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G_j

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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 39,497

Journal Archives

Stunning photos drive home the destructiveness of tar sands

more peeps need to see this this..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112716078

Solar Power MORE Competitive Than Decision-Makers Or Consumers Realize

http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/24/solar-power-more-competitive-than-decision-makers-or-consumers-realize/


Solar Power More Competitive Than Decision-Makers Or Consumers Realize


Are the decision-makers entrusted with determining the future of energy infrastructure operating under an outdated understanding of the cost-competitiveness of solar power? In many cases, the answer is yes, according to a paper released last week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,” (PDF) BNEF CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,” they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”

Those facts so quickly upended what had been conventional wisdom (i.e., solar power is prohibitively expensive) that the new economics of solar power apparently caught decision-makers flat-footed. Here are the authors’ conclusions:


• The shift in prices of solar technology carries major implications for policy and investment decision-makers, especially when it comes to the choice of generating technology and the design of tariff, fiscal and other support policies.
• Many observers and decision-makers have yet to catch up with the improvements in the economics of solar power that have resulted from recent PV technology cost and price reductions.
• Recent reductions in PV prices are likely to be sustainable. While overcapacity has caused severe pain for manufacturers, the price falls are primarily a reflection of reductions in manufacturing costs, not solely a reflection of stock liquidation and other short-run factors.
• Commonly used estimates for PV power’s competitiveness – including the concept of “grid parity” – are often misleading, given the complex realities of the electricity system. [emphasis in the above mine]

..more..

When it comes to protests, when do the police NOT lie??

if you believe police versions of their protest actions, then you need to pay just a little attention.

http://intellectualodditiesnetwork.com/showthread.php?tid=8413

Charges Dismissed As Video Catches NYPD Lying At First #OWS Trial

Arbuckle was arrested on New Year’s Day for allegedly blocking traffic during a protest march. He was charged with disorderly conduct, and his arresting officer testified under oath that he, along with the protesters, was standing in the street, despite frequent requests from the police to move to the sidewalk.

But things got a little embarrassing for the NYPD officer when the defense presented a video recording of the entire event, made by well-known journalist Tim Pool.

Pool's footage clearly shows Arbuckle, along with all the other protesters, standing on the sidewalk. In fact, the only people blocking traffic were the police officers themselves

His lawyers said the video proving that testimony false is what swayed the judge, and the verdict a clear indication that the NYPD was over-policing the protests.

The irony of the case, however, is that Arbuckle was not a protester, or even a supporter of the Occupy movement. He was there to document the cops’ side of the story.

A political science and photography major at NYU, Arbuckle felt the police were not being fairly represented in the media.

“All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained,” the student said.

However, his good intentions only landed him in trouble. As with all the other detained protesters, the police offered Arbuckle an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), which basically means he would be let off the hook if he agreed not to fight the charges. But to Arbuckle, that meant an admission of guilt, and he decided to take the case to trial.

You Tell Us: When Did The Spirit Of The '60s End?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/you-tell-us-when-did-the-60s-end_n_1510682.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=740884,b=facebook

You Tell Us: When Did The Spirit Of The '60s End?


Last week James Franco wrote an anecdotal piece on his experience watching "Gimme Shelter," a film by the Maysles Brothers that involved coverage of the violent incidents that occured at the Altamont concert in 1969. The film, according to Franco, ended up sounding like "the death knell for the flower power of the 1960s." An interesting debate broke out in the comments section of the piece, where contributors gave their own account of the late '60s, and what really marked the end of 'flower power' for them.

Below is a roundup of the most interesting of the differing opinions and accounts. We want to reopen the floor to those who have words to contribute to the conversation.

Tell us in the comments or record a video retelling your experience in the late sixties. What marked the end of the spirit of the '60s for you?

read full comment thread:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/j_w_collins/_1507229_153877924.html

chief sponsor: Amendment One “is only backwards if you think that forward is a good thing”

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/tag/mississippi/

Why Perdue’s Mississippi comment was on the money 11 Comments
May 14, 2012 at 3:51 pmCategory:Uncategorized
by Rob Schofield

Governor Perdue may have ruffled some feathers in the Magnolia State with her comments last Friday about Amendment One and Mississippi, but her remarks were on the money. As I noted in this interview with ABC 11. the sentiment she expressed makes perfect sense.

