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Messages - AGelbert

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General Discussion / Re: How Long Ago Were We Created?
« on: February 27, 2014, 07:07:00 pm »
No, I hadn't read about the Home Depot Hypocrite. What an ARSE HOLE!

I'm sure the pope is shaking in his boots (NOT!).

These 1%ers are delusional to the point of lunacy in the service of predatory profit.

But you know, the bible has always taken pains to show that irrationality of that sort is exactly what results from rejecting God and embracing greed.

Isaiah 57
But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire and mud.

“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Evil behavior doesn't just make people lose all respect for their fellow man; it drives people insane.

Climate Change / The Onion takes on Monsanto
« on: February 27, 2014, 04:11:15 pm »
The Onion takes on Monsanto

By Holly Richmond

Agricultural biotech giant Monsanto unveiled its latest strain of genetically modified corn Wednesday, claiming that the new, hardier seed yields 400 percent more litigation against small independent farms than the company’s previous GMO products.


Advances in Health Care / Compassion fatigue
« on: February 27, 2014, 03:53:21 pm »
Compassion fatigue -- a.k.a. caregiver burnout -- is what happens when a well-intentioned caregiver crosses a hard-to-see line from One-Who-Helps to One-Who-Needs-Help. And it can happen to anyone. It happens precisely because you care so much.

Are you at risk of caring "too much"? Here are ten warning signs:

1.You use words like "always" and "never" with regard to caregiving.
 Beware falling into absolutes: "I promised Mom we'd never put her in a nursing home." "I'm sorry I can't go to lunch because I always feed Sam by myself."

Being overly rigid can put you at risk for burnout.

2.Your friends seem to have stopped calling.
You may be feeling isolated or annoyed that your old circle no longer seems to check up on you and how you're faring. But is it possible that you've turned them down so often because of your caregiving duties, or that caregiving concerns so dominate your life and conversation, that they got the message you're just not interested in them?

A social life is a two-way street.

3.The last time you felt happy was. . . uh. . . um. . . let's see. . . Nobody ever said looking after a sick or aging loved one was a romp in a field of wildflowers. But if your everyday life has lost even its grace notes, so that you find no pleasure in it, you're at risk.

Every day needs at least one happy petal or two.

4.Everyone assumes you'll step forward; nobody asks.

 Have you become the default go-to girl (or guy) in your family? When the sick person is your spouse, this is logical. (Even then, you need a support system to pitch in.) But it's a different matter when the family member being cared for is a parent, grandparent, or other relative -- and the entire burden of responsibility seems to have settled on your shoulders whether you've volunteered or not.

As caregiving expert Carol O'Dell is fond of saying, "People take as much advantage of you as you let them."

5.You're overweight or out of shape.
 True, it may not be your caregiving that's to blame. We could sit around and make a long list of culprits for poor health that includes everything from our car culture to a conspiracy of corn syrup to unfortunate genes. But the fact remains that poor self-care is a big red flag for caregiver burnout. Being selflessly focused on others by definition means you're not focused on yourself. And yet you need to be the #1 person you look after, in order to be shipshape (or at least functional!) to look after others.

If you don't like what you see when you look in the mirror (or sit listening to the doctor's concern in the exam room), give yourself permission to be selfish.

6.You can't remember the last time you took a vacation.
Vacations are really hard when you have a disabled or impaired person to consider. And not being able to even remember the last break you had is a sure sign you're due for one. It doesn't have to be three weeks in France. Start small if you must: a simple overnight at a friend's house or a local B&B. Just do something.

To stop caregiving stress, stop caregiving sometimes.

7.All conversations turn to caregiving.

 Maybe you remember when your kids were babies and you'd hire a babysitter -- and proceed to talk about the kids all evening? Not a great idea. Or worse, you call home to check up! If every conversation with your partner or other family members concerns one subject, it's a warning sign that topic is monopolizing your life.


8.You have no hobbies.

 You say you have no time for hobbies? Your hobby doesn't have to be a conventional one like stamp-collecting or bird-watching. It just needs to be an outlet away from caregiving. Reading trashy novels uninterrupted, taking up knitting, joining a book club, taking adult ed courses, being a matinee-movie addict, or enjoying your children and grandchildren all count, too "“ anything that takes you away from caregiving for bursts of time.

Bonus points if it takes you out of the house, too.

9.You can't sleep through the night.

 Two common causes: You're up tending to a sick person (or Alzheimer's wanderer, or someone else who gets by on just a few hours of sleep a night) or you're sick with stress or a physical problem yourself. A sleepless night or two go with the territory of caregiving -- but if it's become your lifestyle, it's a problem you need to correct.

