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November 29, 2005

Ice cores and climate change

EPICAFollowing up on Jamais' June 2004 post about the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, or EPICA, new results published this week verify that "the relationship between climate and CO2 that had been deduced from the Vostok core appears remarkably robust," according to RealClimate.

Secondly, these results will allow paleoclimatologists to really look in detail at the differences between the different interglacials in the past. The previous 3 before our current era look quite similar to each other and were quite short (around 10,000 years). The one 400,000 years ago (Marine Isotope Stage 11, for those who count that way) was hypotheisied to look more like the Holocene and appears to be significantly longer (around 30,000 years). Many of the details though weren't completely clear in the Vostok data, but should now be much better resolved. This may help address some of the ideas put forward by Ruddiman (2003, 2005), and also help assess how long our current warm period is likely to last.

The study shows that carbon dioxide levels have increased significantly over the last two centuries, from 280 to 380 parts per million. According to Edward Brooks, a geosciences specialist at Oregon State University, quoted in an Associated Press article, "There's no natural condition that we know about in a really long time where the greenhouse gas levels were anywhere near what they are now. And these studies tell us that there's a strong relationship between temperature and greenhouse gases. Which logically leads you to the conclusion that maybe we should worry about temperature change in the future."

An article in the UK Guardian, linked from a comment on the RealClimate post, refers to analysis of cores drilled along the eastern seaboard, suggesting that "oceans will rise nearly half a metre by the end of the century, forcing coastlines back by hundreds of metres." Professor Kenneth Miller is quoted as saying there's little we can do at this point to stop the sea level from rising, prompting a clarification from Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate: "Miller's point is that sea level will continue to rise under any conceivable scenario (as seen in the 'committed climate change' papers by Meehl et al and Wigley earlier this year....while cuts in emissions will not prevent sea level rise, they may prevent the worst case scenarios in the medium to long term."

MSNBC also published an article, "Tiny bubbles, rising seas point to warming."

Mitigation/Adaptation: Jamais' post, What's the Best Path to CO2 Reduction, has good information on potential mitigation strategies, as well as the WikiPedia entry on Mitigation of global warming. The leading global effort at mitigation, of course, is the Kyoto Protocol. As Jamais posted when the Kyoto Treaty became active, "Kyoto is a reframing exercise, a memetic engineering project. It forces us to respond and, by being transparent in its failings, forces us in turn to come up with something better."

(Posted by Jon Lebkowsky in To Know It for the First Time – Place, Environment and Ecology at 03:55 PM)

Why do I reBlog this? As long as I'm in an existential tailspin.. -JB

Originally posted by Jon Lebkowsky from WorldChanging: Another World Is Here, ReBlogged by julianbleecker on Nov 25, 2005 at 10:22 PM

Posted by dymaxion at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

Solar Energy

WSJ writes:

Ambitious plans to cover two big swaths of California desert with solar dishes could finally help the energy-producing technology make the leap to industrial-scale development.

ystems Inc., of Phoenix, hopes to construct 20,000 solar dishes covering four square miles of the Mohave Desert near Victorville, Calif., each dish pointing skyward to collect the sun's energy and convert it into electricity that would flow 80 miles south to power-hungry Los Angeles. The solar encampment, if eventually built, could produce 500 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the daytime needs of 300,000 homes, doubling the state's solar capacity. The project cleared a hurdle last month when state regulators approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement between Stirling and Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International.

A second project, involving Stirling and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., a unit of Sempra Energy, awaits approval. It calls for the purchase of 300 megawatts of solar power from a Stirling project in the Imperial Valley, east of San Diego, with an option to expand to as much as 900 megawatts -- the equivalent of two big gas-fired power plants.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2005

Solar Energy

WSJ writes:

Ambitious plans to cover two big swaths of California desert with solar dishes could finally help the energy-producing technology make the leap to industrial-scale development.

ystems Inc., of Phoenix, hopes to construct 20,000 solar dishes covering four square miles of the Mohave Desert near Victorville, Calif., each dish pointing skyward to collect the sun's energy and convert it into electricity that would flow 80 miles south to power-hungry Los Angeles. The solar encampment, if eventually built, could produce 500 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the daytime needs of 300,000 homes, doubling the state's solar capacity. The project cleared a hurdle last month when state regulators approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement between Stirling and Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International.

A second project, involving Stirling and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., a unit of Sempra Energy, awaits approval. It calls for the purchase of 300 megawatts of solar power from a Stirling project in the Imperial Valley, east of San Diego, with an option to expand to as much as 900 megawatts -- the equivalent of two big gas-fired power plants.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

States, regions, and the Kyoto Protocols

Even though they can't be signatories to the Kyoto Protocols, a growing number of states, counties, or cities have used the Protocol as a model for local initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases. Indeed, according to a recent article in Nature,

Even though the United States does not participate in the Kyoto protocol, about one-quarter of the population lives in states, counties or cities that have adopted climate change policies similar to those of the global initiative.... Including regions classified as 'probable' and 'possible' adopters, which have pledged to reduce emissions, more than one-third of the U.S. population lives in such areas.... Together, these regions contribute up to half of the US gross domestic product, equivalent of 16.9% of global GDP, a slightly larger share than Japan, the world's second largest economy.

[via WorldChanging]

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Posted by dymaxion at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

UN talks hear pleas for global warming fight - Reuters.uk

AXcess News
UN talks hear pleas for global warming fight
Reuters.uk, UK - 1 hour ago
MONTREAL, Canada (Reuters) - Host Canada urged a broader fight against global warming at the start on Monday of UN talks which include the United States, which ...
UN talks seek to ease global warming dispute Reuters AlertNet
The global warming joke Scripps Howard News Service
Global warming 'a major threat' News24
Pravda - Hindustan Times - all 312 related

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Carbon Dioxide Level Highest in 650,000 Years

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... renewable energy, according to a new study. Making money with solar power in Raymond Journal Times..., according to a new study. SOLAR ENERGY COSTS DIFFER San Jose Mercury News, USA - 59 minutes ago...Interested in solar power? How much you'll pay in city fees to put solar panels on your home ...

Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2005

LED Hugger

Treehuggers know that the best new source of electricity is conservation- that money invested there beats nuclear, coal, solar and wind. ... So much energy is completely wasted right now, we could certainly shut down many coal power ...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2005

Kuwait's Burgan Field Peaked?

The Burgan field in Kuwait is the world's 2nd largest oil field after Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field. According to one website Kuwait Oil Chairman Al-Zanki said that the field had proven unable to maintain a rate of 1.9 Mbbl/day and that they had scaled back production to 1.7 Mbbl/day so that they do not damage the field through overproduction. I was unable to find the actual storyline but it was apparently written by James Cordahi (who is well known) on November 9th. Bloomberg.com does not archive their stories.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

ASPO-USA Denver Conference Slides

ASPO-USA's conference in Denver has happened: Beyond Oil: An Intelligent Response to Peak Oil Impacts, and you can get the slides of the speakers here. There are slides on geology, alternative vehicles, biofuels, coal-to-oil and shale, and politics - of varying degrees of detail. Reporting by The Oil Drum summarizes the conference. Oil Drum also has a detailed interview with Matthew Simmons worth checking out.

Just browsing quickly, the largest eye-popper so far: cellulose ethanol can supply 50-70% of America's oil needs?? (Compared to 40% of a 2025 oil demand (assuming state-of-the-art conservation is used by then), suggested by Winning the Oil Endgame.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Survey Shows Canada Wants Biofuels

A survey conducted by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association shows that 81 % of Canadians feel it is important for the government to mandate the introduction of biofuels in gasoline and diesel at the pump. Some 63 % of respondents said their opinion of the government would improve if such legislation were introduced.

