Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,821
Number of posts: 3,821
Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that
- 2015 (52)
- 2014 (220)
- 2013 (389)
- 2012 (168)
- 2011 (2)
- December (2)
- Older Archives
(emphases my own)
Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon - an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That's about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth's soils. In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface.
But, as scientists are learning, permafrost - and its stored carbon - may not be as permanent as its name implies. And that has them concerned.
"Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures - as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years," Miller said. "As heat from Earth's surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic's carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming."
Current climate models do not adequately account for the impact of climate change on permafrost and how its degradation may affect regional and global climate. Scientists want to know how much permafrost carbon may be vulnerable to release as Earth's climate warms, and how fast it may be released.
research published in Nature, April 15, 2015 points out that as microbes break down the organic material in thawed permafrost they generate more heat and will speed up the process of melting more permafrost - with greater release of carbon dioxide and methane.
Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.
Here's the whole paper: http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2590.epdf?referrer_access_token=aZJygArBfYYSiUzB60TqbNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0M-PY6I018KtzmgQoAY5EQbmH76TfMseb9NFOSHHqdzKJm_9NtSZ_chqLlF3XZh5tJmNTjj6z22l6mKbdk6TcbKG2bVCK8Mh6MSBH88MUG6-GF-t4HNRT-0fhBSSSyU5-NFba_qY5Je4QkMRiGCevx5_3nHpHSSE9FoPj6-fHdHse-1sAUlSHT1-CMf97IVH-BIUa1s4O5tJ61MxjPt1E4r&tracking_referrer=grist.org
GW is accelerating. I haven't been able to find an estimate for the GHG production for the permafrost and a prediction of how fast it is growing (they may not have enough data to make what scientists consider a reliable estimate yet). But it is definitely accelerating. At some point in the future, if efforts at combating GW continue at the current pace, the World-wide annual release of CO2 and methane will be greater than what we will be able to reduce GHG production per year. It could get to the point that even if we could cut GHG emissions to zero, the planet will continue to warm on its own. At that point, you could say we will have reached the point of no return. And that is why we don't have the luxury of taking 20 to 30 years to achieve modest reductions in GHG emissions. With accelerating production of GHG emissions, a given amount of GHG reductions achieved sooner will have a greater impact than that same amount of GHG reductions achieved later.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu May 7, 2015, 06:45 PM (6 replies)
After Forming Clinton Cash "Exclusives," NY Times, Washington Post Fail To Report On Book's Errors
Ever since Peter Schweizer's new attack book Clinton Cash was touted as the must-read tome of the campaign season, a growing number of media organizations, including Politico, BuzzFeed, ABC News, FactCheck.org, and Time, have detailed factual shortcomings in the book. (Media Matters has, too.) Noticeably absent from that fact-checking procession has been The New York Times and the Washington Post, the two newspapers that entered into exclusive editorial agreements with Clinton Cash's publisher.
The Times' and Post's seeming lack of interest in detailing the book's long list of misstatements certainly raises questions about whether the papers' exclusive pacts made the dailies reluctant to highlight Clinton Cash's obvious shortcomings.
After all, if those other media organizations can find the Clinton Cash errors, why can't the Times and the Post? And even if Times and Post reporters can't spot the misinformation, why aren't they at least writing about the key revelations that others are uncovering? Recall that it was the Times that trumpeted Clinton Cash as the "the most anticipated and feared book" of the campaign season. If it's so important, why isn't the Times documenting the crucial errors found between the Clinton Cash covers?
By entering into exclusive agreements, both the Times and the Post used Clinton Cash as the basis for larger investigative articles that raised questions about the Clintons' finances.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue May 5, 2015, 06:17 PM (7 replies)
Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor since 2001, was named chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board on Monday. Under Gigot, the Journal editorial page has had several ethical lapses and has been a regular source of misinformation on climate science, health care, the Iraq War, and a host of other issues.
