Carbon Sequestration Capacity Depletion
The topsoil in the well-shaded and formerly well-hydrated
Amazon rain forest regions is extremely thin.
The nutrients (from decaying leaves and tree falls)
are quickly reabsorbed by the fast-growing and constantly regenerating new plants.
In areas of the Amazon ill-advisedly cleared
– either for agriculture, cattle
ranching and/or logging –
this very thin topsoil is quickly eroded off…
exposing the now shadeless subsoil to the extreme sun.
This turns the exposed subsoil in to a literally
within just a year (season) or so.
This process is known as laterization,
and the result is laterite.
Laterite is so hard as to be
almost imperious to a pick axe!
-- Bike Bob
Two years after the January 29, 1969, “environmental nightmare” oil spill just off the Pacific coast of Santa Barbara, California, I hitchhiked out to California. (I got a ride all the way from the I-44 rest stop near Gray Summit, MO with a young guy my age; he told me that my portable cassette -- playing exclusively Classic Rock, of course -- sealed the deal. :-)
I went out there to visit and stay with a friend in Anaheim (home of “Disney Land”) for a month. We had planned on going to beach each day….which we did the very next day after I arrived.
Unfortunately, that was my last day to the visit the beach: Literally within just a minute or two of stepping onto the beach, I ended up with tar on my heel from one of the millions-upon-millions of -- what were now sand-coated, and camouflaged -- tar balls that were still washing up on the beaches with every day’s high tide! (By the way, this was long after the beaches had been "officially" declared “cleaned up.”) It literally took me a week of daily scrubbing with Lava Soap to finally get most of that tar stain off my heel!Please keep in mind the fact that, after ANY oil spill -- no matter how small in quantity -- the environment will NEVER be the same: NOT in my, or your -- or, even your children’s -- lifetime…that’s for sure! Scientists are just now beginning to discover the genotoxic and mutagenic effects, which are being passed along to successive generations of sea (and land) life. --Bike Bob
Scientist Says We’re Going To Be Dealing With The Consequences Of The Oil Spill For Years To Come
[Watch the 3-minute Penascoloa, Florida, WEAR-TV video clip and/or read the transcript: http://mcaf.ee/72e31 ]:
“Doctor Richard Snyder [University of West Florida professor] stops in the middle of his sentence
to point out the dime and quarter sized tarballs found in the waves on Casino Beach...
It’s not fresh oil...Just some of the left-overs from the summer,
that he says have been preserved underwater.
Any place sand is dynamic, good chance we're going to have buried oil,
that includes sand bars just off beach, we don't know how much is out there or where it is”
“This is still loaded with PAH's [Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons],
but its cold right now,
so its not dissolving into water very much
Once it gets warm, sun comes out and bakes this stuff, it will start melting again
The question is....will that oil dissolve enough into the water to cause a human health risk...”
BP Slick - Exposing the truth behind the BP
Hunting the Ocean for BP's Missing Millions of Barrels of Oil - As the gulf is declared "safe," scientists look deep in the sea for evidence of lasting damage. - http://mcaf.ee/820b7 - [Excerpt]:
According to experiments performed by scientists at the University of South Florida, there is good reason for alarm. When it was out in the gulf in August, the WeatherBird II collected water samples from multiple locations. John Paul, a professor of biological oceanography, introduced healthy bacteria and phytoplankton to those water samples and watched what happened. What he found shocked him. In water from almost half of the locations, the responses of the organisms "were genotoxic or mutagenic"—which means the oil and dispersants were not only toxic to these organisms but caused changes to their genetic makeup. Changes like these could manifest in a number of ways: tumors and cancers, inability to reproduce, a general weakness that would make these organisms more susceptible to prey -- or something way weirder.
…I interviewed Paul in his lab; he explained that what was so "scary" about these results is that such genetic damage is "heritable," meaning the mutations can be passed on. "It's something that can stand around for a very long time in the Gulf of Mexico," Paul said.
The Sierra Club is America's oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization. - www.sierraclub.org/
The Natural Resources Defense Council works to protect wildlife and wild places and to ensure a healthy environment for all life on earth. - http://www.nrdc.org/
The Earth Organization is a grass roots international non-profit, conservation and environmental organization, with new solutions, committed to the creative, responsible rehabilitation of Planet Earth and the plant and animal kingdoms. - http://www.earthorganization.com/
GASLAND (2010) - http://www.gaslandthemovie.com - “The
largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the
United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudi Arabia of natural
gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is
asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey
uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are
able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many
absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite
travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part
exhibits the scientific "smoking gun" evidence of human-induced global
warming. This was done through analysis of trapped (over a period of hundreds
of thousands of years) atmospheric gas bubbles in Greenland's ice-core layers.
The program's evidence not only conclusively proves the fact that our burning
of fossil fuels is the major culprit in climate change, but also that the effects
are increasing at an alarming and exponentially accelerating rate.
Almost three miles of ice buries most of Antarctica, cloaking a continent half again as large as the United States. But when an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Manhattan collapsed in less than a month in 2002, it shocked scientists and raised the alarming possibility that Antarctica may be headed for a meltdown. Even a 10 percent loss of Antarctica's ice would cause catastrophic flooding of coastal cities unlike any seen before in human history. What are the chances of a widespread melt? "Secrets Beneath the Ice" explores whether Antarctica's climate past can offer clues to what may happen. NOVA follows a state-of-the-art expedition that is drilling three-quarters of a mile into the Antarctic seafloor. The drill is recovering rock cores that reveal intimate details of climate and fauna from a time in the distant past when the Earth was just a few degrees warmer than it is today. As researchers grapple with the harshest conditions on the planet, they discover astonishing new clues about Antarctica's past—clues that carry ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.
Ticking Time Bomb - http://mcaf.ee/092f5 - The CBS Evening News (Tues., Sept. 28, 2008) carried a brief report about the how scientists are now very concerned about the Arctic meltdown and the attendant acceleration of methane off-gassing (“frozen methane”; aka: ‘clathrates’) which is now occurring. It is a must-read article that succinctly lays out what is, unfortunately, happening right now!
“White House Solar Panels: What Ever Happened To Carter's Solar Thermal Water Heater?” - http://mcaf.ee/523df - (Huffington Post - Dave Burdick - 01-27-09)
“A [Solar] ROAD NOT TAKEN” - (Movie Trailer) - http://mcaf.ee/1d954 - (4-minute YouTube video about what happened to the solar panels that U.S. President Jimmy had installed atop the U.S. White House.)
Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050, experts say - (Sun Feb 20, 2011 - YahooNews) - WASHINGTON (AFP) – A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.
The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.
To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University. - http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110220/ts_afp/scienceuspopulationfood
The Truth About Dioxin - Despite a slew of reassuring newspaper stories about dioxin, scientific studies are finding that the chemical is even worse than once thought - http://mcaf.ee/4982b
"California Can't Have it All: There's Not Enough Water to Support Farmers, Cities and the Environment:
Nothing can be done in California that will keep its farms and big cities thriving at today's levels and also keep the fish and the Delta alive.
So what do we do?"
12, 2011, High Country News article By Matt
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - 1986 book [revised and updated in 1993] by Marc Reisner - “The definitive history of water resources in the American West, and a very illuminating lesson in the political economy of limited resources anywhere. Highly recommended!” - [Amazon link ]
Water, Water, Everywhere ... but Is It Safe to Drink? - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 20, 2011) - "Over the last couple of generations, there has been a huge amount of groundwater pollution worldwide, and this has had a negative impact on our drinking water supply," says Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Canada Research Chair in Isotope Geochemistry of the Earth and the Environment at the University of Toronto. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110220080553.htm
“Study of Baby Teeth Sees Radiation Effects”
(December 13, 2010, New York Times article By Matthew L. Wald) - [Excerpt]:
Men who grew up in the St. Louis area in the early 1960s and died of cancer by middle age had more than twice as much radioactive strontium
in their baby teeth as men born in the same area at the same time who are still living,
according to a study based on teeth collected years ago by Washington University in St. Louis.
The study, published on Dec. 1 in The International Journal of Health Services,
analyzed baby teeth collected during the era when the United States and the Soviet Union were conducting nuclear bomb tests in the atmosphere. ….
study implies that deaths from bomb fallout globally run into the “many
said the authors, Joseph J. Mangano and Dr. Janette D. Sherman,
both of the Radiation and Public Health Project, nonprofit research group based in New York.
New solar fuel machine 'mimics plant life'
break down carbon dioxide or water into fuels which can be stored and transported.
Conventional photovoltaic panels must use the electricity they generate in situ, and cannot deliver power at night.
Details are published in the journal Science.
The prototype, which was devised by researchers in the US and Switzerland,
a quartz window and cavity to concentrate sunlight into a cylinder lined with
cerium oxide, also known as ceria.
