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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 01:22 pm:   

The Global Warming People Paradigm.

There appears almost universal agreement amongst climatologists that global warming is a fact. In this BBC article, Humans blamed for climate change, there is also a near universal acceptance that humans are the cause, especially due to our burning of fossil fuels in the spreading technological advances around the globe, from automobiles to industry. In effect, we humans are now so productive that we actually effect a climate change on the planet. This is both daunting and unprecedented, while at the same time it offers hope, that what we have done we can also undo. That is the new paradigm in climate science, to not only study climate change due to higher worldwide temperatures, but how to stem it, and eventually reverse it.

Global Warming according to Wiki says:
"Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. Models referenced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that global temperatures are likely to increase by 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) between 1990 and 2100.[1] The uncertainty in this range results from both the difficulty of predicting the amount of future greenhouse gas emissions and uncertainties regarding climate sensitivity."
It is likely to increase throughout the century, if current trends persist. Most obvious manifestation of this is glacial ice retreat, along with shrinking polar ice cap. In addition, shrinkage of the ozone layer over both polar regions, as well as increased desertification of low rainfall regions, seem to threaten Earth's ecological balances as well. Migratory patterns for birds, marine animals, are now at risk; arctic polar bears may face extinction if the ice does not form in time to allow them to reach their hunting ice. Agricultural production may suffer and fail, adding strain to already strained human population migrations from poorer countries to richer ones. In effect, the consequences of global warming are a hot issue politically, as well as scientifically, and thus debated. Arguments over the uncertainties of why this is happening, on the exact nature of climate change, as well as political uncertainties of their effects, are now a real concern.

In addition to the science behind global warming, the increase emissions of green house gases, such as CO2, carbon dioxide, methane, CH4, and water and ozone into the atmosphere, there is also a question of who is causing this growth of activity that generates these gases. One perspective is voiced in this BBC, 'Rampant' society upsets natural order, where the author offers a more theocratic point of view, listing the usual known ills: technological exploitation of resources, rampant consumerism, an artificial global civilization, singular pursuit of profit in our financial systems, banks creating 'wealth' out of nothing, etc. However, he does not mention the central problem to global warming: more people. Demographics are driving industrialization in much of the developing world, especially in India and China, all of southeastern Asia, while it lags behind in Africa which remains largely rural, or western Asia. Europe and America, even parts of South America and Russia, are also behind the emissions of global warming, especially in the Amazonas where large tracts of forest burn. In the Siberian tundra, large sections of permafrost are warming to release methane, though not directly a human caused event, but with potentially dire consequences as these methane gases accelerate the green house effect. But what really drives global warming is population demographics, where today's 6.3 billion people, estimated to reach anywhere from 9 to 12 billion by century end, is central to the problem. It is not mere technology that is at fault, but the human need to improve their lives by using technology, most of it driven by burning fossil fuels either directly, as in our engines, or indirectly, as in generating electricity and manufacturing, so as these needs grow, especially in developing nations, the emission rates grow with them. The Kyoto Agreement is only one possible solution, but it cannot stem the tides of human growth, that there will be more people on the planet demanding a better life for themselves.

In the Western world, demographics show a slowing trend in population growth, Demographics of Europe, where lifestyles and education have given families the leisure to not to have to produce so many children. In some European countries, such as Italy or Germany, the family reproduction rates have dropped below population replacement, not counting influx of foreign immigrants, so that their populations may drop as much as 20% by mid century. The same is experienced in Japan, where immigration is severely restricted. The much feared Malthusian Population Bomb may not be the future as now envisioned. Rather, its growth may become progressively constrained as the quality of life improves for many now sub-standard societies, mainly agricultural and technologically backwards societies. There is still a very high population growth per family in very poor countries, such as Africa or the Islamic countries of the Middle East and North Africa, but the trend is already slowing or reversing in China and India; some believe there is even evidence of demographic change to smaller families in traditionally Islamic countries where high per family production of children is the norm, as women become better educated and more productive in their personal lives. Same as happened in Italy and Ireland, both traditional Catholic countries where large families were the norm, a similar trend may begin to affect African, Middle East, and South American families, where smaller families are more desirable to large families. Even Albania, a very poor country, went from 5.1 births per family in 1970, to 2.1 births in 1999, though still above Europe's average of about 1.5 births; these are substantially lower than most Islamic societies where births are 4-5 births per family, where some children will go to bed hungry. If less children are needed to tend the goats, or gather firewood, and instead needed to go to school, having more and more children does not make sense. Condoms come into play, or other forms of restrictions on human reproductivity, so fewer children born enjoy hopefully a better quality of life. This is a normal trend, and traditional theocratic pressures not withstanding, people universally will try to better themselves, given the chance, one family at a time.

So if the paradigm of increasing human activity, both industrial and consumeristic, is behind the increasing global temperatures, causing glaciers to melt and slide into the sea, or drying up of Alpine ski slopes, or drifting sands covering more of the Sahara grasslands, then the first solution to global warming is a demographic one. The paradigm is we need less people. The skewed demographics of world populations need to be addressed, if other problems of economic development are to engage in any meaningful curtailment of green house gases. As this World Population Data Sheet explains (2003 report):
"The population of western Asia is projected to more than double by 2050, going from 204 million to 418 million. Iraq's war-scarred population, for example, is expected to rise from 24.2 million to 60.5 million by mid-century. Yemen's population will jump from 19.4 million today to 71.1 million by 2050, becoming more populous than France or the United Kingdom are today or will be in 2050. And the Palestine Territory's high rate of natural increase will make the area more populous than Israel by 2050."
Is this not where lies the problem, of too many people without education and resources to make themselves a better life? War seems to be a natural by-product in these regions mentioned, combined with self destructive religious zealotry, to make life more intolerable for those yet unborn. Is it any wonder there is such a migration push out of those regions into the more successful societies of the West, where the birth rates have dropped in response to better economies and living conditions? No, the problem of global warming is first of all a demographic one, and only second is it from industrial pollution and economic success.

