Monthly Archives: February 2011

DOE to Expand Partnership with National Parks

February 28, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative today announced the expansion of the ongoing collaboration with the National Parks Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program. The goal of this new partnership is to reduce air pollution and preserve the environment and the National Parks’ natural resources. Clean Cities has been working with the National Park Service since 1999 to support the use of renewable and alternative fuels, electric drive vehicles, and other energy-saving practices to help preserve air quality and promote the use of domestic energy resources in the parks. The expansion includes additional support and pilot projects at three national parks. The Department will provide technical assistance in developing project proposals which then can be submitted to the National Parks Service for potential funding. Read full from EERE News  Picture inset One of Glacier National Park’s propane-powered historic Red Buses.
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How George Soros plans to profit off of the “green energy” boom,

February 28, 2011

George Soros is launching a new investment fund that plans to profit off of the “green energy” boom, which is entirely dependent on government subsidies supported by the groups Soros funds. As the press release puts it, this fund will “leverage technology and business model innovation to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources, among other applications.” As Soros puts it in the same release: “Developing alternative sources of energy and achieving greater energy efficiency is both a significant global investment opportunity and an environmental imperative.” Cadie Thompson at CNBC’s NetNet flagged this. So, yeah. The big-government policies advanced by the liberal outfits he funds — like Center for American Progress — will enrich the companies in which Soros is investing. But this story gets better. The press release casually mentions whom Soros is hiring to run this new fund: Cathy Zoi. As Cadie Thompson at CNBC’s NetNet (edited by my brother John Carney), puts it, Zoi was Barack Obama’s “Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.” An Al Gore acolyte, Zoi was Obama’s point-woman on subsidizing green tech. Now she’s going to work for
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Small Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming for Years

February 28, 2011

NationalGeographic- Even a regional nuclear war could spark “unprecedented” global cooling and reduce rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models. Widespread famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate. During the Cold War a nuclear exchange between superpowers—such as the one feared for years between the United States and the former Soviet Union—was predicted to cause a “nuclear winter.”…. Today, with the United States the only standing superpower, nuclear winter is little more than a nightmare. But nuclear war remains a very real threat—for instance, between developing-world nuclear powers, such as India and Pakistan. The researchers predicted the resulting fires would kick up roughly five million metric tons of black carbon into the upper part of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. In NASA climate models, this carbon then absorbed solar heat and, like a hot-air balloon, quickly lofted even higher, where the soot would take much longer to clear from the sky. Reversing Global Warming?The global cooling caused by these high carbon clouds …After ten years, average global temperatures would still be 0.9 degree F (0.5 degree C) lower than before the nuclear war, the models predict.  Read full at  NationalGeographic File under OMG
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Beijing, China air pollution is hazardous, exceeding measurable levels

February 27, 2011

On Monday, dense smog blanketed the city of Beijing, China. It was so bad that the hazardous air pollution exceeded measurable levels, forcing Chinese officials to urge residents to stay indoors. Official measurements indicated that the smog was “beyond index,” plunging below the worst rating on the city’s pollution scale. In an interview with the AFP, an official at the Beijing Environmental Bureau who refused to release her identity stated, “Obviously elderly people and children should not go outside.” Yikes. The Beijing weather bureau reported that particulate pollution, rising temperatures and a lack of wind caused the thick smog to settle in, cutting visibility down to 200 meters. Air quality in Beijing is expected to remain poor until winds pick up today and blow the dense smog north of the city. Beijing’s 4.8 million registered vehicles bear the brunt of the blame for the city’s rising air pollution.
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Porsche 1900 Semper Vivus full-hybrid

February 27, 2011

AutoBlogGreen Think the Toyota Prius was the first hybrid automobile ever made? Think again. Honda Insight? Keep guessing. In reality, the world’s first hybrid was designed and built by none other than Ferdinand Porsche, founding father of the present-day Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart. That’s right, the same brain that brought us such ingenious machinery as the Volkswagen Beetle and the glorious Auto Union racers built the world’s first fully functional hybrid automobile. Now that the modern-day Porsche brain-trust is once again showing interest in hybrid technology, the German company has decided to bring back the 1900 Semper Vivus, which literally means always alive. Although the technology behind hybrids has come a long way – Porsche’s first hybrid used about 4,000 pounds of lead acid batteries and could barely climb any kind of grade – the basic principles are actually much the same.
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Bill Clinton warns against ethanol food war he created

February 27, 2011

Many forget Bill Clinton Launched the largest growth of ethanol The husband of the Secretary of State – who is currently dealing with the American response to unrest in North Aftica and the Middle East – told the attendees that biofuels can affect the political arena by causing food prices to climb. Specifically, he said, “We have to become energy independent but we don’t want to do it at the expense of food riots.” He also said that the U.S. needs to “make intelligent decisions with three- to five-year time horizons based on the best evidence we have to maximize the availability of good food at affordable prices.” The direct connection between large-scale biofuel production and political turmoil didn’t sit well with some in the audience. The Renewable Fuels Association’s Matt Hartwig responded by saing, “The driver behind rising food prices has been and remains oil. President Clinton is right that ethanol is a key to American energy security and we would welcome his support in advocating for the continued advancement and evolution of this industry to include a wide variety of feedstocks and technologies.” Clinton and the history of the
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$4 Gasoline? Definitely in California, but Maybe Not for Everyone Else

February 27, 2011

As oil prices race toward $100 a barrel, the expectations that gasoline prices will make a leap are running high. Some traders say $4 a gallon will be a reality in the not-too-distant future, and prices could shoot even higher…. “I don’t think we’re about to embark on a launch pad for another 2008. We went up to $4.11 by the summer. We went to nearly $5 for diesel,” he said. He said the level where consumers start to feel real pain at the pump is about $3.80 to $4 per gallon. “I’m definitely not in the group that’s looking for the apocalypse right now. Let’s watch California. California is the first state that will see prices go up to the point that will really impact consumers,” he said. Read more at CNBC Also on CNBC  IEA Chief: $100 Oil ‘Very, Very Bad’ for Economy
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Saving Oil & Reducing Gas Emissions through U.S. Federal Transportation Policy

February 27, 2011

The United States consumes over 10 million barrels of oil per day moving people and goods on roads and rail throughout the country. Surface transportation generates over 23 percent of U.S. anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transportation is the primary cause of U.S. oil dependence with its attendant risks to U.S. energy security. Contributions from this sector will be necessary in any effort to maintain a sustainable and secure economy in the future. There are many opportunities to save oil and reduce GHG emissions under existing federal law and possibly in the next surface transportation reauthorization legislation in the U.S. Congress, while increasing the mobility of people and goods in the U.S. economy. This paper identifies opportunities possible in transportation reauthorization legislation and using existing legislative authority that will save oil and reduce GHG emissions. The strategy focuses on five key elements: vehicles; fuels; vehicle miles traveled (VMT); system efficiency; and construction, maintenance, and other activities of transportation agency operations. Read Study Here
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Neuroscience: implications for education and lifelong learning

February 27, 2011

This report highlights advances in neuroscience with potential implications for education and lifelong learning. The report authors, including neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists and education specialists, agree that if applied properly, the impacts of neuroscience could be highly beneficial in schools and beyond.  The report argues that our growing understanding of how we learn should play a much greater role in education policy and should also feature in teacher training. The reportalso discusses the challenges and limitations of applying neuroscience in the classroom and in learning environments throughout life. Read Full Report with Appendices
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Cannabis Use & Earlier Onset of Psychosis

February 27, 2011

Surprised? Taking drugs makes you crazy… Cannabis is the most widely used addictive substance after tobacco and alcohol. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that more than 16 million Americans use cannabis on a regular basis, most of whom started using cannabis and other drugs during their teenage years. There is little doubt about the existence of an association between substance use and psychotic illness.National mental health surveys have repeatedly found more substance use, especially cannabis use, among people with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder. There is a high prevalence of substance use among individuals treated in mental health settings, and patients with schizophrenia are more likely to use substances than members of the wider community. Prospective birth cohort and population studies suggest that the association between cannabis use and later psychosis might be causal, a conclusion supported by studies showing that cannabis use is associated with an earlier age at onset of psychotic disorders, particularly schizophrenia.Read More>>
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Oil Prices hit ‘Danger Zone’

February 27, 2011
Chart Price Of Oil

The continuing unrest across the Middle East have pushed oil prices into a “danger zone” that could threaten global economic recovery, the International Energy Agency has warned. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said high prices could put pressure on central banks to raise interest rates, especially in more developed countries such as the UK. “Oil prices are a serious risk for the global economic recovery,” he said. “The global economic recovery is very fragile – especially in OECD countries.” He said oil prices had entered a “danger zone” for the recovery at over $90 a barrel. Brent crude prices fell back slightly from Monday’s two-and-a-half-year high of $108.70 a barrel, but US oil prices at one stage rose by more than $8 a barrel to hit $94.49, the highest level since October 2008. That increase was partly a catch-up after the US markets were closed on Monday, but prices are also being driven by fears that unrest could spread to Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter. Read more at the The Guardian
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Iran To ‘Remove Fuel’ From Bushehr Nuclear Plant

