Good News for Aussie Greens
5 hours ago
|The tide is coming in|
"The fungus Trichoderma reesei is already very good at breaking down tough plant material into sugars. Escherichia coli, meanwhile, is relatively easy for researchers to genetically modify. James Liao's lab at the University of California-Los Angeles provided E. coli bacteria that had been engineered to convert sugars into isobutanol.
The Lin group put both microbe species into a bioreactor and served up corn stalks and leaves. Colleagues at Michigan State University had pre-treated the roughage to make it easier to digest.
The fungi turned the roughage into sugars that fed both microbe species with enough left over to produce isobutanol. The team managed to get 1.88 grams of isobutanol per liter of fluid in the ecosystem, the highest concentration reported to date for turning tough plant materials into biofuels. They also converted a large proportion of the energy locked in the corn stalks and leaves to isobutanol -- 62 percent of the theoretical maximum.
The harmonious coexistence of the fungi and bacteria, with stable populations, was a key success of the experiment."
"Yung starred in Diva, a big budget film produced by Chapman To. The story revolved around a successful pop diva, which To cited was the reason why he chose Yung. In an interview, he stated "a movie about a diva obviously requires a diva to play the main role." He did not agree with the general consensus that Yung was a bad actress, and hoped that the film could show her true acting potential."( It's a very honest Wikipedia entry.)
“I am enthusiastically supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor because I believe he will work with both parties to advance an agenda that prioritizes economic growth. Virginia needs an experienced businessman who will put the practical needs of our people ahead of political ideology,” [Boyd] Marcus said in a statement. “I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives.”Number two, a poll of likely voters puts McCauliffe ahead of Coochie-Cuckoo by a couple of points above the margin of error. That tells me that anyone who can make up their own mind (this excludes most Tea Party types) can see that the Cooch would be an absolute disaster as the governor of Virginia. How far back into the Dark Ages he could take the state, I don't know, but I sure know that's what he wants to do. After all, he wants to make oral sex a prosecutable crime again.
( Boyd Marcus, who served as chief of staff to then-governor James Gilmore III and advised George [Macaca] Allen’s bids for governor and U.S. Senate, will work as a paid adviser to the Democrat’s campaign.)
"But the poll also found likely voters showing a more Democratic tilt in party loyalty than in the last governor’s election in 2009.McCauliffe still has some work to do to convince voters he'll be a good governor; but that's a lot less work to do than the Coochster has to do to convince normal Virginia voters that he's sane.
Among likely voters surveyed by Quinnipiac, Democrats outnumber Republicans 39 percent to 32 percent — the identical split found in Virginia exit polls in the 2012 presidential election.
The findings could indicate that Democrats are poised to repeat their turnout advantage, although some Republicans said that Democrats were over-represented in Quinnipiac’s survey.
Democrats have consistently outnumbered Republicans among all Virginia adults in recent years, but Republicans have neutralized that advantage by turning out at higher rates in off-year elections. In the 2009 governor’s race won by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), exit polling showed Republicans held a four- percentage-point turnout edge over Democrats. A year earlier, Democrats led turnout by six points in the 2008 presidential election."
Huckabee also threw in a few of his own theories:Very sad, but very true, that former Gov. Huck is spouting the skeptical nonsense.
- "When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death." (No, it didn't.)
- "The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years." (Even when it was erupting, the European aviation industry's emissions alone dwarfed the volcano's daily emissions.)
|Looks like a good gig to me|
|This was on the cover of SELF magazine|
According to Philip Baum, editor of Security International, body scanners are good at identify objects outside the body but not inside and the “possibility of medically implanted explosives is a concern to the industry.”So the experts do need to take this seriously.
Explosives expert Andy Oppenheimer said: “There is a great fear that al-Qaeda are planning on using internal devices to try and get through airport scanners.
"These explosives could be in breast implants."
|Apalachicola oysters are not currently offered on the menu most places|
In 2009, Florida thought it had won the long battle. A senior Federal District Court judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers could not draw more water from Lake Lanier. The decision would have freed up more water for Florida.But in 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, reversed the ruling. It decided that the corps had the authority to allocate additional water from the reservoir to supply Atlanta. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.The appeals court ruling, coupled with the drought, which forced Georgia to draw more water, has starved Apalachicola Bay, scientists and lawmakers said. “These levels are unprecedented,” said Dan Tonsmeire, the executive director of Apalachicola Riverkeeper, an environmental group. “The decline in the entire productivity of the bay is not only an ecological disaster but puts the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen at risk of being lost forever. And it’s not just Apalachicola Bay. It affects the entire Gulf Coast.”
