Nov 29, 2010

Free 20 kw Wind Turbine for Wisconsin

CraigsList HTML clipboard needs to place five 20 kW new wind turbines on a rural commercial business site with at least 5 acres, or city zoning that allows a 186' height.

Your company will have 5 new wind turbines installed at no cost, in exchange for buying back power at your current rate per kWh from the turbines. There will be a wind rights agreement. No access roads are required, only annual access for maintenance.

New high tech direct drive permanent magnet generators. Can be seen for 7 miles.

Expected annual output is 215,000 kWh at 50 meter high 5.5 m/s average wind speed. Company does not need to use all 215,000 kWh, as extra will be net metered back to the grid. Your company will benefit by having green renewable energy to power your facility and the public relations benefit of the renewable energy. Real time production data is available online to show generation on your website. You can buy the system in the future if you wish to.

This test facility will allow us to get the turbine into a state program for small wind turbines.

Dave Thorp


Nov 26, 2010

The status quo of electric cars: better batteries, same range

6a00e0099229e8883301348051634b970c-500wi LowTechMag - Electric motors and batteries have improved substantially over the past one hundred years, but today's much hyped electric cars have a range that is - at best - comparable to that of their predecessors at the beginning of the 20th century. Weight, comfort, speed and performance have eaten up any real progress.

We don't need better batteries, we need better cars.

Continue reading "The status quo of electric cars: better batteries, same range" »

Nov 25, 2010

Be thankful we live in a world full of these people

A homeless man found over $3,300 in a backpack, and rather than keeping the money he tracked down the owner and gave it back. Dave Talley, who's been homeless for 11 years, found the satchel with thousands cash at a light rail station  - DailyMail
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'It wasn't my money. I didn't earn it,' Tally says.
'I'm the one that has to lay down every day and deal with myself. If I'd done anything different than what I did, I don't know if I could handle that.'

The owner was a Arizona State University student had been carrying all the cash so he could buy a car. Stating: 'This is the greatest thing I've ever experienced,' Belanger said, who thought after five days missing the money was gone for good.

'I think it is really is a lesson to keep your faith in people. Character exists no matter what your circumstances are.'

Haase Quote:
In the darkest  places our lives travel a ray of humanity can become the star that sustains a universe of hope" - Happy Thanksgiving!

Retrained for green jobs, but still waiting on work

As Green Jobs Promises Dwindle As Policies Backfire ... nearly 15 million Americans out of work and the unemployment rate hovering above 9 percent for 18 consecutive months, policymakers desperate to stoke job creation have bet heavily on green energy. The Obama administration channeled more than $90 billion from the $814 billion economic stimulus bill into clean energy technology, confident that the investment would grow into the economy's next big thing. The infusion of money is going to projects such as weatherizing public buildings and constructing advanced battery plants in the industrial Midwest, financing solar electric plants in the and training green energy workers.
But the huge federal investment has run headlong into the stubborn reality that the market for renewable energy products - and workers - remains in its infancy.

"Green energy investment has been a central talking point of the Obama administration's job growth strategy," said Samuel Sherraden, a policy analyst at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization. "It was a little bit too ambitious given the size and depth of the recession and the small size of the renewable energy industry."

Sherraden said it was unwise for the administration to invest so heavily in green energy, at least if short-term job creation was the goal. He said green energy comes with "political and market uncertainty" that has overwhelmed its job creation potential.

Despite that, Obama has described the surge of clean energy spending as crucial both to the nation's economic and environmental future.

"Our future as a nation depends on making sure that the jobs and industries of the 21st century take root here in America," Obama said in October.

"And there is perhaps no industry with more potential to create jobs now - and growth in the coming years - than clean energy." Read full at WP

How Kazakhstan protected us from a nuclear nightmare.

Happy Thanksgiving Kazakhstan? It appears we have a lot to thank Kazakhstan for.Nursultan Nazarbayev U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev pose for a photograph at the start of the Nuclear Security Summit at the Washington Convention Center April 12, 2010 in Washington, DC. Forty-seven delegations from around the world have converged on the United States' capital to discuss nuclear security.
There is a country big enough to swallow the territories of Texas and France five times over. It is the ninth-largest nation in the world, bigger than Western Europe. Lazy journalists and the liberal media have colored what Westerners know about Kazakhstan, but this holiday season the world owes that young nation a huge debt of gratitude. (energy rich) Kazakhstan has protected us from a nuclear nightmare.
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...the short concluding discussion led by Ambassador Idrissov was electrifying. His comments were based on a secret operation concluded in early November that involved tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.
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Stalin made Kazakhstan the toxic dump of his evil empire. After forcibly deporting many Russian ethnic groups to the distant province, Moscow built chemical and biological weapons factories there too. Soviet nuclear tests above and below ground added to the deadly stew, making vast tracts of Kazakhstan dangerous to this day. Plus, in 1973, the communists began operating a nuclear reactor near the Caspian Sea city of Shevchenko, now called Aktau, that supplied the city with electricity, steam, and potable water. It also produced plutonium for Russian nuclear warheads.

