Category Archives: News
Quem não se lembra do espetáculo tragicômico, bem peculiar por parte da Câmara dos Deputados quando da aprovação do impedimento da então presidenta Dilma Rousseff há um ano, que chamou a atenção do mundo negativamente?
Pois como pouca desgraça é sempre uma grande bobagem quando o país que menos lê no mundo e um dos mais discriminadores do planeta está em cena, o tempo passou e tanto a plateia, à direita e à esquerda, quanto o picadeiro político aperfeiçoam a díspar capacidade de se superar quando o assunto é despolitização, ódio, violência, desmando e muito oportunismo.
“Passado é passado”, referindo-se à ditadura militar palrou do alto do pedestal ele, Luiz Inácio quando gozava dos privilégios do poder que julgou perpétuos, valendo-se de cordiais abraços até em personagens como o senhor engenheiro, doutor Paulo Maluf e José Sarney, entre as mais pitorescas figuras da oligarquia tupiniquim sem nenhum constrangimento.
“Aí se vai um brasileiro merecedor de três dias de luto oficial”, declarou publicamente Luiz Inácio no velório do “doutor” Roberto Marinho, contra cujas Organizações Globo hoje esperneia ferrenhamente, seguido por suas multidões.
À época da filosofada oportunista do então presidente em relação aos militares, mandatário que dizia ainda, categoricamente, nunca ter sido de esquerda, discutia-se a importância de a Comissão da Verdade não apenas recontar os 21 anos de história do regime militar, como também seguir exemplos de outras nações e recomendações de diversos organismos internacionais como a OEA, a fim de julgar os criminosos militares já que crimes de lesa-humanidade não prescrevem.
Mas uma vez no poder, bajulado pela velha oligarquia, que importância tinha se a máxima de Nicolás Avellaneda era recordada por meia dúzia de “esquerdistas radicais” no Brasil? “Povo que esquece seu passado, está condenado a vivê-lo novamente”. Se não se requer ser cientista social para se ter consciência da profunda verdade contida na frase do jurista argentino de saudosa memória, não é que o castigo dos “moderados” veio a cavalo?
Ainda no picadeiro político, saindo da torrente à la Rio Tietê à “esquerda”, o excesso de desmando e ódio bem peculiar à direita está personalizado em Sérgio Moro e sua Lava-Jato que o que menos faz é promover justiça, mas sim arrancar mais uma série de assombro internacional pelo caráter politiqueiro e, consequentemente, autoritário para poder alcançar seus objetivos.
Na plateia à esquerda e à direita, o show de comédia trágica abunda diariamente, e só aumenta com o passar do tempo.
No primeiro caso, por 13 anos patrulhou a crítica nervosamente apresentando ataques esquizofrênico-democráticos cada vez que – especialmente quando Luiz Inácio gozava de ampla popularidade – a sociedade era criticada pela despolitização e inércia – um alerta pelo que certamente viria, o que se fez questão de ignorar já que o poder pelo poder era o limite -, bem como alianças e práticas políticas do PT que incluíam injeção de milhões de dólares na grande mídia como nenhum governo jamais fizera, banqueiros que lucraram como nunca antes em uma economia artificial, crescentemente financeirizada que cada vez menos produzia, e evasão de divisas também inédita que nem Fernando Henrique Cardoso fora capaz de presentear ao capital estrangeiro.
Pois hoje este mesmo setor não apenas aplaude alegremente estas mesmas críticas à sociedade brasileira, como hipocritamente as toma a iniciativa de fazer. Critica duramente – com toda a razão – personagens como Henrique Meirelles, apenas “se esquecendo” de que este ser foi parte do governo “de esquerda” do mesmo PT que abraçou o hoje demonizado Michel Temer – pois no poder, os petistas demonizavam os “esquerdistas radicais” que demonizavam Temer aliado de Dilma: pouca hipocrisia? Eis uma pequena parte do patético espetáculo tupiniquim.
Já o setor à direita da plateia, velho espetáculo à parte, hoje no auge da histeria justiceira: sua “nata intelectual” esbanja, entre termos e a própria construção da língua portuguesa ridículos enquanto se julgam seres de elevado valor cultural, o tradicional festival de ódio, discriminação e intolerância.
Sem noção nenhuma do ridículo a que se presta, tal setor anda agora rotulando até a Rede Globo de comunista (!) por minissérie televisiva crítica aos anos de regime militar; a cara-de-pau e o show de despolitização e ignorância – marcas registradas mesmo entre sua considerada “elite intelectual” – dão-se da apologia á violência contra toda e qualquer diferença de ideias (a derrubada da ex-presidenta Dilma não se deu, no discurso desta ala, em defesa da liberdade de pensamento político, de expressão garantidos na Constituição, e da democracia?) à crítica do que historicamente seus palhaços no picadeiro praticaram, e hoje no poder seguem praticando.
Condenam a ex-presidente Dilma por corrupção (até hoje não comprovada) enquanto fazem vistas grossas a todas as evidências de que Michel Temer é corrupto, tendo recebido milhões em propinas.
Não esboçam a mesma indignação quando se aponta que o Mensalão começou com o PSDB em Minas Gerais, nem diante do fato mais que evidente que o Congresso que derrubou Dilma, sim, é comprovadamente corrupto.
Esbanjam moralismo seletivo ao não reprovar a compra da reeleição de Fernando Henrique Cardoso junto ao Congresso, a crise de 1999 promovida por este, a privataria que se desfez a preço de banana nossas riquezas naturais e enriqueceu seu bolso, e os desmandos, o fracasso administrativo e os escândalos de corrupção envolvendo José Serra, Geraldo Alckmin e Aécio Neves.
Batem no PT mais que em Judas em Sábado de Aleluia por excessivos gastos, incluindo o Bolsa Família enquanto não apenas “se esquecem” que o próprio Aécio Neves, candidato reacionário à presidência em 2014, havia afirmado que o manteria se vencesse as eleições. Se se relembra que o Bolsa Família do PT é criação de Fernando Henrique, aperfeiçoada e com o nome modificado (Bolsa Escola), não se demonstra a mesma indignação pela “irresponsabilidade” dos “gastos contra vagabundos”, especialmente “vagabundos nordestinos”.
Tampouco se incomodam ao se deparar com o fato de que o Brasil com Temer, que tanto afirmaram que superaria as crises econômica e política – ao readquirir a confiança dos investidores e fazer limpeza ética no segundo caso -, as quais se deterioram dia a dia, gasta com juros da dívida oito vezes mais que com saúde pública (o que não era diferente nos anos neoliberais de Lula e Dilma, e nem seus partidários à época não se incomodavam, embora hoje se mostrem profundamente indignados como este assalto ás contas públicas).
Enfim, que esperar de um setor que se simpatiza com figuras como Jair Bolsonaro, e que caiu teimosamente no engodo Eduardo Cunha – sem demonstrar nenhum arrependimento hoje, desaproveitando-se até da infalível ajuda da análise retrospectiva?
A Lava-Jato é uma operação evidentemente política, mas embora se esteja tentando, o que não é nenhuma novidade no Brasil, criminalizar setores à esquerda, é um grande equívoco de uns, e descarado oportunismo de outros embarcar a cúpula petista nesta luta direita-esquerda.
Luiz Inácio é, sim, vítima de discriminação por ser nordestino e originário da roça. Assim como Dilma, por ser mulher em uma sociedade altamente machista. Ambos têm ainda hoje sofrido perseguição sistemática da grande mídia, da “Justiça” e da própria sociedade brasileira, altamente elitista em todos os segmentos (a grande desgraça brasileira é que se conseguiu transformar até pobres em seres reacionários).
Mas setores “à esquerda” têm descoberto a pólvora e se dado conta de que o Brasil possui uma economia neoliberal, que o saneamento básico e a moradia do país são uma tragédia, além de uma sociedade sem educação minimamente satisfatória, altamente despolitizada e uma mídia inescrupulosa, completamente desregulada: Temer é apenas o estágio mais avançado das políticas oligárquicas, herdadas de seus antepassados todos. Porém, em grande medida tudo isso, outrora combatido (i.e., quando Luiz Inácio e Dilma estavam no poder) é tratado como grande novidade.
