Controlling greenhouse gases, universities, individuals matter

Posted On Mar 2 2021 by

first_imgFrom 1850 to 2000, the use of fossil fuels worldwide grew 140-fold, a practice that has gradually filled the Earth’s atmosphere with warming gases.In 2006, emissions from burning fossil fuels pumped 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the planet’s thin shell of air. Emissions from coal, just one source of CO2, rise by 2.4 percent a year.If that and other trends are left unchecked, the density of CO2 in the atmosphere will reach 1,000 parts per million (ppm) at the end of this century. (It’s 350 ppm now.) At that level, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will catastrophically disrupt global patterns of temperature, precipitation, oceanic heat exchange, storm activity, and coastal sea levels.The numbers are big, and the consequences are global and scary. So what can Harvard — a mere dot on the globe — possibly do?That was the question five University experts addressed this week (Oct. 20) in a panel titled “Reducing Carbon, Promoting Sustainability: The Role of Individuals and Institutions.” About 65 listeners were at Boylston Hall’s Fong Auditorium for the event, one of a series this month celebrating Harvard’s commitment to sustainability.The panel has a backstory. This July, President Drew Faust pledged that by 2016 Harvard will reduce its greenhouse gases by 30 percent compared with 2006 levels. Harvard has also stepped up its efforts to educate students, staff, and faculty about what individual action can do to reduce energy usage and take other steps toward sustainability.The Monday evening panel was moderated by Daniel Schrag, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He started with an overview of the big numbers that underscore any discussion of climate change.“By any standard,” he said of CO2 levels at 1,000 ppm, “that is a catastrophe.” (Holding concentrations this century to about 550 ppm is what law, policy, and action should target, said Schrag.)In the meantime, he asked, does individual commitment matter in the face of global climate challenges so big? Will a commitment to sustainability from a town-size institution like Harvard make any difference?Yes, and yes, said panelist William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).“Individual behaviors matter,” he said, though it’s a research pathway that needs more attention.Households account for about 30 percent of energy use, said Clark, and reductions in personal energy use for light, heat, and transportation could trim 10 percent off the energy savings that need to be made worldwide. That “cheapest 10 percent,” he added, would make “a modest hunk of difference.”As for Harvard, Clark expressed a sentiment echoed by all the panelists: What the University does — through teaching, research, and the influence of its name — matters.“Our product” — top research, talented students, and outreach to the policy community — matters a great deal, said panelist Robert N. Stavins, the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at HKS and director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.But more broadly, he said, the role of individuals and even large institutions in affecting climate change pales in comparison to the power of decisions made by companies — and in comparison to the issue-shifting power of governments.The problem is so big, said Stavins, that solving it requires not only “strong governmental action,” but also significant changes to the world economy, including changes in what things cost. He favors, for one, a tax on carbon.Individual action has a small effect on the issue, said panelist Kelly Sims Gallagher, “but individuals add up.” (Gallagher directs the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at HKS.)Significant reductions in U.S. per capita energy use would have a powerful “demonstration effect” on other nations, said Gallagher, and would restore America’s “moral accountability” on global climate change. But at the moment, she said, U.S. per capita energy use is five times higher than in China, and 20 times higher than India’s.As for Harvard’s sustainability actions, “the demonstration effect is very large,” said Gallagher. “What Harvard does is paid attention to — not just in the United States but around the world.”Harvard is a “cheap diffusion technology” for spreading ideas worldwide, but could do even more than keep its sustainability pledges and educate its work force, said panelist Richard J. Zeckhauser, Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at HKS. For one, it could offer eco-tours that show the University’s bricks-and-mortar commitment to sustainability.At the individual scale, said Zeckhauser, it is important to teach people that paybacks for taking action — upgrading storm windows, say — may take only a few years. On a grander scale, “broad energy use” simply has to cost more, he said. (Zeckhauser called the recent gas crisis “a pretty good natural experiment” in how high prices can lower energy use.)Still, individuals can make a difference, he said, like the pioneers in solar research, who will soon lower the cost of getting energy from the sun. Or even individuals who have personal “eco-projects” under way at home, like the storm windows.Then there are the individuals whose actions can sway whole nations, or change the culture of energy use. In that respect, said Zeckhauser, “Al Gore is like a billion people. Maybe 2 billion.”last_img read more


