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 31 
 on: September 15, 2018, 01:06:34 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
thats funny all i can hear is ktj is a wanker

 32 
 on: September 14, 2018, 04:18:17 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Turn up the volume to listen to this and select full-screen so you can read the music score…


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZxCAqCUgug

 33 
 on: September 14, 2018, 04:13:53 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Why China could withstand the trade war far longer than Trump thinks

The president's expectation that financial hardship will prompt Beijing to cave is misplaced, analysts said.

By DAVID J. LYNCH | 8:40PM EDT — Thursday, September 13, 2018

A man monitors stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing. The Shanghai Composite Index, China's main stocks gauge, is down 23 percent this year, making it the world's worst-performing major exchange. — Photograph: Andy Wong/Associated Press.
A man monitors stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing. The Shanghai Composite Index, China's main stocks gauge, is down 23 percent this year,
making it the world's worst-performing major exchange. — Photograph: Andy Wong/Associated Press.


PRESIDENT TRUMP insisted on Thursday that he was “under no pressure to make a deal with China,” signaling a readiness to escalate his trade war with Beijing.

“They are under pressure to make a deal with us,” Trump tweeted in reference to China. “Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing.”

The president's statement sought to downplay any hope that the United States would extend a hand toward reconciling the trade conflict, amid word that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited Chinese officials to return to talks.

Trump's view that the Chinese are suffering while the U.S. thrives helps explain his confidence that Beijing ultimately will buckle. But the president's expectation that financial hardship will prompt Chinese President Xi Jinping to cave in a fresh round of diplomatic talks is misplaced, analysts said.

“There's a lot of overly wishful thinking on the American side,” said Jeff Moon, a former U.S. trade negotiator. “Every economy has problems. We have trillion-dollar deficits. That doesn't mean either economy is in fundamental danger. It's a massive miscalculation.”

The Shanghai Composite Index, China's main stocks gauge, is down 23 percent this year, making it the world's worst-performing major exchange.

But unlike in the United States, the ups and downs of the Chinese stock market affect relatively few people, meaning sell-offs are unlikely to translate into pressure on Chinese leaders.

Less than 10 percent of China's adult population owns shares, according to Fraser Howie, the Singapore-based author of three books on the Chinese financial system. In the United States, the comparable figure is more than half, according to Gallup.

In addition, Chinese share prices move with little regard for what is happening in the real economy. In 2008, for example, stocks fell by more than 65 percent even as the economy grew by nearly 10 percent.

“It's wrong to think the market fully equals winning the trade war,” Howie said.

Likewise, any wobble in the Chinese economy thus far has been modest. Though China has slowed from the double-digit growth rates it recorded earlier this decade, its economy grew by an annual rate of 6.7 percent in the second quarter.

“To the extent that Trump is looking at that and thinking he has China by the neck, he's wrong,” said economist Andrew Polk, a partner at Trivium, a Beijing-based advisory firm. “China's economy has its own issues. It's slowing down, but it's not about to blow up. Trump has less leverage than he thinks.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news conference on Thursday that officials had received the White House's invitation for talks and the two sides are working out the details.

“China has always held that an escalation of the trade conflict is not in anyone's interests,” Geng said.

On Friday morning in Beijing, the front page of the state-backed China Daily read: “US offer for trade talks welcomed.”

The president has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, mostly industrial goods, and says he will soon slap levies on an additional $200 billion. American consumers will feel the sting of that move as prices rise for Chinese-made refrigerators, air conditioners, furniture and clothing.

Trump says the tariffs are aimed at compelling China to abandon a host of unfair trade practices, including forcing U.S. companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.

The Chinese government has retaliated with equivalent tariffs, targeting American agricultural products in politically important states ahead of the November congressional elections as well as American multinationals with factories in China.

On Thursday, the largest U.S. business groups in China pleaded with Trump to cease fire. Nearly two-thirds of more than 430 U.S. companies in China say the duties Trump imposed this summer have damaged their businesses, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and Shanghai.

