environmentalism


While this piece is important, it is also kind of cutsie in the fact that all the nuclear waste mentioned is well taken care of. Still I want to make 2 points.

1, I always thought and still do, that Yucca Mountain is a perfect place to store nuclear waste. I was pissed when Obama tried to call the whole thing off and I am glad that the Trump administration is trying to reopen it. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like much of what Trump has done so far BUT this is just fine.

2, Illinois had the perfect opportunity to be the nations nuclear waste dump for real. Northern Illinois between Chicago and the Mississippi River is virtually earthquake free. Like for 1000s of years. As soon as Obama defunded Yucca Mountain we could have stepped up and said, “We will build it here”. Illinois could have gotten Billions of Dollars and 100s if not a 1000 jobs, and the waste would have had a very short train trip to disposal. They could have even used trucks. Then it would have been up to the rest of the States to figure out how to get their waste here.  But no, that would have been tooo bold, so now we are back to the beginning.

http://nprillinois.org/post/illinois-issues-prairie-states-nuclear-waste-conundrum#stream/0

Illinois Issues: The Prairie State’s Nuclear Waste Conundrum

Jul 20, 2017

The Land of Lincoln is the country’s largest de facto nuclear waste dump.

Under a federal measure passed 30 years ago, the spent fuel from America’s nuclear reactors is supposed to be permanently buried out in the Mojave Desert, tucked deep under a mountain, far from any population center and easily guarded

In reality, though, that radioactive waste – tens of thousands of tons of it – is sitting in temporary storage at dozens of current and former nuclear power sites all over the country, as it has been for decades. The largest portion of it is divided among seven sites that dot the nation’s fifth-largest state: Illinois.

The story of how the Land of Lincoln became the nation’s biggest de facto nuclear waste dump is a tale of public fear, political pragmatism and the power of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

It’s a story that radiates political irony. Among those responsible for Illinois’ atomic dilemma is the state’s favorite son, Barack Obama, who scuttled a decades-old project that was to have created a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

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Go there and read. Think about it. More next week.

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The technology of the Technology is just starting to come in. Who could have imagines huge wind turbines that float, let alone at sea. I mean, this is really amazing. I am pretty sure they can do this in the Great Lakes. I even hear a rumor that they are going to try to do this in Coos Bay in Oregon. Way to go people!

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40699979

World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

  • 23 July 2017
  • From the section Business

The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.

The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20,000 homes.

Manufacturer Statoil says output from the turbines is expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones.

It hopes to cash in on a boom in the technology, especially in Japan and the west coast of the US, where waters are deep.

“This is a tech development project to ensure it’s working in open sea conditions. It’s a game-changer for floating wind power and we are sure it will help bring costs down,” said Leif Delp, project director for Hywind.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I was originally going to post about the growth of off shore Wind Farms in the Northeast as reported by Bloomberg. This article caught my eye instead. If the Utility Companies are this desperate then that is a good thing. You know you can’t stop the invisible hands of the market.

https://www.ecowatch.com/north-carolina-solar-2440926788.html

Solar Battle Continues as Duke-Backed Energy Bill Passes North Carolina House

By Molly Taft, Laura A. Shepard and Monika Sharma

Alongside Highway 401 in northern North Carolina is a 21st-century twist on a classic rural scene. A few miles outside of Roxboro, sheep graze among 5,000 panels at the Person County Solar Park, keeping the grass tidy on the rural installation.

Fields like these aren’t just scenic settings for roadtripping tourists to snap photos. Solar has “been some of the only economic development to happen in rural North Carolina in the last 30 years,” explained Richard Harkrader, CEO of a local solar company.

For companies like Harkrader’s Carolina Solar Energy, the Tar Heel State is a great place to do business. Abundant sunshine, ample support for clean energy and smart public policy have spurred the rapid growth of solar. Today, North Carolina boasts more solar capacity than every state except California. In the first quarter of 2017, North Carolina added more solar than any other state, and its solar industry employs more people than Wake Forest University.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Sometimes it takes famous and rich people to push the boundaries of what is possible. God bless these people for doing it.

http://www.ecowatch.com/celebrities-solar-energy-2381311838.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1493665530

These 5 Celebs Are Big Solar Buffs

Solar energy is cheaper and more efficient than ever. The price of utility-scale solar dropped 85 percent from 2009 to 2016, and newer panels can power up on even cloudy days. Rooftop solar is now cost-competitive with the traditional grid in much of the U.S. Heck, some cutting-edge companies see a market so ripe for the picking they’re developing entire roofs made of solar panels to sell to homeowners.

Forty years ago, the total global installation of solar was around two megawatts, enough to power around 330 homes. Today, it’s closer to 224,000 megawatts. (You do the math!) And as you might expect, the more the price falls, the more attractive it becomes to, well, everyone.

So naturally the people cheering the loudest about the thrifty benefits of this sustainable energy source have been … celebrities!

Hey, wait a minute!

Sure, famous folks can sometimes seem like they live in a different universe from the rest of us, but just like you and me, a growing number of celebs care deeply about the future of our planet. (And not just because no planet, no EGOT!) And the very best of them not only practice what they preach by incorporating solar energy into their own lives, they also use their place in the spotlight to advocate for climate solutions. Below are a few of our favorite sunshine-loving superstars:

Cate Blanchett

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Like I have always said, is there such a thing as an environmentally friendly car? I prefer to think instead of minimal impact on the environment. Really given all of the mining that goes on just to produce cars and all the fossil fuels it takes to fuel them, we would be better off without them. Mass transportation is the only hope for the future.

http://www.caranddriver.com/best-hybrid-electric-cars

Hybrid and Electric Cars 2017-2018: The Best and the Rest

Interested in a hybrid or an electric vehicle to help save gasoline, and possibly the planet, too? The vehicles that wear an Editors’ Choice badge are our picks for the best hybrids and best EVs of 2017 and 2018.

Toyota Prius C

The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective.
Editors’ Rating

 

  • Starting at
    $21,035

    Take the uninspired underpinnings of the Toyota Yaris and mix with it an even less powerful version of the Prius hybrid powertrain and you get the Prius C.

  • Honda CR-Z

    The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective.
    Editors’ Rating
  • Starting at
    $21,130

    The CR-Z is an ambitious attempt at making a sporty hybrid, but its performance doesn’t match its adventurous styling.

  • Hyundai Ioniq

    The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective.
    Editors’ Rating
  • Starting at
    $23,035

    Sharing its underpinnings with the Kia Niro, the Hyundai Ioniq is a hybrid in many flavors.

  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV

    The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective.
    Editors’ Rating

 

Starting at
$23,845

 

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Go there and think. More next week.

 

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The Unitarian Church in Springfield Il. has invested in itself and its environment. I must add frustration here, as an accumulator type journalist, because I had the article in my hands. It did a great job of describing what they have done. I could not find so I had to use two sources that do it justice, but not as good as the first article. I am sorry.

http://www.aluuc.org/togetherweshare/wp-content/uploads/ALUUC-Newsletter-March-2017-web.pdf

Page
8
Green Sanctuary News
Notes from the ALUUC Prairie
The Green Sanctuary Committee burned the ALUUC prairie the
first Sunday in February. What a blaze! Flames over 5 feet tall
for
maybe 10 minutes. These burns have to be conducted with care using
equipment and training that have been developed over years of experi-
ence with prairie burning.
So why burn? Before Europeans arrived in the U.S., native people
routinely burned the prairies to stimulate growth of new plants for game
and to make hunting easier. Lightning also set prairies ablaze. Over thou-
sands of years, prairie plants adapted to these fires
sending roots deep
into the earth to protect against both drought and fires. Fires can kill less
adapted plants such as cool season grasses and some shrubby plants that
can take over the prairie. So we burn for the same reason
to rid the area of last year’s growth, stimu-
late new growth and rid the prairie of undesirable plants such as cool season grasses.
A common concern is that burning releases carbon
into the air adding to global warming. True, burning
does release carbon into the air
but this carbon is
“new” carbon that has been circulating in the air in the
last few years
not “old” carbon sequestered millions of
years ago in the coal and oil we now burn. Because of
their deep roots, prairie plants sequester more carbon in
their roots than released in a burn, even in prairies
burned every year. So in balance, prairie plants are a
carbon sink. (Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy’s Direc-
tor of Science in Nebraska).
-trip-part-3-questions-about-frequent-prairie-burning/

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160925/16-springfield-sites-part-of-saturdays-illinois-solar-tour

Springfield resident Bob Croteau has been involved in local solar projects since 1989 and played a major role in three of the local sites on the tour.

The Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation held fundraisers and used members from the church who are contractors to purchase and install their solar array. It has been operational since early 2015, features a web-based remote monitoring system, and “faces southeast, toward the morning sun, so solar electricity is running the lights and sound during the morning services,” said Croteau, who spearheaded the effort.

The net metering program offered by CWLP means that “if we are producing power when we don’t need it, it allows the meter to spin backward,” he added.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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A friend of mine, Nelson Oller, lives in Mason City Illinois and is in Ameren’s service territory. They have a whole house approach to reducing their residential customers electricity consumption. This program is great. They are helping with insulation and state-of-the-art equipment. He has to spent 2 grand for 10 thousand dollars worth of stuff. One of the thinks he was telling me about was a vent fan for the bathroom that could act as a whole house plan. I had never herd of such a thing, but according to this article it has been around for several years now.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/bathroom-exhaust-fans

 

musingsheader image

Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Bath fans help remove odors and moisture — and can be used in some homes to satisfy whole-house ventilation requirements

Posted on Aug 7 2014 by Martin Holladay
Older homes often lack bathroom exhaust fans. In the old days, if the bathroom was smelly or steamy, you were supposed to open a window to air it out.

This isn’t a very logical ventilation method, especially when temperatures are below zero, or when the weather is 90°F and humid. Yet this time-honored method of bathroom ventilation is still enshrined in our building codes. According to the 2009 International Residential Code (sections R303.3 and M1507.3), a bathroom with an operable window does not need to have a bath exhaust fan.

Why do we need exhaust fans?

In spite of the code’s archaic loophole, builders should install an exhaust fan in every bathroom or toilet room — even when the bathroom has a window.

A bath exhaust fan can perform several functions:

  • It can exhaust smelly air, allowing fresher air to enter the bathroom.
  • It can exhaust humid air, allowing dryer air to enter the bathroom.
  • When operated for 24 hours per day or when controlled by a timer, it can act (in some cases) as the most important component of a whole-house ventilation system.
Designing an exhaust-only ventilation system is a topic unto itself, and is beyond the scope of this article. For more information on exhaust-only ventilation systems, see Designing a Good Ventilation System.

Where does the makeup air come from?

When the bathroom door is closed and the fan is operating, where is the makeup air coming from?

If the bathroom has an exterior wall, some of the makeup air is coming from the exterior — for example, through leaks around the window or baseboard.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The news only gets better for renewables. Wind did not keep pace with Solar but wind had a huge head start. Coal is fading in the rear view mirror and natural gas is neck and neck. I think the US is finally catching on, but you can bet the first things Trump will go after will be subsidies and the EPA.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108084_more-solar-energy-was-added-in-2016-than-natural-gas-or-wind

More solar energy was added in 2016 than natural gas or wind

Renewable-energy growth has accelerated in 2016, but this may go down as a milestone year for one renewable-energy source in particular.

Together, all renewable-energy sources are expected to account for 8 percent of U.S. electricity-generation capacity in 2017, according to the Department of Energy, and solar energy is responsible for most of that growth.

For the first time ever, new solar-generating capacity is expected to exceed new generating capacity for wind and natural gas.

DON’T MISS: We’re there! Renewables now cheapest unsubsidized electricity in U.S.

The final tally won’t be available until March, but enough new solar installations were expected to be completed in 2016 to outpace wind and natural gas, according to Scientific American.

A total of 9.5 gigawatts of solar-generating capacity were expected to be built in 2016, tripling the amount installed in 2015, the magazine said, citing Energy Department data.

That amount would exceed the anticipated 8.0 GW of natural gas capacity, and 6.8 GW of wind capacity.

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Go there and cheer. More next week.

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Instead of investing in renewables and conservation. They fought them tooth and nail. Now they are paying the price.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/power-to-the-people

Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.

     Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October of 2013 to January of 2014, the Borkowskis used thirty-four hundred and eleven kilowatt-hours of electricity and three hundred and twenty-five gallons of fuel oil. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, they used twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six kilowatt-hours of electricity and no oil at all. President Obama has announced that by 2025 he wants the United States to reduce its total carbon footprint by up to twenty-eight per cent of 2005 levels. The Borkowskis reduced the footprint of their house by eighty-eight per cent in a matter of days, and at no net cost.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Yes, I am writing this to avoid writing about the worst piece of Illinois energy legislation in my lifetime. But it is true that this is a great way to save energy and extend the life of your equipment. In addition the site has other useful cleaning tips.

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/worst-cleaning-jobs-made-easy/cleaning-behind-under-refrigerator

The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy

Dirty Job No. 7: Cleaning Behind and Under the Refrigerator

Time it takes: 20 to 30 minutes.

Why it matters: Lots of dust on the coils can cause a refrigerator to run inefficiently. And dust under the refrigerator can mix with moisture from the air to gum up the finish on your floor.

Step 1: Pull out the refrigerator by grasping both sides and gently wiggling it toward you; some are on wheels, so this may be easier than you think. When you can, reach behind and pull the plug (your food will survive for the short time it takes to clean). If you have an ice maker, shut off the water supply first, just in case the hose comes loose.

Step 2: To dislodge dust around the condenser coils (the wriggly apparatus in back), use a long, thin tool known as a refrigerator-coil brush (Rubbermaid, $9, acehardware.com), then gently vacuum with a brush attachment. Some refrigerators have their condenser coils behind a removable grille in the front. If yours does, snap off or unscrew the grille and clean the coils, as above.

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Go there, read and get clean. More next week.

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