Why the U.S. Needs Nuclear Power
6 hours ago
"Nearly 1.2 million Americans have died in all the wars in U.S. history since the Revolutionary War began in 1775; by comparison, nearly 1.4 million Americans have died by firearms since Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot June 5, 1968.
In other words, more Americans have died in the past 45 years from domestic gunfire than have died in all the military conflicts since the founding of our nation."
"2013 will go down as the year that registered Australia's hottest day, month, season, 12-month period - and, by December 31, the hottest calendar year."and
"But for Dr David Jones, head of climate analysis at the bureau, the year's stand-out event was a whole month largely overlooked by a media diverted by the football finals and federal elections. ''From a climate point of view, what happened in September was probably the most remarkable,'' he says.Keep up here. September is a transitional month for Australia - early spring in the southern hemisphere, early autumn in the northern hemisphere. So just as the northern hemisphere is seeing major shifts in the spring (like early ice thaws, early blooming seasons), Australia is seeing the same basic thing, perhaps even more pronounced. And thus even though the world is a variable place and winters still get cold where they are supposed to get cold (despite the fact that winters are not as cold as they used to be, overall), the general pattern, i.e., climate, is still getting warmer.
September's mean temperature soared to be 2.75 degrees above the 1961-90 average, eclipsing the previous record monthly deviation set in April 2005 by 0.09 degrees. Maximums were a stark 3.41 degrees over the norm, with South Australia's top raised by 5.39 degrees and NSW's by 4.68." (NSW = New South Wales)
"For the study, published in the British Medical Journal, a group of husbands had to agree with every opinion and request expressed by their wives without complaint, even if they thought they were wrong.
The researchers, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, found that the men’s quality of life dipped from seven out of ten to three out of ten in only 12 days.
In fact, the impact was so ‘severe’ the study had to be abandoned. And despite the power they wielded, the women’s happiness increased only slightly, from eight to 8.5.
The study said: ‘It seems that being right is a cause of happiness, and agreeing with what one disagrees with is a cause of unhappiness."
"Radar Technologies International, the natural resources exploration firm that discovered the aquifers, said that they contained “a minimum reserve of 250 billion cubic meters of water,” or about 66 trillion gallons, and that rainfall in Kenya and Uganda refilled them with about 898 billion gallons annually."
(the linked press release includes an aquifer map)
"Although the solid hydrogen is gone, the mission could still operate at its two shortest infrared wavelengths, returning valuable data on the numbers, orbits, sizes, and compositions of asteroids and comets."So they just turned it back on, to look for more threats to human civilization. If they find any, I sure hope we have time to figure out how to steer it off.
|Wow. Just plain ol' wow.|
"A report from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, lists some concerns: fewer meat inspectors and forest firefighters; less spending on Head Start and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
"If we don't get on a downward emissions pathway this decade, young people are likely to inherit a climate system with dramatic consequences out of their control," said James Hansen, the climate scientist who led the study.
Stabilizing Earth's climate would also require restoring 100 billion metric tons of carbon to forests and soils through better management, the authors say. Going beyond typical research papers, they call for a global tax on carbon to facilitate a transition to nuclear and renewable energy."That won't play well in some sectors. But many big companies are already using a price for the carbon they use. More on that later.
"We don't do nuclear energy," said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030.
Kim said $600-$800 billion a year will be needed to meet the campaign target of universal access to electricity, doubling energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030.
In some countries, only 10% of the population has electricity."Without nuclear power, that status quo is not going to change very much.
"A record 2.65 million tonnes of tuna was hauled from the Pacific last year, accounting for 60 percent of the global catch, with most of the fishing conducted by so-called "distant water" fleets from as far afield as Europe, the United States, China, Korea and Taiwan.
Island nations, many of which rely on tuna for a significant portion of their income, fear stocks are becoming unsustainable and want action at the December 2-6 meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Cairns.
"If distant water nations support sustainability of the resource, then they need to commit to a 30 percent reduction in catches," Marshall Islands fisheries director Glen Joseph said.
"It's not a question of should they do it or not -- they have to do it or face the consequences."And the main consequence to be worried about is not being able to catch bluefin tuna at all, because there won't be enough of them to make it economically worthwhile to try to catch them.
