merrill (Richard Heckler)


Comment history

Opinion: Trump may be wake-up call for nation

With what the Donald is perpetrating in addition to what the other 15 American Legislative Exchange Council candidates are perpetrating I seriously doubt any will decompose ever.

Instead it will float on top of the sea of bogus political rhetoric aka toxic misinformation.

November 29, 2015 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A Thousand Voices: Effort to restrict plastic bags in Lawrence gets mixed feedback in latest survey

Do Plastic Bags Ever Decompose?

Researchers fear that such ubiquitous bags may never fully decompose; instead, they gradually just turn into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. The most common type of plastic shopping bag is made of polyethylene, a petroleum-derived polymer that microorganisms don't recognize as food and as such cannot technically biodegrade.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines biodegradation as "a process by which microbial organisms transform or alter (through metabolic or enzymatic action) the structure of chemicals introduced into the environment."

In respirometry tests, whereby experimenters put solid waste in a container with microbe-rich compost and then add air to promote biodegradation, newspapers and banana peels decompose in days or weeks, while plastic shopping bags are not affected.

Even though polyethylene can't biodegrade, it does break down when subject to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, a process known as photodegradation. When exposed to sunshine, polyethylene's polymer chains become brittle and crack, eventually turning what was a plastic bag into microscopic synthetic granules.

Scientists aren't sure whether these granules ever decompose fully and fear that their buildup in marine and terrestrial environments—and in the stomachs of wildlife—portend a bleak future compromised by plastic particles infiltrating every step in the food chain. A plastic bag might be gone in anywhere from 10 to 100 years (estimates vary) if exposed to the sun, but its environmental legacy may last forever.

The best solution to plastic bag waste is to stop using disposable plastic bags altogether.

November 29, 2015 at 10:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A Thousand Voices: Effort to restrict plastic bags in Lawrence gets mixed feedback in latest survey

The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, although certain industrial processes and land-use changes also emit CO2. The main sources of CO2 emissions in the United States are described below.

--- Electricity.

Electricity is a significant source of energy in the United States and is used to power homes, business, and industry. The combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest single source of CO2 emissions in the nation, accounting for about 37% of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 31% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. The type of fossil fuel used to generate electricity will emit different amounts of CO2. To produce a given amount of electricity, burning coal will produce more CO2 than oil or natural gas.

--- Transportation.

The combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel to transport people and goods is the second largest source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about 31% of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 26% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. This category includes transportation sources such as highway vehicles, air travel, marine transportation, and rail.

--- Industry

Many industrial processes emit CO2 through fossil fuel combustion. Several processes also produce CO2 emissions through chemical reactions that do not involve combustion, for example, the production and consumption of mineral products such as cement, the production of metals such as iron and steel, and the production of chemicals.

Fossil fuel combustion from various industrial processes accounted for about 15% of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 12% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. Note that many industrial processes also use electricity and therefore indirectly cause the emissions from the electricity production.

--- Carbon dioxide is constantly being exchanged among the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface as it is both produced and absorbed by many microorganisms, plants, and animals. However, emissions and removal of CO2 by these natural processes tend to balance. Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.

--- In the United States, since 1990, the management of forests and non-agricultural land has acted as a net sink of CO2, which means that more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, and stored in plants and trees, than is emitted. This sink offset about 13% of total emissions in 2013 and is discussed in more detail in the Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry section.

To find out more about the role of CO2 warming the atmosphere and its sources, visit the Causes of Climate Change page and the Greenhouse Gas Indicators page in the Science section.

November 29, 2015 at 10:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A Thousand Voices: Effort to restrict plastic bags in Lawrence gets mixed feedback in latest survey

That is correct....

Those new receptacles don't need bags.....

November 29, 2015 at 10:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A Thousand Voices: Effort to restrict plastic bags in Lawrence gets mixed feedback in latest survey

By providing special containers for solid waste and recyclables the city has effectively reduced use of plastic bags in a big way.

Taxpayers can order up brown 95 gallon containers for yard waste I believe which hold an enormous load and are much easier than paper bags.

Consumers can say no to plastic bags at most any retailer. Who needs another plastic bag?

November 29, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chamber announces tentative deal for $25 million, 100-job manufacturing plant on east edge of Lawrence

Raise the minimum wage to $15.00/hour!

To be delivered to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

We the undersigned believe that the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, should be raised to $15.00 an hour.

Had the minimum wage of 1968 been adjusted for inflation, it would be well above $10.00 an hour today.

