Saturday, 2 May 2009

5 days

or, more accurately, the 5th day.
Up, Down.

Cameco, Gerald Grandey, Not Lyle KrahnCameco, Gerald Grandey, Not Lyle Krahn"The uranium market potential in China is absolutely huge."
        Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn in the Globe.

No pictures of Lyle Krahn? Hard to fathom unless it is intentional, whatever, the CEO, Gerald Grandey, or Gerald W. Grandey aka Jerry Grandey, is 'photographically available'.

Jenkins 09-05-02Talking about talking about talking about Armageddiyon:
        Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus, John Broder.
        Dot Earth: What’s in a Name?, Andrew Revkin.

Lamenting 'bureaucratic nonsense' (doh!?):
        Globe Editorial: Too grave for clerical delay.

back sometime in ... must'a bin, shit, late 80s? who can remember? in those days horror was carefully planned & executed and only good things happened by accident; forgot one day, had to laugh, told the kids; with 13 days of applause and aikido skills i never had it lasted 10 years; till i ran into a woman who let me see her tits then threw me out, went straight down an' bought me some more; now? who can say? no applause, that's for sure, seems no one wants to see me a-tall, my young companion even scoffs tho that's not really a surprise; i was hoping to trade for a picture of her tits; (let's see what can be done with semicolons sez i;) it was my dentist said, "don't or you might be a drag for all of us"; combo action y'see, cross pressures; so, there goes my theory that it is self-worth in action; never bin lower & dreaming often of pink & painless exits ... and nothing in the end but polite, self-effacing invisibility. (i will work on the punctuation eh? :-) go for the seven man! nevermind the eight, it will take care of itself.

Wile E Coyoteoh yeah, forgot to mention Susan Drummond (Susan Drummond, Polygamy, Correctitude); well, i got the book, Incorporating the Familiar ... often i can't make it out, i can't tell who she is, could be, like, 'your scarf it kept your mouth well hid' or so ... but, whatever, she says some (to me) enlightening things about general concepts and the exactly specific: "There is an anxiety accompanying this understanding of general concepts that amounts to a fear that there is no certainty, no way of knowing in advance what counts and what does not." (p. 140)

could be no more than a coincidence that i happen to be reading her book at this time, or she could just be unnecessarily cribbing Wittgenstein like, there was a time everyone used to crib Maslow, can't say ...

there was another time i got here to this place, last October ...

i go into the supermarket and see the avocadoes, small, round, hard, green snooker balls ... and I buy three ... later, looking at them on the checkout conveyor belt i think of mangoes ... but these are not avocadoes, these are memories of avocadoes and a mango bought here would not be a mango, it would be watching a mango on TV, still ... i do have these memories ... peeling and eating mangoes with her over the sink, the ripe sticky juice running down our chins and elbows, and avocadoes, drenched in soy and lemon, scooped out with a spoon

and one other, in Rio Grande one night, when was it? ... ok, end of April last year ...

one night not long ago he is drinking too much with some guys at Palmas, close to the corner where the boys-dressed-up-as-girls hang out, the women who run the place obviously want to close but they stay on

a girl starts passing back and forth on the other side, they say, "that's not a girl," but he says, "yes," and eventually staggers over, she is wearing a short macramé skirt and nothing else, she lifts it up with a smile to prove the point

he takes her home, she flops back onto the bed, she wants 30, he gives her 50, she is enthusiastic and says, "I can cook too," so he says, "come back tomorrow then," and her, "we can go shopping together."

sure enough she calls and comes over, with creased pictures of her baby folded up and tucked into some invisible pocket, she sees his wallet on the table and quickly robs him, she robs him politely, leaving the small bills and ID, he doesn't even notice, when she says she is going home to get more pictures he waits on the doorstep for almost an hour

they live in the neighbourhood, he sees her on the street, he sometimes drinks at the bar on the corner, she comes in for smokes and soft drinks once in a while when he is there, the bartender gives her an approving look when her back is turned

he doesn't look though he wants to and is afraid to say, "hello."

there! oh yeah ... one more, in July ...

