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January 31, 2012

 

Aether Flow -- The True Electric Current?

Could it be that the flow of aether in the form of electric field is the true "electric current", and electron flow is only a byproduct? Some researchers, including potentially Nikola Tesla, seem to think so!

Amazon Notifies South Carolina Shoppers of Sales Tax Owed

Amazon is putting customers in South Carolina on notice that they are responsible for paying sales taxes on purchases they made with the online retailer last year...

A shift in solar innovation

When you talk to people about solar you often find their thoughts are loaded with preconceptions, assuming solar is expensive, impractical, and just for treehuggers. The failure of Solyndra reinforces these ideas for many, leading them to think, “You see?” As it happens, these preconceptions are for the most part no longer true--if they ever were.

A Week in the Life of the Stereotypical Indian

The portrayal of American Indian stereotypes: When is it all going to stop? I begin my rant on what “we as Native people” face in terms of stereotypes in media, films and even little plastic toys found in the bargain bins at thrift stores.

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder May Affect Our Food Supply

Bees have been dying off around the world for more than a decade now, a phenomenon that has been named "Colony Collapse Disorder," or CCD.

A third of the U.S. food supply requires the assistance of the honeybee.

The collapse of bee colonies is probably multifactorial, rather than a response to one type of toxic assault.

Be Prepared

I happen to think I tempted Fate with the wimpy first-aid kit I brought.

Blue Ribbon Commission issues report on used nuclear fuel

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future on Jan. 26 released its final report to the U.S. Energy Secretary, detailing recommendations for creating a safe, long-term solution for managing and disposing of the nation's spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Boulder council to consider climate goals, carbon tax

Whether the city should revamp its approach to addressing climate change -- including whether to extend an expiring tax to pay for related programs -- is among the questions facing the Boulder City Council this week.

California No. 1 for new wind power generators

California topped a list for new wind turbine installations with 328 in 2011, adding 921 megawatts of capacity to the local grid, an industry association said Thursday.

China: Banking on renewable energy storage

China’s State Grid Corporation has built the world’s biggest battery in a bid to manage its ageing grid infrastructure.

“Clean Coal” Cleaning Out the Pockets of Taxpayers in Mississippi

When it comes to boondoggles, many of the largest have involved the energy industry. Executives who work in oil, gas, coal, and green energy, along with the lobbyists they hire to do their bidding, are the true master manipulators of governments everywhere, and they have been controlling the system for their own benefit every since the days of John D. Rockefeller.

Clinton to back U.N. resolution on power transfer in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will join the foreign ministers of France and Britain at the United Nations to push for a resolution on the transfer of power in Syria, the BBC reports.

Cuomo: Sell upstate power downstate

Antiquated power lines and towers that are more than 35 years old are keeping upstate power from downstate customers, according to state leaders.

Coal-burning plants like AES in Somerset, which are running at less than capacity and facing closure, don't have a way to get through to customers in need who are looking elsewhere for electricity.

Dam About to Bust on Clean Hydrokinetic Energy

Hydrokinetic turbines can be installed in waterways without interrupting their natural flow, unlike conventional hydropower facilities that require dams to generate water pressure artificially. That means you get all the benefits of clean hydropower without the enormous carbon footprint that comes along with major infrastructure projects. You can also get scalability, since hydrokinetic turbines are generally designed as "drop-in" pieces of equipment that can be tethered to barges or anchored in place individually.

David Malpass: Fed's Actions Will Kill US Dollar

"Dollar weakness doesn't work at all for economic well-being," Malpass writes in The Wall Street Journal. "The corollary to the Fed's policy of manipulating interest rates downward at the expense of savers is declining median incomes."

Do We Need the Department of Education?

At the time the Constitution was written, education was not even considered a function of local government, let alone the federal government. ..Are there serious problems in education that can be solved only at the federal level?

EU summit: UK and Czechs refuse to join fiscal compact

Twenty-five of the EU's 27 member states have agreed to join a fiscal treaty to enforce budget discipline.

The Czech Republic and the UK refused to sign up. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would act if the treaty threatened UK interests.

Expert: Right investments key to clean energy

Clean energy can compete with, and even surpass, fossil fuels if the right investments are made in the technology behind it, the head of a company specializing in sustainable energy solutions told the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce during its annual meeting Thursday.

Extreme Heat Hurts Wheat Yields As World Warms: Study

Extreme heat can cause wheat crops to age faster and reduce yields, a U.S.-led study shows, underscoring the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing population as the world warms.

FDIC Problem Bank List

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) “Problem List” contains more banks and thrifts than it has since 1992 and is continuing to grow. And as the number of total institutions has been declining for more than 20 years, the percentage of total institutions identified as problematic is larger than ever in 2011 at 11.35%.

Feds: Megaupload user data could be gone Thursday

Federal prosecutors say data from users of Megaupload could be deleted as soon as Thursday.

U.S. prosecutors blocked access to Megaupload and charged seven men, saying the site facilitated millions of illegal downloads of movies, music and other content.

Freezing Fukushima Nuclear Plant Leaks Water

The temperature fell to minus 8.7 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning near Japan's crippled nuclear power plant, causing water pipes and valve seals to rupture, leaking tons of water.

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant discovered Sunday that the damaged pipes spilled nearly eight tons of water from 14 locations. Two additional water leaks were discovered today, according to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Group seeking more renewable energy in Maine misses 2012 deadline

Supporters of a citizens' initiative that would require utilities to produce more clean and renewable energy failed to gather enough signatures to put a question on the November ballot.

Groups Sue Over Navy Sonar Impacts on Marine Mammals

A broad coalition of conservation groups and American Indian Tribes on January 26 sued the Obama administration for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

India defies sanctions, won't cut Iran oil imports

India has joined China in saying it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran, despite stiff new U.S. and European sanctions designed to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program.

Iraq sectarian war flares as funeral bomb kills 29

Militants linked to al Qaeda have taken advantage of Sunni anger and a security vacuum left by the departure of US forces to launch a series of bombings, prompting reprisal attacks by Shia militia

Japanese Town's Dependence On Nuclear Plant Hushes Criticism

Japan's nuclear disaster has eroded trust in utilities and shown residents of the rural, mountainous region of Fukui the risk of radiation, but a dependence on atomic plants for jobs and funds means speaking out against them is taboo.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company Launches Renewables Subsidiary

Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company has launched a new renewable energy subsidiary.
Dubbed MidAmerican Renewables, LLC, the new company will be based out of Des Moines, Iowa and will encompass a new set of subsidiaries: MidAmerican Wind, LLC, MidAmerican Geothermal, LLC, MidAmerican Solar, LLC, and MidAmerican Hydro, LLC.

Neighbors of proposed power line want it buried

Pressure is building on a Pewaukee power line company to place a new 138,000-volt power line in western Milwaukee County underground.

Major businesses and a local environmental group are joining the Milwaukee Montessori School and St. Therese Catholic Church in seeking to have portions of American Transmission Co.'s new power lines buried rather than strung overhead.

Obama's energy plans in the SOTU sound awful familiar

In his much-hyped State of the Union address this past week, President Barack Obama gave a rhetorical bearhug to US energy development, even stealing a line from Republicans and pronouncing the need for an "all-out, all-of-the-above strategy" on increasing energy production.

Obama's Forest Service Weakens National Forest Wildlife Protections

The U.S. Forest Service today released a new proposal for the nation's 193-million-acre national forest system that will weaken rules protecting fish and wildlife from logging, livestock grazing, mining and off-road vehicles.

Palm Oil Biodiesel and greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil-based biodiesel are the highest among major biofuels when the effects of deforestation and peatlands degradation are considered, according to calculations by the European Commission. The emissions estimates, which haven't been officially released, have important implications for the biofuels industry in Europe.

Report: Evidence lacking to support claims that wind turbines harm health

A study panel of health and environmental experts commissioned by the state of Massachusetts found insufficient evidence to support claims that noise from commercial wind turbines directly cause health problems or disease.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

The geomagnetic field was quiet, until the arrival of a glancing blow from the limb event CME that occurred in association with the X1/1f flare on 27 January.solar wind speed increase from around 350 km/s to near450 km/s. A weak sudden impulse. The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet for days 1-3

River Pollution Triggers Water Panic Buying In China

Residents of a town in southern China have been rushing to buy bottled water after excessive levels of carcinogenic cadmium were found in a river source of drinking water, state media said on Thursday in the latest health scare to hit the country.

Robust Oil Prices are Keeping US Oil and Gas Largely Stable

"U.S. oil and gas companies should stay relatively stable this year, despite a tepid economic recovery and our expectation for very weak natural gas prices," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Thomas Watters. "Supporting our credit outlook is our view that oil prices will remain healthy."

Russia seeks to slow U.N. pace on #Syria action

Russia on Monday sought to avert a swift U.N. Security Council vote on a Western-Arab resolution on Syria and said it wanted to study recommendations from Arab observers before discussing a plan that calls for President Bashar al-Assad to cede power.

'Smart paint' can warn of structure faults

Researchers in Scotland say a new low-cost "smart paint" can detect microscopic faults in wind turbines, mines and bridges before structural damage occurs.

Snowy Owls Soar South From Arctic In Rare Mass Migration

Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called "unbelievable."

Solar Trade Barriers Threaten Over 60,000 American Jobs

An economic analysis prepared by The Brattle Group and released yesterday finds that a 100% tariff on imported solar PV cells and modules from China would result in as many as 50,000 net lost jobs in the U.S. over the next three years. Furthermore, retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. exports of polysilicon to China would put nearly 11,000 more American jobs at risk in the first year following tariff imposition.

Strong Work Ethics Stem from Early Childhood Development

A new study recently published suggests that attentiveness in kindergarten can accurately predict the child's work-oriented behavior throughout the rest of their school years and throughout their entire lives. This conclusion came after years of analysis and observation from elementary school homeroom teachers. For a young child, the classroom is the work place, so skills obtained there are translated directly to their adult workplaces. This study places even more focus on the importance of early education in shaping a more productive society.

Tire-burning power plant project now rolling

After a six-year delay, a power plant project that would turn scrap tires into electricity is moving forward in Toomsboro, promising to provide 75 permanent jobs in a county with a 10 percent unemployment rate.

U.S. Department of Commerce Finds Massive Surge of Chinese Solar Imports, Triggering 90-Day Retroactivity If It Finds Duties Are Warranted

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), led by SolarWorld and supported by more than 150 U.S. employers of more than 11,000 workers, today recognized the U.S. Department of Commerce for taking expedited action against a massive, evasive surge of Chinese solar cell and panel imports ahead of Commerce's first preliminary determination on duties, now scheduled for March 2, 2012.

US GDP Rose in the Fourth Quarter of 2011 on Inventory Gain

US GDP rose an annualized 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from a 1.8% increase in the third quarter and a 1.3% second-quarter gain. Market expectations were for a slightly stronger 3.0% increase in the fourth quarter of 2011.

What About the State of Our Planet, Mr. President?

In his state of the union address this week, President Obama talked about the American promise -  the promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.

“The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive,” he said. “No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important.” 

Climate scientists might beg to differ. 

