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+ - World Council of Churches pulls fossil fuel investments->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "An umbrella group of churches, which represents over half a billion Christians worldwide, has decided to pull its investments out of fossil fuel companies.

The move by the World Council of Churches, which has 345 member churches including the Church of England but not the Catholic church, was welcomed as a "major victory" by climate campaigners who have been calling on companies and institutions such as pension funds, universities and local governments to divest from coal, oil and gas.

In an article for the Guardian in April, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that "people of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change" and events sponsored by fossil fuel companies could even be boycotted.

Bill McKibben, the founder of climate campaign group, said in a statement: "The World Council of Churches reminds us that morality demands thinking as much about the future as about ourselves – and that there's no threat to the future greater than the unchecked burning of fossil fuels. This is a remarkable moment for the 590 million Christians in its member denominations: a huge percentage of humanity says today 'this far and no further'.""

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+ - Fighting Climate Change With Trade->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The United States, the European Union, China and 11 other governments began trade negotiations this week to eliminate tariffs on solar panels, wind turbines, water-treatment equipment and other environmental goods. If they are able to reach an agreement, it could reduce the cost of equipment needed to address climate change and help increase American exports.

Global trade in environmental goods is estimated at $1 trillion a year and has been growing fast. (The United States exported about $106 billion worth of such goods last year.) But some countries have imposed import duties as high as 35 percent on such goods. That raises the already high cost of some of this equipment to utilities, manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers.

Taken together, the countries represented in these talks (the 28 members of the E.U. negotiate jointly, while China and Hong Kong are represented by separate delegations) account for about 86 percent of trade in these products, which makes the potential benefit from an agreement substantial. Other big countries that are not taking part in these talks, like India, South Africa and Brazil, could choose to join later."

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+ - Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand."
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+ - Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Stigma, pay cuts, and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster. Now there's an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel good solar energy industry.

Engineers and other employees at TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Co., were once typical of Japan's corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the coastal Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that.

TEPCO was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for a tsunami despite Japan's long history of being hit by giant waves and for its confused response to the disaster. The public turned hostile toward the nuclear industry and TEPCO, or "Toh-den," as the Japanese say it, became a dirty word.

Only 134 people quit TEPCO the year before the disaster. The departures ballooned to 465 in 2011, another 712 in 2012 and 488 last year. Seventy percent of those leaving were younger than 40. When the company offered voluntary retirement for the first time earlier this year, some 1,151 workers applied for the 1,000 available redundancy packages."

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Comment: A10-OLinuXino-LIME and BBB are both Cortex-A8 (Score 1) 182

by Morgaine (#47423065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

One of my favorites out there today is the A10-OLinuXino-LIME. ...

The Beagle Bone was good in its day, but it is kind of over the hill. The processor is underpowered compared to other ARMs

Just to be clear, the A10-OLinuXino-LIME, BeagleBone white and BeagleBone Black all contain a single Cortex-A8 core, and the TI AM3359 runs at the same 1GHz speed in the BBB as the Allwinner A10 does in the LIME.

The original BeagleBone (white) ran its AM3359 at 720MHz so its CPU performance is a bit less, but the BeagleBone Black (BBB) superceded it a year ago and at a much lower price. As a result, the reasonable current-day comparison is between A10-OLinuXino-LIME and BBB, and on CPU power their similar speed Cortex-A8 cores make them pretty much identical.

I have all of these boards and many other similar ones, and my assessment is that BBB is much more capable for embedded projects because of its additional dual realtime 200MHz PRU cores (which are quite unrivalled), while the A10-OLinuXino-LIME is more suitable as an extremely low end desktop-style "computer" because of its dual USB2 host sockets and rather more capable MALI-400 GPU.

This assessment doesn't change when the just-released A20-OLinuXino-LIME is brought into the comparison, except that the dual Cortex-A7 cores in the A20 make it a far better general purpose "computer" than its A10 sibling for a mere 3 euro more in price.

Comment: Re:"gets compressed and cools down"? (Score 2) 16

by mdsolar (#47422095) Attached to: Cosmic Mystery Solved By Super-sized Supernova Dust
jeffb was thinking about gas heating when it is compressed and cooling when it is rarefied. But the effect of compression is to allow more efficient cooling by radiation which pulls energy from the plasma (ionized gas). One means of radiation comes from electrons changing direction in the vicinity of other electrons. This is called free-free radiation. Bound states can also be excited by collisions with free electrons and when they radiate that removes energy from the gas. This is called bound-free radiation. I'm not sure if that helps or just baffles further.

Comment: Nuclear is not efficent (Score 1) 387

by mdsolar (#47418785) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
There is a problem with the high nuclear scenario in the report. It has a seven fold increase in nuclear power using Gen III reactors but with sea level rise eliminating tidewater sites, there may not be enough cooling available for that large an increase. Nuclear needs extra cooling because it is only about 30% efficient. A number of reactors are shut down already to avoid over heating rivers. Artificial lakes like lake Anna or the South Texas project might work, but you still need a water source to feed them.

The report also explores renewable and carbon capture scenarios so the problem with nuclear may not be a show stopper.

Comment: Re:As someone who is hoping for nuclear power ... (Score 1) 387

by mdsolar (#47418645) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
It is actually mid-century, not 15 years for that, but a seven fold increase over 2010 begs the question of where such reactors might be sited. Tidewaters are out owing to sea level rise and rivers are already under heat stress. So, Lake Anna cools not just twelve new reactors to boost its output, but another dozen to cover for Calvert Cliffs? The lake will be boiling.

Polymer physicists are into chains.