All these problems are tied together: global warming, demographic population growth, health and sanitation, educational opportunities, working economic systems to offer a viable livelihood, improved and less wasteful technologies, massive immigrations from poor countries, and wars. It all works together in the global warming paradigm. To focus on Kyoto and green house emissions without first addressing the demographic and economic development problems is the reverse of what should be addressed in this issue. We must first tackle population growth, and with it educational and economic capability, in order to secure a family life style that naturally limits population growth, especially in the poorer disadvantaged countries, if any limiting of green houses is to have lasting effect. The world will grow warmer with more people, there is no doubt. Even methane gas will grow with more domestic animal populations, as well as people. But the real problem is that more people without a better life opportunity will only beget more people, so the problem becomes impossible to contain. Global warming is a symptom of a deeper problem, that we have too many people reproducing in societies were the benefits of smaller families have not yet penetrated. Until that is addressed, we do not have a Kyoto Protocol, because itself it is impotent to stop global warming.

Scientists will continue to debate what is the science behind higher global temperatures, both in the atmosphere and in the oceans. There is some evidence solar activity also contributes. For example, over the past few years the Martian ice caps had been smaller than earlier observed, and they melt faster. We on Earth have no impact on Mars, so though we generate large amounts of pollution and gases on our world, including more particulates that actually block out the Sun's rays from further warming the planet, we may not be the only source of global warming. But this is a scientific debate problem, one which better and further research needs to resolve. On a social scale, we need to address our world population demographics, because as it stands now, we are on a Malthusian collision course with climate change that may bring our populations down, ultimately, in a very uncomfortable manner. There had been a study done decades ago by Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, that said Earth can reasonably sustain a world population of some 2 billion people to feed itself without damaging our ecological environment. Perhaps this number is too low, but at over 6 billion and rising to over 9 billion people, we got a problem that needs to be addressed.

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 - 01:37 pm:   

Environmental awareness in Mexico is refreshing news. Thanks to Cinzia, for bringing it to our attention.

Mexico vows to protect monarch butterfly
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070225/sc_nm/mexico_butterfly_dc

2007_02_24t212422_450x304_us_mexico_butterfly.jpg

quote:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico will enforce a "zero tolerance" policy against logging that threatens to wipe out the monarch butterfly and will act to stop a rare and ancient oasis from drying up, President Felipe Calderon said on Saturday.


I hope they will be successful in this, for our planet, as well as for the people of Mexico.

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 12:57 pm:   

How good is the science on Global Warming?

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm

Here is a scientist who questions its validity, that we are being railroaded into a political climate of fear:

quote:

I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.


If good science is not behind explaining this evident phenomenon of global warming, then how well can we understand it, and act proactively to counter its effects on our civilization? Politics cannot dictate science, anymore than the truth can be gained by a vote. Real science needs to come forth on this, or it becomes political nonsense. Is there global warming? Yes, the empirical data says there is. Is it due to human production of CO2 and green house gases? Probably, some of it. Can it also be from other natural causes, even solar causes? Probably, but our scientists have not found this out, yet.

[More questions follow: Quiet sun puts Europe on ice, where the Sun may be more responsible to Climate Change than human activity, though both are active.]

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 11:17 pm:   

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=812BFA6D29AA3C52E84258E9 C2AB3D59
===
But countries such as Germany, Austria, Ireland and Italy, which have either eschewed or voted to phase out nuclear power, oppose any EU endorsement of an industry they see as posing unsolved problems of safety, waste disposal and storage.
===

By accident we have modified the field of nuclear energy to be one of safety, producing no waste at all.

http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/88/194.html?1173327058#POST3412
===
From the above we infer that the nuclear power plant does not lose uranium-235 in operation but converts the uranium-238 to plutonium-239 which is bomb material. Of course plutonium-239 could as well be used as nuclear fuel.

What happens if the Bushehr plant’s nuclear fuel rods are not reprocessed? The core has 3.5% of useful material at the start. There are 103,000 kg of fuel with 3,605 kg of U-235 and 99,395 kg of U-238. In one year 250 kg of U-238 becomes Pu-239. Ignoring second order effects, in 14 years and 5 months this reactor would have produced 3,605 kg of Pu-239. Now the concentration is 7.0%. We retrieve the fuel rods and make two fuel rods from one by adding U-238 of equal weight. That is, by sealing the Bushehr reactor for 14 years and 5 months, we create one more Bushehr reactor at the end of 14 years and 5 months. We need not extract the Pu-239 but just dilute the same with more U-238.

We can have enough energy and no bombs by doubling nuclear power every 15 years. Further we could convert 50 nuclear bombs to one Bushehr power plant by diluting the bomb material.

Do we seek a memorandum to eliminate all Pu-239 extraction plants and create dilution plants?
===

Can we operate a power plant from which the fuel rods had been removed periodically, and the Pu-239 extracted and re-inserted with the remaining uranium only allowing the Pu-239 to accumulate inside the reactor? Would that not result in a melt down as the nuclear fuel is getting stronger? The answer is no. There is absolutely no risk. A nuclear power plant is designed such that it could be shut down for any period of time. In that shut down condition the U-235 does not stop radio activity. It continues to emit neutrons. However these neutrons are absorbed before initiating any further reaction. This process continues even if there is additional Pu-239 to supply some more neurons. So there is absolutely no risk in operating the current designs of nuclear power plants as though they are sealed power plants for 14 years and 5 months.

After the concentration has become 7% instead of the original 3.5% we simply add additional uranium which is predominantly U-238 and mix them and produce two fuel rods with concentration of 3.5% each. There is no nuclear waste. Since there is no waste there is no issue of waste disposal either.

The current nuclear plants are dual purpose plants. Their primary purpose is production of Pu-239. An unavoidable secondary purpose is power generation. We suggest that the production of Pu-239 be abandoned and the primary and indeed the only purpose of a nuclear power plant should be production of power only. There is no issue of safety, waste or waste disposal.

Currently we are worried about greenhouse gases. Let us not forget that a nuclear power plant emits no gas whatsoever.

Shall we hope that countries such as Germany, Austria, Ireland, and Italy would revise their stand and exploit clean and safe nuclear power?
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 10:38 am:   

http://euobserver.com/9/23665
===
"At the G8 meeting in June we can say to the world 'Europe is taking the lead. You should join us'," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said.
===

We dedicate our efforts to help EU succeed in this endeavor. In that light we comment on the following after the quote from the same link:
===
EU haggling went on until the last minute on Friday, with Austria resisting then accepting French proposals that nuclear should be on a political par wind or solar power and should somehow count toward meeting renewables and CO2 goals.
===

We have already shown - refer our prior posts - that nuclear energy devoid of Pu-239 extraction is safe, clean, and virtually unlimited. We recommend that nuclear energy be the preferred mode among nuclear, wind and solar. This is because both wind and solar plants require above the surface structures which are vulnerable to the emerging climate replete with tornadoes and storms. In contrast, a nuclear power plant could well be built beneath the surface freeing us from the vagaries of violent weather.

