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Energy & Environmental News and Discussions

climate change energy environment renewable energy nuclear energy fossil fuels fusion energy global warming sustainability solar energy

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#5581
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Samsung graphene coating for batteries to fully charge in about 15 minutes not 75 minutes
brian wang | November 28, 2017 |
1

 

Samsung has created a graphene ball coating for use inside a regular li-ion battery cells, which will increase the overall capacity by up to 45 percent and speeding up charging by five times.

Nature Communications – Graphene balls for lithium rechargeable batteries with fast charging and high volumetric energy densities

Improving one property without sacrificing others is challenging for lithium-ion batteries due to the trade-off nature among key parameters. Here we report a chemical vapor deposition process to grow a graphene–silica assembly, called a graphene ball. Its hierarchical three-dimensional structure with the silicon oxide nanoparticle center allows even 1 wt% graphene ball to be uniformly coated onto a nickel-rich layered cathode via scalable Nobilta milling. The graphene-ball coating improves cycle life and fast charging capability by suppressing detrimental side reactions and providing efficient conductive pathways. The graphene ball itself also serves as an anode material with a high specific capacity of 716.2 mAh g−1. A full-cell incorporating graphene balls increases the volumetric energy density by 27.6% compared to a control cell without graphene balls, showing the possibility of achieving 800 Wh L−1 in a commercial cell setting, along with a high cyclability of 78.6% capacity retention after 500 cycles at 5C and 60 °C.

 

https://www.nextbigf...75-minutes.html


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#5582
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BMW to open 200 million-Euro battery cell development center in Munich
Automotive
Loz Blain

 

BMW is investing big in electric mobility, throwing some €200 million at a brand new "battery cell competence center" in Munich dedicated to advancing its electric drivetrain technology. The idea is for BMW to develop its own expertise in battery design, from packaging, testing and weatherproofing right down to the level of cell chemistry and production technologies.

 

https://newatlas.com...mpetence/52370/


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#5583
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Solar Grid Parity For Australia By 2020 As Renewables Surge

  

November 28th, 2017 by Steve Hanley

EY Global is a worldwide consulting firm. Older readers may remember when it was Ernst & Young, one of the world’s largest accounting firms. This week, Serge Colle, head of EY Global’s power and utility section, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia may be one of the first nations to achieve grid parity between renewable energy and electricity generated by fossil fuels. “As early as 2021, [globally] we reach what we call grid parity. With Australia, the expectation is that this will come one year earlier, as early as 2020,” Mr Colle said.

 

https://cleantechnic...newables-surge/


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#5584
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posted in wrong area


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#5585
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Uncertainty surrounds US livestock methane emission estimates
November 30, 2017

 

A new study of methane emissions from livestock in the United States—led by a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences—has challenged previous top-down estimates.

 

https://phys.org/new...-livestock.html


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#5586
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Converting all windows to transparent solar would provide 25% of US electrical needs
brian wang | December 1, 2017 |
1

If every window in the United states was converted to transparent solar cell windows with 10% solar efficiency then researchers claim it would produce 80% of the electrical needs of the USA.

Above – an example of a 5% efficient transparent solar cell

* the calculation of power provided is not 80% but 25%
* the transparent solar cells are still just laboratory demonstrations
* the cells do not have commercial grade stability or years of usability. Currently they degrade quickly
* getting to commercial deployment of any product is still some years away
* the transparent solar needs to get to a competitive price
* they need to scale up production and make factories

Verifying the window claim seems to come up with 25% of US electricity from all windows being transparent solar

 

https://www.nextbigf...ical-needs.html


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#5587
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Breakthrough yields higher voltage and efficiency for a thin mineral-based solar cell
December 1, 2017 by Laura Mgrdichian

 

(Tech Xplore)—The phrase "solar energy" often brings to mind large solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses or huge arrays sprawled across sunny fields. But there is a need for low-light photovoltaics – materials that turn light energy into electricity – that can work indoors, providing power on a small, continuous scale.