February 27, 2011

SlashDot – “Ira n said on Saturday it is removing the fuel from the reactor of a Russian-built nuclear power plant, a move seen as a big blow to its controversial nuclear program. The plant was first launched by the shah using contractors from Siemens. It was shelved after the Islamic revolution and it lay unfinished through the 1980s. In the early 1990s, Iran sought help for the project after being turned away by Siemens over nuclear proliferation concerns. In 1994, Russia agreed to complete the plant and provide the fuel, with the supply deal committing Iran to returning the spent fuel. The plant has faced hiccups even after its physical launch, with officials blaming the delays in generating electricity on a range of factors, including Bushehr’s ‘severe weather.’ But they deny it was hit by the malicious Stuxnet computer worm which struck industrial computers in Iran, although they acknowledge that the personal computers of some personnel at Bushehr were infected with it.”
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Truth of crash, the wealth never trickles down…

February 26, 2011

Only the richest 5 percent of Americans are back in the stores because their stock portfolios have soared. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has doubled from its crisis low. Wall Street pay is up to record levels. Total compensation and benefits at the 25 major Wall St firms had been $130 billion in 2007, before the crash; now it’s close to $140 billion. But a strong recovery can’t be built on the purchases of the richest 5 percent. The truth is if the super-rich paid their fair share of taxes, government wouldn’t be broke. If states hadn’t handed out tax breaks to corporations and the well-off, and if Washington hadn’t extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, eviscerated the estate tax, and created loopholes for private-equity and hedge-fund managers, the federal budget wouldn’t look nearly as bad. And if America had higher marginal tax rates and more tax brackets at the top – for those raking in $1 million, $5 million, $15 million a year – the budget would look even better. We wouldn’t be firing teachers or slashing Medicaid or hurting the most vulnerable members of our society. We wouldn’t be in a tizzy over Social Security. We’d
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The World Has No Choice But To Buy More, More Fertilizer

February 26, 2011

One part of the equation is that demand for food is growing. But there’s another aspect: The clear trend in major regions is for less and less arable land per capita. Thus the only way to get more food is to get more yield from diminishing acres. And that means: more fertilizer! The chart from Dundee Securities tells the story: Read full from Business Insider Chart of the Day
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Wisconsin States & Federal Payroll – How bad is it?

February 26, 2011

As a nation we are talking about cutting the most fundamental state programs that server and protect our families and communities? But before we do, maybe someone should be looking into the “federal and not state” compensation to control deficit. Since the world is using Wisconsin as a model…. so will I:Wisconsin is fairly typical regarding the percentage of its citizens who work for the State or local government.According to the US Dept of Commerce, Wisconsin had 214,506  “full time equivalent” state and local government employees in 2009. In July 2009, the estimated population of Wisconsin was 5,654,774. This is 3.79% of the population. That means Wisconsin private workers pay for one out of every 30, and closer to one out of 20. My numbers here do not include Wisconsin residents who work for the Federal Government or who work as contractors for any government. (Certainly there must be a few) It also does not include retired State workers who are now being supported by taxpayers. And it is 1% or 55,371 of Wisconsin’s federal employees and retirees that are the “pain in payrole”… Salary impact on state budgets State and local governments employ some 20 million people nationwide. Employee
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Wisconsin’s 16.896 Plan: No-Bid Energy Assets Firesales

February 26, 2011

Have you heard about Wisconsin’s 16.896? 16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b). The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest. Read full at PeakEnergy
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Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs

February 26, 2011

“Daniel Sayani reports in New American that Senator Mike Enzi plans to introduce legislation to reverse the ban on incandescent light bulbs which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2014. ‘CFLs are more expensive, many contain mercury which can be harmful even in the smallest amounts, and most are manufactured overseas in places like China,’ says Enzi. ‘If left alone, the best bulb will win its rightful standing in the marketplace. Government doesn’t need to be in the business of telling people what light bulb they have to use.’ Faced with a phaseout, some consumers are stockpiling incandescent bulbs, although a poll by USA Today indicates most Americans support the US law that begins phasing out traditional light bulbs next year. Despite some consumer grumbling, they’re satisfied with more efficient alternatives. 71% of US adults say they have replaced standard light bulbs in their home over the past few years with compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs and 84% say they are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with CFLs and LEDs.” – Via Slash.
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More than 4,400 dams rated unfsafe

February 26, 2011
More than 4,400 dams rated unfsafe

NY Times – More than 4,400 of the nation’s 85,000 dams are susceptible to failure, says the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. However, “repairing all those dams would cost billions of dollars, and it is far from clear who would provide all the money in a recessionary era,” Henry Fountain of The New York Times reports. In Lake Isabella, Calif., the Army Corps of Engineers learned several years ago the man-made dam has a trio of serious issues: “It was in danger of eroding internally, water could flow over its top in the most extreme flood season, and a fault underneath it was not inactive after all but could produce a strong earthquake,” Fountain writes. “The potential is for a 21st-century version of the Johnstown Flood, a calamitous dam failure that killed more than 2,200 people in western Pennsylvania in 1889,” Fountain writes. “But corps and local government officials say that the odds of such a disaster are extremely small, and that they have taken interim steps to reduce the risk, like preparing evacuation plans and limiting how much water can be stored behind the dam to less than two-thirds of the maximum.” “It’s not just the loss of life, potentially,”
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Grand Opening of Solar Manufacturing Milwaukee Plant Monday – Join Us!

February 24, 2011

Wisconsin, Milwaukee and every major metro community screams we want jobs, manufacturing and renewable energy!Well, we have it right here in Wisconsin.  Show your support by joining in at the grand opening of this cutting edge solar manufacturing plant in down town Milwaukee on Monday February 28th. Hope to see you there! Details:Helios Ribbon-Cutting CeremonyHelios USA is open for business and building solar panels right here in Milwaukee Wisconsin and you’re invited to their Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 3:30 PM. Please send us an email to administrator@helios-usa.com and tell us your name and how many people you are planning to bring so we can make sure to save you a seat and gather enough refreshments.
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BPA quote of the week

February 24, 2011

“Quite frankly, the science that I’m looking at says there is no ,” LePage said. “There hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem.” LePage then added: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.” - Gov. Paul LePage’s LePage said he has yet to see enough science to support a ban on BPA, a common additive to plastics that some research suggests may interfere with hormone levels and could cause long-term problems. LePage said until scientists can prove BPA is harmful, the state should not rush to restrict its use. “BPA is one of the most well-studied chemicals, and it is just ludicrous to ignore the science,” said Susan Shaw, a toxicologist at the Maine Environmental Research Institute who has been studying the effects of toxics on humans and animals for more than three decades. “There is a large body of evidence about the hazards of BPA that is irrefutable.”
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Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945

February 23, 2011


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GMO Crop “new organism”can reproduce and has ability to cause disease in both plants and animals.

February 23, 2011

Here’s another reason the recent approval of GMO alfalfa and sugar beets was a bad idea: researchers claim that Roundup Ready GE crops contain an organism, completely unknown until now, that has been shown to cause miscarriages in farm animals. The new organism was detected only after researchers observed it using a 36,000X microscope. It is about the size of a virus. The scary part: it can reproduce, and possesses the rare ability to cause disease in both plants and animals. The research was performed by Professor Don M. Huber of Purdue University. Huber is also a coordinator for the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System. He penned an open letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlining the dangers of this organism, how it was discovered, and his recommendation that a moratorium on the sale and planting of Roundup Ready crops be put in place immediately. He states: “In summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions, we request USDA’s participation in a multi-agency investigation, and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of RR crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with
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Bringing Home 150 Troops from Afghanistan Would Fix Wisconsin’s Budget “Crisis”

February 22, 2011

FACT –  the U.S. would only have to bring home 151 troops from Afghanistan to save from Wisconsin’s Budget “Crisis”. Better yet, ending the Afghanistan War altogether would save taxpayers in Wisconsin $1.7 billion this year alone, more than ten times the amount “saved” …Every troop deployed in Afghanistan costs the U.S. $1 million per year, so simply bringing home 151 troops would save more money than his plan. And, with fiscal 2011 Afghanistan War spending alone to top $1.7 billion for Wisconsin taxpayers, an end to the war would free up more than ten times his plan’s cash, which the president could use for state fiscal aid. We are sweating the small stuff in Wisconsin…State politicians in Wisconsin and beyond are going to have to face a moment of truth when federal stimulus aid runs out at the end of this year… and things get much worse for state.  Even Defense Secretary admits Afghan war is stupid NY Times – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates bluntly told an audience of West Point cadets on Friday that it would be unwise for the United States to ever fight another war like Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the chances of carrying
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Finally, someone will use low hanging island energy fruit?

February 22, 2011
Finally, someone will use low hanging island energy fruit?

