Why ‘Clean Coal’ Remains out of Reach

first_imgWhy ‘Clean Coal’ Remains out of Reach FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Robert Rapier for Forbes:Since the coal industry and utilities that use coal want to continue to exist, they have pushed the clean coal narrative for many years. After all, if there is some hope that this dream is achieved, perhaps the EPA could cut them some slack while they work out the kinks.It’s not so hard to imagine how it would be done. In fact, it’s already been demonstrated many times at a pilot scale. The exhaust from the power plant stack is captured, compressed, and stored underground — either in a cavern or an old oil or gas field.The key challenge has always been one of economics. The capital cost of capturing and compressing those emissions is very high, and the power consumed in compressing the carbon dioxide places a parasitic load on the power plant. Just to compress the emissions can require the electric power requirements of 10% of the plant output, and then it must still be transported to an appropriate site and pumped into the ground. All of these factors drive up the costs to the point that coal power with carbon capture is prohibitively expensive relative to competing ways of producing power.The prohibitive costs are amply demonstrated by the FutureGen project in Illinois. This project was a partnership between the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and an alliance of coal mining and electric utility companies. The project was to be located at the 275 MW Meredosia Power Station in Illinois.FutureGen won $1.1 billion in federal money in 2009, and the project cost was estimated to be $1.65 billion. The DOE spent $202 million on the project, but missed project deadlines and unresolved technology challenges ultimately caused the DOE to pull the plug on the project in 2015.While there are a number of other pilot projects underway around the world, they all suffer from the same basic problem. The costs of competing technologies are close enough to coal that when you try to capture the carbon dioxide emissions it pushes the cost of coal-fired power beyond the competition.Thus, in reality there aren’t any commercial clean coal technologies. It’s very likely there won’t be any. So for countries that have committed to reducing carbon emissions, the pressure to phase out coal will continue to be intense.Full item: The Elusive Search For Clean Coallast_img read more

Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process

first_img‘I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison’ Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The prosecutor who sent Wilton Dedge to prison for two life terms for a rape he didn’t commit said he is sorry for the injustice done to an innocent man, but he doesn’t know how to avoid making the same mistakes again. “You know, there’s only one way to feel about it, and that is to feel like it is a terrible thing for someone to have been convicted for something that they didn’t do,” said Assistant State Attorney Chris White, of the 18th Judicial Circuit, in Sanford. “That’s the only logical way to feel about it and the only emotional response that you could expect.” Once DNA evidence finally cleared Dedge in 2004, after he spent 22 years in prison, White said, “You go through a stage of disbelief. Because we honestly believed that he had committed the offense.. . . I still wanted to believe the victim, but yet I had DNA staring me in the face that’s saying it’s not him. I am forced to the conclusion that it was not Wilton Dedge, despite how strongly she believed it was.” Dedge, 44, was arrested when he was 20 and wrongly convicted twice for a brutal rape, spending half of his life locked in prison. Dedge is the first person in Florida exonerated by DNA evidence to receive compensation from the state. During December’s special legislative session, legislators apologized to Dedge and gave him $2 million in compensation. But, Dedge noted, he had never received a face-to-face apology from his prosecutors. Asked whether he would apologize to Dedge, White responded: “I wouldn’t have any problem with telling him that I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison.” White added that he believed the $2 million in compensation was fair. But he was less certain about what can be learned from mistakes made in the Dedge case built on the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Clarence Zacke; a discredited dog handler with a dog who could supposedly track cold scents months and years later; and a 17-year-old victim who described her rapist as 6 feet tall and 180-200 pounds, though Dedge is a 5-foot-5-inch, slender man. Jurors also disregarded alibi testimony from six co-workers at an auto body shop who said Dedge was at work at the time of the crime. “It’s not a nice thing to happen to Wilton Dedge or for me or for the system,” White said. “I wish we could have a system that could be beyond human error. I think we all wish that. But the problem is the system is populated by humans, and so human error is in fact possible.” In Dedge’s case, human error was rampant, as detailed by Dedge’s pro bono attorney on the compensation issue, Sandy D’Alemberte, who said he hopes Florida can create a better process for evaluating such missteps in criminal prosecutions in order to improve the system. “I don’t know how to explain why it happened, exactly. But it did,” White said. “Frankly, I took the case over from the first prosecutor and it was already formed.. . . All the evidence was there.” The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed Dedge’s first conviction on December 22, 1983, finding that the trial judge should not have allowed dog scent testimony that lacked reliability. The court noted that evidence of Dedge’s guilt was “minimal.” For the second trial, the dog scent evidence was out. But White used the testimony of Zacke, who was the only inmate on a prison transport van with Dedge and claimed Dedge had confessed. Once a millionaire, Zacke had been convicted of murder, five counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and received 180 years in prison. In agreeing to testify as an informant in several cases, 130 years were wiped off his sentence. White stressed Zacke wasn’t promised anything specifically in Dedge’s case. “You’ve got to remember that Clarence Zacke, for everything you say about him, he wasn’t offered and wasn’t given anything for his testimony,” White said. “How do you turn down that testimony, you know, when a guy says, ‘Look, I’ll come testify for you?’ We don’t have to give him anything for it. How do you say, ‘No, I won’t put that on?’” The most compelling evidence, White said, was the victim’s identification. “There is a lot of talk about her misidentifying the defendant,” White said. “But, frankly, that comes out of a statement she made in the emergency room to a nurse. What she described in her first statement to the police is noticeably different in terms of the height and weight and all that. I don’t place as much credence in that variance, myself.. . . And she had done a drawing. It was the best one I had ever seen. It looked just like him, I swear.” During Dedge’s second trial in 1984, the state relied on testimony of a hair micro-analyst who said foreign hair recovered from the victim’s bed established that Dedge could not be eliminated as the source, but the prosecutor argued the hair was a match. D’Alemberte has claimed that evidence is based on “junk science.” In 1988, while in prison serving two life terms, Dedge began his quest for DNA testing to prove his innocence, eventually getting help from the Innocence Project. It would take another dozen years until June 2000 for a court order for the state to release evidence for DNA testing. The results showed the hairs could not be Dedge’s. But that was still not enough to exonerate Dedge. “At first, it was, ‘We had DNA done on the hairs found in the bed. They don’t match Wilton Dedge. They don’t match the victim either.’ But was it necessarily the perpetrator? Or was it some other person’s who had been in her bedroom? Had they been transferred?” White explained. “They wanted us to throw in the towel because there were hairs that didn’t match the victim or the defendant. And we refused to do that.” It was not until a July 2004 hearing that it was revealed that traces of DNA extract from anal slides, taken during the inconclusive earlier DNA testing, remained at the lab and could possibly be used in the newly developed Y-Chromosome DNA testing. Two days later, the judge ordered expedited testing, which conclusively excluded Dedge as the rapist. The next day, Dedge walked out of the Brevard County Jail a free man. After all these years, White said, he also knows of no way to find the real rapist. “There was never any other suspect we could think of at the time, way back then. To my knowledge, there is just no one,” White said. “If you had some thoughts that maybe these guys could have done it, then you could maybe do a DNA comparison. But I don’t believe we have any such pool of possible suspects.” What can be learned from the Dedge case so mistakes don’t happen again? “I can’t think of any concrete thing we can do to avoid this from possibly happening. The defendant is entitled to counsel. The state has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He’s entitled to a jury trial. All that is there. I don’t know what else we can do. Are you going to raise the standard of proof beyond all possible doubt? Unless you change the standard, how are you going to affect a change? I don’t know how to do it. I really don’t.” Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process Dedge prosecutor details decision-making processcenter_img February 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