Productivity has also risen considerably since 1968: The typical worker is almost twice as productive today as he or she was then.

Adjusted for both inflation and productivity gains, therefore, the minimum wage should be at least $15.00 an hour.

Sign The Petition:

November 29, 2015 at 7:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Weekend Guide: Bizarre Bazaar; 'Black Friday;' Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa Rescue; Van Go Adornment Holiday Art Show and Sale

When all of the above is over and in need of a relaxation boost think Bear Paws and happy feet ...

We feel that, as business people creating products relative to an active lifestyle, we have a distinctive responsibility to act as stewards of the environment and the surrounding communities. It is imperative that we contribute towards the preservation and restoration of our natural world. We should help to ensure that there will be mountains, forests, beaches, and oceans for generations to come.

We share a passion for sustaining the environment so that the actions we take now will not compromise future generations. We believe it is the responsibility of every company to take the appropriate steps toward creating less waste and to improve their processes.

We are not satisfied with the status quo in our industry, so we have started by setting specific objectives.

Our objectives:

Strive to be an industry innovator on environmental issues.

Motivate our suppliers and customers to share in our mission.

Commit to environmentally friendly ways to produce and package our products.

Educate and inspire our employees.

Reduce, reuse and recycle within our workplace.

At BEARPAW, we recognize the importance of being responsible when it comes to the environment and our role in making the world a better place. As a result, we’ve created our own team… “Greener Living,” We have set expectations on our employees in terms of recycling and emphasize responsibility in energy use throughout our offices and homes.

We will constantly evaluate our packaging efforts to determine where we can utilize recycled materials and where we can cut back on waste. We will communicate our expectations with our suppliers and provide them with ideas on how they can participate and help meet our objectives.

November 28, 2015 at 4:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Refugee rhetoric drives GOP into swamp

Has the 24/7 USA Government occupation of foreign borders that which is home to larger oil resources contributed to the people of this region having nowhere to run?

The answer is yes.

November 28, 2015 at 9:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Refugee rhetoric drives GOP into swamp

Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions

The role that US military forces can play in that conflict is seriously limited by all the political decisions the US government has already taken. The most fundamental decision was setting as its larger strategic purpose the stabilization of the region by building a democracy in Iraq and encouraging its spread. This, of course, was to risk destabilizing the region by starting a war.

Military operations must be judged by whether and how they contribute to accomplishing war aims. No clear view is possible of where we are today and where we are headed without constant focus on war aims and how they affect US interests. The interaction of interests, war aims, and military operations defines the strategic context in which we find ourselves.

We cannot have the slightest understanding of the likely consequences of proposed changes in our war policy without relating them to the strategic context. Here are the four major realities that define that context:

Confusion about war aims and US interests. President GW Bush stated three war aims clearly and repeatedly:

* the destruction of Iraqi WMD;

* the overthrow of Saddam Hussein; and

* the creation of a liberal democratic Iraq.

The first war aim is moot because Iraq had no WMD.

The second was achieved by late Spring 2003. Today, people are waking up to what was obvious before the war -- the third aim has no real prospects of being achieved even in ten or twenty years, much less in the short time anticipated by the war planners.

Implicit in that aim was the belief that a pro-American, post-Saddam regime could be established. This too, it should now be clear, is most unlikely.

Finally, is it in the US interest to have launched a war in pursuit of any of these aims? And is it in the US interest to continue pursuing the third? Or is it time to redefine our aims? And, concomitantly, to redefine what constitutes victory?

The war has served primarily the interests of Iran and al-Qaeda, not American interests...

Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions

November 28, 2015 at 9:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Refugee rhetoric drives GOP into swamp

Meltdown - The men who crashed the world

This four-part series on the global financial crisis, by Al Jazeera, offers an excellent insight into the causes of the financial crisis.

In particular, this installment focuses on the events that lead up to the crisis, and the initial stages of the great unwinding; following the events in the early stages of the crisis such as the bank run in the UK and the collapse of Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers.

It also focuses in on the key personalities in the crisis; the wall street investment bankers, and the power brokers in Washington.

In the first episode of Meltdown, we hear about four men who brought down the global economy: a billionaire mortgage-seller who fooled millions; a high-rolling banker with a fatal weakness; a ferocious Wall Street predator; and the power behind the throne.

The crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history, pushing more than 30 million people into unemployment and bringing many countries to the edge of insolvency. Wall Street turned back the clock to 1929.

But how did it all go so wrong?

November 28, 2015 at 9:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )