Friday, July 08, 2011

Bits and Pieces - Helmut Random Link Edition

Saving dying languages: very cool tool (via).

Guardian series on North Korean pop.

In Mexico, towns fight back against organized crime's increasing incursions into illegal deforestation.

Immigration is not the issue you think it is. Two interesting pieces: here and especially here (via/via). Plus, an important read on illegal immigration and the assaulted hotel housekeeper.

Political and corporate elites now publicly asserting that the ignorant huddling masses aren't sacrificing enough for the US economy and debt reduction (here and here [via]).

Stiglitz on the "Ideological Crisis of Western Capitalism."

Hungry China must reduce food production or die of thirst. See: Africa. (More on China's dire water problems - here, here, here, here, here, here, here - and limited successes [and here]).

Eating insects can reduce GHG emissions.

Four surviving Khmer Rouge leaders on trial in Cambodia (more and more and more).

Cy Twombly passes on. (Images here by Twombly - via here and here and here)

1 comment:

Peter said...

I skimmed the article on Alternative Energy. I'm probably way out of my element here pretending to understand what he's saying, but he seems to be comparing apples to oranges. (And he might also be expressing a little of the scarring from the losses he admits to from investing in biofuels.)

Alternative energy sources (and the metals that they rely on) are substantively different from hydrocarbons in that they are renewable. Burn a gallon of gas and it's gone. But 'burn' a half-hour of electricity from a solar panel, and you'll get it back over the next several hours.

So even if, as he suggests, there aren't enough metals to supplant the whole hydrocarbon infrastructure (over what time span? He doesn't say), that's missing the point: you don't need to extract a pound for pound equivalence to achieve the same energy output. There's a very good reason for the ratios of 4200lbs HCs : 35lbs metals : 1 person. Those 35lbs a year aren't being depleted at the same rate their being consumed.

His list of points for lowering hydrocarbon consumption is welcome, but he again strikes out on his last point: it's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - not Recycle^3