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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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Have You Heard Of Solar Desalination? If Not, You Will Soon

I heard a panel discussion on conventional reverse osmosis deal not too long ago and recall them saying that they had achieved maximum possible energetic efficiency with today's technologies. This sounds promising.

Have You Heard Of Solar Desalination? If Not, You Will Soon.


Solar power turns the sun’s energy into electricity. Desalination removes unwanted minerals from saltwater so it can be used for drinking or agriculture.

These two technologies have typically been employed separately in the effort to live more sustainably and limit dependence on finite resources. Now in California, a company has found a way to merge the two with the aim of providing long-term relief to farmers suffering the impacts of the state’s devastating four-year drought. The implications are far-reaching, as agriculture accounts for 80 percent of water use in California and roughly 70 percent of water use globally. In California alone, there is an estimated one million acre-feet of irrigation drainage that could be treated and reused if solar desalination catches on....

WaterFX, a San Francisco-based water producer for agricultural and commercial users, recently announced that its California subsidiary, HydroRevolution, plans to build the state’s first commercial solar desalination plant. To be located in the agriculture-intensive Central Valley, the plant will ultimately generate up to 5,000 acre-feet, or 1.6 billion gallons, of clean water per year — enough water for 10,000 homes or 2,000 acres of cropland. It will be built on 35 acres of land currently used to grow salt-tolerant crops, and will recycle unusable irrigation water from a 7,000-acre drainage area into a new and much-needed source of freshwater for nearby water districts by removing unwanted mineral and salts....

...the HydroRevolution system is the most efficient of its type available. It uses heat generated from parabolic solar panels to evaporate clean water out of the original source water. The condensate is then recovered as pure water at over 90 percent efficiency. When the sun isn’t shining, thermal heat storage used to hold excess heat allows the process to continue.
More at: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3682598/first-commercial-solar-desalination-plant-in-california/

CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom releases report on guidelines for marijuana legalization

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom releases report on guidelines for marijuana legalization

A panel chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to guide the debate on the legalization of marijuana in California with an emphasis on limiting children’s access to cannabis, reducing illegal activity and tightly regulating the drug's growth and sales.
In a report released Wednesday, the group lays out 58 recommendations and goals for implementing general legalization -- an issue expected to go before voters next year.
The document offers broad principles --“protecting California’s youth” -- as well as nitty-gritty suggestions for collecting data and limiting advertising.
Newsom said in an interview that he hopes the report offers guidance to proponents of a legalization initiative aimed at the November 2016 ballot, as well as to help lawmakers and officials who would have to implement it if it passed.

The report does not explicity endorse or oppose legalization of recreational marijuana...

This is direct link to report PDF. https://www.safeandsmartpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BRCPathwaysReport.pdf

The committee's website has some other worthwhile material: https://www.safeandsmartpolicy.org/reports/

On AFT polling behind Clinton endorsement and members who were not polled

This is the para on polling in the AFT announcement via press release:
The AFT has conducted a long, deliberative process to assess which candidate would best champion the issues of importance to our members, their families and communities. Members have been engaged online, through the "You Decide" website, through several telephone town halls, and through multiple surveys—reaching more than 1 million members.


With the claim in the press release that they'd reached "more than 1 million members" being so prominent, it should be expected that some would think a general vote had been taken and wonder why they weren't part of it. They link to the "You Decide" webpage that then leads you to a representative sample poll. So, even though most didn't receive a call, as I'm sure you know, if the sample was properly selected then, then a poll like this with a sample of 1150 should be an accurate assessment of member preferences.

The link to the 'YouDecide" page:

And that links to the only actual hard data made available - the poll summary from June 2015:

You can view the pollster's analysis at the above link. This is the ex summary:
This memo highlights key findings from a new national survey among 1,150 AFT members who are registered to vote. The survey explored members’ attitudes toward AFT’s issue agenda and the 2016 presidential election. Interviewing was conducted by telephone from June 22 to 27. The survey’s margin of error is ±3.3percentage points among all voters, and ±4.1 percentage points for Democratic primary voters (n=683)

So, even though most didn't receive a call, if the sample was properly selected then, with a sample of 1150 it should be an accurate assessment of member preferences.

There is, however, a most obvious problem with the survey, and that is the timing. The campaign is just starting and Sanders is moving very quickly to close the gap in voter market after voter market. In the two weeks since the poll was taken it is highly likely the sentiments expressed have changed significantly. If the effort to select a candidate were being done in good faith, I'd expect the trend line to be a major part of the discussion. (It should be noted the "resolution on the endorsement" points out that the PRIMARY endorsement is "traditionally" not by member vote. The text is included at the end of this post.)

That this single polling snapshot of this specific environment was used as justification for the endorsement indicates to me the recommendation is far more politically derived than member derived. I don't blame those who want a 3rd Way candidate to win again for doing something like this, but the transparently political manner of doing it smacks of more desperation from HRC's campaign than I expected.

Bernie has changed all of the dynamics of this race.