Besides a broken economy, diverse ethnic groups with multiple languages, and factories producing war toxins, President Nazarbayev inherited over one hundred SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 1,410 nuclear warheads. With some financial assistance from the United States, the warheads were sent back to Russia, the missiles destroyed, and the toxin factories shut down. But what happened to the stockpiles of enriched uranium and plutonium?

The heart of a nuclear weapon can be as little as 15 pounds of plutonium, a sphere that would easily fit in the hollow of your palm. As little as 10 pounds would be enough for a bomb if it were of very high quality. In 1991, President Nazarbayev's new government inherited the Aktau stockpile of a ton of highly enriched uranium and over three tons of "ivory plutonium," the very highest grade of that radioactive element. In 1994 a secret program run by Kazakhstan and the Department of Energy, codenamed "Sapphire," moved the weapons-grade uranium to the United States. But what about the huge amount of plutonium?

It was moved too. By rail and highway, three tons of plutonium was sent from unsecure storage at the Aktau plant to a secret and highly guarded facility somewhere in northeastern Kazakhstan. It took a year to complete shipments over 1,500 miles of rural roads and railroad tracks in secrecy and safety. The last delivery to secure storage was made on November 15. Some observers say as much as 100 tons of radioactive material was moved from the Caspian to that new site. Whatever the actual amount, Ambassador Idrissov assured us that it represents enough nuclear material to make 775 atomic bombs!
HTML clipboardKazakhstan Rocks! Dog T-Shirt
Today, the Aktau power plant still supplies electricity to the nearby city, but the nuclear pile has been shut down and the plant has been modified to burn natural gas. No more highly enriched uranium or plutonium is produced at Aktau. Instead, tons of its plutonium slowly decays in a secret warehouse. It must be guarded for a long time. Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 24,100 years.

Think about a few things as you carve your Thanksgiving turkey.
Think about Aktau and the three tons of plutonium stored for years on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, an easy boat ride from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Think about how much money the terror masters of Tehran must have offered a fellow Muslim, the new president of Kazakhstan, as he struggled with his budget and shattered economy. How much was Nazarbayev offered for just a hundred pounds of the deadly stuff?
Then think about what Iran would have done with it.

Happy Thanksgiving, President Nazarbayev, and a merry Christmas to you and Kazakhstan!
VIA DailyCaller

Al Gore: I shouldn't have supported corn-based ethanol

Former vice president Al Gore said Monday that he regrets supporting first-generation corn-based ethanol subsidies while he was in office. Reuters reports that Gore said his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies was rooted more in his desire to cultivate farm votes for his presidential run in 2000 than in doing what was right for the environment: "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens, Greece. - Washingtonpost

Nov 24, 2010

Save plant & soldiers - Armor is Hardest Organic Substance Ever Designed

Inhabitat -  New Printable Armor is Hardest Organic Substance Ever Designed

body armor, bulletproof vest, how to make a bulletproof vest, how  to make bulletproof glass, bulletproof material, body armor material,  sustainable military initiatives, green military initiatives

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places. Case in point: scientists have just created a new super strong material based on the plaque found in Alzheimer's patients' brains. The new substance isn't exactly the same as the plaque that causes the tragic disease, but it has a very similar chemical structure that is then coated with an additional protective layer. The tiny spheres that result are microscopic and when put together, form a printable substance that is tougher than steel, twice as tough as Kevlar and the hardest microscopic organic substance on Earth. - Inhabitat

Nov 23, 2010

California to get cleaner consumer products

New regulations protect state from ozone and toxic chemicals

SACRAMENTO - Today the Air Resources Board adopted regulations that will reduce air pollution from 11 categories of consumer products including bug sprays and a variety of household and professionally-used cleaners (link).

The new regulations target volatile organic compounds and toxic air contaminants and when fully implemented will cut these emissions by about 7 tons per day, reduce airborne carcinogens, minimize potential greenhouse gas emissions and protect aquatic species from chemical runoff.

The regulations will be fully effective December 31, 2013.