Ceria has a natural propensity to exhale oxygen as it heats up and inhale it as it cools down.
If as in the prototype, carbon dioxide and/or water are pumped into the vessel,
the ceria will rapidly strip the oxygen from them as it cools, creating
hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide.
Hydrogen produced could be used to fuel hydrogen fuel cells in cars, for example,
while a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide can be used to
create "syngas" for fuel.
It is this harnessing of ceria's properties in the solar reactor which represents the major breakthrough,
say the inventors of the device. They also say the metal is readily available, being the most abundant of the "rare-earth" metals
'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution - Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system - (MIT News - July 31, 2008) - http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html
'Tall Order' Sunlight-to-Hydrogen System Works, Neutron Analysis Confirms - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 3, 2011) - Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a biohybrid photoconversion system -- based on the interaction of photosynthetic plant proteins with synthetic polymers -- that can convert visible light into hydrogen fuel. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203152544.htm
Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes after inhaling - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110116144452.htm - (Jan. 15, 2011 - ScienceDaily) - ‘In research described as "a stark warning" to those tempted to start smoking, scientists are reporting that cigarette smoke begins to cause genetic damage within minutes -- not years -- after inhalation into the lungs.’
Air-Conditioned Greenhouse Uses Alternative Energy - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 2, 2011) - Neiker-Tecnalia (The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development) has created an air-conditioned greenhouse using alternative energies that enable the reduction of energy costs, improvements in energy efficiency and an increase in crop yields. The novel system has a biomass boiler and thermodynamic solar panels, which reach an optimum temperature for the crop without using fuels derived from petroleum oil or gas. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202132619.htm
Chernobyl birds are small brained - (BBC 2-5-11) - Birds living around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident have 5% smaller brains, an effect directly linked to lingering background radiation. - http://mcaf.ee/14ab6
On the day of our interview, we also discovered that he planned to hold a party for the new Republicans he helped elect.
As we have documented, Koch not only financed the rise of the anti-Obama Tea Party,
he has also helped guide the movement to support the narrow business priorities of his conglomerate Koch Industries:
and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity hands out Tea Party talking points attacking clean energy.
Building on this research, the Los Angeles Times reported this weekend about the central influence of Koch in the new GOP Congress.
According to the Times, just before David Koch spoke to ThinkProgress
following House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) swearing in ceremony,
he had met with Boehner in the Speaker’s office.
Koch’s top political deputy, former Jack Abramoff operative Tim Phillips,
met with the new Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) that day as well:
New Findings in India's Bt Cotton Controversy:
Good for the Field, Bad for the Farm?
(ScienceDaily - Feb. 7, 2011)
Crop yields from India's first genetically modified crop
may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields
may come at the expense of sustainable farm management,
says a new study by a Washington University in St. Louis anthropologist.
The study, by Glenn Stone, PhD, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences,
appears in the March issue of the journal World Development.
Greener Process for Key Ingredient for Everything from Paint to Diapers
(ScienceDaily - Feb. 9, 2011)
Scientists are reporting discovery of an environmentally friendly way
to make a key industrial material
-- used in
products ranging from paints to diapers --
from a renewable raw material without touching the traditional pricey
and increasingly scarce petroleum-based starting material.
Their report on a new catalyst for making acrylic acid appears in ACS
Things don't go better with the Koch brothers.
MARK KARLIN, BUZZFLASH EDITOR FOR TRUTHOUT
It's amazing that many middle-class Americans fall for the siren song that government is the source of all evil
when many global corporations are putting US citizens out of work;
sitting on profits generated by gullible consumers; and polluting our air, water and food.
That's why the Koch brothers are the latest in a long line of ultra-wealthy, right-wing investors
in running the federal government through owning politicians and financing propaganda
that diverts attention from corporate misdeeds.
Koch Industries will have to spend a lot - billions of
dollars, perhaps -
if climate change laws are passed or regulations put into effect.
Not to mention that the Koch brothers represent
a whole wing of billion-dollar corporate polluters who want the EPA to be defanged.
As a result, the Republicans, particularly in the House,
have marked the EPA as one key target
in budget reduction -
and vigorously oppose protecting us from global warming.
The Republican strategy of attacking the deficit
is a shrewd move to reduce positive restraints on corporations.
In the financial sector, for instance,
this means Republican proposals to cut the budgets of agencies
that regulate banks and Wall Street.
The Koch brothers know how to fund front organizations
to stir up Americans who feel displaced
by inciting them with emotional diversions.
It's a magic trick, of sorts, to distract our eyes
while our pockets are picked and our lungs are filled with toxins.
No, things don't go better with the Koch brothers.
In fact, they will get a whole lot worse.
US study links pesticides to Parkinson's disease
(Fri., Feb 11, 2011) - WASHINGTON (AFP)
US researchers said Friday they have found that people who used two specific varieties of pesticide
were 2.5 times as likely to develop Parkinson's disease.
The pesticides, paraquat and rotenone,
are not approved for house and garden use.
Previous research on animals has linked paraquat to Parkinson's disease,
so it is restricted to use by certified applicators.
Rotenone is approved only for use in killing invasive fish species.
"Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria,
the structure responsible for making energy in the cell,"
said study co-author Freya Kamel,
a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
"Paraquat increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures.
People who used these pesticides or others with a similar mechanism of action
were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease."
Earth economist: The food bubble is about to burst - (NewScientist - Feb. 10, 2011 - by Alison George ) -
We're fast draining the fresh water resources our farms rely on, warns Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute
What is a food bubble?
That's when food production is inflated through the unsustainable use of water and land. It's the water bubble we need to worry about now. The World Bank says that 15 per cent of Indians (175 million people) are fed by grain produced through overpumping - when water is pumped out of aquifers faster than they can be replenished. In China, the figure could be 130 million.
Has this bubble already burst anywhere?
Saudi Arabia made itself self-sufficient in wheat by using water from a fossil aquifer, which doesn't refill. It has harvested close to 3 million tonnes a year, but in 2008 the Saudi authorities said the aquifer was largely depleted. Next year could be the last harvest. This is extreme, but about half the world's people live in countries with falling water tables. India and China will lose grain production capacity through aquifer depletion. We don't know when or how abruptly the bubble will burst.
Supervolcanoes - (BBC2 9:30pm Thursday 3rd February 2000) -
NARRATOR (SINÉAD CUSACK): Yellowstone is America's first and most famous National Park. Every year over 3 million tourists visit this stunning wilderness, but beneath its hot springs and lush forests lies a monster of which the public is ignorant.
PROF. ROBERT CHRISTIANSEN (US Geological Survey): Millions of people come to Yellowstone every year to see the marvellous scenery and the wildlife and all and yet it's clear that, that very few of them really understand that they're here on a sleeping giant.
NARRATOR: If this giant were to stir, the United States would be devastated and the world would be plunged into a catastrophe which could push humanity to the brink of extinction.
PROF. ROBERT SMITH (University of Utah): It would be extremely devastating on a scale that we've probably never even thought about.
PROF. BILL McGUIRE (Benfield Greig Centre, UCL): It would mean absolute catastrophe for North America and the problem is we know so little about these phenomena.
NARRATOR: In 1971 heavy rain fell across much of east Nebraska. In the summer palaeontologist Mike Voorhies travelled to the farmland around the mid-west town of Orchard. What he was to discover exceeded his wildest dreams. - http://exodus2006.com/transcript.htm
Pesticides May Block Male Hormones - Many agricultural pesticides disrupt male hormones, according to new tests - (By Marla Cone and Environmental Health News - February 15, 2011) - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=pesticides-may-block-male-hormones
MIT’s Dr. Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., describes
a revolutionary new photosynthesis-like process
for storing solar energy
via hydrogen production from H2O.
The process utilizes just one gallon of water
which reconstitutes the H2O for daily recycled use…
yielding a totally off-grid, closed system
that powers an entire house AND
recharges your electric car, too!
- (7-1/4 minute video) -
Explains Why It's a Small
(and Fast) World, After All
(ScienceDaily - Feb. 18, 2011)
Understanding and managing how humans and nature sustainably coexist
is now so sweeping and lightning fast
that it's spawned a concept to be unveiled
at a major scientific conference* February 18.
Joining its popular cousins telecommuting and television,
telecoupling is the way Jack Liu,
director of the Human-Nature Lab/Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University,
is describing how distance is shrinking and connections are strengthening between nature and humans.
"This is a beginning of exploring the new frontier,"
said Liu, who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability.
"Telecoupling is about connecting both human and natural systems across boundaries.
are new and faster ways of connecting
the whole planet
-- from big events like earthquakes and floods
to tourism, trade, migration, pollution, climate change,
flows of information and financial capital,
and invasion of animal and plant species."
