Continuing With the 2018 Wrap UP – Top 10 positive environmental stories for 2018

I want to say this up front. Donald Trump is an environmental and an alternative energy nightmare. The current attempt to roll back restrictions on Mercury emissions is just the latest killing of Americans. It is important to celebrate the good news as well as the bad.

Top 10 happy environmental stories of 2018

  • Throughout 2018, efforts to protect habitats and conserve threatened species were driven by governments, scientists, NGOs and indigenous communities.
  • The world pledged more conservation funding to protect the oceans, while protections for coastal ecosystems were also boosted.
  • Conservation initiatives steered by indigenous communities continue to garner attention and praise, not least because they tend to be more sustainable and effective than top-down programs.
  • These were among the upbeat, happy environmental and conservation stories we reported on in 2018.

“I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces of puzzle scattered all over the place. If you look at the whole picture it is overwhelming and terrifying, but if you work on your little part of the jigsaw and know that people all over the world are working on their little bits of it, that’s what will give you hope,” Jane Goodall, the world-renowned primatologist and conservationist and Mongabay adviser, says in a post on her Facebook page.

Hope for global conservation is what we wish to evoke in our readers with some of the more upbeat environmental stories from the past year that we have pieced together from around the world in this list. These include some of your favorite happy stories, from the expansion of protected areas for wildlife, cancelled reclamation projects that posed coastal ecosystem threats, to the impactful role of indigenous communities in conservation.

1. More protection for wildlife corridors

 

On a housekeeping note, websites contact me all the time to say, you cite this source: this one is better or more up-to-date or broken and here we fixed it. they want inserted in the actual Blog post that relates directly to their “improvement”. I AM ONE guy. I can neither verify what they say is true OR get in edit mode and go back in time for years. So, I am going to post them here as addenda. Click on them and see what surprise you get.

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I saw you mentioned the Wikipedia guide to led lights on your page:

http://censys.org/date/2015/01

That’s a great resource. In fact, it inspired me to create my own guide here:

Everything You Need to Know About LED Lighting in 2019

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Go there and read. It is a really long article. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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Nothing Struck Me This Week – So I am taking this week off

It’s the holidays for goodness sakes. So I may take next week off too. I have never done that before. It has been a slow energy week. If it don’t interest me, I don’t print it.

Trump Tries To Stop Alternative Energy – He fails miserably

What can I say about Trumps environmental policies in general and his energy policies specifically that hasn’t been said before. They SUCK. The economic surge in their direction is so strong that they can’t be stopped. But will it be in time?

Business

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report

Reuters 13 hours ago

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration’s tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s primary trade group.

Current weakness in the utility-scale market, however, will be offset by larger volumes of projects than had been expected over the next five years because solar energy is now cheaper than ever, the report said.

Quarterly installations of utility-scale solar were 678 megawatts, the lowest quarter since 2015 and a more than 30 percent decline from a year ago, the report by Wood Mackenzie for the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said. The total market, which includes residential and commercial installations, came in at 1.7 gigawatts.

The slowdown is a shift for solar, which has experienced runaway gains in the last decade. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar accounted for 30 percent of electricity generating capacity additions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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Donald Trump Is The Environmental AntiChrist

First he hired Scott Pruitt to essentially undo everything that Bush and Obama had done. From Arsenic levels in your drinking water to the size and numbers of National Monuments. Then he signed an Executive Order approving Pipelines. Then he tried to roll back Auto Emissions. But it is in his public speeches that you get the true flavor of his derangement.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/president-ranting-windmills-birds-while-162100207.html

 

The President Is Ranting About Windmills and Birds While the Planet Slides Towards Calamity

Jack Holmes
Esquire

“The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere … The sea off the north coast of Greenland is normally so frozen that it was referred to, until recently, as “the last ice area” because it was assumed that this would be the final northern holdout against the melting effects of a hotter planet.”

And then the Dotard says this:

Daniel Dale

? @ddale8

Here’s the transcript of Trump’s remarks at a New York fundraiser last week about coal and windmills.