With respect to earth quakes, all have the same degree of susceptibility. So we recommend that we move with building of nuclear power plants - underground ones - with full speed.

We would like to add that exposure of less 7% concentrated nuclear fuel due to earthquake is less damaging than the exposure of bomb concentration Pu-239 due to earthquakes and thus the motivation to convert the nuclear bombs to nuclear power plants should be encouraged. We expect that the mop up of 7% concentrated nuclear fuel would be much safer compared to the mop up of 99% concentrated Pu-239. We have added this comment so that some do not object to below-surface nuclear power plants sighting the earthquake risk.
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Ivan
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 11:16 pm:   

Can we 'burn' plutonium in our nuclear reactors, cleanly and safely, without creating weapons potential materials?

Good question.

In Mohideen's post on sealing Bushehr reactor in Iran, he says:

quote:

What happens if the Bushehr plant’s nuclear fuel rods are not reprocessed? The core has 3.5% of useful material at the start. There are 103,000 kg of fuel with 3,605 kg of U-235 and 99,395 kg of U-238. In one year 250 kg of U-238 becomes Pu-239. Ignoring second order effects, in 14 years and 5 months this reactor would have produced 3,605 kg of Pu-239. Now the concentration is 7.0%. We retrieve the fuel rods and make two fuel rods from one by adding U-238 of equal weight. That is, by sealing the Bushehr reactor for 14 years and 5 months, we create one more Bushehr reactor at the end of 14 years and 5 months. We need not extract the Pu-239 but just dilute the same with more U-238.

We can have enough energy and no bombs by doubling nuclear power every 15 years. Further we could convert 50 nuclear bombs to one Bushehr power plant by diluting the bomb material.


This is a scientific question, leaving aside the political implications of 'fast-tracking' Iranian plutonium production mentioned on the earlier related post; so a follow up here is to examine the science behind this proposal: Can we "ignore second order effect" to utilize the Bushehr reactor in re-burning plutonium PU-239 from the spent rods? Is it possible to "seal the Bushehr reactor for 14 years and 5 months" by merely diluting PU-239 with more U-238? What does the physics say, since to date despite over four decades of trying, this had never been done?

Here is a reference from Wiki on Plutonium:

quote:

In contrast to naturally occurring radioisotopes such as radium or C-14, plutonium was manufactured, concentrated, and isolated in large amounts (hundreds of metric tons) during the Cold War for weapons production. These stockpiles, whether or not in weapons form, pose a significant problem because, unlike chemical or biological agents, no chemical process can destroy them. One proposal to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium is to mix it with highly radioactive isotopes (e.g., spent reactor fuel) to deter handling by potential thieves or terrorists. Another is to mix it with uranium and use it to fuel nuclear power reactors (the mixed oxide or MOX approach). This would not only fission (and thereby destroy) much of the Pu-239, but also transmute a significant fraction of the remainder into Pu-240 and heavier isotopes that would make the resulting mixture useless for nuclear weapons.[14]

Toxicity issues aside, care must be taken to avoid the accumulation of amounts of plutonium which approach critical mass, particularly because plutonium's critical mass is only a third of that of uranium-235's. Despite not being confined by external pressure as is required for a nuclear weapon, it will nevertheless heat itself and break whatever confining environment it is in. Shape is relevant; compact shapes such as spheres are to be avoided. Plutonium in solution is more likely to form a critical mass than the solid form (due to moderation by the hydrogen in water).


And this is the critical problem with handling PU-239, that it is potentially highly unstable in concentrated form, which is why it must be removed from the reactor frequently, to avoid criticality where a lethal radiation dose will occur. Again, quoting GlobalSecurity.org:

quote:

Normally for electrical power production the uranium fuel remains in the reactor for three to four years, which produces a plutonium of 60 percent or less Pu-239, 25 percent or more Pu-240, 10 percent or more Pu-241, and a few percent Pu-242. The Pu-240 has a high spontaneous rate of fission, and the amount of Pu-240 in weapons-grade plutonium generally does not exceed 6 percent, with the remaining 93 percent Pu-239. Higher concentrations of Pu-240 can result in pre-detonation of the weapon, significantly reducing yield and reliability. For the production of weapons-grade plutonium with lower Pu-240 concentrations, the fuel rods in a reactor have to be changed frequently, about every four months or less.


So keeping the fuel rods "sealed" for many years, viz. 14 years, runs the risk of material reaching criticality, so rods must be removed sooner, or the risk of rod 'meltdown' increases significantly. (I think this is Iran's Bushehr reactor's greatest risk, that they don't know what they're doing.) If the plutonium reaches critical mass, the core goes into overheat, rods melt, and you've got a problem. Is it any wonder Ukraine did not want to sell reactor rods to Iran? The loss of biz in the tens of millions of US dollars was not deterrent enough to their fears of another Chernobyl south of their border. Even Russia has begun dragging their heels in supplying parts for the incomplete reactor:

quote:

Russia withheld fuel for the reactor because of international concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Iran and Russia will sign a deal in the summer of 2004 on the return of spent nuclear fuel Russia will provide for the Bushehr plant. The deal is intended to prevent the extraction of plutonium from spent fuel and its possible use in nuclear warheads. Russian officials had stated in the past that they will not ship fuel to the plant without an accord on the repatriation of spent fuel. US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton had urged Russia not to supply nuclear fuel for Bushehr reactor until Tehran addressed the full range of concerns about Iran's nuclear-weapons efforts.


Political considerations aside, if the processing of PU-239 has to take place behind 6 foot concrete container walls, it is not scientifically safe either.

Besides being impractical, and dangerously toxic and explosive, the fact remains that 'burning' plutonium had never been done on any larger scale. The spent fuel may in fact not be usable. Regarding Plutonium Reprocessing, GlobalSecurity says:

quote:

Unlike fuel from fossil plants that discharge ash with negligible heat content, fuel discharged from nuclear reactors contains appreciable quantities of fissile uranium and plutonium (“unburned” fuel). These fuel elements must be removed from a reactor before the fissile material has been completely consumed, primarily because of fission product buildup. Fission products capture large numbers of neutrons, which are necessary to sustain a chain fission reaction. In the interest of economic utilization of nuclear fuels and the conservation of valuable resources, several countries have constructed reprocessing plants to recover the residual uranium and plutonium values, utilizing a variety of physical and chemical methods.


