Feb 28, 2013

PolyPower electrostatic film measures athletic movements, harvests energy

The first prototype is used to analyze a golfer's swing

Danish company Danfoss PolyPower A/S has designed a new wearable sports sensor that has the potential to measure everything from stance to force. The sensor could prove a veritable technology on its own, but PolyPower technology is also being explored as a means of actuation and energy harvesting. .. Continue Reading PolyPower electrostatic film measures athletic movements, harvests energy

Section: Wearable Electronics

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Please read full at:Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine http://www.gizmag.com/danfoss-polypower-sport-sensors/26324/

Free Webinar: "Achieving GHS Compliance in the Oil and Gas Industry!" #OHS #OSHA

The US adoption of GHS presents a new set of regulatory compliance challenges for the oil and gas industry. From re-evaluating how substances and mixtures are classified, re-issuing MSDSs and labels, to training staff as appropriate—companies have a lot to prepare.

Join 3E Company’s Kami Blake, as she provides an overview of OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard, which aligns with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized Standard (GHS). She will also review the fast approaching deadline for Employee Training, and explore the impact of the revised Standard on the Oil and Gas industry and what can be done to best prepare for this significant new regulatory development.

The confirmation link you will receive will be unique to your name and email address only.  If you know others who may be interested in joining this webinar then please forward this email to them so that they can sign up individually.

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2012

Time: *07:00 am Pacific

Cost: Free

The last day to register is March 26th. Webinar Registration:

"March to beat hunger" Remember to Join me March 14 & Join the fight against #hunger #matchday2013 #Humanity

Hunger never sleeps and needs your help again—the second annual Match Day is coming up on Thursday, March 14!
Last year—through your collective Twitter efforts— helped Hunger Task Force raise an amazing $238,000 on Match Day.
Match Day is a community-wide online giving campaign hosted by Greater Milwaukee Foundation. All online donations made to Hunger Task Force on Match Day are matched by Foundation, so it’s a huge opportunity to raise money for the hungry. And the sad truth is that we really need it, because with last year’s drought, we’re looking at some pretty significant food shortages in our food bank in the coming months.
How can you help?
Social media is a huge part of Match Day, and we want to generate as much hype and awareness as we can. That’s why I’m reaching out to you again. On March 14, the Hunger Task Force is asking Twitter followers to Tweet and Retweet in support of Hunger Task Force throughout the day!

Here’s a few key things to remember if you are willing to help them out again:

· All Match Day donations must be made online with a credit card, so please include the following link in your tweets: http://matchdaymke.razoo.com/story/Hungertaskforce
· Use the hashtag: #matchday2013

Review of Free eBook Download: Rethinking Safety by @select_intl #OHS #SAFETY #Workerprotection

I will be reviewing a free eBook "Rethinking Safety" by selectinternational.comsafety assessment ebook
From the book "For the last half of a century, the rates of injuries in the workplace have steadily fallen, particularly in the U.S. However, when one looks deeper at the data, a disturbing trend arises: the rates of serious injuries and.. "Rethinking the Way We Think About Safety"

If you would also like to review book you can Click the link below:

Ballard ClearGen Fuel Cell System to operate using biomass-generated hydrogen in California

Ballard Power Systems announced the sale of a 175 kilowatt ClearGen distributed generation fuel cell system to the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of Humboldt County, California. The fuel cell system will be integrated with a biomass gasifier and syngas purification unit to form an integrated biomass-to-fuel cell power solution. The system will be the first of its kind, with the potential to double the efficiency of biomass-to-power generation.

The system will convert locally-grown timber by-product feedstock into hydrogen-rich syngas, using pyrolysis gasification technology. This syngas will then be purified, resulting in a high quality hydrogen stream, which will be used to power the ClearGen fuel cell system. The plant will provide base load power for the Tribe’s commercial enterprises and by-product heat will be used to warm the swimming pool in an adjacent hotel.

Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe will integrate the ClearGen system, biomass gasifier and fuel purification unit with support from the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC), a research and teaching center affiliated with Humboldt State University’s Environmental Resources Engineering program.

The project is supported by a proposed funding award to the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, a local-government joint powers agency, from the California Energy Commission's Community Scale Renewable Energy Development, Deployment and Integration Program. That program focuses on technical solutions enabling communities to rely primarily on locally-available renewable resources to provide electricity at competitive rates.

Please read full at:Green Car Congress http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/ballard-20130228.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+greencarcongress%2FTrBK+%28Green+Car+Congress%29

Drumbeat: February 27, 2013

Gas price spikes don't leave lasting economic damage

The recent run-up in gasoline prices has some economists – including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke – worried about the impact on consumer spending and the economy.

It’s a perennial concern. When gas prices spike, as they have done in the past few weeks, the extra money you pay at the pump forces you to cut spending on other things. That takes a bite out of overall consumer spending, which fuels roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Slower spending means slower growth.

But the longer-term impact is not as great as some forecasters would have you believe. Here’s why...

After two-day break, gas prices up again

That temporary reprieve in rising gasoline prices? It's over.

Gas prices inched up to $3.78 a gallon Tuesday after holding steady at about $3.77 the previous two days. The respite ended 36 days of price gains that had pushed pump prices nearly 50 cents a gallon since Jan. 1.

WTI Rebounds From 2013 Low; Iran Talks End Without Deal

West Texas Intermediate rose from its lowest level this year. World powers and Iran ended two days of talks without agreement on the country’s nuclear program.

Futures gained as much as 0.5 percent. Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said negotiations with the U.S. and its partners will resume next month in Istanbul after discussions in Almaty, Kazakhstan, concluded. Americans and others made no offer to ease oil or financial sanctions on Iran, said a U.S. official, asking not to be identified. Crude inventories climbed by 904,000 barrels last week to 373.4 million, the highest level since December, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday.

Shell suspends refinery production in Argentina for 4 days

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has halted production at its only refinery in Argentina for about four days due to electrical problems, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Nigeria Oil Licenses to Await Passage of New Industry Law

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, won’t award new oil exploration licenses until lawmakers pass a reform bill now being considered, Department of Petroleum Resources Director Osten Olorunsola said.

“You need firm commitment and firm predictability of the law,” he said in a Feb. 21 interview in Abuja, the capital. “We have to wait for the bill to be passed.”