O que está em questão envolvendo o PT é a velha briga de cachorro grande pelo poder, neste sistema de Partido Único cuja máscara democrática já caiu há muito tempo e apenas os mais ingênuos e irregeneráveis insistem em não enxergam.
A cúpula do Partido dos Trabalhadores não se regenerou pós-farra nos porões do poder, e algumas evidências disso são a aliança a nível municipal, estadual e nacional que tem feito, desde que Dilma caiu, com o próprio PMDB que a derrubou.
E a evidência de que, de volta ao poder nacional em 2018 não se diferenciará do regime oligárquico e neoliberal que o marcou por 13 anos, é que nas entrevistas que Lula e Dilma concedem não tem nada mais a oferecer como solução ao país que a retomada do poder. Não há autocrítica e, por isso mesmo, não há projetos que não sejam vencer as eleições.
Eis a cara de uma “esquerda” brasileira historicamente apática, mesquinha, politiqueira, inerte, dessituada e como consequência disso tudo, sem a menor capacidade de reação. Completamente rendida a uma direita do pior nível, intelectual e moral.
Que ninguém se engane: seja Lula preso ou presidente da República novamente, tudo seguirá como sempre esteve no Brasil. O que menos se está fazendo é justiça, o que as siglas integrantes da ditadura de Partido Único no Brasil, e seus respectivos canalhas de turno desejam, é apenas deleitar-se dos privilégios do poder.
Quanto ao PT, particularmente, tem sido vítima de todos os seus venenos, um a um: de não ter se aliado à sociedade em todos os anos que esteve no poder – perdendo a oportunidade de fazê-lo especialmente em junho de 2013 -, da repressão e cooptação dos movimentos sociais, da despreocupação com educação e politização da sociedade, da criminalização da esquerda autêntica.
A grande ironia deste cenário circense é que, hoje assim como foi durante o golpe parlamentar do ano passado, o partido depende desesperadamente de cada um desses pontos para retornar ao poder.
O Brasil requer, está mais que claro, alternativas já que o PT não mudou o péssimo caráter uma vez de volta ao poder, sem sombra de dúvidas, viraria as costas aos mesmos que se apoiou para lá chegar como outrora fez e aos seus próprios “discursos” e “indignações” de esquerda.
Existe a alternativa que a sociedade – em grande medida de maneira nada sincera e até sem nenhuma consciência – anda dizendo que deseja, reforma no sistema político, na condução da economia no sentido de haver equidade com responsabilidade, na mídia e no sistema judiciário.
Porém, essa alternativa – a ser buscada com lupa, é verdade – passa longe dos grandes partidos que compõem a ditadura de Partido Único travestida de democracia, com suas siglas, que entre si, nada mais são que a outra face de uma mesma moeda adepta da politicagem mais baixa, e da roubalheira indiscriminada.
Fuente: Understand Solar
Google just announced they reached their target of 100% renewable energy.
It’s official. The fine people who brought slides into their workplace are now 100% powered by renewable energy, making them pioneers in both of these noblest pursuits.
To celebrate their historic achievement, we’re going to answer all the questions you were going to ask about Google’s aggressive drive towards renewable energy as well as all the questions you weren’t going to ask (because you were hoping someone else would).
Google can’t consume that much energy, can they?
Surprisingly, they can. Take an innocent Google search, for instance. It uses the same energy as a 60W lightbulb turned on for 17 seconds. Multiply that by a billion or so, and that’s around 5% of Google’s consumption. The power-guzzlers are their data centers. In total, Google consumes energy at a rate of 2.6GW.
How much power is 2.6GW?
Well, the average US household uses about 30kWh a day, which averages to a power demand of 1.25kW (30kWh/24 hours). So Google’s power consumption could power some 2 million US homes. That’s a lot of homes. They’d need 10 million solar panels to produce that much electricity!
And they’ve gone 100% renewable?
How did they go about doing such a Herculean task?
Unbeknownst to much of society-at-large is Google’s aptly named energy company, Google Energy. Google Energy was created specifically to lower energy consumption of its parent company and to produce and sell renewable energy. Since its founding, they’ve been buying up shares in renewable projects or purchasing clean energy in the form of a PPA. (They pioneered corporate PPAs, by the way).
Pioneer of corporate PPAs, you say?
Google was one of the first companies to buy energy directly from private renewable energy companies. They shared their methods publicly, allowing other companies to follow in their footsteps.
So where are they getting their renewable energy from?
So far they have signed 20 agreements in total. These include 10 wind farms in the U.S, 8 in Northern Europe, and solar farms in Chile and the U.S. Most are located within the same grid as their data centers. When electricity is produced, they sell it immediately to the grid and buy it back when they need it.
Because they generate as much renewable energy as they consume, they’re 100% renewable. But, due to the intermittent power, sometimes they have to use fossil fuels from the grid, meaning that they’re not (yet) 24/7 renewable.
When will they become 24/7 renewable?
When the price of energy storage (ie batteries) goes down. Storage is still pretty expensive, but much like solar panels, the price should fall with economy-of-scale (more batteries sold equals lower prices) and technology improvements. Sam Aron, the man behind Tech and Infrastructure at Google, says that a Renewable Portfolio Standard for energy storage would be a huge boon to renewable storage efforts in the States.
So how do Google make their renewable investment decisions?
They set the bar pretty high. Before investing, the renewable infrastructure must be “additional”, which means it must be new. They’re not allowed to buy renewable energy that would mean diverting original renewables to the Google cause. Thus, they have to be promoting the renewable industry. Second, the renewables must be above their states’ RPS requirements, which further promotes new renewables.
Has Google always been this environmentally friendly?
Pretty much. Since inception, they’ve been using recycled Legos to build their server casing, using non-toxic paints and carpet materials to furnish their offices, and have been carbon neutral since 2007. These days, they are on track to making all their data centers Zero Waste to Landfill. Plus, they’ve invested millions in SolarCity.
In addition, there’s Project Sunroof – Google’s solar matchmaking service that allows customers to see their roof’s solar potential, local installers, and potential energy savings from the comfort of their own homes – now available in 50 states.
How does Google’s renewable energy compare to other companies?
Google definitely takes the renewable cake! They purchase more renewable energy than any other organization in North America. They purchase twice as much renewable energy as Amazon (which ranks #2) and about 5x as much as the US Department of Defense (which ranks #3)!
What can we expect from Google in the future?
And as their doings in tracking illegal deforestation, over-fishing and earth science would suggest, it’s pretty hard to predict where they’re going next. Most likely, Google’s landmark 100% renewable power is just the beginning.
Fingers crossed for solar panels and slides.
Image Credit under CC License via Wikipedia
As eleições presidenciais francesas de 2017 não são uma brincadeira. Elas estão a erigir-se como um confronto altamente significativo entre duas conceções profundamente opostas da vida política. Por um lado, a governança, que significa a gestão conjunta da sociedade por uma elite cooptada, com base no modelo das corporações empresariais. Por outro lado, o sistema tradicional chamado “democracia”, ou seja, a escolha pelo povo de líderes, através de eleições livres e justas.
Historicamente, os acontecimentos políticos em França tendem a marcar épocas e a clarificar dicotomias, a começar pela distinção em declínio entre a “esquerda” e “direita”. Estas eleições podem ter também essas características.
O que é a “governança”?