 

Why Government Should Focus on the Cyber Threat

Recently, CNN reported an official federal investigation into a possible cyberattack launched against a sector of America’s critical infrastructure, a water treatment plant in Springfield, Illinois. Officials originally thought that this was the first known cyberattack against America’s critical infrastructure, yet ultimately, a foreign state wasn't to blame for the attack. Still, the entire incident highlights how, as tax-paying citizens, we need our government to do more to ensure that we are better prepared for cyberattacks

 

January 27, 2012

 

Advocates call for Santa Cruz planning to line up with climate action goals

The City Council took a deeper look Tuesday at Santa Cruz's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent during the next eight years, one that decreases car trips while increasing public transportation ridership, bicycle use and solar systems.

Afghan Olive Farms Waiting for Water

The southeastern Afghan province of Nangarhar was once home to thousands of hectares of olive groves, but residents say water and electricity shortages, combined with land grabs and war, have left the industry devastated.

Aquatic power generator takes to the sea

The system's inventor says the Searaser system, unlike other wave power technologies, does not generate the electricity in the hostile environment of the ocean but rather pumps saltwater to an onshore generator.

Asia Report: China Has Strong Words Over U.S. Wind Trade Investigation

So far, the complaint by American wind tower manufacturers against their competition from Asia has mirrored the solar industry petition filed in October.

Asia Solar Cell Producers Rising Amid Pricing War

Europe may be the big end-market for solar PV demand (at least for now), but from a manufacturing standpoint Asian firms are beginning to dominate.

Asian Solar PV Installs Surging, China "Blistering"

Asia-Pacific markets together added 2.8-gigawatts (GW) of solar PV installations in 4Q11 on the way to a total of 6GW for the entire year, an eye-popping 165% growth, thanks in large part to a massive run-up in China's domestic sector, according to calculations from Solarbuzz.

Coalition to sue EPA over ash pond rules

A coalition of 11 environmental and public health groups from seven states has announced plans to sue the government over the delay in finalizing rules to make coal ash ponds safer.

Cold Fusion: Theory or Fact?

If, way back in 1911, I had told you that a newly discovered principle could create a conductor that would carry electricity over any distance with virtually no loss of power you would have said “Fantastic! Amazing! This will change everything!” and you’d have been right … if it had been practical.

Competing Forces Clash over Coal Ash

Two competing forces with regard to how coal ash is regulated are headed for a collision. Environmentalist groups have just said that they would sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force prompt action while U.S. lawmakers from coal-producing states are working to head off those attempts.

Concentrating Photovoltaics: It's Make It or Break It Time

Department of Energy Study Shows Potential for Ocean Power Production

Waves and tidal currents could generate up to one-third of America's electricity usage per year, according to two reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy that assessed the potential for ocean power off the east and west coasts.

Development Of Material For Quick, Simple Removal Of Toxic Arsenic In Drinking Water

...a nanomaterial which enables simple detection and removal of arsenic from drinking water. This nanomaterial responds to warnings that as many as 60 million people live in contaminated areas in Southeast Asia without safe drinking water.

Did you know that planting a vegetable garden makes you subversive?

First and foremost, as Doiron points out, growing your own food has the potential "to alter the balance of power, not only in our own country, but in the entire world."

Energy group wants court to throw out nuclear-cost law

The state law that has allowed Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy to charge customers $1 billion so far for speculative nuclear power plants is unconstitutional, a group of energy advocates claims in a lawsuit before the state's highest court.

Energy Race to 2035: Renewables, Efficiency, Domestic Oil and Gas Win

Increased oil, natural gas and renewable energy production within the United States and energy efficiency will lower U.S. reliance on coal and imported energy sources through 2035, finds the latest forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA, the statistical and analytical agency within the Department of Energy.

Fed extends low rates forecast to 2014

The US Federal Reserve predicted that interest rates will stay on hold at least through late 2014 in a dramatic extension to the period for which it expects to keep rates low.

The Fed’s previous forecast was of rates on hold until mid-2013. The statement acted as a significant easing in monetary policy by moving out market expectations of the first rise in interest rates and led to an immediate fall in bond yields.

Fossil fuel lobby dollars return as subsidies

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook Executive Summary released last November stated “Subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption of fossil fuels jumped to over $400 billion.” And additional $100 billion is funneled to the production-side.
Why all the subsidies when demand is so high?

Going Dark and Turning On

...was designed to “expand the ability of US law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.” Because of the vague language included in the act—as well as some provisions that have been characterized as extreme overreaching on the part of federal authorities—many opponents felt that passage of the legislation would cripple, and eventually destroy, the Internet as we know it.

Google's new privacy policy: The good, bad, scary

Google has updated its privacy policy in a way that breaks down product silos, but allows the search giant to mine data across all of its services

Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate

We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. Of this, supports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal, and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate.

Implosions at coal-fired power plant delayed until April

According to the Mohave Valley Daily News, the implosions, which were originally scheduled for November 2011, had been rescheduled for Jan. 27. But a spokesperson with majority owner Southern California Edison was quoted as saying that the demolition was delayed until late April to dismantle turbines and other parts of the shuttered coal-fired power plant for salvage.

Increased renewable energy use 'may make a difference'

worldwide renewable energy capacity grew at rates of 10-60 percent annually from 2004-2009. Grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) solar power increased the fastest of all renewable technologies, with a 60 percent annual average growth rate for the five-year period, according to available statistics.

Solar photovoltaic electricity has been increasing by an average of more than 20 percent each year since 2002 and until 2010, the cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) solar surpassed 40,000 MW.

Integrating Anaerobic Digestion Into Our Culture Part 1: Language, Visuals and Values

North America is at an inflection point in managing organic materials. Just as paper, metal and plastics were the darlings of the recycling industry a few decades ago, our society is defining a new relationship with organic materials — one that harnesses the full carbon, energy and nutrient potential of organics. In order to help shape that new relationship, industry leaders are cultivating North America's awareness and understanding of anaerobic digestion's features, benefits and potential role in society. This two-part article explores the ways the waste, energy and agricultural industries are integrating this technology into our culture.

Iran dismisses 'irrational' EU oil ban, has other markets

"There are forces in the EU that seek to create tension in relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran by following the US policies and adopting a hostile approach," the deputy foreign minister, Ali Asqar Khaji, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Iran is ready to return to nuclear talks

Iran is ready to revive talks with the U.S. and other world powers, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday, but suggested that Tehran's foes will have to make compromises to prevent negotiations from again collapsing in stalemate.

Iran starting to feel bite of sanctions: US State Department

The US government sees early signs that Iran's economy has started to feel the pinch of international efforts to curb reliance on its petroleum exports, a State Department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The US and European Union have enacted tougher sanctions against Iran in recent weeks to pressure Tehran into ending its controversial nuclear program, which the West believes will be used for weapons development.

Is Netanyahu's Patience with Iran Running Out?

Does Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu think the West is taking decisive action to stop Iran from getting the Bomb, or does he think the West is fiddling while Tel Aviv runs the rising risk of burning? That's the Big Question as tensions continue to mount in the epicenter this week. Iran is making new threats to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipments, just days after test-firing missiles over the Strait.

Just Ask a Vegetable Gardener

If you spend a little time with this gardener, you'll begin to appreciate the pleasure in growing your own food. And the one thing that seems to unite all gardeners is their tomatoes. Not only is it one of the first crops that novice gardeners try their hand at, growing tomatoes is an art form that unites gardeners from all corners of the earth!

Lease Option Increases Rooftop Solars Appeal, Study Says

Rooftop solar panels are attracting a new demographic of customers who are choosing to lease rather than buy, and enjoying the low upfront costs and immediate savings.

The new third-party-lease business model lets homeowners save money the very first month, rather than breaking even a decade later after an initial investment of $10,000 or $20,000.

'Miracle Tree' Substance Produces Clean Drinking Water Inexpensively And Sustainably

A natural substance obtained from seeds of the "miracle tree" could purify and clarify water inexpensively and sustainably in the developing world, where more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, scientists report. Research on the potential of a sustainable water-treatment process requiring only tree seeds and sand appears in ACS' journal Langmuir.

New magnetic soap could be used to clean up oil spills

When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren't entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job.

New Proposal May Put the Nation’s Food Safety at Even Greater Risk

The USDA’s food safety wing may come under control of the FDA. This will mean more power, wider scope—and greater corruption.

New technique removes even trace amounts of heavy metals from water

Once released into the environment from industrial sources, trace amounts of heavy metals can remain present in waterways for decades or even centuries, in concentrations that are still high enough to pose a health risk. While processes do exist for removing larger amounts of heavy metals from water, these do not work on smaller quantities. Now, however, scientists from Rhode Island's Brown University have combined two existing methods, to create a new one that removes even trace amounts of heavy metal from water.

Northern Arizona power plant among biggest polluters

As in much of the country, power plants in Arizona are responsible for most of the greenhouse gases generated by large facilities, according to 2010 data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The data only takes into account single large sources and not sources like automobiles.

No Science for You!

Congress wants to limit your access to research—even though your tax dollars paid for it. If this bill passes, you’ll learn only what mainstream medicine wishes you to know.

Obama puts tax at heart of election

Barack Obama laid down the battle lines for the presidential election as he promised a “fairer” tax regime on the day Mitt Romney, the leading Republican contender, revealed that he paid federal income taxes at an effective rate of just 13.9 per cent in 2010.

Obama to act, seeks action on energy

Since Congress hasn't acted to set a clean energy standard to spur innovation, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would step in.

Obama Vows to Rid the Red Tape

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama announced his intention to sign an executive order to cut through “red tape” that hinders infrastructure construction.

Overcapacity Hits Wind Turbine Market

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer is laying off employees due to over capacity in the market from competition from Chinese suppliers and lower demand in European and U.S. markets as unsustainable subsidies decline. Strong headwinds are blowing against the industry as governments have been forced to reduce the overly generous subsidies they have provided to wind producers.

Platts Report: China's oil demand rises by 0.7% in December

“But even with that relatively slow rate of growth at the end of the year, the actual demand for December was the highest daily rate the country's oil demand has ever reached,” said Calvin Lee, Platts senior writer for China.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

several C-class events, the largest a C7 flare, CME appears to be directed well north of the ecliptic plane, slight chance for an isolated M-class event, The greater than 10 MeV Proton event that began at 23/0530Z and reached a maximum value of 6310 pfu,he geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled on days one and two (27-28
January) due to a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream

Solar advocates cite low cost

A coalition of renewable energy, environmental and labor groups says a proposal to dramatically increase solar generation in New York would end up costing the average homeowner only an additional 39 cents on his monthly electric bill.

State of the Union:  Is America at Risk of Implosion?

Two words jumped out at me in listening to the President's State of the Union address, and the Republican response: "collapse" and "implode." Did they strike you, too?

State of the Union: Obama makes the right noises on clean energy

Those in the renewable energy industry looking for clues as to whether President Obama would continue to talk up renewables will not have been disappointed by his 2012 State of The Union speech. Here is a run down of what was said as it relates to some of the hot energy topics in the country...

Statin Drugs Shown to Increase Risk of Diabetes Significantly—Yet the Media Scramble to Protect the Drugs’ Reputation

Statins are taken by one in four Americans over the age of 45, even though diet can fix high cholesterol quicker and more safely. Here’s new evidence of the drugs’ dangers.

