Aug 31, 2015

Rossi has an US Patent for his cold fusion (LENR) energy catalyzer but Ahern notes that it does not reveal anything replicatable [feedly]

Andre Rossi is known for his controversial cold fusion (LENR) energy catalyzer. He has received a US Patent for it.

There is supposed to be some kind of standard where a Patent should allow a competent practitioner to follow the patent and repeat what was done. This is not the cast with this patent. Someone trying to follow this would still have a lot of guessing as to what to do to attempt to make it work.


An apparatus for heating fluid includes a tank for holding fluid to be heated, and a fuel wafer in fluid communication with the fluid. The fuel wafer includes a fuel mixture including reagents and a catalyst, and an electrical resistor or other heat source in thermal communication with the fuel mixture and the catalyst. 

The powder in the fuel mixture consists largely of spherical particles having diameters in the nanometer to micrometer range, for example between 1 nanometer and 100 micrometers. Variations in the ratio of reactants and catalyst tend to govern reaction rate and are not critical. However, it has been found that a suitable mixture would include a starting mixture of 50% nickel, 20% lithium, and 30% LAH. Within this mixture, nickel acts as a catalyst for the reaction, and is not itself a reagent. While nickel is particularly useful because of its relative abundance, its function can also be carried out by other elements in column 10 of the periodic table, such as platinum or palladium.

The nickel powder must be pre-heated to convert trapped water into supercritical steam, explode, and increase the porosity of the nickel. The concept of enhancing the porosity of the nickel is mentioned multiple times. Perhaps the enhanced surface area and tubercules of carbonyl nickel provide a good starting powder that is improved by pre-heating. It should also be noted that the most successful replicator of this technology, Alexander Parkhomov, who has successfully produced excess heat in at least a dozen different tests, recently revealed to the Martin Fleischman Memorial Project that he pre-heats his nickel to 200C to remove any water content

Read more » at Next Big Future

Google Could 'Rig the 2016 Election,' using Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME).

Fortune [feedly] Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and colleague Ronald E. Robertson recently conducted an experiment in which they conclude that Google  GOOG -1.12%  has the power to rig the 2016 presidential election. They call it the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME).

Through five experiments in two countries, they found that biased rankings in search results can shift the opinions of undecided voters by 20% or more, sometimes even reaching as high as 80% in some demographic groups. If Google tweaks its algorithm to show more positive search results for a candidate, the researchers say, the searcher may form a more positive opinion of him or her.

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Lithium Ion batteries scaling up and costs could drop to $100 oer kwh

Tech giant Google has a secretive team building better batteries, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Analysts speculate that Apple is doing the same, based on the company's job postings. Nearly every major automaker has an electric vehicle for sale and many – notably Toyota and General Motors – are investing millions in designing new batteries to power them. It's a veritable moon race to see who can build the first affordable electric vehicle to drive 200 miles on a single charge. Many analysts believe hitting that mark would dramatically accelerate a global transition from fossil fuels to electricity as the energy of choice for the automotive world. 

Between 2007 and 2014, electric car battery costs dropped by more than half – from more than $1,000 per kilowatt-hour to around $410 per kWh. By 2025, the cost of batteries in electric vehicles will drop to as low as $172 per kWh, according to Lux. 

Energy storage is a $33 billion global industry that generates nearly 100 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, according to Boston-based Lux Research. By the end of the decade, it is expected to be worth more than $50 billion and generate 160 GWh. That's still just the equivalent of a AAAA battery in the sprawling energy industry, but it's enough to attract the attention of major companies that might not otherwise be interested in a decidedly pedestrian technology. Even utilities, which have long viewed batteries and the alternative forms of energy they support as a threat, are learning to embrace the technologies as "enabling" rather than "disruptive."

Tesla Motors is among those pushing the battery era the hardest. The California-based company has spent the past 12 years doing to electric vehicles what Apple did to early MP3 players – making them cool. It already has a battery-powered car that goes 200 miles on a single charge – the Model S – but its $70,000-plus price tag keeps it beyond the reach of most drivers.

Most analysts expect the Powerwall, Tesla's battery for homes, to appeal to only a small number of people, at least until the price and associated costs drop further. With a capacity of between only 7 and 10 kWh, and a price tag ranging from $3,000 to $3,500, the economics just don't make sense for most consumers across the US. But the larger-sized Powerpacks are already proving attractive to businesses and utilities, which have more of a financial incentive to avoid the violent fluctuations in energy supply and demand. And when the gigafactory comes on line in 2017, Tesla hopes the economies of scale will drive prices down to a point where home batteries entice a lot of people.

For Musk, "a lot of people" means just about everyone. At April's launch, Musk calculated it would take roughly 2 billion Powerpacks to electrify the entire world. That sounds like a lot, but, as Musk noted, it's on par with the number of cars and trucks on the road.

Read more » via Next Big Future

In 2008, Fewer Than 30 Million Used Food Stamps. Now 46 Million Do.

Good news: The number of Americans using food stamps in 2014 declined slightly from the previous year. So why does the 2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity say this indicator is headed in the "wrong direction"?

There are a couple of reasons. For one, the food stamp program (officially known now as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is still much larger today than it was a decade ago—or, indeed, just a few years ago. In 2008, it was below 30 million. By 2013, it had hit 47.6 million.

It has since dipped a bit, as I mentioned (to 46.5 million). But for it to still be so high, despite an improving economy, is certainly troubling.

"The program may appear to be on the right track," Maura Corrigan, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in the index. "But it is far from perfect and traveling much too slowly."

Aug 30, 2015

Nuclear Energy and Uranium through 2024

Harsh Singh Chauhan has a view of Uranium and Nuclear energy at Seeking Alpha

Disclosure - Author of Nextbigfuture has some shares in Cameco

Over $740 billion will be invested in the construction of new reactors going forward as operable reactors are slated to increase by 81 till 2024

Uranium consumption is slated to outpace supply by almost 64% by 2024

Read more » at Next Big Future

Middle East faces water shortages for the next 25 years, study says

The Guardian [feedly] Water supplies across the Middle East will deteriorate over 25 years, threatening economic growth and national security and forcing more people to move to already overcrowded cities, a new analysis suggests.

