environmentalism


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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I would much rather see them working on electric trucks. But self driving conserves fuel and vastly improves the safety so it is a step in the right direction. Plus I love beer.

http://www.recode.net/2016/10/25/13392326/uber-otto-self-driving-truck-first-commercial-delivery

Uber’s first self-driven truck delivery was a beer run

Otto, recently acquired by Uber, took a load of Budweiser 120 miles completely autonomously.

Otto, the self-driving truck startup that was acquired by Uber for $700 million, has just completed the world’s first completely autonomous commercial freight delivery.

In partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Otto shipped 45,000 Budweisers 120 miles from a weigh station in Fort Collins, Colo. to Colorado Springs.

Though there was a professional driver in the truck the entire time, he never had to intervene and the truck was able to drive itself from exit to exit, according to the company. The software is programmed to hand off control to the human driver when the truck needs to exit the freeway.

“By embracing this technology, both organizations are actively contributing to the creation of a safer and more efficient transportation network,” Otto co-founder Lior Ron said in a statement. “We are excited to have reached this milestone together, and look forward to further rolling out our technology on the nation’s highways.”

It’s the first trip of its kind.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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There are so many problems with Hunter Lake, like it would turn into a mudflat during the summer or the need to plant 1000s of tree in Springfield if it was build. The biggest reason not to build is that Springfield doesn’t need it.

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20151012/NEWS/151019864

City of Springfield touts second lake as potential backup for region, including Chatham

By Jamie Munks, Staff Writer

Posted Oct. 12, 2015 at 5:52 PM
Updated Oct 12, 2015 at 10:32 PM

Springfield officials are emphasizing to permitting agencies that the city’s long-proposed backup water supply, Hunter Lake, could serve the entire region during a severe drought.

Mayor Jim Langfelder and other city officials met last week with representatives from the three agencies that Springfield needs permit approval from before the second lake could be built.

“If a drought hit, we’d be a regional source of water,” Langfelder said Monday.

Langfelder and Ted Meckes, City Water, Light and Power’s water division manager, met with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, following the Springfield City Council’s reaffirmation vote in July of a commitment to move forward with the Hunter Lake projec

 

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Go there and THINK. More next week.

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Not much more I can say about this report. Well done sirs, Well done!

http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/business/miscellaneous/2016-07-25/report-wind-energy-means-billions-illinois-economy.html

Report: Wind energy means billions to Illinois’ economy

NORMAL — A new report on the economic impact of wind energy in the state shows Illinois’ 25 existing wind farms have supported 20,173 jobs during construction and will add $6.4 billion to local economies over the 25-year life of the projects.

Released by Illinois State University’s Center for Renewable Energy, the report also shows how wind power creates jobs in the short and long term, provides millions of dollars for farmers and landowners, revenue for counties and municipalities, and supports businesses both in and out of the wind supply chain.

“Wind power does much more than generate clean energy,” said  Kevin Borgia, public policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. “Wind power is an economic engine for the state, providing jobs, landowner payments, tax dollars and business opportunities.”

The report further details all that the state’s wind farms offer, including $30.4 million in annual property taxes for local communities and $13.86 million in extra income for landowners who lease their land to developers.

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

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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 like this one in particular because the fossil fuel people said this was impossible.

https://energyx.org/category/notable-posts/

Will California Reach Its 50% Clean Energy Goal? No Problem

But managing so much clean energy may be difficult. California will easily meet its goal of having half of its electricity come from clean energy by 2030, a group of energy entrepreneurs and the head of one of the state’s largest utilities agreed at Fortune’s Brainstorm E conference on Monday.

PG&E’s CEO Tony Earley said that the company had already reached a milestone earlier this year of getting 30% of its electricity from clean energy sources. Building on that landmark, PG&E already has clean energy projects lined up that will help it deliver half of its electricity from clean energy, like solar and wind, within less than 15 years, said Earley.

“We can get there,” he confidently predicted.

Earley noted that California’s definition of clean energy is particularly narrow. While some broader definitions of clean energy include big sources of carbon emissions-free power like nuclear power, hydroelectric, rooftop solar energy, and energy efficiency technology, California’s definition of clean energy only includes utility-scale solar and wind energy

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Go there and read a yuge amount. More next week.

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