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Thanks to Donald Trump, the Doomsday Clock ticks closer to apocalypse

doomsday-clock-15 and 1 person is to blame , USA TODAY Network     Jan. 26, Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight on Thursday amid increasing worries over nuclear weapons and climate change.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Europe and northern hemisphere warming fast: Europe faces droughts, floods

poster-climate-FranceEurope faces droughts, floods and storms as climate change accelerates
Europe and northern hemisphere are warming at faster pace than the global average and ‘multiple climatic hazards’ are expected, says study, Guardian, 
, 25 Jan 17. Europe’s Atlantic-facing countries will suffer heavier rainfalls, greater flood risk, more severe storm damage and an increase in “multiple climatic hazards”, according to the most comprehensive study of Europe’s vulnerability to climate change yet.

Temperatures in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Pyrenees are predicted to soar to glacier-melting levels, while the Mediterranean faces a “drastic” increase in heat extremes, droughts, crop failure and forest fires.

Europe and the entire northern hemisphere are warming at a quicker pace than elsewhere, to the extent that tropical diseases such as West Nile fever are expected to spread across northern France by mid-century.

Hans-Martin Füssel, one of the lead authors of the European Environment Agency report, said that scientific evidence was pointing increasingly to a speeding up in the pace of climate change.

We have more data confirming that sea-level rise is accelerating,” he said. “It is not a linear trend, largely due to increased disintegration of ice sheets. There is also new evidence that heavy precipitation has increased in Europe. That is what is causing the floods. The [climate] projections are coming true.”

Earlier this month, Nasa, Noaa and the Met Office confirmed that 2016 had broken the record for the hottest year ever previously held by 2015, which had itself broken the record that had been held by 2014.

The new EEA report finds that land temperatures in Europe in the last decade were 1.5C warmer than the pre-industrial age, although near-surface temperatures – measured at a metre above ground level – were only 0.83C-0.89C warmer……..

In the Arctic, one of the most rapidly warming parts of the planet, many habitats for flora and fauna such as sea ice, tundra and permafrost peat lands have already been lost.

Oxygen-depleted ocean “dead zones” caused by agricultural fertilisers – particularly in the Baltic Sea – and ocean acidification fed by an influx of freshwater from melting continental ice will pose further threats to marine ecosystems, and the indigenous peoples who depend on them.

While retreating sea ice will open up the potential for greater resource exploitation, the report’s authors warn that “utilising Arctic oil and natural gas resources would challenge the transition to a low-carbon society, as it is recommended that two-thirds of known global fossil resources remain in the ground if the 2C warming limit of the UNFCCC [UN framework convention on climate change] is to be met.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/25/europe-faces-droughts-floods-storms-climate-change-accelerates

January 27, 2017 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Sea level rise more rapid than expected

sea_levels_risingSea Level Rise Estimate Grows Alarmingly Higher in Latest Federal Report https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24012017/sea-level-rise-global-warming-federal-report-donald-trump

NOAA’s latest report arrives, predicting worst-case scenario of 8 feet of rise by century’s end, just as Donald Trump takes office with pro-fossil fuel policies. New federal estimates say global sea levels could rise faster than previously thought, and the rise may be even worse in many coastal regions of the United States.

A new report, written by scientists with several federal agencies and universities, says that under a worst-case scenario, climate change could raise the oceans an average of more than 8 feet by 2100, about 20 inches more than a previous federal estimate published in 2012. The best case now projected would be an average of about a foot.

The report was delivered just as President Donald Trump took office, immediately working to undo President Barack Obama’s climate policies. On his inauguration day, pages mentioning climate change on whitehouse.gov were removed. Trump has promised policies to increase fossil fuel development in the U.S., and to undo Obama’s major emissions-cutting initiative, the Clean Power Plan.