Study finds sunshade geoengineering could improve crop yields

In the face of potentially catastrophic effects on global food production, some have proposed drastic solutions to counteract climate change such as reflecting sunlight away from the Earth. A new study from the Carnegie Institution for Science examining the effects of sunshade geoengineering has concluded that such an approach would be more likely to improve food security than threaten it.

Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse

When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

"In an instant, anything can happen," she told Reuters. "And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared."

Taxpayers Still Owed $132.9 Billion From Bailout: Report

A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion that companies haven't repaid from the financial bailout, and some of that will never be recovered.

The Woodlands Twp., Texas, switches to single-stream

The Woodlands Township in Texas has begun a single-stream recycling service.

Waste Management Inc. began delivering 96-gallon recycling carts to single-family homes on Jan. 2 and should complete the deliveries by the end of the month, according to the Houston Chronicle.

US crude oil stocks up 3.6 million barrels as Gulf Coast imports jump

US crude oil stocks rose 3.558 million barrels last week as imports edged higher and refiners cut back utilization rates, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed Wednesday.

At 334.767 million barrels, crude stocks are 3.5% higher than the five-year average.

US Energy Executives Believe Energy Independence is Achievable within 15 Years, Overwhelming Majority Support Fracking

An overwhelming majority (70%) of executives at middle market energy companies see the potential for U.S. energy independence within 15 years, yet they expressed concern that the regulatory environment, along with trouble in the financial world and opposition to fracking, could dash that promise.

U.S. foresees greater energy independence

The nation will be more energy independent in the future as it boosts its production of oil, natural gas and renewable power such as solar and wind, the U.S. government predicted Monday.

Water of millions in peril from nuclear plants

Environmental activists said in a report Tuesday that nearly 3.3 million New Jerseyans drink water from supplies at risk of contamination if there's a leak or accident at a nuclear plant.

Why Do Oil and Gas Producers Disapprove of Obama?

One of the most pronounced themes to emerge from President Obama’s State of the Union address is his dedication to shale gas that he says is this country’s newfound fortune. So why the disdain from oil and gas producers?

Wind power: Clean energy, dirty business?

In the developing world, where land-intensive wind turbines are being rapidly constructed, wind power has often turned clean energy into dirty business.

Wright State Researchers Working On Watershed Moment In Water Purification

Polluted streams, rivers, lakes and municipal water may soon be getting the Wright State treatment.

Sharmila Mukhopadhyay and her researchers are developing near molecular-sized "nano-brushes."

 

January 25, 2012

 

'Aftershock' Author Bob Wiedemer: European Crisis Can Spread to US

The European debt crisis has now claimed France, which just lost its coveted AAA rating amid a Standard & Poor's downgrade, and eventually U.S. financial systems could be due for a fresh bruising, says Robert Wiedemer, financial commentator and best-selling author of "Aftershock."

Analysts Hint at New Civil War in “Liberated” Libya

Even as the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared Libya “liberated” following the violent death of former strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi, analysts were warning that civil war might continue to rage on as militia groups and armed factions struggle to seize power. And with real elections tentatively scheduled for 2013 at the earliest, the worst may be yet to come.

Another zero-emissions powerplant emerges - the Dearman Engine runs on liquid air

A new zero-emissions engine capable of competing commercially with hydrogen fuel cells and battery electric systems appeared on the radar yesterday when respected British engineering consultancy Ricardo validated Dearman engine technology and its commercial potential.

Arab League calls for Syria regime shift

The Arab League will seek United Nations Security Council endorsement for a plan to peacefully end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and pave the way for a democratically elected government within six months, it was announced on Sunday night.

Biggest radiation storm since 2005 headed for Earth

Lock up your satellites and batten down your power-lines because a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is headed our way. According to the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), it is the strongest Solar Radiation Storm since May, 2005.

Biofuel breakthrough: kelp could power cars

Scientists have devised a new way to produce ethanol directly from seaweed, offering the potential to generate biofuels that don't compete with terrestrial food production and won't suck up scarce freshwater, reports a study published today in Science.

Clean living: Energy prices fuel sustainable, affordable housing push

If you want to see what the future of affordable housing looks like in Brownsville, take a gander at the little blue house at 3132 Westwind Drive in the Inwood II subdivision.

Coal plants dominate list of Chicago's biggest polluters

Fed by a steady stream of coal barges, the aging power plants that loom over Chicago's Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods are by far the city's largest industrial sources of climate change pollution.

Cultivating the Mindset of a Prepared Citizen

It doesn’t take a major weather event or a terrorist attack to prove the good sense of being prepared.  But what does it take to activate and cultivate the way of thinking that puts you in a good place, prepared for anything?

DOJ vs. Anonymous: Who’s Tricking Who?

When Thursday was all said and done, it ended up being the biggest coordinated attack in the history of Anonymous – more than a dozen major websites down and over 5,000 worldwide participants. Many on the interwebs rejoiced.

EPA Threatens North Dakota Oil Boom

Oil production in North Dakota has boomed to the point that the state now produces nearly as much oil each day as OPEC member Ecuador.

Finding Nature's Speed Limit

The speed of light is considered to be the limit at which no object can go faster. But here on Earth, nature has its own speed limit which affects its fastest creatures every day. The speed at which an animal can go, and human aircraft for that matter, is directly dependent upon how far that animal can see. Using complex mathematical equations, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have effectively quantified nature's speed limit. They found that given a certain density of obstacles, there exists a speed at which a bird can reasonably fly without collision.

French Senate OKs Return of Nuclear Test Atolls to French Polynesia

The Senate of France has passed legislation that transfers two Pacific atolls used for atmospheric and underground nuclear testing back into the public domain of French Polynesia.

George Soros: Collapsing US Economy to Spark Street Violence

As the U.S. economy worsens, protests such as those carried out by the Occupy Wall Street movement will turn ugly, breaking down into waves of violent unrest across the nation, says billionaire financier George Soros.

Global Trade Drying Up, Says Largest Ever Economic Survey of Finance Professionals

Finance professionals believe there will be a renewed global economic downturn in 2012, as the largest ever quarterly survey of professional accountants shows that international trade continued to dry up at the end of last year.

Hawaii is Baking Up a lot of Wind and Sun

If you wanted to create a laboratory for clean energy, you might pick these attributes: an isolated market; one that’s almost wholly dependent on fossil fuels; and it has abundant wind and sun. One such lab already exists. It’s called Hawaii.

Huge Pool Of Arctic Water Could Cool Europe: Study

A huge pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean is expanding and could lower the temperature of Europe by causing an ocean current to slow down, British scientists said Sunday.

Using satellites to measure sea surface height from 1995 to 2010, scientists from University College London and Britain's National Oceanography Center found that the western Arctic's sea surface has risen by about 15 cms since 2002.

Hundreds of Libyans Storm NTC Headquarters

Hundreds of angry Libyans violently stormed the transitional government’s headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday, looting office supplies as the country’s interim leader was trapped in the building.

Insta-Fire lights on water, works as tinder, kindling and fuel

Fire. It has the ability attract humans like light attracts moths. As I strolled through the base area of Solitude, Utah at the Outdoor Retailer winter demo earlier this week, I was immediately drawn to the large drums overflowing with flames ... and not because I was particularly cold - I had just stepped out of the car and it was a pretty mild day by ski resort standards. No, it was fire for fire's sake that immediately caught my interest.

Islamists take almost half of Egypt's parliament

CAIRO: Islamists will dominate Egypt's first parliament following Hosni Mubarak's ousting almost a year ago, as the country prepares for the anniversary of the protests that ended his three-decade rule.

Israeli-Saudi Cyberwar Heats Up

Last week the Insider Report disclosed that an Israeli teenager identified only as “OxOmer” launched a cyberwar counterattack against Saudi hackers who divulged tens of thousands of Israeli credit card numbers on the Internet.

Now the Saudi hackers have struck again, attacking the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Israel Airlines.

Keeping poison out of our water

Las Vegas is rightfully proud to be the doorway to thousands of tourists who travel to Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River. As our economy matures, we are becoming a destination for those seeking unique outdoor experiences. And of course, Southern Nevada has another inseparable tie to the Colorado River: The river gives us a safe, reliable water supply, providing more than 90 percent of our water needs.

Keystone Kicks off Fierce Presidential Debate

After the 2010 mid-term elections, Americans heard the refrain “jobs, jobs, jobs” from both the public-at-large and their elected representatives. President Obama’s decision to immediately deny the Keystone XL Pipeline undermines that objective. But his choice is procedural and not philosophical, which means he will bend.

Nervous Neighbors: China Finds a Sphere of Influence

One major source of tension between Beijing and some of its Pacific neighbors is their overlapping claims to the South China Sea.

Pharmaceutical Industry Could Use a Shot in the Arm

Fitch Ratings says 2012 will be a critical year for the pharmaceutical industry, as drug makers struggle with record patent expirations, disappointing results of expensive clinical trials, and ongoing regulatory challenges against an already challenging economic backdrop.

Renewable Portfolio Standards Examined

Just after the 2008 presidential election, a national mandate for utilities to obtain a fixed percentage of their electricity from renewable energy seemed almost inevitable.

Report: Government Workers’ Pay Is ‘Inflated’

The average federal employee earns 57 percent more in salary and 85 percent more in total compensation, including benefits, than the average private-sector worker.

Saudi cabinet approves expansion of oil, gas relations with China: SPA

There were no details about the agreement, which followed the signing of an implementation agreement between China's Sinopec and Saudi Aramco to build a 400,000 b/d oil refinery at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast.

Solar Panels: Do They Make Sense In Connecticut?

Experts say whether residential electric-generating solar, or photovoltaic panels, make sense depends on myriad considerations, from your home's location and the direction it faces to the age of your roof and tree cover in your yard. The systems can either be bought, the option chosen by Daniels and Miller, or leased.

State of the Union: Obama Opens Public Land and Waters to Energy Industry

The President directed his administration "to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources," a policy that will have an enormous impact on the marine environment of the United States

Study: Stem Cells Can Help Blind See

Scientists are reporting hints that embryonic stem cells can ease blindness in some people.

It's the first results from the use of embryonic stem cells in humans.

The Benefits of Living Food

So where do you get "living" food when it's the dead of winter? With sprouts, of course!

The Ten Inventions of Nikola Tesla Which Changed The World

‘Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. Throughout space there is energy. — Nikola Tesla, 1892

Think e-waste is bad? Try an a-waste ban

The most toxic product Americans own in their lifetime is the automobile. It is filled with flammables, carcinogens, e-waste, inhalants and pollutants, and it´s capable of violent safety violations.

Toyota Finds Way To Avoid Using Rare Earth: Report

Toyota Motor Corp has developed a way to make hybrid and electric vehicles without the use of expensive rare earth metals, in which China has a near-monopoly, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

UN Small Arms Treaty is in fact a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme

Disguised as an “International Arms Control Treaty” to fight against “terrorism,” “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates,” the UN Small Arms Treaty is in fact a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme.

U.S. aircraft carrier enters Gulf without incident

A U.S. aircraft carrier sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Gulf without incident on Sunday, a day after Iran backed away from an earlier threat to take action if an American carrier returned to the strategic waterway.

U.S. CO2 emissions to stay below 2005 levels as coal use shrinks

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released an early version of its annual energy outlook on Monday, which predicted a slowdown in growth of energy use over the next two decades amid economic recovery and improved energy efficiency.