Pulitzer administrator Mike Pride told Media Matters a new board chair is chosen annually and the board member or members who have served nine years of their 10-year term normally get the post.
Gigot, who is going into his 10th and final year on the board, was the only member in that position this year, Pride said.
"It is really relatively automatic and nine years on the board give you a greater understanding in the way things work."
Pride, a former board member from 1999 to 2008, left in April 2008 after one year as co-chair with Joann Byrd. He is also the former editor of Concord Monitor. Pride became board administrator in September 2014.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue May 5, 2015, 06:06 PM (5 replies)
Ultra-High Efficiency Methanol Engines w Advncd Exhaust Energy Recovry: 50% Efficiency gain over ICE
... using gasoline only.
Presentation by Leslie Bromberg, Kevin Cedrone, Daniel R. Cohn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the
20th International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels (ISAF), March 26, 2013
... if reducing our GHG emissions from light transportation was a real priority - and if the the Oil industry would allow it .. this is what we would be investing in to reduce GHG emissions from cars and trucks the quickest cheapest way possible. But, what the hell, we've got all kinds of time to reduce our GHG emissions.
They reported on an engine design with direct injection and onboard reforming of methanol yielding up 50% efficiency gains over PFI ICE. Marginal cost of $1,500 to $2,500. Annual savings $600 to $1,000 from efficiency gain alone (without considering cost savings on alcohol fuel vs gasoline)
–Most efficient, economical liquid fuel to produce from coal and natural gas
–Physical and chemical properties enable ultra-high efficiency engines
• Up to 50% higher efficiency than standard gasoline engine in cars
• 20 - 25% higher efficiency than diesel engine in trucks
–Can be made from natural gas and coal
–Provides similar but lower production and efficiency advantages
–Accepted in US, distribution infrastructure already exists
Ethanol, methanol are liquid fuels produced from biomass/waste most efficiently (or could be made from natural gas and still reduce GHG production vs straight gasoline use_Bill_USA)
Reformer Enhanced Alcohol Engines
Internal Combustion Engine
Due to high RON and evaporative properties, alcohol fuels facilitate higher engine efficiency
• Higher compression ratio
• Downsize, turbocharge, direct injection
• Heavy EGR/lean + H2-rich reformate gas
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC)
Alcohol fuels as ORC working fluid, 2 options:
• No-condenser option
• Fuel injected after turbine
• No-condenser, no-turbine option
• Fuel reformed to H2-rich gas, injected to engine, no turbine
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Apr 28, 2015, 06:42 PM (18 replies)
Posted by Bill USA | Sun Apr 26, 2015, 04:35 PM (5 replies)
"For better or worse, it looks like many hybrid and EV owners are driven more by financial motives rather than a responsibility to the environment," says Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "Three years ago, when gas was at near-record highs, it was a lot easier to rationalize the price premiums on alternative fuel vehicles. But with today's gas prices as low as they are, the math just doesn't make a very compelling case."
Sales of the Nissan Leaf, the best -selling EV in the U.S., are down 27.2% the first quarter this year in a new-vehicle market up 5.6%, says Autodata.
Toyota's Prius gas-electric hybrid is down 7.7%; the plug-in version, fell 61.4%, Autodata says.
Overall, only 45% of this year's hybrid and EV trade-ins have involved the purchase of another alternative-power vehicle, Edmunds data show. That's down from slightly more than 60% in 2012 and is the first time the rate has fallen below 50%.
Hybrid cars, March 2015 dashboard
This is why we should have massively increased methanol production, add that to ethanol, which is pretty close to it's limit without affecting crop prices, and required auto manufacturers to sell FFVs that can handle methanol+ethanol gasoline blends AND take full advantage of the octane boost with alcohol and get better mpg than on gasoline. This would just about double the GHG reduction EPA states for ethanol (using the 10th percentile for ethanol instead of the representative 50th (median)). THis is the most effective and practical way to make the quickest reduction in GHG production from cars and trucks. But, alas, it ain't as 'sexy' as higher tech solutions which, being more costly, will always suffer when oil prices slump.
