How to choose carpet cleaning services?

Carpeting is a trendy choice for both personal and business applications. Should you go with carpeting in your home, it’s only a matter of time until you will have to hire professionals to clean the carpeting in your household. With carpeting, the materials are rather delicate and tricky to clean, which is why you should leave it to the professionals.

The market gives you numerous cleaning services to choose from, so pay attention to the following aspects when selecting:

Training and certification

A company with staff who are educated ensures excellent quality for the cleaning services. It’s also another proof that the company will adequately clean your carpets and know pretty much everything about various cleaning procedures. They also have a good understanding of multiple fabrics and materials or how the materials take staining. Always make sure that the company has qualified staff before hiring it, even if you’re looking for “carpet cleaning pleasanton ca” or “carpet cleaning manteca ca“.

Good reputation

It’s effortless to find out about a company’s reputation nowadays. You need to ask family and friends, neighbors, go online, and read the reviews from previous customers. Some sites are mostly made for rating and review such cleaning services.

Experience

No matter what they say, experience always matters. A cleaning carpet company team working for several years will have more experience than a freshly started competitor. Experienced companies have been through all kinds of experiences and dealt with various materials and situations. It will always matter for the quality of their cleaning services.

Products and equipment

The sort of cleaning methods the company utilized is also essential. How the cleaning process takes place, how long the carpet will require for drying, the type of products and equipment used for cleaning are also necessary. Do you care for the products to be children and pet friendly? Should they use products for people with allergies? Information of this kind can help you narrow down the choices, especially if you worry about the safety of your children, pets, or members of the family with allergies.

Last but not least, take a look at the rates. A reliable cleaning company will offer upfront prices and even run a free in-home estimate. The step ensures that they will not add any other costs to the final bill.  Also, check if the company provides a guarantee policy. Ideally, you want the company to redo the cleaning for free when you’re not happy with the results.

opioid crisis past and future

The Opioid Epidemic

You don’t need to work in the health industry to have heard about the opioid epidemic/aka opioid crisis.

The opioid epidemic refers to the increasing number of deaths and hospitalization from opioids, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. Over the last couple of years, deaths caused by opioids increased to 40,000 a year across the U.S. The opioid epidemic started a decade ago. Still, the factors leading to it developed before 2010.

What defines opioids?

Opioids are drugs derived from or are a synthetic form of opium. Morphine contains the highest amount of opium, which has been used for decades for alleviating pain. As medicine evolved, scientists developed methods for replicating the morphine’s effects, making it stronger or weaker.

Methadone, heroin makes the most common drugs, and opioids are today synonymous with pain relief. Demerol, codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, or tramadol are widely available and easy to procure, which only aggravates the opioid epidemic.

What is the prescription opioid epidemic?

Many of the people who develop an addiction to opioids have started using after a prescription. Opioids are powerful pain relievers, but they’re also highly addictive, making the human brain crave more. It only takes a couple of medicines for the patient to realize that he/she has become addicted to the effects of opioids. By the time they become aware of the opioid addiction, they’re way too far into the addiction.

Do people get treatment for opioid addiction?

Patients will have to follow addiction treatment, and the conventional methods used for detox cause painful withdrawal symptoms, rending the treatment very difficult to complete. Withdrawal symptoms with medication are so severe that people avoid treatment. Some people look into alternative treatment for opioid addiction, where natural remedies are used with even better and gentle effects on the body. For example, ibogaine used for detox from opioids is very gentle on the body and brain, and gives longer-lasting results. Patients no longer feel the need to use opioids and this effect can last for years.

Even if the patients manage to complete the addiction treatment, the main reason for which they were using opioids (as pain relievers) isn’t solved. Some go back to opioids as they still have to struggle with the pain, and heroin makes a cheaper option than prescribed medication. Heroin is more powerful, more affordable, and more accessible to obtain than prescribed medication.

As the conventional addiction treatment focuses only on the addiction to the opioids and on the complete picture (without solving the pain that caused the use of opioids), it makes sense why the results are poor. Over the last couple of years, patients have become more active in their treatment. Once they become aware of the addiction, they’re interested in taking the alternative path, trying to solve both the addiction and the pain that caused the opioid use. Alternative treatments for opioid addiction are now available, tackling the various problems that lead to opioid use and abuse.

Does the opioid epidemic affect all of us?