One positive aspect of biofuel introduction in Canada is that the most likely crop is Canola (rapeseed) derived biodiesel. Canola has higher yields than soy and in general biodiesel has a better energy return on energy investment than ethanol. My own calculations show that Canola-derived biodiesel would be cost competitive with fossil diesel at about $120/bbl. Of course with tax breaks it can be competitive with current oil prices.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Old Gold & Black > Energy Breakthrough?

Researchers double efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity

Posted by dymaxion at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

Italy backs Beijing's solar power project for Olympics - Xinhua

Italy backs Beijing's solar power project for Olympics
Xinhua, China - 15 hours ago
21 (Xinhua) -- Italy will help Beijing build a solar energy system for the city's Olympic Village, supplying hot water and electricity for the Games in 2008 ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

Demand in Solar Energy Industry Drives $400 Million Hemlock ... - PR Newswire (press release)

Demand in Solar Energy Industry Drives $400 Million Hemlock ...
PR Newswire (press release), NY - Nov 15, 2005
... "Hemlock Semiconductor expects the solar energy industry to grow at a 20- 25 percent pace over the next 10 years. Today, solar energy ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

Solar energy has potential to dominate by 2030 - PhysOrg.com

Solar energy has potential to dominate by 2030
PhysOrg.com, VA - 20 hours ago
... “The key to a clean energy future is the setting of clear and challenging targets and the provision of reliable, long-term support to the solar industry. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

Nuclear power: splitting the Cabinet?The Register

Energy policy this week's hot topic

Posted by dymaxion at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

Busy Week for Water Vapor

as it gains by absorption of Solar energy . This is the principle of energy balance that controls the climate of all Earthlike planets. Currently our planet is out of equilibrium

Posted by dymaxion at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

Suncor Energy and ACCIONA Energia win bid to build Ontario wind power project

straw combustion) and the largest photovoltaic solar energy plant in Spain in terms of capacity (1.2 MW). It has put in operation a biodiesel plant that uses first-use vegetable

Posted by dymaxion at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

2 senators ask oil executives about meetingNewsOk.com - Business

Nov 17, 2005: WASHINGTON - The chief executives of five major oil companies were asked Wednesday to clarify their recent Senate testimony about the companies' involvement in Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force four years ago.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

Behind the Energy Policy Controversy

to introduce solar energy to the third world since 1990. So when Cheney's Task Force was meeting... Energy Task Force to develop an administration energy policy - the policy which ultimately led to the recently passed Energy Bill. Cheney was a natural choice for the job because of his background in the energy industry. At the time, Cheney and his staff met with all sorts of people in more or less... meetings, but at hearings held this past week by the Senate Energy Committee representatives

Posted by dymaxion at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

Solar Cell Panels Made Out of Everyday Plastics

... , making the technology more widely available. "Solar energy is a clean alternative energy source... installed cost of a traditional solar energy system. Currently, nearly 90 percent of solar cells... of energy the solar cell gathers from the total amount of energy, or sunshine, that actually hits ...

The Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

Plastic diode could lead to flexible, low power computer circuits, memory

The device was designed to convert solar energy to electrical energy. When he looked at the results of one of Asar's experiments, Berger noticed something unusual - a tiny blip in

Posted by dymaxion at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Solar Phenomena!

It shows 60% growth in solar energy over the last 4 years. Solar photovoltaics (sun to electricity) led the energy industry. Wind, at 28% growth last year, came in second. There are some 4.5 million green power customers around the ...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

Growing Your Plants in the Desert

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric are working with Stirling Energy Systems, a Phoenix startup that has paired a large and efficient solar dish with a 200-year-old Stirling engine design.

Stirling Energy Systems is planning to build two separate solar farms, one with the capacity to generate 500 megawatts of electricity in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California, for

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Posted by dymaxion at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Huge Solar Plants Bloom in Desert - Wired News

Huge Solar Plants Bloom in Desert
Wired News - 4 hours ago
... "There is a possibility with this project that solar energy could go commercial in a big way for the first time," said Alexander. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2005

CommonDreams: Renewable Energy Markets Show Strong Growth - REN21 Releases "Renewables 2005: Global Status Report"

Posted by dymaxion at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

Giant solar power plant to be set up at Rashtrapati Bhavan, India

PFONT size=2A five MW Solar Energy Power Plant will be set up at an approximate cost of Rs 100 crore at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here /FONT/P PFONT size=2URL: /FONTA href=http://www.bloglines.com/preview?siteid=2302905amp;itemid=11178 ...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

Solar Tower Used to Test Space Materials

The test facility includes a solar tower surrounded by by a field of hundreds of sun-tracking mirror arrays called heliostats. The heliostats direct sunlight ... tall tower that receives the collected energy at one of several test bays. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

China to lift 30 mln people out of darkness through renewable ...

China said Monday to lift its 30 million people who lack access to electricity out of the situation through developing renewable energies, especially solar energy. Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform ...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

Researchers unveil solar energy system for rural Uganda - AngolaPress

Researchers unveil solar energy system for rural Uganda
AngolaPress, Angola - Nov 9, 2005
... Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) of Makerere University`s Faculty of Technology in Uganda, have developed a solar energy system to ...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Govt to make tapping solar energy mandatory for all new buildings - Webindia123

Govt to make tapping solar energy mandatory for all new buildings
Webindia123, India - 8 hours ago
... the renewable sources of energy and to meet the growing demands of power in the country, the government is planning to make tapping solar energy mandatory for ...

Posted by dymaxion at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Britain facing large energy gap

'no'," the chief executive of the solar energy company solarcentury Jeremy Leggett told the BBC News website. "More than 50% of Britain's greenhouse gas emissions come directly or

Posted by dymaxion at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Ex-Im Bank Offering Export Financing For Renewable Energy And Water Projects

to be a net exporter of solar energy ,' said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. 'Progressive export financing terms are essential for U.S. companies

Posted by dymaxion at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

150 Groups Oppose House Budget Bill's Food and Farm Section

... with wind power, solar energy, biofuels and energy efficiency projects. The bill also would eliminate..., conservation, rural, renewable energy and agricultural research organizations today and companies... and energy problems, and improve economic opportunity in rural America.” In particular, the diverse ...

Blog for Rural America Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2005

United States: Solar suburb?

Associated Press: LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Here in the sunny suburbs east of San Francisco, voters get a chance to make their community a national leader in solar power at a time of soaring energy prices and global warming. A measure on Livermore's ballot Tuesday would grant a housing developer the right to build what it claims will be the country's largest completely solar community, with 2,450 new homes equipped to harvest the sun's energy. "This is an incredible opportunity to create a model ...
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Posted by dymaxion at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

Indonesia eyes solar, microhydro power plants

Xinhua: The Indonesian government is planning to build thousands of small scale solar power units and microhydro plants on its eastern islands next year to boost power capacity in remote areas. The government will build 15,000 household solar power units, each with a capacity of 100 watts, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources' Director General of Electricity and Energy Yogo Pratomo was quoted Tuesday by The Jakarta Post as saying. "We hope the (small-scale) power units ...
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Posted by dymaxion at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

Call for Global Action on Renewable Energy

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A joint declaration was made yesterday at the 2005 Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference calling on governments to speed up the use and expansion of renewable energy. The conference was opened yesterday at the Great Hall of the People.

"We urge governments to go beyond the Bonn Declaration and to acknowledge that renewable energy and energy efficiency are the most important energy strategies in the 21st century," the declaration states.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 12 countries, 52 organizations and 87 international representatives are attending the conference, which has attracted a total of 1,200 participants.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Hu Jintao said the conference is expected to work as a platform "for China to learn from experiences of other countries in using renewable energy," and to help the country map out its national strategies on that front.

