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“ We did not
think of the great open plains, the
beautiful rolling hills, and the winding
streams with tangled growth, as "wild." Only
to the white man was nature a 'wilderness'
and only to him was the land 'infested' with
'wild' animals and 'savage' people. To us it
was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were
surrounded with blessings of the Great
—Luther Standing Bear
June 30, 2012
[We apologize for this
abreviated version. We have just suffered three days
without internet connection. Thanks for your patience.
Yesterday's ruling by the Supreme
Court, holding up the individual mandate in ObamaCare, is the
death knell for the American health care system as we know it.
In a way however, it might be a mixed blessing. First, it's
uniting us as we haven't been in a very long time. And second?
It might just force us to really pay attention to our
health, to treat our bodies with the respect these bodies
deserve, and to do those things that will keep our bodies
To ease concerns about the Muslim
Brotherhood’s rise to power in the Arab World’s most populous
country, Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Morsi has backtracked
on many of his previous extreme positions and reached out to
liberals and to Egypt’s Christians. But at the same time, Morsi
is pressing the military to give back some of the power it
grabbed for itself over the last few weeks and probably hopes
his conciliatory rhetoric will help him succeed. Observers
inside and outside of Egypt are now watching to see how much
power the Egyptian military will cede to Morsi and whether the
Muslim Brotherhood has in fact really changed.
European leaders who’ve been
pushing a so-called “growth pact” scored an apparent victory on
June 22 when the heads of the eurozone’s biggest countries
announced injections of fiscal stimulus into the ailing currency
union. However, on the more important issues of eurobonds and a
banking union, no progress was made as an unyielding German
Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected additional economic
integration in the absence of political integration.
US jet fuel costs have fallen by a fifth this quarter. Don't
be surprised if you don't see it in your ticket prices yet. US
airlines aren't seeing it in their fuel costs yet, either.
There's typically a lag in spot trading price changes for
commodities being felt at the pump. But the jet lag--pardon the
pun--isn't just distribution. It's also hedging.
Open interest in the NYMEX
September $70 crude put option has risen above open interest for
the $80 put option, as the underlying futures contract has
fallen below $80/barrel, exchange data showed Tuesday.
Iran's top envoy in Seoul warned
Wednesday his country may halt imports of all South Korean goods
to protest South Korea's decision to suspend Iranian crude oil
imports over EU sanctions.
Iran "may decide to fully stop
importing [South] Korean goods" if Seoul imposes the ban,
Ambassador Ahmad Masumifar told Seoul's Yonhap News Agency.
I've not seen in my lifetime
any politician who is a heroic figure. The manipulation that all
politicians use on one level or another is so transparent.
- Dean Koontz
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye
on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. - Thomas
A team of NOAA-supported scientists
is predicting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone could
range from a low of approximately 1,197 square miles to as much
as 6,213 square miles. The wide range is the result of using two
different forecast models. The forecast is based on Mississippi
River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological
Right now, the price of oil has
dipped into the high $70s and Brent crude just dipped below $90
per barrel. But don’t get used to that. It won’t last much
There are a few reasons, actually. One of
the main ones is that Saudi Arabia has a breakeven point on oil
at $78.30 a barrel. This is how much they need to make per
barrel in order to meet their budgets.
Bill Gross, the world's biggest
bond fund manager at Pimco, said the United States is the least
bad choice in a poor global investment environment, but this
could change if Washington doesn't get control of the nation's
the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the
Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012), a yearly report
detailing expected trends in energy use and consumption for the
nation. This year, it’s predominantly good news, as the report
predicts US energy consumption should slow—with growth at less
than 1% per year from now through 2035—while the country
simultaneously moves away from dependence on foreign oil.
We all know that women and men are
different. And to be honest, I like that. I celebrate our
differences. I'm happy to give men the room they need to be
masculine, engage in guy things, and be the protectors and
providers of their families. That's their job.
woman, my job is more of a nurturing one.
two impulsive M1 flares produced
several C-class events. Solar activity is expected to be
low with a chance for M-class flares for the next three days
(01-03 July). recurrent coronal hole high speed stream (CH
HSS). Increased solar wind speeds, Solar activity is
be unsettled to active during the next three days
(01-03 July) with
a chance for isolated minor storm periods
Cleanup work estimated to cost $20 million
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that
it has reached agreement with 70 companies considered
potentially responsible for contamination of the lower Passaic
River to remove approximately 16,000 cubic yards of highly
contaminated sediment from a half-mile long area of the Passaic
River in Lyndhurst, New Jersey at their expense. High levels of
contaminants, including PCBs, mercury and dioxin, are present in
the sediment and can cause health effects. The work is scheduled
to begin in spring 2013.
There has been a great deal of
discussion about the Eurozone's so-called "banking union" that
would create pan-Eurozone banking regulation and depositor
Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012
Only three days remain for European
policymakers to decide on a way to save the euro and keep the
monetary zone intact, says billionaire financier George Soros.
European Union leaders will meet Thursday and Friday to
discuss ways to firewall and extinguish the European debt crisis
raging within Greece and spreading fast to Spain and beyond.
Results from a new study by the Natural Resources Defense
Council show 2011 was one of the worst years for health-related
beach closings in the study's 22-year history.
The number of beach closings and warnings reached the
third-highest recorded level, often due to excessive bacteria
levels indicating the presence of human or animal waste from
stormwater runoff, according to the report.
The consequences go far beyond a simple matter of
constitutionality or states’ rights. The ruling has long term
effects for insurance companies and policyholders.
In a clear message, the Justices’ decisions show that
conservative principles can be reconciled with the Democratic
logic of clear benefits to the majority of the population as
laid out in the ACA.
Clearly, the big losers of the battle are the strict
constitutionalist movement — those who narrowly interpret the
constitutional powers granted to the federal government.
The penalty for lacking insurance
is simply a tax, not an unconstitutional mandate, Chief Justice
John G. Roberts Jr. says in his majority opinion.
The state of Tennessee has granted
41 Tennessee communities more than $2.8 million in 2013-14 to
help recycle tires and keep them out of landfills.
When first introduced to the world, Andrea Rossi's E-Cat
required a flow of water to remain stable, even at low
temperatures. Now, he has developed a new "solid state" high
temperature model that is stable at temperatures even higher
than 600C -- with no cooling needed!
"Farmers, ranchers and rural
residents need affordable and accessible health care. We remain
concerned that mandating individuals and businesses to buy
insurance will impose an expense that creates economic hardship,
particularly for self-employed individuals and small
US consumer confidence fell by 2.4 points to 62.0 in June
2012 from a downwardly revised 64.4 reading in May (previously
was 64.9). Market expectations were for a reading of 63.0.
The dip in the headline index reflected declines in consumers’
expectations for the next six months while appraisals of current
conditions improved modestly.
Remember, not only did you
contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It
totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only
$30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.
By now you’re probably sick and
tired of hearing about the global market turmoil in the European
Union with Greece, Spain and Italy monopolizing the headlines.
If it seems like the European debt crisis has been going on
forever, that’s because it has.
June 26, 2012
A 14-year-old boy shot and nearly
killed an intruder who broke into his Phoenix home and pulled a
gun on him while he was watching his three younger siblings,
police said Saturday.
Even food stamp costs have more
than doubled in recent years, the Times said, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture says it can’t disclose how much each
store accepts in benefits, which stores do the most business in
food stamps, and what kind of food is bought. The amount of food
stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, the Times
reported. The USDA administers the food stamps program in
conjunction with states. The Senate passed a version of the farm
bill last week that lowers food stamp spending by $4.5 billion.
Corporate and government accounting
will likely reflect environmental profit and loss within a
decade, thanks partly to progress made this week at a U.N.
conference in Rio de Janeiro, backers of the plan told Reuters
Energy development in Alaska, including renewable energy
projects, could be eligible for low-interest financing through a
newly created, state-administered loan program.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, global energy
usage will increase 53 percent by 2035. IEEE identifies algae as
the most promising source of sustainable energy to meet
increasing global energy demands.
Algae-based biofuels provide a sustainable alternative for
the production of crude oil, jet fuel and aviation gases due to
algae's extremely high growth rate.
The hunt for substitutes for rare
earth minerals is gaining momentum as auto makers, lighting
companies and clean tech developers seek to reduce their
reliance on thin and unreliable supplies of the raw material.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says the U.S. Supreme Court's
decision to uphold part of the state's illegal immigration law
is a victory for all Americans.
Despite the court striking down key provisions of the statute
Monday, Brewer says the heart of the law can now be enacted.
Those hoping for quick fixes to the strains in the global
economy will continue to be disappointed, writes the Bank for
International Settlements (BIS) in its 82nd Annual Report,
Five years on from the outbreak of the financial crisis, and
the global economy is still unbalanced, seemingly becoming more
so as interacting weaknesses continue to amplify each other. The
goals of balanced growth, balanced economic policies and a safe
financial system still elude us.
Stockton, Calif., is set to declare
bankruptcy as early as this week, according to local officials,
a move that would make it one of the largest U.S. cities ever to
file for reorganization.
California energy officials are beginning to plan for the
possibility of a long-range future without the San Onofre
nuclear power plant.
The plant's unexpected, nearly five-month outage has had
officials scrambling to replace its power this summer and has
become a wild card in already complicated discussions about the
state's energy future.
Disasters are the new midwives of
history. But in order to play this role, they need to be
catastrophic, like the accidents in Chernobyl in 1986 and
Fukushima in 2011 that led governments to suspend and even
abolish their nuclear energy programs.
President Barack Obama and Congress
both receive average “D” grades for their handling of the
economy in a CNNMoney survey of 20 economists.
a slight edge over Congress, though, with three Bs and one F,
while Congress has one B and five F’s, according to the poll.
Cheap natural gas from shale might
dominate the business pages these days but much of America’s
electricity is still supplied by coal and coal’s future is
interlaced with commercial development of technology to use the
fuel more cleanly.
The price of crude oil could dip as
low as $62/barrel or spike as high as $200/b by 2035 according
to different economic growth scenarios published Monday as part
of the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy
By using twisted beams of light,
researchers have achieved data transmission speeds of up to 2.56
terabits per second
The first leader in Egypt's history
to win a democratic election is a study in contrasts: a strict
Islamist educated in southern California, who vowed to stand for
women's rights yet argued for banning them from the presidency.
The global economy remains in precarious shape. Europe's debt
crisis rages on, and although the euro appears to have survived
its most recent test in the form of the Greek election on June
17th, austerity and financial-market uncertainty are depressing
economic activity in Europe and, by extension, in much of the
rest of the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit continues to
expect global GDP growth to slow in 2012, and while our
forecasts for the G3 economies—the US, euro zone and China—are
essentially unchanged this month, we have cut our projections
for Brazil and India.
Electric cars have hardly any
advantage over diesel cars, a study by the Vienna University of
Technology showed Friday.
A new tire recycling facility in
Harlingen, Texas, is using technology imported from Europe to
turn whole tires into biofuel and steel, reportedly with less
waste than most American tire recycling plants.
The EU's sanctions against Iran --
including a ban on oil imports and a ban on the provision of
insurance for tankers shipping Iranian oil -- will come into
force as planned on July 1, the EU's foreign affairs chief
Catherine Ashton said Monday.
Reliance on gasoline taxes to fund U.S. highway repairs and
improvements is outdated and should be replaced with a
miles-traveled tax, a transportation expert asserts.
Several problems with the gasoline tax have developed in
recent years, according to Robert Poole, director of
transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation
Fellow at the Reason Foundation, who has advised the Ronald
Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush
Global leaders on Friday wrap up a United Nations development
summit with little to show but a lackluster agreement, as
critics scorned governments for showing no urgency to tackle
climate change as well as food and water scarcity.
Nearly 100 heads of state and government gathered over the
past three days in efforts to establish so-called "sustainable
development goals," a U.N. drive built around economic growth,
the environment, and social inclusion.
Laboring in the blackberry fields of central Arkansas, the
18-year-old Mexican immigrant suddenly turned ill. Her nose
began to bleed, her skin developed a rash, and she vomited.
The doctor told her it was most likely flu or bacterial
infection, but farmworker Tania Banda-Rodriguez suspected
pesticides. Under federal law, growers must promptly report the
chemicals they spray.
Wildfires have destroyed an area of
forest stretching several kilometers along the Indo-Pakistani
border in Kashmir. Crews have failed to extinguish the flames
due to lack of appropriate tools and an insufficient number of
Forests are lovely. Food crops are
more nourishing. Which is more important? It is no surprise that
the United States and China are the world’s top greenhouse-gas
emitters. What may be surprising is the country that is third:
Indonesia. Indonesia is a major culprit not because of its
traffic or power plants, but because of its massive
deforestation. Deforestation accounts for almost 20 percent of
global emissions — more than the world’s entire transportation
sector. But saving the trees — as beneficial as it would be to
the changing climate — comes at a significant cost as a growing,
wealthier population competes for food, says a new MIT study.
Home and business owners who have adopted solar power as an
alternative energy source have found the devices are not only
helping reduce their carbon footprints but creating
opportunities for profit.
Mike Eason said there's nothing like going outside and
watching his electric meter roll backwards, putting money in his
"You'll be shocked at how fast it goes on a summer day,"
The groups say the effort is to
rebalance the debate about renewable energy toward a fact-based
business analysis instead of the politicized rhetoric that
dominates discussions currently.
PREF members provided
analyses that show how crucial renewable energy is as part of
the nation's overall energy mix.
A few months back, Forbes
put out a list of the most dangerous cities in America. One
would expect that with current economic conditions, all forms of
major crimes would be escalating, but just the opposite has been
true. For the past four years, violent crime has dropped... the
murder rate dropped by over 4% in 2010 alone, rape was down by
5%, and robbery dropped by 10%. That doesn't mean that your area
is that much safer however.
A new study published in the Journal
of Applied Toxicology has raised some disturbing
possibilities regarding the dangers of common hormone-mimicking
preservatives found in thousands of consumer products on the
The Environmental Protection Agency
has given its approval for the first retailers to sell 15%
ethanol blended fuel.
The Border Patrol apprehended 315 aliens trying to enter the
United States illegally from nations that “promote, produce, or
protect terrorists” in fiscal 2011.
From Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011, the Border Patrol —
the U.S. Customs and Border Protection component of the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — arrested 327,577 illegal
aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Among those were 46,997 termed “Other Than Mexican,”
including 255 who originated from what the DHS calls “special
The Rupee hit a lifetime low
against the dollar as flow of capital out of the country
accelerates. The RBI (central bank) has been selling record
amounts of dollars to slow down INR's fall, but so far has been
unable to do so.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is rolling
out new measures Monday aimed at ending what recently has been a
spate of leaks regarding classified programs and operations.
Among Clapper's recommendations, to be instituted across the
16 intelligence agencies, are an enhanced counterintelligence
polygraph test for employees who have access to classified
information, and the establishment of a task force of
intelligence community inspectors general that will have the
ability to conduct independent investigations across agencies in
coordination with the Office of the National Counterintelligence
Justice Antonin Scalia took
President Barack Obama to task in a scathing 22-page dissent to
Monday’s Supreme Court decision striking down the majority of
Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law, calling Obama’s failure
to enforce parts of the Immigration Act “mind boggling.”
The director of the US federal
agency in charge of offshore oil and gas leasing said Sunday
that what struck him most about the recent Central Gulf of
Mexico lease sale was the interest in drilling on the
continental shelf, as opposed to just interest in the deepwater
A groundbreaking new study led by
UCLA climate expert Alex Hall shows that climate change will
cause temperatures in the Los Angeles region to rise by an
average of 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of this
century, tripling the number of extremely hot days in the
downtown area and quadrupling the number in the valleys and at
An increasing number of Americans are traveling to other
countries for medical treatment to circumvent soaring healthcare
costs in the United States.
These “medical tourists” seek procedures ranging from root
canals to knee surgeries and hip replacements — at a fraction of
what they would cost at home.
Five years ago, "green" home building was a new concept for
Today, the state is on the cusp of making green standard in
all new homes -- with some leading builders starting their own
is the new President of Egypt? He’s an absolute disaster — an
Islamic Radical who poses a grave threat to Israel, the U.S. and
to the people of Egypt, especially the Christians of which there
are about 2.5 million in Egypt. Here’s what Mohamed Morsy said
at a speech at Cairo University in May:
“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our
leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our
High-radiation environments are a
silicon microchip's worst nightmare and even state-of-the-art
radiation-shielded circuits can fry after just a couple hours of
exposure. Now engineers at the University of Utah have come up
with a micro-electromechanical system that could be used to
build robots and computers that are impervious to such
conditions and may help us deal with high bursts of space
radiation, damaged nuclear power plants or even the aftermath of
a nuclear attack.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
plans to hold a public meeting regarding its acceptance of
FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Corp.'s "root cause" report
concerning cracks discovered last year in the Davis-Besse
nuclear power plant's concrete shell structure.
As plutonium and uranium concentrations in the US hit their
highest levels in 20 years a top nuclear physicists says most of
the plutonium MOX nuclear fallout from Fukushima will drop on
the United States.
The new Czar of Russia arrived in
Israel on Monday morning for a two day trip to the epicenter.
The question is: Why is Vladimir Putin there?
A report published by the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Renewable
Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures), is an initial
investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can
meet the electricity demands of the continental United States
over the next several decades.
a C1/Sf flare. A long-duration B7
flare. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were
observed during the period. The geomagnetic field was at
quiet to unsettled levels.he geomagnetic field is expected to be
quiet during the period (26 - 28 June) with a chance for
Prominent Republicans have attacked
the Obama administration for its “insufficient” response to the
Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram that has targeted
Christians and killed more than 1,000 people.
Practical actions agreed by
government leaders in the Rio+20 final declaration will begin
"immediately," Brazil's Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira
said today. "We have methods and deadlines to be met until we
complete the process that will be consolidated in 2014 or 2015,"
she said as the United Nations summit on sustainable development
concluded in Rio de Janeiro.
Seas could rise higher along the California coastline this
century than in other places in the world, increasing the risk
of flooding and storm damage, dune erosion and wetland
destruction, the U.S. National Research Council reported Friday.
Rising sea levels have long been seen as a consequence of
climate change, because as the world warms, glaciers melt and
contribute water to the Earth's oceans. At the same time, ocean
waters tend to expand as they heat, pushing sea levels higher.
Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney begins a 5-day
bus tour on Friday. He’ll cross six different states, focusing
on economic issues and the “ordinary concerns of the American
As he has throughout the campaign, Romney will likely talk
about why he doesn’t believe that clean energy is good for the
country. In recent months, the Romney campaign has attacked
American renewable energy companies, lied about the clean energy
stimulus, and called American green jobs “illusory” — even with
64,000 clean energy jobs in his home state of Massachusetts.
As part of the Obama
Administration’s all of the above approach to American energy,
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved a
350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land of the
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Tribe) in Clark County, Nevada.
The project marks a milestone as the first-ever, utility-scale
solar project approved for development on tribal lands, and is
one of the many steps the administration has taken to help
strengthen tribal communities.
A small crowd, mostly filled with officials, gathered at the
Santee Cooper office in Conway Thursday night for the first in a
series of public comment meetings about the utility's proposed
increases in electric rates over the next two years.
Santee Cooper officials say the planned changes would mean an
increase of about $5.60 a month in the first year for typical
homeowners who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a month. In
the second year the rate hike would mean another $8.29 a month
The East Coast of the United States
is home to many of its major population centers. While some of
the early colonizers migrated west, many stayed and built up
some of America's great cities, including Portland, Boston, New
York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charleston, and Miami. Now this
region is facing an unprecedented challenge caused by the
changing climate. The sea level is rising, and due to a variety
of oceanographic and topographic factors, it is rising faster on
the US Atlantic Coast than it is globally. The greatest increase
will be felt in the "hot zone", from Cape Hatteras, North
Carolina to north of Boston, Massachusetts.
The market has instilled some
discipline around the periphery nations' debt growth. There is a
natural limit to how much they will be able to borrow. Not so
for the US, as the world seems to have a seemingly endless
appetite for US government paper (for now). And of course the
Fed is always there to pick up any slack. At this rate in a few
years the US debt to GDP ratio will look very much like that of
the Eurozone periphery
The number of Americans receiving
Social Security disability benefits has soared in recent years
and is threatening to push the program into insolvency. ..
Nearly 11 million Americans
currently receive disability benefits, and last year the program
cost taxpayers $132 billion — more than the combined annual
budgets of the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security,
Commerce, Labor, Justice, and the Interior.
Spain's borrowing costs soared in a pair
of short-term auctions Tuesday as investors worried that the
country would not be able to manage an expensive rescue of its
ailing banking sector.
The Treasury auctioned (EURO)3.1 billion
($3.9 billion) in the two maturities, just above its target
range, and demand was strong.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key
part of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants on Monday,
rejecting the Obama administration's stance that only the U.S.
government should enforce immigration laws in the United
But in a split decision, the
justices also ruled that the three other challenged provisions
went too far in intruding on federal law, including one that
makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to work and another that
requires them to carry their documents.
In the past, whenever world leaders
have huddled to discuss what to do about this steadily warming
planet of ours, they’ve usually endorsed one big, sweeping
solution. That was the logic behind the Kyoto Protocol — each
nation would promise sharp cuts in their overall carbon
A lot of speculation has been
floating around about a proposal from the United Nations that
could impose a global Internet tax on the world's largest
content providers. Based on leaked documents from the European
Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) that
are being made available at WCITleaks.org, the speculation is,
in fact, true.
A new implantable fuel cell that
harvests the electrical power from the brain promises to usher
in a new generation of bionic implants. Designed by MIT
researchers, it uses glucose within the cerebrospinal fluid
surrounding the brain to generate several hundred microwatts of
power without causing any detrimental effects to the body. The
technology may one day provide a whole new level of reliability
and self-efficiency for all sorts of implantable brain-machine
interfaces that would otherwise have to rely on external power
$11.6M power system expected to produce revenue, energy
The city of Tucson is in the process of turning on new solar
photovoltaic power systems at seven city-owned sites.
