February 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on Grist:

Geoengineering — the notion that we might blunt some of the effects of climate change by, for example, creating an artificial volcano to shade earth’s surface and cool the planet — is picking up steam among rich people. And not just Montgomery Burns! Philanthropists too!

The latest to join the fray are Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and “tar-sands magnate Murray Edwards,” reports the Guardian. Just goes to show you what strange bedfellows geoengineering makes.

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February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on Grist:

grumpy old man

He won't be around forever.

A great many people believe that one of the primary barriers to action on climate change is the existence of a cadre of “climate deniers” — people who refuse to accept the now-overwhelming scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change. There is a great deal of tortured introspection among people in my circles about how to reach the deniers and bring them around to reality. (Seriously. You should see some of the email threads.)

Most climate hawks have finally moved past the “deficit model,” the notion that the solution to climate skepticism is to pour more facts on the pile or repeat the science more slowly and loudly, like an American tourist overseas. But the implicit assumption that the road to climate progress runs through the hearts and minds of the doubtful remains intact.

Over time, I have come to disagree. I don’t think the climate deniers will…

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February 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on Mandel on Innovation and Growth:

Last spring Technet asked me to examine the size of the ‘App Economy’, focusing on the number of jobs being created.  The official job statistics from the BLS were no help, given the speed at which the App Economy was evolving.  Instead, I developed an innovative methodology for using a ’21st century’ database, The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine, to track App Economy jobs.

The study, “Where the Jobs Are: The App Economy,”  has just been released by Technet. I found that

 App Economy now is responsible for roughly 466,000 jobs in the United States, up from zero in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced. This total includes jobs at ‘pure’ app firms such as Zynga, a San Francisco-based maker of Facebook game apps that went public in December 2011. App Economy employment also includes app-related jobs at large companies such as Electronic Arts, Amazon, and AT&T, as well as app ‘infrastructure’ jobs at core firms such as Google, Apple…

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Greek trump card fails as stronger Europe shrugs off break-up threat – Telegraph

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on mawillits:

The European Central Bank’s flood of cheap credit for three years has removed the immediate threat of a banking crisis and proved a powerful tonic for confidence, transforming the character of the crisis.

Bond yields have plummeted in both Italy and Spain since November, largely decoupling from the ups and down of daily events in Athens. The effect has been to nullify Greece’s trump card: the implicit threat to bring down the whole edifice if treated too harshly.

“It’s not the end of the world if someone leaves the eurozone,” said Nellie Kroes, the European Commission vice-president, uttering in public a view already prevalent in Berlin and other northern capitals as Greek rescue costs rise by a further €15bn to €145bn.

“It’s always said, if you let one nation go, or ask one to leave, the entire structure will collapse. But that is just not true,” she told De Volksrant.

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Shanghai shipping slump as IMF warns China on euro slump – Telegraph

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on mawillits:

Shanghai shipping slump as IMF warns China on euro slump – Telegraph.

The shipping specialist Lloyd’s List said container traffic through the Port of Shanghai – the world’s largest – fell by 100,000 boxes in January from a year earlier, or 4pc. Volumes fell by over one million tonnes.

The figures may have been distorted by China’s Lunar Year but there has been a relentless slide in the Shanghai transport data for months.

“China’s shipping markets face grievous challenges,” said the Shanghai International Shipping Institute. It acknowledged that the industry in the grip of downturn and likely to face a “worsening situation” in early 2012.

The biggest falls in container volumes have been on the Asia-Europe route.

The data came as the International Monetary Fund warned that China is vulnerable to the “clear and present danger emanating from Europe” and could see growth halve to roughly 4pc if the…

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Russian official visits Syria to meet al-Assad

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on This Just In:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Damascus on Tuesday to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, days after world leaders accused Russia of helping give the Syrian government a green light to kill more civilians.

While attempts at diplomacy have so far failed to curb the estimated thousands of deaths in the 11-month conflict, residents and opposition activists say they are desperate for international help in stopping the regime from slaughtering dissidents.

But Syrian state-run TV showed throngs of people waving Russian and Syrian flags in Damascus — highlighting the stark contrast in perception of what is happening in the country.

At least 128 were killed nationwide Monday, mostly in the besieged city of Homs, according to the opposition Syrian Revolution General Commission.

“The situation is beyond description,” the commission said in a statement. “Some of these martyrs were killed with shrapnel and the others were under the rubble, and their…

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February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

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