But that is not the real problem, but this:

quote:

Spent fuel from a power reactor is fuel which is no longer capable of efficient fission because of the loss of fissile material and the build up of fission products and actinides. It reaches this stage after about five years in the reactor. In some respects, the word 'spent' is inappropriate as only about 3% of the uranium originally in the fuel has been used up. Mainly because of the changes the fuel continues to undergo after removal from the reactor, the spent fuel from a power reactor is typically allowed to decay for about four years before reprocessing. This also reduces the amount of fission products which have to be dealt with by waste processing.


So there is a time factor on how long the fuel rods are viable as fissionable, before they are rendered spent, and then must be removed. Here is what 'reprocessing' involves:

quote:

Reprocessing plants are generally characterized by heavy reinforced concrete construction to provide shielding against the intense gamma radiation produced by the decay of short-lived isotopes produced as fission products. Plutonium extraction and uranium reprocessing are generally combined in the same facility in the civilian nuclear fuel cycle. ... All operations are performed in a facility that is usually divided into two structural sections (hardened and nonhardened) and two utility categories (radiation and ventilation/contamination). The hardened portion of the building (reprocessing cells) is designed to withstand the most severe probable natural phenomena without compromising the capability to bring the processes and plant to a safe shutdown condition. Other parts of the building (i.e., offices and shops), while important for normal functions, are not considered essential and are built to less rigorous structural requirements.

Radiation is primarily addressed by using 4- to 6-ft thick, high-den-sity concrete walls to enclose the primary containment area (hot cells). A proliferator who wishes to reprocess fuel covertly for a relatively short time -— less than a year would be typical -— may use concrete slabs for the cell walls. Holes for periscopes could be cast in the slabs. This is particularly feasible if the proliferator cares little about personnel health and safety issues. (italics mine)


"Safety issues" with little care for personnel health? Perhaps in some countries, but not those who value life in a civilized manner.

Overall, 'burning' reprocessed plutonium is still a dream, though mathematically it may show doable, in theory: Active Zone of the Safe Fast Uranium-Plutonium Reactor, where they say:

quote:

The idea of a self-adjustable neutron-nuclear mode in a fast uranium-plutonium reactor has been put forward by L.P.Feoktistov [1]. As processes of plutonium burning out and formation one take place simultaneously in a fast reactor, an equilibrium value of plutonium concentration exists at which these processes are counterbalanced. If critical plutonium concentration is less than equilibrium one, a self-adjustable mode of 1-st kind can be realized. Actually a reproduction of fuel takes place in the active zone. Such mode is easily realized in a reactor with metal fuel, it is realized a little bit worse for nitride and carbide fuel, but it is not realized at all for the most widespread oxygen fuel, while critical concentration exceeds equilibrium one.


However, this 'equilibrium of one' had not been demonstrated in real life. So, getting back to Mohideen's idea of using 'spent' uranium rods of PU-239 on a continuous basis, to created more fuel, we may go back to the NewScientist article, Can we 'burn' plutonium?:

quote:

Evidently, if plutonium can be used as the fissile element in power production reactors, then by extracting it from the spent fuel rods, purifying it, and using it again in the same or another pile, it will be possible gradually to use all the uranium in the original fuel and not merely the small part that is fissile.

The Calder Hall reactor is designed not only to produce electric power, but also to manufacture plutonium; it is therefore called a “breeder” reactor because it “breeds” fissile material from the non-fissile part of the uranium. The favourable economics of this type of reactor design depend on the sale of the plutonium produced. At present this is all wanted by the government for military purposes, but eventually our nuclear weapon stockpile will be judged adequate, and then the value of the plutonium will depend on whether it can be used in a reactor.

The challenge in using it arises from its physical properties. These make it difficult to seal safely inside a fuel element so that it will not escape when the element is exposed to high and changing temperatures and intense bombardment by neutrons.


The physics of highly unstable neutron radiation wrecks havoc with the idea of using plutonium as fuel, or at least it is highly dangerous to do so. However, worldwide, the hope and dream hangs on, that it can be done. From the same:

quote:

Dr. Libby suggested that the difficulty of handling plutonium inside a reactor may be so great that it will be many years before it can become a practical process. If he is expressing the view of American experts, then either our scientists are in front of the Americans, or else we are trusting that the improvements in technique can be developed before our weapon reserves have been completed.

The report of the Conference on Advanced Reactor Systems held at Harwell on 30th November suggests that we may really have a significant lead. Sir John Cockcroft pointed out that fuel in “second stage” systems envisaged for commercial use in the late 1960s would be initially enriched with plutonium, but it should prove to be possible to recycle the plutonium through the reactor. This firm statement shows that in Britain plutonium is considered a useful nuclear fuel. So perhaps too much has been read into Dr. Libby’s speech; or perhaps we have found some ingenious way of controlling plutonium that has so far escaped the Americans.


I doubt they know something we don't know, except waving their hands, hoping to make it so.

Finally, to put a nail into the coffin of re-using plutonium as fuel, before it puts a nail in our collective coffins, there is this:
"In all of human history, no civilisation has ever voluntarily laid down its most powerful weapons. It remains to be seen whether ours can be the first.

We have not yet reached the mid-1960s' prediction of a world of 15 or more nuclear-weapon states, but we are over halfway there. And the trends indicated by recent events should have us all worried."
Dr. ElBaradei has good reason to worry. Nuclear reactor energy cannot be balanced in the hands of terrorist supporters, or dictatorship tyrannies anywhere in the world. I sincerely hope Dr. ElBaradei will firstly address the nuclear ambitions of Pakistan and North Korea, before concerning himself with the civilized world, the USA and EU. We should sincerely "hope that countries such as Germany, Austria, Ireland, and Italy would NOT revise their stand and exploit clean and safe nuclear power" and continue to oppose shoddy works in nuclear energy. It is not the best answer to limiting green house gases production, nor global warming. Just the opposite, nuclear power in the wrong hands, such as those immature rogue states of the Middle East, would be an unmitigated disaster environmentally.

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:05 am:   

Ivan, thanks for the detailed post.

I see a lot of avenues to rid the earth of the evil called 'human produced nuclear fission' from the details. I hope to get back sometime next week.