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Go there and read the rest. More next week.

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Time Is UP – Global Warming is HERE

I dare you to Google: Climate Change and plant life or Climate Change and small mammals. Most people who protest Global Warming, that is  – say it ain’t happening, talk about deserts shifting and extinctions leading to our vary own. They say that since those things aren’t happening, then Global Warming isn’t either. But in the beginning it will be increases in insect born diseases, increases in storm strength, and increases in drought. Here is just one example.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-climate-change-is-helping-invasive-species-take-over-180947630/

How Climate Change is Helping Invasive Species Take Over

Longer seasons and warmer weather have combined to be a game-changer in the plant wars

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the growing season in many areas of the lower 48 states has expanded by about two weeks. Frosts end earlier in the spring and begin later in the fall. To gardeners in Maine, Wisconsin and Montana, that might seem a blessing. What’s not to like about more lettuce or riper tomatoes?

The longer seasons, however, are also helping invasive plants annex American soil; extended springs mean they can more quickly push aside native species and transform ecosystems. “What’s interesting about climate change is that humans are effectively manipulating how species experience time,” says ecologist Elizabeth Wolkovich of the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.

Wolkovich and her colleagues have been studying how the first flowering dates of plants have changed over the years in Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, D.C., Concord, Massachusetts—where Henry David Thoreau kept notes about the flowers blooming near Walden Pond in the mid-1800s—as well as Britain.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Is Fusion The Future – It’s what we have been told

But will it ever work out? I have no idea but there are still interesting things happening. I know this is kind of the back water from the Russian and the European efforts. Yes – God knows what China is doing. They have their own tokamak but they do not publish much about it. Still I thought this was interesting. How can you argue with Popular Mechanics.  They will probably one day get one to work. Plus it has a real cool animation. I am a sucker for those things.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a21945982/german-nuclear-fusion-experiment-sets-records-for-stellarator-reactor/

 

German Nuclear Fusion Experiment Sets Records

The stellarator was largely replaced by the tokamak in the 1960s, but Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X could be bringing the reactor back from the dead.

Links Here!! Links Here!! – I get asked all the time to post links

Over the years I have gotten 100s of requests to post links with other Blogs and Internet Sites that are related to the things that I post about; Sometimes tangentially. Sometimes very tangentially. Below I am going to try to post some of those with the text of the request where applicable or sometimes just the link.

I am only one guy by the way. That is it, Community Energy Systems and Energy Tough Love is just one guy with 900 bucks in the bank….so there is no way I can track down each post of mine and put the link on the page. Did I mention I was 63 years old. I would be dead by the time i did 10 or 20 post. Is some of this sarcastic? Well yah. But I never mean it spitefully. Please laugh with me not at me. Consider this:

Sometimes people even offer to write entire articles –

Hi!

There are more than 3 million teachers within the U.S. public school system. While some may plan on being work-free during summer break, others might enjoy – or need – to find a short-term job during that time.

As a retired teacher, I thought it would be fun to research and write about summer side gigs for teachers. (Side note: Many of these gigs, especially those that take advantage of the growing sharing economy, can also be worked into the school-year schedule.)

Is this something that would be of interest to your readers? If so, I would love the opportunity to write a guest article at no cost to you. Please let me know, and I’ll start writing.

Thanks so much!

Joyce

Joyce Wilson

joyce@teacherspark.org

Teacherspark.org

 

5 Eco-Conscious Summer Jobs for School Teachers

As a teacher, you need a second job to make ends meet. But as an environmentalist, the idea of driving for Uber or running people’s errands through an on-demand app doesn’t appeal to you. You want to spend less time commuting in your car, not more. So what are the options? Here are five eco-conscious side gigs that teachers can work during the summer and year-round.

