sábado, marzo 24, 2007

Cambio de clima y efecto invernadero

Animaciones de la distribución de los gases de efecto invernadero
Enviado por Fernando Flores el Jue, 2007-03-22 17:15


  • Por medio del sitio Genciencia he accedido a las primeras animaciones que se tienen de la distribución de los gases de efecto invernadero sobre la tierra (que pueden ver en las dos imágenes de arriba). La nota dice así:

    Primeras animaciones de la distribución de los gases de efecto invernadero

    Tras tres años de observaciones, la Agencia Espacial Europea (AEE) ha difundido las primeras imágenes animadas que muestran como se distribuyen en la atmósfera terrestre el dióxido de carbono (CO2) y el metano (CH4), dos de los principales gases implicados en el efecto invernadero. La investigación que ha precedido a las imágenes ha sido posible gracias al SCIAMACHY (espectrómetro de imagen de escaneo de absorción para cartografía atmosférica), un instrumento espacial de análisis químico atmosférico, que viaja a bordo del satélite ENVISAT de la AEE.

    Michael Buchwitz, del Instituto de Física Ambiental (IUP) de la Universidad de Bremen (Alemania), uno de los responsables de la elaboración de estos mapas, ha explicado como los datos recogidos por SCIAMACHY resultan indispensables para ajustar de manera continuada el actual modelo de distribución de los gases invernadero y mejorar la precisión de sus algoritmos. Los nuevos datos permiten, además, distinguir entre masas gaseosas de origen antropogénico y de origen natural, y se espera llegar a conocer mejor las fuentes de estos gases, responsables del cambio climático, y sus depósitos.

    What with we are here? What for?

    What with we are here? What for?

    Good reflections. We are here because we like to communicate and because we want to inform. Here we make several subjects: 1) we have curiosity by the economic events, social and political and then those news we shared with other peoples; 2) we have interest in informing to make contact with the peoples and to look for opinions, because today you find news far and near.

    This Blog is what you see at first sight: mass media online. And what you can see behind if you want to accompany to us: a social network.

    In this Blog the visitor has the option to become user, the option to activate later and, to interact with the blog autor.

    In this Blog not only you can be informed into the subjects that really worry to the citizen, but that you can be you yourself who it presents them.

    And not only that. The users of this Blog obtain when registering themselves their own “citizen reader”, from which they can manage all his activity: to participate in the comments and trackback, to add its personal opinion, to establish its subjects to treat favorites and what is more important: to establish direct bonding with other blogs links connecting, being able to create its own network of citizen reader collaborators.

    martes, marzo 20, 2007

    For India & China, good times will last for another 3-5 years

    For India & China, good times will last for another 3-5 years

    Carlyle is one of the most aggressive faces in the private equity world. Its big-ticket deals, presence in 100 markets and complex transactions have often brought the fund under media glare.

    One of the largest private equity (PE) players in the world, with $51.8 billion under management, the Carlyle Group plans to increase the fund size to over $70 billion by the end of 2007.

    Since its inception in 1987, the firm has invested $24 billion equity in 576 transactions. In India, Carlyle has invested $100 million in over six companies.

    Alan Greenspan once said the worst of deals are made at the best of times. We are seeing a lot of liquidity and numerous deals in recent years. Will the good times last?

    I think liquidity is probably here to stay for another three to five years. I don’t see anything on the horizon that would alter the prospects of growth for China and India or the availability of debt or cost of debt, globally.

    There are going to be opportunities for investors to make great many mistakes. Good times are now, if you are taking your company public or if you’re to sell. It’s predominantly a sellers’ market at this point.

    But, if you maintain discipline and look at buying companies that you can actually improve, you will still have opportunities to make reasonable returns for your investors.

    But then again it will be more dependent on changing performance on the factory floor rather than playing market cycles. Adding value in a robust market can be very tricky. You can’t afford to make too many mistakes. In this market, the goal is to move profitability up rather than counting on an exit at a higher multiple than you entered.

    There is a growing fear that in the current environment, acquirers are overpaying for a lot of deals. The answer is probably ‘yes’. But again what they do for the company is even more important than what they paid.

    My intuition would suggest this is a time when many people will have overpaid in retrospect. I don’t think the dot.com bust will happen again. Rather, I believe there will be a soft-landing in the next three to five years. I truly believe that our current investment opportunities, globally, have strong underpinnings of growth and sustainability.

    PEs are largely financial investors; what do they bring to the table when they step into a company’s board?

    One of the main transitions that private equity generally has gone through over the past 10 years is to realize that financial engineering has truly become a commodity.

