Jul 30, 2013
EPA Final Rule on Conditional Exclusions from Solid Waste & Hazardous Waste for Solvent Contaminated Wipes
Pollution Produces Cancer: direct link between higher cancer-rates in Central China and the level of pollution.
While the choking pollution in China, that we have discussed time and again - most recently here and here, has previously been linked with health concerns, academic studies released this week have now shown a direct link between higher cancer-rates in Central China and the level of pollution. The study published on June 25th is the first to scientifically prove the correlation between water pollution and cancer mortality in an area of China that is home to more than 160 million people. Despite government efforts to clean the water, it remains well below safety standards but local villagers continue to have no choice but to use it: "The river was black, poisonous fumes, and dead fish everywhere... the well water was also contaminated.. and during this period many died of cancer." Despite spending millions to try and prevent pollution, as one local villager exclaimed "we should re-consider the country's industrialization." What cost a 7% GDP growth print?
Despite consumer confidence at a six-year high, the latest AP survey of the real America shows a stunning four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, are near poverty, or rely on welfare for at least parts of their lives amid signs of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among whites about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987.
"Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them', it's an issue of 'us'," as 'the invisible poor' - lower income whites - are generally dispersed in suburbs (Appalachia, the industrial Midwest, and across America's heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains) where more than 60% of the poor are white.
More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four - accounting for more than 41% of the nation's destitute - nearly double the number of poor blacks and as one survey respondent noted "I think it's going to get worse."
Please continue reading at Zero Hedge // visit site
Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy "poor."
"If you do try to go apply for a job, they're not hiring people, and they're not paying that much to even go to work," she said. Children, she said, have "nothing better to do than to get on drugs."
Jul 29, 2013
Jul 28, 2013
World energy forecast to go up about 56% but * world electricity will go up 93% * non-OECD will go up 90% * nuclear energy will more than double
They forecast world energy to go up about 56% but
* world electricity will go up 93%
* non-OECD will go up 90%
* nuclear energy will more than double
Read more http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/07/world-energy-forecast-to-2040.html
Jul 26, 2013
"It has created a situation where refiners have to mix 10% ethanol into the gasoline they make — even though the market can't consume it all," he says, noting that most vehicles on the road today can't handle any more than E-10, as the mixed gasoline is known.
Now here's the tricky part. In order to adhere to this federal mandate, Lutz says, refiners have been buying ethanol credits, known as RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers), to offset their obligations. Predictably, this surge in demand for RINs has pushed the price to record highs.
"The price of these credits has gone from pennies on the dollar at the beginning of this year to almost $1.40 today, including a massive spike up in the last couple of weeks," Lutz says. "I would think the recent move that we've seen in gasoline prices, towards year-to-date highs over the last four months, half of it has been due to this ethanol policy."
Adding to the dilemma is the fact that refiners are exporting the gasoline they can't sell here, which keeps inventories low and prices high. And if you think that's bad, just wait until E-15 comes to market in 2015. Despite protestations — from automakers, the AAA, refiners, oil producers, outdoor power equipment manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute — the Supreme Court refused to block the increased use of ethanol required by the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standards.
Jul 25, 2013
TreeHugger has a post on a new combination concentrating solar PV and concentrating solar thermal power device built by IBM - IBM solar collector magnifies sun by 2,000x (without cooking itself), costs 3x less than similar systems.
Cleverly combining solar PV with solar thermal to reach 80% conversion efficiency
Concentrating the sun's ray onto solar photovoltaic (PV) modules requires walking the fine line between optimizing power output and not literally melting your very expensive super-high-efficiency solar cells. A team led by IBM Research seems to have found a way to push back the line. They have created a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns onto hundreds of triple junction photovoltaic chips measuring a single square centimeter each (they even claim to be able to keep temperatures safe up to 5,000x). The trick is that each solar PV cell is cooled using technology developed for supercomputers; microchannels inspired by blood vessels but only a few tens of micrometers in width pipe liquid coolant in and extract heat "10 times more effective than with passive air cooling."
The beauty is that this heat is not just thrown away. This system gets useful work out of it. So while the PV modules are 30%+ efficient at converting the sun's light into electricity, another 50% of the sun's energy is captured as heat and can then be used to do things like thermal water desalination and adsorption cooling. This means that the system is capable of converting around 80% of the collected solar energy into useable energy (though the electricity is of course more useful than the thermal energy).
Read and follow:http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2013/07/ibm-solar-collector-magnifies-sun-by.html
CSP Today has an article on a 50 MW solar thermal power plant with 10 hours of integrated energy storage to be built in Kuwait - the first stage in a plant which is eventually planned to generate 2 GW - CSP makes a grand entry into Kuwait
Kuwait recently started the bidding process for the 70 MW Shagaya Multi Technology Renewable Energy Power Park, which will include a 50 MW CSP plant with 10 hours thermal storage in addition to 10MW PV and 10MW wind. ...