"ARB works with manufacturers to assure their products are effective but safe for the environment," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "These regulations are an example of how ARB balances public health with business interests."
The new regulations address the emissions from a range of consumer product categories including insecticides, general purpose cleaners and degreasers, glass cleaners, and oven and grill cleaners.

ARB estimates the reduction of air pollution to be the equivalent of removing 500,000 vehicles from California's roads.

Nov 22, 2010

DOE - America Must Win the Supercomputing Race decades ago, NASA put a man on the moon using a computer system less powerful than the electronics in many modern-day toasters. With that audacious act of technological faith, the United States took a giant step toward global leadership in science, engineering, and a myriad of other sectors that had not yet been imagined.HTML clipboard

This week, when a Chinese machine was ranked number one on the most recent Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers, the United States has lost more than international bragging rights. By creating the Tianhe-1A, with 1.4 times more muscle than America's fastest supercomputer (the,) the Chinese have sent a forceful message to the world about their ambitious vision of their country's scientific, economic and military future.

The United States cannot afford to take a back seat in computer technology to the Chinese, or to anyone else. The nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage in every sector, including national defense, medicine, energy, environment, finance, manufacturing and product development.  read more

Beijing Air Quality As 'Crazy Bad'

"Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday the US embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was 'crazy bad.' The embassy later deleted the phrase, saying it was an 'incorrect' description and it would revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by US standards. The hazardous haze has forced schools to stop outdoor exercises, and health experts asked residents, especially those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children, to stay indoors." - SlashDot

From Trash to Cash

"Beginning in a little more than a week, Green Power, Inc. of Pasco, Washington will be commencing the building of municipal-solid-waste-to-fuel plants for clients around the world, with $2 billion in contracts; now that an EPA ruling has exonerated GPI from an unnecessary shut-down order by the Washington Ecology Department last year. This fuel would be of higher quality and cheaper than fuel derived from crude oil — and it comes from local feedstock, while turning waste into energy. Now your laptop can turn into a quart of diesel fuel to power your trip to the dump. And the ocean gyres of trash the size of Texas can power Texas. This is an update on a Slashdot story from nine months ago. - Slashdot

green power inc, solid waste to energy power plants, waste power 
plants, green power inc waste plants, epa green power inc, washington 
ecology green power inc, municipal solid waste to fuel plants
Now that the EPA has exonerated Green Power Inc. from a shut-down ordered by the Washington Ecology Department, the company has announced that within the next week, they will begin the construction of numerous municipal-solid-waste-to-fuel plants for clients around the world. The company has already received $2 billion in contracts, showing that there is growing worldwide interest in using waste to create energy.

All aboard the High-Speed FAILroad

Sam Smith To understand why Obama's high speed rail efforts are stumbling, it may help to consider the reaction if the same principles were applied to funding air travel, in which case the bulk of the money would go to subsidizing business and first class.

For example, one can travel on a regular train along the Washington-Boston corridor for about a half of what it costs to go by Acela. Not surprisingly, Acela has about 45% the ridership of the regular service. In fact, according to one Amtrak study, Acela was twenty percent more costly than flying.

Thus high speed rail - as your major long-range transportation policy - make a lot of sense either a practical or political point of view, and reflects an increasingly, albeit often unintentional bias, towards the culture of campaign contributors and upscale liberals over that of other Americans.

Yet in all the articles I've read on the topic - written of course by journalists used to travel allowances - there has been hardly a mention of the class content of this issue.

A more reasonable approach would be to improve ordinary rail and bus service, which would have the added advantage of not only meeting the needs of more people but would economically open up areas - especially in the American heartland - that have been suffering.

A modest goal would be to end up with as many rail miles as we had about a century ago. We peaked at 254,000 miles in 1916; today we have only 55% as much.

Sam Smith, February 2009 - There's nothing wrong with high speed rail except that when your country is really hurting, when your rail system largely falls behind other countries' because of lack of tracks rather than lack of velocity, and when high speed rail appeals more to bankers than to folks scared of foreclosing homes, it's a strange transit program to feature in something called a stimulus bill.

....there is a lot of talk about how the Obama administration is a second New Deal. But the first New Deal would never have spent huge sums on super trains for the better off; it would have expanded decent if unexotic rail service for ordinary folks. Today you can hardly even get Democrats to talk about such things.

One might even call it an $8 billion earmark.

The problem became permanently embedded in my mind after I asked a transportation engineer to identify the best form of mass transit. His immediate answer: "Stop people from moving around so much." So simple, yet so wise and so alien to almost every discussion of the topic you will hear.

If we were really smart, we would be spending far more effort, for example, on redesigning neighborhoods so travel isn't so necessary.

