With so many college students, and especially so many blacks and women, majoring in fake, useless, worthless subjects that will leave them with nothing but huge amounts of debt that they will never be able to pay back from the low wages they will get from working at coffee shops and fast food restaurants after they graduate from college, here’s a wonderful story about someone who chose to study something that is actually useful in the real world. More people should follow Jasmine Burton’s lead and study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects:
This plastic toilet could save lives
Jasmine Burton helped design an inexpensive, portable plastic toilet to address the lack of basic sanitation around the world.
January 22, 2016
Everybody poops. But not everyone has access to a toilet.
“It’s shocking that this basic necessity is unavailable to nearly half of the world,” said Jasmine Burton, founder and president of Atlanta-based Wish for WASH.
Burton, 23, was a freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology when she learned that as many as 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a toilet.
It bothered her even more that this sanitation problem disproportionately affects women and young girls.
“Young girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school because there isn’t a toilet,” she said. “It angered me as a woman in higher education and as a product designer.”
Just 18 at the time, Burton channeled her feelings into a mission: She would design a toilet.
While at Georgia Tech, she collaborated with three other students to invent an inexpensive, eco-friendly mobile toilet that could convert waste into renewable energy. They called their sanitation system SafiChoo Toilet.
Made of plastic, the toilet is designed for sitting or squatting, which is a common practice in some countries. It can be placed directly on the ground, or it can be elevated by adding an attachable base. It can also function with or without water.
The system features a waste collection unit (that can go above or below ground), which separates the waste into liquids and solids. There’s also a manually-operated bidet that can be attached.
Burton said these features are intended to help curb contamination and the spread of diseases.
The SafiChoo toilet costs about $50. “That’s the highest price point we want it to be,” she said.
In 2014, Burton and her team won first place and $25,000 at the Georgia Tech InVention competition, the nation’s largest undergraduate invention competition.
“We didn’t think we’d win because products at the contest were always high-tech with super sexy designs,” she said. “Ours was a simple toilet.”
The win enabled Burton to pilot SafiChoo (which means clean toilet in Kiswahili) at a Kenyan refugee camp. She also launched Wish for WASH, the parent company of SafiChoo.
John Zegers, director at Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, contacted Burton after her InVention competition win. “We thought it was a great product that needed a little bit more development,” he said.
The Center gave a grant to Georgia Tech to develop a SafiChoo prototype and helped Burton’s team find an Atlanta-based manufacturer.
Zegers said he hopes that Wish for WASH is able to keep the toilet a Made in America product.
Burton is currently living in Lusaka, Zambia, as she tests the toilet there. The company is also running an Indiegogo campaign to support the Zambia pilot.
She hopes to begin selling the toilet to U.S.-based customers and to NGOs in 2017.
“It’s amazing when you see how many people have never used a toilet before and what [the SafiChoo Toilet] could mean for them,” she said.
If this is true and it can be used on a large scale, it’s fantastic news.
Plastic-Munching Bacteria Can Make Trash Biodegradable
March 10, 2016
A durable plastic called PET is considered a major environmental hazard because it’s highly resistant to breakdown. But researchers have found a potential new match for this hardy plastic: a newly discovered microbe that is astonishingly good at eating it.
An estimated 342 million tons (311 metric tons) of plastic are produced annually worldwide, and currently, only about 14 percent is collected for recycling, according to the World Economic Forum.
Most plastic degrades extraordinarily slowly, but PET — short for poly(ethylene terephthalate) — is especially durable, and about 61 million tons (56 metric tons) of the colorless plastic was produced worldwide in 2013 alone, according to the researchers.
Previously, the only species found to break down PET were rare fungi. Now, scientists in Japan have discovered bacteria that can biodegrade this hardy plastic.
“The bacterium is the first strain having a potential to degrade PET completely into carbon dioxide and water,” said study co-author Kohei Oda, an applied microbiologist at the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan.
The researchers collected 250 samples of PET debris from soil and wastewater from a plastic-bottle-recycling site. They scanned these samples for bacteria that could eat PET.
The scientists identified a new species of bacteria, which they named Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, that could almost completely break down a thin film of PET after six weeks at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Appendages from the cells might have secreted compounds that helped to dissolve the plastic, the researchers said.
Genetic and biochemical analyses identified two key enzymes involved in the breakdown of PET. One enzyme worked with water to break down the plastic into an intermediate substance, which the other enzyme broke down into PET’s basic building blocks, the scientists said.
These findings could have a wide range of real-world applications, because bacteria should be easier to incorporate into devices to break down PET than fungi is. “We hope that we can develop a technology to handle such a lot of wasted PET,” Oda said.