É cada vez mais claro que a elite do poder transatlântico há muito decidiu que a democracia representativa tradicional não é a forma de governo apropriada para um mundo globalizado baseado na livre circulação de capitais. Em vez disso, o modelo preferido é a “governança”, uma palavra retirada do mundo dos negócios, que se refere à gestão bem-sucedida de grandes corporações, unidas num único propósito e visando a máxima eficiência. Essa origem é evidente em aspetos da governança política: uma unanimidade obrigatória sobre “valores”, imposta pelos meios de comunicação corporativos; O uso de comités especializados para fornecer sugestões sobre questões delicadas, o papel desempenhado pela “sociedade civil”; o uso da psicologia e das comunicações para moldar a opinião pública; o isolamento das vozes críticas que questionam o sistema e levantam problemas; a cooptação das lideranças.
Estas características descrevem cada vez mais a vida política no Ocidente. Nos Estados Unidos, a transição da democracia para a governança foi gerida pelo sistema bipartidário, limitando a escolha dos eleitores a dois candidatos, selecionados e controlados pelos principais interesses corporativos do país, com base no seu compromisso de prosseguir a agenda da governança. Tudo isto estava a correr sobre esferas até que Hillary Clinton, a candidata indiscutível de toda a elite, ter sido derrotada de forma chocante por um intruso inesperado, Donald Trump. A reação negativa, sem precedentes, em todo o Ocidente mostra quão pouco a elite da governança global está pronta para ceder poder a um estranho. A situação nos Estados Unidos permanece incerta, mas a revolta refletiu o ressentimento popular crescente, embora mal definido, contra os governadores globalizadores, especialmente devido à desigualdade económica e ao declínio dos padrões de vida de grande parte da população.
Hillary Clinton optou por usar a palavra “governança” para descrever os seus objetivos, em parceria com a Goldman Sachs e outros representantes da “sociedade civil”. Mas nem mesmo ela era um produto puro do sistema de globalização como o é, nas eleições francesas, o candidato Emmanuel Macron. (Imagem à direita)
A primeira forma de identificar o papel atribuído a Macron é simplesmente passar os olhos pela média: as intermináveis capas de revistas, peças sopradas, entrevistas chocantes – e nunca uma palavra de crítica, (enquanto os seus principais rivais são sistematicamente denegridos). Em janeiro, a revista Política Externa apresentou Macron aos seus leitores como sendo “O Inglês-Falante, O Alemão-Afetuoso, o político francês que a Europa estava à espera”.
A trajetória da sua carreira deixa a claro por que a média mainstream ocidental o está a apelidar por o Messias.
Nascido em Amiens há apenas 39 anos, Emmanuel Macron passou grande parte de sua vida na escola. Como a maioria dos líderes franceses, foi educado em algumas das melhores, mas não nas melhores, escolas de elite da França (para os conhecedores, ele falhou a entrada à ENS, mas fez Sciences Po e ENA). Os meios de comunicação dos EUA parecem impressionados pelo fato de ele ter estudado filosofia ao longo do seu percurso, o que não lá grande cartão-de-visita, em França.
Em 2004, passou no exame de admissão para ingresso na Inspeção Geral de Finanças, um dos corpos de especialistas que mais se distinguem ao serviço do Estado francês, desde os tempos de Napoleão. Os inspetores do IGF têm segurança no emprego para a vida e exercem funções de consultoria económica junto do governo ou até de entidades privadas. No IGF, ele chamou a atenção do alto funcionário Jean-Pierre Jouyet, particularmente bem relacionado, que o recomendou a Jacques Attali, o mais espetacular dos gurus intelectuais que, nos últimos 35 anos, tem regalado os governos franceses com suas visões futuristas (Jerusalém Como capital de um futuro governo mundial, por exemplo). Em 2007, Attali cooptou Macron na sua super-elite “Comissão para a Libertação do Crescimento”, autorizada a orientar a Presidência. E uma estrela nasceu – uma estrela do mundo dos negócios.
A Comissão Attali preparou uma lista de 316 propostas explicitamente concebidas para “instalar uma nova governação ao serviço do crescimento”. Neste contexto, o “crescimento” significa, naturalmente, o crescimento dos lucros, através de medidas que reduzem o custo do trabalho, derrubam as barreiras à circulação de capitais, em suma, a desregulamentação. Os 40 membros da elite que planejavam o futuro da França incluíam os chefes do Deutsche Bank e da empresa suíça Nestlé. E assim, foram eles que forneceram ao jovem Macron um valioso livro de endereços e de contatos úteis.
Em 2008, por recomendação de Attali, Macron foi levado para o Rothschild Bank, ocupando uma elevada posição. Ao negociar uma compra da Nestlé no valor de nove mil milhões de dólares, Macron tornou-se milionário, graças ao montante elevado da sua comissão.
A que é que ele deveu a sua ascensão meteórica, ascensão que há dois séculos teria sido um excelente tema para um romance de Balzac? Ele foi “impressionante”, lembra Attali. Ele deu-se bem com todos e “não antagonizou ninguém”.
Alain Minc, outra estrela especialista em tudo, disse: Macron é esperto, mas acima de tudo, é um bom banqueiro porque é “encantador” – uma qualidade necessária para “a profissão de puta”).
Macron é famoso por palavras de profunda sabedoria como:
“O que a França precisa é de mais jovens a quererem ser milionários”.
“Quem se importa com os programas? O que conta é a visão. ”
Assim, Macron lançou a sua carreira com base no seu charme e “visão” – certamente ele tem uma visão clara de qual é o caminho para o topo.
Formação da Elite da Governança
Este caminho está cheio de contactos. A elite da governança opera por cooptação. Reconhecem-se, “cheiram-se uns aos outros”, eles são de uma única mente.
Naturalmente, um destes dias, as polícias irão ativamente condenar estas conversas da “governança” dizendo que não passam de teoria da conspiração. Mas não há conspiração, porque não é necessário que o seja. As pessoas que pensam de modo igual agem em conjunto. Ninguém tem que lhes dizer o que fazer.
E as pessoas que condenam cada dica sobre a “conspiração” parecem acreditar que as pessoas que possuem um poder imenso, especialmente o poder financeiro, não se dão ao trabalho de o usar. Em vez disso, sentam-se e dizem: “Deixem o povo decidir”. Como George Soros, por exemplo.
Na verdade, as pessoas com poder não apenas o usam, mas estão convencidas de que devem usá-lo, para o bem da Humanidade, para o bem do mundo. É por isso que David Rockefeller fundou a Comissão Trilateral há quarenta anos, para descobrir como lidar com “demasiada democracia”.
Hoje em dia, os ideólogos mantêm as massas divertidas com argumentos e discussões a respeito de si mesmas, a que grupo identitário pertence, qual o género que podem assumir, quem é injusto com quem, quem é que elas devem “odiar” pelo crime de “odiar”.
Enquanto isso, a elite encontra-se entre si e decide o que é melhor.
Graças a Jouyet, em 2007 Macron foi cooptado para pertencer a um clube chamado Les Gracques (na senda dos irmãos romanos Gracchus), dedicado aos “valores”, com base no reconhecimento de que o Estado-providência keynesiano não se enquadra na globalização e no desenvolvimento da União Europeia.
Em 2011, Macron foi cooptado para o Club de la Rotonde, que se comprometeu a aconselhar o Presidente Hollande a acordar a França com um “choque de competitividade” – favorecendo o investimento, reduzindo as despesas públicas e os custos de mão-de-obra.
Em 2012, Macron foi recebido na Fundação Franco-Americana, conhecida por selecionar os “jovens líderes” do futuro.
Em 2014, Macron chegou ao grande momento. Em 31 de maio e 1 de junho desse ano participou da reunião anual de Bilderberg, realizada em Copenhaga. Este encontro super-secreto de designers de “governança” foi formado em 1954 pelo príncipe Bernhard da Holanda. Não são permitidos jornalistas na reunião de Bilderberg, mas os principais barões da imprensa estão lá para concordar com o consenso que deve ser difundido e inculcado na mente das massas.
E política? Programa? O que é isso?