 

https://techxplore.c...efficiency.html


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#5588
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The Environmental Disaster Tucked Into the Tax Bill

 

http://www.motherjon...o-the-tax-bill/

 

Introduction:

 

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—recognized for its picturesque vistas and wildlife—has been a battleground for Democrats and Republicans for years. The 20-million-acre park sits above large oil and gas reserves, which Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have eyed as a huge source of revenue for the state. Several efforts to allow drilling over the past 40 years have been blocked by Congress or by presidential vetoes, but the fate of the refuge now hinges on an unlikely fulcrum: the Republican’s latest tax bill.

 

Within the folds of the tax bill is a little-know drilling measure, which would allow for gas and oil production within a 1.5-million-acre portion of the refuge. This would generate an estimated $1.1 billion over the course of a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Environmentalists, however, say the site is a critical habitat for hundreds of animal species, including foxes, polar bears, and caribou, and therefore in need of protection. Drilling could also threaten sacred lands for the Native Alaskan Gwich’in tribe.

 

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the crowned jewels of our public lands,” Ana Unruh Cohen, the director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council tells Mother Jones. “Drilling there would totally mar this beautiful place.”

alaska-11302017.jpg?w=990

 

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

fazeful/Getty


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5589
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In the Outer Banks, Officials and Property Owners Battle to Keep the Ocean at Bay

Nags Head’s struggle with beach erosion and litigious homeowners offers a preview of what’s to come as storms and rising seas hit communities from Maine to Texas.

    Ever since a nor'easter slammed the Outer Banks in 2009, damaging hundreds of homes along these barrier islands, Goldner's cottage has been largely uninhabitable. The storm sucked the land out from beneath the homes. Now only two remain in a row that once numbered 10. Erosion has gradually consumed the shoreline in the tourist town of Nags Head, seizing homes and threatening nearly a billion dollars' worth of property.

    Sea level rise from climate change is making matters worse. For homeowners caught in the middle, the damage has left some facing substantial financial losses.

    "I just want to break even," said Goldner, a tall man with tousled gray hair and blue eyes.

    After the nor'easter, the town declared Goldner's home and nine others on East Seagull Drive public nuisances and ordered their demolition. Two were torn down, but the owners of the other eight fought back. Their lawsuits dragged for years and led to a ruling that said towns did not have the right to clear homes from the beach. Nags Head eventually paid $1.5 million to buy out the owners of six, but it was unable to remove the final two homes.

    Goldner, his neighbor and the town are now in a stalemate. The owners of the two remaining homes are unable to secure permits to rebury septic tanks that now poke through the sand. Town officials don't want to spend any more to buy them out. Neighbors are upset that the town spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lawsuits and settlements, yet failed to clear the beach.

    If Goldner's house collapsed, he could at least collect insurance. ...

 

https://insideclimat...-sea-level-rise


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#5590
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Good News About Climate Change, From Unexpected Quarters

 

https://thebulletin.org/good-news-about-climate-change-unexpected-quarters11319

 

Extract:

 

(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) In a pair of dramatic reversals over the past few days, the Trump administration now appears to have changed its positions on a key pair of earlier, Obama-era environmental efforts—a laudable change of events, albeit in back-door fashion, that one can only hope is a sign of real things to come.

 

Where the administration had previously opposed reducing emissions of a new class of ozone-destroying (and climate-change inducing) chemicals, it now favors their reduction. Similarly, the White House seems to be starting to embrace the idea of building new structures with adaptations in place that deal with climate change.

 

…After saying the opposite a few months ago—which we covered in an earlier What We’re Reading on Sept 25—the Trump administration now says that it will back the phasing-out of a powerful new class of greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), said a US State Department official at a conference last Thursday in Montreal.

 

…World leaders, led by the Obama administration, had previously agreed in October 2016 to phasing out HFCs by adding the so-called Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol—the treaty largely responsible for saving the ozone layer. According to self-described new media site Axios, after first trying to un-do the planned amendment, the administration is now taking the opposite tack: “The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs and, therefore, we support the goals and approach of the amendment,” said Judith Garber, deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. (It should be noted, however, that there is not yet a schedule for sending the amendment to the Senate for ratification.)

 

Reading between the lines, it seems that manufacturing giant Honeywell and chemical company Chemours—a spin-off of Dupont de Nemours—had already invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing systems to make refrigerants that are more ozone-friendly than HFCs, and didn’t want to go back to the old way of doing things, which would have required a fortune to re-tool. They formed an alliance with environmental organizations to oppose Trump’s EPA (proving that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows).


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5591
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The article below was also referenced in the article posted above.

 

Trump Seeks $12 Billion to Fight Flooding Tied to Climate Change

 

https://www.bloomber...-climate-change

 

Introduction:

 

(Bloomberg) Hidden in the Trump administration’s $44 billion emergency budget request is a plan to expand an Obama-era effort to make cities and towns resilient to the more frequent storms tied to climate change.

 

While President Donald Trump has dismissed global warming as a hoax and his administration has moved to end efforts to curtail carbon emissions, the White House budget office is seeking $12 billion for a competition for flood-prone communities that scientists say are facing more numerous storms and greater flooding because of climate change.

 

"Given the Trump administration’s position of climate change, and its apparent rejection of the basic science behind it, it’s surprising to see a $12 billion proposal for creating greater resilience," Joel Scata, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The New York-based environmental group has fought Trump’s efforts to reverse climate rules, but praised this idea.

 

As part of the $44 billion emergency budget request for the recovery from Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria, which was sent to Congress Nov. 17, the White House said it wants to direct $12 billion to a competition to help cities and towns become resilient to flooding. Among the policies the White House said it’s considering are "large-scale buyouts in areas of high flood risk."

 

Other activities could include "structure hardening, forward-looking land-use plans, adoption of disaster resistant building codes," the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a summary of their emergency funding request.

 

 

 

Of course, it would appear that while the bulk of the costs of this program are directly related to global warming, this cause will never be acknowledged by the administration.

 

400x-1.jpg

 

Vehicles and trailers are seen submerged in water from Hurricane Harvey in Rose City, Texas on Sept. 6.

 

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5592
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Now We Finally Know How Much Federal Land Could Be at Stake in Trumps Rush for More Drilling
http://www.motherjon...-more-drilling/

This interactive map lays it all out.

REBECCA LEBER
DEC. 5, 2017

In his speech from Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, President Trump called the national monuments he was there to shrink a “natural bounty” that the nation should put “to great and wonderful use.” In this administration, “natural bounty” and “great and wonderful use” do not necessarily refer to the monuments’ beauty and cultural value, but to the vast potential oil, gas, and coal reserves beneath them.

Trump’s actions Monday foreshadow the much wider stakes of his presidency: Beyond monuments, many federal lands sit on top of fossil fuels, and he has wide latitude to open them up to more development.

If fossil fuels are the Holy Grail for the Trump administration—and his emphasis on “energy dominance” suggests they are—there is far more at stake than the 2 million acres the president rescinded from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante’s monument designations. More than 120 million acres of protected land—larger than the state of California—are situated over rich reserves of oil, coal, and gas, according to a new analysis by Greenpeace’s Unearthed investigations team. They calculate that within those public lands are 28.9 million acres of national forests, 13.6 million acres of national wildlife refuge, 2.9 million acres of parks, and 7 million acres of wilderness overlapping with fossil fuel fields and basins.

This is the first relatively comprehensive inventory of federally protected land intersecting with oil, coal, and gas deposits. Unearthed compared fossil fuel estimates from the US Geological Survey, Energy Information Administration, and Alaska Department of Resources with federal land data from the Geological Survey, using mapping software to calculate the percentages of federal land acreage that overlap.

Their interactive map shows the overlay:

 


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#5593
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Ryan Zinke recommends Trump shrink two more US national monuments
Source: The Guardian

 

Interior secretary Ryan Zinke has announced recommendations to shrink two more national monuments in the western US – Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and California, and Gold Butte in Nevada.