Think about it; If one of your main jobs was selling North Carolina to businesspeople from all over the nation and the world, you too would feel embarrassed by having to explain such nonsense. Imagine yourself in a meeting with Tim Cook, the head of Apple Computers and a gay man or, perhaps some prominent film industry exec: How the heck to you put a smiling face on such a hateful and backward-looking change?

Of course, one could simply defer to the wisdom of the amendment’s chief sponsor, House Majority Leader Paul Stam. He said that passage of the amendment “is only backwards if you think that forward is a good thing”

Loss of biodiversity Could Rival Climate Change,


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502133106.htm

ScienceDaily (May 2, 2012) — Loss of biodiversity appears to impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study from an international research team.

The study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the impacts of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes.

The results highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides, according to the researchers, who are based at nine institutions in the United States, Canada and Sweden.

"Loss of biological diversity due to species extinctions is going to have major impacts on our planet, and we better prepare ourselves to deal with them," said University of Michigan ecologist Bradley Cardinale, one of the authors. The study is scheduled for online publication in the journal Nature on May 2.

..more..

~~~~~~~~~~

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/health_of_our_planet/

Global biodiversity has declined.. The 28% decline in LPI means that on average, species population sizes were 28% smaller in 2007 than in 1970.


The Living Planet Index reflects the overall health of our planet's biodiversity.
It works a bit like a stock exchange index, by tracking average changes in animal populations from around the world.

Since 1970, the global Living Planet Index has declined by 28 per cent.
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/health_of_our_planet/

Loss of biodiversity Could Rival Climate Change, species population sizes down 28%

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502133106.htm

ScienceDaily (May 2, 2012) — Loss of biodiversity appears to impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study from an international research team.

The study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the impacts of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes.

The results highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides, according to the researchers, who are based at nine institutions in the United States, Canada and Sweden.

"Loss of biological diversity due to species extinctions is going to have major impacts on our planet, and we better prepare ourselves to deal with them," said University of Michigan ecologist Bradley Cardinale, one of the authors. The study is scheduled for online publication in the journal Nature on May 2.

..more..

~~~~~~~~~~

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/health_of_our_planet/

Global biodiversity has declined.. The 28% decline in LPI means that on average, species population sizes were 28% smaller in 2007 than in 1970.


The Living Planet Index reflects the overall health of our planet's biodiversity.
It works a bit like a stock exchange index, by tracking average changes in animal populations from around the world.

Since 1970, the global Living Planet Index has declined by 28 per cent.
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/health_of_our_planet/

The War Between Organic and Conventional Farming Misses the Point

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/05/the-war-between-organic-and-conventional-farming-misses-the-point/257140/#.T7H17UN-TsI.facebook

The War Between Organic and Conventional Farming Misses the Point
By Ari LeVaux
May 14 2012, 3:28 PM ET 2

The real dispute is over valid but competing priorities.


On April 23, the science journal Nature published a paper titled "Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture," by Verena Seufert et al. The mainstream press waded into the paper's implications but had a hard time packaging them in a headline. CNN announced "Organic yields 25% lower than conventional farming," while the Los Angeles Times proclaimed "Organic Farming, carefully done, can be efficient."



Pundits have used the paper to support contrary arguments in the ongoing debates about organic agriculture. Such cherry-picking isn't a huge surprise, given the issue's divisiveness, said co-author Dr. Navin Ramankutty of McGill University.


"We made everyone equally unhappy," he told me by phone.


The paper is a meta-analysis of previous studies comparing organic and conventional agriculture, and purports to be the second of its kind. The first, by another team in 2007, concluded that organic agriculture could outperform conventional agriculture, but parts of that study's methodology were criticized. Seufert et al. took those criticisms into account, hoping to avoid similar challenges, and considered 66 studies that compared the yields of 344 different crops. In this sample, conventional techniques outperformed organic methods in terms of overall yield. In some circumstances, and with some crops, the difference is statistically insignificant. There are counterexamples as well.