The power systems are part of an effort by city officials to
make municipal facilities more energy efficient while generating
U.S. bank regulatory proposals to
apply unrealized gains and losses (UGL) on available-for-sale
(AFS) securities to common equity tier 1 capital could reduce
bank capital levels during periods of material market
illiquidity. For example, if such rules had been in place during
the 2008 financial crisis, Fitch Ratings estimates that nine out
of 57 banks we reviewed with assets of more than $25 billion
would have experienced a reduction in their common equity tier 1
capital ratio of 100 bps or more.
You know you have arrived if a Saudi oil minister and a UN
official talk about your relevance or prevalence, right? In the
past couple of weeks, renewables and biofuels have been on the
tongues of such dignitaries, perhaps signaling they may be
emerging from being seen as insignificant.
But there's a move afoot to alter the US tax code to boost
Consumers increasingly are leery of the use of the use of
antibiotics for meat production purposes and are urging grocery
stores to employ labels that clearly state whether meat in
coolers has been treated with the drugs.
U.S. Democrats in the House of
Representatives urged the Obama administration on Wednesday to
expand proposed regulations for fracking for natural gas, saying
companies should be required to reveal the chemicals to be used
in the process prior to drilling.
New home sales jumped by 7.6% in
May 2012 to an annualized pace of 369,000, thereby beating
market expectations for a modest increase to 346,000.
The White House said Monday that it
would likely veto a GOP-led plan to overturn Environmental
Protection Agency regulations that require cuts in mercury and
other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.
This question puzzles many
clinicians, including some who are considered experts in the
field of emotional expression. The problem is that few of us
have received explicit training in theories of emotion.
Therefore, our notions about tears and other forms of emotional
release are still partly based on “steam-kettle thinking”—the
culturally pervasive but biologically absurd notion that
emotions are stored quantities of energy, which, like steam,
wreak havoc when bottled up too long or released too abruptly.
Our everyday language is rife with steam-kettle metaphors. We
talk about “blowing off steam,” being “flooded with emotion,”
“boiling over” with rage, and “feeling drained” after a good
Duluth officials on Thursday estimated damage at up to $80
million just to the city's public infrastructure from the flood
that swamped the northeast Minnesota city and nearby communities
The flooding, which left huge sinkholes and ripped up dozens
of roads, also forced hundreds of people from their homes and
killed several zoo animals.
June 22, 2012
The development of a low cost,
safe, abundant, and robust source of energy is the goal of many
researchers working on exotic technologies. Such a source of
energy -- if used appropriately -- could allow humanity to
survive the severe challenges facing our civilization. Although
it is not known to everyone, such a game changing technology
already exists and has been evolving rapidly over the past
A team of NOAA-supported scientists
is predicting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone could
range from a low of approximately 1,197 square miles to as much
as 6,213 square miles. The wide range is the result of using two
different forecast models. The forecast is based on Mississippi
River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS). The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is typically about
8,000 square miles and is located where the Mississippi River
dumps high-nutrient runoff from its vast drainage basin, which
includes the heart of U.S. agribusiness, the Midwest. This is
equivalent to a dead zone the size of New Jersey.
Along with the use of biofuel, the
airline took a number of other measures to maximize the
aircraft’s efficiency on the test flight. Some of these included
a preflight fuselage wash and wax to improve aerodynamics, an
engine compressor wash, runway taxiing using only one engine,
minimized use of the on-board Auxiliary Power Unit by relying on
ground-supplied power at the airport gates, and reduced thrust
"We've got some fantastic fleets
here ? Flexsteel, Best Buy, Fred's," Clay said. "Right now,
we're in the 1910 stage with Henry Ford trying to get gas out
there for the horseless carriage."
Organizations from Africa, Brazil
and France have officially launched a scientific collaboration
to fight desertification in Africa. The collaboration was
discussed at the Fight Against Desertification in Africa
conference in Niger in October 2011. The "Declaration of Niamey"
adopted at the conference highlighted the need for
interdisciplinary research in the fields of desertification,
drought and land degradation, focusing on social, economic and
Blowing a 46 million tonne (50.7
million ton) asteroid into pieces with lasers would be
difficult, but that won’t be necessary. The goal here, instead,
would be to ablate some of the asteroid's surface and steer it
away from us as a result. As material is vaporized from the
asteroid’s surface, it generates thrust and propels the asteroid
away from its original course.
In only its fourth manned mission
to space, China achieved a significant milestone on Monday when
its Shenzhou-9 spacecraft docked with China’s Tiangong-1 space
lab. Only the United States and Russia have demonstrated such
technological prowess, highlighting China’s growing capabilities
in space at a time when America no longer has the means to send
astronauts into orbit after the retirement of the Space Shuttle.
Should the United States be worried that China is supplanting it
in space? LIGNET takes a closer look.
The global slowdown is becoming
quite visible among the major economies. The US is still
growing, but the latest PMI measure for June came in at 52.9,
down from 54 last month. Germany's PMI came in below 50
(indicating contraction), with manufacturing PMI below 45.
It seems that these days, major,
prolonged power outages are just business
as usual. Give me the choice between a power
outage in the winter or the summer and frankly, I'd rather lose
power in the winter when I can fire up my nice, cozy woodstove.
Call me a wimp, but I hate living without air
The so-called "fiscal cliff"
looming at the start of 2013 with planned tax increases and
spending cuts may begin to push the U.S. into a recession as
early as the second half of this year, Bank of America’s top
U.S. economist Ethan Harris tells Fortune.
Taraxacum officinale, or
dandelion, the herb used for tea and salads, is an excellent
liver tonic and diuretic. But there’s another variety of
dandelion known as Russian dandelion, aka Taraxacum
kok-saghyz, which Bridgestone Americas is researching as
raw material to make high-quality rubber for car tires. After
preliminary tests, the company said it will continue to assess
the material at its technical laboratories in Akron and Tokyo in
coming months, and will follow that with larger-scale testing in
Late last night, Canada's House of
Commons passed Bill C-38, the budget of the majority
Conservative government, ignoring thousands of Canadians who
spoke up for nature and democracy.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology
said climate models it surveys continue to indicate a return of
an El Nino weather pattern, often linked to heavy rainfall and
droughts, later this year.
Cold fusion is not just another
every day discovery. It holds the potential to totally
revolutionize our civilization. The "powers that be" and the
other individuals who have attempted to suppress cold fusion
recognize this fact. It is one of the reasons they have worked
to suppress the technology. A breakthrough that could provide
cheap and almost limitless power is too much of a threat to
their control of humanity. However, the benefits cold fusion
could offer humanity is not the greatest fear of some of these
A report finds that injecting carbon dioxide into underground
rock formations, while a potential means of fighting global
warming, could increase stresses on faults, leading to
With all the negative economic and
market news out there it's worth pointing out a positive
development that's been taking place recently. It is the
expansion of bank credit in the US, which surprisingly has held
up reasonably well. Certainly the rate of expansion is nothing
like it was during the 04-07 period, but nevertheless it is
Steam generator tubes that emitted
radioactive steam at California's San Onofre Nuclear Generating
Station in January were not properly tested by the manufacturer
before they were installed, nuclear regulators told a public
meeting in San Juan Capistrano on Monday.
An estimated 70.2 million hectares
of agricultural land worldwide have been sold or leased to
private and public investors since 2000, according to new
research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute
(www.worldwatch.org) for its Vital Signs Online service. The
bulk of these acquisitions, which are called "land grabs" by
some observers, took place between 2008 and 2010, peaking in
2009. Although data for 2010 indicate that the amount of
acquisitions dropped considerably after the 2009 peak, it still
remains well above pre-2005 levels...
The Eurozone has always struggled
with lack of cohesion among its leaders. But any semblance of
coordination that existed last year may now be breaking down.
There is significant risk that Germany and France will no longer
be able to reach joint strategic decisions (such as the one
described here) as they did in the past. As discussed back in
January, Hollande's potential victory posed a risk to the
Franco-German leadership in the euro area. Now that Hollande has
won the election, signs of discord are becoming apparent.
Tubes that leaked radioactive steam
at a California nuclear power plant, leading to an indefinite
shutdown, were not properly tested by the manufacturer prior to
installation, nuclear regulators told an overflowing public
hearing on Monday.
Two of the biggest global issues
are shortage of clean energy and clean water. Despite of the
present economic downturn, fossil fuels are not the answer to
the ever growing energy need. While some new technologies offer
possibilities for providing electrical energy there are few
technologies that address the need for truly sustainable
transportation fuels. The second issue has an even greater
impact but is not yet addressed as such. The lack of clean water
is impairing complete nations from Latin America, through
Sub-Saharan Africa to South-East Asia. Approximately 1,1 billion
people have no access to clean water. There is some initial
research being done on how to clean and distribute the water and
less on how to produce it.
Focus Fusion is projected to be a
safe, clean, easy, reliable energy solution that could provide
electricity at a few tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour.
Raids on radical Islamists in
Germany and a new German ban on a Salafist group reflect how
German patience is running out with Islamist groups that espouse
violence. While Germany has fewer problems with radical
Islamists than France or the UK, its actions will influence
policies toward Islamist extremism in other European countries.
At least one person is being killed
in an environmental dispute around the world each week as the
battle for land, natural resources and forests becomes
increasingly violent, a report said on Tuesday.
Every development that signals some progress in stemming the
debt woes in Europe seems to do little to calm market nerves
over the unfolding crisis. While the victory on June 17 of
Greece’s pro-bailout New Democracy party eliminated the prospect
of an imminent Greek departure from the euro, attention quickly
focused on the difficulty New Democracy leader Antonis Samaris
would have in forging a workable coalition with other parties in
the country. Meanwhile, the eurozone’s plan to inject as much as
100 billion euro into Spanish banks was met with skepticism in
the markets and mounting anxiety over the precarious financial
position of the Spanish government. With pressure mounting for
more action, reports are circulating of a possible deal to bail
out Spain and Italy by directing two pan-European government
funds to buy up 750 billion euro of their bonds.
The Fed on Wednesday extended its Operation Twist program,
which will swap $267 billion in short-term securities with
longer-term debt through the end of 2012. Fed officials also
downgraded their forecasts for growth and employment while
noting “significant downside risks” to the economy remain.
“It looks very sluggish to me,” Greenspan said when asked
about the U.S. expansion. “We have a two-stage economy in this
Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla.,
Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public
Works, came out swinging in a floor speech June 18 ahead of a
scheduled June 20 vote on his proposal to kill the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s Utility Maximum Achievable
Control Technology (MACT) rule, also known as the Mercury and
Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
Tehran blames US, Israel, Britain
after talks fail
The Renewable Electricity Futures
Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to
which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands
of the continental United States. This study explores the
implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity
generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all
U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies—in 2050.
As analysts look deeper under the
hood of Spain's public finances, they are finding an
increasingly unstable engine. It's not just the growth in the
debt to GDP ratio that worries people but also the "contingent"
liabilities and other debt not yet included in this ratio. In
many cases the central government will be stepping in to bail
out regional governments,some of which are in trouble (sometimes
unable to pay vendors such as garbage collectors, etc.).
Japanese authorities failed to
disclose U.S. data about the spread of radiation spewing from a
crippled nuclear plant last year, a cabinet minister said on
Tuesday, leaving some evacuees fleeing in the same direction as
the radioactive emissions.
Over the year ending March 2012, an
additional 1.5 million households moved into rental housing, a 4
percent increase in a single year.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
struck a particularly harsh tone during his opening speech in
which he implored world leaders to move beyond mere discussions
and loose agreements and toward real action on sustainability.
"It's time for all of us to think globally and long term,
beginning here now in Rio, for time is not on our side," he
As most people on Earth celebrate
the Summer Solstice yesterday by enjoying a few extra minutes of
sunlight, our fellow global brethren in the South celebrated
their shortest day of the year. Typically the solstice is on
June 21st, but 2012 was a leap year so it is one day before. For
those poor unfortunate souls studying the ice in Antarctica,
June 20th was the absolute darkest day of the year.
Mayors of the world's megacities
today announced that the existing actions of the cities in their
organization, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 248 million tonnes a year by
A portion of the groundwater in the
upper Patapsco aquifer underlying Maryland is over a million
years old. A new study suggests that this ancient groundwater, a
vital source of freshwater supplies for the region east of
Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, was recharged over periods of
time much greater than human timescales.
This week, energy industry leaders attended the Midwest
Independent Transmission System Operator's (MISO) Annual
Stakeholders' Meeting to discuss MISO's Strategic Plan and how
to deliver cost-efficient energy.
Renewables – and related technology options – as a solution
were a prime focus.
The complete failure of this week’s
multilateral talks in Moscow to reduce tensions over Iran’s
nuclear program has led to new fears of military action by
Israel and calls for increased sanctions. Lost in this
diplomatic debacle is how an ill-advised policy shift by the
West – led by the United States – probably played a major role
in the failure of the Moscow talks and set back international
efforts to resolve growing concerns about Iran's nuclear
agency Moody's has downgraded 15 global banks and financial
The UK banks downgraded were Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays
and HSBC. Lloyds also had its rating cut by Moody's in a
In the US, Bank of America and Citigroup were among those
Steam flowed much too quickly
through the generators installed at the San Onofre Nuclear
Generating Station, leading to the problems that shut the plant
down and have kept it from restarting, federal regulators said
during a public meeting in San Juan Capistrano on Monday night.
Nearly two years after 800,000 gallons of oil spilled into
the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, a 34-mile stretch of the river
will be reopened, the U.S. EPA announced.
"The long wait to open most of the oil-damaged Kalamazoo
River is now over -- just in time for summer,"...
A hearing examiner has recommended state regulators approve a
Public Service Company of New Mexico request to add a new
renewable energy charge to customer bills -- and for the first
time include a line item about the cost.
[ed: This should be the other-way-around.
There should be a charge for using un-clean, unsustainable
sources of energy!]
Russian President Vladimir Putin
has established a new energy commission and appointed himself
the chair, giving the Kremlin significant influence, if not
outright control, over Russia’s entire energy sector, which
provides the government with the lion’s share of its hard
currency. The move is confirmation that Putin, in his third
term, is abandoning the trend toward a free market and instead
strengthening his own control over Russia’s economy.
Members of the U.S. Partnership for
Renewable Energy Finance (PREF) recently convened at the
American Council on Renewable Energy's (ACORE) Renewable Energy
Finance Forum - Wall Street to discuss strategies for keeping
renewable energy as a crucial part of the nation's overall
Renewable fuels for U.S. military
ships and jets are likely to remain "far more expensive" than
petroleum products absent a technological breakthrough, a study
for the U.S. Air Force found on Tuesday, questioning a Pentagon
push for alternative energy.
Coal-fired power plants owned by
PPL and seven other energy companies contribute to thousands of
deaths, asthma attacks and hospital visits, according to a
report by an environmental group.
a long duration B7 flare...There
were no Earth-directed CMEs observed during the period.
There is a chance for an isolated C-class flare.
eomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet
Rapid progress is being made on
negotiation of the outcome document at the United Nation's
sustainable development conference, Rio+20, head of the Rio +20
Secretariat, Nikhil Seth, said today. Seth said Brazil's ability
to dialogue with different groups of countries has led to a
"consensus" and a "significant progress."
The Senate on Thursday approved an
amendment to the farm bill that would prevent taxpayer dollars
from being used for party conventions.
The Senate draft of the Farm Bill
moved to the floor this week for a series of votes on 73
amendments. A final Senate vote on the Agriculture Reform, Food
and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240) is expected later tonight. All of
the amendments we've been tracking have been voted on.
The Senate Has Voted...
GMO Labels (Sanders Amend #2310)
About €9bn of that increase likely
came from deposits moving out of the Eurozone periphery nations
to Switzerland as the euro-denominated liabilities to
non-residents rose again. The rest is probably due to deposits
moving from the periphery to Germany. In both cases the ECB had
to step in to replace those private funding sources.
Research conducted by energy
consultancy The Brattle Group using data from the summer of 2011
found that adding photovoltaic (PV) solar to the Texas grid
could have saved customers an average of $155 to $281 per
Historically, PV modules installed in snowy climates have been
part of small, off-grid arrays mounted at very steep tilt
angles. This is done both to shed snow quickly and to maximise
winter output. Unfortunately, this concedes too much annual
energy to be a good design strategy for larger contemporary
The U.S. government offers tax
credits to developers of renewable energy projects to make such
alternatives more competitive with traditional power projects
and, ultimately, to increase the proportion of power that clean
energy sources generate. In a report published recently,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services looks at what influences the
market for renewable projects, which tax incentives help finance
them, and what the expiration of these incentives might mean for
the U.S. utility sector.
The Colorado “Right to Foreclose”
Amendment would require all lenders in the state to prove they
own the property before they can foreclose.
You'd think that quarter after quarter of losses for PV industry
manufacturers along with a steady march of failures would be
enough to shake the industry loose from its addiction to the
goal of grid parity. Instead, and despite evidence that the
current pricing for PV modules is actually damaging the
industry's ability to compete, the enthusiastic chorus about
grid parity continues to grow louder. Disagree at your own risk,
but agree or disagree, promises have been made for consistently
lower system prices, and the cost of breaking these promises
could be steep. "Hamelin Town's in Brunswick, by famous Hanover
city" … so begins the famous poem by Robert Browning, famous
more for its point about the danger of breaking promises than
for its iambic pentameter.
Chinese polysilicon makers are pressing their government to
impose duties on U.S. imports, a move to drive up prices for
competing supplies of the material used in solar panels, four
people familiar with the issue said.
leaders pushed recently for greater input on government
decisions over “fracking” and stressed the importance of
eliminating red tape from energy resources programs on Indian
“It is absolutely important,” he said, “if we are going to
find life, in the fullness of which it was given to us by the
Great Spirit, that we need to experience the ceremonies…
“We consider ourselves as a ceremonial people, a people of
ceremony, because ceremony helps us to connect with the Spirit
itself, and it helps to invoke the Spirit within our presence.”
Peaceful Uruguay is planning a novel approach to fighting rising
crime: having its government sell marijuana to take drug profits
out of the hands of dealers.
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday
released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®
(PMMS), showing average mortgage rates easing amid worsening
economic indicators. Both the 30-year fixed and the 5-year ARM
registered new average record lows.
At its annual meeting last week,
the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a resolution
supporting the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics (MACT) Standards
Rule, demonstrating widespread support of the Agency's effort
(resolution at usmayors.org). Today, president, Philadelphia
Mayor Michael A. Nutter urged the U.S. Senate to reject efforts
to block the implementation of this important public health rule
through the seldom used Congressional Review Act.
Summary of Economic Projections showed downgraded growth
forecasts, while the unemployment rate is expected to trend
lower at a slower pace. Forecasts for headline and core
inflation rates were lowered modestly.
Indian eco-activist Vandana Shiva
urges a paradigm shift away from the pervasive short-sighted
growth model we see failing all around us, and says that "making
peace with the earth" is now a "survival imperative."
After spending 15 months as a volunteer doing research at
North Dakota State University (NDSU), seeking to replicate the
work of the late Stanley Meyer, as well as the MEG, Jon Abel was
banned from the campus. He speculates that it has to with the
university's being sponsored by the oil fracking industry.
More than 100 heads of state and
government today gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the start of the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.
The summit seeks to shape new policies to promote global
prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and
environmental protection in the face of warnings that the
ecological basis of life is coming undone.
Hydropower or water power is power
derived from the energy of falling water, which may be harnessed
for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been
used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical
devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock
cranes, and domestic lifts since ancient times. It is one of
several renewable power sources. According to the Earth Policy
Initiative, world hydroelectric power generation has risen
steadily by an average 3 percent annually over the past four
I don't need Money News to
tell me that America's economy is in trouble. I don't need the
Wall Street Journal to tell me about unemployment
figures and I don't need the Center for Economic and Policy
Research to tell me that my money doesn't go as far as it once
did or that the equity in my house is down 33% over the last
All I have to do is take a trip to the local
Planning for wind energy
developments in the U.S. for 2013 is literally at a stand-still
due to the uncertainty of an extension of the Production Tax
Credit (PTC). But that isn’t stopping some developers from
moving forward with new projects for next year. These new builds
might, however, pop up not in the U.S., but in a community with
a stable government support for renewable energy – Ontario.
A woman from Tulsa, Oklahoma is
suing the city’s code enforcement teams after they illegally cut
down her entire survival garden. Denise Morrison, who started
the garden after becoming unemployed, had over 100 medicinal and
edible plants in her front and back yard.
June 19, 2012
Honey is one of nature’s most
delightful creations. This gooey, sticky liquid that can range
from dark amber to light gold in color is a miracle creation
made by our friends the honeybees. Honey is not only tasty, it
is also very good for you. It is a natural source of sweetness,
uncontaminated by human processing. If all you have ever done
with honey is put a little on your hot cereal or in your tea,
you are in for a surprise. There are many other uses for honey
from food to beauty to health and first aid.
"The challenge for us is to ask all the right questions so we
don't get blindsided," he said. "Get the training for the
vehicles for our technicians, so they can feel comfortable."
Often, mechanics need to be trained on how to fix the
vehicles because even if they are covered under warranty,
regular maintenance will be required. Sometimes, the local
dealership might not be knowledgeable on the vehicle.
Recent years' warming in the Arctic
has caused local changes in vegetation, reveals new research by
biologists from the University of Gothenburg and elsewhere
published in the journals Nature Climate Change and Ecology
Letters. The results show that most plants in the Arctic have
grown taller, and the proportion of bare ground has decreased.
Above all, there has been an increase in evergreen shrubs.
The Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) has updated the state's
Solar Strategic Plan, which tracks the implementation of a
series of recommended actions for the long-term growth of the
state's solar industry.
The state's goal is to be the national leader in solar
production, as well as solar exports.
When a non-Eurozone central bank holds euros, it tends to
deposit those euros with the ECB. So when the Fed executed
its liquidity swap, it received euros as collateral and
deposited them in its account at the ECB. That deposit by the
Fed created a "non-Eurozone resident" liability at the ECB.
