Endangered animals in Panama

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Chemical engineers can help solve the climate challenge #COP21

Posted on 02/12/2015 by

COP21 logoThis week saw the start of the 21st Conference of Parties,COP21. More than 190 countries and 150 global leaders have gathered in Paris, France, to discuss a new global agreement on climate change.

The United Nations (UN) event will host around 40,000 people and runs right through until the end of next week (11 December).

The future of the natural world, and the animals and plant life that call it home, depends on the outcome of this conference. If we don’t limit global warming to 2 degrees, the consequences will be catastrophic.

Polar bearWhilst we cannot accurately predict the scale of any potential impacts now, what we do know for certain is that climate change is happening, and we have a responsibility to reduce any further damage.

Chemical engineers are part of the solution, and the IChemE Energy Centre has identified five priority areas where technology can be deployed now to help mitigate climate change.

These topics, as outlined in the IChemE Energy Centre Climate Communiqué, are:

  • energy efficiency
  • energy storage and grid management
  • carbon capture, storage and utilisation
  • nuclear
  • sustainable bioenergy

Released in a statement today, the Energy Centre says: “The technologies exist now to deliver massive energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions in all five priority areas. Taken together, they represent a pathway to a decarbonized energy system that can be realised now, as long as the agreement made at COP21 recognises that the time has come for deployment of such technologies.”

Read the Energy Centre supporting statement here.

Stefaan Simons, Chair of the Energy Centre Board, has also added: “Chemical engineers already understand the technology needed to limit atmospheric CO2 levels. Now is the time to start using it. World leaders can shift the focus from research and development to demonstration and deployment. We can give policy makers the solutions needed to mitigate climate change.”

You can watch Stef, alongside other members of the Energy Centre Board, Niall Mac Dowell and Ben Salisbury, discuss the five topics in more detail in the following video:

Over the next few days, whilst COP21 is still underway, the Energy Centre will be publishing evidence-based recommendations that cover each of the five topics on this very blog.

Stef will also present at the Paris climate talks on 10 December at an official side event: ‘Technology solutions for a 2oC world: Investing in renewables, storage, energy efficiency and CCS‘. So if you are in Paris, please join him.

There will also be an evening screening of the his side event on 10 December at it IChemE’s offices in Portland Place, London, UK – this event is free-of-charge and open to all.

Let’s all be part of the climate conversation, and make sure that the chemical engineering perspective is heard whilst the future of our planet is being decided over the next two weeks.

Institution of Chemical Engineers

COP21 logoThis week saw the start of the 21st Conference of Parties, COP21. More than 190 countries and 150 global leaders have gathered in Paris, France, to discuss a new global agreement on climate change.

The United Nations (UN) event will host around 40,000 people and runs right through until the end of next week (11 December).

The future of the natural world, and the animals and plant life that call it home, depends on the outcome of this conference. If we don’t limit global warming to 2 degrees, the consequences will be catastrophic.

Polar bearWhilst we cannot accurately predict the scale of any potential impacts now, what we do know for certain is that climate change is happening, and we have a responsibility to reduce any further damage.

Chemical engineers are part of the solution, and the IChemE Energy Centre has identified five priority areas where technology can be deployed now to help…

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Should you Drop out of School?

Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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“The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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Related: 70’s interview with Margaret Thatcher:  

Apollo 16: “We Like Big Rocks”

April 1972: The fifth pair of astronauts to visit the moon were the most enthusiastic geologists, bringing home the largest sample ever collected from the moon.

Apollo 16 launched on April 16, 1972 as the tenth crewed Apollo mission, and the fifth to land on the moon. Astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke Jr. spent 71 hours on the lunar surface They completed 20 hours and 14 minutes of moonwalks during three extra-vehicular activities, including driving 26.7 kilometers (16.6 miles) in their lunar rover around the Descartes and Cayley formations. Along with installing a ultraviolet stellar camera on the surface, the duo collected 95.8 kilograms (209 pounds) of lunar samples. In an echo of geologists everywhere, they couldn’t seem to restrain themselves to just the small samples and collected the most massive lunar sample of any Apollo mission.

