The Right To Repair Movement – Could it repair the Earth

This starts out as a technology issue. Farmers wanted to repair their tractors. Smart phone users wanted to repair their phones. But it turns out that if you follow that thread it leads to wanting to repair everything. Our broken economic system. To fixing Silicone Valley’s technology spew. Fixing our infrastructure so that it works. Not descarfing it and getting new. Maybe even preventing Global Warming. Too tall a task. Maybe not.

https://repair.org/standards

Green standards for electronics establish a consistent set of environmental leadership criteria for the design, use, and end-of-life phases of electronics. Since their initial development, green U.S. electronics standards have successfully pushed manufacturers to incorporate key performance criteria, including requirements for recycled plastics, the reduction of hazardous materials, end-of-life management, and energy efficiency. Historically, by setting a high bar and rewarding significant advances in green design, such mandates have shaped electronics design for the better.

Yet these standards—both in and out of development—have become increasingly ineffectual, as electronics manufacturers now constitute a large voting bloc on most U.S. green standards groups. Standards are arduous to update, and the criteria are often too easy for manufacturers to achieve. Thus, electronics standards, more and more often, fail to function as tools of environmental leadership. Industry and purchasers rely on these standards for guidance in identifying sustainable products—which further perpetuates the low bar that has been set.

U.S. green standards could again lead, were they to integrate challenging, inspiring green design criteria, including (but not limited to) guidelines for increased reuse and repair. Unfortunately, manufacturers have consistently opposed stronger reuse and repair criteria. As a result, green standards have systemically failed to incorporate strong policies that would enable repair, reuse, and product life extension for electronics.

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Go there and consume the whole website. Mor next week.

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Did The Car Kill Us – Maybe

There was electricity from coal before there was gasoline driven cars. Still they are a big part of the problem. As other people have pointed out we are literally forced to drive. That is not to overlook the damage that big ocean ships and airplanes. I mean, Coal, Oil, Hot Asphalt and kerosene are the Big Four of Death.

Still it is hard to deny the seduction of the gasoline internal combustion engine. I got my first one when i was 14. It was a 90 cc Honda Motorcycle and it meant freedom to me. I could go from small town to small town in central Illinois. Meet new people, make new friends for a Quarter (.25$) per Gallon of gas. In fact I met my first true love who was riding a dirt bike on a back road blacktop, on the Honda.

How was I to know how dangerous they are, and that does not include the ones killed by operating them.

.https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/was-the-automotive-era-a-terrible-mistake

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?

For a century, we’ve loved our cars. They haven’t loved us back.

The summer I was eighteen, I visited a parking lot forty-five minutes north of town and got behind the wheel for what I hoped would be the first real rite of my adulthood. I was tall, gangly, excitable. Less than a week earlier, following a brief stretch of test-taking at the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco, I had received my learner’s permit. Learning in those days seemed easy. Tests were easy. Doing—when the matter arose at all—was hard. Behind the wheel, I made a show of adjusting the mirrors, as if preparing for a ten-mile journey in reverse. I surveyed the blank pavement ahead of me and slowly slid the gear-shift from park into drive.

Cars had been my first passion. As a two-year-old, I’d learned to recognize the make of vehicles by the logo near the fender or perched on the hood. I grew to understand the people in my life according to their cars; I learned what sort of person I was from my parents’ two old Hondas, one of which, a used beige Accord, I had gone with them to buy. My father’s lingering bachelor vehicle, a rotting yellow Civic, needed to be choked awake on dewy mornings, and I’d performed that job with relish, pulling out the knob beside the steering wheel, waiting a long moment, and pushing it back. This was the late eighties. Gas prices had fallen, and the roads were knotty with cars from across the world. I no longer remember what, as a small child, I envisaged for my future, but I know that it involved moving at speed behind the wheel.

Now, all those years later, the parking lot was virtually empty of cars, and I felt a flush of reassurance. I was learning in my parents’ highly defatigable ride, a minivan with an all-plastic interior and the turning radius of a dump truck. My teacher was my father, a flawless but not wholly valiant driver, who habitually refused to drive on certain bridges in certain directions, for fear of being, as he would put it, “hypnotized” by trusses passing alongside the road. For reasons lost to time, my little sister was on board, too, in the back. I eased my foot onto the gas; the engine revved for a moment, and the van lurched.

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

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If We Plant Trees We Can Beat Climate Change – This is Bob Croteau’s solution

What they don’t tell you that you would have to plant enough trees to cover North America TWICE. That is a trillion trees. Now we could do that. The cool thing is that saplings soak up huge amounts of Carbon so we might get a decade of Global Cooling which we could use. But we would need a second solution for Ocean Acidification. I am sure we could do the acid thing eventually. Still, getting a trillion trees? Well we shall see.

https://www.dw.com/en/planting-1-trillion-trees-could-stop-climate-change-argues-study/a-49478494

News

Planting 1 trillion trees could stop climate change, argues study

Planting a massive number of trees is the most effective way to combat global warming, scientists have said. Reforesting an area the size of the United States could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions.

