Solar Panels Might Not Help CO2 Reduction Any Time Soon

Energy Vulture

by Emil Morhardt

The main considerations in whether and where to install photovoltaic (PV) panels are how much sun there is, and how much the panels cost. Right? Not necessarily. Engineers at Arizona State University have just published a paper pointing out that if a goal of installing photovoltaics is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, it would be prudent to consider the emissions from manufacturing—which vary significantly by panel type—how long they stay in the atmosphere, and whether or not the installation is competing with other renewable energy sources rather than with fossil fuel burning. Because of the greenhouse gases associated with manufacturing, all panel installations increase greenhouse effects in the short term, although the initial two-year effect is to reduce them owing to sulfur and nitrogen oxides released from power plants during manufacture.

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Instructions for Authors

Instructions for authors attending ISSST2014 has been posted here.

You will find information on your accepted paper(s), including the template to follow, links to necessary websites for uploading your paper, information on peer reviewing and the structure for commenting and revising papers, and a timeline for all these activities.

Please refer to the link above for all information. This can also be found by choosing the ‘Instructions for Authors’ link under ‘Authors’ at the top of the page.

Prelim Program for #ISSST2014

The ISSST2014 Preliminary Program is posted as a downloadable Excel file.

If you see your name as a session Chair, it’s because we think you’d be terrific and we’d like to invite you to accept a leadership role.  But not all sessions have Chairs yet!  If you’d like to volunteer, let us know.

Please inspect your sessions and especially the title and authorship of your poster or presentation.  Send corrections, comments and adjustments to Dr. Chris Yuan by email

Also, keep in mind that we’ll be programming 4thSpace with workshops, training sessions, biz meetings, UNconference sessions and other late-breaking opportunities for active and engaging exercises.  We’ll post a separate 4thSpace program as we closer to ISSST.

Announcing 4Space: A Place for ISSST Experimentation

Every year the Program Committee gets abstracts, workshop proposals, and new ideas from ISSST participants that don’t match the time-tested model of paper and poster presentations.  For example, we’ve done panel discussions, workshops, real-time online linkups with concurrent conferences, spontaneous presentation sessions, and impromptu work sessions.  We even have a proposal for an UNconference.

One of the beautiful things about ISSST is that we’ve been able to create space for all of these ideas, both in pre- and post-symposia activities and in the regular program.  In some cases, these “crazy” and sometimes last-minute ideas have been the most popular parts of ISSST.  As a result, we’re getting even more proposals — more than the Program Committee can handle.

Although the ISSST parallel program has always been split into three concurrent tracks, the volume of high quality submissions, pre-symposia ideas, and new initiatives this year won’t fit into that format.  So we’re creating a new thing and we’re calling it 4Space.

4Space will be a room at ISSST that will house new workshops, linkups, project meetings, writing sessions, small group discussions, business meetings and allow people to plot their own revolutions.   It will house about 13 people in a Board Room setting and it will be “programmed” only in a loose sense.  Some activities will be planned ahead of time and printed in the program.  Other activities will emerge spontaneously during the event and the organizers will be able to use 4th Space and advertise themselves to the ISSST participants as a whole.

The only thing is, we need a volunteer 4Space Chair to join the ISSST Organizing Committee.  I have a few people in mind that I know would be ideal for the job.  But if you want to be considered, please respond to

National Science Foundation offers $15K Support for ISSST2014 Travelers

NSF logoWith National Science Foundation grant #1432890, the University of Pittsburgh is making available travel awards for a limited number of students and junior faculty members (Assistant Professor or equivalent) to partially defray the cost of attending ISSST2014.   Applicants for travel awards should have research interests and/or expertise in the broad area of sustainable systems and technologies.  Funding will be considered up to a maximum of $750 per applicant and will be directed primarily to hotel charges, but may also cover registration fees.

A limited number of additional awards may be made to non US-based applicants in the form of registration fee discounts or waivers, although these will not be funded from the NSF award.  International participants in need of support are welcome to apply.

Deadline to apply: April 10, 2014

To apply:

  1. Send e-mail request to Gabrielle Gaustad ( and Vikas Khanna (
  2. Subject header: ISSST2014 application
  3. The request must include the following information:

a)     Full name
b)     Position (employment)
c)      Institution (employer)
d)     Email, phone, twitter contact (if any) and mailing address
e)     If you have been accepted to present at ISSST2014, list the Poster, Oral, or workshop title.
f)      List your expected arrival/departure days at ISSST.  (Note the availability of presymposium workshops Mon morning and post-symposium workshops Wed afternoon).
g)      Provide a brief explanation of any service work you’ve provided for ISSST, including service on one of the symposium committees, abstract/paper reviewer, session Chair, workshop provider, or other work.
h)     Provide a one sentence description of your funding source(s) for the balance of your symposium expenses.
i)      List up to three members of the Organizing, Technical, or Program Committees familiar with you and your work who will serve as references for your application.
j)      List any persons with whom you prefer to share a hotel room, whether you prefer NOT to share, or whether you’re open to sharing with practically anyone. (You will not be assigned a roommate without your approval).

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains.

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie, or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?P

It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.P

When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.

Click on the title above to read the entire article.

Reposted from