April 2010


It is Jam Band Friday – but I am too sad for it today…:+{

I continue to support our sister group LEAN. According to the news the oil has reached the S. Louisiana Coast and the seas have kicked up making containment impossible. The Gulf is doomed.

http://leanweb.org/donate/donate/donate-join.html

Louisiana  Environmental Action NetworkLMRK logoLouisiana Environmental Action Network
&
Lower Mississippi RIVERKEEPER©

Helping to Make Louisiana Safe for Future Generations

E-ALERT
APRIL 29, 2010
Oil may already be impacting the Louisiana shoreline
Forecast location for oil for 6:00 p.m. on April 29, 2010
Forecast location for oil

From the Unified Command:

Forecast is for increasing SE winds today and then strong, persistant SE winds of 15-25 kts from tonight through saturday night. These winds will continue to bring the oil towards the shoreline. Satellite imagery from this morning indicates the western edge of the oil is 7-8 miles from the delta, but oil was observed during overflights yesterday afternoon several miles off SE pass in the Mississippi River Convergence – This could be the leading edge of the tarballs becoming concentrated in this region. Shoreline impacts could hence occur as early as this morning, if the onshore winds are strong enough for the oil to escape the convergence zone, Shoreline impacts become increasingly likely later in the day and into Friday with the strengthening onshore winds. Morning overflight observations will be critical in assessing the strength of the convergence zone.

A flyover on Wednesday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. (CDT), continued to show a large, rainbow sheen with areas of emulsified crude, approximately 16 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

On April 28 at approximately 4:45 p.m. (CDT), the response team conducted a successful controlled burn and is evaluating conducting additional burns.

More than 174,060 feet of boom (barrier) has been assigned to contain the spill.  An additional 243,260 feet is available and 265,460 feet has been ordered.

To date, the oil spill response team has recovered 18,180 barrels (763,560 gallons) of an oil-water mix. Vessels are in place and continuing recovery operations.
76 response vessels are being used including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

98,361 gallons of dispersant have been deployed and an additional 75,000 gallons are available.

Five staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines.  These areas include:
Biloxi, Miss., Pensacola, Fla. Venice, La., Pascagoula, Miss., and Theodore, Ala.

Weather conditions for April 29 – Winds from the southeast at 5-15 mph, choppy rough seas.

To report oiled or injured wildlife, please call 1-800-557-1401.
To discuss spill related damage claims, please call 1-800-440-0858.
To report oil on land, or for general Community and Volunteer Information, please call 1-866-448-5816.


Support this vital work today!

Yes! I want to help make Louisiana safe for us and for future generations!

LEAN is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a non-profit organization working to foster communication and cooperation among citizens and groups to address Louisiana’s environmental problems.


For More About LEAN:

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That’s right. As big as the Love Canal. As Big as 3 Mile Island. As big as the Exxon Valdez. I shudder to think what this could do to the entire Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1269440/Visible-space-giant-oil-slick-oozing-Americas-Gulf-Coast.html

Visible from space, the giant oil slick oozing towards America’s Gulf Coast

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 3:06 PM on 28th April 2010

Creeping just 20 miles from America’s Gulf Coast, this is the mammoth oil slick threatening to become an environmental disaster in a satellite image taken from space.

The spectacle – caught on Nasa’s Aqua satellite using its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument – is remarkable as oil slicks are usually notoriously difficult to spot using such equipment.

Yet in these images, the spill’s mirror-like reflection as the sun glints off the water is clearly visible.

Enlarge   mout of mississippi Snapshot of disaster: Four hundred miles out in space, Nasa’s Aqua satellite has taken pictures of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.  In this image from Sunday, the centre of it is about even with the mouth of the Mississippi River

The mirror-like sheen of the oil slick is seen in this image taken  from space by NASA's Aquatic satellite The mirror-like sheen of the oil slick is seen in this image taken from space by NASA’s Aquatic satellite

The enormous spill, which was caused by the April 20 explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, is now around 48 miles long and 80 miles wide. It is believed to be around 600 miles in circumference.

Hundreds of hotel owners, fishermen and restaurateurs are fearing for their livelihoods as the slick edges ever closer to the American Gulf Coast.

Forecasters say the spill could wash ashore within days near delicate wetlands, oyster beds and pristine white beaches.

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Please read the entire article. It is really really scary.

And This from LEAN

http://leanweb.org/donate/donate/donate-join.html

The Unified Command (U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Minerals Management Service, BP and Transocean) had released this statement earlier today:

Responders have scheduled a controlled, on-location burn to begin at approximately 11 a.m. CDT today (April 28, 2010)…. today’s controlled burn will remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and marine and other wildlife.
Workboats will consolidate oil into a fire resistant boom approximately 500 feet long. This oil will then be towed to a more remote area, where it will be ignited and burned in a controlled manner. The plan calls for small, controlled burns of several thousand gallons of oil lasting approximately one hour each.

The Unified Command has also made such statements as:

(The burning is) a strategy designed to minimize environmental risks by removing large quantities of oil…

…there are no anticipated impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles.

The vast majority of this slick will be addressed through natural means and through use of chemical dispersants. Today’s burn will not affect other ongoing response activities, such as on-water skimming, dispersant application, and subsurface wellhead intervention operations. Preparations are also underway in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama to set up a protective boom to minimize shoreline impact.

We believe that releases of information from the Unified Command are glossing over the environmental aspects of this oil spill and failing in their duty to provide the public with accurate and unbiased information. From our experience and the experience of all of our colleagues in dealing with oil spills, once the oil is in the water it is impossible to eliminate all environmental impact. We believe that the government agencies in charge must make a full and accurate assessment of the environmental impacts of this spill.

“The vast majority of this slick will be addressed through natural means.” This sounds an awful lot like: The vast majority of the oil slick will be left in the environment. What impact will this have to the Gulf environment?

The chemical dispersants are essentially a soap like material that emulsifies the oil and causes it to sink into the water column and to the sea floor. What impact will this sub-surface oil have on marine life, on the oyster beds and benthic organisms?

Oil booms proved to be pretty ineffective during the fuel-oil barge spill in the Mississippi River in 2008. How effective will booms be in rough seas?

We do agree that burning the slick is preferable to the surface oil coming on to shore but we also ask that the Agencies involved make a full and accurate assessment of the environmental impacts of the burning of the surface oil.

We simply ask that an honest and accurate assessment of the full environmental impacts of this spill be conducted by the relevant government agencies and then released to the public.

To report affected wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401.

For more information regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident, contact the joint information center at (985) 902-5231 or (985) 902-5240.

You can contact us at 1-866-msriver.

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God I hate this.

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things I have ever heard. It generates nothing but questions. What about the wild life. What about the ocean animals and plants. What about the air quality. How do you contain it. However, considering the effects they still suffer in Alaska and the lawsuits it does make a modicum of sense.

I was a founding member of this group and their report marks the first time I have posted them I think.

http://leanweb.org/donate/donate/donate-join.html

Louisiana Environmental Action Network
&
Lower Mississippi RIVERKEEPER©

Helping to Make Louisiana Safe for Future Generations

E-ALERT
APRIL 27, 2010
Update On The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

First we would like to express our condolences to the families who have lost loved ones on the rig and to the injured; our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We at LEAN and Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper are bracing ourselves for what appears to be developing into an ecological tragedy.

Graphic showing location of oil slick on April 27, 2010
Map Of Oil Slick April 27, 2010

As of 10:40 a.m. the oil slick was just 21 miles South East of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Government agencies have been requesting oil booms to deploy around Delta National Wildlife Refuge (which already experienced a spill of 18,000 gallons of crude oil earlier this month). Delta National Wildlife Refuge is in the extreme south-eastern end of the Mississippi River Delta.

NASA satellite photo of the oil slick on April 25
NASA satellite photo of slick

Efforts to stop the flow using the blowout preventer have not been successful and oil continues to leak from at least two locations on the well pipe.