As the region, which is home to over 350 million people, begins to recover from a series of deadly heatwaves which have seen temperatures rise to record levels for weeks at a time, the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims water shortages were a key factor in the 2011 Syria civil war.

"Drought and water shortages in Syria likely contributed to the unrest that stoked the country's 2011 civil war. Dwindling water resources and chronic mismanagement forced 1.5 million people, primarily farmers and herders, to lose their livelihoods and leave their land, move to urban areas, and magnify Syria's general destabilisation," says the report. 

New WRI rankings place 14 of the world's 33 most water-stressed countries in the Middle East and north Africa region (Mena), including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and Lebanon. Companies, farms and residents in these countries are all highly vulnerable to the slightest change in supplies, says the WRI.

"The world's demand for water is likely to surge in the next few decades. Rapidly growing populations will drive increased consumption by people, farms and companies. More people will move to cities, further straining supplies. An emerging middle class could clamour for more water-intensive food production and electricity generation," say the authors.

"But it's not clear where all that water will come from. Climate change is expected to make some areas drier and others wetter. As precipitation extremes increase in some regions, affected communities face greater threats from droughts and floods," they say.

Innovative Tree-Like Off Grid Homes

Jetson GreenThe architecture firm OAS1S from Holland has come up with a unique proposal for a community of small houses, which would be built to resemble trees. The dwellings would all be made from recycled wood, and would function completely off-the-grid. These homes would be called "treescrapers" and the designers envision that once they are built, it would be like walking through a forest in the middle of an urban area.


The structures could either be single family, multi-family, or even hotels and office spaces, and other leisure and commercial units. Each would sport a green roof. Each unit would measure 19.6 x 19.6 x 39 ft (6 x 6 x 12 m), and have a total floorspace of 1,722 sq ft (160 sq m) across four floors. The interior of each treescraper would feature a lounge, dining room, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms, as well as a deck, hall and storage area and utility room. On the fourth floor, there would also be a fenced balcony and a glass-bottomed hall.



Each treescraper would also be covered in greenery. To function off-the-grid they would also be fitted with green tech such as a solar array to provide hot water and electricity, as well as a grey water recycling system and a composting toilet. The homes would also be fitted with triple-glazed windows. The units would also have a battery array to store the unused electricity collected by the solar panels, and the homes would also be equipped with a rainwater collection system.


In their planning, the company behind the concept envisions a whole community of such houses and structures, which would also be cars-free. The residents would park their cars on the outskirts of the community, and then walk home through this "forest" of buildings. The community would be made up of a maximum of 100 houses per 2.47 acres (1 hectare).


Currently the idea is still in the early planning stages, though the company is hopeful that they will receive the required investor funding. They also plan on offering the units as affordable housing.


Appalachian communities ask Republican leaders to support Obama's $1B economic aid for coalfields [feedly]

Appalachian communities ask For support Obama's $1B economic aid for coalfields
A greater number of struggling Appalachian coal communities are asking Congressional Republicans who normally oppose Obama administration legislation to get behind the president's Power + Plan to spend $1 billion over five years in an effort to help areas hurt by a sharp downturn in coal jobs, Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters. "Nearly a dozen Appalachian coal mining communities have passed resolutions over the past few weeks supporting" the plan. Local officials "have called on their Washington representatives to back the proposal that would provide public funds for new economic activities around reclaimed coal mines in the Appalachian Mountains." (Appalachian Coalfields map)

Eric Dixon, policy coordinator for the Appalachian Citizens' Law Center in Whitesburg, Ky., told Volcovici, "This isn't a partisan issue here. We have Republicans and Democrats in the mountains who support this plan."

The problem is that Washington Republican lawmakers—such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican who represents Eastern Kentucky—have been reluctant to support any coal-related plan initiated by Obama, Volcovici writes. "They contend that the administration's energy policies, including regulations forcing power plants to reduce carbon emissions tied to burning coal, have caused a contraction in the industry that has seen some of the country's biggest coal companies go into bankruptcy."

"Funding for the Power + plan would come from the government's Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program, which has nearly $2.5 billion in unused funds from fees on coal companies," Volcovici writes. "AML funds are allocated to states to clean up mines. The Obama administration wants to tap $1 billion of that money for states to use for economic redevelopment projects at old mine sites. The money is currently intended to be distributed after 2021."

"The prospect of getting an injection of cash that can be used for programs ranging from agriculture to tourism resonates on the ground in Appalachia, where another half-dozen coal communities plan to vote in the coming weeks on similar resolutions demanding that Congress agree to Power +," Volcovici writes

USDA $63 Million Renewable Energy Grants

Ever since it was given an official budget thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, we've been wondering about the Rural Energy for America Program, usually known by the ag-friendly acronym REAP.

This past week, USDA secretary Tom Vilsack officially announced the allocation of $63 million in loans and grants to a whopping 264 projects under the program, so we get to see some specifics about where this money is going.

REAP is designed to provide funds, through grants and sometimes loan financing specifically to smaller farmers in rural environments. It's interesting because it specifically targets those agricultural producers in remote areas, and provides funding for all kinds of alternative-energy projects including renewable energy systems like solar and wind generation, anaerobic digesters, biodiesel or ethanol facilities, hydropower, and that kind of thing.

But also, very helpfully, it will provide funding for basic improvements that align with the need to lower energy consumption like better lighting, cooling, heating, insulation, sealing, pumps, and all other upgrades that aren't as sexy as solar panels (and boy are solar panels sexy) but could have a huge impact just the same.

The announcement shows us a few specific areas where REAP funding will be going. They include a solar system on a fruit farm (mostly apple and pear orchards) in Ohio, a wind farm in North Carolina, and, interestingly, $16,094 (what a specific number!) to install solar panels on the roofs of chicken coops on a farm in Georgia.

REAP isn't the kind of legislation that garners huge headlines, but it's an important one: real money going to solve real problems in small farms. You can read more about it here.

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Boeing’s laser sentry gun takes out drones in seconds

Today, we've got the military equivalent: a laser turret that can down a drone in seconds.