Nearly half of the respondents — in retail, food and manufacturing — reported that their production costs have climbed, while 42 percent said sales were down. Just 6 percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving factories to U.S. soil, an administration goal.

“The U.S. administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counter-attack, benefiting no one,” said William Zarit, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

Most of the tariffs that have been imposed have hit U.S. companies, not the Chinese, according to economist Mary Lovely of Syracuse University. She found, for example, that 87 percent of the computer and electronics parts subject to Trump's levies were produced by American companies.

Trade-war uncertainty has contributed to a cloud over Chinese investing. But this year's losses in the casino-like Chinese stock market also are nothing new — the market fell by almost half over a six-month period that ended in early 2016.

Apart from trade worries, there are a number of domestic considerations that have hurt Chinese stocks.

China's market is closely tied to the amount of money available for investing. This year, Chinese officials have tightened credit in a bid to wean the economy from its dependence upon debt-fueled growth. That's meant allowing more Chinese companies to default on their corporate debt, a change from previous years when state-owned banks would have kept them afloat.

The collapse of several peer-to-peer online lending networks also spooked Chinese investors.

The market has been hurt by concerns about Chinese companies' use of their stock as collateral for loans, which leaves share prices vulnerable if they get into financial trouble and are forced to sell. Chinese financial institutions had nearly $220 billion in such loans at the end of July, down about 8 percent from the recent peak in January, according to Bloomberg.

“China's markets have dropped by close to 25 percent,” Trump said at the White House last week. “Their markets have gone down. I don't like to see that. But I can tell you that the United States has picked up about $10 trillion in worth. And China would like to be in our position. They would like to be in our position.”

But the president's repeated crowing about China's financial woes is contributing to a nationalist backlash that may prolong the dispute, with the Chinese concluding that Trump is seeking more than just a level playing field for trade.

“The way we're going about it makes it harder for Chinese leaders to make concessions,” said David Loevinger, a former financial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. “The U.S. has a one-pronged strategy — keep raising the pain threshold until the other side cries uncle.”

Some of the president's top advisers see the financial market slump as a reflection of broader economic problems in China. “What are these stock markets telling you?” Lawrence Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on CNBC last week. “China is moving lower in their economy. The U.S. is moving higher. We're the hottest place in the world.”

It is true that the U.S. economy is hitting on all cylinders. The 3.9 percent unemployment rate is approaching half-century lows, while the expansion that began in June 2009 shows no sign of losing steam. Optimism among small-business owners recently hit a 45-year record.

“The Economy is soooo good, perhaps the best in our country's history (remember, it's the economy stupid!),” Trump boasted earlier this week on Twitter.

China's gradual slowing comes as the government is attempting to engineer a shift from growth based on heavy investment in infrastructure and exports to an economy powered by domestic consumption, according to William Overholt, a senior fellow at Harvard University's Asia Center.

Uncertainty arising from Trump trade policies will lead to a global slowdown in growth next year, according to BNP Paribas. The bank's latest forecast, released this week, calls for China's economy to grow at an annual rate of 6.1 percent next year versus 1.8 percent for the United States.

Many analysts point to drops in retail sales and investments as an indication that China's economy is downshifting. But Nicholas Lardy, a China expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he doubts the economy is genuinely slowing. The Chinese government is changing the way it collects and reports key economic data, including retail sales and investments, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

But China imported almost 19 percent more goods in August than it did in the same month last year.

“The underlying demand in the economy is fairly strong,” Lardy said.

The administration’s confidence that China is being hurt also overstates the country’s dependence upon trade, he said.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, China has reduced its dependence upon trade by one-third, according to Lardy.


__________________________________________________________________________

Danielle Paquette in Beijing contributed to this report.

