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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 01:20 AM
Number of posts: 25,333

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"I’ve never seen such a hostility from residents as I have on this issue."

Push To Impose Extra Fees On Customers Who Install Solar Panels Sparks Outrage In Utah
BY KILEY KROH JUNE 11, 2014 AT 3:01 PM UPDATED: JUNE 11, 2014 AT 3:08 PM

...“I’ve never seen such a hostility from residents as I have on this issue,” said Richards, partner at Woods Cross, Utah-based InterMountain Wind and Solar. “I’m amazed at the intensity I’m seeing.”

The cause of all the uproar? Utah’s main utility, Rocky Mountain Power, has proposed a new fee on its residential solar customers. While solar users make up a small percentage of RMP’s customer base — only about 2,000 people — that number is growing quickly and the prospect of paying an additional $4.25 a month is not sitting well with residents and solar installers.

Utah’s fight is indicative of a rapidly escalating tension: As rooftop solar becomes more and more mainstream, driven largely by middle class customers, utility companies across the country are looking to soften the blow to their business model by charging solar customers a monthly fee.

On the surface, it’s a heated debate over the immediate value of solar power — who pays, who benefits, and how to make the situation equitable — but the core issue is really the increasing likelihood that distributed generation sources, like rooftop solar, will completely upend the traditional utility business model.

Mike Rossetti, a resident of Draper, Utah, took the decision to invest in solar power very seriously...


Knuckle sandwich: Did fist fights drive evolution of human face?

Knuckle sandwich: Did fist fights drive evolution of human face?
Jaws became tough to survive fights, not to eat hard food


JUN 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Current theory about the shape of the human face just got a big punch in the mouth.

Two University of Utah researchers proposed Monday that the face of the ancestors of modern humans evolved millions of years ago in a way that would limit injuries from punches during fist fights between males.

Their theory, published in the journal Biological Reviews, is presented as an alternative to a long-standing notion that changes in the shape of the face were driven more by diet — the need for a jaw that could chew hard-to-crush foods such as nuts.

“Studies of injuries resulting from fights show that when modern humans fight, the face is the primary target,” biologist David Carrier said. “The bones of the face that suffer the highest rates of fracture from fights are the bones that show the greatest increase in robusticity during the evolution of early bipedal apes, the australopiths.”

These are also the bones that show the greatest difference between women and men...


Old Reactors v. New Renewables: The First Nuclear War of the 21st Century

"Precisely because the economics of renewables have improved so dramatically, nuclear power needs to prevent the development of the physical and institutional infrastructure that will support the emerging electricity system."

Old Reactors v. New Renewables: The First Nuclear War of the 21st Century
Mark Cooper, Senior Fellow for Economic Analysis, Institute for Energy and the Environment

June 06, 2014

Within the past year, a bevy of independent, financial analysts (Lazard, Citi, Credit Suisse, McKinsey and Company, Sanford Bernstein, Morningstar) have heralded an economic revolution in the electricity sector. A quarter of a century of technological progress has led to the conclusion that over the course of the next decade a combination of efficiency, renewables and gas will meet the need for new resources and more importantly, render the antiquated baseload model largely obsolete.

The academic debate over whether we could get to an electricity system that relies entirely (99 percent) or mostly (80 percent) on renewables late in this century is largely irrelevant compared to the fact that over the next couple of decades we could see a rapid and substantial expansion of renewables (to say 30 percent of 40 percent), if the current economic forces are allowed to play out and policies to advance the transformation of the electricity system are adopted.

Political revolutions tend to follow economic revolutions, which is where we stand in the electricity sector today. The dominant incumbents, particularly nuclear utilities, have recognized that they face an existential threat and they have launched a campaign to eliminate it. Utilities, who loudly announced the arrival of a “nuclear renaissance” less than a decade ago, are desperate to save their fleet of aging reactors from early retirement and “stay relevant to the game going forward” (as the CEO of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear utility put it) because they cannot compete at the margin with renewables or gas.

This nuclear v. renewables debate is not just “déjà vu all over again, a lot more than the fate of nuclear power at stake. The fundamental approach to delivering electricity in the 21st century, while meeting the challenge of climate change, is on the table. Nuclear power and the alternatives are so fundamentally different that a strategy of “all of the above” is no longer feasible. Nuclear power withers in an electricity system that focuses on flexibility because it is totally inflexible, but renewables cannot live up to their full potential without opening up and transforming the physical and institutional infrastructure of the system.

Nuclear power has failed because it has never been able to compete at the margin with other resources ...


Japanese bishop warns government against nuclear power

Japanese bishop warns government against nuclear power
Warning issued on eve of premier Abe's meeting with pope

Japan June 6, 2014 "We are asking prime minister Shinzo Abe to abandon the way of nuclear energy. But in order to really choose an alternative route to renewable energy our people must be ready to change their lifestyle. Otherwise it is just hypocrisy".

