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Messages - AGelbert

Pages: 1 ... 425 426 [427] 428 429 ... 446
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: November 16, 2013, 05:43:43 pm »
Hey Snowleopard, how about these folks from Oklahoma? Are they trustworthy? I think so! Does that mean YOU DON'T? (full explanation for this type of behavior, when it isn't a conscious decision, here)

Oklahoma Climatological Survey  

Earth's Energy Budget

Part 2
Absorption and re-emission of radiation at the earth's surface is only one part of an intricate web of heat transfer in the earth's planetary domain. Equally important are selective absorption and emission of radiation from molecules in the atmosphere. If the earth did not have an atmosphere, surface temperatures would be too cold to sustain life.

If too many gases which absorb and emit infrared radiation were present in the atmosphere, surface temperatures would be too hot to sustain life.


Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: November 16, 2013, 05:08:54 pm »
Reposted from the Doomstead Diner where I am having a "debate" with Global Warming denier.

I think these scientists from a document written in 1984 don't have an agenda. How about you, Snowleapard? Can you trust what these fellows say?

Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water and Oral Rehydration Solutions
Guidelines for Household Application in Developing Countries

Aftim Acra - Zeina Raffoul - Yester Karahagopian

Department of Environmental Health
 Faculty of Health Science - American University of Beirut
 Beirut, 1984


2.Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) ◾The Revolution for Children
◾The Four Simple Technologies
◾Global Diarrhoeal Diseases Control Programs
◾Causes, Transmission, and Control of Childhood Diarrhoea

3.Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) ◾The Practical Issues
◾Domestic Formulations
◾Disinfection by Boiling

4.Solar Energy ◾Fundamental Considerations
From Sun to Earth
◾World Distribution
◾A Competitor
◾Some Practical Hints

5.Solar Disinfection Studies ◾Drinking Water
◾Oral Rehydration Solutions


Originally published by UNICEF
 Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa
 P.O.Box 811721 - Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Created by the Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.
970730/wa-bl/980215/bl - Email: almashriq@hiof.no

Solar Energy

From Sun to Earth

Outer Space

The enormous amount of energy continuously emitted by the sun is dispersed into outer space in all directions. Only a small fraction of this energy is intercepted by the earth and other solar planets.

The solar energy reaching the periphery of the earth's atmosphere is considered to be constant for all practical purposes, and is known as the solar constant. Because of the difficulty in achieving accurate measurements, the exact value of the solar constant is not known with certainty but is believed to be between 1,353 and 1,395 W/m2 (approximately 1.4 kW/m2, or 2.0 cal/cm2/min). The solar constant value is estimated on the basis of the solar radiation received on a unit area exposed perpendicularly to the rays of the sun at an average distance between the sun and the earth.

In passing through outer space, which is characterized by vacuum, the different types of solar energy remain intact and are not modified until the radiation reaches the top of the earth's atmosphere. In outer space, therefore, one would expect to encounter the types of radiation listed in Table 1, which are: gamma ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared radiations.

Atmospheric Effects

Not all of the solar radiation received at the periphery of the atmosphere reaches the surfaces of the earth. This is because the earth's atmosphere plays an important role in selectively controlling the passage towards the earth's surface of the various components of solar radiation.

A considerable portion of solar radiation is reflected back into outer space upon striking the uppermost layers of the atmosphere, and also from the tops of clouds. In the course of penetration through the atmosphere, some of the incoming radiation is either absorbed or scattered in all directions by atmospheric gases, vapours, and dust particles. In fact, there are two processes known to be involved in atmospheric scattering of solar radiation. These are termed selective scattering and non-selective scattering. These two processes are determined by the different sizes of particles in the atmosphere.

Selective scattering is so named because radiations with shorter wavelengths are selectively scattered much more extensively than those with longer wavelengths. It is caused by atmospheric gases or particles that are smaller in dimension than the wavelength of a particular radiation. Such scattering could be caused by gas molecules, smoke, fumes, and haze. Under clear atmospheric conditions, therefore, selective scattering would be much less severe than when the atmosphere is extensively polluted from anthropogenic sources.

Selective atmospheric scattering is, broadly speaking, inversely proportional to the wavelength of radiation and, therefore, decreases in the following order of magnitude: far UV > near UV > violet > blue > green > yellow > orange > red > infrared. Accordingly, the most severely scattered radiation is that which falls in the ultraviolet, violet, and blue bands of the spectrum. The scattering effect on radiation in these three bands is roughly ten times as great as on the red rays of sunlight.   8)

It is interesting to note that the selective scattering of violet and blue light by the atmosphere causes the blue colour of the sky. When the sun is directly overhead at around noon time, little selective scattering occurs and the sun appears white. This is because sunlight at this time passes through the minimum thickness of atmosphere. At sunrise and sunset, however, sunlight passes obliquely through a much thicker layer of atmosphere. This results in maximum atmospheric scattering of violet and blue light, with only a little effect on the red rays of sunlight. Hence, the sun appears to be red in colour at sunrise and sunset.   

Non-selective scattering occurring in the lower atmosphere is caused by dust, fog, and clouds with particle sizes more than ten times the wavelength of the components of solar radiation. Since the amount of scattering is equal for all wavelengths, clouds and fog appear white although their water particles are colourless.

Atmospheric gases also absorb solar energy at certain wavelength intervals called absorption bands, in contrast to the wavelength regions characterized by high transmittance of solar radiation called atmospheric transmission bands, or atmospheric windows.

The degree of absorption
of solar radiation passing through the outer atmosphere depends upon the component rays of sunlight and their wavelengths. The gamma rays, X-rays, and ultraviolet radiation less than 200 nm in wavelength are absorbed by oxygen and nitrogen. Most of the radiation with a range of wavelengths from 200 to 300 nm is absorbed by the ozone (O3) layer in the upper atmosphere. These absorption phenomena are essential for living things because prolonged exposure to radiation of wavelengths shorter than 300 nm destroys living tissue.

