Friday, July 27, 2012

350.org Failing to Reach Worldwide Policy Makers

My recent conversation with 350.org:

From: Steve Stephenson
Date: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: [General Inquiry] where's your solutions page?
To: "Organizers, 350.org"

> in addition to a dramatic scaling down of energy use.

AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE FAILING WITH WORLDWIDE POLICY MAKERS !!!

All countries, esp. developing, want to have the same availability of energy as we (USA) have right now, and more in the future; not a meager gruel that will handicap the growth of our civilization.

And yes they will continue wanting it right up until they can't breathe anymore. It 's human nature.

What I'm trying to bring to your attention is a way to make your goal of reducing and eliminating the burning of fossil fuels actually achievable.

The British government is on board with a program, as is China's:
Stephen K Stephenson: @sks23cu
UK's Thorium initiative for LFTRs http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org

Stephen K Stephenson: @sks23cu
U.S. partners with China on new nuclear http://smrt.io/MA0tAg 


Of course you will have to educate your followers and the public at large to stop emotionally and unreasonably exaggerating radiation dangers from nuclear power plants. For example,
... population exposure from operation of 1000-MWe nuclear and coal-fired power plants amounts to 490 person-rem/year for coal plants and 4.8 person-rem/year for nuclear plants.
I think the public's biggest fear is of an accident at a nuclear plant that releases radioactive steam and gasses (like Fukushima). A secondary fear is the need to store radioactive wastes for a long time.

Both of these fears become irrational when considering the nuclear reactor originally researched by the USA and which the UK and China will be developing, the liquid salt LFTR:
Stephen K Stephenson: @sks23cu
350.org you've raised the alarm, now help provide the solution! http://on.ted.com/o3FE
  
Steve


On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM, Organizers, 350.org <organizers@350.org> wrote:
> Hi Stephen,
>
> Thanks for your note—but I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for.
> Here's a relatively basic factsheet(pdf) on solutions as we understand them.
> We advocate for a mix of renewable energy solutions, in addition to a
> dramatic scaling down of energy use.
>
> Hope that's helpful, and thanks again for your inquiry.
>
> Best,
>
> Allyse & the 350 team
>
> : : :  350.org  : : :
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM, <sks23@cornell.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Stephen Kent Stephenson sent a message using the contact form at
>> http://www.350.org/en/help.
>>
>> As a check after my last message I've tried to find solutions on your web
>> page and cannot. By solution I mean what do we replace fossil fuels with
>> that will meet and exceed the energy we get from them almost immediately and
>> forever?

=====

For an update on climate change check out Global Warming's Terrifying New Math. Jim Hansen takes it further into the future and talks about a Runaway Greenhouse Effect that will make the Earth truly a twin of Venus (which has surface temperatures above the melting point of lead.)

For more information on the solution, Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors, LFTRs, check out the Thorium Energy Alliance. We learn there that the first LFTR could be developed in 2 years and that subsequent units could be manufactured for $2M per MegaWatt. One 100 MW LFTR could be transported by one truck to where the power is needed.

Another resource: International Thorium Energy Organisation, IThEO

Here's a Feb. 2011 announcement of China's active research and development project to make LFTRs, which they call Thorium Fueled Molten Salt Reactors, TFMSRs. Jim Kennedy worries about our loss of intellectual property and the fact that we'll have to pay China to use what we did the original research on. Tell Congress and the President that you want the US to develop LFTRs and export them to the world!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

And yet here we are ...


From http://eenews.net/public/climatewire/2012/07/03/1 :

Little relief for the mid-Atlantic after 'super derecho' downs power infrastructure

...

Troubling patterns in a decade of hotter temperatures

Although no single weather event can be directly attributed to global warming, temperature records over the past several decades indicate that the world is moving toward more extreme heat, rather than extreme cold, said Steven Running, director of the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group at the University of Montana.

"What we see from the record is that we're breaking high temperature records twice as frequently as low temperature records," he said. "Without fingering any particular event, we can say that the probability distribution of temperature is being tilted towards warmer times."

Running noted that even climate scientists who predicted global warming in the late 1960s would be surprised at the heat extremes and weather patterns we are seeing today. More than 22,000 temperature record highs have been set this year, many of them during an unusually warm March. Warm winter conditions are responsible in part for the severity of the current wildfires in the Rocky Mountain West, blazes that have cost more than $100 million to fight and claimed half a dozen lives.

"Forty years ago, pre-eminent climate scientists of the last century didn't think the problem was developing at a speed we'd have to worry about in our lifetimes," Running said. "Most of the science community didn't think [climate change] would be urgent before midcentury."

"And yet here we are," he said.

Be part of the solution, join 350.org!
Join me at http://www.350.org

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

iPhone vs iPod Touch

Do you really need a smartphone?
© 2012 Stephen Kent Stephenson, sks23@cornell.edu. All rights reserved.

The Vancouver Sun article here makes a lot of sense; esp. with Verizon's steeply rising prices. Even their Prepaid Plans (click View Plan Details) will be expensive.

But can you go a little bit further; making calls on an iPod Touch over WiFi so you almost never have to use a cell phone, even a low cost one?

To test that out, I installed Talkatone on an old 2nd generation iPod Touch (model A1288, iOS 4.2.1) that came "free" with my MacBook Pro.

I had already set up Google Voice some time ago but never really had a use for it; now it's assigned to Talkatone on my iPod Touch.

My iPod Touch does not have a microphone; so I use The Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic that came with my iPhone.

Also my iPod Touch does not include the ability to run Talkatone in the background; so when I don't have it running, incoming calls and text messages are recorded for later listening and/or reading. In fact, the voice messages are copied to my Gmail as both audio files and (not so good) translated text. E.g.,
New voicemail from Steve Stephenson at 11:55 AM


Google Voice Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Reply-To: sks23@cornell.edu

Voicemail from: Steve Stephenson
This is. I didn't get through to talk accounts because I've got it turned off. ON my iPod Touch. So, that looks fine. I was to see if you get the message. Thanks. Bye.
Play message
Since Talkatone can only use WiFi on my Touch, absolutely no cell phone charges for either voice calls or text messages will accrue.

The Touch+Talkatone can be a poor person's cell phone, where the "cell's" are WiFi hotspots, which are becoming ubiquitous (or use Free WiFi app to find them).

And you can find applications that download data instead of streaming it; e.g., Downcast vs Stitcher for podcasts. (Downloads are available when cell signals aren't; even when going through tunnels!)

Safety is built-in with this method as texting and calling while driving are impossible! And you'll have more time to be with yourself; to think and reflect. That's goodness!

The only thing the iPod Touch doesn't have is GPS (although most apps can use the WiFi hotspots for location, like Google Maps). But GPS can be added and maps can be downloaded, e.g., with Motion X GPS Drive, so GPS navigation with voice driving directions should be possible (click Features).

With Verizon raising prices, now may be a good time to think about changing to a cheap pay-per-call cell phone and/or an iPod Touch with Talkatone.

Open question: When you've had your Verizon iPhone for more than 2 years and cancel with no penalty, can you then use the iPhone as an iPod Touch with GPS? (Answer?)