Sunday, 25 October 2009

sunday's final!

Guardian: “Ravaged by drought, Madagascar feels the full effect of climate change”

Friends of mine wanted to visit Madagascar by boat; they were told not to do so as the country is in a “state of instability”; this happened three weeks ago.

Three forces are combining with deadly effect on the Indian Ocean island, which is incalculably rich in wildlife but impoverished in basic infrastructure. Climate change is widely blamed for playing havoc with the seasons and destroying agricultural harvests.

This is exacerbated by local deforestation, which has altered the microclimate and reduced rainfall. Finally, a bloody political coup earlier this year paralysed essential services and led to the crippling suspension of several foreign aid programmes. The UN says that nearly half of households in the south have severe food shortages.

It is all man made, isn’t it?

Carpe diem!

apropos energy!

telegraph: "Climate targets can't be achieved, say energy companies”

It is very obvious that this statement comes from energy companies that use any type of fossil fuel to generate power. If I was one of those I would most probably sign that statement.

At least, the article says something interesting about gas:

...Several urged governments to consider gas, rather than less reliable, more expensive renewables, because this fossil fuel emits 50pc less carbon dioxide than coal when burnt.

So gas in combination with Combined Heat and Power units (CHPu) and intelligent construction should give us time to develop further energy alternatives avoiding the disasters of idleness and/or fruitless discussions about what should or should not be done.

And what is more Natural Gas could soon become Bio Gas!

What is the hold up?

Carpe diem!

apropos chemicals!

telegraph: Why boys are turning into girls

Not so funny as it sounds, not so beautiful as telegraph's leading picture; however, very serious in its consequences:

Here's something rather rotten from the State of Denmark. Its government yesterday unveiled official research showing that two-year-old children are at risk from a bewildering array of gender-bending chemicals in such everyday items as waterproof clothes, rubber boots, bed linen, food, nappies, sunscreen lotion and moisturising cream.

The 326-page report, published by the environment protection agency, is the latest piece in an increasingly alarming jigsaw. A picture is emerging of ubiquitous chemical contamination driving down sperm counts and feminising male children all over the developed world. And anti-pollution measures and regulations are falling far short of getting to grips with it.

A clever man is a man that knows that he knows nothing and begins learning!

Carpe diem!

apropos radiation!

telegraph: Long-term use of mobile phones "may be linked to cancer"

No, I don't want to discuss this again; but then how long will it take for a flood of reports to pop up all over the place denying any link whatsoever.

Let's just pretend we listen to all these lobbies from tobacco to food, from pharmaceutics to chemistry, from nuclear to coal, or from left to right.

Carpe diem!

p.s.: This article picks up on radiation and heart diseases.

apropos waste! sites may be used to dump radioactive waste

Don't worry; there will be a site near you; this is for "low level waste", only; but lots of it!
What an easy solution for the nuclear industry and the bankrupt Councils?

Carpe diem!

Forwever waste!

nuclear waste in barrels standing on salt
click on the picture to get a feeling for the dimension(s) "Nuclear Waste unsolved"

It remains a miracle for me that on a global scale all decision makers are calling for new Nuclear Power Stations while the saga of “How to handle nuclear waste material” remains not only unsolved but is a fast growing hazard to mankind.

The article also refers to the “German Lesson”:

Storing waste in the mine had to be stopped because scientists didn’t understand how water flows in and out of the space, putting the structure and nearby water resources at risk, Wolfram Koenig, president of the German nuclear safety regulator, said in an interview on a train to the site.

...just another method!

You should know that Mr. Koenig refers to a "former salt mine"; salt and water and scientists that have to admit to not understand "how water flows"!

Good luck!

Carpe diem!

P.S.: here is another interesting article on nuclear waste or "spent nuclear fuel".

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Apples importing inflation?

"At the moment we have a situation where we are importing massive amounts of food into the UK, while we have our own apples. It is bizarre. Consuming local produce not only cuts down on food miles, it helps local farmers and is good for our health."

