It’s a sad comment on the state of law enforcement, but I now encourage people who see the police doing something that seems out of the ordinary to document it with pictures or video and save it (if not post it online). I say that reluctantly, because law enforcement is not, per se, our enemy: “To protect and serve” is deeply honorable motto, and communities are vastly better off where it is followed in good faith. But law enforcement today too often violates the civil liberties of those they are sworn to protect, and the increasing militarization of American law enforcement (an offshoot of the Wars on (Some) Drugs and Terror) is poisoning the trust of many citizens. (For others, particularly in minority communities who have borne the brunt of the “broken windows” model, that trust died long ago.).
Video and pictures are an equalizer: they’re not the only ones, and most of the power remains with the state, but they can be essential tools to help restore some balance in a system that, in recent years, has tilted in favor of those who interpret “protect and serve” as license to act with impunity. Among other uses, documentation and dissemination is helping professional and citizen journalists alike bring more clarity to events like those in Ferguson, via “crowd-powered” coverage.
The response of some in American law enforcement to the increasing prevelance of cameras has been to conduct a flagrantly unconstitutional “war on photography” aimed, in so many cases, at preventing citizens from holding them accountable for their actions.
It's hard not to laugh when looking at photos of Markus Moestue riding along on his self-built dinosaur bike. However, the creative project is actually intended to be quite serious. The Norwegian artist developed the completely bizarre mode of transportation to travel across the bible belt of Norway as a form of protest. Moestue explains, "It is a protest against the dogmatic religious education of children, and the idea originated from the theme-parks of creationists that teach children that humans and dinosaurs used to live together."
It took about 100 years and several major wars to adjust to employment changes caused by the Industrial Revolution. We'e now entering something larger - how clever are we so as to keep people meaningfully employed?
Tesla, with two important new models on the horizon, is in a place where growth and perception are extremely important. The cost of a warranty extension is real, but certainly much less important. In theory, as they get the engineering and design sorted out, electric drive trains should be much more reliable than those internal combustion based drive trains.
Effects of biomass burning on climate, accounting for heat and moisture fluxes, black and brown carbon, and cloud absorption effects
Mark Z. Jacobson1
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
This paper examines the effects on climate and air pollution of open biomass burning (BB) when heat and moisture fluxes, gases and aerosols (including black and brown carbon, tar balls, and reflective particles), cloud absorption effects (CAEs) I and II, and aerosol semidirect and indirect effects on clouds are treated. It also examines the climate impacts of most anthropogenic heat and moisture fluxes (AHFs and AMFs). Transient 20 year simulations indicate BB may cause a net global warming of ~0.4 K because CAE I (~32% of BB warming), CAE II, semidirect effects, AHFs (~7%), AMFs, and aerosol absorption outweigh direct aerosol cooling and indirect effects, contrary to previous BB studies that did not treat CAEs, AHFs, AMFs, or brown carbon. Some BB warming can be understood in terms of the anticorrelation between instantaneous direct radiative forcing (DRF) changes and surface temperature changes in clouds containing absorbing aerosols. BB may cause ~250,000 (73,000–435,000) premature mortalities/yr, with >90% from particles. AHFs from all sources and AMFs + AHFs from power plants and electricity use each may cause a statistically significant +0.03 K global warming. Solar plus thermal-IR DRFs were +0.033 (+0.027) W/m2 for all AHFs globally without (with) evaporating cooling water, +0.009 W/m2 for AMFs globally, +0.52 W/m2 (94.3% solar) for all-source BC outside of clouds plus interstitially between cloud drops at the cloud relative humidity, and +0.06 W/m2 (99.7% solar) for BC inclusions in cloud hydrometeor particles. Modeled post-1850 biomass, biofuel, and fossil fuel burning, AHFs, AMFs, and urban surfaces accounted for most observed global warming.
Traffic peaked at 45 billion passenger kilometres (passengers times journey length) three years ago and results for the first half of this year show profits for SNCF Voyages (the part of the state rail group running TGVs) falling by a third to €259m ($347m) as revenues dropped 3% and the firm’s profit margin declined from 11.4% to 8.1% (three years ago this number stood at over 14%). Shortly before these disappointing results came out, Les Echos, a French business daily, was leaked the outlines of top management thinking on how to deal with what is now clearly a threat to business as usual for TGVs.
SNCF boss Guillaume Pepy has pointed out how the rise of low-cost airlines in France has won them over half the air traffic at the expense of Air France. He sees no reason why TGVs should not be similarly squeezed as carriers such as easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling multiply their services in and around France. The other squeeze is coming from the rising track costs TGVs have to pay to Réseau Ferré de France, the owner and operator of the rail lines. This will continue even when RFF and SNCF’s train operating units (TGV, suburban and regional and freight) are brought under one holding company. About 40% of the cost of a TGV ticket goes to cover these track tolls, which have risen by more than half since 2007. The increase is needed to pay for the upkeep of the rest of the French rail network which is creaking and crumbling, notably in the Paris region. Mr Pepy insists that the TGV business is not itself in question, though that distinction looks specious given it is stuck with the rising track costs.