There is much more on Kuwait's renewable energy agenda, however, given that the state-owned Shagaya project is the first of a three-phased master plan proposed by KISR. The second phase will expand the plant's capacity by 930 MW to bring it up to 1,000 MW, and the third by another 1,000 MW to ultimately reach 2,000 MW by 2030. By then, the complex will generate more than 5,000,000 MWh of power every year, fulfilling the demands of nearly 100,000 households. A 100-square-kilometre (38.6 square-mile) site in Shagaya – a desert area 100km (62 miles) west of Kuwait City, near the borders with Saudi Arabia and Iraq – has been designated for the complex. And while the first phase will be financed by the government, the second and third phases are expected to be offered to investors on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis for 25 years. - See more at: http://social.csptoday.com/emerging-markets/csp-makes-grand-entry-kuwait#sthash.2JgVY40V.dpuf
Link/post Source posted by Big Gav
Dying, Fast and Slow: The Schoolchildren pesticide poisonings in India--An excellent commentary by Dr. Sushrut Jan
A Chinese child sits in a pile of wires and e-trash in Guiyu in Guangzhou province, China, in 2005. © Greenpeace/Natalie Behring
U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Gene Green (TX-29) today introduced H.R. 2791, "The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) of 2013," with the promise of stimulating the US recycling industry e-waste dumping by American firms overseas. E-waste is generally defined as electronics equipment or components that can create environmental, health, or national security risks when disposed of improperly.
The news comes just after one Colorado firm was ordered to pay over $4 million in fines, with two executives sent to prison, for a scheme toillegally dispose of and export electronic waste to China and other foreign countries.
Here's the blurb the lawmakers sent out today with news of the legislation's introduction.
While there are domestic recyclers that currently process e-waste, they have a hard time competing with overseas recycling facilities that have few, if any, labor and environmental standards and are thus able to offer cheaper services. A U.S. International Trade Committee (ITC) report also states the RERA will help increase U.S. exports and create jobs.
Discarded computers, TVs, phones and other consumer electronics – commonly referred to as electronic waste or "e-waste" – now comprise the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the U.S. generates more than 3.4 million tons of e-waste a year.
"Each year, millions of tons of e-waste are discarded in the U.S. and shipped to developing nations for unsafe salvage and recovery," said Thompson. "By carefully regulating the export of e-waste, this bipartisan legislation creates good-paying recycling jobs here in the U.S., while taking concrete steps to address a growing environmental and health crisis."
"E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States and can pose serious environmental and health problems here and around the world when not handled properly," said Green. "As a senior member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I look forward to working with the majority in the House to pass this important legislation which will create thousands of jobs at home while helping protect human health and the environment."
H.R. 2791 has garnered bipartisan support with original Republican cosponsors, Reps. Mike Coffman (CO-6), Steve Stivers (OH-15) and Mike McCaul (TX-10). Original Democratic cosponsors include Reps. Thompson, Green and Louis Slaughter (NY-25).
The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act creates a new section in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) that prohibits the export of "restricted electronic waste" from the U.S. to countries that are not members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU). Restricted electronic equipment refers to any equipment that contains specific toxic materials at levels greater than those deemed non- hazardous by the EPA. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that many of the developing nations that receive e-waste from the United States do not have the capacity or facilities to safely recycle and dispose of these used electronics.
Under the legislation, tested and working equipment can still be exported to promote reuse. Products could also still be exported for warranty repair or due to recall. However, consumer electronic equipment, parts, and materials that contain toxic chemicals could not be exported to nations outside of OECD member countries or the EU. This legislative approach is consistent with the e-waste policies adopted by most other developed nations via international treaties, such as the Basel Convention and Basel Ban Amendment.
H.R. 2791 also creates a research program at the Department of Energy to help assess the recycling and recovery of Rare Earth Metals from electronics. This provision will help ensure the proper collection and recycling of precious and strategic metals.
The legislation is broadly supported by the electronics industry, including official backing from Hewlett Packard, Dell, Apple, Samsung, and Best Buy. It is also widely supported by the recycling industry, including the Coalition For American Electronics Recyclers, which includes more than 100 companies operating more than 185 processing facilities in 34 states; and the environmental community, including the Electronic TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Jul 24, 2013
This is the 2nd major blowout in the gulf in two weeks , with very little main stream coverage . The Louisiana sinkhole is deeper than 750ft and could be letting off explosive Gases.
Jul 23, 2013
Are you a Sustainable or GREEN Professional, who can spare a minute to help us develop better #Sustainable #GREEN #LEED programs here in #Wisconsin
Jul 22, 2013
Via @VladimirRS - Sprechen Sie “Green Energy”? Throw another shrimp on the parabolic solar reflector, mate.
