Climate

I can’t even comment on it except, “wish I thought of that”!

quote:

New carbon-intelligent computing platform

Our latest advancement in sustainability, developed by a small team of engineers, is a new carbon-intelligent computing platform. We designed and deployed this first-of-its kind system for our hyperscale (meaning very large) data centers to shift the timing of many compute tasks to when low-carbon power sources, like wind and solar, are most plentiful. This is done without additional computer hardware and without impacting the performance of Google services like Search, Maps and YouTube that people rely on around the clock.… Read the rest

Culture

Some data behind the recent statement from UN fearing famine, quote: “The head of the UN’s relief agency issued a warning in April that the coronavirus pandemic could produce “famines of biblical proportions.” In an article on the UN’s news website, this troubling forecast was explained and expanded on as follows: “As the virus plunges more and more people into poverty, and governments respond to the crisis with protectionist policies that restrict food exports, as many as 265 million people across 30 countries could now face starvation.”

Infographic: Where Reliance on Food Imports is Highest | Statista

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/21535/food-imports-reliance/Read the rest

Climate

Wow … this was eye opening https://grist.org/climate/these-scientists-saw-a-pandemic-coming-now-theyre-trying-to-stop-the-next-one/

Quote: “Over the past century, the human population has exploded. At the height of the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic, the global population was around 1.8 billion, less than a quarter of what it is today. In the past century, millions of humans have spent years slaughtering wildlife; cutting down trees; placing cows, chickens, and pigs in close contact with wild animals — providing ample opportunity for viruses to make a deadly leap.

Even in the face of enormous environmental changes, Epstein and other scientists are convinced that it wouldn’t take much to make a big difference, whether it’s shuttering wildlife markets or bat-proofing pots for date-palm sap with a small screen.Read the rest

Photos

W.A.T. = Walking around townNote: This week there was sun, warm weather and wonderful misty rain – a typical OR April; the flowers loved it! (reminder to click on the image to see full size – much better resolution)

Read the rest

Culture

The Atlantic published an article this week that I think is a very important read on what could be possible objectives for Republicans to desire state bankruptcy – especially large voting blocks of “blue” voters.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/why-mitch-mcconnell-wants-states-go-bankrupt/610714/

Quote:

“Since 2010, American fiscal federalism has been defined by three overwhelming facts.

First, the country’s wealthiest and most productive states are overwhelmingly blue. Of the 15 states least reliant on federal transfers, 11 are led by Democratic governors. Of the 15 states most reliant on federal transfers, 11 have Republican governors.

Second, Congress is dominated by Republicans.Read the rest

Climate

A recent study on economic impact of adding bike lanes came back with interesting results. Quote, “Researchers studied 14 corridors in 6 cities — Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Memphis, Minneapolis and Indianapolis — and found such improvements had either positive or non-significant impacts on sales and employment. Essentially, adding improvements like bike lanes largely boosted business and employment in the retail and food service sectors.”

Adding bikes is one step to reducing cars … less carbon, less pollution, less noise, generally less bad stuff and all without material impact to business – seems like a fair trade to me!… Read the rest

Culture

Heisenberg posted today on the job numbers which were a continuation of terrible. Two points struck me.

First, Heisenberg did a fabulous job (consistently over the last few weeks) of making sure we remember that behind those numbers are real people. I was often reminded when i managed teams and was required to redeploy human resources that there is a curse of dehumanizing it all due to the simplicity of spreadsheets and numbers – there are humans represented by those numbers; quote: “Obviously, one can extrapolate and otherwise work with the numbers to create a smorgasbord of alarming statistics, but, as I’ve been keen to emphasize, these aren’t just statistics – they are people”

Second, the stock markets took 4.4m jobless people as a positive as it was not even higher … what kind of world is that a rational response?… Read the rest

Climate, Culture

I almost never drive … and if I do, there must be multiple destinations or something to do that is worth the carbon guilt … However, as I walk, run, bike everywhere, I am constantly ‘on alert’ due to people driving cars who seem to just want to make it hard for non-car people

Grist published a spot on a company that is coming up with some help for us …

Quote: “Tara Pham’s company, Numina, generates the granular data that cities require to design bike- and pedestrian-friendly roads and neighborhoods.Read the rest

Culture

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/premium-news

Publicly-traded companies raided the PPP pantry

  • Even with the U.S. Senate set to vote later today on passing an additional relief bill for small businesses in the U.S., there is a bright spotlight being thrown on where the funds from the original Paycheck Protection Program designed for small business went.
  • The first-come, first-serve U.S. government aid program saw at least $243M of the total $349M funneled to publicly traded companies, including 15 with market caps of over $100M. As has been reported over the last week, the program ran dry before many mom-and-pop operations and smaller independent businesses were able to apply.
Read the rest
Climate

2 recent studies were published that I found interesting and worth the read.

The first is about the solar panel cell chemistry improvements. Even with all my semiconductor design and manufacturing experiences, I found this science complicated but encouraging. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200415133625.htm

The second is complex modeling on the impact of wind turbines and their disruption to the micro weather (air-flow) patterns if capacity was increased. Even the authors’ description of the modeling was complex. Yet again, way encouraging if we can increase wind capacity without increasing unintended consequences, e.g., air flow around the turbines.… Read the rest