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Category Archives: Energy

How a ransomware attack shut down a major US fuel pipeline

Popular Science: “The network carries petroleum products like gasoline and aviation fuel. Here’s what to know. A surefire way to appreciate the importance of a key piece of infrastructure is to watch what happens when it unexpectedly stops working. For example, most people probably thought very little about the importance of the Suez Canal, but when it suddenly became blocked in March by a grounded container ship, that changed. A typically reliable system had temporarily failed. The world noticed. Something similar happened beginning late last week with a sprawling, crucial petroleum transit system run by a company called Colonial Pipeline. That company discovered that it had been hit by a ransomware attack on Friday, May 7. “In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations,” the company explained in a statement on Saturday. On Monday afternoon, the company said that it is working on getting its operations back up and running. “Segments of our pipeline are being brought back online in a stepwise fashion,” it reported. Understandably, you may not think too much about ransomware attacks, nor about where the gas in your car comes from. Here are your questions about the situation, answered…”

Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress

CRS Report – Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress. May 5, 2021: “The federal government supports scientific and technological advancement directly by funding and performing research and development, and indirectly by creating and maintaining policies that encourage private sector efforts. Additionally, the federal government regulates many aspects of S&T activities. This report briefly… Continue Reading

Global EV Outlook 2021

IEA: “This outlook explores two pathways for road transport electrification in the pivotal decade to 2030. It assesses the projected uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) across transport modes and regions. Then, it explores the implications of electric mobility for charging infrastructure, battery demand, energy demand, GHG emissions and revenue from road transport fuel taxation. This… Continue Reading

The Environmental Protection Agency is cleaning up its image

The Verge – After years of turmoil, the EPA looks for a fresh start: “…Even though Trump’s term is over, the “brain drain” that the EPA has suffered for years could still pose real harm to the environment and people the agency is tasked with protecting. And after years of tumult at the agency, potential… Continue Reading

The presence of Superfund sites as a determinant of life expectancy in the United States

Kiaghadi, A., Rifai, H.S. & Dawson, C.N. The presence of Superfund sites as a determinant of life expectancy in the United States. Nat Commun 12, 1947 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22249-2: “Superfund sites could affect life expectancy (LE) via increasing the likelihood of exposure to toxic chemicals. Here, we assess to what extent such presence could alter the… Continue Reading

Recycle everything with TerraCycle

“TerraCycle® is a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste®. In 21 countries, we tackle the issue from many angles. We have found that nearly everything we touch can be recycled and collect typically non-recyclable items through national, first-of-their-kind recycling platforms. Leading companies work with us to take hard-to-recycle materials from our programs, such as… Continue Reading

ITER, The Grand Illusion: A Forensic Investigation of Power Claims

“Is nuclear fusion a likely solution to climate change? Is fusion a viable energy alternative? For 70 years, fusion scientists have promoted new design concepts, pointed to computer models, and unequivocally stated that fusion is the answer. But where is the experimental evidence that the scientific method demands? And why has energy from nuclear fusion… Continue Reading

New U.S. Carbon Monitor website compares emissions among the 50 states

UCI News: “Following last year’s successful launch of a global carbon monitor website to track and display greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of sources, an international team led by Earth system scientists from the University of California, Irvine is unveiling this week a new data resource focused on the United States. Near real-time, state-level… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, April 4, 2021

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, April 4, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex… Continue Reading

Biden administration will investigate Trump-era attacks on science

The New York Times – “The Biden administration will investigate Trump-era political interference in science across the government, the first step in what White House officials described as a sweeping effort to rebuild a demoralized federal work force and prevent future abuses. In a letter to the leaders of all federal agencies, the White House… Continue Reading

Joe Biden has picked 58 nominees to fill key roles in his administration so far

Washington Post – We are tracking 791 government positions among about 1,250 that require Senate confirmation. Presidents are required to fill roughly 4,000 politically appointed positions in the executive branch and independent agencies, including more than 1,250 that require Senate confirmation. The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service are tracking nominees for roughly… Continue Reading