Depleted Uranium Released During Canadian Plane Crash - Little-Known Use of DU in Commercial Jets Exposed - (American Free Press 2004 - By Christopher Bollyn) - http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/depleted_uranium.html
Used uranium worth billions
Paducah facility has stored treasure
(By James R. Carroll - April 6, 2008 - The Louisville Courier-Journal)
WASHINGTON -- About 40,000 canisters of depleted uranium
are spread out in rows at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
An additional 20,000 are stored at a sister facility in Piketon, Ohio.
For years, the canisters and their contents
have been considered worthless waste.
With worldwide uranium supplies tight and prices soaring,
those canisters in Kentucky and Ohio
are getting a new look as a potential moneymaker
for the federal government. -
Glaciologist Lonnie Thompson
worries that he may have found clues
that show history repeating itself,
and if he is right, the result
could have important implications to modern society.
(Source: Ohio State University December 16, 2004)
'No Sun link' to climate change
A new scientific study concludes that
changes in the Sun's output
cannot be causing modern-day climate change.
It shows that for the last 20 years,
the Sun's output has declined,
yet temperatures on Earth have risen.
It also shows that modern temperatures
are not determined by
the Sun's effect on cosmic rays,
as has been claimed.
Plants Cloned as Seeds: Hybrids That Breed True Would Be Major Advance for Crop Plants - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 21, 2011) — Plants have for the first time been cloned as seeds. The research by aUC Davis plant scientists and their international collaborators, published Feb. 18 in the journal Science, is a major step towards making hybrid crop plants that can retain favorable traits from generation to generation. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110217141315.htm
6,000-Year Climate Record Suggests Longer Droughts, Drier Climate for Pacific Northwest - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 23, 2011) — University of Pittsburgh-led researchers extracted a 6,000-year climate record from a Washington lake that shows that the famously rain-soaked American Pacific Northwest could not only be in for longer dry seasons, but also is unlikely to see a period as wet as the 20th century any time soon.In a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team linked the longer dry spells to the intensifying El Niño/La Niña climate pattern and concluded that Western states will likely suffer severe water shortages as El Niño/La Niña wields greater influence on the region. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222122725.htm
At just one square millimetre in size, the tiny device is a pressure monitor that is implanted in a person's eye.
It may be small but it packs a hefty punch, containing an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device.
Developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, the unnamed unit - which is expected to be commercially available in several years - is already being touted as the future of the computing industry.
Its creators - Professors Dennis Sylvester, David Blaauw and David Wentzloff - claim that as the device's radio needs no tuning to find the right frequency it could link to a wireless network of computers.
A network of such units could one day track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance, or make virtually any object smart and trackable, according to the scientists. - http://mcaf.ee/cedbf
How One Nuclear Skirmish
Could Wreck the Planet
WASHINGTON — Even a small nuclear exchange
could ignite mega-firestorms and wreck the planet’s atmosphere.
New climatological simulations show
100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs
— relatively small warheads, compared to the arsenals military
superpowers stow today —
detonated by neighboring countries
would destroy more than a quarter of the Earth’s ozone layer in about two years.
Regions closer to the poles
would see even more
precipitous drops in the protective gas,
which absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
New York and Sydney, for example,
would see declines rivaling the perpetual hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
And it may take more than six years
for the ozone layer to reach half of its former levels.
Researchers described the results during a panel Feb. 18
calling it “a real bummer” that such a localized nuclear war
could bring the modern world to its knees.
“This is tremendously dangerous,”
said environmental scientist Alan Robock of Rutgers University,
one of the climate scientists presenting at the meeting.
“The climate change would be unprecedented in human history,
and you can imagine the world … would just shut down.”
Hydrofracked? One Man’s Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling - (Feb. 25, 2011 - ProPublica - by Abrahm Lustgarten) - http://mcaf.ee/2c1b0
NY Times Report: Fracked Water Thousands of Times More Dangerous Than They're Telling Us
(February 28, 2011 - By Steven D. | Sourced from Booman Tribune) - http://mcaf.ee/b5f7d
Good old hydrofracking. You know about it right? It's the method to produce natural gas by fracturing rock formations with millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals. It's been contaminating groundwater in the Western US for many years and now it is being pursued with a vengeance in the East, particularity with respect to the Marcellus Shale formation that extends across Pennsylvania and New York.
Everyone in the know has warned us for years that hydrofracking was highly dangerous to sources of groundwater used for human consumption. But only now are we being told how much worse is that contamination of our water supplies. So bad it will make you ill after you read this investigative report from the NY Times:
With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.
The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.
We have evolved traits that will lead to humanity's extinction,
says Christian de Duve – so we must learn to overcome them
We are the most successful
species on the planet,
but you think
we will ultimately
pay the price
for this success.
The cost of our success is
the exhaustion of natural resources,
leading to energy crises, climate change,
pollution and the destruction of our habitat.
If you exhaust natural resources
there will be nothing left for
If we continue in the same direction,
humankind is headed for
some frightful ordeals,
if not extinction.
Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals - (4-min. - NPR audio) - http://mcaf.ee/86573
Predicted Increase in Atmospheric CO2
Will Directly Affect Living Organisms:
Carbon Dioxide Exacerbates Oxygen Toxicity
(ScienceDaily - Mar. 4, 2011)
…the refusal to halt our relentless destruction of the ecosystem on which life depends are the harbingers of our own collapse and the consequences of the idiocy of our elite and the folly of globalization. Protests that are not built around a complete reconfiguration of American society, including a rapid dismantling of empire and the corporate state, can only forestall the inevitable. We will be saved only with the birth of a new and militant radicalism which seeks to dethrone our corrupt elite from power, not negotiate for better terms.
The global economy is built on the erroneous belief that the marketplace—read human greed—should dictate human behavior and that economies can expand eternally. Globalism works under the assumption that the ecosystem can continue to be battered by massive carbon emissions without major consequences. - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-0
Low Cost Solar Cells: New European Record in Efficiency - ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — Kesterites combine the low cost of thin film solar cell technologies with extremely low raw material cost. Their main component consists of copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur or selenium, all abundant and low cost elements. Several labs have reported that the loss of tin during preparation limits the ability to control deposition processes. The Laboratory for Photovoltaics has now developed a preparation process that allows controlling the tin loss and has in the first attempt led to record efficiency. - Details of the preparation process have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. - http://mcaf.ee/15e26
Weed-Eating Fish 'Key to Reef Survival'
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011)
Preserving an intact population of weed-eating fish
may be vital to saving the world's coral reefs
from being engulfed by weeds
as human and climate impacts grow.
Earth's Biodiversity: What Do We Know and Where Are We Headed? - ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2011) — Earth's biodiversity -- the number of microorganisms, plants, and animals, their genes, and their ecosystems (such as rainforests and grasslands) -- is declining at an alarming rate, even faster than the last mass extinction 65 million years ago. In fact, two thirds of the terrestrial species that exist today are estimated to be extinct by the end of this century. Humans are an integral part of this extensive network of life. We depend on biodiversity for goods and services; we impact biodiversity via rapidly expanding human population growth, consumption of resources, and spread of disease; and we study biodiversity in order to understand, conserve, and protect it.To celebrate, analyze, and suggest future avenues of biodiversity research, three world-renowned scientists -- Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Dr. Jonathan Chase, from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and Dr. J. Chris Pires, from the University of Missouri Columbia -- have co-edited a Special Issue on Biodiversity, published in March by the American Journal of Botany. Raven, Chase, and Pires overlap in their interest in biodiversity, yet their specialties complemented each other when it came to inviting "some of the best and brightest biodiversity scientists from each of [their] fields" to provide contributing papers to this issue. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310173208.htm
Breakthrough in Nanocomposite for High-Capacity Hydrogen Storage - ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2011) — Since the 1970s, hydrogen has been touted as a promising alternative to fossil fuels due to its clean combustion -- unlike hydrocarbon-based fuels, which spew greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants, hydrogen's only combustion by-product is water. Compared to gasoline, hydrogen is lightweight, can provide a higher energy density and is readily available. But there's a reason we're not already living in a hydrogen economy: to replace gasoline as a fuel, hydrogen must be safely and densely stored, yet easily accessed. Limited by materials unable to leap these conflicting hurdles, hydrogen storage technology has lagged behind other clean energy candidates.