Research is always - I repeat always - to push the frontiers of what was done and often what was abandoned as impossible.

God Almighty gave me a so called unsolvable problem through my research supervisor on April 8, 1971 and guided me to solve it before May 7, 1971 when my comprehensive examination was rescheduled. [I did not know Islam then.]

May be we could do what others did not. Hope is life!
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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 10:47 am:   


quote:

May be we could do what others did not. Hope is life!


Always, or as the old Roman saying goes:
Where there is breath, there is hope.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:48 pm:   

Where there is breath, there is hope.
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 10:47 am: Ivan


There was breath, but was abandoned as indicated at the end of this post!

http://www.ieer.org/sdafiles/vol_5/5-4/moxmain4.html
===
The other track would convert plutonium into a fuel for nuclear reactors. This involves putting plutonium into an oxide chemical form, mixing it with uranium oxide, and fabricating it into ceramic fuel pellets (called MOX fuel for short). MOX fuel would be put into reactor fuel rods and loaded into reactors as a complete or partial substitute for the uranium fuel currently used.

... Commercial reprocessing plants currently use aqueous technology (that is, acids and other liquid solvents) to separate plutonium and uranium in spent fuel from fission products and from each other (see SDA Vol. 5 No. 1). The final product is a plutonium dioxide power that can be directly used in MOX fuel production.

... Eighteen power reactors in Germany, France, and Belgium are using MOX fuel. France plans to expand the number of reactors using MOX from nine to 16 reactors by the year 2000. All of these are light water reactors (LWRs). These reactors use ordinary water for slowing down the neutrons needed to maintain the nuclear chain reaction and for cooling the reactor.
===

If only Al-Gore had won - he won but he was cheated - and occupied the WH, we might have had MOX power plants in US also. Quoting from the same URL, we have:
===
In the United States, MOX fuel was used in tests in LWRs during the 1960s and 1970s.
===

What was tried and abandoned - possibly for political reasons - could be revived and established.
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Ivan
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:29 am:   

The Political side of Nuclear power.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6446163.stm
Russia nuclear delay angers Iran

The science is questionable in using plutonium PU-239 for 'sealed' reactors. But the political fallout from plutonium production in nuclear plants of bomb making material is clear. All this Iran business could be easily resolved, viz a viz its nuclear program, if they simply come clean, let Russian reclaim spent fuel rods, and let the world organizations, such as IEAE, monitor their activities. But they do not want this, prefer to continue their nuclear ambitions in secret, so there is no agreement between parties. The politics of Iran's Bushehr reactor is highly suspicious, and hence dangerours, all science aside. Regrets, but I do not think this will have a good ending.

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 05:56 pm:   

The science is questionable in using plutonium PU-239 for 'sealed' reactors.
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:29 am: Ivan


The MOX reactors are not sealed reactors. Their fuel rods are reprocessed.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 06:13 pm:   

http://www.ieer.org/sdafiles/vol_5/5-4/moxmain4.html has a table giving the % Pu in fresh fuel and in the spent fuel in MOX reactors. MOX with 33% MOX fuel starting with 4% Pu gives 1.6% Pu in the spent fuel. Assuming that some of the U-238 gets converted to Pu, this reactor increases the amount of Pu. 33% of 4% is 1.32% of total fuel and thus 0.28% increase in Pu results. The Uranium reactor starts with 0% Pu but produces 0.9% Pu in the spent fuel rod. These two reactors increase the Pu in the world.

In contrast the 100% MOX reactors consume the Pu and have less Pu in the spent fuel rods than the fresh fuel rods. These reactors reduce the amount of Pu in the world.

We could use a combination of these reactors to build more nuclear plants or to wind-up nuclear power. We envisage the storage on Uranium and Plutonium inside nuclear reactors alone and thus there is no problem of nuclear waste.

Of course politics could dictate otherwise. Now that Europe has accepted nuclear power as viable, and Europe has MOX power plants we could expect that Europe would solve the problem of nuclear waste by building more and more nuclear power plants.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 06:57 pm:   

http://www.answers.com/topic/mox-fuel
===
Normally, with the fuel being changed every three years or so, most of the Pu-239 is "burned" in the reactor. It behaves like U-235 and its fission releases a similar amount of energy. The higher the burn-up, the less plutonium remains in the spent fuel, but typically about one percent of the spent fuel discharged from a reactor is plutonium, and some two thirds of the plutonium is Pu-239.

... Over 30 thermal reactors in Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and France) are using MOX and a further 20 have been licensed to do so. Most reactors use it as about one third of their core, but some will accept up to 50% MOX assemblies. In France, EDF aims to have all its 900 MWe series of reactors running with at least one-third MOX. Japan aims to have one third of its reactors using MOX by 2010, and has approved construction of a new reactor with a complete fuel loading of MOX.
===

It might still be feasible to seal the Uranium reactors as the above indicates that after 3 years the Pu behaves as Uranium. Historically most of the fuel rods were reprocessed to produce weapon-grade Pu.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 08:01 am:   

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16959623/site/newsweek/?from=rss
===
For the poorer countries in the world, development is, rightly, nonnegotiable. But there's a critical choice. Will that development be high-carbon or low-carbon? A leapfrog economy will embrace the latter without passing through decades of traditional, high-carbon industrialization. That choice will, in turn, essentially be about heat, electricity and transport. In all three areas there are examples from developing countries that show what is possible. China has well over 50 percent of the world's installed solar thermal water heating; India leads the developing world in wind power; in Brazil ethanol car fuel has displaced $120 billion worth of oil.
===

There is a debate that the climate is not affected due to the actions of mankind. By adopting green practices we settle the debate to our advantage: man is not the culprit. So the choice is for low carbon industries.

We would further suggest that preference be given for climate-proof low carbon industries. If solar power is the choice select the collector configuration that would survive a storm. We consider similar criteria in selecting within the green technologies.
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Ivan
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 08:56 am:   

Can poorer, developing countries show the way?

quote:

For the poorer countries in the world, development is, rightly, nonnegotiable. But there's a critical choice. Will that development be high-carbon or low-carbon? A leapfrog economy will embrace the latter without passing through decades of traditional, high-carbon industrialization.