David J. Lynch joined The Washington Post in November 2017 from the Financial Times, where he covered white-collar crime. He was previously the cybersecurity editor at Politico and a senior writer with Bloomberg News, focusing on the intersection of politics and economics. Earlier, he followed the global economy for USA Today, where he was the founding bureau chief in both London and Beijing. He covered the wars in Kosovo and Iraq, the latter as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines, and was the paper's first recipient of a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. He has reported from more than 60 countries.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • U.S. companies in China are suffering in trade war, survey says

 • Trump confirms new talks in U.S.-China trade war, but makes new threat against Beijing

 • Trump threatens tariffs on $267 billion in Chinese goods, expanding the trade war to all Chinese imports entering the U.S.

 • Canada braves Trump’s threats and insults in hopes of closing NAFTA deal

 • Trump's path to a new NAFTA deal runs through Canada, lawmakers say

 • Businesses beg for tariff relief as trade war with China rolls on

 • Did Trump just announce plans for a trade war?


https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-china-could-withstand-the-trade-war-far-longer-than-trump-thinks/2018/09/13/a0d9fca2-b77b-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html

 34 
 on: September 14, 2018, 01:35:56 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
is that steam pretending to be smoke

 35 
 on: September 14, 2018, 01:29:29 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
you're getting all excited to join the wanker fan club is good you can find subjects you love

 36 
 on: September 13, 2018, 09:07:10 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Faaaaaarking hilarious, eh?








Naturally, supporters of Donald J. Trump will be too stupid & intellectually-challenged to be capable of reading the score to that wonderful piece of music.

 37 
 on: September 13, 2018, 09:05:03 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

At climate summit, state to give the U.S. an uphill push

California will show whether it can lead the fight when Washington won't.

By EVAN HALPER | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

California's commitment to 100% renewable energy, enshrined in a new law, could motivate cities and states to make similar pledges at the summit in San Francisco this week. Above, the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington is seen from Emden Street in 2016. — Photograph: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times.
California's commitment to 100% renewable energy, enshrined in a new law, could motivate cities and states to make similar pledges at the summit in
San Francisco this week. Above, the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington is seen from Emden Street in 2016. — Photograph: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times.


WASHINGTON D.C. — Even as California forged its own path for years to battle global warming, pressing forward whether Washington agreed or not, skeptics have persistently scolded that it is just a state — it can't set policy for the nation, much less the world.

If California ever had a moment to prove them wrong, it is now. At the international climate summit Governor Jerry Brown will kick off on Wednesday in San Francisco, the state is playing a role none ever has, pushing the rest of the country to join other nations in enforcing a landmark agreement on climate change that President Trump has quit.

Put simply, the three-day environmental summit will test whether California can bring the country to a place Congress and the White House won't.

“This is a very odd challenge we have,” Brown said in an interview in his office. “It is coming at us from all over the planet. Everyone is contributing and everyone has got to do something to combat it. It is a totally unique world challenge, never before faced. There is nothing like this.”

Indeed, as the Trump administration prepared this week to ease regulations on methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, many states are looking to follow California and Colorado in pursuing policies that require energy firms to capture the methane their drilling operations release and convert it into electricity.

In other sectors, more ambitious commitments may be made. California's new law — signed Monday — putting the state on a path to 100% renewable energy could motivate others to make similar pledges this week.

Brown had not planned the summit as an act of defiance. The idea emerged soon after the Paris climate change accord was signed in 2015, with strong support from President Obama, and the world assumed the United States would take a lead role in cutting carbon emissions in an effort to ease global warming.

It made perfect sense then that California — America's leader in clean tech innovation and climate action — would host a high-stakes gathering of political leaders to cement the Paris benchmarks, assess progress and form new partnerships. The state already has demonstrated how aggressive climate action can boost a large economy.

In the Trump era, however, the event morphed into something else. The president has made clear his administration does not agree with mainstream climate science and sees no need to cut emissions at the pace the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change warns will be crucial to dodge catastrophic warming.