Representatives from NGOs, including the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, and the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO), added that governments have the responsibility to ensure the rapid market development of renewable energy both in rural and urban areas through the implementation of incentive mechanisms.

"NGOs are informed, skilled and equal participants in both global and national efforts," Huang Haoming of CANGO said.

The Chinese government will raise about US$180 billion to develop renewable energy from now to 2020, Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said.

By then, the share of renewable energy in primary energy consumption should stand at 15 percent, rising from the current 7 percent, Zhang added.

Zhang said that China will actively develop biomass liquid fuel over the next 15 years. The government aims to replace 10 million tons of petroleum used every year with biomass liquid fuel.

China also plans to expand heat collection capacities of solar heaters to 300 million cubic meters by 2020, which should replace about 40 million tons of standard coal used annually.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2005)

Posted by dymaxion at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

Sunshine mapping from space helps solar business decisions

There are two kinds of solar energy establishments: solar thermal plants which concentrate heat from the Sun, and photovoltaic plants that convert sunlight into electricity. In both cases precise, long-term irradiance data is needed for ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

China to spend 180 billion dollars to boost renewable energy use

million kilowatts each and use more solar energy and methane in rural areas. Zeng called on developed countries and international organizations to honor their commitments made in

Posted by dymaxion at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

Indian President is leading the new energy revolution

... Rashtrapati Bhavan is set to be powered by a solar energy plant. Cost of this plant? Rs. 100 crore (approx $200 million). It seems a tad expensive at first. But looking at the future, when fossil... of futuristic energy sources. Great job, Mr. Prez. Anyone listening? G.W, you get that? Giant solar power ...

Desi Bling Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

New ammunition against bird flu in the works - Newsweek

New ammunition against bird flu in the works
Newsweek - 1 hour ago
... Tamiflu in preparation for a possible pandemic of bird flu, scientists are feverishly working to develop entirely new ways to combat the deadly H5N1 avian virus ...
The Business of the Flu Newsweek
all 2 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Bird flu death reported in Vietnam - International Herald Tribune

BBC News
Bird flu death reported in Vietnam
International Herald Tribune, France - 48 minutes ago
... 29, tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, said Nguyen Van Binh, deputy director of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health. ...
Vietnam flu death highlights WHO warning Monsters and Critics.com
BIRD FLU DEATH IN VIETNAM Special Broadcasting Service
Vietnam reports bird flu death News24
Reuters - BBC News - all 72 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Russia to make anti-H5N1 proposals to G8 - RIA Novosti

Russia to make anti-H5N1 proposals to G8
RIA Novosti, Russia - 2 hours ago
... the Russian delegation to the World Health Organization's three-day conference on bird flu in Geneva, said the potential pandemic of the H5N1 strain among ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Indonesia has two H5N1 cases; China seeks WHO help - CIDRAP

Environment News Service
Indonesia has two H5N1 cases; China seeks WHO help
CIDRAP, MN - 15 hours ago
Nov 7, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Two more human cases of H5N1 infection—one of which was fatal—have been confirmed in Indonesia, the World Health Organization ...
Vietnam flu death highlights WHO warning Science Daily (press release)
Bali: Students join bird flu search programme Ireland Online
Beijing Halts Poultry Trade to Guard Against Bird Flu Environment News Service
Webindia123 - Jakarta Post - all 15 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Deputy health minister confirms first positive H5N1 case in three ... - OhmyNews International

OhmyNews International
Deputy health minister confirms first positive H5N1 case in three ...
OhmyNews International, South Korea - 8 hours ago
Deputy Health Minister Trinh Quan Huan confirmed Nov. 7 that a 35-year-old man, who was hospitalized on Oct. 26 and died three days ...
[LETTERS to the editor]Don't bury heads over flu Joongang Ilbo
all 2 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2005

SunBall Solar Appliance

What makes the Green and Gold Energy SunBall solar appliance different is it uses a fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on a high-efficiency solar cell. It's actually not that different; SunPower Corporation of Sunnyvale, ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

Solar Update

Here's an update on some recent news in the world of solar power. DIY Solar Electricity is a UK project to bring low-cost photovoltaic systems to poorer ... Renewable Energy Access reports that the public telecom operator in Tunisia, ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

Solar Energy Industry Opposed to Proposition 80

This morning, we had a solar energy consultant over to analyze our rooftop in ... It was he who let us know that solar and other green energy concerns ... The California Solar Energy Industries Association has been very visible as an ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

Winners of 2005 Solar Decathlon Announced

10.24.05|The US Dept. of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced the winners of the 2005 Solar Decathlon. The contest brings together 18 teams of college and university students from around the world to ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

[Meetings] Clean Energy - Technology, Policy, and Finance at the Tipping Point

... , including solar energy, wind power, and bio fuels. We expect a lively discussion on how to make... to transform energy markets around the globe. This half-day symposium will bring together some of the most... of the world's focal points for new energy technology development—to assess recent developments ...

Environmental News Bits Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

The coming of the mega-eco-engineer

... balloons, to bounce all that extra solar energy back into space. "Edward Teller," for instance... is it? If built, it will be "Australia's biggest solar power plant," a kind of chimney for hot light. "Air... – it isn't. "People have been harnessing the energy of rising columns of air for centuries," we're ...

BLDGBLOG Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

Agriculture and Diversity: Antagonism Amongst the Biospheres

... there are two kinds of resources that agriculture uses in order to achieve this: solar energy... discussed at length. However, solar energy is also limited. Indeed, on a yearly basis the amount of solar energy that arrives on Earth does not vary exceptionally, as such we can deal with solar energy ...

The Anthropik Network Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

Bird Flu Base Maps Available from East View Cartographic

Bird Flu Base Maps Available from East View Cartographic (info)
GIS professionals take up avian flu
Posted by Declan to AvianFlu GIS on Thu Nov 03 2005 at 23:03 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

Wild birds help to create human flu vaccine

Wild birds help to create human flu vaccine (info)
Avian influenza virus samples collected from wild birds in Mongolia by field veterinarians from the New York City-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have been selected by the World Health Organization to be part of a new human pandemic influenza vaccine currently in development.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)


Excepts about Genome, Epidemic, Disease and the species barrier.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Cambodia only has bird flu medicine for 100 people - Ireland Online

Cambodia only has bird flu medicine for 100 people
Ireland Online, Ireland - 2 hours ago
... Cambodia, with a population of 13.6 million, has registered four human cases of bird flu, all fatal, since the H5N1 virus swept into Asia in late 2003. ...
Preparing for bird flu Fort Wayne News Sentinel
Bird Flu Pandemic Tamiflu I-Newswire.com (press release)
Officials defend new US bird flu plan The Age (subscription)
TODAYonline - Channel News Asia - all 14 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Japan to cull 180,000 chickens after detecting signs of bird flu - Mainichi Daily News

Japan to cull 180,000 chickens after detecting signs of bird flu
Mainichi Daily News, Japan - 1 hour ago
... The chickens had probably been exposed to the H5N2 strain of the virus, which is less virulent than the H5N1 variety that has ravaged Southeast Asia since 2003 ...
Japan to kill 180,000 more chickens due to bird flu Forbes
Japan to cull 180,000 chickens exposed to avian flu Reuters AlertNet
Japan to cull 180,000 chickens after detecting signs of bird flu Canada.com
all 13 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

China, Vietnam report more bird flu outbreaks - Reuters.uk

Malaysia Star
China, Vietnam report more bird flu outbreaks
Reuters.uk, UK - 2 hours ago
... The World Health Organization has said H5N1 is endemic in most poultry flocks in Asia and experts say migratory birds, which act as hosts for the virus, could ...
Chiron trying to outsmart avian flu Contra Costa Times
Flu Proposal Misguided FOX News
Bird-flu vaccine effort could prove helpful or hopeless Columbus Dispatch (subscription)
Reuters AlertNet - Cavalierdaily.com - all 86 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Four thousand birds dead in northern Vietnam

From a Pakistani news source, Dawn, news of yet another avian flu outbreak:

Some 4,000 poultry and water fowl have died in fresh outbreaks of bird flu in northern Vietnam's Bac Giang province, north of the capital, an animal health official said Friday.