Boeing calls it Silent Strike, and they label it as a directed energy weapon. More precisely, it's a 2 kilowatt laser, the little brother to Boeing's "death ray on wheels," which straps a 10 kilowatt laser on to the back of an armored transport. Engineer Isaac Neil likens the systems' attack to "a welding torch being put on a target, but from hundreds of meters away."

This new version is much, much more portable than the 10kW behemoth. Silent Strike breaks down into four separate components, each of which can be transported by two soldiers — or, perhaps one day, on the back of one of Boston Dynamics'robotic quadrupeds.

Nanosilver: Naughty or nice? | in 100's of consumer care products

Silver is beautiful — and a killer. The shiny white metal is a natural antibiotic. That means it kills bacteria. People have recognized this benefit since ancient times. Wealthy Romans ate using knives, forks and spoons made of silver. They understood that silver helped keep spoiled food from making them sick. In fact, historians think that is how we came to call eating utensils "silverware."

Today, eating off silver is more about wealth than health. Still, silver continues to play a role in medicine. Doctors use silver-coated bandages to kill germs that might infect burns and other wounds. Silver also is sometimes used to coat medical devices, such as breathing tubes. This can reduce the likelihood that patients on ventilators (to help them breathe) will develop pneumonia from exposure to germs.

In just the last decade, silver's use as a germ killer has expanded dramatically — and not only in medicine. Beginning around 2005, companies started adding a special form of silver to a wide range of everyday products. This silver was fashioned into amazingly tiny particles. Companies put it into socks, toothbrushes, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and other items.
Sometimes adding the special silver is promoted as a defense against bacteria that might make people sick. Other times, it's more about neutralizing bacteria that cause stinky feet or smelly breath. At last count, more than 400 consumer products contained this form of silver, called nanosilver.

And as that name suggests, nanosilver particles are too small to see, even with a classroom microscope. The particles measure between 1 and 100 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, across. (Nano is a prefix meaning a billionth.) By comparison, most human hair is 40,000 to 120,000 nanometers wide. That is hundreds of times the width of even a large nanoparticle.

People have used silver products for thousands of years. But some scientists have begun to worry that adding so much nanosilver to so many things could harm our health or the environment. Experts have begun looking for answers. But so far, the findings are mixed.

Little particle, big surface
Scientists say there are several things that are important to know about nanosilver to assess its potential harm. First, nanosilver is so tiny that it can find its way into tiny spaces. These spaces include our cells and the cells of other living things. Second, because nanosilver particles are so small, they have very high surface areas. That means that relative to their volume, their surface is fairly big. Particles undergo chemical reactions on their surface. The more surface area, the more chemical reactions. Some of those reactions could be harmful. Others might not be.

The list of potential reactions includes what happens when silver reacts with moisture in the air — those nanoparticles shed silver ions. Silver ions are atoms of silver with a positive electric charge. Some research suggests silver ions can kill a microbe by damaging its cell membranes. This can make the microbe's cells "leaky." Affected cells soon die.

Other research suggests the nanoparticle itself can kill a microbe.

But what happens if nanosilver gets into human cells? Some researchers have wondered whether the particles — or the ions they release — can cause harm.

Jim Hutchison is among those scientists trying to figure this out. He is a chemist and an expert in nanoparticles at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The most visible effect of silver, Hutchison says, is a condition called argyria (Ahr–JEER–ee–uh). People exposed to very large amounts of silver can suffer from this condition. Although it turns the skin blue, it doesn't appear to otherwise affect health.

Historians suspect argyria is the origin of the term "blue blood." It is used to describe people of noble birth. Royalty would likely have worn a lot of silver jewelry. Nobles also would have used real silver tableware when eating and drinking.

These blue bloods also may have drunk a lot of colloidal silver. That's a liquid into which silver particles are suspended.

"Colloidal silver has been used for a long time," says Hutchison. "It was thought of as a cure-all for many different illnesses."

Researchers found silverware , shown at left, shed nanosilver. The tiny particles of the metal are visible at right. University of Oregon researchers discovered those nanosilver bits began to transform in size, shape and numbers within a few hours, especially when exposed to humid air, water and light.

It was especially popular before modern-day antibiotics were developed to kill microbes. Even today, some people drink it. They believe it can fight some serious diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, disagrees. This federal agency says there is no scientific evidence that colloidal silver successfully treats anything.

So far, Hutchison's research suggests nanosilver and the silver ions it sheds probably aren't harmful to people (beyond turning some of them blue). "You can never prove every technology is going to be safe before you use it," he says. "But silver doesn't seem to be toxic to us."

In a 2011 study published in the journal ACS Nano, Hutchison's team looked at silver jewelry and eating utensils under high-powered microscopes. They found the solid silver products were shedding nanoparticles. "This means nanosilver has been in contact with humans for a long, long time," he says. And that, he concludes, "should be reassuring, because those exposures don't seem to have caused harm."

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Governor Christie’s Gift to Exxon Mobil - Billion$

The New York Times
For years, New Jersey officials have been trying to make Exxon Mobil Corporation pay for their "staggering and unprecedented" pollution of the state's northeastern wetlands. The price tag for damages and cleanup of more than 1,500 acres in the Linden and Bayonne areas was estimated at $8.9 billion. Gov. Chris Christie settled for a payout of $225 million from Exxon, a paltry sum that won the approval of a state judge earlier this week.

That ruling by Judge Michael Hogan of New Jersey's Superior Court is a major setback for the environment and the taxpayers of New Jersey.  As Margaret Brown, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said after the ruling, "This is a multi-billion gift to ExxonMobil from Governor Christie and his administration, at the expense of New Jersey residents."

Exxon's predecessors began dumping toxic substances into the marshlands in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Nearly a century later, the state courts held Exxon liable for damages, and the company has spent around $260 million so far to cap and control pollution at these sites.

These once-pristine areas turned dumping grounds were described as "sludge lagoons" in a state report a few years ago. State officials described the Bayonne site, for example, as soaked with decades' worth of petroleum, 15 feet deep in some places.  Once-thriving salt marshes were turned solid by the contaminants — all of which should be removed, not capped or covered.

Obama defends Arctic drilling while preaching destructive nature of climate change?

