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To: teevee who wrote (30710)4/12/2012 7:07:44 PM
From: russet
   of 80939
That Gorite you are laughing at has just made me realize that my degrees from University of Waterloo in Ontario are worthless. He stated once his degree is from there so clearly the critical thought I was taught is crap. Hopefully the professors who taught me were different but who knows? :-(

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To: russet who wrote (30717)4/12/2012 9:17:24 PM
From: teevee
1 Recommendation   of 80939
Sadly, and as so beautifully demonstrated by Land Shark, engineering is a discipline where students gifted with an aptitude for mathematics can get through and graduate without much thinking and learning how to think critically.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30577)4/12/2012 11:05:46 PM
From: greatplains_guy
2 Recommendations   of 80939
Why would anyone be surprised that Obama is moving to destroy the mining industry? Obama was quoted as saying he would do that is he could. It is one of the few times Obama has been caught being honest. Maybe the union thought it was just another Obama lie.

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To: Land Shark who wrote (30696)4/13/2012 1:16:22 AM
From: i-node
1 Recommendation   of 80939
Mostly it's the battery technology that's the key to making EV's practicle and thanks to recent developments in nano-technology and materials they're becoming more and more efficient with higher capacity/kg.

We also know that it will be YEARS before the technology will be sufficient to allow the vehicles to be both practical and reasonably priced. And in the meantime we [taxpayers] cannot continue to pay 1/4 or 1/3 the cost of these vehicles for no good reason.

It is great for private companies like Nissan to invest their time and money into developing EVS -- and the Nissan is the most practical to date.

But the idea that taxpayers would be funding it is just ridiculous when every man, woman and newborn baby in this country owes $50,000 in debt for wasteful government programs such as these insane energy initiatives.

If you're an engineer, be my guest: Spend your money and time developing it. But I don't give a damn, and there is no reason I should be asked to foot part of the bill for nitwits who want to drive the POSs before they're ready.

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To: Land Shark who wrote (30716)4/13/2012 8:31:32 AM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 80939
My worldview is shaped by facts.

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To: greatplains_guy who wrote (30719)4/13/2012 8:33:01 AM
From: Brumar89
2 Recommendations   of 80939
True, the two causes Obama has been most loyal to are abortion and extreme environmentalism.

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From: Brumar894/13/2012 8:38:22 AM
   of 80939
Battery explosion in GM test center, two taken to hospital, one with life-threatening injury

GM Electric Car Battery Explodes, Again Raising Chevy Volt Questions

Obfuscation, Inc.

On Wednesday, a General Motors (GM) lithium-ion battery exploded and caused a fire at a research facility near its Detroit headquarters. Most unfortunately, two people were taken to the hospital – one faces life-threatening injuries.

Lithium-ion batteries like this one are used by GM in the Chevy Volt. Making this just the latest in a long line of Volt fire problems.

“The headlines are not positive for lithium-ion and General Motors,” Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview. “It does bring up the subject of the dangers associated with batteries.”

Indeed it does. Let us review these Volt dangers, shall we?


The Chevy Volt entered the market in December 2010. There were in 2011 (at least) six Volt fires. GM and the Barack Obama Administration acknowledged only one – a battery fire after a test crash.

And only after squelching word of that fire for six months, announcing it only when Bloomberg News was about to break the story.

The Obama Administration was in full GM damage control mode. Obama’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed the one fireand – shocker – declared GM and the Volt good to go.

But what about the other fires?

NHTSA themselves had two other test fires.

In April, 2011 a Volt burst into flames. Twice.

A $800,000 garage fire in Mooresville, North Carolina led the local power company to warn its customers to stop using the Volt charging stations until they knew they were safe.

And there were throughout 2011 multiple overheating Volt power cords, reaching temperatures upwards of 158* Fahrenheit and causing second degree burns. Fire hazards – waiting to happen.

GM and the Obama Administration were aware of all of these incidents. Yet NHTSA investigated none of them.