"The chairperson of the provincial people's committee on Thursday declared that bird flu has hit three communes," said the official from Bac Giang's animal health department, refusing to be named. About 4,000 poultry and water fowl had died in the province's Yen Lu, Van Trung and Tang Tien communes, around 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Hanoi from October 25, he said.

The areas are now under a close watch and a quarantine has been imposed. Two people died in central Vietnam's Quang Binh province in late October with symptoms similar to bird flu but doctors said their samples had never been tested. Two-thirds of the more than 60 people killed by the H5N1 strain of bird flu since late 2003 have been in Vietnam.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

WaPo unimpressed with pandemic plan

The Washington Post has an editorial on Pandemic Planning.

THE PRESIDENT has called it a "crash program." Mike Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, used the word "blueprint." Unfortunately, the administration flu pandemic plan released this week is neither of those things.

On a general level, the plan and the funding request accompanying it show that the administration is taking preparedness seriously. Particularly important is the president's recognition that the United States needs to learn how to speed up production of vaccines, because they offer the best hope for protection against any pandemic. By far the largest chunk of the president's $7.1 billion funding request is devoted to vaccine and antiviral drug research and building up vaccine stockpiles, and rightly so.

Nevertheless, the earliest date by which the government could meet its goal of having the capability to produce a vaccine for every American within six months of the beginning of a pandemic is 2010 -- hardly a "crash program."

Posted by dymaxion at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

WHO meeting make-or-break time

According to The Lancet, as reported by Reuters, next week's WHO meeting will be the make-or-break time for pandemic threat.

"The Geneva summit will be a make-or-break time for the human threat of H5N1 influenza," The Lancet medical journal said in an editorial.

Scientists cannot predict if or when the H5N1 bird flu that has killed more than 60 people in Asia will mutate into a human pandemic strain capable of infecting and killing millions of people.

The meeting from Nov 7-9 will attempt to produce an action plan and identify the technical and financial needs to combat the spread of the virus in birds and the threat to humans.

e showing real talent for holding meetings and announcing plans. Implementing those plans may be a little harder.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

Huge lapse seen in US flu plan

A story in the San Bernardino County Sun says state and local health authorities are essentially on their own if and when a flu pandemic breaks out.

The president's flu plan calls for states collectively to stockpile enough anti-viral medication to treat 31 million people. States would pay three-fourths of the cost or an estimated $500 million while the federal government would pay 25 percent.

But as some states struggle with slow revenue growth, rising Medicaid costs and recovery from Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are wondering where the money will come from.

"They are already struggling," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. "So if we add this on top of them and say, `If you want to participate, come up with 75 percent of the funding,' we are going to have a public health crisis. And that concerns me greatly."

Posted by dymaxion at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

The Threat of Avian FluZuky

Remember, just because George W.'s newly announced plan to combat the threat of avian flu is bogus doesn't mean that the threat itself is. Needless to say, the Bush-Cheney administration's sudden interest in healthcare is a blatant attempt to draw public attention away from the Libby indictment, the Iraq war, and the WMD lies. But as I've written before, the craziest, lamest thing about this White House is that it fights fake wars against real enemies. In the case of terrorism, this strategy of war-by-photo-op-and-cronyism has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and a generally destabilized, terrorized world. In the case of avian flu, the results could be even more deadly.

Unfortunately, many progressives are skeptical of the actual threat posed by the H5N1 virus simply because it came out of Bush's mouth. This boy-who-cried-wolf logic is understandable, but wrong. The potential for an influenza pandemic has been understood and discussed in the scientific community since 1997, when the first outbreak was detected in Asia. The Bushies are now attaching themselves to the growing wave of concern in order to shore up their declining political fortunes while lining the pockets of their friends in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Yet the corporate government's cynical corruption in no way diminishes the threat posed by avian flu, whose human mortality rate is somewhere around 50% for all age groups. The virus is moving around the globe via both migratory birds and modern transportation. So far, the virus has only been known to move from birds to humans; but if the virus mutates into a strain that can jump from human to human, a pandemic of planet-jarring proportions could get underway. As I understand it, the most likely way for that to happen is for the virus to use host pigs (whose genetic make-up is similar to that of humans) as a living laboratory for mixing with other viruses and mutating into human-compatible form. Because of the constant proximity of humans, farm animals, and migratory birds in many parts of the world, this isn't a particularly far-fetched notion.

If a pandemic does indeed get underway, the current world healthcare system will be utterly unprepared to deal with the fallout (even with Bush's "plan" in place). And not just in poor countries: here in the US, we have some 50 million people with no healthcare coverage (such people could serve as carriers, spreading the virus until their symptoms put them in the ER); we haven't invested in either the technology or the manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce large quantities of strain-specific vaccines; and the only (questionable) treatment medication available is patented by Roche, a corporation whose stock price is soaring precisely because of its corner on the flu-medicine market (how twisted is a society's economic system when you're rewarded for witholding medicine?). Moreover, the tendency of politicians to react to any crisis with Draconian military measures (e.g. after-the-fact quarantines and travel bans) could further fuel chaos and breakdowns of public infrastructure. In short, we're in bad shape and it could get ugly.

This doesn't mean it's time to panic. It means it's time to get informed and active. In this age of blogs, wikis, and Googling, getting informed shouldn't be all that difficult; the links in this very post should be enough to get you started. As for getting active, I personally favor practical, common sense measures that mitigate risk without undue burden: washing your hands with soap before you eat; keeping enough food in the pantry to last a few weeks; finding out about any local resources and efforts underway to address the issue; learning how to take care of someone who has been infected; and most of all, pushing for a long-term public health system that puts every human life ahead of corporate greed, because whether the avian flu turns into a pandemic or not, that's what any sane democratic society requires.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Расейскі дэпутат Лісоўскі: птушыны грып – інтрыга замежных кампаніяўSvaboda.org Programs

Выпадкі птушынага грыпу, выкліканыя небясьпечным для чалавека вірусам H5N1 зарэгістраваныя ў васьмі рэгіёнах Расейскай фэдэрацыі. Гэта, аднак, выклікае ў расейскім грамадзтве супярэчлівую рэакцыю. У той час, як на Захадзе б’юць трывогу з нагоды магчымай пандэміі, у Расеі многія чыноўнікі і палітыкі пагрозу памяншаюць.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

Avian Flu Outbreak Map in Google EarthGoogle Earth Blog

Someone called "puplelinny" at the Google Earth Community has been collecting information on the spread of Avian Flu around the world. She cites her references in the thread and has been in contact with a journalist at Nature who has been researching this as well.

You can download the Google Earth file and you will see the placemarks with unique icons indicating 'confirmed', 'unconfirmed', or human verses animal or bird cases. If you look in the Places window and open her folder (called H5N1 after the name of the flu strain), you will see it is organized according to the different types and other useful infromation about the flu.

Check out the Avian Flu thread where purplelinny posts updates to the GE file and information about the flu outbreak. If you like this work, you might want to drop a note saying so. Great work purplelinny!

