HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » NNadir » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4

NNadir

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: New Jersey
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,087

Journal Archives

There was this night, in San Diego in 1981 that, by auspicious magic, I was denied.

This piece always makes me think of it, sitting on a patio overlooking a Canyon in Clairmont, late evening, talking with the sister of the then object of my (wistful) affections.

?list=RDMM

The music is every bit is wonderful as it was back then, but, that said, you live to thank God that all your prayers were not answered.

I don't know why, it was - what 40 years ago? - but somehow I found myself thinking about it.

Life is thrilling, and then you die.

I feel free.

Off for my second Moderna this morning.



Nature Editorial Drags Out the Usual Rote Selective Attention.

It's um, disappointing in the extreme to hear this editorial stuff trotted out, in one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals.

Nuclear technology’s role in the world’s energy supply is shrinking

Some excerpts and comments:



“It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.”

These stirring words, spoken in 1953 by then US president Dwight Eisenhower, are worth recalling as the world marks the anniversaries of two devastating tragedies involving nuclear technology: the Fukushima disaster in Japan on 11 March 2011, and the catastrophic accident at Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine on 26 April 1986.

In Japan, some 19,300 lives were lost as a result of an earthquake that occurred off the island of Honshu and the tsunami that followed. The tsunami also swept over the protective sea wall around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and the subsequent flooding led to the partial meltdown of three reactor cores, causing fires and explosions. Twenty-five years earlier, human error resulted in a meltdown at the Chernobyl site, blowing the roof off a nuclear reactor and releasing radiation across Europe...


This is very misleading syntax. The 19,300 lives lost in the Fukushima event were not lost to radiation, but to seawater. (More than 200,000 lives were lost to seawater in the SE Asian Tsunami but the editorial doesn't question the viability of coastal cities, particularly in the era where climate change is not being addressed at all. The number of deaths from radiation at Fukushima is exceedingly small, if measurable at all. It is notable - and reported in various contexts in Nature and notably in Lancet that air pollution kills as many people every one to two days as died from seawater at Fukushima. In fact, air pollution kills more people every day that Covid-19 killed on its worst day worldwide.

In addition to the deaths and health risks, the cost of the damages caused by Chernobyl is thought to exceed US$200 billion, and the Japan Center for Economic Research estimates the costs of decontaminating the Fukushima site to be between $470 billion and $660 billion. In the wake of the disaster, 12 of Japan’s reactors have been permanently shut; a further 24 remain closed pending ongoing safety reviews, which are adding to the costs.


This statement is also disingenuous. There is no reference whatsoever to the standards to which the "decontamination" of Fukushima will be held, nor to the number of lives that would be saved by completing it to the standard implied. Far worse of course is there is no financial comparison to the putative cost of "decontaminating" the planetary atmosphere of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide, or "restoring" areas destroyed by excessive heatwaves, natural disasters brought on by climate change.

Might it not be true that rather than spending $660 billion to "decontaminate" Fukushima to save - how many lives exactly from radiation - that we actually spent the same money eliminating air pollution? Which activity would save more lives?

And then there's this precious bit on nonsense that I've been hearing for half a century:

By contrast, although renewable-energy technologies are still in their relative infancy, their costs are falling and their regulation is much more straightforward. This is important: the technology used to turn on lights or charge mobile phones shouldn’t need to involve national or international defence apparatus.

Clearly, nuclear energy will be with us for some time. New plants are being built and older ones will take time to decommission. But it is not proving to be the solution it was once seen as for decarbonizing the world’s energy market. Nuclear power has benefits, but its continued low take-up indicates that some countries think these are outweighed by the risks. For others, the development of nuclear energy is unaffordable. If the world is to achieve net zero carbon emissions, the focus must be on renewable energies — and one of their greatest benefits is that their sources are available, freely, to all nations.


If so called "renewable energy" is "freely available" how come we just spent three trillion dollars in this century on solar and wind energy producing no other result than an accelerating decay of the planetary atmosphere? There's nothing fucking "free" about it, spending more than the GDP of India on a technology that has done nothing to address climate change.

