AuthorTopic: Agelbert's Newz Channel  (Read 1400228 times)

Offline agelbert

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51 to 49 in the Senate and Steve Bannon back in Mercer-funded Crackerjack box
« Reply #8340 on: December 13, 2017, 03:04:10 PM »


Stars Fell on Alabama : The Beautiful Defeat of Roy Moore  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42896-stars-fell-on-alabama-the-beautiful-defeat-of-roy-moore
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Offline agelbert

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As it turns out, our decisions and behavior aren't always rational, but are inst
« Reply #8341 on: December 13, 2017, 04:11:14 PM »


Intriguing optical illusion proves most humans have ‘curvature blindness’ Intriguing optical illusion proves most humans have ‘curvature blindness’

LAST UPDATED ON DECEMBER 13TH, 2017 BY TIBI PUIU

SNIPPET:

Credit: Kohske Takahashi/i-Perception

Look at the picture above. What kind of lines do you see in the middle, grayed-out part: wavy, straight, or both? The truth is all the lines represented in the image are curvy, but if you’re like most people, you should see alternating rows of straight-angled and wavy lines.

Japanese psychologists found that this optical illusion underlies a newly identified cognitive bias in humans. It’s called the “curvature blindness illusion”. Though it’s somewhat unclear how it works, scientists think it’s caused by the brain using different mechanisms to identify curved and angular shapes. These mechanisms may interfere or compete with each other, producing this strange effect.

Interesting Article, except for the obligatory bow to the (imaginary) evolutionary cause and effect hypothesis  ::):

https://www.zmescience.com/science/optical-llusion-curvature-blindness-432/

Interesting Article, except for the obligatory bow to the (imaginary) evolutionary cause and effect hypothesis  ::):

https://www.zmescience.com/science/optical-llusion-curvature-blindness-432/

Yes, the bit about evolution is not interesting at all!  So in a non-evolutionary world, what could be the explanation? Presumably when God created the world and everything, not only was he prepared to wait 13.6 billion years for humans to pop into existence on Planet 3 of a G-type star in the Milky Way galaxy, but he thought this little trick might demonstrate to us how subtly clever he is - a trick so subtle that we didn't notice until 2017. That makes sense!


Listen Einstein, I do believe the article said THIS:

Quote
The brain might have evolved to prefer angles over curves for some reason that escapes us now.

Now, in case you didn't notice the wording in the above bit of totally unscientific speculation, perhaps you should write that quote on your bathroom mirror and read it 10 times a day until you learn to understand the english language.

Anybody with critical thinking skills would understand that the word "MIGHT" in the above quote, along with the phrase "ESCAPES US" means they do not have a CLUE why this curve bias exists.

If you have some inside info from your God Darwin that somehow explains why this curve bias of ours must be an "evolved" trait, please enlighten us rather than blathering about the billions of years the material universe has been around (at last count - that figure has only changed about 100 times in the past century but I'm sure you will swear on a stack Darwin "Origin of the Species" bibles that the last estimate is the "right" one. ).

Palloy, you are walking example Endowment Effect Bias. You incorporated the Theory of Evolution into your world view straight jacket a long time ago. You reject all evidence of a non-material universe (some call it spiritual and some call it para-normal but basically it is the NON-material reality, an oxymoron to you, we all experience that YOU reject).

Hence the Theory of Evolution is something you OWN. Because you OWN it, you feel the compulsion to defend it any time somebody questions it. This is irrational behavior. True, this bias is not always a psychological condition involving a world view. It is often present in the irrational clinging to physical things like a book or some stocks you bought and won't sell even if they are tanking. However, the endowment effect is present in world view flaws as well.

Quote
Endowment Effect

‘This pattern—the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it—is called the endowment effect (Thaler, 1980).’
Thaler (1992) [book]

‘The endowment effect (Thaler 1980), also known as “status quo bias” (Samuelson and Zeckhauser 1988), is the phenomenon in which most people would demand a considerably higher price for a product that they own than they would be prepared to pay for it (Weber 1993).’
Goldberg and von Nitzsch (1999, p. 99)

‘The endowment effect is a hypothesis that people value a good more once their property right to it has been established. In other words, people place a higher value on objects they own relative to objects they do not. In one experiment, people demanded a higher price for a coffee mug that had been given to them but put a lower price on one they did not yet own. The endowment effect was described as inconsistent with standard economic theory which asserts that a person's willingness to pay (WTP) for a good should be equal to their willingness to accept (WTA) compensation to be deprived of the good. This hypothesis underlies consumer theory and indifference curves.’  Wikipedia (2006)

‘We also have a bias toward keeping the securities we inherit instead of investing them in vehicles that are more appropriate to our needs (the endowment effect).’
Nofsinger (2001, p. 3)
http://endowment-effect.behaviouralfinance.net/

Quote
As it turns out, our decisions and behavior aren't always rational, but are instead heavily influenced by emotions and cognitive blind spots.http://www.businessinsider.com/endowment-effect-why-people-overvalue-things-2016-4 [/size]

You are convinced I am bonkers because I disparage the theory of evolution and firmly believe that GOD CREATED EVERYTHING material and non-material. Maybe you are right. ;D But Fibonacci patterns down to the quantom level and several exquisitely fine tuned for life physical constants argue against your random univers(es) evidence free hypothesis. I believe in ONE Supreme Being that made it all and you believe in an uncountable bunch of universes made by NOBODY out of NOTHING!

I think your “status quo bias” world view is far less rational than mine.

And you still owe me an apology for claiming I was wrong in stating that reality is even worse than the RCP 8.5 Global Warming scenario. RCP 8.5 is too conservative. Admit it!

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Offline agelbert

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Listen up America, Alabama has spoken
« Reply #8342 on: December 13, 2017, 04:27:16 PM »
A small win for the good guys. It's tempting to say the tide is turning against Bannon and Trump, but the truth is that this kind of upset is likely to remain an anomaly, at least for a while. 
 


I'll bet the Repugnants lose the Senate in 2018.

RE


A small win built up to epic proportions by the media. One corrupt party of elites battling another corrupt party of elites.  I can't say the democrats are good guys.  I do not care to accept forty year old he-said she-said stories as fact even if the accused are people I find personally distasteful.  Were the Democratic party to embrace the possibility of collapse and determine that the country needed to be put on a sound footing to prepare for a janky future I could change my mind but that is not going to happen.  Democrats tend to be cornucopians totally out of touch with reality.  Republicans as disgusting as they are, at least recognize the world has limits. Their answer is just to take it all for themselves.