Regardless of what you may think, the opioid epidemic affects people of all walks of life, in all demographics, including veterans, teens, seniors, men, and women alike. Even if you’re not using/abusing opioids, someone close to you could struggle with opioid addiction. Even if it all started with some prescribed medication, there aren’t many steps to take from use to abuse, mainly when you have prescribed medication.

How can you help?

Just because you’re not using opioids doesn’t mean that the opioid epidemic doesn’t affect you. When you know the risks, the signs, and the symptoms of opioid addiction, you can participate in one’s recovery and even help his/her life.

The stigma of addiction is still very powerful, and people are ashamed to talk about using and abusing opioids. And no, addiction has nothing to do with being weak nor reflects a character flaw. Addiction knows no social or financial status, and anyone may develop it at some point in his life.

Should you have any concerns that someone you care for struggles with opioid addiction, don’t hesitate to look for a treatment provider as soon as possible. Addiction shouldn’t be the final destination for someone’s life, but only a momentary detour.

Kepco for the Wind

South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation will build a $9 billion, 2.5-gigawatt offshore wind farm off the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula by 2019, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement.
While this blog focuses upon U.S. wind power development, it is good to note such clean energy elsewhere in the world. This includes Asia. This blog recently noted wind power development in China and now relays information about wind power development in South Korea. A thanks to the Big Gav.

According to the ministry, the 51-percent government-owned Kepco will be buying wind turbines from eight local suppliers including Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

The wind farm project will be built in three phases, beginning with a $355-million demonstration project by 2014 which will consist of turbines having the capacity of between 3 and 7 megawatts.

The second phase 400-MW demonstration project will have an investment of $1.42 billion by 2016. To complete the third phase is a $7.26-billion investment to build a 2-GW wind farm by 2019.

O.K., let’s install 200,000 GW of solar

Just re-posted the announced growth in wind power in parts of the United States, and now the Big Gav relays that  ”the technical potential of photovoltaics and concentrating solar power (CSP) in the U.S. amounts to just under 200,000 GW.”

According to a new study released by NREL, there is the potential to generate around 399,700 TWh of energy annually.

The U.S.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a new report – U.S. renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis – in which it says, technically, 154,864 of photovoltaics and 38,000 GW of CSP could be installed. This would mean, photovoltaics could generate around 483,600 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy annually, and CSP, 116,100. Refer to the table for a breakdown of the different solar technologies.

Overall, it believes rural utility-scale photovoltaics has more potential than any other renewable energy technology, due to the “relatively high power density, the absence of minimum resource threshold, and the availability of large swaths for development.” Meanwhile, Texas is said to have the ability to account for around 14 percent of this 153 GW, or 280,600 TWh annual potential.

In terms of urban utility-scale photovoltaics, NREL says Texas and California have the highest estimated technical potential, due to both their strong solar resources and high populations. With significantly less estimated technical potential, it is thought that rooftop photovoltaics will be most successful in those states with higher population densities, like California.

Getting accustomed to moderate to exceptional drought in the US

“Climate change is real and really dangerous,” warned the Huffington Post.

The severe drought across much of the U.S. proved stubborn once again during the past week as nearly four-fifths of the country was in some form of drought. And the area of the lower 48 states affected by moderate to exceptional drought expanded slightly, hitting a high for the year, according to data released Thursday morning. [Climate Central]

… moderate to exceptional drought covered a new high of 64.16 percent of the lower 48 states as of September 11….

… just 21.47 percent of the lower 48 states was drought free, which is down from 56.53 percent at the same time in 2011.

The drought is the worst to strike the U.S. since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s and lengthy droughts of the 1950s. It came on suddenly and largely without warning, and although the main trigger was most likely a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the drought was exacerbated by extremely hot temperatures during the spring and summer. July, for example, was the hottest month on record in the U.S., and the summer was the third-hottest on record, narrowly losing out to 2011 and 1936. Climate studies have shown that the odds of severe heat waves are increasing due to manmade climate change.

Wind Power Growing Fast in Parts of the U.S.

“Solar power and fracking get all the press, but wind has quietly become a major force in the U.S. power grid,” begins Will Oremus for Slate. Well, Will, that is because they are more important. The advantage of wind power is how quickly it can go up and start producing electric power. And, what you say about the growth of wind power in certain parts of the United States is worth knowing. If you are a greenie-weenie, that is.