Instead we are planning to spend $8 billion so that people who already travel more than they should can do it faster and easier.

Please read more by Sam Smith over at TPR

Haase Comments: It is imperative that we move towards a (More bucky Fuller) generation of cars and public transportation that can reduce our dire addiction to fossil fuels. 

And rail is another good answer. Highspeed is the problem. 
Not even I and a room full of enviros would promote fossil fuel guzzling "high speed" rail that costs more than filling a SUV with gas with equal if not more environmental impact. 
"Rail done right" has proven to save billions every year in job time, fuel costs and resources. HighSpeed has not. 
It is just adding another luxury ride for the "top ten club" while we continue to fill the streets with poor and taxed to death middle class who could NEVER afford one ticket on this train wreck.
Using this funding for "net renewable energy programs" would eliminate the highest costs to the poor and middle class (energy, food & transport).

Between the proposed destination points alone we can "line the rails" with enough renewable energy programs to power this entire rail program and make it financially and environmentally sustainable. 

Creating 1000's of additional jobs (than proposed) and LOWERING transportation costs to allow the people who need public transportation the most an opportunity to ride the elitist rail.

Written correctly, a program "powering states with the intention to power future sustainable public transportation systems" is what we NEED these dollars for. 
Progress... lets see a little.
We had more public transportation at the turn of the century that today. 
Nearly all privately funded.

And the program I mentioned above would be fully funded by private capital if we offered a 10 year tax/profit relief with all current renewable energy funding incentives. 
Investor /taxpayer payback would be a four year turn to profits and not a lifetime of tax burden, debt and environmental impact for our children.

Captured Carbon May Make Water Undrinkable

NY Times  One leading solution to the problem to the fossil fuel emissions generated by a coal-fired plant is injecting it into underground storage areas thousands of feet below the surface, a technology known as carbon capture and sequestration. The Energy Department announced this summer that it would finance 15 separate projects to develop iterations of this technology.

But the technology may hold some unwelcome surprises if the carbon dioxide finds its way out and up to groundwater aquifers, a new study by Duke University researchers indicates. It could react with minerals there and increase levels of pollutants, perhaps so much that federal regulators would deem the water undrinkable, experiments suggest.

Two researchers took samples of dry sediments from groundwater aquifers that sit above likely sites for carbon storage in eastern Maryland, Virginia, northern Texas and Illinois and exposed them to a steady stream of carbon dioxide.

"The chemical composition of our groundwater experiments was significantly affected by the addition of CO2," wrote the authors, Mark G. Little of Duke's Center on Global Change and Robert B. Jackson, a biologist with the Nicholas School of the Environment. The hypothetical "groundwater" in the experiments became more acidic, which in turn had the effect of dissolving some of the minerals in the sediments.

In particular, the concentrations of iron, cadmium and zinc, among other minerals, increased by more than 1,000 percent after exposure to carbon dioxide.

Read more at NY Times

Nov 20, 2010

Washington on verge of bailing out the rich, but not the unemployed

Dean Baker - "Extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent would cost an estimated $120 billion over the next two years. That's more than another unemployment benefit extension would cost."

"Congressional representatives on balance rank among the wealthiest of wealthy Americans and boast financial portfolios that are all but unattainable for most of their constituents," said Sheila Krumholz, the Center's executive director.

Despite a long and deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The study also indicates that a significant number of members owned shares of major players in the health-care and financial-services sectors, which were the subject of major reform legislation during the period.

The findings-based on federal financial disclosure data released earlier this year-paint a wealthy bunch in Congress, with more than half of all members-261-were millionaires.

About one in five of those had average calculated wealth in 2009 of at least $10 million. Eight of the 261 were in the $100 million-plus range.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) ranked No. 1 in personal wealth-$303.5 million. (See related slideshow.)

In contrast, U.S. median household income dropped 3 percent to $50,221 between 2008 and 2009, the second straight decline, according to the Census Dept. In terms of millionaires, only about 1 percent of the overall population qualifies.

The CRP study comes amid a growing public outcry about the size of government and rising employee salaries when the economy-and most taxpayers-are struggling like never before, with unemployment stuck at 9.5 percent and wages and benefits flat in many sectors.
The median wealth of a representative was $765,010, up from $645,503 in 2008, while that of a senator was almost $2.38 million, versus $2.27 million the previous year. - Yahoo! Finance

Of course there is a class war, but it's my class, the rich class, that is waging the war, and we're winning. - Warren Buffet

Find out more...Mapping the Measure of America, a website by the Social Science Research Council that provides an amazing amount of information about various measures of economic/human development in the U.S. Here’s a map showing median personal (not household) earnings in 2009:

Via SocImages

Nov 19, 2010

US Senate panel approves web censorship bill$7052023$300.jpgWired - the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed "central to the activity" of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.
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 The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the "nuclear option," which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites "off."