the tall morena aroused his honest interest and admiration. she was a waitress at the local, and when the subject of language teachers came up she said to him, "Eu tou uma boa professora - mas eu falo rápido e só falo uma vez! / I am a good teacher - but I talk fast and I only say things once!" He didn't take her up on it - it was not really an offer as far as he could see at the time, and shortly after that she was fired for mysterious reasons. But she stayed in his thoughts. Then she turned up at the shipyard where he worked one day as a welder-in-training, and then appeared with one of his few friends among the engineers. At first he was pleased, because he liked them both - but one night when he was out-and-about he came across them and neither one said hello. It was an oblique situation, nothing as overt as being snubbed, just the way things unfolded, and yet it wasn't accidental either. The engineer even denied all involvement when asked the next day. Evenually he left town, and she with him.

Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus, John M. Broder, May 1, 2009.

WASHINGTON — The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.

Asked about the summary, ecoAmerica’s president and founder, Robert M. Perkowitz, requested that it not be reported until the formal release of the firm’s full paper later this month, but acknowledged that its wide distribution now made compliance with his request unlikely.

The research directly parallels marketing studies conducted by oil companies, utilities and coal mining concerns that are trying to “green” their images with consumers and sway public policy.

Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. “We know why it’s lowest,” said Mr. Perkowitz, a marketer of outdoor clothing and home furnishings before he started ecoAmerica, whose activities are financed by corporations, foundations and individuals. “When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. “Energy efficiency” makes people think of shivering in the dark. Instead, it is more effective to speak of “saving money for a more prosperous future.” In fact, the group’s surveys and focus groups found, it is time to drop the term “the environment” and talk about “the air we breathe, the water our children drink.”

“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.

Mr. Perkowitz and allies in the environmental movement have been briefing officials in Congress and the administration in the hope of using the findings to change the terms of the debate now under way in Washington.

Opponents of legislation to combat global warming are engaged in a similar effort. Trying to head off a cap-and-trade system, in which government would cap the amount of heat-trapping emissions allowed and let industry trade permits to emit those gases, they are coaching Republicans to refer to any such system as a giant tax that would kill jobs. Coal companies are taking out full-page advertisements promising “clean, green coal.” The natural gas industry refers to its product as “clean fuel green fuel.” Oil companies advertise their investments in alternative energy.

Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University, an expert on environmental communications, said ecoAmerica’s campaign was a mirror image of what industry and political conservatives were doing. “The form is the same; the message is just flipped,” he said. “You want to sell toothpaste, we’ll sell it. You want to sell global warming, we’ll sell that. It’s the use of advertising techniques to manipulate public opinion.”

He said the approach was cynical and, worse, ineffective. “The right uses it, the left uses it, but it doesn’t engage people in a face-to-face manner,” he said, “and that’s the only way to achieve real, lasting social change.”

Frank Luntz, a Republican communications consultant, prepared a strikingly similar memorandum in 2002, telling his clients that they were losing the environmental debate and advising them to adjust their language. He suggested referring to themselves as “conservationists” rather than “environmentalists,” and emphasizing “common sense” over scientific argument.

And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, “climate change” is an easier sell than “global warming.”

Dot Earth: Global Heating, Atmosphere Cancer, Pollution Death. What’s in a Name?, Andrew C. Revkin, February 18, 2008.

International symbol for flammable material. (Source:[UPDATE, 5/2: John Broder has written a piece examining a new call for new terminology to describe the climate and energy problems confronting the country. What words, if any, do you think would be most apt to grab attention and propel change?]

[2/18/2008:] John P. Holdren, the head of Harvard’s center on science and technology policy, is sick and tired of “global warming” — not just the problem, but the phrase. As the respondent to a panel on climate and the press at this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston (I was on the panel), he urged the media, and scientists who talk to the press, to substitute “global climate disruption” for that all-too-comfortable pair of words.

What are your suggestions for more effective ways to describe human-caused global warming?

“We’ve been almost anesthetized by this term,” Dr. Holdren lamented. The atmospheric buildup of long-lived greenhouse gases is setting in motion centuries of shifts in climate patterns, coastlines, water resources and ecosystems, he said — hardly a transformation one would describe with a gentle word like warming. (A couple of perspectives on the broader issues we explored in this session are on the blogs of Discover magazine and the journal Nature.)