In the future, the researchers would like to “improve the ability of the microorganisms to degrade,” Oda said.
It’s not known how these enzymes evolved, Oda said, and both enzymes bear little resemblance to the enzymes most closely related to them.
The scientists detailed their findings online today (March 10) in the journal Science.
The following predictions were made during the first Earth Day in 1970:
* Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
* Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
* Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, “… by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
* Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.
* Life Magazine wrote, “… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”
* Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
* Watt also stated, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil.”
I support a revenue-neutral carbon tax on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Start the tax at a low amount (perhaps $5 per ton), and then increase it by some small amount every year (perhaps $2 per ton). And use that tax revenue to lower other taxes by an equal amount. I dare Democrats to push for such a policy.
And in order to get Republicans to go along with it, the tax that gets lowered could be the corporate income tax. We could eventually repeal the entire corporate income tax, and replace it with a carbon dioxide tax.
If Democrats are truly against global warming, and if Republicans are truly against the corporate income tax, then what possible objections could they have to this proposal?
Radical doomsayer environmentalists refuse to express joy at new NASA report which says Antarctic ice sheet has been gaining ice for decades
Uh oh. The radical doomsayer environmentalists who have been predicting melting ice caps for the past few decades are not going to like this at all – not one bit.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, look for yourself. Read the news. Use whatever search engines you want.
You will not find a single example of celebration from any of the radical environmental doomsayer organizations that have been predicting the melting of the polar ice caps for the past few decades.
On the other hand, to those of us who like to look at things from a logical and rational perspective, this is great news – great news indeed.
NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses
October 30, 2015
According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
Perhaps biological evolution created homo sapiens for the purpose of putting carbon back into the atmosphere
By Patrick Moore
March 20, 2015
Editor’s Note: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years. He cofounded Greenpeace.
Human Emissions Saved Planet
Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.
At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.
Yale students cancel protest against fossil fuels so they can stay inside and be kept warm by fossil fuels
An organization of Yale students called “Fossil Free Yale” was formed to urge the university’s endowment to divest from coal, oil, and natural gas.
They were planning a protest against fossil fuels, but they canceled it due to cold weather.
So instead of protesting against fossil fuels, they are staying inside and being kept warm by the very same fossil fuels that they claim to be against.
If they want to make a credible case for opposing fossil fuels, I suggest they offer a realistic alternative. Specifically, I suggest they build a house that is powered entirely by whatever sources of energy they think are preferable to fossil fuels, and then spend eight hours each and every night for the entire winter sleeping in that house.
Vermont just replaced its only only nuclear reactor (which had accounted for 71.8% of the state’s electricity production) with fossil fuels obtained from fracking
Vermont has just shut down this reactor.
The replacement energy source for this shut down reactor is shale gas, a fossil fuel whose combustion causes global warming, and which is obtained from fracking.
And all this time, I had thought that liberals in Vermont were against fossil fuels, fracking, and global warming.
There are new nuclear power plants currently under construction in the U.S., but all of them are in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, which are not exactly thought of as bastions of liberalism and environmentalism.
Liberals fly 1,700 private jets to Switzerland so they can PRETEND to care about global warming and income inequality
Perhaps someday, these global warming conferences will be done using environmentally friendly Skype instead of the current policy of burning massive amounts of fossil fuel on 1,700 private jets.
Google billionaires request $539 million federal bailout after spending $1.6 billion of “stimulus” funding on failed solar power project
Ivanpah is a solar power company owned by Google, BrightSource Energy, and NRG.
In April 2011, as part of Obama’s “stimulus,” Obama gave Ivanpah a $1.6 billion loan guarantee to build a solar power plant.
In November 2014, when the plant was up and running, Associated Press reported that it was producing only “about half of its expected annual output.” The California Energy Commission blamed this failure on “clouds, jet contrails, and weather.”
In November 2014, Ivanpah asked Obama for a $539 million bailout.
Google is owned by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. At the time they requested this $539 million bailout, Page was the 19th richest person in the world, with assets of $30.4 billion, and Brin was the 20th richest person in the world, with assets of $30 billion.
On May 24, 2014, Wikipedia’s article on the meadow jumping mouse stated:
The meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius) is the most widely distributed mouse in the subfamily Zapodinae. It may be found from the Atlantic coast, to the Great Plains, as far north as the arctic tree lines in Canada and Alaska, and as far south as Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, and New Mexico.
The meadow jumping mouse is currently not in any kind of danger. According to the IUCN Red list, it is widely spread, common, and not declining throughout most of its extensive range. It is also present in many protected areas, and so does not have any major threats of it becoming an endangered species.