Nearly a year after the state first asked for help, federal officials are declaring a fishery disaster for Florida's oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico.Why bring this up? Because it's a symptom of a greater problem - and the problem is that the natural order of things is being subverted a lot of different places because of the need and desire to keep humans happy. When things get way out of balance, the things we take for granted (like nice plump oysters) will disappear.
The collapse of the oyster industry last year came after a drought reduced freshwater flowing into Apalachicola Bay. But state officials have also blamed the lack of freshwater flow due to increased consumption in Georgia.
In 2013 alone, NIH, the primary federal spigot for projects impacting human health, will be forced to cut $1.7 billion from its budget. Government agencies across the board are making similar reductions in their research budgets as well. The length of some grants have been shortened, while others have decreased in size and still others have been eliminated altogether. Though they aren't supposed to do so, university officials have begun siphoning money from funded projects to those feeling the pinch, in hopes that if they hang on long enough, help will eventually come....
At the University of Virginia, hopes are wearing thin. After our first phone interview in July, Dutta ended the conversation with thanks. "I appreciate you doing this story because we need your help, buddy," he said. "We are in deep shit."
It's not just projects receiving NIH grants that have been set back by sequestration. Various other government agencies have seen their research budgets slashed as well. Early estimates from the American Association for the Advancement of Science projected that $9.3 billion would be cut from research and development projects in 2013 alone, including $6.4 billion from the Department of Defense....
Tom Antonsen and Phil Sprangle, two professors at the University of Maryland, said they've experienced funding shortages from the Defense Department that could hamper their work.
The non-technical term for this is "brain drain." It had been happening for years prior to sequestration, though the recent cuts have accelerated it. Antonsen, a plasma physicist who studies the production and interaction of electromagnetic fields with matter, said he has lost two staffers so far: one has left the country and another accepted a job at a Wall Street bank. A third is currently looking for work outside the field.----------
Boston University's Gursky said that her program in Physiology and Biophysics had had no incoming graduate students during the last two academic years, while the overall number of matriculating PhD students at other programs had "dropped sharply." Dutta said a prospective hire in India had recently turned down a job offer in favor of going to Germany.
"When the researchers tried a combination of soybean concentrate, protein concentrate, wheat flour and soybean meal, they made progress. The pellets that worked “are 15 to 20 percent more expensive than the commercially available feed,” Watson said. On the other hand, the cobia grew bigger and absorbed fewer contaminants."Good for fish and good for fish farming. Good for the Earth. Now, will bluefin tuna eat it?
The statistics are sobering: All of New Mexico is officially in a drought, and three-quarters of it is categorized as severe or exceptional. Reservoir storage statewide is 17% of normal, lowest in the West. Residents of some towns subsist on trucked-in water, and others are drilling deep wells costing $100,000 or more to sink and still more to operate.
Wildlife managers are hauling water to elk herds in the mountains and blaming the drought for the unusually high number of deer and antelope killed on New Mexico's highways, surmising that the animals are taking greater risks to find water. ...Much of the rest of the article is devoted to the loss of the indigenous grass, which could lead to irreversible desertification.
The last three years have been the driest and warmest since record-keeping began here in 1895. Chuck Jones, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said even the state's recent above-average monsoon rains "won't make a dent" in the drought; deficits will require several years of normal rainfall to erase, should normal rain ever arrive.
The Las Vegas Valley depends on the river for 90 percent of its drinking water supply. That water is drawn from Lake Mead using two intake pipes that could stop working if the reservoir drops far enough.Bottom line: this all is adding up to an indication of a major problem. Is something really changing here? Well, we know climate is changing; this may be one place where we're seeing the effects. And even if it's in the range of natural variability, it's on the bad side of that range, and with many more people living out West due to the cleverness of the water managers, they will be in trouble if the water managers run out of tricks.
The surface of Lake Mead already has fallen more than 100 feet since the current drought descended on the Colorado River in 2000.
But even in an average year, the river does not carry enough water to fill the allocations parceled out decades ago to the seven states and Mexico.