Maybe Hawaii will get a clue “Scientists in Iceland have been studying and utilizing the power of geothermal wells for years. In 2009 one such study hit a standstill when a group ran into magma halfway into their dig. The roadblock has become a blessing in disguise, as recent research has shown that the magma can act as a potent new source of geothermal energy powerful enough to heat 25,000 to 30,000 homes.” - Inhabitat Earth to Island Dwellers, You live on a “geothermal gold mine” folks! Source – “science 101″
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Outfall of a Helium-3 Crisis

February 22, 2011

Discovery – “The United States is curre ntly recovering from a helium isotope crisis that last year sent low-temperature physicists scrambling, sky-rocketed the cost of hospital MRI’s, and threw national security staff out on a search mission for alternate ways to detect dirty bombs. Now the panic is subsiding, what is being done to conserve, or replace, helium-3?” - SlashDot So short in fact, that last year when the looming crisis, which reporters had been covering for years, became official, the price of helium-3 went from $150 per liter to $5,000 per liter. “We think the correct price should be $1500,” Bentz said. Older posts on this: Finally Congress to Address Helium Shortage  Hurting Scientific Research and Nuclear Security (popSci) Failure to recognize an impending supply squeeze for helium-3–a nonradioactive gas produced in the agency’s nuclear weapons complex–has created a national crisis requiring White House intervention and threatening… This Helium Shortage could hit the Nuke , Oil And Gas Industry – HARD Selling Off Nation’s Helium Reserve is no Laughing Matter Within nine years Helium Reserve will be depleted – Sad clowns to follow
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Solar Storms Could Create $2 Trillion ‘Global Katrina’

February 22, 2011

The Guardian – The threat of solar storms that could wreak havoc on the world’s electronic systems must be taken more seriously, the UK government’s chief scientist has warned. A severe solar storm could damage satellites and power grids around the world, he said, leading to a “global Katrina” costing the world’s economies as much as $2tn (£1.2tn). “It’s reasonable to expect there will be more events,” said Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The watchwords are predict and prepare.” The sun’s activity goes up and down on a roughly 11-year cycle, and the next period of maximum activity is expected in 2013.
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2012 Budget Debt Reduction – Fact or FAIL?

February 20, 2011

Takes only 20 Seconds to explain 2012 Budget never, ever reduces debt… ever. This budget never, ever, ever reduces the debt, is that right?Classic
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Unions riot about benefits & pensions… while silent about trillions lost at War

February 19, 2011

Haase - “With all the tools available in America to communicate peacefully and decisively, I am against protesting, but if your going to get angry and stand up for something make it count.“After two years of sending millions from homes to shelters, unemployed to streets and hungry to poverty.Finally,  tens of thousands line the streets of Wisconsin and across the nation to protest… wages and benefits? – WTFSure I “get it” being upset about increased health costs, salary caps and dwindling benefits but nearly everyone in the private, non-union sector already sacrificed these areas of their job, if their lucky to have one the last few years.But where were these protesters 10 years and a trillion dollars ago? Or does it only matter when they see their pay checks. Instead of Americans starting a “war within” fighting over the last few good jobs and wages why do we not understand and stop the source of our economic problems?Really? Are we choosing to: Cut cops & firefighters? Cut food programs? Cut home heating aid? Increase unemployed? Water protection? Health services Close schools? End unions? Yep, and for what? Ohh yeah, war… The 10 year War in Afghanistan is the longest war
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Understanding “Debt for dummies” recession 2.0

February 19, 2011

Now the worlds second largest economy, China continues to sell off US treasury’s, leaving Japan as largest U.S. debt holder. While total Fed Credit shot up by an incredible $31 billion dollars last week, which (in the history of new Fed Credit) and that the Fed created the money to buy $28.3 billion in US government securities! All of this in One Freaking Week (OFW)! “I assume that Doug Noland was commenting about this whole nasty Federal Reserve thing, too, when he writes, “First, it was the Federal Reserve. After working studiously to create one, the Fed tossed its vaunted ‘exit strategy’ right into the scrapheap. They were to have moved to reduce holdings and liquidity operations that had ballooned during the 2008 financial crisis. Our central bank abruptly reversed course and instead chose to significantly expand stimulus – even in a non-crisis environment,” so that now “Fed Credit has inflated $189bn in the past 14 weeks, with market perceptions of ‘too big to fail’ and moral hazard being further emboldened.” And the reason is simplicity itself: if you borrow $1 and promise to pay back $1.05, it is one thing, but if everyone borrows $1 and promises to pay
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Animal obesity: canary in the coal mine?

February 19, 2011

There are a number of factors, both behavioural and environmental, which are thought to play important roles in the current epidemic of obesity.  These range from things like increased soft-drink consumption and decreased physical activity, which are at least nominally under our personal control, to more external factors like viruses, light pollution, and environmental contaminants, over which we have little or no control.  How much of a role do these external factors play in the obesity epidemic?  No one knows.  But if these external factors are playing a role in the human obesity epidemic, then we would also expect to see similar increases in body weight and obesity rates among animals who live with or near humans, since they would be exposed to many of these same factors.  To this end, a fascinating new paper by Yann Klimentidis and colleagues examines the body weight and risk of obesity in 8 different species, and the results suggest that external factors may be playing a larger role in obesity rates that previously thought. From the paper: From 24 distinct populations (12 subdivided into separate male and female populations), representing eight species, over 20000 animals were studied. Time trends for mean per cent weight change and the odds of obesity
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With oil and food costs rising, looks 2011 is starting like 2008

February 19, 2011

History repeats itself: food riots are breaking out across the poorer nations, the Middle East is in turmoil and Brent crude has passed the $100 mark – 2011 is opening just like 2008 did. It was a significant year in terms of the global economy: social unrest around the world over a spike in the cost of staple foods, and the runaway price of oil that eventually triggered the worst global economic crash since the Great Depression. While there were undoubtedly other factors behind the downturn, 2008 stands as a benchmark in terms of oil and economics – a shorthand for high oil prices and economic turmoil. We don’t want another 2008, especially with the faltering recovery that has yet to turn substantive cash injections into jobs. Now, it may be just coincidence, but it looks suspiciously like the issues that shaped the first half of 2008 are back: oil demand is surging, its price is rising, and people in the poorer nations are consequently finding the cost of staple foods out of reach. There is a direct link between the cost of oil and food – which I’ll return to in a subsequent post – and so the first
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FAIL – 2011 electric car is half as fast as the 1830 stage coach

February 18, 2011
stage-coach

Progress??? The 2011 electric car is half as fast as the 1830 stage coach  In its obsessive desire to promote the virtues of electric cars, the BBC proudly showed us last week how its reporter Brian Milligan was able to drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh in a mere four days — with nine stops of up to 10 hours to recharge the batteries (with electricity from fossil fuels). What the BBC omitted to tell us was that in the 1830s, a stagecoach was able to make the same journey in half the time, with two days and nights of continuous driving. This did require 50 stops to change horses, but each of these took only two minutes, giving a total stopping time of just over an hour and a half. Al Gore just called to say that he’s very concerned about the stage coach’s carbon hoofprint. Source: Telegraph UK Possibly related posts Obama loans $465 million to company that’s building a $109,000 green car no one can afford in recession
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FAIL – Madrid’s air has never been cleaner!

February 18, 2011

The Financial Times reports from Spain: When Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the mayor of Madrid, boasted of big reductions in air pollution since he had taken office in 2003, it seemed a moment for the city’s residents to celebrate an environmental breakthrough. “Today we have better air quality in Madrid than ever before,” Mr Ruiz-Gallardón proclaimed. Fabulous! That’s great news! Couldn’t be better! But it could be a bit, shall we say, misleading. Unfortunately for him and for the 3.3m inhabitants of the Spanish capital, investigators concluded the improvements in air quality were an illusion. The state prosecutor’s office found that in 2009 the Madrid municipality had quietly moved nearly half its pollution sensors from traffic-clogged streets in the city centre to parks and gardens. This is, unfortunately, the way it is with environmental reporting. One day we hear that a graph of the world’s average temperature has never been higher. The next day we learn that a huge number of weather stations in frozen Russia have been decommissioned and scientists say … well … ahem … perhaps so, but that surely has nothing to do with our funding … uhhhh … we mean … our results. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “There
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FAIL 2010 highest mpg’s worst than 1985 mpg’s

February 17, 2011

AutoBlogGreen presented the  “ACEEE Greenest Vehicles of 2011″ These are “Epic Fail” compared to 1985 – Think of consumer price and environmental impact to produce these… then the lifetime maintenance and gas – FAIL! I only noted these cars, because I drove them all over the years loaded with friends, family, pets and gear. Safely and reliably. 1985 CHEVROLET SPRINT     City    39 mpg Hwy    48 mpg Combined 43 mpg 1985 NISSAN SENTRA     City    38 mpg Hwy    45 mpg Combined    40 mpg 1985 FORD ESCORT     City    36 mpg Hwy    47 mpg Combined    40 mpg   1985 TOYOTA COROLLA     City    32 mpg Hwy    43 mpgCombined    36 mpg Find out more MPG fail at fueleconomydb.com
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U.S. could be the ‘Persian Gulf of Wind Energy’

February 17, 2011

Not just the Midwest … but why the Mid-Atlantic Can Be the ‘Persian Gulf of Offshore Wind Energy’ The region could provide nearly a third of U.S. energy demand with wind turbines…a vision that goes far beyond rhetoric to encapsulate a future of limitless, clean, healthy, secure and 100-percent American energy. It’s the “Persian Gulf of offshore wind energy” and it describes a little known area of the eastern seaboard otherwise known as the Mid-Atlantic Bight, which runs from Massachusetts to North Carolina. In the annals of energy discoveries, the discovery of the Bight’s wind energy potential could rank right up there with the discovery of oil beneath the sands of the Arabian Peninsula. A 2007 joint Stanford University-University of Delaware study found that fully developed with over 166,000 wind turbines, the Bight’s waters could produce as much as 330,000 megawatts of power, or effectively one third of U.S. energy demand. Even more exciting, the researchers concluded that full-scale development of the resource was well within the realm of technological possibility…The project not only has the benefit of eliminating the need to build a separate shore link for every single wind farm, but will help overcome another concern associated with wind
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China/Japan decades ahead on Nuclear programs.