New Desalination Process Developed Using Carbon Nanotubes - ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2011) — A faster, better and cheaper desalination process enhanced by carbon nanotubes has been developed by NJIT Professor Somenath Mitra. The process creates a unique new architecture for the membrane distillation process by immobilizing carbon nanotubes in the membrane pores. Conventional approaches to desalination are thermal distillation and reverse osmosis. -
SunShot: Lowering the Price of Electricity from the Sun - (March 14, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Energy aims to make electricity from the sun cheaper than that from burning coal or natural gas - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=sunshot-lowering-price-of-solar-electricity
Fire and Ice: Melting Glaciers Trigger Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanos -
Geologists Say Global Warming Expected to Cause Many New Seismic Events - (2011 - By Larry West, About.com Guide) - Climatologists have been raising alarms about global warming for years, and now geologists are getting into the act, warning that melting glaciers will lead to an increasing number of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in unexpected places.People in northern climates who have been looking south and shaking their heads sadly over the plight of people living in the path of Atlantic hurricanes and Pacific tsunamis had better get ready for a few seismic events of their own, according to a growing number of prominent geologists. - http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarming/a/earthquakes.htm
[From page 20 of the March/April issue of Sierra magazine.]:
Feeling feverish? Rashy?
Do your joints and eyeballs hurt?
Are you vomiting? Hemorrhaging?
You may have dengue fever,
the mosquito-borne virus….
In 2009, dengue came to Key West, Florida;
there were 27 confirmed cases,
with an additional 1,100 people
-- 5 percent of the population --
carrying either active dengue or antibodies
showing that they had been exposed to the virus.
Last November, a case was diagnosed in Miami as well.
…. The mosquitoes that carry dengue fever
…are now found in 28 states.
(For a scary short animation
of dengue’s spread,
see http://bit.ly/cc_dengue )
There are four varieties if dengue,
Little-known U.S. Fault Lines
Cause For Seismic Concern
About Potential Earthquakes
(2011 - ABC News)
Quake in the Midwest
Would Have Catastrophic Consequences
Nuclear power report: 14 'near misses' at US plants due to 'lax oversight' - (March 18, 2011 - By Mark Clayton, Staff writer - The Christian Science Monitor) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to resolve known safety problems, leading to 14 'near-misses' in US nuclear power plants in 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from a nuclear watchdog group. - http://mcaf.ee/de68f
Later that year, Silkwood was found to be contaminated with 400 times the legal limit for plutonium. Silkwood contended that she had been exposed to the plutonium as retaliation for her whistleblowing.
Having arranged to turn over papers that would have allegedly showed the culpability of Kerr-McGee for multiple risks at the nuclear plant, she was killed when her car ran off the road while she was en route to meet a New York Times reporter. No documents were found in her car and the circumstances of the accident indicated that Silkwood may have been rammed from behind.
In a civil trial, Kerr-McGee made the rather difficult-to-believe claim that Silkwood intentionally poisoned herself with plutonium. Subsequently, 44 pounds of plutonium were found missing from the plant. - http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12508/
What It's Like Living in Our Nuclear Sacrifice Zone - (March 21, 2011 - The Phoenix Sun / By Valerie Brown - http://tinyurl.com/65f48e8 ) -
The official focus on high short-term doses is deceptive. Emerging science suggests that low doses of radiation exposure can have numerous long-term effects, possibly passed from one generation to the next. And almost all the discussion about – and the scientific research on – radiation exposure focuses on cancers. There are certainly many cancers that radiation can induce in addition to thyroid cancer, from breast and prostate cancer to various leukemias. These cancers are thought to result from energetic particles striking DNA, breaking strands, and interfering with gene replication. Faulty genes lead to faulty cells, is the thinking. But there may also be epigenetic effects – that is, changes in the way normal genes are organized and allowed to function – and these may result in disorders other than cancer, such as thyroid diseases, autoimmune problems, and hormones gone haywire.
To make matters worse, how old you are when you’re exposed makes a big difference too. Prenatal insults including chemical and radiation exposure can create epigenetic patterns of gene expression that will stay with you forever, even if your actual genes are undamaged. And it can take 50 or more years for the timer set in the womb to trip the fuse and trigger a full-blown disease.
In a 2009 review article, Canadian researchers Carmel Mothersill and Colin Seymour of McMaster University nicely expressed the emerging state of knowledge about the effects of low-level radiation exposure:
“Our understanding of the biological effects of low dose exposure has undergone a major paradigm shift….[W]e understand, at least in part, some of the mechanisms which drive low dose effects and which perpetuate these not only in the exposed organism but also in its progeny and in certain cases, its kin. This means that previously held views about safe doses or lack of harmful effects cannot be sustained.”
Turns out that at
. . . Los Alamos National Laboratory [LANL]
nuclear safety issues have been complicated with seismic concerns
as geological studies have uncovered
an increasingly precarious underground structure. . . .
in the late 1990s [faults were] found to run near
and even beneath some LANL nuclear facilities. . . .
A survey found a number of LANL buildings
to be at considerable risk of earthquake-induced collapse.
But this information
. . . was not immediately applied to building siting and design . . . .
"When they set up Los Alamos initially,
they didn't care about these things.
They were looking for an isolated site,"
said [Greg] Mello [of the Los Alamos Study Group],
who has studied seismic issues at the lab since 1996. . . .
"Since then, many people have questioned the wisdom
of putting a plutonium processing facility
and now a nuclear pit manufacturing facility
on the side of a volcano."
The Legal Threat of Being SLAPPed
[SLAPP] - Overview> - [excerpt]
Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined. — Judge J. Nicholas Colabella (1992)
Strong statement or overstatement? Judge Colabella was referring to the threat posed by Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or "SLAPPs." SLAPPs are lawsuits filed in response to or retaliation for citizen communications with government entities and employees.
Citizens have been sued for testifying before their city councils and county commissions, about building permit and zoning change applications, for expressing concerns to school board members, and for reporting violations of environmental laws to regulatory agencies, to give just three of thousands of examples. In short, these citizens were sued for doing exactly what the Constitution allows and encourages them to do, which accounts for Colabella’s strong words in Gordon v. Marrone, a 1992 New York case.
The particular provision of the First Amendment that is threatened by SLAPPs is the petition clause ("Congress shall make no law" abridging the "right of the people" to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"). George Pring and Penelope Canan, the authors of the leading work on the topic, SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out (and the coiners of the acronym), have dubbed the petition clause "the unknown soldier of the Bill of Rights."
While the petition clause may be less renowned than the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech, press and religion, the right it protects is every bit as basic to our form of government. - http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/petition/topic.aspx?topic=slapp
Russian Boreal Forests Undergoing Vegetation Change, Study Shows - ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — Russia's boreal forest -- the largest continuous expanse of forest in the world, found in the country's cold northern regions -- is undergoing an accelerating large-scale shift in vegetation types as a result of globally and regionally warming climate. That in turn is creating an even warmer climate in the region, according to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology and highlighted in the April issue of Nature Climate Change. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325022352.htm
Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf' - ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy -- development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.
"A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades," said [MIT professor] Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., who led the research team. "We believe we have done it. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station," he said. "One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology."
The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature's counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells. About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly. Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said. It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110327191042.htm
While Nuclear Waste Piles up in U.S., Billions in Fund to Handle It Sit Unused - (March 30, 2011 - by Joaquin Sapien - ProPublica) - There is $24 billion sitting in a "nuclear waste fund" that can't actually be used to pay for a safer way to store the waste at reactors. - http://mcaf.ee/2b4a0
Why Factory Farmed Meat Is a Threat to Your Health -- Even If You Don't Eat It - (March 28, 2011 - By Brittany Shoot - AlterNet) - David Kirby talks about his book "Animal Factory," and the risks that factory farming poses to our health and the environment. - http://mcaf.ee/c820f
The Dirty Truth Behind America's Obsession With Shrimp - (April 1, 2011 - By Kennedy Warne - Island Press) - Most Americans don't know the ugly backstory of the shrimp on their plates: destroyed mangrove forests, toxic sludge, and displaced lives. - http://mcaf.ee/e742f
Group warns EPA ready to increase radioactive release guidelines - (April 3, 2011 - by Anne Paine - The Tennessean) - ( http://mcaf.ee/eb82a ) - The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
What is termed a guidance that EPA is considering - as opposed to a regulation - does not require public airing before it’s decided upon.
EPA officials contacted today in the Atlanta and D.C. offices had no response on the issue as of 6 p.m.
The radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs are protocols for responding to radiological events ranging from nuclear power-plant accidents to dirty bombs.
Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include:
A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131
An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63
The new radiation guidance would also allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed, the group says.
These relaxed standards are opposed by public health professionals inside EPA, according to documents PEER said it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
PEER is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals
Carbon Dioxide Capture: Health Effects of Amines and Their Derivatives - ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — Carbon dioxide capture by means of amines is considered to be the most appropriate method to quickly begin with CO2 removal. During this capture process, some of the amines escaping the recycling process will be emitted into the air and will also form other compounds such as nitrosamines and nitramines. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) was commissioned by the Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) to assess whether these new emissions are harmful to health -- particularly in terms of the cancer risk to the general population. The results of the risk assessments have now been submitted. - http://mcaf.ee/d7825
In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the United States in search of oil and gas. Many of those holes were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence.