Posted by dymaxion at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

New bird flu outbreaks hit Asia

... New bird flu outbreaks hit Asia China and Vietnam have reported major new bird flu outbreaks, as Japan moved to cull 180,000 chickens at a farm where signs of the virus were found. The lethal H5N1 virus killed nearly 9,000 chickens in China’s Liaoning province and 3,000 birds in Bac Giang ...

Watcher Magazine Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

请用5分钟的时间阅看下本文章!H5N1 Avian Influenza~

... ,禽流感可分为高致病性、低致病性和非致病性禽流感三大类。禽流感病毒有不同的亚型,由H5和H7亚型毒株(以H5N1和H7N7为代表)所引起的疾病称为高致病性禽流感(HPAI),最近国内外由H5N1亚型引起的禽流感即为高致病性禽流感...,这样虽不能预防禽流感,但可预防人同时被流感和禽流感感染而引起病毒基因重组。 禽流感真可怕! 卫生专家现在非常担心禽流感的H5N1病毒会产生变异,变成能在人类之间传播。世卫组织一直都认为这个担忧迟早将成为事实。一些专家估计禽流感可能在一两年内爆发成在人类之间传播的疫情,但是现在棘手的问题是许多国家还未对防治H5N1病毒作足准备工夫。   专家指出,由于今日世界各地人们往来频繁 ...

异次元空间 Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)


... 『ムーブ!』で鳥インフルエンザウイルスの変異型が近い内に現れて大流行するかもしれないと言っていた。  大阪府の松原市で鳥インフルエンザウイルスが発見されたので『ムーブ!』で取り上げたのだろう。  鳥インフルエンザウイルスH5N1は鳥から鳥に感染して人間には感染しないが、まれに感染して人から人は感染しにくいと言っていた。  鳥インフルエンザウイルスは最近鳥から鳥の感染が広域化長期化していて、鳥から人の感染も増加していてインフルエンザは数十年おきに大流行していて、スペイン風邪が1918年、香港風邪が1968年でもうそろそろ起きてもおかしくないらしい。  WHOの博士が世界で ...

なんか色々 月光環 Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2005

New human infections likely in Indonesia

Indonesia's health minister said on Thursday that three children are showing symptoms of bird flu, Elshinta news radio reported. 

It said the three, all under 5 years of age, were being treated at a hospital in Jakarta and quoted minister Siti Fadillah Supari as saying they showed such symptoms as high fever, shortness of breath and signs of viral infection.

Asked by a reporter whether test results had been received, Supari said: "Not yet, maybe in two or three days hopefully, because this is a holiday, but looking at the symptoms ... there's a large possibility that it is bird flu."


Posted by dymaxion at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

Bird Flu Confirmed in 10 Areas in Russia, 19 More Suspected

Link: NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM. Russia has discovered outbreaks of avian flu in 10 areas, and 19 more are under suspicion, agriculture ministry officials were quoted by the Itar-Tass agency as saying on Tuesday. Among the areas affected are southern Siberia’s...

Posted by dymaxion at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

New bird flu in Thailand

Link: The Australian: New bird flu in Thailand [November 02, 2005]. THE deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected in chickens in two Thai provinces, as the country struggles to contain the virus a day after the latest...

Posted by dymaxion at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

Bird flu 'likely to spread in Europe' - Nov 1, 2005

Link: CNN.com Further outbreaks of bird flu are expected in Europe and the virus will likely be found next in Greece and Ukraine, a World Health Organization expert said Tuesday. Those countries are at risk because they are on the...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

Russians fear human bird flu

Link: Health News Article | Reuters.co.uk. The risk of humans becoming infected with the deadly bird flu virus will remain high over coming weeks due to bird migration patterns, Russia's emergencies ministry said on Thursday. The ministry said that new...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

Branson snaps up 10,000 courses of Tamiflu - Aviation - MSNBC.com

Branson snaps up 10,000 courses of Tamiflu - Aviation - MSNBC.com (info)
Posted by Declan to Tamiflu AvianFlu Business drugs on Wed Nov 02 2005 at 22:40 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

US HHS Influenza Plan

US HHS Influenza Plan (info)
Posted by martin to AvianFlu on Wed Nov 02 2005 at 19:05 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

Oseltamivir in the management of influenza.

Oseltamivir in the management of influenza. (info)
John Oxford
Expert Opin Pharmacother 6 (14), 2493-2500 (Nov 2005)
Posted by Declan to Tamiflu AvianFlu papers drugs on Wed Nov 02 2005 at 20:50 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

AsiaMedia :: CHINA: Beijing tightens control on media reports

Despite vow of openness, papers need permission to publish news of avian flu outbreaks, deaths

Posted by dymaxion at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

More wild bird monitoring...

...to be started in Indonesia after a pigeon tested positive for H5N1.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

Firm develops test to detect bird flu in humans - Reuters.uk

Firm develops test to detect bird flu in humans
Reuters.uk, UK - 2 hours ago
Quest said it has notified physicians and hospitals that it has begun to offer a gene-based screening test to identify the H5N1 strain of Influenza A virus ...
Avian Flu From Cats - Still Unlikely, Says FAB UKPets
all 4 related

Posted by dymaxion at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

Global meeting on the H5N1 virus, WHO, 7-9 November - Medical News Today (press release)

Global meeting on the H5N1 virus, WHO, 7-9 November
Medical News Today (press release), UK - 17 hours ago
A meeting entitled "The H5N1 Agenda: Towards a global strategy" will be held at the World Health Organization's (WHO) Geneva headquarters 7-9 November. ...
Rich nations urged to do more in fight against bird flu SciDev.net
all 2 related

Posted by dymaxion at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

Catching H5N1 "from the environment"

From The Nation, a Thai news source: Avian Flu: Victim "didn't have contact" with birds. This is in connection with Thailand's 20th confirmed cases of H5N1.

The woman who became the latest confirmed case of human bird-flu contracted the H5N1 virus from "the environment" rather than from infected birds, the Public Health Ministry said yesterday.

Dr Thawat Suntharachan, director-general of the ministry's Disease Control Department, said the 50-year-old woman was confirmed on Monday as the twentieth case of bird flu in Thailand since 2003. He said the victim was the eighth person to contract the virus without touching a dead chicken.

The seven previous cases were reported last year.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

Another suspected human case of H5N1 in Vietnam

I can't find the story on my Vietnamese links, but Xinhua reports that a woman in Hanoi has been hospitalized with suspected avian flu.

Vietnam has reported no new bird flu patients since late July, Vietnamese Deputy Health Minister Trinh Quan Huan said at press briefing on Wednesday. Up to 91 Vietnamese people have been infected with bird flu since the disease started to break out in the country in late 2003. Of them 41 have died.

Meanwhile, Thanh Nien News reports a Mekong Delta province is banning poultry farming outright until next year, while Vietnam's prime minister has banned raising, trading, and slaughtering poultry in urban areas.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

Bird-Flu, HIV and South AfricaSouth Africa

In this post I would really appreciate feedback for reasons that will become obvious as you read on.


If the increasing number of Press Conferences at the WHO is anything to go by, all things health are looking a bit dodgy thesedays. The main reason for the spike in health related stories in the news is the "Bird Flu Virus (H5N1)". The CDC in the US provides a good summary about this virus and why it is such a concern :


The H5N1 virus does not usually infect humans. In 1997. However, the first case of spread from a bird to a human was seen during an outbreak of bird flu in poultry in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region. The virus caused severe respiratory illness in 18 people, 6 of whom died. Since that time, there have been other cases of H5N1 infection among humans. Recent human cases of H5N1 infection that have occurred in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam have coincided with large H5N1 outbreaks in poultry. The World Health Organisation also has reported human cases in Indonesia. Most of these cases have occurred from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces; however, it is thought that a few cases of human-to-human spread of H5N1 have occurred.


