Archive for January, 2010

Green business bubble or is it just a sad day?

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Among intensifying speculation that human CO2 is not contributing to global warming the world’s top ‘climate-change official” Pachauri of the IPCC is in focus. His business interests are described in an article in the Telegraph UK.

see article Telegraph UK

Read it and see for yourself – this is big business, big government, big UN, big EU, big men all: Carbon trading and sustainable technologies in a climate industry.

Do we have a scandal here? Good work Telegraph!

The Acid Ocean

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The next consequence of supposedly increased CO2 content in the air is acidification of the oceans.

Again there is complete disagreement among scientists – the next fraud or the complete truth? What is going on?

IPCC says that pH of the seas has decreased a in few places by 0.1 making the way for an acid ocean.

Tom V. Segalstad: This is not dramatic as the natural pH of the seas varies between 7.8 and 8.5 depending on temperature and prevailing currents. Further the oceans have an unlimited buffer capacity, and the oceans are playing a vital role in stabilizing conditions for organic life on the Earth.

Gary Novak: Acid in the Oceans Fraud – the pH of the oceans is 8.1, which is alkaline, and there has been no measured acidification. Scientists have no method available to survey ocean acidity, as Argo does for temperature, yet they recently claimed oceans are becoming more acidic. They measured acidity in a few estuaries to come up with that fraud.

Scientific American also has an article about ocean acidity – drawing comments about scientific bullshit!

What are we to believe? Sound scepticism must be appropriate now!

A capsule in your body is talking to you!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Smart pills are coming up faster than most people expected. The drugs you take can now communicate with you as they do their job.

Several companies (Philips, Novartis etc..) and research institutions are now coming forward with pills that can send data to you, your doctor or even your wife. The data can be sent to a mobile phone or to your PC.

These  pills have a tiny microchip that reacts with the fluids in your intestines, becoming activated and sending messages to another chip somewhere on your body that can transmit messages to the people treating you.

May be later you or your doctor can talk back – ejecting it, asking it to release more medicine, shutting it off for a while. Monitoring, dosage, performing tests can all be done. Swallow a pill, let it start, pick up your phone and let your doctor check if you have the flu (or whatever).

Will you be using such a pill voluntarily or will you need incentives? You must make up your mind- these pills are coming to you too – soon. And big business for the suppliers too.

The sceptics are saying that these chips are the frontrunners of RFID chips that can track you?

Digitalizing content rights

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We live in a converging world. Media are moving one way: content will be digitized!  Films, pictures, books, music, games have all gone digital on the web and can be taken down to your computer or other device via the internet or mobile lines. Many people do this now. Efficient techniques like broadband, bittorrent  technology makes it possible to find content, often free of charge or some say by stealing it.

There is a growing force to see to it that owners of content get paid, although many business models provide part of content for free. Many free sites exist.

The digital force is with us and we must find good legal solutions to cope with the digital future. Old fashioned laws must be taken into the digital age both nationally and internationally. International conventions etc. often dictate what nations do.

So what is a right approach? Many simple questions come up: Can we take part in file-sharing privately or for business purposes, can you play something off the internett without downloading it, can you share files with your friends and if so how many times, must customers check where files originate, what responsibilities have publishers in assuring their own rights, who owns copies made, does it matter where you store the files, use of links to files with a known owner, what can you print and distribute, the influence of ever new technology, what can be performed publicly, what is fair use or do we replace that with new concepts, allowing search engines to search your content,….

We must also be practical: Can we stop what everybody does, what control mechanisms are there, can new technology aid the management of rights (DRM),

We have to start softly and develop our thinking and practice – it takes time to develop maturity.

This also has to do with new business models, new products, use of new technology, innovative thinking, fair pricing and customer satisfaction. As a foundation we need a right law!

And why not use bittorrent techniques in a fully legalized setting? Think about it.

The three dimensions of your life

Monday, January 18th, 2010

TV screens are changing again – or at least the visuals in them.

3D capable models are coming: You need a new TV, a new Blu-ray player and a new HDMI1.4 cable. New 3D channels are coming, games are 3D made, movies are already 3D.

And  Skype will be found there too – in your TV – with a camera on top of your set?

Put on your new glasses to add a new dimension to your life.

The future of television/viewing:  3D holographic television may make it possible to put you face-to-face with life-sized versions of sportsmen, actors or news happening. Work is in progress, but nobody can tell when we will have it.

Engineering the Earth (and governing it too)

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Technically we could manipulate the Earth to control the climate by controlling solar radiation, increase CO2 absorption by engineering solutions.

We could remove CO2 directly from the air, inject particles into the atmosphere to change the cloud colors, do enhanced weathering like making stones/earth absorb more CO2, fertilize the seas to increase CO2 absorption, provoke volcanic eruptions, put solar reflectors into space, plant massive forests….