Both major American political parties have only a sophomoric, skin deep world view.  Their immaturity combined with their power make both parties dangerous for the little guy.   Only people from scalable professions can enter the upper ranks of either party. 

Quote
    A scalable profession is good only if you are successful; they are more competitive, produce monstrous inequalities, and are far more random with huge disparities between efforts and rewards — a few can take a large share of the pie, leaving others out entirely at no fault of their own.

    One category of profession is driven by the mediocre, the average, and the middle-of-the-road. In it, the mediocre is collectively consequential. The other has either giants or dwarves — more precisely, a very small number of giants and a huge number of dwarves.  - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
 

In other words only people with a lot of money can be high ranking Republicans or Democrats.  In other  words people with distorted and incorrect ideas of how the world works.  This can lead to only one thing.  Doom!

Consider Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as 'The Rock'.  He could be our next president, the idea is being floated around.  Dwayne I'm sure is a really nice guy but he has a totally scalable world view.  Were Dwayne to become president the little guy is going to be totally left out.  I could never vote for him.  To Dwayne and people like him success is just a fact of life.  That any part of their success is the result of luck or others being left behind so they could have all success to themselves is a concept they won't entertain.  For them success is a matter of hard work and that is all there is too it.  To elites the idea the world should move in a direction where only one guy has everything makes total sense.


Nice try, Mr. Arrogant holier than thou pseudo-erudite babble spewing bigoted double talker. Your pathetic and feeble attempt to downplay this key win by Doug Jones is expected, it being that you are a TRUMPER, whether you want to admit it or not. I am not surprised that Eddie is on the same erroneous page as you on this issue (birds of a feather flock together).


Your verbal effluent exercise in deliberate confusion irrelevance, by bringing up prize fighter Dwayne Douglas Johnson, evidences how desperate you are to change the subject AND how low you will stoop to cleverly attempting to trash someone with a similar sounding name.

You know NOTHING about Doug Jones.  Perhaps it is time that you learned what a principled man he is. He tirelessly defended a man found guilty (who was innocent) of Cannabis possession and use to the point of getting him freed from prison YEARS after the man was found guilty and imprisoned. You OWE Doug Jones for his principled behavior. We all do! He will be a voice of reason in the Senate. SHAME on you!


Doug Jones Never Stopped Fighting Until My Husband was Free!

Quote
Thom Hartmann Dec. 11, 2017 4:30 pm

There is so much talk about Roy Moore and the awful things he's done but what about Doug Jones? Today on the Thom Hartmann program, Thom gets a call from someone Doug Jones never gave up on.

Listen up America, Alabama has spoken

December 13, 2017

SNIPPET:

Doug Jones's election is a moment of change, not only in Alabama, but for an America yearning for signs that these values matter in 2017.

Over the past several months, Jones has visited every corner of Alabama and worked hard to earn people's votes. He built a strong coalition of canvassers and phone bankers, deploying a strong get-out-the-vote operation such that Alabama Democrats haven't seen in decades. He was willing to speak to any Alabamian, no matter their income, their faith or their race. His victory speech showed his admirable desire and ability to embrace all Alabamians.

Jones's voter base represents the future of Alabama: an emerging coalition of black voters, LGBT activists, women and young voters. He won by offering these groups a vision that can help our state assert itself in the 21st century. We believe that he will be a strong ally for Senator Richard Shelby and state officials in attracting economic opportunities to Alabama. And we will hold him to his word that he will be a voice of compromise in an increasingly partisan Senate. In his acceptance speech, Jones called on the Senate to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program. We hope they will do so quickly, as many Alabama families depend on it. Republicans claim to care about children; killing this program belies it.

We hope that other Alabama's politicians will heed Jones's example. The last two years have seen far too many political scandals in our state. And as we saw from Moore's few campaign appearances, the Alabama Republican Party may be taking its voters for granted. We would all benefit from a better exchange of ideas, from politicians who court the broad center of the electorate rather than build a base that divides Alabama's people. Jones offered a new path for Alabama's leaders, Republican and Democrat. They should all walk it.

This kind of moving beyond party-before-principle was clearly in evidence from our Senior Senator Rep. Richard Shelby, who put country and state ahead of his party, urging fellow conservatives to write in another candidate rather than vote for Moore, and almost 23,000 voters did -- a number slightly greater than Jones's margin of victory. This was one of Shelby's finest moments and we hope will long serve as a shining example to his congressional colleagues.

This election outcome is tremendous for Alabama. We believe Doug Jones will be a fine Senator and move us forward in myriad ways.  But Jones's victory does not mean our state is suddenly not the conservative bastion it has been (though even in the hardest-right elections, about a third or more Alabamians vote for more progressive candidates.) Jones understands this, and will seek to represent all Alabamians. That said, the state is changing -- more urban, with a more diverse population, and those segments of the voting population carried the day for Jones. We are encouraged to see more young people engaged in our electoral and political processes, and urge both parties to find ways to continue this.

Full article:

http://www.al.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/12/listen_up_america_alabama_has.html
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Offline agelbert

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Tell McConnell: NO tax vote until Doug Jones is seated!
« Reply #8343 on: December 13, 2017, 04:51:38 PM »
"Tell Mitch McConnell to seat Doug Jones now" petition

December 13, 2017

Bradley Davidson

Hi,

The people of Alabama—powered by strong turnout of African-American voters and overcoming the GOP's shameful voter suppression efforts—spoke up decisively in favor of Doug Jones last night. We also spoke up against the GOP's attempts to strip healthcare from millions while giving massive tax breaks to the richest Americans and largest corporate donors.

But now Mitch McConnell is going back on his word by saying he won't allow the people of Alabama to let our newly elected senator serve until next year. He's choosing this obstructionist political tactic to push through harmful legislation that will hurt the poor and middle class while giving massive tax breaks to the 1%.

Mitch McConnell is exactly the reason so many Alabamians and people across our nation are sick of politics as usual.

The people voted. Let us have our voice. Seat Doug Jones immediately.

That's why I signed a petition to Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, which says:

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants to "let the people of Alabama make the call" about who our next senator will be.

The people have spoken, and we want Doug Jones to immediately step into his rightful role as elected senator from Alabama so he can vote on the pending tax bill which could give cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and poor.

Tell Mitch McConnell there should not be a tax vote until Doug Jones is seated. The people deserve a voice."

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-mitch-mcconnell-10?source=s.fwd&r_by=18944436

Thanks!
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« Reply #8344 on: December 13, 2017, 05:13:52 PM »
I think the illusion evolved out of a new ability to use light and dark shading to interpret what we see - those who could do it survived better and those that couldn't died out. 