But the Fed's liquidity swap is now a fraction of what
it was at its peak. The ECB returned the dollars and the Fed
returned the euros.
Europe's emissions trading scheme
has failed to create incentives for utilities to use cleaner
energy fuels, meaning that governments will have to switch to
simpler tools, such as subsidies and regulation, to enforce
emissions reduction targets.
Crude futures settled lower Monday
after euphoria that led to a short-lived bounce from weekend
Greek elections faded as investors resumed concerns regarding
Critics of a new genetically
modified corn created by Dow AgroScience, a division of The Dow
Chemical Company, are voicing fears that the crop could pose
serious threats to human health and the environment, reported
The U.S. economy will barely avoid
falling into a recession this year and post very lackluster
growth rates of 2 percent, economists say.
isn't enough to make a dent in unemployment rates and provides
little cushion if shockwaves emanating from the eurozone roil
the global financial system.
Disappointing data continues
to flood financial newswires.
Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi claimed a hollow victory
Monday in Egypt's presidential vote just hours after the
country's military rulers stripped the office of its most
The power grab by the ruling generals delivered another
major blow to hopes for a democratic transition born out of last
year's uprising that ousted authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.
In response to a court order, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 15 proposed updates
to its national air quality standards for harmful fine
particulate matter pollution, including soot (known as PM2.5).
Public and private sector leaders
at the 23rd annual Energy Efficiency Forum outlined legislation,
policies and business strategies aimed at reducing energy use
and operating costs in buildings. Buildings account for 40
percent of global energy use,...
Homeowners have a number of concerns with household safety
and protection. While many of these concerns reflect mundane
life, some concerns reflect the global economy and the state of
tension between world powers. With modern technology, a nuclear
war is not the only global catastrophe we may face.
Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are bursts of electromagnetic
radiation that can be caused by nuclear explosions or
fluctuating magnetic fields. [Note: There is no current evidence
that the government has technology capable of producing this
effect without using nuclear devices.]
FDA doesn’t seem to care.
FDA denied two Citizen Petitions (one filed in 1999 and
the other in 2005) to restrict the use of certain antibiotics on
farm animals. Last week, a federal judge ordered FDA to
reconsider those denials, rejecting FDA’s argument that it was
too time-consuming and costly to revoke the approval of
The WWF's Living Planet Report
(LPR) is the world's leading science-based analysis on the
health of the Earth and the impact of human activity. The ninth
biennial publication released in May, reviews the cumulative
pressures humans are putting on the planet and the consequent
decline in the health of the forests, rivers and oceans. Its key
finding is that humanity's demands are exceeding the planet's
capacity to sustain us.
Ford expects to reduce by 25% the amount of energy it uses in
its manufacturing plants over the next five years.
That is on top of a 22% drop over six years in energy needed
to build a vehicle, the automaker reports in its 13th annual
Sustainability Report "Blueprint for Sustainability:
Accelerating Ahead" released today.
Most American investors feel
powerless to save and plan for retirement, a Gallup poll finds.
Fifty-seven percent of investors say they feel they have
little or no control over their efforts to build and maintain
their retirement savings in the current environment, the polling
North America’s electricity
infrastructure is clearly one of our society’s most important
assets. As reliance on digital technology and ‘just in time
delivery’ distribution systems has increased, many North
Americans have come to depend on the reliable delivery
of electricity to their homes and businesses to power nearly
every aspect of their lives.
Google has received more than 1,000
requests from authorities to take down content from its search
results or YouTube video in the last six months of 2011, the
company said on Monday, denouncing what it said was an alarming
As Brazil hosts the Rio+20 UN
summit on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, in the
Amazon region 2,000 miles to the north 300 women and children
affected by construction of the giant Belo Monte Dam Friday
began a symbolic occupation of the dam site to "free the Xingu
Some believe the promise of greater
energy independence, job growth, and affordable energy supplies
locked away in the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, and Eagle Ford
Shale formations overshadow other concerns. Others contend the
potential, or perceived potential, for environmental or public
health damage is too great a risk to take. Misunderstanding and
miscommunication cloud the discussion further.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI)
can be difficult to isolate for a variety of reasons. EMI can
travel via conductive radiation, via cables and power cords, or
electromagnetic radiation which can pass through walls and other
structures. For a sensitive instrument affected by EMI, the
first step is to make sure the system is properly grounded. This
can dissipate troublesome static buildup from the system.
Japan on Saturday approved the
resumption of nuclear power operations at two reactors despite
mass public opposition, the first to come back on line after
they were all shut down following the Fukushima crisis.
A large dock from Japan that floated more than 5,000 miles
across the Pacific to land on the Oregon coast has been
sterilized of non-native species before disposal.
The dock, which washed ashore June 5, is debris from the
March 2011 tsunami in Japan, the Japanese consulate in Portland
confirmed after reading a metal plaque attached to the 165 ton
Lake Michigan is an untapped reservoir of wind energy, say
researchers who are studying whether it can be harvested
economically and without environmental harm.
Scientists at Michigan Technological University have been
gathering data come from a 6-ton floating buoy deployed at three
locations in the lake, two near the shoreline and another 35
miles off shore.
"Solar technology is changing so
fast. It's really pretty incredible," said Bettencourt, manager
of the photovoltaic project under construction next to the city
of Las Vegas' wastewater treatment plant near Vegas Valley Road
and Nellis Boulevard.
Shell might drill three exploratory
wells in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer, rather
than the five planned, if unusually late ice cover delays the
start of drilling into mid-August, company President Marvin Odum
said Thursday in an interview.
Renewable energy is becoming quite
popular despite costs and intermittency issues, with 14 states
adopting CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) programs. The
CLEAN programs can significantly increase the deployment of
local solar power, according to research from the Institute for
Local Self Reliance (ILSR).
Food storage is one of the most
important aspects of prepping and survival planning. Even if you
have a nice homestead set up with a garden and livestock, you
should be prepared with stored foods. This can include canned
goods, dried goods, preserved meats, and the fruits of your own
garden, canned and preserved. And, of course, don’t forget
water. If you have a year’s worth of food stored in couple of
different locations around your homestead as well as a garden
and animals, you are in an excellent position for when society
I'd take the day to say thank you
to the dads who are doing it right. Thank you for raising your
kids to be respectable, responsible young adults. Thank you for
teaching them the value of hard work and discipline. Thank you
for showing them the way a husband should treat his wife. Thank
you for your example.
MHD-EMP, also called E3 since it is
the third component of the high-altitude EMP (HEMP), lasts over
100 s after the exoatmospheric burst. MHD-EMP is similar to
solar geomagnetic storms in it's global and low frequency (less
than 1 Hz) nature except that E3 can be much more intense with a
far shorter duration. When the MHD-EMP gradients are integrated
over great distances by power lines, communication cables, or
other long conductors, the induced voltages are significant.
(The horizontal gradients in the soil are too small to induce
major responses by local interactions with facilities.) The long
pulse waveform for MHD-EMP-induced currents on long lines has a
peak current of 200 A and a time-to-half-peak of 100 s. If this
current flows through transformer windings, it can saturate the
magnetic circuit and cause 60 Hz harmonic production. To
mitigate the effects of MHD-EMP on a facility, long conductors
must be isolated from the building and the commercial power
harmonics and voltage swings must be addressed.
Moody's Japan said Monday that
Japan's decision to allow the restart of two nuclear reactors
was supportive of the financial profile of the country's
utilities sector, although many uncertainties remain.
The world's energy consumption
continues to rise and shows no signs of stopping. In fact,
according to the International Energy Agency, consumption will
grow approximately 40 percent by 2035.
Nearly everyone thinks that
generating electricity via solar power is good for the
environment, but there’s much less agreement on whether it makes
sense from an economic point of view. At what point will solar
power be competitive with electricity generated by conventional,
fossil-fuel plants, and how long will subsidies need to remain
in place before the solar industry can stand on its own?
Relations between the oil industry
and the Obama administration may be strained in many regards,
but there is agreement on at least one issue: the strategic
importance of developing resources offshore Alaska, Shell Oil
President Marvin Odum said in an interview aired Sunday.
OPEC agreed as expected at talks in
Vienna June 14 to retain its current 30 million b/d crude output
Rake said the goal was to talk
about the future of clean energy in Nevada and how it can help
the economy. Though he hoped all the seats in the chamber room
would be filled, he was pleased with the turnout of more than 50
residents and public officials.
Once a part of the original San
Carlos Apache reservation, the mountain was taken from the tribe
by the federal government in 1872, notwithstanding the fact that
Apaches considered it a portal to the spirit world with the
belief that spirits known as Gaahn, guardian spirits of the
Apache, reside there and provide health, direction, and
guidance. The mountain is also an ancestral Apache resting
place, a ceremonial site, home to native medicinal plants and a
species of endangered squirrel.
When considering the potential
for radiation spreading out from the severely damaged Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear power plant, it is very important to understand
the ‘inverse-square law‘, which helps to put in
context the potential intensity of radioactive Fallout as it
relates to distance.
For every doubling of distance away from the source that is
emitting an ‘intensity’ (in this case, radiation), the radiation
will be diluted to one-fourth the original quantity as it
disperses into three-dimensional space to a point representing a
doubling of distance.
a few low level C-flares.
There were no Earth-directed CMEs observed during the period.
Solar activity is expected to remain low with a chance of
isolated M-class activity. The geomagnetic field ranged
from quiet to minor storm levels. Active levels This elevated
activity was due to persistent effects from the 13 and 14 June
Rapid progress is being made on
negotiation of the outcome document at the United Nation's
sustainable development conference, Rio+20, head of the Rio +20
Secretariat, Nikhil Seth, said today. Seth said Brazil's ability
to dialogue with different groups of countries has led to a
"consensus" and a "significant progress."
"Iran, Russia, China and Syria
will hold the Middle East's largest ever war game, Iranian news
outlets reported quoting unnamed sources," reports the Jerusalem
"According to the report, 90,000 troops, 400
warplanes and 1,000 tanks from the four countries will take part
in land and sea exercises. The war games will feature Russian
atomic submarines, according to Iranian media, as well as
warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers.
Semi-official Iranian FARS news agency stated that the exercise
was being planned in coordination with Egypt, which recently
acceded to grant the passage of 12 Chinese warships through the
Residents worried about potential
health problems from "smart" electric meters are planning to
turn out at a Tuesday Ashland City Council meeting to voice
their concerns. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Ashland
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.
Francois Hollande is the man in
charge after his Socialist Party swept France's parliamentary
election. Voters welcomed the French president's vision of
injecting government money into Europe's economies in hopes of
helping the joint euro currency stave off disaster.
Have you noticed, your Social
Security check is now referred to as a "federal benefit
payment"? I'll be part of the one percent, to forward this, our
government gets away with way too much in all areas of our
lives, while they live lavishly on their grossly overpaid
Solar PV is not yet competitive
with fossil fuel like natural gas from the utilities'
perspective and the road ahead is long, according to research
from Stanford University....
For the time being, that is. The
research also contends that if the industry can continue to
lower the cost of solar panels and tax subsidies persist,
utility-scale installations could become cost-competitive within
World Bank researchers predict a
staggering increase in municipal solid waste generation during
the next 13 years. And the trash challenges beyond that date
could be even more daunting.
Commercial building owners are turning to energy efficiency
more than ever, and they continue to seek tax credits,
incentives or rebates, according to the global survey from the
Institute for Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls Inc.
The sixth annual survey found 85% rely on energy management
to boost operational efficiency, up 34 percentage points from
the Energy Efficiency Indicator survey conducted two years ago.
This city is almost completely
empty after a week of heavy shelling by the Syrian government.
But it is empty of government forces as well.
Financial advisers continue to
profess that US treasuries should be a large part of a balanced
portfolio. With the 10-year treasury yielding around 1.6%, the
advice is hardly based on return expectations. It is also not
due to expectations of mark to market gains. The up-side case in
being long the 10-year treasury would be if the rate were to
drop to the level of Japan's - just over half (a fairly unlikely
outcome). The mark to market gain would be 7.5%. The downside
case on the other hand would be if the 10-year yield rose to
what it was just a year ago (or higher) - say around 3%. The
mark to market loss would be around 11.5%. So the instrument
effectively has an asymmetric payout profile and terrible
current yield. What gives?
in Vienna, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) agreed to maintain current oil production
levels. This news reassured global markets, but was a painful
blow to Iran, which had lobbied hard for a decrease in
production in order to raise prices. It is the latest sign that
Iran is losing influence within OPEC — a trend that will likely
benefit Iraq in the long run, as LIGNET explains.
The Chinese Tallow Tree has long
been recognized by U.S. scientists (beginning with Benjamin
Franklin in 1772) for its beneficial economic potential and the
tree has been successfully introduced in southern and coastal
regions. Serious efforts by the USDA in the early part of the
20th Century demonstrated the adaptability and large oil yield
of the tree in the U.S. However, traditional Chinese hand
harvesting methods were not economical and the mechanical
harvesting technology of that era was not capable of efficient
recovery of the large potential oil resource.
Today, we have an environment rich
in nonlinear loads, such as UPS equipment, computers,
variable-speed drives, and electronic fluorescent lighting
ballasts. Operation of these devices represents a double-edged
sword. Although they provide greater efficiency, they can also
cause serious consequences to power distribution systems — in
the form of harmonic distortion.
Today marks the 200th anniversary
of the War of 1812, a war all but forgotten in American history
books. But what did that war mean for this country’s Indigenous
Turkey’s recent shift away from
Iran as a source of oil as well as its decision to comply with
U.S.-backed sanctions on Iran could shift the balance of power
in the Persian Gulf region. Turkey is now looking to Saudi
Arabia for additional oil, which it appears willing to provide
as tensions rise due to continued violence in Iran-backed Syria.
The United Nations on Saturday suspended its monitoring
mission in Syria due to intensifying violence, sending a strong
indication that prospects for peace are failing.
"There has been
an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past
10 days," said Gen. Robert Mood, who heads the U.N. Supervision
Mission in Syria.
To hear industry and even sale
sponsor US' Bureau of Ocean Energy Management talk, the first
Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale in nearly two years, scheduled
for this week, appears even in advance to have a lot going for
Gov. Bob McDonnell's uranium-mining study group will provide
its first public update tonight in Pittsylvania County.
The group is studying the safety of mining the radioactive
metal, particularly at a proposed site in Pittsylvania about 145
miles southwest of Richmond.
Environmentalists last week continued to criticize the
openness of the group, saying it operates behind closed doors
and provides little new information on its website.
The announcement by Venezuelan
president Hugo Chavez of a joint development effort between
Venezuela and Iran to build Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) is
evidence of the expanding ties between these two anti-American
countries. Their military partnership also demonstrates the
complexity of containing Iran as it seeks to export its weapons
technology around the globe, especially to antagonistic
governments in America’s backyard
The US should approve liquefied
natural gas export projects, but policymakers should keep an eye
on potential domestic impacts on gas prices and the environment,
Michael Levi, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign
Relations, said during the first week of June.The US should
approve liquefied natural gas export projects, but policymakers
should keep an eye on potential domestic impacts on gas prices
and the environment, Michael Levi, a senior fellow at the
Council on Foreign Relations, said during the first week of
U.S. accusations that Russia is
supplying the Syrian regime with weapons to attack civilians
have marked a significant escalation of tensions between the two
countries. That tension was visible at a meeting between
President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin
before the start of the G-20 summit yesterday where the two
leaders issued the blandest joint statement that talked only of
a need for the violence in Syria to stop and for a political
solution to be achieved. It was evident that Russia was angered
by the accusations of arms shipments. But while dipomacy may
suffer in the short term, there is a chance that Washington's
new hard line could advance U.S. policy goals over the long
The fracking drilling technique
used to tap shale oil and gas is unlikely to trigger
earthquakes, but underground injection of waste water from
drilling offers more risks for seismic activity, a new U.S.
study said on Friday.
Minnesota Power, an electric
utility that serves the state's iron mining industry, said
Monday that the state Commerce Department's recommendation to
shut down at least three of its coal-burning power plants
requires more study of its effects on rates and reliability.
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has just proposed updates to its national air
quality standards for harmful fine particle pollution, including
soot (known as PM2.5). These microscopic particles can penetrate
deep into the lungs and have been potentially linked to a wide
range of serious health effects, including premature death,
heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and
aggravated asthma among children. A federal court ruling
required EPA to update the standard based on best available
science. The current proposal, which meets that requirement,
builds on steps already taken by the EPA to slash dangerous
pollution in communities across the country. Thanks to these
steps, 99 percent of U.S. counties are projected to meet the
proposed standard without any additional action.
Based on the latest data received
from Voyager 1, scientists say the venerable spacecraft is now
on the very edge of our solar system. The data, which traveled
some 17.8 billion kilometers (11 billion miles) on its
16-hour-38 minute journey to NASA’s Deep Space Network on Earth,
reveals a marked increase in the intensity of charged particles
from beyond our solar system, indicating that Voyager 1 is soon
to become the first man-made object to leave our little slice of
But when we are talking about
something like a faraday cage to block out microwaves for
example, we say the spacing of the cage 'bars' should be shorter
than the wavelength, I have trouble understanding this, as the
wavelength is along the normal to the cage surface, and the
wavelength shoul not have a bearing on whether it 'gets in' or
Why is it that the spacings (which are paralell to
the polarisation vector) determine what kind of waves get
Aren’t critics of genetically
engineered food anti-science? Isn’t the debate over GMOs
(genetically modified organisms) a spat between emotional but
ignorant activists on one hand and rational GM-supporting
scientists on the other?
The affluence of the Western world
may be the envy of empires and kingdoms past, but much of that
affluence has come at a heavy price in terms of health. The
obesity epidemic is only getting worse, despite efforts in the
U.S. and Europe to battle bulging waistlines with better
research, better information and better dietary habits.
So, why is this epidemic only worsening? What is at the root of
the problem? Quite simply, it's the food we eat. Or, more
specifically, according to a recent report in The Guardian,
what's in the food we eat.
June 15, 2012
It is often said that life began on
a river bed. It's no surprise that, still today, the world's
rivers make up some of the most fundamental sources of fresh
water and habitats for life of all kinds. Unfortunately, some of
the largest and most highly-needed rivers are under attack from
environmental threats that have already caused potentially fatal
disruption. That's why the WWF, World Wide Fund for Nature,
compiled a list of some of the most threatened rivers in the
Tuesday's success capped weeks of fighting as Yemen's new
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has pledged to uproot al-Qaida
from the south with help from the United States as part of a new
cooperation following Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.
They live on your skin, up your nose, in
your gut - enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that
collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds.
Now scientists have mapped just which
critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that
healthy people can share their bodies with more than 10,000
species of microbes.
High pollution increases risk of repeated heart attacks
by over 40 percent, says TAU researcher
Air pollution, a serious danger to the environment, is also a
major health risk, associated with respiratory infections, lung
cancer and heart disease. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher
has concluded that not only does air pollution impact cardiac
events such as heart attack and stroke, but it also causes
repeated episodes over the long term.
After more than 10 years of war in Afghanistan, the U.S.
reached a milestone on Wednesday when the 2,000th American died
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
When OPEC officials meeting in
Vienna are talking about "tremendous" surpluses of oil in the
world, and US crude production has risen above 6 million b/d,
it's tough to be a disciple to the peak oil school of the
It certainly isn't for lack of
belief in the ultimate imbalance between the world's ability to
produce oil, and its desire to consume it, which is what is at
the heart of the peak oil school of thought.
The Arizona Energy Consortium
(AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council, announced
that it has invited the state's District Nine congressional
candidates to attend its next regularly scheduled meeting to
discuss their energy policies. The meeting is Friday, June 15,
2012 at 9:00 a.m. in the Phoenix office of Greenberg Traurig,
Rumors are swirling that a trade complaint against Chinese solar
manufacturers will be filed in the European Union, and that the
announcement could land during the massive Intersolar Europe
event that started on Monday in Munich, Germany.
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday
released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey
(PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates ending their six
week streak of record-setting lows. Regardless, mortgage rates
still remain near the historic lows helping to keep home buyer
affordability high, and providing a strong incentive for those
looking to refinance.
While many assume solar cells and wind farms will displace
coal use and lower carbon dioxide levels, Zehner argues that
subsidizing renewable energy merely expands energy supplies,
which exerts a downward pressure on prices.
Energy demand subsequently increases, he said.
Russia is an important market for
British exporters and investors. Six hundred British companies
do business in Russia, making the UK one of Russia’s largest
sources of foreign investment. This relationship, however, has
soured in recent months, with Russian President Vladimir Putin
declining the invitation to appear at the opening ceremony of
the 2012 Olympics in London next month. This snub, and ongoing
disputes, could put the relationship between Russia and the UK
on ice for years to come.
After the Obama administration
shelved the Keystone XL pipeline last November, vocal critics,
including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, expressed
deep concern that the decision would push Canada into the open
arms of China. While this could still happen, a less
talked-about issue is arguably of greater importance; namely
China’s ongoing efforts to acquire oil extraction technology and
know-how under the benign umbrella of investments in Canada’s
The National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC) announced Thursday that China will initiate a
trial to charge residents more for electricity if their usage
exceeds a certain level.
Climate change will make wildfires in the West, like those
now raging in parts of Colorado and New Mexico, more frequent
over the next 30 years, researchers reported on Tuesday.
More broadly, almost all of North America and most of Europe
will see an increase in wildfires by the year 2100, the
scientists wrote in the journal Ecosphere, a publication of the
Ecological Society of America.
The seriousness of the recent leaks
about sensitive U.S. intelligence operations appears to be
sinking in among members of Congress and has led to calls, so
far mostly by Senate Republicans, for an independent
investigation. While President Obama appears to have cover for
now from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane
Feinstein to resist appointing a special counsel to investigate,
this may soon change as her committee proceeds with its own
investigation and faces a likely refusal by the administration
to cooperate on executive privilege grounds.
As a major cyber security bill
wends its way through the congressional chambers, some key
organizations are trying to knock the wind out of it. Civil
libertarians and privacy rights activists are saying that the
measure would do more harm than good -- a notion that is refuted
by its sponsors who say that time is of the essence.