..Let the rage begin....
What me worry?
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 07:42 PM (24 replies)
That Old-Time Economics
I’ve been revisiting economic policy debates since 2008, and what stands out from around 2010 onward is the huge divergence in thinking that emerged between the United States and Europe. In America, the White House and the Federal Reserve mainly stayed faithful to standard Keynesian economics. The Obama administration wasted a lot of time and effort pursuing a so-called Grand Bargain on the budget, but it continued to believe in the textbook proposition that deficit spending is actually a good thing in a depressed economy. Meanwhile, the Fed ignored ominous warnings that it was “debasing the dollar,” sticking with the view that its low-interest-rate policies wouldn’t cause inflation as long as unemployment remained high.
In Europe, by contrast, policy makers were ready and eager to throw textbook economics out the window in favor of new approaches. The European Commission, headquartered here in Brussels, eagerly seized upon supposed evidence for “expansionary austerity,” rejecting the conventional case for deficit spending in favor of the claim that slashing spending in a depressed economy actually creates jobs, because it boosts confidence. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank took inflation warnings to heart and raised interest rates in 2011 even though unemployment was still very high.
But while European policy makers may have imagined that they were showing a praiseworthy openness to new economic ideas, the economists they chose to listen to were those telling them what they wanted to hear. They sought justifications for the harsh policies they were determined, for political and ideological reasons, to impose on debtor nations; they lionized economists, like Harvard’s Alberto Alesina, Carmen Reinhart, and Kenneth Rogoff, who seemed to offer that justification. As it turned out, however, all that exciting new research was deeply flawed, one way or another.
And while new ideas were crashing and burning, that old-time economics was going from strength to strength. Some readers may recall that there was much scoffing at predictions from Keynesian economists, myself included, that interest rates would stay low despite huge budget deficits; that inflation would remain subdued despite huge bond purchases by the Fed; that sharp cuts in government spending, far from unleashing a confidence-driven boom in private spending, would cause private spending to fall further. But all these predictions came true.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:45 PM (2 replies)
It has been over two years since the Occupy Movement was brutally destroyed by a coordinated national effort led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Since that time, much documentation has been released under the Freedom of Information Act. Even though they are heavily redacted, these documents provide a frightening window into how far corporate America along with the federal, state, and local governments acting as their agents were willing to go to destroy a populist social movement like Occupy.
Despite all the documentation we have, there are still many out there who are in denial about these facts. After reading some recent comments that misrepresent what happened to the Occupy Movement, I decided to review how Occupy was so brutally squelched by Wall Street and corporate America using government forces as their agents acting upon their behalf.
Terrorism. The word alone can bring about unwarranted fear in otherwise normal people. The images of the twin towers of the World trade Center were deeply etched into the American psyche and created a climate of intense fear which provided the rationale for the current "war on terror." But what is terrorism and how is a terrorist organization defined? Let's start with Merriam Webster's dictionary which defines terrorism as thus:
the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal
This definition seems fairly straight forward. But then if we look at the FBI's definition of terrorism, the definition of terrorism becomes more muddied. There are multiple definitions of terrorism, but for this diary we are looking at the definition of domestic terrorism. The FBI's own definition requires a three part test and yet the Occupy Movement was branded as a terrorist threat before the first tent was placed in Zuccotti Park. Let's examine just how FBI's open ended interpretation of their own definition of terrorism was and can be selectively used to squelch public dissent such as was the case with the Occupy Movement..
"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
- Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
- Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
-Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Apr 14, 2015, 07:22 PM (34 replies)
IMF Director bemoans Worldwide slow growth, offers suggestions, ignores biggest reason 4 slow growth
The head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday that global growth remains "moderate and uneven" and that's "just not good enough" to erase the scars of the Great Recession.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, speaking ahead of next week's IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C., proposed steps governments can take to reduce debt, reform product and labor markets, and promote more cooperation among countries.
