Precarious Environment

  • Spectrum Crunch

    CNN is running a series on the impending shortage of spectrum to carry the increasing demands of smart phones. Without action, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) anticipates the shortfall to be serious by 2014. Fast growth in phone traffic presages the issues of Compression in many other domains, but happening in slow motion. Smart phones […]

    Share
  • Indoor air quality

    Indoor Air Environments

    Indoor environments have opportunities to use Compression Thinking. Indoors is where we live, where the EPA estimates that we spend 90% of our time  – not counting time in vehicles. Inside most buildings, air is more polluted than outside.Hazards are serious enough that the EPA has an Indoor Environments Division. A host of associations, companies, and government agencies […]

    Share
  • Water Treatment

    Will Rogers once advised audiences to “drink upstream from the herd.” That usually worked in a thinly populated world. Running water and soil percolation remediated low bioloads. Heavy metal contaminants weren’t as widely distributed. Today we have to help nature deal with high bioloads and pervasive industrial chemicals, but big sewage treatment plants are energy […]

    Share
  • Biomes and Biodiversity

    Other than “cute” animals going extinct, biodiversity gets little public attention. Preserving biodiversity is essential for many reasons that sum up to life itself being unable to exist without it (yawn). Publicized studies cover macro-diversity we can see, but implications are so opaque that we’re angry if countermeasures crimp our livelihood. For example, a recent […]

    Share
  • Insidious Toxins

    September 8, 2011 Environmental toxins are more complex than any busy person can be expected to follow. Even biological specialists unable to grasp the scope of these risks tend to issue messages that are contradictory generalizations from limited observations. That’s one form of the reductionist thinking plaguing the modern world because all of us have […]

    Share
  • Hormesis and Non-Linearity

    April 12, 2011 Hormesis is an example of non-linear thinking clashing with linear. Hormesis, in general, is that the effects of a substance at high and low concentrations may be very different. Vitamins like A, C, and D and several metallic elements are well known examples. Essential to life in minute concentrations, they are fatal […]

    Share
  • Down and Dirty

    January 27, 2011 Soil, teeming with microbes and mystery, like sex, still works about as it did millennia ago. When managing soil, technology gives us more options, but not wisdom. If we use it only to prop up soil until it wears out, we’re foolish. Depleted industrial farm soil must be revitalized to grow a […]

    Share
  • World Grain Supply — 2010 and Beyond

    August 15, 2010 World grain prices are up sharply since June. U.S. prices rose for several days ahead of the USDA’s much awaited projection of this year’s global grain harvest, issued on August 12. Excess heat cut this year’s harvest in Central Asia. Russia and the Ukraine, which are normally grain exporters, have stopped all […]

    Share