Archive for the ‘industries’ Category

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States

July 17, 2015 Comments off

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States (PDF)
Source: Energy & Environmental Science

This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states, converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies.

U.S.-Cuba Agricultural Trade: Past, Present and Possible Future

July 16, 2015 Comments off

U.S.-Cuba Agricultural Trade: Past, Present and Possible Future
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In December 2014, the United States announced that it would implement executive actions designed to ease the restrictions on trade, remittances, and travel with Cuba. This report explores the potential implications for U.S. agricultural exports.

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015
Source: National Association of Music Merchants Foundation

Music has been found in every society since the dawn of recorded human history. What is it about this art form that has so permeated hearts and minds through the ages? Modern research has been instrumental in shedding light on this important question and is leading us to a deeper understanding of the power of music to improve the human condition and positively impact our lives and communities.

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015, conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC. In this study, we invited communites nationwide to provide us with information about their music education programs. Owing to many political and economic factors, it is a common narrative that acccess to music education in not universal and is often under threat for reduction or elimination. Against this backdrop, this study measures the beliefs and attitudes about music education through the eyes of the two most important and knowledgeable stakeholder groups: teachers and parents.

Women’s Media Center Releases Yearly Status of Women in U.S. Media Report

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Women’s Media Center Releases Yearly Status of Women in U.S. Media Report
Source: Women’s Media Center

The Women’s Media Center (WMC) today released its yearly report on the status of women in U.S. media. The report is based on new and original research that finds that the media landscape is still dominated by male voices and male perspectives.

Taken together, the 49 studies are a snapshot of women in media platforms as diverse as news, literature, broadcast, film, television, radio, online, tech, gaming, and social media.

“Inequality defines our media,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. “Our research shows that women, who are more than half of the population, write only a third of the stories. Media tells us our roles in society—it tells us who we are and what we can be. This new report shows us who matters and what is important to media—and clearly, as of right now, it is not women.”

Big Pharma’s Hidden Hand In Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Big Pharma’s Hidden Hand In Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Source: Common Dreams

From the World Health Organization to the National Academy of Sciences, scientists are warning that rising antibiotic resistance poses a public health threat across the world. Now, a new report from consumer advocacy group Sum Of Us examines an often-overlooked factor behind this crisis: the complicity of pharmaceutical giants in the dangerous dumping of drug waste throughout the supply chain.

Irresponsible use of antibiotics—in human medicine and factory farming—has reportedly led to the rise of antimicrobial-resistant superbugs that threaten our ability to treat common infection.

The report Bad Medicine…examines antibiotic production from start to finish, revealing that some of the most well-known drug corporations are fueling the global health problem of antibiotic resistance.

Health Effects of Cut Gas Lines and Other Petroleum Product Release Incidents — Seven States, 2010–2012

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Health Effects of Cut Gas Lines and Other Petroleum Product Release Incidents — Seven States, 2010–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Large mass casualty gas explosions and catastrophic oil spills are widely reported and receive considerable regulatory attention. Smaller, less catastrophic petroleum product releases are less likely to receive publicity, although study of these incidents might help focus and prioritize prevention efforts. To describe the causes and health impacts of petroleum product release incidents (including gas explosions and oil spills), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) analyzed 2010–2012 data from the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP). A total of 1,369 petroleum product release incidents were reported from seven states, resulting in 512 injuries and 36 deaths. Approximately one fourth of the incidents were associated with utilities, and approximately one fifth were associated with private vehicles or residences. Approximately 10% of petroleum product releases resulted from inadvertent damage to utility lines. Understanding the characteristics of acute petroleum product releases can aid the public and utility workers in the development of preventive strategies and reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with such releases.

Auto Franchise Laws Restrict Consumer Choice and Increase Prices

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Auto Franchise Laws Restrict Consumer Choice and Increase Prices
Source: Mercatus Center

Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas recently received the 2014 Luddite Award from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation for preventing automaker Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers. These states’ efforts to ban direct sales are reminiscent of the Luddites, nineteenth-century English workers employed in the textile industry who both rejected technological development and actively worked to prevent its use through its destruction. State legislatures, rather than destroying physical plant and equipment like the Luddites, actively impede alternative distribution models, reducing consumer choice.

Auto franchise laws often include three major restrictions: mandatory dealership licensing requirements, onerous terms for terminating dealerships, and the creation of exclusive territories for incumbent dealers. Each rule carries a potential cost for consumers.

The coverage of these laws has expanded significantly during the past 30 years.