The Guardian [feedly]
Obama defended the drilling operation, saying: "We don't rubber-stamp permits."

The president had hoped to use his visit to showcase the changes unfolding in the Arctic, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, the White House said.

"This is an issue that is very here and now," Brian Deese, a senior White House advisor told a conference call with reporters on Friday. "Near and above the Arctic circle the impacts of climate change are particular pronounced and Americans are living with those impacts in real time."

He said Obama would use the visit to draw public attention to those consequences: the retreat of sea ice, land loss due to melting permafrost and coastal erosion, increasingly severe storms and growing risk of wildfires.

 The oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer, the first of two drilling rigs Royal Dutch Shell is outfitting for Arctic oil exploration. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP
The president will also highlight the risks to Alaska's tiny coastal communities, some of which could be forced to relocate because of climate change. A number have already chosen to move but have no funds to do so.

But campaign groups said Obama was sabotaging his own mission by giving the go-ahead to Shell to hunt for oil.

"There is a very obvious contradiction between meaningful action to address climate change and continued exploration for remote and difficult hydrocarbon resources," said Michael LeVin, Arctic campaigner for Oceana.

"Moving forward with exploiting Arctic oil and gas is inconsistent with the Administration's stated goal and meaningful action on climate change."

A Broken Well Has Been Leaking Oil Into The Gulf Of Mexico For The Last 10 Years

For more than a decade, oil has been continuously leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that environmental groups and the New Orleans energy company responsible for the spill had finally reached a settlement ahead of a trial slated to begin in October.

According to the AP, under the terms of the settlement, Taylor Energy agreed to make a $300,000 donation to a Louisiana marine research consortium — to purchase vessels, electronics and other equipment — as well as fund $100,000 worth of research into the ecological effects of long-term oil leaks in the Gulf.

"We are pleased to have found common ground with Waterkeepers. The agreement balances the public's right to information with adequate safeguards for Taylor's proprietary technology," Will Pecue, Taylor's president, said in an emailed press statement.

According to Waterkeeper Alliance, however, there has been no final agreement on a settlement or terms.

"We are very pleased about the progress of negotiations with Taylor, and have come to a conceptual agreement that has not yet been finalized," Waterkeeper Alliance said in a statement emailed to ThinkProgress. "As no final settlement agreement exists between the parties at this time, we are not at liberty to discuss the details of a potential settlement. We will provide a full statement when the settlement is finalized."

The leak first began in 2004, when Hurricane Ivan struck the Gulf Coast, triggering an underwater mudslide that knocked over an offshore well platform owned by Taylor Energy. The mudslide essentially buried 28 wells beneath the Gulf, some 10 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Because the wells were buried some 475 feet under water in sediment up to 100 feet deep, traditional plug methods did not work to staunch the flow of oil.

In 2008, Taylor sold the last of its offshore assets. According to an April investigation into the spill by the AP, Taylor Energy currently has just one full-time employee, dedicated to managing the oil spill. Since the leak began in 2004, Taylor has downplayed its impacts, claiming that the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf has been tapering down in recent years, and that the ecological impacts of the spill were minimal. For years, Taylor was not forced to disclose details about its cleanup efforts, or other spill-related information, under the guise of protecting trade secrets.

The AP investigation, however, uncovered serious under-reporting in the volume of the spill, showing that actual amounts were some 20 times higher than figures put forth by Taylor Energy. According to government numbers, the annual average daily leak rate for the spill was around 22 gallons per day, and had fallen to 12 gallons per day by 2012. The AP, however, cited SkyTruth — a watchdog group that had monitored the spill's slick by satellite — who said that the average daily leak rate could be between 37 and 900 gallons. The AP also found that pollution reports did not match Taylor's official account of a decline in the rate of leaks — instead, the AP found that sheen size and oil volume related to the spill actually increased dramatically in 2014.

In 2008, the Coast Guard said that the spill posted a "significant threat" to the environment, capable of impacting fish, birds, and marine life. Using satellite data, SkyTruth estimates that between 300,000 and 1.4 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf from the site of the leak since 2004, according to the AP. If the high-end estimates are right, that would make the spill one of the largest in the Gulf's history — the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released between 134 and 176 million into the Gulf back in 2005.

The real economy .... what have we done with the years

Bernie Sanders - Today real median family income is almost $5,000 less than it was in 1999 in inflation accounted for dollars. Why is that? How does that happen? The typical male worker, that man right in the middle of the American economy, made $783 less last year than he did 42 years ago after adjusting for inflation...The typical female worker is making $1,337 less than she did in be 2007. 

Western fires off the charts

Bloomberg - In Washington state, fire covers nearly 500 square miles, and smoke is in the air as far east as Chicago. On Aug. 19, Washington Governor Jay Inslee asked for a federal disaster declaration, which he got two days later. There are so many blazes all across the Western U.S. that there aren't enough firefighters to fight them. The National Guard has been called up, as have active-duty soldiers trained in 24 hours for the fire line. Canada has sent firefighters to help. So have Australia and New Zealand, and still there aren't enough. An unprecedented 32,000 men and women are struggling to control the flames, yet it's possible to walk for miles over burning ridges and down smoke-choked drainages without seeing a single firefighter. "Fire activity is off the charts," says Shawna Legarza, the Forest Service's fire director for California. As bad as Washington state is, California has been burning since early July, and there are 42 large fires active now. By mid-August, fires have consumed 7.2 million acres nationwide, mostly in Alaska.

Accounting for insurance costs, damages to businesses and infrastructure, and the flash floods and mudslides caused by denuded slopes, this year's fires will likely cost taxpayers $25 billion—and that's if a whole town or city doesn't burn, which is a distinct possibility. If that happens, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the costs could double or triple: One hundred forty million Americans live in fire-prone regions, and $237 billion in property sits in those high-risk areas.

The Forest Service, the country's largest wildland firefighting agency, has spent $800 million trying to control the flames this year, and it's only August. As such, 2015 is on track to become the 15th year in a row the agency has laid out roughly $1 billion on firefighting alone. Expenses in some areas are equal to or greater than the value of the threatened property—$200,000 to $400,000 per home, according to Bozeman (Mont.)-based Headwaters Economics. Yet the Forest Service doesn't have much choice: It can't just let communities burn. So the service and its partner agencies keep putting out the flames, even though years of study have shown that doing so only leads to even hotter, more devastating fires later. 