According to a new report from the Department of Energy, wind accounted for about a third of all new electricity capacity installed in the country in 2011. That’s not too far behind natural gas, which accounted for 49 percent of new capacity amid an ongoing boom in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Overall, it still amounts to just 3.3 percent of the nation’s electricity demand—coal and natural gas dominate, followed by nuclear. But it has now been the second-fastest-growing electricity source in six of the past seven years, thanks in part to a renewable electricity production tax credit originally signed into law by George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Wind’s wild ride may soon come to an end, though. The tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year, and while the Senate has passed an extension, the Republican-controlled House has not.

Now the fate of the wind industry is becoming an issue in the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney on Tuesday toured a coal plant in Ohio to slam Obama for environmental policies that prioritize renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.

“If you don’t believe in coal, if you don’t believe in energy independence for America, just say it,” Romney said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “If you believe the whole answer for our energy needs is wind and solar, then say that.”

Obama hit back on campaign stops in Iowa, arguing that ending the wind credit would cost the country 37,000 jobs. He included a dig at Romney over the old anecdote that he once strapped the family dog to his car roof on a road trip. From the Des Moines Register:

“Governor Romney even explained his energy policy this way: I’m quoting here: ‘You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.’ That’s what he said about wind power,” Obama told about 800 Iowans at a campaign rally in rural Oskaloosa. “Now I don’t know if he’s actually tried that. I know he’s had other things on his car.”

Despite its huge growth of late, the U.S. wind industry remains far behind that of several other countries in terms of its contribution to the nation’s overall energy supply. Denmark’s wind capacity is about 29 percent of its annual demand, and that figure is also above 10 percent in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Germany.

In the United States, Texas is by far the largest wind power producer, followed distantly by Iowa, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and, of course, Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.

Severe weather hits capitals and villages around the world

In the last week, the world has experienced a series of calamitous weather events. News headlines have painted a grim picture: flooding, drought, landslides and record ice melt in the arctic. These events stretch to every corner of the globe, but their effects are all too heavily felt by the poorest people in the world.

While it is true that it is difficult to attribute any single weather event to climate change, it is agreed that climate change is likely to bring more extreme weather events with it.  Indeed, many of these recent events are consistent with what can be expected as global temperatures continue to rise. In very broad terms, this is because climate change is putting more energy (heat) into the world’s weather systems. It is probable that this will cause dry areas to get drier and wet areas to get wetter.

We need to ask ourselves: is this the world we want?

  • Arctic: June 18 – Satellite images of the Artic have shown the extent of floating ice that melts and refreezes was 824,000 square kilometres less than the same period in 2007 – the year of record low extent since records started in 1979. This follows last year’s second greatest sea ice melt on record.
  • Uganda: June 25 – A landslide devastated two villages, killing about 30 people and leaving more than 100 missing. A local official said it rained heavily in the area for two days and that the landslides in the area may be more severe than the ones that occurred there in 2010.
  • North and South Korea: 26 June – The most severe drought since record keeping began 105 years ago is gripping the Korean Peninsula. According to reports, 80% of South Korea is experiencing severe drought, with Seoul experiencing only seven percent of the rainfall it experienced during the same period last year.
  • Bangladesh: June 28 – The death toll from floods and landslides have been climbing. Unusually heavy monsoon rains have disrupted road, rail and air links, local officials said.
  • Nigeria: June 28 – Heavy rains and flooding have affected residents in the capital, Lagos. In some areas properties were swept away and major roads were blocked.
  • United Kingdom: June 28 – Torrential rain has caused flash floods in parts of the UK, while Northern England, the Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland were hit by storms that brought lightning, giant hailstones, squalls and tornadoes. At the same time, southern parts of Britain experienced dry weather and temperatures of up to 28C.
  • USA: June 28 – A wildfire has forced the evacuation of 35,000 people from Colorado’s second-largest city. One person has been killed and 346 homes incinerated, making it the most destructive blaze in the state’s history. Waldo Canyon was the site of one of over 40 large, uncontained wildfires being fought across the United States, the bulk of them in ten western states: Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and even Hawaii.
  • India: June 29 – 900,000 people have been displaced and 27 people have died due to floods in the north-eastern state of Assam. Torrential rain has hit the region, inundating 21 of the 27 districts in the state, as the seasonal monsoon rolls across the subcontinent.
  • USA: 30 June – The Washington D.C region, Maryland, and Northern Virginia were lashed by a sudden and violent storm that killed at least 13 people. Even the Washington Post writes (June 30, 2012): “As the intensity of the heat wave, without reservation, was a key factor in the destructiveness of this “derecho” event it raises the question about the possible role of manmade climate warming (from elevated greenhouse concentrations).”
  • Costa Rica: 30 June – New research suggests that climate change could impede leatherback turtle population’s ability to recover, according to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change by a research team from Drexel University, Princeton University, other institutions and US government agencies. The report indicates that the eastern Pacific population of leatherback turtles will decline by 75 percent by the year 2100. Turtle eggs and hatchlings in nests buried at hotter, drier beaches are the main reason for this decline. Dr. James Spotila, the Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel told the Science Daily: “In 1990, there were 1,500 turtles nesting on the Playa Grande beach. Now, there are 30 to 40 nesting females per season.”
  • USA: June 29 – Stifling heat and dry conditions are persisting across the centre the Midwest. The drought conditions are hitting at the worst possible time for young corn and soybean plants already suffering from a lack of rain, according to agricultural meteorologists.