February 17, 2011
Archibald_EI_Fig2

Just like peak OIL, China has a plan for depleting uranium and mounting nuclear waste problems. Scaling thorium up to global scale A Road Map for the Realization of Global-scale Thorium Breeding Fuel Cycle This describes a 5-7 year doubling time for the Uranium 233 that is needed to start the molten salt thorium reactors. The Thorium Molten-Salt Nuclear Energy Synergetic System , described here is a symbiotic system, based on the Thorium-Uranium-233 cycle. …FUJI reactor and the AMSB can also be used for the transmutation of long-lived radioactive elements in the wastes, and has a high potential for producing hydrogen-fuel in molten salt reactors. The development and launching of THORIMS-NES requires the following three programs during the next three decades: (A) pilot plant: miniFUJI (7-10 MWe): (B) small power reactor: FUJI-Pu (100-300MWe). (C) fissile producer: AMSB for globally deploying THORIMS-NES Chloride fast reactors and highly enriched uranium and plutonium can be used to start a lot of reactor How much uranium-233 do we need? Well, most of the studies done by Oak Ridge in the 1960s indicated that we could start a one-gigawatt thorium reactor with about 1 tonne of uranium-233. How much do we have right now? About
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Converting waste plastic into oil – so 1960’s

February 17, 2011

This has been done for decades…. does “figure out” mean read and produce same results? Mrs. Robinson, “the future is plastics” ; -) The majority of the time the process requires more energy and raw materials than beneficial, but scale and application is everything. PopSci - A Japanese inventor has figured out a way to convert plastic grocery bags, bottles and caps back into the petroleum from whence they came, providing a ready fuel source for individual homes that also diverts waste from landfills. Akinori Ito’s plastic recycling machine heats up waste plastic, traps vapors in a system of pipes and water chambers, and condenses the vapors into crude oil, explains the website Clean Technica. It’s not the first machine to do this – a massive plant outside Washington, D.C., is testing the process, for instance – but it’s small enough for household use. Ito’s machine turns two pounds of plastic into a quart of oil, using only one kilowatt-hour of energy. The crude oil can be used in some types of generators or it can be further refined into gasoline, Clean Technica reports. Ito is selling it through his Blest Corp., but buyer beware: As of now, it will
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President Announces Plan for Community-Based Conservation through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (HQ)

February 17, 2011

U.S. EPA News –  President Barack Obama today announced the administration’s action plan, under the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, to achieve lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation’s economy, shape our culture, and build our outdoor traditions. “With children spending half as much time outside as their parents did, and with many Americans living in urban areas without safe access to green space, connecting to the outdoors is more important than ever for the economic and physical health of our communities,” said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, this administration will work together with communities to ensure clean and accessible lands and waters, thriving outdoor cultures and economies, and healthy and active youth.” “It’s about practical, common-sense ideas from the American people on how our natural, cultural, and historic resources can help us be a more competitive, stronger, and healthier nation. Together, we are adapting our conservation strategies to meet the challenges of today and empowering communities to protect and preserve our working lands and natural landscapes for generations to come.” “America’s farmlands and woodlands help fuel our economy and create jobs across the rural areas
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$9 Billion Award, But Ecuador Must Look Elsewhere for Payment

February 17, 2011

Historic news of Chevron was fined nearly $9 billion, one of the largest awards for environmental damage ever, for polluting the Ecuadorean Amazon with more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater. But the New York Times ran an interesting story today about how the case is not going to be a simple matter of paying that money out and being done with it. Not that it is ever that simple. But this case is extra complicated. It’s been dragged out for nearly 20 years, the company no longer operates in Ecuador, various parties have gotten involved from across the globe, and questions arise over whether Chevron will actually pay the money. (It says it will not.) If Chevron doesn’t also publicly apologize within 15 days, Time reports, the judge said the fine would be doubled. The Times explains more about the international controversy: Chevron has much larger operations elsewhere in Latin America, and the plaintiffs’ strategy of pursuing the company across the region could open a contentious new phase in the case — one that would test Ecuador’s political ties with its neighbors and involve some of Washington’s most prominent lobbyists and lawyers. Advisers to the plaintiffs said Brazil,
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“Bread Basket of Mexico,” destroyed after freeze

February 17, 2011

The countryside of northern Mexico Hardest hit was the northwestern state of Sinaloa, known as the “Bread Basket of Mexico,” where about 750,000 acres of corn crops were reportedly destroyed after unusually cold temperatures blanketed the north of the country in January and early February. Altogether, more than 1.5 million acres of corn, vegetable, citrus and other crops were either damaged or destroyed in Sinaloa, with a preliminary economic loss of approximately US$1 billion. The source of about 30 percent of Mexico’s grains and vegetables, Sinaloa also exports food products to the United States. Other northern states also experienced the widespread destruction of winter crops. In Sonora, more than 130,000 acres were reported lost, including 45 percent of the acreage planted in winter wheat. In Tamaulipas, nearly 800,000 acres in corn and sorghum were impacted, while crop losses in Chihuahua were calculated in the US$100 million ballpark. “This is not a common catastrophe,” Calderon said in a February 11 speech in Culiacan. “It is not a routine crop loss, if you will, but truly an emergency situation.” Meanwhile, as crop damage assessments began flowing in, prices for tortillas continued on the upswing, reportedly reaching $13 pesos per kilo in places
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What??? Sunspot AR1158 poses a threat for Earth…

February 17, 2011

NASA – Earth-Directed Solar Flare… Sunspot AR1158 is growing rapidly and poses a threat for Earth-directed M-flares – NASA
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Einstein was right – honey bee collapse threatens global food supply

February 17, 2011

Einstein was not always wrong…Telegraph The bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern until now, but as the UN’s index of food prices hits an all time-high, it is becoming urgent to know whether the plight of the honey bee risks further exhausting our food security. Almost a third of global farm output depends on animal pollination, largely by honey bees. These foods provide 35% of our calories, most of our minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants, and the foundations of gastronomy.  Yet the bees are dying – or being killed – at a disturbing pace. … the numbers of US bee colonies failing to survive each winter has risen to 30% to 35% from an historical norm of 10%. The rate is 20% or higher in much of Europe, and the same pattern is emerging in Latin America and Asia. Albert Einstein, who liked to make bold claims (often wrong), famously said that “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live”...animal pollination is essential for nuts, melons and berries, and plays varying roles in citrus fruits, apples, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, courgettes, peppers, aubergines, avocados, cucumbers, coconuts, tomatoes and
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Food Inflation Pushes Millions Into Extreme Poverty

February 17, 2011

A sharp rise in food prices since June has pushed 44 million people in developing countries into extreme poverty — having to live on less than $1.25 a day — according to a new study by the World Bank. The bank’s price index soared 29 percent from January 2010 to January 2011 (15 percent just from October to January). Wheat, maize, sugar and edible oils have seen the sharpest price increases in the last six months, with a relatively smaller increase in rice. The rising prices have increased the vulnerability of economies, particularly those that import a high share of their food and have limited capacity for government borrowing and spending. Read more at NY Times
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Perspective of Priorities

February 16, 2011

The proposed budget cut to remove home heating assistance for low income is about the same as the cost of fighting one more week in Afghanistan. Although when you add in the many hidden costs like increased long-term veteran’s health care due to the conflicts, their sacrifice is probably only really going to cover maybe half a week. – Jon Walker
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Health Quote of the Week – HollyWood Style

February 16, 2011
Health Quote of the Week – HollyWood Style

“I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I’ve had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests EKGs and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t have crazy, reckless sex with stranger. If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed. “ – Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre Charlie Sheen response – “Chuck, I will outlive you. I will piss you off,” 
 – NY Mag
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Residential Energy Storage with Flywheels… so 1970’s