    Therefore, bringing in operational advisors to mentor our deal teams and CEOs is very essential. They are able to work with our teams from the point of due diligence.

    Then, from their positions on the board, they help: attract the best management talent; provide a higher level of corporate compliance; through their and our networks bring companies together to increase the chances for value-added cross-selling; and improve the company’s business development opportunities, including providing merger and acquisition advice.

    Private equity firms can also shepherd their invested companies through balance sheet restructuring and exits, including trade sales and IPO processes.

    There are regulatory concerns that the dividing line between PEs and hedge funds are getting blurred. Further, questions have been raised on sources of funds for PEs.

    Is there something to worry about?

    I do believe that there has been a bit of blurring between hedge funds and private equity. The investors, who chose hedge funds rather than private equity, are making a decision that it is fundamentally different. They are looking for more diversification, more liquidity in addition to returns.

    This hasn’t prevented some hedge-fund operators from taking positions in what otherwise should be a private equity opportunity, that is, relatively more illiquid, longer-term and a more capital gain-oriented approach to investing. In some cases, when investing in debt positions, they provide a complexity to the syndication by virtue of their impatience with respect to changes in the financial structure or performance of a company.

    I believe that the increased scrutiny of private equity and hedge funds has been a function of their success. Governments are good at doing one thing — following the first rule of investing, that is, “follow the money”. If somebody’s making a lot of money, you can be sure that the government is interested in getting their share.

    In a certain sense, regulators may be reacting to the fact that the current business trend, of globalization may, in some regards, be reducing their effectiveness in influencing their own economies and international trade effectiveness. It’s clear that the democratization of finance, information and technology works to the disadvantage of economic protectionism.

    Which are the markets and sectors that smart PE investors will chase?

    You have to start with technology, telecom, and media and anything that has to do with one person communicating with another person. Technology is expanding exponentially in just about every sector that we look at — healthcare, telecom, media, aerospace, defense, industrial, and consumer. One sector, which is deepening and becoming very robust, is the whole technology of healthcare, and we are looking to do a lot more there.

    I think one of the most important trends other than globalization is demographic change. It will change the face of markets globally within the next 50 years. You have both an ageing population and a demographic dynamic coming together; for example, negative birth rates all across Europe. I predict the next year’s number one topic in Davos will be demographics — not global warming. Asia-Pacific will become much more important in the world in the next 15 years.

    Since the time Carlyle hired former Amaranth employees, there has been speculation that you will set up a hedge fund. What are the plans? Where do you see Carlyle three years from now?

    If you had asked me this question five years ago, I would have failed to answer. We will fill out all of our geographies with respect to our current products, for example, real estate in India and Latin America. We have some curiosity regarding continental Africa.

    The idea of having a full range of investment alternatives is to give our investor base the full range of risk-return opportunities. We may consider public platforms for specific asset types. The concept of permanent capital is similar to KKR and Apollo. We may consider this as an alternative to close-ended funds. But, in terms of doing things dramatically different, I don’t think so.

    How can gasoline usage be reduced?

    How can gasoline usage be reduced?
    Alt-fuels part of USA's plan for a 'gas diet'

    Americans consume 140 billion gallons of gasoline a year. That will grow to 161 billion gallons by 2017 without changes in policy, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

    - The White House wants the country to use 35 billion gallons of ethanol and other alternative fuels by 2017, seven times last year's domestic production of ethanol.

    - Increasing fuel efficiency by 4 percent a year could save 8.5 billion gallons of gasoline a year by 2017, according to a White House proposal. That, plus alternative fuels, could reduce gasoline usage by 20 percent.

    - Modifying tire treads could increase fuel economy by up to 2 percent and save 1 billion to 2 billion gallons of gasoline a year, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

    - Hydrogen-fueled cars are seen as a future means of reducing gas consumption. Hybrids help, but they still need liquid fuels. Electric cars have limited range because engineers have yet to perfect the necessary batteries, says David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    Increasing production of ethanol and other renewable fuels will hold down the price of oil, Cole said. "Just look at the value over one year of $1 less per cost of barrel of petroleum. It's huge," he said.

    According to an article in the April 2007 issue of Popular Science, the major importer of electric vehicles in the United States, ZAP (Zero Air Pollution), out of Santa Rosa, CA, has partnered with Lotus Engineering and will produce an all electric SUV vehicle, called the ZAP-X, capable of a 350 mile range - $3.50 worth of electricity to charge it (fast-charging computer-controlled lithium batteries charge in just 10 minutes) making it inexpensive to operate - a penny a mile, compared with approximately 20 cents/mile to operate a gas-fueled SUV. This particular vehicle will come with a hefty price tag ($60,000) but it's due to a number of unnecessary perks, like going 155 mph and boasting a staggering 644 horsepower!! ZAP and Lotus are planning an entire line of these "green-power" vehicles, so there should be a model that will be affordable to purchase and affordable to operate.

