalizing claim that his device would be able to turn solar heat into electricity with twice the efficiency of a photovoltaic cell, and the Office of Naval Research wanted to hear more. …Mild-mannered and bespectacled, Johnson opened his presentation by describing the idea behind the JTEC. The device, he explained, would split hydrogen atoms into protons and electrons, and in so doing would convert heat into electricity. Most radically, it would do so without the help of any moving parts. Johnson planned to tell his audience that the JTEC could produce electricity so efficiently that it might make solar power competitive with coal, and perhaps at
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GreenGov Symposium

October 14, 2010

Nancy Sutley – The first annual GreenGov Symposium kicked off at George Washington University with more than 1,000 attendees, and keynotes from U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Janine Benyus, president of The Biomimicry Institute and co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild.  Secretary Chu and Nancy Sutley had the honor of announcing plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House Residence, a project that demonstrates American solar technologies are available, reliable, and ready for installation in homes throughout the country. It was just one year ago today that President Obama signed an Executive Order asking the Federal Government to look inward and push ourselves to operate more sustainably.  He asked us to set, and then meet, some aggressive goals, and to leverage our assets, our purchasing power, and our large and dedicated work force to help advance clean energy opportunities, cut the pollution that is degrading our planet, and save American taxpayer dollars in the process.  Agencies across the Federal Government are excited and proud of what they are doing and what they intend to do to live up to the promise
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Record Poor… Record Rich

October 13, 2010

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” – John F. Kennedy Wall Street and GOV pay and income hit an all time record this year…. as did the number of poor, unemployed, price of food,  debt to their childrens, children and basic tax rates across nation. “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”  – Socrates
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When a Sea Disappears from irrigation

October 13, 2010
When a Sea Disappears (12  pics)

The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest saline body of water. It has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects. And now it’s almost gone leaving a dessert full of old shipwrecks. See all twelve pictures here
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China Stakes Claim to South Texas Oil, Gas

October 13, 2010
China Stakes Claim to South Texas Oil, Gas

Houston Chronicle State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves. With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent. As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company… It also might pick up some American know-how about tapping the hard-to-get deposits trapped in dense shale rock formations, analysts said. Read on at Houston Chronicle
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Pumping Water a Path to a Cleaner Grid

October 12, 2010

Next100 An iPhone or Blackberry without a battery is just a dead lump of metal and silicon. In much the same way, many experts believe that an electrical grid without energy storage will forever be just a bunch of dumb wires. That’s why PG&E on Friday filed a request with state regulators for funding to study the feasibility of building a major new “pumped hydro storage” facility in the Mokelumne River watershed in Amador County. The facility, if built, would provide critical backup energy to even out the fluctuations of wind and solar energy, thus supporting California’s ambitious goal of providing a third of the state’s electricity from renewable power by 2020. The wind can blow strongly for hours, only to die out for days at a time. Solar modules can gush electrons in full sun, then go dormant when clouds pass overhead. Since customers don’t want their lights to flicker on and off as the weather changes, today’s utilities—lacking much of any stored energy to call upon—must ramp generators powered by fossil fuels up and down as needed to keep supply in balance with demand. …Energy storage has won many converts, including the California Independent System Operator, key technology advisers to
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A VERY big nuclear plan to replace coal….

October 12, 2010
A VERY big nuclear plan to replace coal….

Repowering Taichung, Taiwan Part 1 “coal2nuclear” The Chinese 4,200 MWe (5.6 million horsepower), would be the world’s biggest repowering project would be like taking 13 MILLION cars off the world’s roads.. Hope to make money off Norway’s $50 per ton carbon tax, that’s $2,065,000,000 per year! The plan:  Replace Taichung’s eight coal-burning boilers with eight modified Russian Rosatom  BN-800 nuclear boilers.The BN-800’s nuclear heat exchangers would have to be modified to duplicate Taichung’s coal boilers, but other than that, we can start right now. Everything we need is for sale.  China has already purchased two BN-800s for Sanmin City. The many advantages to cleaning up an existing power plant rather than building an entirely new power plant.   Read more about this “big” nuclear project Repowering Taichung, Taiwan Part 1 “coal2nuclear”
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Doomsday garden has become a thriving business

October 12, 2010

Leonard Pense never planned to grow his garden into a business…Ten years ago, the former engineer and military consultant bought 21 secluded acres on top of a hill south of Strafford –“high ground with only one way in and out,” he says. It was a place his extended family could retreat to if the country’s economy collapsed, big trucks stopped delivering food to cities or the power grid went dark. “This was built solely as a survival garden for my family,” said Pense, surveying rows of raised-bed growing areas filled with raspberries, potatoes, beans, okra, cauliflower, tomatoes and other edibles. Related“Having worked as a consultant for the government, I came to the conclusion this country is not in the best of shape. When I started this, I did not intend for anyone to know where I was or what I was doing out here.” His survivalist retreat, however, didn’t remain a secret. Today, Pense’s hilltop doomsday garden has become a thriving business known as Pensaroda Farm. He sells a special compost blend he created himself that almost eliminates weeds, and a fertilizer additive he designed that goes far beyond the basic nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium mix most gardeners are familiar with. Pense also
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Racing against finite petroleum supply

October 12, 2010

We hear that there are huge reserves of oil, so we assume that the oil will be available when we want it. That is not necessarily true. Even if we know the oil is there, if it takes more than one barrel of previously-extracted oil to extract a new barrel of oil, the fact that the oil reserves are there doesn’t really help us–it is too expensive in terms of oil, to extract the new oil. This relationship also holds in terms of dollars. Once a barrel of oil is too expensive in $$ to extract, relative to what it can produce, the system starts breaking down. The question is how high oil prices can go, without the economy being adversely affected (say, by recession). Analysis by Oil Drum staff member Dave Murphy suggests that this level is $80 or $85 a barrel. The current oil price is about $82 a barrel, so we are again reaching the problematic range. Lending further credence to this concern is the fact that world oil production has been flat for five and a half years now – 2005 to the present – despite a rising number of vehicles. So there is a reason
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Energy use answers can be found in a cubic mile of oil

October 12, 2010

Hard, cold and inarguable facts about the energy in  one cubic mile of oil…. One cubic mile of oil (CMO) equals the oil that the world consumes every year. Three CMOs equal ALL the energy that the world consumes every year. Cited in cubic miles of oil, energy consumption can be expressed without reference to barrels and gallons of oil, tons (or tonnes) of coal or cubic feet of natural gas – or, for that matter, to British thermal units, joules, calories, watt-hours and all the associated mind-numbing multipliers that accompany them, such as trillions and quadrillions, gigawatts and terawatts. A Cubic Mile of Oil: Realities and Options for Averting the Looming Global Energy Crisis. Written by three California-based scientists (bioengineer Hewitt Crane, energy technologist Edwin Kinderman and organic chemist Ripudaman Malhotra) and published by Oxford University Press, Cubic Mile uses a simple volumetric metaphor to eliminate a bewildering technocratic Babel: a pool of oil one mile wide, one mile long and one mile deep.But Cubic Mile is more than an introduction to a new unit of measurement. It is an encyclopedic embrace of energy issues, with dispassionate but compelling analysis of the energy conundrum. People shouldn’t count, for example,
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Alaska To Export Billions of Gallons of Water

October 11, 2010

“Newsweek reports on a company called True Alaska Bottling that has purchased the rights to transfer 3 billion gallons of water a year from Sitka, Alaska’s bountiful reserves. If all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will soon be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai. From there it will be dispersed among several drought-plagued cities throughout the Middle East. Think of it as a proof of concept for turning life’s most essential molecule into a global commodity.” – Source /.
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California’s AB23 – a litmus test for climate law

October 11, 2010

WashingtonExaminer …The ballot initiative also has the power to reverse one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature environmental accomplishments. In 2006, he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a Democratic bill that requires reduction of greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels over the next decade. The law, AB32, is a cornerstone of the environmental legacy the Republican governor is trying to leave and is scheduled to take effect in 2012. The California agency overseeing air regulations has already started working on the rules to implement it. Proposition 23 calls for a postponement of AB32 until the state’s unemployment rate, now at 12.4 percent, falls to 5.5 percent and stays there for a year — a feat that has happened just three times over the last 30 years, according to state statistics. Charles Drevna… wrote that a defeat for the initiative “could energize environmental fanatics around the country and in Washington to match California’s destructive policies with their own versions of AB32.”Oil companies have contributed millions to pass Proposition 23 campaign, with $6.5 million coming from three sources: Texas-based Valero Corp. and Tesoro Corp., which have contributed $4 million and $1.5 million respectively; and Flint Hills Resources of Wichita, Kan., a
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Science & Facts no longer welcome in global warming religion…

October 11, 2010

Hal Lewis…It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist. So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:.There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East
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NASA – SolarMax will bring “change” to world in 2012

October 10, 2010

“If another White House stimulus program does not wipe us out first, then look to the sun. Things promise to be hot in 2012.”TheDC - …SolarMax (NASA 2006) will have an impact on the earth’s core, that roiling sphere of liquid iron that generates the planet’s magnetic field. If that is true, the coming solar storm will generate earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and hurricanes. All those disasters are frightening enough, but what direct effect will Solar Max have on animal life — on humans? If you want an informed view, see the explanation by Mitch Battros, producer of Earth Changes Media. Battros’ work is noted by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Space Agency, the Royal Observatory, the Naval Observatory and other major scientific organizations. You can see one of his beautifully illustrated and very readable reports here. http://iqxs.posterous.com/magnetic-pole-reversal-in-progress If you are rightfully concerned about sun storms and the Solar Max, your worries can only increase when you read the Battros report to the very end. Battros suggests the powerful waves of magnetism generated in a solar storm can directly affect the human body’s magnetic field. You will then look up Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Wikipedia and discover
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The Fear and Greed of GREEN – preying on children…

October 10, 2010

Partially funded by taxpayers of course… A film produced by Green Supremacists to manipulate children uses graphic violence and killing to promote reducing carbon footprint? While the original video by greenpeace still haunts me, the 10:10 makes it look like a disney film. “In EcoNutJob News” from the Guardian… Richard Curtis film for the 10:10 environmental campaign said today that they were “absolutely appalled” when they saw the director’s four-minute short, which was withdrawn from circulation amid a storm of protest. The film, entitled No Pressure, debuted on the 10:10 website on Friday. Featuring a cast including film star Gillian Anderson and England footballer Peter Crouch, with music donated by Radiohead and shot by a 40-strong professional film crew led by director Dougal Wilson, it was intended to galvanise viewers into taking personal action to reduce their own carbon footprint. In several graphic scenes, committed environmental campaigners use a detonator to blow up recalcitrant members of the public, including two schoolchildren and the ex-footballer David Ginola. Distribution plans for UK cinemas have now been scrapped. The charity ActionAid, which co-ordinates the 10:10 schools programme, today welcomed the move. “Our job is to encourage proactive decisions at class level to reduce
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Green Jobs Promises Dwindle As Policies Backfire

October 10, 2010

Excerpt: more than 11 percent—of Obama’s original $814 billion stimulus package, enacted in early 2009, went to an assortment of renewable energy projects. But the jobs that were supposed to be created never materialized—at least not in the United States. According to the White House, last year’s stimulus created 190,700 green jobs, but the administration’s own Department of Energy (DOE) puts the figure at only 82,000. And, as the Washington Times reported on September 10, as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion in tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in China, South Korea, and Spain…..Other problems have arisen on the green-jobs front. In 2007 the newly elected Democratic Congress joined forces with the Bush administration to enact an energy bill which, among other things, provided for the phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs. It turns out, however, that their replacement, the compact fluorescent light (CFL), can be manufactured much more cheaply in China. As a result, 200 workers at a GE light bulb factory in Winchester, Virginia recently lost their jobs. Disillusionment with the broken promise of green jobs has even made its way into the ranks of the Obama administration’s
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Wiretapping the Internet – To tech with IT all!