February 16, 2011

A cryptogon reader asked if there was a better way of storing energy for an off grid house than the ancient and familiar lead acid battery bank. Knowing that there really isn’t, I thought I’d try to be funny, so I said, “How about a big flywheel?” To my surprise, the guy wrote back and asked, “Do you know anyone who builds residential scale flywheel systems?” I looked and, as far as I can tell, there isn’t anyone who offers a flywheel system for residential use, at any price. There are several companies that sell flywheel based UPS systems for data centers. I may be wrong, but it appears that those systems are designed to run for only about ten seconds while a backup diesel generator starts up. I spent a few minutes looking into whether or not anyone had tried to use flywheels in a residential context. Look at this: Popular Science, October 1979, Basement Flywheel Stores Solar Energy at 15,000 RPM: Millner is building a one-tenth capacity working model of the giant system shown on our cover. The 500 pound flywheel will store up to four kilowatt hours. (A house-sized system would store about 40 kWh to meet
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All about nothing… millions can’t save trillions

February 15, 2011
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All the talks are just talks until we choose to make the choices to save ourselves from ourselves. See BRILLIANT chart by Doug Ross below The Blaze – We are still five days away from the unveiling of the President’s 2012 Budget, yet the number-crunching and long-term analysis are in full swing.  Senator Rand Paul has been making the rounds this week, touting his proposal to slice $500 billion dollars from the budget while White House Budget Director Jack Lew penned a piece for the New York Times that let us all know the President made some “tough choices” when cutting an estimated $775 million from the 3.8 TRILLION dollar budget.  (By the way, $1.5 Trillion of that is CBO estimated deficit spending, or money we will have to borrow from someone.) Of course there are some savings to be had if the five year spending freeze is accomplished, estimates say $400 Billion over 10 years. The 3.8 Trillion dollar number is staggering enough, but looms even larger when you consider it against the President’s proposed $775 million dollars in tough choice cuts.  Doug Ross (a real person and not George Clooney’s “ER” character) posted these charts to help us
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Proposed 13% cut in EPA budget

February 15, 2011

Bloomberg  The new budget proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget 13 percent to $8.97 billion as the agency faces Republican demands to limit its funding and authority. The fiscal 2012 budget proposed today is a $1.3 billion reduction from 2010, the last time federal agencies had an enacted budget. It calls for cutting aid to states for water quality by 27 percent to $2.54 billion and reducing funds to restore the Great Lakes by 26 percent to $350 million.
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Is there a cure for cement production being 4% of global CO2?

February 14, 2011
Concrete with Novacem Cement

JetsonONgreen  “material of the year award  for Novacem‘s “carbon negative” cement.  The product is being touted with increasing frequency and — it would seem from the literature — has the potential to change the world of concrete in 2014-15 when it hits the market. One impressive aspect of Novacem cement is that it’s supposed to perform at the same level as commonly used Portland Cement.  It’s also supposed to cost about the same. Novacem cement is made using a magnesium silicate mixture instead of calcium carbonates, according to Material ConneXion.  Also, the low-energy production process allows for the use of biomass as a fuel. But what sets it apart from all of the competition, including slag and fly ash varieties of cement, is the fact that “the creation of magnesium carbonates from magnesium silicates involves absorption of CO2,” according to Novacem.  Thus, the production process is carbon negative… cement is not currently available for purchase.
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Geothermal energy… the benefits of nuclear – with none of the problems

February 12, 2011

The Department of Defense recently estimated that the geothermal potential on U.S. military facilities alone is a cool 926 gigawatts. … geothermal could play a significant role in our domestic energy future. A new geothermal power plant has come online in Nevada – New Geothermal Power Plant Shows What the U.S. Can Do. A new 15 megawatt, utility scale geothermal power plant has just come online in Jersey Valley, Nevada.The project is significant because according to its host company, Ormat Technologies, it was the only utility-scale geothermal plant to be completed in the U.S. within the past year or so. Geothermal is reliable, renewable, clean energy produced right here in the U.S., and it’s not subject to global market fluctuations or political turmoil overseas — say, shouldn’t we be building these things at a rate of more than just one per year? Geothermal energy from the new plant in Nevada will be purchased by NV Energy, which already has an extensive geothermal energy portfolio dating back to the 1980′s. Read more from BigGav over at Peak Energy
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Protesters face year in jail – in Los Angeles, not Egypt

February 12, 2011

Wow protesting not welcome from the national state of hippies??? LA Times = Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich is throwing the book at dozens of people arrested during recent political demonstrations — a major shift in city policy that has him pressing for jail time in types of cases that previous prosecutors had treated as infractions..in a Westwood rally last year in support of the DREAM Act, protesters face up to one year in county jail…all but one of 12 students arrested at a protest over fee hikes at UCLA…  “Our policy was that this is an exercise of 1st Amendment rights, and if this was your first time, you would get a hearing,” said Delgadillo, who said his policy was based on the belief that a protester demonstrating for a political cause is different from a typical criminal. HatTip – UNDERNEWS
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Is Brown the California turnaround?

February 12, 2011

Is it possible California is taking and turn in the right direction?Regardless, he is making a show of it. Passengers did a double take on Southwest Flight 896 from Sacramento to Burbank on Thursday when they saw California Gov. Jerry Brown sitting among them – sans entourage – on his first trip to Los Angeles since being sworn in last month. The Democratic governor was in budget-cutting mode, sitting in an economy seat after he opted not to pay the $16 extra for Southwest’s “business select” seating. That’s not all: Sources say Brown also relishes taking the airline’s senior discount. Brown traveled without the accoutrements that Californians have come to expect from the executive who runs the world’s eighth-largest economy: He had no press aides, no security and even lacked the company of his chief adviser, wife Anne Gust Brown. - SF Gate
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Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) budget for Congress.

February 12, 2011

The growing nation debt and budget numbers are hard to grasp in an era of insurmountable debt, loss of entitlements, jobs and homes. Not only is the property of our nation at risk, but the very foundation of the people who defend our rights to freedom and liberty if we do not make choices that support peaceful resolutions to end three decades of trillion dollar conflicts at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. Yet history has proven that the rise of world tyranny, communism and fascism can cost the lives of millions more and global insolvency. These are decisions no one wants to make, but some have to.  Pray they choose wisely.CBO.gov  …the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), associated with the budget that it submits to the Congress…Over the 10 years from 2012 to 2021, DoD would need a total of $680 billion (or 13 percent) more than if funding was held at the 2010 level. CBO’s projection of the total cost of the FYDP through 2015—at $2,874 billion—is $41 billion (or about 1 percent) higher than the department’s estimate. Much of the difference derives from an assumption that recent trends in the costs of weapon systems, medical
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How biofuels contribute to the food crisis

February 12, 2011

Each year, the world demands more grain, and this year the world’s farms will not produce it. Washington Post – World food prices have surged above the food crisis levels of 2008. Millions more people will be malnourished, and hundreds of millions who are already hungry will eat less or give up other necessities. Food riots have started again. Nearly all assessments of the 2008 food crisis assigned biofuels a meaningful role, but much of academia and the media ultimately agreed that the scale of the crisis resulted from a “perfect storm” of causes. Yet this “perfect storm” has re-formed not three years later. We should recognize the ways in which biofuels are driving it. Demand for biofuels is almost doubling the challenge of producing more food. Since 2004, for every additional ton of grain needed to feed a growing world population, rising government requirements for ethanol from grain have demanded a matching ton. Brazil’s reliance on sugar ethanol and Europe’s on biodiesel have comparably increased growth rates in the demand for sugar and driven up demand for vegetable oil. Agricultural production is keeping up in general with the growing demand for food – but it keeps up with the
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Chinese Hackers Strike Energy Companies

February 11, 2011

“Chinese hackers working regular business hours shifts stole sensitive intellectual property from energy companies for as long as four years using relatively unsophisticated intrusion methods in an operation dubbed ‘Night Dragon,’ according to a new report from security vendor McAfee.” - SlashDot
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Air Force Researchers Capture Wave Energy With 99% Efficiency??

February 11, 2011

IF you could prove you achieved 99% Efficiency… they would give you a Billion dollars.PopSci Dr. Stefan Siegel reviews the wave height in the Aeronautics Laboratory’s 1:300 scale experimental wave tank at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The Department of Energy has funded additional testing at a larger scale. Using a small tank of water in a Colorado laboratory, Air Force researchers have captured 99 percent of the energy of a model ocean wave, proving it’s possible to use aeronautical principles to harness the power of the oceans. The researchers used a cycloidal turbine, a lift-based energy converter, to grab the energy of a simulated deep-ocean wave. It can change direction almost instantly, and its structure is similar to that of a Voith Schneider propeller, which is used to power tugboats. It involves a main power shaft and a few hydrofoils whose angle of attack can be adjusted to meet the wave. The main shaft is aligned parallel with the wave crests, according to a paper describing the system presented at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference.The research is part of a National Science Foundation-funded project to build the world’s first free-floating submerged wave energy converter. In a series
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Icelandic Volcano ‘Set to Erupt’

February 11, 2011

Eyjafjallajoekull emitted an estimated 15,000 tons of CO2 a day and shut down air traffic for weeks…What do you think this could do? The Telegraph - Geologists detected the high risk of a new eruption after evaluating an increased swarm of earthquakes around the island’s second largest volcano. ….he said there was “every reason to worry” as the sustained earthquake tremors to the north east of the remote volcano range are the strongest recorded in recent times and there was “no doubt” the lava was rising. “This is the most active area of the country if we look at the whole country together,” he told the Icelandic TV News. “There is no doubt that lava there is slowly growing, and the seismicity of the last few days is a sign of it. “We need better measurements because it is difficult to determine the depth of earthquakes because it is in the middle of the country and much of the area is covered with glaciers.” The last recorded eruption of Bárdarbunga was in 1910, although volcanologists believe its last major eruption occurred in 1477 when it produced a large ash and pumice fallout. It also produced the largest known lava flow
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DOE Webcast March 3: Energy Savings Performance Contracts

February 10, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) will present a webcast on Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) on Thursday, March 3, 2011.  If you are a Federal energy professional and have heard about ESPCs – but thought they were too complex or beyond your reach – tune in for a comprehensive introduction. This training will show you how easy it can be to get started, and how FEMP resources can keep you on track. The training includes guidance on: Learning how ESPCs can help fund major energy and facility improvement projects at your site. Understanding the benefits and potential results of ESPC contracts and building a team to support your efforts. Identifying the key steps for screening projects as the best candidates for an ESPC. Evaluating energy conservation measures (ECMs) and determining the best candidates for a successful ESPC. Locating FEMP financing specialists and project facilitators in your region to answer questions and provide up-to-date guidance. The 90-minute training is free of charge, but you must register in advance to obtain an Internet URL for the presentation. The broadcast will take place Thursday, March 3, 2011, from 1:30 to 3:00 Eastern Time and is titled, “Energy
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Free Webinar on Lean, Energy & Environment Programs (LE2)

February 10, 2011

Join the p2tech next week for a free web inar. The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has undertaken a new initiative to assist the manufacturing sector in reducing their energy and environmental costs.  The Lean, Energy and Environment (LE2) program consists of utilizing engineering tools to demonstrate new energy-efficient technologies for use in New York State’s industrial sector.  For each project, the LE2 team consists of a NYSP2I engineer, energy industry expert, and one of the ten Manufacturing Extended Partnerships (MEPs) located throughout NYS.  The LE2 Program has served 15 NYS manufacturers thus far and the majority of projects have the potential for energy and/or environmental cost savings.  Anoverview of the LE2 program along with specific case studies will be the focus of this webinar. How to Connect:Date:  Tue., Feb. 15, 2011 Time:  3:00 pm EST, 2:00 pm CST, 1:00 p.m. MST, 12:00 pm PSTWebsite:  https://ced096465.uta.edu/r99719463/ Dial in # 877-531-0114, *1576220* (make sure to include a star before and after the number)Brief BIO on Speakers: Robert German is a Senior Staff Engineer at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology. GIS provides engineering support to organizations interested in implementing
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1billion hungry – just ignore it keep selling food as fuel…

February 10, 2011
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Somewhere in Denmark a renewable energy future is happening

February 10, 2011
Awesome Power Plant in Denmark (10 pics)

Here is a waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen, Denmark, that blows smoke rings and has a ski slope. Source
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Ethanol Still a good idea when we can’t feed 50 Million Americans?

February 10, 2011

Just when you thought you had nothing more to give.First investors made a run on your home, then your 401k… your pantry is next. “Today, the government decides and they misdirect the investment to their friends in the corn industry or the food industry. Think how many taxpayer dollars have been spent on corn , and there’s nobody now really defending that as an efficient way to create diesel fuel or ethanol. The money is spent for political reasons and not for economic reasons. It’s the worst way in the world to try to develop an alternative fuel.” – Ron Paul Goldman –  Investors should maintain bets on higher prices for soybeans, cotton and corn, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  Fueling corn’s relentless rise  Financial Times Summary Box: Higher food prices ahead after corn reserves latest commodity LOW RESERVES! US corn stocks ratio nears low set in Depression WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US government slashed its forecast for corn stockpiles Ethanol Soars to 30-Month High as Report Shows Smaller Corn Crop Bloomberg – Ethanol futures soared to the highest price since July 2008 after a government report showed the US corn All 145 related articles to “the importance of subsidizing ethanol
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Making a Fortune Off of American Poverty

February 9, 2011

Profiting on Poverty In these hard times, some 43 million American families rely on food stamps. To the surprise of many, JPMorgan Chase is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. The bank is contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Earnings and bonus reports are rolling in and the big, bailed-out banks are back in the black. In 2010, total compensation and benefits at publicly traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record of $135 billion — up almost six percent from 2009 according to the Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon may take home the biggest bonus check, an eye-popping $17 million.  While the Wall Street economy is booming, the real economy is in a dead stall. Only 36,000 jobs were created in January 2011. A roundup of recent headlines shines a light on how big banks like JPMorgan Chase make their big bucks. The firm is paid per customer. This means that when the number of food stamp recipients goes up, so do JPMorgan profits. Talk about perverse incentives. JPMorgan is taking its responsibility to keep the U.S. unemployment rate high
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Law from extracting water from the local aquifer.

February 8, 2011

Communities in control and protecting their local resources and environment …a small northern California town of 3,500 residents nestled in the foothills of magnificent Mount Shasta, is taking on corporate power through an unusual process-democracy. The citizens of Mt. Shasta have developed an extraordinary ordinance, set to be voted on in the next special or general election, that would prohibit corporations such as Nestle and Coca-Cola from extracting water from the local aquifer. But this is only the beginning. The ordinance would also ban energy giant PG&E, and any other corporation, from regional cloud seeding, a process that disrupts weather patterns through the use of toxic chemicals such as silver iodide. More generally, it would refuse to recognize corporate personhood, explicitly place the rights of community and local government above the economic interests of multinational corporations, and recognize the rights of nature to exist, flourish, and evolve. Citizens of Mt. Shasta, California have developed an ordinance to keep corporations from extracting their water. Mt. Shasta is not alone. Rather, it is part of a (so far) quiet municipal movement making its way across the United States in which communities are directly defying corporate rule and affirming the sovereignty of local
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Bill Nye on America’s “horrible” science education

February 8, 2011

Boing2 – Popular Mechanics interviews Bill Nye the Science Guy on the state of US science education (Nye: “It’s horrible.”). He’s anxious that science education ramps up too late (“Nearly every rocket scientist got interested in it before they were 10.”) and, of course, that teachers are intimidated out of teaching the good science of evolution and other controversial subjects:  They’re doing their job but they’re under tremendous pressure. The 60 percent who are cautious–those are the people who are really up against it. They want to keep their job, and they love teaching science, and their children are really excited about it, and yet they’ve got some people insisting they can’t teach the most fundamental idea in all of biology. There’s the phrase “just a theory.” Which shows you that I have failed. I’m a failure. When we have a theory in science, it’s the greatest thing you can have. Relativity is a theory, and people test it every which way. They test it and test it and test it. Gravity is a theory. People have landed spacecraft on the moon within a few feet of accuracy because we understand gravity so well. People make flu vaccinations that stop
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US To Fire Up Big Offshore Wind Energy Projects

February 8, 2011

“The US government today took a bold step toward perhaps finally getting some offshore wind energy development going with $50 million in investment money and the promise of renewed effort to develop the energy source. The plan focuses on overcoming three key challenges (PDF) that have made offshore wind energy practically non-existent in the US: the relatively high cost of offshore wind energy; technical challenges surrounding installation, operations, and grid interconnection; and the lack of site data and experience with project permitting processes.” Read full at PDF EERE
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Why U.S. corn should go to China NOT ethanol

February 8, 2011

Like our soy crops, China desperately needs our Corn… why would we throw it away to fill up our SUV’s? Financial Times Corn prices – and with them, the price of meat – are set to explode if the latest import estimates from China are correct. Last year, Beijing recorded its largest imports of corn since its disastrous crop of 1995-96. But this year could see further record buying. The US Grain Council, the industry body, said late on Thursday that it has received information pointing to Chinese imports as high as 9m tonnes in 2011-12, up from 1.3m in 2010-11. But Terry Vinduska, the chairman of the council, said after visiting China that “estimates given to us were that China is short of 10m-15m tonnes in stocks and will need to purchase corn this year”. He pointed to about 9m tonnes in imports. “We learned the government normally keeps stocks at 30 per cent but they are currently a little over 5 per cent, which may lead to imports of 3m-9m tonnes.”
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GREAT LAKES RECOVERY IS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCKS

February 7, 2011

Only a year ago, the Administration committed $300 million for Great Lakes cleanup designed to ward off species invasions, cleanse polluted harbors and make other environmental NEEDED repairs …noting that much of the money from previous years budget was already diverted to another urgent Great Lakes need: the fight against the Asian carp that are threatening to invade Lake Michigan from waterways near Chicago. Making a “… commitment to restoring and protecting this vital environmental and economic treasure,” the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement Noting that: The great lakes initiative would give industry and job growth a boom in the Great Lakes region, home to about 40 million people, Studies estimate that every dollar spent on restoring the lakes will generate twice as much in long-term economic gains, Kuper said. “It may not be obvious, but what is good for the ecosystem is also good for the economy,” Now the great lakes cleanup is slated for the chopping block The proposed cuts for programs that support community organizers, a job the president once held; that clean the Great Lakes; and that finance community development. Together, they would save $775 million….would offer a 50 percent cut in community service
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Uranium prices soar and we need answers to save ‘Nuclear Renaissance’