Sea level rise will likely be worse in some regions of the U.S. because of ocean currents, wind patterns and settling sediments. The authors examined six scenarios with a range of probabilities in an effort to help state and local governments plan for sea level rise. Under all of them, the Northeast should expect higher waters than much of the rest of the globe. The Pacific Northwest and Alaska would likely experience lower-than-average increases under the best-case scenarios.

“The ocean’s not flat,” said William V. Sweet, one of the authors and a scientist at NOAA. “It’s not going to rise like water in a bathtub.”

The six scenarios are based on United Nations models of future greenhouse gas emissions, depending on whether countries rapidly slash pollution or continue burning fossil fuels as usual. The authors determined that the worst-case rise of more than 8 feet has only a 0.1 percent chance of occurring by 2100, even under a business-as-usual emissions scenario, but a rise of more than 1.5 feet is near certain with high emissions.

The increase in the estimates for global sea rise was partly due to new research on the Antarctic ice sheet, which is melting faster and appears to be more fragile than previously estimated, suggesting that some of the more pessimistic scenarios are increasingly likely.

The report also warned that moderate coastal flooding will become 25 times more likely with a 14-inch rise in the seas. That level could come anytime from 2030 to 2080 for most coastal cities, depending on their location and the world’s emissions. It would mean that a flood that now comes once every five years would be expected five times a year.

Sea levels have already risen by more than 8 inches globally since 1880, with 3 inches coming since 1993. Tidal flooding “has increased by an order of magnitude over the past several decades,” the report says, “turning it from a rare event into a recurrent and disruptive problem.”

The authors note that 2 million Americans would likely see their homes permanently flooded if sea levels rise 3 feet. Twice that increase would inundate the homes of 6 million. Only the rosiest scenarios would avoid a 3-foot rise by 2100. The effects of global warming, of course, will continue long beyond that year.

“Even if society sharply reduces emissions in the coming decades,” the authors write, “sea level will most likely continue to rise for centuries.”

January 27, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Journalists unite in a Slack channel devoted to Freedom of Information and to examining Trump

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterFlag-USAJournalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump http://www.poynter.org/2017/journalists-around-the-country-are-joining-a-slack-channel-devoted-to-foia-and-trump/446640/ By Kristen Hare • January 25, 2017 A few days before President Trump’s inauguration, MuckRock opened up a Slack channel to help journalists better cover him and his administration.

As of Wednesday, 250 people signed up. Most are journalists, about half from national newsrooms and half from local newsrooms around the country. Update: As of Thursday, 1,500 people have signed up.

“Anytime we have a new administration, there’s turnover and there are changes,” said Michael Morisy, MuckRock’s co-founder. “I always think it’s important for reporters to get an understating of what that new administration’s priorities are. I think that’s true no matter who’s taking office.”

The open-government nonprofit first launched the channel with a small group of people about a week after Trump won the election. The channel works to help build requests, workshop ideas, ask questions and share results. It’s a collaborative approach for journalists that MuckRock has seen more of in the last few years.

MuckRock isn’t the only organization putting forth ideas about how journalists can work together to cover the new president.

On Tuesday, Panama Papers journalists wrote for The Guardian about the need for both collaboration and solidarity in covering Trump. NPR stations nationwide are also working together to cover state government. “It’s still a challenge, and it will continue to be a challenge,” Morisy said, especially in a tough business environment. But those same forces can also drive collaboration.

There’s already a strong community of open-government advocates, journalists and citizens who want to know what elected officials are up to. The Slack channel offers another outlet for that, Morisy said. Kelly Hinchcliffe, a WRAL reporter and FOIA columnist for Poynter, said she hasn’t tried the new channel yet, but she’s interested to see how it works. She often turns to colleagues for help with FOIA requests, and she’s on IRE’s NICAR listserv, where people ask questions now and then.

“Hopefully this will help reporters and others make requests more easily and learn more about the FOIA process. I’ve been making FOIA requests for years and still need advice every once in awhile.”

There are currently more than 90 active members and about 90 percent are journalists. Morisy is sending out invitations to people who’ve asked to join the group, and he plans to watch the channel closely to make sure people are respecting members’ privacy and behaving themselves.

