Daily Digest 5/13 - Challenging The Throwaway Culture, Cutbacks Hurt Epidemic Response, Building An Onion Battery
- An Effort to Bury a Throwaway Culture One Repair at a Time
- Syriza Says It Won’t Join Greek National Unity Government
- Dow Drops Most in 2012 as Europe Concern Resurfaces
- Cutbacks Hurt a State’s Response to Whooping Cough
- Inter-Regional Trade Movements of Petroleum to and from China: Part 9
- Is That Onions You Smell? Or Battery Juice?
- Rebuilding Rainwater Collection in India
Thirty groups have started Repair Cafes across the Netherlands, where neighbors pool their skills and labor for a few hours a month to mend holey clothing and revivify old coffee makers, broken lamps, vacuum cleaners and toasters, as well as at least one electric organ, a washing machine and an orange juice press.
Papoulias began a final bid to coax the three biggest parties into a coalition today after a week of talks which failed to deliver on mandates to form governments. He will meet later today the leaders of the four other parties to probe the likelihood of forming a national-unity government. If Papoulias’s efforts fail, new elections will need to be called.
Global equities declined during the week as an inconclusive election in Greece left political parties struggling to form a government. The impasse reignited concern over Greece’s ability to meet terms of its two bailouts and the possibility the country will leave the euro. In France, Francois Hollande, who defeated Nicolas Sarkozy as president, pledged to curtail austerity measures. The Europe turmoil overshadowed U.S. data showing jobless claims fell to a one-month low and consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level in four years.
Here in Skagit County, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle — the hardest-hit corner of the state, based on pertussis cases per capita — the local Public Health Department has half the staff it did in 2008. Preventive care programs, intended to keep people healthy, are mostly gone.
Although China’s petroleum production rate is up 200% over the last decade, its consumption rate has increased at an even higher rate—500%. This has caused China to become a major petroleum importer. In 2010, China imported 2.2 billion barrels. That’s roughly half of the European region’s and two-thirds of North America’s inter-regional imports in the same year. If the trends of increasing imports to China (Figure 9, above) and declining imports to North America (Figure 9 from Part 3) were to continue, then China would equal and then surpass North America as the second largest petroleum importing region in about five years, 2017, importing an estimated 17% of global inter-regional export pool of petroleum, up from 13% in 2010.
So it is now taking a second, unusual approach to electricity, harnessing a gigantic battery built by Prudent Energy of Bethesda, Md. The Prudent battery is the same in principle as many others, with a liquid electrolyte that can shuttle ions back and forth to absorb current or create it. But it has external tanks to store huge volumes of electrolyte and takes up a space the size of a tennis court.
The battery can absorb or give back another 600 kilowatts for as long as six hours. Fully charged, it holds enough energy to run a large suburban house for about four months.
Rebuilding Rainwater Collection in India (jdargis)
The outcome of his work has been dramatic. Where rainwater can be collected and retained, farms have become productive, animals have come back, and very imporantly, aquifers have been recharged, and groundwater and river levels have risen. Once the first collection pond’s value was proven, others were dug. “Community-driven, decentralized water management is the solution for my country,” Singh said in the interview. It’s also the solution most commonly proposed by designers and conservationists in the U.S. From Singh’s perspective, that doesn’t necessarily mean high-tech strategies—traditional rainwater harvesting techniques like the one he implemented have been around for centuries.
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