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The wind finally blew the other way last night and kicked out the smoke from the burning Sierra. Down here in the flatland of California, we used to regard the granite mountain as a place apart, our getaway. But the distance is no more. With all those dead pine trees in thrall to wildfire, the Sierra, transmuted into ash, is right outside our door. 

We have learned to watch the sky with an uncanny eye. We measure its peril. Some days, we breathe the worst air in the world. On those few days when we can walk outside without risking harm to our lungs and brains, we greet each other with new benedictions. May the shift in winds prevail, I tell my neighbor. May there be only the dust clouds from the almond harvest to contend with. In the meantime, I don’t dare quiet the turbo on my HEPA filters, hum of this new life. 

The most brutal of summers in the San Joaquin Valley has come to a rest at last. Since June, the temperature has broken the 100° mark for 67 days, a new record. Drought won’t let go its grip on the land. Eight of the past 10 years have been ugly dry. This October morning, after a month holed up, I decided to leave my house in the suburbs and roam the middle of California, the irrigated desert at its most supreme. Out in the country, I smell fall in the air. To celebrate its arrival, I’m going to visit an old friend, a farmer named Masumoto, who has 80 acres in Del Rey and is putting the last of his raisins in a box. 

There is no way to make this drive out of Fresno at harvest’s end, through the dog-tired fields of the most industrialized farm belt in the world, without thinking about water: the idea of it, the feel of it; the form as it falls from the sky as rain and snow, that man captures with his invention and implementation, his magic and plunder, the dam, the ditch, the canal, the aqueduct, the pump, the drip line; the water that gives rise to every animate and inanimate thing that now stretches before my eyes, the vineyard, orchard, cotton field, and housing tract; the water whose too much can destroy us, whose too little can destroy us, whose perfect measure of our needs becomes our superstition and story.  

You should know that I have written about the matter of California and water a few times before, and I’m not above borrowing from old refrains. In my hunt for new words, I have driven Highway 99 a thousand times through a valley that geologists call the most-altered landscape by human hands in history. I now see the gashes of fresh alterations. What has been done here, by any means necessary, has been done for the want of water.

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The taking of Cali­fornia was no small project. It relied on the erasure of the most prolific flowering of indigenous people in the United States. The civilization standing in the way was at least 10,000 years in the making and 300,000 strong. They were Yokuts, Maidu, Miwok, Klamath, Pomo, Chumash, and Kumeyaay, to name a few. Looking back at the fevered pace of our footprints over the past 175 years, we tend to idealize the modesty of theirs. And yet it is more than likely true given their numbers, given the bounty and heft of the land, that they did not war with each other over its prize. They lived light on the earth. They moved when nature moved. Flood took them to one place, drought another. When the forest load needed thinning, the fires they set burned brush and lower branch and quickly smothered out.   

As genocides go, the wiping clean of California’s indigenous culture was protracted, playing out in three acts: Spanish mission, Mexican occupation, American settlement. The atrocities were only as efficient as the tools of the time—blanket, smallpox, syphilis, torch, knife, Colt .45—allowed. First came the robed Franciscans led by Father Serra, slaver and saint, whose possession of the Indian body gave him the workforce to erect the first crude dams and canals that took rivers to places they’d never been: his 21 missions, from San Diego to Sonoma. At the Mission San Gabriel, the catch of water grew a profusion of grains, vegetables, exotic fruits, and the 170-acre “Las Vina,” mother vineyard. 

Next came the dons from Mexico, freed from Spain’s yoke, whose dalliance with California lasted but a quarter-century, from 1821 to 1848. Blending European, Mexican, and American lineages, they called themselves Californios. Rather than tame California’s many states of nature, they amassed millions of acres and tamed themselves. On far-flung rancherias, they slaughtered a calf a day to feast on, drank vast quantities of wine and brandy, and threw royal weddings in which daughters who’d been locked away in finishing schools all their lives finally came out into the sun. In a moment of goodwill, they pledged that the mission lands, and their flow of water, would be turned over to the remaining natives,

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By: Mark Arax
Title: How we drained California dry
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/16/1041296/california-climate-change-water-drought/
Published Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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