MuckRock already has several resources for journalists covering Trump, including past findings about Trump and his cabinet picks.

The timing looks to be just right with the new administration’s push this week to remove some data sets from government websites and new restrictions on how one agency can communicate with the public and the press, Morisy said.

“I think making sure the public has access to what the government is up to is more important than ever.”

January 27, 2017 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

Trump gagging scientists – this is scary stuff

trump-anti-scienceGag Order Or Not, Here’s Why Trump Cracking Down On Government Science is So Scary, Modern Farmer By  You may have seen news about a crackdown on communications between USDA (and the EPA, HHS, and Department of the Interior) and the public. In this latest affront, the administration on Monday directed the USDA to stop all “outward-facing” communications. But by Tuesday night, the gag-order had been “rescinded.” So what’s going on? And what could happen if scientists can’t speak to the public?

It all started yesterday, when BuzzFeed obtained a memo distributed on Monday within the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The memo was written by Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, and it informed the more than 2,000 ARS scientists—who study everything from methane emissions to the economy of rural America and have a major focus on climate change—to, essentially, keep quiet. Here’s the text, provided to Modern Farmer by the Christopher Bentley, director of the office of communications at ARS:

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.”

According to reports today, however, a second email went out to ARS late Tuesday evening stating that Drumm’s note should have never been issued and has been “hereby rescinded.”

Wait, what?

The Play-By-Play

Once BuzzFeed published the memo yesterday, people got loud. News of a gag-order on the USDA was the latest of several similar edicts:

  • The Department of the Interior, after tweeting images Friday comparing President Trump’s meager inauguration crowds to the throngs at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, found its Twitter account shut down, only to reappear the next day with an apology.
  • Tuesday, Badlands National Park’s account tweeted a few facts about climate change—a subject President Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed to be “controversial”—that were soon deleted.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was told not to respond to any public questions, but to wait for the new leadership to arrive.
  • And the Environmental Protection Agency—which Trump pledged to “abolish” during his campaign and whose nominee to head the department, Scott Pruitt, is an avowed enemy who’s currently suing the agency—has issued a complete freeze on all communications (including social media, email, press releases and website updates), as well as a funding freeze on its grants and contracts.

Trump ordering USDA scientists—who conduct a great deal of research on climate change given agriculture is a notable contributor—to cease communicating with the public seemed to follow a pattern……..

Even if the Drumm memo has truly been rescinded, similar policies have been enacted at other governmental organizations. This isn’t a weird aberration; it’s part of a systematic clampdown on the parts of the government that the Trump administration finds problematic. So let’s take a look at how a crackdown on government science could affect the nation……….

This isn’t just a matter of keeping reporters from doing their jobs,” says Humiston. “There are real safety issues at stake here.” http://modernfarmer.com/2017/01/gag-order-not-heres-trump-cracking-government-science-scary/

January 27, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, USA | Leave a comment

No clear solution to Toshiba’s nuclear financial woes

Money down holeToshiba reckoning looms with chip decision, nuclear hole unresolved, Reuters Jan 26, 2017 Toshiba Corp faces a day of reckoning on Friday, when it is expected to offer an initial estimate of the multibillion-dollar charge it must take on its U.S. nuclear business, but this will be only a step in a series of tough choices on the Japanese conglomerate’s survival.

Toshiba’s board meets to approve plans to spin off its semiconductor business as a separate company, hoping to raise more than 200 billion yen ($1.74 billion) by selling as much as a fifth of the core money-making unit, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

But as the proceeds would be just a fraction of the hole from cost overruns in its Westinghouse nuclear business – which local media put at 680 billion yen ($6 billion) – the chip sale would only be the start of a solution, which would require help from Toshiba’s banks and possibly the government-backed Development Bank of Japan (DBJ).

  Toshiba, which declined to comment on plans for its chip business, says it will unveil the writedown on Feb. 14 when it reports third-quarter results. In the meantime, it has been in regular talks with its banks…..

