social crisis


Sure everybody in power down there says it was a robbery gone bad but she was assassinated. I mean the cops that were suppose to be guarding her were guarding the wrong house blocks away in another neighborhood. Damn those damn dams.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/gunmen-murder-honduran-environmentalist-leader-160303181349473.html

Politics

Honduras: Environmentalist Berta Caceres shot dead

Berta Caceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

| Politics, Human Rights, Environment, Latin America

Honduran environmentalist leader and winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize Berta Caceres has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

Caceres was killed early on Thursday by two assailants who broke into her home, a member of her group, the Indian Council of People’s Organizations of Honduras, said.

“Honduras has lost a brave and committed social activist,” fellow activist Tomas Membreno said in a statement.

Caceres, a mother of four, led opposition to a proposed dam on the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the Lencas.

She had previously complained of receiving death threats from police, soldiers and local landowners because of her work.

Activist Carlos Reyes described the assassination “a political crime by the government”.

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Go there read. More next week.

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When I first saw this I thought it was from The Onion. But this for real.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/532896/discarded-laptop-batteries-keep-the-lights-on/

Discarded Laptop Batteries Keep the Lights On

Millions of batteries discarded with computers have more than enough life to power home lighting for one year, researchers in India say.

Many of the estimated 50 million lithium-ion laptop batteries discarded every year could provide electricity storage sufficient to light homes in poor countries, researchers at IBM say.

In work being aired this week at a conference in San Jose, researchers at IBM Research India in Bangalore found that at least 70 percent of all discarded batteries have enough life left to power an LED light at least four hours a day for a year.

While it’s possible to combine LED lights with solar panels and rechargeable batteries (see “Innovators Under 35: Evans Wadongo”), using discarded batteries could make the approach far cheaper.

“The most costly component in these systems is often the battery,” says Vikas Chandan, a research scientist at the lab’s Smarter Energy Group, who led the project. “In this case, the most expensive part of your storage solution is coming from trash.”

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Go there and read more. More next week.

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Yes and the damage they will do is a lot more than 50,000 $$$ they initially put up.

 

Today (Thursday, 11/28/13) is Day 14 of the 49-day Comment Period on Fracking.  On this Thanksgiving Day, we are thankful for your comments to IDNR.
Topic – Inadequate Bonding Requirements for Fracking Companies
  • Click the button: Subpart B:  Registration and Permitting Procedures
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click:  245.220 Permit Bonds or Other Collateral Securities
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”
Section 245.220 states, “The bond shall be in the amount of $50,000 per permit or a blanket bond of $500,000 for all permits.” (Section 1-65(a) of the Act)
Comment:  Plugging a well alone costs more than $50,000. In the study “Who Pays the Cost of Fracking?: Weak Bonding Rules for Oil and Gas Drilling Leave the Public At Risk”, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center reported documented instances in which fracking wells have cost $700,000 or more to plug.  What is the motivation for the operator to not simply forfeit the bond when they shut down?  Furthermore, drilling companies typically frack a string of wells and not just one.  If they are cutting corners, using improper well-casings for example, or not sealing them correctly, the violation is likely to occur at each site.  One $500,000 bond for perhaps as many as 100 -150 well sites is as unacceptable as a $50,000 for one well site.
If the purpose of the bond is to protect the state from expenses incurred from an accident or violation, then the bond must be sufficient to cover those occurrences.  It makes no sense to offer a blanket bond—like some bargain basement “buy 2 pairs of socks and get a third pair free”.  Each well should be bonded individually and in the amount necessary to cover real and imagined damages as outlined by the PennEnvironment study.
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Go there and comment. More later.

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First on the list of actual green active organizations is Greenpeace. As with most activist organizations, I like them or I hate them based on their actions. When they challenge the whalers, I applaud. When they unroll banners from bridges over the Mississippi River or chain themselves up in trees, I must admit I become embarrassed. I have never been a member needless to say.

