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Hans De Keulenaer

Not a sheep: Climate Change scientists - 0 views

    Junk Science has a selection of quotations from "leading climate change scientists" that I think are worthy of spreading so people can see what kind of people they are and what their real aims are.
Hans De Keulenaer

DUJS Online » Motivating Energy Conservation Behavior without Monetary Incent... - 1 views

  • In theory, there are several basic economic and psychological motivators that motivate people to be more sustainable. It is easy assume that providing people with information that using less energy is more cost-effective would motivate a shift toward conservation. However, Fischlein observed that there is often an “energy-efficiency gap,” or a difference between what is economically efficient and what actually gets done. Fischlein stated that “more information alone is not enough,” as increasing awareness has been shown to increase knowledge while motivating little behavioral change.   According to Fischlein, even raising the price of energy might not promote a decrease in consumption because energy exhibits low price elasticity. She also observed “psychological licensing” related to energy use, which effectively means that people lose a sense of moral responsibility for their actions because they have to pay to consume. Motivating altruistic conservation is also difficult because energy use is not visible, so people cannot see the impact of their actions in any direct way.
Arabica Robusta

ZCommunications | The Search for BP's Oil by Naomi Klein | ZNet Article - 1 views

  • Normally these academics would be fine without our fascination. They weren't looking for glory when they decided to study organisms most people either can't see or wish they hadn't. But when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in April 2010, our collective bias toward cute big creatures started to matter a great deal. That's because the instant the spill-cam was switched off and it became clear that there would be no immediate mass die-offs among dolphins and pelicans, at least not on the scale of theExxon Valdez spill deaths, most of us were pretty much on to the next telegenic disaster. (Chilean miners down a hole—and they've got video diaries? Tell us more!)
  • Mike Utsler, BP's Unified Area Commander, summed up its findings like this: "The beaches are safe, the water is safe, and the seafood is safe." Never mind that just four days earlier, more than 8,000 pounds of tar balls were collected on Florida's beaches—and that was an average day. Or that gulf residents and cleanup workers continue to report serious health problems that many scientists believe are linked to dispersant and crude oil exposure.
  • For the scientists aboard the WeatherBird II, the recasting of the Deepwater Horizon spill as a good-news story about a disaster averted has not been easy to watch. Over the past seven months, they, along with a small group of similarly focused oceanographers from other universities, have logged dozens of weeks at sea in cramped research vessels, carefully measuring and monitoring the spill's impact on the delicate and little-understood ecology of the deep ocean. And these veteran scientists have seen things that they describe as unprecedented. Among their most striking findings are graveyards of recently deceased coral, oiled crab larvae, evidence of bizarre sickness in the phytoplankton and bacterial communities, and a mysterious brown liquid coating large swaths of the ocean floor, snuffing out life underneath.
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  • All this uncertainty will work in BP's favor if the worst-case scenarios eventually do materialize. Indeed, concerns about a future collapse may go some way toward explaining why BP (with the help of Kenneth Feinberg's Gulf Coast Claims Facility) has been in a mad rush to settle out of court with fishermen, offering much-needed cash now in exchange for giving up the right to sue later. If a significant species of fish like bluefin does crash three or even ten years from now (bluefin live for fifteen to twenty years), the people who took these deals will have no legal recourse.
  • A week after Hollander returned from the cruise, Unified Area Command came out with its good news report on the state of the spill. Of thousands of water samples taken since August, the report stated, less than 1 percent met EPA definitions of toxicity. It also claimed that the deepwater sediment is largely free from BP's oil, except within about two miles of the wellhead. That certainly came as news to Hollander, who at that time was running tests of oiled sediment collected thirty nautical miles from the wellhead, in an area largely overlooked by the government scientists. Also, the government scientists measured only absolute concentrations of oil and dispersants in the water and sediment before declaring them healthy. The kinds of tests John Paul conducted on the toxicity of that water to microorganisms are simply absent.
  • Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, whose name is on the cover of the report, told me of the omission, "That really is a limitation under the Clean Water Act and my authorities as the federal on-scene coordinator." When it comes to oil, "it's my job to remove it"—not to assess its impact on the broader ecosystem. He pointed me to the NOAA-led National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, which is gathering much more sensitive scientific data to help it put a dollar amount on the overall impact of the spill and seek damages from BP and other responsible parties.
    Normally these academics would be fine without our fascination. They weren't looking for glory when they decided to study organisms most people either can't see or wish they hadn't. But when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in April 2010, our collective bias toward cute big creatures started to matter a great deal. That's because the instant the spill-cam was switched off and it became clear that there would be no immediate mass die-offs among dolphins and pelicans, at least not on the scale of theExxon Valdez spill deaths, most of us were pretty much on to the next telegenic disaster. (Chilean miners down a hole-and they've got video diaries? Tell us more!)
Arabica Robusta

Water, Capitalism and Catastrophism » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names th... - 0 views