Marchers in San Francisco last week join “Rise for Climate,” a global day of action demanding solutions from local leaders. — Photograph: Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Marchers in San Francisco last week join “Rise for Climate,” a global day of action demanding solutions from local leaders.
 — Photograph: Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


Yet roughly half of Americans live in states that are racing to meet goals in the Paris agreement. Half of America's largest cities have made commitments to go beyond state action. And according to a Quinnipiac poll last month, 64% of U.S. voters believe the nation should do more to combat global warming. With Congress up for grabs in November, candidates are being grilled about Trump's decision to disavow the Paris accord.

“The Trump administration is visibly dismantling Obama-era climate programs, and doing it loudly in a way people see and can understand, and it is attacking science more generally in very visible ways,” said Ann Carlson, an environmental law professor at UCLA. “California is big enough and splashy enough, and Jerry Brown is famous enough, that people are paying attention to what California is doing about it.”

Brown said the state has been preparing since President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, one of the nation's first and most important environmental laws, in 1970.

After that, “we developed the institutional capacity and the bureaucratic understanding to combat pollution and carbon emissions,” Brown said. “We are positioned well to deal with the problem. Not to take advantage of this would be a tragedy.”

During the summit, San Francisco will be swarmed with climate thinkers, crusading celebrities and political leaders racing to and from events that range from cerebral to spectacle. Conferees attending a deep dive in methane reductions in the morning can groove to the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir at an evening concert.

But much of the summit will be a grind. Inching toward the Paris goals involves government officials collaborating on and finding new paths for often mundane tasks, from using more sustainable cement to procuring electric buses.

Even before the opening ceremony, summit leaders announced a breakthrough on garbage. Cities involved pledged to find alternatives to landfills and incineration for at least 70% of their trash by 2030.

Local efforts to zero out coal emissions will also be on display, along with plans to advance technologies that capture industrial emissions and store them underground.

“The point is to get people to think about doing more, and then to join with others who have gone through that process and, through that encounter with others, to up the general commitment of the world,” Brown said.

It adds up. A recent study published by Yale University found that all the “subnational” actions around the world — and most acutely in the U.S. — are on target to bring the planet halfway to meeting the Paris goals.


Climate change activists march in San Francisco last week. Climate thinkers, celebrities and political leaders will gather in the city this week. — Photograph: Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Climate change activists march in San Francisco last week. Climate thinkers, celebrities and political leaders will gather in the city this week.
 — Photograph: Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


That still leaves a long way to go. The summit will test how much cities, states and the private sector can do to fill the gap.

“There are many cities that can do more,” said Niklas Hoehne, one of the study's authors. “And there are many more companies that want to do more.”

Although many summit attendees may view Trump as a villain, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said climate change should not be seen as a partisan issue. More than a few Republicans will attend. And he notes that the largest American city running on 100% renewable power now is Georgetown, Texas, a conservative community of 67,000 people with a Republican mayor.

“This is not just a California, blue-state thing,” Garcetti said. “Across party lines, people are taking action. I think most people see Trump as an aberration.”

Mayors are particularly motivated to act, Garcetti said. Many already battle the fallout of a warming planet: raging forest fires, devastating floods, more destructive hurricanes and heat emergencies.

“We know this is happening,” he said. “In the past, these summits were about information. Now it is about action…. Some of us already know how to do this technical work, how to measure emissions and commit [to cutting them]. Now, we are bringing it to other cities.”

The challenge for summit organizers is building a system to track and monitor all the pledges made by the thousands of states, cities and businesses determined to do their part to meet the Paris goals.

“We have the wisdom, the commitment, the experience and the collaborative spirit to work in ways that may not exist anywhere on the planet,” Brown said. “We've got to take advantage of it.”

Still, he said, the task is daunting.

“This is like rolling a gigantic boulder up Mount Everest,” Brown said. “And we are at the bottom.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times Times staff writer John Myers in Sacramento contributed to this report.