The Japanese bishop Isao Kikuchi touches upon a very sensitive point and denounces the risk of a purely ideological approach to the nuclear issue. A Divine Word Missionary, 56 year-old Kikuchi is the bishop of Niigata and the president of the Japanese Caritas agency, which has assumed an increasing role and prestige in the country of the Rising Sun thanks to its efforts during the last three years after the earthquake, tsunami and disaster at the Fukushima power plant.

Approximately 267 thousand people are living in temporary shelters in the affected areas, and Caritas continues its laudable work of aid, rehabilitation of displaced persons and reconstruction, and has just announced that its support will continue for another three years.

On the eve of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's arrival at the Vatican, in an exclusive conversation with Vatican Insider bishop Kikuchi intervenes in the ongoing countrywide debate in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster which, three years from that fateful March 11th, 2011, has once again returned to centre stage.

Also on account of the about-face by the Tokyo-based government...

Read more at: http://www.ucanews.com/news/japanese-bishop-warns-government-against-nuclear-power/71099

If we have a hydrologist here, esp. one familiar with the PacificNW....

Could you provide information ruling out Hanford as a potential source of toxins that might be causing this problem?

Extinction of Oregon Starfish Expected Due to Sea Star Wasting Epidemic
Oregon State University | June 5, 2014

Just in the past two weeks, the incidence of sea star wasting syndrome has exploded along the Oregon Coast and created an epidemic of historic magnitude, one that threatens to decimate the entire population of purple ochre sea stars.

Prior to this, Oregon had been the only part of the West Coast that had been largely spared this devastating disease....


(Japanese Daily OpEd) Japan's shrinking population forces us to reconsider how we live

Japan's shrinking population forces us to reconsider how we live
May 28, 2014

Japan's projected population decline conjures up an image of a ball rolling down a steep slope. According to estimates by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the nation's population will shrink to two-thirds of the current level in the next half-century, and then to one-third 100 years from now.

...All the reports concur that there are obstacles preventing people who want to marry and have children from doing so, and that these obstacles must be removed.

The reports also offer similar solutions, which boil down to expanding support for parents and changing the ways of working.

The Japan Policy Council, a private research foundation that issued one of the three reports, caught the public's attention by pointing out the possibility of about half of the nation's current rural municipalities ceasing to exist if they keep losing their populations to the big cities. But aside from the JPC's dire warning, the three reports offer no new practical solutions.

This was only to be expected, as what needs to be done is already fairly clear...


Good graph at link

What do you consider a duplicate thread in LBN?

My impression over the years has been that it is a duplicate of the same news story if, for example, AP puts out a story that is picked up by several outlets, then those iterations - including updates - are duplicates; while coverage by Reuters or an outlet that wrote their own piece on that topic (say the NYT) wouldn't be considered a duplicate.

Have I had it wrong all this time, or has there been a change of policy?

Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever

Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever
NEWS IN BRIEF • Science & Technology • ISSUE 50•20 • May 21, 2014


CAMBRIDGE, MA—Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime. “We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins, adding that researchers are also doing a lot of pretty amazing things with biomass these days. “Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.” At press time, representatives from the world’s leading economies had signaled that they would continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels until they had something more than an overwhelming scientific consensus to go on.


90% of TEPCO workers defied orders, fled Fukushima plant in 2011

90% of TEPCO workers defied orders, fled Fukushima plant in 2011
May 20, 2014

Almost all workers, including managers required to deal with accidents, defied orders and fled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at a critical juncture when the disaster was unfolding in March 2011, documents showed.

Amid fears that a reactor containment vessel had been destroyed, around 650, or 90 percent, of the approximately 720 workers at the plant left the premises despite being told to remain at the site by the plant’s manager, Masao Yoshida.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the No. 1 plant, has never mentioned the orders Yoshida issued on March 15, 2011, four days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdowns of three reactors. The company now says Yoshida’s orders were flexible, and that no breaches of company rules occurred.

Yoshida’s orders were revealed in a document covering exchanges when prosecutors on loan questioned him on behalf of the government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The Asahi Shimbun obtained a copy of the document...


What you don't seem to be able to accept is that people who are LIBERAL and NOT RACIST...


Got it?

You can set your Opinion as some sort of a gold standard for liberalism all you want but in the end you are nothing more than one more voice on DU.

When I look at the thread most of the drama I see is coming from a cliche of long term hosts who don't like to have "outsiders" get involved in the decision making in the hosts forum. This entire exercise has almost nothing to do with racism as it's little more than pique at a newcomer who dared go against the sacred wishes of people who have decided that they should make a career out of a voluntary hosting position.

If we really wanted to reduce this kind of bickering the best thing that could be done would be to limit member to one 90 day term per year as a host in the public forums. We have a lot of people on DU and more of their views should be getting an airing in the hosts forum.
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