In short, COICA would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.

Read full at Wired

"Science fail" to show compassion

epic fail photos - Crowd Reactions  FAIL
Just the horrible idea that these people would not help anyone who has collapsed... yet an icon.
Good Samaritan? Anyone?
Where is the world going....

Space by poop power

Space Travel Poop-Powered- we're experimenting with using human excrement tHTML clipboardUNESCOSat power all kinds of things on earth, from buses and cars to natural gas for our homes, why not try renewable poop power in space?

That's the mission adopted by a team at the Florida Institute of Technology–they hope to bring the flexibility and sustainability of poop power to space. As a first step towards that goal, they're testing the ability of a special hydrogen-creating bacteria, called Shewanella MR-1, to live aboard a UN satellite, says Fast Company:

The goal is, to put it bluntly, to see if Shewanella can convert astronaut feces into hydrogen for use in onboard fuel cells. "The bacteria generates hydrogen. If we give waste to bacteria, it converts to hydrogen that could be used in a fuel cell. We're looking at how reliable the bacteria are," explains Donald Platt, the Program Director for the Space Sciences and Space Systems Program at the Florida Institute of Technology.

The bacteria will be going up on the UN's first satellite, a $5 million project by the UN's Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that will stay in space for five years. The satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2011. If the bacteria are able to successfully grow in space, this project might lead the way to recycling the astronaut waste of the future, instead of freeze drying the excrement and turning it into a shooting star. - Discovery

Updated Hazwoper and Confined Space Training Schedule

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The Lindberg Group of South East Wisconsin has updated their Winter schedule for Hazwoper and Confined Space Training 2010-2011


  • 40-Hour Waste Site Worker Initial Training
  • 8-Hour Waste Site Worker Refresher
  • 8-Hour Confined Space Entry
  • and OSHA 10 and 30 hour Construction Class

Lead instructor for courses is Bill Lindberg, CET,CHMM. All of our instructors have extensive field experience in the subject areas they will be presenting.
Find out more and register for courses at

Nov 18, 2010

US Radioactive nuclear waste piling up.. 138 million pounds and counting

What happens to all that radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants? Not much.
In 1982, Congress mandated the construction of a national nuclear waste repository. It's been nearly 30 years since then, of course, and there's no such repository. Planned for Yucca Mountain, Nevada, it was scuttled by the Obama administration due to NIMBY issues -- and there's no rush to find an alternative to Yucca. As a result, nuke plants are still required to keep their waste on site. So, they do. In Virginia, for instance, nuclear waste continues to pile up -- at one site, the radioactive waste containers cover a plot of land the size of a football field.

Between Virginia's two nuclear power plants -- the Surry and North Anna Power Stations -- there's 5.2 million pounds of waste in storage. And, of course, more is always on the way. The Daily Press sets the scene at Surry:

The bus stops before a barbed wire gate at Surry Power Station, less than a mile from the James River ... Inside the fence, on a concrete pad the size of a football field, is nearly 1.9 million pounds of radioactive nuclear waste. Encased in concrete casks and no immediate public health threat, the waste is a by-product of nearly four decades of atomic energy-making at Virginia's oldest nuclear power plant ... Most of the fuel is stored in 16-foot tall concrete casks that stand upright and weigh more than 262,000 pounds when full.
Scenes like this are common across the country -- with no permanent place to store the waste, it simply piles up. There are plenty of reasons that this is unacceptable: potential ecological, human health, and security-related woes abound.

Many of these containment sites weren't designed for long-term storage, which has environmental advocates and scientists concerned. Edwin Lyman, a physicist and nuclear proliferation expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C, told the Daily Press, "There are a handful of scenarios, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, that could cause the casks or pools to leak, he said. Also, spent nuclear fuel remains radioactive for thousands of years -- it could cause the concrete and other materials to erode."

There are also fears that nuclear waste is leeching into groundwater after years of storage -- tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen, was discovered in groundwater near North Anna. Read more from a Hugger

Also see more on this subject at Yucca

Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act

S. 3480 Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs... S. 3480 would amend the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) to strengthen and coordinate security controls over computer information systems across federal civilian agencies. In addition, the legislation would aim to increase the security of privately owned computer networks for online communication and prevent intentional disruptions of such networks. S. 3480 would establish new offices, require additional testing of computer systems, and provide federal agencies with new authorities and responsibilities related to information security.