Coaltopia – Coal Industry Revival Backfires On Climate

Writing for High County News, Ray Ring reports on unusual opposition, from Wyoming to India, that coal-export schemes have ignited:

The opponents want thorough evaluations that weigh all the impacts, with public hearings around the Northwest that would give time to speakers like Kimberly Larson, a staffer for Climate Solutions, a Washington group that advocates for wind and solar power.

“The coal companies need a new market for their drug,” she says, “just like we saw with tobacco companies,” which emphasized overseas sales when health warnings and taxes eroded their U.S. customer base.

Industry, however, prefers narrow evaluations — a local hearing that only weighs the construction of a new dock, for instance. And industry is optimistic: In the last few weeks, a couple of companies leased additional Powder River Basin deposits — with their eyes fixed on Asia.

Writing for the Daily Kos, Matt Wuerker falls for coal industry deception (much deception comes from a difference in perception) and encourage readers, at least in the Pacific Northwest, to think likewise. There are two grievous errors in the thinking he promotes.

While criticizing the coal industry for using a local focus, the Daily Kos article, “Our Happy Future as a Coal Corridor,” also emphasizes a local focus that lessens the focus on the total impact upon life on the planet as we know it. A quick view of current economics, and the average reader would see the need to export coal to Asia.

The second grievous error relates to the first. Wuerker wants the Daily Kos reader to see such harm in being a coal industry “corridor.” This provides coal industry representatives an opportunity to respond that this worry is wrong because the coal is going elsewhere for burning — some place other than the Great Pacific Northwest — some place in Asia, where electric power plants suffer less harassment by the government about producing CO2 emissions than the coal industry has to worry about in our country. (Sarcastically italicized.)

Meanwhile, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will rise again next month as it has since reporting started. Not just in the atmosphere in the Pacific Northwest, or wherever you are as you read this. The concentration reported in a frame on the right hand of this weblog front page is a global average. While it is a possible problem to transport the product through where you live to make money, it is not the major problem. The major problem is encouraging greater use of a product that, in the future, is leading to the end of life on this planet as we know it. Yes, one planet — this Kos critical post is avoiding a focus on Big China, other than repeating the cartoon. Instead, it attempts to ask readers to think critically about life on our planet.

Spring 2010 Flood Risk

AP Photo: Julie Jacobson

Scientific American relays a warning from NOAA. JCWinnie readers will be familiar with such warnings since the editor can recall watching local television coverage of devastating flooding and thinking: “Gee, that’s terrible. Hey, wait a minute, that is where I live. Wholly inflatable dinghys, Batman. That is where I am now!”
“A sign outside the Iowa Welcome Center is partially submerged by flood water on June 15, 2010.

O.K., so I really didn’t think inflatable watercraft until later. That was for comedic relief. And, speaking of relief and the cost of damage due to “historic flooding”, Jane Lubchenco, head of the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, told reporters yesterday, “We are looking at potentially historic flooding in some parts of the country this spring.” The Red River Valley in Minnesota and Iowa is at risk of floods. Areas in the Southeast could flood, too.

