April 2014


Now this is off the grid and I love it. I really need to say nothing more about it. The world is starting to change.

This Island Will Charge Its Lake-Sized Batteries with Wind Power

This Island Will Charge Its Lake-Sized Batteries with Wind Power

Image: Erik Streb/Wikimedia

Two hundred miles off the coast of Spain, a small island marked by a massive volcanic crater is about to become a case study for an ultramodern, zero impact society.

Over the last twelve years, engineers, researchers, and residents of El Heirro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, have been building one of the world’s most interesting living laboratories for sustainable off-grid living. They erected five towering wind turbines, built a huge reservoir that works as a battery, and installed three desalination plants that will let the tiny outpost harvest its drinking water from the sea. Now, the $75 million project is almost ready to be brought online.

The entire pioneering system is slated to begin its stab at modern closed-loop living at the end of June. While there are a number of solar power-reliant island communities, the press has dubbed El Hierro the first to live entirely off of the wind. Its only serious predecessor is Samso, a Danish island that’s also powered almost entirely by wind power, but unlike Hierro, it’s still wired up to the mainland’s coal-fired grid.

Right now, El Hierro relies on diesel generators to keep the lights on for its 10,000 residents, a practice that’s both costly and dirty. The new fleet of turbines will be capable of generating 11.5 megawatts of power.

That’s more than enough, when the gusts are ample, to keep electricity flowing to all of its homes and shops, as wells as to its three desalination plants. So when the gales are good, water and power are teased out of the sky—but it’s how El Hierro handles a lack of wind that harbors the biggest innovation.

Inset image of El Hierro: Cnes/Wikipedia

Topics: clean energy, batteries, Earth, energy, wind power, environment

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I do not think I have to say much more than damn!

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/since-first-earth-day-u.s.-temps-marching-upward-17330

Since 1st Earth Day, U.S. Temps Marching Upward

Published: April 22nd, 2014

Research Report by Climate Central

U.S. Warming Fast Since 1st Earth DaySome States Warming at Twice Global RateClick on a state to see annual temperature increase since 1970

It’s been 44 years since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and since that time, average temperatures have been rising across the U.S. This Climate Central interactive graphic shows a state-by-state analysis of those temperature trends.

Average temperatures across most of the continental U.S. have been rising gradually for more than a century, at a rate of about 0.127°F per decade between 1910-2012. That trend parallels an overall increase in average global temperatures, which is largely the result of human greenhouse gas emissions. While global warming isn’t uniform, and some regions are warming faster than others, since the 1970s, warming across the U.S. has accelerated, previously shown in our report The Heat is On. Since then, every state’s annual average temperature has risen accordingly. On average, temperatures in the contiguous 48 states have been warming at a rate of 0.48°F per decade since 1970, nearly twice the global average.

Delaware and Wisconsin are tied as the fastest-warming states since 1970, warming at a rate of 0.67°F per decade. Average annual temperatures in the two states are about 3°F warmer than they were 44 years ago. Vermont, New Jersey, and Michigan are warming nearly as fast, and all are warming about twice as fast as the global average. The slowest-warming states are Washington, Georgia, Florida, and Oregon – warming just more than 0.3°F per decade since 1970 — and are on pace with average global temperatures.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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that the Species of Homosapien would be burned off the face of the planet. I figured that would happen in maybe 30 years. People wrote in and said I was exaggerating. They said I was doing my cause “no good” by stating things so radically. I believe the same thing now, but I think it is coming more rapidly and could have a significant impact by 2020. Yes! Everything is speeding up.

http://www.ipcc.ch/

Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

 

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) provides a clear and most up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. It comprises of three Working Group (WG) reports and a Synthesis Report (SYR) which integrates and synthesize material in the WG reports for policymakers. The SYR will be finalized 31st of October 2015. Further information about the outline and content and how the AR5 has been prepared can be found in the AR5 reference document and SYR Scoping document, AR5 page and on the websites of the WGs.

Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change

 

The Working Group III contribution assesses the options for mitigating climate change and their underlying technological, economic and institutional requirements. It transparently lays out risks, uncertainty and ethical foundations of climate change mitigation policies on the global, national and sub-national level, investigates mitigation measures for all major sectors and assesses investment and finance issues.

Quick Link to Report and other AR5 volumes
Working Group III Report website

Summary for Policymakers (English)

 

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

The Working Group II contribution considers the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assess risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world.

Video
Quick Link to Report and other AR5 volumes
Working Group II Report website

Summary for Policymakers (English)

 

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Go there and get really scared. More next week.

