Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New and Noteworthy (Terrorism Coverage, Solar Power and Industry, Rare Earth Minerals)

In today's edition:

* Glenn Greenwald in Salon on the New York Times' shabby and shameful coverage of the neo-Nazi terrorist attacks in Norway, and the (frankly, bigoted) misuse and abuse of the word terrorism that has become standard in the mass media.

For a bit of additional perspective, check out Dan Gardner's analysis of the European Union's Terrorism Situation and Trends Report 2010 (which incidentally makes clear that perhaps 80 percent of the terrorist attacks attempted in 2009 in the EU are the work of separatists, operating mostly in France, Spain and Ireland).

* Reported by way of Energy Bulletin, here's Kris De Decker's excellent article for Low Tech Magazine on an aspect of the solar energy issue that gets little consideration - the use of solar thermal power for industrial production. Decker argues that this is a practical and useful supplement to electricity generated by photovoltaics, which has the potential to get us that much closer to a renewable energy base.

* And finally, from the Huffington Post, a report on the discovery of a rich deposit of rare earth minerals off Japan - only part of the possibly 100 billion tons of them that may lie below the world's oceans (some 1,000 times the size of the deposits found on land to date). Given the important role of such elements in renewable energy technologies (and worries about China's present near-monopoly on the production of these minerals), there is cause for optimism here - though it is also worth remembering that ocean mining has frequently been overhyped in the past.

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