If so called "renewable energy" is in its infancy, why am I not also in my infancy? The solar cell was invented in 1954.



Bell Labs Photovoltaics (Other ads about the solar future described in the 1950's can be found at this link.)

As of 2021, almost 70 years after the invention of the solar cell, they don't produce 2% of the world's energy, now exceeding 600 exajoules per year.

This week, carbon dioxide concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa have been running at around 418 ppm, around 25 ppm higher than 10 years ago.



That's um, data, on how successful our "freely available" so called "renewable energy" is doing at addressing climate change. Despite world wide enthusiasm for "freely available" so called "renewable energy" the use of dangerous fossil fuels and the accumulation of dangerous fossil fuel waste - including but hardly limited to carbon dioxide - is rising at the fastest rate ever observed.

Really, this is appallingly bad thinking from the editorial staff of one of the world's premier scientific journals, almost at the level of criminality.

It is, to say the least, beyond disappointing. It's at the level of embarrassing stupidity, and surely involves selective attention, in the scientific field known as "selection bias" or "selection pressure."

In other news, over at Science here is an article (open sourced I believe) on the unexpected health consequences of Fukushima:

This physician has studied the Fukushima disaster for a decade—and found a surprising health threat

It would seem that the fear of radiation clearly and unambiguously kills more people than industrial radiation does.

One evening in June 2011, Masaharu Tsubokura went to bed and found he couldn’t close his left eye. His face was paralyzed, and for a few weeks the doctor who had spent months counseling residents displaced by a massive nuclear disaster was himself a patient.

The paralysis was temporary. But the stress that caused it has been a constant in Tsubokura’s life since he volunteered in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, days after the triple catastrophe that rocked it on 11 March 2011: a magnitude 9 earthquake, a tsunami that rose up to 40 meters, and multiple meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. What was meant to be a short volunteer stint giving health checks to evacuees became a career that has lasted 10 years and counting.

In the months after the disaster, Tsubokura moved from routine medicine to measuring radiation exposure. He became adept at explaining radiation basics and risks to residents and officials. “He spent a huge amount of time in town hall meetings, lectures, and dialogues with local people, which made him respected and trusted,” says Kenji Shibuya, a global health scholar at King’s College London who collaborated with him. And Tsubokura soon reached a controversial conclusion: The evacuation had a far bigger impact on health than the radiation. “No one died of radiation,” he says, whereas uprooting tens of thousands of people caused clear social and health problems.

Early on, Tsubokura did his best to allay fears among evacuees and residents living just outside the evacuation zone. Many people welcomed his reassurances, though some accused him of being an apologist for the power company and the government. But the physician, now 39, persisted.

“Many people would have left and said, ‘OK, I tried my best,’” says Gilles Hériard-Dubreuil, a Paris-based consultant involved in community rehabilitation in Belarus after the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Ukraine in 1986. It’s a sign of Tsubokura’s courage and humanity, he says, “that he maintained his presence and he faced the adversity.”

Splitting his time between jobs at hospitals in Tokyo and Fukushima, Tsubokura accumulated data that would put the risks in perspective. In more than 140 papers, he and colleagues have documented the relatively low radiation exposure of Fukushima residents and the health impacts of the evacuation—a high death toll among the elderly, increases in chronic diseases, and a decline in general well-being...


Have a nice evening.

Historians are being very, very, very unfair to the President.

Two Presidents actually, if this CBS news item is correct.

The Presidents to whom they are being unfair are James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

Buchanan deserves to be ranked higher than Trump because at least he inherited the divisions that tore the country apart; he didn't create them.

Andrew Johnson was a racist like Trump, but he was only impeached once. At least Johnson didn't embezzle regularly and promote his children and dumb assed Son-in-law to the highest level of incompetence ever. Nor was Johnson a graft machine.

I sincerely object. Trump is #1 worst of all and could only have been saved from "worst ever" if Aaron Burr had actually been chosen by the House of Representatives over Thomas Jefferson.

