Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 1st, 2010

It is a fact: Major devastating solar winds in 2012; (Jan. 1st, 2010)

A nasty solar eruption (winds) is predicted on September 22, 2012 at midnight. Scientists at NASA published a report warning of high volume sun flare up.  This flare up is not your run of the mill gorgeous aurora borealis in the Arctic. The sun will eject one billion tons of plasma of particles (ions and electrons) that will grill all electrical infrastructure and electrical machines in the northern hemisphere, if no precautions are programmed.

When solar winds come in contact with earth magnetic field, a major catastrophe sets in.  This solar eruption will be witnessed around the equinoxes (periods when the center of the sun faces directly the equator). Mind you that the sun is far hotter and much more active than it was a million years ago.

At the onset of the solar wind, State governments will enjoy a window of opportunity to shut down all electrical power sources and facilities.  The main decision is to prepare for the worst case scenario: the winds might last for over two weeks and potable water should be available for the duration of the eruption.  People living in high-rise buildings should be accommodated in makeshift camps for the period of the cataclysm, because potable water cannot be pumped up electrically.

In case no emergency policies are planned then, what are the effects after electrical power goes dead? Potable water is the major immediate problem, since most potable water is purified electrically and distributed electrically in urban centers. Citizens will have to survive for at least a year, before electrical infrastructure and electrical equipments are renewed and fabricated.  Urban people will try to relocate to regions enjoying clean potable water sources (which are becoming rare almost anywhere, even in Africa).

This “Sun winds” phenomenon occurred in 1859 (Carrington eruption) and lasted for 8 days; telegraph services were disrupted.  Luckily, potable water and clean water sources were intact at the time.  Thus, no transport relying on electricity in any part of it will function.  Hospital will have to replace their generators after the solar wind episode; unless tight enclosures that are magnetic field proof are constructed.  Mostly, modern health providing facilities will be at an end.  Pharmaceutical industry will stop producing vital medicines for an entire year or as generators and infrastructure are renewed.

The most worrisome problem is nuclear power plants that are cooled by water.  If cooling water is not flowing adequately by other mechanisms than electricity then what could happen? A chain meltdown around the world.

Another problem is that the main decision makers might not be credible or considered legitimate enough; thus, waiting till the onset of the flare up may cause serious political difficulties in addition to technical difficulties that may prevent many States and private providers from shutting down in a timely manner. It would be much preferable to shut down power ahead of prediction and consider the order as an emergency exercise.

What do you think technology can offer to resolve the consequences of this solar wind hazard? In the meantime, diseases will spread; rats and roaches will invade urban centers in broad day light. Time to get used to eating rats, but how to finding potable water?

Best to be prepared for worst case scenarios since sun winds can be predicted ahead of time and start thinking of alternative technologies for pumping and purifying water.

Certified B; (Jan. 1st, 2010)

Here you have three “entrepreneurs” who were acquainted at the University of Stanford launching a certification procedure in 2006.  This start up organization was funded for its first 30 months by the Rockefeller Foundation; the idea is to prepared a questionnaire of about 200 questions (obviously, aided by “certified” expert companies) that interested companies willing to submit to the audit and respond to the questionnaire will be issued a “B” grade for benefits as virtuous and transparent enterprises.  The certification is rendered according to five criteria:

First, the enterprise has to explicitly integrate “social performance” (impact on local community, employees, clients, and out sources) in its mission declaration.

Second, it has to explicitly integrate “environmental performance” (ecological building, renewable energies) in its mission.

Third, it has to share financial information with employees (obviously, except individual salary).

Fourth, it has to divulge the proportion of high ranking cadres that is being evaluated routinely in function of objectives related to social and environmental performance.

Fifth, it has to be totally transparent on all political contributions and expenses for lobbying interest groups.

The interested enterprise has to include in its statutory documents recognition of its responsibilities.  The enterprise will cough up one dollar for each $1,000 on its net profit as expense for the certification up to $25,000.  Any company making $ 3 million per year in profit will be willing to pay $3,000 to “green-wash” its image: most companies pay a lot on green propaganda since the trend awareness is “ecologically correct”.  The main barrier is for the organization to be passionate and motivated to make sure that investment on ads by B enterprise is not higher than money spent on program with tangible results.

What other advantages B enterprises get for being certified? The municipal council of Philadelphia has officially recognized the mark B and is offering $4,000 of tax free credit for each B company. It is assumed that environmentally minded investors who care for social and environmental impacts will give priority to B enterprises!  Actually, it is the extended network of socially and environmentally minded companies that prefer to do business with like minded enterprises that is the most profitable for being certified B.

So far, 240 firms have signed up in 28 States for a total of $7 billion in sales. What are the stats? 72% of the B enterprises use renewable energies; 50% gave incentives to employees to commuting in public transports; 44% engaged in systems of employee’s shareholding.

The certifying organization hired 12 employees across the USA to do “random” audits: every two years, a B enterprise has to ask to renew its certification, a pay for certification renewal even if it was not audited.  This is how certification organization make money: they get paid for doing nothing after the first issuing of certification for many years until it is discredited for fraud. The B certification organization is currently working on a budget of $1.5 million and growing exponentially.

This mania of widespread certification organizations is gold mine: now and then, a few “accredited” members in every discipline or syndicate make waves on the ground that “performance” (ethics, standard of knowledge, training, transparency…) is declining and that the discipline has to be reformed; then, they start a certification process that never goes far because money is generated when an idea catch up with the awareness wave of the public.




January 2010

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