The shaky logic of US natural gas exports

With U.S. natural gas production having risen more than 25 percent from its nadir in 2005, natural gas producers are pushing for an end to limits on U.S. natural gas exports. The growth in supplies comes primarily from previously inaccessible shale deposits deep in the Earth, a development that has convinced many people that the country is now entering a new era of natural gas abundance.

Trouble is, the United States remains an importer of natural gas. Through November 2012 the country imported 12.5 percent of its natural gas consumption for the year, mostly from Canada. That's down from an average of 15.7 percent for the previous 20-year period. But it's not exactly energy independence.

The Peak Oil Crisis: The State of the Union

When peak oil first came to widespread public attention some 10 or 15 years ago, there was some debate about whether peak oil was the solution to climate change caused by carbon emissions. After all, if we are forced by geology and economics to burn decreasing amounts of oil, won’t carbon emissions and global warming take care of themselves? In the last 10 years, however, much has happened. Bad economic times have reduced consumption of oil in most of the OECD countries. This demand has been replaced by increased demand from China, India and other developing or oil-rich countries, which are rapidly turning themselves into “motorized societies” where nearly everybody owns a car or some form of oil-powered transport.

The other side of the peak oil/global warming issue is what has happened to our climate in recent years. Lower Manhattan under water; New England under feet of snow; Texas and the upper mid-west burned dry; the Mississippi flooding; and the South torn up by tornadoes is rather hard to ignore. Indeed, the respected Pew Research Center says the number of Americans saying they believe the earth is warming has increased from 57 percent to 67 percent in the last five years. Those believing that climate change is caused by manmade emissions are up from 36 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012. The rather low percentage of those who believe that global warming comes from carbon emissions is a tribute to the power of the massive public relations campaign that fossil fuel companies and their political allies have been waging for many years.

The impending threat of peak oil

My final words of wisdom: you may be content to sit in a windowless room and play video games for the rest of your life, but if you don’t join the cadre of voices calling for sustainability, the lights might go off. Then you’ll be sitting in a dark room with no Internet connection and no friends. That’ll be awkward.

Don’t Let Peak Oil Sneak up on You

Discussions about peak oil usually degrade into a shouting match between environmentalists and energy companies. It may be entertaining, but what is most helpful is to take the facts and then act accordingly. A combination of these facts show that the energy is getting more difficult to discover and investors need to find forward looking companies that are willing to think outside the box.

Sinopec’s U.S. Shale Deal Struck at Two-Thirds’ Discount

China Petrochemical Corp.’s $1.02 billion deal with Chesapeake Energy Corp. gives the second- largest Chinese energy producer a stake in a shale oilfield for less than one-third of its estimated value.

Sinopec, as the Beijing-based explorer is known, will take a 50 percent interest in 850,000 acres Chesapeake controls in the Mississippi Lime formation, the companies said yesterday in separate statements. The price equates to $2,400 an acre, less than the $7,000 to $8,000 at which Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake valued the asset in a July presentation.

US shale puts questions on Canada’s own industry

Calgary: The US shale oil revolution is forcing Canada’s oil sands industry to question whether there is a future in processing its crude into lighter oil, a tried-and-true way of wringing the most money out of a resource considered crucial to the country’s prosperity.

Suncor Energy Inc, which nearly 50 years ago pioneered the practice in Canada of mining and then upgrading the oil sands bitumen into refinery-ready light crude at the same site, served notice this month that the era of the integrated project may be ending.

Shell Buys Repsol LNG Assets in Americas for $4.4 Billion

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, agreed to buy LNG assets from Repsol SA for $4.4 billion in cash to expand in Latin America and Spain.

The deal, which helps the Spanish oil company avoid a credit-rating downgrade to junk, gets Shell export capacity in Peru as well as in Trinidad and Tobago, The Hague-based company said yesterday. Shell will take over financial leases and assume debt, bringing the transaction’s total value to $6.7 billion. Repsol’s Canaport terminal in Canada, which imports gas into North America, was not sold.

Pakistani leader visits Iran in hopes of finalizing gas pipeline deal that’s opposed by US

TEHRAN, Iran — Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is visiting Tehran where he is expected to finalize a gas pipeline deal with Iran that is being opposed by the United States.

The U.S. opposes the project because it is trying to isolate Iran economically over fears that the country might ultimately be able to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge.

Russia Stocks Rise From Lowest This Year as Rosneft Gains

Russia’s benchmark stock index swung between gains and losses as OAO Gazprom surged on plans to sign a gas-supply deal with China, while OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port tumbled.

Gazprom banks on floating terminal for Israeli LNG

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The latest floating terminal technology could be the key to unlocking gas exports from Israel's Tamar field and the larger related gas riches of the eastern Mediterranean.

Russian energy group Gazprom said on Tuesday it is in exclusive talks to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Tamar, located about 90 km off Israel's coast.

AGL Says Rules May Stop A$2 Billion in Coal-Seam Gas Plans

AGL Energy Ltd., Australia’s second- biggest electricity retailer, may drop plans to invest about A$2 billion ($2.1 billion) on coal-seam gas in New South Wales after the state moved to restrict access to some areas.

“This is an arbitrary announcement,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Fraser said today in a phone interview after the Sydney-based company reported that it may need to write down the value of two proposed coal-seam gas projects in the state. “You’ve got to work out ways to develop those resources in a way that addresses community concerns and avoids what is going to be a huge cost to the New South Wales economy.”

Centrica faces flak over profits

British Gas parent Centrica has come under public and political fire after it revealed it made nearly £50 per household last year just months after hiking customer bills.

A £606 million profit haul at British Gas residential was slammed as "staggering" amid calls for the firm to use some of the cash towards reducing energy bills for its 8.4 million customers.

Ernest Moniz, possible energy secretary pick, already drawing criticism

Moniz, a scientist and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the most-mentioned pick to replace Steven Chu, who plans to return to Stanford. As was the case with Chu, Moniz’s academic background — and his lack of political baggage — is thought to be a plus.

But before Moniz has gotten the President’s nod, environmental groups are already crying foul, expressing concern about his support for natural gas and nuclear power as energy sources.