Walking Dogs

The school year leaves you sitting inside for most of the day. When summer hits, you want to get outdoors as much as possible. Walking dogs for friends and neighbors is a great excuse to spend time outdoors, and the pay isn’t bad either. According to CostHelper.com, the typical pay for a dog walker is $18 to $22 for a 30-minute walk. Because the gig comes with minimal overhead costs, most of that pay ends up in your pocket. Dog walkers can also offer pet sitting to boost their earning potential.

Building Custom Gardens

Everyone wants a gorgeous edible garden in their yard, but few want to put in the work. Start a business designing, building, and maintaining custom vegetable gardens in local backyards. You’ll help your neighbors eat healthier while reducing their carbon footprint, and you’ll enjoy a paying job that hardly feels like work. The only downside? There’s not much gardening to do during the winter months. However, teachers can offer winter yard maintenance to keep money flowing through the off-season.

Creating an Online Store

According to the Sierra Club, online shopping beats driving to the store when it comes to environmental impact. While boxes and packaging seem wasteful, one delivery truck driving from house to house spends less energy than each household making trips to the store. It’s easy to build an e-commerce website with drag-and-drop website builders, and you don’t have to create a unique product to open an online store. Many online stores earn money by dropshipping popular products like wireless headphones and phone cases from larger retailers. Offer a diversity of products or choose products with staying power so your store remains profitable for the long-term.

Flipping Second-Hand Goods

Our throwaway society has largely moved away from repairing broken goods, choosing instead to replace items the moment they cease to function. The result? Countless lightly used appliances, gadgets, and furniture items headed to the dump when they still have lots of life. If you’re handy and enjoy hunting for treasures, start a side business picking up broken items, repairing them, and reselling for profit. Yard sales and Craigslist are gold mines for free and cheap items in need of repair. Finance Superhero offers tips for getting started.

Blogging

Starting a blog is perfect for teachers who want to explore their interest in energy and environmentalism. Teachers can blog about topics they’re passionate about and generate income through ad revenue. A blog can also be a great platform for sharing information and selling lesson plans on environmentalism with other educators, who can then use the materials in their own classrooms.

Additionally, business ideas such as selling workwear, selfie drones, and electronics online have a smaller environmental impact than driving a rideshare, delivering groceries, or another sharing economy mainstay. They also have minimal start-up costs, so your business doesn’t take months or years to start generating profit like some small businesses. That’s important when your priority is increasing your income, not launching a new career. However, teachers shouldn’t assume their side gig is in the black. Diligent record keeping is key to ensuring you’re meeting your income goals and not putting more into a gig than you’re getting out.

There are many ways to earn an income on top of a full-time job. But if environmentalism is important to you, you may find it difficult to find a job that aligns with your values. While these five side gigs might not change the world, they’re practical ways for eco-conscious teachers to increase their income without increasing their carbon footprint.

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More whenever.

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Green Energy Saves Lives- Why did no one ever calculate this before

All the capitalists care about is the money. So what if somebody dies making the power? So what if making the power kills someone? As long as they get their 100,000K profit or whatever it is. The numbers really have to mount before they even notice. Who cares if a “little person” dies, they were just taking up space anyway.

NOW this is a refreshing perspective.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-06-19/adding-offshore-wind-power-can-save-lives-benefit-public-health

 

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power

Theoretically, offshore wind farms could supply all the electricity the U.S. consumes, according to the Energy Department.

By The Conversation, Contributor?June 19, 2018, at 9:52 a.m.

By Jonathan Buonocore

New plans to build two commercial offshore wind farms near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coasts have sparked a lot of discussion about the vast potential of this previously untapped source of electricity.

But as an environmental health and climate researcher, I’m intrigued by how this gust of offshore wind power may improve public health. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy, research shows, can reduce risks of asthma, hospitalizations and heart attacks. In turn, that can save lives.

So my colleagues and I calculated the health impact of generating electricity through offshore wind turbines – which until now the U.S. has barely begun to do.

Greening the Grid

New England gets almost none of its electricity from burning coal and more than three-quarters of it from burning natural gas and operating nuclear reactors. The rest is from hydropower and from renewable energy, including wind and solar power and the burning of wood and refuse.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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