October 10, 2010
Wiretapping the Internet – To tech with IT all!

SCHNEIER On Monday, The New York Times reported that President Obama will seek sweeping laws enabling law enforcement to more easily eavesdrop on the internet. Technologies are changing, the administration argues, and modern digital systems aren’t as easy to monitor as traditional telephones. …Formerly reserved for totalitarian countries, this wholesale surveillance of citizens has moved into the democratic world as well. Governments like Sweden, Canada and the United Kingdom are debating or passing laws giving their police new powers of internet surveillance, in many cases requiring communications system providers to redesign products and services they sell. More are passing data retention laws, forcing companies to retain customer data in case they might need to be investigated later. Obama isn’t the first U.S. president to seek expanded digital eavesdropping. The 1994 (CLINTON) CALEA law required phone companies to build ways to better facilitate FBI eavesdropping into their digital phone switches. Since 2001, the National Security Agency has built substantial eavesdropping systems within the United States. These laws are dangerous, both for citizens of countries like China and citizens of Western democracies. Forcing companies to redesign their communications products and services to facilitate government eavesdropping reduces privacy and liberty; that’s obvious. But
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VW Passat BlueMotion goes 1,527 Miles Without Refueling

October 10, 2010

A Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by a standard production passenger car on a single tank of fuel. Powered by a 1.6-liter common rail TDI engine with stop-start technology and equipped with low-rolling resistance tires, longer gearing and aerodynamics modifications, the Passat BlueMotion is one heck of an example of efficient motoring and Conway’s drive put the vehicle’s fuel-sipping abilities to the test. Conway hit the French autoroutes to determine just how far the efficient Passat could travel on a single tank, which holds 20.4 gallons of diesel. During his three-day record-setting run, Conway averaged 45 miles per hour and discovered that the BlueMotion’s efficiency was simply amazing. After completing the journey, the Volkswagen Passat clocked 1,526.63 miles, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a production passenger car on a single tank of fuel; the 74.8 miles per gallon (U.S.) it got ain’t too shabby either.  VW PR / Auto Blog Green 
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…we’re printing money to buy it.

October 10, 2010

#1: The US Fed is now the second largest owner of US Treasuries. …this week we overtook Japan, leaving China as the only country with greater ownership of US Debt. And we’re printing money to buy it. Setting aside the fact that this is abject lunacy, this policy is trashing our currency which has fallen 13% since June… as in four months ago. Want an explanation for why stocks, commodities, and Gold are exploding higher? Here it is. #2: “There are only about $550 billion of Treasuries outstanding with a remaining maturity of greater than 10 years.” #3: The US will Default on its Debt … either that or experience hyperinflation. There is simply no other option.
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Light Pollution

October 10, 2010

Light Pollution, GOOD
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Hungary: Toxic sludge flood kills, causes chemical burns, wipes out entire towns

October 10, 2010

“Here in Hungary we’re undergoing one of the worst ecological catastrophes to have hit Europe in the past 20-30 years: a flood of deadly toxic sludge. This AlJazeera video sums up the awful situation. Many people have received chemical burns from the chemical slurry; some have died. Now it seems that three inundated towns will be razed completely along, with everything in them. “
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DOE Report on Offshore Wind Power in the United States

October 7, 2010

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the release of a report from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which comprehensively analyzes the key factors impacting the deployment of offshore wind power in the United States. The report, “Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States: Assessment of Opportunities and Barriers,” includes a detailed assessment of the nation’s offshore wind resources and offshore wind industry, including future job growth potential. The report also analyzes the technology challenges, economics, permitting procedures, and the potential risks and benefits of offshore wind power deployment in U.S. waters. “Clean, renewable energy development that capitalizes on the nation’s vast offshore wind and water resources holds great promise for our clean energy future and our economy,” said Secretary Chu. “Today’s report will help guide our efforts in the coming years to support the offshore wind industry, create new clean energy jobs, and develop environmentally responsible energy resources.”
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Gas plant buries CO2 and billion dollar debt with fed gov’t

