Monday, September 23, 2013

Social Good Summit 2013 - Social Good Summit

Social Good Summit 2013 - Social Good Summit:

Here's a video of the conference on United Nations Foundation, Gates Foundation and more. on Social Good Summit 2013... Conference runs from Sept 22 - 24, New York, NY.

Al Gore is in this too.

Hash tag I guess is #2030now

Check out the LP Recharge game, Part of the UN movement to have affordable, renewable energy for all. 1.3B people do not have access to energy. Maybe 3B don't really have safe and affordable energy.

Very interesting.

Not quite the balance of the business and economic engine for development and wealth creation that we would like to see. But some very good stuff here.

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Natural gas, the media’s failures, and you « The Cost of Energy

Natural gas, the media’s failures, and you « The Cost of Energy:


"The Cost of Energy" Lou Grinzo blogs (and reblogs) about how unclear NatGas really is. It all has to do with the Methane released from the fracking.

See the reprint of the blog at from Dr. Brown.

Sadly NatGas may really not be cleaner than Coal. How dirty is that!

Here's my comments over to Lou's post.
Okay, as always, your blogs are extremely informative, with lots of facts that are well substantiated. The Dr. Brown article is a real eye opener on fracking.

Ouch! This is ugly. So we really don't gain anything from NatGas except maybe fuel independence -- and a wonderful improvement to our US trade (im)balance!:-(

The question I have for all of this NatGas is here and now. Half of the NatGas in the US is flared. So when we say that NatGas is 50% cleaner than coal, do we count the other 100% that is flared in the making? Oh, wait, we aren't saying that NatGas is actually cleaner than coal. It may not be!

Don't get me wrong, there's a safety and a transport issue here with flaring...

Good news is that much of the flaring is probably methane, right? So it could be worse, there might not be as much flaring. Simply releasing the methane would be a hefty magnitude worse?

And, of course, the point is that there should be no (short-term) plan to switch to NatGas without some follow-on plan to switch completely to sustainable fuel/power.

Much like our US energy policy, if there is one, the short-term plan is the only plan, even though it is based on exhaustible resources. That is, the plan is broken as designed.

Non-sustainability, over time, has a way of giving a wicked whiplash effect. And somehow, everyone with this broken short-term plan feel warm and cuddly about it.

Double ouch!

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Climate change: Sea ice, global cooling, and other nonsense

Climate change: Sea ice, global cooling, and other nonsense:

I was rather pleased in my travels last week to get a glimpse of the news that the Arctic ice caps had been expanding again. They had been shrinking, and getting smaller at an increasing rate, so statistically, we were certainly due for a recovery. I saw a 60% recovery, however, so I was a little skeptical.

So I just now get a chance to check into it, only to find that the Global Cooling Loon David Rose was at it again, spreading (lies?) misinformation around the nation (UK). You often wonder if he is let out of the asylum, or simply makes this stuff up inside.

You wonder who, if anyone anywhere, would possibly be served by printing such blatant miss-information.

Here's a great article about the whole thing by Plait. (@BadAstronomer)

A 60% recovery of the ice caps? Look at the graphic. Last year was so horrible that ships were easily able to navigate the north pole. This could have, and should have, gotten everyone's attention everywhere.

So this year wasn't that bad. Yeah!:-)

It was bad, however. Ouch!:-( ... With more than 1 standard deviation below "normal" for the last 30 years. On a grade-point scale, I would rank this as moving from a low F to an F+. (Plait offered up a D- grade, but was probably grading on the curve.)

So DailyMail gets some traffic, from printing this garbage. The people who take the headline and run, continue to get steered down a dead-end hole of misinformation.


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Hidden Essentials to Losing Weight - Developing Healthy Habits | Developing Healthy Habits, LLC

The Hidden Essentials to Losing Weight - Developing Healthy Habits | Developing Healthy Habits, LLC:

This relates to sustainability because it pertains to the healthy balance of one's body.

When your body is working well (correctly) then losing weight or gaining weight should typically not be much of a problem. (And a kabillion studies show that the off-and-on fasting is rarely effective and often downright dangerous.)

This is a very readable article about covers the basics of carbs, proteins and fats (including the essential fats, EFAs). She talks about the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 (which should be about 4 to 1, not the typical 20 to 1 for highly processed foods in a typical American diet).

Good bacteria in the intestines should be about 80% with no more that 15% bad for healthy gastro tract.

Having these things in stable balance should result in very stable energy, lubricated joints, stabilized insulin and blood sugar levels.

She argues that you should do these things long before trying to take other measures to weight management (losing extra pounds).

She will also tell you more about why eating fat is good for your health.

keywords: health, wellness, intestines, fat, diet, weight loss, sustainable living

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Little history on Recessions... Lessons in Recessions.

The question recently came up as to "I still have never gotten a great description how we got into the Great Depression?"

The truth is, it wasn't easy.

But one of the best 4 minute explanations ever is on this YouTube video: Causes of the Great Depression.

John Maynard Keynes, the king of Keynesian economics, would call these expansions and contractions, not recessions. You get them free with a capitalist economic system. With the exception of China, it seems that you may only get the contractions in communist systems (like USSR, Cuba, S. Korea and Venezuela).

Read more on the Great Depression at Wikipedia. As it pertains specifically to the USA, it is pretty heavy reading, though.

You can look at the similarities of the recessions of 2000 (the DotCom bomb) and the Great Recession of 2007-200x. In all cases there were financial bubbles at work. But the Great Recession was bubble-bulging in housing and financial markets throughout the USA and beyond. It effected all US industries and and all US States. No place to run from it, and no place to hide from it.

Apply called The Great Recession, it is a generational recession. That is, economists argue that you should only see such a recession about once in your lifetime.  Note the massive overhang of shadow banking and the increase in uncertainty (including the use of derivatives).