US is a Lot Like Bernie Madoff’s Clients

Investors all want the Fed’s money printing operations to succeed. That’s part of the reason the stock market jumps so much any time they print money.

US welcomes EU sanctions on Iran, hopes they lead to nuclear talks

The US on Monday welcomed EU sanctions banning Iranian oil and petrochemical exports to Europe, saying Washington hoped that Tehran would be motivated by the loss of its oil revenue to negotiate a settlement to the nuclear crisis.

Weaker Sun Will Not Delay Global Warming: Study

A weaker sun over the next 90 years is not likely to significantly delay a rise in global temperature caused by greenhouse gases, a report said Monday.

Wells Fargo completes financing for massive New Mexico solar project

New Mexico’s largest bank, Wells Fargo & Co.  announced Monday that financing has been completed for a 53.5-megawatt multi-site solar project in the state.

The project is one of the largest photovoltaic solar power efforts in the U.S., according to a news release. It was fully activated in December 2011.

Women Feel More Pain Than Men

The study, reported in the Journal of Pain, reports that women seeking medical care for a wide range of medical problems in the hospital or clinics at Stanford University School of Medicine reported higher pain intensity, on average, compared with men with the same diagnoses.

World Economies at Tipping Point

Pimco CEO and co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian says the world’s economies are at a tipping point.

"Rather than a traditional bell-shaped distribution curve for advanced economies, the world is now increasingly facing what can be best characterized as a bimodal distribution — one can think of it as like the back of a two-humped camel," El-Erian writes at CNN.

 

January 20, 2012

 

A better SOPA: Create Silicon Valley jobs in Hollywood, give Washington the boot

Summary: The solution to SOPA won’t be found in Washington - and shouldn’t be. The only way to really combat piracy is for Silicon Valley and Hollywood to start working as a team.

Analysis of EIA data: US crude oil stocks draw 3.438 million barrels as imports plunge

US crude oil stocks fell 3.438 million barrels to 331.209 million barrels the week that ended January 13, as imports sharply declined amid a moderate rise in petroleum product demand, data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed Thursday.

Arizonans embrace the Conservation Movement

The Turn of the Century marked a turning point for Arizona and the nation. Americans began to realize that the country’s natural resources were being used up faster than they were being replenished. Far-sighted individuals saw that something had to be done at a national level to save what was left of the nation’s antiquities, wildlife, water, soil, timber, and unique natural landscapes.

Ben Franklin – America’s First Proponent of Energy Efficiency

Ben Franklin, the first American genius, achieved fame and notoriety for his electricity research, which included that famous kite-flying experiment.  But did you know that he first described the concept of treating energy efficiency as an energy resource?

Bill Adds Natgas, Coal As Renewable Fuel Source

Ethanol derived from natural gas and coal would compete with corn-based ethanol for a share of the U.S. motor fuel market under a bill unveiled by six U.S. House members on Wednesday.

Children with ADHD are "Forced" to Take ADHD Drugs

...if a parent decides not to use them, their child could be taken away by child protective services, according to the guidelines.

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao says not worried about oil trade with Iran

Chinese Premier Wu Jiabao said Wednesday after talks in Qatar that China was not worried about its oil trading with Iran and while Beijing is opposed to a nuclear-armed Iran, the business of international trade should not be disrupted.

Could Tap Water Cause Lou Gehrig's Disease?

In what could be a life-saving discovery, a toxic molecule sometimes found in drinking water has been linked to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.

Dear Congress, guess what? We already have copyright laws

Summary: What you need to do, my dear politician friends, is to stop listening to the lobbyists and start listening to the innovators.

DOE official looking at expanding research of small nuclear reactors

Research will be moving forward this year toward development and design certification of small modular nuclear reactors, said Peter Lyons, the Department of Energy assistant secretary of nuclear energy.

Energy Efficiency will Drive Utilities in Future

Electricity is at the heart of the U.S. energy economy. And the numbers say so.

A report by the Manhattan Institute cites this fascinating statistic: In 1950, 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product was directly dependent on electricity. By 2008, that number had tripled to 60 percent. Additionally, the report states that over 85 percent of the U.S. energy growth since 1980 was met by electricity.

Error margins: forecasting energy demand

Long-term energy demand forecasts have always been as much art as science.

They involve so many elements and can encompass such a wide array of approaches that any prediction can only be taken as a general guide as to what might -- rather than what will -- happen. As Danish physicist Niels Bohr said: "Prediction is a very difficult art, especially when it involves the future". Neil Ford

Geothermal Heating Up in Nevada Despite Frigid Industry Climate

Amidst a year of frustrating inactivity in the geothermal industry, many are holding hope for a brighter 2012. The industry holds more than 700 MW of projects in its pipeline to be completed before the federal tax credit expires in 2013. One project that has the upper hand in this race is Gradient Resource's 60-MW Patua project, about 38 miles east of Reno, Nevada,...

Globally, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurred since 2000

The global average temperature last year was the ninth-warmest in the modern meteorological record, continuing a trend linked to greenhouse gases that saw nine of the 10 hottest years occurring since the year 2000, NASA scientists said on Thursday.

Gov. Brown signs pact to streamline energy transmission projects

In a move to create jobs and help preserve California's leadership in renewable energy, the state and the federal government have expanded a partnership to bring more solar, wind and other clean energy sources on line.

Green Energy Faces Nat Gas Issues

Natural gas is seen as the bridge to solving the intermittency of supply issues that renewable energy faces as it contends to take an ever-larger share of the generation load. But is there enough infrastructure available to get gas to peaking and other plants when wind and solar resources inevitably back off? And, if there aren’t who pays for the new supply lines?

I Will Make Life Good: An Indigenous Oath

The big difference in the Navajo Nation oath, which sets it apart from every state and federal oath, is the concluding affirmation: “With this, I will make life good.”

Where else do attorneys pledge, as a condition of admission to practice, that they will “make life good”? The phrase filled me with a sense that life is good, that humans have the capacity to acknowledge all our relations and commit ourselves to this good life. The Navajo oath of office is built on a way of life completely different from the dominant view of Western civilization: It expresses commitment to life rather than to self-interest. Chief Justice Yazzie emphasized in his remarks that the commitment to good life is for all people, not just the individual.

Japan seeks exemption from US on Iran sanctions: METI minister

Japan has asked the US to be flexible on the tougher regime of sanctions covering imports of Iranian crude that were signed into law December 31 by President Barack Obama, the country's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano said Friday.

Japan To Allow 60-Year Reactor Lifespan Despite Fukushima

Japan will allow nuclear reactors to operate for up to 60 years in revised regulations on power plant operators, the government said on Wednesday, even as it looks to shift gradually away from atomic power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

NASA Sees Repeating La Niña Hitting Its Peak

La Niña, "the diva of drought," is peaking, increasing the odds that the Pacific Northwest will have more stormy weather this winter and spring, while the southwestern and southern United States will be dry.

New gallstone-removing endoscope promises fewer gallbladder removals

When someone has gallstones, treatment typically involves the removal of their gallbladder. This is usually done laparoscopically, in a procedure known as a cholecystectomy. A group of scientists from the Second People's Hospital of Panyu District and Central South University in China, however, have created an endoscope that they say is able to locate and remove gallstones while leaving the gallbladder intact.

New hormone mimics the effects of physical exercise

A group of researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, led by Bruce Spiegelman and Pontus Boström, have discovered a hormone that mimics some of the results of a workout by facilitating the transformation of white fat into brown fat.

Obama's Calculus for Terminating the Keystone Pipeline

Election years are always a terrible time to make big decisions. Everything leaders do is influenced by calculations regarding their re-election. Whether something is right or wrong often matters less than what will bring about more votes. The decision by the Obama Administration to put to rest the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project is no exception. However, this in itself does not mean the decision is without merit.

Oil prices batter coastal US petroleum refiner earnings

When US refiners release fourth quarter earnings in a couple weeks it's going to be ugly. That point was driven home today when Hovensa, the joint Hess-PDVSA refinery in St. Croix, said it was joining a list of other East Coast refineries in shutting its doors.

OPEC says pumping more than new ceiling

OPEC's new 30 million b/d crude production ceiling came into effect at the beginning of January, but OPEC's latest monthly oil market report on January 16 showed that the group's output had already exceeded the new ceiling by more than 800,000 b/d in December.

Oregon Moves to Zone Ocean

U.S. communities routinely use zoning laws to control where businesses may operate in a neighborhood. Now there's a move to zone the ocean. A number of coastal states and the federal government have fledgling plans to coordinate competing uses for their off-shore waters.

Protect the Internet

Today Mozilla joins with other sites in a virtual strike to protest two proposed laws in the United States, called SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. On January 24th, the U.S. Senate will vote on the PROTECT IP Act to censor the Internet, despite opposition from the vast majority of Americans.

Reduced government support will hinder renewable project growth: panelists

The expiration of tax credits for renewable energy projects in the US and fiscal pressure on state and federal governments should translate into a difficult environment to finance and build renewable energy facilities, a panel of speakers agreed during a webcast Wednesday.

Reducing Food Waste

Have you ever considered what that rotten food in your refrigerator costs? The average American family of four throws out an estimated $130-175 per month in spoiled and discarded food. That's real money going straight into the garbage or compost bin instead of paying off your credit card bills.

Renewables To Play Small Role In 2030 Energy: BP

Energy produced by wind, solar and other renewable sources will grow by fourfold by 2030, but the clean-energy sector will account for only a small fraction of total output, a BP report said on Wednesday.

Renewable energy, excluding hydropower, will total 860 million metric tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) by 2030, accounting for around 5 percent of the world's total energy production of 16,605 Mtoe.

Researchers engineer microbe to make seaweed a cost-effective source of renewable fuel

One of the biggest criticisms leveled at biofuels that are derived from crops such as wheat, corn and sugar cane, is that they result in valuable land being taken away from food production. For this reason there are various research efforts underway to turn seaweed into a viable renewable source of biomass. Now a team from Bio Architecture Lab (BAL) claims to have developed a breakthrough technology that makes seaweed a cost-effective source of biomass by engineering a microbe that can extract all the major sugars in seaweed and convert them into renewable fuels and chemicals.

Shale Gas Seeping into Presidential Race

Just who should regulate shale gas production is seeping its way into this year’s presidential race. The White House has said that the unconventional form of natural gas is an essential “bridge fuel” that uses extraction processes that must be federally regulated.

Smart grids called vulnerable to hackers

Smart electric grids will need even smarter cybersecurity to keep them safe from would-be hackers, an energy expert said at a scientific conference Friday.

Solar Getting Cheaper, But Not Equally

In January 2011, I plotted the size of state solar markets against their average installed cost and found surprisingly little correlation. 

Solutions For A Nitrogen-Soaked World

Once a critical limiting element of agricultural production, excess nitrogen now overflows from fields and stockyards, typically in the forms of ammonia and nitrate, contaminating drinking water and air, and altering the chemistry and constituency of ecological communities.

Tax-credit debate imperils wind power

Extension crucial to its survival

U.S. wind power faces an uncertain future as lawmakers grapple over whether to extend a key tax credit that has for years helped the business compete financially with fossil fuels.