Whether to sell part of the nuclear business at the heart of its problems is a subject for discussion between Toshiba and its lenders, people close to the situation say…….http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-idUSKBN15A2IT

January 27, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

South Koreans alarmed about nuclear weapons – uncertainty about Donald Trump

Trump Uncertainty Fuels South Korea Nuclear Talk, VOA, January 25, 2017 Brian Padden, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — 
Some South Korean conservatives are citing President Donald Trump’s past statements on reducing U.S. security commitments in Asia to argue that their nation must now prepare its own nuclear option to defend against the growing North Korean nuclear threat.

“I’m not saying we should develop nuclear weapons overnight. I’m saying that if there are the right conditions, then we should go nuclear,” said Lee Choon-kun, a researcher with the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy, at an event sponsored by the East Asia Foundation in Seoul Tuesday…….
South Korea’s nuclear advocates expect contentious times ahead. They take seriously Trump’s criticism, made during the campaign, that South Korea does not pay its fair share for hosting the 28,500 American personnel and military bases in Korea. And they take Trump at his word that, if better compensation terms are not reached, he would consider withdrawing American troops, allowing allies to acquire their own nuclear weapons, and ending the nuclear umbrella mutual defense pacts that require the U.S. military to come to the aid of its allies.

THAAD litmus testSouth Korean officials are reportedly planning to object to any proposed increase in defense reimbursement costs with the United States. Seoul currently reimburses Washington about $866 million annually, that is more than 50 percent of the cost for stationing troops in country. South Korea also spends 2.4 percent of its gross national product (GDP) on national security, compared with 1 percent for Japan and 1.16 percent for Germany, according to the defense ministry in Seoul.Nuclear proponents say that growing resistance in South Korea to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense shield could also create a rift in the U.S. alliance.

The THAAD system, which uses interceptor missiles to target high altitude incoming ballistic missiles, is considered a conventional deterrent to North Korea’s increasing ballistic missile capability. Supporters claim it will help defend South Korea from a nuclear missile attack.Opponents say its capability is limited and vulnerable to low altitude missile strikes that could target population centers like Seoul that are close to the inter-Korean border. Some South Korean critics also say THAAD is being deployed to protect U.S. military installations in Korea, and China complains that its powerful radar system could be used to monitor other countries in the region.Beijing’s strong objections to THAAD and reports of related Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea have also contributed to the declining support in South Korea. In December, public opposition to THAAD increased to 51 percent according to a poll conducted by Realmeter.THAAD opponents say it is a continuation of confrontational policies that have not worked to slow North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.

“The policy that we have implemented has been failing. We have to see the nuclear issue from a different perspective,” said Cheong Wook-sik, the director of the Peace Network in Seoul……..

Nuclear optionProponents say South Korea could quickly develop nuclear weapons using existing nuclear power plant facilities and fuel, and with the military’s advanced conventional weapons production capability.However, South Korea would likely face severe consequences for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) that could include diplomatic isolation and international sanctions similar to what North Korea is facing.And it could also lead to Japan and other countries developing their own nuclear deterrent. http://www.voanews.com/a/trump-uncertainty-south-korea-nuclear/3691290.html

 

 

 

 

January 27, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Call fopr shutdown of possibly unsafe Pennsylvania nuclear power station

Groups call for shutdown of Pa. nuclear plant amid concerns about ‘defective’ parts, safety Penn Live By Colin Deppen | cdeppen@pennlive.com  A self-described “anti-nuclear advocacy group” is calling for operations to be suspended at a Pa. nuclear power plant amid concerns about potentially defective parts and a scandal involving documents falsified by the French manufacturer of those parts.

According to the advocacy group, Beyond Nuclear, the concerns involve parts manufactured and imported from Areva’s Le Creusot Forge in France, which is currently “at the center of an international nuclear safety controversy,” a statement from the group reads. The full statement is included below.