A report from Swiss scientists published on Thursday said an effective way to stem the catastrophic consequences of climate change would be to plant about 1 trillion trees. This would take up an area roughly the size of the United States, but there is more than enough room, according to the study published in the journal Science.

“Every other climate change solution requires that we all change our behavior, or we need some top-down decision from a politician who may or may not believe in climate change, or it’s a scientific discovery we don’t yet have,” researcher Tom Crowther told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This one is not only our most powerful solution — it’s one that every single one of us can get involved with.”

Over decades, the growing trees could suck up nearly 830 billion tons (750 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the study. That’s about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.

Crowther added, however, that while this was a cheap solution, it would not work without emissions cuts. Researchers emphasized that there are also behavioral changes that would work faster, such as cutting animal products out of one’s diet.

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Go there and read. Hope it happens in my life time. More next week.

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Democrats Want Climate Debate – Is it to late

I do not believe this article needs much comment. The Polluters may have WON. But in winning for profits have they lost for humanity, I guess I am just a little bummed today. This article was published on my birthday last year.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07617-1

NEWS

Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years

Vast ice sheet’s dramatic transformation revealed by ice cores, satellite data and climate models.

Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.

Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland’s ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature1, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.

“The melting is not just increasing — it’s accelerating,” says lead author Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. “And that’s a key concern for the future.

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Go there and cry. Imean, go there and read. More next week.

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Carbon Taxes, Will They Work – Will they work in time

Can making the world pay the true cost of dirty energy really be implemented!? What would the world do in the face of energy “riots” like what happens in congress when legislators try to pass climate legislation of any kind? One can only imagine what would happen if those protests moved to the street. That is the question this article raises.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/09/magazine/climate-change-politics-economics.html?fbclid=IwAR1g3oNMa_0ha-kjJdx1MHcjifTV2sfTW1Sj_yVGoq_4GsYuJsuDwDbnZgg

The Problem With Putting a
Price on the End of the World

Economists have workable policy ideas
for addressing climate change. But
what if they’re politically impossible?

In a Saturday afternoon in early December, inside a soaring auditorium on the campus of Stockholm University, William Nordhaus gave the crowning lecture of his half-century career as an economist. The occasion was his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in economics, which Nordhaus, a trim, soft-spoken Yale professor, had been jointly awarded. The title of the lecture was “Climate Change: The Ultimate Challenge for Economics.”

As a young professor on a sabbatical in Vienna in the mid-1970s, Nordhaus happened to share an office with an environmental researcher, who helped spark his interest in the emerging issue. While there, Nordhaus came up with the target, now famous, of holding global warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. He chose the target, as he recently explained to me, because he believed that the earth has experienced similar fluctuations before and that humans had tolerated them.

The Nobel was a tribute to the originality and influence of his work developing economic models that help people think about how to slow climate change. It also seemed to be a cri de coeur from the Swedish academics who choose the economics laureates: Climate change is a threat like no other. Fatal heat waves, droughts, wildfires and severe hurricanes are all becoming more common, and they are almost certain to accelerate. Avoiding horrific damage, as a United Nations panel of scientists recently concluded, will require changes in human behavior that have “no documented historic precedent.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Oil Sands Suck – This story gets more ghastly by the day

First a word to New York Times Magazine, I was going to run your article on Pricing Catastrophe On Apocalypse or what ever you were calling it. You however informed me that my “free articles were over” and wanted a subscription from me. Well intentioned I am sure but NO ARTICLE here for you today.

 

Anyone who has read here for long knows that I think the tar sands operations in Canada are crime against humanity. Everyone involved should be charged, tried convicted and put in jail. I personally believe it is worse than open air Nuclear Bomb Testing. Really!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/

This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing

Indigenous people and environmentalists want to prevent the expansion of Canada’s oil sands development, and the water and air pollution that come with it.

As the world’s largest industrial project, the scale of Alberta’s tar sands operations is hard to grasp. Imagine driving on a highway and to either side behind a thin screen of trees is a vast industrial landscape as far as the eye can see. Now imagine 500 miles of that highway.

If Alberta, with its population of four million people, was a country it would be the fifth largest oil producing nation. While it produces conventional oil, most comes from the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third largest proven oil reserve at 170 billion barrels.

The local and national Canadian governments are pushing to expand oil extraction operations in the vast tar sands region, which already has a footprint roughly the size of England, even as they promote action on climate change on the world stage. And although the relationships between local people and the extraction operations are complex, involving jobs and services, a growing chorus of environmentalists and indigenous people are speaking out against pollution and degradation in the oil sands. Many are digging in for a fight against proposed expansions, including a major pipeline project.

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Go there and read. Warning – Pictures are gross. More next week.