Good source, Mohideen, that developing economies can 'leap frog' over the pollution history errors of developed economies, so they start out 'greener' in their developing processes. An example of sorts is the telephone, where in developed countries extensive landlines networked communications, while in developing countries with fewer landlines they made the jump to cellular tower communications. Something similar can be done on the industrial level, perhaps, such as shown in India and China. Using the forces of nature, wind and sunlight, or waves and thermal energy, is smart, and 'leap frogging' over the developed economies extensive use of fossil fuels is a good thing. Perhaps the developing world can show the way here for the developed world, in how to minimize polluting gases that may be responsible for global warming?

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 01:25 pm:   

Ice sheets melting and rising global seas.

This NewScientist.com article, "Ice sheet complexity leaves sea level rise uncertain", http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11396-ice-sheet-complexity-leaves-sea-leve l-rise-uncertain.html , says:

quote:

Ice shed from the giant sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland is responsible for just 12% of the current rate of global sea level rise, according to a new review.

The authors emphasise that it is now clear that the ice caps are losing ice faster than it is being replenished by snowfall. But exactly why this is happening remains unknown, making it difficult to predict the extent of future sea level rises.

The remaining 88% of the current rise is due to the expansion of water as it warms, and melting from mountain glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland and Antarctica.


So 'warming' sea temperatues will have a greater impact on ocean levels rising than the melting land glaciers and polar ice caps, it seems. One should bear in mind that the Arctic is a floating ice sheet, so like an ice cube floating in a cold drink its melting will not affect the level of the drink upon melting, since ice floats in direct proportion to the liquid it dispaces. However, not so for Antarctic ice sheets sliding into the sear, or Greenland's glaciers melting, since that does add proportionately to the level of sea levels. Such rise, if it is rapid and large enough, can displace hundreds of millions of peoples living in low lying land areas. Think of what it would mean for Lousiana's bayous, or Bangladesh, or Seychelle islands, for example, not to mention all major cities at the ocean shore, such as New York city. The article further says:

quote:

"Our assessment confirms that just one type of glacier in Antarctica is retreating today – those that are seated in deep submarine basins and flow directly into the oceans," says Shepherd. "These glaciers are vulnerable to small changes in ocean temperature, such as those that have occurred over the 20th century and those predicted for the 21st century. A rise of less than 0.5 °C could have triggered the present imbalance."


So a small temperature increase in the oceans may have a dramatic effect on seal levels, since the balance is tipped at only +0.5 °C. And if this is true: "Yet the shrinking of Greenland and Antarctica remains crucial because together they hold enough water to make sea levels rise by 70 metres, submerging vast swathes of land and displacing millions." ... then we may have a real serious problem on our hands. However, at this time it is still unclear to what extent this rise in temperature is man-made and what is solar. As mentioned in the opening post here, there may be non-human factors to account for global warming, which may account for why Martian ice caps are melting faster, surely not a man-made event. Regardless of whether or not this is a natural phenomenon, or artificially precipitated by growth in human population and their activities, the threat of rising seas is real, even if the melting icecaps is not the main reason. Rising oceans from expanding water due to higher temperatures is not something that can be ignored. The current mini El Nino in the Pacific is already affecting weather patterns, and if it should grow warmer can have dire effects on coastal regions around the planet.

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 10:42 am:   

I revisit the 'nuclear power' here.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKL2165983920070322
===
The ministry said the nuclear reactor on board Tireless, a hunter-killer sub which does not carry nuclear weapons, was not affected.

... The sub was launched in 1985 ...
===

That means the nuclear power plant in the sub is 22 years old and has performed well. The nuclear power plants in subs are sealed plants.

So we have the technology to produce no-waste nuclear power plants. What is lacking is the will to commit the same technology to solve the problem of 'Global Warming.'
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, April 06, 2007 - 01:25 pm:   

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/05/AR2007040501180. html
===
Global warming will permanently change the climate of the American Southwest, making it so much hotter and drier that Dust Bowl-scale droughts will become common, a new climate report concludes.

Much of the nation west of the Mississippi River is likely to get drier because of the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but the greatest effect will be felt in already arid areas on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. By the end of the century, the climate researchers predict, annual rainfall in that region will have decline by a worrisome 10 to 20 percent.
===

Why not we accept safe nuclear energy and generate quality water by desalination?
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Ivan
Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 12:49 pm:   

The Predictions on Global Warming:
http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/scientists-offer-frightening-forecast/20070421184009990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

20070311105409990004.gif

Stick around, see what happens, as per scientists or not.

Personally, I believe in Gaya, that she self corrects, not worried much, though increased Earth's spin could happen if we raise planet's temp under the crust. Do I believe what scientists are predicting by 2100? Actually, I believe it will happen a lot sooner, maybe within our lifetimes. Better start building taller sea walls now...

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 07:09 am:   

Personally, I believe in Gaya, that she self corrects ...
Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 12:49 pm: Ivan


Are we not part of earth? So let us do our bit and help Gaya self-correct.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/National/2007/04/26/4131066-sun.html
===
While there are no signs of an immediate food shortage, Wilton warns situations can change, especially in an era of global security concerns and terrorism.

"If you can't grow food within your own region, you are really cutting off your independence. If you pave it over, you are cutting off all your options for the future," she said.

... For land to be productive, it must be in a region with the right combination of a warm growing season and rainfall needed to grow crops.

... "Once converted to urban use, it is done as farmland. It is lost," said Wilton.

... The problem of prime farmland loss can be seen driving along Highway 401 through the Woodstock area, said Paul Mistele, a vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

"When I come down the 401, I see a lot of farmland, some of the best ground in Canada, going under construction. There is steel and there are cranes everywhere," said Mistele, an Elgin County farmer.

While technology and improved plant genetics will make it possible to get larger crops off smaller areas, the question is how far to push the envelope by allowing further loss of farmland, Mistele said.

"They are not making any more (land). We have to work with what we have," he said.
===

Let us attempt to answer all the above concerns one at a time.

They are not producing any more land

Not true. In the 80s I visited a house in New Delhi. This house was in the second floor. In his balcony my friend had a lawn. How did he do that? He had a 3 inch deep pit in his balcony filled with soil to grow real grass! Land was produced in New Delhi in the 80s.

In King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia full mature date palm trees were grown on one meter cubicles filled with soil. These trees lines the concrete corridors of the university!