Beyond Nuclear identifies 17 affected units at U.S. nuclear power plant sites. They include units at First Energy’s Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Beaver County, located 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Middletown’s Three Mile Island plant is not included on that list.

Petition for Emergency Enforcement Action – Beyond Nuclear by PennLive on Scribd……..Beyond Nuclear and other petitioners are now calling on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to take emergency enforcement action requiring emergency shutdowns of such plants pending the “enhanced inspections of at-risk components along with material testing of surplus material taking [sic] from the component.”…….http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/01/group_calls_for_shutdown_of_pa.html

January 27, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The power of wind energy and how to use it -CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF AUTOMATION

 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/caoa-tpo012517.php Distributed Model Predictive Load Frequency Control of Multi-area Power System with DFIGs

CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF AUTOMATION Wind offers an immense, never ending source of energy that can be successfully harnessed to power all of the things that currently draw energy from non-renewable resources. The wind doesn’t always blow, though.

Researchers from North China Electric Power University and North China University of Science and Technology recently developed a model to help predict wind frequency and potential contributions to more traditional energy sources. The scientists published their paper in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS).

“Reliable load frequency control is crucial to the operation and design of modern electric power systems,” wrote Yi Zhang, a doctoral student at the North China Electric Power University and an author on the paper. “Due to the randomness and intermittence of the wind power, the controllability and availability of wind power significantly differs from conventional power generation.”

Their method is based on “Model Predictive Control,” wherein checkpoints across a power grid can exchange information and adjust accordingly. The researchers decentralized this model, so that a problem in one area could be solved to benefit the entire grid. The computer algorithm predicts the variables that influence the grid (demand, supply, etcetera) and applies those constraints for any problem that any part of the system might encounter.

A traditionally controlled grid could, for example, redirect otherwise unused energy from sleeping citizens to a power-hungry hospital or some other entity that continues to require energy even during typical off times. In a decentralized system, like the one modeled by Zhang and her colleagues, the system works the same way, but instead of having to clear the redirection with every checkpoint, the variables are assumed and the action is nearly immediate.

To test their algorithm, the researchers compared the volume output and dependability of a four-part system – four plants sharing responsibility for generating power in different areas – with and without the incorporation of wind power.

In the analysis of a conventional power plant, the researchers found that their model required much less computational time compared to the traditional Model Predictive Control. That’s a major advantage, as the computing process is expensive in both time and energy.

When the researchers added the hard-to-predict wind turbines as a source of power in the model, it still worked as well. According to the scientists, the major flaw is that computational needs will increase to maintain system stability, which cannot be guaranteed in their algorithm.

“Our future work is focused on [pursuing] the implementation of [our algorithm] with guaranteeing stability and feasibility while reducing the computation and communication requirements,” Zhang wrote.

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Fulltext of the paper is available: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7815559

January 27, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Poland suspends costly nuclear plans, Czech Republic goes ahead with fuzzy nuclear financing

scrutiny-on-costsCzech government presses ahead with nuclear plans as Poland suspends programme, Radio Prague 26-01-2017  Chris Johnstone Same day, two different stories about nuclear power in the Czech Republic and neighbouring Poland.

On Wednesday, the Czech government announced the creation of three working groups to push ahead with plans to build nuclear reactors in the country to replace aged capacity and boost nuclear power production to around half of the country’s electricity needs.

In Warsaw, the Polish finance ministry announced it was suspending its very ambitious nuclear programme aimed at securing future power supplies and curbing the use of coal-fired power plants. The ministry said that previous financing proposals burdening the state budget were simply not acceptable. The nuclear plans could still be revived but other options, such as modern coal plants would also be looked at, the ministry added.

In Prague, the statement from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the creation of the new working groups gave new impetus to the government strategy to boost nuclear power. That was agreed mid-way through 2015 by the current government………..