[UPDATED 2/18: An early version of this post (written late at night, had Dr. Holdren saying "instability" instead of disruption.]

Dr. Holdren’s suggestion, which he has elaborated on here, reminded me of James Lovelock’s push for “global heating” as the most apt name for human-caused climate change.

James Lovelock (Credit: Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times)When I did an interview with Dr. Lovelock in 2006, after his book “The Revenge of Gaia” was published in the United States, he explained his word preference this way: “Warming is something that’s kind of cozy and comfortable. You think of a nice duvet on a cold winter’s day. Heating is something you want to get away from.”

After that interview, I did some Web sifting and found a site set up (but not yet built) by Simon Billinge, a physicist at Michigan State University, promoting the idea, suitably called I hope he expands it.

In an email, Dr. Billinge said he’d been exploring ways to show people how the heat buildup from an increasing greenhouse effect can take time to produce significant consequences. In fact, the demonstration, described below by Dr. Billinge, may help answer the many critics of greenhouse theory on this blog who point to recent cool flutters of climate as evidence that global heating is a fantasy:

I had an undergrad non-physics major do a summer project. The basic idea was the following: educate people about the differen[ce] between heating (transfer of energy) and warming (raising the temperature) and how it pertains to global climate. The greenhouse effect affects the global energy budget (net heating of the earth), global warming and climate change [are] the response of the system to being in this non-steady-state condition and because the earth is a complicated system, we don’t completely know exactly how it is going to respond.

We did an experiment where we made a video of a Bunsen burner heating… a beaker of ice and water (that was being stirred) and we plotted the temperature as a function of time. Of course, the temperature stayed constant at 0 degrees C until all the ice melted, then it started going up up up. This showed that something can be “heated” without “warming”… in fact measuring temperature is not such a great way to determine if you are in that net-heating situation or not. Oh, and by the way, a beaker of ice and water isn’t such a bad model system for the earth….though there are differences.

There’s one more thought about “global warming” that’s worth adding here. In 2006, Seth Godin, a popular marketing expert, examined the climate communications challenge from from vantage point of a pitchman:

Is the lack of outrage because of the population’s decision that this is bad science or perhaps a thoughtful reading of the existing data?

Actually, the vast majority of the population hasn’t even thought about the issue. The muted reaction to our impending disaster comes down to two things:

1. the name.

Global is good.
Warm is good.
Even greenhouses are good places.

How can “global warming” be bad?

I’m not being facetious. If the problem were called “Atmosphere cancer” or “Pollution death” the entire conversation would be framed in a different way.

2. the pace and the images.

One degree every few years doesn’t make good TV. Because activists have been unable to tell their story with vivid images about immediate actions, it’s just human nature to avoid the issue. Why give up something we enjoy now to make an infintesimal change in something that is going to happen far in the future?

We’ve explored the limits of language in situations like this, but it’s worth pushing on this some more. What framing or phrasing do you see capturing peoples’ attention in a way that might stick?

Globe Editorial: Too grave for clerical delay, May 1, 2009.

The World Health Organization's stated determination to quickly develop a vaccine in response to the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak is a wise precaution. Far better that the WHO risk criticism for being overcautious in the event that the flu peters out, than that the feared pandemic gets a foothold, and large numbers of people die, because authorities hesitated to act. Questions are already being asked about bureaucratic delays that possibly hindered the early response to the outbreak. The pattern must not be repeated with a vaccine.

On April 16, Mexico reported the emergence of “alarming occurrences of flu and atypical pneumonia” to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), a regional body of the WHO. It was not until April 24 that the WHO reacted, announcing it was very concerned about the potential for a pandemic. While PAHO officials say Mexico's alert was automatically reported to its parent body, Mexico's chief epidemiologist, Dr. Miguel Angel Lezana, disputes the contention, suggesting it took days for the WHO to be notified by PAHO. Yesterday, PAHO officials argued that, while the WHO had indeed been promptly notified, there had been a delay in alerting other countries. The responsibility for the delay was due to the failure of Mexico to give its permission, a PAHO spokesman said.