• Evan Halper writes about a broad range of policy issues out of Washington D.C. for the Los Angeles Times, with particular emphasis on how Washington regulates, agitates and very often miscalculates in its dealings with California. Before heading east, he was the L.A. Times bureau chief in Sacramento, where he spent a decade untangling California's epic budget mess and political dysfunction.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e8d5152b-9e35-47a8-a75d-185bb110f08a
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=9949f940-9a71-43f3-8696-3913a7ee84fa



from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Deadline for electric cars hangs over climate event

By EVAN HALPER | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

WASHINGTON D.C. — The political leaders coming from around the world for Governor Jerry Brown's climate action summit this week will grapple with a lot of urgent deadlines to drive down emissions, but one date is especially exasperating.

It is 2035 — the year advocates aim to kill off production of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

Keeping global warming to levels society can tolerate could hinge on meeting that target. But even clean-technology capital California has no clear path for getting there.

The question of whether drivers should be gently persuaded or forced out of their internal combustion engine cars and trucks over the next 17 years will weigh heavily on the landmark summit, which runs from Wednesday through Friday in San Francisco.

States, cities and companies will try to chart a course to carry the country and the world toward meeting the goals in the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which President Trump has disavowed.

Transportation is the most vexing problem the summit will confront. The sector sends more greenhouse gases into the air than any other, recently outpacing power plants, which are getting cleaner every year. Internal combustion engine cars need to be off the roads altogether by 2050 to meet the Paris goals. Dealers would need to stop selling new models 15 years earlier.

“Even during the Obama administration, when the country was pushing as hard and fast as it could on climate policy, it still wasn't enough” to meet the goals on auto emissions, said Kate Larsen, a director at Rhodium Group, a Bay Area research firm.

Rhodium's modeling shows that just 8% of U.S. drivers will be in zero-emission cars, pickups or SUVs by 2025, a depressing projection for the climate movement.

The urgency is not lost on Brown. Last year, he directed the state's chief air regulator, Mary Nichols, to look into stepping up the state's timetable to phase out gas and diesel vehicles. It gnaws at him that other nations are already catapulting ahead.

Electric vehicles account for 5% of cars sold in California and 1% nationwide. In Norway, they make up 40%. Bans on the sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars are scheduled to take effect there and in several other countries as soon as 2025. China has put automakers on notice that a ban is on the horizon.

But it is a much tougher sell in America, even in California. A state legislative proposal this year to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2040 went nowhere.

“You want me to issue a press release saying, ‘No more combustion engines’?” Brown said in an interview on Monday. “There are 32 million in California. It doesn't work that way. We have to provide an alternative…. We have to get that in place.”

The shift toward electric vehicles in parts of Europe and Asia is bolstered by government subsidies and tax structures that few American politicians would consider. They include tough gas-guzzler penalties for those who drive high-horsepower, climate-unfriendly pickups and SUVs, and large cash grants and tax breaks for those who buy electric.

The U.S. approach is grounded in requiring automakers to meet steadily more ambitious mileage-per-gallon targets, a process that has gone a long way in cutting carbon emissions.

But fuel economy standards will fall short unless the government sets a near-term target of zero miles per gallon — the point when all new cars run on no gasoline or diesel at all.

“Even if we were to double our fuel economy targets, we still don't get there,” said Niklas Hoehne, an author of studies for the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change and co-founder of NewClimate Institute, a German think tank. “The transition won't happen in a way that is compatible with the goals agreed to in Paris.”

No one is talking about doubling fuel economy targets in the U.S. The Trump administration is in the process of trying to freeze current targets in place for six years. Yet the clean-tech optimists trying to push California — and by extension, the rest of the country — say there is still hope.

“We saw the same thing with renewable energy,” said Simon Mui, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-partisan environmental advocacy group. “We went, in the course of a decade, from a plan that didn't require any of our power to come from renewables to a plan that requires 100% renewable energy by 2045. We are at the same place [with transportation] that we were with wind and solar 10 or 15 years ago.”

California, in particular, has shown a capacity for rapid adaptation. The Toyota Prius first was manufactured in 1997 in response to California's clean-car policies, and spawned a hybrid revolution. The California Air Resources Board estimates there will be 70 electric vehicle models available by 2022, and much of the innovation is coming from labs in California.