Power Companies Lose Court Bid on Telecom Pole-Wiring Fee

American Electric Power Co., Southern Co. and seven other power companies lost a court challenge to U.S. rules setting rates telephone and cable providers must pay to attach lines to electric utility poles.

The Political Minefield of Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State

The alternative to carefully regulated hydraulic fracturing is the "wild west" version we see in Ohio and Pennsylvania. While New York could and should provide a model of best practices, in the long run, the federal government must regulate fracking. Of course, if scientific study indicates that there is no safe way to extract this gas from the ground, the practice should be banned. A more likely outcome is that a carefully managed fracking process can be designed, but will cost more than the current version. Given the need for energy and the cost of other energy sources, fracking can probably be profitable, even if it is rigorously regulated.

Chevron Reaped $1.49 Billion After U.S. Botched Leases

Chevron Corp. reaped the most among the five largest oil companies drilling on U.S. deep water leases that mistakenly omitted drilling-fee provisions, according to a report produced by a Democratic lawmaker.

Exxon Wins Reversal of Gas-Leak Punitive Damages Award

Exxon Mobil Corp. won the reversal of more than $1 billion in punitive damages over a 2006 gasoline leak that Maryland residents claimed fouled their drinking water.

A Maryland appeals court yesterday reversed the punitive damages and returned the case to a new trial in Baltimore County Circuit court in Towson, Maryland, for a new trial. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil had argued that the award, handed down in 2011 to 160 homeowners and businesses as part of a $1.5 billion jury verdict, was excessive.

BP Profit Push ‘Root Cause’ of Gulf Spill, Witness Says

BP Plc’s push to maximize profits and cut costs at the Macondo well was a “root cause” of the explosion that led to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a safety expert who studied the disaster said.

BP executives pressured supervisors of the Deepwater Horizon rig to speed up drilling operations and hold down expenses as part of a corporate culture that put profit ahead of safety, Robert Bea, a retired engineering professor from the University of California, yesterday told the judge who is hearing claims over the spill.

BP Executive Testifies That a Rig Explosion in the Gulf Was a Known Risk

NEW ORLEANS — On the first day of testimony in the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill trial, BP’s top executive for North American operations at the time of the disaster acknowledged on Tuesday that a well explosion had been identified as a risk before it happened.

Was BP too efficient?

It's easy and tempting to focus on BP and its cost cutting. But you could argue that the company was only doing what every business has been doing relentlessly since 2008: Cutting, cutting and cutting again. Reducing headcount, shortening timescales, cutting margins. This is called efficiency but there is always a point beyond which it isn't efficient but starts to get dangerous.

Post-Fukushima, Arguments for Nuclear Safety Bog Down

Ever since the nuclear accident in Japan released radiation into the atmosphere, regulators in the United States have been studying whether to require filters, costing as much as $45 million, on the vents of each of the country’s 31 boiling water reactors.

The filters, which have been recommended by the staff of the regulatory commission, are supposed to prevent radioactive particles from escaping into the atmosphere. They are required in Japan and much of Europe, but the American utilities say they are unnecessary and expensive.

The Alternative Energy religion is based on a false premise

Beaufort County has a habit of chasing pink elephants. That is essentially the strategy upon which our economic development programs has been based for over a decade and it has resulted in colossal failures. In fact, arguably, there have been no winners, and certainly no bonanzas.

Now our county fathers are chasing "alternative energy." They are junketing to Washington to cozy up to Federal officials in attempts to get a wind farm going near Pantego. The only way that project can make a go of it is to be heavily subsidized by the taxpayers. It's a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. But then, that's exactly what all these economic development schemes Al Klemm and Jay McRoy sold to us. Take from other businesses and give it to a few. But wind energy is much more of a boondoggle than anything our leaders have chased, except perhaps ethanol.

My Heart-Stopping Ride Aboard the Navy's Great Green Fleet

You can't live off the land at sea, which is why the Navy has always looked far into the future to fuel its supply lines; the job description of admirals requires them to assess risk and solve intractable problems that stymie the rest of us. Peak oil, foreign oil, greenhouse emissions, climate change? Just another bunch of enemies. So when the Department of Defense set a goal to meet 25 percent of its energy needs with renewables by 2025, the Navy found itself fighting on familiar ground. Four times in history it has overhauled old transportation paradigms—from sail to coal to gasoline to diesel to nuclear—carrying commercial shipping with it in the process. "We are a better Navy and a better Marine Corps for innovation," Mabus says. "We have led the world in the adoption of new energy strategies in the past. This is our legacy."

French wind power spun into knots

A storm in Europe threatens to leave the green energy sector of the continent's second-largest economy stuck in the doldrums.

A legal battle with anti-wind energy activists has frozen investment in France's onshore wind sector, threatening a "sea change" in energy pledged by the Socialist president François Hollande and his coalition partner Greens.

Germany's clean-energy supporters sound alarm over subsidy cuts

Germany's clean-energy lobbies say government plans to reduce support for the industry will stall any energy transformation and proposed three alternative measures to stabilise power prices.

US utilities face growing rivalry from unsubsidised roof-top solar power

Roof-top solar power is increasingly cost-competitive with retail power prices, with far-reaching implications for solar manufacturers, utilities and rival generation technologies.

Data gathered from installations in the United States by the department of energy suggest it is cheaper to generate electricity from roof-top solar panels than to buy power from electric utilities, if applied to European retail power prices.

Why Are Teen Pregnancy Rates So Low in North Dakota? Fracking.

It’s not prophylactics. But it could be petroleum. The explosion of fracking has created thousands of North Dakota jobs and imported single young men by the truckload to fill them. That’s helped the state perform better on two major indicators of teen pregnancy: Rates go down in places with low economic inequality and a high ratio of men to women. You might think there would be higher rates of teen pregnancy with more seed floating around, but research suggests that women are more likely to delay pregnancy when they perceive future opportunities to climb the social and economic ranks—to get an education, a job, and a committed partner who benefits from the same. By the numbers, the prospects for North Dakota's women look good: North Dakota now has the third-highest ratio of men to women in the U.S. and the oil boom has pushed North Dakota’s overall unemployment rate down to 3.2 percent.