PAPD sending fatal auto-pedestrian crash findings to DA’s office

Posted On Jan 26 2021 by

first_img In seeking additional public records details surrounding the tragic encounter, The News filed an open records request with the City of Port Arthur on June 17, which is typically granted within 10 business days.The City delayed providing that information within the 10-day timeline, citing a lack of staffing due to COVID-19-related personnel shortages.The front of the offense report was eventually released on July 6. Port Arthur City Councilmember Cal Jones went to the scene of the crash and spoke to a few men who said the girl had been at a birthday party and had followed some other children as they ran across the road. She was the last to cross the street and was hit by the truck.Jones previously told The News he was interested in making the intersection safer and planned to speak with city leaders about placing a 4-way stop there as well as signs for traffic to slow down for children. The collision occurred in the 4800 block of Sixth Street at approximately 7:34 p.m. and involved Davis and a 2014 Chevrolet truck. Davis was brought to a local hospital with life–threatening injuries, and the driver remained on scene.Once at the hospital, Davis was pronounced dead, according to information from the Port Arthur Police Department.Photos from the scene showed PAPD officers investigating a grey- or silver-colored, extended cab Chevrolet Silverado that was behind police tape.Police are also not saying if the child lived in the area or was visiting.PAPD’s Advanced Accident Reconstruction Team, who were notified and responded to the scene, is handling the case.center_img The findings of last month’s fatal auto-pedestrian collision that ended in the death of a 3-year-old girl are being sent to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, police in Port Arthur said.The case remains under investigation with no citations given to the driver of the 2014 Chevrolet truck that was involved in the June 11 death of Ivory Davis.Davis was slated to turn 4 years old today (July 11).last_img read more


Watch Newsies Stars Offer Up the Scoop on Their Fan Appreciation Week!

Posted On Jan 18 2021 by

first_img View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 24, 2014 Newsies Related Shows Disney’s high-kicking family musical Newsies is commemorating the second anniversary of their first performance with a week-long celebration of the “fansies” who have kept them going. On September 15, 2011, Newsies debuted at the Paper Mill Playhouse, then, thanks to enthusiastic audiences, the show found its way to Broadway for a limited run—which was soon extended to an open-ended run as a result of the fans’ outpouring of love. Needless to say, the fans have played a huge part in Newsies’ success, and so from September 15 through September 21, the cast of the Broadway tuner is giving back during the first ever Newsies Fan Week. Check out the video below to learn more about the week’s events, which include new trading cards, music videos and a live chat with the stars.last_img read more


