Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Planetary Skin

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 25, 2010

An admitted conspiracy nut on another board posted this link, but it is kind of interesting. I hadn’t heard of this before.

Planetary Skin

The policies and actions that will help move the world to a low-carbon economy and address the large-scale risks associated with climate change are profound and far-reaching. They require many different individuals and groups to take between them a vast array of small and large decisions, every day. Today, those decisions are made with only partial knowledge of the possible options, benefits, costs, and risks. Decision-makers are, in essence, flying blind. Whether acting globally or locally, they lack a trusted decision information infrastructure for mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

The skin that covers our bodies provides information from ‘sensors’ distributed throughout the body. Nerve endings in the skin gather sensory information and transmit it through the central nervous system for processing. The body responds with appropriate remedial action to regulate and adapt to change.

Planetary Skin can be thought of as a nervous system, covering the entire planet and providing a research and development platform for open collaboration between the public, private, academic and NGO sectors. It will collect data from space, airborne, maritime, terrestrial and people-based sensor networks and other sources of structured and unstructured data. It will model, predict, analyze and report in a standardized usable format over an open and adaptable cloud platform that is governed as a global public-good.

Planetary Skin Institute will research, develop and prototype an approach to provide near-to-real-time global monitoring of environmental conditions and changes. This will deliver the required decision support capabilities to manage global resources, risks and build environmental markets.


And, from another article:

Mr Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy now are working proposals for a “European monitoring organisation” that will oversee every country’s actions on emissions.

The plan emerged after US President Barack Obama suggested that monitoring could be done using spy satellites.

Mr Brown revealed the plan in the early hours of Saturday morning, shortly before leaving Copenhagen.

He said: “I will work with President Sarkozy for a European organisation that will monitor the transparency that is being achieved not just in Europe and our own countries, but in every country around the world.

He added: “We’re in favour of transparency; we’re in favour of looking at what’s happening not just in our country and our own continent, but around the world.

“I think people deserve for there to be international reporting at the highest standards of what is being done.”

Spy satellites? Ummm….. what?!


Posted in Climate Change, Current Events, Earth, Global Warming, News, Planetary Skin, Politics, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

And then they came for the Plasma TVs…

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on July 5, 2008

Al Gore promoting an increase to everyone's carbon footprint.  He should send me money.I’ve learned that global warming causes just about everything, and I’ve learned that it is also caused by just about everything. I’ve learned that heat waves are indicative of global warming, and also that cold spells are indicative of glob.. oh, wait… climate change (climate change meaning, of course, that it’s a bad thing and it’s all our fault). It’s one of the beautiful things about the theory. It makes it very robust.

Full disclosure: I don’t own a plasma or LCD TV. I have this huge honking box in the corner of my living room that weighs about 2 tons. It will remain there until the earlier of (1) the day it dies, or (2) my wife informs me that it has to go. Until then, a converter box and lack of high def is a small price to pay for not trying to figure out what in the world to do with this monstrosity.

I now find out how environmentally conscious I am. I’m donwright green. These plasma TVs are evil polluters. The gas used in them is thousands of times more potent as a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide – 17,000 times more potent, in fact. If I use my mental conversion chart, this means that despite my large family, I am still a net positive in the carbon footprint game compared to all you polluters who had to get your little toy and watch your sports and action movies in HD. Shame on all of you.

As a public service, you may contact me and find out the address in which you can send me money as an offset. I promise until further notice to refrain from purchasing a Plasma TV, and you can alleviate your conscience by forwarding a fair sum of money to me so that you can watch your TV conscience-free. You’re welcome. What the heck… I’ll even up the ante. If you include your mailing address information and the sum is at least $15, I’ll send you one of my CDs absolutely free.

Anyway, in case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, the article is here: Newfangled TVs Owned by Selfish People Accelerating Global Warming.

A gas used in the making of flat screen televisions, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), is being blamed for damaging the atmosphere and accelerating global warming.

Almost half of the televisions sold around the globe so far this year have been plasma or LCD TVs.

But this boom could be coming at a huge environmental cost.

The gas, widely used in the manufacture of flat screen TVs, is estimated to be 17,000 times as powerful as carbon dioxide.

Ironically, NF3 is not covered by the Kyoto protocol as it was only produced in tiny amounts when the treaty was signed in 1997.

Levels of this gas in the atmosphere have not been measured, but scientists say it is a concern and are calling for it to be included in any future emissions cutting agreement.

Additional comment: Can someone please schedule a class for those in the newsroom on the appropriate use of the word “ironically?”

Posted in Climate Change, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases, News, Science, Technology, Television | Leave a Comment »

Bombs that are good for us

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 28, 2008

Under the category of “there’s no real good reason for me to write about this other than I thought it was ironic” comes this story about new bomb technology.

The irony is that we’re talking about items that are specifically built to blow things and people to kingdom come, but we’re attempting to do so in an environmentally friendly way. From the article:

TNT, RDX and other explosives commonly used in military and industrial applications often generate toxic gases upon detonation that pollute the environment… To make safer, more environmentally friendly explosives, scientists in Germany turned to a recently explored class of materials called tetrazoles… In initial experiments, G2ZT and HBT produced fewer toxic byproducts than common explosives. Still, they did generate some dangerous hydrogen cyanide gas. But mixing these compounds with oxidizers not only avoids making hydrogen cyanide, but also improved performance, Klapötke said.

These compounds have great potential, “especially for large caliber naval and tank guns,” Klapötke added.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Environmentalism, Military, News, Technology | Leave a Comment »