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Posts Tagged ‘AGW’

Could Literacy Limit Growth?

08/09/2010 1 comment

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Evidently, Earth’s ecology continues to be impacted by the unbridled effects of Human consumption and population growth. Resulting in more people seeming willing to take some rather difficult stances on key issues. Especially ones that contribute to Humanity’s disproportionate impact upon our shared Environment. Specifically, our mushrooming need for food and fuel in a world that is already precariously overpopulated has become a hot topic again, and re-raises the specter of Population Control. A subject that everyone expects to be personally managed via contraceptive methods, rather than anything more Orwellian, of course. There is a game-changing factor that’s still being overlooked in this difficult question though; which is the very real correlation between Women’s Literacy or basic education, and drastically lowered birth rates!

As evidenced below (and elsewhere), raising Literacy rates for women, would seem to directly impact impact birth-rates, and then human population levels, and thus our total consumptions – Especially as third world populations clamor to achieve a more Western lifestyle and comparable rate of Consumption.

If you’re curious about the science behind this intuitive connection between literacy and lowered birthrates, here’s some hard info for you. If you’re already comfortable with the reasons for this correlation, then you might also consider why Literacy could be placed up at the forefront of efforts to reduce Global Warming…

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Geo-Engineering: Laying Foundations

25/03/2010 1 comment

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Unlike BIO-Engineering, which seeks to apply pure Science via Technological processes to produce engineered results in Biological fields (from GM’d corn, to the materials of Orthpaedic hip-joint replacement hardware), GEO-Engineering seeks to take the same approach to producing engineered results for the entire Earth, in order to effect positive changes to our environment. Regrettably, the term Geo-Engineering seems to have been misappropriated and popularized as a description of Ecological or Environmental engineering applications on a global scale, even though the terms Enviro, Global, or ECO-Engineering would likely have been much more appropriate descriptors for this sort of work. Unfortunately for the real Geo-Engineers out there (who’ve been working long and hard on true Geological Engineering), the term GEO has already been co-opted by Environmentalists, adopted by the Media, and is now popularized to represent applied technological solutions to our most pressing issues around Climate Change. So thanks to prevailing trends in the Media, Geo-Engineering has effectively come to mean something else entirely to all of us who are not engineers.

Geo-Engineering has been categorical science since the Sixties (when it first became popular to believe that Technology could fix anything), and it seems to be finally coming into vogue after being brought to back to public attention by mainstream Media sources such as the New York Times. Geo-Engineering (as we currently accept the poorly named field) has become a notably complex endeavor that requires the collection, collation and application of knowledge from three VERY large areas of study:

* Scientific disciplines including Climatology, Biochemistry, Ecology, Meteorology and several subsets of Biology and Physics
* Engineering disciplines including aeronautical, naval, architectural, ballistics, propulsion, and materials Engineering.
* Regulatory/Management and other control disciplines such as business process and risk management, and realtime operational research…and of course an insanely complex and interdependent maze of International Politics, Regulations, Diplomacy, and Trade.

Before delving into these ridiculously broad categories of study, first, let’s just put away any indignant or ignorant self-righteousness about “playing God” with the environment. Instead, let’s simply admit that we’ve already been toying with our Ecology, and changing the Earths environment in countless ways for a long time now already.

Whether it’s by altering watersheds and aquifers, re-engineering entire drainage systems for irrigation or hydro power, or by clearcutting the heat and CO2 consuming capacity of entire forests, and let’s not forget the ongoing and always contentious issues behind enormous volumes of CO2 (and other more potent greenhouse gases) escaping into the atmosphere, as Humans we are already very deeply ensnared in the tricky game of Geo-Engineering. Thus the dire scenarios described as AGW, or “Anthropogenic” (man-made) Global Warming are directly attributed to Human activities, which nobody questions as being capable of changing an entire planet.

So since we’ve already been behaving like foolish Gods (or rather like some lesser being that has self-provisioned itself with Godlike dominion over nature according to some self-distorting Judeao-Christian fallacy) let’s then look at the risks of Geo-Engineering more realistically.

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Science Journals: Purveyors or Gatekeepers?

18/03/2010 1 comment

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Publish or Perish !

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After after harnessing the laws of Nature, and applying Truth and Reason to triumph over dogmatic Religion, Science now seems to be capable of falling into the same traps of power and corruption that can undermine all great human pursuits and lofty achievements. Hopefully, the same basic principals that allowed Science to persevere and flourish, can also be brought to bear upon its own methods now, in order to redeem itself to the Media and clamoring Masses that have lost their blind faith.

Since we’ve all been raised to believe that Science is based in Truth, and that Justice and Liberty are inalienable rights, it should come as no surprise that the General Public risks becoming(at least temporarily) disenfranchised by the fact that there seems to be some degree of suppressed dissent in the Scientific Community revolving around Climate Science.   From a Layman’s point of view, many people have grown weary of the arguments, and are ready to just “follow the money” when it comes to understanding the causes of the global warming debate. Most intelligent people are also becoming hyper-sensitized to anything that even remotely resembles propaganda, and have started to see past the all political posturing, economic interests, and ethical self-righteousness of the Climate Change movement to realize that we might actually have a more profound and underlying dilemma to consider here. One that is failing to address deeper ecological issues, while still trying to commoditize carbon dioxide through legislation. A dilemma which might eventually stem itself from our Society’s reliance on Science as the primary guiding force in human achievement and evolution. Therefore, in order to proceed into a clarified vision of the Future where environmental issues can be addressed at their root cause, let’s first consider the risks of losing our best guiding force in a world presently ruled by money and politics.

As we risk losing our faith in Science here in the Present, we need to regain a workable trust in what we had hoped were the infallible principals of the Scientific Method in order to move towards a more pre-verified Future outlook.  Since many people believe that Science has indeed supplanted Religion (which arguably supplanted Nature long ago!) as our guiding force in Society and Life as we know it, let’s proceed according to any other scientific or “religious” study by considering the facts as basic articles of faith, and as they exist within the scientific community itself. The first step to redeeming our views of Science would surely be to turn to the ‘scripture’ of Science, as it has been methodically collected and presented throughout the ages by the indentured librarians and peer-reviewed science journals that this community of researchers and trusted professionals places its own trust into.

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THORIUM: A Tipping Point in History

02/03/2010 5 comments

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Thorium has somehow survived its early demise…

Now it stands poised to fuel a limitless Future if we can change the course of history  !

Thorium ModelThe nuclear debate continues to put forward large scale alternatives to fossil-fueled Society, but has never included a much better option, when it comes to managing the waste and risks. This tragedy is essentially the result of politics, not science, since there likely isn’t a more misunderstood and overlooked element on the Periodic Table than Thorium.

Despite its enormous potential to safely power both the developing world and our modern societies through the self-regulating energy production of the little known “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor” (LFTR).  This long-mothballed reactor design is gaining great new attention in other parts of the world because it produces only small amounts radioactive waste (which fully decay in a few hundred years, rather than many thousands), offers no realistic potential for easy weaponization, and in fact enables the destruction of weapons grade materials. Thorium astoundingly still remains an elemental mystery to most people to this very day however. Mainly because it’s early and successful development in the U.S. was nixxed in favor of the Uranium-based weapons programs in the 50’s and 60’s.

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The True Nature of Contrails

01/03/2010 4 comments

If you’d like a clear view of what creates Jet Contrails just:

Click for Facts…

If you don’t think that jet travel could be playing a major role in either climate change, or modified atmospheric chemistry, then you probably don’t need to dive into this deeper exploration. If however you see Climate Change as an enormous combination of factors, you might find some points of interests below. There is far more at play here than even the most outrageous “Chemetrail Conspiracy” has ever even touched upon.

In our explorations of jet exhaust and ‘vapour contrails‘ and the impact of air travel on our Future Environment, we’ve made previous attempts to speculate upon why certain channels in the Mainstream Media have taken interest in a rather weak Conspiracy Theory like “Chemtrails”, rather than digging into the underlying science of Contrails (and environmental impact of jet exhaust) for a bonefide piece of investigative journalism on a possibly much deeper conspiracy.

Jet airliner chemtrails are contrailsIf there’s such a thing as covering up an actual conspiracy with weaker, more easily discredited, conspiracy theories, then it’s quite possible that the airline industry knows full well that its altering the stratosphere, and affecting the environment. That the prevalence of “Chemtrail” theories might simply be serving to throw people off the trail by simply associating any negative environmental news about airliners with more easily dismissed “conspiracy theories”. It certainly not as simple as a supposedly well-intentioned geo-engineering initiative.

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Unlimited Energy from the Past…

25/02/2010 7 comments

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At the beginning of the Cold-War era, America focused it’s nuclear programs on Breeder reactors that produced materials for weapons, as did the Soviets. When the Oil Crisis hit in ’72, all newly built reactors fell in line with this objective, and Uranium has dominated since.

As a result of this Tipping Point, the best Energy Alternatives were sidelined up until just recently. During a Nuclear Renaissance, we’re free to correct past mistakes, and re-examine Thorium as the safer, cleaner fuel of the Future !

Thorium: Fueling a Limitless Future

As we all continue to waste enormous amounts of precious time and energy on re-hashing the nuclear debate, while continuing to poison and destroy our natural (and even socio-political) environment with all the toxic byproducts of the pre-dominant methods of fossil-fueled based energy production, perhaps we could also consider some of the cleaner alternatives which ironically have been waiting in the wings since they were first discovered way back at the dawn of the Cold War Era.

