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Member since: Tue Nov 16, 2004, 12:43 AM
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The Realities of Sea-Level Rise in Miami's Low-Income Communities

MIAMI—The water rose quickly. At noon on a brilliantly sunny day here, several blocks from the beach, a lake of salt water suddenly appeared in the street, filtered up from the porous limestone that resides underneath the whole county of Miami-Dade. On the corner of 79th Street and 10th Avenue in the Shorecrest neighborhood, people wandered outside their apartment buildings to stare at the rising water, sloshing through in rain boots to take out their trash.

“It’s been like this for a few days now, rising and then receding and then rising again,” says Jessica Benitez, a resident who moved to Miami from her native Venezuela about a month and a half ago. She says she didn’t know these apartments would flood before she moved into them, and she still doesn’t know how to predict when the water is going to rise. She got home from the store a few days ago to find her street completely flooded, and she tied plastic bags around her feet to get to her door. “[The city] has never told us anything. The water just sits there. It’s like there are no drains, and I don’t understand why,” she says.

She’s not the only one who feels that way. This is just one neighborhood of many in Miami-Dade dealing with the effects of Florida’s King Tide last week, the highest tide of the year. Coastal neighborhoods are hardest hit, but the flooding also reaches farther inland, to less affluent communities. It’s here where the consequences of climate change and sea-level rise could in fact be most grave, says Nicole Hernandez Hammer, a climate researcher with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Middle- and low-income households tend to be less resilient to shocks such as flooding, and they also run the highest risk of being forgotten in the rush to save the millions of dollars in real-estate investments on the waterfront.

“It’s getting worse. When you visit places that weren’t flooding 30 years ago, they’re flooding now,” says Hammer. Today, the Miami area experiences about six of these sunny-day flooding events per year. But the Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2045, they’ll be happening 380 times per year. “That’s two times per day in some areas,” she says.


It is interesting that these places did not flood when they were building them. But there is no real sea level rise, or it is only a few fractions on and inch....

Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

October 12, 2016
Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol
ORNL's Yang Song (seated), Dale Hensley (standing left) and Adam Rondinone examine a carbon nanospike sample with a scanning electron microscope. Credit: ORNL

In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous.

"We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked," said ORNL's Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team's study published in ChemistrySelect. "We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own."

The team used a catalyst made of carbon, copper and nitrogen and applied voltage to trigger a complicated chemical reaction that essentially reverses the combustion process. With the help of the nanotechnology-based catalyst which contains multiple reaction sites, the solution of carbon dioxide dissolved in water turned into ethanol with a yield of 63 percent. Typically, this type of electrochemical reaction results in a mix of several different products in small amounts.

"We're taking carbon dioxide, a waste product of combustion, and we're pushing that combustion reaction backwards with very high selectivity to a useful fuel," Rondinone said. "Ethanol was a surprise—it's extremely difficult to go straight from carbon dioxide to ethanol with a single catalyst."


This could be a very big deal. First the CO2 levels are off the charts literally, and may kill us all in 20 to 100 years. Ethanol is very useful directly as a fuel, but there are also fuel cells (DEFC) that can convert ethanol directly into electricity. We had some of these in the Fuel cell college class I taught, and we even used some "Moonshine" (bottled locally) to run them. Making something useful (and valuable) is the best chance at making some sort of stab at reducing CO2 levels.

Early Voting Started today in Ohio! I have finished voting.

Straight ticket, Blue all the way.

Go Hillary!. Can't wait for the Rump supporters to choke on it:

"Madam President of the United States: Hillary Clinton"

Fuel cells help drive Ohio's innovation economy - Congress can keep it that way:

Fuel cells have long been viewed as a breakthrough technology for transportation and stationary power, offering unprecedented efficiency, ultralow emissions and the potential to use current fuels as well as renewable fuels.

Recognizing fuel cells' potential to expand manufacturing, the state of Ohio planted the seeds to allow a new dynamic industry to flourish in the state.

In the early 2000s, for instance, Ohio's Fuel Cell Program, under the broader Third Frontier program, offered millions of dollars for low-interest loans, research and development, and worker training. Another one of those seeds was the creation of the Elyria-based Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, which has received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and sparked further growth.

The fuel cell industry now includes a broad network of supply chain participants, several fuel cell integrators, and researchers developing breakthrough technologies spread throughout dozens of our cities.

This strong base and dedicated support from the state has prompted leading innovative companies, such as LG Fuel Cell Systems (in North Canton) and Johnson Matthey ex-Catacel (in Ravenna), to choose Ohio to invest and expand. (continued at link)


63% more people voted as Republicans than Democrats in the Ohio Primary.

I am not sure what this means for the general election, but it does not instill confidence.

This article talks about how many people crossed over and voted on the cross party ballot which is allowed in Ohio. More registered Democrats requested and voted on Republican specific ballots than vice-versa. But the bigger issue I see is how many more Republicans came out to vote. This is a Kasich vs Trump state, but if anything like this turnout happens in November, we will get trounced in Ohio.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released statewide data this week revealing how many Ohioans switched political party affiliation in the most recent election. County data was also released.