He also said Donald Trump should consider changing the boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll Marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean.

Zinke, a former Republican congressman from Montana, spoke on a call with reporters on Tuesday. He strongly disputed a claim by the outdoor retailer Patagonia that Donald Trump “stole” public land by announcing the shrinking of two such areas in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

The outdoor retailer’s claim was “nefarious, false and a lie”, Zinke said.

Unlike national parks, which can only be created by an act of Congress, national monuments can be designated unilaterally by presidents under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which is meant to protect sacred sites, artefacts and historical objects.

Trump has said presidents have abused the act by putting unnecessarily big chunks of territory off limits to drilling, mining, grazing, road traffic and other activities. In April he ordered Zinke to identify which of 27 monuments designated by past presidents should be rescinded or resized.

 

Read more: https://www.theguard...iyou-gold-butte

 

Yep, lets destroy the environment.


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#5594
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Heat only nuclear plants proposed to get rid of coal power at one third the cost
brian wang | December 6, 2017 |
1

 

There has been proposal in China to switch from fossil fuel burners to “swimming pool” nuclear reactors.

Wang Naiyan, honorary chairman of the China Nuclear Society and a lead scientist at the China Institute of Atomic Energy, said top state leaders had responded positively to the plan to replace coal and natural gas heating plants in northern China with the reactors – small, simple nuclear heating plants with “zero meltdown risk”.

Each winter, China chokes from the half a billion tonnes of coal it uses for heating – enough to power Britain for nearly three decades.

 

https://www.nextbigf...d-the-cost.html


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#5595
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Trump administration rolls back Obama-era oil train safety rules
Source: KOMO (AP)

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Trump administration has angered environmental groups and residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety.

The Obama administration rule change required trains carrying highly explosive liquids to have electronically controlled pneumatic brakes installed by 2021 - systems intended to help prevent fiery oil train wrecks like the one that happened in the Oregon last year, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday.

A Union Pacific train derailed in the small Columbia River town of Mosier in June 2016, spilling 42,000 gallons of crude oil and sparking a massive fire that burned for 14 hours.

The U.S. Department of Transportation under President Donald Trump now says, however, that the rule change would cost three times the benefit it would produce and is rolling it back, the station reported. Electronically controlled pneumatic brakes are supposed to be faster than the current industry standard - air-controlled brakes - because the simultaneously signal to the entire train.
Industry officials reacted positively to the news.

Chet Thompson, of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement that the rollback a "rational decision." Conservation groups and lawmakers in the Northwest said the rollback was frustrating, but unsurprising.

 

Read more: http://komonews.com/...in-safety-rules


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#5596
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China is at 1.5 times US electricity usage in 2017 and should be double by 2023
brian wang | December 8, 2017 |
1Save

 

China’s power consumption in October rose 5 percent from a year ago to 513 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), according to data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Wednesday.

Consumption in the first 10 months of this year reached 5.2 trillion kWh (5200 TWh), up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

China will use 6350 TWh in electricity for 2017. The USA has had no growth in electricity usage for many years and will likely use about 4100 TWh in 2017.

China’s October industrial power consumption rose 2.9 percent year-on-year to 358.7 billion kWh.

China’s total installed generation capacity reached 1,670.62 gigawatts by the end of October, according to NEA.

 

https://www.nextbigf...le-by-2023.html


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#5597
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Lawsuit Launched Against Trump EPA for Approving Fracking Waste Dumping Into Gulf of Mexico
Source: EcoWatch

 

The Center for Biological Diversity filed on Thursday a formal notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for allowing oil companies to dump waste from fracking and drilling into the Gulf of Mexico without evaluating the dangers to sea turtles, whales or other imperiled marine life.

In September the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a Clean Water Act permit for new and existing offshore oil and gas platforms operating in federal waters off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The permit allows oil companies to dump unlimited amounts of waste fluid, including chemicals involved in fracking, into the Gulf of Mexico.

