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Mark Piazzalunga

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Everything posted by Mark Piazzalunga

  1. On Saturday March 29th at 8:30pm, millions of people across the world are switching off lights for one hour - to celebrate their commitment to the planet. This is definition of the Earth Hour, the biggest event against climate change in history launched in 2007 and organized by WWF. In a few hours the world will be darker but millions of people will be happy to fight against a phenomenon that is starting to change our daily lives. Bacteria that are coming from the melting of the ices, high pollution that kills seven millions people a year (for more details go to the news section). These aren't
  2. In 25 years oil comapnies didn't learn that countinuing to pay the damages isn't the solution. They should learn to prevent these disasters. From 25 years to now there have been so many oil spills (like Deepwater Horizon) and in these days in Galveston Bay Texas 168,000 gallons of oil spilled causing damages to the environment. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/25/us/texas-port-houston-oil-spill/index.html
  3. A sad truth. $553 billion to the Department of Defense and $30 billion to the Department of Energy. These numbers tell us all.
  4. In the previous post I mentioned space-based solar power (if you prefer SBSP) as the future of photovoltaic. Does it seem too fictional? DOE (Department of Energy) thinks it's not. The first time space-based solar power was mentioned was in a novel of Isaac Asimov. Now it has become a possible alternative for the future. Let's hear what DOE has to say: every hour, more solar energy reaches the Earth than humans use in an entire year and 30% of energy is reflected back into space. Solar panels collect a high intensity uninterrupted solar radiation, thanks to huge mirrors they reflect it to t
  5. You're totally right. The daily individual actions of people for environmental protection are important but also companies with large capital have to make big sacrifices that can be great investments in the future.
  6. California will be the first state to impose a "carbon tax" directly at the fuel pump to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Democratic California declared war to greenhouse gas emissions, from power generators to oil refineries to autovehicles. An impopular move of course, considering how much Americans loves taxes. The lawmaker in question told on Feb. 20 that higher prices discourage demand decreasing pollution and slowing climate change. Many voices raised against the tax. "It's not fair to force drivers to pay and let oil companies off the hook". This is the critic of a Senator. California's
  7. We live in a world where renewable energy is taking place and the kind of energy won't be the only thing to change. In a few years we will face the necessity of a new, modern and efficient global energy system, i.e. a structure including: I. Searching of energy sources. The search of sources such as oil, natural gas and coal will reduce through the years since the search of renewable sources (solar, wind, hydro) will be integrated in the proper power plant. This is one of the great advantages of renewables; fortunately we don't have to extract wind and bring it to a power plant. II. Prod
  8. In the past months one of the most popular topics in Europe and America was the weather (especially the bad weather). Part of this climate condition was Polar Vortex: a phenomenon that hit on the USA caused the death of many people and billions of dollars of damages (five according to The Guardian). It led at least a dozen of Governors to declare a state of emergency and forced some of the world's top airports to shut down for some weeks. The Polar Vortex has brought to the lowest temperatures of history and also brought snow in southern States. It's hilarious, and dramatic too, that some peop
  9. One of the major accusations against the environmentalists is to be too much repetitive about a thesis so to become extremely boring. Therefore, let the photo speaks. From the image we can clearly see a desert landscape, like a Far West scenario. It’s California. This image depicts a devastating calamity, California’s drought. It’s a tragic consequence of the weather, “we can’t control it” said the Govern of California Jerry Brown. All we can do is face its consequences. 38 millions of people live in California and they need water and also agriculture do need it. The Metropolitan Water D
  10. In the past few years, in the area between the States of Colorado, North and South Dakota and Wyoming, there was a peak of extraction and production of oil and gas. The lack of pipelines and energy infrastructures led to an increase of rail use to transport crude oil to the refineries, from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to 400,000 this year. Today 10% of total crude oil production is shipped by rail. But a series of accidents (like Quebec, North Dakota or Alabama, where 47 people died) which killed dozens of people led to many questions about the regulation on these shipments. Here’s now an intere
  11. The spill of about 7,500 gallons of a chemical substance from a cistern has polluted the Elk River in West Virginia, forcing 300,000 residents of nine counties not to use tap water for drinking, cooking or bathing since Jan. 9. The chemical material, used in coal processing, came out from a tank of the Freedom Industries Inc. complex, near the river. Freedom Industries president apologized for the spill said the company is working with state and federal officials. The operations to clean up the water of the river Elk Meanwhile go on, and the purification plant near the spill showed only sma
  12. Can we be afraid by energy? Just think to some of the tremendous consequences that energy can bring to. The fear caused by these consequences leads to a fear for energy itself. It’s impressive how energy can fascinates some people and completely disinterests others while it can divide people creating debates. Interest, fear, fascination, even skepticism and indifference are feelings caused by energy. It isn’t a soap opera, it’s a remarkable fact and is determinant for the global energy system. It seems strange but it was fear and distrust that convinced many people of different countries to
  13. Biofuels are a controversial topic because of the conflict between two fronts (obviously pros and cons) that booth have valid points. The pros are many: the reduced cost and environmental impact compared to oil (85% of GHG emissions less) and their high availability (biofuels are considered renewable sources).the cons aren’t less: the environmental impact, reduced but still too high and the environmental consequences related to biofuels production. Actually there are two generations of biofuels: the first involves bioalcohols, biodiesels, vegetable oil… they’re the most utilized and the mor
  14. In our daily life we don’t pay much attention to the essential role that energy sources have. Every time we stop to a gas station we don’t think how oil is important (or someone does). In the lives of some of us energy is more important or have more consideration but we don’t spend an entire day thinking to energy or how our lives could change without it. It could be a positive thing to think to these questions just for a moment. It’s necessary to ask ourselves what will be the energy of the future. Will it have complications? Will our lives change? Will we notice that? Proceeding in order:
  15. Green politics isn’t a priority in these tough times of economic crisis and it seems too useless to the most important purpose: defeating the same crisis. On the contrary, it’s an objective fact that green politics is a way to path to reach this purpose. In 2013 jobs related to renewable plants sector are 700,000 and if the number of plants increases so also jobs will. Green politics mustn’t be a green parties’ battle ‘cause with the right financial support it could be an apolitical system to reduce the level of economic difficulties. Green politics can’t be an ideology belonging exclusivel
  16. Besides the “traditional” renewable energies (solar power, wind, hydro and geothermal) other technologies are currently under development, among these there are artificial photosynthesis (exposed in the previous article), marine energy (which includes wave and tidal power), CPV (concentrated photovoltaic) and cellulosic ethanol (many companies such as Abengoa, Mascoma and BlueFire Renewables have invested significant amounts of money in this sector with the conviction that cellulosic ethanol will be a good investment for the future). Why should we develop new technologies, still uncertain a
  17. I totally agree with you. Some companies, like Microsoft, Apple and Google, invested in renewable energy but we need more and sooner. Renewable energy seems too much expensive to the investitors but in the future its cost will decrease and in the meanwhile fossil fuels cost will increase because of the limitation of the reserves.
  18. The project started a few months ago but if DOE and Stanford Univerisity support this process it means it's a viable alternative.
  19. Artificial photosynthesis is an innovative process for the production of biofuels. As we know natural photosynthesis converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen while artificial photosynthesis replicates this natural process to produce solar fuels, such as hydrogen. What are the advantages of solar fuels? A solar fuel can be produced and stored for later usage, when sunlight is not available, making it an alternative to fossil fuels, which in the future can become reason of geopolitical conflicts because of the limitation of fossil fuels reserves. From the
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