A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled | National Geographic

Source: A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled | National Geographic, by Laura Parker

Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons

Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form. Only 12 percent has been incinerated.

6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled.

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled | NPR

Source: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled | NPR, Laura Sullivan

An NPR and PBS Frontline investigation reveals how the oil and gas industry used the promise of recycling to sell more plastic, even when they knew it would never work on a large scale.

Here’s the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can’t be reused more than once or twice.

On the other hand, new plastic is cheap. It’s made from oil and gas, and it’s almost always less expensive and of better quality to just start fresh.

Starting in the 1990s, the public saw an increasing number of commercials and messaging about recycling plastic.

These commercials carried a distinct message: Plastic is special, and the consumer should recycle it.

It may have sounded like an environmentalist’s message, but the ads were paid for by the plastics industry, made up of companies like Exxon, Chevron, Dow, DuPont and their lobbying and trade organizations in Washington.

Industry companies spent tens of millions of dollars on these ads and ran them for years, promoting the benefits of a product that, for the most part, was buried, was burned or, in some cases, wound up in the ocean.

Documents show industry officials knew this reality about recycling plastic as far back as the 1970s.

For The First Time, World Learns Truth About Risk Of Nuclear | Medium

Source: For The First Time, World Learns Truth About Risk Of Nuclear | Medium, by David Watson

Originally published in the UK Nuclear Institute’s Nuclear Future magazine in July 2020.

RE: Coping with a big nuclear accident; Closing papers from the NREFS project | Process Safety and Environmental Protection (Volume 112, Part A, Pages 1-198 (November 2017))

  • Remediation and food bans are good value for money
  • The presumption that long term relocations are a good policy tool needs re-evaluating

While accidents at nuclear plants are very rare, it is impossible to say that they will never occur. As Prof Thomas says, “I’ve often met with the reaction that we should make sure accidents don’t happen. And that’s fine. But accidents do happen, they have happened — and what do you do then?” The NREFS project sought to measure objectively the effectiveness of actions (usually referred to as ‘countermeasures’) a government could take following an accident, principally evacuation, sheltering (staying indoors for a period of hours to days), bans on the consumption of locally grown foods, remediation (cleaning of buildings and soils to remove contamination) and long-term relocation.

The Internet is for End Users, by Mark Nottingham

Source: The Internet is for End Users, by Mark Nottingham
RE: RFC8890: The Internet is for End Users | Internet Architecture Board (IAB), by Mark Nottingham

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has published RFC8890, The Internet is for End Users, arguing that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) should ground its decisions in what’s good for people who use the Internet, and that it should take positive steps to achieve that.

The Internet has been with us for almost 40 years and has contributed to profound changes in society. It currently faces serious challenges — issues that require input from policymakers, civil society, ordinary citizens, businesses and technologists.

It’s past time for technologists to both become more involved in discussions about how to meet those challenges, and to consider broader views of how the technology they create fits into society. Without good communication, policymakers are prone to making rules that don’t work with the technology, and technologists are prone to creating technology naïve to its policy implications.

So at its heart, The Internet is for End Users is a call for IETF participants to stop pretending that they can ignore the non-technical consequences of their decisions, a call for broader consultation when making them, and one for continued focus on the end user. Ultimately, end user impact is as least as important as the technical considerations of a proposal, and judging that impact requires a more serious effort to understand and incorporate other non-technical views.