children and the environment


This could be a huge boost for both the solar panel and and the automobile industry. It could finally show a way to wean the world off gasoline as a fuel and on to clean electricity. Then again it could just crash and burn. I think it is a good thing. I hope for the best.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/22/musk-tesla-solarcity-energy-electric-car-solar

Musk’s Tesla makes a bid for Musk’s SolarCity energy company

Electric car company attempts to acquire solar panel seller to create a Silicon Valley one-stop-shop for clean energy for car and home

Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car company has made an offer to buy Musk’s solar power company, SolarCity, for as much as $2.8bn in stock in an attempt to make a one-stop-shop for cleaner energy.

SolarCity, for which Musk is both chairman and its largest shareholder, is the market leader in residential solar panel installations in the US, but has about $6.24bn in liabilities, including debt.

Musk described the deal as a “no-brainer”, saying: “Instead of making three trips to a house to put in a car charger and solar panels and battery pack, you can integrate that into a single visit. It’s an obvious thing to do.”

If the deal goes through, SolarCity will adopt the Tesla brand and sell its solar panels alongside Tesla’s PowerWall home batteries to store electricity created during the day for when it is needed at night.

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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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This is not the point of the article but it IS my point. If most mammals, like us, are going to survive then we are going to have to leave all of the carbon that we can in the ground. By the way natural gas is no “bridge” to the future. Methane is a lot more potent green house gas. It is carbon that must be left in the ground too. So expect the natural gas companies to follow suit. The sooner the better.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/13/news/companies/peabody-coal-bankruptcy/

The largest U.S. coal company just filed for bankruptcy

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal producer, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday in a U.S. court, citing “unprecedented” industry pressures and a sharp decline in the price of coal.

The company said it will continue to operate while in bankruptcy, while working to reduce debt and improve cash flow.

“Peabody has a new management team, outstanding workforce, unmatched asset base and strong underlying operational performance that represent a key driver in the company’s future success,” CEO Glenn Kellow said in a statement announcing the Chapter 11 filing.

In addition to plummeting coal prices, the company cited weakness in China’s economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and ongoing regulatory challenges as reasons for its declining prospects.

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Go there and read celebratorily. More next week.

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Yes I am a Headline Whore. But this is a very real nitty gritty get your hands dirty post. Most of the posts here are about environmental theories, or solar power writ large. But many environmental issues involve a compost pile and turning them, or washing off crud from recyclables. In this case if you have grass, and live in town you have to cut it. That means you have maintenance things to attend to. So here they are.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/lawn-mower-repair/lawn-tractor-maintenance-tips/view-all

The Family Handyman

Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips

Professional tips that prevent expensive repairs

Following the lawn tractor maintenance advice in your tractor’s manual is the best way to keep it humming along smoothly. But owner’s manuals usually only tell you basically what to do and when to do it—they seldom include the tips and real-world wisdom gained through experience. So we asked veteran mechanics which steps are the most important and how to make lawn tractor maintenance and tubeless tire repair faster and easier.

You’ll save too. Dealers typically charge more than $200 for routine maintenance that includes an oil change and new spark plugs and filters. But you can do all these things—and more—in just a few hours. A lawn tractor maintenance kit from your dealer (less than $75) might cost a few bucks more than buying parts separately but ensures that you get all the right stuff. And new tubes for a tubeless tire repair cost from $5 – $15.

Clean the mower deck

Remove the belt guards and blow off the debris that wrecks belts and pulleys. Scrape away any debris buildup under the pulleys with a screwdriver.

(thus it starts)

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Go there and read a heck of a lot. More next week.

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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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Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_natural_resources

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]

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Go there and read. More next week.

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China is such a huge country and yet they make this list. We don’t and I find this sad. Still the US has made progress and I am ever hopeful.

http://globalwarmingisreal.com/2016/02/15/infographic-worlds-most-energy-efficient-countries/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GlobalWarmingIsReal+%28Global+Warming+is+Real%29

Infographic: World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

here is a sense of excitement in the wake of a momentous Paris Climate Agreement and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals last year. The “energy revolution” is already underway, the consequences of which are far-reaching, transforming the way we do business, build our homes and live our lives.

But there’s an even more immediate solution available to all of us, and it will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but save money as well. It’s the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency. From the largest business to the smallest household, energy efficiency is the first step in building a sustainable future.

As individuals and businesses go, so goes an entire nation. Courtesy of the home improvement experts at HalfPrice.com.au, the infographic below illustrates the most energy efficient countries in the world, based on information from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). As this infographic demonstrates, one important aspect of promoting energy efficiency is government policy and incentives:

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Go there and read. More next week.

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As this article makes clear, we need dams. In my mind they are a trade off we can live with, and the excuse that it is just unprofitable to repair them is disgusting. Still, there are environmentalists who disagree.

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/one-of-africas-biggest-dams-is-falling-apart

One of Africa’s Biggest Dams Is Falling Apart

By

The new year has not been kind to the hydroelectric-dam industry. On January 11th, the New York Times reported that Mosul Dam, the largest such structure in Iraq, urgently requires maintenance to prevent its collapse, a disaster that could drown as many as five hundred thousand people downstream and leave a million homeless. Four days earlier, the energy minister of Zambia declared that Kariba Dam, which straddles the border between his country and Zimbabwe, holding back the world’s largest reservoir, was in “dire” condition. An unprecedented drought threatens to shut down the dam’s power production, which supplies nearly half the nation’s electricity.

The news comes as more and more of the biggest hydroelectric-dam projects around the world are being cancelled or postponed. In 2014, researchers at Oxford University reviewed the financial performance of two hundred and forty-five dams and concluded that the “construction costs of large dams are too high to yield a positive return.” Other forms of energy generation—wind, solar, and miniature hydropower units that can be installed inside irrigation canals—are becoming competitive, and they cause far less social and environmental damage. And dams are particularly ill-suited to climate change, which simultaneously requires that they be larger (to accommodate the anticipated floods) and smaller (to be cost-effective during the anticipated droughts).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I know that this is part of the motive and the profit to do solar equipment deals. It would be a better model if they told you about it up front and then split the RECs with the buyer or homeowner.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/01/green-energy-rec-rooftop-solar-panels

The Problem With Rooftop Solar That Nobody Is Talking About

Where does the green energy from your panels really go?

 

A couple of years ago, Steven Weissman, an energy lawyer at the University of California-­Berkeley, started to shop around for solar panels for his house. It seemed like an environmental no-brainer. For zero down, leading residential provider SolarCity would install panels on his roof. The company would own the equipment, and he’d buy the power it produces for less than he had been paying his electric utility. Save money, fight climate change. Sounds like a deal.

But while reading the contract, Weissman discovered the fine print that helps make that deal possible: SolarCity would also retain ownership of his system’s renewable energy credits. It’s the kind of detail your average solar customer wouldn’t notice or maybe care about. But to Weissman, it was an unexpected letdown.

To understand his hang-up, you need a bit of Electricity 101. If you have solar panels on your roof, the electrons they produce flow across the electric grid like water, following a path of least resistance. As they whiz around, electrons are impossible to track and look identical, whether they’re coming from solar panels, a coal plant, or whatever. But there is value in keeping tabs on the renewable ones, so energy wonks came up with renewable energy credits (RECs), a tradable financial instrument that corresponds to a certain amount of energy produced by a certain renewable source like solar or wind.

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I know that solar financing makes eyes glaze.  Go there and read anyway. More next week.

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This natural gas “eruption” has been going on in Southern California for a month. The gas company, SoCalGas, claims that it may be several more months before they get the leak plugged. Some people have compared it to the BPH spill in the Gulf Of Mexico. BUT and this is a big but, its in the air. This means it will spread around the world. The effects will be felt everywhere.

Plus this is the largest title I have ever posted!

http://enenews.com/tv-unprecendented-catastrophe-underway-los-angeles-largest-gas-leak-recorded-report-thousands-suffer-nose-bleeds-vomiting-potentially-devastating-planetary-scale-videos

TV: Unprecendented catastrophe underway near Los Angeles; Largest gas leak ever recorded — “Equivalent to strength of a volcanic eruption” — “Thousands suffer nose bleeds, vomiting” — “Potentially devastating on planetary scale” — Expert: “It’s so far above and beyond what I’ve ever seen” (VIDEOS)

CBC News, Dec 31, 2015 (emphasis added): Methane leak in California a ‘major catastrophe‘; Leak ‘largest ever recorded‘ could take 4 months to stop… “The amount of methane and natural gas that’s coming out of the Aliso Canyon Facility really is probably one of the largest volumes of gas ever recorded from a single leak,” says Tim O’Connor, an oil and gas specialist… “We have tried that seven times and have been unsuccessful in trying to stop the leak,” said SoCalGas spokesman Michael Mizrahi. “I have to say more than likely it’s [because] the pressures that are coming up from the leaking well are so intense.” The company says it doesn’t know exactly how much gas is escaping…

The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed a no-fly zone because of the small risk that a plane could ignite a pocket of methane… Laurie Rosenberg is among the many Porter Ranch residents who say the chemicals are causing them health problems. “I’ve had migraine headaches … itchy eyes, and runny nose 24/7… I think there’s more up there than they’re really willing to admit.”

Gizmodo, Dec 28, 2015: The largest natural gas leak ever recorded is jeopardizing health and causing evacuations for thousands of Southern California residents… Methane is estimated to be leaking out of the Aliso Canyon site at a rate of about 62 million standard cubic feet, per day… it’s potentially devastating on a planetary scale…

Erin Brockovich, Dec 21, 2015: “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated… and it shows no sign of stopping… According to tests conducted in November by the California Air Resources Board, the leak is spewing 50,000 kilograms of gas per hour — the equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption.”
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Go there and read. More next week.
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