The Magical, Radical Clean Energy Pill

Could clean energy reverse climate change? Could continued investment in renewable energy alternatives liberate the world’s poor and put an end to poverty? Could large-scale solar power and hydropower projects increase efficiency and provide cheap, clean power to millions of people all over the world who currently live without access to reliable electricity?

The One Hundred and Thirty Eight Million -- A Cold Fusion Holocaust

Earth is not a pleasant home for around a billion or more of its inhabitants. For many humans, it can be difficult or impossible to obtain the necessities of life -- food, clean water, healthcare, and shelter. This challenge is made far worse by high energy prices that boost the price of all these commodities. As a result, millions of individuals die agonizing deaths from starvation, hunger, disease, and exposure to the elements. If exotic energy technologies such as cold fusion had not been suppressed for the past twenty years, many of these human lives could have been saved. 

The Path Less Traveled: Research Is Driving Solutions To Improve Unpaved Roads

More than 70 percent of the 98,000 miles of roads in Kansas are unpaved, Smith said.

"One of the problems with unpaved roads is that they are made from loose granular soils with particles that are not bound to each other on the road surface," Smith said. "This limits the speed of vehicles and often generates a lot of dust, denigrating the quality of the road."

The Price of Nuclear

When the tsunami hit the nuclear reactors at Fukushima in March of 2011, the price of potassium iodide pills jumped from $10 to $540... in a span of just 5 days.

Potassium iodide pills protect your thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. In the days following the disaster just about everybody who didn't have any were trying to get some

TN House approves anti-income tax amendment

The state House of Representatives approved the wording of a constitutional amendment banning a state income tax Thursday, taking a step toward going before voters in 2014.

TransCanada Could Reapply With New Pipeline Route: Source

TransCanada could reapply to build its Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to Texas after the Obama administration's expected decision to reject the conduit, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

US power prices to remain low until generators burn more gas: analyst

US wholesale electricity prices are in a "trough" and could stay there until the "structural oversupply" of natural gas is mopped up by more generators switching to gas from coal, Macquarie Equities Research said Tuesday.

Power prices are down because of unseasonably warm weather and low gas prices, the report said. "We find little upside to long-term gas fundamentals in the US," Macquarie said, adding that coal prices are also moving lower under pressure from gas prices.

U.S. Tops 2011 Clean Energy Investments: Report

The United States topped China for the first time since 2008 as global clean energy investment reached a new record of $260 billion in 2011, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The analysis company reported on January 12 that the total was up 5% over 2010, as solar spending outpaced investments in wind.

Warming Climate Attracts Non-Arctic Countries to Arctic Council

Drawn by rapid climate changes in the resource-rich Arctic, China, India and Brazil, which have no Arctic territories, are knocking on the door of the increasingly influential Arctic Council looking for admission as permanent observers.

Web goes dark in SOPA protest

A number of high profile websites are going dark today to protest the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The bills are designed to protect intellectual property holders by toughening measures against copyright infringers. Opponents say that aspects of the bill pose grave threats to free speech and internet entrepreneurship, with some high profile web-masters claiming that the bill, if passed, would threaten the very existence of their sites despite not hosting copyright-infringing material directly. Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing are among the sites effectively shutting down today.

We have lived in a culture of spending

We have lived in a culture of spend, spend, spend, for years now. We’ve been bombarded with messages that we deserve only the best, that we should “just do it,” that for all those wonderful moments in life, there’s Mastercard. We’ve mortgaged our homes, our futures, and our children on this mad dash to accumulate... stuff.

Weighing Shale's Economic, Environmental Impact

With the 2012 presidential election just around the corner, the top issue remains that of job creation. To that end, the shale gas sector says that it is poised to bolster the nation’s wealth in the form of jobs and gross economic output.

Who will pay for Renewable Energy?

Federal and state funding for renewable projects slowed down in 2011 due to deficits and backlash against increased governmental spending. Tax credits, however, remained to help offset the cost of new renewable projects.

Why the FDA Won't Act Against Agricultural Antibiotic Use

On December 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quietly posted a notice in the Federal Register that it was effectively reneging on its plan to reduce the use of antibiotics in agricultural animal feed - a plan it has been touting since 1977.

 Now, with virtually no public announcement, the FDA has decided it will continue to allow livestock producers to use the drugs in feed, unabated; a move that is threatening food safety by contributing to the spread of new, antibiotic-resistant "super-germs."

Why would a utility consider Nuclear Energy?

The future of the U.S. electricity portfolio is a complex matter that asks the industry to find a path forward that acceptably balances many different factors. Once one acknowledges that every generating technology carries physical, financial and environmental risks, the conversation can begin in an intellectually honest manner. In the case of the nuclear industry, the issues frequently discussed are the costs of new construction, safety and fuel management.

Will Shale Crowd Out Coal and Green Energy?

Now that France’s Total and China’s Sinopec have invested $4.5 billion in two of this country’s premier natural gas developers, common wisdom is suggesting that the fate of shale-gas here will outshine all competing energy forms. But is that logic well considered?

Wind and Solar Look on Bright Side

The renewable energy industry failed to get a favored tax incentive extension added to a Senate tax bill that ultimately blew up in the House of Representatives. And that could ultimately be good news for developers of wind, solar and other clean energy projects.

 

January 17, 2012

 

Aerosol Particle Increase Linked To More Rainfall: Study

A rise in the atmosphere of aerosols - miniscule particles which include soot, dust and sulphates - has led to more rainfall in certain parts of the world and could provide vital clues for future climate predictions, a scientific study shows.

After Earthquakes, Ohio City Questions Future Fracking Wells

Alarmed over a string of earthquakes linked to deep wells in nearby Youngstown, authorities in Mansfield, Ohio have threatened to block construction of two similar waste disposal wells planned within their city limits.

Al-Qaida raises flag over Yemen town, pledges allegiance to terrorist leader

Islamist militants have seized full control of a town southeast of Yemen's capital, raising their flag over the citadel, overrunning army positions, storming the local prison and pledging allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, residents said Monday.

Bear Clan Representative Arrested for “Stealing” What He Considers His Homeland

This ironworker and grandfather was arrested on December 6, 2011 by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police at the behest of the Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne by sealed indictment, on the charge of stealing 240 acres of wooded property located in the middle of Akwesasne, which are deeded to Horst Wuersching of Mount Vernon, New York. Wuersching purchased the clouded deed in 1981 from a Massachusetts family at that time for $17,500. Kanaretiio disagreed with all of it, buying or selling, for he considers this land, the birthright of the unborn children of his family, and all indigenous families in Akwesasne, his homeland.

BodyWave lets you control a PC with your mind - without a headset

The BodyWave is the first device of its kind to measure brainwaves through the body rather than the scalp, allowing you to control a computer with your mind via an armband alone

Call For Action On Global Groundwater Crisis

International water scientists recently issued a call for action over the growing threat to the world's groundwater supplies from over-extraction and pollution.

China Cancer Village Tests Law Against Pollution

"The pollution is quite terrible. I've heard stories of cattle dying," Wu said, from his hospital bed in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan. "I've seen the water in the river and it's all yellow. I've never drunk the water."

Climber To Take Climate Message On "Unique" Trek

A Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest a record 21 times, will trek hundreds of kilometers (miles) along some of the world's highest mountains to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, organizers said on Monday.

Doomsday Clock A Minute Closer To Midnight

The symbolic Doomsday Clock calculated by a group of scientists was moved a minute closer to midnight on Tuesday, with the group citing inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and climate change.

Greek Default Fears Grow as Creditors Dig In

Greece must urgently break a deadlock in debt swap talks triggered by "unreasonable" demands from its partners, the head of a group of representing its private sector warned on Monday, as Athens raced against the clock to prevent an unruly default.

Green Routing Can Cut Car Emissions With Minimal Slowdown

The path of least emissions may not always be the fastest way to drive somewhere, but drivers can reduce their tailpipe emissions without significantly slowing travel time, finds new research from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Internet Going on Strike: Here’s Why

PC Magazine reports that up to 7,000 sites are planning to black out, most notably reddit, Boing Boing and, as of January 16, Wikipedia’s English-language sites.

Iran says EU oil embargo would be 'economic suicide' for Europe

Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said Tuesday that Europe would be committing "economic suicide" if it applied an embargo on Iranian oil exports, semi-official news agency Mehr reported.

Iran to keep working on Syrian power plant

Iran will go on working on the power plant project in the Syrian city of Jandar despite five Iranian technicians having been abducted on December 21, 2011 by a group of unknown gunmen, the Iranian deputy energy minister said.

Ali Zabihi told the Mehr news agency that 70 per cent of the project has been completed and under normal situations will be inaugurated by the end of the spring.

Jim Rogers: US Govt to ‘Juice Up’ Economy in Election Year

The U.S. government will spend beyond its means and the Federal Reserve will print money to juice up the economy as part of an election-year popularity ploy, says international investor Jim Rogers.

La Nina 'linked' to flu pandemics

Momentous Breakthroughs Announced During Anniversary E-Cat Interview

In a landmark interview, Andrea Rossi, the inventor of the E-Cat (cold fusion energy catalyzer), announced many breakthroughs in the development of his technology, answered a wide range of questions, and shared many details regarding the upcoming ten kilowatt heat unit for home use.

Mulatto: Less than Human

Race is not simply about the physical description of human variation. Since its origin in Western science in the eighteenth century, race has been used both to classify and rank human beings according to inferior and superior types. Although race as a concept developed in the West during the age of Enlightenment, prominent Enlightenment thinkers—Carolus Linnaeus, Johann Blumenbach, Lewis Henry Morgan and Samuel George Morton, among others—greatly influenced European ideas about economics, government and science as well as race. Concepts of race eventually spread to many parts of the non-Western world through international commerce, including the slave trade, and later colonial conquest and administration—which have used it as a tool of social division, even among “mixed-race” peoples.

Native Americans and the Economic Termination Era

Not too long ago, the United States’ explicit policy regarding Native Americans was termination. The goal was to marginalize and eradicate Native people and cultures. As a first step, the government stole Native land and resources, murdered Native families and herded the survivors onto bounded reservations offering little chance of survival. The next step was instituting a legal policy during the 1940s, 50s and 60s stripping Native nations of any remaining rights. True to form, this officially coined “Termination Era” witnessed the government terminating over 100 tribes through legislative mandate.

Newly discovered molecule has potential to offset climate change and cool the planet

Researchers claim a newly discovered molecule found in the Earth's atmosphere holds the potential to help offset global warming by actually cooling the planet. The molecule is a Criegee biradical or Criegee intermediate, which are chemical intermediaries that are powerful oxidizers of pollutants produced by combustion, such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Obama Bans Uranium mining Around Grand Canyon

The Obama administration banned new uranium mining claims around the Grand Canyon for the next 20 years, a move hailed by conservationists on Monday as key to the president's environmental legacy but slammed by opponents as a job-killer.

Renewable energy investments worldwide set record high in 2011

A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that a sluggish economy did not hamper investments in new clean energy projects as they increased 5 percent to $260 billion in 2011, a record high

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

potential for a glancing blow from the CME beginning late on 19
JanuarySolar activity is expected to be at low levels with a chance for M-class activity for the next three days (17 - 19 January) The geomagnetic field is expected to be at mostly quiet to unsettled levels isolated active periods, are expected due to anticipated effects from a glancing blow from the 16 January CME

Shell Oil Spill Hits Nigerian Shores, Fishing Suspended

Nigerian officials have suspended fishing off the southern coast after about 40,000 barrels (1.7 million gallons) of crude oil was spilled from a Shell production platform in the Bonga oil field.