To learn about the historical mistakes that caused Thorium Energy to be delayed until now…
CLICK HERE
(opens in a new page)

Just below, is quite possibly the very best, most condensed and comprehensive explanation of not only how nuclear energy is derived, but also how Thorium-based reactions are a superb alternative to Uranium based energy. This video also covers the tragic reasons why Thorium energy was buried by Uranium-based fission, and includes a complete explanation of how liquid fluoride Thorium reactors (LFTR) could in fact be the magical silver bullet that will enable a sustainable version of our highly industrialized Society! If you’re curious, then just continue reading about how and why ( a long suppressed) Thorium-nuclear based energy grid could be our best and possibly last chance for surviving the Fossil-Fuel age.

WARNING:
This material is dense, fast, and superbly comprehensive !

Are you ready to explore the Future?
Then click below for MORE…

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Global Warming: Who’s the Real Enemy

11/02/2010 2 comments

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Political strategy is a moving target in any debate, but can we at least be sure that our Leaders have selected the right objectives in their bid to win the battle against Global Warming?

In the ongoing heavy-weight bout against Global Warming, the tag-team proposals for pricing CO2 emissions (primarily either via Taxes or Carbon Cap and Trade) both took serious blows to the head at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and were allowed to drop to the mat. Rather than standing back up in desperation, and vowing to take the fight into the streets, the proponents of these (so-called) “solutions” seemed content to just hang onto the ropes and wait for the bell to end the Copenhagen round. This event has now fallen apart with little to show for it than promises that things will be settled at the next U.N. Climate Change Conference, that nobody can even be bothered to set their forward sites upon at this point. Hell…Even the Copenhagen Conference website was dismantled less than a month after things wrapped up in Denmark, with little of value being forwarded from the defunct address.  Luckily there are still lots of excellent resources out there to explain the functions and perceived benefits of such complex concepts as Carbon Cap and Trade, for example…

One can’t help feel as though the Post-Copenhagen letdown has left us to either take this fight to a more personal level as the Media moves on to it’s next ‘cause celebre’, or otherwise just allow Human Nature to overtake us, and simply focus on our more immediate needs as we sub-consciously recoil from the unknowns of an uncertain Future.

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Carbon Capture: A Solution in Stasis?

25/01/2010 2 comments

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Worldwide adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage solutions have been delayed by an announcement at the Copenhagen Conference

The link to this News Event is no longer available at COP15.dk but it has been cached at Google!

The primary thrust of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change was to implement an accord of limiting CO2 emissions worldwide, and thus necessitate various regulatory solutions which would have required industry to either reduce their emissions, or face stiff financial consequences. This is where Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) would have liked to step in with some immediate industrial-grade solutions, presumably while the rest of us continued to consider the enormous challenges of actually reducing and eliminating our reliance on carbon emitting fossil fuels as a Society. As mentioned previously however (COP15.dk is History), the committee under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had discussed the issue of CCS during the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, but delayed any decisions on the subject until future summits. The committee contended that some countries had concerns over the long-term viability for the storage site, including liability for any seepage. Thus the larger challenges of capturing CO2 have seemingly become stuck behind a roadblocking question of legal liability in the ‘storage’ component of this much larger process.

Deja Vu

Proponents of Nuclear Energy will no doubt see a parallel in the bitter irony of yet another Green industry being hindered by the wasted energy and by-products of bureaucratic finagling and legal wrangling over questions of waste storage…Rather than getting on with the business of refining the existing (and already adequate) processes, while continuing to develop new and improved waste management solutions, and effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions IMMEDIATELY, rather delaying movement until later, once the technical details and legal liabilities of any unforeseen accidents have been ironed out to the Nth degree. Carbon Capture Left Out in the Cold

What did Copenhagen teach us about CCS

In it’s search for an accord, Copenhagen seemed like a direct precursor to establishing and implementing Carbon Cap/Trade/Tax solutions, that would place financial burdens on all CO2 emitters, and incent the development and application of CO2 capture technologies to reduce such burden. Although the COP15.dk site is now dead in the water, there are still “selected” pages made available by the Danish Government, which may cast light on what the Conference organizers wished to present as their lasting legacy from this historic conference, or at least demonstrate where the organizers left things on the rather important subject of CCS. A search for “Carbon Capture” yields only four (yes, 4!) results on this rather critical next step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click Here, if you’d like to consider what these meagre results say about the Future of CCS from the POV of those who selectively transplanted the entire the COP15.dk site less that a month after the Copenhagen Conference closed.

CCS…Does green Energy hurt the Carbon Market?