2011 Felt Cyclocross, TRI/TT and Track Bikes; Specs & Photos

Posted On Jan 18 2021 by

first_imgSo far this week, you’ve seen the details on all of Felt’s Road and Mountain lines, and we’re rounding out this series with their Cyclocross, TRI/TT and Track lines. Of course, don’t forget that Felt also offers a great line of beach cruisers, cafe bikes and BMX bikes, so head over to their website to check those out as well. See the details on the race-ready F15X, pictured above, and the rest of today’s lines after the jump.Complete with carbon seatstays, Easton carbon fork, full SRAM Red and TRP brakes, you can get muddy on the 18 pound F15X for only $2,799.The F75X moves down to Shimano 105 components on a slightly heavier frame, a Felt carbon fork and Tektro brakes, for a 20 pound bike at $1,699.The Breed offers a single speed cyclocross bike for $949.The top-of-the-line, team-ready DA is a ground up redesign debuting for 2011. At an estimated price of $12,499, you’ll get full Shinamo Di2 with dual shift points, TRP SuperLight brakes and a Zipp 808/1080 wheelset.The B2 offers a cheaper full-Di2 alternative, using Felt’s own designed wheels and FSA cranks. Using molds from the top-of-line frame in previous years, with a few details trickled down from the new DA, the B2 comes in at $6,499.The B10 shares the B2 frame, but moves away from the Bayonet fork style into the less aerodynamic traditional fork. Still equipped with mostly Shimano Di2, and Vision cranks, you’ll see the price drop to $5,299.The B12 frame changes slightly, losing the optimized Di2 integration. Therefore, it comes equipped with mechanical SRAM Red components and Felt wheels, for only $3,499.The B14 is essentially the Shimano version of the B12, touting Dura Ace components, along with some money savings in TRP levers and Vision cranks, bringing the price to $2,799.The B16 furthers the savings in the B14 with Shimano Ultegra and FSA components on the same frame, making this a truly budget conscience choice at $1,999.The aluminum S22 rounds out the TRI/TT line, offering Shimano 105 components for an entry level price of $1,499.On the Track Bike end of things, the TK2 is a true blooded racing machine, seeing a great deal of aerodynamic manipulation in the aluminum frame and especially the 3T Sphinx handlebars. At $1,499, you could head straight to the track from the sales floor.The TK3 sees slightly less details in the frame as he TK2, but with a mix of standard track parts, the price is cut nearly in half to $799.The TK4130 shares the same track-specific geometry as the TK2 and TK3, but in a more classic looking steel frame. Small details like the stem, cranks and rims make this a bargain at $799.The Footprint is what happens when designers are able to play… using lasts year’s F-Series molds, they made this 1082 gram single speed/fixed gear specific frame. Outfitted with SRAM levers/brakes and Felt wheels, it’ll set you back $1,599 to have the coolest city bike around.The Gridloc is one of the first bikes on the market to offer the new Sturmey Archer SX3 hub, which offers 3 fixed speeds via an internal hub actuated by a thumb shifter.  Add a carbon fork and sleek internal cable routing for $999.The aluminum Dispatch will sell for $699 with a carbon fork.The Curbside is a favorite from past years, and this year you’ll get a carbon fork and flatbars for $699.The Brougham finishes off their Lifestyle fixed gears, offering 4 options; a 3 speed version with the Sturmey Archer SX3 hub for $699, $529 for chrome, $499 for a raw “paintjob” and lastly the black one is $469.last_img read more