Sleep isn't optional!

10.You dread waking up in the morning.

 We all have this experience, usually when we're in the midst of a health crisis that seems like a bad dream (but isn't). Health nightmares can go on for years, unfortunately. But when the crisis has passed and you've sunk into a new routine "“ and you still feel heavy-hearted and hopeless, your body is crying out for you to enlist some support.

Nobody "“ not even the most well-intentioned, big-hearted, and selfless among us -- is meant to endure a tough situation all alone, day after day, year after year.

If three or more of these warning signs are flashing for you, what can you do? Start here:

Use the Caring.com local senior care directory to free up time for you.
Find a support group of like-situationed others to vent to.

Congratulate yourself for having taken the first step toward improving the situation: Realizing the problem, and deciding you're worth a fix.


Radioactive materials from Japan's Fukushima disaster reaches Canada, say scientists

Researchers say that minuscule traces of radioactive cesium originating from Japan's ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been found in Vancouver.

By Sudeshna Chowdhury, Staff writer / February 25, 2014


Geopolitics / A Cartoon about the 1% that Is NOT funny
« on: February 26, 2014, 06:41:26 pm »

Climate Change / Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring
« on: February 26, 2014, 02:12:48 pm »
"False springs" lethal to vulnerable plants, animals

Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring

Increasingly common false spring events are leaving crops and plants vulnerable to subsequent freezes, creating a cascade of consequences for ecosystems

www.ensia.com, Feb, 2014

February 10, 2014 — Observers in Massachusetts and Wisconsin reported that flowering came earlier than it had since Henry David Thoreau took note of when plants began to bloom near Walden Pond in the 1850s or since Aldo Leopold observed flowering times at “The Shack” in Sauk County inThe spring of 2012 was the earliest recorded across the United States since 1900. In many states, signs of spring arrived almost three to four weeks earlier than expected. Unseasonable warmth prompted unusually early blooms, particularly on fruiting trees in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions.  the 1930s and ’40s.

Then, in what has come to be recognized as a characteristic of climate change — unusual variability — the exceptionally early warm temperatures were followed abruptly by a hard freeze.

“We thought 2010 was weird. But 2012 was really weird,” says Jake Weltzin, executive director of the USA National Phenology Network.

Unusually early warming, known as “false spring,” is becoming increasingly common as climate changes. Its effects are also prompting increasing concern. For when warm temperatures awaken dormant plants and animals prematurely, they can throw the timing of seasonal events crucial to an entire ecological food web off kilter. The results can cause devastating harm to both wild and cultivated species. False spring events have caused enormous losses in U.S. fruit crops, damaged large swaths of forest and decimated sensitive California butterfly populations.

Distinct Trend

Naturalists and scientists, farmers and gardeners have long taken note of when plants leaf out and bud each year — part of the study of seasonal events known as phenology. Scientists and more casual backyard observers alike have noted an ongoing shift toward earlier springs across North America over the past 50 to 100 years. At the same time, a growing number of scientific studies have documented the advancing emergence of buds, blooms and hibernating animals.

Since the early 1900s, about two-thirds of the species studied have shifted toward earlier spring blooming, breeding or migrating. This is true for every major group of species studied, including amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates and mammals as well as trees, nonwoody plants, corals and plankton. These changes have been observed on every major continent and ocean, according to Camille Parmesan, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research focuses on the biological impacts of climate change.

Early buds and blooms killed by a hard frost can mean failure to flower and fruit for the rest of that year.  :P  :( The USA National Phenology Network, which gathers leaf-out and bloom data along with information about when species migrate and reproduce from across the U.S., has helped confirm that the advancing onset of spring and precipitous shifts between warm and cold temperatures are part of ongoing trends. While the network was officially established in the mid-2000s, observations recorded by its contributing scientists and volunteers date back to the 1950s. Some of the longest running records, which chronicle first leaf growth of honeysuckle and lilacs across the lower 48 states, show a noticeable shift toward earlier dates since the 1980s. Like the temperatures recorded as part of climate change research, the leaf-out dates show great variability from year to year but the trend is distinct — earlier warmer temperatures and earlier first buds and blooms.

While occasional false springs are not new, what is new in recent years is the combination of increasingly warmer springs and extreme temperature swings, overall shorter times throughout fall and winter of below-freezing temperatures, and the altered precipitation patterns associated with global climate change.