California and like-minded states have been aggressively building charging stations and other infrastructure to coax drivers to go electric. And cities, counties and other bodies have transitioned fleets to zero-emission buses and trucks.

Los Angeles will roll out an ambitious “Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap” this week, a plan that aims to accelerate electrification and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region by an additional 25% by the time the 2028 Summer Olympics come to town.

The plan includes building tens of thousands of charging stations and sets ambitious targets for getting drivers and shippers into zero-emission vehicles. Up to 45% of cars in Los Angeles could be electric if the road map holds up.

“This is us saying we need to go further and do everything we can to get people behind the wheel of an electric car or an electric truck,” said Matt Petersen, chief executive of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, a government-funded nonprofit that's helping lead electrification efforts.

Driverless vehicles, still in their early stages, could also push electrification forward. The models that ultimately hit the streets are likely to be electric since they are easier for computers to drive and for companies to maintain — and local officials are demanding the change.

“We will be pushing for any autonomous vehicles that hit our streets to be electric,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It sends a signal to the Ubers and Lyfts, who then turn to the manufacturers with a very strong message.”

Other countries aren't waiting to go electric. And some analysts say that could spur Washington and the auto industry to act, particularly as Chinese manufacturers develop their own electric car models to meet booming demand.

The Chinese market is already approaching the size of the entire U.S. and European markets combined, and soon will dwarf them. If auto companies fail to reorient their strategies toward electrification, they risk losing huge market share to upstart Chinese competitors, says Joern Buss, a Detroit-based auto industry consultant with the firm Oliver Wyman.

Brown says Trump needs to wake up to that threat. “He is building the Chinese auto industry and destroying the future American auto industry,” the governor said.

Skeptics say waiting to be nudged ahead by more forward-thinking nations amounts to fiddling as the world burns.

The idea that the internal-combustion engine can be phased out in the next 20 years without government intervention on a massive scale and an unprecedented social awakening among the driving public is foolish, said Peter Tertzakian, executive director of the Arc Energy Research Institute, a Canadian group that analyzes energy investments.

He said most leaders assume the average driver will embrace electric as technology improves, much as parts of the power industry gave up fossil fuels as better systems emerged. But giving up gas-powered cars requires complex shifts in the way people live that don’t come into play when a coal power plant is replaced with a solar or gas plant.

“The Paris agreement was signed three years ago,” Tertzakian said. “The years keep passing, and the substitution [of gas-powered vehicles] is not happening. Look at oil and gas use. It is not decelerating. It is accelerating.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times Times staff writer John Myers in Sacramento contributed to this report.

• Evan Halper writes about a broad range of policy issues out of Washington D.C. for the Los Angeles Times, with particular emphasis on how Washington regulates, agitates and very often miscalculates in its dealings with California. Before heading east, he was the L.A. Times bureau chief in Sacramento, where he spent a decade untangling California's epic budget mess and political dysfunction.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=50cb2f62-51b2-4e3e-910a-efd3ea77e1a5

 38 
 on: September 13, 2018, 09:04:47 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

SCIENCE FILE: Call these farms ‘the rainmakers’

Wind turbines, solar panels can be used to bring more moisture to Sahara, study says.

By KAREN KAPLAN | Monday, September 10, 2018

Solar mirrors at a power plant in Ouarzazate, Morocco. A new study examined the effect of wind turbines and solar panels in the Sahara and Sahel regions to create more rain and plants in the massive desert. — Photograph: Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Solar mirrors at a power plant in Ouarzazate, Morocco. A new study examined the effect of wind turbines and solar panels in the Sahara and Sahel regions
to create more rain and plants in the massive desert. — Photograph: Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


YOU ALREADY KNOW that using solar and wind power can influence the climate by reducing our dependence on heat-trapping fossil fuels. Now scientists say these renewable forms of energy can change the climate more directly — and do it in ways that might surprise you.