However, on July 3, 2014, the Daily Caller reported:
Feds Declare Mouse Endangered, Family Might Lose Everything
A family’s livestock enterprise in New Mexico is in danger of being completely shut down now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the meadow jumping mouse to be an endangered species…
The new regulations came into effect from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month, and as a result, the U.S. Forest Service is considering installing 8-foot high fences to protect the mouse, which would permanently prevent the Lucero family’s livestock from grazing.
The family is already in possession of grazing permits from the federal government, but the permits become irrelevant in the event that a new species is declared endangered.
The Lucero family has had their livestock graze on the land in the Santa Fe National Forest for more than a century, starting first with sheep, but then switching to cattle in the 1920s.
Obama’s declaration of this animal as being “endangered” is contrary to all scientific evidence, and is just a cover for his war on ranchers.
Fracking in Williston, North Dakota, drives unemployment rate to less than 1%, so Wal-Mart offers $17.40 an hour
A Wal-Mart in Williston, North Dakota is offering starting salaries of $17.40 per hour.
The reason that this particular Wal-Mart is offering $17.40 an hour has nothing to do with unions, social justice, compassion, or any other such thing.
Instead, it’s simple supply and demand.
In particular, the article says that fracking has made it possible to access oil which had previously been unobtainable. This has driven the unemployment rate to less than 1% in the city where this Wal-Mart is located.
This presents an interesting situation for anyone who favors higher wages while simultaneously opposing fracking, i.e, a large percentage of people on the political left. Tradeoffs are a common part of life, and I am interested in hearing what other people think of this situation.
The Daily Signal reports:
Why One Walmart in North Dakota Is Paying $17.40 an Hour
A Walmart store in Williston, N.D., is offering to pay entry-level workers as much as $17.40 per hour…
… the historic oil boom in North Dakota has provided real, sustained growth in wages and lowered unemployment in North Dakota to 2.6 percent—the lowest statewide rate in the nation—and to less than 1 percent in Williston, which is near the oil fields in the western part of the state.
Those jobs are safe for the foreseeable future, too. Last year, a study conducted by the United States Geological Service estimated conservatively that 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil sit beneath North Dakota. Scientists have long known about these oil reserves, but two miles of solid rock precluded development. Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing and smart drilling technology have made production possible and triggered the present economic boom.
On a rooftop in the Bronx far from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, 4,760 panels soak up the winter rays. Welcome to the solar power boom in New York state.
Robert Kline, director of commercial sales for the Ross Solar Group that installed the panels, is delighted.
“It is the largest (solar) installation in the history of New York City,” he tells AFP.
The 1.6-megawatt installation on the Jetro Cash and Carry has been proudly singled out by New York governor Andrew Cuomo as a prime example of a drive to haul the state into a new dawn.
I’m not disputing the claim that this is “the largest solar installation in the history of New York City.”
However, I am disputing the claim that his is a “boom” for solar power.
The Ravenswood Generating Station is one of many power plants that provides electricity for New York. It makes its electricity by burning fossil fuels, and it produces 2,410 MW.
If we wanted to replace this one fossil fuel power plant with solar power, it would require building more than 1,500 additional solar power projects of the same size as “the largest solar installation in the history of New York City.”
If this solar power plant is a “boom,” it would take more than 1,500 additional “booms” just to be able to shut down this one fossil fuel power plant.
And even that grossly understates the situation, because the claimed power rating for those solar panels is only applicable when the sun is directly overhead, and there are no clouds.
If the sun isn’t directly overhead, its power output would be less than the rated maximum.
If the sky was cloudy, its power output would be less than the rated maximum.
And if it was night, its power output would be zero.
The solar power plant would have to have a backup power source, and that backup power source would almost certainly be… something that burned fossil fuels.
If there is ever a solar power plant in New York that uses batteries to store its sun-derived energy for use at night, and is able to reliably and continuously produce at least 1,000 MW of electricity at any and all times of the day or night, then that would indeed be a “boom” for solar power in New York.
It sure is cold outside. And it’s predicted to be even colder in the next few days.
I want to thank everyone who works in the natural gas industry for saving my life – literally. Without you, I would be dead.
Thank you – thank you so much.
I took a scene from the movie “Downfall,” and I wrote these subtitles for it:
Global warming scientists finally admit that their computer models exaggerate the amount of global warming
I’ve always suspected that the computer models that scientists use to predict global warming were programmed to exaggerate the amount of global warming.
And now, the scientists who write these computer programs have finally admitted that that is indeed the case.