What was originally considered “plan c,” the drilling of a relief well, currently appears to be the main plan to stop the leaking. Transocean’s drilling platform Development Driller III will be used to drill the relief well. It is hoped that the relief well will be able to bypass the leaking well and thereby stop the flow from the damaged well.

However, it could take up to three months to drill the relief well and if some other method of shutting down the leaking well is not figured out in the meantime then it has been estimated that 100,000 barrels, or 4,200,000 gallons, of oil could be released into the Gulf before the relief well is operational.

“If we don’t secure this well, this could be one of the most significant oil spills in U.S. history,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.

Skimmer boats and the spraying of dispersant have been the primary means of dealing with the spilled oil so far but weather conditions are making things very difficult for responders. We understand that the responders will likely begin using control burning of the oil slicks if possible.

If you encounter oil from this spill or to report oiled or injured wildlife you can contact the oil spill Unified Command at 1-800-557-1401. You can also contact us at 1-866-msriver.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep everyone updated. We value the work that all of our partners are doing on this issue and we will continue to work with our partners throughout the Gulf region.


Support this vital work today!

Yes! I want to help make Louisiana safe for us and for future generations!

LEAN is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a non-profit organization working to foster communication and cooperation among citizens and groups to address Louisiana’s environmental problems.


For More About LEAN:

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It is pray and hold your breath time

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any time anybody mentions Global Warming in a supportive way. For a long time I was puzzled by how fast and how consistently the Global Warming nay sayers put comments up on articles or blogs or whatever source and how angry they were. After I read the Reuters article  below it suddenly dawned on me that they are being paid to do it. Such prompt and vicious attacks must be a FULL TIME JOB.

Now before you get all back about it. First, there is a right wing conspiracy. The Koch Bros and Massey to name a few billionaires certainly have staff members dedicated to Climate Deniers. But that could only account for say what 30 or 40 people doing it. That is a lot. But consider another supplemental alternative. Exxon Mobile at best guestamate (and they don’t even know really) employs 90,000 people and BP employs another 85,000. Just those 2 companies employ enough people to account for every man, woman and child in Springfield Il. and the surrounding area. What if they let it be known that for a half-hour a day, or like when you have some downtime, it is OK to use company computers to harass climate scientists, journalist who right articles supportive of Climate Change and environmental organizations? Just in one week they could contribute 90,000 hours of cruising the net time and attacks. Anyway this is part of the article that I found at PEAKOIL:

http://peakoil.com/?p=53923

But came from here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63P00A20100426

Climate debate gets ugly as world moves to curb CO2

A schoolgirl crosses a dry pond on the outskirts of Jammu April  23, 2010. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

A schoolgirl crosses a dry pond on the outskirts of Jammu April 23, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Murderer, liar, fraud, traitor.

Science |  Green Business |  COP15

Climate scientists, used to dealing with skeptics, are under siege like never before, targeted by hate emails brimming with abuse and accusations of fabricating global warming data. Some emails contain thinly veiled death threats.

Across the Internet, climate blogs are no less venomous, underscoring the surge in abuse over the past six months triggered by purported evidence that global warming is either a hoax or the threat from a warmer world is grossly overstated.

A major source of the anger is from companies with a vested interest in fighting green legislation that might curtail their activities or make their operations more costly.

“The attacks against climate science represent the most highly coordinated, heavily financed, attack against science that we have ever witnessed,” said climate scientist Michael Mann, from Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

“The evidence for the reality of human-caused climate change gets stronger with each additional year,” Mann told Reuters in emailed responses to questions.

Greenpeace and other groups say that some energy companies are giving millions to groups that oppose climate change science because of concerns about the multi-billion dollar costs associated with carbon trading schemes and clean energy policies.

For example, rich nations including the United States, Japan and Australia, are looking to introduce emissions caps and a regulated market for trading those emissions.