The oil leaked into the Atlantic Ocean on December 20, 2011 during what the company called a "routine operation" to transfer oil to a tanker from Shell's Bonga floating production, storage and off-take vessel.

Special Report: Fuel Storage, Safety Issues Vexed Japan Plant

When the massive tsunami smacked into Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear power plant was stacked high with more uranium than it was originally designed to hold and had repeatedly missed mandatory safety checks over the past decade.

Taking on China

The trade dispute between China and America over solar power is heating up. Leading the battle on this side of the Pacific is SolarWorld, one of a handful of companies that asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate whether Chinese manufacturers have dumped solar panels in America at prices below their costs.

The God Particle and Wisdom of the Ancients: Modern Science ‘Discovering’ What Our Indigenous Ancestors Surmised a Millennium Ago

Before Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton, the Lakota studied astronomy. Many indigenous peoples did. They were natural scientists. What sets indigenous “ethnoastronomy” apart from mainstream western astronomy is native peoples didn’t feel the need to separate their spiritual beliefs from other areas of their lives.

‘The Senator’ Burns Down: One of the World’s Oldest Trees Destroyed by Fire

The 3,500 year old, 118-foot tall cypress appears to have burned down as a result of a lightning storm

A 118-foot, 3,500-year-old bald cypress tree named “The Senator” burned to the ground yesterday morning.  Located in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida, the Senator is thought to have been set on fire by a lightning strike two weeks ago.

TVA plans more nuclear openness to counter worries

"Fukushima is still a work in progress, but we can assure you we're not going to let that tragedy go by without learning from it and making what I think is a safe industry even safer," said Ray Golden, TVA's manager of nuclear communications.

"We want to demystify nuclear power," he said.

Warmer Summers Cause Colder Winters, Scientists Say

Warmer summers in the far Northern Hemisphere are disrupting weather patterns and triggering more severe winter weather in the United States and Europe, a team of scientists say, in a finding that could improve long-range weather forecasts.

Water Page Resources: The Importance of Water Conservation

Fresh, clean water is a limited resource. While most of the planet is covered in water, it is salt water that can only be consumed by humans and other species after undergoing desalination, which is an expensive process. Occurrences such as droughts further limit access to clean and fresh water, meaning people need to take steps to reduce water use and save as much water as possible. In some areas of the world, access to water is limited due to contamination. People who have access to fresh water can take steps to limit their use of water to avoid waste.

Why We Are Still Losing the Winnable War Against Cancer

Varmus has a distinguished track record in basic research on cancer treatment,...this is paralleled by frank ignorance of well-documented and longstanding scientific evidence on cancer prevention.”

Winter Maintenance for your Off-grid System

The winter season has arrived on schedule. For those of you in cold and snowy climates, now is a good time to review the maintenance and condition of your power system.

 

January 10, 2012

 

100 tons of trash left behind from Rose Bowl festivities

More than 100 tons of trash was left behind after the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 2.

According to the Pasadena Sun, about 50 tons of trash, 3,500 beverage containers and five tons of cardboard were left along the parade route.

2011 Was The Driest Year On Record In Texas

It's official: 2011 was the driest year on record in Texas, according to the National Weather Service. It was also the second-hottest ever.

6.6 Mw - SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Americans Make Up Half of World's Richest 1%, World Bank Economist

Occupy Wall Street Protesters need to occupy a mirror and look deep into its reflection before complaining of hardship, because by world standards, a good chunk of them probably are one percenters themselves, a World Bank economist concludes.

And the 2011 awards for bad climate science goes to ..

The 2011 “Climate B.S. of the Year Award” goes to the entire field of candidates currently stumping in New Hampshire for the Republican Party presidential nomination, the Pacific Institute announced Thursday.

Avoiding Fracking Earthquakes: Expensive Venture

With mounting evidence linking hundreds of small earthquakes from Oklahoma to Ohio to the energy industry's growing use of fracking technology, scientists say there is one way to minimize risks of even minor temblors.

Only, it costs about $10 million a pop.

Blackbird Killings In Arkansas Believed Intentional

Someone intentionally set off fireworks under a blackbird roost in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year's Eve, killing about 200 birds on the first anniversary of the similar death of 5,000 of the birds, authorities said on Monday.

China: Choking Over Coal Dependence

Unless China is able to curb its dependence on coal and the severe air pollution that dependence is causing, the country will face difficulties attracting foreign investment and a growing risk of social instability as citizens protest to demand greater environmental protections.

Columbus, Ohio, recycling rate up, but so is trash in landfill

Around 16,444 tons of recyclables were saved from the county´s landfill, which is 71% more than in 2006, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Meanwhile, 1.1 million tons of garbage went to the county landfill, with much of it being recyclable materials such as paper and cardboard, the paper reported. Trash in the landfill increased 30% last year.

Consumer credit surges by most since 2001

Consumer credit surged 10 percent in November, its biggest jump in a decade in a positive signal for the economy as consumers tapped their credit cards and the government doled out more student loans.

'Couch Potato Pill' May Help Soldiers

A drug discovered nearly four years ago that builds muscles in lazy mice may also prevent heatstroke, according to lab research reported on Sunday.

Electronic Atlas Maps U.S. Renewable Energy Resources

A new geospatial application developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) allows users to easily and accurately map potential renewable energy resources in the United States.

End of ethanol subsidy will raise the price of gas

Gasoline could cost 4.5 cents a gallon more starting as early as this week, and it's not because of rising oil prices.

Energy giants warned on prices

The warning comes as British Gas is considering cutting gas prices by up to ten per cent over the next few months. The move follows sharp falls in wholesale gas costs over the past two months. Any cut by British Gas would be expected to start a price war.

EPA May Retest PA. Water Near Fracking

Just a month after declaring water in Dimock safe, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency are taking another look after new evidence suggested that drinking water could be polluted worse than originally thought.

European Crisis Overshadows US Recovery

Despite improving manufacturing data and better-than-expected unemployment figures in the United States, investors aren't going to come back roaring with a vengeance as long as the European debt crisis sticks around, says Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco, the world's largest bond fund.

Fight Against EPA Orders Heads to Supreme Court

Based on "any information"—even a newspaper article or an anonymous tip—the Environmental Protection Agency can issue an administrative compliance order directing a property owner to stop discharging pollutants or restore a damaged wetland. The government says such directives, similar to stop-work orders by local zoning inspectors, allow it to respond rapidly to prevent environmental damage.

Iran plans to connect power grid to Russia

The country is currently exchanging electricity with Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nakhichevan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. It also plans to add 5,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity to its power grid annually.

Iran: Tehran Ups the Ante With New Uranium Enrichment

Iran's decision to begin enriching uranium at a fortified underground facility marks a significant advancement in its nuclear weapons program and is another display of defiance toward the international community.

IRS Reopens Voluntary Disclosure Program for Offshore Assets

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is reopening a program that allows citizens to voluntarily disclose assets they are holding offshore. The agency said it has collected $4.4 billion from two previous programs.

Ithaca Goes 100% Renewable

Ithaca has sourced 5 percent of its energy from wind farms since 2006 and is targeting a carbon footprint 20 percent smaller than 2001 levels by 2016, and it is not the only U.S. municipality to go 100 percent renewable.

Japanese recycling 77% of plastics

The recycling list now includes boxes, cases, cups, containers and plates. Residents also can recycle trays, tube-shaped containers, lids and caps,

Making History: First-ever Toxic Air Pollution Standards Will Save Thousands of Lives

Toxic air pollutants from power plants—mercury, lead, arsenic, and others—are linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks, and even premature death. Mercury, for example, is a potent neurotoxin that poses a threat to fetal and infant brain development. And coal plants are far and away the greatest source of mercury air emissions in the United States.

McCain: Iraq 'Unraveling' Under Obama Pullout

Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain says President Obama has placed the United States in “great peril” with his policy on troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mich. paper mill´s waste will generate more electricity

 Michigan paper mill will be able to burn more wood waste to create electricity for operations thanks to a $45 million project.

New Wind Turbine Powers Hydrogen Car Fuel Station

a state-of-the-art wind turbine that will provide the energy necessary to create hydrogen gas, which is being used to power the town’s fuel cell cars. This “closed loop” energy system is completely “green” in producing fuel for vehicles that emit no pollutants.

New Yorkers are Working on Many Climate Change Fronts

To help minimize risks from climate change, New York State has set two goals:

  • Reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 80 percent from 1990 levels, by the year 2050 ("80 by 50"), and
  • Improve resilience to climate change in all the state's communities.

North Sea crude oil price premiums hit record on Libya war, outages

North Sea crude oil price values had a record year in 2011, supported by a tight supply situation in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, said traders.

Ohio Earthquake Was Not A Natural Event, Expert Says

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake in Ohio on New Year's Eve did not occur naturally and may have been caused by high-pressure liquid injection related to oil and gas exploration and production, an expert hired by the state of Ohio said on Tuesday.

Overunity Details of J.I.M.S. Motor Reluctantly Revealed

Not every company working on free energy technology likes publicity. Many companies doing cutting edge research and development desire to keep a low profile. This can be for many reasons, such as remaining under the radar from competitors, not revealing the existence of their technology to the powers that be, or even just the ability to work in peace -- free of disruptions from other parties. 

Pakistan: Tensions With Military Spurring Rumors of a Coup

Pakistan’s president has a weak hold on power, and that power is weakening in the face of multiple scandals, a power struggle with the military and a damaged relationship with the United States, all of which are fueling rumors of a coup attempt.

Paper Currency keeps losing value, but for now everybody plays along

What's going to happen on the day our bluff gets called as a country? When all $15 trillion of the IOUs and paper promises made by our politicians come due? When not even the Chinese are interested in rolling over our debt one more time?

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

low level C-class flares, a chance for M-class activity, The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet on days 1 - 2 (10 - 11 January).  A
coronal hole high speed stream is expected to move into geoeffective
position on day 3 (12 January) causing quiet to unsettled conditions
with a chance for active periods.

Solar energy looking bright in Savannah

Local solar advocate Jack Star points to several recent developments that have him feeling optimistic about solar energy in the Savannah area

Soros: Euro Failure Would Have ’Catastrophic’ Impact

Billionaire investor George Soros said a collapse of the euro and breakup of the European Union would have "catastrophic" consequences for the global financial system.

"Today, the euro is potentially endangering the political cohesion of the European Union,"...

Storehouses for Solar Energy Can Step In When the Sun Goes Down

If solar energy is eventually going to matter — that is, generate a significant portion of the nation’s electricity — the industry must overcome a major stumbling block, experts say: finding a way to store it for use when the sun isn’t shining.

Tesla completed an invention in his mind before building -- worked every time

In the first chapter of his autobiography, Nikola Tesla describes what he considered an ailment as a child, in which images would flash into his vision, and he couldn't get them out. As a teen, he would follow these to mentally travel the world. Then he learned to use this gift for inventing.

