Extensive Article on Ebola in NewYorker Magazine

The latest issue has an indepth account of the virus, featuring details re the genomic research being done on the disease.


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Two More Items re Power Supply

(1) Apparently Princeton University has a mini power grid that which worked well after Hurricane Sandy.  An excerpt:

***Princeton’s “microgrid,” an efficient on-campus power generation and delivery network that draws electricity from a gas-turbine generator and solar panel field southeast of campus in West Windsor Township, NJ. Capable of producing 15 megawatts *** of electricity, the University’s microgrid enjoys a give-and-take relationship with the main grid available to the general public and maintained by the utility company PSE&G. When campus power use is high or utility power is inexpensive, the microgrid draws from the PSE&G grid, and when campus demand is low, Princeton’s microgrid can contribute power to the main grid.

(2) From reader James Fossett:

Your readers may be interested in a piece a couple of colleagues and I have just released on the use of solar power as a power source for the microgrids discussed in a recent posting. It will be remembered that the New York City area experienced widespread shortages of fuel after Hurricane Sandy when the power was out for over a week. Solar “supply” seems to be more reliable—power outages are generally caused by transient weather events that are generally followed by clear weather.

With the right kind of batteries and “smart” grid configuration, solar emergency systems could operate almost indefinitely. The military is investing heavily in solar powered microgrids. The paper is on the website of the Rockefeller Institute of Government.


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More Resilience Sought by Power Industry

Power Industry Seeks More Resilience

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Insurance for Weather-Related Disasters

Article in the NY times titled a Retreat from Weather Related Disasters is mainly about obtaining insurance for weather-related disasters.

Direct link to the Ceres report titled Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations

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Book Review: The Tulsa River

The Tulsa River, written by local author Ann Patton, was issued in time to mark the 28th anniversary of Tulsa’s 1986 river flood. It is a beautifully illustrated, soft-cover book, 11 x 8 ½ inches. It’s available as a limited first edition from the website TulsaRiver.net.

The new book features stories about Tulsa’s life with the Arkansas River. According to the author,

“The Tulsa River tells the story of our city’s struggle to live in harmony with our river, which lured mankind to this spot on earth, shaped our town, occasionally terrorized and often sustained us, and promises to gather our diverse peoples together,” *** “We spent two years living with and learning about our river, and the more we learned, the more there was to explore and understand. This book is, simply, a labor of love for our river and our community.”

It’s a natural and civic story of the river from its beginning millions of years ago in snow packs of the Colorado Rockies, as the river carved its way through the now-buried Tulsa Mountains and found its way to the Mississippi River in Arkansas. The story ends with the promise of A Gathering Place and River Parks, with Tulsans describing their diverse ideas for the future.

For someone like the Diva, who has never been in Tulsa, the book provided a delightful opportunity to visit vicariously and read the stories of some local people.

Ann Patton is a Tulsa-based author and consultant with 45 years’ experience in writing, consulting, and community activities. She is a long-time friend and professional associate of the Diva’s.

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More Resources on Global Warming, Rising Seas, and Coastal Cities

From the Journalists Resource website, maintained by Harvard University, here is a recent roundup of research on the topics of Global warming, rising seas and coastal cities: Trends, impacts and adaptation strategies.

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More Resources on Climate Adaptation

Climate adaptation plans are getting mixed results across the U.S.

Ever wonder how state adaptation plans adopted across the country are actually being implemented on the ground? There’s now a website that tells you, and the results are mixed.
The Georgetown Climate Center is launching an expansive online database analyzing progress on the plans, which provide guidance on adapting to floods, fires and other climate-related problems. The tool reveals whether a state has an adaptation plan at all, and if so, which programs, laws or regulations may have resulted from goals or guidelines within it.

The center found that 14 states have finalized plans, meaning they have gone through an official state process with a task force or subset of officials and have sent the plans back to the governor or legislature. Additionally, eight more states and Washington, D.C., are moving toward a finalized climate plan via their internal planning process. However, less than half of the states have completed plans, even if their localities sometimes are taking action.
In total, the 14 states that have finished plans are mainly coastal: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. In those states, the rate of completion of the adaptation plans — meaning goals outlined in them have resulted in some sort of tangible outcome, like a regulation or program — ranges from a single digit to about 14 percent. When “progress” on the goals is included, the percentage rises to as high as 86 percent, said Aaron Ray, institute associate at the center.

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