She was Demoted, Doubted and Rejected But Now Her Work is the Basis of the Covid-19 Vaccine

(Cross posted, on request, from the Science Forum: She was Demoted, Doubted and Rejected But Now Her Work is the Basis of the Covid-19 Vaccine

I'm not sure how I got on this mailing list but somehow I did:

She was Demoted, Doubted and Rejected But Now Her Work is the Basis of the Covid-19 Vaccine

The foundation of the COVID-19 vaccine, and many others, can be drawn back to the work of an intrepid immigrant to the United States from Hungary, whose never-say-die attitude and belief in her work led to one of the most important technological developments in vaccine research.

Katalin Karikó is now being talked about for a Nobel Prize, but life wasn’t always so congratulatory for her, and the story about how she practically invented mRNA and RNA-derived therapies and vaccines—the basis of so many lifesaving treatments—was filled with challenges.

When Karikó left her native Hungary with husband and young child, she had just $1,200 stuffed in her daughter’s teddy bear. Now, after years of her work developing mRNA and RNA technologies, she is the senior vice-president for the German pharmaceutical giant BioNTech, and her work has received more than 12,000 academic citations.

After graduating with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Szeged, she afterwards embarked on a research career at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

However, after getting laid off, Karikó subsequently relocated to the United States after receiving an invitation from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1985. She would eventually transfer to University of Pennsylvania, which would end up being an extremely difficult period.

In that time, messenger RNA research was extremely popular, but shortly after she arrived, the method for using a virus’s genetic material to command a human body to duplicate certain proteins to fight the virus was considered too radical, and too financially risky to fund.

The failed grant applications began piling up on Karikó’s desk, but she was not deterred.

Ten years after she arrived in Philadelphia, she was demoted from her position at UPenn and was then diagnosed with cancer...


Cool.

She was Demoted, Doubted and Rejected But Now Her Work is the Basis of the Covid-19 Vaccine

I'm not sure how I got on this mailing list but somehow I did:

She was Demoted, Doubted and Rejected But Now Her Work is the Basis of the Covid-19 Vaccine

The foundation of the COVID-19 vaccine, and many others, can be drawn back to the work of an intrepid immigrant to the United States from Hungary, whose never-say-die attitude and belief in her work led to one of the most important technological developments in vaccine research.

Katalin Karikó is now being talked about for a Nobel Prize, but life wasn’t always so congratulatory for her, and the story about how she practically invented mRNA and RNA-derived therapies and vaccines—the basis of so many lifesaving treatments—was filled with challenges.

When Karikó left her native Hungary with husband and young child, she had just $1,200 stuffed in her daughter’s teddy bear. Now, after years of her work developing mRNA and RNA technologies, she is the senior vice-president for the German pharmaceutical giant BioNTech, and her work has received more than 12,000 academic citations.

After graduating with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Szeged, she afterwards embarked on a research career at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

However, after getting laid off, Karikó subsequently relocated to the United States after receiving an invitation from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1985. She would eventually transfer to University of Pennsylvania, which would end up being an extremely difficult period.

In that time, messenger RNA research was extremely popular, but shortly after she arrived, the method for using a virus’s genetic material to command a human body to duplicate certain proteins to fight the virus was considered too radical, and too financially risky to fund.

The failed grant applications began piling up on Karikó’s desk, but she was not deterred.

Ten years after she arrived in Philadelphia, she was demoted from her position at UPenn and was then diagnosed with cancer...


Cool.

New Weekly Record Set at the Mauna Loa Observatory for CO2 Concentrations 417.97 ppm.

As I've indicated several times I somewhat obsessively keep a spreadsheet of the weekly data at the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory, which I use to do calculations to record the dying of our atmosphere, a triumph of fear, dogma and ignorance that did not have to be, but nonetheless is.

This week's reading is the first in the history of weekly average readings, going back, to 1975 posted by the Mauna Loa is the highest ever recorded at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory, 417.97.


Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa



Week beginning on February 28, 2021: 417.97 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 414.07 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 392.12 ppm


The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations when compared to the same week in 2020 is 3.90 ppm. Going back to 1975, there are 2,341 data points in year to year comparisons for the same week of the year. This week's is tied for the 24th worst of all time.