The fall and winter warm spells in both 2010 and 2012, for example, were longer than others. This phenomenon increases the likelihood that plants will emerge from dormancy prematurely, producing young leaves, buds and blooms. When unusually mild temperatures and subsequent plant growth are followed by freezing temperatures, early buds and blooms killed by a hard frost can mean failure to flower and fruit for the rest of that year. And, in addition to the acute impacts on fragile plant parts, early warming can also cause problems by truncating the winter cooling period many plant seeds need for proper germination, plants need for budding and blooming, and hibernating animals need to complete their yearly cycles in good health.

Ripple Effect

The prospect of a freeze after a crop has leafed out, bloomed or set fruit presents obvious problems for farmers. The 2007 false spring, for example, hit agricultural crops and deciduous trees in the U.S. Midwest to Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions particularly hard, causing crop damage — particularly to fruit trees and berries — that prompted a request for a disaster declaration in North Carolina. In 2012, losses in fruit tree crops in Michigan due to the false spring bloom and freeze cycles were estimated at half a billion dollars.

The timing of leaf and flower development has effects that ripple throughout an ecosystem because these changes prompt the flow of sap, nectar and nutrients within plants and so affect the availability of shelter and sustenance for other organisms. False spring can harm not only the plants that put forth early sprouts, leaves or blooms, but other species and entire ecosystems. The timing of leaf and flower development has effects that ripple throughout an ecosystem because these changes prompt the flow of sap, nectar and nutrients within plants and so affect the availability of shelter and sustenance for other organisms. This can have profound consequences, particularly when species emerge from hibernation or during migration.

Desynchronization of seasonal events has been reported around the world, from the American Southeast to New England, and the Rockies to the Tibetan Plateau and across Europe. Rocky Mountain marmots have emerged to find the plants they rely on for food buried beneath not yet fully melted snow. Butterflies in California’s Sierra Nevada have wriggled out of their cocoons in what seemed like spring warmth, only to be felled by the freeze that followed.

Another disturbing effect of false spring is the damage it can cause to plant and tree cover.
If a false spring freeze substantially reduces the success of trees’ summer leaf cover across wide swaths of landscape as it did in the U.S. Southeast in 2007, it can also reduce the amount of carbon and other nutrients those trees can process. This can lead to impaired soil health and also jeopardize the health of insects and other organisms that rely on plants’ nutrient cycling. And depending on which plants a false spring freeze affects, such events could also alter the balance of under- and overstory plants, thus introducing other potential ecosystem disruptions.

Anthony Barnosky, University of California, Berkeley professor of integrative biology and author of Heatstroke: Nature in the Age of Global Warming — a 2009 book that examines the effects of climate change on various species in the wild — says when trying to understand global warming’s implications, including those related to the false spring phenomenon, it’s important to consider how different affected species interact. “There are all sorts of complexities we need to be looking at in more detail,” he says.

Trying to Adjust

“Species’ primary response to climate change is to move around the landscape and try to reclaim their climate space,” Barnosky explains. In other words: they try to find conditions that replicate those of the places where they had previously thrived. Indeed, University of Texas at Austin’s Parmesan reported in 2013 that a summary of numerous research studies conducted around the world over the past 10 years shows that since the early 1900s, approximately half of all species studied have shifted their ranges closer to the poles — between about 30 and 995 miles poleward — or upwards in altitude, as much as about 1,300 feet, seeking cooler temperatures.

From a food production standpoint, farmers around the world are trying to adjust to the growing likelihood of false springs by planting in ways that accommodate both early warming and temperature and moisture extremes, says Sharon Muzli Gourdji, postdoctoral fellow in energy and environment at Stanford University. Varieties of wheat are being bred for heat tolerance and other variables that come with climate change so they can endure warming temperatures in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America as well as the challenges of both warming and extreme variability in the Northern Hemisphere. “Farmers are adapting,” says Parmesan.

Meanwhile, wild species are on the move in search of conditions suitable for their entire life cycle under increasingly unpredictable circumstances. But when success at a particular life stage depends on a steady transition from one season’s conditions to the next — a progression false spring disrupts — that’s when many species are now beginning to encounter difficulties. “The phenology issue could be a really big problem,” says Barnosky.

The consensus among scientists studying climate change is that the disruptions in what have been considered normal patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation set in motion by the build-up of greenhouse gases are with us for some time to come.According to Parmesan, we “don’t have any evidence yet of any evolutionary changes of the kind that would suggest species are adapting” to extreme temperature swings despite the fact that some species may already be capable of dealing with such extremes. Some species are responding to or accommodating these changes, she explains, but that does not necessarily mean an evolutionary adaptation. Weltzin, at the USA National Phenology Network, uses the term “adjustment.”