Apollo 16:

Big Muley is one hefty rock! Image credit: NASA

Lunar Sample 61016 masses a mighty 11.7 kilograms (26 pounds). The rock bares the nickname “Big Muley,” named for Apollo 16 field geology team leader Bill Muehlberger. Found on the east rim of Plum Crater, researchers suspect it was actually ejected during the impact that formed South Ray crater. The rock is a breccia: a sedimentary rock composed of primary large, angular smaller rock fragments cemented together. The exposed top surface is rounded with a thin patina and micrometeorite zaps; the rest was protected by being buried within the lunar soil. The melted shock fragments within the rock date to 3.97 billion years ago.

Apollo 16:

David White [left] and William Muehlberger [right] admire the largest lunar sample ever returned, Big Muley (sample 61016). Image credit: NASA

While Young and Duke were busy on the surface, Thomas Ke Mattingly II observed the moon; during the return trip to Earth he and Duke ducked outside for a one-hour spacewalk to retrieve film cassettes from the exterior. The crew returned to Earth just over 11 days after launching, splashing down on April 27th.

Apollo 16:

Duke and Mattingly (wearing Young’s striped helmet) spacewalking to inspect the Service Module and retrieve film. Image credit: NASA

The mission wasn’t without its hitches. It was the first Apollo mission to be delayed for technical issues, then a fuel tank was damaged during a routine test in the months leading up to launch, requiring replacement. Once the crew reached Earth orbit, the third stage booster developed an attitude control system problem that required in-flight fiddling to fix. The Lunar Module Orion started shedding paint peeling off the aluminum skin, although the astronauts decided it was cosmetic after closer inspection. Soon after, Mattingly spotted a gimbal lock warning light that the spacecraft wasn’t reporting attitude, so had to reorient the guidance system using the Sun and Moon instead.

Apollo 16:

Lunar Module Orion with Young and Duke on board, heading up to rejoin Mattingly on Casper, their Command Service Module. Image credit: NASA/Thomas K. Mattingly II

The next day, Young and Duke boarded Orion and peeled off for their decent. The lunar module’s engine backup systems malfunctioned, and error that should’ve scrapped the moon landing. Instead, mission controllers determined a workaround, descending to the surface just six hours behind schedule. This squeezed the surface mission schedule, and cut the final moonwalk by a few hours to accede to the demands of both orbital dynamics and sleep.

Apollo 16:

Young and Duke during a simulated traverse in a training area at the Kennedy Space Center. Image credit: NASA

[NASA | NASA | NASA | Lunar Sample 61016 Gallery]

Top image: Duke [left] and Young [right] on a two-day geology training field trip near Los Angeles. Credit: NASA


Contact the author at mika.mckinnon@io9.com or follow her at @MikaMcKinnon.

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A Portrait of the Plains: Documenting A Changing Landscape

Beautiful: Absolutely Fabulous: 2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

Emilio Cogliani

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917893-7041547-dsc_0652.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

This blog is part of an ongoing series following the Rediscover the Prairie expedition, a horseback journey across the Great Plains. To learn more please visit http://ift.tt/1B02Abg
All photos © Robin Walter or Sebastian Tsocanos. All rights reserved.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


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High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma can be Life-Threatening in many Communities Worldwide

High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma a deadly consequence of residing near industrialized neighborhoods.  Pollution resulting from our Built Environment have resulted in  extensive health disparities worldwide:
About 25% of the USA’a housing —some 24 million homes— contains significant lead-based paint hazards, i.e. deteriorating lead paint or lead contaminated dust. (HUD, 2009).

Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output.

Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output. Via Bing

The majority of resources and statistics concerning community correlations with respect to health disparities in the U.S. point to a direct correlation between industrialized, lower income communities and rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma associated with living in a those particular communities. Over 4 million children in the U.S. had an asthma attack last year. (National Safety Council, 2015).
Better neighborhoods, generally associated with a higher income, had newer and higher housing standards, and were more financially able to comply with government regulations of lead content and smoke inhalation guidelines. Residents of privileged neighborhoods felt safer than families living in lower income neighborhoods. Poorer, disadvantaged neighborhoods where tenants are dependent on a landlord’s approval to address safety issues, may face a lengthy process if they wish to upgrade and make their living situation safer, or may not be able to afford a particular safety upgrade. This adds to feelings of perceived loss of personal control over ones own living situation resulting in an increased fear factor as well as elevated stress levels, which can have detrimental health effects.
When you’re a little more worried every day, you’re always a little more vigilant, looking around at things, checking people, places and things out a little more carefully. If you think about doing that day after day, year after year, it can be exhausting after a while. Constant worrying about stress and about how and when one is going to pay all the bills that are piling up adds an incredible amount of stress to life. Chronic stress wears on the body system resulting in lowered immunity and increased risk of disease and illness. (Lee, 2015).

Practitioner reports of disabled and impaired motor skills in children are more prevalent in older neighborhoods where lower income, minorities reside. Children in disadvantaged neighborhoods to be less likely to venture outside to exercise and inhale fresh breath fearing the consequences of doing so in a high crime neighborhood.

mex3

Mexico Beach House via JZ Photography

Other physical features that can have a negative effect on health outcomes:
1. Ground Soil Pollution: Lead manufacturing that has resulted in damages to the ground and environment having had profound affects on safe housing for families worldwide. Children from poorer families are the hardest hit by this type of pollution because parents don’t always have the additional resources to relocate their families to safer communities. Children have growing organs that are easily affected by toxic chemicals, and most kids participate in playtime that may include touching the ground on a regular basis exposing them to dangerous toxins.

2. Air Pollution: Asthma and other bronchial related problems resulting from Lead Poisons being emitted into the air as industrial factories release their by products in the form of poisonous gasses as a part of their manufacturing process. Children can be affected for decades after a plants closure. Lead findings as high as 70 times the USDA recommended Lead levels have had devastating effects on public health reports and statistics in towns where communities have been built close to lead and mercury producing facilities. (National Safety Council, 2009). Another similar source of pollution that would have residual effects for years to come was Regular gasoline that included a lead additive which was not known to be harmful till it was finally discontinued in the early 1980’s due to a government regulated Lead ban.

How affordable quality, and safe housing conditions promote health:

By educating practitioners, schools and parents, regarding the government resources available for improving all buildings and homes in an effort to get them up to code with acceptable levels of toxic lead and fume inhalation guidelines. All communities should be declared safe according to government standards, regardless of wealth or relative neighborhood status. We can minimize current health care problems and prevent future health issues by educating all individuals of their rights to safe housing, thus allowing all children to reach their full potential. Equal rights translate to equality of life expectancies throughout the U.S. for all residents. Our founding fathers created the U.S. Constitutional principles upon this premise. (Lee, 2012). Written by: JZ
References:

National Safety Council. (2009) Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from
http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Lead-Poisoning- Fact- Sheet.pdf.

City of Roseburg. (2015). Public works projects. Retrieved from
http://www.cityofroseburg.org/departments/public-works/projects/.

Lee, E. (Producer & Director). (2008). Living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is bad for
your health [Video excerpt]. In L. Adelman (Executive producer), Unnatural causes:
Episode 5—Place matters. Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved from
http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/video_clips_detail.php?res_id=217.

 

Baby Koalas have Loads of Spunk..!!


For more information or for request of video use please contact;

Kevin Fallon
Marketing and Creative Services Manager | Symbio Wildlife Park, Sydney
kevin@symbiozoo.com.au
+61 2 4294 1244
photoshoot and, as this viral video shows, the 10-month-old joey was a total pro in front of the camera.

Look at those angles! The dynamism! The poise! She’s a total natural.

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Imogen, who lives at Symbio Wildlife Park in New South Wales, Australia, is no stranger to viral success.

Last month, she stole many hearts after a video emerged of her giving a cameraman a big hug.

Damn Tree Huggers..!! Courtesy of Bing

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