Government reports have warned for decades that abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface. - http://mcaf.ee/8defb
First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money - ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — A new polymer-based solar-thermal device is the first to generate power from both heat and visible sunlight -- an advance that could shave the cost of heating a home by as much as 40 percent. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404111148.htm
Mangroves Among the Most Carbon-Rich Forests in the Tropics; Coastal Trees Key to Lowering Greenhouse Gases - ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — Coastal mangrove forests store more carbon than almost any other forest on Earth, according to a study conducted by a team of U.S. Forest Service and university scientists.
Their findings are published online in the journal Nature Geoscience. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404173247.htm
The High Probability Of Finding 'Life Beyond Earth' - (37- min. audio - April 4, 2011 - Fresh Air - WHYY/NPR) - Scientific interest in extraterrestrial life has grown in the past 20 years. The field of astrobiology now includes researchers from a wide variety of disciplines — microbiologists studying bacteria that survive in the most extreme conditions on Earth; astronomers who believe there may be billions of planets with conditions hospitable to life; chemists investigating how amino acids and living organisms first appeared on Earth; and scientists studying rocks from Mars are seeing convincing evidence that microbial life existed on the Red Planet.
In First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth, Marc Kaufman, a science writer and national editor at The Washington Post, explains how microbes found in some of Earth's most inhospitable environments may hold the key to unlocking mysteries throughout the solar system.
Kaufman talks with Fresh Air's Dave Davies about the ongoing search for life in the universe — from current research, to the unknowns in the field.
"There are undoubtedly billions or trillions of planets out there and there are most likely billions in the Milky Way itself — just one of billions of galaxies," Kaufman says. "There are billions of planets in habitable zones in relation to their stars that would allow for water to be liquid and for other important conditions for life." - http://www.npr.org/2011/04/04/135040012/the-high-probability-of-finding-life-beyond-earth
Gulf Stream could be threatened by Arctic flush - (April 5, 2011 - by Fred Pearce - NewScientist) - Conveyor breakdown - A dramatic freshening of the North Atlantic could disrupt the engine of a global ocean circulation system called the thermohaline circulation, or ocean conveyor. This system, of which the Gulf Stream forms a part, is driven by dense, salty water in the North Atlantic plunging to the ocean bottom near Greenland.
"In the worst case, these Arctic surges can significantly change the densities of marine surface waters in the far North Atlantic," says de Steur.
Some 13,000 years ago, a major freshening of the North Atlantic shut down the circulation and plunged the Earth into a cold snap, known as the Younger Dryas era, which lasted for 1300 years. That was the result of an influx of fresh water much larger than is building up now, but some climate models do predict the circulation could weaken in coming decades, says Detlef Quadfasel of the climate centre at Hamburg University in Germany. The discovery of pooling fresh water in the Arctic suggests how this could happen. - http://mcaf.ee/964f0
Scientist finds a whole new 'domain' of life - It is life but not as we know it – a scientist claims to have discovered not just a new species but a whole new branch of the tree of life. - (April 5, 2011 - By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent - The Telegraph/UK) - Living things are currently split into three branches or domains – eukaryotes, or complex celled organisms such as animals, plants and humans – and two simple celled microorganism divisions – bacteria and archaea.
But now a researcher working with the laboratory of the maverick scientist Dr Craig Venter claims he might have discovered a fourth.
Professor Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, has used complicated gene sequencing techniques to look at DNA collected by Dr Venter on a round the world yachting trip.
He found that some of the genes did not fit into the three domains and that he could possibly have stumbled on a whole new domain.
Trying to classify the new DNA has proved impossible and so Prof Eisen has published his findings in the journal Public Library of Science in the hope others can help. - http://mcaf.ee/2974e
Radioactive Fallout in Saint Louis Missouri
(1-3/4-min. - YouTube audio/video)
Uranium Mining and Nuclear Pollution in the Upper Midwest: America's Secret Chernobyl - http://www.eaglerocktradingpost.com/uranium.htm
How Nuclear Apologists Mislead the World Over Radiation - (Monday, April 11, 2011 - by Helen Caldicott - The Guardian/UK) - https://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/11-10
The Worldwide 'Thirst' For Clean Drinking Water - (April 11, 2011 - Fresh Air/NPR) - (38 min. - audio) - The typical American uses 99 gallons of water a day for activities like washing clothes, bathing, toilet-flushing and cooking. But that amount doesn't even come close to the amount of water used on a daily basis by electrical power plants.
Each day, coal, nuclear and natural gas plants use about five times the amount of water used on a daily basis by all American households combined — including 250 gallons of water per American per day to generate our daily electricity usage.
"So your flat-screen TV has a little hidden water spigot running to it," says investigative reporter Charles Fishman. "[We use] 10 gallons of water an hour every hour of every day just to power our computers and our refrigerators and our washing machines at home."
In a Fast Company cover story published in 2007, Fishman examined how the bottled water industry turned what was once a free natural resource into a multibillion-dollar business. He expands his investigation of the water industry in the new book The Big Thirst, which examines the future of a natural resource that, Fishman says, we can no longer take for granted.
"The last 100 years has been the golden age of water in the developed world: water that has been safe, unlimited and essentially free," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "But that era is over. We will not, going forward, have water that has all three of those qualities at the same time: unlimited, unthinkingly inexpensive and safe." - http://www.npr.org/2011/04/11/135241362/the-worldwide-thirst-for-clean-drinking-water
(22 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Radioactive Contaminants Removed from Drinking Water Using New Material, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — A combination of forest byproducts and crustacean shells may be the key to removing radioactive materials from drinking water, researchers from North Carolina State University have found. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413111319.htm
Replacing Batteries May Become a Thing of the Past, Thanks to 'Soft Generators' - ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011) — Battery technology hasn't kept pace with advancements in portable electronics, but the race is on to fix this. One revolutionary concept being pursued by a team of researchers in New Zealand involves creating "wearable energy harvesters" capable of converting movement from humans or found in nature into battery power.
A class of variable capacitor generators known as "dielectric elastomer generators" (DEGs) shows great potential for wearable energy harvesting. In fact, researchers at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute's Biomimetics Lab believe DEGs may enable light, soft, form-fitting, silent energy harvesters with excellent mechanical properties that match human muscle. They describe their findings in the American Institute of Physics' journal Applied Physics Letters.
"Imagine soft generators that produce energy by flexing and stretching as they ride ocean waves or sway in the breeze like a tree," says Thomas McKay, a Ph.D. candidate working on soft generator research at the Biomimetics Lab. "We've developed a low-cost power generator with an unprecedented combination of softness, flexibility, and low mass. These characteristics provide an opportunity to harvest energy from environmental sources with much greater simplicity than previously possible." - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406123025.htm
Biodiversity Improves Water Quality in Streams Through a Division of Labor - ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2011) — Biologically diverse streams are better at cleaning up pollutants than less rich waterways, and a University of Michigan ecologist says he has uncovered the long-sought mechanism that explains why this is so. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406131807.htm
Solar Power Without Solar Cells: A Hidden Magnetic Effect of Light Could Make It Possible - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.
The researchers found a way to make an "optical battery," said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics.
In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics.
"You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We've all been taught that this doesn't happen," said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. "It's a very odd interaction. That's why it's been overlooked for more than 100 years." - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414161404.htm
Chance Discovery May Revolutionize Hydrogen Production - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — Producing hydrogen in a sustainable way is a challenge and production cost has so far proven to be too high. Now a team led by EPFL Professor Xile Hu has discovered that a molybdenum based catalyst is produced at room temperature, inexpensive and efficient. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414073549.htm
Precipitation, Predators May Be Key in Ecological Regulation of Infectious Disease - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — A little information can go a surprisingly long way when it comes to understanding rodent-borne infectious disease, as shown by a new study led by John Orrock from UW-Madison. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414131702.htm
Plasma Nanoscience Needed for Green Energy Revolution, Scientist Argues - ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — A step change in research relating to plasma nanoscience is needed for the world to overcome the challenge of sufficient energy creation and storage, says a leading scientist from CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering and the University of Sydney, Australia.
Professor Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov of the Plasma Nanoscience Centre Australia, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, has highlighted, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, the unique potential of plasma nanoscience to control energy and matter at fundamental levels to produce cost-effective, environmentally and human health friendly nanoscale materials for applications in virtually any area of human activity.