So far, spread of H5N1 virus from person to person has been rare and has not continued beyond one person. However, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, scientists are concerned that the H5N1 virus one day could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another. Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. If the H5N1 virus were able to infect people and spread easily from person to person, an influenza pandemic (worldwide outbreak of disease) could begin. No one can predict when a pandemic might occur. However, experts from around the world are watching the H5N1 situation in Asia very closely and are preparing for the possibility that the virus may begin to spread more easily and widely from person to person.


Yeah okay, but why should this worry us? Well :


An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus appears or “emerges” in the human population, causes serious illness, and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide. Pandemics are different from seasonal outbreaks or “epidemics” of influenza. Seasonal outbreaks are caused by subtypes of influenza viruses that already circulate among people, whereas pandemic outbreaks are caused by new subtypes, by subtypes that have never circulated among people, or by subtypes that have not circulated among people for a long time. Past influenza pandemics have led to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss.


Some recent historical comparisons :



Currently the H5N1 strain has a mortality rate of over 50%. However, what makes it so deadly for Southern Africa is our high rate of HIV/Aids infection :


"Many of the problems faced by people infected with HIV results from the failure of the immune system to protect them from certain opportunistic infections"  


If this virus did evolve into an easily transmittable virus it could prove to be the "Grand Slam" of opportunistic infections. The majority of the people who have succumbed to the virus so far have been healthy - imagine the effect on a person with an already weakened immune system?  


So what do you all think, do we in SA need to worry more than other countries this thing makes its final evolutionary step? 


Posted by dymaxion at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Fighting Cocks Spreading Bird Flu in ThailandPensito Review

Losing battle: The illegal movement of infected poultry, especially fighting cocks and ducks, has helped spread the bird flu virus to seven provinces in Thailand, officials announced on Wednesday Nov, 2, 2005. In the latest outbreak of the H5N1 virus, which has killed 13 Thais, laboratory results confirmed the virus in chickens and pigeons in the [...]

Posted by dymaxion at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

American Public Health Association Welcomes National Strategy for Pandemic FluNews Unfiltered

"Following is a statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, APHA executive director, regarding the national strategy for pandemic flu:

"The American Public Health Association welcomes today's release of a national strategy for pandemic influenza. We live in an era during which new and re-emerging diseases, such as the H5N1 avian flu virus, could possibly threaten the health and lives of millions of Americans and tens of millions around the world. We must take the proper precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease. This plan is an important step in building our capacity to identify and respond to such a potential widespread public health emergency. We thank the administration for providing leadership on this important issue." [Read more]

Posted by dymaxion at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Cisne abatido na Croácia era portador do vírus H5N1Notícias Publico.PT

Ave da Hungria

O cisne com uma anilha da Hungria que foi abatido há oito dias na Croácia era portador do vírus H5N1, anunciou hoje o Ministério da Agricultura croata.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

The Great Avian Flu Scam - 2005Prairie Weather

WASHINGTON - President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion strategy Tuesday to prepare for the danger of a pandemic influenza outbreak, saying he wanted to stockpile enough vaccine to protect 20 million Americans against the current strain of bird flu. The president also said the United States must approve liability protection for the makers of lifesaving vaccines. He said the number of American vaccine manufacturers has plummeted because the industry has been hit with a flood of lawsuits.

Something wrong here.  Looks like a $7.1 billion strategy to enrich the pharmaceuticals and their shareholders with government funds... again.

Bush said no one knows when or where a deadly strain of flu will strike but "at some point we are likely to face another pandemic." The president, in a speech at the National Institutes of Health, said the United States must be prepared to detect outbreaks anywhere in the world, stockpile vaccines and anti-viral drugs and be ready to respond at the federal, state and local levels in the event a pandemic reaches the United States.

Even those scientists who have predicted an outbreak of a new flu strain sometime in the near future are scratching their heads at the hysteria and new spending.  Certainly, if you take a hard look at what Bush intends to do, you can't fail to notice that his proposals will a) once again reduce liability for huge corporations; b) put taxpayer money -- in the billions -- into corporate hands; c) raise the possibility of further US interventions in areas of the world where avian flu becomes the new "terrorism."

Bush outlined a strategy that would cost $7.1 billion including:

_$1.2 billion for the government to buy enough doses of the vaccine against the current strain of bird flu to protect 20 million Americans; the administration wants to have sufficient vaccine for front-line emergency personnel and at-risk populations, including military personnel;

Again, most scientists are saying that even if a vaccine can be developed and tested quickly, it would almost certainly require 2 vaccinations per person -- with a period of time between vaccinations -- to be effective.  So that's vaccine for 10,000,000 people.  None for you and me, that's for sure, even if it is needed.

_$1 billion to stockpile more anti-viral drugs that lessen the severity of the flu symptoms;

_$2.8 billion to speed the development of vaccines as new strains emerge, a process that now takes months;

That opens the door to more "emergency declarations" and more billions to "speed development" going to some of the Republican Party's biggest campaign contributors.

_$583 million for states and local governments to prepare emergency plans to respond to an outbreak.

Bush said a pandemic flu would be far more serious than the seasonal flu that makes hundreds of thousands of people sick ever year and sends people to their doctors for a flu shot. "I had mine," Bush said. Unlike seasonal flu, pandemic flu can kill people who are young and healthy as well as those who are frail and sick, he said. In asking Congress for money to buy vaccine, Bush said the vaccine "would not be a perfect match to the pandemic flu because the pandemic strain would probably differ somewhat from the avian flu virus it grew from. But a vaccine against the current avian flu virus would likely offer some protection against a pandemic strain and possibly save many lives in the first critical months of an outbreak."

Keep in mind that the current flu vaccine treats three strains of virus which circulate regularly from year to year and which treat a bug restricts itself to your respiratory system.  The avian flu starts in the lungs but is able to attack other organs and, frequently, the brain.  That's why it's potentially so lethal. 

BUT: The avian flu which is affecting birds now in different parts of the world has not mutated and become a threat to humans.  It could in time.  We certainly need to be prepared.   But we need to be careful that the benefits of preparation are for you and me and our families and friends and everyone who needs vaccine.  What we may be looking at here is more "windfall profits" in which the Bush administration has been instrumental in shaking the tree.

He also said the United States was increasing stockpiles of antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza. Such drugs cannot prevent people from catching the flu, but they can reduce the severity of the illness when taken within 48 hours of getting sick, he said.

Evidently Tamiflu is useful not only in respiratory flu but in that kind of viral infection which is able to travel to other parts of the body.  Relenza is not.  Both need, to be effective, additional drugs to increase their potency.

"At this moment there is no pandemic influenza in the United States or the world, but if history is our guide there's reason to be concerned," Bush said. "In the last century, our country and the world have been hit by three influenza pandemics, and viruses from birds contributed to all of them." He pointed out that the 1918 pandemic killed over a half million Americans and more than 20 million people across the globe. "One-third of the U.S. population was infected, and life expectancy in our country was reduced by 13 years. "The 1918 pandemic was followed by pandemics in 1957 and 1968, which killed tens of thousands of Americans and millions across the world," Bush said. Bird flu has been documented in Asia and has spread to Europe but has not reached the United States, the president said. "Our country has been given fair warning of this danger to our homeland and time to prepare," he said. Bush said the cornerstone of his strategy was to develop new technologies to produce new vaccines quickly. "If a pandemic strikes, our country must have a surge capacity in place that will allow us to bring a new vaccine online quickly and manufacture enough to immunize every American against the pandemic strain," Bush said. The principal goal of Bush's plan, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said, "is the capacity for every American to have a vaccine in the case of a pandemic, no matter what the virus is." "There is no reason to believe that in the next day or two or week or month that that's going to occur," Leavitt said on CBS's "The Early Show." But he added that "we do need to be ready in case it begins to mutate into a human transmissable disease." Pandemics strike when the easy-to-mutate influenza virus shifts to a strain that people have never experienced before, something that has happened three times in the last century. While it is impossible to say when the next super-flu will strike, concern is growing that the bird flu strain known as H5N1 could trigger one if it mutates to start spreading easily among people. Since 2003, at least 62 people in Southeast Asia have died from H5N1; most regularly handled poultry. The nation's strategy starts with attempting to spot an outbreak abroad early and working to contain it before it reaches the United States. Today, most of the world's vaccine against regular winter flu, including much of that used by Americans each flu season, is manufactured in factories in Britain and Europe. The government already has ordered $162.5 million worth of vaccine to be made and stockpiled against the Asian bird flu, more than half to be made in a U.S. factory. But the administration plan, to be released in more detail on Wednesday, calls for more than stockpiling shots. It will stress a new method of manufacturing flu vaccines — growing the virus to make them in easy-to-handle cell cultures instead of today's cumbersome process that uses millions of chicken eggs — as well as incentives for new U.S.-based vaccine factories to open. Such steps will take several years to implement, but the hope is that eventually they could allow production of enough vaccine to go around within six months of a pandemic's start.

I've been researching the flu vaccine distribution system for years, a system which even the CDC admits is antediluvian.  So I have no problem with improving that system, none whatsoever.  But what I think we're seeing here is yet another example of the Administration hopping on a bandwagon which guarantees their party a nice ride to larger campaign contributions and additional political power.

How do we test their sincerity?  Well, for starters by watching very carefully where the money goes.  We need to find out who in the Administration will profit from holdings in companies receiving any of the $7.1 billion, how the money is distributed, the extent to which "pandemic" is replacing "bin Laden" as a political tool.

NB:      The Diane Rehm show this morning was entirely about the "U.S. Strategy for Flu Pandemic."  I heard only about 5 minutes of the show -- enough to recommend it.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Bush bird flu plan includes windfall for pharmaceuticals giantsSF Bay Area Indymedia

It is also being exposed as a thinly disguised gift to US pharmaceutical companies that stand to profit handsomely from the production of vaccines and treatments for the bird flu under the administration’s plan, while avoiding liability for damages resulting from their operations.

Bush unveiled the “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza” in a speech Tuesday to doctors, scientists and members of Congress at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Utilizing the phraseology common since the 9/11 terror attacks, Bush described the threat of the bird flu as “a danger to our homeland,” and urged Congress to fund his proposal.

The threat of a worldwide outbreak of avian flu is genuine. The H5N1 strain of the virus has already infected 122 people and killed 62 in four countries—Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia—and has contaminated poultry flocks across wide stretches of Asia and into Europe.

While up to now most human victims appear to have been infected directly from birds, the danger is that the deadly virus could mutate into a form easily transmittable between humans. A recent Science magazine article stated that according to expert opinion the odds of an eventual global outbreak are “100 percent,” posing a danger to millions of lives.

Critics have decried Bush’s “crash program” as too little, too late. Dr. Allan Rosenfield, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, told Reuters, “It should have happened five years ago.” To put the $7.1 billion figure into perspective, it is close to the amount spent by the US in a month on the war in Iraq. It is also less than the $8-billion flu preparedness plan passed recently by the Senate.

It is also a fraction of the $70 billion in additional tax cuts for the wealthy that Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress are preparing to enact.

The Bush administration’s “National Strategy” to fight an avian flu pandemic is not only woefully inadequate, but promises windfall profits to the giant pharmaceutical interests while leaving cash-strapped state and local authorities financially responsible for implementing large portions of the plan.

Read More

Posted by dymaxion at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Betting on Bird FluAvian Flu Watch Photo Pool

Quiplashr has added a photo to the pool:

Betting on Bird Flu

A punter's guide to the pandemic

November 2, 2005

LIKE to bet on something more serious than the Melbourne Cup? At www.intrade.com you can bet on when bird flu will reach the United States. Disturbingly, the betting points to a 25 per cent chance that bird flu will hit the US some time this year and a 50 per cent chance it will hit early next year. Even more disturbing is that these markets have a history of being right.

In the US, betting markets accurately predict everything from election results to the weather. In recent elections they have predicted the winning margin of both Democrat and Republican candidates to within 1.5 per cent. In Australia's last election the punters at Centrebet put five times as much money on the Coalition as on Labor. They were right. The press and the opinion polls were saying the election would be close.

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki outlines one of the early successes of betting markets. In May 1968 the US submarine Scorpion disappeared at sea. It could have been anywhere in a region 32 kilometres wide.

Instead of asking one or two experts where they thought it was, the chief naval officer assembled a large group of specialists in all sorts of fields and asked each of them to guess the location. The prize was a bottle of Scotch.

Using mathematics to put the guesses together he came up with a spot just metres from where the ship was found. Intriguingly, it wasn't a location identified by any of the experts on their own.

What we really need right now is a market for betting on when, or if, bird flu moves between humans. We know that it sweeps through chickens and that it can jump to humans who handle them, although so far not easily - only about 120 people appear to have caught it, all of them in Asia. But the death rate among these people has been high, about 50 per cent.

Some of them may have already passed it on to other humans. Dick Thompson, from the World Health Organisation, has told the SBS Insight program that there have probably been a handful of limited transmissions in which the virus has moved from one person to another and then stopped. It hasn't yet continued to move on.

The Canadian economist Dr Sherry Cooper, of Harris Bank, has spoken to the world's leading bird flu experts and concluded that its spread among humans is just a matter of time. She quotes them saying that the virus "will learn to do it".

Her report is entitled Don't Fear Fear or Panic Panic. She says for perhaps the first time in history we are watching a global pandemic "unfold in slow motion".

There is a slim chance that we might be able to smother it before it develops. She says there is a 20- to 30-day window in which a huge application of antiviral drugs at the site of an outbreak might slow or stop it from spreading. But that will require international co-ordination on a scale rarely, if ever, seen.

If the disease does spread to humans and go global there will be an unknowable number of deaths. Martin Meltzer draws up the forecasts at the US Centres for Disease Control. He says the point isn't the exact number. "The point is: imagine a lot of people ill in a very short space of time. More than you've ever seen."

The task facing economists is to try to work out how such an upheaval would change things.

Cooper says it would fill all our hospitals and there would be nowhere to take the overflow. In a localised crisis victims can be ferried to hospitals in other towns and health-care workers can be brought in from interstate. But in a pandemic there are no healthy towns to draw beds or nurses from.

As well, the so-called H5N1 bird flu virus is thought most likely to kill or hospitalise those people with the strongest immune systems - typically those aged between 20 and 40. This unusual feature would see it disproportionately remove from the workforce our most productive workers.

The Treasurer is already worried about this sort of effect because of the ageing of the population. A pandemic would bring it forward, worldwide.

Unemployment, as measured, would fall further. Any worker who remained able-bodied would be in big demand and able to command a higher wage. It would be hard for employers to fill shortages with workers from overseas. Fewer 20- to 40-year-olds would mean fewer pregnancies and fewer new workers for decades to come. There would be less demand for houses. Property prices would fall.

Petrol prices would fall as well. With many of us too infectious to go to work and with schools quite probably closed there would be few reasons to drive a car. Coffee shops, restaurants, cinemas and airports would be particularly poorly patronised until the pandemic passed.