The consensus among scientists studying climate change is that the disruptions in what have been considered normal patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation set in motion by the build-up of greenhouse gases are with us for some time to come. Even if there were a precipitous decrease of such emissions worldwide, what’s now in the atmosphere would continue to affect global climate patterns for years to come. Given this reality, early and false springs are also likely to become increasingly familiar phenomena. So among scientists’ next steps are to learn not only more about how species are responding to these events but also how to predict them.

While predicting false springs can’t help wild species in the same ways it can agriculture — or solve the root causes of the problem — it may point the way to conservation efforts that could help protect some vulnerable species. As Parmesan said of farmers’ adaptive strategies, “It may be very important to get that right.”


Sugarcane Into Diesel — Cold-Tolerant, Highly Productive, Oil-Producing Crop Developed For US

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/26/sugarcane-diesel-cold-tolerant-highly-productive-oil-producing-crop-developed-us/#Z2Fl4U3hSAelAgxX.99

Renewables / BYD’s Electric Buses Can Go 30 Hours On Single Charge
« on: February 24, 2014, 03:56:52 pm »
BYD’s Electric Buses Can Go 30 Hours On Single Charge

BYD bus

BYD’s electric buses can run for an impressive 30 or so hours straight in between charges, based on the results of a pilot test performed in New York City last year during the months of August–October. Charging to full capacity took, roughly, 3–4 hours, and was completed at night.

According to SAE International (the Society of Automotive Engineers), one of BYD’s buses was used on a number of different routes in Manhattan during that span of time, and ran for a total of 1,481 miles. The pilot test proved that the electric bus could indeed approach the 155-mile-range advertised by BYD.

Here’s some more info from SAE:

After two months, the electric bus’s average battery duration was 0.3 h per % SOC, or 30 h of operation per full charge. An advantage of electric buses, compared to diesel bus technology, is that they do not idle when in heavy or stopped traffic, thus conserving “fuel” and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Another advantage is that because BYD buses do not have an internal-combustion engine or transmission, along with other conventional components, maintenance costs (and labor) can be reduced “significantly,” according to the company. Regenerative braking also reduces normal brake-pad wear and maintenance.

BYD and MTA claim that the expected operating-cost-per-mile of an electric bus is about $0.20 to $0.30, compared to $1.30 per mile for an equivalent diesel- or natural-gas-powered bus in New York.

In related news, Daimler-BYD’s first Denza electric car is nearing its release date — the model is expected to be released in China sometime towards the middle of the year. Recent reports have revealed that the EV will be DV quick-charge compatible.

Keep up to date with all the hottest electrified vehicle news here on CleanTechnica. Subscribe to our free EV newsletter or overall cleantech newsletter to never miss a story.

Image Credit: BYD

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/24/byds-ev-buses-can-go-30-hours-single-charge/#FBVgokZfTVsuDjLx.99

Renewables / Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap
« on: February 24, 2014, 03:47:31 pm »
Powering the US with Renewables: A State-By-State Roadmap

 James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com 
 February 24, 2014

New Hampshire, USA -- What does it take to convert a city, a state, a nation, to 100 percent renewable energy? Many countries are giving it a go with very ambitious goals to be 100-percent powered by renewable energy (islands seem to have a leg up). But what about right here in the U.S., how could that be achieved for this nation? And since all politics is local (and most especially true for renewable energy policies), how could it be done by individual states?

Back in 2011 Stanford professor Mark Jacobsen envisioned what that might require, and followed that up with an analysis of how to accomplish it in New York State. (Our coverage of that, by the way, was by far our most commented story in recent memory.) Now he's extended his analysis to all 50 U.S. states, laying out a resource roadmap to how each of them could meet 100 percent of their energy needs (electricity, transportation, heating) through renewable sources by 2050 — excluding nuclear, ethanol and other biofuels. Note that none of these calculations are geared to optimize for the least-cost mix to get to 100 percent renewables usage. Levelized electricity costs from that renewables mix by 2030 are projected to be 4-11 cents/kWh (including local transmission), compared with 20-25 cents/kWh from fossil-fuel energy with added health and climate costs.

