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Submission + - Carbon Offsets May Have Dramatically Increased Emissions->

schwit1 writes: That's the finding of a new report from the Stockholm Environment Institute, which investigated carbon credits used to offset greenhouse gas emissions under a UN scheme. As one of the co-authors of the report put it, issuing these credits "was like printing money."

As a result of political horse trading at UN negotiations on climate change, countries like Russia and the Ukraine were allowed to create carbon credits from activities like curbing coal waste fires, or restricting gas emissions from petroleum production. Under the UN scheme, called Joint Implementation, they then were able to sell those credits to the European Union's carbon market. Companies bought the offsets rather than making their own more expensive, emissions cuts.

But this study, from the Stockholm Environment Institute, says the vast majority of Russian and Ukrainian credits were in fact, "hot air" — no actual emissions were reduced.


Link to Original Source

Submission + - EPA withholds Colorado disaster documents demanded by Congress 2

schwit1 writes: The EPA, when ordered by Congress to release documents describing that agency's planning prior to the toxic waste disaster it caused in Colorado, has failed to meet the deadline set by Congress for turning over those documents.

"It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee's reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). "These documents are essential to the Committee's ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sept. 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA."

Smith — who frequently spars with the EPA — is chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. EPA director Gina McCarthy has been asked to appear and answer questions about the agency's role in creating a 3-million-gallon toxic spill into Colorado's Animas River on Aug. 5. Critics say McCarthy and the EPA have been unresponsive, secretive and unsympathetic toward millions of people who live in three states bordering the river.

The word "coverup" comes to mind, though how could anyone believe that the Obama administration (the most transparent in history!) would do such a thing baffles the mind.

Submission + - Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar->

Layzej writes: The Wall Street Journal reports: "Solar power has gotten so cheap to produce—and so competitively priced in the electricity market—that it is taking hold even in a state that, unlike California, doesn’t offer incentives to utilities to buy or build sun-powered generation."

Falling cost is one factor driving investment. "Another reason for the boom: Texas recently wrapped up construction of $6.9 billion worth of new transmission lines, many connecting West Texas to the state’s large cities. These massive power lines enabled Texas to become, by far, the largest U.S. wind producer. Solar developers plan to move electricity on the same lines, taking advantage of a lull in wind generation during the heat of the day when solar output is at its highest.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Updates Make Windows 7 and 8 Spy On You Like Windows 10-> 1

schwit1 writes: Windows 10 has been launched and already installed on more than 50 million computers worldwide. It is now a known fact that Windows 10 user data is being sent back to Microsoft servers back in Redmond, Washington. Well, now new updates that are being deployed to all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 machines will turn their computers into a big piece of spyware, just like their predecessor, Windows 10.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Rutgers to Students: No Such Thing as Free Speech, We Are Watching You->

schwit1 writes: Rutgers University students, you are being watched.

That appears to be the message a Rutgers.edu web page would like the campus community to absorb. The web page is maintained by the Bias Prevention & Education Committee, which chillingly warns students that there is "no such thing as free speech," and to "think before you speak."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Jury Nullification/1st Amendment victory in Denver->

schwit1 writes: Denver's city attorney has directed the police and sheriff's department to stop arresting people passing out jury nullification literature in front of the courthouse. The order was revealed Friday in U.S. District Court during a hearing involving a lawsuit against the city and Denver police chief Robert White. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month on behalf of activists who want to distribute jury nullification information outside the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse. They sued after two others who were handing out pamphlets were charged with seven counts of jury tampering by District Attorney Mitch Morrissey. The lawsuit argues that the arrests are a violation of free speech rights and asks for a federal injunction against further arrests.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Judge orders State Dept, FBI to expand probe on Clinton email server->