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But food poisoning is pretty common. Just think of the energy use on the farm. Huge machines powered by diesel gasoline, and huge energy consumption in fertilizers. We then transport the food huge distances. We sell them in huge stores oh keep the lights on at the local utility companies. Finally those of us in the first world drive it home in our and put it in our always on refrigerator.  So the fact that we let this thing called food sicken us but also kills us is just inexcusable. This on top of what some of us throw away. Well here is a site thate has on the facts. Unfortunately it is done mostly in photographs and this blog has problems with pictures so go there and look.

http://www.health-science-degree.com/food-poisioning/

Health-Science-Degree.com

The need to feed billions of people efficiently (and make billions of dollars off it) has given rise to large-scale animal farming operations. But are these mega-operations helping feed us or making us all sick?

The Rise of the Factory Farm

Factory farms, more accurately called concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), are large-scale industrial agricultural facilities that raise animals (usually at high density and kept in confined spaces) for human consumption.
5%
Proportion of CAFOs among all U.S. animal farming operations
50%
Food animals that come from CAFOs
Due in part to these massive factory farms, since 1960 …
… milk production has doubled
… meat production has tripled
… egg production has quadrupled
Such operations also have introduced means to make animals grow heavier more quickly; chickens, for instance, grow twice as large in about half the time:
Decade Growth time Weight
1920 16 weeks 2.2 pounds
2013 7 weeks 5 pounds

The Filthy Truth

In addition to the moral and ethical problems with keeping animals in tiny pens where their natural behaviors are stunted, there’s the very real problem of what to do with all the waste they produce.
These operations can house upwards of …
1,000+ beef cows
10,000+ chickens
10,000+ hogs
That adds up to tons and tons of — well, poop.
300 million tons
Annual manure production of animals from CAFOs; that’s 65% of the waste from all animal operations in the U.S. And it’s more than double the amount of waste produced by the entire U.S. human population.
This manure contains a variety of potential contaminants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, E. coli, growth hormone, antibiotics, animal blood, copper sulfate and more. These contaminants find their way to the groundwater and even pollute the air.
In addition to the manure concern is the possibility that keeping animals in such close quarters encourages infections that are then passed to consumers.

The Risks of Factory Meat

CAFOs are susceptible primarily to three pathogens that also make people sick.
E. coli
Introduction of a grain-based diet, rather than a grass-based diet, has raised E. coli rates among cows. While E. coli is always present in cows’ stomachs, grain-based diets have given rise to more harmful strains, such as O157:H7, which has found its way into water, produce and meat in recent years.
16%
Percentage of foodborne illnesses caused by strains of E. coli
MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be spread by human and animal carriers and has become abundant in our environment. European studies have shown a link between MRSA and factory pig farms.
80,000
Annual MRSA infections in humans, though many cases occur in hospital settings
Campylobacter and salmonella
Campylobacter and salmonella are most commonly found in eggs and poultry, and both pathogens have recently shown signs of drug resistance.
Positive tests for salmonella
Farms with caged hens 23.4%
Organic flocks 4.4%
Free-range flocks 6.5%
62%
Chicken sold in supermarkets contaminated with campylobacter

The Environmental Effects

Potential damage to the environment from mismanagement of the tons of waste produced by these massive operations extends to both the air and water.

  • Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water
  • Fish kills
  • Toxic algal blooms
  • Waste and pathogens in drinking water
  • Respiratory problems from dust and odors

Factory-Farms-FB

SOURCES:
http://www.ucsusa.org
http://www.cdc.gov
http://www.organicconsumers.org
http://news.yahoo.com
http://www.epa.gov

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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While they do not mention residential programs per se, I suppose a homeowner could always ask.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Energy Efficiency

Develop Strategies to Save Energy & Improve Reliability

Industries We Serve

Commercial Real Estate

Develop comprehensive, energy efficient management strategies.
Learn More ›

Education

Customize an energy management strategy to meet fiscal and strategic priorities.
Learn More ›

Government

Reach financial and environmental goals and achieve internal effectiveness.
Learn More ›

Healthcare

Develop effective energy strategies that will allow you to focus on patient care.
Learn More ›

Hospitality

Pursue an integrated approach to energy cost management with comfort and ease.
Learn More ›

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx#sthash.mBWPVA8u.dpuf

Well this should be a short post. Excelon will not allow me to borrow any of their page to post here so you will just have to go there and see it. But here is the general page if you are interested in something more than Commercial Buildings.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx

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Go there and read. More next week.

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