October 7, 2010

BuisnessWeek A western North Dakota synthetic gas plant that injects more than half of its carbon dioxide emissions underground also has buried its debt with the federal government. “This is the final, final payment,” said Hill, who likened it to a mortgage-burning party. “We’re good to go. We’re done.” ….Energy Department officials have said the default on the $1.5 billion loan likely was the largest in the agency’s history. John Panek, an Energy Department analyst who has been monitoring the plant’s operations for more than 20 years, was out of the office and did not return telephone calls to The Associated Press on Tuesday. Hill said revenues from Great Plains’ natural gas sales totaled $264.7 million last year. The plant has about 700 employees. “It came real close to being a write-off for the federal government,” Hill said. “We took a plant that at one time was considered a white elephant and turned it around. Had the plant not been operating, 700 jobs would have been yanked out of the economy.” The company said is the nation’s only commercial scale plant producing natural gas from lignite. The gasification process at Great Plains involves using high-pressure steam and air to break
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About 26,000 U.S. dams pose a high or significant hazard to life and property if a failure occurs

October 7, 2010

NBF – more than 80,000 dams in the U.S., about a third pose a “high” or “significant” hazard to life and property if a failure occurs, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). What are the chief causes of dam failures in North America? Overtopping is the highest and seepage and piping is probably second Overtopping is something that’s avoidable. You can perform the necessary calculations and develop a “fix” to prevent it. Overtopping might occur because the spillway was inoperable. That’s the type of thing that causes dams to overtop in general, other than extreme floods.
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Reaction to another $20 Billion in Noookular funding ;-)

October 7, 2010

Always awesome at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily)
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U.S. Military Aims to Use 50 Percent Renewable Energy Within Ten Years

October 6, 2010

PopSci  -  Of all places, the U.S. military has proven one of the fiercest proponents of renewable energy, and for totally practical reasons — most importantly cost and safety. Now, military higher-ups plan to rely on renewable energy sources for 50 percent of their power by 2020, which could help the worldwide advancement of those technologies immeasurably. One company of Marines, saddled with tons of solar power tech, is kickstarting this revolution. The military is not a new player on the renewable energy scene; the Navy has previously pledged to have a “Green Strike Group” by 2012, was the biggest purchaser of electric cars in the country, and is working on “zero-footprint” camps. These aren’t ideological choices–renewable energy and many of its applications are simply better than fossil fuels in many ways. Says Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy: “Fossil fuel is the number-one thing we import to Afghanistan, and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.” The convoys that deliver fossil fuel are frequent targets of insurgent attack, which can impair both the delivery system and the lives of civilians and soldiers–a study found
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History of a solar White House

October 6, 2010

White House goes green with solar panels - again, again and again  It is the year two thousand and ten… and President Barack Obama orders installation of additional solar panels and a solar hot water heater at the White House Guardian ” The move by Obama’s administration follows lobbying by green campaigners, who called on the president to reinstate solar on the White House and have been driving around the US in a biodiesel-powered van with one of the original panels installed by Carter. Last month they visited the White House, which declined the symbolic request to fit the old panel. Neither did it commit to installing new panels. Bill McKibben, who led the campaign, said he welcomed Obama’s decision to fit new panels: “It’s great news … .. The return of solar at the White House follows other symbolic green efforts since Obama took power, including Michelle Obama’s creation of an organic vegetable garden in its grounds last year. In the senate Republicans and Democrats are currently trying to push through a renewable energy standard that would require utilities to source 3% of their energy from green sources such as wind and solar power by 2012.” Haase – History,
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West Virginia Is Geothermically Active

October 5, 2010

/. “Researchers have uncovered the largest geothermal hot spot in the eastern United States. According to a unique collaboration between Google and academic geologists, West Virginia sits atop several hot patches of Earth, some as warm as 200C and as shallow as 5 kilometers. If engineers are able to tap the heat, the state could become a producer of green energy for the region.”
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