China's air is so bad breathing it is like smoking 40 cigarettes a day

China's air pollution is in a bad spot - Business Insider

In a recent report by the nonprofit Berkeley Earth, researchers found that the average person in China was exposed to 52 micrograms of PM2.5 per unit of cubed air (the standard way of measuring the pollutant). For comparison, a study of the long-term effects of air pollution found that an annual exposure to just five micrograms of PM2.5 per unit of cubed air (10 times less than the amount discovered in the air in some areas of China) increased the risk of developing heart problems by 13%. 

China's rapid industrialization has left the country without a great way of monitoring coal-powered plants or the growing amount of car exhaust in the air.

About a year and a half ago, the country declared a "war on pollution." The government set up about 1,000 monitoring stations to check for pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and — most importantly — the PM2.5. But these efforts are just beginning to figure out how bad the situation is.

Here's a chart from The Economist showing where the air is most deadly. 

China air quality Economist graphThe Economist

Fortunately, some areas aren't all that bad, especially areas farther way from Beijing and Shanghai. But even so, The Economist notes, about half of China's 1.3 billion population lives in areas with PM2.5 levels above the EPA's highest tolerance level.

Looks like China's "war on pollution" still has a ways to go.

Pesticides do More than Kill Bees--Cause Changes in Spider Behavior.

Posted by Katherine Gombay-McGill on August 6, 2015

Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed.

For a new study, researchers looked at changes in the behavior of individual bronze jumping spiders both before and after exposure to Phosmet, a widely used broad-spectrum insecticide.

"Bronze jumping spiders play an important role in orchards and fields, especially at the beginning of the agricultural season, by eating many of the pests like the oblique-banded leafroller, a moth that attacks young plants and fruit," says Raphaël Royauté, a former McGill University PhD student whose study on the subject appears in Functional Ecology.

"Farmers spray insecticides on the plants to get rid of these same pests, and it was thought that it had little significant effect on the spiders' behaviors. But we now know that this isn't the case."

Find out more about spider "personality" experiments here.
Exposure to insecticide affected the spiders' ability to leap on prey and their interest in exploring new territory, both of which are crucial to their survival and to their role in keeping down pests.

"Most individuals have an individual signature in their behaviors, what scientist call "personal types" says Royauté. "Some individuals are willing to take risks when predators are present, explore new territories faster, or capture prey more quickly. But the effects of insecticides on personality types remains poorly described."

In general, the behavior of spiders became more "unpredictable" and individuals behaved less according to their personality type once they were exposed to insecticide, possibly because some individuals are much more sensitive to the insecticide than others.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that male and female spiders were affected differently. Males who had been exposed to the insecticide were able to continue to capture prey as they had before, but "lost" their personality type when exploring their environment. Females, on the other hand, were much more affected in their ability to capture prey.

"By looking at the way that insecticides affect individual spider behaviors, rather than averaging out the effects on the spider population as a whole, as is traditionally done in scientific research, we are able to see some significant effects that we might have otherwise missed," says coauthor Chris Buddle.

"It means we can measure the effects of insecticides before any effects on the spider population as a whole are detected, and in this case, it's raising some red flags."

The researchers hope that this study will lead to the reevaluation of procedures used to estimate the toxicity of insecticidal compounds by encouraging other researchers to pay more attention to effects occurring at the individual level.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada supported the work.

Source: McGill University
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The study's approach "means we can measure the effects of insecticides before any effects on the spider population as a whole are detected," says Chris Buddle, "and in this case, it's raising some red flags." 

Aug 29, 2015

dow_dioxin - EPA's Proposed Cleanup Plan for Tittabawassee River's Segment 3 is Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, plans to clean up dioxin-contaminated sediment and riverbanks in Segment 3 of the Tittabawassee River. Segment 3 is a 4-mile stretch of the river starting about seven miles below where the Chippewa River meets the Tittabawassee River, downstream of the Dow Chemical Co. plant in Midland. Details and documents are available now by linking to our website at

EPA will hold a 45-day public comment period between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15. We will hold a formal public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6:30 p.m., at the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Building, 150 Park St., Freeland.  EPA and MDEQ will carefully consider comments before finalizing the cleanup plan.

Aug 28, 2015

Human Plague — Since April 1, 2015 the U.S. has had a total of 11 cases of human plague

Since April 1, 2015, a total of 11 cases of human plague have been reported in residents of six states: Arizona (two), California (one), Colorado (four), Georgia (one), New Mexico (two), and Oregon (one). The two cases in Georgia and California residents have been linked to exposures at or near Yosemite National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Nine of the 11 patients were male; median age was 52 years (range = 14–79 years). Three patients aged 16, 52, and 79 years died.

Plague is a rare, life-threatening, flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. During 2001–2012, the annual number of human plague cases reported in the United States ranged from one to 17 (median = three cases) (1). It is unclear why the number of cases in 2015 is higher than usual. Plague circulates among wild rodents and their fleas in rural and semirural areas in the western United States (2). Transmission to humans occurs through the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected body fluids or tissues, or inhalation of respiratory droplets from ill persons or animals, including ill domesticated cats and dogs (3). The usual incubation period between exposure and illness onset is 2–6 days.

In humans, plague is characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise, which can be accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. There are three main forms of plague, depending upon the route of infection. Bubonic plague, resulting from the bite of an infected flea, accounts for approximately 80%–85% of cases; patients develop a "bubo," a painful swelling of one or several lymph nodes that progresses during the first few days of illness. Septicemic plague, accounting for approximately 10% of cases, can occur from a flea bite or from direct contact with infectious fluids; infection spreads directly through the bloodstream with no localizing signs. Primary pneumonic plague, occurring in approximately 3% of plague patients, results from aerosol exposure to infective droplets and is characterized by a fulminant primary pneumonia. Secondary pneumonic plague can result from the spread of Y. pestis to the lungs in patients with untreated bubonic or septicemic infection.