For most of crops we need hardly 3 feet of soil. Invariably all urban constructions require undeground car parks. Now these car parks are paved with concrete and the building starts at the ground level. Instead we build the underground car park about 6 feet beneath the soil; build the first floor of the building some 10 feet above the ground preserving the agriculture that existed before. Loss of small areas for entry and exit of cars and small areas for the lifts does not cause loss of fertile land.

There are better possibilities. Change agriculture itself from land-based to air-based.

http://www.aerogrow.com/scienceof/scienceof.php?clickname=Science of Aeroponics (Menu)&parentmenu=Technology
===
Aeroponics: "The Growing Technology of Tomorrow" is featured in Orlando at Disney's Future World, The Land Exhibit.

The Land is a space age, food-producing farm, using the most advanced growing methods in the world, featuring Aeroponics. This 3-acre, state-of-the-art, working garden demonstrates the ease, simplicity and outstanding growth rates achieved when growing without soil using Aeroponics and Hydroponics.

The Land today produces more than 20,000 pounds of food every year for use in Disney World's upscale restaurants.

Using the advanced soil-less growing technologies featured at The Land, farmers can produce tomatoes at 250 tons per acre per year, rather than the average in the world, which is 10 tons per year, a potential 25-time increase over traditional, soil-based farming methods.
===

Let us build skyscrapers, use the soil to have natural gardens with grass and flowers, build aerogardens inside the skyscrappers and enjoy.

There is no loss of soil, no increased global warming due to loss of water-logged cool earthern surface, and who knows the earth could support 150 billion population without increasing the average temperature even by one degree.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 08:56 pm:   

http://www.fcpp.org/main/publication_detail.php?PubID=1669
===
The evidence that has emerged since the theory was almost instantly accepted as fact includes the following:

The CO² record does not match the temperature record at any point in the earth’s history. Indeed, the ice-core record clearly shows that temperatures changed before CO² levels did, not the reverse, as hypothesized.
===

In 1999 or around I looked at the link between CO2 and temperature and felt the same way. May be I should look up my old papers to get to the evidence I found!
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 11:17 pm:   

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece
===
February 11, 2007

Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers. And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.

... The only trouble with Svensmark’s idea — apart from its being politically incorrect — was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation. After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Center hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.

In a box of air in the basement, they were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water. These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.
===

Most of the current climate models are not good at modeling cloud and its greenhouse effect.
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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 10:01 am:   

In the climatolygy Frontier Center article in Mohideen's link above, Tim Ball, a critic of the current climate change theory, that is is all manmade, says:


quote:

FC: Alarmists point to the rapidity of climate change as evidence of some sort that humans cause it. But you’ve shown that swift changes in weather patterns are normal. Could you describe the proof?

TB: The underlying philosophy of nature and world view of western education is called uniformitarianism. This holds that change is rapid and significant all the time. You only have to look at any climate record on any time scale to see this. For example, in 1970 the scientific consensus was that we were heading for another Ice Age. On a longer scale, notice that most of the record cold temperatures for Canada were in the late 19th century. Further back, we have the Little Ice Age with a metre of ice on the Thames and other evidence of cold from around the world. Vikings were farming in Greenland in soil that is now permafrost.

FC: What about open ice in the Arctic? Is that a new phenomenon?

TB: No. The Vikings were sailing in Arctic waters that are now permanent pack ice. Every year, the 16 million square kilometres of pack ice melts down to approximately 6 million square kilometres. So about 10 million square kilometres melts every summer. The records are only accurate from 1980 to the present, and they show some variability but little significant change. So far this winter, the ice has developed ahead of schedule and is almost at its maximum extent right now.


Well, the 1970's prediction of another 'ice age' didn't materialize, instead it got warmer. Sun spot activity, according to some theorists, may be responsible for sudden shifts in Earth's atmospheric temperatures, which then affect sea temperatures and polar ice formations. It may be that the current trend towards warmer temperatures globally are only indirectly resulting from human activity, perhaps aggravated by our activity, but not the main cause. Coincidentally, over the past twenty years temperatures had been rising on Mars, which some theorized is due to Martian winds exposing more darker undersoil so less light is being reflected off the planet. So, to say the least, our climatology 'science' is far from well developed. If so, in the next decade we should see polar ice restoration? We still don't really know, but politicizing science may not be helpful here.
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Ivan
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 06:49 pm:   

Global warming may hit poorer countries hardest.

BBC News: Climate change lesons in Indonesia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6610973.stm

The local people:

quote:

"We weren't told about climate change," one man told me, "and the only news we received from local officials is that a flood like this will happen every five years. I don't understand climate change, but I do know that a big flood will come every five years." ...

A local woman joined in: "People here don't talk about climate change. I have read it somewhere in a book or in a newspaper, but I don't really know what it means."


People need to be educated correctly, so they understand a major climatic change is taking place. Poorer countries on the edge of subsistance are at greatest risk. We of the more prosperous societies will experience economic discomforts and loss, but for them it is a matter of life and death. Regardless of whether or not global warming is a manmade phenomenon or due to solar activity, nations and peoples must become prepared to face the outcome, and become educated of what can happen, as well as how to begin to prepare for it.
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Ivan
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 10:05 am:   

If the Sun powers all energy and life on Earth, why not use it?

Affordable solar power brings light to India
http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11740-affordable-solar-power -brings-light-to-india.html

More articles listed here, at NewScientist.com:
http://www.newscientist.com/search.ns?doSearch=true&query=solar+power

Power station harnesses Sun's rays
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6616651.stm

It's the only real option, unless we find a new energy source that is gravitic rather than electromagnetic, which is a possibility, as per post at: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/88/185.html?1178272603#POST3800

'Rotating plasma' as a new source of energy may be giving us a clue?

Ivan
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 09:16 pm:   

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=angZ_UiMJ6gM&refer=japan
===
``An extremely powerful message in this report is the need for human society as a whole to start looking at changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns,'' Pachauri said, adding that people could take simple measures such as turning down the central heating and putting on a cardigan.
===

This is a great call but is not practical. In 2001 I needed a single bedroom apartment in Framingham, MA. All I could find was a 4 bedroom apartment. I shared it with 2 college students and one young software engineer. I suggested that we keep the inner temperature at 65 degrees Farenheit and that we wear thermals while inside the apartments. The two students refused to continue in the apartment beyond summer, and I moved out to a single bedroom with the young software engineer.

The two students argued that instead of living in an apartment where the heating and cooling is to be paid by the tenant, they would move to another apartment where the heating/ cooling is included in the rent. They got such an apartment.