Solar radiation in the red and infrared regions of the spectrum at wavelengths greater than 700 nm is absorbed to some extent by carbon dioxide, ozone, and water present in the atmosphere in the form of vapour and condensed droplets (Table 1). In fact, the water droplets present in clouds not only absorb rays of long wavelengths, but also scatter some of the solar radiation of short wavelengths.

Ground Level

As a result of the atmospheric phenomena involving reflection, scattering, and absorption of radiation, the quantity of solar energy that ultimately reaches the earth's surface is much reduced in intensity as it traverses the atmosphere. The amount of reduction varies with the radiation wavelength, and depends on the length of the atmospheric path through which the solar radiation traverses. The intensity of the direct beams of sunlight thus depends on the altitude of the sun, and also varies with such factors as latitude, season, cloud coverage, and atmospheric pollutants.

The total solar radiation received at ground level includes both direct radiation and indirect (or diffuse) radiation. Diffuse radiation is the component of total radiation caused by atmospheric scattering and reflection of the incident radiation on the ground. Reflection from the ground is primarily visible light with a maximum radiation peak at a wavelength of 555 nm (green light). The relatively small amount of energy radiated from the earth at an average ambient temperature of 17°C at its surface consists of infrared radiation with a peak concentration at 970 nm. This invisible radiation is dominant at night.

During daylight hours, the amount of diffuse radiation may be as much as 10% of the total solar radiation at noon time even when the sky is clear. This value may rise to about 20% in the early morning and late afternoon.

In conclusion, therefore, it is evident that in cloudy weather the total radiation received at ground level is greatly reduced, the amount of reduction being dependent on cloud coverage and cloud thickness. Under extreme cloud conditions a significant proportion of the incident radiation would be in the form of scattered or diffuse light. In addition, lesser solar radiation is expected during the early and late hours of the day. These facts are of practical value for the proper utilization of solar radiation for such purposes as destruction of microorganisms.


Agelbert NOTE: The conclusion " it is evident that in cloudy weather the total radiation received at ground level is greatly reduced..." DOES NOT mean, as the Global Warming deniers have tried to make us believe, that the ATMOSPHERE heats up less. It means that to disinfect water (kill the microrganisms) the radiation arriving on the SURFACE needs to have less cloud cover.

But as you read further up, inside the atmosphere (at cloud level well below the ozone layer) the absorption frequencies of gases can scatter the radiation throughout the atmosphere. The reflected light (visible spectrum) from clouds and surface DOES exit the planet. HOWEVER, the Earth CONSTATLY radiates in the IR band which CO2, water and methane trap quite handily because of their ABSORPTION FREQUENCIES. So all that increased albedo business that Global Warming deniers want to push on us, while it will increase VISIBLE light reflection, won't do BEANS to stop the ONLY HEAT that is radiated by this planet (IR).

BOTTOM LINE: Absorption frequencies are the KEY to understanding how the atmosphere heats or cools. The particulate scattering plays a role but the absorption frequencies are the 800 pound gorilla.


Now lets get back to sun spots for a bit of humor. Question: What percentage of the suns TOTAL OUTPUT IN ENERGY reaches top levels of the atmosphere BEFORE it is further selectively reduced by the atmosphere?  

I'll save you the math: 
The Earth intercepts only about one-half of one-billionth of the Sun's total energy output. :o


Do you now understand why all that BS about sunspot lessened activity and a "weakening" sun doesn't mean JACK **** to us on this planet. The "weakening" of the sun has to be hundreds of thousands of time greater than the piddling amount observed to amount to a hill of temperature BEANs on Earth.

That's why I have told Snowleapard that what he is pushing is baseless, but CLEVER, pro-fossil fuel, context free, IRRELEVANT propaganda.  

Snowleapard. I CHALLENGE YOU to doubt the three sources I just gave as to accuracy and TRUTH. If you do, you are bought or  .

Renewable Revolution

Climate Change / How Global Warming Deniers inerpret REALITY
« on: November 16, 2013, 03:12:22 pm »

Fossil Fuel Folly / Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« on: November 16, 2013, 02:29:27 am »
Transferred from my newz channel at the Doomstead Diner


Senator Whitehouse Tears the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page to tiny pieces! He exposes their DENY, DOUBT and DELAY on absolutely ALL climate issues from the 1970s until now. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, believe you will get ANY TRUTH about factual science when COSTS for polluting industries are on the table! Listen to the quotes! Then read the DOUBTS voiced HERE at the DD by Snowleapard "WE JUST DON'T KNOW" and others. Listen to the exact same words you have read from Snowleapard and Mking coming from the Wall Street Journal Editorial page. It's ORGANIZED. It's LOCKSTEP. It's PROPAGANDIST MESSAGE DISCIPLINE! IT's a PACK OF LIES AND DOUBLETALK!  That's the PLAYBOOK 1. Deny the science  2. Question the motives 3. Exaggerate the costs  UNTIL they can no longer DELAY the regulations or legislation. THEN they change their tune as if they had NEVER DENIED the SCIENCE!   

Vast Majority of Americans Want Action on Climate Change, Whitehouse Gives Weekly Speech
SustainableBusiness.com News
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has come out in favor of a carbon tax once again.

Out of the 103 ways it identifies to reduce the US deficit, the carbon tax comes out on top.

The US would raise slightly over $1 trillion over 10 years if it implements a carbon tax that starts at $25 per ton and increases 2% a year.

This is very close to climate legislation introduced in the Senate earlier this year - $20 per ton, rising 5.6% a year - which would generate even more revenue, says CBO.

It would raise prices at the gas pump by about 21 cents to a gallon if costs are passed to consumers, says Resources for the Future, and would not negatively impact total US employment.

While there's no chance it will pass in the near future given the current dynamics playing out in Congress, Democrats are laying the groundwork.

Weekly Push for Action on Climate
Once a week for the past 50 weeks, Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) takes the Senate floor to talk about climate change.

