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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 4,945

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Astronomy Picture of the Day



Lose wind farm or lose my hotel, warns Donald Trump

US TYCOON Donald Trump will warn the Scottish Parliament this week that his plans to build a luxury hotel alongside his Aberdeenshire golf course will be axed if ministers back a series of “insane” wind turbines nearby.

The billionaire property developer will appear at Holyrood on Wednesday to attack the Scottish Government’s renewable energy proposals, accusing Alex Salmond of “destroying” the country’s natural heritage.

His championship golf course, ten miles north of Aberdeen, is scheduled to open as planned in July, but the entrepreneur’s senior representative said additional plans for a major hotel and housing development could not “co-exist” with an offshore wind farm planned for the coastal waters nearby.

George Sorial, vice president of The Trump Organisation, said: “If there is an industrial power plant on the shore line, the concept of having a luxury hotel and resort is simply incompatible. The two can’t co-exist.”

Sorial’s comments throw fresh doubt on the 500-hectare development, along with the job hopes of the thousands of workers which the Trump Organisation claims will be needed to build the entire project.


Mitt v Mitt.com: The story of two men trapped in one body

Mitt Romney’s economics... Flip back please

The probable Republican nominee should stop pandering to the left on China and to the right on taxes

TO UNDERSTAND why Mitt Romney has triumphed over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, look no further than March’s disappointing job numbers. With growth fragile and petrol prices soaring, the economy is Barack Obama’s gaping weak spot, and Republican primary voters have backed the candidate best equipped to exploit it.

Yet it is very far from clear what they are getting. Blame that, in part, on a nominating contest that repeatedly veered into irrelevancies. But blame the candidate, too. In the past year Mr Romney’s views have metamorphosed worryingly as he has tried to protect his flank against a succession of conservative challengers. It is no exaggeration to say that there are now two Romneys when it comes to economics (see article).

The first Romney is the relatively pragmatic, businesslike figure who emerges from his 2010 book (“No Apology: The Case for American Greatness”, a tome which is mercifully cleverer than the title), his formal speeches and his campaign documents. This Romney offers several welcome alternatives to Mr Obama’s policies. He would compel regulators to pay closer attention to the costs they impose. He would take a modest step towards tackling America’s unsustainable entitlement programmes by raising the age at which the elderly can collect public-pension and health-care benefits. He would convert the federal contribution to Medicaid, the federal-state health programme for the poor, to a system of block grants.


The Natural Capital Declaration

A declaration by the financial sector demonstrating our commitment at the Rio+ 20 Earth Summit to work towards integrating Natural Capital considerations into our financial products and services for the 21st century

The Roadmap to a Green Economy

Twenty years ago the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro focused on the importance of the natural environment and the services it provides (collectively, Earth’s “Natural Capital”) in sustaining human existence. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of this great event, the international community looks to the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (also called “Rio +20”) to make headway on key issues including – the green economy and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

Today, we the undersigned financial institutions wish to acknowledge and re-affirm the importance of Natural Capital in maintaining a sustainable global economy. This declaration calls upon the private and public sectors to work together to create the conditions necessary to maintain and enhance Natural Capital as a critical economic, ecological and social asset. We present this declaration to the world community at Rio +20, as a private sector finance response to the conference theme of working towards a green economy’. This declaration has been developed based on an extensive consultation process with the financial community over the course of 2010 and 2011, including meetings in London, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Munich, Washington D.C. and São Paulo.


RIP: Facts (360 B.C.-A.D. 2012)

In memoriam: After years of health problems, Facts has finally died.

A quick review of the long and illustrious career of Facts reveals some of the world's most cherished absolutes: Gravity makes things fall down; 2 + 2 = 4; the sky is blue.

But for many, Facts' most memorable moments came in simple day-to-day realities, from a child's certainty of its mother's love to the comforting knowledge that a favorite television show would start promptly at 8 p.m.