More broadly, the United Nations is trying to seal a tougher climate accord to curb emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation blamed for heating up the planet.

Other opponents are drawn into the debate by deep concerns that governments will trample on freedoms or expand their powers as they try to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the impacts of higher temperatures.

“There are two kinds of opponents — one is the fossil fuel lobby. So you have a trillion-dollar industry that’s protecting market share,” said Stephen Schneider of Stanford University in California, referring to the oil industry’s long history of funding climate skeptic groups and think tanks.

“And then you have the ideologues who have a deep hatred of government involvement,” said Schneider, a veteran climate scientist and author of the book “Science as a contact sport”.

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“THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT”

Scientists and conservationists say some anti-climate change lobbyists are funded by energy giants such as ExxonMobil, which has a long history of donating money to interest groups that challenge climate science.

According to a Greenpeace report released last month, ExxonMobil gave nearly $9 million to entities linked to the climate denialist camp between 2005 and 2008.

The report, using mandatory SEC reporting on charitable contributions, also shows that foundations linked to Kansas-based Koch Industries, a privately owned petrochemical and chemicals giant, gave nearly $25 million.

Koch said the Greenpeace report mischaracterized the company’s efforts. “We’ve strived to encourage an intellectually honest debate on the scientific basis for claims of harm from greenhouse gases,” the company said in a note on its website.

ExxonMobil makes no secret of funding a range of groups, but says it has also discontinued contributions to several public policy research groups.

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“We’ve never experienced this sort of thing before,” he said of the intense challenges to climate science and the level of email and Internet traffic.

All the climate change scientists with whom Reuters spoke said they were determined to continue their research despite the barrage of nasty emails and threats. Some expressed concern the argument could turn violent.

“My wife has made it very clear, if the threats become personalized, I cease to interact with the media. We have kids,” said one scientist who did not want to be identified.

(Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Oslo; Editing by Megan Goldin)

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Please see the entire article. It is amazing in its even handedness but here is the kicker for me. 2 hours later at 9:58 this comment pops up:

where is the proof? how can you prove that carbon dioxide making up 2% of the warming gasses is responsible for 100% of the temperature change? You can’t. there is no way you can show that evil industrialism is hurting the precious gaia. but you can move to a north korean work camp and unplug from modern industrialist society. Get a new guilt free life in a NPRK work camp! get close to nature under a steel ball tipped leather whip!

boomba Report As Abusive

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It is true, a Volcano blew up and I did not say a word:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/04/14/iceland.volcano.evacuation/index.html

800 evacuated as Iceland volcano erupts

By the CNN Wire Staff
April 14, 2010 12:38 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — Icelandic authorities evacuated about 800 people early Wednesday when a volcano erupted beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, an emergency spokesman said.

The first evacuations began at 2 a.m. (10 p.m. ET Tuesday), according to Rognvaldur Olafsson, chief inspector at Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. He said everyone in the area was safe.

“We have located the fissure that is erupting under the glacier,” Olafsson told CNN. He said scientists are currently doing aerial reconnaissance of the area and that officials would know more when they return.

So far, he said, the eruption has created a large hole in the glacier. Lava is not a big concern but flooding is, he said.

iReport: Are you there? Send your images, videos

Map: Eyjafjallajokull glacier

RELATED TOPICS
  • Iceland

“The volcano is under the glacier, and it’s melting parts of the glacier,” Olafsson said. “The rivers will rise and potentially make some damage.”

iReporter captures footage of eruption

Rivers closest to the glacier have already started rising, he added.

The glacier is the sixth-biggest in Iceland, just to the west of the bigger glacier, Myrdalsjokull. It is about 100 miles (160 km) east of the capital, Reykjavik.

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So will it effect the environment. Yes. Anything that disrupts air travel is a good thing because air travel is one of the largest causes of global warming. Will it cool the planet any. Probably not but if Kitra goes off it could be a major event and the last three times “Eyja” went off Kitra did too. So keep on watching folks. Air travel here was disrupted too so it was nice to sit on my swing out back and look at the stars with no blinking jet lights.