As long as we include the heating / cooling as an utility included in the rent, the tenant has absolutely no incentive to wear a cardigan inside the house.

If the suggestion by IPCC is to be effective all rental homes should remove the heating / cooling from the free utilities list.
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Mohideen Ibramsha
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 09:24 pm:   

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=angZ_UiMJ6gM&refer=japan
===
Another tool available to government is carbon trading, according to the report. Establishing a price equal to $50 per ton of carbon dioxide could reduce emissions by more than half and a price of $100 could achieve a 63 percent cut, because of the incentives to develop cleaner energy sources, it said.

... Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are about 425 parts per million (ppm) and rising.

... The cost of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases at between 535 and 590 ppm would be about 0.6 percent of world output, and at 590 to 710 ppm, the cost would be 0.2 percent, according to the panel. Those concentrations equate to temperature gains of as much as 3.2 and 4.0 degrees Celsius.
===

What would happen if the temperature rise becomes 3.2 to 4 degrees C?
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Ivan
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2007 - 05:38 pm:   

Pygmy international conference, in the rainforest.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6646115.stm

quote:

International forum
I had arrived at the first international forum for indigenous peoples in the Congo basin. The delegates were from settlements of ancient forest peoples - many commonly called pygmies.

_42912345_impfondopgymy203.jpg

Supplies can only reach Impfondo via the Oubangui river
Some indigenous rainforest communities dislike the word pygmy, others maintain they are proud of it.

They had come to the remote town of Impfondo in the far north of the Republic of Congo.




Peaceful adaptation with our environment, and each other:

quote:

"Of course we can take on new things that are good for us", says Stephane. "But our values are also good for the 21st Century", he says.

"We are a peaceful, egalitarian people who share and live at peace with others. These are values we ask others to copy."



They have much to teach us, we who had learned to live so far removed from nature, and now precipitate global warming:
"So they have come to Impfondo on the Oubangui river to meet similar forest people from across central Africa to talk and to work out how to end discrimination."
Not all modern things are better, though no doubt the GPS system to demarcate their indigenous land will be worthwhile. Discrimination must be ended, for that too must end with modern times.

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 08:41 pm:   

Sinking islands with people on them?

High tides hit low-lying Maldives
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6666211.stm

_42937659_maldives203.jpg

quote:

Mohammed Hussain Sharif said at high tide the sea water had flooded many places.

Reports were coming in that one densely populated island well over a square kilometre in size had been entirely covered by water.


This is for real, serious when all the inhabitants were standing in water. Global warming takes on a new meaning here. What will happen when waters rise higher? Or if storms hit the region with extreme high tides and waves? The destruction may become appalling.

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 02:17 am:   

"An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore
http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_feature.asp?id=11

There is no more compelling argument to address the green house gases than Al Gore's film on global warming. Polar glaciers melting rapidly, CO2 levels higher than ever recorded in Earth's past and climbing rapidly, oceans rising 20 feet, natural cycles thrown off with massive die offs, climate related mega storms and hurricanes; these are addressable problems, though it will take a collective political will to address it. If not? You fill in the blanks. Gore has made this argument a 1000 times, it is a must-see documentary on the state of the planet. Earth is the only home we have. We know the bees are dying, as are the frogs. Who's next? With projected 9 billion of us in a generation... You fill in the blanks ____________!

About the film: http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthefilm/ with downloads. More from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inconvenient_Truth

Al Gore: [quoting Mark Twain] "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."

200px-Aninconvenienttruth.jpg

Ivan
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Ivan
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - 07:01 pm:   

CO2 levels climbing faster than expected.
http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn11899-recent-cosub2sub-rises-exceed-worstcase-scenarios.html

dn11899-1_600.jpg

quote:

The world's recent carbon dioxide emissions are growing more rapidly than even the worst-case climate scenario used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, say researchers.


Wait until oceanic waters start to warm up, rising waters will be unstoppable. The lag will work both ways, going in and, when we realize the horror, and longer going out. During the last ice age, oceans were 400 ft lower than today. They can expand another 20 ft without breathing hard... or more. As Al Gore pointed out, this is scary, potentially worldwide disaster.
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Naive
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - 08:24 pm:   

I suppose nature always finds a way to achieve equilibrium. And since we seem unwilling to make a change, the change will likely come in the form of worldwide disaster. I bet our population numbers will crash, and the environment will stabilize - Equilibrium!


Naive
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Ivan/world hunger
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:21 am:   

World hunger may rise.


_44566219_haitiap_226b.jpg
Haiti food riots

There is a danger that world hunger will rise, but in this article by BBC, French push for EU food response, there seems to be some disconnect as to cause and effect, and why poorer countries like Haiti or Africa will suffer food shortages.

quote:

The EU is well aware of the risks of soaring food prices and, only last week, Development Commissioner Louis Michel warned of the crisis leading to a "humanitarian tsunami" in Africa.


This is likely, that higher food prices will starve large segments of the population unable to afford it. But then shouldn't higher prices stimulate more planting and higher production? Not according to the 'economics' of the EU:

quote:

Mr Barnier told French radio on Monday: "We cannot, and we must not leave food for people... to the mercy of the rule of the market alone and to international speculation."

He is proposing four ideas:

  • Production of more and better food to enable Europe to respond to the food challenge
  • To bring together the efforts of various member states to help developing countries rebuild their agriculture
  • To redirect public development aid towards the agriculture sector
  • To ensure that poorer countries do not become the victims of the World Trade Organization's Doha round of negotations.


Only the second point makes sense, to help develop agriculture in poorer countries. The first point is a EU problem, and unless they export food beyond their consumption needs, or give it away for free, it should have no effect on the poorer countries, except as 'non-market' foreign aid (which does not solve the problem of poorer countries). The last point is debatable and speculative, since the WTO does not set food prices. Government aid in point three may help release more land for food production in the EU, but how would this affect poorer countries like Haiti or Zimbabwe?

The article lacks clarity and gives confusing signals as to how to solve the problem of food production in poorer countries. Will India or China, or Cambodia or Vietnam, also be affected? Or is this food shortage only geographically isolated, combined with the adverse effects of global warming? It is not clear if political will is enough to override the market place, where higher prices are supposed to raise production, not lower it.


300px-Percentage_population_undernourished_world_map.PNG (interactive)
Geographic populations affected by malnutrition

Ivan

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