Over the centuries, Facts became such a prevalent part of most people's lives that Irish philosopher Edmund Burke once said: "Facts are to the mind what food is to the body."

To the shock of most sentient beings, Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet. Though few expected Facts to pull out of its years-long downward spiral, the official cause of death was from injuries suffered last week when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West steadfastly declared that as many as 81 of his fellow members of theU.S. House of Representatives are communists.

Facts held on for several days after that assault — brought on without a scrap of evidence or reason — before expiring peacefully at its home in a high school physics book. Facts was 2,372.

"It's very depressing," said Mary Poovey, a professor of English at New York University and author of "A History of the Modern Fact." "I think the thing Americans ought to miss most about facts is the lack of agreement that there are facts. This means we will never reach consensus about anything. Tax policies, presidential candidates. We'll never agree on anything."


US foreclosure crisis creating nationwide problem

The US foreclosure crisis is creating an overwhelming problem of affects nationwide. At the very least of its problematic influence it destroys businesses, could force tens of families into near homelessness or poverty and breaks down the fabric of neighborhoods across the country.

And newly released info shows US mortgages are on the decline-- meaning less Americans are buying houses; considered to be one of the main engines driving the US economy. Members of recent concerned organizations such as Occupy and others are sounding the alarm over US economic troubles.

In Washington, DC’s downtown, groups of protesters held a standoff with security personnel outside of a hotel where members of the Mortgage Bankers Association were holding a convention. Protesters say part of the reason that foreclosures are on the rise and the economy is stagnant is because of intense lobbying for corporations that often ignore the little guy.

Protesters greeted members of the mortgage bankers association at the doors of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Their goal is to take a stand against corporate interests which they say is crippling America's economically disadvantaged. They also want to add enthusiasm to the Occupy movement in an election year.


How to calculate your carbon footprint

When you look at environmental issues on a large scale, they may seem impossible to tackle. It's a global matter that needs to be addressed by government, corporations and individuals alike.

One person, big impact

Yet, bit by bit, you contribute to air quality issues, waste build-up and water shortages every single day by driving, forgetting to recycle and taking long, hot showers. There are ways to reduce your greenhouse gas output, otherwise known as your carbon footprint, but first you have to know how big an impact you're making. Here's how to know just how deep of a footprint you provide.

Use a carbon footprint calculator

There are plenty of carbon footprint calculators available online, including nature.org, footprintnetwork.org, epa.gov and more. Any of these sites will ask detailed questions about your annual output, so be prepared by having a year's worth of power bills at hand. They will also ask you about your travel habits, from city bus to jet airliner. Try to answer to the best of your ability. While these calculators don't always provide a deeply accurate reading of your carbon footprint, you'll gather a general idea of how much CO2 you let into the atmosphere each year.





John McCain on Mitt Romney

Belief in Global Warming Changes with Room Temperature

Sitting in a warm room is apparently all it takes to change someone’s belief in global warming. “A hot conservative looks like a cold liberal,” as lead researcher Jane Risen states.

In a study done by Jane L. Risen of The University of Chicago and Clayton R. Critcher of The University of California Berkeley, it has been shown that room temperature has a large effect on belief in global warming.

The research was done to test the effects of visceral states, such as warmth and thirst, on belief in future environmental states, such as global warming and drought.

The researchers found that warmth influenced belief in global warming, even indoors, in a cubicle, when the temperature outdoors at the time was much cooler. The researchers also found that thirst impacted forecasts of future drought and desertification.

The research was done by testing the participants in a variety of different settings. The participants in the warm room “constructed more fluent mental representations of hot (vs. cold) outdoor temperatures, and those who were led to construe the same hot outdoor images more fluently believed more in global warming.”

“Together, the results suggest that visceral states can influence one’s beliefs by making matching states of the world easier to simulate and therefore seem more likely.”

This also matches up well with people changing their mind about global warming as the seasons change, and then people changing their minds the other way as the seasons change:


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