Archive for November 2011
In The Stand, one of Stephen King’s early (and imo best) novels a nuclear power plant becomes a central part of the action, and indeed is instrumental in keeping the world from descending into barbarism.
It sort of makes the point that, as The Police say, “When the world is running down/You make the best of what’s still around.” There is something to be said for the role of nuclear power as part of the modern-day, post-carbon-based fuel energy mix.
But a revised and updated version of the Sierra’s Club‘s classic Nukespeak throws some needed clear thinking about the inherent dangers of nuclear energy and concludes, as the first edition did, that it’s not really worth the risk.
Nearly 30 years ago, in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the first edition of Nukespeak from Sierra Club Books was published and immediately framed public debate on the immense risks of nuclear technology.
The extensively revised and updated edition promises to continue that debate, especially in the aftermath of the March earthquake and tsunami that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
According to the Club, the original 1982 edition broke through the “linguistic filter of the nuclear mindset,” by documenting how nuclear developers confused their hopes—remember the dream of energy too cheap to meter?—with reality, covered up damaging information, harassed and dismissed scientists who disagreed with official policy, and generated false or misleading statistics to bolster their assertions about the benefits and safety of nuclear power. Read the rest of this entry »
Shipping lines, shipbuilders, banks, insurers and shippers are joining forces on a major sustainability initiative that’s “designed to help the industry make long-term plans for future success.”
They call it the Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Vision 2040. They even assert that “radical changes” are needed to make the global shipping industry more energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable for the long haul.
- Ship owners, charterers and operators: BP Shipping, Bunge, Cargill, Carnival Corporation, China Navigation Company, Gearbulk, Maersk Line, Rio Tinto Marine and Tsakos Energy Navigation.
- Shipbuilders, engineers and service providers: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering; Wärtsilä.
- Banks and insurers: ABN Amro, RSA.
- Classification society (which set technical standards): Lloyd’s Register
- Representing shipping customers: Unilever Read the rest of this entry »
Containerization revolutionized the maritime freight transportation industry more than 50 years ago; those ubiquitous 20- and 40-foot steel intermodal boxes seen in ports and on truck and rail chassis have made cargo handling faster, easier, safer and more efficient.
The next revolutionary phase of containerization might well reside in the vertical folding container from Staxxon Technologies, a clever solution to the old trade imbalance problem of moving and repositioning empty containers from where the freight isn’t to where the freight is. Read the rest of this entry »