|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Saturday, March 23, 2002
Joseph Stiglitz was chief economist of the World Bank in the late 1990's and became a vocal critic of its practices. A new article
summarizes an interview, criticizes Bank/IMF/WTO policy prescriptions, and says Stiglitz was "fired" by US government order in 1999. He was awarded a Nobel prize in economics
in 2001, and now teaches at Colombia
. 11:25:42 PM
A light-sensitive plastic magnet
offers new opportunities for light-controlled magnetic materials. The new plastic magnet becomes 1.5 times more magnetic when blue light shines on it. Green light partially reverses the effect. Such magnets have potential for new applications in electronic data storage. The magnet functions up to a temperature of 75 K. This temperature approaches that of today's high-temperature superconductors. 11:38:40 AM
Ford Motor Co. will unveil a new zero-emissions version of its Ford Focus at the New York International Auto Show this month (March 2002). The Focus FCV is powered by a combination of hybrid electric technology and a hydrogen fuel cell. Production is expected to begin in 2004.
Meanwhile Toyota announced that it would begin marketing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle for commercial use next year, selling its environmentally friendly FCHV-4 in Tokyo by summer 2003. 9:03:44 AM
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has summarized progress on emissions trading. "Most trades involving a commodity defined not by governments but by the trade’s participants and known as verified emissions reductions (VERs). Governments may allow them to be applied against future emissions reduction requirements, but there are no guarantees. The [Pew] authors estimate that 'approximately 65 greenhouse gas trades for quantities above 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) have occurred worldwide since 1996.' This figure includes trades of actual emissions reductions as well as financial derivatives based on reductions. Prices for VERs have ranged between $.60 and $3.50 per metric ton of CO2e." However, there are no established international standards to define VERs; they are still under development and negotiation. 8:45:41 AM
California's population continues to grow, by 571,000 or 1.7% in 2000, with many environmental consequences. In electric power:
- Between 1979 and 1999, the state's per-capita electricity use declined from 7,292 kilowatt hours per year to 6,952 kilowatt hours. But in the same two decades, its population grew from 23 to 33 million.
- Residential power demand has increased steadily in the last 10 years, growing from 67,669 gigawatt hours in 1990 to 79,067 gwh in 2000.
A new study
shows that a few polluters cause most of the emissions within the power industry. The top 3 companies produce about 20%; the top 20 companies produce about 50%; the top 100 about 90%. Coal fired power plants produce half of US electricity, but emit 90% of the electric industry's total pollution. 8:17:54 AM
: "Nearly half a billion people around the world had access to the Internet from their homes by the end of last year, Nielsen/NetRatings said Thursday." 2:36:15 AM