Yikes. So all we’ve got left is reducing consumption. But who’s going to do that?
My wife and I did. We downscaled our house. It took me two years to find a subdivision where they’d let me build a custom house smaller than 2,000 square feet. And I’ll test you: What is the simplest way to make your house super-efficient?
Right. I have 50 percent more insulation in my walls. It adds very little to the cost. And you insulate your basement from the outside—I have about 20 inches of Styrofoam on the outside of that concrete wall. We were the first people building on our cul-de-sac, so I saw all the other houses after us—much bigger, 3,500 square feet. None of them were built properly. I pay in a year for electricity what they pay in January. You can have a super-efficient house; you can have a super-efficient car, a little Honda Civic, 40 miles per gallon.
Your other big subject is food. You’re a pretty grim thinker, but this is your most optimistic area. You actually think we can feed a planet of 10 billion people—if we eat less meat and waste less food.
We pour all this energy into growing corn and soybeans, and then we put all that into rearing animals while feeding them antibiotics. And then we throw away 40 percent of the food we produce.
Meat eaters don’t like me because I call for moderation, and vegetarians don’t like me because I say there’s nothing wrong with eating meat. It’s part of our evolutionary heritage! Meat has helped to make us what we are. Meat helps to make our big brains. The problem is with eating 200 pounds of meat per capita per year. Eating hamburgers every day. And steak.
You know, you take some chicken breast, cut it up into little cubes, and make a Chinese stew—three people can eat one chicken breast. When you cut meat into little pieces, as they do in India, China, and Malaysia, all you need to eat is maybe like 40 pounds a year.
But it is a problem because you do have to pay now for the battery, and you have to pay for the electricity. As opposed to, you know, just gasoline. So it’s going to probably be more expensive per mile that way, and the economic factor might come into play. But that makes me think, you know, just driving into this building, we passed Ford’s fuel cell research division and I thought, oh my gosh! The words we heard last night from [Ford CEO Alan Mulally] … he mentioned fuel cells, he mentioned electric vehicles. Well, those two go together perfectly. You have to lose energy if you know physics, but it transfers so efficiently to the wheels, that’s why it can still make sense economically. And then you don’t have to carry this huge weight of batteries and the huge cost of the batteries. There are different problems with that one, though.
You know, we keep trying to find the way to clean energy … I’m not smarter than all the people who work on it and research it and the scientists and the people and the laboratories, so it’s not like one person can have this beautiful vision nobody else has. It’s been a struggle my entire life to make better batteries, and all we ever really came up with was lithium ion. That was about it.
The technology for batteries does seem to move really slowly, right?
Interessante. Embora a experiência tenha demonstrado já que soluções “híbridas” normalmente acumulem apenas as desvantagens e custos de ambas as soluções single-purpose que as constituem e não as suas vantagens, pelo menos em “dose” suficiente.
I’m writing a scientific article. It will, probably, be called:
“Nobody actually knows what the f*ck a Smart Grid is or will be”
Em entrevista à agência Lusa, o primeiro presidente da ERSE defendeu que, “quando a tarifa regulada é inferior aos custos, é muito difícil ou impossível para quem está no mercado competir”, considerando que “enquanto esta situação se mantiver não se pode ter uma concorrência saudável nem uma liberalização eficaz”.
“Este é o problema principal da liberalização do sector eléctrico”, disse, realçando que “o desafio é acabar, de uma vez por todas, em Portugal e em Espanha, com esta fixação político-administrativa dos preços e deixar o mercado funcionar”.
O especialista em energia disse que “é difícil explicar esta fixação com a energia eléctrica”.
“Fazia, por exemplo, mais sentido preocupar-nos com o preço dos combustíveis”, defendeu, adiantando que estes têm tido aumentos mais acentuados do que a electricidade e representam uma despesa maior no orçamento da família média portuguesa.
Sound disgusting? Maybe. But perhaps you haven’t seen the insides of a battery chicken shed recently, or imagined how much more antibiotics we’ll have to use as the world nears 9 billion. “Our food system is abysmally broken,” says Josh Tetrick, CEO of San Francisco-based Hampton Creek Foods, maker of the Beyond Eggs egg-substitute. “It’s not about the morality of eating animals or not. It’s about the conditions that a lot of these animals are raised in. These hens are kept inside a cage for two years, pumped full of feed and antibiotics, and it’s just cruel. We don’t all have to stop eating eggs. But we should ask if we want to participate in that.”
Tetrick’s team has deconstructed the egg, analyzed its 22 special functions, and replicated it with plant-stuffs like sunflower lecithin, canola, peas, and natural gums from tree sap. By all accounts, the substitute tastes just like the real thing–even if it doesn’t look like it. It’s sold as a gray-green powder that you need to hydrate before use.
Tetrick, who eats only plant-based food himself, insists he’s not on an anti-meat crusade. He applauds that companies like Chipotle are turning to sustainable sources of meat. The main idea is to replace the eggs currently used to make things like mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and factory-made muffins or cookies (i.e. not your Sunday fry-up). That’s about a third of the 79 billion eggs laid in the U.S. every year.
Every nation wants to strike oil, and after it happens, nearly every nation is worse off for it. It may seem paradoxical, but finding a hole in the ground that spouts money can be one of the worst things that can happen to a country.
Oil-dependent countries, writes the Stanford professor Terry Karl, “eventually become among the most economically troubled, the most authoritarian, and the most conflict-ridden in the world.” This phenomenon is called the resource curse.
Oil is the world’s most capital-intensive industry, so it creates few jobs. Worse, it obliterates jobs all across the economy. The export of oil inflates the exchange rate, so whatever else a country manufactures is less competitive abroad.
suspected terrorist has been taped planning a deadly attack, and the police want to use this evidence in court. Or someone has been captured on CCTV threatening an assault.
Increasingly, recordings like these are playing a role in criminal investigations.
But how can the police be sure that the audio evidence is genuine, that it has not been tampered with or cleverly edited?
Forensic scientists have come up with the answer: they can authenticate these recordings with the help of a hum.
For the last seven years, at the Metropolitan Police forensic lab in south London, audio specialists have been continuously recording the sound of mains electricity.
It is an all pervasive hum that we normally cannot hear. But boost it a little, and a metallic and not very pleasant buzz fills the air.
“The power is sent out over the national grid to factories, shops and of course our homes. Normally this frequency, known as the mains frequency, is about 50Hz,” explains Dr Alan Cooper, a senior digital forensic practitioner at the Met Police.
Any digital recording made anywhere near an electrical power source, be it plug socket, light or pylon, will pick up this noise and it will be embedded throughout the audio.
Os dois parágrafos sobre a relação entre a frequência e o equilíbrio entre Procura e Oferta estão espantosamente ao contrário da realidade,1 mas de resto esta é uma ideia bastante interessante e prática de autenticar gravações sonoras e outros eventos onde se possa registar o espectro electromagnético.
- já foram corrigidos [↩]
i think some things are finally coming together…