Quote
AG:
And you still owe me an apology for claiming I was wrong in stating that reality is even worse than the RCP 8.5 Global Warming scenario. RCP 8.5 is too conservative. Admit it!

No, far from being conservative, RCP-8.5 is much too high (extremist) and would require there to be a LOT more fossils fuels than exist, let alone would be profitable to extract and refine. I think RCP-2.6 is much too high too. I just listened to Guy McPherson talk where he bases his incorrect scenario on Sam Canara's writings, a trickster who knows how to fool people with biased statistics. Fooled Guy anyway, who is not strong on statistics.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline agelbert

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LOL!
« Reply #8345 on: December 13, 2017, 07:25:40 PM »
I think the illusion evolved out of a new ability to use light and dark shading to interpret what we see - those who could do it survived better and those that couldn't died out. 

Quote
AG:
And you still owe me an apology for claiming I was wrong in stating that reality is even worse than the RCP 8.5 Global Warming scenario. RCP 8.5 is too conservative. Admit it!

No, far from being conservative, RCP-8.5 is much too high (extremist) and would require there to be a LOT more fossils fuels than exist, let alone would be profitable to extract and refine. I think RCP-2.6 is much too high too. I just listened to Guy McPherson talk where he bases his incorrect scenario on Sam Canara's writings, a trickster who knows how to fool people with biased statistics. Fooled Guy anyway, who is not strong on statistics.


You are delusional.


Palloy SAID:
Quote
No, far from being conservative, RCP-8.5 is much too high (extremist) and would require there to be a LOT more fossils fuels than exist , let alone would be profitable to extract and refine.  I think RCP-2.6 is much too high too.


You are also a liar. I posted a video here that PROVED the EMPIRICAL Climate DATA has us tracking MORE EXTREME than the RCP 8.5 scenario!
Here it is again.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/8PdM9_cDL5Y" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/8PdM9_cDL5Y</a>

Are you going to claim the scientist in the video doesn't "understand" statistics or math too? Are you going to claim the charted EMPIRICAL data is "incorrect"? How many BULLSHIT straws are you going to grasp at now?

You know, your detatchment from reality is getting rather severe. You can still read a graph, right? I do believe they show one in the video with the RCP 8.5 track and the DATA right next to it.  ;)


Yet you STILL keep wallowing in your denial of reality along with your la la land theories about how we "evolved" this or that. Your tired "the ones that didn't have it died out" straw gasping needs a rest too. The scientists pointed out (I guess you missed that part) that the illusion ONLY occurs on paper, not in nature, so NATURAL SELECTION, a purely SUBTRACTIVE PROCESS, obviously did not have BEANS to do with curve bias. They DID NOT HAVE paper hundreds of thousands of years ago, Einstein. Therefore, no DE-SELECTION process could have gone on where those who did not have curve bias  "died out". Therefore, your explanation is pure and unadulterated, groundless, and embarrasingly unscientific, speculation. But that's how irrationally you cling to your world view.



You still owe me an apology for claiming I was wrong in stating that reality is even worse than the RCP 8.5 Global Warming scenario. RCP 8.5 is too conservative. Admit it!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 07:27:45 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Virtually No Economist Believes the Republican Tax Bill Happy Talk
« Reply #8346 on: December 13, 2017, 08:11:41 PM »


December 13, 2017

Virtually No Economist Believes the GOP Tax Bill Will Generate Growth

The $1.5 trillion growth dividends that Republicans project on their tax bill remained the same at 20% and at 21% , this shows that they are picking the figure out of the air, and it is "pretty far-fetched," says economist Dean Baker


Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer".

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Dn5uop0459Q" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Dn5uop0459Q</a>

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20695
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Offline Surly1

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Democrat Doug Jones just defeated Roy Moore in Alabama!
« Reply #8347 on: December 14, 2017, 02:55:25 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/W9q7mvc6bsY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/W9q7mvc6bsY</a>

I have to think that these days, they'd have stopped it after the third knockdown, whether the three knockdown rule was in place or not.
People forget what a brutal killing machine Foreman was back in the day.
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Offline agelbert

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World Bank Puts Fossil Fuels On Notice
« Reply #8348 on: December 14, 2017, 09:34:24 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/W9q7mvc6bsY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/W9q7mvc6bsY</a>


I have to think that these days, they'd have stopped it after the third knockdown, whether the three knockdown rule was in place or not.
People forget what a brutal killing machine Foreman was back in the day.


Hey Surly, I'm Glad to see you up and around! 

Here's some good news to cheer ya!




World Bank Puts Fossil Fuels On Notice

December 13, 2017

By Jennifer Delony Associate Editor

         
The World Bank Group (WBG) yesterday during the One Planet Summit in Paris said that, as of 2019, it will no longer finance exploration for and production of oil and gas. 

The One Planet Summit, which was organized by the United Nations (UN) and WBG, brought together local, regional and national leaders from around the world, along with public and private finance entities to identify ways to accelerate global efforts to fight climate change.

WBG said that it will make exceptions in its stance on gas financing in the poorest countries where it benefits energy access for the poor.

In addition, WBG said that it will present a “stock-take” of its Climate Change Action Plan, which includes targeting 28 percent of its lending for climate action by 2020, and announce new commitments and targets for after 2020 at COP24 in Poland next year.

In related news, leaders from select regions in North and South America signed a “Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas” during the One Planet Summit.

According to the UN, the initiative will apply a cost of carbon to guide public investment decisions in relevant jurisdictions, and encourage private companies to do the same through internal carbon pricing.

Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, as well as the Governors of California and Washington and the Premiers of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, launched the “Carbon Pricing in the Americas” cooperative framework.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/12/world-bank-puts-fossil-fuels-on-notice.html

 


« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 09:42:53 AM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Hat Tip to RE
« Reply #8349 on: December 14, 2017, 10:26:40 AM »
Agelbert OBSERVATION: I just want to point something out I noticed yesterday on Google Earth. In those hills just west and north of Ventura (where there is still a lot of fire) there are umpteen Fracking pads. Every single one of them (active or not) has several varieties of hydrocarbon gases leaking ALL THE TIME. Hydrocarbon gases are, of course, known to aid combustion...

What goes around is comin' around for those Frackers in California. Maybe these fossil fuel fools will  finally learn to stop Fracking around with mother nature.

...and the Mansions just keep on burning!   


