Monday, December 27, 2021

Crisis Response Teams better than police responses for mental health issues


In the eight years since the program launched in Hamilton, there has been a marked reduction in taking people in mental health crisis into custody.

Before the mobile team, Hamilton police apprehended three out of every four people they were called to assist. Their latest figures show a 70 per cent reduction to fewer than one in five.

"You'll see a full range. It might be as horrible as somebody up on a bridge threatening to jump," Burtenshaw told Dr. Brian Goldman, host of White Coat Black Art.

"It might be somebody saying, 'Listen, I'm really worried about my mom. She's not answering the door. Can you do a wellness check?'"


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Police tend to not know how to de-escalate an encounter with someone with mental health issues.  Professionals who do know save lives.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Salton Sea a hopeful source of lithium


“Extraction of lithium from geothermal brines is expected to be particularly challenging,” the lab explains. “The brine is extremely hot when it comes out of the subsurface, and it contains a rich stew of many dissolved minerals in addition to lithium.”

To visualize how complex and delicate the extraction process is, imagine you are flipping for baseball cards, except all of your cards are stuck together and they are on fire.

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Still, it's very tempting to try to get at this ready source of lithium with a power source at hand as well.  At this time, lithium is needed for electric vehicles for their batteries.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

electric cars use much less material in their lives than ICE vehicles


"The study by Transport and Environment reveals that traditionally fuelled cars use a significantly higher amount of resources to be produced and maintained, from production to eventual scrappage.

Only 30kg of raw material will be lost over the lifecycle of a lithium-ion battery used in electric cars. By comparison, over 17,000 litres of oil is used in a fossil fuelled engine over the same amount of time...

 Battery cars are predicted to use 58% less energy than petrol cars over their lifetimes and emit 64% less carbon dioxide, according to the study.

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The only legitimate argument I've heard against electric vehicles is that they are just switching the fossil fuel burning from the car engine to the coal burning plant.  But if electric vehicles use less material through their lives, and require less energy, just that is a powerful claim.  And once coal-fired plants are replaced with renewable energy sources, then we're finally on our way to cleaning up the air.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

We're drowning in plastic waste


"Plastic waste has increased sharply in the US since 1960, with the country now generating about 42m metric tons of plastic waste a year, amounting to about 130kg of waste for every person in America. This total is more than all European Union member countries combined. The overall amount of municipal waste created in the US is also two to eight times greater than comparable countries around the world, the report found.

Recycling infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the huge growth in American plastic production. Littering, dumping and inefficient waste disposal in landfills has caused up to 2.2m tons of plastic – including everything from plastic bottles and straws to packaging – to 'leak' into the environment each year. The total waste may be even greater than this due to data gaps in tracking it.

Much of this plastic ends up, via rivers and streams, in the world’s oceans."

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NPR this morning stated that 10 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean every year.  Aquatic animals eat it, get stuck in it, and die. My solution would be to REPLACE plastic with something biodegradable, such as mushroom-based packaging.  Recycling does not work.  Only 9% of what you put in a recycling bin actually gets recycled.