Professor Ostrikov is a pioneer in the field of plasma nanoscience…. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413225231.htm
Giant Fire-Bellied Toad's Brain Brims With Powerful Germ-Fighters - ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — Frog and toad skins already are renowned as cornucopias of hundreds of germ-fighting substances. Now a new report in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research reveals that the toad brains also may contain an abundance of antibacterial and antiviral substances that could inspire a new generation of medicines. - http://mcaf.ee/1efb6
'Green Energy' Advance: Tandem Catalysis in Nanocrystal Interfaces - ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — In a development that holds intriguing possibilities for the future of industrial catalysis, as well as for such promising clean green energy technologies as artificial photosynthesis, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created bilayered nanocrystals of a metal-metal oxide that are the first to feature multiple catalytic sites on nanocrystal interfaces. These multiple catalytic sites allow for multiple, sequential catalytic reactions to be carried out selectively and in tandem. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411142311.htm
Warming seas could push some fish species to limit: study - SINGAPORE, Apr. 18, 2011 (Reuters) — Rapidly warming ocean temperatures in some parts of the world could be pushing some fish species to the limit, stunting their growth, increasing stress and raising the risk of death, a study shows. - http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre73h0yb-us-climate-fish/
Habitat Restoration Could Help Species to Cope With Climate Change - ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2011) — Animals and plants may need extra habitats to survive the challenge of climate change, according to research by scientists at the University of York.
Human activities have reduced natural habitats to isolated "islands," making it more difficult for some species to re-locate to cooler regions in response to their existing locations growing warmer. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418133123.htm
Researcher Use Trees to Detect Contaminants and Health Threats - ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a method to detect the presence of soil and groundwater contamination without turning a shovel or touching the water. Instead, they're using trees.
The process, called "phytoforensics," takes less time and costs much less than traditional detection methods, says Dr. Joel Burken, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419160342.htm
The all-electric radio controlled vehicle, named “dAlH2Orean”, can zip along at 30km/hr (18 mpg) by turning waste aluminum scraps like ringpulls into hydrogen, and then into power. By mixing water and residual aluminum with sodium hydroxide, hydrogen is generated.
That chemical is then passed through a series of filters to eliminate waste and improve performance. A vinegar filter with water helps remove traces of hydroxides, while another filter containing a silica gel ball gets rid of the moisture. A membrane then separates the electrons from the protons until they meet again in an environment of oxygen.
Once produced, the clean hydrogen feeds the fuel cell that produces the energy for the car. Because it’s a closed cycle, the little machine doesn’t belch out any carbon dioxide emissions. - http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/04/rc-car-runs-on-aluminum-pull-tabs/
Green Environments Essential for Human Health, Research Shows - ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Research shows that a walk in the park is more than just a nice way to spend an afternoon. It's an essential component for good health, according to University of Illinois environment and behavior researcher Frances "Ming" Kuo. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419151438.htm
Can Tech Make the Desert Bloom Again? - (April 21, 2011 - by Michael Kanellos - Wired) - Is desert research an economic opportunity or a tool for diplomacy? Both, actually. Researcher Yair Kaufman at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (one of the organizations inside Blaustein) is developing a desalination membrane powered by aquaporins, a protein in human and animal cells that purifies water.
Ideally, aquaporin desalination could cut the amount of energy required for desalination by 50 percent and the ultimate cost by one-third. A Danish company, appropriately called Aquaporin, is racing toward the same goal. - http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/04/tech-desert-bloom/all/1
Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing,
Discusses Global Radiation
Exposures and Consequences
(11-1/2 min. - video)
Puzzle Persists for 'Degradeable' Plastics - Eco-friendly plastics disintegrate, but might just linger in the environment. - (April 21, 2011 - By Daniel Cressey of Nature magazine - Scientific American) - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=puzzle-persists-degradeable-plastics
The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection - (People For The American Way) - Conclusion - The Religious Right’s intensifying hostility to the environmental movement and embrace of climate change denialism conveniently couples with the GOP’s mounting assaults on climate science and environmental regulations on polluters. Energy companies stand to benefit immensely from the plans of Republicans in Congress and state legislatures to weaken attempts to limit pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and their opposition to building a more sustainable economy and adding ‘green-collar’ jobs. The Religious Right’s vicious attacks on environment-minded Christians and false assertions in the debate over environmental protection not only bolster the GOP’s war on science, but also suggest that it is a duty of faith to combat environmental protection, fight environmentalists, and deny global climate change. Just as corporate America has infused the GOP with an anti-environmental and anti-science ideology, the Religious Right is more than eager to provide cover for politicians and their corporate backers by claiming God’s blessing for their dishonest assertions and destructive policies. - http://mcaf.ee/7389e
on Earth Day
(7-3/4 min. - YouTube audi/video)
Ozone Hole Linked to Climate Change All the Way to the Equator - ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2011) — In a study to be published in the April 21st issue of Science, researchers at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science report their findings that the ozone hole, which is located over the South Pole, has affected the entire circulation of the Southern Hemisphere all the way to the equator. While previous work has shown that the ozone hole is changing the atmospheric flow in the high latitudes, the new Columbia Engineering paper demonstrates that the ozone hole is able to influence the tropical circulation and increase rainfall at low latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere. - http://mcaf.ee/63dfc
Dr. Helen Caldicott
(10 min. - YouTube audio/video)
New Heat Pump Could Last 10,000 Years, Experts Say - ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2011) — Researchers in Norway are testing an entirely new kind of heat pump. While heat pumps used today typically last 10 to 20 years, the new one will last practically indefinitely, the scientists believe.
The new heat pump consists of many miniature heat pumps as small as one cubic millimeter. To heat a house one needs several thousand of them. They are put together into larger units that can be tall and thin or short and wide.
"The most important advantages of the new heat pump is that you can regulate its size and form and that it is more durable than heat pumps are today. It is also more environmentally friendly," Doctor of Physics Jan Kåre Bording says, who is Chief Engineer at the University of Stavanger in Norway.
Together with his colleague, Professor of Materials Science Vidar Hansen, he is developing a new heat pump that is thermo-electric. They have investigated its disadvantages and advantages compared with the heat pumps we use today.
The project is a collaboration project with the Department of Physics, University of Oslo. According to the researchers the heat pump will be fully developed and ready to be launched on the market in five to ten years. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110426102559.htm
Mercury Converted to Its Most Toxic Form in Ocean Waters - ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2011) — University of Alberta-led research has confirmed that a relatively harmless inorganic form of mercury found worldwide in ocean water is transformed into a potent neurotoxin in the seawater itself.
After two years of testing water samples across the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found that relatively harmless inorganic mercury, released from human activities like industry and coal burning, undergoes a process called methylation and becomes deadly monomethylmercury.
Unlike inorganic mercury, monomethylmercury is bio-accumulative, meaning its toxic effects are amplified as it progresses through the food chain from small sea creatures to humans. The greatest exposure for humans to monomethylmercury is through seafood. The researchers believe the methylation process happens in oceans all over the world and that the conversion is carried out by microbial life forms in the ocean. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427131935.htm
America’s Nuclear Nightmare - The U.S. has 31 reactors just like Japan’s — but regulators are ignoring the risks and boosting industry profits - (April 27, 2011 - by Jeff Goodell - Rolling Stone Magazine) - http://mcaf.ee/xarw1
New Solar Cell Technology Greatly Boosts Efficiency - ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2011) — With the creation of a 3-D nanocone-based solar cell platform, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jun Xu has boosted the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by nearly 80 percent. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110429121853.htm
Physicians for Social Responsibility
National Press Club Conference (4/26/11)
The ongoing impact of
the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
to public health
25 years after the accident,
the continuing nuclear catastrophe
in Fukushima, Japan,
and the lessons from both
for U.S. public health and safety.
(52-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
In Harm's Way, But in the Dark - (Sunday, August 8, 1999 - by Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer) - PADUCAH, Ky. – Thousands of uranium workers were unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other highly radioactive metals here at a federally owned plant where contamination spread through work areas, locker rooms and even cafeterias, a Washington Post investigation has found.
Unsuspecting workers inhaled plutonium-laced dust brought into the plant for 23 years as part of a flawed government experiment to recycle used nuclear reactor fuel at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, according to a review of court documents, plant records, and interviews with current and former workers. The government and its contractors did not inform workers about the hazards for decades, even as employees in the 1980s began to notice a string of cancers.
Radioactive contaminants from the plant spilled into ditches and eventually seeped into creeks, a state-owned wildlife area and private wells, documents show. Plant workers contend in sealed court documents that radioactive waste also was deliberately dumped into nearby fields, abandoned buildings and a landfill not licensed for hazardous waste.
