Infrastructure

2006 was something of a banner year for both beekeepers and growers. A high fraction of beekeepers experienced better than 50% losses. Many growers could not rent bees at any price. Lots of almond groves in California went without pollination that year, and, as with many species of nuts, if the pollen isn’t carried over […]

In October, 2012, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, as reported in the NY Times, here, “pledged $400 million to build two housing complexes, rehabilitate three main roads and create a prosthetic center, among other projects” in Gaza. The $400 Million could have built 133 MW of offshore wind or 100 MW of […]

A sultry day was in the offing near Purnell OK, the seat of McCurtain County in the state’s southeast quadrant, just a dozen miles northwest from the triple point where Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma meet. One hundred forty miles northeast, the National Weather Service Doppler radar station KSRX at Ft. Smith Arkansas, was monitoring a […]

People paid to worry about the North American power grid regard geomagnetic storms as “high impact, low-frequency” events, spawning the inevitable acronym: HILF. Low frequency, in that a geomagnetic storm as intense as May 1921, at 5,000 nano-Teslas/minute, or the 1859 Carrington Event, best guess: 7,500 nano-Teslas/minute, might not happen in our lifetimes, the lifetimes […]

Coronal Mass Ejections are mainly charged particles, protons and electrons. When a CME arrives at Earth, the charged protons and electrons come under the influence of the Earth’s own magnetic field, the magnetosphere. Charged particles spin around the lines of magnetic force that comprise the magnetosphere, which diverts most of CME harmlessly around the planet, […]

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hurled nearly one billion tons of charged particles from the sun’s corona at an outward velocity of one million miles per hour – 270 miles per second. In less than a half hour, 2,700 virtual Empire State Buildings, 340,000 tons apiece – give or take a […]

Nearly a quarter century ago, on March 13, 1989,  a geomagnetic storm led to the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec electrical grid system, which furnishes power to much of the province of Quebec, Canada. So pervasive were abnormal currents, that protective circuit breakers tripped throughout the system, bringing the entire grid to a halt in about one […]

Hurricane Sandy, the 1,000 mile diameter storm brought rain, wind, water and power failures to 10.4 million from North Carolina up to Maine, and west to Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan in the USA and another 145,000 people in Canada, over 1.5 million people. As NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, here, “We have old infrastructure and […]

If you don’t invest in infrastructure, it fails. Remember New Orleans and Katrina? These pictures were not taken in New Orleans, Baghdad, Iraq, Falujah, Iraq,  Hama, Syria or Afghanistan. They were not taken in Gaza,  Sudan, recently, Sarajevo in the 1990s, or Dresden, London Hiroshima, or Nagasaki, after WW II. They were taken in New […]

I met Senator John Kerry at the Harvey Nash Inc. Leadership Breakfast at the Plaza Hotel in NYC on Friday, March 2, 2012. He spoke unequivocally about infrastructure, energy, mass transit, and foreign policy, saying, We need to invest in our infrastructure. The people who talk the loudest about ‘American Exceptionalism’ are destroying America. Sending […]

While Chinese subsidies of their solar energy industry have decimated the manufacturing base of the American solar industry, solar energy continues to expand across the country. What if we stimulated the solar industry with a public works program? What if we decided to deploy a 40 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array on each of the approximately […]

New Jersey taxpayers could net $36.9 million per year, $369 million over 10 years, with the installation of 152.5 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity systems on public schools, community colleges, and each of the public universities in the state. The systems would pay for themselves within the first 8 years. At 2010 values […]

The L.A. Times has excellent coverage and a brilliant infographic by Lorraine Wang, explaining how aging drainage pipes caused the sinkhole. Article by Francisco Vara-Orta and Andrew Blankstein; Lorraine Wang’s infographic.