Other prices would soar. Among the items swept off the shelves would be face masks, rubber gloves and cans of baked beans as people rushed to stock up on news of the pandemic beginning.

News would become more important with so many of us stuck at home. But it would be news delivered by computers and radio and TV. Few of us are likely to pop down to the shop to buy a newspaper.

A radically different world awaits us if bird flu does begin to spread among humans, and it is entirely possible it will. It's little wonder the punters are interested.

Peter Martin is the economics correspondent for SBS television. Ross Gittins is on leave.

More pictures, articles and links at the Avian Flu Watch group.

Educate yourself. Prepare yourself. There's still time.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)


... 【医学】インフルエンザワクチンを短期間で作る手法を開発=東大  人類が免疫を持たない新型インフルエンザやH5N1型の高病原性鳥インフルエンザに対する ワクチンを、従来より短期間で作るのに役立つ手法を、東大医科学研究所の河岡義裕教授らの グループが開発した。  ワクチンのもとになるウイルス(ワクチン株)を、従来の約1000倍の効率で合成する技術で、 10月31日付の米科学アカデミー紀要に...、薬剤で不活化するなどして 製造する。しかしH5N1型のように毒性が強いウイルスを株として使うと、卵が死んでしまう。  このため、試験管内で遺伝子からウイルスを合成する「リバースジェネティクス」法で、 ...

News Scrap from 2ch Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)


...   一位在越南公干的马来西亚人住进了河内白梅医院,后来又转到香港一家医院。医生们束手无策,他很快死去。其样本被送到世界卫生组织的全球流感检测网络,检测结果令人震惊:患者感染了H5N1型禽流感病毒而且是一种发生了变异的H5N1病毒。   他并不是感染变种H5N1病毒的第一人。早在三个月前,越南、柬埔寨等地的乡村至少有数百人也感染上了这种病毒,但由于监测体系不完善,绝大多数病例没有被卫生当局及时发现...,他却闭口不讲SARS,而是大谈特谈禽流感的威胁。   管轶经历过1997年的香港禽流感危机,深知禽流感的危害。那是H5N1禽流感病毒第一次在人类爆发,香港共有18人染病,6人死亡。   与8年前相比 ...

Chinese Science Outpost 风讯台 Technorati this

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How a disease can change the world

... Considered the biggest direct disease threat to humanity, H5N1 changes quickly and has... from H5N1; in the worst-case scenario, as many as 150 million people could die. Scientists have come up with an explanation as to why viruses thrive in winters. According to them, the H5N1 virus ...

Biopeer Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2005

Hyundai Heavy Industries Equips Employees Homes with Solar Power

The world's leading shipbuilder plans to install solar energy systems in about 100 houses by year end.

From EVWorldwire (feed)
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Posted by dymaxion at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Xantrex announces US $12 million wind converter order from Clipper Windpower for 2006

Xantrex Technology Inc. (XTX.TO) received an order for wind converters valued at $12M from Clipper Windpower Technology Inc. of Carpinteria, CA for delivery in 2006. This order exceeds the framework agreement announced on September 15, 2005 for approximately $10 million over two years. These Xantrex converters will be used in Clipper's new 2.5 megawatt Liberty wind turbine. [ more ]

I spent sometime talking with the people at the Xantrex booth at the recent solar conference and they have a firm commitment to the Alternative energy marketplace. They have also started a concentrated effort to release new products into the marketplace and they are proving it with a steady stream of new press releases. I have been using one of their power inverters for some time in my car to power various electronic devices and the products are high quality and work well.

My main problem with the company is its difficult to purchase shares of the company in the US since they only trade in Toronto. People that I have spoken with at the company state they currently have no plans to move to a US exchange. Xantrex is a company I want to own for a long term hold. The stock is very attractive under the $6 (CDN) level and has some near term support at $5 (CDN). I make all my stock transactions online and a purchase of a foreign stock requires that I would have to call in the purchase order which usually doesn't give you the flexibility to toy with your buy limit orders. This also means the transaction costs are going to be much higher for me. But I do believe owning this company in the future may be worth the inconvenience and extra costs.

From Alternative Energy Stocks (feed)
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Posted by dymaxion at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

Future Tech: Energy - solar collectors in space

Conference: Future Tech

Discussion of coming technologies.

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Posted by dymaxion at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough

Scientists have invented a plastic solar cell that can turn the sun's power into electrical energy, even on a cloudy day.

The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the first solar cells able to harness the sun's invisible, infrared rays. The breakthrough has led theorists to predict that plastic solar cells could one day become five times more efficient than current solar cell technology.

Like paint, the composite can be sprayed onto other materials and used as portable electricity. A sweater coated in the material could power a cell phone or other wireless devices. A hydrogen-powered car painted with the film could potentially convert enough energy into electricity to continually recharge the car's battery.

The researchers envision that one day "solar farms" consisting of the plastic material could be rolled across deserts to generate enough clean energy to supply the entire planet's power needs.

"The sun that reaches the Earth's surface delivers 10,000 times more energy than we consume," said Ted Sargent, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Toronto. Sargent is one of the inventors of the new plastic material.

"If we could cover 0.1 percent of the Earth's surface with [very efficient] large-area solar cells," he said, "we could in principle replace all of our energy habits with a source of power which is clean and renewable."

Infrared Power

Plastic solar cells are not new. But existing materials are only able to harness the sun's visible light. While half of the sun's power lies in the visible spectrum, the other half lies in the infrared spectrum.

The new material is the first plastic composite that is able to harness the infrared portion.

"Everything that's warm gives off some heat. Even people and animals give off heat," Sargent said. "So there actually is some power remaining in the infrared [spectrum], even when it appears to us to be dark outside."

The researchers combined specially designed nano particles called quantum dots with a polymer to make the plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.

With further advances, the new plastic "could allow up to 30 percent of the sun's radiant energy to be harnessed, compared to 6 percent in today's best plastic solar cells," said Peter Peumans, a Stanford University electrical engineering professor, who studied the work.


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Posted by dymaxion at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Nanotechnology Pushing The Boundaries

Harnessing solar energy. and ends with a summary on what it is all likely to lead up to:. The continued development of nanobiotechnology materials and molecular machines will deepen our understanding of seemingly intractable phenomena. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

The Sunball

WorldChanging has a post on Australian company "Green and Gold Energy"'s SunBall which looks like something every home should have in the back yard. The Sunball, a "solar appliance" due out in mid-2006, is an example of something I ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)


... which scientists believe could lead to a process that extracts hydrogen directly from water using only solar energy. ... By using a solar battery for longer wavelength light, Ohkawa expects efficiency to reach 40 percent." ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Dirty silicon could pave way for cheaper solar energy

... an advance that could dramatically reduce the cost of solar cells. Nearly 90 percent of solar, or photovoltaic, cells in the world are made from a ... The growth of the semiconductor and solar cell industries has put increasing ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

Finland: Investments in solar energy heating worthwhile - eFinland

Finland: Investments in solar energy heating worthwhile
eFinland, Finland - Nov 1, 2005
Helsinki, 1 November, 2005 — According to a study by Senewa, the use of solar energy could save 21% of the heating costs of a one-family house in Finland. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

Fear of inflation and oil hikes

In Italy, use is made of solar energy and surplus domestic production of electricity is plugged into the national grid for others to use for a rebate in costs of electricity for

Posted by dymaxion at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Soldius1, The World's First

put it in direct sunlight and solar energy flows into the iPod. "The Soldius1 is the world's first portable solar power plant and ideally suited for iPods and mobile phone users

Posted by dymaxion at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)