Based on information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other major agencies involved in cybersecurity, CBO estimates that implementing S. 3480 would cost $1.5 billion over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Most of those funds would be spent on salaries, expenses, and computer hardware and software.

HTML clipboardOffice of Cyberspace Policy
The Executive Office of the President currently employs a coordinator to manage cybersecurity policies. Title I would expand that role and establish an Office of Cyberspace Policy within the Executive Office of the President. The office would advise the President and help coordinate all cybersecurity regulations, standards, and strategies.

Based on information provided by OMB and the cost of similar offices and programs, CBO estimates that creating the new office would cost about $30 million a year once fully implemented. We expect that the office would steadily expand its budget and staff over three years before it reached that level of effort and estimate that implementing the title would cost $115 million over the 2011-2015 period. 

Read full at CBO

Nov 17, 2010

Test Confirm Oil in Gulf Shrimp

Raw Story: Experts operating states apart confirm toxic content in not just shrimp, but crab and fish too...
"We've collected shrimp, oysters and finned fish on their way to marketplace -- we tested a good number of seafood samples and in 100 percent we found petroleum."

Multiple independent lab tests confirm oil in Gulf shrimpIn two separate cases, a toxicologist and a chemist independently confirmed their seafood samples contained unusually high volumes of crude oil and harmful hydrocarbons -- and some of this food was allegedly being sent to market.

One test, conducted by a chemist from Mobile, Alabama, employed a rudimentary chemical analysis of shrimp pulled from waters near Louisiana and found "oil and grease" in their digestive tracts.

Naman also found that the oil was at an unusual high concentration: 193 parts-per-million (PPM).

"193 parts-per-million of petroleum in a crustacean is very high," she told Raw Story. "You have to ask, what is the meaning from a human health perspective?

"This is another signal that oil is in the food chain in the Gulf. Oil has been found in subsea plumes, in seafloor sediments, where it will degrade very slowly and can be re-released into the food chain."

Tainted seafood allegedly headed to market - Read more at Raw Story

Organs of Nuclear Workers Secretly Harvested; Energy Secretary Apologizes

A report detailing a decades-long practice of clandestine post-mortem organ removal from the bodies of dozens of workers in the UK's nuclear energy industry; Britain's Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has apologized to the families of those workers whose organs were taken without consent or even acknowledgement. Many of the organs taken were removed without any apparent forensic purpose in mind. Surviving relatives are understandably upset with what they see as cavalier treatment of their loved ones' bodies (even beyond unauthorized organ removal), such as the replacement of bones with lengths of broomstick. - SlashDot

EPA to Expand Chemicals Testing for Endocrine Disruption

ViA Laura B. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified a list of 134 chemicals that will be screened for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system.  Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with and possibly disrupt the hormones produced or secreted by the human or animal endocrine system, which regulates growth, metabolism and reproduction. Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has made it a top priority to ensure the safety of chemicals, and this is another step in this process.

"Endocrine disruptors represent a serious health concern for the American people, especially childr  Americans today are exposed to more chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies than ever before, and it is essential that EPA takes every step to gather information and prevent risks," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.  "We are using the best available science to examine a larger list of chemicals and ensure that they are not contaminating the water we drink and exposing adults and children to potential harm."HTML clipboard

The list includes chemicals that have been identified as priorities under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and may be found in sources of drinking water where a substantial number of people may be exposed.  The list also includes pesticide active ingredients that are being evaluated under EPA's registration review program to ensure they meet current scientific and regulatory standards.  The data generated from the screens will provide robust and systematic scientific information to help EPA identify whether additional testing is necessary, or whether other steps are necessary to address potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The chemicals listed include those used in products such as solvents, gasoline, plastics, personal care products, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, including benzene, perchlorate, urethane, ethylene glycol, and erythromycin.

Also being announced today are draft policies and procedures that EPA will follow to order testing, minimize duplicative testing, promote equitable cost-sharing, and to address issues that are unique to chemicals regulated under the SDWA.

After public comment and review, EPA will issue test orders to pesticide registrants and the manufacturers of these chemicals to compel them to generate data to determine whether their chemicals may disrupt the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways of the endocrine system.

EPA is already screening an initial group of 67 pesticide chemicals.  In October 2009, the agency issued orders to companies requiring endocrine disruptor screening program data for these chemicals.  EPA will begin issuing orders for this second group of 134 chemicals beginning in 2011.