"The Trump administration is letting the oil industry turn our oceans into toxic-waste dumps. The EPA's supposed to protect water quality, not help pollute the Gulf," said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. "It's time for the courts to remind this agency that its mission is to safeguard the environment and public health."

In October the Trump administration announced plans to auction off more than 76 million acres of Gulf of Mexico waters to oil companies. That lease sale, which is scheduled for March 2018, will be the largest oil sale in U.S. history. It includes federal waters off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and could vastly expand drilling and fracking in the Gulf.

 

Read more: https://www.ecowatch...2515883905.html

 

wtf


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Judge halts clearing of rare forest targeted for Walmart
Source: Associated Press

Updated 11:10 am, Saturday, December 9, 2017

 

MIAMI (AP) — Bulldozers downing trees on a property targeted for a Walmart-anchored shopping center were ordered to stop work after a federal judge issued an emergency injunction sought by environmentalists fighting to save the vanishing forest.

The judge issued the injunction Friday, hours after the Center for Biological Diversity and three other groups sued to overturn a decision earlier this week that cleared the way for the mall, 900 apartments and a parking lot. The land near Zoo Miami had long been targeted for conservation and is part of what was once one of the largest tracks of pine rockland, a globally imperiled forest, outside Everglades National Park.

In her ruling, Judge Ursula Ungaro said the plaintiffs showed a likelihood of winning their case and that ongoing work could cause irreparable harm.

"We are elated," said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the suit with Tropical Audubon, the Miami Pine Rockland Coalition and the South Florida Wildlands Association. "The judge's order has given these plants and animals and the residents of this community an opportunity for their day in court, an opportunity to have justice upheld, and a fighting chance at survival."

 

Read more: http://www.chron.com...or-12418356.php


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#5599
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#5600
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The Trump Administration Is Scuttling a Rule That Would Save People From Dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 

https://www.propubli...oxide-poisoning

 

Introduction:

 

(Pro Publica) After Hurricane Irma hit three months ago in Orlando, Florida, the local police got a desperate 911 call from a 12-year-old boy reporting that his mother and siblings were unconscious. Fumes overcame the first deputy who rushed to the scene. After the police arrived at the property, they found Jan Lebron Diaz, age 13, Jan’s older sister Kiara, 16, and their mother Desiree, 34, lying dead, poisoned from carbon monoxide emitted by their portable generator. Four others in the house went to the hospital. If 12-year-old Louis hadn’t made that call, they might have died, too.

 

Portable generators release more carbon monoxide — which is particularly dangerous because it is odorless and invisible — than most cars. As a result, the devices can kill efficiently and quickly, though accidentally. The Diaz family usually placed the generator properly, outside the house, a neighbor told local reporters. But for some reason, they had brought it into their garage. From there, the generator’s murderous byproduct spread silently through the house.

 

During hurricanes, floods, and nor’easters, portable generators save lives — except when they take them. Irma, Harvey, and Maria all left thousands without power and reliant on their portable generators. The government has not yet done its official count, but 11 people using these generators died just from Irma, according to preliminary government estimates. Many more died from Harvey and Maria, experts say, especially in Puerto Rico, which has been without a functioning power grid for months.

 

These deaths rarely merit more than short stories on local news sites. Civil servants then accumulate the statistics into dry reports that end up buried somewhere on .gov websites. The latest of these shows that portable generators have killed on average 70 people a year since 2005. That’s a small fraction of the toll from car accidents. Still, generators rank as one of the deadliest consumer products on the market. A further 2,800 people a year suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the equipment.

 

Portable generator deaths are preventable, and for the past 16-plus years, the United States government has tried to do just that. The job has fallen to the Consumer Product Safety Commission…

20171207-portable-generators-3x2.jpg

Aaron Berg fills a gas can and his portable generator on Aug. 24, 2017, in Houston, as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico. 

(David J. Phillip/AP Photo)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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