The mortality rate for untreated plague has ranged from 66% to 93%; however, in the antibiotic era, mortality has been reduced to approximately 16% (4). Prompt treatment with antimicrobials such as aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, or doxycycline greatly improves outcome (4).

Health care providers should consider the diagnosis of plague in any patient with compatible signs or symptoms, residence or travel in the western United States, and recent proximity to rodent habitats or direct contact with rodents or ill domestic animals. Suspicion of plague should prompt 1) collection of blood, bubo aspirate, or sputum samples for Y. pestis diagnostic testing; 2) implementation of isolation and respiratory droplet precautions for patients with respiratory involvement; 3) immediate antibiotic treatment (before laboratory confirmation); and 4) notification of public health officials. Y. pestis–specific testing is available at state health laboratories. Recommendations for diagnostic testing and antibiotic treatment are available at Misidentification of Y. pestis as Pseudomonas luteola and other organisms through the use of automated bacterial identification systems has been reported (5).

Persons engaging in outdoor activities in areas where plague is endemic should wear long pants when possible and use insect repellent on clothing and skin. Persons also should avoid direct contact with ill or dead animals and never feed squirrels, chipmunks, or other rodents. In addition, pet owners should regularly use flea control products on their pets and consult a veterinarian if their pet is ill. Rodent habitat can be reduced around the home by removing brush, clutter, and potential rodent food sources such as garbage or pet food. Additional information on prevention of plague is available at

On August 25, 2015, this report was posted as an MMWR Early Release on the MMWR website (

Free Webinar: Life Cycle Assessment as a Green Chemistry Tool: How to use LCA as a resource for minimizing environmental and toxicological impacts.

​Join us for a
National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and Safer Chemistry Challenge Program webinar on September 1st, 2 pm eastern

Life Cycle Assessment as a Green Chemistry Tool: How to use LCA as a resource for minimizing environmental and toxicological impacts.
Register now:

Douglas Mazeffa, Environmental Project Manager, The Sherwin-Williams Company
Webinar Description:
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is a complex tool that is becoming increasingly common in regulations, standards, and within sustainability programs.  Although LCA is a robust and credible way to assess environmental impact, care must be taken when conducting an LCA to ensure that its results are accurate and actionable.  This presentation will provide a brief overview on LCA and discuss how it can be utilized successfully as a sustainability tool, especially in regards to green chemistry.  

Join the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable invites companies to join the 2025 Safer Chemistry Challenge Program (SCCP). This voluntary initiative aims to motivate, challenge, and assist businesses in reducing their use of chemicals of concern to human health and the environment. The SCCP will also recognize and reward companies for finding safer alternatives to the hazardous chemicals they currently use. Questions can be directed to saferchemistry(at) For information on how to become a member of the Safer Chemistry Challenge program visit:

Aug 27, 2015

Let’s See What Happens When This Group Of Scientists Retests Studies That Contradict Climate Science

​THINKPROGRESS: The scientific consensus behind man-made global warming is overwhelming: multiple studies have noted a 97 percent consensus among climate scientists that the Earth is warming and human activities are primarily responsible. Scientists are as sure that global warming is real — and driven by human activity — as they are that smoking cigarettes leads to lung cancer.

But what if all of those scientists are wrong? What if the tiny sliver of scientists that don't believe global warming is happening, or that human activities are causing it — that two to three percent of climate contrarians — are right?

That's the hypothetical question that a new study, authored by Rasmus Benestad, Dana Nuccitelli, Stephan Lewandowsky, Katharine Hayhoe, Hans Olav Hygen, Rob van Dorland, and John Cook, sought to answer. Published last week in the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology, the study examined 38 recent examples of contrarian climate research — published research that takes a position on anthropogenic climate change but doesn't attribute it to human activity — and tried to replicate the results of those studies. The studies weren't selected randomly — according to lead author Rasmus Benestad, the studies selected were highly visible contrarian studies that had all arrived at a different conclusion than consensus climate studies. The question the researchers wanted to know was — why?

"Our selection suited this purpose as it would be harder to spot flaws in papers following the mainstream ideas. The chance of finding errors among the outliers is higher than from more mainstream papers," Benestad wrote at RealClimate. "Our hypothesis was that the chosen contrarian paper was valid, and our approach was to try to falsify this hypothesis by repeating the work with a critical eye."

It didn't go well for the contrarian studies.

The most common mistake shared by the contrarian studies was cherry picking, in which studies ignored data or contextual information that did not support the study's ultimate conclusions. In a piece for the Guardian, study co-author Dana Nuccitelli cited one particular contrarian study that supported the idea that moon and solar cycles affect the Earth's climate. When the group tried to replicate that study's findings for the paper, they found that the study's model only worked for the particular 4,000-year cycle that the study looked at.

"However, for the 6,000 years' worth of earlier data they threw out, their model couldn't reproduce the temperature changes," Nuccitelli wrote. "The authors argued that their model could be used to forecast future climate changes, but there's no reason to trust a model forecast if it can't accurately reproduce the past."

The researchers also found that a number of the contrarian studies simply ignored the laws of physics. For example, in 2007 and 2010 papers, Ferenc Miskolczi argued that the greenhouse effect had become saturated, a theory that had been disproved in the early 1900s.

"As we note in the supplementary material to our paper, Miskolczi left out some important known physics in order to revive this century-old myth," Nuccitelli wrote.

In other cases, the authors found, researchers would include extra parameters not based in the laws of physics to make a model fit their conclusion.

"Good modeling will constrain the possible values of the parameters being used so that they reflect known physics, but bad 'curve fitting' doesn't limit itself to physical realities," Nuccitelli said.

The authors note that these errors aren't necessarily only found in contrarian papers, and they aren't necessarily malicious. In their discussion, they offer a suite of possible explanations for the mistakes. Many authors of the contrarian studies were relatively new to climate science, and therefore may have been unaware of important context or data. Many of the papers were also published in journals with audiences that don't necessarily seek out climate science, and therefore peer review might have been lacking. And some of the researchers had published similar studies, all omitting important information.

These same errors and oversights, the authors allow, could be present in consensus climate studies. But those errors don't contribute to a gap between public understanding and scientific consensus on the issue, the researchers argued. The mistakes also seemed to be particularly present in contrarian studies, Nuccitelli wrote.