Diesel engine fumes can cause lung cancer and belong in the
same potentially deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and
mustard gas, World Health Organisation (WHO) experts said on
In an announcement that caused concern in the auto industry,
the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC), part of the WHO, reclassified diesel exhausts from its
group 2A of probable carcinogens to its group 1 of substances
that have definite links to cancer.
My belly is full. It seems no
matter how hard I try to “eat my way to a better world”, that
world never materializes. The organic and fair-trade industries
are booming, Farmers Markets are the new norm, the word
“locavore” was added to the Oxford Dictionary, and Michelle
Obama even planted a White House garden. But agribusiness
continues to consolidate power and profit, small farmers
worldwide are being dispossessed in an unprecedented global land
grab, over a billion people are going hungry, and agriculture’s
contributions to climate change are increasing. It’s not just
that change is slow, but we actually seem to be moving in the
opposite direction than alternative food movements are trying to
Two surprise decisions by Egypt’s
highest court yesterday appeared to be a power play by the
interim military government and led Islamists to accuse the
court of attempting a “legal coup.” The last-minute decisions
spurred calls for a boycott of the presidential election because
of fears of election fraud by the military. LIGNET believes the
decisions are certain to shake up Egyptian politics but probably
won’t end the dominance of Egyptian Islamists.
E.ON AG, Germany's largest utility,
is seeking 8 billion euros ($10 billion) of compensation in a
potential industry-wide claim against the government following
its decision last year to shut down nuclear power stations.
Yes, I do believe that
something has gone terribly wrong with the American experiment.
Our families are imploding. Our national debt is exploding.
Experts on the left and the right warn we are on an
unsustainable trajectory and urgently need to change course. Yet
too many in Washington, academia, the media and even the church
are in a “business as usual” mode. As result, millions of
America fear the ice is cracking under our feet.
Consider the state of the
American family. All around us we can see marriages falling
apart. Marital unfaithfulness is rampant. Couples we never
thought would get divorced are leaving each other, creating
devastatingly painful wounds in them and their children.
On a small Finnish island and deep
in remote rural France, far from the debates and doubts that
followed Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, the ground work is
underway for a commitment to atomic power for the long term -
the very long term.
The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of
Americans' wealth, according to government data released Monday,
with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families
plunged 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to
$77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on a par with where
they were back in 1992.
“Not only are we seeing rapid emergence of super-weeds resistant
to glyphosate, courtesy of Roundup Ready crops, we now also have
evidence of emerging Bt-resistant insects.”
Here’s a shocking fact: The average tube
of toothpaste has enough fluoride to kill a child.
Yet fluoride is enthusiastically hailed
in ads as a dental savior and is touted by legions of dentists,
parents, and governmental agencies. Yet toothpaste with fluoride
must carry a poison warning and directions to seek medical
attention if more than the recommended amount is ingested.
Fire crews on the attack against
flames roaring through national forests in New Mexico and
Colorado gained ground in both blazes on Tuesday, though
thousands of evacuees remained unable to return to their homes,
A new global forum, meeting for the
first time this week (13—15 June), will gather scattered
research on sustainable consumption and production from
countries across the world, as well as from journals, reports
and grey literature, to consolidate existing findings and
discuss the agenda for future research.
More renewable energy was installed worldwide last year than
ever before, and solar energy surged past wind power to become
the renewable energy technology of choice for global investors
Solar attracted nearly twice as much investment as wind,
driving the renewable energy sector to another record-breaking
year, according to two new reports on renewable energy trends
issued today by the UN Environment Programme and the Renewable
Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, REN21.
Last weekend (June 9th-10th) Spain
secured a €100bn bail-out for its ailing banking sector. The
bail-out differs significantly from those extended to Greece,
Ireland and Portugal over the past few years. It is limited to
the banking sector, and comes with no additional fiscal
austerity targets attached. Greek politicians from left and
right, who are in the middle of a tough election campaign, have
tried to capitalise on the latest bail-out for their respective
campaigns. It is far from certain whether the Spanish bail-out
will have any significant impact on the election outcome, but it
goes to the heart of Greece's political and economic
dilemmas—which are very much linked to the European context.
The possibility that New York might
open some fissures in its de facto ban on hydraulic fracturing
would be a move in the right direction, the state's oil and gas
trade group said, but environmental groups said the plan itself
Both factions were reacting to a news report
that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is finalizing a
plan that would allow fracking in five Southern Tier counties
with the most potential for Marcellus Shale natural gas.
The H2 Logic hydrogen refuelling
station in Lilleström is part of the Akershus Energypark, which
will develop and test a wide range of hydrogen production and
compression technologies. The company says that this station is
the first in the world to be supplied by hydrogen produced from
Legislation that would unlock hydropower development at existing
infrastructure around the country took a big step last week when
the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and
Power voted to advance H.R. 5892.
The world oil market is currently
better supplied after an easing of the fundamental supply/demand
balance in recent months, but it is not over-supplied, the
International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
In its latest
monthly oil market report, the IEA said the market could clearly
be characterized as "better supplied, but 'over-supplied' looks
something of a stretch, given the myriad uncertainties that lie
ahead for the summer."
Quietly and with little media
coverage, it seems that Israel has made it its national goal to
develop a battery that can provide enough power for a 500
kilometer-drive with a single charge.
More Americans sought unemployment
aid last week, suggesting hiring remains sluggish.
Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefit
applications rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, an
increase from an upwardly revised 380,000 the previous week.
Attorney General Eric Holder on
Tuesday fended off Republican demands that he appoint a special
counsel outside of the Justice Department to look into national
Microsoft on Tuesday patched 26
vulnerabilities, including one in Internet Explorer (IE) that's
already being exploited. The company also warned customers of a
new zero-day attack and quashed yet another instance of a bug
that the Duqu intelligence-gathering Trojan leveraged.
The software maker also ditched one security update at the
last minute and substituted another in its place, probably
because the second was more serious.
Diana Reeves was furious when her
state legislators caved into threats by Monsanto to sue the
state of Connecticut if it passed a GMO labeling law. Lawmakers
effectively told Connecticut's voters, who had clearly expressed
overwhelming support for GMO labeling, "oh well."
The U.S. government budget deficit
dramatically widened in May, as spending jumped 31.3 percent
from the same month a year ago.
The deficit expanded to
$124.6 billion from a $57.6 billion shortfall in May 2011,
according to Treasury Department data released today in
Overall, the federal budget deficit is
approaching $1 trillion for a fourth straight year even though
the government is collecting more tax revenue than last year.
New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman on June 13 won a decision in Albany County State
Supreme Court dismissing a lawsuit that aimed to block the state
of New York's participation in the multi-state Regional
Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Ohio stands poised to become a
major player in the hydrogen fuel-cell industry, says the head
of a statewide coalition of fuel-cell developers.
Between January 2002 and August 2008, the nominal oil price rose
from $19.7 to $133.4 a barrel. This led to a large increase in
oil revenues for oil exporters and a deterioration of the
current account for oil importers (Figure 1). Between 2002 and
2006, net capital outflows from oil exporters grew by 348%,
becoming the largest global source of net capital outflows in
2006 (McKinsey 2007).
The farmers’ appeal is in response
to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s dismissal of OSGATA’s case against the
biotech behemoth Monsanto on Feb. 24, 2012. This outrageous
decision sent shockwaves around the world. Passionate responses
were heard from countries far and wide, with many voiced on the
first petition we created in March to support OSGATA. Thanks to
all of you who signed and commented on it; together we totaled
over 8,500 signatures and over 1,000 heartfelt comments from
countries all over the globe, some of which I had never even
heard of! Thank you to all of you who took the time to sign
and share it!
Scientists have designed a screening tool that provides a
fast, easy and relatively inexpensive way to predict levels of a
specific toxin in lakes that are prone to blue-green algal
Blue-green algae is not your average pond scum — rather than
consisting of plant-like organisms, blue-green algae actually
are cyanobacteria, and some species are linked to the production
and release of the toxin microcystin into the water. Human
exposure to the toxin through drinking or recreational water
contact can threaten public health by causing liver damage,
neurological problems and gastrointestinal illness in humans.
With rising fuel prices and the
reach for cleaner energy sparking discussions and debates across
much of the nation, it's not surprising that consumers and
business leaders alike are exhibiting greater interest in fuel
The Arizona Energy Consortium
(AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council and the
state's only broad-based energy sector organization, today
announced the update of the "Arizona Solar Strategic Plan."
Created through the AEC in November 2011 as a product of the
Arizona Solar Leadership Conference, the document tracks the
implementation of a series of recommended actions for the
long-term growth of the state's solar industry. The plan may be
viewed on the AEC's website at
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
has issued a report on NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power
plant's application to extend its operating license 20 years,
finding that if seven still outstanding issues are fixed, the
power plant will have met the requirements needed for a new
Solar activity was moderate.
Region 1504 (S16E01) produced a long duration M1/1n flare.
An isolated M-class event is likely. Geomagnetic activity
is expected to be quiet on 15-16 June. An increase to unsettled
to active levels is expected early on day 3 (17 June) due to
combined effects from both the 13 June and 14 June CMEs.
President Dilma Rousseff today opened Rio +20, the UN Conference
on Sustainable Development, at Brazil's giant pavilion in
Athletes Park opposite Riocentro, the main seat of the
President Rousseff urged compromise among all countries of
the world to achieve sustainable development goals, especially
the developed nations facing economic crises.
The EU embargo on imports of Iranian oil has yet to come into
force, but tightening sanctions against the Islamic Republic are
already making a big dent in its crude exports, according to the
International Energy Agency.
The IEA reckons that oil-importing countries bought nearly 1
million b/d less crude from Iran in April and May than in late
2011 as a result of the sanctions.
Here are the amounts of debt that
the major Eurozone nations will need to issue this year. Let's
put things in perspective. Spain's requirement for 2012 is to
raise €35.5bn. With the new €100bn aid to the banking system,
Spanish banks will have no trouble absorbing this debt. Even
with higher haircut requirements due to the downgrades, Spain's
banks will be able to finance a big portion of these bonds at
Lee County has 232 wind turbines, and 60 more are proposed.
How many more will come after that?
None at all, if some Lee County Board members get their way.
The new space plane built by Boeing
is expected to return to earth in the coming days after
completing its first mission. But few people know what that
mission was. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) was built
solely for use by the U.S. military, and could potentially be
used for satellite jamming and kinetic attacks. But it may be
used mostly for intelligence purposes, including gathering
information on enemy space systems. China’s state-controlled
media has reported that the X-37B may have been spying on
China’s space station.
After three years of denial, a
vigorously contested trial that lasted six weeks and Thursday's
unrepentant speech before a judge and a courtroom filled with
aggrieved investors, R. Allen Stanford offered an apology of
sorts to a victim of his multibillion-dollar fraud.
States expect to collect higher tax revenue in the coming
budget year that combined would top pre-recession levels,
according to a survey released Tuesday.
The increase could reduce pressure on states
to cut budgets and lay off workers.
The notorious president of Sudan,
Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is currently under indictment by the
International Criminal Court (ICC) for a host of human rights
abuses, including genocide perpetrated in the Darfur region of
his country. Despite this fact, he retains the support of the
African Union and his presence at its upcoming summit forced
Malawi to cancel plans to host the event. This development shows
the weakness of the ICC and how Bashir’s many allies are
preventing him from receiving justice for his crimes.
The U.S. state of Texas is offering
5.7 million U.S. dollars in grants to encourage the use of
hybrid or alternative energy vehicles instead of diesel
vehicles, U.S. media reported Monday.
They tell us there's nothing to worry about, that middle
class America is "doing fine," that they have everything under
control. It's like we're in the middle of a house burning down
and they're trying to convince everyone that there really isn't
a fire. Unfortunately, too many are too willing to turn back to
their bubbles of comfort and believe them.
What is this
commodity that I'm speaking about?
Last week, officials from Google,
the Federal Communications Commission and the State Department
testified before Congress to warn of the dangers posed by an
international effort underway to transfer control over the
Internet from the United States to a United Nations agency. They
expressed their fear that an upcoming UN conference in Dubai
could be a game-changer with terrible consequences for the
independence of the Internet. LIGNET shares their concerns.
Population growth, widespread
destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be
driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a
planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive
consequences, warns a group of scientists from around the world.
OPEC member Saudi Arabia has been
pumping hefty amounts of oil to lower prices and do what it can
to ensure that President Barack Obama is re-elected this
November, says billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Saudi Arabia has ramped up production this year to offset
any supply disruptions that could result from a military
conflict between the West and Iran.
A renaissance is underway on the
Gulf of Mexico's shallow-water Continental Shelf as exploration
and production companies look to updated technologies and
sharper seismic to eke more oil from a traditionally natural gas
province, two small independent operators said Wednesday.
The new report shows that the
figure for Europe accounts for nearly 69% of the total global
number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030, the
largest amount for any region. Barring any changes, the European
commercial nuclear decommissioning market value stands at
- Consumer prices declined by more than was expected in
May 2012; they were down 0.3% after holding steady in April.
The annual overall inflation rate moderated sharply to 1.7%
from 2.3% in April.
- Core prices came in as expected by rising 0.2% in the
month. The annual core inflation rate held steady for the
third consecutive month at 2.3%.
US crude oil production is expected
to climb to 6.32 million b/d this year, up 11% from 2011, the
Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.
latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA again raised earlier
output projections -- raising the 2012 average 2% from last
month's forecast and increasing the 2013 outlook by 6% to 6.73
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to announce Wednesday
that North Carolina and New York each will receive about $4
million for farmers growing crops used to produce energy.
The expansion is part of a federal push to produce more
non-food energy crops, used to make liquid biofuels or
electricity from renewable sources.
Applications for unemployment
benefits rise for 5th time in 6 weeks
Coal’s days are getting dimmer.
With environmental regulators coming down on it in combination
with extremely cheap natural gas prices, it is losing market
share. But it’s also losing some support in the utility
New claims for state jobless
benefits rose for the fifth time in six weeks and consumer
prices fell in May, opening the door wider for the Federal
Reserve to help an economy that shows signs of weakening.
Though the increase was small, it undermined hopes that a
recent slowdown in hiring would prove temporary.
The electricity used to produce water can account for as much
as 30 percent of a water utility's budget.
"Utility leaders are continuously challenged to make the most
of limited budgets – a situation truer today than just five
years ago," said Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Black &
Veatch's global water business. "As a result, the vast majority
of survey respondents doubt the sufficiency of their future
funding to manage and maintain their systems."
We continue to post the
opinions of many international scientists on the potential
global catastrophe that would result from the collapse of
Reactor 4 at Fukushima Dai-ichi. The message now is simple and
clear—Japan’s government will not act; it is the United States
who must step forward—yet no action has been taken.
Good data can be hard to come by. Let's take solar production
data. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA),
solar electricity production facilities — including photovoltaic
(PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) — produced a total of
roughly 1,800 GWh in 2011. That's a 50 percent increase over
2010. Even so, as a percent of total energy produced, the number
is so small
BP's latest annual review of world energy appears to paint a
rosy picture of global proven oil reserves, which rose almost 2%
in 2011 and are now enough to cover 54 years of current
production, up from 46 years in 2010.
The positive numbers mostly reflect higher oil
prices, however, rather than more actual oil in the ground, BP
Solar industry competition is at a
record high with global solar energy capacity more than
quadrupling in 2010 and overall global renewable energy spending
projected to more than double by 2030, according to IEEE. But
the future of renewable energy remains uncertain.
JPMorgan Chase executives knew a
London risk-management unit was making risky trades two years
ago, long before the unit botched a trading strategy that led to
an initial $2 billion loss, The Wall Street Journal reports.
June 12, 2012
I had never been so mad at my
husband as I was that day in church. I wanted a measly hour to
enjoy the sermon, relax with the foot-tapping singing, and just
for once not be "on call" as a mommy. Was that really too much
The agreement last week by EU
ministers to impose tighter internal border controls comes in
response to rising illegal immigration from the Middle East and
North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. The
change in policy shows that the bonds holding the EU together
are weakening in ways beyond the current sovereign debt crisis,
although the two issues are intertwined, as LIGNET explains.
If you are concerned about the our
energy future, as we are sure you are, you've probably given it
a little thought and are searching for some answers.
We've done the same. But we are in the fortunate position that
allows us the ability to actively pursue answers. Here's our
Postconsumer plastic packaging
recycled across Canada increased 15% from 2009 to 2010,
according to a recent report.
A new poll shows that California voters no longer support
building a $68 billion high-speed rail line connecting Los
Angeles and San Francisco.
But the Democratic-controlled state legislature is expected
to approve the initial $6 billion, 130-mile section of the line
— which could lead to the construction of a costly “orphan
track” in rural California not connected to either city.
While the national climate debate
is fixed on whether Earth is warming, climate scientists are
focused on understanding how bad it will be.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled
that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must re-evaluate the
environmental impacts of the storage and disposal of nuclear
If the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency gives coal-fired power generators flexibility
to comply with new and pending regulations, approximately $100bn
in future compliance expenditures could be saved, according to a
new assessment released May 31 by the Electric Power Research
The nuclear energy industry here has just been dealt a blow
-- by a U.S. federal appeals court. One just ruled that nuclear
regulators did not fully assess the risks associated with
allowing utilities to store their spent fuel onsite for decades
longer than originally intended.
Demand for energy harvesters is
expected to grow with the development of low-power electronics,
motivated by the increasing need for various applications to run
efficiently, independently and remotely, according to GBI
Only 15 percent of Americans now
believe the human species evolved from lower forms of life and
God had no part in the process, a new Gallup poll reveals.
Studies show that in a crisis, eight out of ten people will
remain passive, relying on someone else to take charge. One out
of ten will panic and endanger others in the process.
And only one out of the ten will take swift, decisive action
to improve their situation. (When they do, they immediately
increase their chances of survival.)
The media is putting a great deal
of emphasis on the EU-arranged Spanish bank rescue, which will
clearly provide Spain some much needed relief. But it's
important to step back and look at the larger problem the
Eurozone will still have to confront going forward. Here is a
sobering assessment from Antonio Garcia Pascual of Barclays
Despite the fact that U.S.
renewable energy production has increased by more than 300
percent in the last 10 years, the country still lags far behind
Europe and Indonesia and is only slightly ahead of Mexico,
according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense
Israel is placing nuclear-tipped
cruise missiles on submarines supplied by Germany, according to
a new report — assuring a retaliatory capability following a
nuclear attack from Iran.
Thanks to a rebate from the state and a federal tax credit,
along with ongoing energy credits and reduced electric bills, I
figure I have just about paid for the $15,000 system.
And I will continue saving for at least 20 more years.
JPMorgan recently conducted its MBS
(mortgage backed securities) investor survey. The key questions
were focused on the Fed, as the next policy steps will be
particularly critical for the MBS market. Let's look at the
responses to two of the questions.
Sen. John McCain is pressing the
case for a special outside counsel over recent White House
security leaks, even as President Barack Obama says it is
“offensive” and “wrong” to claim his White House would
deliberately leak sensitive information for political gain.
Medicare and Medicaid’s model for paying out claims is an
“open invitation” to fraud that could amount to nearly $200
billion a year.
But the programs could drastically cut down on fraud by
adopting common-sense procedures already used by the private
While the preliminary tariffs
recently announced by the United States Department of Commerce
(U.S. DOC) should at face value help drive the U.S. solar
industry, reality will be quite different. Work-arounds still
exist for Chinese manufacturers that will keep them very
competitive against those of plaintiffs such as Solarworld,
while U.S.-based polysilicon manufacturers will likely suffer
the brunt of retaliatory tariffs as they ship into China. The
end result? Solar power generation will become more expensive in
the U.S. right around the time when it was becoming competitive
with traditional power generation sources.
U.S. production of renewable energy has increased by more
than 300 percent in the past decade, but the United States still
lags far behind Europe and Indonesia and is only slightly ahead
of Mexico in the percentage of electricity it gets from
renewable sources, according to a new report from the Natural
Resources Defense Council.
European countries, led by Germany, get more of their
electricity from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable
sources than any other region in the world, NRDC's global
renewable energy scorecard shows. The United States got about
2.7 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2011, making
it No. 7 among G-20 member countries.
US President Barack Obama
determined Monday that the global oil market had sufficient
supplies outside of Iran in May to follow through with tough new
sanctions against Tehran, the White House said.
required by the sanctions law, Obama must report to Congress
whether a sufficient supply of crude and petroleum products
exists to permit significant cuts in Iranian oil exports.
World oil markets are currently
oversupplied and the surplus has led to a "severe" and rapid
decline in oil prices, OPEC's Iraqi president Abdul Karim
al-Luaibi said Monday.
"...it is very clear that there
are tremendous surplus quantities that have led to his severe
decline in prices in a very short time span. Obviously, this
does not serve anyone. In our opinion, stable prices are best
for all," Luaibi told reporters in Vienna, where the oil
producer group will meet on Thursday to set output policy for
the rest of this year.
The plan would cover the entire increase in energy use over
the next 10 years by improving energy efficiency. To help reach
the goal, the state would retrofit up to 4 million square feet
of state office buildings with energy efficient technology.
The plan also calls for upgrading the power grid and making
it easier for clean-energy developers to get financial backing
and permits for new projects. In an earlier speech, Gov.
Kitzhaber cited several reasons to draft an energy plan for the
Restaurant owners used to pay to have their waste oil
removed. Then companies began hauling it for free. Now some
eateries are getting paid for their fat, while others exchange
it for rebates on future oil purchases or cash off their
So with rising fuel prices, it's probably no surprise that
used cooking oil has become a target, often an easy one, for
A giant cache of private equity
money is chasing a growing treasure chest of oil and gas assets
ready to be harvested, and the result is a horde of deal-making
that isn't likely to slow anytime soon, observers say.
Failure to extend the production
tax credit would devastate the domestic wind energy supply chain
and virtually wipe out wind power development next year,
officials stressed during the June 4 opening of the American
Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in Atlanta.
Solar activity was low. a C-class
flare. There were no Earth-directed CMEs observed during the
period. Solar activity is expected to range
from low to
moderate. An isolated M-class event is likely.
Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet to unsettled on day
1 (12 June). An increase in activity is expected mid-day due to
a glancing blow from a CME observed on 08 June.
While the world tries to go green,
South Africa still invests in coal. Last Friday, President Jacob
Zuma visited what is soon to become the fourth largest coal
power-station in the world.
Despite the Syrian regime’s use of
new “horrific” tactics, reportedly including helicopter gunships
and children as “human shields” to defend against rebel attacks,
the international community continues to bicker on how to
respond. While Syrian rebels appear to be stepping up their
attacks on government forces, they remain divided and their
international support could be undermined by a German press
report accusing the rebels of responsibility for the Houla
Saudi Arabia has watched as the
political tumult of the Arab Spring has swept rulers from power
and thrown once stable nations into chaos. It has also kept a
close watch on the expansion of terrorist activity in the
region, especially in Yemen, and has become increasingly alarmed
at al-Qaeda’s influence there. In reaction to this change in the
region, Saudi Arabia’s traditionally low-key foreign policy has
given way to a more activist approach. It is supporting the
Syrian rebels, and may support military action against Iran. But
it is also forming ties with China, and leaning less on its long
friendship with the United States.
For over 60 years, electrical
engineers have been trying to minimize the problem of tin
whiskers. Growing on tin-plated electronics, the needle-like
structures get up to ten millimeters long, and can cause short
circuits. Instead of trying to eliminate them, however,
Washington State University’s Prof. Grant Norton has been
looking into ways of growing them – albeit in a controlled
manner. His research has led to the creation of a tin battery
anode, which he claims could triple the capacity of lithium-ion
A United Nations report warns that the earth's environmental
systems "are being pushed towards their biophysical limits" and
that sudden, irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes
The UN's Environment Program says that climate change, the
depletion of the ozone layer, plummeting fish stocks and the
mass extinction of animals are among the most worrisome
China and the United States may
have trade disputes over green technologies. But they will still
be collaborating in the shale gas arena.
foreign technology and capital to get at its vast shale gas
reserves -- fuel that it desperately needs to feed its energy
appetite at 12 percent growth a year. If it is able to access
its plethora of recoverable shale gas, it would then become far
more reliable, independent and, perhaps cleaner.
Lower 48 also experienced record warm year-to-date and
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during May
was 64.3°F, 3.3°F above the long-term average, making it the
second warmest May on record. The month's high temperatures also
contributed to the warmest spring, warmest year-to-date, and
warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since
recordkeeping began in 1895.
Funding for clean-coal technology
research that President Barack Obama attempted to eliminate has
been restored by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of
Representatives in a new water and energy appropriations bill.
The wind power industry is caught
in the political whirlwinds. Once again, the sector finds itself
at the vortex of a spin battle between partisans, although not
between all Republicans and Democrats.
June 8, 2012
With all of the controversy surrounding genetically
engineered foods, many people are actively seeking unaltered
foods and avoiding modified. What some don’t realize,
however, is that unlike places such as Europe and Japan, the
United States doesn’t require food manufacturing companies to
disclose if their food is genetically enhanced or not.
Here are five foods that you might least expect to be
America now has a major new source of energy that could rival
the contribution made to the economy by natural gas, coal, and
nuclear power, according to a report released today by the
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), which
concludes that up to about a quarter (22 percent) of current
U.S. energy consumption could be replaced by what experts are
calling "intelligent efficiency."
Ten African nations have pledged,
ahead of Rio+20, to include the economic value of natural
resources in their national accounts. Africa has taken the lead
in the quest to persuade nations to include the full economic
value of their natural resources in their national accounts,
with the promise last month by ten of its nations to do so.
Winners in the U.S. Department of
Energy's (DOE) "Apps for Energy" competition have been
announced. The competition was intended to facilitate innovative
mobile and web applications that will help energy consumers save
money using "Green Button" electricity usage data...
Renewable energy cannot and did not
Parasitic mites have turbo-charged the spread of a virus
responsible for a rise in honey bee deaths around the world,
scientists said on Thursday.
Bee populations have been falling rapidly in many countries,
fuelled by a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. Its
cause is unclear but the Varroa mite is a prime suspect, since
it spreads viruses while feeding on hemolymph, or bee's "blood".
If a study comes up negative for
your favorite drug, just don't publish it! 68 percent of all
drug studies are swept under the carpet to keep those pesky side
effects from being reported. Only 32 percent of studies come up
positive, and a lot of those studies are "shortened" to limit
the long-term findings.
In the course of the ensuing
28-minute flight, Phantom Eye climbed to an altitude of 4,080
feet (1,244 meters) and reached a speed of 62 knots. The
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft is
actually designed to go as high as 65,000 feet (19,812 meters),
carrying a maximum payload of 450 pounds (204 kg), staying aloft
for up to four days at a time.
Off-grid or not off-grid—that is the question. Indeed, that
was a HUGE question Locus architect Paul Neseth posed to Linda
and I as we sat down to yet another design session. Like “paper
or plastic,” but a lot lot harder.
Business executives are more guarded about the 12-month
outlook for the U.S. economy than they were last quarter,
according to the second quarter AICPA Economic Outlook Survey,
which polls chief executive officers, chief financial officers,
controllers and other certified public accountants in executive
and senior management accounting roles. Most continue to see
better prospects for their own companies than the economy as a
whole, but concerns about hiring have intensified since the
start of the year.
Just a few weeks after General
Motors curbed production of Volts, Chevrolet dealers in
California are scrambling to get the extended-range electric
cars on their lots as sales surge because of special state
incentives for electric vehicles and West Coast gas still above
$4 a gallon.
China cut borrowing costs for the
first time since 2008 and loosened controls on banks’ lending
and deposit rates, stepping up efforts to combat a deepening
slowdown as Europe’s debt crisis threatens global growth.
In his first visit to China after
securing a third presidential term, Russian President Vladimir
Putin and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao issued a joint
statement pledging greater cooperation on a number of economic
issues, but a natural gas trade agreement was conspicuously
absent. The point of contention was said to be price, but the
real sticking point is of much larger strategic importance, as
Low natural gas prices and
environmental regulations have had coal on the defensive for
some time. But utility executives, despite using more natural
gas to generate power, have been reluctant to abandon the idea
of coal as the best economical option.
Construction in Europe is
traditionally associated with metal, steel and other heavy
materials, but plastics and plastic composites are increasingly
used as energy and cost-efficient alternatives for buildings,
bridges, houses and other structures.
Huawei, the giant Chinese
telecommunications company best known as a manufacturer of cell
phones, is making inroads into the U.S. market despite the fact
that several countries, such as Australia, have banned the
company from bidding on cellular networks and government
contracts due to concerns about electronic “backdoors” in Huawei
components – computer code that could allow the Chinese
government to secretly steal information or sabotage electronic
devices. New information from a sensitive LIGNET source
associated with Huawei seems to validate security concerns about
Forget the stagnant American
economy and our severe debt crisis and the rapidly mounting
troubles in Greece and Spain, at least for a moment. Consider
what's driving the news just this week:
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are not as new as
you might think. Both animals and plants have been
modified for hundreds of years through a process called
selective breeding. It wasn’t until the rise of genetic
engineering that we saw these organisms getting altered in ways
not possible before.
Here’s a somewhat staggering statistic:
By 1999, over two-thirds of processed food within the United
States contained genetically modified ingredients. So,
let’s take a closer look at GMOs and why it sparks so much
It almost feels like the 1970s and
'80s again with so much news about every new and
under-construction nuclear plant registering cost overruns and
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
today announced plans to invest up to $120 million over five
years to launch a new Energy Innovation Hub, establishing a
multidisciplinary and sustained effort to identify problems and
develop solutions across the lifecycle of critical materials.
Rare earth elements and other critical materials have unique
chemical and physical characteristics, including magnetic,
catalytic and luminescent properties, that are important for a
growing number of energy technologies. These critical materials
are also at risk for supply disruptions.
launched an online mapping tool for those interested in
waste-to-biogas facilities and activities.
Nobody recognizes the erosion of
rights until it's THEIR rights.(cartoon)
Ideas to solve the European debt
crisis are plentiful and intriguing, but there is inadequate
consensus on their merits and no political will to implement
them effectively against inevitable popular resistance. The
latest flavor of the week is “eurobonds,” which would pool the
debt of eurozone members into one place, thereby lightening the
burden of troubled nations like Greece. As attractive as this
idea is on paper, it is unlikely to be implemented as LIGNET
A great deal of Eurozone's GDP
growth in the past came from domestic demand - both in Germany
and elsewhere within the union. Of course some of that growth
was driven by credit, including cheap sovereign debt. But as
austerity kicks in, demand growth begins to struggle.
A pair of young Flagstaff, Arizona residents has embarked on
a hunger strike to oppose snowmaking at a ski area on the San
Francisco Peaks, held sacred by 13 tribes in the Southwest.
Jessica Beasley, a Navajo tribal member and Northern Arizona
University nursing student, and her partner, Joseph Sanders, are
keeping vigil during daylight hours at Flagstaff City Call; a
city-wide camping ordinance prevents them from staying
Two-year-old Geostellar pulls
together dozens of different types of data into its solar
analytics platform, including information about weather,
shadows, roof slope, closest transmission lines, property
values, land use, electricity rates, solar subsidies, and solar
hazards. All that data (and more) goes into a system that solar
installers and utilities can use to search for useful data to
target solar customers.
The German government recently proposed cutting feed-in
tariffs (FIT) for new solar installations to simplify the tariff
Despite the proposed reduction in incentives, some German
markets will remain attractive for photovoltaics (PV) in 2012,
including residential and large-scale systems, due to the return
on investment (ROI), according to IHS...
We all understand that carbon
pollution from burning fossil fuels—the gasoline in our cars and
coal in our power plants—are contributing to global warming.
And the public has spoken: We are ready for climate
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee
has issued a warning to the government of Australia that the
Great Barrier Reef could be listed as World Heritage in Danger
within eight months if new coastal and port development
In a last minute addition to the
Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, Sen. Ron Wyden
(D-OR) has submitted an amendment that would legalize the
production of industrial hemp, a potential new bumper crop for
Recent leaks about sensitive U.S.
intelligence programs – especially alleged American cyber
attacks against Iran’s nuclear program – could prove very
damaging to U.S. national security and have spurred bipartisan
congressional outrage and calls for investigations. Although the
Obama administration and its political allies in Congress
adamantly dismiss claims that White House officials leaked this
information for political gain, the text of a recent press story
makes it hard to sustain this argument.
Renewable power generation technologies are becoming
increasingly competitive due to dropping costs, accounting for
the addition of half of all new power generation capacity
According to a cost and performance analysis by the
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable
technologies have become the most economical solution for
off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as
well as for centralized grid supply in locations with good
Nearly a third of Japan's ruling
party lawmakers are petitioning Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to
be cautious about restarting nuclear reactors given safety
concerns after last year's earthquake and tsunami, an organizer
said on Tuesday.
If Kurdistan has streaked ahead of
the rest of Iraq in terms of power development, it still lags in
pipeline and refining development. Tamsin Carlisle, in this
week's Oilgram News column New Frontiers, discusses how
that is about to change.
Millions of Americans live with
artificial joints, surgical mesh, heart defibrillators, and
other medical devices. Although most people assume they've been
tested for safety, the unsettling truth is that in most cases,
they haven't. Are they safe?
Recent headlines have questioned the
safety of metal hip devices...
As a proposed ban on military investment and use of biofuels
inches closer to fruition in Washington, several groups are
speaking out against the bill.
So much of Monsanto's poison was
spread in the past decade that weeds naturally developed a
resistance to it.
Rather than find ways to cooperate
with the natural world, America's agribusiness giants reach for
the next quick fix in a futile effort to overpower nature. Their
attitude is that if brute force isn't working, they're probably
not using enough of it.
Study IDs 'zeolite' minerals that are one-third more
efficient for carbon capture
A detailed analysis of more than 4 million absorbent minerals
has determined that new materials could help electricity
producers slash as much as 30 percent of the "parasitic energy"
costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant
NREL contends that Chinese
producers have an inherent cost advantage of no more than 1
percent, compared with U.S. producers. When trans-ocean shipping
costs are factored in, Chinese producers are at a 5 percent cost
A We Energies coal plant in Oak
Creek that had been out of service since last fall returned to
full power late last week, a utility spokesman said.
An accelerating series of leaks of
classified information all have two things in common: They
directly endanger national security, and the stories reporting
on them paint President Obama as a hero.
We all know it—we should
eat more fruits and vegetables. But, these healthy
foods are currently grown on only 2 percent of U.S. farm acres.
Check out our infographic to learn ...
Damage from climate change could cost Latin American and
Caribbean countries $100 billion per year by 2050 if average
temperatures rise 2C (3.6F) from pre-industrial levels, as is
seen likely, a new report said on Tuesday.
The region accounts for only 11 percent of global greenhouse
gas emissions, but it is considered particularly vulnerable to
impact from climate change due to its geographic location and
reliance on natural resources, the report commissioned by the
Inter-American Development Bank said.
Failure to extend the production
tax credit would devastate the domestic wind energy supply chain
and virtually wipe out wind power development next year,
officials stressed during the June 4 opening of the American
Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in Atlanta.
By: John F. Kennedy
“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen. Citizens who
are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard
the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their
daily life and who are willing to consciously work and
sacrifice for that freedom.”
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday
released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey
(PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling to new
all-time record lows for the sixth consecutive week amid weak
economic and job data helping to keep homebuyer affordability
Solar activity was low. Several
C-class flares were observed over the past 24 hours. Solar
activity is expected to be low with a chance for isolated
M-class activity. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at
geosynchronous orbit was at high levels throughout the period.
The geomagnetic field is expected to begin the forecast period
at unsettled levels with a chance for active conditons on day
one (08 June) as coronal effects wane and a weak CME from 05
After decades of trial and error,
artificial intelligence applications that aim to understand
human language are slowly starting to lose some of their
brittleness. Now, a simple mathematical model developed by two
psychologists at Stanford University could lead to further
improvements, helping transform computers that display the mere
veneer of intelligence into machines that truly understand what
we are saying.
So it was with sobering political
reality that Karl Rove, a Republican strategist revered for his
ability to build the type of coalitions that move voters and
legislators alike, spoke to a weary industry Tuesday at
Windpower 2012 in Atlanta. Rove, who in many ways cut his
political teeth during the early stages of wind development in
Texas, took the stage with former Obama press secretary Robert
Gibbs in a discussion that meandered easily between traditional
talking points and insightful projections.
Exposure to arsenic in drinking
water at the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) currently deems as safe in the United States (10 parts per
billion) induces adverse health outcomes in pregnant and
lactating mice and their offspring, concludes a study led by
Joshua Hamilton of the Marine Biological Laboratory...
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia
unveiled its ambitious plan to install 41GW of solar power by
2032, including 25GW of CSP. The first bidding round for CSP
projects will open early next year.
Large-scale engineering projects aimed at fighting global
warming could radically reduce rainfall in Europe and North
America, a team of scientists from four European countries have
Geoengineering projects are controversial, even though they
are largely theoretical at this point. They range from mimicking
the effects of large volcanic eruptions by releasing sulphur
dioxide into the atmosphere, to deploying giant mirrors in space
to deflect the sun's rays.
The United States space agency NASA has turned its gaze
inward—under the Arctic Ocean, to be exact—and discovered a
veritable rainforest of phytoplankton bloom beneath the ice.
It’s the complete opposite of what scientists expected, since
the single-celled organism was thought to need massive amounts
of sunlight for photosynthesis to take place, and they believed
there was only enough during summer.
Representing several months' coordination on the part of
representatives from U.S. and foreign geothermal companies,
government officials, and many experts and individuals in the
geothermal community, the GEA's International Geothermal
Showcase in Washington, DC on May 23 was a concrete indication
of the rising interest in facilitating the use of geothermal
energy on every continent except Antarctica. A common theme of
the day was that countries around the world are open for
business and many governments are taking competitive strides in
developing framework for successful geothermal ventures.
The burgeoning development of shale
gas plays across the U.S. has changed the playing field for
long-haul pipelines, according to a report published yesterday
by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services titled "The Shale Gas Boom
Is Shaping U.S. Gas Pipelines' New Reality."
SiGNa Chemistry, a company
developing portable hydrogen fuel technology, is close to taking
one of its solutions to market. Hydrogen is an emissions-free
renewable source of energy – however, logistic obstacles related
to current considerations such as high-pressure tanks, and metal
and chemical hydrides, have stymied its progress towards the
In this report we will provide simple tips such as…
- How to conduct a 6-step 360-degree Home Security
- 3 questions you should ask about your ground level
- How one simple landscaping tip can help to keep you and
your family safe…
- A simple awareness trick that will cause a home invader
to look for another home to target
- And more…
The European Central Bank left
interest rates on hold as the debt crisis tightens its grip on
the euro-area economy, increasing pressure on policy makers to
U.S. researches say they've
developed solar cells capable of producing sufficient power
underwater to operate electronic sensor systems at depths of 30
rating has been downgraded as estimates on the size of the
bailout it needs begin to mount up.
Fitch cut its rating on Spanish government debt by three
notches to "BBB", a sign it thinks Spain's ability to honour its
debts has weakened.
Earlier, there was strong demand for Spanish bonds at an
auction on Thursday, seen as a key test of the country's ability
to raise funds.
Intriguing new research suggests
your morning cup of coffee may do more than merely boost your
energy and alertness: High blood caffeine levels in older adults
appear to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Operating rooms produce 20% to 33% of all waste in hospitals
in Canada and "greening" those operating rooms can save money
and reduce the environmental impact, a study in the Canadian
Medical Association Journal said.
Much of the waste in the operating room is subjected to
specialized treatment, which is expensive and can have a
negative impact on the environment, the study said.
Exercisers and those on diets know
for sure, that losing weight around the midsection can be the
hardest thing to do. They should take comfort in that fact,
because according to a new scientific study, belly fat is very
important to the immune system. Yes, having a bit of a gut can
potentially keep you from getting sick.
ENSO-neutral conditions prevailed
in May 2012, following the dissipation of La Niña in April. Sea
surface temperatures (SSTs) are currently near average across
most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and above-average in the
far eastern Pacific
I saw them in the morning, after
quite a few had arrived. You'll have to pardon me for not
noticing them right away - until I have my caffeine, I'm not
that observant. You could probably march a zombie gang through
my kitchen at 6 a.m. and I wouldn't bat an eyelid.
The soaring United States debt --
about $15.6 trillion -- is financed through the sale of Treasury
securities, and these enormous offerings make the U.S. dollar
the go-to currency for governments, businesses and investors who
need to store reserves with the utmost safety. But the debt
cannot continue growing forever, or borrowing costs will deprive
the government of money it needs for other purposes. Economists
and policy makers -- from right and left -- agree on that.
So you’ve been reading up on the
dangers of eating foods stuffed with growth hormones, and you’re
ready to make the plunge for yourself and your entire family.
But your budget doesn’t allow for a complete overhaul. Luckily,
by changing only four foods to organic, you will be able to
benefit not only from much heartier meals; but enjoy a healthier
lifestyle that avoids many of the horrific additives found in
many of the “regular” foods you’re used to eating.
A freshman U.S. Democratic senator
thinks he may have found a way to encourage investment in wind,
solar and biofuel projects without sapping too many taxpayer
dollars or injecting new venom into a bitter partisan battle
over energy incentives.
Why are we spending billions in
taxpayer dollars to subsidize unhealthy junk foods while farmers
growing healthy fruits and vegetables get little to no support?
Our chance to change all this is now!
Since the financial crisis, US
banks have been rapidly reducing their reliance on wholesale
funding. Large time deposits (CDs) went from 21% of the total
bank liabilities prior to Lehman to around 13% today (chart
More than a year after a tsunami devastated Japan, killing
thousands of people and washing millions of tons of debris into
the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government and West Coast states
don't have a cohesive plan for cleaning up the rubble that
floats to American shores.
There is also no firm handle yet on just what to expect.
Cities most active in preparing for
climate change are not always the biggest or wealthiest, with
Latin America ahead of U.S. cities, a survey found.
Consumer spending was characterized
as “flat to modestly positive” across the Districts. Business
contacts in three Districts reported that sales increased by a
more moderate pace than the previous reporting period as the
unseasonably warm weather and an earlier Easter holiday had
brought activity forward. Other Districts, however, reported
that the warm temperatures were continuing to provide a boost to
retailers. Overall, outlooks were optimistic, with modest sales
growth expected over the near term.
Global Marketing Partners announced
plans recently to invest more than $10 million in the project,
according to the article. Wheat, rice and sorghum waste will be
converted into fireproof panel boards. After they are reinforced
with steel, the boards will be used to build housing units for
The Republican-led U.S. House of
Representatives voted on Thursday to strike down a 2.3 percent
tax on medical devices and other parts of President Barack
Obama's healthcare law, although the effort is likely to hit a
wall in the Democratic-led Senate.
A law banning plastic, glass,
cardboard, paper and eventually organic waste from landfills in
Vermont has been signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin.
So far, 2012 has been the warmest year the United States has
ever seen, with the warmest spring and the second-warmest May
since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration reported on Thursday.
Temperatures for the past 12 months and the year-to-date have
been the warmest on record for the contiguous United States,
Gas pricing in Europe is at an
irreversible tipping point, according to Zeyno Elbasi, part of
UK major BP's legal framework and prices team, speaking
Wednesday at the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It was a view strongly contested by Sergei Komlev, pricing chief
for Russia's Gazprom Export, who argues that oil indexation is
here to stay as an essential part of a hybrid pricing system.
The market chaos that drove two
Idaho solar power manufacturers to stop production and lay off
350 employees is actually an opportunity for consumers
interested in purchasing solar systems.