Week in and week out, he urges Congress to move on climate change.
"I am here for the 50th time, to urge my colleagues to wake up to what carbon pollution is doing to our atmosphere and our oceans," he says, but no one listens.

He runs through the data over and over again that demonstrates global temperature rise, concomitant increases in atmospheric carbon levels and the impact on our oceans.
"We are a great country, but not when we're lying and denying what's real," he says "The atmosphere is warming; ice is melting; seas are warming, rising, and acidifying. It is time for the misleading fantasies to end."

He calls for the carbon tax supported by CBO. Perhaps polluters will take a second look at this option, he says, when EPA's rules on carbon emissions from existing power plants go into effect.

Other senators have joined him from time to time - Senator Schumer (D-NY) spoke on climate change on the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Senators Schatz (D-HI) and Blumenthal (D-CT) connected the dots between climate change and ocean health, and Senator King (I-ME) talked about the impact of climate change on the fishing industry.

While hammering away at these facts has so far not changed the political discourse, at least this political leader is giving it air time. The fossil fuel industry and its paid-off politicians would prefer silence on the issue.

"It is time to wake up. It is time to turn back from the misleading propaganda of the polluters, the misguided extremism of the Tea Party, and the mistaken belief that we can ignore without consequence the harm our carbon pollution is causing. It is time to face facts, be adults, and meet our responsibilities."

Whitehouse remains optimistic, especially because there are signs that people are ready to fight climate deniers and boot them out of Congress.

When asked why he's doing this, Whitehouse says, "I very much want my grandchildren to know that I fought the good fight. But much more than that, I want to turn this around," he told columnist Ezra Klein.

Thank you, Senator Whitehouse, you are our voice.
Watch Whitehouse give his 50th speech:

Americans Agree
In 46 states surveyed, at least 75% of resident acknowledge the existence of climate change.

Surprisingly, percentages are the same in "blue" and "red" states: Massachusetts (88%); Rhode Island (87%); New York (84%); California (82%); Oklahoma (87%); Texas (84%); and South Dakota (83%).

At least 67% of people in those states want government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Again, percentages are the same regardless of the state: New Jersey (80%); Connecticut (80%); California (80%); Georgia (85%); Arkansas (85%); and Kentucky (79%).

After analyzing this public opinion data, Jon Krosnick, a professor at Stanford University, told the Guardian, "To me, the most striking finding is that we can't find a single state where climate scepticism is in the majority."

This disputes the widely-held belief that Republicans deny the existence of climate change. It is not US citizens that are calling climate change a "hoax" or preventing action on it, it is their so-called representatives on state levels and in Congress.  >:(

Unfortunately for their residents, the reddest states are those that are most unprepared for climate-related disasters because their elected officials lag blue states on acknowledging the problem and are therefore not taking action.  >:(

"Americans recognize we have a moral obligation to protect the environment and an economic opportunity to develop the clean energy technologies of the future. Americans are way ahead of Congress in listening to the scientists," says Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who chairs the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change with Senator Whitehouse.


Fossil Fuels Receive $500 Billion A Year In Government Subsidies Worldwide

Originally published on ClimateProgress

Producers of oil, gas and coal received more than $500 billion in government subsidies around the world in 2011, with the richest nations collectively spending more than $70 billion every year to support fossil fuels.

Those are the findings of a recent report by the Overseas Development Institute, a think tank based in the United Kingdom.

“If their aim is to avoid dangerous climate change, governments are shooting themselves in both feet,” the report, headed by ODI research fellow Shelagh Whitley, said. “They are subsidizing the very activities that are pushing the world towards dangerous climate change, and creating barriers to investment in low-carbon development and subsidy incentives that encourage investment in carbon-intensive energy.”

While the report acknowledges there is currently no globally agreed definition of what constitutes a subsidy, it cites the World Trade Organization’s approach: “a subsidy is any financial contribution by a government, or agent of a government, that confers a benefit on its recipient.”

Germany, for example, provided €1.9 billion in financial assistance to its hard coal sector in 2011, according to the report. That same year, the U.S. created a $1 billion fuel tax exemption for farmers and invested $500 million for fossil energy research and development. The top 11 “rich-country emitters” — the biggest being Russia, the United States, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom — are estimated to have spent $74 billion on subsidies in 2011.

That total amount outweighs the support provided to developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by seven to one, the report found.
Fossil fuel subsidies were actually created to benefit the poor. According to ODI, governments often justify giving tax breaks and freebies to energy companies in order for those companies to provide energy access to those who can’t afford it.

Generally, however, that winds up not being the case. Citing a report by the International Monetary Fund, ODI said only seven percent of the benefits from fossil fuel subsidies in developing countries reached the poorest 20 percent of people between 2005 and 2009. In contrast, more than 40 percent of those subsidies benefited the people in richest 20 percent of people during that time.

Image Credit: Overseas Development Institute

Subsidies for gasoline were the most unequal, with the report citing less than five percent of those subsidies reaching the poorest people and more than 60 percent benefiting the richest. Fossil fuel subsidies for liquefied petroleum gas, more commonly known as propane, had similar numbers. Kerosene subsidies were found to have been pretty much evenly distributed.

Image Credit: Overseas Development Institute

Subsidies to fossil fuels are also making it difficult to compete with artificially low energy prices, therefore discouraging private investors from putting money into clean energy technologies. What’s more, the growing number of countries that provide subsidies to both fossil fuels and clean energy may actually be negating the impact of climate finance and other clean-energy incentives, according to the report.

ODI is calling on the G20 countries to phase out all subsidies to coal and to oil and gas exploration by 2015, and end fossil fuel subsidies entirely by 2020. The process won’t be easy, the report noted, finding that citizens across the globe are generally misinformed about what they or others receive in terms of subsidies. Additionally, special interests are dominating the playing field, making it difficult to come to a consensus.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, individual and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $239 million to candidates and parties since 1990. But the U.S. isn’t the only moneyed country where special interests assure that fossil fuel subsidies reign on, according to the report.