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And yes, an Oil Rig blew up and sank. What, that doesn’t happen everyday? I guess the gulf needs 42,000 gallons of oil spilled in it every day for God knows how long.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/26/national/main6433600.shtml

NEW ORLEANS, April 26, 2010

Oil Spill Continues; Will Robot Fix Leak?

Officials Wait to See if Unmanned Submarines Can Activate Cut-Off Valves a Mile Below Gulf of Mexico Surface

(CBS/AP)

Authorities continue to monitor the size and direction of a Gulf of Mexico oil sheen by air, while using robotic underwater equipment to try to shut off its source at a wrecked deepwater drilling platform.

The Coast Guard and the companies that owned an operated the rig plan a Monday afternoon news conference in Robert, La., the site of a command center established over the weekend to deal with the crisis.

The oil has been leaking at a rate estimated at 42,000 gallons a day. Workers are trying to make sure the oil doesn’t reach the Gulf Coast’s fragile ecosystem.

An explosion on the floating deep water rig last Tuesday night led to a huge fire and the eventual sinking of the rig. The search for 11 missing workers was called off on Friday.

Crews began using a robot submarine Sunday to try to the leak nearly a mile below the surface, but said it would take at least another day before they knew whether the job was completed.

The Coast Guard said the oil spill was expected to stay 30 miles off the coast for the next several days.

The robot submarines are trying to activate valves at the well head. If that doesn’t work, crews are also planning to drill a relief well to cut off the flow – which could take several months.

What appeared to a manageable spill a couple of days ago after an oil rig exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast Tuesday, has now turned into a more serious environmental problem. The new leak was discovered Saturday, and as much as 1,000 barrels – or 42,000 gallons – of oil is leaking each day, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.

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This is what they want in the artic? If they drill off Virginia, is this what they want coming up Chesapeake Bay?

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Its jam band friday - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37E2SjHc134

Earth Day lasts a long time in Springfield. That is because one of our big events is on the Weekend. Earth Awareness Fest is Saturday so today is kind of a let down. Nonetheless, I soldier on. This is from Gather by way of PeakOil.

http://peakoil.com/?p=53796

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978190692

by Brenda Daverin

Member since:
March 11, 2010

What is With “Happy” Earth Day?

April 22, 2010 02:14 PM EDT

views: 279 | 2 people recommend this | comments: 5

Today is Earth Day, an observance begun in 1970 by then-Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in an attempt to spread awareness of environmental issues. It’s grown since that start to being on the calendar in 192 countries. And on its 40th anniversary, it’s beginning to take on the trappings of a greeting card holiday. The mere existence of Earth Day greeting cards available from companies that don’t focus on the environment is only part of that.

Twitter’s trending topics as I type this lists “Happy Earth Day” as the most popular worldwide. I find that strange. No, actually, I find it silly. You put the word happy in front of words and phrases like birthday, holidays, and new year. Days on which you celebrate and have a good time. Party holidays, in short. Earth Day is not a party holiday. You can throw one, sure, but I’m not sure I see the point of doing something which in and of itself is wasteful extravagance on a day meant to remind people that resources are finite. Yes, there are safer forms of paper plates and cups and potato plastic cutlery. That’s beside the point.

I’m not saying that people need to be all solemn and dark and such. It’s a day to pay respect. Respect the planet we live on. The one that keeps us alive. Acting like nothing we do has a long-term impact is the worst you can do on a day like this, or any day for that matter. Behaving as if a reminder that we are part of a system that needs to be treated with more respect than we’ve paid it as a species over the centuries is a reason to be perky and nothing more is nearly as bad. The last thing we need is to act like we only have to nod and wink at the day’s existence to be doing anything about it.