    Use E-85 fuel. For those that don't know E-85 uses only 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol. Yes E-85 is not quite an efficient as gas, but taking that into consideration, every vehicle that switched to E-85 would use about 80% less gas.

    It is a renewable fuel and can be produced in mass quantity in the good oil' USA.

    Also since America buys a lot of gas from Middle East countries that support terrorism, using E-85 would help reduce the money that goes to terrorists.

    An inventor Rudolph Gunnerman created a gasoline fuel alternative that would reduce gasoline consumption in half, by 70 billion gallons a year with today's consumption rates.

    Gunnerman's A-21 aqueous naphtha fuel was featured in major newspapers in 1996, yet if you asked any government official, they would probably say they never heard of it.

    A-21 would also save consumers billions of dollars a year as A-21 would cost less than half of what today's gasoline formulations cost to produce.

    lunes, marzo 19, 2007

    Latin America battles for investment

    Latin America battles for investment

    By Chris Aspin

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Latin America faces an uphill battle to win investment from the world's economic powerhouses ahead of emerging giants China and India unless the region undergoes deep political and social change.

    For years, investors in the United States and Europe have chosen to build more factories and sink more money into Asian nations rather than into Latin America, which has meant lost opportunities and less growth for the resource-rich region.

    Latin America desperately needs billions of dollars of investments to pull out of poverty, build the roads, bridges and dams it lacks and improve inadequate education systems.

    Bertrand Delgado, economist with IDEAglobal research group, said Asia's labor force is more productive than Latin America's and that investors are still wary of the region's past debt defaults and economic instability.

    "There is also a lack of investment (by people and governments of the region), a lack of infrastructure and a lack of coherent policies that promote export-orientated businesses, except commodities," Delgado said.

    Latin America has huge natural resources from oil and gas to bananas, coffee and sugar to iron ore, copper and silver mines. But apart from a few major cities, especially in Brazil and Mexico, its manufacturing base is small.

    Drawing investment to the region will be one of the top topics at the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit, which will take place in Reuters' offices this week.

    Around 60 government ministers and top executives of telecoms, mining, banking and retail companies will participate in the summit.

    One topic of interest may be the political risks of investing in the region. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is buying out private investors in power companies and telecoms companies and aims to take control by May 1 of four oil projects in the Orinoco basin worth $30 billion.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales, the landlocked nation's first indigenous president, has vowed to boost state control of natural resources. He nationalized the energy industry last year and has said he will reform mining.


    Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, the world's third-richest person with an estimated fortune of $49 billion who took part in last year's Reuters Latin America summit, is betting on the future of the region.

    His flagship companies -- mobile phone giant America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) (AMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and fixed-line phone company Telmex (TMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) (TELMEXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) -- have both expanded rapidly across Latin America since 2000.

    America Movil has around 125 million clients from the deserts of the U.S.-Mexico border to the glaciers of Argentina and Chile, beating Spain's Telefonica for the No. 1 spot in mobile phones in the region.
    "We are going to continue investing, looking for more penetration," Slim, 67, said at a news conference this week.

    Slim has long said he wants to help fight poverty, illiteracy and shabby health care in Latin America and lead a multibillion-dollar effort to improve infrastructure.

    His construction companies plan in the next few years to build roads, hydroelectric dams, oil refineries, schools and hospitals.

    Alongside his profit-making infrastructure development plans, Slim also aims to use his foundations to hand out $4 billion in donations and scholarships to boost health and education.

    Informacion Reveladora

    Según esta hoja web en las elecciones presidenciales pasadas quien ganó fue Rosales.

    domingo, marzo 18, 2007

    Bad Governance Promotes Bad Business

    What opinion has my friends of India in relation to this news article or report ?
    I believe personally that is very difficult to obtain a good combat to the poverty in a country with more than 1081 million inhabitants. Now the report...

    Bad Governance Promotes Bad Business
    [Opinion] Nandigram violence bespeaks inefficient policies of Indian government

    Ranjit Goswami (ranjit)

    Published 2007-03-18

    India is a fascinating, incredible nation -- the more one sees of it, the more one is mesmerized by its sheer diversity. Many of us Indians, seeing the country from within, wonder how it is perceived by the rest of the world.

    In the mid-seventies, there was the "Garibi Hatao" ("Abolish Poverty") campaign; in 2004, we had the "Aam Admi" ("Common Man") campaign. Aam Admi was sponsored by the Indian National Congress, the party behind the present ruling coalition government and one that has ruled India for more than 80 percent of the time since independence.