RE

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-thomas-fire-ledeall-20171214-story.html

LOCAL L.A. Now

'This fire is a beast': Massive inferno keeps growing despite all-out battle

Firefighters try to stop the forward march of the Thomas Fire


Firefighter Chris Black with the Sacramento Fire Department douses flames Tuesday in Toro Canyon in Carpinteria. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Joseph Serna, Javier Panzar and Matt HamiltonContact Reporters

More than a week after the Thomas fire ignited in Ventura County, destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands as it grew into a massive inferno, firefighters are now in a race to protect the pristine coastal communities of neighboring Santa Barbara County before a shift in powerful winds forecast for this weekend.

Across the mountain ridges above Santa Barbara, Summerland and Montecito, firefighters Wednesday were building containment lines, clearing brush, digging breaks and setting small backfires to burn fuel, all in an effort to create barriers to stop the forward march of the fire.

Conditions so far this week have been favorable, allowing firefighters to attack the flames on the southwestern flank of the blaze as it moves west toward the Santa Ynez Mountains.

But the National Weather Service was forecasting sundowner winds blowing southeast at up to 35 mph Friday night, followed by Santa Ana winds Saturday that, at up to 45 mph, could steer the fire toward the southwest.

“When the wind starts pushing it, we can throw everything we have at it and it’s not going to do any good,” Mark Brown, an operations section chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told Santa Barbara residents Wednesday night.

The stakes are high. If the fire moves into Santa Barbara and Montecito, nearly a quarter million residents and 62,000 structures worth $46 billion would be at risk.

Dozers build containment lines as fire approaches

A dozer from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department clears a fire break across a canyon from atop Camino Cielo down to Gibraltar to make a stand should the fire move in that direction. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) (at article link)

“When the wind starts pushing it, we can throw everything we have at it and it’s not going to do any good." — Mark Brown, Cal Fire operations section chief

As firefighters well know, sundowner winds are notoriously unpredictable. The winds occur when hot air from the Santa Ynez Valley rises and swiftly pours over the mountain passes toward the Pacific Ocean, as if a person pressed a thumb over the end of a hose.

“It creates very erratic wind conditions, which are very difficult to predict and very difficult to fight fire in,” said Capt. Brendan Ripley, a fire behavior analyst with the Ventura County Fire Department. “It moves fire in different directions. It changes throughout the day.”

If crews can’t finish the containment line across a roughly six-mile stretch in the mountains fast enough to stop the fire’s march west, firefighters may have to burn the fuel themselves — a risky proposition and a scary sight for residents.

“It’s a proactive approach to fight the fire on our terms instead of on Mother Nature’s terms,” Brown said. “It’s well-coordinated if we do it. We’ve had numerous subject-matter experts put the plan together. It’s been vetted at all levels. All the local authorities have looked at it and approved it.”

Fire officials stressed that this plan would be used only if the weekend wind events occur as predicted and if crews can’t make a stand and fight the fire directly. The controlled blaze would burn up to 4,000 acres and be started when winds are favorable for firefighters.
Massive Thomas Fire Threatens Santa Barbara County
The Thomas Fire, feeding on thick chaparral brush which hasn't burned in generations, approaches homes in Montecito. (David McNew / Getty Images)

Meanwhile, firefighters hoped to slow the blaze by building breaks into areas with less vegetation because those areas burned in the last decade, said Chris Childers, a battalion chief with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

About 600 fire engines are jammed into the narrow, winding roads in the Santa Barbara County foothills. Trucks are spraying retardant on grassy hillsides and firefighters are wrapping small, indefensible buildings in protective metallic sheeting that looks like tinfoil to reduce the chances they ignite.

As smoke cleared and visibility improved, a conga line of low-flying helicopters started arriving at a county park in Santa Barbara off Highway 154 to pick up fire retardant. Officials said 33 helicopters and eight airplanes were dropping water and retardant on the blaze.

As of Wednesday night, the Thomas fire had burned more than 238,000 acres and was 30% contained. It has destroyed more than 900 homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since it began Dec. 4 near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. In its first day, the fire spread southwest, toward Ventura, and northwest, eventually hugging Ojai before pushing to the Central Coast.

With containment lines now protecting Ventura and Santa Paula, firefighters there have been on a “seek and destroy” mission for any lingering hot spots that could threaten avocado groves, fire officials said Wednesday.

“This fire is a beast and you’re gonna kill it,” Martin Johnson, Santa Barbara County fire division chief, told fire crews at a morning briefing. “I have no doubt."

Authorities said it will probably take months for fire officials to determine the cause of the Thomas fire.

Serna from reported from Ventura, Panzar from Santa Barbara and Hamilton from Los Angeles.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

javier.panzar@latimes.com

matt.hamilton@latimes.com


Track the key details on Southern California’s fires


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Offline agelbert

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Hat Tip to Knarf for Guardian Massive Insect Die-off News
« Reply #8350 on: December 14, 2017, 10:53:03 AM »
‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off


Scientists have identified 2 million species of living things. No one knows how many more are out there, and tens of thousands may be vanishing before we have even had a chance to encounter them.

The Earth is ridiculously, burstingly full of life. Four billion years after the appearance of the first microbes, 400m years after the emergence of the first life on land, 200,000 years after humans arrived on this planet, 5,000 years (give or take) after God bid Noah to gather to himself two of every creeping thing, and 200 years after we started to systematically categorise all the world’s living things, still, new species are being discovered by the hundreds and thousands.

In the world of the systematic taxonomists – those scientists charged with documenting this ever-growing onrush of biological profligacy – the first week of November 2017 looked like any other. Which is to say, it was extraordinary. It began with 95 new types of beetle from Madagascar. But this was only the beginning. As the week progressed, it brought forth seven new varieties of micromoth from across South America, 10 minuscule spiders from Ecuador, and seven South African recluse spiders, all of them poisonous. A cave-loving crustacean from Brazil. Seven types of subterranean earwig. Four Chinese cockroaches. A nocturnal jellyfish from Japan. A blue-eyed damselfly from Cambodia. Thirteen bristle worms from the bottom of the ocean – some bulbous, some hairy, all hideous. Eight North American mites pulled from the feathers of Georgia roadkill. Three black corals from Bermuda. One Andean frog, whose bright orange eyes reminded its discoverers of the Incan sun god Inti.

About 2m species of plants, animals and fungi are known to science thus far. No one knows how many are left to discover. Some put it at around 2m, others at more than 100m. The true scope of the world’s biodiversity is one of the biggest and most intractable problems in the sciences. There’s no quick fix or calculation that can solve it, just a steady drip of new observations of new beetles and new flies, accumulating towards a fathomless goal.


