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#2427 JR北海道と地球温暖化に関する記事 Sep. 30, 2013 [74.高校・大学生のためのJT記事]

 記事を三本ピックアップしました。量が多いので段落ごとのは解説しません。読みたい人だけ読んでください。段落ごとに解説する記事はカテゴリ「時事英語公開講座」のほうとりあげます。ジャパンタイムズは楽しい記事が満載です。大学生になったらキオスクに売っていますから、週に1度は買って読んでください。根室のJRのキオスクにはおいてません。

 北海道JRの事故が多発して問題になっています。線路の不良箇所も発表するごとに数字が大きくなっていく。一体どうなっているの?と、たまにしかJR北海道を利用しないebisuも心配になった。JRがなくなったら困る。
 JRは平成25年度3月決算で335億円の営業損失を出しています。ところが9.8億円の経常利益です。
 ここにはからくりがあります。旧国鉄を解体したときに受け取った財産が7000億円近くあり、そのうちに一部を国の関係機関へ貸し付け、3.7%もの利息を受け取っています。つまりいまでも「迂回」して税金を投入しているのです。受け継いだ資産を取り崩したり、まともではないやり方で税金投入して、帳尻を合わせています。民間の会計基準では赤字なのに、公的会計基準では黒字に化けます。黒字なら経営改善なんて必要ないでしょう、そういうことです。
 こういうイージーなことをすると経営改善がなされなくなります。JR北海道はわが町の市立根室病院にそっくりです。市立根室病院は昨年約17億円もの赤字を出していますが、根室市の一般会計からその分を補填して帳尻合わせをして、公的会計基準では黒字です。こんなことをやっているからいつまでたっても赤字は減らないどころか、前市長時代の2倍に膨らむというとんでもないことになっています。今年度の赤字は病院新築によって減価償却費負担が増えるのでさらに膨らみ20億円を超えるでしょう。
 どちらも絵に描いたような放漫経営。税金投入しすぎると、経営改善がなされなくなるのはJR北海道も市立根室病院も一緒です。(市立根室病院がなぜ放漫経営なのかは近々具体的に根拠を挙げて取り上げます)
 でも、すぐにはよくなりません、それなりの理由があります。基本に返って問題を一つ一つ解決していかないといけないのです。1年で変えられるような魔法はないのです。高い志と専門的な能力が必要になります。

 商業科や事務情報科の生徒は決算書が読めるだろうから実物で腕試ししてごらん。
*JR北海道決算資料
http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/corporate/kessan/25/pdf/00_jrhokkaido.pdf

**「持参金で穴埋め(JR北海道決算公告から)」 ブログ「情熱空間」より
http://blog.livedoor.jp/jounetsu_kuukan/archives/6835772.html

 二番目の記事もJR北海道ですが、こちらはジャパンタイムズの社説です。

 三番目の記事はIPCC、地球温暖化問題です。「地球温暖化95%の確実性」が話題の中心になっています。人為的な要因により95%の確率で温暖化が起きているという結論ですが、そもそもこの95%はなにかということ。
 統計学的説明はありませんが、IPCCは統計学的な分析をした結果95%の信頼性で人為的な要因が地球温暖化に関係していると結論付けています。
 高校生は数Cを選択する人はほとんどいないでしょうが、説明が少しあります。「母平均の推定」のところに「信頼度95%の信頼区間」の説明があります。教科書を友だちあるいは先輩に見せてもらったらいいでしょう。
 全国模試を受験している生徒は標準偏差±1.96の範囲内に95%のデータが入ると説明すればおおよその見当がつくでしょう。偏差値では30.4~69.6の範囲です。

 道立高校の授業時間を7時間にして、7時間目を選択授業とすべきだとebisuはときどき書いています。それは文科系でも大学へ進学すれば統計学という科目があるからです。社会人になってもさまざまな分野で統計学が応用できます。これを理解できるかどうか、あるいは使えるかどうかは案外大事なのです。数Ⅲも数Cも物理も文科系には必要です。相互乗り入れできるように、そして学力エリートを積極的に育てるために、7時間目の選択授業という機会の提供はやるべきです。文科省は「国策」として考えてほしいと思います。

 数Cをとらなかった人でも、大学へ進学すると1年生の教養科目の統計学で「カイ2乗検定」「t検定」「F検定」など推計のやり方がでてきます。実際にEXCELを使って問題演習をしますよ。IPCCの地球温暖化記事を読む場合でも、そうした知識がベースにあったほうがいいことは言うまでもないでしょう。
 前置きはそれくらいにして、地球温暖化の記事を読んでください。
 


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/25/national/track-defects-exceed-260-at-jr-hokkaido/
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Track defects grow to 260 at JR Hokkaido

Railway rushes to patch track problems that date back to '85

Kyodo, JIJI

Hokkaido Railway Co. said Wednesday it has found 170 more unaddressed track defects, bringing to 267 the total uncovered by an investigation into a derailment last week.

The new defects may include some that have been there since 1985, when changes were made to the maintenance rules drafted by the Japan National Railways following its privatization.

JR Hokkaido said all of the defects, including the newly disclosed ones, had been repaired by Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, Norihiro Goto, chairman of the Japan Transport Safety Board, said his inspectors found the tracks at the site of the last Thursday’s freight train derailment were as much as 37 mm wider than normal, compared with 25 mm in June.

But he also said the board couldn’t determine whether the new deviation, which is almost double the allowable limit of 19 mm, was caused by the derailment.

・・・・・

==========================



http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/09/28/editorials/wheres-the-sense-of-duty/
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Where’s the sense of duty?

Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) on Sept. 22 announced that it had failed to carry out track repairs quickly enough at 97 spots across Hokkaido. To make matters worse, JR Hokkaido announced three days later that track irregularities were found at an additional 170 spots.