Of course, you should only experience a hurricane about once in your lifetime or see a massive flood about every 500 years. Sometimes historical precedent does not accurately foretell the future?

You should expect markets to overshoot, maybe wildly, in the future. The overshoot will be to down side and to the up, as well.

Keep going up, but carry a parachute.

BTW. Check out this article about doing the same-old, same old, after a recession obviously suggests that a new approach is needed. Creating the same college degrees as if there would be jobs for them is, well, not smart!

Hall, E. (2010). Lessons of recessions: Sustainability education and jobs may be the answer. Journal of Sustainability and Green Management. Jacksonville, FL: Academic and Business Research Institute. Retrieved from:  

Keywords: recession, Recovery, Great Depression, Great Recession, Keynes, Sustainable Education

Friday, September 20, 2013

EPA proposes strict emission limits on new power plants

EPA proposes strict emission limits on new power plants:

Coal power plants, especially new ones, are under fire.

As well they should be. Deaths in mining, deaths and health associated with smog and pollution, and the dirty secret of coal ash are enough to make a sane person push back from more coal power plants.

BUT, here's the kicker. What if we ship all of our coal over to China and have them burn it without any of the scrubbers and safety that we have in the Sates. ???

China now burns half of the world's coal. It's causing them some smog problems and social unrest, but ...

India, of course is increasing rapidly as well.

If we don't burn it hear, only to have it burned there, then what have we really gained? :-(

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Study: Natural gas industry can cut fracking emissions

Study: Natural gas industry can cut fracking emissions:

This would be great to minimize the methane from the fracking of wells.

Since NatGas is soooo much cleaner than coal (and gasoline). It is a slam-dunk decision as a way to start moving away from coal.

Of course, it is not a sustainable solution for the looong term. NatGas could be a bridge fuel to a clean and renewable future.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A frosty G20 puts global warming on ice - Comment - Voices - The Independent

A frosty G20 puts global warming on ice - Comment - Voices - The Independent:

Great article. Like many such meetings, the major part of the the G20 meeting gets diverted to North Korea or Egypt or Syria. Too bad, there's a lot the the G20 can do, besides putter with the politics that's taken over the news today.

Surprisingly, there was movement on making progress on the very best places to push hard related to our impact on the environment, greenhouse gases (GHGs) and global warming.

Most people who don't focus on sustainability don't realize what a wicked impact hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) have on the (atmosphere) environment. Most HFCs are released into the atmosphere from Freon, the gas that has an ugly impact on the Ozone layer in the atmosphere. But the other problem with florine-based gasses is that they last in the atmosphere for centuries, not decades. Look at the global warming potential of various gases here: GWP at INTCCC and wikipedia GHGs.

So continuing to use Freon is a gift for the future that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving.

The approach to CFCs is one of the great success stories of our time. Starting with the Montreal Protocol in 1987 the international community has banded together to address and reduce CFCs. Most countries, that is. Progress has been especially strong because of the progress in alternative refrigerants that are still cheap and efficient. Not so much so, the progress in other greenhouse gases.

As you can see, the GHGs of carbon dioxide and the noxious oxides are increasing in the atmosphere unabated. Methane seems to be slowing down a little. Remember that these increased levels are above and beyond the levels that the atmosphere has become accustom to. Longer duration graphs are equally as telling.

But as you can see, CFC emissions have plateaued, but not necessarily reduced. The problem is that several countries, apparently, have not bothered to make the leap to replacement FREON  refrigerants, namely India and Brazil. One of the best, easiest, cheapest and greatest-impact methods to address GHG issues is to pressure those rogue countries to join the rest of the world on HFC reduction.

Turns out the G20 meeting, lead by China and USA, are looking to "encourage" these rogue countries to pick up the pace on HFCs.

Making progress on the most important things first, is a great approach to sustainability. HFCs is a great place to push. Even the G20, and the UN that don't agree on much, have taking this approach.

EE is probably the greatest place to focus, however. Energy efficiency (EE) and similar types of inefficiencies are the great untapped places to save money, energy and the environment. Everybody wins, except, maybe the power companies. But that's the focus of other books and blog posts.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Wonk Gap - -- its the lie not the truth that is telling.

The Wonk Gap -

Rotary International has a 4-Way test that starts with "Is it the truth?" In all we say and do ...

If the facts that are presented are not truthful, then whatever follows in the arguments are bogus. Who benefits and why can not meaningfully be determined.

Stated differently, often (usually?) based on a careful organization of the facts, the best decisions are self-evident.

So what does Dr. Paul have to say about outright denial and miss information on the right? He points out the healthcare costs have actually been tame in recent years. Current estimates of the future costs/savings are actually better the GAO had originally estimated. Until recently, healthcare costs had been increasing at about 10% per year over the last 30 some years. All evidence is that these costs are much tamer, just over inflation, for the last few years. And that is prior to Obama care really kicking in.

I know! I'm surprised too, because Obama care doesn't do nearly enough to address out-of-control healthcare costs as I would like to see. But shifting people out of the emergency room as the primary care, has got to save tons of money.

Klugman points out how obvious and untruthful some of the information is that continues to be propagated. At least on PBS, you will find a serious analysis of the issues and usually a fare representation of both sides.

Why would anyone anywhere continue to accept consistent untruths and even blatant lies?

I like to hear what I want to hear. But I need to hear what I don't want to hear. As long as it is factual.

Counter factual is, will, counterproductive, to say the least.

Good article Dr Paul. It is too bad that the right people won't read it. And the people who do read it, probably won't apply the concept of truth-in-information-sources to their own media noise.

We all need to unfriend sources who promote bogus information, and let them talk to empty space. Only then will we have meaningful solutions to replace meaningless bickering.

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