In a short blogpost at Envirogy (derived almost entirely from Spiegel Online), we can clearly see how Green (or low emisions Renewable) Energy sources have actually hurt the price of carbon at the European Climate Exchange (and thus the cost incentives for implementing CCS), and in fact the entire system can be proven to have not reduced European carbon emmisions by a single gram!

Sitting on the Border Fences

Meanwhile, in North America, the open markets for carbon at the Chicago Climate Exchange is still awaiting the kinds of regulatory and political pressures that will kick things into a higher gear, and properly comodify Carbon in the U.S. and thus at least make select financiers, investors, and other assorted Middlemen rich in the process, if not at least repeating the lessons already being learned in Europe.

Meanwhile in the Oilpatch

Even though Copenhagen squashed any immediate hopes for Carbon Cap/Trade pricing, and delayed it’s pronouncements on teh future of CCS, searching the transplanted COP15.dk site yields a link to shipping giant Maersk’s role in bringing CO2 to oilfields in the North Atlantic, and there are examples all over the world where CO2 is pumped down into older oilwells to force out remaining oil, and maximize yield.  In fact contrary to popular belief, CO2 has already been getting stored in large quantities within used up gasfields, with the only concerns so far being in small amounts of CO2 re-escaping via carbonated water in the formations, and the possible formation of carbonic acid within any porous water areas. The fixation in carbonate minerals is playing only a minor role, so the search to chemically ‘fix’ CO2 into a more neutral and stable state will continue.

TBC…This is a work in progress

Please feel free to add to this Report Stub via the Comments Section below

Worldwide adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage solutions have been delayed by an announcement at the Copenhagen Conferenc

COP15.dk is History!

20/01/2010 1 comment

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The official website for the Copenhagen Climate Conference has been taken down, and traffic is being redirected to :

“The Official Website of Denmark”

Near the end of the proceedings at last months U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, news was posted to the official Conference website (COP15.dk) that capturing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) at the source (of industrial emissions) and storing it underground is not likely to become a measure supported by the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) this year. A committee under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has discussed the issue, but delayed any decisions until future summits.

Please don’t bother clicking on the above-mentioned COP15.dk link though, because less than a month after the conclusion of the conference, this newslink is now unavailable, along with all the rest of the COP15.dk website! Instead, all traffic is being directed to “The Official Website of Denmark”.

What we’re left with, as a reference on this historic event less than a month later, is a mere footnote that states: “this page contains a selection of some of the most popular content from Denmark’s Host Country website for UN Climate Change Conference 2009 –  cop15.dk “

What possible reasons could there be for taking down this official site so quickly? What benefits could possibly be derived from removing this enormous resource? Most importantly, what are the perceived repercussions of such an obviously hasty demise of what should have our greatest reference point on Climate Change at the end of 2009, if not an actual public launchpoint as we move forward through the Post-Copenhagen letdown, and proceed with all the work adn understanding that still needs to be accomplished?

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Has PR trumped Science at MIT ?

15/01/2010 10 comments

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The following suspected anomalies were discovered in an article published at MIT News :

Major Discovery from MIT is primed to unleash a Solar Revolution”!

The ongoing, yet destructively repressed and polarized, debates between so called Climate Skeptics (and their ilk) VS. the popular proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) may have cooled slightly in the post-Copenhagen lull, but the questions that have arisen around the entire Scientific Method employed in determining AGW are only now beginning to rise to the forefront of Public Consciousness.

The primary question has been to wonder if it’s indeed possible for ‘pure science’ (at least at the educational research level) to be bent or distorted in order to serve pre-ordained objectives. Either to support specific agendas, to tap into otherwise unavailable funding, or even to act as a Public Relations tool in service of much larger visibility campaigns? If we can possibly leave aside (just for now) the temporarily cooled question of Climate Change, we could look for signs of the above in a surprisingly exuberant article published on the MIT News site in July 2008 instead.

Even though it’s exultant title wildly proclaims that a “Major Discovery from MIT is primed to unleash a Solar Revolution”! the hard science and empirical data or comparative results behind the article are thinly presented (at least from the Layman’s POV), and there still doesn’t seem to be much obvious evidence of wider public discourse or a proper ‘peer review’ process around this “major discovery” either.

Perhaps this is just the style employed for wider press releases via “MIT News”, however one would at least expect to see evidence of  published papers/results, or at least links to some shared or foundation research. Perhaps MIT is operating under the principals of private enterprise, and it wouldn’t want to jeopardize plans to commercialize it’s discovery by giving away any un-patented trade secrets. That last possibility would indicate that we’ve already seriously diverged out of the field of publicly funded research, and into corporately (privately?)  held intellectual property. Perhaps someone could clarify the business model that supports MIT, or other such institutions to dispel any such naivete that could be evidenced here.

In any case, let’s try to leave commercial interests aside, and get back to some hard Science.

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