children and the environment


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).

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

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.

:}

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

:}

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.”
:}
Go there and read. More next week.
:}

Unfortunately it will be several years before we know whether it will make a dent in emissions, but as everyone says, it is a start. I am particularly excited by the concept of “ratchet” and whether it can be implemented. What do you think?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/12/world/paris-climate-change-deal-explainer.html?_r=0

Inside the Paris Climate Deal

The text of the climate pact establishes a commitment by 195 countries to take concrete measures to reel in planet-warming carbon emissions. Related Article

Paris Climate Agreement

View the Full Document »

Temperature Increase

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”
Justin Gillis, climate science reporter:
This agreement adopts a more ambitious target for limiting global warming than in the past by mentioning 1.5 degrees Celsius as part of the concrete goal to stay well below 2 degrees. If that were to be actually achieved, it would likely ward off some of the most severe effects of climate change. For example, although we don’t know the exact temperature, there is a trigger point at which the whole Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet will melt. There is a chance that staying below 2 degrees Celsius would avoid that trigger point, and an even better chance if we stay below 1.5 degrees.
Page 23

Preservation of Forests

“Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.”

:}

Go there and read all the good news. More next week.

:}

So, right off the bat I have to say that this is a for profit business in the waste handling business. The part of their website about recycling is excellent. There business practices may not be. I have never been to Britain and I do not intend to start. Readers will have to judge for themselves. I f they are really bad folks or really good folks let me know.

http://www.kenburn.co.uk/recycling-for-kids/

Recycling for Kids

Did you know that recycling helps save the planet from things like global warming and rubbish? That’s right, by recycling things such as food packets and old toys, you are reducing the amount that gets put into the rubbish bin. This is a very good thing, because rubbish is full of nasty bugs that spread diseases and gases that increase global warming.

But what is recycling? How are things recycled? And what can you do to get more people to recycle?

Read through this leaflet, and by the end of it you will be able to teach your parents a thing or 2 about recycling.

 

What is Recycling?

bin3Fun Fact: If we took all of the UK’s rubbish and put it in its biggest lake, it would take 8 months to fill it!

Recycling means making rubbish into something new. Every time you throw something away it gets sent to a landfill. More and more rubbish is piled on top until it is too big and the landfill has to be closed.

The great thing is that most things can be recycled. Every day, clever scientists come up with new ways to make use of things we usually consider rubbish. But what exactly do they do with the recycling?

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

Cooking food. In the US that would not be considered either energy efficiency or even news. Yet for humans, cooking is totally necessary. In poor countries, it is a huge issue. This is good news.

India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives

Associated Press

GANORA SHEIKH VILLAGE, India (AP) — Kamlesh feeds the flames of a crude clay cookstove with kindling, kerosene and sunbaked discs of cow dung. She breathes in the billowing smoke, as she does for hours every day. Her eyes water and sting. Her throat feels scratchy and sore.

Kamlesh is one of hundreds of millions of Indian housewives who, with the simple act of cooking family meals, fill their homes every day with deadly airborne pollutants. The constant exposure to indoor air pollution kills some 4.3 million people every year across the world — 30 percent of them in India.

The menace of cookstove pollution, which contains high concentrations of tiny particles known as black carbon, does not stop in the home. It compounds many environmental problems as well, from glacial melt to falling crop yields.

India, the world’s third-largest climate polluting nation, has spent decades encouraging cleaner cooking technologies, with limited success. Such a shift would have little impact on India’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases, and many of the alternatives pollute as well.

:}

Go there and read. It’s fascinating. More next week.

:}

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.

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

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.

:}

Go there and pray. More next week.

:}

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:
Page 2:
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?
Page 4:
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.

:}

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

:}

If they can screw up the Gulf and Santa Barbara, think what they can do to the Arctic.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pipeline-santa-barbara-coast-20150519-story.html#page=1

105,000 gallons of oil may have spilled in Santa Barbara County

The operator of an underground pipeline that ruptured and released up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil in Santa Barbara County — and tens of thousands of gallons into the ocean — said Wednesday that the spill happened after a series of mechanical problems caused the line to be shut down.

The problems began about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at two pump stations that move oil through the 11-mile pipeline along the Gaviota Coast, Rick McMichael, director of pipeline operations for Plains All American Pipeline, said at a news conference.

The company said its estimate of 105,000 gallons spilled west of Santa Barbara is a worst-case scenario that was based on the line’s elevation and flow rate — which averages about 50,400 gallons an hour.

AND

http://time.com/3892154/bp-oil-spill-dolphin-deaths/

The BP Oil Spill Killed a Lot of Dolphins

Lung and adrenal lesions were found on dead dolphins

The explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 had a deadly effect on at least one ocean dweller: bottlenose dolphins.

A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Wednesday said lung and adrenal lesions found on dead bottlenose dolphins that were stranded along the Gulf coast from June 2010 through December 2012 are consistent with the effects of exposure to petroleum products after an oil spill.

The report supports earlier studies that suggested a link between the oil spill that gushed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over the course of 87 days and mass dolphin deaths in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

:}

Please make it stop. Go there and read.More next week.

:}

Next Page »