Com todas essas credenciais, Macron passou de conselheiro econômico de François Hollande para ministro da Economia, Finanças e Indústria Digital, sob a presidência do primeiro-ministro Manuel Valls, onde promoveu vigorosamente a agenda de Attali sob pretexto de promover o “crescimento”. Entre outras coisas, ele reverteu a posição de seu antecessor ao aprovar a venda da joia da coroa da indústria francesa, o setor de energia da Alstom responsável pela indústria de energia nuclear da França, à General Electric.
Como ministro, Macron foi responsável pelas medidas mais impopulares de toda a impopular presidência de Hollande. A sua chamada “Lei Macron”, caracterizada por uma desregulamentação maciça, conformou-se às diretivas da União Europeia, mas não conseguiu obter a maioria no parlamento e teve de ser aprovada recorrendo ao artigo 49.3 da Constituição, que permite ao Primeiro-Ministro aprovar uma medida sem a aprovação parlamentar.
A sua realização seguinte foi mais velada. Projetou a “reforma” (desmantelamento parcial) do direito de trabalho francês, apresentada ao público como a Lei El Khomri, em homenagem ao jovem ministro do trabalho, marroquino Myriam El Khomri. A Sra. El Khomri não tinha praticamente nada a ver com a lei de seu nome, exceto colocar um rosto bonito e um nome de “diversidade étnica” numa legislação extremamente impopular que enviou trabalhadores a protestar nas ruas durante semanas, dividiu o Partido Socialista e obrigou o Primeiro-ministro Valls a recorrer novamente ao Artigo 49.3 para poder aprovar a lei.
Aqui a história torna-se quase cómica. A divisão e a colisão criada por Macron no governo Hollande / Valls praticamente destruíram o Partido Socialista francês, deixando-o dividido e desmoralizado. Isso abriu caminho para Macron emergir como o campeão heroico de “o futuro”, “nem a esquerda nem a direita”, “a França dos vencedores”, no seu novo partido, En Marche (que pode significar “está funcionando”).
No momento, Macron está no topo das sondagens, ombro a ombro com o corredor da frente, Marine Le Pen, para a primeira volta eleitoral de 23 de abril, e portanto, é o favorito para desafiá-la na decisiva segunda volta de 7 de maio. Ser “charmoso” assegurou a Macron uma carreira bem-sucedida como banqueiro, e os subservientes meios de comunicação social estão a fazer o possível para lhe assegurar a Presidência, principalmente com base em seu charme juvenil.
A média e as pessoas
Como nunca antes, a imprensa e as televisões de onde a maioria das pessoas obtém as notícias tornaram-se, não só unânimes nas suas escolhas e sem escrúpulos nos seus métodos, mas também tirânicos na sua condenação de fontes de notícia independentes reputando-as de “fake” e “false”. Eles devem ser designados por Média de Gestão da Mente. A objetividade é uma coisa do passado.
Há onze candidatos oficiais na corrida para a Presidência da República Francesa. A Média de Gestão da Mente, pródiga em centrar a atenção em Macron, trata os seus rivais mais diretos como delinquentes, atiram alguns ossos aos perdedores, e ignoram os restantes. Apoiado pela Média de Gestão da Mente, Macron é o candidato da governação autoritária a correr contra todos os outros, contra a própria democracia francesa.
Este é o primeiro de dois artigos sobre a eleição presidencial francesa.
Tradução : Júlio Gomes (Docente na Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal, atualmente reformado.)
Diana Johnstone é co-autora de From Mad to Madness (Clarity Press), um livro de memórias do planeamento dos objectivos nucleares no Pentágono pelo Dr. Paul H. Johnstone, seu falecido pai.
Fuente: Understand Solar
#2 Options for Buying Solar Panels in South Carolina
Much like bespoke cocktails, hotel bathrooms and watermelons, solar opportunities come in many different shapes and sizes, with options for budgets big and small. Owning the system via a cash purchase or a loan reaps the biggest financial benefits, whereas PPAs and leases offer fewer savings.
Purchasing your panels outright is the most lucrative option. You pay no interest, the 55% tax credit (25% state + 30% federal) goes straight into your pocket, plus you get a solar cash cow on your roof that adds value to your home. And there’s no contract involved, so no sneaky Ts&Cs (Terms & Conditions) in the fine print, or escalator fees.
The downside – it ties up your cash. If you’re an investing phenom, you might prefer taking a solar loan and plowing your cash down investor alley, potentially generating greater returns than solar. That said, if you want a solid ROI, and have a low appetite for risk, purchasing solar panels is perfect.
Almost all solar installers offer cash-purchases. Several national installers like SolarCity, Vivint Solar or SunPower have made the trek out east. Alternatively, you’ve got loads of local installers too.
Which should you go with? Most national installers are rapidly growing companies. They offer cheap rates, state-of-the-art equipment, and you can get a quote in seconds. But with expansion, customer service is often left by the wayside. The smaller customer base for local installers means their customer service is generally better.
So to answer the question: it depends on the reputation of installers in your area. If reviews tell you that there’s a strange correlation between SolarCity and disappearing kittens in your neighborhood, maybe go with a local installer. And vice versa, of course.
So, number crunching. Let’s take an example:
- Price of solar in South Carolina = $3503/kW (we took pricing data from several sources and calculated the average)
- Solar System Size = 5kW
- Electricity cost = $0.1214 /kWh
- Average monthly electricity use = 1,146kWh (annual electricity bill = $1,669)
- Annual rise in electricity cost = 3.5%
- Annual Solar System output = 6,936kWh (average for South Carolina)
- Annual decrease in panel efficiency = 0.8% to account for wear-and-tear and general aging of your solar panels
With the assumptions, we get the following:
- System cost = $17,517
- MINUS 30% federal tax credit = -$5,255
- MINUS 25% state tax credit = -$3,500
- Total cost = $8,762
Bottom Line: With the assumptions above, you’ll save around $840 in the first year, which will increase to around $1,890 by year 25. With these numbers, it’ll take 9 years for the system to pay for itself, and you’ll net a cool $23,701 in savings. (And this is excluding the value your home will gain thanks to the panels. More on that later.)
Leases and PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements)
Taken at face value, leasing and PPAs seem identical. With a lease, you rent panels from a solar company, which produce electricity, which offsets your utility bill and saves you money. With a PPA, you pay a fixed rate for the energy produced by the panels, which offsets your utility bill and saves you money. In effect, they’re the same thing, right?
Well, no. With a lease, you’re renting the equipment that produces electricity. So if the equipment doesn’t produce electricity, you’ve still got to cough up. Power generation comes SECOND to lease payments. So, if the neighbor’s oak tree decides to obliterate your roof and take your panels with it, you might still have to pay every month.
After all, you’re paying for use of the solar panels. To alleviate some of this concern, many companies that offer leases also offer ‘production guarantees’ stating that, if your solar installation produces less than what’s stated in your contract, they’ll pay you the difference.
With a PPA though, it’s very different. You only pay for the electricity, so if the panels don’t produce, you don’t pay. Moral of the story: be very, very careful about reading solar lease contracts and look carefully for performance guarantees.
There’s also another important difference. Both leases and PPAs can come with escalator fees, usually ranging from 0-2.9% each year. On top of that, the panels on your roof degrade by about 0.08% every year. With a PPA, panel degradation doesn’t matter. Because you pay only for the power, panel degradation is the solar company’s problem.
But with a lease, it’s a different story. As the panels degrade, you’re paying MORE for less power. It might not make much of a difference in the first year, but over a 20-year contract, this adds up to thousands of dollars.
In summary, PPAs are generally the better option. If you still want to lease, read the contract carefully and make sure the numbers add up. Talk to a few different installers to see what options they have.
Bottom Line: With all this being said, both leases and PPAs are financially inferior to cash purchases and loans – you don’t get a cash-generating asset and the increase in home value, you don’t get the 55% tax credits, and you have nothing to show by the end of the contract. However, they don’t require up-front payment, nor do they have the same credit requirements that loans do. You can still save money, but not nearly as much as you could.