Climate Progress headline: Red River braces for fourth “ten-year flood” in a row! Even Big Boss Barry warned about the flooding that’s going on right now in North Dakota. “I actually think the science around climate change is real. It is potentially devastating.”

Yes, yes, the Big Boss moniker is semi-snarky since the previous senator from Illinois and now president of these United States has to contend with corrupt “representatives” that continue to deny that a rise in global temperatures over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), with other contributions from the clearing of forests and agricultural activities. The rise in emissions will have far-reaching consequences, both spatially and temporarily. There is particular irony that denial of this clear and present danger is so prevalent among representatives from states most at risk.

NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?’

A NASA science team has observed “amazing and potentially troubling” levels of methane and CO2 from the rapidly warming Arctic. Given the staggering amount of carbon trapped in the permafrost — and the fact that methane is a very potent heat-trapping gas — the space agency is now asking: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?

“Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost — signals that may hold a key to Earth’s climate future.” Credit: UNEP

We’ve known for a while that “permafrost” was a misnomer (see “Thawing permafrost feedback will turn Arctic from carbon sink to source in the 2020s“). The defrosting permamelt will likely add up to 1.5°F to total global warming by 2100.

Two studies from February provide more evidence the process may happen even faster than we thought:

Now we are getting some of the first detailed observations of carbon emissions from the thawing permafrost thanks to the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), “a five-year NASA-led field campaign studying how climate change is affecting the Arctic’s carbon cycle.”

Flying in a specially instrumented C-23 Sherpa aircraft only 500 feet above the ground, CARVE scientists “measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth’s surface and atmosphere,” something most other airborne permafrost measurement missions can’t do. The goal:

Ultimately, the scientists hope their observations will indicate whether an irreversible permafrost tipping point may be near at hand. While scientists don’t yet believe the Arctic has reached that tipping point, no one knows for sure.

NASA’s news release is one of the best I’ve ever seen from any source. I’ll quote it at length since its factoids and findings are so citable.

Let’s start with just how fast the permafrost has been heating up. CARVE principal investigator Charles Miller of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains:

Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures — as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years,” Miller said. “As heat from Earth’s surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic’s carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming.”

Recall that NOAA has reported, “In 2012, new record high temperatures at 20 [meters, 65 feet] depth were measured at most permafrost observatories on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range, where measurements began in the late 1970s.”

This warming is troubling for two reasons. First, the permafrost contains a staggering amount of carbon:

Permafrost (perennially frozen) soils underlie much of the Arctic. Each summer, the top layers of these soils thaw. The thawed layer varies in depth from about 4 inches (10 centimeters) in the coldest tundra regions to several yards, or meters, in the southern boreal forests. This active soil layer at the surface provides the precarious foothold on which Arctic vegetation survives. The Arctic’s extremely cold, wet conditions prevent dead plants and animals from decomposing, so each year another layer gets added to the reservoirs of organic carbon sequestered just beneath the topsoil.

Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon – an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That’s about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth’s soils. In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface.

Second, methane is a very, very potent heat-trapping gas. Whether the permamelt releases CO2 or CH4 depends critically on the soils and state of the land surfaces, which CARVE aims to characterize:

There’s a strong correlation between soil characteristics and release of carbon dioxide and methane. Historically, the cold, wet soils of Arctic ecosystems have stored more carbon than they have released. If climate change causes the Arctic to get warmer and drier, scientists expect most of the carbon to be released as carbon dioxide. If it gets warmer and wetter, most will be in the form of methane.

The distinction is critical. Molecule per molecule, methane is 22 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide on a 100-year timescale, and 105 times more potent on a 20-year timescale. If just one percent of the permafrost carbon released over a short time period is methane, it will have the same greenhouse impact as the 99 percent that is released as carbon dioxide. Characterizing this methane to carbon dioxide ratio is a major CARVE objective

After its first full year of science flights, CARVE is analyzing data. Here’s what is “both amazing and potentially troubling.”

“Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we’ve measured have been large, and we’re seeing very different patterns from what models suggest,” Miller said. “We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher-than-normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze. To cite another example, in July 2012 we saw methane levels over swamps in the Innoko Wilderness that were 650 parts per billion higher than normal background levels. That’s similar to what you might find in a large city.

The time to slash carbon pollution was a long time ago, but now is still incalculably better than later.