In my spreadsheet, I keep records of the increases over 10 year periods, in this case, a comparison of the reading this past week, with the last week of May in 2011. Using Excel functions, I can sort them by values high to low and do a lot of other things.

One can see, even if one's mathematical is as low as say, a typical member of Greenpeace, that the difference between this week and the same week ten years ago, is 25.85 ppm. Again, the posted weekly Mauna Loa data goes back to May of 1975. Thus the comparisons between the figures in a particular week with that of the figure ten years earlier begin in 1986. There are 1,451 such ten year comparisons as of this writing. The figure for this week, again 25.85 ppm, is the highest such comparison ever recorded. Of the top 20 such ten year record increases in week to week data, three have been recorded in 2021, and all have been recorded since 2019.

If any of this troubles you, don't worry, be happy. You can always head over to the E&E forum and read that "renewable energy is growing 'exponentially.'" I've been hearing that, of course, my whole damned life and I'm not young, but again, don't worry, be happy.

You can also read how "nuclear energy is too expensive." The earliest nuclear plant ever built in the Western World produced electricity for half a century. It was built on 1940's and early 1950's technology. Modern nuclear plants are designed to last 60 years or more. After they are amortized they are cash cows, they produce electricity only requiring trivial low fuel costs and maintenance costs.

By contrast, every damned piece of so called "renewable energy" on this planet will need replacement in 25 years or less - a few wind turbines, very few, as reported at the comprehensive Master Register of Wind Turbines from the Energy Agency of that off shore oil and gas drilling hellhole, Denmark, lasted 30 years; almost all of them were landfill in 25 years or less, with an average lifetime of under 20 years. Wind turbines will be greasy rotting hulks requiring diesel trucks to haul the blades to landfills before most babies born in 2021 graduate from college. Pretty much every damned solar cell now on this planet will all be more already intractable electronic waste in 25 years.

Nuclear energy is too expensive for whom? Certainly not for future generations, but we certainly don't give a rat's ass about their lives. When it comes to providing for them, we couldn't care less. We all turn into Ayn Rand when discussing nuclear energy; we only care for ourselves and those babies born today will have to deal with the shit we leave behind on a planet choking to death on dangerous fossil fuel waste, leaking fracking fields, destroyed ground water, abandoned depleted mines dug so we could be "green," with all of the world's best ores completely depleted etc.

History will not forgive us; nor should it.

I trust you are having a pleasant and safe Sunday.

"False gods must be repudiated, but that is not all:

...the reasons for their existence must be sought beneath their masks.:

Alexander Herzen, quoted in Dmitri Volkogonov's Stalin, Triumph and Tragedy, translated by Harold Shukman, 1988, Grove Winfield Publishers.

Why is the media obsessed with interviewing the QAnon "shaman?"

Isn't this rather like interviewing an abuser who murders his ex-girlfriend for leaving him to understand and publicize his views on womwn?

Speak Now: Law and Disorder With Constitutional Scholar Michael Dorf.

Months after the 2020 election, the United States feels more divided than ever. Today’s youth have only ever experienced a fractured America, rife with ideological polarization that corrodes our ability to listen to and understand voices different from our own. Such division not only threatens democracy and political stability, but also our ability to help those in this country who need it most.

“Speak Now,” a three-part series from the Cornell Advocacy Project, is addressing this divide, exploring the role of empathy in rehabilitating hostile spaces. Through the insight of an experienced advocate, each webinar will equip attendees with rhetorical techniques and productive strategies for engaging in political discourse, advocacy, and activism in this increasingly polarized age.

In the second episode of this series, “Law and Disorder,” Cornell Law School Professor Michael Dorf will explore the role of the Constitution and judicial system in contributing to — and fighting — modern American polarization.

This event is hosted by the Cornell Advocacy Project and co-sponsored by Cornell Law School.


Law and Disorder With Constitutional Scholar Michael Dorf.

I was able to sign up for free.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4