Saturday, March 20, 2010
You've heard of cloud computing, right? The idea is to treat information as a public utility and spread capital costs among users so that one can "reduce costs significantly while increasing the speed of application development" (so sayeth Wikipedia, one of the most cumulonimbus of clouds!)...
Thomas Henry Culhane has woken up a year older and wiser and is ready to join ranks with the "global warming skeptics" and "climate change naysayers" to try and form a stronger coalition against nuclear proliferation and an atomic energy renaissance; viz. "we don't need radioactive-rock-powered carbon free energy, thankyou very much!"
They’d be carbon free, relatively cheap, and according to the industry, inherently safe. An underground mini-nuke could power a village.
This is perhaps the most frightening and, in my opinion, irresponsible article National Geographic has ever published, making our beloved magazine appear for the first time like a shil for the centralized energy lobby. After three pages of glowing commentary (pun not intended) for this terrible idea they toss off the ...unresolved issue of highly radioactive waste in one glib sentence and say nothing about how a massive deployment of "small town nukes" will affect proliferation and increase terrorist threats, to say nothing of the dangers of having radioactive material shipped to every Bedford Falls in the world. They don't talk about the health of thorium and uranium miners and plutonium process factory workers and their families (we saw the consequences and the horrible deformities of babies and children when we met with the doctors studying this in India). And they don't talk about how this initiative to "decentralize" nuclear energy through micro-nuke deployment, while keeping centralized control of the manufacture, sale, installation, servicing and fueling of the reactors will affect the true decentralized distributed energy sector which is working with safe, clean, renewable energy sources. The "carbon free, relatively cheap" mantra, using climate change scare tactics to get environmentally concerned citizens to approve these horrible devices, is a red herring since we already have plenty of net carbon zero technologies if we are really concerned with global warming that are safe and can be immediately deployed and the nukes will be subsidized by tax payer money so that they can outcompete nascent idustries with large start-up and capital costs.
Quite frankly, as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer who is working on small town renewable energy issues I am deeply disappointed, dismayed, disturbed and depressed, not only by the push that the U.S. and France and others is making for this, but by the fact that National Geographic is publishing such uncritical material that sounds more like an advertisement or a piece of industry propaganda than a report. As we used to say in Dobbs Ferry New York, to express shock and concern "hey, Nat Geo, what's the big idea?"
Micro-nukes? That's the big idea?
(Illustration from March 2010 issue, copyright National Geographic)
Micro-nukes? That's the big idea?I'm afraid...
(Illustration from March 2010 issue, copyright National Geographic)Micro-nukes? That's the big idea?I'm afraid. Very afraid. On my birthday, which is supposed to be the first day of spring, I opened the March issue of National Geographic, my favorite magazine, only to find a pr
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I just talked by telephone to Dr. Martin Denecke, professor here at Essen University, whose research into the topic of "Wie viel Energie liegt auf der Strasse" (How much energy is lying on our streets?") has enormous urban planning application for Cairo, particularly since the slaughter of the pigs removed the Zabaleen... incentive for removing organic waste from the city. Dr. Denecke's work is among the most inspiring I've seen in a long time, and I look forward to meeting him in the next few days.
[20.04.2009] Bisher fiel er nicht als typischer Gegenstand wissenschaftlicher Forschung auf, doch er könnte Energie für die Zukunft liefern – der Straßenkehricht. Welches Potenzial das Gemisch aus Blättern, Rasen, Holz, Papier, Sand und Abrieb zur Herstellung von Biogas hat, analysieren derzeit Dr. ...
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Delighted to discover that my mesophiles in the porch tank survived the winter and, what is more, despite this weekend's snowfall and the icey weather that persists, the bacteria are still producing natural gas -- small quantities to be sure (30 second burns every couple of hours) but at these temps in Germany in an open telescoping digestor, who is complaining?
March 9 at 8:50pm
Okay, am I the only one who finds this very very very frightening? Who is willing to mobilize with me to stop this insanity -- with all the sunlight, wind, and garbage that the mideast has, to say nothing of oil and gas, can we really conscience these countries adding more nuclear material to the world cache just to su...pposedly "provide much needed electricity". Come on friends, yella sadeeqna, surely you aren't going to allow this madness.