    The result of the Garibi Hatao campaign, if it can be concluded after only three decades, can be seen by all: 70 percent of Indians live on less that $2 a day and more than 30 percent of these on less than $1 a day. Recent reports showed that 95 percent of rural India, where 65 percent of 1.1 billion Indians live, lives on less than $1 a day, and 5 percent on less than 2 cents a day. In other words, not much has changed.

    Incredible India also showed "results" under Aam Admi, as Indians continued to feature in the global billionaires list published by Forbes.

    Japan, with a nominal economy more than five times the size of India's GDP, and a population of less than 1/8th of India's, has 24 billionaires (combined net wealth of $64 billion) whereas India has 36 billionaires (combined net wealth of $191 billion).

    When the billionaires' wealth is computed as a percentage of GDP, India probably ranks highest in the world, at around 25 percent (even excluding the wealth of Indian residents abroad), whereas the comparable figure for the world is 6-7 percent. For the U.S., it is 12-13 percent, and for Japan, less than 2 percent. India's share of global GDP is 2 percent. For 17 percent of the population, per capita income is around $700, 1/10th of the global average, and nearly 1/60th of the U.S. average. India's per capita GNI is lower than Sub-Saharan Africa.

    So there goes another feather in the cap of the government's "unity in diversity" and "Incredible India" bottom line.

    The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and their colleagues, pursues policies in a mad race to the bottom for growth, the benchmark being China.

    To record a higher growth rate, the present administration is ready to acquire 20,000 acres of land if not more from poor Indian farmers at dictated prices -- acres that will be given to anyone willing to pay $500 million, irrespective of the credibility of the owner. The government will even offer concessions if need be -- in the form of free land, free taxes, subsidized mining and more. You name it, toss down a few million dollars, and it's yours to do with as you please.

    In the race to the bottom, a well-researched area in global emerging economics, states export economies deliberately in an attempt to keep their currencies low. When developed and developing giants indulge in this practice, imagine the power that poor Bangladesh or Kenya gain in export competitiveness. So for every winner in this race to the bottom, there will be many more losers. (The real winner is the country that is importing against credit money because in the end it pays less for imports, and thereby contains inflation.)

    In the Indian scenario, states are encouraged to indulge in a similar race to the bottom. Like Kenya or Bangladesh, the states of Assam or Bihar have no chance of competing with a Gujarat or a Maharashtra. Thus, along with the bright side of India's economic growth in a few large states, there remains a darker side in many more states.

    When the real estate boom hit India a little late, somehow the billionaires' portfolio wasn't filled with 25 percent of India's land. "How unfair," decried Indian policy makers? Billionaires contribute 25 percent of India's GDP in wealth; don't they deserve to own 25 percent of India's land? Present policy makers are slowly reserving up to 25 percent of Indian land for the billionaires' club -- not through the constitution, but through another driver called "inclusive growth." This involves special economic zones (SEZs) that combine the 21st century industrialization drive with the 19th century colonial act of land acquisition.

    Just like that, the constitutional reservation fails to make any difference to the millions of the needy poor, some of whom now operate under Maoist-terrorism; on one-fourth of Indian land, there is disenchantment through neglect from administration after administration.

    Democracy, economic growth, getting rich, and industrialization, SEZs -- these aren't in and of themselves good or bad for society. It's what one does with them that determine whether they are good or bad.

    So we have the latest controversy of forceful land acquisition at a pittance of $25,000 an acre of investment in one proposed capital intensive chemical hub SEZ in Nandigram, in left-controlled West Bengal state: poor villagers (including women and children) of Nandigram were killed or terrorized (including raped) on March 14 by minions of the state administration for their land. The numbers vary from 14 to many more, if local media is to be believed.

    Through some simple arithmetic, we can see that at $25,000 per acre of land, the whole of India, including parliament would fall short of attracting 1/15th of the FDI that has gone into China in last 30 years.

    If this is not land grabbing in the name of industrialization taking place within Indian states, I don't know what is.

    If government looked into governance and improved it by reducing corruption and making business rules friendly to good businesses rather than bad ones, as it stands now, India would not be able to run its race against China but it still might come up a winner in economic growth for society.

    ©2007 OhmyNews

    abcNews entrevista al Presidente de Venezuela

    abcNews entrevista al Presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez. La periodista entrevistadora es Barbara Walters.

    March 15, 2007 — ABC News' Barbara Walters sits down with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for an interview in which Chavez shares his views on the United States, President Bush and America's 2008 presidential elections.

