Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sometimes, Global Warming can be a solution to a problem:
For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island has gone.
New Moore island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Kolkata. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said.
"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.
Scientists at the school of oceanographic studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.
Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3mm (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5mm annually, he said. Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra added.
India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which is about two miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti.
There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag.
The demarcation of the maritime boundary – and who controls the remaining islands – remains an open issue between the two south Asian neighbours, and the disappearance of the island does nothing to resolve it, said an official in India's foreign ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on international disputes.
British Petroleum is responsible for what could be the largest environmental disaster in history, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coastline.
This is a reminder that we need to eliminate the burning of fossil fuels to generate our energy. This could have been acomplished by now had the investment community supported development of Thermopower. But, the vested interests in the oil industry have prevented us from developing this technology.
The Department of Energy under Barack Obama has been one of those implicated in this conspiracy.
More information on the current state of the disaster: Deepwater Horizon oil slick to hit US coast within hours.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Diamandis is on a mission to open space for all humanity, and he embraces the risk inherent to such an undertaking. "A true breakthrough requires tremendous levels of risk," says Diamandis. "It's really in the entrepreneurial sector that people are willing to risk their lives, risk their fortunes, their reputations, to do something they fundamentally believe they can do."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
President Barack Obama kicked off his plans to move America's space program to third-world status in an appearance in Florida today. Demonstrating questionable logic and a complete misunderstanding of the role of space in the American economy, he blundered through a speech he thought would be inspiring. Instead, he demonstrated a fact we've come to recognize: he's simply a blatherskite who tailors his speeches to those he wishes to impress, while hiding his real motivation.
As far as the space program is concerned, his plan remains unchanged: to eliminate NASA.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This is from Obama to reboot NASA budget; Shelby fires warning shot:
Amid increasing political pressure, the White House is now prepared to scale back its plans to cut NASA's manned space-flight program next year.
President Barack Obama will announce his slightly revised NASA spending plan during his speech at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday afternoon, according to reports.
But the spending plan will also relax many of the other cuts to NASA's shuttle program that have so far only earned Obama the scorn of congressional lawmakers, who feel the 2011 budget would leave NASA with an inadequate mission.
However, even the revised budget has already incensed one lawmaker: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), whose state is home to a major NASA base in Huntsville. Shelby quickly blasted the president's new proposal in a release Wednesday, stressing it was just as "visionless" as the plan that preceded it.
"This new plan does not represent an advancement in policy or an improvement upon the Constellation program, but a continued abdication of America's leadership in space," said Shebly, the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee that handles NASA dollars.
"The President has replaced one visionless plan with another," he continued. "It is clear that the Administration does not believe that American leadership in human space flight is a priority worth fighting for."
Among other things, the president's revised NASA plan would permit the continued construction of the Orion space capsule. However, the capsule will function only as an emergency vehicle for astronauts at the International Space Station, the White House announced in a fact sheet.
Obama's revised budget will also propose speeding up the development of a rocket that can actually reach the Moon and farther, officials told reporters in a preview of the president's Thursday speech.