Radioactive tuna from Fukushima? Scientists eat it up

For most people, the thought of radioactive sushi tuna is nightmarish, but for Madigan it represented an opportunity.

If radiation from Fukushima was detectable, scientists might look for traces of the contamination in all sorts of amazing creatures that make epic journeys across the open seas, from tuna to sharks to turtles to birds. They might learn more about where the animals came from, when they made their journeys, and why.

They might learn how a single, man-made event — the plant failure in Fukushima — could be linked to the lives and fates of animals making homes over half the globe.

A Report Card for Global Food Giants

The antipoverty group Oxfam has come up with a scorecard that evaluates the impact that the supply chains of behemoth food companies have on water consumption, labor and wages, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrition.

The goal of the scorecard, called “Behind the Brands,” is to motivate consumers to pressure companies like Nestlé, Kellogg and Mars to improve their policies on land and water use and the treatment of small farmers, among other things, and to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Oyster Farm in California Gets a Reprieve

SAN FRANCISCO — An oyster farm can continue operating at Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California for at least a few more months after a federal appeals court decision on Monday.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, in San Francisco, ruled that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which was scheduled to shut down in mid-March, could remain open until the court decided whether the company’s lawsuit challenging its eviction from the park could move forward.

Seen as Nature Lovers’ Paradise, Utah Struggles With Air Quality

Federal safe air standards are set at 35 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air — about the weight of a single crystal of table salt — averaged over a 24-hour period. During inversions last month, Salt Lake County reached 69 micrograms per cubic meter, while nearby Utah County got to 125 micrograms, Mr. Bird said.

“If the 40,000 women in Utah who are pregnant suddenly started smoking, that would constitute a genuine health emergency,” said Dr. Brian Moench, an anesthesiologist who leads Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, a group that has urged Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, to declare a public health emergency. “But our levels of air pollution are causing the exact same consequences as if all these women were smoking.”

Rystad Energy analyst Lars Eirik Nicolaisen thinks Norway has to continue exploration activities today even though resources in the Arctic will not be as important before 2030. He says that Norway will have a lead role as the oil industry moves northwards.

EU Carbon Drops to Two-Week Low as Glut-Fix Shortcut Abandoned

European Union carbon permits closed at their lowest level since Feb. 7 a day after Matthias Groote, chairman of the EU parliament’s environment panel, scrapped fast-track talks on a plan to cut a surplus of allowances.

US Generals warn of climate change dangers

A leading group of US security experts has warned of the imminent threat of climate change in an open letter to US policymakers.

Signatories include former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, General Wesley Clark, Richard Armitage, George W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State and Anthony Zinni, a retired four star general in the Marine Corps.

“We, the undersigned Republicans, Democrats and Independents, implore US policymakers to support American security and global stability by addressing the risks of climate change in vulnerable nations. Their plight is our fight; their problems are our problems,” it says.

Nebraska lawmakers warm to climate change study

LINCOLN — The issue of climate change was discussed Tuesday in the Nebraska Legislature, perhaps for the first time.

And a legislative panel reacted warmly to the idea of having an existing state climate committee conduct a long-range study on how the state's largest industry, agriculture, can deal with rising temperatures and wild swings in the weather.

A climate-change plan Republicans could love

Rather than wage a futile battle with Obama over EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases – for which the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor – the GOP could answer the president's climate challenge with a free-market solution, embraced by a number of conservative economists like Art Laffer and Greg Mankiw: A revenue-neutral tax on carbon that gives proceeds back to consumers.

China’s rising sea level threatens economic interests

Beijing: The sea level around China has witnessed an average 2.9 mm annual rise from 1980 to 2012, leading to more marine disasters and the country nearly $2.5 billion in economic interests, the government said today.

Local warming: U.S. cities in front line as sea levels rise

NORFOLK, Virginia (Reuters) - The signs of rising water are everywhere in this seaport city: yellow "Streets May Flood" notices are common at highway underpasses, in low-lying neighborhoods and along the sprawling waterfront.

Built at sea level on reclaimed wetland, Norfolk has faced floods throughout its 400-year history. But as the Atlantic Ocean warms and expands, and parts of the city subside, higher tides and fiercer storms seem to hit harder than they used to.

Please read full at:The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9862?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theoildrum+%28The+Oil+Drum%29

Feb 27, 2013

Wastewater treatment process may keep fish off antidepressants

Instead of becoming less gloomy, perch exposed to antidepressant residue get reckless and ...

While some people may wonder about the possible side-effects of antidepressants on the people who are taking them, here’s another thing to consider ... what happens when the residue from those drugs passes through the user’s urine and into the sewage system? As it turns out, it can enter local waterways and affect the fish. Now, researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed technology to keep that from happening. .. Continue Reading Wastewater treatment process may keep fish off antidepressants

Section: ecoGizmo

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Please read full at:Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine http://www.gizmag.com/antidepressant-fish-wastewater-treatment/26450/

9 TRILLION Dollars Missing from Federal Reserve Federal Inspector General Can't Explain

9 trillion is enough to give every citizen $30,000?

Rep. Alan Grayson asks the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent or spent by the Federal Reserve and where it went, and the trillions of off balance sheet obligations. Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman responds that the IG does not know and is not tracking where this money is.

See full here:

Surprising Water Usage Numbers [Infographic via @lochnessponds ] #Water #Conservation #Sustainability

How much water are you really using? Many of us have low flow shower heads and our toilets are using less water, but how does that compare to the water that goes into the things we use and consume every day?

@lochnessponds created this infographic to help better understand what our daily impact really is.  Some of the information might surprise you…

Water Usage Infographic

Want to help save water?  Share this infographic at: http://www.lochnesswatergardens.com/pondblog/how-much-water/

Up in Smoke: A History of Firefighting

Fire. One of man’s greatest creations. It allowed for light, heat, and the invention of the barbeque! For millenia, fire was essential to survival in one form or another. But fire was, and remains, a constant threat. Handled properly and safely, fire provided light, heat and the ability to cook delicious meals. But an act of carelessness or a lack of foresight could turn one of the most important forces known to man, into a destructive cataclysm far beyond our control.

To prevent and to manage events of the latter nature, we have firefighters, and firefighting equipment. Fire-fighters have been around ever since Ancient Rome, and they have a long and fascinating history, which this posting will explore.