Lagarde's speech comes two days after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that slow global economic growth threatened the World Bank's goal of nearly wiping out extreme world poverty by 2030.
Bettering the world economy will be discussed more at next week's IMF-World Bank meetings that will be attended by central bank governors and finance ministers from 188 countries.
The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5bn. That should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers
The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion – or half the world's entire population – put together. This is the stark headline of a report from Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos. Is there a reason why the world's powerful, gathering at the exclusive resort to sip cognac and eat blinis, should care? Well, yes.
If one subscribes to the charitable view that neoliberal philosophy was simply naive or misguided in thinking that "trickle down" would work infinitely, then evidence that it doesn't, should be cause for concern. It is a fundamental building block of supply-side economic theory – the tool of choice these past few decades for those in charge to make adjustments. The realisation that governments have been pulling at economic levers which, for some time, have been attached to nothing, should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers.
Even if one subscribes to the cynical view that the elite knew what they were doing all along, observing that the "rising tide" is lifting fewer and fewer boats and leaving more and more to rot in the sediment – both at a personal and national level – must make most wonder "am I in the right boat and is it big enough?" Concentration is rampant. Credit Suisse estimates that the world will have 11 trillionaires within two generations.
It is not so much that the supply-side principle "if you build it, they will come" is no longer true. It is more that we appear to have passed a tipping point, where so much wealth has been concentrated at the top, they no longer need bother to "build" anything. In short, it has become more economically efficient to buy countries' economic policy than to create value in order to sell it on. If one can control government to favour the richest, while raising barriers for new entrants, thus increasing their share of the pie exponentially, what is the incentive to grow the pie?
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Apr 13, 2015, 07:14 PM (2 replies)
The GOP attacks on Hillary Clinton's family foundation are bogus and bizarre
illary Clinton has been in the national eye for almost a quarter of a century. Over that time, seemingly every aspect of Clintonland has been picked over by the national media and the Clintons' conservative opponents. So it's understandable that as Clinton embarks on a second run for president, the Republicans who hope to defeat her next year are looking for some fresh material.
The recent email kerfuffle — as secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address hosted on a server located at her New York residence, an unusual arrangement to be sure — seems to be fertile ground (though perhaps slightly less fecund if you are/were a governor who doesn't want to release all of your own official emails). There has also been a flurry of criticism over the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of funds from a handful of foreign governments when Clinton was secretary of State and married to the foundation's founder. There were more donations from foreign governments after Clinton resigned from the Obama administration and joined the newly branded Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Foundation funding was the line of attack pursued by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday. "Hillary Clinton has taken money from countries that rape victims are publicly lashed," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "I would expect Hillary Clinton, if she believes in women's rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia. Instead, she's accepting tens of millions of dollars." Paul went on to call that "a grand hypocrisy."
Paul isn't the first Republican to criticize Clinton for serving on the board (until Sunday) of a family charity that accepted millions of dollars from countries with poor records on women's rights — though most Republicans haven't gone so far as to call for "voluntarily boycotting" America's closest Arab ally. Carly Fiorina, the HP CEO turned Republican politician, made a similar point at CPAC, and the Republican National Committee released a video criticizing the Clinton Foundation's donations from foreign governments.
The Clinton Foundation has $226 million in assets, and it uses them on an array of health, economic development, and women's issues around the world. It has to get that money from somewhere, and as Hillary Clinton pointed out recently, if the Saudis, UAE, and other countries with poor women's rights records are directly or indirectly bankrolling programs aimed at empowering women and girls, that's their choice: "I think that people who want to support the foundation know full well what it is we stand for and what we're working on," Clinton says.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Apr 13, 2015, 05:27 PM (0 replies)