So I bid you a good Earth Day. Try to recycle that can you throw away most days. I know I should. And if you do host a gathering to discuss environmental issues, I beg you, check the labels on the throwaway products you buy for it, if any. The irony levels you keep from overloading may be your own.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH1eUI25Yqg )

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Have a great weekend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2b1SWmH-BM&feature=related

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I could post a lot of things, like the burning oil rig or the price of gasoline, but this year I think it is important to remember the past. We also need to think about how far we have come but how far we need to go.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20100421/cm_huffpost/536130


Huffington Post - The Internet Newspaper

The History Of Earth Day Plus How You Can Get Involved

Play Video KGW NewsChannel 8 Portland, Ore. – Green gadgets for Earth Day with Brian M. Westbrook

  • Reuters – A man walks through a garbage dump on the eve of Earth Day in Mumbai April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Arko Datta

Bill Lucey Bill Lucey Wed Apr 21, 11:18 am ET

On April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day will be celebrated from coast-to-coast; a day which was first realized by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson who wanted to find a way to increase environmental awareness and to promote urgently needed federal legislation to deal with an alarming ecological crisis.

It wasn’t until visiting Santa Barbara Calif in August, 1969, and reading about the popularity of “teach-ins” at college campuses as way of educating students about the Vietnam War that an idea caught hold in Nelson’s head to hold a similar “teach-in” only with a focus on environmental awareness.

Since the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, when a chorus of demonstrators around the nation (some 20 million strong) voiced their concerns about the environment, specifically about the pollution of air and water, that a significant amount of federal legislation was passed to protect the environment.

Nelson, who was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, the nation’s highest civilian honor, died at his Bethesda, Md home on July 3, 2005 at the age of 89.

What follows are summaries of some of the most important federal legislation that was passed during the 1970′s, thanks in large part, to Sen. Nelson and his grassroots environmental movement.

• The Environmental Protection Agency was created on December 2, 1970, in response to the nationwide concern over environmental pollution. The newly formed agency was responsible for consolidating a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities under a single regulatory agency to protect health and safeguard the natural environment, including air, water, and land

• The Clean Air Act of 1970 is a comprehensive federal law, which required the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect against common pollutants, including ozone (smog), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, and particulate soot.

The Act was subsequently amended in 1977 and 1990 to set new goals for achieving NAAQS. In particular, the phasing out of lead gas by the mid-1980′s, was hailed by many as one of the most important health initiatives of the 20th century. Additional amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 included the controlling of acid rain and the elimination of leaded gas in automobiles by the end of 1995.

Despite repeated violations of basic health standards, leaving millions of Americans at risk, important progress has been made since the Act was passed, including the reduction of emissions of toxic by 98 percent, the reduction of emissions of sulfur dioxide by 35 percent, and the reduction of emissions of carbon monoxide by 32 percent

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There is much more. Please read the whole article and then buy the Whole Earth Catalog.

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All this week I have been posting about radical things from the environmental movement that have become main stream starting with a post on cars (CAFE standards) and continuing with posts on recycling, and residential energy conservation. Today it is the Back To The Land Movement. While they were laughed at and many of their efforts failed, the back to the landers had it right in so many ways…big cities are dumb energy dinosaurs…single labor “jobs” are alienating and defeatist…fresh air and hard work are good for you..and on and on. Yet the single biggest thing they got right was corporate food is poison and locally grown food is wonderful. So on this day before Earth Day in 2010 I give it up for:

http://www.ilstewards.org/

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Wednesday April 21, 2010

REGISTER NOW! Local Food Awareness Day at the Capitol

On April 28th, local food consumers, farmers and advocates from across the state will come together in Springfield to encourage their legislators to support local food and sustainable agriculture. Illinois Stewardship Alliance would like to invite you to join us for our annual local food and sustainable agriculture lobby day and legislative reception, on April 28th, 2010.

Registration deadline is next Monday, April 19th. For more information and how to register click here.

Posted by: Lindsay Record

4/16/2010 2:22 pm

Would you rather attend a stuffy fundraising dinner
with a group of people you don’t know, or enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends at a great restaurant in your area?
With Share-A-Meal, you will not only have a wonderful meal with people you enjoy but support 13 local charities in Sangamon County.