Ancient Firefighting
Firemen have existed for centuries, in one form or another. There are fire-fighting teams that go back to Ancient Egypt and even Ancient Rome.

The first fire-fighting brigade of significance was established in Rome, by a man named Marcus Licinius Crassus. A wealthy businessman, Crassus employed a team of 500 men whose job it was to extinguish structural fires in the city of Rome…for a fee…to be paid…before the firefighters would even tip so much as a thimble of water…

So much for that.

Please read on at:

BP executive says Transocean, not BP, was in charge of safety on Deepwater Horizon.

Senior BP executive Lamar McKay testified in federal court Tuesday in the civil trial stemming from the disastrous Gulf oil spill in April 2010 that his world-class oil exploration and production company's management system for safety calls for safety decisions on rigs it hires to drill oil wells, such as the Deepwater Horizon, to be determined by the rig owner, and not BP's management.

via Environmental Health News http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2013/02/bp_executive_says_transocean_n.html#incart_m-rpt-2

Breast cancer among young women increasing.

The rate of advanced breast cancer for U.S. women 25 to 39 years old nearly doubled from 1976 to 2009 – a difference too great to be a matter of chance, a study finds.

via Environmental Health News http://www.latimes.com/health/la-sci-breast-cancer-younger-women-20130227,0,4208213.story

Can we live again in 1964's energy world?

We must engineer a return to that era's lower usage, says expert Vaclav Smil. For nearly 40 years now, Smil, a Czech émigré and polymath, has studied the world's energy systems. He grew up in the political darkness of the Soviet Empire and has matured in the moral emptiness of its American counterpart. Although heralded around the world for his insights, he remains largely unknown in Canada. Yet the prolific academic has penned some 30 books and 400 articles on how the world recklessly spends both energy and valuable natural resources.

via Resilience http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-02-27/can-we-live-again-in-1964-s-energy-world

Wind surpasses nuclear in China

Wind has overtaken nuclear as an electricity source in China. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants did, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive growth of 80 percent per year.

via Resilience http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-02-27/wind-surpasses-nuclear-in-china

Spring into Action – Green Your Office Equipment: Webinar

Below is the announcement of the State Electronics Challenge, which Joy Scrogum mentioned in her recent presentation on sustainable electronics . This webinar will provide an overview of the SEC, and is open to anyone, so you may be interested.  As usual, feel free to forward this to anyone else who might be interested.


Also, the call for papers for the special edition of Challenges related to electronics which Professor Bullock and Joy Scrogum

you are interested. Articles are due June 1.


Soon Joy and her colleagues will be issuing a call for presentations for the 2013 Sustainable Electronics Initiative Symposium, scheduled for October 7, 2013 at the I-Hotel in Champaign.  That symposium will be geared toward greening electronics through education. The call for presentation should be available early next month, and I will send that to you as soon as it is. Information on the symposium should be on the SEI web site in April.



State Electronics Challenge Webinar


Spring into Action – Green Your Office Equipment

Looking for a straightforward  approach to greening your organization’s office equipment?  The State Electronics Challenge — a free program may — be for you. 

The Challenge helps public agencies, schools, colleges and universities to improve the environmental footprint of their operations and meet sustainability goals by buying green office equipment, using it efficiently and recycling it responsibly.  Organizations that sign on to the program—known as Partners—get access to free implementation tools, and support and technical assistance.  The Challenge also generates sustainability reports for each Partner that document the impacts of the program on specific indicators – material and energy conservation, greenhouse gas avoidance and solid and hazardous waste reduction. 

To learn more about the State Electronics Challenge, register for an introductory webinar: March 14, 3 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m./1 p.m Central/Noon Pacific.

To register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3635301347725787392


Who’s Eligible to Join the Challenge:

  • State & tribal agencies
  • Cities & towns
  • Counties
  • K-12 Schools
  • Colleges & universities
  • Public utilities
  • Public libraries

To get more information about the program, visit the Challenge website at www.stateelectronicschallenge.net

. Or contact info@stateelectronicschallenge.net

Register Now

Feb 26, 2013

7 Ways Sitting Will Kill You

Get Up, Stand Up Dreamstime

Let's count the ways.

This is the one piece of bad news you shouldn't sit down for: Sitting for hours on end, every day, is bad for your health. Sitting at work is bad for you. Sitting after work is bad for you. Sitting is the new smoking, except that the furniture lobby probably isn't as powerful as the tobacco one.

A lot of research has appeared in the last few years as a testament to all that is unholy about our love of office chairs, La-Z Boys, couches and cushions. What's worse: Even a healthy amount of exercise can't save you.

If you work in an office setting, sitting is hard to avoid, unless you're an early adopter of the treadmill desk. You might laze around the house on your days off, but one study found that people spend more time sitting--and do less standing or walking--on work days compared to their leisure days.

You may have lost track of all of the ways that your office job can turn deadly. So as I sit hunched over in my rolling chair in a position that screams "live fast, die young," let's talk about what kind of damage all we, the over-sitters, are in for.

Click here to enter the gallery

via Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/many-reasons-chair-killing-you

Taking Sustainability Seriously in Washington, D.C.

In April 2012, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray made a statement that caught many people’s attention: he wants the District to be “fossil-free” by 2030.

Does it sound a little crazy? Maybe. But when it comes to U.S. cities that take sustainability seriously and are putting the infrastructure in place to make such a vision a reality, you really can’t beat Washington.

In January, the U.S. Green Building Council released its annual list of the top 10 states for new LEED certifications in 2012, and once again, the District topped the list, with 36.97 square feet of LEED space certified per person last year.

Read the full article on the U.S. Green Building Council website.