In India, for example, federal and state governments incur great expense in order to provide the country’s powerful farm industry with “cheap or free” electricity, the report said. That, along with the fact that agricultural incomes are tax-exempt in India, provides farmers in that country with the funds to create a powerful lobby that “ensures that no government can hold on to power without holding on to [fossil fuel] subsidies.”

“The barriers to reporting on subsidies and to their removal are based on the multiple and often diverging interests of a wide range of stakeholders in both developed and developing countries,” the report said. “These include government officials, industry associations, companies, trade unions, consumers, social and labor political activists, and civil society organizations — all of whom need to be on board if subsidies are to be eliminated.”


Renewables / Big FINANCIAL Innovation Emerging in Renewable Energy!
« on: November 15, 2013, 09:17:48 pm »
The Next Big Innovation in Renewable Energy Won't Be Technological
It will be financial.

Todd WoodyNov 11 2013, 3:30 PM ET

Silicon Valley solar company SolarCity last week quietly did something that could revolutionize renewable energy in the United States. No, the company did not invent a radically more efficient or cheaper photovoltaic panel. Rather, it announced it plans to sell $54 million in asset-backed securities. :o

And that is a very big deal, even if the dollar amount of the notes on offer is rather small. That’s because the assets backing the securities are leases for some of the rooftop solar systems it has installed on homes across the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars in solar leases have been signed in the U.S. in recent years.

If those leases can be bundled and sold to pension funds and other investors, “solar securitization” could open up a potentially huge new pool of capital that could be tapped to finance the expansion of renewable energy as federal and state tax breaks for renewable energy begin to expire.

For homeowners and businesses, solar securitization could translate into cheaper electricity. A SolarCity spokesman declined to comment on the securities offering. ;)

Much of the innovation responsible for the solar industry’s explosive growth has been financial rather than technological. Half the U.S.’s solar capacity, for instance, was installed just in 2012. Driving those sales was the ability of homeowners to avoid the five-figure cost of a photovoltaic system by leasing it for a monthly payment that often is lower than what they’d pay their local utility. Anywhere between 75 and 90 percent of all solar systems are now leased as a result.

That’s a lot of demand sitting around waiting to be monetized. After all, Wall Street for years has packaged leases for planes, trains and automobiles and sold them to investors. The risk is considered manageable as rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s evaluate the credit-worthiness of such investments can rely on decades of data on the value of those rolling assets as well as the credit scores of people who sign the leases.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are a relatively new technology and have only become a mass market over the past few years. Then there’s the specter of the subprime mortgage debacle that crashed the global economy when the value of both the homes securing mortgage-backed securities and the credit-worthiness of the homeowners proved an illusion.

The risks of subprime solar is probably low. Solar installers like SolarCity, Sungevity, and SunRun only sign leases with customers with high credit scores. And most homeowners are likely to continue paying their electricity bill even if they can’t make their car payment.

The big unknown, however, is the long-term performance of solar panels.  Manufacturers typically offer 20-year or more warranties. But as I wrote earlier this year in The New York Times, the extreme financial pressures faced by Chinese solar industry, which supplies most of the world’s photovoltaic panels, has led to cost-cutting and growing incidents of defective solar modules.  ::) Whether that is a short-term blip or indicative of a more long-term problem won’t be known for years. (SolarCity chief executive Lyndon Rive, however, told me his company has not experienced any issues with its Chinese-made panels.)

Agelbert NOTE: OF COURSE they haven't experienced any "issues" with Chinese-made panels BECAUSE the hit piece in the New York Times was overblown THEN and has proven to lack substance. I can provide links to anyone interested in seeing that there was NEVER an actual quality control problem above a tiny (less than 3%!) of production and that was ONLY for a few months. The article was a scare tactic, not a balanced piece of industrial quality control problem news.

That makes Big Data companies like kWh Analytics crucial for the success of solar securitization. The Oakland, California, startup analyzes the real-time performance of some 10,000 solar systems—including 3 million photovoltaic modules—to help investors evaluate the risk of putting money into solar assets.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded kWh $450,000. Richard Matsui, kWh’s chief executive, told The Atlantic that his company will use that money to build out a comprehensive database similar to one assembled to analyze home mortgages by a company called CoreLogic.

“Today's solar investors are flying blind, accepting unknown risks   in exchange for the promise of financial returns,” Matsui said in a statement. “Understanding risk is essential to making investments, but is difficult without aggregated data on panel quality, inverter reliability, and customer default rates.”


Agelbert NOTE: Matsui is obviously talking his book so he can milk the "pricing renewable energy" cash cow to hilt!  >:( I think the risks are overblown. Here's why. PV is NOT a new technology; it has been tested to beat the band. We have had PV in outer space for over 40 years! Yes the efficency has improved but the durability, unlike what this article is sweating, is an establishe MTBF (mean time between/before failure) born of no nonsense testing. They will probably last longer than 25 years. Planes, trains and automobile securitized leases are FAR more risky and yet Wall Street securitizes these rapidly depreciating assets that are simply not in the same league as PV (or wind turbines, for that matter).

Renewable energy, from wind turbines to PV to geothermal to hydropower has been MUCH MORE scrutinized than dirty energy fossil fuel power plants or nuclear power plants ever were in regard to cost-benefit. So these jitters are simply NOT justified.

The securitization gate has been opened. Unlike the CRAP securitization for mortgages SCAM, this is the real thing and, if priced correctly, should be quite popular. With this financial boost the Renewable Energy "Genie" is out of the bottle! Enjoy the death of fossil and nuclear fuels!

Renewables / LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:34:55 pm »
LEED  (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building) Projects Near 60,000 Globally


Clean Edge News

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its second installment of the LEED in Motion report series: Places and Policies. The report states that there are nearly 60,000 LEED green building projects across the globe, spanning 10.6 billion square feet. Notably, Canada, India, China, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil lead the way for countries with the highest number of projects outside the U.S.