Yield alone, the team writes, is "...only part of a range of economic, social and environmental factors that should be considered when gauging the benefits of different farming systems."


..more..

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/protesting-nato-what-know-about-secret-service-and-hr-347


Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347
By Gabe Rottman, Washington Legislative Office at 12:58pm

The forthcoming summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, set for May 20 and 21 in Chicago, could be the first public test of H.R. 347, the recently passed law that expanded the ability of the Secret Service to suppress protests in or around certain restricted zones near individuals under its protection. We've written about H.R. 347 here and here.

NATO summits are interesting affairs. Unlike the periodic meetings of member nations, the summits are more stately and elaborate events, meant to introduce major policy changes or new members to the strategic alliance (among other things). This means lots of Very Important Persons, and lots of Very Controversial Issues. Both of these things mean lots of expected First Amendment activity.

As far as H.R. 347 goes, the NATO summit has been declared a "National Special Security Event" by the Department of Homeland Security. This puts the Secret Service in charge of the overall security plan. My understanding is that the FBI chips in with counterterrorism and counterintelligence assistance, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (another DHS agency) is in charge of emergency preparation. It also means massive security preparations and infrastructure—and lots of opportunities for the suppression of lawful protest.

The entire area around Chicago's McCormick Place—the main site for the summit—will be off-limits to unauthorized personnel, and I believe will qualify as a restricted zone under the federal law that was amended by H.R. 347. Additionally, the Secret Service plans to close parts of Lake Shore Drive and I-55 near the summit as well as other locations in the Loop.

For protesters, this means a couple of things. First, be aware of the types of conduct covered by the law amended by H.R. 347 (all of this stuff was actually illegal before the recent revamp, which is partially why the bill sailed under the radar). That is, you cannot:

(1) Enter or remain in one of these zones without "lawful authority";
(2) Engage in "disorderly or disruptive conduct" in or near one of these zones that "impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government activities or official functions" (but you must intend to impede or disrupt those activities or functions);
(3) Block or otherwise impede an entrance or exit to one of these zones (but you must again intend to disrupt government activities or official functions); or
(4) Engage in any act of physical violence against person or property in any restricted zone.

Second, note this is where the lowered intent standard in the law, which we explained here, could come into play. Previously, per the one case discussing the scope of the law amended by H.R. 347, there was a question about whether you had to affirmatively know your actions were unlawful under federal law before you could be convicted under the relevant federal statute. Under H.R. 347's amendments to that statute, I think it's safe to say that requirement is gone. All you need to know are the "facts underlying" the offense, meaning that you merely need to be aware you're engaged in the conduct described above in one of these zones, but not that it's illegal.

In practice, this could mean that protesters who inadvertently find themselves in one of these areas could be arrested and charged under H.R. 347. That said, the law also requires that the area be "posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted," meaning that it would have to be obvious based on signage, a cordon of police officers surrounding the area or some other means that the area is a federally restricted area. If not, it would arguably be difficult to form the required intent to commit the crime. That will not necessarily, however, stop the authorities from arresting you.

What will be particularly interesting (read: alarming) is if the Secret Service starts to use the law to get at protests that are physically removed from the event. For instance, if a lawful protest that is within earshot of the summit gets rowdy enough that it "disrupts" the "orderly conduct of Government business or official functions," does that trigger the statute? We just don't know. The Secret Service certainly has the ability and obligation to secure the individuals it protects, but it also must permit lawful protest to be seen and heard. It cannot use H.R. 347 to "sanitize" the summit.


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MAPS: What Your State Is Good At, And What It's Lame At

MAPS: What Your State Is Good At, And What It's Lame At
maps show that each state is No. 1 in something.

[IMG][/IMG]

http://www.upworthy.com/maps-what-your-state-is-good-at-and-what-its-lame-at?c=cd1
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