  • Taking the holistic view, one can understand how some of the most basic conditions of life are threatened by a basic contradiction. Civilization, the quintessential expression of Enlightenment values that relies on ever-expanding energy, threatens to reduce humanity to barbarism if not extinction through exactly such energy production.
  • or every farmer or rancher who has leased his land for drilling, there are many homeowners living nearby who get nothing but the shitty end of the stick: pollution, noise and a loss of property value.
  • What gives the film its power is the attention paid to people like Stevens who organized petition drives and showed up at town council meetings to voice their opposition to fracking. They look like Tea Party activists or Walmart shoppers, mostly white and plain as a barn door, but they know that they do not want drilling in their townships and are willing to fight tooth and nail to prevent it. For all of the left’s dismay about its lack of power, the film’s closing credits reveal that there are 312 local anti-fracking groups in Pennsylvania made up of exactly such people who will likely be our allies as the environmental crisis deepens.
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  • In the collection “Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth”, Eddie Yuen takes issue with an “apocalyptic” streak in exactly such articles since they lead to fear and paralysis. A good deal of his article appears to take issue with the sort of analysis developed by Naomi Klein, a bugbear to many convinced of the need to defend “classical” Marxism against fearmongering. Klein is a convenient target but the criticisms could easily apply as well to Mike Davis whose reputation is unimpeachable. Klein’s latest book has served to focus the debate even more sharply as her critics accuse her of letting capitalism off the hook.
  • While I am inclined to agree with Malm that it is the drive for profit that explains fracking and all the rest, and that the benefits of energy production are not shared equally among nations and social classes, there is still a need to examine “civilization”. If we can easily enough discard the notion of the “Anthropocene” as the cause of global warming, the task remains: how can the planet survive when the benefits of bestowing the benefits of “civilization” across the planet so that everyone can enjoy the lifestyle of a middle-class American (or German more recently) remains the goal of socialism?
  • Ironically, this was the same argument made in the NY Times on April 14th by Eduardo Porter in an article titled “A Call to Look Past Sustainable Development”. He refers to the West’s environmental priorities blocking the access to energy in countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia now flocking to China’s new infrastructure investment bank that will most certainly not be bothered by deforestation, river blockage by megadams, air pollution and other impediments to progress.
  • Yuen’s article is filled with allusions to Malthusianism, a tendency I have seen over the years from those who simply deny the existence of ecological limits. While there is every reason to reject Malthus’s theories, there was always the false hope offered by the Green Revolution that supposedly rendered them obsolete. In 1960 SWP leader Joseph Hansen wrote a short book titled “Too Many Babies” that looked to the Green Revolution as a solution to Malthus’s theory but it failed to account for its destructive tendencies, a necessary consequence of using chemicals and monoculture.
  • To think of a way in which homo sapiens and the rest of the animal and vegetable world can co-exist, however, will become more and more urgent as people begin to discover that the old way of doing things is impossible.
Colin Bennett

France mulls extending fuel-efficiency incentives | Environment | Reuters - 0 views

    PARIS (Reuters) - France may extend a system aimed at encouraging people to buy more fuel-efficient cars to products such as electronics, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told business daily Les Echos.
Peter Fleming

Compare electrical products energy efficiency @ sust-it - 0 views

    Superb site telling the power consumption of everything so people can choose wisely. Highly detailed.
J. D. Ebberly

City hopes to shuttle people in futuristic 'podcars' - - 0 views

    The thought of a driverless, computer-guided car transporting people where they want to go on demand is a futuristic notion to some.
Colin Bennett

EERE News: Report Finds Major Economic Benefits to Efficiency, Renewables - 0 views

  • The U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries created jobs for 8.5 million people in 2006, while generating more than a trillion dollars in sales, $100 billion in profits, and $150 billion in increased federal, state, and local government tax revenues, according to a new report from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). The report notes that it's difficult to define the energy efficiency industry, but even focusing on the renewable energy industry, it found 196,000 people directly employed by the industry, a total of 452,000 jobs created, and revenues of $39.2 billion in 2006

ENERGY: World Bank in Bid to Light Off-Grid Africa - 0 views

    The World Bank hopes to bring modern lighting to one-fourth of Africa's people by developing markets for products not hostage to fossil fuels or the continent's lamentable electricity grid. The bank and its private investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), say their "Lighting Africa" programme aims to bring light to 250 million sub-Saharan Africans cut off from existing power infrastructure by 2030. "Modern lighting will mean improved air quality and safety for millions of people in Africa," S. Vijay Iyer, the bank's energy sector manager for Africa, said in a statement. "It will mean longer reading hours for students and longer business hours for small shops."
Hans De Keulenaer

An Earth Without People -- [ environment ]: Scientific American - 0 views

  • A new way to examine humanity's impact on the environment is to consider how the world would fare if all the people disappeared
Hans De Keulenaer

Technology Review: A Smarter Car - 0 views

  • "More than a million people die on the roads every year around the world, and people waste a lot of time and money sitting in traffic jams," says IBM researcher Oleg Goldshmidt. "You would like to help with both problems in any way possible."
Hans De Keulenaer

APA Press Release: When It Comes To Going Green, People Want Smaller Gains Now, Not Big... - 0 views

  • People make environmental choices the same way they manage money, preferring smaller gains right away to bigger gains later, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
Hans De Keulenaer

HOMER Energy - Hybrid Renewable & Distributed Power Design Support - 0 views

  • Smaller scale distributed and renewable power projects will become the fastest growing segment of the energy industry. Due to the large number of relatively small projects many more people are becoming involved with project development who are not power industry professionals. HOMER Energy provides software, services, and an on-line community to this wider and more diverse group of people who will be making this vision a reality.
Hans De Keulenaer

The Oil Drum | Renewable Fuel Pretenders - 0 views

  • One thing that probably goes without saying. Most pretenders don't believe they are pretenders. They are often completely sincere people who believe they have cracked the code, and thus they take exception to my characterization. The cellulosic guys, the algae guys, and even the hydrogen guys will insist that I have it all wrong. In fact, following the posting of this essay on my blog, I heard from all of them. I got numerous e-mails assuring me that they really had come up with the solution. What I have discovered in many of these cases is that people often believe this because they have no experience at scaling up technologies. They might have something that works in the lab, but this can instill a false sense of confidence in those who have never scaled a process up.

J Sainsbury plc : Responsibility - News - 0 views

  • Sainsbury’s launches the world’s first people powered checkouts First there was wind and solar energy, now Sainsbury's is opening a store where the checkouts will be powered by people; using advanced technology that allows customers to shop and save (the planet that is).
Colin Bennett

Wind energy: health, cost, performance - 0 views

    Wind energy: health, cost, performance I've got a two-story series in the Toronto Star that ran this week on wind energy. The first looks at claims that wind farms are causing some people living near them to become sick. The second looks at claims that wind energy costs too much, doesn't achieve the claimed emission reductions, and simply fails to perform as promised.
Glycon Garcia

Transitioning to Renewable Energy - Renewable Energy World - 0 views

    Most people tend to think of renewable energy as a clear break with our energy history, jettisoning all of the trappings associated with a dirty industry. It thus may come as a surprise to discover that, in fact, certain conventional technologies and infrastructure, including those associated with fossil fuel production, increasingly are being adapted to facilitate renewable energy production.
Phil Slade

2010 Peak Oil Report | The Peak Oil Group - 1 views

    "Business calls for urgent action on "oil crunch" threat to UK economy Taskforce warns Britain is unprepared for significant risk to companies and consumers Poorest to be hit hardest by price rises for travel, food, heating and consumer goods New policies must be priority for whoever wins the General Election Recommended packages include legislation, new technologies and behaviour-change incentives Fundamental change in demand patterns triggered by emerging economy countries London, 10 February, 2010: A group of leading business people today call for urgent action to prepare the UK for Peak Oil. The second report of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) finds that oil shortages, insecurity of supply and price volatility will destabilise economic, political and social activity potentially by 2015. Peak Oil refers to the point where the highest practicable rate of global oil production has been achieved and from which future levels of production will either plateau, or begin to diminish. This means an end to the era of cheap oil."
Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - Profits before people: The great African liquidation sale - 0 views

  • So what do the world’s great investors have their eyes on in Africa, in addition to the usual natural resources – minerals, petroleum and timber – that they’ve always coveted? In a word, land. Lots of it. The land-grabbing 'investors' are purchasing or leasing large chunks of African land to produce food crops or agrofuels or both, or just scooping up farmland as an investment,
    • Arabica Robusta
      Biofuels are not sustainable energy. They do not protect food resources.
  • At the moment, the grabbing of Africa’s land is shrouded in secrecy and proceeding at an unprecedented rate, spurred on by the global food and financial crises. GRAIN, a non-profit organisation that supports farm families in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems, works daily to try to keep up with the deals on its website.[vi]
  • Apart from the African governments and chiefs who are happily and quietly selling or leasing the land right out from under their own citizens, those who are promoting the new wave of rapacious investment include the World Bank, its International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many other powerful nations and institutions. The US Millennium Challenge Corporation is helping to reform new land ownership laws – privatising land – in some of its member countries. The imported idea that user rights are not sufficient, that land must be privately owned, will efface traditional approaches to land use in Africa, and make the selling off of Africa even easier. GRAIN notes the complicity of African elites and says some African 'barons' are also snapping up land.
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  • another big plan is buffeting Africa’s farmers. It’s the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which claims it is working in smallholder farmers’ interests by 'catalysing' a Green Revolution in Africa. Green Revolution Number Two.
    "it was all summed up clearly for me by members of COPAGEN, a coalition of African farmer associations, scientists, civil society groups and activists who work to protect Africa's genetic heritage, farmer rights, and their sovereignty over their land, seeds and food. All these knowledgeable people have shown me that the answer is quite straightforward: many of those imported mistakes, disguised as solutions for Africa, are very, very profitable. At least for those who design and make them."
Phil Slade

energyshare home | energyshare - something truly amazing is happening in renewable energy. - 9 views

    "Energy affects everyone's lives, and pockets, and the way we think about energy here in the UK is changing fast. Up and down the country there are already hundreds of people getting together and setting up renewable energy projects. They're proving that there really is an alternative way to do things. But at the same time only 2% of people are on green tariff's."
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