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/

Happy whales have sanctuaries


My Greenpeace colleagues aboard the Rainbow Warrior in the Indian Ocean shared a heartwarming experience when a frolicking group of humpback and minke whales put on quite a show. It’s not a stretch to say these whales were happy and playful. Why wouldn’t they be as the entire Indian Ocean is a whale sanctuary where they can live in peace? What a contrast this is to other parts of the world where whales not only don’t have protections but face a myriad of direct threats from humans. One huge emerging threat to whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife is happening now in the coastal waters of California. Read more

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

 

 

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The unstable weather patterns created by Global Warming means that there will be drought and flooding somewhere in the world, more or less at the same time. So this impending hurricane just pushes the drought out of its way for a while but it will come back.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/30/us-usa-drought-idINBRE87T0Z620120830

Drought eases in U.S. Midwest, worsens in northern Plains

By Karl Plume

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:30pm IST

(Reuters) – The worst U.S. drought in a half century loosened its grip on the Midwest in the past week, helped by rain and cooler temperatures, but the drought grew more dire in the northern Plains, a report from climate experts said on Thursday.

But the improved Midwest weather arrived too late for crops in major farm states such as Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, where severe corn and soybean yield losses have already been realized.

The portion of the contiguous United States suffering from at least “severe” drought fell to 42.34 percent from 44.03 percent over the prior week, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly synthesis representing a consensus climatologists.

The percentage of the Midwest in that category slipped to 49.96 from 51.06 the previous week, with the most notable improvement in Indiana, 64.07 percent of which was under severe drought or worse, down from 81.48 percent a week ago.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This was proposed in 2009 so I imagine it is operational by now. I found this amazing document that I need to look at more, but it is a listing of all the large solar facilities maybe in the world? Anyway if you want to see cool photos go to the site because pictures are a pain.

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/abengoa/

General Description of Project

On August 10, 2009, Abengoa Solar Inc., the sole member of Mojave Solar LLC, filed an Application For Certification (AFC) for its Abengoa Mojave Solar Project. The proposed project is a nominal 250 megawatt (MW) solar electric generating facility to be located near Harper Dry Lake in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County. The project would be located approximately halfway between Barstow, CA and Kramer Junction, CA, and is approximately nine miles northwest of Hinkley, CA.

The project will implement well-established parabolic trough technology to solar heat a heat transfer fluid (HTF). This hot HTF will generate steam in solar steam generators, which will expand through a steam turbine generator to produce electrical power from twin, independently-operable solar fields, each feeding a 125-MW power island. The sun will provide 100 percent of the power supplied to the project through solar-thermal collectors; no supplementary fossil-based energy source (like natural gas) is proposed for electrical power production.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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I love guys that think clearly about the future. So we will end the week with The Energy Collective and Gil Friend. I do not like the fact that they are backed by Siemens but I am something of a purist.

http://theenergycollective.com/node/75727

 

Posted by: Gil Friend

Predicting the Top Sustainability Stories of 2012

Last month I offered my picks for the Top Sustainability Stories of 2011. Here are my predictions for the Top Sustainability Stories of 2012. (It’s a rugged mix of bad news and good.)

Climate heats up and hides out The sheer pressure of the hard-to-escape evidence — more record-breaking temperatures, more disastrous weather events, big supply chain disruptions, ever-rising insurance payments — will drive more businesses to take global warming seriously as a business risk, even as The Economist and others blast the journalistic malpractice that leaves “climate” out of the weather disaster stories, and President Obama takes cover in an “all of the above” energy strategy.

US falls behind in solar China, Germany, Brazil — and California — continue to invest policy and capital in the new economy, while Washington remains lost in ideological shock and awe (as House republicans tell the Pentagon “you have to waste taxpayers money and make the troops less safe so we can continue to ignore both the science and the economics of climate change”). But there are surprises too: “red state” Iowa has decided that exporting $6b/year to buy fossil fuel from unfriendly nations might not be the most “conservative” plan, and is investing government money to reduce that balance of payments deficit!

EPA battle royal The right’s war on the EPA (and on regulation in general) will continue, and in fact heat up as campaign fodder. Little noticed: 191 house votes attacking the EPA in 2011. Expect this battle to continue into 2013 (depending on how the elections turn out). But there’s good news too.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Already a group of scientists and volunteers moved a butterfly north because of the warming climate. Our zoos are being referred to as “lifeboats” for extinct “in the wild” animals. This is no longer funny. People should be going to jail for this but it turns out that jails are only for poor people and white collar criminals not the uber wealthy who control the literal power structure that is causing this.

http://www.livescience.com/17719-species-extinctions-climate-change.html

Extinctions from Climate Change Underestimated

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 04 January 2012 Time: 09:31 AM ET

As climate change progresses, the planet may lose more plant and animal species than predicted, a new modeling study suggests.

This is because current predictions overlook two important factors: the differences in how quickly species relocate and competition among species, according to the researchers, led by Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut.

Already evidence suggests that species have begun to migrate out of ranges made inhospitable by climate change and into newly hospitable territory.

“We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change,” Urban said in a statement. “But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don’t include these important interactions.”

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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But posting every year gets it out there. I know that I have never posted anything from their blog. This is about Earth Day in India and I though it was cool because it shows how far the idea has spread.

http://www.earthday.org/blog/2012/05/01/guest-blog-corbett-foundation-mobilizes-india-earth-day-2012

Guest Blog: Corbett Foundation Mobilizes in India for Earth Day 2012

5/1/12 | Earth Day Network

Guest blog by: Zaara Kidwai

Between April 14 and 23, the Corbett Foundation (TCF) carried out a series of events and activities for Earth Day 2012 in Corbett, Kutch, Bandhavgarh and Kanha, India. We engaged schoolchildren here in a variety of interactive seminars and competitions designed to teach them and their communities about the importance of sustainable living and preserving the environment.

Throughout the week, the Corbett office of TCF organized activities such as environmental film screenings, presentations, health awareness sessions and quiz competitions for 6th-10th graders in 11 schools in and around the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

TCF–Kutch celebrated a one-day mega event on April 22 with children from two schools in Bhuj: Army Public School and Matruchaya Girls School. The event was organized in collaboration with the Gujarat Forest Department, Kutch West Division. A total of 125 students participated in the event, which included a screening of a film about conserving the Great Indian Bustard followed by a drawing and poster-making competition.

TCF-Bandhavgarh organized a nature walk for school children followed by a visit to an interpretation center. They also distributed solar lanterns to the Kulohawah village, located inside the Bandhvagrah Tiger Reserve, and organized an exhibition of traditional crafts.

TCF-Kanha organized an environmental awareness rally and a roadside clean-up in which 70 students and villagers from four villages participated. The rally started in Manjitola village; then, participants marched to the Mukki gate of the Kanha Park. Along the way, students chanted slogans like “Save Earth, Save Life, One Earth, One Chance.”

We hope our efforts will motivate people around us to adopt an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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When I first saw the headline of this next site, I thought: can this be? I had heard of actual corn cob houses in rural America. They are basically slatted walls filled in with corn cobs and then finished inside and out. They are sort of a variation of hay bale houses. But this is way different.

http://www.livingoffgrid.org/building-a-cob-house/

Building a Cob House

By Off Grid Ebert

In a time in which we are increasingly hearing scary statistics about the fate of our planet, the way forward in the field of sustainable, green building may just be to go backward.  This is certainly the case for people demonstrating a growing interest in building earthen homes and structures using an ancient method known as cobwork or cobbing.  Cobbing, believed to have originated in the Maghreb as early as the 11th century, spread into wide usage across many parts of the rest of Europe as the main building style for homes.  The name of this style of building comes from the word cob, which is the name of the building material itself, formed of a mixture of earth (such as clay, sand, and other soil), straw, and water.  Despite what the materials may imply, this substance, when dried, is fireproof.  It is also inexpensive, and naturally cool in the summer heat and relatively easy to heat in the winter.

Many homes built of this material centuries ago still stand and remain in use.  Pictured here to the left is a cob house in England, believed to have been built in the late 1700s. (Photo by Tim Green, http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/4927564858/) These homes typically have thatched roofs, while small but efficient fireplaces with chimneys provide warmth when the weather is cold.

The appearance and texture of cob varies from region to region, depending on the available natural resources and their characteristics.  As such, cob is one of the most versatile building materials on earth.  It can be molded and shaped into whatever form is framed by the builder.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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