PS: Re Hillary and the 3rd Way, I'd like to point out that she was '3rd Way' before there was a '3rd Way'.
...In 1965, Rodham enrolled at Wellesley College, where she majored in political science. During her first year, she served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans; with this Rockefeller Republican-oriented group, she supported the elections of Mayor John Lindsay and Senator Edward Brooke. She later stepped down from this position, as her views changed regarding the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. In a letter to her youth minister at this time, she described herself as "a mind conservative and a heart liberal". In contrast to the 1960s current that advocated radical actions against the political system, she sought to work for change within it. In her junior year, Rodham became a supporter of the antiwar presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rodham organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley's black students to recruit more black students and faculty. In early 1968, she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association and served through early 1969; she was instrumental in keeping Wellesley from being embroiled in the student disruptions common to other colleges. A number of her fellow students thought she might some day become the first female President of the United States. To help her better understand her changing political views, Professor Alan Schechter assigned Rodham to intern at the House Republican Conference, and she attended the "Wellesley in Washington" summer program. Rodham was invited by moderate New York Republican Representative Charles Goodell to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller's late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination. Rodham attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami. However, she was upset by the way Richard Nixon's campaign portrayed Rockefeller and by what she perceived as the convention's "veiled" racist messages, and left the Republican Party for good.

Rodham wrote her senior thesis, a critique of the tactics of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky, under Professor Schechter. (Years later, while she was First Lady, access to the thesis was restricted at the request of the White House and it became the subject of some speculation.) In 1969, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, with departmental honors in political science. Following pressure from some fellow students, she became the first student in Wellesley College history to deliver its commencement address. Her speech received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes.] She was featured in an article published in Life magazine, due to the response to a part of her speech that criticized Senator Brooke, who had spoken before her at the commencement. She also appeared on Irv Kupcinet's nationally syndicated television talk show as well as in Illinois and New England newspapers. That summer, she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez (which fired her and shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthy conditions).


My Opinion about that is this:
We do not need to promote more centralization of economic and political power. Seriously right now is absolutely not one of those times when we can just shrug off any candidate's the preference for economic rightwing policies (3W) making up BAU. We have skewed so far to the right that we risk a range of related, unprecedented catastrophes directly linked to those policies (climate, militarization, authoritarianism) unless we change course.

AFT Resolution

WHEREAS, the members of the American Federation of Teachers play a critical and active role in our democracy; and

WHEREAS, the AFT, its affiliates and its members have rededicated ourselves to reclaiming the promise of America for all our children, families and communities; and

WHEREAS, the 2016 presidential election, like any other presidential election, provides an opportunity to elect a president who shares our vision for America; and

WHEREAS, traditionally, the endorsement is decided in two phases: For the primaries, the AFT executive council, which is elected by the convention delegates to represent the full membership, makes endorsement recommendations. For the general election, our convention chooses our candidate; and (emphasis added - K)

WHEREAS, in considering an endorsement for president, the AFT considers which candidate shares our values, has the support of our members, and is strong and electable; and

WHEREAS, toward this end, since February 2015, the AFT has engaged our members in a variety of ways on both the issues and the candidates, has conducted two polls, has held two town hall forums, has established the "You Decide 2016" and the "You Got Schooled" websites, has conducted research on where each candidate stands, and has invited all candidates to complete a questionnaire and meet with our executive council; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has spent her entire career, both in the private and public sectors, working to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to climb the ladder of success; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has a proven record in leading the fight for high-quality healthcare, including proper staffing levels; for high-quality public education for all, starting with our youngest children; was an original co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act; defended public service workers who came to our nation's defense on Sept. 11; and has a deep and long record on economic and social justice issues—from voting rights to immigrant rights to women's rights to worker rights—earning a 100 percent AFT voting record during her time in the U.S. Senate; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has pledged to help build an economy that produces good jobs and rising wages, and will work with educators, telling the AFT, "It's just dead wrong to make teachers the scapegoats for all of society's problems. Where I come from, teachers are the solution. And I strongly believe that unions are part of the solution too"; and

WHEREAS, the stakes are critically high in this election, when corporate-backed politicians want to preserve today's status quo—a rigged, trickle-down economic system—and to do that, they want to eviscerate unions; and

WHEREAS, these politicians know that unions give working people power at the bargaining table and the ballot box; and

WHEREAS, in a scientific poll conducted in late June 2015, 79 percent of members who can vote in the Democratic primary support a primary endorsement, and, by more than a 3-to-1 margin, those members prefer Hillary Clinton; and

WHEREAS, the AFT has received resolutions from several affiliates urging the executive council to endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination; and

WHEREAS, the 2016 election campaign is already well underway and an endorsement now will enable the AFT to help shape the debate and drive an agenda to reclaim the promise of America; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by AFT members, and is prepared for a tough fight in order to champion the interest of students, families and communities:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president in the Democratic primary; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its state and local affiliates commit to engaging and mobilizing our 1.6 million members, their families and their communities to reclaim the promise of America and to help secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton.

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