And because GM and the Obama Administration repeatedly kicked this dangerous, flaming can down the road, GM has spent most of 2012 in full-on Volt repair mode.

In January, GM “ called back” every single Volt ever sold in the U.S., to fix the allegedly already “fixed” battery.

This is a customer satisfaction program, which is voluntary, that we’re choosing to do,” explained the automaker’s Mary Barra during a conference call Thursday morning.

But that didn’t fix the problem either. So in March Chevrolet announced they were replacing the power cords for nearly every single Volt ever sold in the U.S.

GM spokesman Randal Fox told Reuters …”It’s just an effort to offer a more consistent charging experience. It’s not a safety recall. It’s more of a customer-satisfaction program,” Fox said.

“Customer satisfaction program” must be the GM equivalent of President Obama’s “ Let me be clear.” Only more perilous.


General Motors and the Obama Administration have spent the entire life of the Chevy Volt minimizing and obfuscating a hazardous Chevy Volt fire problem.

We still don’t know what that problem is.

What we do know is that two people were just grievously injured by a Volt-style battery explosion.

And that GM is still selling the Chevy Volt.

GM Lithium-Battery Explosion Sparks Fire at Company Test Lab
By Tim Higgins - Apr 11, 2012 3:06 PM CT

General Motors Co. (GM), maker of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sedan, said a test battery exploded at a research facility near its Detroit headquarters.

A lithium-ion battery exploded today at GM’s technical center in Warren, Michigan, with two people being taken to a hospital, David Frederick, the city’s fire chief, said in a telephone interview. An “incident” occurred about 8:45 a.m. in a laboratory conducing “extreme testing on a prototype battery” unrelated to the Volt, GM said in e-mailed statements.

GM Lithium-Battery Lab Explosion Injures 2, Fire Department Says

Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

General Motors Co. world headquarters in Detroit.

General Motors Co. world headquarters in Detroit. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

The battery explosion comes as GM seeks to reassure consumers about the safety of the Volt, which uses lithium-ion batteries. Volt sales were hurt after a U.S. investigation into battery fires was announced in November. The U.S. closed the probe in January, saying the Volt and other electric vehicles pose no more fire risk than other cars.

“The headlines are not positive for lithium-ion and General Motors,” Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview. “It does bring up the subject of the dangers associated with batteries.”

One of the injured people has life-threatening injuries, the Detroit Free Press reported on its website, citing Wilburt McAdams, Warren fire commissioner.

“When the crews were on the scene, they reported smoke but not a lot of fire,” Frederick said. Five employees were evaluated by medical personnel and one received further treatment, GM said.

Volt Sales Target The Warren center is where GM, the world’s largest automaker, developed the Volt and researches electric-vehicle batteries.

The automaker aims to boost sales of the $39,000 Volt to more than 3,000 a month, Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said in an interview last week with Bloomberg Radio scheduled for broadcast next month. The best month of U.S. sales of the Volt so far was 2,289 in March.

“It seems like we’ve sustained ourselves through this difficult period,” Akerson said. “We hope to get up to 3,000- plus in the coming months and are certainly positioning it.”

GM said last week that Volt production will resume April 16, a week earlier than planned following March’s sales improvement. The automaker had said it would halt production in early March after selling 1,023 Volts in February and 603 in January, below the rate needed to meet Akerson’s goal of 45,000 deliveries in the U.S. this year.

‘Potential Problems’ Today’s explosion caused a fire that was extinguished, Kevin Kelly, a GM spokesman, said in a telephone interview. The building was evacuated and all employees have been accounted for, GM said in its statement.

“When you have high-energy density, whether it’s in gasoline or diesel fuel or batteries or whatever, you’re going to have potential problems,” David Cole, chairman emeritus for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in an interview at a U.S. Army fuel-economy event elsewhere in Warren. “When you’re developing new technologies and trying to improve batteries, this is sort of par for the course.”