But even as thousands of new species are being discovered every year, thousands more seem to be disappearing, swept away in an ecological catastrophe that has come to be known as the sixth extinction. There have been five such disasters in the past. The most famous (and recent) is the end-Cretaceous extinction, the one that killed off the dinosaurs 66m years ago. The most destructive was the Permian, the one that cleared the way for the dinosaurs 190m years before that.

To know if we are really in the midst of a sixth extinction, scientists need to establish both the rate at which species are currently vanishing, and the rate at which they would go extinct without human activity (known as the “background rate”). In 2015, using a census of all known vertebrates, a team of American and Mexican scientists argued that animal species are going extinct “up to 100 times” faster than they would without us – a pace of disappearance on a par with the extinction that took out the dinosaurs.

But as Terry Erwin, the legendary tropical entomologist, pointed out to me, these sixth-extinction estimates are “biased towards a very small portion of biodiversity”. When it comes to invertebrates – the slugs, crabs, worms, snails, spiders, octopuses and, above all, insects that make up the bulk of the world’s animal species – we are guessing. “Conservationists are doing what they can, without data on insects,” he said.

To really know what’s going on with the state of the world’s biodiversity, ecologists need to start paying more attention to the invertebrates and spend less time on the “cute and cuddlies” – Erwin’s term for the vertebrates. (Years of hearing about the wonders of gorillas and humpback whales can make a staunch bug man resentful.) After all, there are far, far more of them than there are of us.

We live in an invertebrate world. Of all known animal species, less than 5% have backbones. About 70% are insects. Fewer than one in every 200 are mammals, and a huge proportion of those are rodents. Looked at from the point of view of species diversity, we mammals are just a handful of mice on a globe full of beetles. The great majority of those beetles are herbivores native to the tropics. So if you really want to understand the total diversity of life on Earth – and the true rate at which it is disappearing – you need to figure out how many types of beetle munch on every variety of tropical tree.

But before you can count species, you have to name them. That’s where the taxonomists come in. The idea of species has been notoriously hard for biologists to define, especially since organisms so often exist on a continuum, becoming harder and harder to distinguish the closer they are to each other. The most widely accepted definition comes from the evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, who defined species as groups of animals that breed with one another, but not with others – at least not in the regular course of events. (If you force a zebra and a donkey together to make a zonkey, you’ve created one hybrid, not disproved the fact that they are two different species, since such a mating would not normally occur in nature.)

Taxonomists do not just name individual species; they also have to figure out how species are related to each other. Over the centuries, many scientists have tried to fit the world’s creatures into a coherent system, with mixed results. Aristotle tried to classify all life forms based on their essential traits, and in particular, the way they moved. Sedentary animals gave him the most trouble. He seems to have spent a lot of time on the island of Lesbos, puzzling over whether sea anemones and sponges were animals, plants, or plant-like animals.

The real revolution in taxonomy came in the 18th century, during the age of Enlightenment. It was largely the work of one man, Carl Linnaeus, who was hailed as the Isaac Newton of biology. Linnaeus was an odd figure to rise to such heights: a brilliant, headstrong, egotistical showoff with a prodigious knack for remembering the sexual characteristics of plants. He made one major expedition – to Lapland, in Sweden’s north – but mostly relied on the discoveries of others. He inspired 17 “apostles” to venture into the world in search of specimens to complete his system. Seven never came home. Based on their collective work, he named 7,700 species of plants and 4,400 species of animals.

Later biologists found much to quibble with in Linnaeus’s system. For instance, he grouped hedgehogs and bats together as “ferocious beasts”, and shrews and hippos together as “beasts of burden”. Linnaeus’s lasting achievement was not in creating the groups themselves, but the system by which all subsequent species would be named. He decreed that all species should have a two-part name. The first part indicates the genus to which a species belongs, and the second part is the species name.


This is a brilliantly efficient system for both naming and sorting. With it, we can tell in an instant that we, Homo sapiens, are both related to, and distinct from, our evolutionary relatives Homo erectus and Homo habilis. It is also a source of considerable fun for taxonomists. Presidential names – the bushi, obamai and donaldtrumpi (a remarkably coiffed moth) – reliably grab headlines. Less frequently, species names invoke politics or recent events. A Brazilian mayfly received the species name tragediae, to commemorate the catastrophic collapse of a dam in 2015. Taxonomists are also not above the occasional pun or rhyme. Terry Gosliner, an expert on nudibranchs, or marine sea slugs, once giving the name Kahuna to a species belonging to genus Thurunna from Hawaii, to make Thurunna kahuna.

Gosliner found his first nudibranch while still at high school. Since then he has travelled the world in search of them, and has named more than 300 in his 40-year career. As denizens of coral reefs, sea slugs are particularly sensitive to rising sea temperatures. Some scientists think climate change and ocean acidification might cause reefs to vanish entirely in the next 50 to 100 years. Gosliner tends to be a bit more optimistic, emphasising the reefs’ ability to bounce back from stress. But while corals reefs face peril in the seas, an even greater crisis could be developing for insects on land – the true dimensions of which entomologists are only beginning to grapple with.

Before entomologists could ponder the terrifying possibility of an insect mass extinction, they first had to come to grips with the true scale of insect diversity. They are still struggling to do that now. But for many, the breakthrough moment came in 1982, with a brief paper published by a young beetle specialist named Terry Erwin.

Erwin wanted to figure out how many species of insect lived on an average acre of rainforest in Panama, where he was working. To do this, he covered a single tree in sheeting and “fogged” it, by blasting it with insecticide from a device resembling a leafblower. He waited several hours while dead bugs cascaded on to the plastic sheeting he had spread on the ground. He then spent months counting and sorting them all. What Erwin found was startling: 1,200 species lived on this one tree. More than 100 lived on this particular tree and nowhere else. Scaling this result up, Erwin estimated that there are 41,000 different species in every hectare of rainforest, and 30m species worldwide.

This estimate quickly became famous, and controversial. Erwin is widely respected in the field. He has been commemorated in the names of 47 species, two genera, one subfamily and one subspecies – a good gauge of respect in the entomological community, where, according to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, naming a species after yourself is forbidden by custom, but not law. Still, many entomologists are sceptical about Erwin’s wilder estimates, and more recent studies have tended to revise the 30m number down somewhat. But Erwin remains intransigent. “It’s like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid, these kids out here taking potshots at me. None of them have any data,” he told me recently. “They’re just sitting in that office throwing numbers around.” He thinks the real number might be as high as 80m, or even 200m – and that a large number of these species are in the process of vanishing without anyone being around to even notice.