The ‘Higher Law Background’ of the U.S. Constitution

On December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012. By doing so, he thereby placed his imprimatur as President of the United States on a provision in that Act that codifies in U.S. law the military detention of anyone in the world, without charge or trial, and without a time limit. Even U.S. citizens can be held until the end of hostilities in a climate of war that has been called “generational.

As an American Indian, I find this development unbelievably fascinating, and unnerving. Think about the irony:

The 'other' political parties of the US

It's not just Democrat or Republican - dozens of third-party candidates are also running for president this fall.

The Secret Free Energy Potential of Centrifugal Force

The basic idea of the theory can be stated in one sentence. "Take advantage of centrifugal force and put it to work, instead of wasting it." Of course the problem is that most mainstream scientists don't think centrifugal force is real. They think it is a fictitious force that does not really exist. 

The watchdogs that didn't bark

Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

Tim Tebow Could Teach DC a Lesson in Character, Rep. West Says

“He always believes that he can be victorious. I believe he has an impeccable character,” West said.

“I think if we can get those types of things restored in Washington in the individuals we’re sending there as elected officials, then the greatest days of this nation will be ahead of us.”

Todd Palin Endorses Gingrich Candidacy

Todd Palin, the husband of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has endorsed the GOP presidential candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. However, Palin told ABC News that the former Alaska governor has yet to decide on which candidate will get her support.

Top 10 Threats of 2012

On Dec. 18, 2010, a police slap of a vegetable-cum-fruit peddler in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid triggered an "Arab Spring" that no one had forecast and that quickly spawned a long, dark Arab winter.

US hopes to apply Iran sanctions without shock to oil market: White House

"Our belief is that for these sanctions to be most effective, they need to be multilateral and have multilateral participation, they need to be timed and phased in a way that avoids negative repercussions to international oil markets and in ways that might cause more damage to ourselves than to Iran," Carney told reporters during a daily briefing.

WHO "Deeply Concerned" By Mutated Birdflu Research

The United Nations health body said it was "deeply concerned about the potential negative consequences" of work by two leading flu research teams who this month said they had found ways to make H5N1 into a easily transmissable form capable of causing lethal human pandemics

Zeus returns: FBI warns of 'Gameover' ID-theft malware

The newest strain of the notorious Zeus malware family is capable of defeating common methods of user authentication employed by financial institutions.

 

January 6, 2012

 

7.0 M - IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

All eyes on energy, ag industries as 2012 dawns

The Mayans had it right. If you're going to predict the future, it's best to aim far beyond your life expectancy, lest you wind up red-faced in a bunker overstocked with Spam and ammo.

American Exceptionalism and Renewable Energy: What the Tea Party Missed in 2011

American Exceptionalism about the environment is one of the shining stars of our democracy.

Argentina/UK: Oil Reserves Fuel Tensions Over Falklands

Argentina is again challenging British control of the Falkland Islands and moving to assert its ownership of the territory, setting up a likely confrontation over the islands in 2012. Argentina is likely motivated by nationalism and new oil riches in the Falklands, as well as lessening international support for Britain’s claims on the islands.

Boards More Confident that Executive Pay Better Tied to Performance

Corporate Directors say that setting appropriate goals for executive performance remains their biggest pay issue for 2012 – and give themselves high marks for their progress toward that goal...

Breakthrough Facility to Trap Solar Energy in Molten Salt

One of the greatest problems of large scale solar power facilities is that they do not produce electricity at night, and when they do produce power, it is constantly fluctuating with the sun's strength. Under development in the deserts of Tonopah, Nevada is a new technology that will effectively store solar energy in the form of molten salt. When the sun goes down, thermal energy from the salt will be able to produce electricity for eight to ten hours.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Rises in December, Sign of Things to Come

The December delinquency rate for U.S. commercial real estate loans in CMBS rose seven basis points to 9.58%. After a positive November report that saw the delinquency rate fall 26 basis points, the rate reversed course and moved higher in December for the third time in the last four months and the eighth time in 2011. The value of delinquent loans is now $58.5 billion.

Counting down Washington's Keystone XL clock

The law Congress passed just before Christmas to force a quicker decision on the Keystone XL pipeline gives the Obama administration two choices: approve or deny TransCanada's application by February 21. Or does it?

E-Cat Weekly -- January 5, 2012

This past week saw at least 80 stories on the web, 4 from mainstream news, regarding Andrea Rossi's E-Cat powered by LENR or cold fusion. The hottest theme was Rossi's assertion that he is in discussion with Home Depot to distribute 1 million home heat units this Autumn for less than $2,000 USD. Reality will probably dictate a longer time-line.

EU agrees to Iranian oil embargo

European governments have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian oil, EU diplomats said yesterday, dealing a blow to Tehran months before an Iranian election.

EU Governments Moving Closer to Iran Oil Embargo as Greece Lifts Objection

European Union governments moved closer to halting oil purchases from Iran, stepping up the confrontation over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Federal official rejects petition to close Fermi 2

A federal nuclear-safety administrator has rejected an anti-nuclear activist group's petition for immediate shutdown of the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant and others with designs similar to those of the Fukushima reactors that melted down and exploded after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami. But he has agreed that regulators should review specific elements of the plants' operation in light of the Japanese disaster.

Global Hydrogen Market

Market size of global hydrogen production is estimated to 53 million metric tons in 2010, in which 12% is shared by merchant hydrogen and rest with captive production. With decreasing sulfur level in petroleum products, lowering crude oil quality and rising demand of hydrogen operated fuel cell applications, global hydrogen production volume is forecasted to grow by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% during 2011 - 2016. Hydrogen production market in terms of value is estimated to be $82.6 billion in 2010.

Going Dark?

Cities all around the nation, reported the New York Times last week, are going dark at night. Because of severe budget shortages, cash-strapped towns and cities are turning off public streetlights. In many areas, people are now afraid to go out at night.

Greenspan: ‘True Revolution’ to End Welfare State Impasse

The U.S. welfare state has "run up against a brick wall" of economic reality and fiscal book-keeping and only a "true revolution" involving major entitlement overhaul will improve the economy, says former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

In the United States, the rise of the tea party among Republicans coupled with the shift to the left of many Democrats have made it very difficult for the country's leaders to agree on policy.

Heritage: Obama Defense Cuts Will End US Safety

President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a new defense strategy that will shrink the country's armed forces at a time of tight budgets but pledged to maintain U.S. military superiority in the world.

"Our military will be leaner but the world must know -- the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats," Obama told a news briefing at the Pentagon.

Iran Oil Ban by EU May Send Brent Crude to $125, SocGen Says

Brent crude futures, trading near $113 a barrel today, may rally to $125 should the European Union ban imports of Iranian oil, according to Societe Generale SA.

Such a move would require about 600,000 barrels a day of replacement supply from Saudi Arabia, depleting the country’s spare capacity...

Iraq: More Bombings Escalate Political Crisis

Mounting sectarian tensions in Iraq are leading to political instability and violence as historical animosity between majority Shiites and minority Sunni Muslims is increasing...

It's a Terrible Thing to Fear Your Government

It's a terrible thing to fear your government. For the past 65 years, we've deluded ourselves into thinking that our government is a benign entity which only has the best interests of its citizens at heart. After all, our government is all about freedom, civil liberties, justice, and constitutional rights... right?

Kamakura Reports Improvement in Corporate Credit Quality

Kamakura Corporation reported today that the Kamakura index of troubled public companies improved, falling 1.14% to 6.50% in December. The index has deteriorated in six of the last eight months.

La Niña is expected to continue into the Northern spring 2012

The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) anomalies strengthened across the eastern Pacific

LIGNET Editor Fleitz: We Cannot Risk Miscalculation on Iran

Fred Fleitz, managing editor of LIGNET and a long-time former CIA analyst, warns in a special interview of the danger of miscalculation on Iran as a European oil embargo threatens to tighten the noose around its neck.

Lit Motors' C-1 electric motorcycle will stand up for itself

The C-1 is a proposed fully-electric and fully-enclosed self-balancing motorcycle

Lockheed Martin's very clever (and deadly) Joint Air-to-Ground Missile closer to deployment

The fact that the system is able to passively acquire and track targets has far reaching implications for US aircraft and crew survivability: users are able to detect threats to the aircraft such as surface-to-air missiles well outside their lethal engagement envelope.

New High-Density Reactive Material increases weapons explosive force

The implication of the technology is that a given target can be destroyed more easily as the material increases the probability of what is termed a "catastrophic kill."

New material shown to remove CO2 from smokestack effluent and other sources

A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks

New Report Shows 1-in-3 Israel Children in Poverty

Iran threat growing

"An annual report submitted by National Council for the Child to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday indicates that one out of every three Israeli children is poor," reports the Jerusalem Post this week.

North Korea: New Leader Embracing Father’s Brutal Legacy

Despite a flurry of diplomatic activity, including the visit by a high-level US diplomat to the region, North Korea shows no signs of changing its policies. To some extent, North Korea appears to be taking advantage of the urge for “calm and stability” that is coming from many nations, including the United States.

Obama Unveils Sweeping Military Cuts

President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a new defense strategy that will shrink the country's armed forces at a time of tight budgets but pledged to maintain U.S. military superiority in the world.

One Benefit of Living the Off-Grid Lifestyle

If you had to name one important benefit of living an off-grid lifestyle, what would that be? There are many reasons for adopting a more holistic, natural way of life, one that is more in tune with creation and our role in it. However, if I had to stand here and list one benefit that made this whole effort worthwhile, it would be the advantages to my health.

Prototype system removes air pollutants and generates heat for livestock barns

A prototype system has been created for cleaning and heating the air in chicken and swine barns

Renewable Sources Continue Explosive Growth

Renewables now provide 12% of domestic energy production, 14% more than 2010; and renewable electrical output increased 25%, which contributes to 13% of U.S. power.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

two C-class events observed.  radio sweep, lack of a CME in imagery, no Earth impacts are expected. a slight chance for M-class flares for the next  The geomagnetic field has been at predominantly quiet levels for the past 24 hours. From 05/1200-1500Z, the mid latitudes observed
unsettled conditionsthree days (06 - 08 January). a slight chance for minor storm levels at high latitudes

Solar power from external walls

Unlike conventional solar panels, whose installation sites are limited to roofs and other specific places, the new material can be used for walls of buildings and other structures in sunny locations.

Study: Parasitic Fly to Blame for Honeybee Population Decline

Populations of honeybee have been in a seemingly unstoppable downward spiral, and scientists are still grasping to find the cause. A new study from the San Francisco State University suggests that one factor may be a parasitic fly, Apocephalus borealis, which lays its eggs in the bees' abdomens. The parasitic eggs cause atypical behavior in the bees, causing them to abandon their hives. Like a scene out of Alien, the eggs eventually hatch and the newborn flies burst out of the bee, killing it in the process.

Survey reveals consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to slide

The year 2012 will be an important test of the commercial viability of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Two automakers, Chevrolet and Nissan, ended 2010 with the launch of their first highway-capable PEVs for the mass market.

Syria releases 500 political prisoners

Syrian authorities have released more than 500 prisoners accused of involvement in anti-regime activities, state TV reported Thursday, in what appeared to be another gesture to comply with the Arab League plan to end the regime's 9-month-old crackdown on dissent.

