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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COAL – The gift that keeps on giving .. death

I have a severe head cold this week and last so I will be brief. The negative effects of burning coal will be with us for at least 100 years. Maybe more if humans make it that far.

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20181128/report-groundwater-contamination-at-coal-fired-power-plants-across-illinois

Report: Groundwater contamination at coal-fired power plants across Illinois

Coal ash disposal sites throughout Illinois, including at City Water, Light and Power’s Dallman Power Station in Springfield, have contaminated surrounding groundwater supplies, according to a report released Wednesday by a consortium of environmental groups.

CWLP officials responded that the city’s ash ponds do not pose a risk to Springfield’s water supply.

The report’s results are based on data sets made public for the first time earlier this year as part of new federal regulations of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power generation that is commonly stored in unlined ponds or landfills near the plants. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club found toxic pollutants emanating from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites for which the data became available in March.

The coalition called for new legislative standards that would protect groundwater and regulate the closure of coal ash ponds to be drafted next year.

“Illinois needs to act now to strengthen rules that protect the public from coal ash,” said Andrew Rehn, a water resources engineer from Prairie Rivers Network. “We’re reaching a turning point as Energy companies are proposing to leave coal ash in floodplains of rivers and exposed to groundwater. We need stronger rules that provide permanent protection with a financial guarantee and give the public a voice in these decisions.”

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Go there and read. More next week if I live.

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We Waste 2/3rds Of The Energy We Generate – This is Tragic

America is in a double bind. We have some of the best energy research and technology in the world. But when we try to talk to the rest of the world about Climate Change. We look like FOOLS.

 

 

Op-Ed Contributors

Why Is America Wasting So Much Energy?

By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh

Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.

America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency, behind several European nations, China and Japan.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Energy efficiency is one of the most powerful resources we have for meeting our energy and environmental goals. It is also an enormous economic opportunity.

Setting aside the significant environmental impact, this energy waste costs American businesses and households billions of dollars every year. In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.

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So SAD. Go there and read. More next week.

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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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FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

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Saudis Plan 200 GW Solar Power Plant – Twice as big as Chicago

Solar and Wind Power are on a huge tear. This is both in price, where coal is dead and natural gas is getting iffy. But in terms of availability and cutting edge technology. I see a future where generating electricity through renewables may be a same day thing and cheap as dirt. I know I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.

By the way, some people say that size doesn’t matter. I ain’t one of those.

SOLAR BLANKET

What Saudi Arabia’s 200 GW solar power plant would look like—if placed in your neighborhood

Obsession

Energy Shocks

April 01, 2018

Saudi Arabia has a plan to wean its economy off oil. In the biggest sign of what the future of the Gulf state would look like, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese multinational Softbank to build 200 GW of solar power by 2030 at a cost of $200 billion.

These are eye-popping numbers. If built, that solar-power plant will be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant operating today. It would more than triple Saudi Arabia’s capacity to produce electricity, from about 77 GW today.

With current technology, solar panels capable of generating 200 GW would likely cover 5,000 sq km—an area larger than the the world’s largest cities.

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No it is not an April’s Joke. Go there and read. More next week.

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Good News At Fukushima – Looks like they will start removing spent fuel rods

I do not believe in always presenting “bad news” about any given subject. Do I post happy news about coal? Not very often. Do I post good things about oil drilling? Not much. How about great stories about Nukes? No. But when a bad situation gets better, especially of the scope of what has gone on in Japan. Hell goods is hard not to report. Few people realize that removing the spent fuel rods from all three reactors is at least half the job.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/worst-hit-reactor-at-fukushima-may-be-easiest-to-clean/article_e1bd8254-2e1c-5345-80e3-70b298e6ad86.amp.html

Worst-hit reactor at Fukushima may be easiest to clean up

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust.

Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant.

The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year.

It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin.

“If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit.

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

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Solar Panel Tariff Is Dumb – But then again look who issued the Executive Order

People have always said the Donald Trump was smart as a fox. Or that his antics distract from what he really wants, and that he ALways gets what he wants. It has even been said that he is like a major league hitter who whiffs sometimes but hits out of the park enough to have a great average. I think he is just a dumb ass with a lot of money to cover up his mistakes. This is such a doozy that ain’t no mount of money gonna make up for it. Even the conservatives agree.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/455704/solar-panel-washer-tariffs-trump-tariffs-hurt-consumers

The Corner The one and only. ‘Taking Us to the Cleaners’

by Veronique de Rugy January 24, 2018 1:36 PM

The title of this post comes from the great Don Boudreaux, professor of economics and a free-trade warrior, over at Cafe Hayek.

It is the perfect soundbite to the Trump administration’s decision to impose a penalty on Americans who buy foreign-made solar panels and washers. The administration, of course, doesn’t call it that. Instead, it calls it a 30 percent tariff of solar panels and imported washers to protect our domestic manufactures.

Here is what the the solar protection looks like: ” The solar trade protection — which applies to solar panels as well as cells, the piece of equipment that converts sunlight into electricity — is a 30% tariff in the first year, declining to 15% by a fourth year. The first 2.5 gigawatts of cells imported annually is exempt from the tariff.”

This is a perfect example of the profound deficiencies in the process that leads to applying a tariff, which I wrote about last week. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The solar tariff is a response to a petition filed at the International Trade Commission by two U.S.-based manufacturers — Chinese-owned Suniva, which filed for bankruptcy last year, and German-owned SolarWorld Americas, whose parent company filed for bankruptcy last year.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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UIS Has A New Student Union – It is Green as all get out

I am a graduate of Sangamon State University. What is now University of Illinois Springfield. They just build a Student Union and I am so proud of it. It could be LEED certified and it is student centered. Our Student Union was in a temporary building 0n the temporary campus “down the hill”. This is just so cool.

Strategic Design of the UIS Student Union

This is the part I like:

Environmentally Excellent

UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council), both for the sake of the environment and in order to take advantage of energy saving measures. For this reason, the building will have a green, or “living,” roof with vegetation and a growing medium over a sloped membrane. This roof will provide insulation, help to lower air temperatures, and last much longer than other roofs—50 to 60 years rather than the 20 to 30 years most roofs last. The vegetation will most likely include wildflowers that will change throughout the growing season, adding to the building’s beauty.

To reduce storm runoff and eliminate water irrigation, the Student Union will have a rainwater reclamation system that takes advantage of the roof’s slope. Also in consideration of LEED approvals, lighting will be designed to meet the USGBC’s very stringent requirements.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I Have Prostate Cancer – I just had radioactive seed implant surgery

Yes I know it is ironic that a total anti-atomic energy advocate has some shoved up his butt. Yet I am hoping good things will come of. What I can honestly say is sitting here is painful. So no post this week.

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More next week.

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