Everywhere, invertebrates are threatened by climate change, competition from invasive species and habitat loss. Insect abundance seems to be declining precipitously, even in places where their habitats have not suffered notable new losses. A troubling new report from Germany has shown a 75% plunge in insect populations since 1989, suggesting that they may be even more imperilled than any previous studies suggested.

Entomologists across the world have watched this decline with growing concern. When Brian Fisher, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences with a particular expertise in ants, arrived in Madagascar in 1993, he expected he would be able to describe some new species, but he had no idea of the extent of the riches he would find there. “Everything was new. It was like it was in the 1930s,” Fisher said. In that time, he has identified more than 1,000 new species of ant, including some whose adults feed exclusively on the blood of their own young, a group he has nicknamed the “Dracula ants”.

A thousand ants is quite a lot, but scientists have identified 16,000 species – so far. To a layperson like me, they all seem basically alike. Some are brown, some are black, some are cinnamon-coloured, but other than that, they look pretty much like the (invasive, Argentine) ants that swarm my kitchen in California every time it rains. To an expert like Fisher though, they are as different from one another as warblers are to a birder. Under a microscope, each ant positively bristles with identifying features in their flagellate hairs, their segmented antennae, and most of all, in their mandibles, which under magnification look like diabolical garden shears.

In the decades since Fisher started making expeditions to Madagascar, deforestation has accelerated, and today only 10% of its virgin forests remain intact. Fisher says that “in 50 years I can’t imagine any forest left in Madagascar”. According to Wendy Moore, a professor of entomology at the University of Arizona, who specialises in ant nest beetles, “There is a sense of running out of time. Everyone in the field who is paying attention feels that.” Because many insects depend on a single plant species for their survival, the devastation caused by deforestation is almost unimaginably huge. “Once a certain type of forest vanishes, thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of species will vanish,” Erwin told me. “Deforestation is taking out untold millions of species.”

While we still don’t have a clear idea of what’s happening to insects at the species level, we are in the midst of a crisis at the population level. Put simply, even if many kinds of insects are holding on, their overall numbers are falling drastically. The alarming new data from Germany, which was based on tracking the number of flying insects captured at a number of sites over 35 years, is one warning sign among many. According to estimates made by Claire Régnier of the French Natural History Museum in Paris, in the past four centuries, as many of 130,000 species of known invertebrates may have already disappeared.

Various kinds of anecdotal evidence appear to support these observations. The environmental journalist Michael McCarthy has noted the seeming disappearance of the windscreen phenomenon. Once, he writes, “any long automobile journey,” especially one undertaken in summer, “would result in a car windscreen that was insect-spattered”. In recent years this phenomenon seems to have vanished.

Although insecticides have been blamed for the declines in Europe, Erwin thinks the ultimate culprit is climate change. The location he has been observing in Ecuador is pristine, virgin rainforest. “There’s no insecticides, nothing at all,” he said. But gradually, almost imperceptibly, in the time he has been there, something has changed in the balance of the forest. Studying the data, Erwin and his collaborators have found that over the past 35 years, the Amazon rainforest has been slowly dying out. And if the forest goes, Erwin tells me, “everything that lives in it will be affected”.

If this trend were to continue indefinitely, the consequences would be devastating. Insects have been on Earth 1,000 times longer than humans have. In many ways, they created the world we live in. They helped call the universe of flowering plants into being. They are to terrestrial food chains what plankton is to oceanic ones. Without insects and other land-based arthropods, EO Wilson, the renowned Harvard entomologist, and inventor of sociobiology, estimates that humanity would last all of a few months. After that, most of the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals would go, along with the flowering plants. The planet would become an immense compost heap, covered in shoals of carcasses and dead trees that refused to rot. Briefly, fungi would bloom in untold numbers. Then, they too would die off. The Earth would revert to what it was like in the Silurian period, 440m years ago, when life was just beginning to colonise the soil – a spongy, silent place, filled with mosses and liverworts, waiting for the first shrimp brave enough to try its luck on land.

Conserving individual insect species piecemeal, as is done with most endangered mammals, is extremely difficult. Not only are the numbers mind-boggling, but insects and other invertebrates don’t tend to have the same cachet. Polar bears and humpback whales are one thing; soft-bodied plant beetles from the Gaoligong mountains of Yunnan are quite another.

Not long ago, I took a trip to the first wildlife refuge established with the express purpose of protecting an endangered insect, the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour’s drive north-east of Berkeley, California. The reserve is small – only 55 acres, hemmed in on three sides by a chain-link fence, and by the San Joaquin river on the fourth – and, in truth, the Dunes do not dazzle the eye. The terrain resembles an unlovely, overgrown plot of land intended for development at some unspecified point in the future. The day I went, three vultures huddled around the body of a cat while the turbines of a wind farm spun lazily on the opposite bank of the river.

Once, however, these dunes were a miniature Sahara, home to a number of animals and plants that existed nowhere else. It took decades before that fact became apparent to biologists, and by then, it was very nearly too late. When white settlers arrived in California, the dunes were seen simply as a source of raw materials. The dune sand was unusually well-suited for brickmaking, and between the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the postwar housing boom, most of the sand was mined out and turned into buildings. Once the dunes were gone, most of the land they formerly stood on was built up.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that biologists began to realise how special the Antioch Dunes were. By that point, only three native species remained. There were two plants – the Contra Costa wallflower and the Antioch Dunes evening primrose – and one insect, the Lange’s metalmark butterfly. The metalmark butterfly is tiny, with a wingspan about the size of thumbnail. A pretty brown-and-orange with white spotting, they are weak flyers, capable of travelling a maximum 400 metres (1,300ft) after they emerge from their chrysalises for seven to nine days every August.


After the Dunes Reserve was established in 1980, the butterfly enjoyed a brief resurgence. Today, it is struggling. At last count, there were only 67 individuals in the park. The Lange’s lay their eggs on one plant and one plant only: the naked-stemmed buckwheat, which is currently being choked out by weeds. The only other population of Lange’s is kept in a captive-breeding programme at Moorpark College in Simi Valley, California. If something should happen to these, it would be the end of the species.

In a bid to save the butterfly, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has recently begun a bold experiment in habitat restoration, covering much of the refuge in sand. Spread a metre deep, the sand suffocates invasive plants, allowing the species that originally evolved on the dunes to reclaim their lost ground. “If we can bring back the environment, we can bring back the butterfly,” wildlife refuge manager Don Brubaker told me. The day I visited, his co-worker, refuge specialist Louis Terrazas, spotted a hopeful sign. The season’s first shoots of native primrose had just started peeking out above the sand. Given time, this remnant of a remnant might spring back to life.

When I asked Brubaker if his painstaking efforts on behalf of the Lange’s was worth all the trouble, he replied: “Why protect the species? Why not? Because it’s what we do – we’re enabling the planet to keep functioning.”

In some ways, the tiny ranges of invertebrates like the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly make them perfect targets for protection. Sarina Jepsen is the director of endangered species and aquatic conservation at the Xerces Society, a Portland, Oregon-based non-profit focusing on invertebrates. She told me that for insects, “often small patches of land can make a huge difference,” unlike what is needed for, say, wolf or tiger conservation. “We don’t necessarily need hundreds of thousands of acres to make a difference with these species,” she said. Even so, the amount of work that goes into saving even a single species can sometimes feel overwhelming. It isn’t enough to save one in a lab. You have to rescue whole environments – the products of complex interactions between plants, animals, soil and climate that have built up over millennia.

At a certain point, it becomes clear that to even think about extinction in terms of individual species is to commit an error of scale. If entomologists’ most dire predictions come true, the number of species that will go extinct in the coming century will be in the millions, if not the tens of millions. Saving them one at a time is like trying to stop a tsunami with a couple of sandbags.

Like many of the species they study, taxonomists are presently at risk of becoming a dying breed. Faculty hires, museum posts and government grants are all declining. Fewer students are drawn to the field as well. All too often, taxonomy gets dismissed as old-fashioned and intellectually undemanding, the scientific equivalent of stamp collecting. Molecular biology, with its concern for DNA, proteins and chemical processes within individual cells, dominates curriculums and hoovers up grant money. “All the university courses are oriented towards it, and so is the funding,” says Terry Erwin.

Meanwhile, the new species keep piling up. Already today, as I’m writing, ZooKeys and Zootaxa, two of the largest and most prolific taxonomic journals, have announced the discovery of a potter wasp from South America, a water scavenger beetle from the Tibetan plateau, an erebid moth, an Andean scarab beetle, two Korean crustaceans and a whole genus of parasitoid wasps (don’t worry, we’re safe – the bastards prey on aphids), and it isn’t even noon yet.

What to do with this onrush? Many taxonomists I spoke to admit that it simply isn’t manageable. Brian Fisher confessed that many taxonomists find themselves awed at some point by “the immensity of what we don’t know”. Kipling Will, of the University of California, Berkeley, who has spent two decades studying one subfamily of ground beetles, told me, while gesturing at boxes of samples that had just flown in from Australia: “We do what we can. I have so much undescribed material. It takes decades just to get where we are.” With any species, it takes time to do a proper dissection, test their DNA, compare them to their nearest relatives, and compile all the information necessary to publish something as new. With so many invertebrates being found each year, it’s common for them to spend years, or even decades, in a queue waiting for their coming-out party.


So what to do? And why bother? There are plenty of practical reasons to worry about the fate of invertebrates. They are a vital part of the ecosystems that function as the heart, lungs and digestive system of our planet. Some might carry, inside their exotic biochemistries, cures for any number of diseases. Recently, chemicals harvested from sea slugs have been tested in clinical trials in the US for use as cancer-fighting drugs. Others could be used as natural alternatives to pesticides. But ultimately, it’s not certain that any of these will be enough on its own. The answer could have more to do with aesthetics, or enthusiasm for the living world – the quality EO Wilson named “biophilia”.

When you ask people who work in invertebrate taxonomy why they have devoted their lives to a particular type of insect, snail or clam, the word you hear most often is “beautiful”. Their eyes light up in front of their chosen genus or subclass. The occupants of a case full of slightly iridescent, mostly black beetles will be described as “rather huge and incredibly beautiful”. (Huge is relative, too – they are the size of the final joint of a little finger.) Surrounded by jars full of tiny sea slugs, they will gush about their beauty and the glorious variety of their colour, shape and behaviour. Amy Berkov, a professor of tropical ecology at the City College of New York who works on wood-boring beetles, came to entomology from a background in art and chose her new field, in part, because “there’s nothing more amazing than looking at insects”. Even the ant specialists – generally a pretty hard-nosed-bunch – will trade Latin names of rare ants with the affection you usually hear reserved for old friends.

It’s easy to care about the cute and cuddlies. Soon we’ll be living on a planet that has lost its last mountain gorilla, its last leatherback turtle. A world without tigers or polar bears; what a sad place that will be.

But to think about the coming invertebrate extinctions is to confront a different dimension of loss. So much will vanish before we even knew it was there, before we had even begun to understand it. Species aren’t just names, or points on an evolutionary tree, or abstract sequences of DNA. They encode countless millennia of complex interactions between plant and animal, soil and air. Each species carries with it behaviours we have only begun to witness, chemical tricks honed over a million generations, whole worlds of mimicry and violence, maternal care and carnal exuberance. To know that all this will disappear is like watching a library burn without being able to pick up a single book. Our role in this destruction is a kind of vandalism, against their history, and ours as well.

Take Strumigenys reliquia, one of the ants I heard discussed with such warmth at the California Academy of Sciences. Strumigenys is a predator, a native of the undergrowth, and very rare. It was first discovered in 1986 by Phil Ward of the University of California, Davis. He spotted this incredibly rare species on a two-hectare patch of woods a few miles from his office. It has never been seen anywhere else. Ward thinks there is a reason for this. California rivers were once flanked by giant forests of hardy, flood-resistant, evergreen oaks. Geologists think these riverine forests were a feature of the landscape for at least 20m years. Accounts from early settlers and explorers give an idea of what they might have been like. They write of flocks of geese “blackening the sky”, salmon choking the streams and grizzly bears gathering under the oaks to feed on acorns in troupes of a hundred or more.

Today, except for a few scattered acres like the one Ward found in Yolo County, those forests are gone. They were chopped down long ago for firewood and ploughed under to make way for tomato farms and almond orchards. The salmon, the geese and the grizzlies have all gone too. Only the ant remains. Only it remembers.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/14/a-different-dimension-of-loss-great-insect-die-off-sixth-extinction

Agelbert WARNING: Already many vertebrates are going extinct. The mass die-off of insects is accelerating vertebrate extinctions. That means YOU AND ME!



« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 11:13:08 AM by agelbert »
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Scotland wind energy sources provided 1,651,050 MWh in November!
« Reply #8351 on: December 14, 2017, 11:06:18 AM »
November Another Strong Month For Scottish Renewables

December 14th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill

SNIPPET:

“Over the course of the month Scotland’s windfarms generated the equivalent of 77% of our total electricity demand.  If we are to build on this success the UK Government must set out a route to market that encourages continued investment in onshore wind.

“Successive Scottish governments have set out a vision for renewables that has enabled the sector to flourish, drive down costs, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The forthcoming energy strategy needs to build on this strong foundation and set out the ambitious vision and steps we need to take to heat our homes and make the transition to electric vehicles.”

Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/14/november-another-strong-month-scottish-renewables/
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Big Push for Distributed Renewable Energy (DER) sources to re-power Puerto Rico
« Reply #8352 on: December 14, 2017, 11:57:06 AM »
Hurricane Maria Windfield at 11:00 AM September 20, 2017





Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Re-Power Puerto Rico Includes DERs, Renewables

December 12, 2017

By Jennifer Runyon Chief Editor

If Hurricane Sandy, during which millions of New Yorkers lost power and damage to the electric grid was substantial, was the spark that ignited New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision, aka REV” then perhaps Hurricane Maria will be the spark that ignites a new energy vision for Puerto Rico.

Read: Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems

On Tuesday, December 12, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced a plan to rebuild and transform Puerto Rico's electric power system with modern grid technologies and control systems. The new system will have increased renewable generation, such as wind and solar; incorporate new distributed energy resource (DER) technologies, such as energy storage and microgrids; reduce dependency on fossil fuels; and enable energy to become abundant, affordable and sustainable for the people of Puerto Rico, according to the Governors.

The plan was created by the Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group established by Governor Cuomo to aid the island in its damage assessment and power grid rebuild planning. Member of the working group include the organizations heavily involved in the energy transformation such as the New York Power Authority, DOE, ConEd, EPRI, SEPA, NREL and others.

The group released a 63-page report, “Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico,” which offers its vision for the future of the transmission and distribution system, system operations and generation and includes damage assessments and cost estimates. An implementation roadmap is also included in the report.

The total estimated costs, including a 30 percent scope confidence escalator, come in at a whopping $17.6 billion. Of that $17.6 billion, $1.4 billion would support the development of DERs including microgrids and solar PV. Another $97 million would go to rebuild hydro and renewable power plants.

The envisioned system will be more resilient, efficient, advanced, and less dependent on fossil fuel imports that cost Puerto Ricans more than $2 billion annually, said the Governors in a press release.

Read: Microgrids, Solar, Energy Storage Could Be Foundation of Puerto Rico’s Energy Recovery

The working group's rebuild recommendations are based on experience implementing power system recovery, rebuilding and hardening in the aftermath of hurricanes encountered on the U.S. mainland over the last decade. The recommendations include the use of modern technology and incorporate lessons learned from the successful rebuild efforts in other regions after natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy in New York. Additionally, the plan's recommendations align with the U.S. Department of Energy's recommendations for power system hardening and resiliency.

"After Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo saw firsthand the real hardships of New Yorkers without electricity and heating for days and even weeks on end," Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State.  "The Governor immediately put into action a strategy to rebuild the grid of the past with the grid of the future under Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system. I'm proud to be part of the plan to ensure Puerto Ricans will benefit from New York's experience and knowledge as we help the U.S. territory rebuild their grid."

"In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York, a plan was immediately put into place to harden and enhance the power grid to ensure storms would not damage our communities in the future — and now is the time to implement a similar plan to ensure these upgrades are also completed in Puerto Rico," Governor Cuomo said. "We need to act now to transform the island's power grid and provide the people of Puerto Rico with a modern and reliable electric system."

The development of the plan was undertaken in parallel with New York State's post-hurricane assessment and restoration support to Puerto Rico that began in September. Currently, more than 450 New York State utilities workers are on the ground in Puerto Rico, working diligently to repair the island's power grid.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/12/multi-billion-dollar-plan-to-re-power-puerto-rico-includes-ders-renewables.html

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:00:50 PM by agelbert »
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BVS (for profit weather service) CRAP forecast helped SINK El Faro!
« Reply #8353 on: December 14, 2017, 02:58:40 PM »
Agelbert NOTE: Here is the NTSB video of the El Faro's fatal last journey. What bothers me about this is that they do not say absolutely ANYTHING about the wave size or height. I continue to believe that at least one giant wave hit the El Faro, causing it to sink. The mangled bridge superstructure and the cracked in pieces lifeboat evidences this, yet the NTSB doesn't not want to talk about it.
The lifeboats on El Faro were 65 feet above the water line. From the condition of the lifeboat that was recovered, the evidence indicates a giant wave sank the El Faro.


Yes, the Captain screwed up. Yes, BVS weather service helped him screw up. Yes, the side holes in the El Faro made it less seaworthy in a hurricane. But, they could be secured in fairly bad weather. Only giant waves would be ferocious enough to break open the sealed hatches and overcome the ability of the bilge pumps to keep most of the sea out. I read the entire transcript (not shown in this abbreviated summary) and they were smacked massively several times in the last hour before the ship sunk. You can listen to the mayhem on the El Faro Bridge and hear the forceful catastrophic wave impacts at the link in the following quote:
Quote
NTSB Releases El Faro VDR Bridge Audio Transcript; Opens Investigation Docket

December 13, 2016 by gCaptain

http://gcaptain.com/ntsb-...-bridge-audio-transcript/


Agelbert post with the above article:


SS El Faro. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/

NTSB Determines Probable Cause of EL FARO Sinking

December 12, 2017 by gCaptain

SNIPPET:

NTSB investigators worked closely with the U.S. military and federal- and private-sector partners to locate the wreckage, photo- and video-document the ship and related debris field, and recover the El Faro’s voyage data recorder from more than 15,000 feet under the surface of the sea – which proved critical to the investigation.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/AmqsKKtE4-I" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/AmqsKKtE4-I</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/MfwS8Owt3hU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/MfwS8Owt3hU</a>


Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/ntsb-determines-probable-cause-of-el-faro-sinking/




« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 03:05:26 PM by agelbert »
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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline agelbert

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Undoing the New Deal: Truman Embraces the Cold War (pt4)
« Reply #8354 on: December 14, 2017, 06:28:59 PM »


December 14, 2017

Undoing the New Deal: Truman Embraces the Cold War (pt4)

Historian Peter Kuznick says that while Truman supported the New Deal, he paved the way for its undoing by fueling the anti-communist, anti-socialist fervor which played into the hands of the right; with host Paul Jay

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/xC5k-oGFpkM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/xC5k-oGFpkM</a>
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20700:Undoing-the-New-Deal:-Truman-Embraces-the-Cold-War-(pt4)
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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