If wind turbines and solar panels were deployed across the Sahara, more rain would fall and more plants would grow in the massive African desert, according to research published Friday in the journal Science.

“Renewable energy can have multiple benefits for climate and sustainable development,” wrote a team led by researchers from the University of Maryland's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science.

To figure this out, the researchers imagined three scenarios for the Sahara and the Sahel, a semi-arid region immediately to the south.

In one, the area is studded with wind turbines more than 300 feet high. In another, solar panels cover 20% of the land. The third case combines wind and solar farms — a setup that would produce about 82 terawatts of electrical power. That's far more power than the world currently needs, study co-leader Yan Li said.

Once their hypothetical energy farms were built, the researchers fed the details into a sophisticated computer program that simulates Earth's dynamic climate. Then the program made predictions about how the farms would change the environment.

In the case of wind farms, the giant turbines would cause warmer air from above to mix with cooler air below, bringing more heat close to the surface. Air temperatures near the ground would increase by nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, the turbines would interrupt the smoothness of the desert surface. Winds blowing through the area would move more slowly.

That, combined with the added heat, would change the atmospheric conditions over the Sahara and bring more moisture to the area. Average rainfall would increase by up to 0.25 of a millimeter per day — about double what it would have been otherwise, according to the study.

The additional water would fuel plant growth, and those extra plants would reduce the amount of sunlight that's reflected off the desert surface.

From there, it's a positive feedback loop: The reduced reflectivity, or surface albedo, enhances precipitation, which fuels plant growth, which reduces albedo, and so on.


The extra water from energy farms may have major ecological, environmental and societal effects, scientists say. Above, solar mirrors in Morocco. — Photograph: Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The extra water from energy farms may have major ecological, environmental and societal effects, scientists say. Above, solar mirrors in Morocco.
 — Photograph: Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The story is a little different for solar farms.

Instead of slowing the wind or causing hot and cool air to mix, the solar panels reduce albedo. That would increase average daily precipitation by about 0.13 of a millimeter in the Sahara and 0.59 of a millimeter in the Sahel. The additional water would induce more plant growth, further reducing albedo and allowing the cycle to continue.

These changes were predicted to increase the maximum temperature by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit, the researchers reported.

If wind and solar farms were combined, these effects would be “enhanced,” they said. Average daily precipitation would increase to 0.59 of a millimeter. That's nearly 1.5 times higher than the Sahara would be in its natural state.

But the rain wouldn't be spread evenly everywhere. The computer simulations predicted that parts of the Sahel could get as much as nearly 20 inches of additional precipitation per year. All that extra water could have “major ecological, environmental, and societal impacts,” Li and his colleagues wrote.

Average temperature would also rise, by nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Changes like these wouldn't necessarily happen everywhere solar farms are built, the researchers cautioned. In the Sahara, the key is that today's typical solar panels would increase the surface albedo. But if the landscape were different, that might not be true. Ditto if the solar panels were more efficient — that could cause temperatures to fall instead of rise. Without added heat, rainfall wouldn’t increase. It might even decrease, the researchers noted.

These are all factors to consider when building a wind or solar farm, they wrote. If placed just so, these power plants could generate more rain and plants in addition to more clean energy.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Karen Kaplan is science and medicine editor at the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the science group in 2005, she covered technology in the Business section for 10 years. In a parallel universe without journalism, she'd have a career in economics, genetics, biostatistics or some other field that describes the world in math.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=57b81841-f4db-4777-80ba-137f698a5d88



from Science journal…

REPORT: Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation

 39 
 on: September 13, 2018, 09:04:05 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

…that he wants to change America's libel laws, opening himself up to being sued every time he opens his stupid mouth!!








from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Trump's long, complicated relationship with libel laws

He talks about toughening them; here's why he isn't likely to succeed.

By NORMAN PEARLSTINE | Sunday, September 09, 2018

Neither President Trump nor Congress can easily get around the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court and the states to strengthen libel law. And if they could, his inflammatory rhetoric would make him a likely target. — Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Neither President Trump nor Congress can easily get around the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court and the states to strengthen libel law. And if they could,
his inflammatory rhetoric would make him a likely target. — Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


DONALD TRUMP hates to lose unless he wins by losing.