    Hugo Chavez made headlines across America when he famously called Bush "the devil" in a speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York last year.

    Watch Barbara Walters' full interview with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC

    When Walters asks Chavez about the name-calling, he explains it by saying that he wanted his strong words to bring attention to the facts. "Yes, I call him a devil in the United Nations," says Chavez. "That's true. Another time, I said that he was a donkey just because I think that he is very ignorant … about the things that are actually happening in Latin America and the world. If that is an excess on my side, I accept. And I might apologize. But who is causing more harm? He burns people, villages and he … invades nations."

    Chavez also accuses Bush of planning a coup against him. The Venezuelan president briefly lost power in a coup in 2002 but with help from a popular uprising against the coup leaders, reclaimed his position within days.

    Bush is not the only U.S. official to become the butt of Chavez's words. Chavez has referred to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as an illiterate who suffers from sexual frustration. Chavez shrugs off these insults as jokes, saying that his words are nothing when compared to the the loss of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    About both Bush and Rice, Chavez says, "As a lady I respect her, for the president of the United States, as a human being, I respect him, but they are killing people."

    CIA Assassination Plot

    Chavez insists that the CIA is collaborating with dissident elements within Venezuela to assassinate him. He says the CIA killed Chile's President Salvador Allende in 1973, and has attempted to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba.

    The New York Times reported in 2004 on an intelligence brief showing that the CIA was aware of plans of a coup against Chavez. The documents do not, however, indicate that the CIA or the Bush administration supported the coup in any way.

    Possibly sending a message to his supporters, Chavez tells Walters, "If something happens to me, if I get killed, the president of the United States should be held responsible."

    Oil and Democracy

    Despite the animosity between the two nations, Venezuela continues to be the U.S.'s fourth-largest supplier of oil. He says that "Venezuela is supporting tens of thousands of poor families in the United States with heating oil," and that his country sends "1.5 million barrels of oil" to the United States every day. Chavez also says, "There is no intention to reduce or eliminate that supply, but we have said, in case of any other aggression by the U.S. administration, we would cut this oil supply, but we expect this not [going] to happen."

    Chavez refuses to endorse an American presidential candidate for 2008, saying that his support would be a burden for the candidate. He does, however, express great confidence that if he could run for president in the United States, he would have no trouble winning and that he could win over any right wing candidate within six months.

    Asked about his governing methods, Chavez dismisses the idea that he rules by decree, saying instead that he leads a society that is both socialist and democratic. He calls himself "an enemy of an empire who wants to dominate the world" but a "friend of equality and freedom."

    Iran and Fidel

    Though Chavez affirms his support for the state of Israel, he also says that he would support Iran against any attack from the United States. Chavez expresses doubt that there would ever be such an attack, cautioning that it would be "a boomerang" and seen as an attack against the entire world.

    Chavez also updates Walters on the health of his friend Fidel Castro of Cuba. He says that Castro is making a remarkable recovery from a very serious illness and insists that the Cuban leader has not stopped governing. Says Chavez: "He's got a rein in his hand and the other rein is in Raul's [Fidel's brother's] hand."

    Walters asks Chavez about Bush's just concluded five-nation trip through Latin America, asking how he'd rate it on a scale of one to 10. "One," says Chavez. "One, because I am generous. Because it could be minus five."

    (notas para los que no viven en este país:
    1) No hubo un Golpe de Estado contra Chávez...lo que hubo fue una rebelión de militares que se opusieron a que Chávez sacara a la calle los Tanques del Ejército para masacrar a sus opositores. Tampoco vuelve al poder por la cción divina del pueblo, sino porque uno de los militares que se llama Vasquez Velasco al no verse elegido como Ministro de la Defensa en el nuevo gobierno de Pedro Carmona Estanga, entonces hecha para atrás todo lo que se había logrado.
    2)No puede haber un magnicidio por parte de USA; esa es una frase que la repite varias veces por aquello que lo que se repite queda como una frase publicitaria (le gustaría ser un martir)
    3) Los insultos gratuítos no corresponden a un Jefe de Estado sino a una persona que busca el efecto publicitario y la noticia porque sabe que los medios les agrada hacer de vez en cuando lo que se llama "noticias amarillistas")
    4)Tiene que verderle petróleo a USA porque es su principal cliente y como no se puede suministrar a China,por ejemplo, porque el coste del transporte no hace factible ese envío, entonces tiene que seguir con el suministro que le produce muchos dólares para su propia promoción comprando la voluntad de países y la conciencia de personas)
    5) Si gobierna por decretos y con una ley que lo habilita como supremo decisor. Nadie puede ir en contra de lo que él ordena)