environmental blogs


This is a happy fuzzy story, that i normally wouldn’t post. But here is the thing, as fun as it is, I dare you to say the name of the monument. Can you huh huh huh?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/obama-creates-world-s-largest-park-off-hawaii/

The Power of Parks

Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas

A 583,000-square-mile “no-take” zone: President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii.

Capping a week of 100th anniversary celebrations for the National Park Service, President Barack Obama on Friday turned to the ocean to create the largest protected area anywhere on Earth—a half-million-square-mile arc of remote Pacific waters known for both exceptional marine life and importance to native Hawaiian culture.

The Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, already covered 140,000 square miles of ocean around the uninhabited northwestern islands of Hawaii, Obama’s home state. (Learn about the name and how to pronounce it.)

Obama more than quadrupled Papah?naumoku?kea’s size, to 582,578 square miles, an area larger than all the national parks combined. Using his executive authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act, he extended most of the monument’s boundary—and its prohibition of commercial fishing—out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).(Read about a monument established this week in the Maine woods.)

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Go there and read in wonderment. More next week.

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I never thought about the relationship between organics and renewables. This article sums it up pretty well. The site is a good site for for good news about renewables too.

http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/articles/2016/08/19/why-organic-farming-is-a-friend-to-renewables

Why organic farming is a friend to renewables

Posted in: Good Energy news

Posted on: 19.08.16

Organic farming methods help take carbon dioxide from the air and lock it in the soil – a process known as carbon sequestration.

Our brainy friends at the Soil Association have calculated that if all UK farmland converted to organic farming, at least 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be taken up by the soil each year.

Organic farming and renewable energy go hand-in-hand, so we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Soil Association to sponsor Organic September for the fourth year running.

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Go there and read it all. More next week.

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I have posted many articles about recycling. This is a different take on it by guest writer Jessica Kane. Enjoy.

www.texasinspector.com/2016/06/

5 Things You Should Stop Throwing Away

Jun 24, 16 • Advice
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for many onlike websites.

5 Things You Should Stop Throwing Away 

 

Wastefulness has increased in modern times because consumers can find low-cost, disposable products made from inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture materials. These products harm the environment in a variety of ways:

 

– Waste causes the destruction of forests and fields to create larger landfills.

– Biodegradable items in landfills decompose to create methane and other greenhouse gases.

– Burning trash creates harmful smoke that pollutes clean air.

– Animals eat plastics and plastic breakdown releases toxic chemicals into the ground and water supplies.

 

Garbage bags, waste disposal trucks and landfills often contain items that people can effortlessly recycle, upcycle or reuse. You simply need to rethink how you deal with trash:

 

Fruit and Vegetable Waste

 

Moldy or damaged fruit and vegetable waste is 100 percent biodegradable. In nature, waste plants feed microorganisms, insects and animals and decompose into plant soil nutrients. Instead of tossing whole fruits and vegetables or cuttings into the trash, make nutrient-rich composted fertilizer for your potted plants and garden. Drill a few out-gassing holes into the sides of a sturdy lidded container and then fill the container with starter soil, earthworms and leaves. Shred fruit and vegetable waste into small pieces and then add it to the container

– See more at: http://www.texasinspector.com/2016/06/5-things-you-should-stop-throwing-away/#sthash.mYWRhnbu.dpuf

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I am so used to thinking about radiation as dangerous and creepy, that this article comletely caught me off guard. How about you?

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-radioactive-animals-become-tools-pests-and-political-statements

How Radioactive Animals Become Tools, Pests and Political Statements

Far from Chernobyl, turtles, rabbits and cows make nuclear cleanups an educational mess.

In the late 1970s, a worker at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site nuclear reservation peered into a seepage basin and spotted a small, out-of-place turtle. Scooping it out of the nuclear waste, the worker toted his new charge to a nearby ecology lab, where he figured they’d know what to do with it.

As he walked in the lab door, a radioactivity counter began beeping. The lab technician tested the mud on the worker’s shoes, figuring he’d tracked in some of the site’s contaminated muck. When the shoes came up clear, the confused technician tested further. After a few more swipes, the culprit emerged: It was the turtle.

Though this was the first radioactive turtle found at the Savannah River Site, it was far from an anomaly—there or elsewhere. Across the world, such creatures scurry, swim and fly among us. Unlike popular representations might lead us believe, most of them lack grotesque deformities, special abilities, or weird proclivities for pizza. Instead, like that turtle, many of them are totally healthy and happy—living relatively normal lives and, unless we try to eat them, posing little direct threat to humans.

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Go there and read. It is fascinating. More next week.

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In the new spirit of this BLOG I am only going to post articles that get my heart pumping and my blood flowing. Without further adieu I present SciencePlus.

http://www.sciencesplus.ca/en/resource/1503

What’s New for Renewable Energy

Energy drives social and economic development. In the past, the discovery of oil triggered an unprecedented industrial revolution that had significant impacts on our quality of life. A single litre of oil provides as many calories as two to twenty weeks of human labour, enough energy to fuel our growing industries, heat our homes, and get us from point A to point B quickly.


However, with an alarming scarcity of fossil fuels and growing energy demands on the horizon, especially for emerging economies, the search for sustainable means of production is not only imperative for the preservation of the environment—it is also becoming highly lucrative. That is why renewable energy is receiving more and more attention from governments and businesses. There is talk of a new industrial revolution, one that is all about green energy.

Since the Kyoto Protocol, most countries have increased the proportion of their budget invested in energy with the potential for long-term sustainability. We can already see results; even in 2006, 18.6% of the world’s electricity came from renewable resources. Of that percentage, hydraulic energy (hydroelectric dams, underwater turbines, tidal power plants, etc.) constituted 89%, biomass constituted 5.7%, and wind power, geothermal energy, and solar power constituted 3.5%, 1.7%, and 0.2%, respectively.

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This is a huge site. Go there and read. More next week.

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I usually post here on Wednesday. Imagine the probability of Earth Day occurring on the same day! So today I offer a more optimistic view of the world then mine. Think: Global Warming.

http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-extinction-is-not-the-problem/

 

Rethinking extinction

by

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

The way the public hears about conservation issues is nearly always in the mode of ‘[Beloved Animal] Threatened With Extinction’. That makes for electrifying headlines, but it misdirects concern. The loss of whole species is not the leading problem in conservation. The leading problem is the decline in wild animal populations, sometimes to a radical degree, often diminishing the health of whole ecosystems.

Viewing every conservation issue through the lens of extinction threat is simplistic and usually irrelevant. Worse, it introduces an emotional charge that makes the problem seem cosmic and overwhelming rather than local and solvable. It’s as if the entire field of human medicine were treated solely as a matter of death prevention. Every session with a doctor would begin: ‘Well, you’re dying. Let’s see if we can do anything to slow that down a little.’

Medicine is about health. So is conservation. And as with medicine, the trends for conservation in this century are looking bright. We are re-enriching some ecosystems we once depleted and slowing the depletion of others. Before I explain how we are doing that, let me spell out how exaggerated the focus on extinction has become and how it distorts the public perception of conservation.

Many now assume that we are in the midst of a human-caused ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But we’re not. The five historic mass extinctions eliminated 70 per cent or more of all species in a relatively short time. That is not going on now. ‘If all currently threatened species were to go extinct in a few centuries and that rate continued,’ began a recent Nature magazine introduction to a survey of wildlife losses, ‘the sixth mass extinction could come in a couple of centuries or a few millennia.’

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Quick not: He favors Nuclear Power

Go there and read. More next week.

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I do not think I have to say much more than damn!

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/since-first-earth-day-u.s.-temps-marching-upward-17330

Since 1st Earth Day, U.S. Temps Marching Upward

Published: April 22nd, 2014

Research Report by Climate Central

U.S. Warming Fast Since 1st Earth DaySome States Warming at Twice Global RateClick on a state to see annual temperature increase since 1970

It’s been 44 years since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and since that time, average temperatures have been rising across the U.S. This Climate Central interactive graphic shows a state-by-state analysis of those temperature trends.

Average temperatures across most of the continental U.S. have been rising gradually for more than a century, at a rate of about 0.127°F per decade between 1910-2012. That trend parallels an overall increase in average global temperatures, which is largely the result of human greenhouse gas emissions. While global warming isn’t uniform, and some regions are warming faster than others, since the 1970s, warming across the U.S. has accelerated, previously shown in our report The Heat is On. Since then, every state’s annual average temperature has risen accordingly. On average, temperatures in the contiguous 48 states have been warming at a rate of 0.48°F per decade since 1970, nearly twice the global average.

Delaware and Wisconsin are tied as the fastest-warming states since 1970, warming at a rate of 0.67°F per decade. Average annual temperatures in the two states are about 3°F warmer than they were 44 years ago. Vermont, New Jersey, and Michigan are warming nearly as fast, and all are warming about twice as fast as the global average. The slowest-warming states are Washington, Georgia, Florida, and Oregon – warming just more than 0.3°F per decade since 1970 — and are on pace with average global temperatures.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is a sad video. But this is the current situation without the fracking. Stuff is gonna be gushing everywhere once they start. Now you know how bad I am with videos, so you may have to follow the links to see it, but I will try. It is worth seeing. It is only 10 minutes long.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110808212122AAiL2CT

Greenpeace Releases Video of Contaminated Water in Southern Illinois

The international environmental watchdog, Greenpeace, a several decades old nonviolent direct action organization, is now shining a light on our southern Illinois fracking issue. On Tuesday, January 28th, Mitch Wenkus, a Greenpeace filmmaker, just released Fracking in The Land of Lincoln. The short 10:53 minute video features a former oil worker, whose water became contaminated by local southern Illinois oil production. Now the man is a whistleblower on malfunctioning oil wells in our southern Illinois region.  The former oil worker is very concerned about the new threat of fracking and the safety of our water supply. While watching the video, you will note that residents around Crossville, IL must buy water because their well water is polluted with toxic chemicals. Crossville currently buys water from Carmi, IL, which is in White County that may soon be fracked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3Jf9OBo_1w

http://youtu.be/K3Jf9OBo_1w

OK, so I tried and the video did not show up. So please go to Youtube and watch it. It is recorded by Green Peace.

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Go there and see more. More next week.

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First the Present. I woke up this morning thinking about what to post for this week’s blog and after the first couple of sips of my coffee it dawned on me that we were in the middle of the comment period for the new fracking rules here in Illinois. I also quickly realized that Illinois People’s Action had been putting out these great cut and paste comments  and that they would be a valuable basis for any anti-fracking campaign in other states. I also realized that I could use it to get other fracktivists to come to IDNR’s web site to add their voices to the chorus. But first no matter what, you want your comments to count, and rumor has it that in other states email comments have been lost. Well there is a site that will print a copy of your comment and take it to IDNR so we will not run into that problem here. If you go to the site listed below you will see a place to copy your comment and if you scroll to the end of the page you will see the option for print a copy of my comment. Make sure that is checked and click submit.

http://www.ilagainstfracking.org/

Second the Past. I can forgive myself for coming to this party on day 19 because I was busy talking about global warming and the weather for the Philippian disaster and the Washington Illinois disaster. But also because there are roughly 25 days left to comment . For those of you who do comment please note the IDNR will take one comment about one part of the law at a time so when you go to the website listed below please note that you must click on a PART of the bill as a title and then make a relevant comment. Then you click submit. I am starting with day three because I did not save the first two, but I am sure IPA will send me those if i request it. For now I am just putting up as many days worth as I can so hopefully I will get all 45 up for the viewing public before the commenting period is over.

 

Today (Sunday, 11/17/2013) is Day 3 of IDNR 45 day comment period on hydraulic fracturing.  Will you please send IDNR a comment today?  It will take less than 5 minutes of your time.  We are also working on putting together a website to make this process even easier.  But in the meantime, we ask that you bear with us as we send you an e-mail each day.  If you are opposed to fracking and worried that the weak regulatory bill will not protect Illinois residents and the environment, please take action.

Today’s comment is on IDNR’s inadequate definition of a well site. 