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30723)4/13/2012 11:08:24 AM
From: Land Shark
   of 80939
The Hunger Games, climate change, and the 99%
Posted on March 30, 2012 by Katherine O'Konski

As a Hunger Games fan, I braved the crowds to catch the movie this past weekend along with another $155 million worth of fans – though I wasn’t crazy enough to go to one of those midnight showings. CSW first became interested in the series because Suzanne Collins makes a brief but pointed reference to climate change in the beginning of the novel.

If you didn’t already know, the Hunger Games trilogy depicts a dystopian future. The mostly impoverished country of Panem, “a place once known as North America,” is ruled by an excessively wealthy Capitol city that keeps its twelve outlying districts under control by forcing each to offer one male and one female child (ages 12-18) to participate in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live television.

During the hype leading up to the movie premiere, the climate blogosphere pointed out the book’s probable reference to climate change as an explanation for North America’s demise. The mayor of District 12 describes the history of Panem: “He lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little sustenance remained.”

Sounds a lot like climate change to me. Joe Romm’s post at Climate Progress and Brad Johnson’s post at Think Progress Green also point to this allusion. Perhaps many people will see the premise that climate change has caused an apocalypse as a bit ridiculous. But it’s significant that climate change has worked its way into our nation’s consciousness to the extent that this passing reference serves as the foundation for accounting for a society’s collapse.

In any case, this reference is the only allusion to climate change that I can find; it’s just not a main feature of the book. Still, The Hunger Games depicts many of today’s real world problems; it exaggerates them, to be sure, but much of the value of this novel lies in making us recognize that many of the features of this awful, oppressive fictional society can be found in our society today.

One significant parallel between this fictitious North America and ours is the presence of oppression – though it’s intensified in the novel. It describes a society with a huge, harrowing gap between the majority of the country and the citizens of the Capitol city – wealthy, decorated people with access to the latest technologies and who live in Romanesque excess. The games themselves are reminiscent of gladiator tournaments, and later in the series the author describes a feast at which the Capitol citizens force themselves to vomit so they can stuff in more food. These excesses are supported by the enslavement of traitors and criminals.

Compare this to the protagonist and heroine Katniss Everdeen’s description of her home, District 12, which is responsible for mining coal. Her house, little more than a shack, sits among those of the other mining families. These are “men and women with hunched shoulders, swollen knuckles, many who have long since stopped trying to scrub the coal dust from under their broken nails, the lines of their sunken faces.”

The extent to which Collins sets the rich apart from the poor majority of Panem is thankfully beyond what we see now in US society, but also part of what makes the novel so compelling. Still, the oppressive relationship between the elite citizens of the Capitol and the rest of the country could easily be viewed as a post-apocalyptic version of our own 99% vs. 1% conception.

A few scenes in the movie hit on this relationship quite nicely: In one, the President of Panem explains that the districts must be oppressed in order to keep control over their natural resources. In an earlier scene, District 12 residents show their contempt for the Capitol elite by refusing to applaud when Katniss volunteers for the Games.

We can draw some more specific parallels between the political dynamics of resource extraction in Panem and in the US. District 12 bears the costs, but sees few of the benefits of coal mining. Katniss’s father died along with many other workers in a mine explosion. Coal dust covers the entire town. The technologies that presumably run on this coal (a train that averages 250 mph, food appearing at the touch of a button, costumes that light up with synthetic fire) don’t exist in District 12. Katniss is “lucky to get two or three hours of electricity in the evenings.”

Though mining deaths have declined greatly since the late 1800s, there are still many health impacts associated with fossil fuel extraction. Mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia and oil extraction in the Gulf have produced serious health consequences for the surrounding communities: studies show higher rates of birth defects in mountaintop removal mining areas, and the health impacts associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as well as the dispersant COREXIT are still being documented.