In the end, the researchers stressed the overall importance of reproducibility in science, both for consensus views and contrarian ones.

"Science is never settled, and both the scientific consensus and alternative hypotheses should be subject to ongoing questioning, especially in the presence of new evidence and insights," the study concluded. "True and universal answers should, in principle, be replicated independently, especially if they have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature."

Read more from source: ​THINKPROGRESS

Fukushima nuclear waste detected along Southern California coast — Highest levels seen anywhere in North America since testing program began — 8.4 Bq/m3 of radioactive cesium measured near beach between Los Angeles and San Diego (VIDEO & MAP)

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Center For Marine And Environmental Radiation:

  • Location: 32°57'0.00″N; 117°17'60.00″W [1.8  miles off the coast of Del Mar, California]
  • Sample Date: Apr 04, 2015 11:36
  • Depth: 3m
  • Cs134: 1.5 ± 0.1Bq/m3
  • Cs137: 6.9 ± 0.2Bq/m3


The sample was taken just over a mile off the coast of Del Mar, CA – located about 15 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. The only other location Woods Hole has reported detecting nuclear waste from Fukushima Daiichi along the shoreline of North America is in Ucluelet, Canada about 1,200 miles to the north of Del Mar.

7.2 becquerels per cubic meter of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 was measured in a Ucluelet sample taken in February 2015. The Del Mar sample had 8.4 Bq/m3.

Results for other Fukushima Daiichi-derived radionuclides were not posted. According to media reports, "The plume also contains other radioactive material, including Strontium 90… radioactive isotopes of iodine, low levels of plutonium and tritium might be in the plume."

According to Woods Hole scientist Ken Buesseler, "As the plume begins to arrive along the West Coast [it] will actually increase in concentration… no public agency in the US is monitoring the activities in the Pacific… Without careful, extensive, consistent monitoring, we'll have no way of knowing how much radiation from Fukushima is reaching our shores, and how it could affect life in the ocean."

Watch Buesseler's recent presentation near Del Mar, CA here

​Explosions rocked DuPont plant 50 years ago

The day before, a series of explosions "turned the DuPont synthetic rubber plant in Louisville into an inferno of flame, smoke and flying pieces of metal," the newspaper reported. At one point in the afternoon, authorities thought they were clear to let people back in -- that it had become safe.But they made a mistake.

"It wasn't safe," the newspaper reported. "There was another explosion. Six bodies reported had been seen and were about to be removed when another blast ripped the plant about 5:45 p.m. Rescue workers then retreated, carrying their injured comrades. The dead were left inside.

"Our hearts are sick for the families of the missing men," H. Burton Eaton Jr., the plant manager, was quoted as saying.

The Bingham family's media holdings at the time, including The Courier-Journal and WHAS11 television, devoted a lot of resources to covering the massive series of explosions that destroyed nearly all the plant and caused so much pain. Tuesday evening, WHAS's Doug Proffittbroadcast a report on the disaster, including some recollections from eye witnesses. It marked the first live broadcast for the television station and it was on the air when that second blast shook the plant.

In the end, 12 workers died and there were at least 37 other injuries, I later found out when preparing a Rubbertown timeline for stories I wrote in the early 2000s about toxic air and western Louisville's tension-filled relationship with the Rubbertown complex of chemical plants that have lined the Ohio River since the 1940s.

That history of fear, anger and distrust from past Rubbertown explosions and decades of chemical emissions most recently played a role in a clash over two methane gas production facilities supported by Mayor Greg Fischer as an environmentally friendly way to deal with food and distillery waste. One of the proposed plants has been pulled but the other remains in play. The mayor has been seeking to calm methane plant concerns, while appealing for open minds.

As my colleague Phillip M. Bailey wrote this week:

    The West End has "suffered from environmental problems created by our community's past" and residents "deserve to have their valid concerns heard and answered," Fischer said in a statement Monday. But the mayor added that residents "also deserve to hear the science and facts about the waste-reducing, renewable-energy-generating investments."

DuPont was rocked by explosions again in 1969. A tank blast at the former Borden plant (now Momentive) in 1985 killed three workers. Railcars and plants also periodically leaked, sometimes causing injuries, often rattling nerves.

In the mid-1990s, my predecessor, Andrew Melnycovych followed up another Rubbertown accident with a story that started out this way:

    About once a week, the wail of sirens signals residents that another spill, leak or fire has occurred at one of the nine major plants in Rubbertown. Then there are the millions of pounds of chemicals, some of them known or suspected to cause cancer, that the plants emit into the air each year. "I'd love to move away from here. It's dangerous," said Joyce Hannold. But her family can't afford to move from their Ralph Avenue home of 22 years, so "you get used to it. You just get used to it."

Rubbertown companies have dramatically cut back on their toxic air emissions, in large part to pressure from the community and Louisville's Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program.

It was a major success as noted by political leaders and members of the public alike.

"The quality of air has definitely changed," social and environmental advocate Gracie Lewis, active with the group Rubbertown Emergency Action, told me earlier this summer. "Until we had the STAR program, there were leaks all the time, and you could smell the fumes."

When you work with large volumes of chemicals, some under intense pressure, and move them around on rail cars, accidents are bound to happen. And they still do.

There was the 2011 explosion at Carbide Industries, for example, that killed two workers and injured two others, and prompted shelter-in-place warnings for one mile around the plant. And a train derailment and chemical spill near West Point the following year that forced mass evacuations.

Fortunately for everyone, there hasn't been another chemical disaster like the one that leveled the Dupont plant on Aug. 25, 1965.

Coca-Cola to Replenish 100% of Water It Uses by End of Year

BloomBerg: Coca-Cola Co. and its bottling partners expect to be replenishing 100 percent of the water used in their factories by the end of 2015, reaching a longstanding conservation goal five years ahead of schedule.

The beverage giant, which announced the replenishment target in 2007, said it's already "balancing" about 94 percent of the water. That means Coca-Cola is offsetting each gallon it uses by recycling or conserving a gallon somewhere in the world. The company relies on a mix of systems to accomplish this, including waste treatment at its plants and reforestation projects that help restore watersheds.