EPA has the most comprehensive mandated testing program for hormone effects in the world.  The program is the result of a multi-year effort that includes validation of the science through a transparent scientific review process.

More information:

McDonald's and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy

Guardian - Department of Health putting fast food companies at heart of policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease

The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald's and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg's, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease, the Guardian has learned.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivHTML clipboardalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five "responsibility deal" networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies. Some of these are expected to be used in the public health white paper due in the next month.

The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. Working alongside them are public interest health and consumer groups including Which?, Cancer Research UK and the Faculty of Public Health. The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal's sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

The leading supermarkets are an equally strong presence, while the responsibility deal's physical activity group is chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, which is the lobby group for private gyms and personal trainers.

Please read full at Guardian

Nov 16, 2010

Texas Officials Covered Up Radioactive Tap Water for Years

Officials charged with protecting the environment and public health have for years made arbitrary subtractions to the measured levels of radiation delivered by water utilities across the state, according to an investigation by Houston CBS affiliate KHOU.

Confronted by reporter Mark Greenblatt, TCEQ staffer Linda Brookins claimed that the radiation was "natural" and people shouldn't be concerned. She also refused to read on camera the EPA's order to stop subtracting margins of error from radiation test results.

KHOU called it "Texas math," in part two of its ongoing series.

Thanks to the TCEQ's under-reporting of radioactive content, one particular water provider in Harris County was able to skirt needed maintenance for years, even though uncensored tests showed radiation was almost always above legal limits.

Independent tests, the station noted, showed that some of the radiation contained harmful alpha particles, which can cause cell mutations and increase the risk of cancer.

The practice of under-reporting radiation continued until last year, when the EPA once again demanded Texas comply with the law.

"What was illegal and a bad idea yesterday is illegal and a bad idea today," TCEQ chairman Bryan W. Shaw told The Dallas Morning News. "We won't see any environmental benefits from this. We'll just see the additional bureaucracy associated with permitting in this state and across the U.S."

Read more at the RawStory

MythBusting Al Gore Townhall meeting?

Inmythbusters_jointimage1-300x225.jpgteresting internet person Jeff Simmermon, who by day works for Time Warner Cable and also does other stuff we've blogged about at Boing Boing, alerts us to an event Time Warner Cable's "Connect a Million Minds" project is hosting this Wednesday, November 17:

"A global online town hall hosted by Al Gore; Dean Kamen, Sally Ride and now Discovery Channel's MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage will explore attitudes among American youth toward math and science, and discuss how to inspire and motivate them so they will be successful in a competitive global marketplace."

Details on how you can watch and/or participate here. (Via Boing Boing)HTML clipboard

DIY fusion reactor

Man builds fusion reactor prototype at home. Only $39,000. Cheap! The fusion reactor in the Brooklyn warehouse

Part of a growing community of "fusioneers" - amateur science junkies who are building homemade fusion reactors, for fun and with an eye to being part of the solution to that problem.

He is the 38th independent amateur physicist in the world to achieve nuclear fusion from a homemade reactor, according to community site Others on the list include a 15-year-old from Michigan and a doctoral student in Ohio.

"I won't say something that puts these guys down, but it's a tricky situation because there is a great deal of money and time and a lot of very experienced scientists working on fusion at the moment," said Mr Calder.

"But that does not eliminate other ideas coming from a different group of people."  Read full at BBC News 

Nov 15, 2010

Six worst pollutants that pose global threat

By Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland
The world's six worst pollutants, including lead and mercury, threaten the health of tens of millions of people, primarily.

The world's six worst pollutants, including lead and mercury, threaten the health of tens of millions of people, primarily children, says a new report by two environmental groups.

"The health of roughly 100 million people is at risk from pollution in developing countries," says Richard Fuller, president of Blacksmith Institute, a non-profit international group that co-authored the report with Green Cross Switzerland. "For the first time, this report identifies and quantifies the impacts of the most damaging toxic pollutants."

The 2010 report, the fifth in a series of annual pollution reports by the two groups, is based on more than 1,000 risk assessments by field investigators in more than 40low- and medium-income countries during the past two years. It focuses on specific pollutants, rather than polluted sites or sources of contamination as did the prior reports, that are global in scope.

"Fortunately, these pollution problems can be dealt with affordably and effectively," Fuller says. "In many cases there already exist replicable solutions that have shown success." Please read full at USA Today

Nov 14, 2010

And The Energy Source Of The Future Is...

Coal! - Unstoppable energy use, emissions and pollution

chart of the day, coal-fired electricity generation by region, nov 2010

As made clear by the International Energy Agency in its new World Energy Outlook, coal production is expected to explode, most notably in China. And bear in mind that this is taking into account a scenario whereby policy measures are implemented to curb its production.

Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion Energy Generation?

Z pinch target tube in Z machine for generating nuclear fusion reactions and hopefully a net positive energy generation photo
Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough that could lead to break-even nuclear fusion reactions within 2-3 years. The goal of nuclear fusion research is to make energy from sea water, producing only the harmless gas helium as a result of the fusion reaction. It is the holy grail...Read the full story from a Hugger

Scientific American readers don’t find global warming very scientific

Scientific American, a once highly-respected scientific journal that has now descended into the muck and mire of pop science, has been banging the global warming drum as loudly and as often as anyone.

Maybe they better bang it even more loudly and even more often, because their latest reader survey shows that their readers aren't buying it.


Source: Scientific American

Nov 13, 2010

White House altered report justifying drilling ban

MSN - An inspector general says the White House edited a report about the administration's moratorium on offshore oil drilling to make it appear that scientists and experts supported the idea of a six-month ban on new drilling.

The Interior Department's inspector general says the changes resulted "in the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed." But it hadn't been.

Global Warming and Common Sense

LA Times  Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial Danish economist/political scientist at the center of filmmaker Ondi Timoner's energetic new documentary, doesn't find Gore's truth inconvenient so much as distorted, a position that has made him about as popular as a toxic spill in many circles both left and right.

Just how inculcated the precepts of filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth" have become is laid out in the artwork and answers of a classroom of articulate elementary school kids in Britain that Timoner uses to open the film. Their hand-drawn paintings of an Earth mostly covered by water, dying penguins and massive deserts pretty much sum up the current consensus on the toll of unchecked global warming. Their solutions will sound just as familiar: recycling, carbon offsetting, hybrid cars, a lot of light bulb replacement and, as one puts it, "I pray a lot."

Lomborg isn't suggesting we shouldn't worry, but he does resist what he contends are the fear tactics and overstatements being used to get our attention. He is, after all, a numbers guy, so when he convened a think tank to look at how the $250 billion a year the European Union plans to spend on carbon offsets might be better spent, the group was packed with top economists drawn from around the world.

Basically, he argues there are ways to divert some of those funds to address poverty, disease and education without slowing things on the global warming front if we look for ways to spend more wisely. Needless to say, he has a few ideas.
With its follow-the-money mind-set, the documentary works its way through problem and solution many times over, always in a brisk, no-nonsense way. By bringing in a diverse group of big thinkers to take part in a very animated, sometimes agitated, discussion, the filmmaker has succeeded in bringing what could have been a very dry mountain of data, theories and experimental research to vibrant life.

Timoner came to the project a skeptic herself, and that serves the film well. Though the charismatic Lomborg is very much the center of the storm, she lines up an impressive number of experts from the environmental and scientific research community to stand on either side of the divide. Nearly every assertion Lomborg makes is met by a devil's advocate — though the late Stephen Schneider, Nobel winner, MacArthur fellow and long a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, carries much of that load.

Still, there is little doubt from the beginning who will win the final round.

Read full review at LA Times

Filed under Nutty... wow.
A Republican congressman hoping to chair the powerful House Energy Committee refers to the Bible and God on the issue of global warming. Representative John Shimkus insists we shouldn't concerned about the planet being destroyed because God promised Noah it wouldn't happen again after the great flood.

Generation IV nuclear costs...No money, no nukes

Nuclear green has Charles Forsberg's views on Generation IV nuclear costs." At the beginning of the 21st century, Charles Forsberg of ORNL and MIT proposed a hybrid molten salt cooled reactor that borrowed features from gas cooled reactors, would have a significantly lower cost than other Generation IV reactor designs.

Our current administration may want to ask Clinton why we are not 'using now technology' to reprocess our mountains of radioactive waste and stockpiled material? Hint, had we started it then, there would not be a billions in a hole with no future now...

NEW YORK ( -- Nuclear power may be one issue both President Obama and the new Republican Congress can agree on, but unless someone is willing to pony up more money, a big new build-out of nuclear power plants remains unlikely.

Not out of Recession

Home value decline almost equal to depression puts home values an average of 25 percent below where they were at the June 2006 peak. By comparison, during the Great Depression, home values fell 25.9 percent in five years.

Some 23.2 percent of single-family home owners with mortgages were underwater in the third quarter, up from 22.5 percent in the second quarter, according to Zillow. Eleven markets tracked by Zillow had negative equity above 50 percent, led by Las Vegas at 80.2 percent.