More: Solar Leases
A solar loan is the next best financial option in terms of profit. You get all the benefits of ownership – tax credits, cash-generating asset, no 20-year contracts, increased home value – but without the initial up-front cost of purchasing. The downside is, of course, interest (and the bankers that come with it). Although the main reason you’d go for a loan is lack of cash sitting in your bank account, loans make financial sense even if you can afford a purchase.
In South Carolina, taking a standard loan (5% interest, 15 years to repay) for, say, the $8,761 needed for a 5kW system will leave you with positive cash-flow from the start, as the money you save with the panels is always higher than the loan payments. (Of course, for a $8,761 loan, you’d need the additional approximate $9k on hand to buy the system, which would then be reimbursed with tax credits).
By getting a loan, you’d then have the cash you would’ve spent to invest in other things, which if invested in an index fund, for instance, that averages 7% growth a year, would easily make up for the $3000 or so lost in interest payments for the loan.
As for your options, there are more ways to get a loan than you can eat yogurt:
- Solar-specific loans. Get them from installers or specialist solar loan companies like Dividend Solar. Interest rates are from 2.99%-8%. It’s handy because your panels and financing are both in the same place. Or not handy, because solar installers don’t make for good financiers. Could go either way, depending on how you slice it.
- Mortgage loans. With these, you roll the loan on top of your mortgage, thus accessing the cheapest interest rates around. Rates vary from 2.5-5%. Obviously, you have to be buying a home or refinancing a mortgage to get one. They’re offered by Fanny Mae and FHA approved lenders.
- Home Equity Loans (HEL). These are known as second mortgages, because… it’s like getting a second mortgage. Genius. Also, they’re secured against your home equity, hence home equity loan. Genius-er. You can borrow a lump sum (HEL), or open up a line of credit (HELOC). Rates are around 5% for both. The FHA also offers an HEL, called the PowerSaver Second Mortgage. FHA loans are unsecured, but the FHA will cover you if you can’t cough up. Thus, interest rates are higher, and you have to pay FHA insurance. Interest rates are from 4.99%-9.99%. HEL’s require a strong credit rating and significant equity in your home.
- PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans. Unlike conventional loans, you pay back a PACE loan through increased property taxes. Because of this, they don’t go through the rigorous regulations that normal loans do, and thus are very easy to apply for. But because no-one will check up to see if you can afford it, you could get sold something that you can’t pay for. And because PACE loans assume first-lien position on your house, that’s something you do not want to do. Interest rates are usually from 4.75 to 7%.
- Personal loans. In short: credit cards or unsecured lump sums. Interest rates are extortionate, so you don’t want to go here. Ever. Unless a kidnapper demands you have a 24.7% loan to finance your solar system in exchange for your pet tortoise.
- Borrow $8,761.
- 15 year repayment period.
- 5% interest rate.
- Same assumptions as with cash purchase
Assuming you took the whole 15 years to pay it off, (many solar-specific loan companies like Dividend Solar allow you to pay it back early at no additional cost) you’d pay $62 in monthly payments, equating to $748 per year. You’d pay $3,318 in interest, and net $20,948 profit by the end of 25 years. With annual savings starting around $840 and ending in year 25 at $1,890, you’ll always have positive cash flow.
Bottom Line: You won’t save as much, but going solar with a loan is a great option if you lack the cash for an upfront purchase.
More: Solar Loans
#3 South Carolina Solar Policy Information
South Carolina’s stance on RPS, net metering and interconnection costs are not as rosy as some other states.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
The RPS is a mandate that a percentage of a state’s energy that must be generated by renewables within a certain timeframe. In 2014, South Carolina mandated that 2% of its electricity must come from renewable sources by 2021, which is lousy in comparison to other states (North Carolina’s 12.5% for instance).
South Carolina generates the lion’s share of its energy by renewable means anyway: 55% of its energy is generated by nuclear, and another 5% by hydroelectric. Because such a high percentage of SC’s energy was already produced by renewables, the recent RPS act was somewhat controversial, as it forced the state to develop renewable infrastructure at, it’s argued, excessive cost.
South Carolinians are bled dry with utility bills. And this isn’t because the electricity is expensive, but because the delightful summer months warrant lots of AC and sweet tea. In 2015, South Carolina ranked #8 for electricity consumption, and #2 for most expensive electricity bills, only topped by Hawaii. Expensive electricity bills make solar a very lucrative proposition indeed.
Net metering refers to whether a state has infrastructure that allows solar panels to send electricity back to the grid, allowing solar customers to be paid credits for excess electricity their systems produce. Obviously, this has a large impact on the profitability of going solar.
South Carolina recently enacted legislation that forces all utility companies with more than 10,000 customers to offer net metering. Thus, if you produce excess energy in one month, you get paid credits which roll over into the next month. Homeowners are paid retail price for their excess electricity, meaning if you pay the utility $0.12/kWh for your electricity, they’ll pay you the same.
At the end of the year, your utility will pay you for any credits left in your account at their ‘avoided cost’ (typically around $0.03/kWh), at which point you’ll start again with a clean slate.
More: Net Metering
Interconnection refers to how electrical systems are connected to the grid. South Carolina adopted an interconnection policy in 2006: you must pay $100 for an interconnection application – your installer will handle it, and the process typically takes 4-6 week. All that to say, it’s not too expensive and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
#4 Financial Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits
South Carolina residents can benefit from tax credits as well as an increase in the value of property.
Federal Tax Credit
Uncle Sam will refund 30% of the price of a solar system with a tax credit. If you don’t use it all in one year, the excess rolls into the next. The credits can only be claimed for solar systems on your first property (i.e not rentals).
The credit is due to change in just a couple years, making now a great time to make the solar jump:
- 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
- 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
- 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
More: Solar Federal Tax Credit
State Tax Credit
South Carolina state offers a 25% tax credit for solar, hydro and geothermal systems. It has a limit of $3,500, or 50% of the taxpayer’s tax liability for that taxable year, whichever is lower. Excess credits can be carried forward over the following 10 years.
When you add this to the federal tax credit, 55% of a solar system’s cost can be recouped in South Carolina. In our calculations above for a cash purchase, you saw just how powerful this combo can be.
55%. Not a typo.
Utility Based Incentives
Until recently, South Carolina utilities had extremely generous incentives. Duke Energy offered rebates for $1,000/kW for solar systems and SCE&G offered performance-based incentives worth $0.04 per kilowatt hour for installations between 0 MW to 2.5 MW (which includes all residential solar installations).
Both of these programs were met with unprecedented demand, and unfortunately are now closed.
If you’re a customer of Santee Cooper, what you can do if you’re grasping for a utility incentive is buy yourself a stake in the community Colleton Solar Farm. You can buy stakes – that is, a proportional share in the farm, not spiked wooden weapons used to kill vampires – in kW increments, and Santee Cooper will reimburse you $1000/kW.
Given that the price of each stake is $1880/kW, that’s a tasty incentive indeed. Plus you don’t have to put solar panels on your roof, making this the hassle-free solar option. For subscribing, you’ll get a proportional share of the farm’s energy until 2032.
General Increase in Home Value
Based on research by the Appraisal Journal, home value increases $20 for every $1 in annual energy savings. Thus, a 5kW system in South Carolina that nets you around $833 annual energy savings would bag you $16,660 in home value. As energy prices rise, so will your savings, so by year 25, annual savings of around $1,890 equates to $37,800 added to your home’s value.
While this might not be an exact figure of value, at almost $40k, even half of that is not to be sniffed at.
If you’d like to dig even more on local incentives and rebates, check out the DSIRE database.
What to do next?
Excuse the outrageous pun, but the future for solar in South Carolina has never looked brighter. Recent policy changes, a meaty 25% state tax credit, along with utility support and Uncle Sam’s 30% leg-up have brought the Palmetto state to the threshold of a solar revolution. Plus, with energy bills sky-high, you won’t find many states offering a more lucrative solar harvest.
And then there’s the official amphibians, Blue Ridge mountains, and football…..
Legend has it that the author is relocating to South Carolina as we speak.