Relevant here is a June 2011 Congressional hearing on EPA’s attempts at coal industry regulation, where Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) highlighted the need for proper regulation of the coal industry in spite of potential decreases in utility profits. He commented accurately that “people [in mining communities] are subsidizing the profits of the utilities with the public health.” The Hunger Games doesn’t mention any adverse health impacts (besides dangerous mining accidents), but this idea that Katniss has been made to pay the high cost of extraction in the form of her father’s death for the benefit of an elite group is hardly a fictional concept.

Another one of the book’s main themes is hunger. Katniss risks trips into the surrounding woods (punishable by death) to hunt for game to keep her family from starvation. She explains, “Starvation’s not an uncommon fate in District 12. Who hasn’t seen the victims…straggling through the streets. And one day, you come upon them sitting motionless against a wall…and the Peacekeepers are called in to retrieve the body.”

The majority of North American readers have fortunately never experienced the type of starvation Katniss has experienced, but it brings to mind the grim truth that hunger is a real world problem. The United Nations World Food Program estimates that 925 million people around the globe are undernourished, and cites hunger and malnutrition as the number one risks to human health.

In the Capitol, food appears at the touch of a button. When a chicken and orange dish is summoned in such a manner, Katniss tries to imagine how she would hunt, gather, and trade to create the meal at home in District 12: “Chickens are too expensive but I could make do with wild turkey. I’d need to shoot a second turkey to trade for an orange. Goat’s milk would have to substitute for cream. We could grow peas in the garden. I’d have to get wild onions from the woods…Fancy rolls would mean another trade with the baker, perhaps for two or three squirrels. Days of hunting and gathering for this one meal and it would be a poor substitution for the Capitol version.” Her stylist, a Capitol native, watches her consider the food and comments, “how despicable we must seem to you.”

Our own grocery store model of obtaining food is a far cry from this scenario, but it presents analogous issues. As a North American reader I was reminded of how lucky I am to have easy access to food – but also how detached I am from the process by which it is grown, harvested and shipped to my local Giant supermarket. Not to mention the adverse impacts our agricultural system has on the environment, or the horrific treatment livestock receive in feedlots and warehouses before they land on my plate.

Should I feel as despicable as a Capitol resident? Maybe not. I’m not enslaving any enemies of the state or watching live bloodbaths. After all, the series is fictional. It’s primarily a story of adventure, love, and vindication for the suffering under the lead of a strong and compelling heroine. And unlike some of the teenage drivel out there, The Hunger Games novels are a great read because they invite intelligent conversation about real-world problems. Including about where global climate disruption combined with the 1%-99% divide might ultimately lead us.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30721)4/13/2012 11:28:13 AM
From: Land Shark
   of 80939
Gallup: Public Understanding Of Climate Science Continues Rebounding By Joe Romm on Apr 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

To go by the polls, the high point of public understanding of climate science was 2006 to 2008. That’s no surprise, since that period saw a peak in media reporting on climate science, starting in 2006 with An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary of Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation on climate science, and continuing in 2007 with the 4 scientific assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Disputes on the science were kept to a minimum in the 2008 election since both major candidates — Barack Obama and John McCain — understood and articulated both climate science and the need for action. It wasn’t until after Obama was elected with progressive majorities in both houses of Congress and the prospects for climate action became real that the anti-science disinformation campaign kicked into overdrive.

Ironically, or tragically, just as the anti-science disinformation campaign was ramping up, the advocates of climate action decided to downplay climate in their pitch for action, as the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein explained it in his June 2010 article, “ Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?

And the media’s coverage of climate science utterly collapsed (see “ Silence of the Lambs 2: Media Herd’s Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change Drops Sharply — Again“). Indeed evening news coverage dropped from over 386 minutes of coverage in 2007 to 32 minutes (!) last year:

Because of this collapse in media coverage, Gallup’s polling questions that begin “from what you’ve read or heard” is not an ideal way to find out what the public actually knows, as leading social scientists explained to me last year (see “ Experts Debunk Polls that Claim Sharp Drop in Number of Americans Who Understand Global Warming Is Happening“).