An anonymous reader writes: In a hearing over Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't comply with government policies. He ordered the State Department to reach out to the FBI to see if any relevant emails exist on Hillary Clinton's email server. Judge Sullivan was surprised that the State Department and FBI were not already communicating on the issue following the FBI's seizure of Clinton's email server and three thumb drives of emails. More than 300 emails are being examined for containing classified information, and dozens of the emails were "born classified" based on content. Some of those emails were forwarded outside the government. There are also clues emerging about how some of the classified information made its way onto Clinton's server. The email controversy is beginning to show up on the campaign trail, an unwelcome development for Secretary Clinton. Reporter Bob Woodward, who helped bring down President Nixon, said the scandal reminds him of the Nixon tapes. It is interesting to note that the post-Watergate reforms have helped move the investigation forward.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Oldest message-in-a-bottle found after 108 years

schwit1 writes: A bottle launched to sea as part of a scientific experiment in the early 20th century has been found by a couple in Germany, 108 years after it was deployed.

When the couple unfurled the note inside, they found a message in English, German and Dutch. It asked the finder to fill in some information on where and when they had found the bottle, before returning it to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. It said whoever did so would be rewarded with one shilling.

Communications director of the Marine Biological Association, Guy Baker, told The Daily Telegraph: "It was quite a stir when we opened that envelope, as you can imagine." Once at the association, staff recognised the bottle was one of 1,020 released into the North Sea between 1904 and 1906 as part of a project to test the strength of currents. Mr Baker told the paper: "It was a time when they were inventing ways to investigate what currents and fish did. Many of the bottles were found by fishermen trawling with deep sea nets. Others washed up on the shore, and some were never recovered. Most of the bottles were found within a relatively short time. We're talking months rather than decades."

True to their word, the association sent a shilling to the couple as the promised payment.

Submission + - Lawyer demands trial by combat in New York court case->

schwit1 writes: A lawyer in New York has found himself in a bit of a legal pickle, but rather than fight it out in the courtroom, he's looking to take a page out of Tyrion Lannister's book. Richard A Luthmann has filed a brief with the state Supreme Court seeking judicial approval to resolve a lawsuit by means of trial by combat. Say what you will about his understanding of the law, but Mr. Luthmann has a sense of humor.

According to the filing, Luthmann seeks to "dispatch plaintiffs and their counsel to the Divine Providence of the Maker for Him to exact His divine judgment." He also leaves the door open that he could handle the fight personally or by way of a champion, but hopefully he doesn't pick one of everyone's favorite characters. RIP Red Viper of Dorne.

The 10-page filing outlines the history of trial by combat. There's no legal precedent in modern US law to settle a suit via trial by combat, but Luthmann contends that such things were never specifically outlawed. Therefore, a battle to the death should be an option open to him. Indeed, there's a rich tradition of dueling in the US going back to revolutionary days, but petering out in the 20th century.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - LED Lights Add To Pollution->

schwit1 writes: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) — which are touted for their energy-saving properties — are actually making light pollution worse. And the change is so intense that ISS crew members can see it from space. . . .

        Cities around the world have been replacing energy-guzzling streetlights with brighter and whiter energy-saving LEDs. In fact, New York City is retrofitting all of its 250,000 street lights with LEDs in what the city is calling the biggest project of its type in the country.

        But energy savings does not necessarily translate to happy city dwellers. In a piece in The New York Times, Brooklyn residents complained about the glaring white light creeping into their homes and eyes, causing many restless nights.

        LEDs worsen light pollution by giving off more blue and green light than the high-pressure sodium lights they normally replace. And this artificial light pollution washes out the night sky and is linked to many negative consequences. Disrupted night and day cycles can confuse nocturnal animals and alter their hunting interactions, migratory patterns, and internal physiology.

        It can also mess with our internal clocks.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Whiskey in space

schwit1 writes: An experiment to test how whiskey ages in weightlessness is about to begin on ISS.

H-II Transfer Vehicle No. 5, commonly known as "Kounotori5" or HTV5, was launched on Wednesday from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center carrying alcohol beverages produced by Suntory to the Japanese Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station, where experiments on the "development of mellowness" will be conducted for a period of about one year in Group 1 and for two or more years (undecided) in Group 2.

Don't worry, the astronauts on ISS won't be getting drunk. After the test period is complete the samples will then returned to Earth, untasted, where they will then be compared with control samples.

Submission + - Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack on Train in France

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including US service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama.
The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."

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