At these 267 spots, tracks had widened beyond the safety limit. In some cases, such tracks were left unrepaired for nearly a year. Although JR Hokkaido said it had finished necessary repairs for the first 97 spots by Sept. 22, it is clear that something is basically wrong with the company.

Earlier this year, the company experienced a series of fire-and-smoke incidents involving limited express trains. One wonders whether officials and employees of JR Hokkaido have a clear sense of duty to protect the lives of passengers.

According to JR Hokkaido’s rule, the width between two rails must be 1,067 millimeters. If the track width becomes 14 or more millimeters wider than the standard in a straight section and 19 or more millimeters wider in a curved section, repairs must be carried out within 15 days. But the company failed to follow this rule at many spots.

Of the 97 spots dealt with by the Sept. 22 announcement, 49 were on main lines, some of which carry limited express trains running at speeds of up to some 130 kph. Forty-eight spots were on sidetracks used to let trains pass each other.

On Sept. 19, a cargo train derailed on the sidetrack at Onuma Station on the Hakodate line. JR Hokkaido admitted that no repairs had been done since October 2012, when track irregularities were found there. The 49 probelm spots on main lines were left unrepaired for one to five months.

Track irregularities included not only wider widths but also nonalignment of rail heights. The investigation of the Sept. 19 derailment by the transport ministry’s Transport Safety Board led to the discovery of many more cases of poor track maintenance.

On Sept. 22, JR Hokkaido President Makoto Nojima said that because priority was given to repairs of main lines, repairs of sidetracks were delayed. He even said that there were cases in which the need for repairs was forgotten.

This explanation fails to answer the question of why repairs of main lines were delayed.

A source said that irregularities of sidetracks were rarely reported to the head office, although the results of track repairs on main lines are reported to the head office.

Clearly JR Hokkaido lacks a system to share information on track irregularities and take action immediately. At the very least, it must increase personnel and budget for track maintenance.

First and foremost, all JR Hokkaido officials and employees must remember and abide by the principle that the safety of passengers comes first. But the latest scandal suggests that it will be extremely difficult for the company to get back people’s trust.



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http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/09/25/environment/what-does-95-certainty-of-warming-mean/
==========================
 

What does 95% certainty of warming mean?

Gold standard for scientists is just fodder for skeptics

by Seth Borenstein

AP

 

Top scientists from a variety of fields say they are about as certain that global warming is a real, man-made threat as they are that cigarettes kill.

They are as sure about climate change as they are about the age of the universe. And they are more certain about climate change than they are that vitamins make you healthy or that dioxin in Superfund sites is dangerous.

They’ll even put a number on how certain they are about climate change. But that number isn’t 100 percent — it’s 95 percent. And for some nonscientists, that’s just not good enough.

There’s a mismatch between what scientists say about how certain they are and what the general public thinks the experts mean, experts say.

That is an issue because this week, scientists from around the world have gathered in Stockholm for a meeting of a U.N. panel on climate change, and they will probably issue a report saying it is “extremely likely” — which they define in footnotes as 95 percent certain — that humans are mostly to blame for temperatures that have climbed since 1951.

One climate scientist involved says the panel may even boost it in some places to “virtually certain” and 99 percent.

Some climate-change deniers have looked at 95 percent and scoffed. After all, most people wouldn’t get on a plane that had only a 95 percent certainty of landing safely, risk experts say.

But in science, 95 percent is often considered the gold standard for certainty.

“Uncertainty is inherent in every scientific judgment,” said Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Thomas Burke. “Will the sun come up in the morning? Scientists know the answer is yes, but they can’t really say so with 100 percent certainty because there are so many factors out there that are not quite understood or under control.”

George Gray, director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health at George Washington University, said that demanding absolute proof on things such as climate doesn’t make sense.

“There’s a group of people who seem to think that when scientists say they are uncertain, we shouldn’t do anything,” said Gray, who was chief scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the George W. Bush administration. “That’s crazy. We’re uncertain and we buy insurance.”

With the U.N. panel about to weigh in on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of oil, coal and gas, The Associated Press asked scientists who specialize in climate, physics, epidemiology, public health, statistics and risk just what in science is more certain than human-caused climate change, what is about the same, and what is less.

They said gravity is a good example of something more certain than climate change. Climate change “is not as sure as if you drop a stone it will hit the Earth,” Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said. “It’s not certain, but it’s close.”

Arizona State University physicist Lawrence Krauss said the 95 percent quoted for climate change is equivalent to the current certainty among physicists that the universe is 13.8 billion years old.

The president of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Ralph Cicerone, and more than a dozen other scientists contacted by the AP said the 95 percent certainty regarding climate change is most similar to the confidence scientists have in the decades’ worth of evidence that cigarettes are deadly.

“What is understood does not violate any mechanism that we understand about cancer,” while “statistics confirm what we know about cancer,” said Cicerone, an atmospheric scientist. Add to that a “very high consensus” among scientists about the harm of tobacco, and it sounds similar to the case for climate change, he said.

But even the best study can be nitpicked because nothing is perfect, and that’s the strategy of both tobacco defenders and climate deniers, said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and director of its tobacco control research center.

George Washington’s Gray said the 95 percent number the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will probably adopt in Stockholm may not be realistic. In general, regardless of the field of research, experts tend to overestimate their confidence in their certainty, he said.

Other experts said the 95 percent figure is too low.

Jeff Severinghaus, a geoscientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said that through the use of radioactive isotopes, scientists are more than 99 percent sure that much of the carbon in the air has human fingerprints on it. And because of basic physics, scientists are 99 percent certain that carbon traps heat in the greenhouse effect.

But the role of nature and all sorts of other factors bring the number down to 95 percent when you want to say that the majority of the warming is human-caused, he said.


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