Since 2002, June the 8th has been
celebrated as World Oceans Day, a global event coordinated by
the Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network. World Oceans Day
provides a chance to think about the importance of oceans to
humans and celebrate these vital and inspirational bodies of
Most soft drinks are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
HFCS is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to
convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired
level of sweetness. HFCS may suppress the chemicals that signal
when you should feel full. For this reason and others relating
to the metabolism of sugar into fat, it has been linked to
obesity. In addition, because of its processing, some brands of
HFCS may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin.
June 5, 2012
Eating too much and exercising too
little, considered the root of obesity, are not the only
Outside the Ray Nixon Power Plant south of Colorado Springs
sits 3.3 million tons of coal ash, the remnant of three decades
of coal-fired power generation.
Nationwide, 20 percent of that residue, called fly ash, is
recycled into concrete, but the 80,000 to 100,000 tons of fly
ash produced each year by Colorado Springs Utilities' two coal
power plants doesn't consistently meet construction industry
standards. So, it collects in a landfill that grows by hundreds
of tons every day.
Oil prices edged higher on Monday, snapping a string of four
lower finishes, as a drop to multi-month lows attracted bargain
hunters and as the euro rose against the dollar on hopes that
Europe's leaders can keep the euro zone intact.
Brent and U.S. crude prices fell sharply in early trade
coming out of the weekend, still feeling pressure from concerns
that slowing U.S. and Chinese economies and the euro zone crisis
will curb petroleum demand.
One of the worst surprises buried in the report however was
the fact that all the job growth came from increases in
part-time jobs. The number of full-time jobs actually declined
Nearly half of the world’s largest
corporations plan to moderately or significantly increase
investment in renewable energy over the next five years,
according to research by Ernst & Young.
NOAA reported that six other arctic
monitoring stations in their international cooperative air
sampling network have reported CO2 concentrations of
400 ppm this spring...
Atmospheric carbon dioxide
concentrations run through a natural annual cycle, rising in the
fall, winter, and early spring as plant material decays and
releases its carbon. Concentrations fall as plant growth takes
the CO2 back up in the late spring and summer.
China and Afghanistan will sign an
agreement in the coming days that strategically deepens their
ties, Afghan officials say, the strongest signal yet that
Beijing wants a role beyond economic partnership as Western
forces prepare to leave the country.
At least 30 Panamax or Capesize
vessels are floating off China's coast because traders who
bought them have been unable to resell them to end-users, two
industry sources said Tuesday at a conference in Indonesia.
On a recent sunny morning
at the Big Y grocery here, Cynthia LaPier parked her cart in the
cereal aisle. With a glance over her shoulder and a quick check
of the ingredients, she plastered several boxes with
hand-designed stickers from a roll in her purse. “Warning,” they
read. “May Contain GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).”
Many species of birds have been on
the decline in the U.S. for several years. Reasons for the
population decline include loss of habitat, pesticides and
herbicides, and feral cats, among others. There are ways in
which you can attract birds to your homestead and your garden,
not only to help bird populations rebound, but also to improve
the state of your garden. Many types of birds are beneficial to
have around for more than just the enjoyment of their songs.
A military blimp may seem
counterintuitive in an era of satellites, stealth fighter jets
and drones, but a new unmanned hybrid airship will be a major
boost to U.S. military intelligence capabilities by serving as a
low-cost, long-duration intelligence, surveillance, and
communications platform. Built by Northrop Grumman (NOC) and
known as the Long-Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV),
the new airship is slated to take its inaugural flight in the
next few weeks and could be ready for deployment later this
High concentrations of lead found in Boston's compost site
have city officials and scientists perplexed.
Since 2005, lead levels have more than doubled in the compost
that is collected every year from Boston-area household yards,
the Boston Globe reported.
Clean Edge’s third annual State
Clean Energy Index, released today, provides the industry’s
most comprehensive and objective analysis of how all 50 states,
and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate
there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum. According to
Clean Edge’s assessment and ranking of more than 70 different
indicators in technology, policy, and capital, the top 10 states
in the nation this year are California, Oregon, Massachusetts,
Washington, Colorado, New York, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont,
A recently analysis has revealed new materials that could
help electricity producers slash carbon capture costs by up to
The research comes from Rice University, the University of
California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(LBNL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) who
found that commonly used industrial minerals called zeolites
could significantly improve the energy efficiency of carbon
Global installed wind power
capacity continued to grow in 2011, albeit at a slightly lower
rate than in 2009 and 2010, according to new research conducted
for our Vital Signs Online service. The world now has
approximately four times the installed wind capacity that it did
in 2005, reflecting the combined effects of falling prices,
improved technology, global investment, and various incentive
programs. China led the way with a 43 percent share of global
capacity additions in 2011, followed by the United States at 17
percent, India with almost 7 percent, and Germany at 5 percent,
writes report author and Climate and Energy Program Manager Mark
In the past when developed market
nations slowed down, China relied on its emerging markets
clients (EM) for growth. No such luck these days. Emerging
markets across the board are slowing sharply, as we saw last
week with India (China's big customer).
US imports of Chinese solar panels
could drop by half this year as a result of the US Commerce
Department ruling that slaps a tariff on imports, says market
research firm, IHS, Inc.
CNN’s average audience in May fell
to 388,000, with only 113,000 in the 25-54 age bracket that
advertisers covet. Fox’s average was 1.65 million, and MSNBC’s
Colorado State University researchers on Friday raised their
forecast for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season to 13 tropical
storms, with five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
In April they forecast 10 tropical storms, with four
strengthening into hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes
with winds of at least 111 miles per hour during the six-month
season that began on Friday.
Using cool materials to construct
roads and walkways is an effective way of lowering urban
temperatures to make cities more comfortable in hot weather,
according to a new study. The research found surface
temperatures were reduced by 12°C and ambient temperatures were
reduced by 1.9°C after cool pavements were installed in a city
park in Greece.
Multilateral talks with Iran over
the last two months aimed at reducing concerns about its nuclear
program have achieved nothing and have become overshadowed by
reports of new, unexplained activity at Iranian nuclear sites.
The talks have essentially backfired, by providing more space
and time for Iran to work toward development of nuclear weapons.
Tensions are now higher, and the chance of an Israeli attack on
Iran has increased.
President Obama and other Democrats have sought to vilify the
Bush-era tax cuts as a benefit for the wealthy, but the
scheduled expiration of the cuts at the end of the year would
boost taxes for almost every American taxpayer.
If the cuts expire on Dec. 31, all tax brackets will rise,
not just the top brackets, and taxes will increase on capital
gains and dividends as well.
Self-generation incentives are
helping to fuel market interest in small energy-storage systems
designed for residences and small businesses in California.
The board of directors of the
Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) authorized
$6.8 billion in export financing on May 30 and 31, increasing
its current portfolio to $99.3 billion. These transactions were
approved after President Obama signed the Export-Import Bank
Reauthorization Act into law. This legislation immediately
increased the Bank's portfolio cap
Necrotizing fasciitis — more
commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria — has hit the headlines
lately in a big way. Georgia graduate student Aimee Copeland,
who has been fighting for her life, and a new mother of twins
from South Carolina, are among the victims.
France said it plans to ban a
pesticide made by Swiss agro-chemical group Syngenta that is
widely used to treat rapeseed crops after scientists suggested
it could pose danger to bees.
It seems to have gone virtually
unnoticed, but the world leaders at the weekend's G8 summit look
as if they have taken the biggest step in years in tackling
climate change. And it's quite apart from anything to do with
May's dismal jobs report, which
showed the U.S. economy picked up a net 69,000 jobs, serves as
fresh evidence the world's major economies are slowing in
tandem, says Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco, manager of the
world's largest bond fund.
It reads like something out of a
Stephen King horror novel--elitists, corporate agents, and
government operatives secretly implementing fertility-control
methods, decimating populations of people in a nefarious program
that would make Margaret Sanger, a leader of the eugenics
movement and founder of Planned Parenthood, proud.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley told
employees at the Acciona Windpower wind turbine plant here that
Congress will probably renew a key tax credit for their
industry, but not soon enough to avoid a slump in business.
An energy company executive's sip
of fracking fluid at an industry conference this month has been
called a demonstration by some and a stunt by others, but it's
bringing attention to new recipes for
fluids that in the past have contained chemicals commonly
used for antifreeze or bleaching hair.
The 2012 hurricane season is just
beginning, While most are predicting a mild season, Florida
State is not. On May 30, 2012, COAPS (Center for Oceanic and
Atmospheric Prediction Studies) scientists released their fourth
annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast. This year's forecast
calls for a 70 percent probability of 10 to 16 named storms and
5 to 9 hurricanes.
Iran and Iraq reiterated their
cooperation in various areas such as refining, increasing
exports of oil and gas products as well as development of shared
fields, local news agencies reported Monday.
n April, I noted the nation we know
today as the Republic of Iraq -- known variously in Scripture as
Babel, Babylon, Babylonia, Mesopotamia and Shinar -- will emerge
as the global center of wealth, power and terrible evil in the
End Times, according to Bible prophecy. In Revelation 18, for
example, we learn that Babylon will rise to become the most
wealthy place on the face of the planet, and develop into an
existential threat to Israel and the Jewish people, and then
face divine judgment during the Tribulation.
Once again, we bring you a
compilation of various news items about the various LENR
companies since our May 24 compilation.
The on-again, off-again nature of
U.S. energy tax incentives and the uncertainty over federal
spending on research and innovative technology presents a major
challenge to the wind energy industry and other alternative
energy industries, said Sen. Jeff Bingaman speaking at the
opening session of the Sandia National Laboratories Wind Turbine
Eighteen months ago, Philadelphia entrepreneur Norman P.
Zarwin opened an electric-vehicle charging kiosk at a gas
station he owns on Columbus Boulevard. If he built it, he
figured, electric vehicles would come.
McDonald's USA said Thursday that
by 2022 it will only buy pork from farmers and other sources
that do not use gestation stalls for housing its pregnant sows.
With North American natural gas
prices remaining low for the foreseeable future and companies
not having fully utilized gas-fired generation capacity,
coal-to-gas fuel switching should continue to accelerate through
2013, a Standard & Poor's Ratings Services team said Friday.
Federal government and Navajo
Nation officials Saturday broke ground on the Navajo-Gallup
Water Supply Project, which will deliver clean running water
from the San Juan River to 200,000 members of the Navajo Nation,
a first for many.
The Department of Energy recently
announced energy efficiency standards for residential clothes
washers and dishwashers that aim to save consumers $20 billion
in energy and water costs. The new standards for both clothes
washers and dishwashers were informed by feedback from
manufacturers, consumer groups, and environmental advocates.
Sunrun Inc. has a message for
homeowners who are contemplating going solar: It's cheaper and
easier than you think.
Greece's debt crisis threatened to
turn into an energy crunch, with the power regulator calling an
emergency meeting this week to avert a collapse of the country's
electricity and natural gas system.
The United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) this week hosted
meetings on the status of Palestine, again drawing attention to
its position on an issue that forced the United States to cut
off funding for the agency.
Ed Klein’s blockbuster new
best-seller about President Barack Obama chronicles Obama’s
shocking betrayal of Oprah Winfrey, disclosing how Oprah helped
him win the presidency and then was “frozen out” of the White
House after the election.
A group of U.S. Democratic
lawmakers on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to threaten
Mexico with cuts in economic assistance if the southern neighbor
continues to pursue a trade case that has put U.S.
"dolphin-safe" tuna labels at risk.
Most Americans are unaware that
many hospitals and doctors offer deep discounts for patients who
pay in cash — as long as they don’t use their health insurance.
Proctor & Gamble, owner of the
Tide, Pampers and Gillette brands, will convert its
battery-operated forklift fleets at three facilities to ones
powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Two Texas pipeline companies have
agreed to pay more than $1 million to the U.S. government to
settle claims from three natural gasoline pipeline spills, the
U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency have
Nuclear and coal-fired electrical
plants are vulnerable to climate change, U.S. researchers say,
as water used to cool their turbines is becoming too warm.
Be prepared or be a victim—it’s
that simple. Who hasn’t heard the horror stories or watched it
played out on the evening news? It’s always stories of home
invasions and whole families being tortured and killed. Although
the statistics say you have more of a chance of being hit by a
piece of falling debris from an alien spaceship, why take a
chance? With the economy failing, jobless numbers to the moon,
and drug use abounding, the chance that you and your family may
be at risk rises every day.
The Prius is officially part of the
big leagues. Rather than just leading the hybrid niche, it is
now the third top selling car in the world.
No one has been able to explain to
me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20
years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50%
of their pay on retirement. While Politicians hold
their political positions in the safe confines of the capital,
protected by these same men and women, and receive full-pay
retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any
..NIMBUS lab at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln are developing a quadrotor equipped with a
system that uses strongly-coupled magnetic resonances to
transmit power from its batteries to the receiving device
without ever needing to make physical contact. The roboticists
see this as a solution for powering devices that are otherwise
inaccessible to conventional electrical sources.
The city of San Diego could save
hundreds of millions of dollars by recycling sewage into
drinking water, according to a study given to the city in late
Smart grid technologies are often
portrayed as being vital to efforts to increase renewable energy
production, yet this aspect of the smart grid is the least
developed. While there are multiple companies currently active
in this market, their efforts have largely been relegated to
PowerPoint presentations, pilot programs, and long range
Solar activity was low. No
Earth-directed CME's were observed during the period. The
geomagnetic field was unsettled to active during the past 24
hours due to effects from a favorably positioned coronal hole
high speed stream. The geomagnetic field is expected to be
unsettled to active, with a chance for isolated minor storm
periods on day one (05 June), due to continued effects from the
CH HSS. Days two and three (06-07 June) are expected to be
unsettled, with a chance for isolated active periods, as the
effects from the CH HSS begin to subside.
Rhode Island's statewide switch to
single-stream recycling has finally come.
The Libertarian News Examiner has
confirmed that longtime libertarian rights activist Julian
Heicklen fled the United States on May 22 for Israel where he
was granted political asylum and Israeli citizenship.
It taught me a great deal about
being prepared. Not at all a planner by nature, I have always
been a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person. I imagine
it is a hangover from the way I was raised. Neither of my
parents planned well, and looking back I think they had two
things going for them: being in the right place and the right
time and there but for the grace of God go I. Honestly, I can’t
see how else they got through sometimes.
In this upcoming issue themed
“Uncertainty Fatigue,” ScottMadden will offer insight on solar
and wind developments in light of persistent low natural gas
prices, waning policy support in Europe, and uncertainty in the
United States. After a ramp-up of development through global
stimulus efforts, the renewables sector is at an inflection
point as government supports are reduced. Despite these
headwinds, declining technology costs due to learning curve
effects and approaching compliance dates for many state
renewable portfolio standards may help buoy demand for solar and
Frustrated by the gridlock that has stalled Congress leading
into the 2012 presidential elections in November, the top
Republican on the Senate Energy Committee is drafting what she
hopes is a fresh look at the big-picture energy policy.
Details are still under wraps,..
Cogenra's cogeneration system
produces heat and electricity, increasing efficiency to up to 75
The idea is to add an element of
multitasking to a solar system, in order to maximize its output
and value. With Cogenra's cogeneration system, captured and
stored heat is used to run the air conditioning system, instead
Massachusetts is no California when it comes to sun. But that
isn’t stopping the solar energy industry from flourishing here.
Massachusetts, better known for long, cold winters, gloomy
springs, and gale-driven nor’easters, is undergoing an unlikely
solar power boom, attracting solar companies from around the
country that are installing systems for homeowners, businesses,
Plants produced 22 gigawatts at
midday hours on Friday and Saturday, meeting half country's
electricity needs on second day
California's latest update on its
energy efficiency code for new homes and commercial buildings is
doing a wonderful thing:
It requires them to be
That puts into place common sense design
standards that ensure a building can accommodate solar, opening
the possibility for many more buildings to run on solar and
helping California's solar industry. Today, many buildings can't
have solar because they have too much shade or face away from
Germany and its central bank are
unlikely to lead the way out of the eurozone debt crisis within
three months time, after which it will be too late, U.S.
billionaire George Soros said on Saturday.
Speaking at an
economic conference in Trento, Italy, Soros said that the euro
crisis — which he defined as a sovereign debt crisis and a
banking crisis closely interlinked — threatened to destroy the
European Union and plunge it into a lost decade like Latin
America in the 1980s.
Will they remain available for
One of our primary concerns regards
the sourcing of Dietary Supplements. Right now most dietary
ingredients on the US market are manufactured in China or in
North America, both areas under immediate threat from Fukushima.
"Organic" standards in both areas are not very high.
With natural gas prices at their lowest levels in years,
Tucson Electric Power Co. hasn't been burning coal at its
south-side power plant lately.
Environmentalists want to keep it that way.
Clean energy jobs are being created all across the country.
The transit of Venus from June 8, 2004, in this series of six
exposures taken in a 38 minute span beginning at 6:34 a.m. on
the left and ending at 7:12 am on the right, photographed in
Clinton County near Wilmington, Ohio. The second of the pair of
twice-a-century transits occurs on June 5 and 6, 2012, in the
afternoon and morning, respectively.
The clean energy economy is here, and
creating jobs all across the country. In fact,
some may even be in your neighborhood.
It will be an
astronomical spectacle for the ages. On June 5 and 6, Venus will
undergo a solar transit—for the last time in our lives.
As global warming proceeds the
frozen arctic tundra will turn into forest or grass lands. In
just a few decades shrubs in the Arctic tundra have turned into
trees as a result of the warming Arctic climate, creating
patches of forest which, if replicated across the tundra, might
accelerate global warming. Scientists from Finland and Oxford
University investigated an area of around 100,000 square
kilometers, known as the northwestern Eurasian tundra,
stretching from western Siberia to Finland. Surveys of the
vegetation, using data from satellite imaging, fieldwork, and
expert observations from indigenous reindeer herders, showed
that in 8-15% of the area willow (Salix) and alder (Alnus)
plants have grown into trees over 2 meters in height in the last
The U.S. is pursuing a
wide-ranging, high-tech campaign against Iran's nuclear program
that includes the cybersabotage project known as Stuxnet, which
was developed by the Central Intelligence Agency in conjunction
with Idaho National Laboratory, the Israeli government, and
other U.S. agencies, according to people familiar with the
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has named the
Investor Owned Utility of the Year for 2012.
The award was presented to Tucson Electric Power (TEP),
beating out competing finalists Duke Energy and Hawaiian
Oil prices have fallen in recent
weeks due to a weaker global demand outlook and the reduced
impact of short-term geopolitical risk in the market, Shell's
CEO Peter Voser said Tuesday.
"The softening of the oil
price at the moment is a reflection of some of the geopolitical
issues being less dominant and the lower demand outlook coming
into the pricing picture," Voser told reporters on the sidelines
of the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In recent years, the world's scientists have begun to show
that climate change is altering the magnitude and frequency of
severe weather, and polls say a majority of Americans now link
droughts, floods and other extremes to global warming
And yet, this country's TV weather forecasters have
increasingly taken to denying evidence that warming is affecting
weather—or is even happening at all. Only 19 percent accept the
established science that human activity is driving climate
Leading Arizona electric services
provider, Wilson Electric, announced today the completion of a
1.5 megawatt (MW) solar supplement for the energy needs of the
Town of Prescott Valley, Ariz., Tank Farm and Wastewater
Treatment Plant, which house a portion of the town’s water
pumping stations and wastewater processing. The installation of
“CIS” modules manufactured in Japan by Solar Frontier mark the
first solar installation for the Town of Prescott Valley.
A former regulator says a study that concludes an increasing
amount of wind generation will put downward pressure on
electricity prices may not be giving adequate weight to certain
The study, “The Potential Rate Effects of Wind Energy and
Transmission in the Midwest ISO Region," released May 22,
concludes that increasing the amount of wind generation in the
Midwest ISO (MISO) region will result in significant reductions
in energy costs with only a comparatively modest investment in
European stocks were mixed Monday, while Asian stocks sold
off in reaction to last Friday's U.S. jobs report that was
released after Asian markets had closed.
Investors continue to cast a wary eye on Europe, where
problems with Spain's banking system have dominated sentiment,
along with the back-and-forth debate about whether Greece will
leave the eurozone.
Although Spanish bond yields
improved slightly today, tensions remain high over Spain’s
banking crisis after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said
over the weekend that this “is not the eve of the Apocalypse”
for his country’s economy and Spanish and EU officials probably
began informal discussions of some sort of bailout plan. A debt
auction on Thursday will be a key test for the Spanish economy
and could force Madrid to drop its official opposition to an
June 1, 2012
The Henry Hub is the pricing point
for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York
Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
There are nearly 450 nuclear
reactors in the world, with hundreds more either under
construction or in the planning stages. There are 104 of these
reactors in the USA and 195 in Europe. Imagine what havoc it
would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if
we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear
melt-downs but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world
might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds
of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same
time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant
protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only
possible but probable.
U.S. crude oil stocks climbed 2.128
million barrels last week, continuing an upward trend largely in
place since mid-December, U.S. Energy Information Administration
(EIA) data showed Wednesday.
Although there are different types of disturbances noted at
the Earth surface, the disturbances can be characterized as a
very slowly varying magnetic field, with rise times as fast as a
few seconds, and pulse widths of up to an hour. The rate of
change of the magnetic field is a major factor in creating
electric fields in the Earth and thereby inducing quasi-dc
current flow in the power transmission network.
For those keeping score, there's one more alliance that's
sprouted up in response to ongoing U.S.-China trade disputes.
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday released the results of its
Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing fixed mortgage
rates following bond yields lower to new all-time record lows.
The 30-year fixed averaged 3.75 percent setting a new all-time
record low for the fifth consecutive week. The 15-year fixed
averaged an unprecedented 2.97 percent bringing three of the
four benchmark mortgage rates below 3 percent for the first time
in Freddie Mac's weekly survey.
Six independent studies were
conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and
the California Institute of Technology. Concluding this
research, scientists have validated the company's "Hydrino
Theory," saying that it "represents a fundamental breakthrough
in clean energy technology." Hydrino's inventor claims that the
process releases 200 times more energy than directly burning
Genetically modified organisms, or
GMOs, are not as new as you might think. Both animals and
plants have been modified for hundreds of years through a
process called selective breeding. It wasn’t until the rise of
genetic engineering that we saw these organisms getting altered
in ways not possible before.