Court has the last word on who gets the final closing

Posted On Dec 18 2020 by

first_imgCourt has the last word on who gets the final closing Court has the last word on who gets the final closing March 15, 2007 Regular Newscenter_img Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The defense has it. The prosecution wants it. And now the Florida Supreme Court has the opportunity to decide which side deserves it, after hearing from both sides in oral arguments February 15.It’s all about who gets the last say in closing arguments in noncapital criminal trials.For more than 150 years in Florida, having the last word before juries begin deliberating has been a tactical advantage afforded the defense, if the only witness called is the defendant. The historical argument has been the defendant is up against the tremendous power of the state to take away liberty.But last year the Florida Legislature repealed Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.250, giving the advantage to the state to rebut the defense closing (as it now has when the defense calls additional witnesses), because it has the burden of proof. Federal courts and 47 other states comply with that common law rule. After questions were raised whether the rule is substantive or procedural, the bill was amended late in the legislative process to recognize the Supreme Court has the authority to decide the issue.With no rule in effect as of October 1, 2006, the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee of The Florida Bar “hastened to get a rule proposal to you as quickly as we could,” William C. Vose, chair and chief assistant state attorney in the Ninth Circuit, told the justices in case SC06-2065.The 37-member committee — 14 defense lawyers, 11 prosecutors, 10 judges, and two law professors — voted 23-7 (with six absences and Vose abstaining) to give the last-say advantage to prosecutors.But The Florida Bar Board of Governors voted 30-5 to withhold its support for proposed rules 3.250 and 3.381, instead adopting the committee’s minority report as its own.“I can quote one member of the Board of Governors: ‘We’re not going to allow the legislature to tell us how we’re going to practice law.’ I was unable to persuade them away from that position that that’s not what was happening. The proposal to change this was well before the legislature did it,” said Vose, who added the Board of Governors currently has no prosecutors but several defense attorneys.For three decades, Vose said, the rule had been argued in the Criminal Law Section, with prosecutors especially wanting to change it.“The theory languished and never really came to fruition until the appellate courts of this state started writing opinions about problems in the prosecution of cases because of 3.850’s (motions alleging ineffective assistance of counsel).. . where in certain cases defense counsel were trying to take a tactical advantage by not proposing witnesses so that they can get the closing argument. Now, some of the largest proponents of this rule are members of the judiciary,” Vose said.That sparked a torrent of questions from the justices about whether there was evidence to back up the accusation that defense attorneys are falling down on the job by not calling witnesses they should, just to get the tactical advantage.“I want to know if there is really any true evidence to support that,” Justice Peggy Quince said. “I have seen over the years a few cases where people talk about, ‘They should have called somebody and didn’t.’ But I’m not sure that I have seen any evidence that this is a pervasive kind of practice going on.”Vose responded: “I can’t argue to you evidence, either. I can tell you that it’s the perception of most of the judiciary, of trial judges and district court of appeal judges who have to handle and deal with the 3.850’s.”When Buddy Jacobs, representing the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, took his turn at the podium to support the proposed rule change, he said: “We find as prosecutors that now we have a new cottage industry with 3.850’s.”Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked: “Tell me what statistical evidence has been submitted that demonstrates to us that this rule has been abused and therefore you’ve got lawyers out there committing malpractice.”Jacobs answered his main reason for wanting to change the rule — or not adopt the rule and let the common law prevail — is “a matter of fairness. We have the most liberal and open discovery system there is.”Chief Justice Fred Lewis again brought up the 3.850’s, trying to get a gauge on whether it is a big reason to change the rule or just “an aside.”“We believe it’s the reason that should be considered, yes, sir,” Jacobs replied.“Before we start changing something that has been in existence for this period of time, should we factually study the 3.850’s and see?” Lewis asked. “Would that not be a better approach than to, well, let’s just assume?”“We think enough studies have been done,” replied Jacobs, listing support for changing the rule from the court’s steering committee, the criminal rules committee, and Senate and House committees.Lewis continued: “But I am still not getting an answer to just the fundamental question: ‘Do we really know?’”Jacobs eventually conceded: “I don’t think that the data is there.”Scott Fingerhut seized upon that lack of data in arguing the committee’s minority position.“There is no empirical evidence, there are no statistical analyses, there is no case precedent to compel the court to reverse course on 150 years,” Fingerhut said.Justice Raoul Cantero said: “Let’s just say we agree that this is purely procedural. We can do whatever we want regardless of what the legislature did. The legislature, as it has a right to do, has repealed our rule. So now we are left with nothing and.. . we’re starting from scratch, essentially. So why not conform to the 47 other states that have the common law rule?”Fingerhut responded: “I say, why can’t Florida be bold and brave and sensitive and soulful and open-hearted and let the defendants have the last shot? The crime rate is down, certainly the index of violent crime rate. Conviction rates are up. Our prisons and jails are teeming with inmates. And substantive law is becoming increasingly more strict. So what’s broken?”Fingerhut argued that the defense deserved this advantage, because the state usually enjoys the stronger case, has more resources, and calls more witnesses, who are often law-enforcement witnesses. On the other hand, Florida “has never been easy on criminal defendants. Before we had penitentiaries, there was a time we contracted prisoners for indentured servitude. Florida has allowed this procedural grace: ‘Before we give you 99 years, we’re going to let you have the last say. We are going to let you opt to have the last say in a case where you have nothing better to present than your own word and maybe try and prove a negative. We understand how impossible that is.’”If the rule is changed to give prosecutors the last say, Fingerhut predicted trials will become longer because it would remove the defense lawyers’ incentive not to call witnesses.“The real argument why we’re here,” Fingerhut said, “is not because the state bears the burden of proof. It is not because of this perceived tug-of-war between the court and the legislature over substance and procedure. And it is certainly not, as has been conceded, about alleged ineffective representation and gamesmanship.“It is here because the state wants the last word. The accused has it. The state wants it. Now, I don’t blame them. We all want the last word in arguments. We’re lawyers.”last_img read more


