Friday, December 28, 2012

Energy developments in China

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Preparing Christmas hampers for needy people in the Caroline area

Volunteers prepare Christmas hampers from donated food

Photo and story by Helge Nome

Caroline's Church of the Nazarene is the venue for putting together Christmas hampers for local people. Volunteers have been engaged in setting out donated foods and preparing hampers that are taken to needy individuals and families in the area. Bread, milk, cheese and other perishables are purchased with donated money at the local grocery store just prior to delivery.

Again, people in the Caroline area have proven themselves to be part of a caring community for those that have hit a bump in the road.

Caroline Seniors' Drop In Center hosts Christmas supper

Seniors' Drop In December birthdays: Noel Delorme, Ed Loomis, Barb Proudler, Joyce Pengelly, Chris Orr

 Photo and story by Helge Nome

As always, seniors in the west country enjoyed their monthly pot luck supper with a very short meeting and a long meal of great variety, including the obligatory Christmas turkey. 75 people partook in the meal and Don Bouvette led the singalong of Christmas carols, as well as playing some of his own compositions with a Christmas theme.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Asia's insatiable demand for coal plays havoc with climate goals

A coal miner takes a shower after his shift at a bathroom of a coal mine on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province Photo: Reuters
9:37PM GMT 18 Dec 2012

For greens, ecologists, and those convinced that CO2 emissions pose a grave threat to the planet, it is a nightmare coming true. The world is becoming more reliant on high-polluting coal, not less. 

“Coal met nearly half the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st Century,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Wind, solar, and gas have yet to change the overall picture.
The IEA said “insatiable demand” from Asia’s rising powers will gobble up a further 1bn tonnes each year by 2017, equal to the entire consumption of the US and Russia today. “If no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade,” it said.
By a rough rule of thumb, coal produces 238 tonnes of carbon per gigawatt hour (GWh), compared with 207 for heavy oil and 99 for gas. The IEA says coal already accounts for 43pc of global CO2 emissions.
“The situation is utterly dire,” said Jeremy Leggett, head of the UK Task Force on Peak Energy and Climate Change. “The window over the next decade is absolutely crucial. The danger threshold is a two-degree rise in average temperatures above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. We’re currently on track for a rise of six degrees. The cognoscenti in the scientific world are terrified,” he said.
The great hope of carbon capture and storage (CCS) has yet to materialise, at least at viable cost. “CCS technologies are not taking off as once expected, which means CO2 emissions will keep growing substantially,” said the IEA’s Maria Van der Hoeven.
Thoughtful article continues here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

STARS new helicopter arrives in Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Dec. 14, 2012 – STARS air ambulance officially announced the arrival of its new donor funded AW139 helicopter today during an unveiling ceremony at the STARS base at the Edmonton International Airport.

The helicopter is the first of two new AW139 helicopters purchased by STARS for service in Alberta, with the second Calgary dedicated AW139 arriving in 2013. “The significant financial capital needed to purchase the Alberta-based helicopters initiated the largest fundraising campaign in STARS history, raising over $26.5 million,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson. “We have now completed the vision of bringing this new helicopter to Alberta thanks to the incredible support of our donors, and partnerships with the provincial government, Alberta Health Services, and emergency services.”

 The AW139 medically equipped helicopters will enhance access to emergency pre-hospital critical care through more rapid response, an expanded service area, a larger medical interior, more powerful lift capacity, and a de-icing system that will enable flight during adverse weather conditions. “This new helicopter will ensure that patients, even those far away from a critical care centre, will still receive the intensive medical care they need,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “

The Alberta government recognizes STARS as an important part of our health care delivery system, one that is responsive and provides excellent patient care regardless of location.” A third AW139 will be put into service in Saskatchewan thanks to support from PotashCorp. It will be based in Saskatoon and is anticipated to arrive in late 2013.

 Eurocopter BK117 helicopters will continue as the aircraft for the STARS Grande Prairie, Regina and Winnipeg bases. STARS is a non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS operates from bases in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

 Cam Heke
Media: 1-866-966-8277

Clearwater County recognized for STARS support

Clearwater Councillors pose with Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS: Case Korver, Jim Vandermeer, Patrick Alexander (Reeve), Jim Duncan, Dick Wymenga, Earl Graham, Bob Bryant

Detail of plaque presented to Clearwater County

Photos and story by Helge Nome

Clearwater County councillors were pleased to be recognized by the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service at the December 11 County Council meeting. Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS presented a plaque to Clearwater County, recognizing its annual contribution of $6000 to the service. Reilander also informed Council about a new helicopter, an AW139, being put into service at this time.
(See separate article adjacent).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Annual Carol Fest coming up on December 16

The Church of the Nazarene in Caroline

Photo and Story by Helge Nome

"A new kid in town" is the theme for this year's carol fest in Caroline. The event will take place at the Church of the Nazarene at 7pm on December 16 and is supported by four church communities in the area: Living Faith, the Cowboy Church, the Church of the Nazarene and the Garrington Community Church.

The Caroline Family Singers and many other musicians from the area will participate and there will be a collection for Gail and Dean Wahl who recently lost their home and most of their possessions when their house burnt down. Look for posters.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Old and new flying machines

By Helge Nome

The two photos above have one thing in common: The undercarriage of each flying machine is a tricycle. The top photo depicts a small clay chariot from prehistoric Yugoslavia. It bears a goddess with a bird's head, attended by three aquatic birds . From Duplyaya near Vrsac, c. 1500-1200 BC. (Information source: Mythology An Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Richard Cavendish, Orbis Publishing London, ISBN 0 85613 447 3). The photo underneath shows an airborne ultralight tricycle, 2012 AD.

Now, it so happens that the tricycle is the ideal wheel configuration for the landing of aircraft of all sizes and shapes, because of the stability it confers on the airborne vehicle when it makes contact with the ground during a landing approach. So the question that comes to mind is this: Does the top photo depict a real flying machine, "mythologized" by human observers on the ground in awe of what they saw?

Some chilling history

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Donation to Caroline's Shepherd Food Bank

Photo and story by Helge Nome

Caroline's Shepherd Food Bank received a welcome boost at the Legion Hall in Caroline on Monday, December 3. Local singer/songwriter Cheyenne Larson presented a cheque for $460, along with a considerable quantity of food to a very happy Nancy McLean from the food bank. Cheyenne's grandfather Teekie Mason was pleased to assist.

The donations were made at a family social jam session at the Legion on the preceding Saturday where Cheyenne was a prominent player. The Shepherd Food Bank is located in the basement of the Nazarene Church office building, administered by Nancy McLean and supported by many local volunteers.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cold times ahead

Record of sunspots since 2009

By Helge Nome

This chart is significant, indicating sunspot activity well below that of the previous 11 year cycle which peaked in 2000 at about 120 sunspots in the most active months. Historical data indicates a correlation between observed sunspot activity and weather on the Earth: "The little ice age" in Europe between 1645 AD and 1715 AD coincided with low observed sunspot activity by early telescopes developed around that time. The river Rhine in Germany still had ice on it in June!

Coinciding at this time with reduced economic activity and greenhouse gas generation on the Earth's surface, reduced solar activity points to cold times ahead. Rug up!
More detailed information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology available here