The Seventh Annual Share-A-Meal with Community Shares will take place at restaurants in Springfield on Tues. April 13, 2010. The event is sponsored by Community Shares of Illinois, a nonprofit organization representing more than 78 charities statewide.

Participating restaurants in Springfield are expected to donate 20 to 25 percent of their meal proceeds to Community Shares of Illinois and its member organizations. Using pledge cards provided at each restaurant, diners will also have the option to direct a portion of their bill to any of the 78 charities that are members of Community Shares of Illinois.

Participating Restaurants in Springfield Include:
Maldaner’s – 222 S. 6th St.; (217) 522-4313 – lunch and dinner
Augie’s Front Burner – 2 West Old Capitol Plaza; (217) 544-6979 – lunch and dinner
- Tuesday night special: 50 percent off bottles of wine
Tai Pan – 2636 Stevenson Dr.; (217) 529-8089 – dinner

All you must do to contribute is dine out at one of the participating restaurants. Share-A-Meal combines the pleasure of eating out with the joy of giving in one fun-filled event.
Community Shares of Illinois represents more than 78 organizations working to make our state a better place to live. These organizations work to improve the quality of life in Illinois by addressing a wide range of issues, including affordable housing, health care, the environment and civil rights, as well as other issues affecting women, children, people of color, working families, people with disabilities and the poor.

For more information about Share-A-Meal and an up-to-date restaurant list, click here.
To learn more about Community Shares of Illinois, click here.

Posted by: Lindsay Record

4/6/2010 11:59 am
Illinois Stewardship Alliance: 36 Years of Farm and Food Advocacy

Did you know the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (formerly the Illinois South Project) helped found the Carbondale Farmer’s Market?  Did you know that ISA has been active in state and federal policy working on issues such as protecting farmland? Did you know abut the Stewardship Farm providing research on organic practices, our pilot program to utilize WIC coupons and Illinois farmers markets?  These are just a few of many issues ISA has taken on over the last 36 years since the founding of the Illinois South Project in 1974 in Herrin (?).  The Illinois South Project was founded to give citizens a voice in the development of the federal coal program introduced in the mid-1970′s.  The Illinois South Project acknowledged the negative impact strip mining would have on farmland and the local economy in southern Illinois.  “Central to our program is empowerment of people through active involvement in issues that affect them. To address critical farm policy issues, we organized farmers to attend hearings and town meetings organized by their elected officials. We sent out numerous alerts on crucial issues being debated in the state legislature and in Congress and we submitted testimony on important aspects of the 1985 farm bill” – Illinois South Project 1985 Annual Report

In 1990, the organization opened an office in central Illinois, became a membership-based organization and has worked on a variety of local food and farm issues over the years through research, policy advocacy and education but there has always been a common thread of working for environmental stewardship, economic viability of small farms and connecting rural producers with urban populations.  ISA staff and board are proud to celebrate 36 years of supporting local food systems in Illinois.  We invite you to join us as we continue to advocate for sounds policies that support sustainable local food systems.  ISA continues to be a membership-driven organization with individual and organizational members.  If you aren’t a member, please consider joining now.  If you are a member, don’t hesitate to contact staff and let us know how we can serve you better.

Posted by: Lindsay Record

3/18/2010 4:07 pm

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But we have so far to go. I can remember the days when R13 was over the top in terms of insulation. Nobody would ever need that much. Now we are are encouraging R60 in the attic. But we have so far to go. Don’t get me started on other parts of the world. There is no way we can supply decent housing to 7 billion people, but they will all want televisions.

http://www.homeenergy.org/article_full.php?id=699

March/April 2010
House of Pressure

by Anthony Cox and Melissa Byrd

A Model of Energy Efficiency

The New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) in Christiansburg, Virginia, is a division of Community Housing Partners (CHP), a nonprofit development corporation that serves the needs of low-wealth and low-income residents in the Southeast. NRCERT was established in 1999 to provide training to emerging professionals in the fields of in weatherization and whole-house performance skills. NRCERT also performs research for leaders in the field. This research has resulted in significant technical advancements for the weatherization and building performance industries.

NRCERT’s training emphasizes a whole-house approach to home performance, using detailed curricula and innovative models to support these training efforts. Its goal is to create homes (both new construction and retrofit) that are good for people, good for the environment, and good for business. Technicians are taught to reduce energy consumption, address the health and safety of occupants, and assess how the building envelope, appliances, and occupants interact with one another.

One of the teaching tools is the House of Pressure, which Anthony designed in 1995 for himself. He designed this tool to help visually demonstrate to his peers the complicated science of air pressure. At the time, Anthony was a weatherization crew member with New River Community Action.

Not Your Typical Dollhouse

The House of Pressure visually demonstrates pressure and air flow dynamics within a residence, using pressure diagnostics. It is a model of a single-family home, made of a clear, high-strength plastic laminate called Lexan that can be written on with a dry-erase marker. The interior of the House can be viewed from all four sides. It gives the instructor the ability to create and control air flow with working scale reproductions of the mechanical air distribution systems that are found in most homes.

The House features an operable forced air duct system, a clothes dryer, a bathroom fan, a fireplace, and a water heater. There are smoke generators in the water heater and the fireplace to demonstrate the dangers of backdrafting; and a smoke generator in an exhaust pipe in the garage to show the danger of CO infiltration from a garage into conditioned space. (The menacing theme of Jaws plays when backdrafting occurs, as a warning that smoke is coming back into the House!)

An automated performance testing (APT) device from the Energy Conservatory measures the air pressure levels in eight different locations in the House. It uses Microsoft Excel to project those pressure levels onto an LCD screen, so that audiences can view the pressure levels and the direction of air flow in every room. It’s like having eight manometers going at the same time, so when you make changes to one part of the House, you can see how they affect every other part, with immediate feedback from the APT.

Testing the Model Is the Same as Testing a Real House

To get accurate results, it’s important to understand how to set up and use diagnostic equipment—and the House of Pressure is no exception. An illustrated laminated sheet with instructions comes along with the model. The instructions show how to set up the measuring equipment to perform various tests on the model, and also how to use the equipment in the field. It even has color-coded hose hookups for using the digital manometer.

The House of Pressure can be used to

  • demonstrate blower door testing, using a digital manometer and a Minneapolis Duct Blaster;
  • demonstrate zonal and pressure pan testing;
  • show how duct leakage diminishes health and safety, comfort, durability, and energy efficiency by creating leaks in the supply ducts and/or the return ducts;
  • demonstrate the effect of thermal bypasses;
  • show pressure and thermal boundaries; and
  • simulate backdrafting conditions.

There are operable doors from the bedroom and bathroom to the central living area that show how air flow takes place in a house with a central return duct system. Pressure relief methods can be shown and discussed. Combustion appliance zone testing can be shown by following a worst-case test procedure using a digital manometer.

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Please read the magazine every month…as Yoda says…do not try…do

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My view of the Environmental Movement is somewhat skewed. I started out in the Energy Movement and I am a Carpenter so I see everything thing through an energy lens. Other people started as Tree Huggers and see everything through a nature perspective. Still other people started out outraged (and maybe sickened) by Pollution. So they worry about Industrial things. No matter where you started however Recycling is where they all come together. Recycled products save energy, save animals, and markedly reduce pollution.

I can’t put up all the facts from this great page but I can put up enough to get you started:

http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html

Aluminum Recycling Facts

Bullet A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
Bullet Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
Bullet Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
Bullet More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
Bullet Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates.
Bullet An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
Bullet There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
Bullet We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
Bullet At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
Bullet A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!
Bundled Newspaper

Paper Recycling Facts

Bullet To produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
Bullet Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
Bullet If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
Bullet If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
Bullet If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!
Bullet The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
Bullet The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
Bullet Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
Bullet Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
Bullet The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
Bullet In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
Bullet Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
Bullet The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Bullet The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.

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