Lots of research is advised, as well as debates about the chances of improving or damaging the Earth. It appears we do not know what the processes are and we could risk creating unbalances far removed from the matter of CO2.

The ethics of this is formidable: Who will be in charge of controlling the Earth’s climate? This can not be left to private companies. Do we see a world government coming up?

First of all we have to agree that the CO2 problem is real. Is this just a ploy to get funding for research?

Environmentalism – back to basics

Monday, January 18th, 2010

CO2 emissions are the big thing – so we forget everything else?

Many European cities have had / have problems with air pollution this winter. Some cities have forbidden cars entering the city centers as the air quality have gone below minimum levels set. People with breathing disorders have had real trouble.

The pollution is caused by burning heating oils, wood fires and cars working below optimal conditions.

WHO contends that small particles  and gases in the air  is causing chronic lung diseases, circulatory illnesses. The air also contains PAH(polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and metals.

Diesel cars also produce more soot than petrol driven cars. Some cities in Germany forbid diesel cars from entering certain central city zones.

Let us get back to clearing up this mess!

Food scepticism/lack of knowledge

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

You want to live to 120 – well eat wheatgrass and algae for health, beauty, happiness and old age. Some time it was all juices. New food sages are appearing all the time! Is food a fashion industry?

Is food science evolving at all? It should be possible to arrive at some consensus about what constitutes healthy food.

Low-carb regimes have some followers, fruit and veggies are good – but are high-carb – food is processed, GM, with antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, other chemicals, additives of many kinds, taste enhancers, colorings etc. are added. The earth is devoid of most nutrients so we get less and less nutrients in ordinary  food. The solution seems to be eating raw, untreated, ecological, plant-based food. Illnesses will disappear, weight be OK, allergies go away.

Some of this may be true.

We know that food matters – lots of foods are said to have have excellent properties in preventing illnesses. But few scientists are prepared to name what a particular food can do: good foods are berries, varieties of cabbage and green tea is OK, plant oils can be had and so on. And the rest of the foods – what about them?

And eating food must also feel good!

The body’s metabolism is the mechanism that controls the processes in the body. We eat basically carbohydrates, proteins and fats that are converted in our body to produce energy for use and build up of the body. Enzymes and hormones do this. Vitamins and minerals are needed to facilitate these processes.

  • Anabolism is the constructive metabolism building cells and new tissue, stores energy, builds complex molecules of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • Catabolism is the mechanism that breaks down large molecules to free energy, removes waste

The process of metabolism is balancing these processes: building and using, removing.

Basal metabolic rate BMR is given, but can be changed by how you live: eating, exercise, psychology, lifestyle, medication.

The metabolism is said to involve about 500 substances from foods, about 16 of which are essential. A varied diet should therefore be possible, making you able to eat healthy and at the same time what you like.

It must be possible to say with some degree of certainty what is good and benefits metabolism. Or is the complexity such that we all must be left to our own devices?

This is not satisfactory! Can we prolong our lives by “advanced” eating? Science must get better and communicate better. Can we combine all these factors?

Climate machine: the moving Earth

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The climate of the Earth changes due to the way it moves – we are talking about seasonal changes in tens of thousand years.

The Earth wavers slightly in it’s elliptical rotation around the Sun. This is caused by the forces of attraction between the planets. The wavering is periodical and can cause climate change both locally and globally as the incidence of solar rays falling on the Earth changes with the relative position of the Earth. There is research going on to quantify these changes. The Jugoslav Milutin  Milankovic in 1941 was the first to describe these changes.

The are three types of wavering or movement:

1. The elongation of the Earth’s elliptical path changes over about 100.000 years. The energy the Earth receives varies with about 30% due to this effect, and with maximum elongation of the ellipse the solar incidence over the year will vary most giving extreme weather.

2. The angle of the Earth’s axis changes between 21.8 and 24.4 degrees (axial ties). A low value of angle means there is less difference between the seasons and less violent weather, whereas a high value gives more extreme weather. A fuul change of angle takes about 41.000 years.

3. When the The Earth rotates around its own axis the axis describes a circle taking about 22.000 years to complete (axial precession). This make the seasons move relatively to a fixed calender.

Other changes that matters are changes in the Earth’s surface that will lead to changes in the ocean currents and the flow of air. This takes millions of years. Earthquakes and volcanoes can have big influence on climate for a long time. Man-made changes also matters: deforestation, big rivers being led in new directions, lakes drying up.

Climate treaty edging forward

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Emission targets are to be set by all this month.

BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) are having a meeting soon to coordinate their CO2 numbers and to discuss other matters. The countries are both large and fast growing, although their emissions per inhabitant is well below the big Western emitters.

To build a trustworthy system among nations we need regular reporting so that we can know what is going on. The BASICs are good!