So, the president is quick to portray himself as a victim, especially when he thinks he has been defamed.

On Wednesday, in response to the publication of excerpts from “Fear: Trump in the White House”, author Bob Woodward's new, critical book on his presidency, Trump called on “Washington politicians” to change our nation's libel laws.

Earlier this year Trump called libel laws “a sham and a disgrace,” shortly after his lawyers had threatened a possible libel suit in an unsuccessful attempt to block publication of another book — Michael Wolff's “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”. He then renewed his campaign promise to “open up” America's libel laws, pledging “to take a strong look” at them.

Changing our libel laws is easier said than done and, upon reflection, Trump might not want to push for change. Neither the president nor Congress can easily change defamation laws, and Trump's own inflammatory rhetoric would most certainly be a casualty were libel laws toughened.

Trump has never brought a successful defamation case in court. Still, his lawsuits, including litigation deemed frivolous, are an effective tool for attacking his critics, forcing them to spend lots of time and money defending themselves.

A 2016 USA Today analysis found that Trump and his businesses had been involved in more than 4,000 lawsuits over 30 years in U.S. state and federal courts, including seven speech-related actions brought against media outlets and other critics. It and a subsequent report commissioned by the American Bar Association showed these actions were part of a broader attack on the media that included countless cease-and-desist letters and threats of much more litigation.

The bar association report, prepared by Susan E. Seager, a Los Angeles-based 1st Amendment lawyer, concluded that four of the seven actions were dismissed on the merits and two were withdrawn voluntarily, and that Trump won one arbitration case against a former Miss Pennsylvania by default. Seager said there is some question whether the defendant paid any of the $5-million judgment against her before or after Trump's lawyers filed a Notice of Satisfaction that ended that case.

Trump's ability to change libel laws is limited by the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court and the fact that libel cases are decided in state courts interpreting the law of that state. The 1st Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any law that abridges “the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and the 14th Amendment extends that prohibition to the states.

The Supreme Court, in a 1964 case, laid down a “federal rule” requiring public officials to prove “actual malice” — that a statement was made with “the knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” That landmark, 9-0 decision in New York Times Company versus Sullivan has been extended in subsequent cases to include “public figures” as well as “public officials.”

While the president's most prominent libel lawyer, Charles J. Harder, has effectively used privacy laws when suing media companies on behalf of celebrities, including Terry Bollea (a.k.a. Hulk Hogan), it is difficult to see how Trump could successfully assert that his right to privacy extends to his actions in office or while campaigning.

Nor does the Supreme Court seem likely to reverse its libel rulings. Although Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, told me in a 2005 interview that, given the chance, he would have voted to reverse Sullivan, no sitting justice has voiced similar sentiments. Congress' commitment to the 1st Amendment and that of the Supreme Court seem secure, even with the addition of a new justice to succeed Anthony M. Kennedy.

On Wednesday, Trump's tweet asked, “Isn't it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost.”

What Trump describes is a near-perfect definition of “actual malice,” and as such, it is already covered by the Sullivan decision. In addition, Sullivan and the precedents the court relied on in reaching its decision protect the president from suits asserting his most outrageous attacks are themselves libelous.

“Authoritative interpretations of the 1st Amendment guarantees have consistently refused to recognize an exception for any test of truth,” Justice William J. Brennan wrote in Sullivan. His opinion went on to accept the fact that politicians “at times [resort] to exaggeration, to vilification” and even to “false statement.”

Impassioned rhetoric notwithstanding, there is no reason to believe President Trump really wants to do anything that would jeopardize that protection.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Norman Pearlstine is the Los Angeles Times' executive editor.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=4c0120f3-cb5c-47b2-96f9-375477b09c4e

 40 
 on: September 13, 2018, 07:51:46 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZxCAqCUgug

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