Many polls indicate a rebound in public understanding of climate science — see “ Public Opinion Stunner: More Americans Understand World is Warming — Thanks to Rick Perry, Reports Reuters.” Krosnick attributes some of the rebound to the coverage of climate during the GOP presidential contest.

Brookings — and the public itself — puts the rebound on the amazing spate of extreme weather. As Climate Progress reported in late February, Americans are attributing their increased belief in global warming to their (correct) perception that the planet is warming and the weather is getting more extreme. Roughly half of people who believe in global warming said that these were the primary influence:

Gallup, for whatever reason, has decided to downplay the continuing, albeit small, rise in public understanding, as evidenced in their headline “ In U.S., Global Warming Views Steady Despite Warm Winter.” But in fact

  1. Their data do show movement in views (the jump in the public’s view of “when effects global warming will happen” is as large a one-year jump as you can find in their 14-year record, see chart below)
  2. The winter was indeed unusually warm, but this poll preceded the off-the-charts heat wave in mid-March that blanketed much of the country for extended peer to time drove a considerable amount of media coverage.
I’d love to see them redo the poll right now.

We see a similar jump in the public’s understanding of the scientific consensus about global warming:

This is all the more remarkable because the President and the media are hardly talking about the subject — though it is certainly there was a fair amount of media blowback from Rick Perry’s disinformation about the scientific consensus, in part because fellow Republican Jon Huntsman took him on (see “ Perry’s Climate Lies Win 4 Pinocchios“).

And this move is also remarkable because the Tea Party crowd, largely conservative Republicans, generally get their news from sources that have continued spreading nonstop disinformation. Gallup’s figures suggest that the polling numbers for Republicans have hardly budget, which means most of the movement is due to shifts in the views of independents and progressives.

Certainly the partisan divide is large, as Gallup reports:

But again this is mostly the Tea Party crowd, especially conservative Republican males, and that’s what makes climate change a wedge issue:

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30722)4/13/2012 11:39:12 AM
From: Land Shark
   of 80939
April 13 News: Without Strong Clean Energy Policy, ‘It’s Hard To See How The U.S. Can Grow,’ Warn Experts By Stephen Lacey on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

Our round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Please post additional links below

The U.S. government is creating a “boom and bust” in renewable energy investment that threatens to undermine its lead over China, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in a report. Phyllis Cuttino, Pew’s clean energy director, said “In the absence of long-term policy, it’s hard to see how the U.S. can grow significantly in the future.” [ Bloomberg]

In 2011, it was Texas that went up in flames, with a historic drought and searing heat wave leading to the worst wildfire season on record. A year later, another southern state affected by intense drought is bracing for a destructive wildfire season: Florida. [ Climate Central]

Scientists studying the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are raising fresh concerns about the effect of the leaked crude on a range of sea life, from tiny animal plankton to dolphins. [ Wall Street Journal]

Fire experts say this year’s drought, low snowpack and record-high temperatures in much of the West portend a dangerous installment of what has become a year-round wildfire threat. [ Washington Post]

The Environmental Protection Agency wants cleaner air at national parks across the country, including Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend in Texas. By November, it is supposed to complete a plan that could regulate emissions from dozens of Texas’ industrial plants, with the goal of reducing haze at parks. [ New York Times]

Climate change is likely to wreak havoc on California’s forests. Extreme weather, wildfires and insect outbreaks will all take a toll. Add to those another looming threat: disease. Forest diseases like Sudden Oak Death, which has infected trees in 14 counties in the state, stand to benefit from the effects of climate change, to the detriment, obviously, of the trees. [ National Public Radio]

Rapid climate change and its potential to intensify droughts and floods could threaten Asia’s rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists have warned. [ Zeenews]

Sea levels in the southwest Pacific started rising drastically in the 1880s, with a notable peak in the 1990s thought to be linked to human-induced climate change, according to a new study. [ AFP]

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