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New Mexico Goes Carbon Free – Even though it is a carbon exporter

Ironies and inconsistancies abound here. But the sentiment and the LAW are a good thing. Maybe because the inconsistancies about. If every State did this the world would be a better place. The World is changing. Jump on board.

.https://www.nrdc.org/experts/noah-long/new-mexicos-energy-transition-heads-governor

New Mexico Passes 100% Clean Energy Bill

New Mexico’s legislature passed the Energy Transition Act this week and because it is supported by the state’s Governor, it’s expected to become law. This law will put the state on course to lead the nation in renewable energy.

The bill will double renewable energy use in the state by 2025, require 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon free electricity generation by 2045. This means New Mexico can quickly transition from dependence on fossil fuels for electricity to joining other states to lead a new clean energy economy.  Our recent analysis also shows that it would spur immediate economic benefits and job growth as well as pollution reduction and health benefits.

The bill responds to the economic changes brought about by the decline of coal power. New Mexico’s largest coal plants are no longer economic and the utilities, both in state and around the region, are closing them down. By directing new investment in the community where these plants will close and ensuring replacement power will also be located there, the new law will help mitigate the tax base loss and spur new clean energy jobs. It also sets new standards for energy generation projects to ensure increasing apprenticeship opportunities, helping make sure New Mexican’s have opportunities for good paying clean energy jobs.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Leave It In The Ground – A Global Warming strategy gaining ground

Fossil fuels and their burning to generate energy for work, like gasoline in an internal combustion engine in your typical automobile is killing this planet. Humans have used our atmosphere as an open sewer for as long as we can with out killing our species off. Yes if we leave it in the ground it will cause radical changes in our lives and our economy. NO we will not huddle in the cold and the dark. But even if we did is it better to be dead?

https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/02/22/inevitable-death-natural-gas-bridge-fuel-renewables

The Inevitable Death of Natural Gas as a ‘Bridge Fuel’

Read time: 11 mins

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city is scrapping plans for a multi-billion-dollar update to three natural gas power plants, instead choosing to invest in renewable energy and storage.

This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The climate crisis demands that we move more quickly to end dependence on fossil fuel, and that’s what today is all about.”

Last year America’s carbon emissions rose over 3 percent, despite coal plants closing and being replaced in part by natural gas, the much-touted “bridge fuel” and “cleaner” fossil fuel alternative.

As a new series from the sustainability think tank the Sightline Institute points out, the idea of natural gas as a bridge fuel is “alarmingly deceptive.”

But signs are emerging that, despite oil and gas industry efforts to shirk blame for the climate crisis and promote gas as part of a “lower-carbon fuel mix,” the illusion of natural gas as a bridge fuel is starting to crumble.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Germany Ditches Coal – Is it a model for the rest of the world

It is one thing for Germans in power to say they are giving up using coal. It is another thing to do it. It is another thing to get people to go along with it. I saw nothing about massive retraining programs or massive building projects but still I have always said “Green is Good for the economy”. We shall see if that is true. I say HURRAY.

https://www.apnews.com/1e6872051a0649409e97d6ee6e1d71dd

AP Explains: How Germany hopes to quit using coal

January 25, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Germany wants to stop using coal, a major source of the carbon emissions that drive climate change. But finding the least disruptive way to get there has been a challenge.

A big question is not only when the last mines and power plants will close down, but how quitting coal can be done without generating drawn-out protests or harming the German economy.

A government-appointed panel of experts is poised to offer recommendations. Despite months of deliberations, the panel remained undecided on key issues ahead of a key meeting on Friday .  A short guide to the stakes at play and some proposed solutions:

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Go Germany. Go there and read. More next week.

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More Americans Fear Climate Change – But they won’t pay anything to stop it

I have mixed feelings about this article. On one level the Corporations and the international concerns that are most responsible for Global Warming should be MADE to pay the price. Very little should be paid by Common People. Still Common People drive cars, heat their homes and work in places that pollute so they should pay a little. It’s the willingness to pay that bothers me. We should all be pulling in this together.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/do-most-americans-believe-climate-change-polls-say-yes/580957/

A surging number of Americans understand that climate change is happening and believe that it could harm their family and the country, according to a new poll from Yale and George Mason University.

But at the same time, Americans are not any more willing to pay money to fight climate change than they were three years ago, says another new poll, conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago.

The polls suggest that public opinion about climate change is in a state of upheaval. Even as President Donald Trump has cast doubt on climate change, most Americans have rejected his position. Record numbers of Americans describe climate change as a real and present danger. Nearly a quarter of the country says they already see its tidings in their day-to-day life, saying “personal observations of weather” helped convince them of climate change’s reality.

Despite this increasing acceptance, there is no clear political path forward. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” were needed to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius. Such a transformation would be, in other words, expensive. But almost 70 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t pay $10 every month to help cool the warming planet.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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