The post Taking Sustainability Seriously in Washington, D.C. appeared first on Environmental Sustainability Resource Center.

via Environmental Sustainability Resource Center http://esrconline.org/2013/02/04/taking-sustainability-seriously-in-washington-d-c/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taking-sustainability-seriously-in-washington-d-c

Nearly Half of Americans Have More Credit Card Debt Than Savings

Only 55 percent of Americans have more in emergency savings than they have in credit card debt, according to a survey by Bankrate.com.
Read on:

Mediterranean diet helps cut risk of heart attack, stroke: Results of PREDIMED study presented

Results of a major study aimed at assessing the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases show that such a diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or tree nuts reduces by 30 percent the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke.

via ScienceDaily: Latest Science News http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225181536.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29 (author unknown)

Screening could avert 12,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States

Screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in all screening-eligible current and former smokers has the potential to avert approximately 12,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. By providing a national estimate of potentially avertable lung cancer deaths, the study will help policy makers better understand the possible benefits of LDCT lung cancer screening.

via ScienceDaily: Latest Science News http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225092244.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29 (author unknown)

Cost Still Major Barrier to Widespread LED Lighting

While upfront cost is the biggest obstacle to widespread deployment of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, warm and cool white LEDs are already cheaper on a lifecycle basis than incandescent lighting and will likely be comparable to that of fluorescent lighting technologies in the near future, says a congressionally requested report from the National Research Council. The report assesses the status of solid state lighting -- LEDs in particular, as opposed to incandescent or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) -- and finds that lighting products based on LEDs will be able to support the standards for lumen output that Congress required in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. To address the issue of cost, the U.S. Department of Energy solid state lighting program should be maintained and, if possible, increased. The Department should also seek to obtain 50 percent cost sharing for research and development projects, as was done with the projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to the initial cost of LED lighting, poor experience with spiral CFLs has made consumers skeptical of new lighting technologies. But unlike CFLs, LEDs turn on to full brightness instantly, are unaffected by low temperatures, have a good color quality, and are inherently dimmable. Widespread acceptance of solid state lighting will depend on an understanding of its unique characteristics, the report says. The report recommends that DOE, lamp manufacturers, and retailers work together to ensure that consumers are educated about the characteristics and metrics of these new technology options. Full Report

via News from the National Academies http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18279&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nationalacademies%2Fna+%28News+from+the+National+Academies%29 (author unknown)

Oil sands mining uses up almost as much energy as it produces #Green #Energy

Inside Climate News - The average "energy returned on investment" for conventional oil is roughly 25:1. In other words, 25 units of oil-based energy are obtained for every one unit of other energy that is invested to extract it. 

Tar sands retrieved by surface mining has an EROI of only about 5:1, according to [new] research. Tar sands retrieved from deeper beneath the earth, through steam injection, fares even worse, with a maximum average ratio of just 2.9 to 1. That means one unit of natural gas is needed to create less than three units of oil-based energy. 

"They have to use a lot of natural gas to upgrade this heavy, sticky, gooky almost tar-like stuff to make it fluid enough to use," said Charles Hall, a professor at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Hydrogen from gas heats the tar sands so the viscous form of petroleum it contains, known as bitumen, can be liquefied and pumped out of the ground. In this way, Hall said, gas helps turn tar sands "into something a bit closer to what we call oil."

Please continue reading at:

Feb 25, 2013

Job Loss, Insecurity and Worker Health via @hazardsmagazine

Rory O'Neill (sent via email): "Good work is good for you, much of the time. Bad work, particularly if it is insecure and poorly paid, has very little to recommend it, either for the worker or the wider community."

The UK example is not as straightforward as it might seem. Successive governments (of different political flavours) embarked on projects to reduce the welfare bill, and this involved getting the unemployed sick and employed sick back into productive work. Research was commissioned to support this project (Burton and Waddell), and concluded work is good for you, with the undoubted health impact of unemployment used as a point of comparison.

 However, the research failed to distinguish between the benefit of ‘good work’ and any work. Other studies have subsequently concluded while good work can confer considerable health and societal benefits, bad work does not. A fifth of all sick leave in the UK is estimated to be related to work (and the figures will not include the certainly greater harm caused by work in the burgeoning informal economy, with its casualties added to the ‘unemployed’ column). Good quality voluntary community activities do more good than bad, insecure jobs.

Which leads to the other problem with the ‘work is good for you’ case. New jobs are increasingly insecure, with contingent labour having none of the certainties and rights that convey the benefits of good work. More on this here: www.hazards.org/insecure and www.hazards.org/workandhealth
Those in previously good work, may be facing increased pressure caused by a change in the political dynamic at work, firms facing increased cost pressures in a recession, and fewer workers being required to do more and steady eroding terms and conditions.

Feb 24, 2013

Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year because the largest banks aren’t really profitable

Bloomberg- So what if we told you that, by our calculations, the largest U.S. banks aren’t really profitable at all? What if the billions of dollars they allegedly earn for their shareholders were almost entirely a gift from U.S. taxpayers?

Please continue reading at:

Feb 23, 2013

Bike-powered water pump invention proving helpful for farmers in Africa #Water #Green #Energy #News

ContraCostaTimes.comLivermore resident Jim Stunkel is back from Africa, and his mind is racing with the possibilities unfolding from some discarded Tri-Valley pool water pumps.

Those pumps have already changed the lives of more than 100 farmers and their families, but many more are hoping to get one. Assist International, the nonprofit behind this project, is struggling to keep up, said Stunkel.

In September, I learned from him about the water pump invented by Livermore resident Andy Pierce that can be powered by riding a bike. Now, Stunkel and Pierce are making connections, including the president of Ghana, John Mahama, that may lead to this pump becoming a big deal in Africa, where hunger affects the lives of millions of people.

Last year, we delivered 100 pumps to farmers," siad Stunkel. "This year, we hope to increase that to 2,600."

The pump is already being distributed throughout Uganda and Western Kenya, and Stunkel and Pierce were invited to demonstrate the invention at a farming expo in Ghana. In the demonstration, someone riding a bike powered the pump, pulling water from a holding tank at the bottom of a hole. The water was pumped up into a holding tank high in the air, which then overflowed and poured down into another holding tank at ground level.

Please continue reading at:

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs kill 48,000 Americans each year — Costing healthcare over $8 billion a year.

@HealthRanger wAntibiotic-resistant superbugs kill 48,000 Americans each year — roughly the same number of American soldiers who died in the entire Vietnam War. This data was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and the data is from 2006. It’s certainly much worse today, and the health care costs related to superbug infections surpasses $8 billion a year.

Superbugs are caused by the abusive over-use of antibiotics. In the presence of ...