The sprawling Kentucky plant on the Ohio River represents an unpublished chapter in the still-unfolding story of radioactive contamination and concealment in the chain of factories across the country that produced America's Cold War nuclear arsenal. - http://mcaf.ee/qsg2n
Top Climate Scientist on the Monster Tornadoes: It Is Irresponsible Not to Mention Climate Change
Tainted uranium, danger widely distributed - (6-24-01 - by Peter Eisler - USA TODAY) - For years, state investigators wondered why radioactive technetium-99 was turning up in drinking water wells near the old Mallinckrodt Chemical uranium fuel-making plant in Hematite, Mo. Now they think they have an answer: The plant was one of several in and around St. Louis where Mallinckrodt and its successors used thousands of tons of recycled uranium to fabricate metallic fuel rods for nuclear reactors. "We believe the contamination we're now seeing at the site is related to the (recycling) program," says Ron Kucera of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Plans to clean up extensive pollution from uranium wastes at Hematite are snagged by questions over who is responsible for the technetium. That element requires special disposal because it has a half-life of 213,000 years and moves easily into soil and water. Technetium wasn't expected at Hematite because it is produced only when uranium is irradiated in a nuclear reactor — and Hematite had no reactor. "The Department of Energy has resisted efforts to become involved because even though they may have some liability, they don't want to pay anything," Kucera says. The Hematite facility was part of a nationwide network of private and federally owned plants and labs that produced fuel and other components for the nearly 70,000 U.S. nuclear weapons built before production was phased out in the early 1990s. Many of them used recycled uranium. The recycling began at the dawn of the Cold War. Officials in the weapons program were seeking ways to reuse the costly uranium that was irradiated in nuclear reactors to make plutonium and other fissile explosives for bomb cores. - http://www.usatoday.com/news/poison/2001-06-25-hotnukes.htm
Power Shift: How the Youth Climate Movement is Changing the Game - In the fight for the climate, students are leading the way. - (April 27, 2011 - By Sarah van Gelder - YES! Magazine) - http://mcaf.ee/f6mrk
Is There a Toxic Mercury Hot Spot Near You? - (April 28, 2011 - Posted by Mary Anne Hitt - Alternet) - Live near St. Louis? The Labadie coal-fired power plant emits more than 1,400 lbs of mercury every year. - http://mcaf.ee/tp943
Solar-Thermal Flat-Panels That Generate Electric Power: Researchers See Broad Residential and Industrial Applications - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — High-performance nanotech materials arrayed on a flat panel platform demonstrated seven to eight times higher efficiency than previous solar thermoelectric generators, opening up solar-thermal electric power conversion to a broad range of residential and industrial uses, a team of researchers from Boston College and MIT report in the journal Nature Materials. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110501183821.htm
Children Held Captive in Smoky Vehicles - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — It is absolutely unacceptable to subject children to any tobacco smoke exposure in cars, according to the authors of an abstract presented on May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110501183649.htm
Living With a Smoker May Raise Blood Pressure in Boys - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — Exposure to secondhand smoke, even at extremely low levels, is associated with increased blood pressure in boys, according to new research presented May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.
Children with elevated blood pressure are at increased risk of having high blood pressure, or hypertension, as adults. Hypertension is associated with a higher risk of heart and kidney disease and is the third leading contributor to illness and death worldwide. Yet, knowledge of risks factors for elevated blood pressure among children is limited.
Studies in non-smoking adults have shown associations between both secondhand smoke and outdoor air pollution with increased blood pressure, but no research has looked at this relationship in children.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from four National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted from 1999-2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They assessed 6,421 youths' exposure to secondhand smoke from their own reports of whether they lived with a smoker and through participants' levels of cotinine, a substance produced when the body breaks down nicotine. Cotinine levels are considered the best marker of tobacco smoke exposure.
Results showed that boys ages 8 to 17 years old who were exposed to secondhand smoke had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than boys not exposed to tobacco smoke. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110501183813.htm
Minor Cause, Major Effect: Interactions in Ecosystems Can Intensify Impact of Climate Change - ScienceDaily (May 2, 2011) — In a new study, marine biologists from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), together with colleagues from six other countries, show that highly complex interactions in ecosystems can intensify the impact of climate change within a relatively short period of time.The study is published in the current issue of the journal Advances in Marine Biology. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110502092324.htm
Cold Fusion is a Reality
(7 min. - YouTube audio)
Details about the current reality
of working Cold Fusion
begins at 3 minutes and 45 seconds
into the discussion.
Where is all that
Fukushima radiation going,
and why does it matter?
Expert testimony by
Marco Kaltofen, PE,
of the Worcester Polytecnic Institute,
on the long-term hazards
airborne radioactive contaminates
to U.S. citizens.
(17-3/4 min. - audio/video)
Portable Tech Might Provide Drinking Water, Power to Villages - ScienceDaily (May 3, 2011) — Researchers have developed an aluminum alloy that could be used in a new type of mobile technology to convert non-potable water into drinking water while also extracting hydrogen to generate electricity.
Such a technology might be used to provide power and drinking water to villages and also for military operations, said Jerry Woodall, a Purdue University distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The alloy contains aluminum, gallium, indium and tin. Immersing the alloy in freshwater or saltwater causes a spontaneous reaction, splitting the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The hydrogen could then be fed to a fuel cell to generate electricity, producing water in the form of steam as a byproduct, he said.
"The steam would kill any bacteria contained in the water, and then it would condense to purified water," Woodall said. "So, you are converting undrinkable water to drinking water."
Because the technology works with saltwater, it might have marine applications, such as powering boats and robotic underwater vehicles. The technology also might be used to desalinate water, said Woodall, who is working with doctoral student Go Choi.
A patent on the design is pending. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503161411.htm
The Untold Story
(18 min. - YouTube audio/video)
The Shocking Truth
(5 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Cereal Killer: Climate Change Stunts Growth of Global Crop Yields - A crop-yield analysis reveals that warming temperatures have already diminished the rate of production growth for major cereal crop harvests during the past three decades - (May 5, 2011 - by David Biello - Scientific American) - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-change-impacts-staple-crop-yields
Heavy Agricultural Machinery Can Damage the Soil, Nordic Researchers Find - ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — Heavy agricultural machinery results in more permanent damage to the soil than previously believed by researchers. This may lead to poorer crop yields and increased pollution from agricultural land.
The result is called soil compaction and it concerns the negative effect of driving heavy machinery on soil that is used for growing plants. Soil compaction is characterised by increased density of the soil, reduced air volume and a reduced ability to drain off surplus water. - http://mcaf.ee/hbwi1
The Weird Lives Of Viruses
(16-1/4 min. - NPR/Science Friday audio)
A Renewable Twist on Fossil Fuels - ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — Pulling valuable fuels out of thin air? It sounds like magic, but Joel Rosenthal, a chemist at the University of Delaware, is working to transform carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, into gas for your car and clean-energy future fuels. ….
"The chemistry we're doing is energetically uphill -- it's an energy-storing process rather than a downhill, energy-liberating process," he notes. "And our goal is to make liquid fuel renewably from wind and solar sources, not from typical fossil fuel bases." - http://mcaf.ee/pbnz1
Measurement of 'Hot' Electrons Could Have Solar Energy Payoff; Nanoantennas Hold Promise for Infrared Photovoltaics - ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — Basic scientific curiosity paid off in unexpected ways when Rice University researchers investigating the fundamental physics of nanomaterials discovered a new technology that could dramatically improve solar energy panels.
The research is described in a new paper in the journal Science.
"We're merging the optics of nanoscale antennas with the electronics of semiconductors," said lead researcher Naomi Halas, Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. "There's no practical way to directly detect infrared light with silicon, but we've shown that it is possible if you marry the semiconductor to a nanoantenna. We expect this technique will be used in new scientific instruments for infrared-light detection and for higher-efficiency solar cells." - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505142604.htm
Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study - UN's climate change science body says renewables supply, particularly solar power, can meet global demand - (May 9, 2011 - Fiona Harvey - The Guardian/UK) - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/09/ipcc-renewable-energy-power-world
The Skinny on How Shed Skin Reduces Indoor Air Pollution - ScienceDaily (May 9, 2011) — Flakes of skin that people shed at the rate of 500 million cells every day are not just a nuisance -- the source of dandruff, for instance, and a major contributor to house dust. They actually can be beneficial. A new study, published in the American Chemical Society's journal, Environmental Science & Technology, concludes that oil in those skin cells makes a small contribution to reducing indoor air pollution. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509114034.htm
Batteries and Solar Cells from Viruses - (11 min. - video) - http://mcaf.ee/dh17q
Sunlight May Turn Jet Exhaust Into Toxic Particles - (May 11, 2011 - by Janet Raloff - Science News) - Airports can pose a far bigger threat to local air than previously recognized, thanks to the transformative power of sunlight.
In the first on-tarmac measurements of their kind, researchers have shown that oil droplets spewed by idling jet engines can turn into particles tiny enough to readily penetrate the lungs and brain. - http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/airplane-exhaust-oil-toxins/
The Link Between Deadly Weather and Global Warming Is Real -- and Conservatives Can't Just Wish It Away - (May 6, 2011 - Does extreme weather foretell the kind of climate that global warming is bringing us? Scientists say yes. - http://mcaf.ee/si35u
Say What? A Chemical Can Damage Your Lungs, Liver and Kidneys and Still Be Labeled "Non-Toxic"? - (May 12, 2011 - by Monona Rossol - AlterNet) - You will be shocked at all the loop-holes given by the government to industrial chemicals to avoid safety regulation and accurate labeling. - http://mcaf.ee/yzskp
"From my research and that of others, I really think this may be the smoking gun," says Navy Capt. Mark Lyles, chair of medical sciences and biotechnology at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. "It fits everything — symptoms, timing, everything."