His latest results include two more deep-dives as he did for New York, showing how they could achieve all new energy capacity powered by renewables (under the aforementioned definition) by 2020, 80-85 percent of existing energy converted by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. California, he finds, can get to a 100-percent renewables footprint with the following portfolio: 55 percent solar (both distributed and large-scale, including a lot of CSP), 35 percent wind (both on- and offshore), 5 percent geothermal, and 4 percent hydroelectric, plus a big contribution from energy efficiency. (Blending wind with solar, and combining that with hydro and CSP with storage, will largely smooth out intermittency problems, he concludes.) Ultimately that will create a net 178,000 permanent jobs, avoid $131 billion in annual healthcare costs, and pay off the 631 GW of new installed power within six years.

In Washington State, Jacobson et al calculate a 2050 fully-renewables mix as: 43 percent wind, 28 percent solar PV, 26 percent hydro, 2 percent geothermal, and half a percent each of wave and tidal. New capacity additions of 137 GW would cost $228 billion but be paid off in 13 years. Note that Washington has an abundance of hydro power, and thus has a head-start for built-in storage to match up with energy demand; no new hydro will be necessary (more on that later) but he assumes existing hydro capacity will be updated to improve efficiency.

Change in percent distribution of California energy supply for all purposes (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry) among conventional fuels and WWS energy over time based on the roadmap proposed. Credit: Stanford/Jacobson

Overall the methodologies were pretty much the same: "look at the footprints and areas, and how many devices of each type we would need," Jacobson explains. Compared to his previous calculations, these new findings extend the timeframe out to 2050, instead of just 2030. They're also more updated to account for current installations, such as an extensive wind energy buildout since his 2011 study, and the most recent insight into job creation.

He is also struck by the addition of mortality calculations, based on air quality data for each state spanning three years in every county, and illustrating how renewables will reduce air pollution and its direct connection to mortality. Around three percent of the U.S. GDP goes into health costs due to air pollution he says (quick math: the U.S. GDP is roughly $17 trillion, so that's $500 billion in health costs). Quantifying that at the state level with concrete numbers proves how renewable energy could address and reduce "a significant burden on society."

So which states have the smoothest pathway, relatively speaking, to achieving 100 percent renewables? The key, he says, is tapping and improving existing large-scale hydro, without adding any new ones. "Any state with hydro is amenable to making this easier," he says. Washington State would lead this pack due to its abundant hydro resources — up to 30 percent of what they'd need — plus a small but growing amount of wind and solar. He also notes the state has policies and leadership that are "very supportive of changing things." Other states that could best leverage hydro include Idaho and New York. The growing influence of wind energy in some states (Iowa, South Dakota) will help, too.

On the other hand, it won't be as easy a journey in the southeastern states, which have fewer renewables to tap into and must rely more on interconnection. (Note that his estimates don't restrict states from obtaining renewables outside their borders; this brings things like Canadian hydro into play for some northern states, as well.)

Maybe the biggest takeaway from Jacobson's updates is that broadly speaking none of it is new. "We don't have to invent a new technology to get this to work," he says. "We have to get more efficient from a cost point of view."



The Miracle Of Terra Preta 

 A large pre-historic civilization is found in the central Amazon. Archeologists and scientists are shocked. The soil there is thought to be impossible to grow sufficient produce in. How could upward of a million people survive here, over a thousand years ago?

 Could this be the elusive El Dorado, the city of gold?

 Because there is a kind of gold here, in great abundance: bio char, or black gold. The most fertile soil on earth. It's no accident. Bio char is not naturally occurring in nature, it must be cultivated by man.

 Bio Char is an ancient method of enhancing soil fertility and carbon sequestration with charcoal and organic matter. It helps the soil retain water and increase crop yields. It enhances microbiological activity. It retains nutrients for plants that would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere, or washed away by rains.

 This could represent a key strategy in breaking the cycle of slash and burn farming, and restore our soil.

 Now we know how this civilization thrived. At 30 minutes into this presentation, the miracle of Bio Char is explained. There is an 880% increase in crop yields when bio char is used!

 And here is something we didn't know: The great civilization in the Amazon left a precious legacy. In the last 10 minutes of this documentary we learn that the stuff actually renews itself!

 If we can unlock the secret to reproducing this black gold, we can save the planet!

 --Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by the BBC
- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.com/page/26053.html#sthash.CuApRRGc.dpuf

General Discussion / Doomstead Diner INFECTED! Avoid Until Further Advised!
« on: February 23, 2014, 03:40:55 pm »
I am in the process of eliminating ALL links to the Doomstead Diner. It is infected with a HIGH RISK type Trojan virus.  ???   :P >:(

Pages: 1 ... 634 635 [636] 637 638 ... 682

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