Friday, November 3, 2017

fuel from cellulose? Possible huge breakthrough

"Officials with Poet DSM Advanced Biofuels have announced a breakthrough that will allow for increased cellulosic ethanol production.
The latest development from the South Dakota-based company is a process called pre-treatment. Matt Merritt with Poet DSM Advanced Biofuels says pre-treatment transforms plant residue like corn cobs and husks into a substance that can eventually lead to fuel. "

The article doesn't say how energy intensive the process is. Of course you don't want to be using up one kind of energy to produce less energy in another form (ethanol).  So we wait to see...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

some places where the US could save a load of money

"The cost of the US nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years will be over $1.2tn, even before any new weapons ordered by the Trump administration, and is unlikely to be affordable without cuts elsewhere in the defence budget, according to a independent congressional report.

The total price tag marks nearly a 25% increase from previous estimate, taking in the modernisation programme established under the Obama administration, which account for $400bn, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found. The costs would peak in the 2020s and the 2030s."

"American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001.
The Department of Defense periodically releases a 'cost of war' report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017."

NOW we're talking real money!  How come this isn't talked about much?  I'm going to guess that we don't really need our military in 150 countries...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

some interesting results from basic income test in Finland

"So what accounted for his change? Certainly not the UBI money. In Finland, €560 is less than a fifth of average private-sector income. 'You have to be a magician to survive on such money,' Järvinen says. Over and over, he baldly describes himself as 'poor'.
His liberation came in the lack of conditions attached to the money. If they so wish, Finns on UBI can bank the cash and do nothing else. But, in Järvinen’s case at least, the sum has removed the fear of utter destitution, freeing him to do work he finds meaningful.
It sounds simple. It is simple. But to this visitor from Austerity Britain, with its inglorious panoply of welfare scandals stretching from universal credit to Concentrix to Atos, it was almost fantastical."

I think this is a 2 year experiment. I'm looking forward to other interesting results.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

rice that grows in salt water; huge breakthrough

"Researchers initially expected an output of around 4.5 tons per hectare, but surprised themselves when four types registered 6.5 to 9.3 tons per hectare."

not much information but lots of photos. Hopefully this will lead to a new source of food. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to fix income inequality in the US? Math has the answer

"According to a new report published today by the New England Complex Systems Institute, mathematics can indeed be used to find a solution to income inequality. And as it turns out, the math points to targeted programs that redistribute wealth to the poor as the way to close the inequality gap and improve the health of the economy as a whole.
'We need a very measured, but definite shift in direction that will address the economic problems and also address economic inequality problems,' Yaneer Bar-Yam, a physicist and the founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute, told me. 'We went too far with Reaganomics and now we have to go back in order to have healthy economic growth.'"

Another point for universal basic income?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

the green way to slow global warming

"Natural climate solutions, also including protection of carbon-storing peatlands and better management of soils and grasslands, could account for 37% of all actions needed by 2030 under the 195-nation Paris plan, it said.
Combined, the suggested 'regreening of the planet' would be equivalent to halting all burning of oil worldwide, it said.
'Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought,' the international team of scientists said of findings published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The estimates for nature’s potential, led by planting forests, were up to 30% higher than those envisaged by a UN panel of climate scientists in a 2014 report, it said"