I have written in the past that if there is ever a settlement in the Middle East it will be short lived because the next big crisis will be the water situation……and so it goes……
The weekend and sciencey stuff runs rampant……..as we deplete our natural resources what will we do?
(Newser) – Asteroid mining is just a few years away, according to a US company, but there won’t be any jobs for pickaxe-wielding spacemen just yet: The first probes will only be the size of laptops. Deep Space Industries plans to send the probes on prospecting trips to some of the 1,700 near-Earth asteroids in 2015, the CBC reports. Larger spacecraft will follow to extract valuable metals and gases from the asteroids, says the company, which aims to sell the resources to Mars missions and to the builders of orbiting space platforms.
Asteroids “can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car industry last century—a key resource located near where it was needed,” the company’s CEO says. “In this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries of this century.” Director James Cameron has announced a similar venture, but experts aren’t sure if asteroid mining is ready to get off the ground, the Guardian notes. “Is the prospect of using asteroid resources crazy? No, it’s not. Is it difficult? Yes, it is,” says the editor of NasaWatch.com. “Can you make a business case for it? People are trying, and making progress.”
But now the question is……AT WHAT PRICE? Sorry but I do not trust corporations to do the right thing…..I understand the need for profit……….but once again…..At What Price?
I have written in the past that the next major war, one that involves a considerable part of the world, will be fought over water…..and I found an article along those lines…..now I can return to my usual format of posting anything but politics on the weekend……Isaac is but a fond memory with lots of rain…..and speaking of water………
(Newser) – If you’re not a fan of black beans and tofu, you may be out of luck in about 40 years. Some of the world’s foremost water scientists say the planet will have to cut its consumption of animal-based products from 20% to about 5% by 2050, assuming we want to feed the additional 2 billion people who are projected to occupy the Earth by that date. Basically, we need to figure out how to squeeze more food out of our existing land and water, and a vegetarian diet uses five to 10 times less water than animal-based foods, reports the Guardian.
“The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources,” reads the report, whose release coincides with the start of the annual world water conference in Stockholm. And water supply issues won’t be limited to food: The report notes that the need to feed more will come as “we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand—which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years—and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it.”
There are some issues that are more important than the emotional crap we embrace today…..but as usual they are just ignored until it is too late to do something about them……..ignore the problem and they will go away. (BTW that is sarcasm in case you missed it)
That is what we are subjected to daily from the Nat. Gas people….they are pushing for more drilling in the US and selling the idea that it is cleaner then the alternative…..that it will be better for the environment……….is it?
From an article in Pro Publica……..
Advocates for natural gas routinely assert that it produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases than coal and is a significant step toward a greener energy future. But those assumptions are based on emissions from the tailpipe or smokestack and don’t account for the methane and other pollution emitted when gas is extracted and piped to power plants and other customers.
The EPA’s new analysis doubles its previous estimates for the amount of methane gas that leaks from loose pipe fittings and is vented from gas wells, drastically changing the picture of the nation’s emissions that the agency painted as recently as April. Calculations for some gas-field emissions jumped by several hundred percent. Methane levels from the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas were 9,000 times higher than previously reported.
Billions of cubic feet of climate-changing greenhouse gases—roughly the equivalent of the annual emissions from 35 million automobiles—seep from loose pipe valves or are vented intentionally from gas production facilities into the atmosphere each year, according to the EPA. Gas drilling emissions alone account for at least one-fifth of human-caused methane in the world’s atmosphere, the World Bank estimates, and as more natural gas is drilled, the EPA expects these emissions to increase dramatically.
But roughly half of the 1,600 gas-fired power plants in the United States operate at the lowest end of the efficiency spectrum. And even before the EPA sharply revised its data, these plants were only 32 percent cleaner than coal, according to a lifecycle analysis by Paulina Jaramillo, an energy expert and associate professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
So we see that the promise of clean safe energy source maybe what it sounds like….too goo to be true…..and we know what they say about that…….don’t we? If I recall correctly back in 2008, the McCain/Palin ticket, had this plank that was basically “cap and trade”…….but now Palin is calling it cap and tax……see if you snooze you lose….it is virtually impossible to keep up with politics and its leap Right, if you only watch the news once a day….
And the dance goes on for alt energy….but can we have an energy source that does not include drilling the crap out of the earth? We need a renewable source that is almost limitless…..nat gas does not meet that criteria……but yet the Prez thinks it is a good idea….why?
Can we please stop all this now? NOTHING will be done! You know…..I know it…..Obama knows it!
International Studies Group
Central Asia Desk
It seems that the country of Afghanistan and its bloody little armed conflict is making its way into the news more and more…..recently we in the US have passed a milestone, that is 1000 troops have been killed in this war.
Further back there has been a back and forth between Washington and Kabul on who is in charge and there was the humor that was the latest Afghan elections….corruption is rampant and that is just the most obvious of conditions in the war torn country.
Now the US has planned the all important push around Kandahar….looking for the hearts and minds of the locals in their attempt to isolate the Taliban….but this operation is NOT looking as good as it once did…..
The offensive had been slated to begin this month, but, as McChrystal admitted, the US has been unable to win the support either of tribal leaders and power brokers or of the populace in and around Afghanistan’s second largest city. The town of 450,000 in the heart of the Pashtun-dominated south is the birthplace of the Taliban and remains a key stronghold of the anti-occupation insurgency.
One result of the US offensive in Helmand province has been increased Taliban activity in Nimroz, the province to the west of Helmand that borders on Iran and Pakistan. The Army Times reported June 11 that Taliban fighters forced out of Helmand have shifted operations to Nimroz, previously considered the most stable part of southern Afghanistan.
There is the real story……the NATO troops move in…Taliban moves out and starts up again…this game of cat and mouse is NOT going to win any long term success for the occupation.
And now the worse news that can be had….
The previously unknown deposits of iron, copper, cobalt and gold are so huge that it could transform the impoverished nation into one of the world’s important mining centers, the report on the newspaper’s website said. (here)
The mineral wealth, discovered by a team of Pentagon officials and U.S. geologists, is scattered throughout the country including in the south and east along the border with Pakistan, where the Taliban-led insurgency is the most intense.
It is said to be worth about a trillion dollars……yes I said the WORSE news!
What chance does a country that is still living in the 2nd century have at controlling their new found assets? What are their chances of avoiding the exploitation that is coming? What are the chances that the US will stay to help protect US business interests? What are the chances that any cash will be used to further the fundamentalism?
If you listen closely you can hear the Afghan politicians jerking off in the corner…they are drooling and smiling uncontrollably……if you want proof of my thoughts look at other resource rich countries like Nigeria and Bolivia…the corruption will only get larger and the people well get hungrier…….
My question is why now?
The Russians knew about the mineral deposits in 1985 and the US Pentagon has a report about them from 2003…so why is it reported now? Personal opinion….it will give the US an excuse for NOT pulling out of Afghanistan totally……we cannot let China or Russia get their hands on all that copper or iron or whatever….and if an American company gets the mining nod then someone has got to protect their interests….Right?
Nothing about this announcement smells kosher!