The expected cut to Lake Powell’s release for the coming year creates a 1.5 million acre-foot math problem for Mead, which is supposed to deliver 9 million acre-feet of water each year to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico.
|Lake Mead's 'bathtub ring' due to lowering water levels|
|Yes, she really has three kids|
"Now, researchers are stepping up efforts to determine how much damage the plastic could do. Mason and Rios are working with the 5 Gyres Institute, a nonprofit group based in Los Angeles that has called attention to sprawling masses of plastic in the oceans.
While Mason searches Lake Michigan for more plastic, Rios is poking through fish innards for plastic fragments. In ocean environments, fish and birds are known to feed on microplastics, apparently mistaking them for fish eggs.
A more complicated question is whether the particles are soaking up toxins in the water, potentially contaminating fish that eat them - and sending them up the food chain."Well, even if this doesn't turn out to be a big problem, you (and I) likely won't think about the cool clear water of the Great Lakes quite the same way anymore.
Cooke thinks the Perseids are rich in fireballs because of the size of the parent comet.
"Comet Swift-Tuttle has a huge nucleus--about 26 km in diameter," comments Cooke. "Most other comets are much smaller, with nuclei only a few kilometers across. As a result, Comet Swift-Tuttle produces a large number of meteoroids, many of which are large enough to produce fireballs."Here's an example from 2011:
Our deficit is already on a steep decline, yet House Republicans are gleefully pushing massive new cuts on the social, regulatory and environmental programs that make up a relatively small sliver of our federal budget. ...And now, the short paragraph that absolutely NAILS it:
As a result, EPA staffing would shrink to the levels of the early 1990s, hobbling the agency’s ability to enforce the laws and update standards against pollution. In New Jersey, this cut would choke off the flow of federal money that supports upgrades to our antiquated sewer systems by as much as 80 percent, and our drinking water infrastructure by 60 percent, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. ...
That’s not all. Republicans also threw in some dirty policies: They blocked the EPA from enforcing the rules on lead paint, or doing virtually anything on climate change, including setting new controls on carbon emissions from power plants. ...
The environment was once a bipartisan issue, but these extremists who’ve hijacked the House have a blind spot when it comes to setting basic standards to protect people from air and water pollution and toxic chemicals. They view this as wasteful, rather than necessary spending.
Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham's Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous as this new technology can provide much of the plant's nitrogen needs.Now, not only can this help food crop plants, it can also help biofuel feedstock plants (like switchgrass and corn). Removing the need for fertilizer (corn needs a lot) substantially reduces the energy required to raise the crop, reduces the amount of nitrogen in the runoff, and increases yield.
EACH of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally.[ Insert: Nuclear Energy is clean energy technology! ]
There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected.
The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”
A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington. Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress. He will use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate.
The president also plans to use his regulatory power to limit the powerful warming chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons and encourage the United States to join with other nations to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase out these chemicals. The landmark international treaty, which took effect in 1989, already has been hugely successful in solving the ozone problem.
Rather than argue against his proposals, our leaders in Congress should endorse them and start the overdue debate about what bigger steps are needed and how to achieve them — domestically and internationally.
As administrators of the E.P.A under Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, we held fast to common-sense conservative principles — protecting the health of the American people, working with the best technology available and trusting in the innovation of American business and in the market to find the best solutions for the least cost.
That approach helped us tackle major environmental challenges to our nation and the world: the pollution of our rivers, dramatized when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969; the hole in the ozone layer; and the devastation wrought by acid rain.
The solutions we supported worked, although more must be done. Our rivers no longer burn, and their health continues to improve. The United States led the world when nations came together to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. Acid rain diminishes each year, thanks to a pioneering, market-based emissions-trading system adopted under the first President Bush in 1990. And despite critics’ warnings, our economy has continued to grow.
Climate change puts all our progress and our successes at risk. If we could articulate one framework for successful governance, perhaps it should be this: When confronted by a problem, deal with it. Look at the facts, cut through the extraneous, devise a workable solution and get it done.
We can have both a strong economy and a livable climate. All parties know that we need both. The rest of the discussion is either detail, which we can resolve, or purposeful delay, which we should not tolerate.
Mr. Obama’s plan is just a start. More will be required. But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet. The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.
|Demonstrating the difference|