Posts Tagged With: moving forward

WE ARE PHYSICIANS TO A DYING PLANET

DSC08216 (Copy)During the 1970’s, Wallace Broecker, of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, began warning anyone who would listen about the dangerous buildup of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. Thirty years later we are witness to a dying planet as we know it. Losing great mammals like elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, tigers, polar bears, monkeys, gorillas, whales, oceans, coral, sand. We lose millions of small populations of plants and insects. We’ve lost billions of birds, dangerous numbers of amphibians, lizards and frogs. The rates of loss in every country is accelerating.

In Broecker’s day, developers began working on a scrubber, a unit 10 feet by 50 feet that can scrub carbon from the air. It would then have to be piped underground beneath the saline layers and stored.  “Better yet, a way must be found to turn carbon dioxide into a mineral without using a lot of energy to do it,” Broecker said. Gas seeping out and escaping into the atmosphere is one of the factors holding the technology back.

Fast forward to 2007.  An international team of scientists has investigated how basaltic rocks in Iceland’s geothermal fields can naturally store C02. Dubbed the CarbFix project.  The researchers have happened upon a method of stowing carbon away that can fast-track the mineralization of CO2.  Researchers have come up with a technique that promises to turn the gas into a solid within two years,  a drastically shorter time frame than the centuries or millennia the current scientific consensus suggests.

The team at Reykjavik Energy’s Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, where the original study took place, says up to 5,000 tons (4,535 tonnes) of CO2 are now being stowed away each year.

What really surprised the researchers was not just how much of the CO2 was converted, but how quickly all of this happened. Through observations  researchers found that more than 95 percent of the CO2 had formed into solid carbonate minerals within just two years.

International Energy Agency describes this method of carbon capture as a “critical component” in combating climate change.

Five thousand tons sounds like a lot, but it is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the billions of metric tons emitted globally each year. The good news is that basalt rock is present beneath the Earth’s surface more than any other rock. It’s not so common on land, with only around 10 percent of the continents made up of basalt, but almost all the ocean floors contain the material. So while it won’t be simple, replicating the process in other locations is a real possibility.

Of course, the best way to stop climate change from wreaking havoc on our planet, is to remove CO2 spewing cars, cows, factories, fossil fuels, gas and coal, that produce CO2 gas.

All necessary technological components are available and in use in various areas, but carbon sequestration is yet to be applied on a scale that would make any meaningful difference to global carbon emissions.

It is up to us and our government to set things in  motion. We must get the word out by reporting to all the agencies fighting climate change, including our Senators and Representatives at all local and national levels. Change always takes place from the people up. We can’t wait for government to do it all. We must push them to do it by complaining loudly.

The Reykjavik team’s research was published in the journal Science.

Groups you may want to know about:  Earth Justice, Natural Resources Defense Council,  Air and Water Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Fund, Wilderness Society, FSEEE, National Park Trust, Friends of the River.  There are hundreds of groups that are active on environmental issues.

 

 

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ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF’S ARCHIVE ASSOCIATION

Law enforcement museums and archives are scarce. There have been laws of secrecy surrounding police activities that have changed. Not what you think. Secrecy by law for inmate privacy, for instance. No pictures of inmates could be published, nor any broad information about officers who feared retaliation from former inmates was published. In fact, when Gleason was sheriff, his edict was if an officer (not during a criminal event) made the newspapers, it was a fire-able offense. Near the end of his term, Gleason relaxed that rule.

Rules about records are still in place.  They are saved for about 30 years or so and tossed. That is history tossed. When ACSAA first organized, in 1989, no police museums open to the public existed in the State of California and very few in the United States.  The only histories were in private corners of a department, or in local historical society records, all of which brings me to a major reorganization of the ACSAA. We are a non-profit, volunteer organization, but under Sheriff Greg Ahern, we are being recognized and appreciated like never  before. And, here are the new organizers.

IMG_2730 (Copy)Dale Toussaint, on the left with Pat Adams. Dale was the guy who took over. He joined the National Organization of Archivists and is learning how to handle archival written material, artifacts and how to assession material professionally. On Wednesday, he held the first recruitment/organizational meeting.

IMG_2728 (Copy)Mike Rores and Frank Buschhueter

IMG_2737 (Copy)Tim Ostlund, Frank Silva and Patty Stinson. Patty Stinson is unique because she is the oldest women to pass the Academy as a deputy,  plus she is an artist and produced three giant murals for the Office of Emergency Services at the Santa Rita Base, which I will blog later.

IMG_2731 (Copy)Chris Ostlund and Ralph Striker.IMG_2733 (Copy)Patty with Dwane Montes.

IMG_2738 (Copy)Bill Gordillo with Mike Rores.

IMG_2748 (Copy)Jesus Ureste.

IMG_2736 (Copy)Bud Harlan with Dwane Montes. Bud is the only volunteer from the old days when I ran the archive.  He has been a great contributor and a steady presence at the archive. For myself, I feel my greatest contribution has been the interviews I’ve done recording experiences in the department as it changed over the generations. During the seven plus years I’ve been on the road with Jim, I still managed an interview or two a year. I hope to continue that practice. In fact I was given the names of Jim Wilson, 84 years, and Bud Garrigan as two must interviews. On my own personal list I have Bud Harlan, and one of the original volunteers, Jim Rasche.

As I get to know people, I hope to continue interviews when I can. More on my two-day trek to the Bay Area tomorrow.  (I hope I got everyone’s name right. If not, please correct me.)

 

 

 

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