P.S. Of course, our gospel is no substitute for shopping around and finding the best quotes in your area. So, see this article as a big-toe dip into the solar pool. The diving coach playing Rocky music and shouting generic, entertaining advice, if you will.
New research suggests our earliest mammalian ancestors used powerful night-time vision to find food and avoid reptilian predators that hunted by day.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, used genetic data to support existing fossil evidence suggesting that our distant relatives may have adapted to life in the dark.
Researchers examined genes involved in night vision in animals throughout the evolutionary tree, looking for places where those genes became enhanced.
“This method is like using the genome as a fossil record, and with it we’ve shown when genes involved in night vision appear,” says Liz Hadly, professor of biology at Stanford University and senior author of the paper. “It’s a very powerful way of corroborating a story that has been, up to now, only hypothesized.”
Mammals and reptiles share a common ancestor, with the earliest mammal-like animals appearing in the Late Triassic (about 200 million years ago). Fossil evidence suggests that early mammals had excellent hearing and sense of smell and were likely also warm-blooded. All of these features are common in their descendants, the living mammals, most of whom are nocturnal. Therefore, experts have hypothesized that early mammals were also nocturnal. This study offers direct, genetic evidence for that hypothesis.
To trace the evolution of nocturnality, the researchers studied genes that lead author and visiting scholar Yonghua Wu had previously found associated with night vision in certain birds, such as owls.
The team members examined those night-vision genes in many mammals and reptiles, including snakes, alligators, mice, platypuses, and humans. Using what they know about how those animals are related, they figured out when in their evolutionary histories, if ever, the function of these genes was enhanced.
From this, they deduced that the earliest common ancestor did not have good night vision and was instead active during the day. However, soon after the split, mammals began enhancing their night vision genes, allowing them to begin to roam at night, thus avoiding the reptiles that hunted during the day.
“Early mammals coexisted with early reptiles in the Age of the Dinosaurs and somehow escaped extinction,” Wu says. “This research further supports the hypothesis that diurnal reptiles, such as lizards, snakes, and their relatives, competed with mammals and may have led them to better adapt to dim light conditions.”
In the millions of years that have elapsed since mammals and reptiles diverged, natural selection and evolution haven’t stopped. Not all mammals are still nocturnal. Some groups of mammals have reoccupied the day, adapting in various ways to daylight activity. These animals include cheetahs, pikas, camels, elephants, and, of course, humans.
“Understanding the constant pressure to get better at seeing the world at night for over 100 million years is a beautiful way of thinking about evolution,” Hadly says. “We think of it as something simple—seeing in the light or the dark—but these genes are being constantly refined and altered by natural selection.”
The methods in this study could apply to different areas of the animal evolutionary tree to learn more about the evolution of vision, including how humans made the switch to bright-light vision. This study is also an example of how little information we have about the first mammals, compared to what we know about our ancient and more compelling reptile cousins, the dinosaurs.
“When people talk about the dinosaur age, even when you look at cartoons, the focus is mainly on dinosaurs,” says Haifeng Wang, coauthor of the paper and postdoctoral research fellow with Stanley Qi, an assistant professor of bioengineering. “This ancient period is an important piece of the story of our evolution too. We want to know better what the mammals were like then.”
Hadly is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, faculty director of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, and a member of Stanford Bio-X.
Funding came from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the grant of China Scholarship Council, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, and Stanford University.
Source: Stanford University
Brown University researchers have published the most detailed geological history to date for a region of Mars known as Northeast Syrtis Major, a spot high on NASA’s list of potential landing sites for its next Mars rover to be launched in 2020.
The region is home to a striking mineral diversity, including deposits that indicate a variety of past environments that could have hosted life. Using the highest resolution images available from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the study maps the extent of those key mineral deposits across the surface and places them within the region’s larger geological context.
“When we look at this in high resolution, we can see complicated geomorphic patterns and a diversity of minerals at the surface that I think is unlike anything we’ve ever seen on Mars,” said Mike Bramble, a Ph.D. student at Brown who led the study, which is published in the journal Icarus. “Within a few kilometers, there’s a huge spectrum of things you can see and they change very quickly.”
If NASA ultimately decides to land at Northeast Syrtis, the work would help in providing a roadmap for the rover’s journey.
“This is a foundational paper for considering this part of the planet as a potential landing site for the Mars 2020 rover,” said Jack Mustard, a professor in Brown’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences and a coauthor on the paper. “This represents an exceptional amount of work on Mike’s part, really going into the key morphologic and spectroscopic datasets we need in order to understand what this region can tell us about the history of Mars if we explore it with a rover.”
Past habitable environments
Northeast Syrtis sits between two giant Martian landforms—an impact crater 2,000 kilometers in diameter called the Isidis Basin, and a large volcano called Syrtis Major. The impact basin formed about 3.96 billion years ago, while lava flow from the volcano came later, about 3.7 billion years ago. Northeast Syrtis preserves the geological activity that occurred in the 250 million years between those two events. Billions of years of erosion, mostly from winds howling across the region into the Isidis lowlands, have exposed that history on the surface.
Within Northeast Syrtis are the mineral signatures of four distinct types of watery and potentially habitable past environments. Those minerals had been detected by prior research, but the new map shows in detail how they are distributed within the region’s larger geological context. That helps constrain the mechanisms that may have formed them, and shows when they formed relative to each other.
The lowest and the oldest layer exposed at Northeast Syrtis has the kind of clay minerals formed when rocks interact with water that has a fairly neutral pH. Next in the sequence are rocks containing kaolinite, a mineral formed by water percolating through soil. The next layer up contains spots where the mineral olivine has been altered to carbonate—an aqueous reaction that, on Earth, is known to provide chemical energy for bacterial colonies. The upper layers contain sulfate minerals, another sign of a watery, potentially life-sustaining environment.
Understanding the relative timing of these environments is critical, Mustard says. They occurred around the transition between the Noachian and Hesperian epochs—a time of profound environmental change on Mars.
“We know that these environments existed near this major pivot point in Mars history, and in mapping their context we know what came first, what came next and what came last,” Mustard said. “So now if we’re able to go there with a rover, we can sample rock on either side of that pivot point, which could help us understand the changes that occurred at that time, and test different hypotheses for the possibility of past life.”
And finding signs of past life is the primary mission of the Mars2020 rover. NASA has held three workshops in which scientists debated the merits of various landing targets for the rover. Mustard and Bramble have led the charge for Northeast Syrtis, which has come out near the top of the list at each workshop. Last February, NASA announced that the site is one of the final three under consideration.
Mustard and Bramble hope this latest work might inform NASA’s decision, and ultimately help in planning the Mars2020 mission.
“As we turn our eyes to the next target for in situ exploration on the martian surface,” the researchers conclude, “no location offers better access of the gamut of geological processes active at Mars than Northeast Syrtis Major.”
“‘War is peace’, ‘Freedom is slavery’, ‘Ignorance is strength’ and ‘Lying is the truth’” -“Nineteen Eighty-Four”, George Orwell
The statements of some Western politicians about the Idlib chemical attack on April 4, suggest once again that the so-called modern world is suffering a severe and chronic crisis of political will.
The lack of a clear and independent position on the issue (and also on most of global problems) by the governments of Western powers constitutes a serious obstacle in the fight against such threats as terrorism, organized crime, the struggle against hunger, global warming, the proliferation of nuclear weapons etc.
This raises serious doubts as to whether these politicians are competent and whether the opportunity to make the world safer under their leadership is real.
UN experts have not yet published any objective conclusions as to who might be involved in the use of chemical weapons in the city of Khan Sheikhun. The result of the samples’ analysis isn’t released. It was not even determined what war gas and kind of weapons (munitions) were used.
The investigation initiated by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria has just started and the experts have so far refused to comment on what had happened without having at least preliminary information on the issue.
But how is all of this related to the attitude of Western politicians and diplomats, when the world community wants a speedy reaction to what had happened?