Please continue reading by Mike Adams Natural News 


CDC Admits Flu vaccine only 9% effective for elderly and may be Killing Elderly #health #news

ST. PAUL, Minn. — New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that many older adults become sick with the flu despite being vaccinated.

The CDC data looked at outpatient clinic visits and found that the flu vaccine was only 9 percent effective in people 65 and older who came down with the A strain of the virus, which is also known as H3N2. That strain has caused hundreds of hospitalizations in Minnesota this season.

Please continue reading at:

40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Economist Dean Baker describes one effect of this in Minimum Wage: Who Decided Workers Should Fall Behind?

“If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.”

Please continue reading at: http://thecontributor.com/40-americans-now-make-less-1968-minimum-wage

China officially admits the existence of “Cancer Villages” for the first time.

AFP - China’s environment ministry has acknowledged the existence of “cancer villages”, several years after widespread speculation first began that polluted areas were seeing a higher incidence of the disease.

The use of the term in an official report, thought to be unprecedented, comes as authorities face growing discontent over industrial waste, hazardous smog and other environmental and health consequences after years of rapid development.

Read more:


Experts warn of impending food crisis as wealthy corporations & nations have been snapping up water & land resources

...food and water supplies, corporations and investors in wealthy countries are buying up foreign farmland and the freshwater perks that come with it.

From Sudan to Indonesia, most of the land lies in poverty-stricken regions, so experts warn that this widespread purchasing could expand the gap between developed and developing countries.

"Societal pressure on the global land and freshwater resources is increasing as a result of the rising food demand by the growing human population, dietary changes, and the enhancement of biofuel production induced by the rising oil prices and recent changes in United States and European Union bioethanol policies. Many countries and corporations have started to acquire relatively inexpensive and productive agricultural land located in foreign countries, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in the number of transnational land deals between 2005 and 2009. Often known as “land grabbing,” this phenomenon is associated with an appropriation of freshwater resources that has never been assessed before. Here we gather land-grabbing data from multiple sources and use a hydrological model to determine the associated rates of freshwater grabbing. We find that land and water grabbing are occurring at alarming rates in all continents..."

Please continue reading at:

Feds Warn Thousands May Be Exposed To Deadly TB Epidemic In Downtown Los Angeles #Health #News

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The feds are descending on downtown Los Angeles to combat a dangerous outbreak of a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.

6 Washington state nuclear tanks leaking… ‘No immediate public health risk'

YAKIMA, WASH - Six underground tanks that hold a brew of radioactive and toxic waste at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, federal and state officials said Friday, prompting calls for an investigation from a key senator.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the leaking material poses no immediate risk to public safety or the environment because it would take a while — perhaps years — to reach groundwater.

First sign of global economic depression: Britain's credit rating downgraded from AAA to Aa1 - Telegraph

The Government’s economic strategy has been dealt a serious blow after a leading credit ratings agency downgraded UK debt on its expectation that growth will "remain sluggish over the next few years".

Please continue reading at:

World agency set to give U.S. virtual clean bill of health for mad-cow disease, boosting beef indust

The Scientific Commission for the World Organization for Animal Health has recommended that the U.S. beef supply be labeled at "negligible risk" for mad-cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

"This is a significant achievement for the United States, American beef producers and businesses, and federal and state partners who work in coordination to maintain a system of three interlocking safeguards against BSE that protect our public and animal health," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Being classified as negligible risk for BSE . . . will also greatly support our efforts to increase exports of U.S. beef and beef products." (Read more)

Feb 22, 2013

Gray & Jobless: 55+ have highest long-term unemployment for 4.7 million people #Jobs #News

Did you know that the age group most impacted by long-term unemployment − that is, 27 weeks or longer − is workers 55 and older? And while the ranks of the long-term unemployed have been steadily declining over the past year, there are still 4.7 million people in this category according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Local job clubs, career ministries and job search support groups across the country are uniquely positioned to help unemployed older workers, including those in the long-term category. Take Roddy, a 52-year-old product manager who lost his job when his company relocated.

After a six-month search yielded zero job offers, Roddy decided to join the Ridgewood, N.J., chapter of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors, a volunteer-run network of job clubs across the state. Networking through the club provided critical job leads, and the club’s support system helped Roddy stay positive and motivated throughout his search process. These elements, Roddy says, were missing from his solo job search, and ultimately they are what helped him land a new job in his field.

Last month, I was honored to speak at Neighbors-helping-Neighbors’ two-year anniversary celebration. To date, NhN has helped more than 230 people land jobs, most of whom were unemployed for 6 months or more and over the age of 50.  

This is why the department’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships has been reaching out to groups like NhN for the past several years, connecting them to the public workforce system and other partners, and helping new clubs get started. We’re seeing a huge payoff, and even major media outlets are taking note. USA Today recently ran a cover story on NhN and its founder, John Fugazzie, as well as our efforts to provide support.

Please read and follow:


Done with SARA & CRS? Well here is the TRI-MEweb & 2012 TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions #EHS

The following is an update from EPA's Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP & Oil Information Center:

The newest version of the TRI-MEweb online reporting system as well as the 2012 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Forms & Instructions are now available.  TRI-MEweb is EPA's preferred method for preparing and submitting TRI forms.

In RY2012, EPA introduces a new process to certify TRI forms within the TRI-MEweb reporting application.  In addition, new electronic reporting security requirements for identity proofing have been implemented.  Finally, a new alternative to process Electronic Signature Agreements in real-time has been incorporated to expedite the transmission, certification and submission reporting process for TRI reporting facilities.  For more information on TRI-MEweb enhancements, please view the Reporting Year 2012 Enhancements tutorial available at:

Guidance on using TRI-MEweb to submit TRI forms is available at the following URL:

The 2012 TRI Reporting Forms & Instructions is available at the following URL:
TRI forms for reporting year 2012 must be submitted by July 1, 2013.

Home companies make "real" #green certifications work & avoid greenwashing. via @GreenBiz #CSR #Sustainable

The latest P2 Pathways column is available on GreenBiz at http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/02/21/how-get-real-green-certifications
Josephine Fleming discusses how companies can make green certification of their products work for them and avoid greenwashing.

Read the P2 Pathways archive at http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways

Sent for the wonderful Laura L. Barnes of Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)

OSHA issues new enforcement guidance on protective clothing for oil & gas drillers #OHS #Safety #Energy

OSHA issued a new guidance document in December regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by oil and gas well workers. This document was posted this month on OSHA's website.

In this revised memo, OSHA clarified that its 2010 memo that suggested employers would be cited for a violation of the PPE standard whenever workers were not wearing flame-resistant and fire-retardant clothing was not the intent of the 2010 memo.

OSHA stated that employers would only be cited if OSHA could additionally prove that a reasonable person would recognize the existence of a hazardous condition that would require the use of PPE. Although this is not a change from the typical case law analysis for the PPE standard, it is a shift in OSHA's enforcement position regarding the use of PPE specific to the oil and gas industry.

Read on at from Carla J. Gunnin Author

H.R. 307, $11 billion Pandemic & All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 #Health #Safety #OHS #CHMM

As reported by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on February 14, 2013

H.R. 307 would amend the Public Health Service Act and the United States Code to authorize funding for certain activities carried out by the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA) that would support the readiness of the public health system to address public health and medical emergencies.

Based on information provided by HHS and VA, CBO estimates that implementing the act would cost about $11 billion over the 2014-2018 period, assuming the appropriation of the authorized amounts. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, included funding totaling about $2 billion in fiscal year 2012 for activities similar to those that would be authorized by H.R. 307. CBO assumes that amounts appropriated through the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, for those activities are similar to 2012 levels.

H.R. 307 also would change the terms for Project Bioshield contracts, which would result in a change in direct spending. Assuming H.R. 307 is enacted this spring, it would decrease direct spending by $58 million over the 2013-2018 period, but would result in no net change in direct spending over the 2013-2023 period. Because the legislation would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 307 would not affect revenues.

read complete document  (pdf, 39 kb)

Free CARB training & Webinar Series "How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations" via @AirResources #Cleanair

COURSE #520 – How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations.
This course reviews the inspection process, discusses the
consequences of non-compliance, and explains how to comply with
CARB’s regulations affecting most diesel vehicles and equipment
operating in the State.  This course is for truck owners,
operators, brokers, dispatchers, and fleet managers, who are
all responsible for complying with these regulations.

February 27, Salinas (8:30-12:00)
February 27, San Leandro (1:00-4:30)
March 7, Woodland (8:30-12:30)
March 19-21, 3-part Webinar Series (9:00-10:30am PST)

For more information or to register for 520, please go to
To see a list of all ARB training courses available please visit

New Process Takes Energy From Coal Without Burning It - capturing 99% of CO2 #Green #Energy #GHG

"Ohio State students have come up with a scaled-down version of a power plant combustion system with a unique experimental design--one that chemically converts coal to heat while capturing 99 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction. Typical coal-fired power plants burn coal to heat water to make steam, which turns the turbines that produce electricity. In chemical looping, the coal isn't burned with fire, but instead chemically combusted in a sealed chamber so that it doesn't pollute the air. This new technology, called coal-direct chemical looping, was pioneered by Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Ohio State's Clean Coal Research Laboratory."
Please read full and follow at:

NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor - #Safe #Green #Sustainabel #Energy via @Slashdot

"If Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center, is correct, the future of energy may lie in a nuclear reactor small enough and safe enough to be installed where the home water heater once sat. Using weak nuclear forces that turn nickel and hydrogen into a new source of atomic energy, the process offers a light, portable means of producing tremendous amounts of energy for the amount of fuel used. It could conceivably power homes, revolutionize transportation and even clean the environment."

NOTE: This was the rage in the 1950's from engineers.

New White Paper on the Use of Predictive Analytics in Workplace Safety #OHS #Safety #News

Predictive Solutions Corporation, an Industrial Scientific company, has released a new white paper entitled, “Nate Silver, Billy Beane, and Alex Trebek: Making the Case for Predictive Analytics in Workplace Safety,” as a resource for those looking to learn how leading safety professionals are making the case to employ predictive models in their workplace safety program.

Please continue reading at:

China will become a predominantly service economy in 2013

The Chinese economy is known for its industrial might. Manufacturers, miners, utilities and builders accounted for over 45% of China’s GDP in 2012. In America, by contrast, they typically contribute less than 20%.

Manufacturing’s share of China’s GDP was more than 18 percentage points above the global norm in 2005. Services, in contrast, were almost eight points below.

Services (which include transport, wholesaling, retailing, hotels, catering, finance, real estate and scientific research, among other things) accounted for 44.6% of China’s GDP in 2012. That is less than one point behind industry’s 45.3%.

Read more at NBF

Chinese Air Pollution Triggers Steep Rise in Nitrogen Deposition

YaleEnvironment360: A spike in Chinese air pollution over the last three decades has caused a 60 percent increase in the levels of nitrogen pollutants that ultimately end up back on the nation’s land and in its water, a new study has found. In an analysis of 270 monitoring sites across the country, researchers found that the annual deposition of nitrogen, as measured in precipitation, had increased from 13.2 kilograms per hectare in 1980 to about 21.1 kilograms per hectare in 2010. Scientists say so-called nitrogen deposition occurs when nitrogen in the atmosphere is washed back to the planet’s surface by rain and snow in the form of pollutants such as nitrates and ammonium. Elevated nitrogen levels can trigger harmful ecological effects, from soil acidification to feeding algae blooms. According to the study, published in the journal Nature, leaves of herbaceous and woody plants absorbed 33 percent more nitrogen in 2010 than in 1980, while the rice, wheat, and maize crops on unfertilized fields experienced a 16 percent increase. The spike in air pollution levels has been driven by an increase in industrial emissions, agricultural uses, and transportation.

Please continue reading at:

Feb 21, 2013

Minting Coins Cost U.S. Taxpayers $436 Million: cut coins = save 100's of million$

Bloomberg: Pennies and nickels have cost more than their face value to mint since 2006, resulting in a loss of at least $436 million to U.S. taxpayers.

“If you look around in the budget, there aren’t a lot of places you can find savings where you don’t cut a program and you don’t raise anybody’s taxes and you can impact the deficit,” said Jim Kolbe, a former Arizona congressman who sponsored legislation to abolish the penny and dollar bill. “This is one where you can do that.”

Please read full and follow at: