I never thought I would applaud the Pope. But hurray for him as his message spreads to the Chicago diocese. By its self the church can not solve the problem but it could put a dent in Global Warming. Here is hoping it spreads.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical-met-20150618-story.html#page=1

Pope Francis makes Chicago Catholics see green

June 18, 2015, 7:56 p.m.

Answering a plea from Pope Francis to protect the planet, Chicagoans — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — pledged Thursday to collect rainfall, conserve tap water, recycle their cans and bottles, and switch off the lights when they leave a room.

It’s an unusually tangible, immediate and ecumenical response to a papal encyclical, a letter expounding on Catholic teachings.

But the encyclical itself is an extraordinary letter. Francis’ first solo encyclical (he co-wrote one with his predecessor) is the first time the leader of the world’s billion Roman Catholics has addressed the environment. And the letter is more than a manifesto for clergy and bishops to use as a teaching tool. It’s a call to action with scientific rationale, written in plain language and addressed to “every person living on this planet.”

“I’m so excited about the courage of this pope. He’s done his homework,” said Gina Orlando, an instructor of science and spirituality courses at DePaul University and a Catholic who recently returned to Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park after spending the last several years church shopping. “I’m back now because of this encyclical and the possibility that it holds for spirituality and environmental change.”

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Go there and read. It is up lifting. More next week.

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When homosapiens invented fire did we doom ourselves? Because it seems fire will always come into contact with fire and global warming is the result. I think this implies that there is a limit on large animals ability to survive on Earth. I think it means that the Earth is locked into cycles of mass die offs. Finally, I think it means humans better get out of here soon. Yet, I wonder why that is just dawning on me at 60?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/fire-in-the-hole-77895126/?no-ist

Fire in the Hole

Raging in mines from Pennsylvania to China, coal fires threaten towns, poison air and water, and add to global warming

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

From the back kitchen window of his little house on a ridge in east-central Pennsylvania, John Lokitis looks out on a most unusual prospect. Just uphill, at the edge of St.IgnatiusCemetery, the earth is ablaze. Vegetation has been obliterated along a quarter-mile strip; sulfurous steam billows out of hundreds of fissures and holes in the mud. There are pits extending perhaps 20 feet down: in their depths, discarded plastic bottles and tires have melted. Dead trees, their trunks bleached white, lie in tangled heaps, stumps venting smoke through hollow centers. Sometimes fumes seep across the cemetery fence to the grave of Lokitis’ grandfather, George Lokitis.

This hellish landscape constitutes about all that remains of the once-thriving town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Forty-three years ago, a vast honeycomb of coal mines at the edge of the town caught fire. An underground inferno has been spreading ever since, burning at depths of up to 300 feet, baking surface layers, venting poisonous gases and opening holes large enough to swallow people or cars. The conflagration may burn for another 250 years, along an eight-mile stretch encompassing 3,700 acres, before it runs out of the coal that fuels it.

Remarkably enough, nobody’s doing a thing about it. The federal and state governments gave up trying to extinguish the fire in the 1980s. “Pennsylvania didn’t have enough money in the bank to do the job,” says Steve Jones, a geologist with the state’s Office of Surface Mining. “If you aren’t going to put it out, what can you do? Move the people.”Nearly all 1,100 residents left after they were offered federally funded compensation for their properties. Their abandoned houses were leveled. Today Centralia exists only as an eerie grid of streets, its driveways disappearing into vacant lots. Remains of a picket fence here, a chair spindle there—plus Lokitis and 11 others who refused to leave, the occupants of a dozen scattered structures. Lokitis, 35, lives alone in the house he inherited from “Pop”—his grandfather, a coal miner, as was Pop’s father before him. For fans of the macabre, lured by a sign warning of DANGER from asphyxiation or being swallowed into the ground, Centralia has become a tourist destination. For Lokitis, it is home.

Across the globe, thousands of coal fires are burning.
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Go there and read. More next week.

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I never thought I would ever see this. Really as a post it has nowhere to fit in. BUT. It is important so I just thought I would cram it in here and live with it. When people surf this blog in future years they can just think of it as a speed bump. Can you believe that there are people who want to flaunt their ignorance?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/i-rejoice-that-it-is-warm-ars-attends-a-climate-contrarian-conference/

Scientific Method / Science & Exploration

Echo chamber of outrage: Ars attends a climate skeptics’ summit

A political buffet offering everything but science.

“I accept that the planet has warmed,” said conservative columnist Mark Steyn from the podium. “And I rejoice that it is warm.”

Steyn was one of many speakers at the libertarian Heartland Institute’s 10th “International Conference on Climate Change,” a major event for climate science contrarians. The two-day conference, held in mid-June at the classy Washington Court Hotel just a few blocks from the US Capitol, had all the trappings of an academic conference, but you wouldn’t mistake it for a Geological Society of America meeting. Tables set up outside the hotel’s main ballroom hosted conservative advocacy groups and think tanks like CFACT, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Heritage Foundation (which attracted visitors with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ronald Reagan). The audience contained some meteorologists but seemed mostly composed of retired couples with an interest in politics, along with a handful of state legislators.

The goal was to gather speakers—who, organizers frequently reminded the audience, were some of the most famous and well-respected experts in the world—who could arm attendees with the information they needed to take the Good Fight back out to the streets. A small number of the talks presented research into climate science, but most were arguments against climate policy based on economic impacts. In other words, imagine the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal plus a podium.

As for the speakers, they viewed themselves as voices of reason speaking truth to power—all of them trying desperately to keep the Western world from slipping over the precipice to certain economic ruin. And to hear them tell it, Heartland and its allies were winning the battle against the “climate alarmists.” The public remains divided on the issue of climate change, with some recent polling placing it low on the priority list of concerns. Attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through legislation have been stymied. International negotiations have been arduous.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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No real comments here except the sponsor is the government and the number of participants are huge.

http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2015/07/more-than-90-teams-enter-u-s-doe-s-wave-energy-prize-program.html

More than 90 teams enter U.S. DOE’s Wave Energy Prize program

07/08/2015

 

The Age of Coal is over. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court doesn’t get that. In fact most of the power plants have already installed the required equipment so what does this ruling even mean?

http://www.alternet.org/environment/us-supreme-court-strikes-down-obamas-epa-limits-air-pollution?sc=fb

Environment

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Obama’s EPA Limits on Air Pollution

Landmark 5-4 decision is major setback for Obama’s efforts to set limits on amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into air, lakes and rivers.

June 29, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers.

The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges from industry and Republican-led states to its new carbon pollution rules.

It was also a blow to years of local efforts to clean up dangerous air pollution.

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Go there and read. Be prepared to be sad. More next week.

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For an additional punch today…

 

 

My mind is blown. My eyes disbelieve. My ears thunder. I smell a rat and I tingle in my toes. I am happy that school children will ride buses past the failed energy generator of the past and the successful energy generator of the future.

http://gizmodo.com/this-huge-wind-turbine-floating-on-water-is-fukushimas-1713340037

 

This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima’s Energy Solution

Bryan Lufkin
Filed to: japan 6/23/15 12:30pm

A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy.

The turbine, completed Monday, will generate up to 7 megawatts of electricity, making it Japan’s most powerful wind turbine, and the most powerful floating turbine in the world. That’s good news for Japan, a country that’s shut down nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

The beast of a turbine sports three 270-foot-long blades and is built to stand against winds nearly 200 mph. It’ll be part of a wind farm that will include three turbines total, and will be stationed in the Pacific in the coming months. One is already in place in the ocean—that smaller one generates 2 megawatts of electricity.

The $401 million Fukushima wind farm project is a government-sponsored collaboration among 11 companies and research orgs, like Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and the University of Tokyo.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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But how is the Catholic Church going to pitch in? His statement was aimed at policy makers, so politicians everywhere scrambled to comment. But what measures are the church(es) going to take. Solar panels on catholic churches? What?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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From Three Mile Island, to Chernobyl, to Fukushima, nuclear power has soaked up trillions of $$$ and awarded planet Earth with poisonous outputs  and death and destruction. The proponents point to the trillions of kilowatts generated without carbon emissions. The bottom line is what to we do to shut them down? Safely. The answer is – there is none. So we are in jeopardy for thousands of years.

http://nautil.us/blog/no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushimas-endless-tanks-of-radioactive-water

No One Knows What to Do With Fukushima’s Endless Tanks of Radioactive Water

This is what passes for good news from Fukushima Daiichi,  the Japanese nuclear power plant devastated by meltdowns and explosions after a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami in 2011: By the end of last month, workers had succeeded in filtering most of the 620,000 tons of toxic water stored at the site, removing almost all of the radioactive materials.

After numerous false starts and technical glitches, most of the stored water has been run through filtration systems to remove dangerous strontium-90, as well as many other radionuclides. TEPCO, the Japanese utility that operates the power plant, trumpeted the achievement: “This is a significant milestone for improving the environment for our surrounding communities and for our workers,” said Naohiro Masuda, TEPCO’s chief decommissioning officer, in a press release.

But it’s not quite so easy to bounce back from a nuclear disaster of this scale. For one thing, don’t take TEPCO’s statement too literally: No one is living in the “surrounding communities”—they’re far too contaminated for human habitation. Furthermore, the filtered water is still full of tritium, a radioactive version of hydrogen. (When two neutrons are added to the element, it becomes unstable, prone to emitting electrons.) Tritium bonds with oxygen just like normal hydrogen does, to produce radioactive “tritiated water.” It’s impractical—or at least extremely difficult and expensive—to separate tritiated water from normal water.

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You will be depressed. Go there and read anyway. More next week.

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See the thing is, like coal, Nuclear Power Plants have rich investors. They are going to wring every last penny out of those investments no matter what. If the planet suffers? So what? Who cares about our suffering?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-elsner/the-exelonpepco-merger-ex_b_7176948.html

The Exelon-Pepco Merger & Exelon’s History of Anti-Clean Energy Lobbying

Posted: Updated: DT

Exelon has a long history of using political influence to oppose the deployment of renewable energy. Exelon’s political operations may impact the company’s ability to show that a merger with Pepco would provide a tangible benefit to customers on the criteria of conserving natural resources and preserving environmental quality – two factors that must be considered in the District of Columbia. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, “the [Exelon-Pepco] merger is not in the public interest…as a result of Exelon’s longstanding resistance to policies promoting renewable energy.”

Exelon-Pepco-Merger.jpgIf approved, the Exelon-Pepco merger would empower the company to continue its anti-renewable campaign in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, negatively impact ratepayers, and hinder the growth of the renewable energy industry.

Lobbying Against the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Illinois

Exelon has routinely worked against renewable energy policies and used its financial resources and political influence to benefit the company at the expense of environmental quality and renewables. Most recently, Exelon has proposed a bill in Illinois, the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS), that would subsidize nuclear plants that are struggling to compete with the cheap cost of electricity from natural gas plants and wind turbines. As written, the LCPS would increase rates for ratepayers, and Exelon’s nuclear plants would earn an estimated $300 million per year from low carbon credits while renewables would get almost nothing. Crain’s Chicago Business Journal documented that “Exelon long has complained that profits at its six nuclear power plants in Illinois are under pressure in part due to competition rom tax-subsidized wind farms. Exelon is backing state legislation that would create a new surcharge on most electric bills throughout the state that would funnel as much as $300 million a year to the company’s Illinois nukes.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Nico the Ninja told them to save energy and they do.

https://www.saveonenergy.com/kids-learning-center/saving-energy/

A Ninja’s Quest to Save Energy

Nico loves saving energy and natural resources and wants to share his knowledge with you! Join Nico and learn the best practices of saving energy.

dot dot dot Unfortunately the actual site is graphics heavy and I am no good at copying such things, but I am going to put up the Teacher Guide. I think you will get the idea. dot dot dot

The Kids’ Guide to Saving Energy is a useful resource to incorporate into your elementary classroom’s curriculum to help students understand the importance of saving energy. Have your students complete the guide during class or as an extra credit homework assignment. Discuss the guide in class and have your students present to the class ways they saved energy at home. Below are some suggestions on how to incorporate each page of the guide into your lesson plan:
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SaveOnEnergy.com® created Nico as a fun way to teach students about energy. As your students connect with Nico, be sure to tell students to check out the other kids’ guides and continue to explore with Nico!
Page 3:
Ask students to volunteer to read aloud the reasons why conserving energy is important. Then, review the following discussion questions with your class.
1. Do you think saving energy is important?
1. What is energy conservation?
2. What is energy efficiency?
3. How do you think we can conserve energy in the classroom?
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Have the students define renewable and nonrenewable energy. Then have the students place each renewable energy source under the proper category. If students are unfamiliar with certain energy sources, have them look up and define the words. Then, have your students brainstorm ways in which we can use renewable resources for energy and discuss the advantages of renewable energy.

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I also love that Nico is half of Nicodemus. Go there and read. More next week.

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