Because Ohio has open primary elections, voters do not register with a political party, but are instead affiliated with a political party by casting a ballot in a partisan primary election. Voters can select any party ballot they choose during primary elections. Voters also have the option of remaining unaffiliated by casting an “issues only” ballot.


Statewide, a total of 1,197,725 voters cast a ballot in the Democratic primary election, 34,867 of whom were previously affiliated with the Republican Party, representing just 2.9 percent of all Democratic ballots cast. In contrast, 1,952,684 voters cast ballots in the Republican Primary, 115,762 of whom were previously affiliated with the Democratic Party, representing 5.9 percent of the total Republican votes cast.


Nuclear costs in uncharted territory

If you want a job for life, go into the nuclear industry – not building power plants, but taking them down and making them safe, along with highly-radioactive spent fuel and other hazardous waste involved.

The market for decommissioning nuclear sites is unbelievably large. Sixteen nations in Europe alone face a €253 billion waste bill, and the continent has only just begun to tackle the problem.

Among the many difficulties the industry faces is lack of trained people to do the highly-paid work. Anyone who enters the business is likely to be sought after for the rest of their career because the job of decommissioning Europe’s nuclear sites alone will take more than 100 years – even if no new nuclear power stations are ever built.

Add to the European nuclear legacy the dozens of old nuclear power stations in North America, Japan, Russia and central Asia, and nuclear decommissioning could already be classed as one of the biggest industries in the world, and it can only grow.

And this does not count the millions of dollars still being spent annually to contain the damage from the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986, and Fukushima, Japan, in 2011.


"In total, there are 200 reactors worldwide due to be shut down by 2025."

I wonder if these costs are included the the "RoEI" for these plants?

Naked And Armed: Newark (OH) Homeowner Thwarts Christmas Burglary

NEWARK, Ohio - A Newark man may have saved Christmas and a whole lot more for his family Thursday morning.

The giant piles of gifts, nearly overwhelming the Klein Christmas tree, make it obvious, this isn't a small family.
“We have six children and two grandchildren, so lots of kids, lots of presents,” Jason Klein said.
Those presents may have inspired a crime. And the thought of all those kids thwarted it.
Klein said he was lying in bed when a noise jolted him away just before 4 a.m.
just saw somebody quickly dart that way,” Klein said. “The first thing I thought about was protecting my family.”
Klein acted without thinking. He grabbed the gun he keeps above his bed with his heart pounding and opened up his sliding door.
“When I first got his attention, he came at me, came at the door and said ‘you ain’t gonna shoot me’ and that's when I said ‘I will shoot you’ and I put the sight right on his head,” Klein said.
Klein thinks the man was trying to roll the fire pit to the window to boost himself up to the window.
“I was standing there wearing nothing but my .40 caliber,” Klein said.
Klein didn't take the time to put on clothes before jumping into action........

Licking County Sheriff's deputies arrested the man. He is currently in jail.


Island in the North of UK which is fully powered from renewables

Island in the North of UK which is fully powered from renewable. Very good video.

Orkney – Island of the Future | Fully Charged

In the latest episode of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn presents Orkney, an archipelago in northern Scotland.

Orkney is full of renewable energy sources that not only cover all the needs of over 20,000 residents, but also enables it to export energy.

In many cases, Orkney reminds us Norway, which has almost 100% renewable electricity and exports it too.

Orkney has a tremendous number of wind turbines, suplemented by energy storage systems, heat pumps, some hydropower concepts and even solar.

It would be smart to use EVs in such an environment, of course. The number of electric cars in the area increased from around 9 in 2013 to 60 in May 2015, which means that there is still a lot to do.

One of the presented wind turbine generates 11 MWh a day, which would be enough for hundreds of full charges for cars.


AP: Sea rise threatens Florida coast, but no statewide plan

St. Augustine is one of many chronically flooded communities along Florida's 1,200-mile coastline, and officials in these diverse places share a common concern: They're afraid their buildings and economies will be further inundated by rising seas in just a couple of decades. The effects are a daily reality in much of Florida. Drinking water wells are fouled by seawater. Higher tides and storm surges make for more frequent road flooding from Jacksonville to Key West, and they're overburdening aging flood-control systems.

But the state has yet to offer a clear plan or coordination to address what local officials across Florida's coast see as a slow-moving emergency. Republican Gov. Rick Scott is skeptical of man-made climate change and has put aside the task of preparing for sea level rise, an Associated Press review of thousands of emails and documents pertaining to the state's preparations for rising seas found.

Despite warnings from water experts and climate scientists about risks to cities and drinking water, skepticism over sea level projections and climate change science has hampered planning efforts at all levels of government, the records showed. Florida's environmental agencies under Scott have been downsized and retooled, making them less effective at coordinating sea level rise planning in the state, the documents showed.

"If I were governor, I'd be out there talking about it (sea level rise) every day," said Eric Buermann, the former general counsel to the Republican Party of Florida who also served as a water district governing board member. "I think he's really got to grab ahold of this, set a vision, a long-term vision, and rally the people behind it. Unless you're going to build a sea wall around South Florida, what's the plan?"

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