• July 2010
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun   Aug »
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Top Posts

  • Categories

  • feedburner

  • Follow me on Twitter

Dream it, Think it, Write it, Throw it Away (via Uphill Writing)


Good ideas from the Rik. I know my internal critic screams a lot. Maybe this will help.

Dream it, Think it, Write it, Throw it Away What if I told you that there is a way to shut out the inner editor.  You know what I mean, right?  That niggling, nagging voice that serves as a constant reminder that your work "…just ain't good enough." In an earlier entry post, I wrote about the horror that is the Inner Editor.   This time I’d like to suggest a way to curb that editor’ … Read More

via Uphill Writing

Six lessons from the BP oil spill


From the Christian Science Monitor site. See http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0710/Six-lessons-from-the-BP-oil-spill for the whole article and expanded discussion of the 6 steps. .


Six lessons from the BP oil spill

What the tragedy of the BP oil spill has taught us about regulations, technology, and how our energy diet must change.
By Laurent Belsie, Staff writer / July 10, 2010

So what are the lessons of the Great Spill of 2010? the following is a synopsis of these steps from the article

1 Improve the offshore police

Wanted: People who understand the physics of recovering oil from the bottom of the ocean floor. Need to be intimately familiar with the mechanics of deep drilling – in other words, know that a RAM BOP has nothing to do with text messaging. Must be tough-minded and dispassionate. Must be willing to refuse any “gifts” from the oil industry, like free hunting and fishing trips. No golf outings with industry executives, either.

2 design a better drill rig

As oil discoveries in deeper waters beckon, giant new rigs will plunge drill bits two miles below the sea surface and five more miles into the earth – the equivalent of 29 Empire State Buildings. But such ultradeep drilling means ultrahigh pressures. At any time a bit could hit a pocket of pressurized gas that bursts to the surface and explodes. Capping a blowout 10,000 feet down would make the Deepwater Horizon problem look like a do-it-yourself caulk job.

3 manage the cleanup like Churchill

In the 1990s, experts from Columbia University and Boeing Corporation tried to prod the oil industry into planning for disasters as a critical part of the so-called lean management movement. No luck.

“The industry thought it was added cost, and because incentives were heavily biased towards cost cutting, they turned it down,” says Roger Anderson, a senior scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y.

4 Find something better than a boom

The ideas for new tools to clean up oil spills range from the mundane (better chemical dispersants to break up the crude so it will degrade naturally) to the exotic (ravenous microbes to eat the oil off beaches).

5 Tap the power of the people

The moment Gulfport, Miss., resident Megan Jordan feared has arrived. The viscous onslaught of crude is no longer an abstract horror belonging to Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. The first globules of oil have slipped through the Mississippi Sound and washed ashore in nearby Ocean Springs. For Ms. Jordan and her neighbors, this isn’t just any beach – it’s the keeper of memories, the provenance of dreams. The destruction is hard to bear.  Their passion, properly channeled, could become a crucial element in future oil spill defense. Experts say that by tapping into local knowledge – and love – communities could formulate emergency plans to bolster what residents have criticized as a slow, inadequate government and corporate response.

6 Recalibrate our energy policy

It has become one of the iconic images of 2010: oil gushing from the floor of the Gulf, almost one mile below the surface, where it mushrooms up from BP’s failed drilling rig like clouds of café au lait. The undersea feed from robotic cameras has popped up on national news telecasts and cable shows, during televised congressional hearings and presidential speeches – a potent reminder that for all the talk and technology, man’s search for oil is risky and beginning to push the limits of human engineering.

Space Photo of the day. July 10 2010. Greenland –


Speaking of the environment, here’s an article from NASA about global warming.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/jakobshavn2010.html

Jakobsahvn glacier before and after with notations

Images courtesy of Digital Globe

NASA-funded researchers monitoring Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier report that a 7 square kilometer (2.7 square mile) section of the glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, as shown in the image above. The calving front – where the ice sheet meets the ocean – retreated nearly 1.5 kilometers (a mile) in one day and is now further inland than at any time previously observed. The chunk of lost ice is roughly one-eighth the size of Manhattan Island, New York.

Research teams led by Ian Howat of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University and Paul Morin, director of the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center at the University of Minnesota have been monitoring satellite images for changes in the Greenland ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. While this week’s breakup itself is not unusual, Howat noted, detecting it within hours and at such fine detail is a new phenomenon for scientists.

“While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakonbshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay,” said Thomas Wagner, cryospheric program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica.”

The researchers relied on imagery from several satellites, including Landsat, Terra, and Aqua, to get a broad view of ice changes at both poles. Then, in the days leading up to the breakup, the team received images from DigitalGlobe’s WorldView 2 satellite showing large cracks and crevasses forming.

DigitalGlobe Inc. provides the images as part of a public-private partnership with U.S. scientists. Howat and Morin are receiving near-daily satellite updates from the Jakobshavn, Kangerlugssuaq, and Helheim glaciers (among the islands largest) and weekly updates on smaller outlet glaciers.

Jakobshavn Isbrae is located on the west coast of Greenland at latitude 69°N and has been retreated more than 45 kilometers (27 miles) over the past 160 years, 10 kilometers (6 miles) in just the past decade. As the glacier has retreated, it has broken into a northern and southern branch. The breakup this week occurred in the north branch.

Scientists estimate that as much as 10 percent of all ice lost from Greenland is coming through Jakobshavn, which is also believed to be the single largest contributor to sea level rise in the northern hemisphere. Scientists are more concerned about losses from the south branch of the Jakobshavn, as the topography is flatter and lower than in the northern branch.

In addition to the remote sensing work, Howat, Morin, and other researchers have been funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation to plant GPS sensors, cameras, and other scientific equipment on top of the ice sheet to monitor changes and understand the fundamental workings of the ice. NASA also has been conducting twice-yearly airborne campaigns to the Arctic and Antarctic through the IceBridge program and measuring ice loss with the ICESat and GRACE satellites.


NOTE ON THE USE OF IMAGERY

DigitalGlobe products may be published for editorial use only, in hardcopy, electronic or in broadcast format, provided that credit is conspicuously provided to “DigitalGlobe” on all such products as set forth in these Usage Rules. For purposes of these Usage Rules, “editorial use” is limited to a publication relating to a newsworthy event, or which is otherwise in the public interest.

Mike Carlowicz

Environment vs jobs. Why does it have to be this way? What’s the answer?


I don’t understand why we can’t figure out how to do both; clean up the environment and save jobs at the same time. What is the problem? Lack of brainpower? Or lack of energy or courage or determination?  Just questions to ask.

Central Coast growers, environmentalists spar over proposed water quality rules

Posted: 07/09/2010 09:01:28 AM PDT

Updated: 07/09/2010 08:42:50 PM PDT

Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel Field north of Santa Cruz are irrigated along the... ( @Shmuel Thaler )

WATSONVILLE — Proposed rules to clean up Central Coast waters could damage agriculture and put thousands of farmworkers out of work, according to growers.

But environmentalists say nitrate from fertilizers and pesticides is poisoning the region’s water supplies, and without more regulation, public health is at risk.

More at http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_15477074?source=rss&nclick_check=1