While imports not necessarily will be bad for your health I just think the Pound's weakness came too fast to be growing more apples over night; imports paid for in € have become 40% more expensive; but would you bet on an apple tree and next year's currency ratios?

Carpe diem!

Fuel or rather construction poverty?

telegraph article on fuel poverty

With energy prices going up more and more people/households will be pushed into fuel poverty.

...the targets of ending fuel poverty in vulnerable households by 2010 and all households by 2016 were now "embarrassingly unattainable.

High energy bills are a serious problem for millions struggling with the consequences of Gordon Brown's recession.

I wonder how that ominous target was and is dealt with? Throwing money at it might help - short term.

A more lateral approach will be to clean up poor building regulations and poor construction standards. All instruments are readiliy available; it is for a future-oriented governement to set the targets and a customer-oriented industry to offer the appropriate products. The technology is long known, it needs training and education of both, the customer and the supplier.

The benefits will be multifaceted from reduced CO2 emissions to lower energy bills, from creating valuable jobs to creating future-proof, comfortable and healthy living space.

What is the hold up?

Carpe diem!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

China and its weak currency!

China's geopolitical influence

The Renminbi as the shadow currency of the US $ is just as weak while at the same time China is extending its geopolitical influence by securing resources, energy and markets.

Carpe diem!

and the EURO takes it all!

Obviously the EURO is currently loosing the fight of the economies in trouble (which one is not?) of trying to import inflation (i.e. reducing debt) and export goods (i.e. economic growth); the easiest way to achieve both is weakening the own currency; by coincidence (?!) all major and not-so-majorcurrencies are on the same trip, some more successful like $ and RMB thanothers.

Not that it would make a big difference but setting the EURO rules did definitely not include a strategy out of a global economic disaster other than an automated destruction.

The result is going to beat 1929.

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A global problem, it seems...

If you want another world press "08/15"!

Carpe diem!

Monday, 19 October 2009

God sends crashes?

Telegraph article: "A sterling crash is a godsend"

Apart from who should send what kind of crashes I doubt that the idea of hoping for a weakening currency makes much sense.

A currency mirrors the state in which an economy is in; the weaker the currency the more fragile the economy becomes and – most important - vice versa. The Sterling is weakening ever since 1949 against the DM for example, now the EURO. What once was DM11.70 had become around DM3.00 when the DM was buried and now is almost par value with the EURO [i.e. DM1.95583].

On the long run, how will the Sterling win the race that all major currencies are competing in which is trying to support exports and breeding inflation, the obvious two only ways out of the absolute and disastrous figures?

Just to see the full picture: Pound versus Euro started off in 1999 at 0.65874 and yesterday was 0.9131; that has made all exports round about 40% more competitive for our export partners, so where is the export boom?

At the same time imports are inflated by 40%, that, under normal circumstances would trigger "imported inflation"; once the deflationary trend is over with such "normal circumstances" might strike back and in the mix with a weak and affluent currency lead to (hyper) inflation.

Of course, all equities and liabilities will be relative, then.

Carpe diem!

GBP versus DM between 1983 and 1997
source: Deutsche Bundesbank

Friday, 9 October 2009

CHP - one way forward: intelligent grid

1.3 to 4.7 kW electric and 4.0 to 12.5 kW thermal energy
CHP = Combined Heat and Power,
CHP = producing thermal and electric energy in one unit, in one go)

One way to avoid rising fuel bills is to consume less energy by avoiding waste and abundance.

If governed by intelligence uncoupled from lobbies or cartels saving ennergy won’t let you sit in the cold and dark at all.
Modern methods of Insulation, Construction and e.g. Illumination of your then even cosy home are on the way to help: for example Passive House Technology and LED lighting (certainly not that energy saving bulb crap!).

But there is another key element, which is to produce energy and become part of an intelligent grid (even become autarkic/independent, all it takes is an additional battery and a rectifier).

Thousands of these highly efficient CHP systems installed at the users' end of the grid would make additional power plants like unsolved-waste-laden-nuclear- or ccs-burdened-fossil-power stations redundant.

The suppliers will need to be told to like the idea.

Carpe diem!