February 7, 2011
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Business Insider Tracked in last years posts Russian company control of U.S uranium mines The coming nuclear financial disaster IAEA Forms Nuclear Fuel Bank Russian owners take over large U.S. Uranium supply – Nuclear Safe & Secure? Uranium – The Next Blood Diamond Unless new breed of reactors are used ‘peak uranium’ will implode nuclear renaissance World Uranium Demand Could be Up 400% Uranium Is So Last Century… Enter Thorium The nuclear option: too slow, too costly… Uranium Supply Dwindle before CO2 targets are Met The Nuclear Goliath: Confronting Industrial Energy Haase – I want to be wrong about this. The reality and the gravity of the situation is dire… regardless if you ‘perceive’ nuclear energy as the carbon neutral messiah or support the current ‘Nuclear Renaissance’, at the rate that current energy plants are required to be decommissioned (due to safe working lifespan) we will be shutting down more facilities in the next decade faster than we could theoretically build them.Unless we make reckless safety or epic cost choices, these plants and their ‘thirty year old radioactive waste’ will continue to plague the heart our nations energy future. Nuclear energy questions the public needs answers for: How much viable
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Calif. cap-trade plan dealt blow by S.F. judge

February 6, 2011

The California Air Resources Board violated state environmental law in 2008 when it adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases and again last year when it passed cap-and-trade regulations, a San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled in a tentative decision. If the decision is made final, California would be barred from implementing its ambitious plan to combat global warming until it complies with portions of the California Environmental Quality Act, though it is not yet clear what the air board would have to do to be in compliance. The state’s plan, which implements AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, would reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Air Resources Board and those who brought the lawsuit, a variety of environmental groups represented by the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, a San Francisco organization, have until Tuesday to respond before the court makes a final ruling. In his decision, Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade. Read full at SF Gate
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70 MPG & 140 MPG soooo 1934

February 6, 2011

Dr. Calvin B. Bridges, a biologist from California, designed his car for lightness and speed. Weighing just 700 pounds, his vehicle was powered by a motorcycle engine and was expected to run 60 miles per hour. A gallon of gasoline could power it through 50 to 70 miles of travel. Like the Velodye, Bridges’ car reduced wind resistance to a minimum, while its light frame, which was made of welded chrome-molybdenum steel tubes, would help the vehicle attain more mileage than one would expect from a car of its size.  Read the full story in “Homemade Car Goes 140 Miles on a Gallon” Click to launch Cool Pop SCI  photo gallery.
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China’s drought may have serious global impact

February 6, 2011

Wide swathes of northern China are suffering through their worst drought in 60 years — a dry spell that could have a serious economic impact worldwide if it continues much longer, experts say. Some areas have gone 120 days without any significant rainfall, leaving more than five million hectares (12.4 million acres) of crops damaged — an area half the size of South Korea — China’s drought control agency said Sunday. There are fears that the problem could send global prices soaring at a time when food costs are already causing governments headaches. According to the UN last month world prices broke their peak levels of 2008 to hit a record high. “If the dry spell continues into March or April, wheat production could be seriously affected, with losses of more than 10 million tonnes,” Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultants, told AFP. “China would be forced to boost its imports.” More than 2.5 million people lack drinking water, particularly in the eastern and central provinces of Shandong and Henan, which each have around 95 million inhabitants. Shandong’s Rizhao city, which means “sunshine”, has suffered from its longest drought in 300 years, stretching back to September 11,
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U.S. losing Battle of the Bulge for nearly a decade

February 5, 2011

“About two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in this country are overweight or obese. This adds to our health care bill, promotes the early onset of illness, and contributes to the incidence of deadly disease.“ If the government’s latest guidelines for how to eat healthy could be boiled down to a simple directive, it would come down to six words: Less salt, less fat, less sugar. Didn’t we know that already? Well, yes, but we haven’t been paying attention. The last time the guidelines were issued, in 2005, Americans were urged to eat more whole grains, which prompted significant changes in foods on supermarket shelves and the ingredients used by manufacturers. New guidelines issued on Monday (www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines) improve on the earlier ones. They’re clear and simple: Don’t have oversize portions. Make fruits and vegetables take up half the plate. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Overuse of salt is one of the most common features of the American diet, and one of the worst. The guidelines limit daily salt intake to 1,500 mg (about half a teaspoon)  –  Miami Herald Knowing that About 57% of the meals exceeded the 1500-mg daily sodium level.
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Walker’s wind turbine proposal off the table for now…

February 5, 2011
Walker’s wind turbine proposal off the table for now…

BloomBerg (AP) — Wisconsin’s Legislature will not take up Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to toughen wind turbine regulations… The governor’s spokesman Cullen Werwie said Thursday that he instead will work with lawmakers to achieve the goals of the measure through a change to Public Service Commission rules instead of a new law. The bill was introduced at Walker’s request as part of a special session call he made to pass 10 bills that he said will help spur job creation. The other nine have passed one or both houses of the Legislature and four have been signed into law. But the wind bill never was even scheduled for a public hearing. “It’s just an issue the Legislature wants to take a longer, more thoughtful look at,” said Andrew Welhouse, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “We don’t have any immediate plans to move the special session bill, but the issue certainly isn’t going anywhere.” Welhouse said changing PSC rules to make the change was being considered, but there was no solid plan in place. The meeting next week was a public hearing on the issue, but no vote on any proposed rule change was planned. Renew Wisconsin, which has
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Market Rallies as poor hit by New Record, Food, Shelter, Energy and Clothing Prices

February 5, 2011

As the market rallies making historic gains on energy, food, shelter and clothing commodities Food Prices Hit New World Record…Global food prices have hit a new record high, amid fears that the escalating cost of bread and meat …The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) gave warning that the high prices, already above levels in 2008 which sparked riots, were likely to rise further. Telegraph Cotton: Highest in 150 Years U.S. cotton futures jumped for the third straight day on Wednesday, settling up the daily limit…Cotton futures have rallied almost 25 percent since the middle of January, the latest wave of a historic run that sent cotton prices to their loftiest levels in almost 150 years. Reuters Energy Prices Are Moving Higher Across Globe Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest company, posted its fourth consecutive quarterly profit increase as burgeoning energy demand boosted oil and fuel prices. (Bloomberg) … Oil, natural gas,uranium and coal are all going higher. Accessing a sustainable, and secure, supply of raw materials is going to become the number one priority for all countries. War on the poor News Headlines this week: US Stock Market Rallies To A New High Bank of America Mortgage
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Smart Grid and Meters a conspiracy of ignorance.

February 5, 2011

It can be safely argued that the biggest threat to life on this planet is ignorance, – Bob Parks … The lights over most of the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada began to flicker at 4:11 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2003. It was the start of the most extensive electrical blackout in history, covering the entire Northeast and parts of Canada, yet no one understood how it happened. Five electric power companies that shared a common grid pointed fingers at one another. The purpose of the grid is clear: electric power cannot be stored.  Power companies must generate the exact amount of power that is being used, adjusting to every electrical switch that is thrown. Linking power companies in a grid should mean a statistically smoother demand, thus reducing local blackouts. But the grid has grown so complex no one understood it. The Recovery and Reinvestment Act called for a smarter electric grid that could accurately anticipate demand.  This would start with the use of smart power meters.  Read more from Bob Parks
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Democrats who Seek to Suspend EPA Regulations

February 5, 2011

Bloomberg  Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, introduced legislation that suspends for two years U.S. carbon-dioxide regulations for power plants and other industrial polluters. Rockefeller has led an effort among Senate Democrats to suspend EPA rules that he said will burden businesses and hurt the economy. The Democrat has said the two-year delay is needed to give Congress time to craft a new energy bill. President Barack Obama will veto any attempt to block rules to regulate carbon, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said. “Many of us agree that Congress, not the EPA, must be the decision-maker on such a challenging issue,” Rockefeller said in the statement. New US Energy Chairman: “I Don’t Think We Have to Regulate Carbon” Fred Upton (R-MI) is the incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the US House of Representatives…has dramatically changed his views on regulating carbon emissions over the past several months, evolving from a position that “limate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions” in April 2009 to writing in the Wall Street Journal this week that he opposes any regulation of carbon emissions, and that if the EPA did so, it would be an “unconstitutional power
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We are all Egyptians