Violent video games incite kids to crime

first_imgDaily Telegraph 6 August 2012Knife crime is soaring among youngsters because brutal video games that reward players for murder, rape and theft have made violence seem acceptable, the state’s top cop said yesterday. Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione believes young people are being desensitised by spending hours acting out deadly scenarios on their computer screens. “The thing that’s concerning me is the prevalence of people who are at this stage not just prepared to carry a knife, but prepared to use it,” Mr Scipione said. “That has increased significantly.” He said he had reached the conclusion that there was “nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence they’re being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they’re playing.” “How can it not affect you if you’re a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people (do) for hours and hours on end,” he said. “You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people. That’s not going to affect the vast majority but it’s only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You’ve got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who’s got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia. That’s concerning.”http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-news/violent-video-games-incite-kids-to-crime-says-scipione/story-fn7y9brv-1226443402160Nonviolent videos better for preschoolers’ sleepReuters 6 Aug 2012Preschoolers seemed to sleep better when their parents were encouraged to cut kids’ exposure to violent or age inappropriate videos throughout the day, in a new study. Researchers found that within months after urging parents to switch their children’s viewing to nonviolent and age-appropriate videos, those children were about 20 percent less likely to have a sleep problem than kids whose parents didn’t receive the same advice. “One of the things that’s exciting for me is that if families want to make these changes, it doesn’t require going to the doctor’s office or going to a person’s home,” said Michelle Garrison, the study’s lead author from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Previous research has suggested a link between the kinds of media young kids see during the day and sleep problems at night.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/06/us-nonviolent-videos-idUSBRE87505J20120806last_img read more

PSG cruise into League Cup quarters

first_img0Shares0000Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani (C) celebrates a goal during their match against Strasbourg (RCSA) on December 13, 2017 at the Meinau stadium in Strasbourg, eastern France © AFP / PATRICK HERTZOGPARIS, France, Dec 14 – Paris Saint-Germain brushed off the absence of Neymar to ease into the French League Cup quarter-finals with a 4-2 victory at Strasbourg on Wednesday.The Ligue 1 leaders gained a measure of revenge for their shock 2-1 league defeat by Strasbourg less than a fortnight ago as they started their bid for a fifth straight League Cup title. PSG will take on Amiens in the last eight, after the newly-promoted top-flight club edged out second-tier Tours 2-1.“We needed to improve from the league game and the team was more focused from the start,” said PSG coach Unai Emery.“Maybe we could have scored more goals and played better after it went to 4-2, but we are still happy.”With Neymar having only just returned from a visit to his native Brazil, Emery opted to play Edinson Cavani up front on his own with Kylian Mbappe on the bench.Home hopes of a repeat performance for Strasbourg were dashed in only the 12th minute, as Yoann Salmier sliced Angel Di Maria’s cross into his own net.Argentina international Di Maria made it two midway through the first half, capitalising on a goalkeeping error by Alexandre Oukidja to slot in his fourth goal of the season.But Strasbourg pulled one back before half-time against the run of play as midfielder Jeremy Grimm, who has been with the club throughout their rise from the third tier, slotted into the corner.The hosts battled hard in the second period but their resistance was finally ended when Thomas Meunier crossed for fellow full-back Dani Alves to tap in from close range.German international Julian Draxler impressed in a three-man attacking midfield alongside Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and drilled in to end a nine-game goal drought for club and country.Jeremy Blayac came off the bench to score a late consolation for Strasbourg, but PSG had long since secured their place in the quarters.Elsewhere, a much-changed Lyon were stunned 4-1 at Montpellier despite taking a 10th-minute lead through teenager Myziane Maolida, as Souleymane Camara scored twice for the hosts.Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale was the hero as Lucien Favre’s men edged past managerless Lille on penalties after Mario Balotelli had rescued the a 1-1 draw for the visitors.Monaco will be Nice’s last-eight opponents, after the principality outfit saw off Caen on Tuesday.Rennes beat Marseille in a penalty shootout after an entertaining 2-2 draw at Roazhon Park, where Kostas Mitroglou and Valere Germain scored for the visitors, but to no avail.Quarter-final draw (ties to be played January 9/10):Angers v Montpellier, Amiens v Paris Saint-Germain, Nice v Monaco, Rennes v Toulouse0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more