The first section of the report showcases in-depth statistics and graphics on LEED projects and areas of growth around the world, with a sub-section for projects in the U.S. as well as global projects. Canada leads the way in LEED projects outside the U.S. with 4,375 projects, followed by India with 1,586, China with 1,282, UAE with 816 and Brazil with 717 LEED-certified green building projects.

The second section examines domestic and international policies and partnerships that support the framework of LEED and drive global progress. 400+ localities have LEED-specific policies in place. Globally, there are nearly 100 green building councils in various stages of development, a LEED International Roundtable with members from 30 countries and newly launched Alternative Compliance Paths and Regional Priority Creditsfor LEED, which provide flexible, regionally-focused approaches to LEED credits for projects outside the U.S.

“LEED is a global phenomenon,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, USGBC. “People spend 90% of their lives indoors; a healthy, resource-friendly and environmentally sound indoor environment contributes to the health, happiness and well-being of people and is something people from countries across the globe are finding value in.”


Renewables / Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:00:14 pm »
Thanks GO. I agree financing is definitely part of the big picture for renewables.

Mosaic is doing a great job but now that California has made a pact with B.C., Canada and some other Northwest States to price carbon, the renewable energy projects, most of which have large depreciation time horizons which do justify long term financing, as your article pointed out, will hopefully get easier financing for the large up front costs.

There are some states that are quite friendly to sustainable business ventures in renewable energy. Here's a snippet of a document written for the hypothetical venture capital investor with x amount of money for y type of renewable energy investment.

Article from July 2013: “The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US”:


Vermont won recognition in 2011 for its groundbreaking streamlined solar permitting rules, emphasizing residential and small solar installations, which it expanded in 2012. (The state’s solar “registration” process, rather than “permitting,” is described in an interview with AllEarth Renewables’ David Blittersdorf.)

Interestingly, Vermont is also at the forefront of the net metering debate. A report earlier this year found that solar net metering is a net-positive for the state, even with a state incentive factored in, and not including any tangential economic multipliers. Similar reports, and conclusions, have been published for California, New York, and Texas.

Unlike the other top 12 states, Vermont does not have a formal RPS policy; rather it has “goals” of 20 percent of electricity retail sales from renewable energy and combined heat/power by 2017 as part of a Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program. Beyond that, the state has targets for each providers’ annual electricity of 55 percent of retail sales in 2017, increasing 4 percent a year until reaching 75 percent by 2032.

Rank ‘Em: The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US

Vermont Has excellent Solar investment incentives.

Quantifying State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor

Quantifying State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor

I wish the Federal Reserve would jump in and assign the SAME level of interest rates for Renewable Energy add-ons to homes and businesses as for housing construction and re-finance. That would be ROCKET FUEL for getting people quickly off of fossil fuel heat and electricity in their homes. The job spurt alone would be enough to goose our economy if the Wall Street crooks would stop trying to get a war going someplace and instead get some renewable energy cheap financing going here.

Renewable energy is the quintessential  wise investment because of the excellent EROEI. I read recently that Solartech or SolarCity (not sure which) is securitizing chunks of PV power purchase agreements (PPA).These are basically 25 to 30 year bonds that facilitate financing so I am certain some money people are getting on the band wagon. If you could find out who they are and report on it, I would be grateful.   

By the way, I'm making up for lack of certain emoticon buttons by putting images in the gallery of emoticons you can link to. You may have to size them but once you've got the right width and height, it's a cinch.

The above green smiley is set like this (without the brackets so you see the script):
 img width=30 height=40]http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-141113185047.png[/img

Implicit attitudes are studied indirectly, most commonly by measures like the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which tests how quickly individuals associate pairs of items, such as male and female names with leadership traits.2 Implicit attitudes contrast with explicit attitudes, which are paradigmatically expressed in individuals’ reflective judgments and self-reported commitments.

How are we to understand cases such as these in which our automatic, intuitive responses come apart from our considered commitments?

The 2004 study is particularly striking in that the automatic, virtually unconscious tendencies of students in the women’s college seem to have been in some sense getting it right while their reflective judgments persisted in getting it wrong.  :o

Implicit attitudes shape a wide range of pivotal decisions
and actions without our ever realizing it. They influence our judgments about
whom to trust and whom to ignore, whom to promote and whom to imprison. While it would be a mistake to think that implicit attitudes are intrinsically bad or regrettable features of human psychology, our failure to appreciate what they are and how they affect us can cause serious and pervasive harm.

In the paradigmatic cases I consider in this dissertation, the challenge is what to do about the implicit attitudes that get it wrong.

For example,
while fewer and fewer Americans openly avow racist and sexist beliefs, subtle but pervasive forms of disparate treatment on the basis of race and gender persist.

Some researchers have suggested that part of the explanation for this state of affairs is that many Americans have egalitarian explicit attitudes—in that they sincerely embrace anti-racist and antisexist commitments—but nevertheless harbor a range of biased implicit attitudes.

In one study, participants evaluated two hypothetical candidates for a job as chief of police.3 One candidate had extensive “street” experience but little formal education; the other had extensive formal education but little street experience. When the street-smart candidate was male and the book smart candidate was female, participants said that street smarts were the most important criteria for being an effective police chief, and recommended promoting the man.

However, when the street-smart candidate was female and the book-smart candidate was male, participants said book smarts were more important, and, once again, recommended the man.

They unwittingly tailored their judgments about the tools necessary to be a successful police chief to match their gut feeling that the man was better suited than the woman for the job.  :P :o ???

The Hidden Mechanisms of Prejudice: Implicit Bias & Interpersonal Fluency by Alex Madva

The Hidden Mechanisms of Prejudice: Implicit Bias & Interpersonal Fluency by Alex Madva

This dissertation is about prejudice. In particular, it examines the theoretical and ethical questions raised by research on implicit social biases. Social biases are termed “implicit” when they are not reported, though they lie just beneath the surface of consciousness.
Such biases are easy to adopt but very difficult to introspect and control.