Jul 21, 2013
China feed in tariff price for nuclear energy will boost nuclear power in China while still providing globally competitive electricity prices
1 RMB or CNY (Chinese Yuan) is 0.1629 USD. 0.43 times that is 7 cents per kwh.
This price seems likely to greatly boost the amount of nuclear energy that will be constructed in China, while still leaving China with globally competitive electricity prices.
7 cents per kwh is a lower price than the price of electricity for most countries in the world Only some middle eastern and eastern european countries have lower prices.
Nuclear tariff 20% less than China Wind and 20% more than coal in China
As of August 2011 a China national feed-in tariff for solar projects was issued, and is about US$0.15 per kWh. The China wind tariffs per kilowatt hour are set at 0.51 yuan, 0.54 yuan, 0.58 yuan and 0.61 yuan. These represent a significant premium on the average rate of 0.34 yuan per kilowatt hour paid to coal-fired electricity generators.
The China feed in tariff is less than the tariffs for wind in Europe.Read more »
Affordable Care Act Could Cause People to Leave Their Jobs
Source: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, between 500,000 and 900,000 Americans may choose to stop working. That possibility is predicted in a new analysis of an analogous situation in reverse: the abrupt end of Tennessee's Medicaid expansion in 2005. That year, Tennessee dropped 170,000 of its citizens from Medicaid. It was the largest Medicaid disenrollment in the history of the program.
In 1994, Tennessee expanded its Medicaid public health insurance program, called TennCare, to provide for uninsured and uninsurable adults regardless of age, income or family status. As a result, Tennessee's Medicaid program became one of the most generous in the country. But nine years later, largely due to budgetary constraints the program was ended in 2005. Approximately 170,000 residents lost coverage.
Those who lost coverage were disproportionately single, childless adults with incomes slightly higher than the federal poverty line. That population is very similar to uninsured Americans who are likely to gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
In an analysis of employment records in Tennessee, the researchers determined that close to half of those who lost TennCare coverage in 2005 went on to find insurance through an employer. Moreover, the researchers found that as soon as TennCare coverage ended, there was a spike in Google searches for "job openings" in the state of Tennessee.
That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.
Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.
"Last year gave us some hope," says Jeffrey Pettis, research leader of the Agriculture Department's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.
But this year, the death rate was up again: 31 percent.
Six years ago, beekeepers were talking a lot about "colony collapse disorder" — colonies that seemed pretty healthy, but suddenly collapsed. The bees appeared to have flown away, abandoning their hives.
Beekeepers aren't seeing that so much anymore, Pettis says. They're mostly seeing colonies that just dwindle. As the crowd of bees gets smaller, it gets weaker.
"They can't generate heat very well in the spring to rear brood. They can't generate heat to fly," he says.
Farmers who grow crops like almonds, blueberries and apples rely on commercial beekeepers to make sure their crops get pollinated.
But the number of honeybees has now dwindled to the point where there may not be enough to pollinate those crops.
Pettis says that this year, farmers came closer than ever to a true pollination crisis. The only thing that saved part of the almond crop in California was some lovely weather at pollination time.
"We got incredibly good flight weather," Pettis says. "So even those small colonies that can't fly very well in cool weather, they were able to fly because of good weather."
Submitted by F.F. Wiley via Cyniconomics blog
Detroit's bankruptcy filing is one depressing read. Poverty, crime, blight – you name the malady and there's plenty of data to back it up. And unfortunately, Detroit's not alone. You may be wondering which city hits the wall next.
I'm not making predictions, but I've looked at one indicator that may offer some clues:population loss.
As any good Ponzi Schemer will tell you, your future looks much better when there are more people moving in than moving out. Once the population change turns negative, a vicious circle can take hold, and that's exactly what we saw in Detroit.
In addition to spending excesses and mismanagement, the city's financial problems stem from the challenges of downsizing infrastructure as quickly as the tax base contracts. Here are a few lowlights from the bankruptcy declaration:
- The average cost to demolish an abandoned building – of which Detroit has about 78,000, or 20% of the housing stock – is approximately $8500.
- Of about 11,000 to 12,000 fires each year, approximately 60% occur in abandoned buildings.
- The city closed 210 parks in fiscal year 2009 and recently announced that 50 of the remaining 107 parks were slated for closure.
- The city's Public Lighting Department is able to keep only about 60% of the approximately 88,000 street lamps in operation.
- The Detroit courts' case clearance rates have been running at only 18.6% for violent crimes and 8.7% for all crimes.
- Only 10 to 14 of the city's 36 ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013.
And now for a look at other cities that are battling severe population loss. Here are the top 15, ranked by the decline from each city's population peak, according to the decennial U.S. census:
And here are the top 15 ranked by the percentage decline (for this list, I required a population of at least 125,000 in or before 1960):
Nine cities have the dubious distinction of making both "top 15" lists....
25 Years After Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Company Still Hasn't Paid For Long-Term Environmental Damages
Jul 20, 2013
Ikea solar powered shelter can last 10 times longer than a refugee tent and could cost $1000 in mass production
More than 43 million people--globally--live as refugees or "internally displaced" (refugees within their own countries), having fled home due to "a well-founded fear of persecution" of race, religion, nationality, or socio-political membership. Right now, 3.5 million of them live in UN-provided tents, says Per Heggenes, CEO of the Ikea Foundation.
Canvas UN tents that start to disintegrate after about six months. The new Ikea-inspired shelters are built to last 10 times that long. They're twice as large as an old-school refugee tent, at 17.5 square meters (fitting five people comfortably) and take about four hours to assemble.
They currently cost $10,000 to make, but they're hoping to get that price down to less than $1,000 when they're in mass production. The tents cost half that, but they hope to have the cost even out, given the long life of the shelters
Read more »
Small permanent panelized homes $10000-25000 with 2X6 kit construction, foundation, electricity and plumbing
The Kanga sheds cost about $3000 and the cottages and houses cost $7000 (120 square feet) to $22000 (600 square feet). Plumbing and electricity can be added for about $2500-3500.
The floor system, wall system and roof system all come in panels that are no bigger than 4x8. This is designed so that one or two people can handle the panel. The floor panels are set on level beams where the 1 1/8'' plywood is attached. The wall panels are then erected using screws OR a nail gun. Then the supplied beams (the size and number of beams varies depending on the model) are erected on the walls. The roof panels are then attached to the beams. The roof covering is then applied.
All parts of the kit are designed to make installation as efficient as possible. A skilled construction crew can assemble our basic studio or shed kits in three days or less in most instances. The kit DOES require a moderate level of construction skill and knowledge of the use of the proper tools. If you have never done any building before or do not consider yourself mechanically inclined then handling the install yourself is not recommended.
However, if you do have some basic construction skills and feel comfortable with the tools required then installing the kit should be very manageable. All kits come with a detailed set of instructions as well as phone support from our design experts here at Kanga Room Systems.
Read more »
Pew Survey finds 23 of the 39 countries believe China has or will surpass the USA as the leading superpower
More have a favorable view of the U.S. compared with China.
* 63 percent have a positive view of America
* 50 percent have a positive view of China.
The U.S. was viewed more positively in every region in the world except the Middle East — where only 1 in 5 respondents had a favorable view of America.
Read more »
Yahoo! News: The nightmare inspired Grandjean, a doctor and medical epidemiologist at Harvard University, to write a book about the harm caused by industrial pollutants like mercury, lead, pesticides, and others, titled Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development—and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation.
"We seriously need to figure out how to protect the next generation so they will have optimal integrated brain function so that they can be fully capable of dealing with problems of tomorrow," Grandjean said.
One focus of the book is how vulnerable developing brains can be to industrial pollutants, and how early damage can be permanent. "You only have one chance to develop a brain, and that's the brain you have the rest of your life," he said.
Grandjean first got interested in epidemiology in the early 1970s when he heard press reports about widespread poisoning in Minamata, Japan, caused by contamination of seawater with methylmercury. That event created lasting toxicity, leading to mental retardation and numerous developmental problems in children.
In the years since, Grandjean has studied the brain toxicity of mercury and other substances. His work with mercury helped lead to an agreement known as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, formulated earlier this year at a United Nations meeting, which will outlaw certain uses of mercury and help reduce some types of mercury pollution, he said.
But much more needs to be done, Grandjean said. As he mentions in his book, three factors have kept society from taking appropriate action about the risk posed by pollutants: uncertainty, naivety and corruption.
The story of lead pollution illustrates these factors at work. Despite years of knowledge that lead could be toxic at certain concentrations, the metal was first introduced into gasoline in the 1920s to prevent "knocking." At that time, Dr. Robert A. Kehoe, a spokesman for the lead industry, demanded that adequate facts be presented to prove that lead was harmful; otherwise, nothing would be done, Grandjean writes. The influential Kehoe's argument became known as the "show-me rule." Industry used this rational to help keep lead in gasoline for 60 years in the United States, despite ample warnings that lead is highly toxic to the brain even in small doses, Grandjean said.
But evidence accumulated, and by the 1970s and 1980s, several scientists and environmental groups were calling for the removal of lead from gasoline and the reduction of lead pollution. By that time, however, lead had already "damaged brain cells in an entire generation of children, at least, worldwide," Grandjean writes in the book...