Thursday, July 29, 2021

Is democracy in danger?


A statement signed by more than 100 scholars on Tuesday warns that as a result of Republican-led states proposing or implementing “radical changes” to election laws, the voting procedures in several states are being transformed into “political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections.” The statement includes this dire prediction: “our entire democracy is now at risk”

* * * * *

The Big Lie is another danger to democracy.  If a legitimate vote can be overturned by a persistent lie, then democracy is truly in danger.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

A win-win source for lithium?


"The integration of direct lithium extraction with renewable geothermal energy offers the highest sustainability credentials available today. CTR's closed-loop, direct lithium extraction process utilizes renewable power and steam—significantly reducing the time to produce battery-grade lithium products and eliminating the need for overseas processing. CTR's operations will have a minimal physical footprint and a near-zero carbon footprint. The brine, after lithium extraction, is returned to the geothermal reservoir deep within the earth."

* * * * *

I've been to the Salton Sea.  It's stinky.  anything that could be done to clean that accidental lake would be great.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

China dumps on the world

Raw sewage discharged from more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels around the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is causing extensive damage to coral reefs, Simularity, a US satellite imagery analysis firm, said Monday.

"The sewage from the anchored ships in the Spratlys is damaging the reefs, and we can see this from space," Simularity founder and CEO Liz Derr said during a digital forum hosted by the Manila think tank Stratbase ADR Institute.

* * * * * 

I assume there is an international law that you can't throw your waste wherever you want.  


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Don't send the cops when a therapist is needed!


In six months, the STAR program has responded to 1,300 calls and never needed to ask for backup from a police officer.

“Just being able to think on your feet and creatively solve those problems and, you know, being non-judgmental and friendly and supplying people with a bottle of water goes a long way,” said Carleigh Sailon, STAR operations manager.

Jones was surprised how well it works to free up first responders for other calls and how much STAR employees enjoy their work. She said she learned Denver’s other emergency responders - police, fire, EMS - were in favor of the program as well.


* * * * *

Plus, I don't think there is such a thing as suicide-by-therapist.


Repurposing old coal mines in the UK


With the help of a few geothermal experts from Iceland, Black sunk a borehole into the murky depths of the old High Main coal seam in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Warmed by natural geological processes, the water they pumped to the surface was a pleasant 15C (59F).

With a little supplemental warmth from an electrical heat pump – "a bit like a fridge in reverse" – it was perfect for keeping the company's warehouse, and the millions of wine bottles within, at the right temperature. (Watch: how geothermal heat has been harnessed for centuries)  

"Nowadays we're heating a couple of warehouses, a distribution depot, a local bakery, and soon a nearby car showroom too," says Black.


* * * * *

Great idea to use energy already present!  Of course, it's not a new idea, just a new thought to utilize the old coal mines.  Lovely to see.


Friday, July 9, 2021

Helping solve the Heat Island Effect in cities


Pavement Technology, Inc has spent nearly a decade creating a titanium dioxide-based treatment, dubbed a “road rejuvenator.” (Its official name is A.R.A.-1 Ti but is known as Plus Ti).

Asphalt is the residue of distilled crude oil bound with coarser substances such as crushed rock, sand or gravel. Of America’s 2.6 million miles of paved roads, more than 94 per cent are surfaced with asphalt.

All asphalt has two molecular structures in common - maltenes which more or less “glues” the road together and asphaltenes which give the road its black colour and firmness. Over time, maltenes break down, causing the road to crack and become brittle. A.R.A.-1 Ti works by replacing maltenes to give asphalt back its original pep. 

* * * * *


DEFINITELY! something worth working on.  Black absorbs sunlight energy, white disperses it.


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Plastic waste a no-go in Europe now


Ten single-use plastic (SUP) products that for years have blighted Europe's beaches will be largely banned from July 3 as the EU's Single-Use Plastics Directive of 2019 comes into force.

Plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and polystyrene drink and food vessels cannot be sold as of Saturday. Also getting binned are oxo-degradable plastic bags that are marketed as biodegradable but which, according to the EU, break down into microplastics that long remain in the environment.   

These disposable plastics make up around 70% of marine litter in Europe. Cafes and restaurants will now be forced to stock cups and straws made of bamboo, cellulose or other biodegradable materials.


* * * *


This is a great start!  I think the best solution, however, is to have the creator of any object (pop bottle, refrigerator, car) be responsible for the recycling of the entire product.