This news story reports of a
63-year-old man who defended his wife and home against two
intruders. However, he ended up shooting his own wife! This is
one thing that needs to be considered by everyone who keeps a
firearm for self-defense. Do not buy into the rhetoric that
homeowners are more apt to shoot themselves with a firearm.
Crime is stopped and deterred by law-abiding gun owners every
single day. However, it is vital to learn how to shoot correctly
and when to shoot. Shooting a gun a few times when you were in
the Army or when you were a child is not sufficient.
The United States Department of Commerce has once again ruled in
favor of American companies who say Chinese manufacturers are
receiving unfair government subsidies.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has
splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, marking the
successful completion of its mission in which a number of
historic firsts were achieved. The splashdown came at
approximately 11:42 US EDT, with the unmanned capsule landing in
the waters roughly 500 miles (805 km) off the coast of Baja,
Greenhouse gases from the European Union rose more than 2
percent in 2010 when a cold winter and a rebound in many
economies drove up energy use, breaking a multi-year pattern of
The year-on-year rise in the official EU data released on
Wednesday was slowed by emissions declines in struggling Greece,
Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
Emerging markets currencies are under pressure again. In
particular the rupee is getting slammed - now above R56 per $1.
The Eurozone-based risk aversion as well as India's economic
uncertainties are driving investors into dollars.
The Federal Reserve could resort to more quantitative
easing if the U.S. economy deteriorates, but this
situation is unlikely as it is on track for a moderate
recovery, an official of the U.S. central bank said on
Europe is a potential risk to the global economy and
it is up to European governments to follow a plan that
reassures financial markets they can repay their debt,
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told
reporters in Tokyo.
It is quite sad to see just how
dependent the global economy and markets have become on
government stimulus and bailouts. Here are just a couple of
Green guilt is on the rise, according to a survey
commissioned by Call2Recycle.
The study shows that 29% of Americans admit that they should
be doing more to help preserve the environment.
The nation's food supply may be
vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated
agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The
University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere.
"We've seen declining natural gas prices along with increasing
coal prices," said Bentina Terry, Gulf Power's vice president of
corporate services and external affairs. "In response (to) this,
we've aggressively sought out opportunities to provide
electricity that is generated by natural gas. By adding more gas
to our mix, and with gas prices down, we want to pass those
savings along to our customers, especially as we're coming on
the hot summer months." [ed: Yes, it CAN happen]
The Federal Reserve's recent approval of the acquisition of
the U.S. subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia by the
Chinese state-controlled Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
(ICBC) likely signals the start of a bigger push by Chinese
banks into the U.S. market. Fitch Ratings sees the potential for
additional acquisitions by Chinese banks to alter the
competitive landscape for U.S.-based banks that primarily serve
the Asian American community.
Authorities can seize any property
they want under civil forfeiture laws, and anyone carrying a lot
of cash or valuables on their person is automatically suspected
of committing nefarious activities. You're guilty before proven
innocent... and even though you're seldom charged with a crime,
you almost never get your property back.
There is basically no good economic news coming out of Europe
these days. And the news out of Italy has been particularly sad.
A couple of nasty earthquakes that recently hit Italy have
killed a number of people and damaged factories, adding to an
already bleak economic picture. On top of that the government
had to increase gasoline taxes to pay for the reconstruction.
I don't know if you're like me, but
when I walk in the grocery store and find a limp summer squash
priced at over a dollar, I can't bring myself to put it in the
buggy. And those tomatoes that are beautiful on the outside?
They taste like ammonia when you bite into one...
taste like nothing at all. And my jaw dropped when I saw the
price on a four-pack.
We talk quite a bit about
preparedness, but in all honesty, how prepared are we really?
According to our guest on Off the Grid Radio today... not very.
The U.S. Justice Department is
investigating whether BP executives lied to Congress about how
much oil leaked in the company's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill,
the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people
familiar with the investigation.
a strong magnetohyrodynamic
electromagnetic pulse (MHD-EMP). The geomagnetic disturbance
interacts with the soil to induced current and horizontal
electric gradients in the earth. MHD-EMP, also called E3 since
it is the third component of the high-altitude EMP (HEMP), lasts
over 100 s after the exoatmospheric burst. MHD-EMP is similar to
solar geomagnetic storms in it's global and low frequency (less
than 1 Hz) nature except that E3 can be much more intense with a
far shorter duration. When the MHD-EMP gradients are
integrated over great distances by power lines,
The use of natural gas to fuel US
power plants climbed by nearly 40% in March from a year ago,
from 503.9 Bcf to 703.5 Bcf, the US Energy Information
Administration said Wednesday in its monthly electricity update.
The increase in natural gas use came at coal's expense as
coal use fell by more than 20% from a year ago, from 72.3
million tons to 57.6 million tons.
Deep in the heart of the UNLV
campus, down windowless hallways and in laboratories teeming
with beakers, centrifuges and Geiger counters, the element
technetium has become an object of intense fascination for
Storing solar energy for the
periods of time when the sun isn’t shining is key to improving
solar technology. The energy produced can be stored in batteries
or used to produce fuel that can act as storage. Solar fuel
processes are generally modeled on photosynthesis, the natural
process whereby plants convert sunlight into chemical energy in
the form of biomass and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Current options are expensive, but a group or researchers from
the University of Wisconsin-Madison claim they have found a
faster, cheaper method to find electrocatalysts that improve the
water oxidation process in the search for solar energy storage.
New simulation study shows that
atmosphere warms when pollution intensifies storms
Pollution is warming the atmosphere
through summer thunderstorm clouds, according to a computational
study published May 10 in Geophysical Research Letters. How much
the warming effect of these clouds offsets the cooling that
other clouds provide is not yet clear. To find out, researchers
need to incorporate this new-found warming into global climate
Economist and former U.S. Secretary
of Labor Robert Reich says the United States can fix its economy
without resorting to the austerity measures plaguing much of
"The way to avoid this austerity trap is to get
growth and jobs back first, and only then tackle budget
deficits," Reich writes in the Christian Science Monitor. "The
U.S. hasn’t yet fallen into the trap, but it could soon."
Greenhouse gas emissions increased
in the European Union (EU) in 2010, driven by economic recovery
and a colder winter. Continuing, strong growth of renewable
energy sources is containing that growth.
Solar activity was low ..everal
low-level C-class x-ray ..No Earth-directed CME's..The
geomagnetic field isexpected to be mostly quiet on days one and
two (01 - 02 June). Quiet to unsettled conditions with a chance
for isolated active periods are expected late on day three (03
June) due to the anticipated arrival of a recurrent coronal hole
high speed stream.
A new set of tariffs on Chinese silicon solar cells could hike
the wholesale prices of solar panels shipped to the United
States by 10-12 percent, but the tariff will only add a small
amount to the price a developer will pay for building a solar
project, according to market research firm IHS on Tuesday.
The 10-12 percent increase will come from the use of
Taiwanese solar cells, which appear to have become the
sought-after commodity since the U.S. Department of
Commerce announced on May 17 a set of preliminary
tariffs on silicon solar cells made in China.
We’ve already heard reports that
placing small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere
could actually improve crop yields, but would also significantly
reduce the amount of electricity generated by solar power plants
and do little to arrest the acidification of the world’s oceans.
Now another potential side effect has been theorized by
Californian researchers, who say that solar geoengineering could
lead to whiter skies.
The world is gnashing its teeth
over the notion that Greece could exit the eurozone, dubbed by
markets as a "Grexit."
Market observers should fret more
over a "Spexit," one analyst says, as a Spanish withdrawal from
the eurozone is more likely as the country is too big to bail
Japan's largest power utility Tokyo
Electric Power Company, or Tepco, has fallen into sharp deficit
for two consecutive years after suffering from nuclear accidents
caused by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Although the Obama administration
is engaged in a full-court press to persuade the U.S. Senate to
ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) – which has been before
the Senate without a vote on ratification since 1994 – the
treaty’s supporters still have not answered serious security and
sovereignty concerns. As a result, a change in U.S. policy is
unlikely, as LIGNET explains.
Spain's banking system and regional debt problems are now
becoming the key driver behind the risk aversion sweeping the
Eurozone. The German current 3-month bill yield is now firmly in
the negative territory. People are paying the German government
to hold on to their euros.
Fitch has been on a downgrade "war path" recently. The latest
downgrade vs upgrade statistics are showing a "mini spike" in
the number of downgrades. It's not nearly as bad as the
2008/2009 cycle, but is clearly visible. This spike is coming
entirely from rating actions in the developed markets.
US coal production in the week
ended Saturday totaled 18.5 million st, 5.3% below that of the
corresponding week of 2011, and 4.4% above the previous week's
estimate, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday.
"The U.S. is heaping new pressure
on Russia to change course and support international action in
Syria, warning that intransigence by Moscow may lead to open
civil war that could spill across the Middle East with
devastating effects. Speaking on Russia's doorstep in Denmark,
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton derided the Russian
government for continuing to support Syrian President Bashar
Assad, even after last week's massacre of more than 100 people
in the town of Houla."
Solar hot water has been a
commercialized technology for many, many years now. It had its
heyday back in the 1980s when it seemed like everyone was
putting a system on his or her roof. Even my dad, the
ultra-conservative New York City money manager put one on our
house in Connecticut when I was a teenager.
Today, Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is rubbing shoulders with
wind power as the renewable energy technology of choice for
many, despite its higher cost in many scenarios.
While generous subsidies have played a major role in helping
to drive demand and push costs down, the technology is starting
to stand on its own feet, achieving grid parity with
conventional generation in some select locations. Within the
next decade that could be the norm, according to recent
findings, as Gail Rajgor reports.
Recently, the problem of tight
credit conditions have been exacerbated by domestic and foreign
firms becoming more unwilling to sell goods to Greek customers
unless they are paid for up front. In other words, credit risk
is stopping some transactions from taking place. What’s more,
some foreign buyers of Greek goods and services are delaying
payment, in case Greece exits and the size of their bill (in
"On Monday, (the Potomac Edison crew) worked hard to get the
service up. They took the huge branch off the power lines," said
Dahut, who lives on Lindbergh Avenue in Frederick.
But after cutting the limb into large pieces, the utility
company workers did not remove the debris.
"I called Potomac Edison and was told their policy is that
they don't take the trees away," Dahut said. "I told them it was
a bad policy.
Xcel Energy officials are confident
their Texas and New Mexico customers will be all right, even
with the possibiilty of rolling blackouts in the Texas energy
grid, but noted that conservation is always helpful in the heat
of May through August.
Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, a spa resort town of about
27,000 in the western, French-speaking portion of the country,
has started enforcing its pay-as-you-throw trash system with
(How do you say "big brother" in French? … grand frère?)
May 29, 2012
Aboriginal Leader Ovide Mercredi
gave a stirring speech at the Crown–First Nations Gathering in
January 2012. Now, as the 11th Session of the U.N. Permanent
Forum on Indigenous Issues has wrapped up and leaders strive to
bring the message of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples to the people, Mercredi’s discourse about
decolonization earned thumbs-up from aboriginals everywhere.
Cleanup workers will soon attack a
jumble of debris from Japan's 2011 tsunami that litters an
Alaskan island, as residents in the state gear up to scour their
shores for everything from buoys to building material that has
floated across the Pacific.
The US housing's bubble and its
spectacular end left a indelible mark on people's view of
residential property markets. Sadly the idea of a "permanent" US
housing market decline has been drummed into the heads of
numerous, often well educated and otherwise open-minded people.
Hoards of angry bloggers keep spewing the same line over and
over again - housing prices will fall "forever" because of the
shadow inventory, etc., etc. People, including many in academia,
would deny a housing market improvement even if it stared them
in the face. Positive housing news cause many to experience what
psychologists call "cognitive dissonance", as they desperately
attempt to rationalize away the data that doesn't conform to
There have been some questions
about the veracity of the ISI data shown in the post labeled
"Run on banks in Spain is very real". As a confirmation of those
results we provide the latest data from the ECB. The chart below
shows quarter over quarter changes in total deposits by the
"real economy" (excluding deposits by banks with each other) at
German and Spanish banks. The data is through Q1 of this year.
Given the record spreads of Spanish to German bonds was saw on
Friday, does anyone believe this situation has improved since
the end of the first quarter?
Should a bank were to become "insolvent", these provisions
will allow the regulators to force orderly defaults,
subordinating these bonds behind any government bailout funds.
But because most bank assets that would have value in a
liquidation are already pledged (particularly in the periphery)
to the ECB under the LTRO programs, there will be nothing to
recover under these unsecured claims. Unsecured bank bonds have
basically become equity with no up-side. The provisions will
essentially put an end to most EU banks' ability to issue
anything but covered bonds.
Black Mesa is among the most remote
and traditional communities on the vast Navajo Nation and an
area who will be affected by the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado
River Water Settlement Act of 2012.
A new study has dispelled the myth that the public are
divided about climate change because they don't understand the
science behind it.
And the Yale research published today reveals that if
Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in
technical reasoning it would still result in a gap between
public and scientific consensus.
Violence that followed last week’s
presidential election in Egypt speaks to the frustration felt by
many Egyptians at the narrowing of the field to two candidates,
neither of whom is likely to move the country in a more
democratic direction. The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, who is
likely to win the two-man run-off election next month, could be
expected to take the country in the opposite direction in fact,
consolidating power, threatening the Christian population and
joining with the Islamist-dominated parliament to revisit the
peace accord with Israel.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) has authorized Entergy’s (NYSE: ETR) 660-MW Pilgrim
nuclear plant in Plymouth, Mass., to continue operating for an
additional 20 years, until mid-2032.
It’s all part of the
bigger debate as to whether nuclear energy will grow its market
share in this current climate or whether it will maintain it, or
even shrink. The debate also highlights the current dissension
among the NRC’s commissioners, and who might replace the exiting
Crude oil has plunged about 15
percent from its February high, and some experts say the party’s
just getting started.
Crude futures settled at a
seven-month low Wednesday, just below $90, and remain not far
from that level, weighed down by surging stockpiles and slowing
global economic growth that has pinched demand.
There are several reasons why I believe the country will be
evacuated if the #4 SFP collapses. The amount of radioactive
material in the fuel pool dwarfs the total amount at Chernobyl
by a factor of 5 to 10. Chernobyl’s core was still mostly
contained in a building (although heavily damaged), and most of
the radioactive material melted downward and became lava like.
If #4 SFP collapses it will be lying on the completely open
ground, probably going critical on and off in portions of the
pile for years. The dose rate from this pile will make dropping
sand or anything from the air much more lethal than anything at
Chernobyl. And probably impossible. The entire site at Fukushima
will be uninhabitable and unworkable because of the dose rate
coming from this pile of fuel. That means there will be no
control of the other fuel pools, and we could lose control of
The radiation released in the first
days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost 2-1/2 times
the amount first estimated by Japanese safety regulators, the
operator of the crippled plant said in a report released on
Low levels of nuclear radiation from the tsunami-damaged
Fukushima power plant have turned up in bluefin tuna off the
California coast, suggesting that these fish carried radioactive
compounds across the Pacific Ocean faster than wind or water
Small amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in
15 tuna caught near San Diego in August 2011, about four months
after these chemicals were released into the water off Japan's
east coast, scientists reported on Monday.
China spurred a jump in global
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to their highest ever recorded
level in 2011, offsetting falls in the United States and Europe,
the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
Security experts have discovered a highly sophisticated computer
virus in Iran and other Middle East countries that they believe
was deployed at least five years ago to engage in
state-sponsored cyber espionage.
Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been
built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned
the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran's nuclear program in 2010,
according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software
maker that claimed responsibility for discovering the virus.
When the remaining qualified
international oil companies bid on the 12 exploration blocks
offered by Baghdad in a licensing round May 30 and 31, they will
also be acknowledging that only the central government has the
final authority to sign oil and gas deals.
Modern medicine can treat these
diseases and is even getting much better at curing cancer.
However, there is no cure for diabetes, heart disease or
arthritis. Modern medicine enables these diseases by giving
patients drugs to treat symptoms without curing the diseases.
This is fraud. Patients must remain on these drugs for the rest
of their lives. This means that patients must deal with the
diseases and the toxicity of the drugs. Some of the drugs used
to treat the symptoms of these diseases are very toxic.
Japanese officials said on Saturday
the unprecedented effort to remove spent fuel rods from one of
the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors was on track despite
lingering concerns about the structure's vulnerability to
Republican Kansas Governor Sam
Brownback signed a bill aimed at keeping state courts and
agencies from using Islamic or other non-U.S. laws when making
decisions, his office said on Friday.
Energenic receives landfill gas
extracted from a series of wells at the landfill and processes
the gas in two turbine generators to make renewable electricity
for NV Energy customers. The captured methane is converted to
water and carbon dioxide when the gas is burned to produce
Astronomers are suggesting that the
radiation and winds from supermassive black holes at the center
of galaxies halts star generation within the galaxy
A new research paper released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance
claims that common perceptions advocating a lack of
competitiveness of solar power are misleading and redundant.
Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR)’s 974 MW
River Bend nuclear power plant in Louisiana was shut down May 24
due to loss of a high-pressure feed to the reactor following a
The Republican-led Ohio legislature
approved a bill setting rules for drilling and related
activities in the state's shale gas industry, in a vote late on
Thursday, responding to a series of small earthquakes in Ohio
last year that experts linked to a practice called fracking.
Oil prices are still unacceptably
high at a time when the global economic recovery remains
fragile, International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol
said in an interview ahead of a key gas report Tuesday, calling
on key oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia to continue
to "behave responsibly" during the months ahead.
Now, it seems though President
Obama’s stance on hydrogen fuel cell cars and vehicles is
evolving. From recent rhetoric is sounds like within the
President’s “All of the Above” energy policy that he is no
longer discriminating against hydrogen cars in favor of battery
This Estimate of Situation [EoS] regards the dangerous
technologies that are threatening human survival and the natural
solutions to the dangers posed. I have called these the
“Genomicidal Technologies that are weaponizing the world against
Rating agencies say they need to be
convinced that lawmakers have a real plan in the works to reduce
the growing debt if the nation is to avert future downgrades,
according to a report by The Hill.
“If Congress doesn’t
put in place a process that assures people that this will be
addressed in a real manner . . . then there is no doubt in my
mind that our sovereign debt will be downgraded,” said Steve
Bell, the senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan
Policy Center. “Markets throughout the world are going to be
looking at the action of the United States government.”
According to the U.S. Congress, the
federal government’s budget deficit last year was $1.3 trillion.
According to a USA Today analysis, the true figure is an
astronomical $5 trillion.
The reason: Congress exempts
itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits
when computing the deficit, unlike companies which must include
these commitments in financial statements.
for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose
by $3.7 trillion in 2011, but the amount was not included on the
government’s books, the analysis found.
B7 flare at 28/1249Z, which was the
largest flare of the period. A CME The CME does not appear
to be Earth directed.Solar activity is expected to be very low
to low for the next three days (29-31 May). The
geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet for the next
three days (29-31 May). . Event Probabilities 29 May-31 May
It’s not an altogether uncommon
prediction these days. Just last week we heard from market
intelligence company Global Data, whose latest report has found
that the cost of generating clean energy like solar power is
coming increasingly closer to the cost of generating energy from
traditional, non-renewable sources. The report says that some US
projects could reach grid parity as early as 2014. China is also
due to witness similar developments, says the report, with grid
parity for solar expected to reach in most regions by 2015-2016.
For its entry in the 2012 Solar
Decathlon Europe, a group of Brazilian architects, designers,
students and researchers has taken its cues from the native
Tupi-Guarani people, one of the largest aboriginal nations in
Brazil. Called Ekó House, the project scales up Ikea’s
self-assembling concept and combines it with solar power, rain
collection, natural lighting, a dry toilet and a system to turn
sewage into garden fertilizer.
Texas posted a 13 percent increase
in energy generated by renewable sources in 2011, according to
the state’s renewable energy credits registry administered by
the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator
for most of the state.
The Senate banking Committee and many
politicians are trying to politicize the recent revelation that
JPMorgan lost $2 billion on a trade that the CEO considered
Three people lost their jobs, and many
politicians and regulators have attacked JPMorgan and its
flamboyant CEO, Jamie Dimon.
States on the Arabian shore of the Persian Gulf have long
regarded their offshore islands as special places.
There are several reasons for this, all linked to the
islands' shared geology and the resulting regional distribution
of sweet water and oil resources.
In the U.S., solar PV technology is
expected to reach grid parity by 2017 in most regions in
alignment with average residential electricity prices. China is
expected to reach grid parity in most regions between 2015 and
2016, the research projects
A new law came into effect in the
U.K. this past weekend which requires U.K.-based websites to
receive consent from visitors before using cookies to store
tracking information about them. Though the law originally
called for visitors to explicitly opt-in with the use of a
checkbox or similar method, the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO), an independent privacy watchdog, backpedaled just
48 hours before the law was to come into force and watered down
the legislation to allow "implied consent" - in other words,
websites can assume users have already consented to the use of
May 25, 2012
Sunday was not the first time Joyce Johnson has been arrested
for standing her ground.
The 79-year-old Falmouth resident was arrested in 1988 at the
entrance to Otis Air National Guard Base while protesting the
deployment of Green Berets to El Salvador, she said Monday while
waiting to be arraigned for allegedly trespassing at the Pilgrim
Nuclear Power Station over the weekend.
Killer heat fueled by climate
change could cause an additional 150,000 deaths this century in
the biggest U.S. cities if no steps are taken to curb carbon
emissions and improve emergency services, according to a new
The declining health of the world’s oceans is a global
concern. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a
set of rules for the use of the world's oceans, which cover 70
percent of the Earth's surface.
The Convention was concluded in 1982 to replace a group of
treaties adopted in 1958 that were out of date and unfavorable
to America's economy and security. UNCLOS came into force in
1994, and to date, 159 countries and the European Union have
joined the treaty. As of yet, the United States has not.