"Haze wreathes the country, completely obscuring landmarks like sacred Mount Tai. Breathing can feel like smoking a cigarette, including rawness at the back of the throat and an unrelenting cough. The smog and smoke can achieve a density sufficient to block cellphone reception or prevent GPS from providing the requisite guidance coordinates, with the sky itself become like the ceiling of a building. (Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism against spy satellites, ordinary Chinese joke.) Even China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection provides tacit acknowledgement by noting tersely that a full third of the year in
major cities across the country is taken up by days that boast “substandard air quality.” And that’s just the air."
"China may have begun to become rich enough to afford the seeming luxury of a healthy environment (as predicted by economist Simon Kuznets long ago) but that reduction in carbon intensity has come about largely through replacing small, inefficient, heavily polluting coal-fired power plants with larger but more efficient ones (along with a growing contribution from large dams, which have their own environmental impacts in China and beyond.) Pollution apportioned per capita is tiny when meted out over a population of 1.35 billion. Like the rest of the world, a lot depends on class, however. The newly rich are responsible for pollution that exceeds that of the typical European bourgeois, while hundreds of millions of poor peasants hardly contribute to this global environmental burden."And what's also interesting is that the comments have a good (as far as comments section discussions go) discussion of China's energy usage profile, including NUCLEAR ENERGY. Because nuclear energy can maintain or increase their energy output while reducing their emissions drastically. And the Chinese government KNOWS that.
|Wears those pants well|
|Now THAT's hot|
"Meanwhile, the prime minister, Stephen Harper, has been accused of weakening environmental regulations and "muzzling" government scientists who do not fit in with his energy agenda.
"This is a government that believes first of all that economic development, particularly resource extraction, is substantially more important than environmental protection and environmental stewardship," said Chris Turner, whose book, The War on Science, charts the government's clashes with scientists."And here's the best part:
"The Centre for Global Development this week ranked Canada last among the world's 27 richest countries for its environmental record."OHHH, Canada...
Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said Ryan is slow-walking the process for the same reason GOP leaders refused to go to conference on the House and Senate budgets all year: "Because he does not believe there is any agreement that he can bring back to his caucus that his caucus will support."
"There does not seem to be a serious effort [among Republicans] to reach agreement in the budget conference," Hoyer said during his weekly press briefing in the Capitol. "And the reason for that, of course, is that, by definition, reaching an agreement will require compromise.
"I will reiterate that I don't believe that Mr. Ryan believes that if he did that [compromised], he could bring it back to the House and get an agreement from his caucus," Hoyer added. "And therefore, politically it's not wise for him to do so."
"AREVA has signed a contract worth 1.25 billion euros with the Brazilian electrician Eletrobras Eletronuclear for the completion of the construction for the Angra 3 reactor, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
AREVA will supply engineering services and components, as well as the digital instrumentation and control system for the reactor. The group will also provide assistance in the supervision of the installation works and the commissioning activities."
"The Jorvik Viking Centre predicted that Ragnarok would occur on 22 February because this is the end of the feast of Jolablot.
While not a scientific conclusion, they claim that Vikings loved to feast and wouldn't want to miss this event. For this reason, they argue that Vikings would believe the world would end in 100 days.
The end of the world is coincidentally the start of the grand finale of the Viking festival in York."
"The authors of the report, released today from the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, review the current science on the effects on marine organisms, and write that there is a “medium confidence” level that shellfish harvests will decline. There is also a medium confidence level that economic damage will result from impacts on coral reefs, with tourism, food and shoreline protection suffering. The size of this is unclear but one estimate is for $1 trillion in damage from coral loss alone."and
"The report authors also say that the acidity of the oceans could increase by 170% by the end of the century, corresponding to a drop in surface ocean pH by 0.32. This occurs under a pessimistic scenario of high human emissions. Since the industrial revolution, surface ocean pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. As pH is a logarithmic scale, the increase in acidity since the industrial revolution could reach around 170% under this scenario.Yeah, like the title says, BAD. Simply bad. Indubitably bad. Totally bad.
Under lower-emissions scenarios, this decrease would be around 0.07. But current emissions show no sign of dropping to those necessary to achieve such a goal, cautions Riebesell."