July 2009

Apparently, the variability of the stock market is having an impact on the dismantling of American nuclear power plants, by driving down the value of the investments set aside to pay for it: During the past two years, estimates of dismantling costs have soared by more than $4.6 billion because rising energy and labor costs, […]


One of the biggest problems with the way information is now distributed is the increasing limitations on how you can use it. With physical media like books and CDs, you had quite a few rights and a lot of security. You could lend the media to friends, use it in any number of ways, and […]


This article on a 300 megawatt (MW) windfarm in Kenya caught my eye, less because of the size of the wind farm and more because of the statement that it would “supply a quarter of Kenya’s current installed power.” Kenya has a population of about 38 million, so it is startling to see it suggested […]

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As mentioned before, the Swedish company Vattenfal has a carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration plant in Germany. The idea was to separate pure oxygen from air, burn coal in it, then ship the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) to an injection facility 150 miles away by truck. The liquified CO2 was then to be injected […]


For the sake of organization, here is a list of some of the disagreements that have arisen on this blog between those that accept the scientific consensus that climate change is real, caused by human activity, and dangerous and those who do not. Given that a lot of the deniers seem to flit from blog […]


A number of sources are reporting that the Obama administration has made public spy photos that show the effects of climate change in the Arctic. The photos have a one metre resolution, and were provided through a program called Medea which allows scientists to request intelligence images of environmentally sensitive areas. With luck, the photos […]


An interesting study reveals a disjoint in the United States between how scientists rate their political views and what the general public expects them to be. Whereas 56% of scientists describe themselves as liberal, along with just 2% as conservative and 42% as ‘neither,’ members of the general public surveyed expected 64% of scientists to […]


A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences updates estimates of the amount of warming that will be caused by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) between now and 2050, in a scenario where specific policies to address them are not implemented. These gasses were created as replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used as refrigerants […]


The above is an example of QR Code: a kind of two-dimensional barcode that can be used to encode any sort of textual data. As cameraphones and smartphones become more common in North America, you may see more and more of these. They are already common in Japan. Nokia has a website that lets you […]


The Globe and Mail is reporting on a letter send by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. It complains about acid mine drainage from the Tulsequah Chief Mine in northwest B.C. Similar problems with the long-term leaching of acid and heavy metal affect many mines in Canada and around the […]