The Telegraph reports:
Top climate scientists admit global warming forecasts were wrong
Top climate scientists have admitted that their global warming forecasts are wrong and world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report.
One of the central issues is believed to be why the IPCC failed to account for the “pause” in global warming, which they admit that they did not predict in their computer models. Since 1997, world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase.
The summary also shows that scientist have now discovered that between 950 and 1250 AD, before the Industrial Revolution, parts of the world were as warm for decades at a time as they are now.
Despite a 2012 draft stating that the world is at it’s warmest for 1,300 years, the latest document states: “’Surface temperature reconstructions show multi-decadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950-1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th Century.”
The 2007 report included predictions of a decline in Antarctic sea ice, but the latest document does not explain why this year it is at a record high.
The 2013 report states: “’Most models simulate a small decreasing trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, in contrast to the small increasing trend in observations…”
The Daily Mail reports:
World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought – and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong
Leaked report reveals the world has warmed at quarter the rate claimed by IPCC in 2007
Scientists accept their computers may have exaggerated
A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.
The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly ‘assessments’ are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science.
Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that over the past 15 years, recorded world temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of IPCC claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007.
Back then, it said observed warming over the 15 years from 1990-2005 had taken place at a rate of 0.2C per decade, and it predicted this would continue for the following 20 years, on the basis of forecasts made by computer climate models.
But the new report says the observed warming over the more recent 15 years to 2012 was just 0.05C per decade – below almost all computer predictions.
They recognise the global warming ‘pause’ first reported by The Mail on Sunday last year is real – and concede that their computer models did not predict it. But they cannot explain why world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase since 1997.
They admit large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250 AD – centuries before the Industrial Revolution, and when the population and CO2 levels were both much lower.
The IPCC admits that while computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice, it has actually grown to a new record high. Again, the IPCC cannot say why.
A forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense has simply been dropped, without mention.
This year has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in history and the US is currently enjoying its longest-ever period – almost eight years – without a single hurricane of Category 3 or above making landfall.
While speaking in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Obama said that global warming was “the biggest challenge we have environmentally” and that it was worse than “dirty water, dirty air.”
However, according to the World Health Organization, while global warming kills 140,000 people each year, air pollution kills 3 million people per year.
According to UNESCO, each year, contaminated water causes 4 billion cases of diarrhea, 120,000 cases of cholera, 300 million cases of malaria, 12 million cases of typhoid, 6 million cases of trachoma, 200 million cases of schistosomiesis, and more than 1 billion incidents of intestinal parasites.
You know what’s worse than global warming? How about living your entire life without ever having access to a toilet?
The World Health Organization says that dirty water is “the leading cause of disease and death around the world.”
That Obama would downplay these problems shows how scientifically illiterate he is.
That he would do so while giving a speech in Africa, which has the highest rate of water borne illness of any continent, shows how thoughtless and insensitive he is.
The Telegraph reports:
Fridges could be switched off without owner’s consent to reduce strain on power stations
Fridges, washing machines and other electrical goods could be switched off automatically in British homes without the owners’ consent under EU proposals to help power stations meet demand for electricity.
White goods such as electric ovens would be affected by the proposals to fit all new appliances with sensors that could shut them down when the UK’s generators struggle to meet demand for power.
The measures proposed by the UK’s National Grid, along with its counterparts in 34 European countries, to install the controversial devices are backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies.
They are pushing for the move because green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackouts
The EU has set a target that 20 per cent of all electricity will be generated from green sources by 2012, but these are unreliable, making the task more difficult.
This would be a huge step backwards. The existence of electric refrigerators is one of the things that separates a first world country from a third world country. Nuclear power works even when the wind isn’t blowing, and is my personal preference for electricity generation. Giving the government the ability to turn people’s refrigerators off at will would be giving the government too much intrusion into people’s lives. It could also lead to spoilage and food poisoning.
When Obama carried out his Solyndra con game, he broke the same law that Martha Stewart went to prison for breaking
In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs. However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt. It was later revealed that the company’s shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.
According to the laws of physics, the total quantity of mass and energy is fixed. Therefore, we cannot “create” new mass or energy, and we cannot “use up” the mass and energy that we already have.
But there is something else that we can do – we can invent, build, and use technology to increase our standard of living. For example, petroleum was worthless until someone with a brain invented a way to use it, at which point the petroleum became a valuable resource. Likewise, today we take rocks that used to be worthless, and turn them into computer chips that are worth trillions of dollars.
In recent years, the environmental movement in Germany has persuaded the country to shut down one third if its nuclear power generating capacity.