Friday, May 24, 2013

on planetary boundaries

(for non-north american readers) there's some discussion going on about a pipeline that is planned to be built from Canada to USA refineries near Mexican Gulf Coast. This would create 35 permanent jobs. And of course many more temporary jobs in the case of an accidental rupture of the pipe. This, I guess, is nothing new to at least for the couple of Russian readers here. But the thing is, the global boundary for the greenhouse gas effect, that leads to arctic amplification and subsequent meltdown of Greenland ice sheet, likely also West Antarctic ice sheet, will be easily surpassed by the greenhouse gasses produced in the production (search EROEI) and the burning of the said dilbit. I'm in a lucky position at +25m above sea level, and anyway I'm likely to die a bit before the shit hits the fan, so I'm not very active in the green energy tech, though I've cut a bit off my energy use. Maybe the North American leaders are of the same opinion. And their grandchildren. But anyway, here's a sample of the discussion by Ph.D Michael Tobis (who is researching Geophysics) at Planet 3.0:

"So here is my yell at the hurricane.

If you are thinking of getting a permit and building this thing, understand that there is no scenario in which it makes ethical sense to do that. Understand that it is your responsibility as a human being to take this into account. Understand that if you fail to do so, our responsibility to stop the operation does not go away.

Sooner or later a carbon restriction policy will be in place. And as we campaign for it, we will retain a special place in our hearts for a world in which there is no dilbit pipeline. The campaign to deauthorize this operation will not stop. As such, each additional investment you make in this infrastructure puts more money at risk. If you can’t account for the ethics of the situation, consider its politics.

Opposition to Keystone will not go away once the pipeline is built. We don’t want tar sands being dug up, we don’t want dilbit being piped, we don’t want tar being refined. We may not be able to give up oil cold turkey, but we do not need your crap. Even if you build your pipe, we will still fight to leave the tar in the ground where it belongs, and shut down the pipe.

This battle will not be over when the pipe is built. Your investment is at risk."

Sunday, May 12, 2013


The blog has reached a milestone. 10000 visitors in just 4,5667 years! Granted, about half of these are my own visits, but still! I was told by the teachers in high school that I have some writing skills (scoring in the highest 5% in the local school by their standards) but I like never imagined then my scribblings would be so widely distributed.

I dreamed of being a scientist and scientists use numbers instead of text to convey their work. Then the Soviet Union and eastern block collapsed for they wanted to take things easier and more laid back than the darwinian competitors in the west and the math skills required of a good scientist proved to be too much for my abilities back in the early 1990s, so the career choices in military or in science were put in the question. Anyway, I finally got the science degree from the local university (that's in the Coimbra-group), so the blog has some entries with 'science content'. My 'Pro Graduation'-study was about the use of fluorescence in the analysis (fig.8) of single mutations in DNA, so some knowledge of molecular orbitals in chelate compounds has seeped into my system. Thus, some heavy science might some time be included in the blog but I doubt it, since one intention to write the blog has been the simplifying of the science. The one hobby that hasn't entered the blog yet is the music (in finnish), but music doesn't easily fit in the theme of the blog. Once I planned to do a piece on the microintervals. This would require a proper audio software, though.

The countries of the visitors here has been a surprise to me. I can't anymore list all the countries you represent, but an incomplete list would be: USA, GB, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Israel, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Peru, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Italy, Romania, Russia, (South) Korea, Moldavia, Germany, South Africa, Ukraine, Belorussia, Morocco, China, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Estonia, Argentina, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and about 10 more that I can't recall now. You know who you are, thank you for visits.

On other news, another milestone has also been reached.