Washington (UPI) Jun 23, 2008 - A comprehensive and well detailed report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, released last week, sheds a pile of information on the state of nuclear proliferation in one of the world's most volatile regions -- the Middle East.
Shame on you Sarkozy. Remind your fashion model wife that the word "Bikini" comes from a sick advertising campaign based on the fact that after the H-bomb tests on the Bikini atoll there was >nothing left of the islands, and since with this bathing suit there is practically nothing left we should name it after the isla...nds we destroyed<. And what will you leave us with, France, if you have your way... radiant smiles on radioactive skulls?
Paris (AFP) March 8, 2010 - France urged international financial bodies to finance a new era of global nuclear power on Monday and pitched its own reactor technology as the model to follow.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuam libera mentem: If we accept human beings as top prey rather than top predator, human wastes as inputs rather than outputs, the hominoid corpus and animus as carriers of prokaryotes and information we begin to see better species-packing solutions and might view population as a solution rather than a problem. The questions: what is our sustainabile yield? We know we can multiply; can we now be truly fruitful?
See this article "A Campaign of Play" and "The Ball" concept for advertising that fellow Mike Bonifer friend Tali Krakowsky has written. It expresses much of the "crowd sourcing" concept you and I have have been discussing for creating DIY energy, water and waste management solutions through creative play who...se fruits we hope to bring to the Congo (to, in turn, engage in further play with those trapped on the other side of the digital divide).
Be alarmed, very alarmed. Then join us (or support us) in offsetting these new sources of GH gas methane by using biomethane elsewhere. Join the Solar CITIES team and build a bioreactor in your own backyard. We need you!
Chinese cinema has become a really pleasing alternative to the American mainstream. In CJ7, Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow tackles the issues of class prejudice, the integrity of the poor and the love of family against a backdrop of a rapidly developing Chinese landscape and an imaginative child's struggle again...st conformity. The great special effects and extra-terrestrial friendship theme prove that China is not only ready for the new space race, but can lead intellectually and morally as well. I highly recommend this little known film! Delightful for the whole family!
They don't advertise them on the website, but if you go in and order "Chapulines con Queso" they will serve you the delicious "grasshoppers with Cheese" that makes a trip to Oaxaca such a joy (in Oaxaca women come by in the square with baskets of two different species, large and small; in L.A. they only serve the large.... You can also get a delicious fried Nopal salad -- attention all my Syrian and Egyptian friends who only know "Teen Showki", the fruit known as "tuna" in Spanish, yes, the paddles of cacti are delicious!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Ohayo Gozaimas. Do you know this eco-lifestyle magazine "Sotokoto"? It appears I will be honored in it as part of their "Green Fighters 100" special issue "introducing 100 people from around the world that are doing positive things for their communities and for the planet". What a cool honor (as the song goes, it would be great to be "big in Japan!"). Seriously, it is exciting and I hope that I can visit you again in Japan and continue the great green fight we started back in Indonesia all those years ago!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Thomas Henry Culhane via Eric Santiestevan: Ay yay yay America, my home sweet home; why is it that here in my adopted homeland Germany we have thousands of large scale commercial biogas power plants (8,000 in all of Europe) while the U.S. has only 150 and is making it hard for farmers and small businesses to keep them running? Using the little amount of NOx po...llution they emit as a barrier to entry into the energy business? Get real!
Reporting from Stanislaus County, Calif. - Central California is home to nearly 1.6 million dairy cows and their manure -- up to 192 million pounds per day. It's a mountain of waste and a potential environmental ...
This past weekend we were once again honored to have a radio broadcast conversation with host Boyd Matson on National Geographic Weekend,
this time about our work exploring how to harness Alaska's
psychrophilic bacteria to produce biofuels around the world in areas
where it is too cold for the typcial mesophiles that we get from animal
This blog describes the activities of global nomads T.H. Culhane and Sybille Culhane as they work on the Solar C3.I.T.I.E.S. mission: "Connecting Community Catalysts Integrating Technologies for Industrial Ecology Systems"