This is the sort of bureaucratic nonsense that cannot be tolerated when the stakes are so high. If H1N1 emerges as the pandemic strain that health officials have long feared and warned against, then that eight-day delay may prove to have been very costly indeed. Human lives should not be sacrificed because of incomplete paperwork. Dr. Lezana is correct to call for an investigation of the PAHO and WHO handling of first news of the outbreak, and the role of Mexico in the delay must also be examined. It is outrageous to think that a multinational health organization, once alerted to a disturbing outbreak of flu and pneumonia, would wait idly by because a Mexican official had allegedly failed to fill out a permission form. The WHO must do better in its response to emerging threats in the future, and in the meantime pursue a vaccine with urgency.

Cameco in talks to fuel China's power needs, Andy Hoffman, May 2, 2009.

China, with ambitious plans to boost the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power, is in talks with Cameco Corp. CCO-T about a potential uranium supply agreement.

The Asian giant has become a significant buyer of the radioactive metal on the spot market as it increases its nuclear power capacity, and has entered talks with Saskatoon-based Cameco, the world's largest uranium producer.

China is actively taking advantage of weak prices to secure supply of the metal used to make nuclear fuel.

A spokesman for Cameco confirmed the company is in discussions with Chinese officials about a supply deal. The company also said power utilities, including state-controlled Chinese entities, have accounted for half of recent purchases on the uranium spot market.

"When you talk about utility buying, a good portion of that would have to be attributed to the Chinese. In their case, they are looking to stockpile significant quantities of inventory for the Chinese program," George Assie, Cameco's senior vice-president of marketing and business development, said on a conference call.

Chinese demand for uranium could underpin a recovery in spot prices, which have recently hit $44 (U.S.) a pound after plunging to about $40 from a peak of $135 in 2007.

Stockpiling of copper by China has driven a recovery in prices of that metal. Copper has rallied from recent low of $1.25 a pound to above $2.

Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn said the company is currently in discussions with China regarding a potential uranium supply agreement.

The Asian superpower expects to have 75 gigawatts (a gigawatt is one billion watts) of nuclear power generating capacity by 2030.

That represents just three-quarters of current capacity in the U.S. - the largest nuclear power producer - and only 10 per cent of China's total electricity demand.

"The uranium market potential in China is absolutely huge," Mr. Krahn said.

Scotia Capital Inc. China strategist Na Liu said the market is underestimating the speed at which China is adding nuclear capacity.

He is forecasting that China will have total nuclear capacity of 35 gigawatts by 2015 and 75 gigawatts by 2020, up from the 9.068 gigawatts operating today.

China is currently building 20 new nuclear reactors, with approximately one gigawatt of capacity each.

Scotia Capital predicts that by 2020, China will consume 15,700 tonnes of uranium a year.

"At this rate, China's currently known uranium resources can only last for five to 10 years. Clearly, in our opinion, it is imperative for China to secure long-term supply through imports or investment," Mr. Liu said in a recent note.

China has also recently held discussions with Australian producers regarding potential supply agreements.

A group of Japanese utilities recently struck a long-term uranium supply deal and took an equity stake in Toronto-based producer Uranium One Inc., while a South Korean consortium struck a similar deal with Denison Mines Corp.

The news about China's rising nuclear-power ambitions came as Cameco said its first-quarter profit fell 38 per cent, missing analysts' estimates. Costs were boosted by purchases of uranium at above-production prices for future resale.

The company raised its 2009 sales forecast slightly.

Cameco's uranium purchases - part of a plan to benefit from a longer-term rise in the price - contributed to a rise in uranium production costs to $220-million in the quarter from $169-million in the same quarter a year ago.

Faced with analysts' questions on a conference call, chief executive officer Jerry Grandey defended the purchases as a longer-term trading strategy.

"Down the road, we will realize additional revenue and earnings as we deliver the purchased material to our customers," he said.

The higher costs helped pull down profit to $82-million or 22 cents a share, from $133-million or 37 cents a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned $89-million or 24 cents, missing the 33-cent profit expected by analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Quarterly revenue rose 4 per cent to $615-million, as uranium production rose 26.3 per cent to 4.8 million pounds, while the company also had stronger results at its electricity generation business.


CAMECO (CCO) Close: $29.15, up $1.75

Q1 2009 2008
Profit $82-million $133-million
EPS 22¢ 39¢
Revenue $615-million $593-million

Source: Company reports


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