The main thing for them is to do their best to earn political capital, without waiting for the results of the investigation and without making well-considered decisions. When the world community forgets to think about the tragedy, the situation in the world can dramatically change.
One of the main conditions of political success is a storm of hysteria in the mainstream media and an attempt to adopt a rough-and-ready UN resolution.
While using such tough retaliation measures as Trump’s pinpoint strikes and organizing a splendid little war any weak politician can turn the world on its head, rekindle glory, become once again the history-maker, divert people’s attention from Obamacare and other problems within their own country.
Hundreds of Syrian children were brutally thrown to the wolves and murdered.
Are diplomats from different countries really getting to the bottom of the truth? An analysis of the statements about the chemical attack in Syria makes it possible to give answers that are close to reality to these questions.
The events that took place within a week after the air strike attack on Khan Sheikhun divided the world community into two camps. Some seek to establish the truth, while the latter require immediate action, not caring about the truth.
A list of supporters of Orwell’s strategy:
1. The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces one of the first claimed that at least 80 people were killed, and 200 injured as a result of the attack. The armed opposition accused the Syrian Army of the action.
2. U.S. President Donald Trump put the responsibility for the alleged chemical attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Some Trump’ specialists from Quemado Institute state Khan Sheikhun’s false flag might also be designed to overthrow Trump, by proving Trump is an impulsive and dangerous leader who is unfit for office.
3. The Turkish Foreign Ministry called on all the parties whose influence on the Syrian government is high, to “immediately stop the barbaric attacks, which grossly violate the truce and are directed against civilians.”
4. British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, went much further. Prior the investigation, Johnson stressed that he had personally seen the evidence of using chemical weapons by the Syrian Army.
5. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, said that the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun coincided with other Syrian government’s actions.
6. France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, also blamed Damascus for the incident in Idlib.
7. Qatar is confident that the Syrian authorities are only responsible for the attack in Syria’s Idlib. This was stated by Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
8. Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel refrained from accusing the Syrian authorities, but expressed fears that in the fight against terrorism, calling for restraint in the attacks directed against Syrian President Bashar.
…This list can be easily continued.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst the truth.”
1. Staffan de Mistura called on the OPCW to launch an investigation on the chemical attack, and demanded to determine those guilty for the attack in Syria’s Idlib. De Mistura also proposed to organize a meeting of the UN Security Council.
S. de Mistura
2. Even warhawk Frederica Mogherini has condemned Trump’s actions. The head of EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, said those who are responsible for using chemical weapons in the Syrian Idlib, should be punished.
3. Shock, but NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, called for bringing the perpetrators to justice, refraining from accusations against Bashar Assad.
4. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, called for an objective and fair investigation.
…Is it easy to continue this list?
Apparently, it does not make sense whether the second camp can establish the truth or not. The will of most of the Western leaders and diplomats is poisoned by political, financial and personal interests.
For the Syrian people, who are the victims of the US led war, the missile strikes from the US destroyers constitutes a crime against humanity.
The process of re-establishing relations with the opposition in Geneva and Astana is again under the threat.
The situation in the Middle is the result of a process of “controlled chaos”. The strategic goals have been achieved, who needs to know the truth about the murdered Syrian children?
Sophie Mangal is a co-editor at Inside Syria Media Center.
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Fuente: Understand Solar
#2 Options for Buying Solar Panels in New Mexico
With New Mexico’s blindingly strong sunlight, solar installations pour out a huge chunk of electricity, meaning you save more!
Buying solar in cash in New Mexico
Buying solar outright in cash is always going to be the best bang for your buck. You aren’t locked into any contract, you pay minimal fees, and avoid all the interest and escalators that can eat away at your profits. As the owner of the installation, you also get to take advantage of all the financial incentives available, including the federal tax credit and all state tax exemptions.
Of course, along with all these benefits, you have to foot that initial bill, which for an average-sized 5kW installation in New Mexico works out to around $18,933 before incentives, and $13,253 after applying the 30% federal tax credit (see section below for more info).
That’s certainly a lot of money, but with that 5kW installation, you can see savings of $39,028 over 25 years (the estimated lifespan of most solar panels), with a return on your investment in 11 years. This accounts for the average utility rate increase of 3.5% each year as well as your solar panel’s production decreasing 0.08% each year (due to weather and general wear and tear).
Bottom Line: Savings obviously depends on your specific utility rates and your installation cost, so be sure talk to several installers before moving forward.
Solar leases are just like car leases. Little to no money is required upfront, you pay monthly payments, and you never actually own the solar installation. This means you miss out on all the perks of ownership, most notably the federal tax credit that drops your total cost so much.
Technically, New Mexico allows solar companies to offer power purchase agreements (PPAs), not leases. As a customer, there isn’t much difference between the two: you pay monthly payments over the life of your agreement, typically 20 years. The real difference is that, with leases, you are ‘renting’ the equipment on your roof while with PPAs you are purchasing the electricity produced by the installation.
Whether you choose a PPA or lease is really a matter of state regulations. Some states don’t allow leases and others don’t allow PPAs.
Bottom Line: In general, PPAs and leases are the least cost-effective way to go solar. You’ll save much more money by financing with cash or a loan. You also get to enjoy the financial incentives and install a tangible, value-added asset to your home that can bring you money when it’s time to sell your house.
More: Solar Leases
Loans allow you to take advantage of all the benefits of solar ownership – higher savings and tax breaks – without that steep initial investment. You’re not going to save as much as with a cash purchase, but you also don’t have to put any money down either.
Banks, credit unions, and solar loan companies all offer solar loans, so reach out to a few organizations (including your installer, as many already have preferred lenders they’ve worked with before) to see what they offer.
How much can you save going solar with a loan? Well, it all depends on your interest rate, term, and fees, as well as your utility rates and installation costs like we mentioned before.
Using the same scenario as in the section above (5kW installation costing $18,933 before incentives), but financing with a 15-year loan with 5% interest, you’re adding an additional $8,017 in interest to your total investment and your savings drop to $21,949.
Bottom Line: Although the savings with a loan is obviously less than a cash purchase, it’s still over $20k for no money down! Not a bad deal if you ask us.
More: Solar Loans
#3 New Mexico Solar Policy Information
Like many western states, New Mexico has adopted strong solar policies to both encourage and protect the growth of solar.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
States that want to curb their emissions often pass RPS goals, which simply state that a certain amount of electricity sold in the state must come from renewable sources like solar or wind. 29 states currently have adopted RPS goals. Hawaii, which imports all their fuel for producing electricity and sees the highest electricity prices in the country, has the most aggressive RPS goals: 100% renewable by 2045.
Back in 2004, New Mexico mandated that 20% of all electricity sold by investor-owned utilities must come from renewable sources by 2020, with a 10% requirement for electric cooperatives. Of that 20%, 30% must come from wind and 20% from solar, with distributed energy (ie residential solar) accounting for 3% (which is actually quite a bit).
This whole RPS thing seems pretty simple, right? All the utilities need to do now is to install solar and wind farms and encourage their customers to install solar as well, right?
That’s almost the whole picture. Here’s the confusing bit: Once a kilowatt-hour is created and put into the electricity grid, it’s impossible to tell where it came from. It could be from a coal-fired power plant, it could be from a wind turbine, it could be from a solar panel. After it’s created, all electricity looks the same – there’s no distinguishing mark to say “This kilowatt-hour is renewable!”
To fix this problem, the utility industry created the idea of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). For each megawatt-hour that is produced from a renewable energy source, a REC is created. With RECs, the environmental benefits of the renewably-sourced electricity are essentially broken off from the electricity itself and this environmental benefit, ie the REC, can be bought and sold.
You might be wondering why anyone would buy RECs, and this brings us back to our original topic of New Mexico’s Renewable Portfolio Standards. To prove how much renewable energy they’ve produced each year, utilities in New Mexico must show state regulators their collection of RECs.
Since RPS goals are all about reducing emissions in the state, utilities can even buy RECs from other individuals or companies and count them towards their 20% renewable goals.