Czech nuclear plans are currently a mixture of the fairly clear, fairly fuzzy, and extremely unclear. It’s clear that a decision will be needed by around 2025 if a new reactor or reactors are to be built at Dukovany to replace the four units there which will be phased out from 2035 onwards. That’s the overwhelming priority. State controlled ČEZ is currently piloting the nuclear preparations, but it could eventually give way to a specially created state company or some joint venture with the international nuclear constructer eventually selected. And the overall power outlook, not just electricity prices but future demand as well given the continued roll-out of renewables and EU moves to curb demand are all also major intangibles.

Some of the targets for the working groups to report back are as early as May and June but other stretch out for the years to come. In theory though the Czech government should be making a decision about whether it will be willing to finance new nuclear capacity by the middle of the year. But whether any decision will be binding on a new government so close to elections is another question.

So, while Wednesday’s news looked so different on the surface, the doubts and uncertainties about new nuclear are widely shared. http://www.radio.cz/en/section/business/czech-government-presses-ahead-with-nuclear-plans-as-poland-suspends-programme

January 27, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | 1 Comment

Nuclear workers’ pensions slashed – not a good omen for UK’s Tories, in Copeland byelection

questionpound-sterlingTories threatened by their own nuclear meltdown in Copeland By  Politics.co.uk, 26 January 2017  Since the Copeland byelection was called, speculation has been rife about the damage Jeremy Corbyn’s nuclear stance could do to Labour’s chances. But while the Tories have been quick to exploit this, they have been much slower to wake up to their own nuclear problem. And it’s one which has the potential to swing the outcome of next month’s vote……..

Throughout the campaign there have been concerns within the  local Labour party and among some union members that Corbyn’s views on nuclear could have an impact. But a far more pressing concern for many of the workers on site is the ongoing dispute with the government over their pensions.

Unions say that changes to the workers’ final salary pension scheme, which have been proposed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), could see pensions slashed by thousands of pounds. After a meeting with government ministers yesterday, unions announced that a planned strike ballot would be put on hold while talks continue. But the issue has by no means gone away. http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2017/01/26/tories-threatened-by-their-own-nuclear-meltdown-in-copeland

January 27, 2017 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Despite nuclear tensions, Americans have continued to send humanitarian aid to North Korea

US Humanitarian Aid Goes to North Korea Despite Nuclear Tensions, VOA, January 25, 2017 Baik Sung-won WASHINGTON —  The United States has provided $1 million in humanitarian aid to impoverished North Korea, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

Despite growing tensions between North Korea and Washington, the U.S. sent the assistance last week on the day before President Donald Trump was sworn in and took over the U.S. government.

It marks the first time that the U.S. provided humanitarian assistance to the North since 2011, when it provided relief items including medical supplies to North Korean flood victims. That aid, worth $900,000, was made through Samaritan’s Purse, a U.S.-based humanitarian aid organization.

Aid to help typhoon damageThe current assistance comes in the aftermath of Typhoon Lionrock, which hit North Korea in August with heavy rain that resulted in flooding. At the time, the government reported hundreds were dead and missing, and said thousands had lost their homes. International aid organizations responded immediately.

Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry awarded $1 million for North Korea to UNICEF, a U.N. agency, the day before President Donald Trump took office last week………http://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-humanitarian-aid-goes-to-north-korea/3692811.html

 

January 27, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Uranium market outlook: not all that good

text-uranium-hypeProfit Margins Once again, without positive earnings, it’s tough to calculate a meaningful profit margin for Uranium Resources. We have to ding it here again.

Return on Equity The nuclear power stock falls short in terms of return on equity. Its early-stage investors have lost 54.65% in the last year. The equity situation isn’t great for other energy stocks, but it’s not this bad.

Is Uranium Resources a Nuclear Power Play?, I nvestment U  by Samuel Taube, Investment U Research Team Wednesday, January 25, 2017 Nuclear power has seen better days. In recent decades, pressure from environmentalist groups, the high cost compared to fossil fuels and the perceived risk to public safety has beaten the industry down.

Then along came President Trump, reverser of trends. Our new president is big on nuclear development – both the military and energy varieties. . And that means that beaten-down nuclear stocks like Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE) could heat up again soon.

As you can see, Uranium Resources stock has been declining for much of the year. Other nuclear power stocks showed similarly drab performances before the election.

Now President Trump has spurred a revival in this industry. And Investment U readers are wondering whether or not it’s too late for a recovery. After such a long bear market, is Uranium Resources a good buy?

To find out, we ran Uranium Resources stock through the Investment U Fundamental Factor Test. (As a reminder, our checklist looks at six key metrics to diagnose the financial health of a stock.)

Earnings-per-Share  (EPS) Growth: Uranium Resources has a great earnings-per-share growth rate of 77.38%. That’s well above the average of 13.21% in the energy space. However, we should note that the nuclear power stock can post such impressive earnings growth because its earnings are still below zero.

Price-to-Earnings  (P/E): And since Uranium Resources has negative earnings, we can’t calculate its P/E ratio. We’re giving it the red X in this metric by default.

Debt-to-Equity The stock outperforms most other energy companies in terms of debt-to-equity ratio. Uranium Resources has a frugal 17.72% debt burden. That’s much less than the industry average of 41.87%.

Free Cash Flow per Share Growth Uranium Resources really blows other energy companies out of the water in terms of cash flow. It has grown free cash flow per share by 96.27% in the last year. Its competitors saw it shrink by -28.82% in that time.

Profit Margins Once again, without positive earnings, it’s tough to calculate a meaningful profit margin for Uranium Resources. We have to ding it here again.

Return on Equity The nuclear power stock falls short in terms of return on equity. Its early-stage investors have lost 54.65% in the last year. The equity situation isn’t great for other energy stocks, but it’s not this bad. ……http://www.investmentu.com/article/detail/53391/stockgrader-uranium-resources-nuclear-power#.WIpYkNJ97Gh

January 27, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Pope Francis has influenced USA Republicans to shift climate views

PopePope spurs Republicans to shift climate views, EurekAlert, 24 Jan 17  CORNELL UNIVERSITY After Pope Francis framed climate change as a moral issue in his second encyclical, conservative Republicans shifted and began to see environmental dilemmas in the same way, according to a new study led by Cornell University communication researchers.

“When Pope Francis issued his encyclical paper in June 2015, he emerged as a strong advocate for climate action,” said Jonathon P. Schuldt, assistant professor of communication. “He is in many ways uniquely positioned as a global moral authority – a religious authority – and his position is very visible.”

Schuldt, along with Adam R. Pearson of Pomona College and Rainer Romero-Canyas and Dylan Larson-Konar, both of the Environmental Defense Fund, sought to understand a mechanism for changing public opinion about climate change. Their research, “Brief Exposure to Pope Francis Heightens Moral Beliefs About Climate Change,” was published online in the journal Climatic Change, Dec. 30.

The pontiff addressed waste, culture and modern day ills in the encyclical. Climate change is a global problem with grave environmental, social, economic and political implications, the pope wrote. Many of the world’s poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to global warming, and their subsistence depends on keeping Earth healthy. They have few resources to help them adapt to climate change, the pope said.

For this research, more than 1,200 U.S. adults were asked for their moral beliefs about climate change. …….https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/cu-psr012417.php

January 27, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Visual Guide to Trump’s Plan for the Environment

see-this.wayAn Illustrated Guide to Trump’s Plan for the Environment, Outside, By: Susie Cagle Jan 23, 2017 Our 45th president’s contempt for environmental protections is well documented. So what will his first 100 days look like? Here’s our educated guess on what could happen, based on what he’s already said and done.

“Hoax,” “hoax,” and “expensive hoax.” That’s how President Donald J. Trump has most frequently described man-made climate change. While we don’t yet know exactly what a Trump presidency will mean for our planet, the man has given us enough clues that we can begin to cobble together a vision for the future.

 It’s pretty bleak………https://www.outsideonline.com/2150411/worst-could-happen-planet-under-trump

January 27, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment