Tag Archives: United States

The development process to turn raw earth into steel merits a high spot on a list of mankind’s most ingenious achievements. The metal provides the backbone of skyscrapers, bridges, motorways, internal organs of cars, fridges, washing machines and buildings. It makes up 95 per cent of global metal production. Iron ore, the raw material from which it is made. does not attract too much attention.

 

It is startling.

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Talk to your kids about global warming

Global Warming 2/2

They are the future. The problem is kids learn from your behavior including when and how much to freak out. If you are constantly fretting over global warming, how can you keep them positive about their future? Continue reading

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It’s an unequal world, alright!

There was not one single year between 1952 and 1986 in which the richest 1 per cent American families earned more than one-tenth the national income.

Yet after rising steadily since the mid-1980s, in 2007 the income share of the richest one per cent reached a staggering 18.3 per cent of the total American wealth. The last time America was such an unequal place was in 1929 when the equivalent figure of the richest percentile was 18.4 per cent.

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Oil demand surges, production cost falls

The world oil consumption is rising again. The price of a barrel is moving towards $100. By 2035, demand may reach 110 million barrels a day, about 20 per cent more than in 2009.

The interesting thing is that the cost of production has been falling. A few years ago, most firms thought that the breakeven price was $75 per barrel. But now companies such as Shell say new developments are economical at $50.

There are obstacles mainly because of the sheer dirtiness of the business. In America, objections to the import of bituminous oil are loud; domestic opposition to exploiting tar sands and building pipelines which has long been fierce is gathering strength. Global production of conventional oil, the stuff that can be recovered easily using drills and wells is near or already at its peak. Only a leap in output from unconventional sources will prevent new surges in price.

Even if countries around the world agree on measures to control CO2 emissions, tar sand oil, like Canada’s, must fill a supply gap in the future. With more than 70 per cent of the world’s remaining oil in the hands of OPEC, half of its free oil is in the tar sands.

And that’s a good reason for the Americans to want to exploit these tar sand reserves of Canada.

(Pic source: internet)

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Travails of the Kitchen

Dependence on firewood continues even in a flood-hit village in Koppal district. (Pic: Savita Hiremath).

Cooking fuels and stoves still make up for most of kitchen fuel needs across India. Use of forest wood, cow dung and other such biomass keep the house warm beyond being used merely for cooking.

What people don’t seem to see that the constant churn of smoke in a house can harm the lungs more than Continue reading

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No space for the dead

A friend returned from a funeral the other day. “These days families have begun to accept that bodies can be buried in an old burial patch with the new body interred above an old one,” she said.

Her grandma had passed away, and given the premium on real estate for burial, they had to settle for a patch that already had someone buried some years ago. Continue reading

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