Lyles and other researchers found that dust particles — up to 1,000 of which can sit on the head of a pin — gathered in Iraq and Kuwait contain 37 metals, including aluminum, lead, manganese, strontium and tin. The metals have been linked to neurological disorders, cancer, respiratory ailments, depression and heart disease, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers believe the metals occur both naturally and as a byproduct of pollution.Researchers in and out of the military say the particles are smaller and easier to inhale than most dust particles, and that recent droughts in the region have killed desert shrubs that helped keep down that dust. The military's heavy vehicles have pounded the desert's protective crust into a layer of fine silt, Lyles says. Service members breathe the dust — and all it carries — deeply into their lungs. - http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2011-05-11-Iraq-Afghanistan-dust-soldiers-illnesses_n.htm#
Splitting Water for Renewable Energy Simpler Than First Thought? - ScienceDaily (May 15, 2011) — An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.
Their findings, developed with the assistance of researchers at UC Davis in the USA and using the facilities at the Australian Synchrotron, was published in the journal Nature Chemistry on May 15, 2011. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516102331.htm
New Solar Product Captures Up to 95 Percent of Light Energy - ScienceDaily (May 16, 2011) — Efficiency is a problem with today's solar panels; they only collect about 20 percent of available light. Now, a University of Missouri engineer has developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light, and he plans to make prototypes available to consumers within the next five years.
Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic (PV) methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum. The device his team has developed -- essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna -- can harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to a direct solar facing nantenna device capable of collecting solar irradiation in the near infrared and optical regions of the solar spectrum. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516181339.htm
Chemtrail Spray Operations
Captured on Doppler Radar
(7-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake - (May 18, 2011 - Technology Review/MIT) - Infrared emissions above the epicenter increased dramatically in the days before the devastating earthquake in Japan, say scientists. - http://mcaf.ee/ojyat
Many U.S. Nuclear Plants Ill-Prepared to Handle Simultaneous Threats - (May 19, 2011 - by Peter Behr and ClimateWire) - The U.S. government finds that many U.S. nuclear plants would fail to face multiple challenges at the same time as happened at Fukushima Daiichi - http://mcaf.ee/vh1yq
Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling - (May 19, 2011 - by Marie C. Baca, Special to ProPublica) - As the shale gas boom sweeps across the United States, drillers are turning to a controversial legal tool called forced pooling to gain access to minerals beneath private property--in many cases, without the landowners' permission. - http://mcaf.ee/rkvpo
From allergies to deadly disease, feeling the effects of climate change - (13-1/2 min. video - May 20, 2011 - by Laura LeBlanc - Need To Know/PBS) - http://mcaf.ee/p26b3 - A rare but deadly fungal disease once occurring only in tropical climates has recently led to several deaths in the Pacific Northwest. Scientists believe that climate change may be to blame.
When doctors discovered that Trudy Rosler, a Canadian, had a fungus growing in her brain system, they were stumped. The fungus was previously only known to exist in the tropics. But because of climate change, it’s infecting people much farther north. Here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already treating climate change as a serious health threat.
Need to Know’s medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay examines how a warming climate is already affecting our health, from making allergies worse to affecting the spread of infectious diseases and pushing the extremes of killer weather.
The 8 green steps to Solartopia
Using Microbes to Generate Electricity? - ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) — Using bacteria to generate energy is a significant step closer following a breakthrough discovery by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Published May 23 by the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the research demonstrates for the first time the exact molecular structure of the proteins which enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge.
The discovery means scientists can now start developing ways to 'tether' bacteria directly to electrodes -- creating efficient microbial fuel cells or 'bio-batteries'. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523152337.htm
Supercapacitors: Cheaper, Greener, Alternative Energy Storage - ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) — Every year, the world consumes approximately 15 terawatts of power, according to some estimates. Since the amount of annual harvestable solar energy has been estimated at 50 terawatts, students at Stevens Institute of Technology are working on a supercapacitor that will allow us to harness more of this renewable energy through biochar electrodes for supercapacitors, resulting in a cleaner, greener planet. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523101909.htm
First Macro-Scale Thin-Film Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell: Strong, Nanostructured Membrane Enables Scaling for Clean-Energy Applications - ScienceDaily (May 21, 2011) — Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and SiEnergy Systems LLC have demonstrated the first macro-scale thin-film solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC).
While SOFCs have previously worked at the micro-scale, this is the first time any research group has overcome the structural challenges of scaling the technology up to a practical size with a proportionally higher power output.
Reported online April 3 in Nature Nanotechnology, the demonstration of this fully functional SOFC indicates the potential of electrochemical fuel cells to be a viable source of clean energy. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404110417.htm
The climate change threat to nuclear power
Chlorine and Childhood Cancer - ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — A significant positive association between the risk of childhood leukemia and levels of chlorine-containing chemicals in the atmosphere has been found by researchers in Portugal. Details are reported in the current issue of the International Journal of Environment and Health. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525083735.htm
To Nuclear Waste?
(79 min. - YouTube audio/video)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2OKY00fmWY
Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts - ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2007) — NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth's climate warms. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830105911.htm
DNA tests find "disturbingly widespread" seafood fraud - (May 27, 2011 - by Marc Perton - ConsumerReports/Health) - If you've long suspected that the "mahi-mahi" on your plate may really be yellowtail, you now have science on your side: Researchers with the non-profit group Oceana have harnessed the power of forensic science to confirm that as much as half of all seafood sold in the U.S. is mislabeled.
"Results from our DNA lab show that about half the time the fish you are eating is not the species listed on the menu," said DNA tester William Gergits. The group accuses the industry of "seafood fraud," and is calling on the federal government to step in to more tightly regulate fisheries and related businesses.
Oceana's announcement follows a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommending improvements to government oversight of imported fish.Oceana dispatched scientists to check over a thousand fish samples across the country, and found what it calls "disturbingly widespread" fraud. - http://mcaf.ee/tc7bv
Safety of Nanoparticles in Food Crops Is Still Unclear - ScienceDaily (June 1, 2011) — With the curtain about to rise on a much-anticipated new era of "nanoagriculture" -- using nanotechnology to boost the productivity of plants for food, fuel, and other uses -- scientists are reporting a huge gap in knowledge about the effects of nanoparticles on corn, tomatoes, rice and other food crops.
Their article appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, a co-investigator for the NSF/EPA University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, and colleagues at The University of Texas at El Paso, note that nanoparticles, which are 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, are used in products ranging from medicines to cosmetics. The particles also could end up in the environment, settling in the soil, especially as fertilizers, growth enhancers and other nanoagricultural products hit the market. Some plants can take-up and accumulate nanoparticles. But it is unclear whether this poses a problem for plants or for the animals (like humans) that eat them. So, the researchers sorted through the scientific literature looking for evidence to settle the safety question.
In the article, the scientists analyzed nearly 100 scientific articles on the effects of different types of nanoparticles on edible plants. They found that the uptake and build-up of nanoparticles varies, and these factors largely depend on the type of plant and the size and chemical composition of the nanoparticles. "This literature review has confirmed that knowledge on plant toxicity of [nanomaterials] is at the foundation stage," the article states, noting that the emerging field of nanoecotoxicology is starting to tackle this topic. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601111401.htm
The Turning Point We Miss at Our Own Peril - - by Johann Hari - The Independent/UK) - We have the choice of burning all the oil left and hacking down all the remaining rainforests -- or saving humanity.
Sometimes there are turning-points in history – moments when we have to choose between an exuberant descent into lunacy, and a still, sober voice offering us a sane way out.
In the four billion years since life on Earth began, there have been five times when there was a sudden mass extinction of life-forms.
The last time was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were killed, probably by a meteor.
But now the world’s scientists agree that the sixth mass extinction is at hand.
Humans have accelerated the rate of species extinction by a factor of at least 100, and the great Harvard biologist EO Wilson warns that it could reach a factor of 10,000 in 20 years. We are doing this largely by stripping species of their habitats.
We are destroying the planet’s biodiversity, so making the natural chains that keep us alive much more vulnerable to collapse.
This time, we are the meteor. - http://mcaf.ee/dojsm
Air Quality Worsened by Paved Surfaces: Widespread Urban Development Alters Weather Patterns - ScienceDaily (June 7, 2011) — New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.
The international study, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), could have implications for the air quality of fast-growing coastal cities in the United States and other midlatitude regions overseas. The reason: the proliferation of strip malls, subdivisions, and other paved areas may interfere with breezes needed to clear away smog and other pollution. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607121137.htm