Despite this difficulty, I argue that we are personally responsible for our biases and obligated to overcome them if they can bring harm to ourselves or to others.

My dissertation addresses the terms of their removal. It is grounded in a comprehensive examination of empirical research and, as such, is a contribution to social psychology. Although implicit social biases significantly influence our judgment and action, they are not reducible to beliefs or desires. Rather, they constitute a class of their own.

Understanding their particular character is vital to determining how to replace them with more
preferable habits of mind. I argue for a model of interpersonal fluency, a kind of ethical
expertise that
requires transforming our underlying dispositions of thought, feeling, and action

The associations in our heads belong to us… The selves that we are and the selves we intend tobe are both us, and sometimes they do not agree. One might say that humans are large, containing multitudes. Full recognition of this fact raises serious questions for important issues of responsibility, culpability, and intentionality.
~ Brian Nosek and Robert Hansen (2008, 553, 591)

A 2004 study found that, after attending an all-women’s college for one year, female
undergraduates’ implicit attitudes regarding gender and leadership qualities were completely

Beforehand, participants were quicker to associate female names like “Emily” with
attributes stereotypical of female leaders, like “nurturing,” whereas they were quicker to
associate male names like “Greg” with attributes stereotypical of male leaders, like “assertive.”

After one year, these implicit biases vanished; they were no more likely to associate “Emily”
with nurturance than with assertiveness. The same study also found that attending a coed
university had the opposite effect on female undergraduates.

After one year, they were even more likely to associate “Greg” with assertiveness. What accounts for the difference? The mediating factor was not, the evidence suggests, a supportive or encouraging atmosphere. The difference evidently boiled down to the total number of classes that students had taken with female math and science professors, that is, with female professors in historically maledominated fields.

In fact, a closer look at the data showed that this was true regardless of which institution they attended. What’s just as striking is the fact that neither group showed any changes in their reflective, self-reported beliefs about women, nurturance, and leadership.

Before as well as after, at both schools, participants consistently claimed that women possess more supportive qualities than leadership ones.  :( ???

This first part is about gender roles. Wait until we get to judging (i.e. "pre"  ;)) the level of threat in the behavior of same or other races (hint: the behavior, look, stance, clothing, etc. doesn't have BEANS to do with it and RACE has EVERYTHING to do with it.).

Those "parent tapes" are hard to MODIFY, aren't they?  

Who CAN you trust? / Mechanisms of Prejudice: Hidden and Not Hidden
« on: November 15, 2013, 07:17:18 pm »
Bigots Are Generally Untrustworthy

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


“Responsibility to Protect” is a bogus doctrine designed to undermine the very foundations of international law. It is law rewritten for the powerful. “The structures and laws that underlie the application of R2P exempt the Great Power enforcers from the laws and rules that they enforce on the lesser powers.”
Edward S. Herman

Both the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and “Humanitarian Intervention” (HI) came into existence in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, which ended any obstruction that that contesting Great Power had placed on the ongoing power projection of the United States. In Western ideology, of course, the United States was containing the Soviets in the post-World War II years, but that was ideology. In reality the Soviet Union was always far less powerful than the United States, had weaker and less reliable allies, and was essentially on the defensive from 1945 till its demise in 1991.

The United States was aggressively on the march outward from 1945, with the steady spread of military bases across the globe, numerous interventions, large and small, on all continents, engaged in building the first truly global empire. The Soviet Union was an obstruction to U.S. expansion, with sufficient military power to constitute a modest containing force, but it also served U.S. propaganda as an alleged expansionist threat. With the death of the Soviet Union new threats were needed to justify the continuing and even accelerating U.S. projection of power, and they were forthcoming, from narco-terrorism to Al Qaeda to Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to the terrorist threat that encompassed the entire planet earth and its outer space.

There was also a global security menace alleged, based on internal ethnic struggles and human rights violations, that supposedly threatened wider conflicts, as well as presenting the global community (and its policeman) with a moral dilemma and demand for intervention in the interests of humanity and justice. As noted, this morality surge occurred at a moment in history when the Soviet constraint was ended and the United States and its close allies were celebrating their triumph, when the socialist option had lost vitality, and when the West was thus freer to intervene. This required over-riding the several hundred year old Westphalian core principle of international relations – that national sovereignty should be respected – which if adhered to would protect smaller and weaker countries from Great Power cross-border attacks. This rule was embodied in the UN Charter, and could be said to be the fundamental feature of that document, described by international law scholar Michael Mandel as ”the world’s constitution.” Over-riding this rule and Charter fundamental would clear the ground for R2P and HI, but it would also clear the ground for classic and straightforward aggression in pursuit of geopolitical interests, for which R2P and HI might supply a useful cover.

It is obvious that only the Great Powers can cross borders in the alleged interest of R2P and HI, a point that is recognized and taken as an entirely acceptable premise in every case in which they have been applied in recent years. The Great Powers are the only ones with the knowledge and material resources to do this ‘benevolent’ global social work. As NATO public relations official Jamie Shea explained in May 1999, when the question came up as to whether NATO personnel might be indicted for war crimes during NATO’s bombing war against Serbia, which seemed to follow from the letter of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) charter: NATO countries “organized” the ICTY and International Court of Justice, and NATO countries “fund these tribunals and support on a daily basis their activities. We are the upholders, not the violators, of international law.” This last is a contestable assertion, but Shea’s other points are clearly valid.

It is enlightening that when a group of independent lawyers submitted an extensive dossier in 1999 showing probable NATO violations of ICTY rules, after a long delay and following open pressure from NATO authorities, the anti-NATO claims were disallowed by the ICTY prosecutor on the ground that with only 496 documented killings of Serbs by NATO bombs “there is simply no evidence of a crime base” for indicting NATO, although the original May 1999 indictment of Milosevic involved a crime base of only 344 deaths. It is of similar interest that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo declined to prosecute NATO officials for their attack on Iraq in 2003, despite over 249 requests for ICC action, on the ground that here also “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute.”

These two cases illustrate the fact that the structures and laws that underlie the application of R2P (and HI) exempt the Great Power enforcers from the laws and rules that they enforce on the lesser powers. It also exempts their friends and clients. This means that in the real world there is nobody responsible for protecting Iraqis or Afghanis from the United States or Palestinians from Israel. When U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledged on national TV in 1996 that 500,000 Iraqi children may have died as a result of UN (but really U.S.) -imposed sanctions on Iraq, declaring that U.S. officials felt these deaths were “worth it,” there was no domestic or global reaction demanding the end of these sanctions and the application of R2P or HI on behalf of the victimized Iraqi population. Similarly there was no call for any R2P intervention on behalf of the Iraqis when the United States and Britain invaded Iraq in March 2003, with direct and induced civil war killings of perhaps a million more Iraqis.

When the Canadian-sponsored International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect considered the Iraq war in relation to R2P, its authors concluded that abuses by Saddam Hussein within Iraq were not of a scope in 2003 to justify an invasion, but the coalition never even raised the question of whether the Iraqi people didn’t need protection from the invaders responsible for the death of vast numbers. They worked from the imperial premise that the Great Power enforcers, even when aggressing in violation of the UN Charter and killing hundreds of thousands, are exempt from R2P as well as the rule of law.

This works from the top of the global power structure on down; Bush, Cheney, Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power at the top, then on the way down we have Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande, then further down Ban Ki-Moon and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and with their power base to be found in the corporate leadership and media. Ban Ki-Moon and his predecessor Kofi Annan have been open servants of the Great NATO Powers, to whom they owe their status and authority. Kofi Annan was an enthusiastic supporter of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, a believer in the enforcement responsibility of the NATO powers, and keen on the institutionalization of R2P; and Ban Ki-Moon works in the same mode.

This same global power structure also means that ad hoc Tribunals will be formed and used against villains of choice, as well as international courts. Thus when the United States and its allies wanted to dismantle Yugoslavia and weaken Serbia, they were able to use the Security Council in 1993 to establish a tribunal, the ICTY, precisely for this service, which the ICTY carried out effectively. When they wanted to help their client Paul Kagame consolidate his dictatorship in Rwanda, they created a similar tribunal for this service, the ICTR. If these powers want to attack and bring about regime change in Libya, they can get the ICC to accuse Gaddaffi of war crimes speedily and without independent investigation of any charges, and based mainly on anticipations of civilian killings. But as noted, the ICC couldn’t find any basis for action against the invaders of Iraq whose killings of civilians were large-scale and realized, not merely anticipated. There was, in fact, a major World Tribunal on Iraq organized to hear charges against the United States and its allies for their actions in Iraq, but it was privately organized and had a critical anti-war bent, so that although it held hearings in many countries and heard many prestigious witnesses, this tribunal was given negligible attention in the media. (Its final sessions and report in June 2005 were unmentioned in the major U.S, and British media.)

R2P fits snugly into this picture of service to an escalating imperial violence, with the United States and its enormous military-industrial complex engaged in a Global War on Terror and multiple wars, and its NATO arm steadily enlarging and embarked on “out of area” service, despite the ending of its supposed role of containing the Soviet Union. It conveniently premises that the threats that the world needs to address come from within countries, not from cross-border aggression in the traditional mode that the makers of the UN Charter considered of first importance. They are wrong: William Blum lists 35 cases where the United States overthrew governments between 1945 and 2001 (thus not even counting the war-making of George W. Bush and Barak Obama; Blum, Freeing the World to Death [Common Courage, 2005], chaps. 11 and 15)

In the real world, while R2P has a wonderful aura of benevolence, it will be put in play only at the instigation of the Great NATO Powers and it will therefore never be used in the interest of unworthy victims, defined as victims of the Great Powers or their clients (see Manufacturing Consent, chap 2, “Worthy and Unworthy Victims”). For example, it was never invoked to constrain Indonesian violence in its invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 onward, although this invasion-occupation accounted for an estimated 200,000 deaths on a population base of 800,000, thus exceeding the proportionate deaths under Pol Pot. In this case the United States gave the invasion a green light, gave further arms to the invaders, and protected them from any UN response. This is a case where the UN Charter was being violated and East Timorese desperately needed protection, but as the United States supported the invader no international response transpired.

It is enlightening and amusing to see that Gareth Evans has been perhaps the leading spokesperson in support of R2P.as an instrument of justice. Evans is a former Foreign Minister of Australia, author of a book on R2P, past president of the International Crisis Group, a co-founder of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, and a participant in several reports and debates on R2P. Evans was the Foreign Minister of Australia during the years of Indonesia’s genocidal occupation of East Timor, and in that role Evans honored and feted Indonesian leaders and worked with them in sharing the stolen oil rights of East Timor. (See John Pilger, “East Timor: a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful,” April 5, 2012, pilger.com.) So Evans was really a collaborator in a major genocide. Can you imagine the media’s response to a non-NATO human rights campaign that used as spokesperson a Chinese official who had maintained friendly relations with Pol Pot during his most deadly years?

It is enlightening to see how Gareth Evans deals with the criteria for enforcing R2P. In answering questions on this subject at a UN General Assembly session on R2P, Evans appealed to common sense: R2P “defines itself,” and the crimes, including “ethnic cleansing,” are all “inherently conscience-shocking, and by their very nature of a scale that demands a response…It is really impossible to be precise about numbers here.” Evans notes that sometimes modest numbers will suffice: “We remember starkly the horror of Srebrenica… [with only 8,000 deaths]. Was Racak with its 45 victims in Kosovo in ’99 sufficient to trigger the response that was triggered by the international community?” It was sufficient to trigger a response for the simple reason that it helped advance NATO’s ongoing program of dismantlement of Yugoslavia. But Evans dodges answering his own question. You may be sure that Evans does not ask or attempt to explain why there was no triggering of a response to East Timor with its 200,000 or Iraq’s 500,000 plus a million. The politicization of choices here is total, but Evans has apparently internalized the imperial perspective so completely that this huge double standard never reaches his consciousness. But the most interesting fact is that a man with such a record and such blatant bias can be accepted as an authority and his biased perspective is treated with respect.

It is interesting, also, to see how Evans never mentions Israel and Neither Palestine, where ethnic cleansing has been in active process for decades, works openly and is deeply resented by vast numbers across the globe. do other members of the power pyramid suggest Israel-Palestine as an area where consciences are shocked and the nature and scale of abuse demands a response from the “international community.” In order to obtain her U.N. Ambassadorship, Samantha Power thought it was necessary to go before a group of pro-Israel U.S. citizens and assure them, with tears flowing, that she regretted any past suggestions that AIPAC was powerful and that its influence had to be over-ridden for developing a U.S.-interest policy toward Israel and Palestine. She pledged a devotion to Israel’s national security. The world will wait a long time for Power and her bosses to support R2P’s application to ethnic cleansing in Palestine

In sum, the international power structure in the post-Soviet world has worsened global inequality and at the same time increased Great Power interventionism and literal aggression. The increased militarism may have contributed to the growing inequality, but it is also designed and serves to facilitate pacification at home as well as abroad. In this context, R2P and HI are understandable developments, providing a moral cover for actions that would repel many people and constitute a violation of international law if viewed in a cold light. R2P puts aggression in a benevolent light and thus serves as its useful instrument. In short, it is a cynical fraud and a constitution (UN Charter)-buster.

Edward S. Herman

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The Real Terror Network (South End Press, 1982), and, with Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights (South End Press, 1979), and Manufacturing Consent (Pantheon, 2002).


Climate Change / Re: Sun Is Weakest In 200 years
« on: November 15, 2013, 03:45:30 pm »
Surly said,
Your rebuttal also illustrates a point we should not lose sight of, is that deniers' mission is simply to create doubt. WHich can be done with shadings of language,  emphasis, story placement  (or omission.)

And I am sure Dr. Lee's work will earn him a special chair in hell.

Yep. Here's a little background on the sunspot fun and games going all the way back to 2008. Notice how the article, even back then, was NOT presented as Global Warming denial. It was the old "doubt MO.

Fri, 2008-04-04 08:43Page van der Linden

Global Warming Deniers Favorite "Sunspot" Theory Refuted... Again

If one were to reach into the grab bag of global warming skeptics' favorite theories, one might pull out any number of speculation-laden papers and editorials regarding the supposed effect of solar activity on the Earth's climate.

For example, here's an excerpt from an October 2007 presentation given by a member of the Exxon-funded Heartland Institute:

How long will the global warming alarmists be able to sustain the public hysteria without strongly rising temperatures? This will be a key factor in the short-term future of climate warming legislation.

Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Research Institute says cosmic rays are the link between the sun’s variability and Earth’s temperatures. More or fewer cosmic rays, depending on the strength of the “solar wind,” seed more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that cool the Earth. Further experiments to document this impact are planned in Europe.


The research to which the presentation refers is described in this paper by Svensmark, which, oddly, does not mention climate change, although the (non-peer-reviewed) press release for his research does: ;)

The experimental results lend strong empirical support to the theory proposed a decade ago by Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen that cosmic rays influence Earth’s climate through their effect on cloud formation.

'Many climate scientists have considered the linkages from cosmic rays to clouds to climate as unproven,’ comments Eigil Friis-Christensen, who is now Director of the Danish National Space Center. ‘Some said there was no conceivable way in which cosmic rays could influence cloud cover. The [current research] now shows how they do so, and should help to put the cosmic-ray connection firmly onto the agenda of international climate research.

(Click at link for the Real Climate discussion of Svensmark's et al.'s claims.)

Unfortunately for the "sunspots and cosmic rays, not humans, cause global warming" 
crowd, British scientists have just blown their claims out of the water. The BBC News website has the story:

Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity.

The research contradicts a favored theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature. The idea is that variations in solar activity affect cosmic ray intensity.

But Lancaster University scientists found there has been no significant link between them in the last 20 years.

Presenting their findings in the Institute of Physics journal, Environmental Research Letters, the UK team explain that they used three different ways to search for a correlation, and found virtually none.

The article points out the obvious:

This is the latest piece of evidence which at the very least puts the cosmic ray theory, developed by Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Center (DNSC), under very heavy pressure. Dr Svensmark's idea formed a centrepiece of the controversial documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle.

The Great Global Warming Swindle was essentially a global warming skeptic-laden response to Al Gore's fact-based documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. It came out in May 2007. Its focus on Svensmark's theory is perplexing, given that three years earlier, scientists reported:

A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.

It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.

It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.

Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.

'This should settle the debate,' said Mike Lockwood, from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, who carried out the new analysis together with Claus Froehlich from the World Radiation Center in Switzerland.

In other words, there is repeated evidence from multiple researchers that global warming is caused by human activity. Not by sunspots.

Not by cosmic rays.

What will it take to convince the skeptics?

Agelbert can answer that one! When the money to buy Pseudo Scientific BS dries up!


General Discussion / Welcome Ashvin!
« on: November 15, 2013, 03:13:46 pm »
Welcome Ashvin! 

Ashvin is a veteran of the Automatic Earth Web Site. He has distinguished himself as a prolific blog writer of serious and well researched subjects in Finance, History, Politics and religion, to name some, but not all, of the subjects he has written about. 

Ashvin can argue the fur off a grizzly bear so, if you are going to debate him, get your ducks in a factual and well referenced row FIRST!  ;D

Ashvin is a defender of TRUTH. I have never met a more unflappable debater in my life. Unlike yours truly,  ;D, he rarely if ever loses his cool. If I were President, I would name this erudite fellow to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court! 

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