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Editorial comment

There are some who predict that the world will end on 21 December 2012. If this is the case: welcome to your last ever issue of World Cement. I sincerely hope these doomsdayers are wrong because we have a whole lot more planned for 2013 and I have already registered for the IEEE-IAS/PCA Conference, not to mention finished my Christmas shopping. I doubt there will be refunds in the event of an apocalypse.

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On the website, the author warns that, in the (undefined) period of time leading up to the end of days, ‘we will become witnesses to a gathering storm of events that will slowly and systematically redefine our existence on this planet. These events will come in the form of both natural and manmade disasters as well as social, economic and religious upheavals, and will most definitely effect (sic) every living being on the planet.’ Well, it’s easy to read the truth into that. One only has to look at the unrest in the Middle East or the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy to know that upheaval is all around. A manmade disaster could also be on the horizon in the form of further recession if nothing is done to avert the fiscal cliff scenario in the US. Maybe the world really is going to end.

More moderate types, however, would have us believe that 21 December will mark the end of an era and, therefore, the start of a new one. It may be that this will come to pass slightly ahead of schedule at the Climate Conference in Doha this month, where it is hoped that the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol will be agreed. Expectations for these conferences have been significantly lowered since Copenhagen in 2009, but perhaps now those expectations are based more in reality. Not everyone is going to sign up to whatever agreement is put on the table, but perhaps Sandy will have given the US pause for thought; perhaps China’s new leader will increase the country’s renewable energy target as has been reported recently; perhaps it’s enough for these major economies to make their own targets if they won’t subscribe to an international accord. Some are saying that we have less than five years to limit global warming to 2 °C. I’ll take action over inaction any day.

Hopefully we have a couple of articles in this issue that will inspire you to action. Adana Cement Inc. (page 35) is setting up a solar power project at its plant that will make the most of Turkey’s abundant sunshine while reducing carbon emissions and costs. Apparently, every hour, enough solar energy is produced to meet the entire global annual energy demand: a fact that always amazes me. Much of this issue (page 40 onwards) is concerned with comminution, and looks at troubleshooting, grinding efficiency and issues of wear. Have a read and see if there’s anything that can help with your plant productivity. We welcome your feedback via the usual channels.

All of us here at World Cement would like to thank our readers, authors and advertisers for their continued support over 2012. We look forward to working with you in 2013 and wish you all the best for the holiday season.