February 5, 2011

NY Times “If I die,” he added, “this is for my country.” It turned out that Amr had lost his legs many years ago in a train accident, but he rolled his wheelchair into Tahrir Square to show support for democracy, hurling rocks back at the mobs that President Hosni Mubarak apparently sent to besiege the square. Amr was being treated for a wound from a flying rock. I asked him as politely as I could what a double-amputee in a wheelchair was doing in a pitched battle involving Molotov cocktails, clubs, machetes, bricks and straight razors. “I still have my hands,” he said firmly. “God willing, I will keep fighting.” That was Tahrir Square on Thursday: pure determination, astounding grit, and, at times, heartbreaking suffering. At Tahrir Square’s field hospital (a mosque in normal times), 150 doctors have volunteered their services, despite the risk to themselves. Maged, a 64-year-old doctor who relies upon a cane to walk, told me that he hadn’t been previously involved in the protests, but that when he heard about the government’s assault on peaceful pro-democracy protesters, something snapped. So early Thursday morning, he prepared a will and then drove 125 miles to Tahrir Square
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DOE Public Meeting on Energy Literacy

February 4, 2011
DOE Public Meeting on Energy Literacy

As part of an effort to improve energy education, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking information to develop an energy literacy framework. The goal of this initiative is to compile a set of national standards for energy literacy, which can then be used to improve understanding of energy, energy sources, generation, use, and conservation. The Department of Energy will host two public meetings in the next two months to gather information for this initiative. The meetings will be of special interest to stakeholders in energy education and are open to the public. Space is limited and participation is available in-person only. For those that cannot participate in person, more information and opportunities to contribute are available through DOE’s Energy Literacy wiki. Law from the WikI “While the poor can most benefit from improved access to energy sources, they are also the most likely to suffer from the effects of environmental degradation resulting from unsustainable energy use.” -Hilary Olson To learn more about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s education and workforce development program visit the Energy Education and Workforce Development website.
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History’s first mass murdering “environmentalist” (empathy rant included)

February 4, 2011

How China Changed to world…   It is known that Genghis Khan killed nearly 40 million people and created the world’s largest slave empire. But new research by Julia Pongratz of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology tries to explain how his genocide “actually helped the Earth”??? Monogabay “It’s a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era,” says Pongratz, lead author of the study in a press release. “Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth’s landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture.” The answer to how this happened can be told in one word: reforestation. When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn’t enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil,” explains Pongratz. “But during the longer-lasting ones like
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Britain starts fuel rationing, could US be next?

February 2, 2011
1d_gas_coupon-06

Are we to “follow the lead of failing nations” and further utilize fear and greed to ration and control people? Instilling the idea that we should model Europes corrupt climate and energy policies or even “side with China” to control U.S. resources? Wonder if Hansen & Europe want to be controlled by Chinese style government?Keep this up and they will….Erik Curren: This week, a group of the British parliament released a plan to start rationing fuel within the next ten years. Could the US follow suit? The plan calls for the government to issue an equal number of Tradable Energy Quotas to all British adults for free and to auction credits off to businesses and government agencies. The goal of TEQs would be to encourage conservation and to deal with any future energy shortages in a way that’s more fair than letting high prices determine who buys energy and who doesn’t. Scary, but less than the alternative The All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, which put out the plan, explains how the system would work: “When you buy energy, such as petrol for your car or electricity for your household, units corresponding to the amount of energy you have
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Bee keeping for the energy descent future

February 2, 2011

The co-originator of permaculture is upbeat on the prospects for apiculture as a sustainable and resilient livelihood in the future. Bees are livestock that free range up to 2km from home across all boundaries and barriers, harvesting nectar and pollen sources using their own amazing intelligence and communication. Honey is a compact, self preserving store of wealth that makes an excellent tradeable surplus in any economy that might survive or emerge in an energy descent future. Honey production is one of the few yields that has not significantly increased as a result of the industrialisation of agriculture. The gains in honey yields from sugar feeding, chemical control of pests and diseases and migratory harvesting across whole continents have been neutralised by the loss of forage from forests, wild spaces and pastures combined with the increasing toxicity of agricultural landscapes. In the USA and Europe pollination services for massive monocultures, rather than honey, provide most apiarists with a living. The exclusion, morbidity and mortality of bees due to the industrialization of agriculture should be seen as “the real canary in the coalmine” warning us that we might be next. One of the most shocking facts revealed in the doco Honeybee Blues,
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Pharmas pushing adult drugs on little kids

February 2, 2011
Pharmas pushing adult drugs on little kids

Millions of kids are on ADHD meds and other mental drugs for conduct disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia, anxiety, and assorted “spectrum” disorders. But according to new data from IMS health in a Wall Street Journal article, just as many kids are being treated for non-psychiatric conditions that are often “adult diseases.” Read full at Since 2001, high blood pressure meds for kids have risen 17 percent, respiratory meds 42 percent, diabetes meds 150 percent and heartburn/GERD meds 147 percent. Fifty percent of pediatricians also prescribe kids insomnia drugs, according to an article in the journal Pediatrics. In fact, 25 percent of children and 30 percent of adolescents now take at least one prescription for a chronic condition says Medco, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, making the kid prescription market four times as strong as the adult in 2009.Alternet 
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Making the case for precautionary action to improve worker health and safety

February 1, 2011

From The Pump Handle … scientists and policy analysts refuse to accept we have to live in a world where parents are worried about toxic toys, or companies feel forced to choose between earning profits and protecting the environment.  Leave it to LCSP researchers to describe six cases of systemic worker health and safety failures, yet manage to identify small successes or opportunities to create them. “A crucial conclusion of this research is that work-related injury and illnesses could be prevented if chemicals, production processes, and technologies were designed with worker health in mind. …With the current need to get people back to work and green the economy, stimulating innovation that designs out hazards holds great promise for breaking free of the false dichotomy of safety versus profit–it doesn’t have to be a trade-off.” In “Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health,” the Lowell researchers set the bar high. They promote system-wide solutions that have the potential to improve the health of workers, their communities and the environment, while stimulating innovation. The authors provide six unique case studies on hazards as diverse as the solvent methylene chloride to a bulldozer on a construction site, and about workers in dozens
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Wisconsin businesses gain access to top green and gold strategists

February 1, 2011
Wisconsin businesses gain access to top green and gold strategists

WDNR –  Wisconsin businesses will gain access to some of the nation’s leading strategists on how to improve their bottom line and their environmental performance through a new council of businesses, investment experts, academics, nongovernmental organizations and government agencies. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a founding member of the newly formed Stewardship Action Council, an organization dedicated to promoting and improving sustainable and socially responsible business practices, and to recognizing those companies and organizations publicly committed to those goals. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp noted that Wisconsin, through its Green Tier program, has led the nation in providing opportunities for companies committed to better environmental and economic performance. “We’re very pleased to be a founding member for this initiative, which can build additional value for Green Tier participants and create even more opportunities for them to gain recognition and market exposure for their commitment.” Mark McDermid, who leads DNR’s Green Tier program and who will be Wisconsin’s representative to the council, says that the real power of this organization “will be in the kind of collaborative problem-solving where NGOs, academics and other states and business come together to talk about how other environmental and economic gains can be recognized
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China Starts Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Project

February 1, 2011
Thorium Fuel Cycle

The Energy From Thorium blog reports, that The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conference on Tuesday, January 25. An article in the Wenhui News followed on Wednesday (Google English translation). Chinese researchers also announced this development on the Energy from Thorium Discussion Forum. Led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, a graduate of Drexel University in electrical engineering, the thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation. This may be one of the reasons that the Chinese have not joined the international Gen-IV effort for MSR development, since part of that involves technology exchange. Neither the US nor Russia have joined the MSR Gen-IV effort either. A Chinese delegation led by Dr. Jiang travelled to Oak Ridge National Lab last fall to learn more about MSR technology and told lab leadership of their plans to develop a thorium-fueled MSR. The Chinese also recognize that a thorium-fueled MSR is best run with uranium-233 fuel, which inevitably contains impurities (uranium-232 and its decay products) that preclude its use in nuclear weapons.
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OSHA QuickTake – What’s new this month?

February 1, 2011
quicktakes2.gif

OSHA QuickTakes Two Illinois grain handling facilities fined more than $1.3 million after three workers are fatally engulfed in storage bins OSHA withdraws proposed interpretation on occupational noise and examines other approaches to prevent work-related hearing loss Revised National Emphasis Program expands worker protection against exposure to harmful food flavorings OSHA temporarily withdraws proposed column for reporting work-related musculoskeletal disorders Lead processor fined more than $300,000 for deliberately failing to protect workers from lead exposure Michaels shares OSHA’s 40-year history of worker protection with citizen advocacy group OSHA finalizes procedures for investigating whistleblower complaints made under seven federal statutes National advisory committee offers recommendations to improve worker safety OSHA holds hearing on proposed rule to prevent worker fatalities and serious injuries from falls in general industry OSHA renews strategic partnership with power transmission and distribution trade associations to reduce worker injuries and deaths Equipment manufacturer improves worker safety with help of On-site Consultation Program OSHA hosts regional Latino outreach and education conference on safety, health and workers’ rights Michigan OSHA sponsors 60th Annual Industrial Ventilation Conference Safety Job openings
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Science is an Art

February 1, 2011
5404630872 0a69eb9ab8 z pic on Design You Trust


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