"As a consumer of water, the Coca-Cola system has a special responsibility to protect this shared resource," Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said in a statement on Tuesday.

The project is meant to ensure the company will have enough water to meet its needs, as well as reassuring customers who may be concerned about drought in California and elsewhere. Coca-Cola had originally planned to be water-neutral by 2020.

Through 209 projects in 61 countries, the Atlanta-based company and its bottling partners have given back almost 153.6 billion liters of water. The Coca-Cola system has also recycled 126.7 billion liters of water after waste treatment. Combined, these numbers are set to meet the company's goal by the end of 2015 based on 2014 sales volume.
Reducing Risk

The program isn't philanthropic so much as a strategic business imperative, Greg Koch, global director of water stewardship at Coca-Cola, said in an interview. Local water access is vital to the company's success, he said, since "the price point that we sell our products demands that we manufacture and distribute locally."

When water supply is stressed, "that presents risks, risk to those communities, those ecosystems, and all businesses operating there -- including ours," Koch said.

But there are some parts of Coca-Cola's water use that may not be captured in the data, said Paula Rees, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The company's agricultural water usage, for instance, may not be fully known, she said.

Carbon trading fails to reduce emissions, harms climate, study says - @willdizard

Because of bogus carbon offsets, European scheme to let polluters buy credits resulted in more harm to the environment
Wilson Dizard @willdizard -  A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report.

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) report released Monday found significant problems with the efficacy of carbon offsets. The researchers found issues with 75 percent of 872 million offsets, and point to a lack of oversight as the main problem. 

"We know what rules are needed and then we need the political will to implement them," Anja Kollmuss, one of the authors of the study, told Al Jazeera. "And so far this has been lacking."

The Joint Implementation (JI) carbon-trading scheme, established under the Kyoto Protocol, may have "seriously undermined global climate action," researchers said. Faults in JI have released 600 million tons of carbon dioxide more than if the scheme wasn't in place, the report said.  

"This study focuses on that part of JI that is not subject to international oversight, but is instead left up to the individual countries to administer and ensure integrity," Julia Justo Soto, head of the UN's Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee, said in a release Tuesday.

Soto recommended that the enforcement "mechanism in future be run under a single track with international oversight."

Carbon-trading markets let companies in certain industrialized countries earn the right to emit greenhouse gasses by funding offsets elsewhere, like cleaning up combustible piles of abandoned coal mine waste. In theory, this will keep the total emissions under goals set by the European Union, but the plan only works if the offsets make a legitimate reduction in emissions. The SEI study found many do not. 

For some companies, buying the right to pollute with offsets is often cheaper than refurbishing their own polluting facilities — like coal-fired power plants or chemical plants that can emit greenhouse gasses more dangerous than carbon dioxide. 

To Lukas Ross, a climate advocate at Friends of the Earth, the cap-and-trade system was doomed to fail from the start. He said it could even lead to environmental injustices.

"This is another nail in the coffin for Wall Streets solution to the climate crisis," Ross said. He prefers a direct tax on carbon emissions.

Please read on from source by Wilson Dizard @willdizard

Samsung unveils higher capacity Lithium ion batteries for electric bikes to provide 100 kilometer range in one charge

Samsung unveils higher capacity Lithium ion batteries for electric bikes to provide 100 kilometer range in one charge

Samsung SDI already had high capacity 2.9 Ah (29E) cells for E-bikes. High capacity cells such as 2.9 Ah improve the driving distance of the E-bike and provide convenience to the customers.

Samsung SDI unveiled a 500Wh e-bike Li-ion battery pack that can run for 100 km on a single battery charge. Samsung SDI is exhibiting six types of standardized battery packs that can either be built inside or installed on the outside for immediate use. 

Samsung SDI has come up with a battery with an upgraded 35% more energy volume. It is known as the 21700 battery, and has successfully applied it onto e-bikes for the first in the world.

The 21700 model can have various applications other than e-bike, such as in electric tools, laptops, and more. It is expected to become the new standard in small cylindrical battery usage. 

The global e-bike market is estimated to have reached the number of around 34 million bikes this year. B3 stated in their data that the replacement rate of lead-acid batteries in China has been on the rise and as a result, the demand for e-bike lithium-ion batteries will mark 163 million cells by the end of 2015, which is a 14% increase from last year.

Read more »// Next Big Future

Pesticides linked to bee decline in major study

Gurdian Uk - A new study provides the first evidence of a link between neonicotinoid pesticides and escalating honeybee colony losses on a landscape level. The study found the increased use of a pesticide, which is linked to causing serious harm in bees worldwide, as a seed treatment on oilseed rape in England and Wales over an 11 year period correlated with higher bee mortality during that time. 

Air pollution kills 4,000 a day in China

Tree Hugger - A new study by Berkeley Earth ... that air pollution kills an average of 4000 people every day in China, 17% of all China's deaths. For 38% of the population, the average air they breathe is "unhealthy" by U.S. standards.

"Air pollution is the greatest environmental disaster in the world today," says Richard Muller, Scientific Director of Berkeley Earth, coauthor of the paper. "When I was last in Beijing, pollution was at the hazardous level; every hour of exposure reduced my life expectancy by 20 minutes. It's as if every man, women, and child smoked 1.5 cigarettes each hour," he said. 

Aug 26, 2015

​The archive link to the NORA Seminar, “Construction Safety and Health: A NIOSH Perspective”

​The archive link to the NORA Seminar, "Construction Safety and Health: A NIOSH Perspective" by Dr. Christine Branche, held August 19, 2015 is available. Click on the link below and then click on archives….the seminars are listed by date.

CE credit and CM points are available. If you want CE credit, please send your check and PID by September 14, 2015.

Slides and evaluation form are available by contacting Susan Randolph (susan.randolph(at)

The next seminar will be Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm ET when Deborah Reed, PhD, RN from University of Kentucky presents "Aging in the Farmwork Environment."

 Mark your calendars for the 2016 NORA Seminar dates:
 - February 3, 2016, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
 - April 6, 2016, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
 - August 24, 2016, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
 - November 2, 2016, 1:00pm to 2:30pm