Now you’re probably wondering, how does all this affect you? Well, depending on your utility, they might just offer to pay you for the RECs your solar installation produces. Read the section below on incentives for more info!
When calculating financial savings by going solar, electricity prices play a huge role in your overall savings, since the higher your electricity prices are, the more you can save by going solar and avoiding them.
New Mexico’s average electricity price of $0.125 per kWh is right in line with the national average of $0.127 as well as the average price of neighbors Arizona and Colorado.
Obviously, we can’t complain about low electricity prices, but that does mean it’s going to take longer to see a return on your investment than in states with high electricity prices, like California’s $0.17 per kWh or New York’s $0.185.
New Mexico Net Metering
New Mexico requires all utilities operating in the state to offer net metering to solar customers. This means that, at the end of the month, if your installation has produced more electricity then you’ve taken from the grid, your utility will reimburse you.
How exactly they reimburse is up to the utility, but they have two choices:
- Give you a bill credit or pay you for your excess electricity at the utility’s avoided cost, which is basically what it costs them to generate electricity – typically around $0.02 per kilowatt-hour. So, if you produced an extra 100kWh last month and your utility’s avoided cost really is $0.02 per kWh, you’d get paid $2.
- Credit your account for the kilowatt-hours you produced. So, if you produced an extra 100 kWh last month, you’d have a 100 kWh credit on your bill that you can use the following month. This is typically the better deal for customers, as you avoid that fairly low-paying avoided cost credit structure.
Unlike in other states with net metering, you don’t automatically hand over your RECs when you join a net metering program. This means they are yours to keep (and sell at profit!). Read over the section on Renewable Portfolio Standards for more info!
More: Net Metering
The process to connect your solar installation to the utility grid is standardized across the state. Requirements vary by the size of the installation:
- Systems under 10kW are eligible for the simplified interconnection process, which is an application without any fuss. Most homeowners fall into this first category.
- Systems between 10kW and 2MW are eligible for the Fast Track Process, which can include additional reviews of the system. If your installation is on the larger side, you’ll fall into this category.
Your installer will know the ends and outs of the interconnection process and will most likely fill out and submit the application on your behalf, so you really don’t even need to worry about this.
#4 Financial Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits
Rebates and incentives are where New Mexico is somewhat lacking in the solar department, so be sure to take advantage of everything you can to lower your solar cost as much as possible!
Federal Tax Credit
The 30% federal tax credit is open to any homeowner who purchases and installs a solar installation in the US. It’s an actual tax credit – not a deduction – so it’s a dollar-for-dollar 30% discount on your total cost to go solar. So for example, if you spent $15,000 going solar, you’d get back $4,500 at tax time.
Originally set to expire in 2016, federal lawmakers extended the credit to 2019, at which point it drops to 26% until 2021, then 22% until 2022 when it finally dies away.
You’ll file for this credit yourself the same year you install your installation, though of course, it will be after you install your system – so keep that in mind when calculating your savings estimates.
More: Solar Federal Tax Credit
State Tax Credit
Until 2016, the state of New Mexico offered a 10% tax credit, known as the Solar Market Development Tax Credit, for any solar installations built in the state. Unfortunately, this credit expired on December 31st, 2016.
Utility Based Incentives – REC Programs
Each of New Mexico’s three investor-owned electric utilities – El Paso Electric, PNM, and Xcel – will buy your Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that your solar installation produces.
RECs are simply documents stating that the electricity your installation produces is from a renewable source. Utilities across the country can buy these RECs to meet their RPS mandates. In most states, when a customer signs up for net metering, they give away their rights to their RECs to the utility; in New Mexico, though, this is not the case. See the section on Renewable Portfolio Standards for background on RECs.
For example, through their REC Program, El Paso Electric will pay residential solar customers who are enrolled in their net metering program $0.02 per kWh of electricity their installation produces. Both PNM and Xcel offer similar incentives.
Property Tax Exemption
Typically, when home improvements are made, it increases the value of the home, which in turn increases property taxes. Solar is certainly a home improvement and adds serious value to your home, but under state law, solar installations don’t count as home improvements and therefore are exempt from property tax.
Many states have these property tax exemptions for solar installations, and they typically add up to about $100 savings in the first year. Although it’s certainly not much, every little bit counts!
Sales Tax Exemption
With the Solar Gross Receipts Tax Exemption, retailers aren’t required to pay sales tax on any solar equipment they sell or the actual installation. While you the homeowner don’t directly benefit from this incentive, your retailer should be passing on this discount to you through lower prices.
Solar Access Rights and Homeowners Associations
Since the 1970s, New Mexico has adopted very clear, strong pro-solar regulations protecting both homeowners’ right to install solar on their roof as well as the right to solar access.
In 1978, the state passed the Solar Rights Act (NM 47-3-1), which allows property owners to create an easement to protect the path of sunlight to their solar panels. With an easement in place, your neighbors can’t build any new structures or plant new trees that would block your solar installation’s access to sunlight.
The solar homeowner must apply for this easement and give their neighbors a heads-up beforehand so they can contest the easement if they feel it is necessary. This easement remains in effect even if the house is sold. The homeowner can sell the easement separately from the property, so a neighbor can purchase the easement if she would like to cancel it.
In 2007, the state went a step further, passing regulations (NM 3-18-32) that no municipal or local government, covenant, or other restriction can block your solar installation. This means that, no matter how cranky your HOA is, they can’t block your solar installation!
General Increase in Home Value
If you purchase your installation in cash or with a loan, solar adds a lot of value to your home. The National Renewable Energy Lab studied solar home values in several states and found that, on average, homeowner-owned solar adds an additional $4.51 per watt to the value of the home! This means that a 5kW installation can add over $20k in value to your home.
However, if you finance your installation through a lease or PPA, you aren’t going to see that same increase in value. A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that leased solar doesn’t add – or subtract – value from your home; nor does it affect your home’s time on the market or sway buyers’ opinions on the home.
For more information on how solar affects home value, check out our article What Do I Need to Know When Buying a House with Solar Panels? as well as Buyers Will Pay More for Solar Homes.
If you’d like to dig even more into local incentives and rebates, check out the DSIRE database.
What to do next?
Is going solar a good idea in New Mexico? Definitely! Great solar policies and sunny skies mean dramatic savings over the life of the installation. Be sure to receive quotes from a few different companies and study up on the different financing options before deciding. After that, you’ll be ready to enjoy clean, renewable, and cheap electricity!
Breaking: Israeli Air Force Missile Strikes Syrian Army Positions, Israel Comes to the Rescue of Al Qaeda Terrorists
The details of the Israeli Air Force attack on the position of the Syrian Arab army (SAA) in the in Quneitra Governorate have been disclosed.
As it turned out, Israeli aviation attacked Syrian government troops with unmanned aerial vehicles. The soldiers of SAA’s 90th Infantry Brigade were under fire.
The Israeli Air Force planes struck a missile attack at the positions of the Syrian army in the Khan Arnabeh district of Quneitra Governorate. It was also reported earlier the blow was carried out to the east of the village of Ein Ayshaa.
Two missiles were fired at 06.45 p.m. when government forces were repulsing Al-Qaeda’s attacks in the vicinity of the city of Quneitra.
The remnants of an Israeli missile that hit SAA Golan regiment’s tank.
The incident led to heavy losses of equipment and material in the Syrian Arab Army.
There are reports that Al-Qaeda terrorists infiltrated Quneitra from the Golan Heights occupied by Israel with the aim to strengthen the front in Madinat al-Ba’ath.
Al-Qaeda terrorists infiltrated
Apparently, Israel had prepared and launched a missile strike in order to provide artillery support to Al-Qaeda terrorists. The Israeli drones recorded in the province of Quneitra make it possible to conclude that Al-Qaeda is provided with reconnaissance information from the battlefields with Israel help too.
Sophie Mangal is a co-editor at Inside Syria Media Center.