TEP seeks final OK of renewable- energy plan

Solar firms alarmed over proposal that would cut subsidies for commercial jobs

State regulators this week will decide on a proposed renewable- energy plan filed by Tucson Electric Power Co. for next year that would sharply cut back on ratepayer subsidies for commercial renewable-energy installations - a move solar installers say could cripple the industry.

Too Much Sitting Is Killing Us

A study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation showed that each extra hour of television watching (the ultimate sitting sedentary activity) per day was associated with an 18% increase in deaths from heart disease and an 11% increase in overall mortality. People who watched TV for at least four hours a day were 80% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who watched two hours or less, and 46% more likely to die of any cause.

Trillion Dollar Opportunities

During the last decade, technologies have been developed and demonstrated at scale to economically produce natural gas from shale rock formations. ...This single opportunity is not sufficient to jump-start the US economy. But there are many other similar opportunities with a total value over $40 trillion. Together, they could create millions of good jobs, stimulate sustainable economic growth, improve energy security, and enhance environmental protection. Some of the best opportunities are as follows:

Turkey: Air Raid Blunder Setback to Constitutional Reform

Kurdish resentment toward Ankara is growing as Prime Minister Erdogan and his ruling party continue to respond to unrest with violence and military crackdowns rather than constitutional reform.

Universitat De València Designs The First Intelligent Wireless Network Intended For Optimizing Water Purification And Desalination

This new technology will allow savings of 45% of the desalinated water costs and it will reduce 74% of the energy consumption in the purification facilities.

US 30-year Fixed-rate Mortgage Matches All-time Record Low

Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yeterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates starting the year at or near their all-time lows. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.91 percent matching its all-time record low amid recent data showing signs of improvement in the housing market and manufacturing industry. This marks the fifth consecutive week the 30-year fixed has averaged below 4.00 percent.

WindFlip proposes a unique method of deploying offshore wind turbines

While large offshore turbines can be very effective at harnessing the power of the wind, they do pose at least one challenge - how do you get them out into the ocean?

 

January 3, 2012

 

Accusations Fly As Oil Slick Hits Nigeria Coast

Nigerian villagers say oil washing up on the coast comes from a Royal Dutch Shell loading accident last month that caused the biggest spill in Africa's top producer in more than 13 years.

Arab body calls for pullout of monitors in Syria

A pan-Arab body called Sunday for the immediate withdrawal of the Arab League monitors in Syria because President Bashar Assad's regime has kept up killings of government opponents even in the presence of the observers.

Can the 2012 Farm Bill Protect the Ogallala Aquifer?

The Ogallala Aquifer is vast. It underlies portions of eight large states -- 174,000 square miles of crop and rangeland all the way from South Dakota to Texas. But it is also invisible. So it's not surprising that until the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline erupted, few people had ever heard of it.

Cold fusion competition heats up as a rival to Andrea Rossi emerges

It's been an exciting few weeks since Andrea Rossi demonstrated his one-megawatt E-Cat power plant with apparent success. Critics still believe that the test was a sham, the mystery customer is a fake, and there is no concrete evidence the technology works. Rossi has been busy since then, and the E-Cat bandwagon is rolling onwards. But now he has rivals in the cold fusion business. Is this evidence that the technology is real and can be replicated? Or just that someone else wants a piece of a possible scam of the decade?

Congress Commits $59 Million to Hydropower Research and Development

A bill that would significantly increase hydropower spending in the 2012 Fiscal Year has gained congressional and presidential approval.

Energy Efficiency in 2011: Progress on Many Fronts, Treading Water on Others

With 2011 drawing to a close, now is a good time to take stock of energy efficiency accomplishments over the past year. On the plus side, many energy efficiency investments were made this year. While exact figures are not available yet, utility-sector spending on energy efficiency programs is likely to be more than $6 billion for the year.

Erratic Iranian Behavior Points to a Dangerous Year

LIGNET, a global intelligence and forecasting site, says that Iran will be the wild card of 2012, and her actions in the coming months could foretell peace or war. LIGNET adviser Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, offers his blunt assessment of Iran, calling it “the single most worrisome topic” the U.S. security community faces.

Forbes: European Banks Have $10 Trillion in Claims Against US Rivals

European banks hold as much as $10 trillion in claims against their U.S. counterparts, which reflects how vulnerable the North American financial system is to Europe's debt crisis, Forbes reports, citing Princeton University research.

Foreigners Dump Record $69 Billion in US Treasurys

Foreign investors are selling Treasury positions in record numbers, even at a time when such assets are performing well.

In the week ended Dec. 28, foreign investors sold the second-highest amount of U.S. bonds in history at $23 billion, Zero Hedge reports, citing Federal Reserve data.

Gingrich: Justice Dept Wants to 'Steal Elections'

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich blasted the Justice Department for blocking a South Carolina voter identification law and suggested the Obama administration wants to "steal elections."

Global Wind Energy Outlook for 2011 and Beyond, Market to Exceed US $96 Billion in 2016

The wind turbine market has experienced significant growth over the last five years and is expected to continue its momentum, reaching approximately US $96 billion by 2016 with a CAGR of 12% over the next five years for annual installations.

Hurricanes and typhoons may trigger major earthquakes, according to new study

Hurricanes and typhoons could contribute to other natural disasters that occur long after the rain and winds subside. A new study led by University of Miami (UM) scientist Shimon Wdowinski finds a link between earthquakes and tropical storms, and shows that they may have actually initiated some major temblors, including the recent 2010 quakes in Haiti and Taiwan.

Inhalable Caffeine to Hit US

AeroShot claims its portable tube-like device containing 100 mg of caffeine — set to hit U.S. stores in January — provides a "healthy energy boost" just in time for the New Year. But health experts aren't so sure inhaling your caffeine is such a good idea.

Japan earthquake may have shortened length of days and shifted Earth’s axis

...by changing the distribution of the Earth's mass, the earthquake that devastated Japan last Friday should have sped up the Earth's rotation, resulting in a day that is about 1.8 microseconds (1.8 millionths of a second) shorter.

Mercury in the Atmosphere

Mercury is an extremely toxic material. It is known to emitted to the atmosphere but what happens to the Mercury after that? How is it removed or processed? Humans pump thousands of tons of vapor from the metallic element mercury into the atmosphere each year, and it can remain suspended for long periods before being changed into a form that is easily removed from the atmosphere. New research shows that the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere work to transform elemental mercury into oxidized mercury, which can easily be deposited into aquatic ecosystems and ultimately enter the food chain

Mortgage Rates Finish 2011 Near Historic Lows

Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates finishing the year near their all-time historic lows helping to keep homebuyer affordability high. Averaging 3.95 percent, the 30-year fixed has been at or below 4.00 percent for the past nine consecutive weeks and only twice in 2011 did it average above 5.00 percent.

NERC: Natural gas to be power industry’s primary fuel

The majority of new generating capacity projected in the next 10 years will rely on natural gas as its primary fuel, according to a recent assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

New Study Lends Insight To Decreasing Denver Basin Groundwater Availability

A newly released U.S. Geological Survey study of decreasing groundwater resources in the Denver Basin aquifer provides information on water movement within the system and how it responds to changes in climatic and human activities.

New Year's Resolution: Keep Your Brain from Shrinking

The typical New Year's resolution is about losing weight. However, there are other aspects of our health that perhaps deserve more attention. One, for instance, is keeping a healthy mind. Alzheimer's disease is a terrible affliction of the mind and it is associated with a shrinking of the brian. A new study which was just published before the New Year suggests brain shrinkage can be avoided if people consume the right diet.

Obama signs defense bill, with 'serious reservations'

President Obama ended 2011 by signing a major defense bill, despite what he called "serious reservations" about provisions regarding interrogations of terrorist suspects, sanctions against Iran, and relations with Russia.

Obama Will Govern Without Congress

Leaving behind a year of bruising legislative battles, President Barack Obama enters his fourth year in office having calculated that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda and may even benefit in his re-election campaign if lawmakers accomplish little in 2012.

Ohio Suspends Well Operations After Series Of Quakes

Ohio has suspended operations at five deep wells used to dispose of fracking-related fluids after nearly a dozen earthquakes in the town of Youngstown over the past year, the latest sign of local unease over the booming shale gas industry.

One Full Year of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat

Since the start of 2011, PESN has been covering the emergence, testing, and commercialization of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) technology. As 2012 approaches, it is clear that nickel-hydrogen cold fusion technology is going to change the world, as the production of a million E-Cat home units is planned.

Plenty of Bad News about Health Care

Doctors are almost unanimous in their dislike of Obamacare. And their predictions about the future of health care are gloomy indeed. Here are a few facts and figures you should be aware of:

Report analyzes wind turbine prices since 2002

Wind turbine prices in the U.S. have fallen by nearly one-third on average since 2008, according to a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. However, this turbine price decline since 2008 began from elevated levels, after turbine prices had doubled in the period from 2002 through 2008.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

A few nominal C-class flares occurred. slight chance for an M-class flare for the next 3 days (3-5 January). The geomagnetic field is
expected to be mostly quiet for day 1 (3 January). Activity is
forecast to increase to mostly unsettled conditions with possible
active periods on day 2 (4 January) with an anticipated solar sector
boundary crossing (SSBC). Conditions should return to mostly quiet
on day 3 (5 January).

Rev. Wildmon Urges Christians to Pick Gingrich in Most Crucial Election Ever

Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, is one of the nation's most respected Christian leaders and has been at the forefront for decades in fighting for traditional values against a rising tide of secularism.

Scientist believes drilling injections set off Youngstown earthquakes

Injecting drilling wastewater and other brine deep underground probably caused several earthquakes near Youngstown in 2011, according to a scientist who is helping Ohio study the tremors.

Tension, resentment could redefine US relations with Pakistan

After a decade of diplomatic crises, see-sawing tensions, and increasing frustration on both sides, 2012 promises to mark the re-defining moment for the alliance between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The bad food news of 2011

1.  Food prices have gone up, and more people need help feeding their families

2. The food we can afford could make us sick (or even kill us)

3...

The History of MIT's Blatant Suppression of Cold Fusion

A stunning report written by the late Eugene Mallove details the efforts of professors, researchers, and even the former President of MIT to squash cold fusion at all costs. If you have any doubt that Pons and Fleischmann had enemies desperately trying to discredit them, this article will erase it!

Trash-to-Ethanol Plant Still Planned for Lake County

Evansville-based Powers Energy of America is still planning on buying land in south Lake County and building a facility that will convert trash into ethanol in about three years from now.

US net oil import/export data: back to winter '96

The declining net import dependence of the US is no longer news. But that doesn't mean that each month's release of data doesn't have an endless series of comparisons and twists to be digested.

Weekly Economic Indicators

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers a glimpse into how the markets are doing domestically and internationally.

Why Isn’t There a More Massive, Activist Climate Movement?

...the deeper truth is that, certainly in the United States, there is a disconnect between the urgency of this civilizational crisis and the response to it on the part of the broad progressive citizenry, those tens of millions of people who believe generally in human rights and fact-based decision-making.

Wind and Solar Look on Bright Side

The renewable energy industry failed to get a favored tax incentive extension added to a Senate tax bill that ultimately blew up in the House of Representatives. And that could ultimately be good news for developers of wind, solar and other clean energy projects.

 

 

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