Here’s what to do to make your comment today:

Comment:

According to IDNR’s definitions, a “Well site” means surface areas, including the surface location of the well, occupied by all equipment or facilities necessary for, or incidental to, high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations, construction, drilling, production, or plugging a well. (Section 1-5 of the Act)

While this definition might be appropriate for a well that drills straight down, as wells once did, it is not appropriate for horizontal hydraulic fracturing wells.   Horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations involve an initial drilling site that then grows to include horizontal legs radiating out from the site. Leaks or ruptures, the well’s proximity to water sources, and/or to real property are not adequately imagined by the well site definition that underpins so much of the IDNR’s approach to these regulations.

The well site definition should be expanded to include the surface area above any and all horizontal or vertical legs of the well. The current narrow definition does not adequately protect the health, safety and well-being of Illinois citizens, nor will it adequately sequester water used for human or animal consumption from accidents that can occur anywhere the drilling occurs.

A useful way of thinking of a hydraulic fracturing well site would be to compare it to an iceberg, where the small amount of ice visible at the water’s surface gives no hint of the size of the area occupied by the iceberg below the water line. The potential surface area that can be detrimentally affected by a hydraulic fracturing operation includes all land within 500, 750, or 1500 feet of a hydraulic fracturing leg (to use the IDNR’s own measurements), regardless of the leg’s horizontal or vertical relationship to the earth.

This definition is critical because setback requirements are based on IDNR’s inadequate definition of a well-site when they should, at a minimum, be based on the distance from any part of the well, including all underground horizontal legs of the well.

To adopt the current definition of well site is to apply an old understanding about what constitutes a well to an approach to drilling that has grown much more complex. The IDNR needs to reflect its understanding of the inherent and possible dangers of hydraulic fracturing by recognizing that the well site for such an operation has much greater breadth than the current definition envisions.

We would love it if you would let us know if you made a comment today!  And please feel free to call us with questions, comments, or to volunteer your time at (309) 827-9627.  Please share this with others you know and encourage them to make comments too.

In solidarity in the struggle for environmental justice,

Your friends at IPA

To remove your name from this email list click here. To unsubscribe from all emails from us click here.

510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Got there and tell the state to protect your health and safety. More today and for awhile.

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The terms he uses are different. Man has always extracted things. A  good case can be made that for much of our species existence we have caused things to go extinct as well. We need to quit both. The human race could survive off our garbage dumps from here to eternity if we just made product loops that left no waste. That is if we treated everything and everybody for their intrinsic value.

That last sentence is a little shaky but that is because we live in a throw away culture.

http://steadystate.org/the-end-of-the-age-of-extraction/

The End of the Age of Extraction

by Brent Blackwelder

BlackwelderToday’s global economy is causing shortages of natural resources (both renewable and nonrenewable) as we come to the end of what might be called the Age of Extraction. A true cost, steady state economy, on the other hand, would prevent resource problems by maintaining population and resource consumption well within the carrying capacity of the planet.

Energy and mineral shortages, along with depletion of forests and fisheries, are driving the extractors and harvesters to evermore remote places. No longer able to find gushing oilfields, vast stands of virgin timber, or waterways teeming with fish, the extraction companies are racing to the farthest reaches of the planet in search of profits.

The end of the Age of Extraction does not mean that such resources will disappear. In his recent book, The Quest, Daniel Yergin describes oil and gas discoveries that he predicts will turn the Western Hemisphere — from Canada to Brazil — into the next Saudi Arabia. But today’s extraction is pursuing fuels that are either dirty or hard to get. We see more pollution, both from accidents and mundane chronic causes, increasingly pushing civilization beyond the carrying capacity of the earth, wiping out more and more species, and accelerating climate destabilization.

Today’s global economic operating system tolerates and even abets severe pollution damages as industries externalize the costs from their books. Scarcity has made some of the most environmentally devastating energy and mining projects “short-term cost effective.” For example, according to price and revenue figures, it’s cost effective to extract oil from tar sands in Alberta, a process that requires huge energy inputs, grotesquely contaminates land and water, and poisons people, fish, and wildlife.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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