The Suicide Detective

Posted On Dec 9 2020 by

first_imgThe New York Times: For reasons that have eluded people forever, many of us seem bent on our own destruction. Recently more human beings have been dying by suicide annually than by murder and warfare combined. Despite the progress made by science, medicine and mental-health care in the 20th century — the sequencing of our genome, the advent of antidepressants, the reconsidering of asylums and lobotomies — nothing has been able to drive down the suicide rate in the general population.…“We’ve never gone out and observed, as an ecologist would or a biologist would go out and observe the thing you’re interested in for hours and hours and hours and then understand its basic properties and then work from that,” Matthew K. Nock, the director of Harvard University’s Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research, told me. “We’ve never done it.”Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more


Here’s One Weird Trick For Identifying Narcissists

Posted On Dec 8 2020 by

first_imgNewsweek:How do you identify a narcissist?It might be as simple as asking “Are you a narcissist?” according to a study published today in PLOS ONE.Researchers at Ohio State University, Indiana University-Purdue University and Gettysburg College conducted 11 different experiments, with more than 2,200 subjects, to determine whether it’s possible to identify a narcissist by asking a person: “To what extent do you agree with this statement: ‘I am a narcissist.’ (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)” Participants then rated their narcissism on a scale of 1 (“not very true of me”) to 7 (“very true of me”).Read the whole story: Newsweek More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more


Attorney General Office To Conduct School Safety Trainings At Española Public Schools Jan. 6

Posted On Oct 19 2020 by

first_imgThe all day trainings come as part of Attorney General Balderas’ commitment to provide safety training to the schools in the wake of recent controversial events giving rise to student safety concerns. ALBUQUERQUE — Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Friday that the Office of the Attorney General will host school safety trainings in the Española Public Schools Monday, Jan. 6. From the Office of the Attorney General News: “Schools should be a place where students feel safe to learn and grow into future leaders in New Mexico,” Balderas said. “This multidisciplinary training will ensure that teachers, administrators, and staff will have the tools necessary to keep all students, especially those from vulnerable populations, safe in their classrooms.”center_img Teachers and administrative staff members will receive presentations from experts on issues of treatment of disabled students in school settings, using technology to safely report school safety concerns, and effective measures for combating cyberbullying. The three trainings provided by the Office of the Attorney General include the following:Sensitivity Training: Why Do We Think What We Think About Adults and Children with Disabilities? Moving Towards Equality with Julie Ballinger, M.A. Southwest ADA Center;Site Safety Support: STOP School Violence Prevention Training Program with Angelique Sedillo, Office of the Attorney General; andCyberbullying and Internet Safety: Cyberbullying and Online Safety-Creating Positive Digital Citizenship in Schools with Katherine Trujillo, Office of the Attorney General.last_img read more


Praxair China starts up flagship plant

Posted On Oct 7 2020 by

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img


Novatek Launches Eastern Dome of North-Urengoyskoye Field (Russia)

Posted On Oct 6 2020 by

first_imgNOVATEK announced the launch of the Eastern dome of the North-Urengoyskoye field developed by the Nortgas joint venture.Eighteen production wells have been completed at the Eastern dome, and its infrastructure includes a gas treatment facility with annual capacity of six billion cubic meters, gas gathering networks, gas and gas condensate pipelines to the Western dome of the field. The Eastern dome allows the joint venture to achieve peak production capacity of more than 10 bcm of natural gas and 1.4 million tons of gas condensate already in 2014.According to NOVATEK’s CEO, Leonid Mikhelson, “We acquired our equity stake in Nortgas less than twelve months ago, and the Eastern dome of the North-Urengoyskoye field has been prepared for production launch within a very short period of time and is an important contributing factor in our gas and gas condensate production growth. The expected ramp up of gas condensate production is fully synchronized with the expansion of our processing facilities”.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, October 30, 2013; Image: Novateklast_img read more