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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

market share in 2009, according to Greentech Media. "As far as hazardous materials go, you're primarily talking about lead," Mulvaney said.” Thin film has many more elements to consider, and increasingly these will be looked at as recycling assets / cost savings, rather than disposal problems / costs. 777

5.9.10. UN calls special meeting to address food shortages amid predictions of riots. Guardian: “Two years after the last food crisis, when prices surged by nearly 15% in the UK, food inflation is back. Soaring global food prices have prompted City and food industry experts to warn that the cost of the weekly shop is set to rise by up to 10% in the coming months. As in 2008, rocketing prices are the result of rising demand and supply shortages caused by freak weather and poor harvests. Moreover, these conditions are exacerbated by speculation on commodity markets and changing diets in fast-growing Asian countries.”778

Rising wheat prices raise fears over UK commitment to biofuels. If we convert up to a fifth of UK wheat into biofuel (10% by 2020) – as EU biofuels targets require us to do -we will force prices even higher at a time of food shortages, critics warn.779

HSE accuses Transocean of North Sea safety compromise by "bullying, harassment and intimidation" of its staff.780

UK government pulls plug on public funding for 10 mile Severn barrage. It would take the private sector £250m to get to planning stage for the £20bn project, and they are unlikely to go ahead.781

Financial author Richard Duncan says only borrowing and stimulus can save the US economy. The U.S. should take advantage of low interest rates to fund a massive push into technological research, he tells Marketwatch.  The low yields for Treasurys seen since the start of the global financial crisis mean the U.S. federal government can borrow cheaply to help stave off a depression through Keynesian deficit spending of a scale “previously unimaginable.” “This situation creates unprecedented opportunities for our society. We've got a situation where the Fed is creating money, and it's not creating any inflation.” Marketwatch: “In his 2009 book "The Corruption of Capitalism," Duncan forecasted global bond markets would shrug off the mounting gloom, even as it became apparent the global economy had become dependent on the lifeline of government stimulus. Duncan, who is also the chief economist of a Singapore-based hedge fund, believes that the U.S. won't be able to avoid running debt up to Japanese levels. The question, he says, is not whether Washington will spend money trying to bail out the economy, but whether it will spend those funds wisely, Duncan said. Japan famously embarked on massive stimulus spending during its "Lost Decade" of the 1990s after property and financial bubbles there burst. But much of the spending drew subsequent criticism as funding useless projects of the "bridges to nowhere" variety.” How would such plan work? Imagine a trillion-dollar investment into solar energy, funded by the federal government over four years, says Duncan. Aside from thrusting U.S. companies to the forefront on green energy, there would other benefits. The announcement of such a plan would immediately spark a crash in crude-oil prices to $20 a barrel from their current levels of around $75 a barrel, he says.  …. But this chorus calling for fiscal austerity, though well intentioned, is underestimating the severity of global imbalances, Duncan says. Instead of a healthy shakeout, such a policy is "insanity" in a global economy where industrial capacity is two times larger than underlying demand, he says.782

6.9.10. Obama unveils $50bn infrastructure plan. 150,000 miles of roads rebuilt (enough to circle the world six times) and 4,000 miles of rail laid and maintained (enough to stretch coast to coast) in the next six years, and 150 miles of runway rehabilitated or reconstructed. All this would be in addition to the investments made under the Recovery Act stimulus package. FT: “The first year's investment would be funded over 10 years by closing tax loopholes – specifically a manufacturing tax deduction and depreciation allowances – for oil and gas companies. … The $862bn stimulus package already devoted funds for repairing roads and building high-speed rail through the Recovery Act, an effort that the administration says has helped save or create 3m jobs during the economic downturn.” The national unemployment rate is at 9.6 per cent.783

Oil industry regulation: “scepticism over new sheriff in the wild wild west.” Guardian: “Industry experts fear that many of Obama's changes in wake of Gulf oil spill will be no more than cosmetic Deepwater Horizon oil rig seen burning in April. Barack Obama has promised to tighten regulations to prevent a repeat of the disaster. … Mike Sawyer, a Houston-based oil industry engineer, is not hopeful that the new regulator will be any more effective than its predecessor. “You have the same guys from the agency now working for the new regulator. All that's happened is the pack has been reshuffled. If you put a dress on a pig it's still a pig.”784

Germany’s energy giants agree to pay government €30bn for 12 year nuclear phaseout extension. FT: “Germany’s 17 nuclear power stations will extend their lifetimes from 32 to about 44 years, compared with an international average span of 60 years.In return, the power generators EonRWEEnBW and Vattenfall will pay a nuclear-fuel rods tax of €2.3bn until 2016, a charge that will turn into a contribution to fostering renewable-energy sources in the years after. On top of the tax, the four power companies will pay an annual €300m over the next two years and an annual €200m from 2013 to 2016 into a fund which will invest in renewable energy, according to officials in Berlin.”785

China and Russia sign a nuclear agreement including collaboration on floating nuclear power plants. Telegraph: “Russia has been planning floating reactors for quite some time, but reached a recent milestone when the hull of the Akademik Lomonosov was launched into the Baltic Sea. The reactor is not complete, but the barge that will house the plant was launched on June 30 at the Baltyskiy shipyard in St Petersburg – and China has been watching developments very closely indeed. …. The floating reactor should be ready late in 2012 and it will have the capacity to produce 80 megawatts of electricity.” Target markets are oil exploration and water desalination in developing countries.786

“Sweep economists off their throne,” writes Gideon Rachman in the FT.  “The vanity of economists needs to be challenged. Above all, their claim to scientific rigour – buttressed by models and equations – must be treated much more sceptically.”787

Pioneering marine-energy test device successfully installed off the Cornish coast. Guardian: “After seven years in the making and a series of last-minute delays, the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) has finally installed its pioneering Wave Hub device off the north Cornish coast, further establishing the UK as the world's leading test centre for marine energy. …. Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has already signed up to plug its PowerBuoy wave energy converter into one of the berths and the RDA is currently in talks with a number of other marine energy developers about them using the test hub. … The Wave Hub device will now undergo a series of tests before the first marine energy device is deployed next year.”788

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