Al Fin pointed out
yesterday natural gas is priced to a barrel of oil equivalent at
about $10-$11 per the estimable Geoffrey Styles view,
something less than 10% of the cost of oil. For North Americans
adding a viable and hopefully low cost means to make use of gas
hydrates could be giant boost to low cost fuel sources and a
massive kick to the economy.
Chinese people have visited temples
and shrines atop Mount Hua or "Hua Shan" for thousands of years.
Tourists flock there, too, lured by the Hua's stunning beauty,
incredible views and awe-inspiring immensity (the steep cliffs
climb more than 7,000 feet into the sky.)
In announcing its decision to
officially end combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of
2014, NATO has all but admitted that it is exhausted after a
decade of war in that rugged, inhospitable nation. Departing
without a clear-cut victory to its credit and with difficult
budgetary challenges to confront at home, the alliance is now
weaker than it once was and this trend is likely to continue, as
China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said that after a
months-long investigation it has ruled that the United States
government broke World Trade Organization rules by supporting
six renewable energy projects through unfair grants.
It was another rough week for China's once booming solar
manufacturers, who are already reeling from overcapacity and
major subsidy drawbacks in the European market.
Australia's nascent shale gas
industry is still around 10 years from achieving any significant
level of production, according to industry consultants Wood
"We are just so early days -- to get any sort
of substantial production, you are going to have to drill lots
of wells, 50 to 100 at least...
Back in the day, I could eat pretty
much anything I wanted. Since I turned thirty, I definitely
noticed my metabolism slowing, and now I have to work extra hard
to maintain a healthy weight.
What really stinks is the
fact that avoiding sweets & fattening foods is no longer my only
Genetically modified organisms (GMO's)
WOW! What the heck is that?
Using the 2008 Beijing Olympics as
their laboratory, University of Southern California (USC)
researchers and colleagues have found biological evidence that
even a short-term reduction in air pollution exposure improves
one's cardiovascular health.
The two best shale gas innovations related to new products
and services or new technologies were:
- Holding multiple patents on ultra-high performance
polymers used by the oil and gas industry, Polymics Ltd.
developed a lightweight, reusable, leak-proof mat system
that effectively contains mud and fluids during pad
- The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation
Institute at Penn State University developed a "patch box"
system for retrofitting diesel truck fleets utilizing
natural gas, addressing a critical transportation issue in
Alaska has massive hydro, wind,
geothermal and other renewable resources, but the state's rural
villages are chained to diesel and suffer oppressive energy
costs they say threaten their existence. Lawmakers, energy
experts and Native leaders said Thursday it's a dire problem
with elusive solutions.
With the recent startup of the
Biomass Cogeneration Facility to provide clean energy to the
Savannah River Site, a coal-burning facility that powered the
site for 60 years is now preparing for deactivation.
In a 335-page ruling handed down
today, an Administrative Law Judge with oversight of the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) has upheld the right of pomegranate juice
manufacturer POM Wonderful to tell consumers about the health
benefits of its juice.
Scientists have for the first time
succeeded in taking skin cells from patients with heart failure
and transforming them into healthy, beating heart tissue that
could one day be used to treat the condition.
The commission clarifies language
that will unlock gigawatts of distributed solar in the state.
Carbon dioxide emissions result from the burning of
petroleum, coal and natural gas. With growing environmental
standards, there is an interest in keeping carbon dioxide
emissions to a minimum. Instead of capturing and burying the
carbon, Elton proposed using those releases to create "syngas,"
which could then be converted into transportation fuels.
"While you can achieve the goal of making 'syngas,' using
carbon to do so is not now commercially viable because it is
still too expensive," Elton told Forbes.
A new government study says that
allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire and a scheduled round of
automatic spending cuts to take effect would probably throw the
economy into a recession.
A stalemate over how to tackle a
series of fiscal deadlines at year's end would likely push the
United States economy into recession in the first half of next
year, the Congressional Budget Office warned.
More than 150,000 additional Americans could die by the end of
this century due to excessive heat caused by climate change,
finds a new report based on peer-reviewed science.
A wave of
U.S. tax hikes and automatic spending cuts — dubbed the "fiscal
cliff" — are set to take effect in January unless Congress and
the White House agree on ways to delay or revise at least some
Of the 40 cities studied, the three with the highest number
of projected heat-related deaths through the end of the century
are: Louisville, Kentucky with 19,000 deaths, Detroit, Michigan
with 18,000 deaths and Cleveland, Ohio with 17,000.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology
said the climate models it monitors indicate a possible return
of the El Nino weather pattern, often linked to heavy rainfall
and droughts, in the second half of 2012.
There are several ways to remove
CO2 from a stack gas. None have reached a commercial basis yet
due to the expense of the processing. The current method of
removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flues
of coal-fired power plants uses so much energy that no one
bothers to use it. So says Roger Aines, principal investigator
for a team that has developed an entirely new catalyst for
separating out and capturing CO2, one that mimics a naturally
occurring catalyst operating in our lungs. With this success,
the Laboratory has become a world leader in designing catalysts
that mimic the behavior of natural enzymes.
The Southeast, the top
power-consuming region in the US and the leader in coal-to-gas
switching, is poised to become a gas-on-gas battleground as
Marcellus producers aim to win market share from other shale
basins and traditional Gulf supplies.
Mr. President, today [May 24, 2012]
I'm offering an amendment to the FDA. I'm troubled by images of
armed agents raiding Amish farms and preventing them selling
milk directly from the cow. I think we have bigger problems in
our country than sending armed FDA agents into peaceful farmers'
land and telling them they can't sell milk directly from the
cow.My amendment has three parts.
Genscape, a company whose many
activities include flying around Cushing, Oklahoma and figuring
out from the sky how much oil is in the ocean of storage tanks
there, has been taking a look at the Seaway Pipeline.
An appeals court on Tuesday upheld
a $3.4 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit over
mismanagement of government trust funds for hundreds of
thousands of Native Americans, ruling that it was fair,
reasonable and adequate.
You might think that a coal-burning
locomotive built in 1937 had nothing left to offer the modern
rail industry, short of being a nice museum piece. In the case
of Locomotive 3463, however, that appears to be far from true –
now in the hands of engineers from the Coalition for Sustainable
Rail (CSR), it is set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral
higher-speed locomotive. It won’t be electric, however. Instead,
it will run on steam generated by the burning of biocoal.
calculating efficiency can be difficult. Do you rely just on the
cost associated with your achieving your ultimate goal? Does it
make more sense to look a little deeper and assess the impact of
your choices to determine whether the route that looks the
cheapest carries with it unintended consequences—consequences
that could trigger even more expensive fixes at a later date?
And what about the influences that are more difficult to
quantify: those environmental, political, or human
resource-related hazards and half steps?
Faced with water shortages in its
sunny south, Spain has become a European trendsetter
in harnessing seawater for human use and is an
industrial leader in desalination.
In other increasingly dry regions of southern Europe,
desalination offers promise for farmers and households that
compete for freshwater, say advocates who also see the
technology as both economically vital to the European Union
and an answer to its long-term water security.
Leading academic and industry experts have validated
BlackLight's new process that directly produces electric energy
from the conversion of water vapor to a new, more stable form of
Hydrogen. Experts agree that BlackLight's 'Hydrino theory'
represents a fundamental breakthrough in clean energy
Europe's long-suffering refining
industry is facing a new threat from the boom in US shale oil
and gas which could see a surge in US light fuel production
erode Europe's traditional export market for gasoline, the
deputy head of Europe's refining industry association Europia
A diet can't save them now. Time to get that defibrillator
Imagine being told that you will likely suffer a heart
attack, yet not how big it will be or how serious. If you could
get your arms around the enormity of the news, you'd want to
know whether your body could stand the shock and what the
aftermath of the attack would look like.
This is exactly what is going on today in policy circles --
and beyond -- as the world monitors the developments in Greece
with a growing feeling of helplessness and concern. Recognition
is spreading that Greece faces the rapidly rising probability of
another default and, critically this time around, a potential
exit from the eurozone. And governments in Europe, and
increasingly elsewhere, are wondering what this means for them.
Despite significant concessions
made to Iran by the United States, France, and the UK during
multilateral talks this week on Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran
refused any deal unless all sanctions against it are first
dropped, a demand the West rejected. While the participants
agreed to meet again in Moscow next month, Iran’s intransigence
and word that it continues to expand its uranium enrichment
program has left tensions at a high level and raise the chances
of an Israeli airstrike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
You would think the FDA would obey
a judge’s ruling on qualified health claims. Think again.
According to its advocates, we need LOST for a variety of
reasons. One of them concerns the oil and gas resources located
in the outer limits of our continental shelf. The treaty’s
proponents say we can obtain legal title to it only by signing
on to the treaty.
“If the United States does not ratify this treaty, our
ability to claim the vast extended continental shelf off Alaska
will be seriously impeded,” said Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana
If you are a small player in the U.S. clean energy market, you
are having a harder and harder time finding capital to continue
to fund your business, despite that fact that your domestic
market is seen as the one with the largest potential for growth.
So what do you do? According to Third Way, a political think
tank, you look to foreign investors.
What’s going on in the fuel cell
world these days? Those in the communications arena are saying
that life is only getting better while those using the
technology for on site generation are still trying to make
Fuel cells can be used to fuel vehicles and to
provide power to industry. And, they can be applied as well to
telecom businesses, particularly for those niches that can’t
afford to lose communications with those in the field: Think
disaster relief or military missions.
Thanks to this decision, Americans
have spent the last twenty years as unwitting guinea pigs in a
massive, uncontrolled, and involuntary experiment on the
long-term health effects of genetically modified organisms
Few in Europe are happy to admit it, but Italy is looking
disturbingly similar to Greece these days. Mass youth
unemployment, an over-regulated bureaucratic economy and a shaky
financial sector have crippled the fiscal health of both
countries; both now face a future of austerity and stagnation.
And the similarities became even more pronounced late last year,
when technocratic governments (charged with implementing
European policies) replaced popularly elected leaders in both
countries, becoming caretakers until the next election.
Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday
released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey
(PMMS), showing the record lows for average fixed mortgage rates
holding steady for the week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
ticked slightly down to 3.78 percent and 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages remained unchanged from last week at 3.04 percent.
A beekeeper of 58 years wants to
know how an unelected state agency, which appears to answer to
no one, can come in and destroy years of research, equipment,
and bees without due process and even without a search warrant.
Has recent loose interpretations of the Constitution and the
power of the federal government spilled over into state
governments, who now think they can act with impunity and shut
down any business that happens to question an agency’s validity,
credentials, or findings? Is the era of big bully government
ICE Brent crude for July fell $3 to
$105.41/barrel during Wednesday afternoon US trading, as
eurozone worries increase and Iran tensions relax.
decline in Brent prices comes as bearish US oil inventory data,
released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration,
weighs on crude markets in the US.
The United States contractually
owes tribal nations. “Indian benefits” is a misnomer for the
debt owed to Native peoples. The federal government pledged
through laws and treaties to compensate for land exchanges
accomplished through the forced removal of tribal nations from
their original homelands. Unfortunately, payment is commonly
expressed as “benefits.” This term—benefits—implies giving
assistance, subsidy, or even charity, rather than deserved
reimbursement. The Department of Interior even describes the
obligated recompense for American Indians as benefits on its
• Dated Brent hit a 3.5 year high
in March, buoyed by political tensions between the West and Iran
and lower production in many countries.
• It has since
declined to its lowest level since late January due to fears
about the economy, but remains well above $100/barrel
Iraq’s surging oil production may
soon exceed that of Iran—the world’s fifth largest oil producer
in 2011—and help avoid global oil supply disruptions in the
event of a future crisis in the Persian Gulf region. But Iraq’s
domestic problems persist, including political infighting,
infrastructure deficiencies, revenue allocation disputes and
security shortfalls, all of which might sabotage the country’s
export aspirations and reverse the current positive trend.
By not joining Law of the Sea,
we’ve dealt ourselves out of the game that’s unfolding right in
front of us. Let me give you a few examples:
The Supreme Court ruled on
Thursday that a criminal defendant may be retried even though
the jury in his first trial had unanimously rejected the most
serious charges against him. The vote was 6 to 3, with the
justices split over whether the constitutional protection
against double jeopardy barred such reprosecutions.
Highlights this week include Rossi's claim to have achieved
600 °C, his positive response to Hank Mills agreeing to post
more data; speculation about how the Greek crisis will effect
Defkalion; video of Brillouin's reactor in operation; video of
Mitch Swartz's reactor in operation; new NASA video about LENR.
Libya is preparing for its first
national elections in 60 years, but with many parts of the
country now under the control of local militias, ensuring the
elections are free and fair will be a challenge, maybe too great
The majority of Americans (58
percent) think that protecting the environment improves economic
growth and creates new jobs. The results are from a recently
released poll by Yale University and George Mason University's
climate change communication program. Only 17 percent of the
poll's respondents think that environmental protection hurts the
economy and job growth, and 25 percent think there is no effect.
When there is a conflict between protecting the environment and
improving the economy, 62 percent think it is more important to
protect the environment, and only 38 percent thought economic
growth is more important.
Fitch Ratings believes results from
capital market activities of major U.S. banks have the potential
to decline meaningfully in 2Q12. Market concerns over Europe
have resurfaced in 2Q12, and the recently announced JPMorgan
Chase (JPM) losses have magnified overall market uncertainties.
Consequently, the current quarter has been characterized by
general spread widening in fixed income markets and more
difficult equity markets.
The present world market for
chemicals to combat air pollutants is $13.8B but will be growing
at a healthy eight percent per year over the next five years.
The larger ($24B) water treatment chemicals market will be
growing by six percent per year (real dollars). These are the
latest findings by McIlvaine Company through extracting
forecasts from a number of its market reports.
Montgomery County, Md., has set a
70% waste diversion rate goal by the end of 2020, County
Executive Ike Leggett announced.
The Masai warriors cut striking
figures as they played the game in their red traditional
garments, complete with headgear and decorative jewelry. Their
only concessions to the standard white cricket uniform were the
shin guards, and in a bid to gain traction on the pitch, their
sandals were replaced with modest sporting footwear.
Initial estimates for first-quarter
2012 economic growth was 2.2 percent, slower than the previous
quarter, but better than three of the past four quarters.
It's true that the low price of natural gas is partially to
blame for the downturn in the coal industry, said Mike Miller,
senior vice president with Marshall Miller and Associates, an
engineering and geological consulting firm based in Bluefield,
But, he said, if it weren't for increasing federal government
regulation, utilities wouldn't be switching so quickly from coal
Recently, the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the
non-governmental organisation Wetlands International launch ‘The
Organic Soils and Peatlands Climate Change Mitigation
Initiative’. The Initiative has been established to increase
awareness about how the conservation, restoration and
sustainable use of peatlands can reduce global greenhouse gas
emissions, and to facilitate strategic actions that can lead to
measurable progress in this area.
‘Largest known chemical
wave’ caused previously unrecognized effects, said Sandia
A Sandia modeling study contradicts
a long-held belief of geologists that pore sizes and chemical
compositions are uniform throughout a given strata, which are
horizontal slices of sedimentary rock.
North Korea on Tuesday vowed to
push ahead with its nuclear program because of what it called
U.S. hostility, as an outside analysis of satellite images
suggested it has ramped up work at its nuclear test site over
the past month.
At the Group of 8 (G8) meetings
this past weekend, President Obama and the leaders of the rest
of the world's richest nations abandoned their governments'
previous commitments to donate $7.3 billion a year to end hunger
in Africa, after disbursing only 58 percent of the total pledge
of $22 billion and giving less than 6 percent in new money they
pledged three years ago.
quickly to stem a controversy, President Barack Obama on
Thursday nominated an expert on nuclear waste to lead the
federal agency that regulates the nation's nuclear power plants.
The recent passage of the 2012-14
state budget included millions of dollars in coal severance
funds for the state's coal counties, but some officials fear
that these counties may not receive all the coal severance money
that was allocated to them, while others say there will be a
long-term effect to local funding.
doctor who helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden has been jailed
for at least 30 years, officials say.
Shakil Afridi was charged with treason and tried under the
tribal justice system for running a fake vaccination programme
to gather information.
A new U.S. Defense Department
report on the threat from China paints a detailed picture of a
modernizing Chinese military that remains committed to achieving
a comprehensive capacity for "localized" and "regional wars."
Most notably, the report states that the continued
transformation of the Chinese military and broader espionage
efforts “represent a growing and persistent threat to [the]
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere. Exactly how fast this might occur is not clear.
The capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to absorb carbon dioxide
emissions from human activity may be greater than previously
thought, according to a new study published in Nature Climate
Change, which looks at how plants react to environmental change.
The authors say these results improve our ability to look into
the planet's future and predict the magnitude of climate change
before it happens.
Two manmade pollutants known best
as threats to human health have just been charged with two more
offenses: shifting rainfall patterns and mucking with food
For the first time since the state's electricity rate caps
expired in 2010, PPL Electric will raise its "price-to-compare"
rates beginning June 1.
But even with the 15 percent increase...
A first-of-its-kind commercial
supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station
following a successful liftoff early Tuesday, opening a new era
of dollar-driven spaceflight.
Senator Dick Durbin is once again
attempting to get rid of your supplements, and it may happen
today, unless you act NOW.
Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed
al-Sada said Wednesday that oil markets were currently well
supplied and there was no shortage anywhere in the world,
official Qatar news agency QNA reported.
The "right of innocent passage" is the right of any nation's
ships to traverse continuously and expeditiously through the
territorial waters of a coastal nation, subject to certain
conditions.1 Under the Law of the Sea Treaty, such passage
is conditioned on passing in a manner that isn't threatening to
"sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence"
or the "good order and security" of that nation.
definition, if the Law of the Sea Treaty was a ship, it would
fail to qualify.
I’m glad Depp was cast as Tonto and I can’t think of anyone
better to portray him. Tonto is a character that is and always
has been a simulation of Indigenous-ness. He was created out of
lies and cultural misconceptions and that, I think, is how he
should remain. As we all know, the word “tonto” is a Spanish
word that translates to “stupid” in English. So that, for
starters, is an indication of the motivation behind the
development of the character.
Tonto is the epitome of Indigenous cultural misrepresentation
in cinema, and a symbol of everything Hollywood has ever done
wrong to Natives.
Solar activity was low. A few
nominal C-class flares were observed during the period. he
geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet on day 1 (25
Coastal seagrass can store more heat-trapping carbon per
square mile (kilmometre) than forests can, which means these
coastal plants could be part of the solution to climate change,
scientists said in a new study.
Even though seagrasses occupy less than 0.2 percent of the
world's oceans, they can hold up to 83,000 metric tons of carbon
per square kilometer, a global team of researchers reported
Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Today, Maryland Governor Martin
O'Malley signed into law the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
for Solar Energy and Solar Water Heating Systems bill (Senate
Bill 791 and House Bill 1187), which accelerates the target date
for achieving the state's renewable portfolio standard
two-percent solar carve-out by two years and ensures the
industry maintains positive, year over year job growth. This
bill will create 10,000 new local jobs between now and 2018,
with a strong concentration in an industry that needs jobs the
most - the construction industry.
State environmental officials may
introduce new regulations to avoid placing wind turbines that
exceed the state's acceptable noise threshold near residential
“Earlier this year, we demonstrated
that as a group the stocks of utilities that scored highly in
Target Rock’s sustainability rankings outperformed companies
with lower sustainability performance over the ten years ended
December 31, 2011,”
"The first 72 hours
after a disaster are critical... Maintain enough non-perishable
food for each person for at least 72 hours."
The solution to looming global
warming? Easy. Reduce man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)
by cutting down on the use of fossil fuels -- coal, petroleum
and natural gas. Leave them in the ground. The replacement?
Renewables such as solar and wind power. If we phase in natural
energy sources quickly enough, we may be able to avert
catastrophic climate change.
The head of the International
Atomic Energy Agency says he will sign an agreement soon with
Iran over its nuclear program, a sign that Iran may have agreed
to broader inspections.
The number of bogus renewable fuel
credits in the market could double to nearly 300 million in the
coming months as investigations keep rooting out fraud in the US
biodiesel industry, four Republican lawmakers said Thursday.
Flanked by piles of tires and with
the Albright Power Plant behind him, U.S. Senate-hopeful John
Raese attacked President Barack Obama, Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson and his rival -- Sen.
Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. -- for creating "a complex set of standards
designed to make coal generated power obsolete.
The Coalition for American Solar
Manufacturing (CASM) today calls on U.S. solar-industry trade
associations to fulfill their pledges of neutrality in a
solar-technology trade dispute by ceasing to endorse avenues for
China to evade full accountability to well-established world
trade laws and agreements.
Earth Networks has released its 2012 Atlantic Hurricane
The company's WeatherBug Meteorology Team is forecasting a
near-normal Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin even though
the season started early with the formation Tropical Storm
Alberto on the northeast Florida Coast in May. Hurricane season
typically starts in June.
Driver in Florida can't be cited
for using his lights to communicate
Oceans cover about 72 percent of
Earth's surface area and there are an estimated 250,000 marine
species. "Yet, despite its importance, marine biodiversity has
not fared well at human hands," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said today in his message to mark the International Day for
While the levellised cost of
electricity from onshore wind power continues to fall, reaching
grid parity with coal, gas and nuclear in some places, the same
cannot be said of all wind farms everywhere.
As it turns out, viruses may turn
out to be great energy harvesters, according to scientists at
the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.
The average annual dose from
natural background radiation is about 2.4 mSv globally, with a
typical range of 1-10 mSv in various regions, according to the
The experts based their assessment
on data available up to last September on the amount of
radioactivity in air, soil, water and food supplies after the
In the quest to "level the playing field," the 31 percent
anti-dumping tariff announced Thursday was a good start, said
SolarWorld President Gordon Brinser, but even more is needed to
bring the industry back into balance.
Belectric is being called "the
first company in the world" to install more than 1 GW of
photovoltaic (PV) power with the commissioning of multiple PV
systems earlier this week. The capacity compares to the system
output of a large conventional power plant.
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