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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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.

Want To Save The Planet – Block the sun

It is a short article. So I will be brief. This is a film that reduces solar absorption by 10%. Combine that with a white roof and you got some major savings. Plus you dampen green house gases at the same time. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/12/heat-rejecting-film-reduce-air-conditioning/

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

It blocks 70 percent of incoming solar heat.

Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb that trend. It remains highly transparent up to 89 degrees F (32 degrees Celsius), but beyond that, it becomes translucent like frosted glass. As a result, it reflects back up to 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat, reducing interior temperatures and the load on your air conditioner.

To maximize heat blocking, the researchers inserted tiny water-filled spheres into a standard poly material. At temperatures starting around 85 degree F, the spheres start to shrink, squeezing out the liquid and forcing the poly fibers closer together. That gives the glass a frosted appearance, blocking 70 percent of the incoming heat while still letting a lot of visible light through.

Such films have been tried before but didn’t block heat that well. The MIT and Hong Kong teams realized that the water filled spheres needed to match the wavelength of infrared light responsible for most solar heating. After expanding the bubble size to 500 nanometers, the film became a much more effective heat-blocker.

MIT heat-rejecting film

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Google this if you want extra. Go there and reat the uplinks. More next week.

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The Economic Civil War In America – Rich white guys face off

It turns out that it is rich white progressives verses rich white recessivesthat is politically rivening this country. This leaves all of us in the middle angry and confused. I disagree with Buffet on this one, but I see why he is fighting the fight.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/north-america/warren-buffett-and-casino-boss-sheldon-adelson-clash-in-nevada-over-electricity-20181030-h17bc5

Warren Buffett and casino boss Sheldon Adelson clash in Nevada over electricity

by Trevor Hunnicutt

New York | Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investor Warren Buffett are set for a desert showdown over electricity next week as the two billionaires’ interests collide on election ballots in Nevada.

At issue in the November 6 election is the cost and control of power from the neon lights shining on the Las Vegas Strip to the state’s gold mines.

A measure supported by Republican donor Adelson, who is also Las Vegas Sands Corp’s chairman, would force state legislators to break up control over much of the state’s electricity in effect held by a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NV Energy. It would allow customers to choose their own power provider by 2023.

Buffett has supported liberal causes and backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unlike previous western duels, both sides in Nevada are showing up with cash. The energy tussle is shaping up as one of the more costly of an election season in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of at least one chamber of US Congress from Republicans.

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Go there and decide for yourself. More next week.:

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Electricity In Illinois Can Be Progressive – But you gotta work at it

I got this email from Paul Berland about electricity and I thought i would post it in its entirety. I make no claims about it’s accuracy and I only know that it applies in Elgin, but still it is pretty cool. Way To Go Paul.

[Frack-FreeIL] Re: Illinois 100% Green Electricity Providers at Same Cost as Non-Green
Yahoo/Inbox
Paul Berland pnb3210@gmail.com [Frack-FreeIL] <Frack-FreeIL@yahoogroups.com>
To:ILClimateActivists Chat,ILClimateActivists_SOIL,frack free IL,chicagolandoilbyrail@googlegroups.com,Earl Silbar
Sep 19 at 12:49 PM
Hey all,

 
I just learned of a great new promotional offer from nrg (nrghomepower.com/service-areas) at around 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind electricity.  This promotion only lasts for another 2 weeks so you need to call Shay within the next 2 weeks if you want this offer.  The offer of 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind energy lasts for 3 months but the sales person said after 3 months you can call their main number (855-500-8703) and ask for a lower rate.  If you want to get on board with this promotion, call Shay at 630-965-4072.  
 
Paul


On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM Paul Berland <pnb3210@gmail.com> wrote:
On Google Docs in this folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HxNONAmKNRz2R5zw2Y0W8n3ar9IIeowtThere is a spreadsheet that can be maintained by the environmentally progressive Illinois community (currently editable by IL Climate Activists members) which shows 100% renewable electricity providers that are below or at comparable costs to non-green electricity providers.
(Painful note: if you modify or edit this spreadsheet, it will immediately be saved to a file in the same folder with a different file name and link.  You will have to manually delete the old spreadsheet and rename the spreadsheet that was auto-created to the spreadsheet with the same name to maintain a single community spreadsheet. This little difficulty was gifted to us courtesy of mega-corporations Google and Microsoft who love to make our lives difficult so they can continue to make money off of IT jobs.  If your IT skills are low, then you can E-mail suggested changes to me and I could update the spreadsheet).
In Illinois, we all have the option of choosing our electricity provider and the freedom to choose a 100% green renewable energy provider (go to the link https://pluginillinois.org to review your options and potentially change your provider).  In fact, some of these providers are even honest enough to provide this electricity at below the regular rate that is provided for non-green energies (such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, etc.)  In particular, please make note of the following electricity providers that can offer rates below or equivalent to current rates provided by non-green suppliers:
1. Verde Energy USA (cheaper than market rate when you take into account rebate)
2. Oasis Energy (only spending about $1.50 more per month than current market rate for 100% renewable energy guaranteed for 18 months)
3. Clearview Energy (used to be the best deal but their prices are going up)
4. National Gas & Electric (flat out cheaper than ComEd for 3-6 months guaranteed)
Note that the market fluctuates month-to-month.  The hope is that we can maintain this spreadsheet as the market fluctuates.  This spreadsheet came about as the result of collaboration between Elgin Green Groups 350 members.
See also these links which prove that 100% renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, and responsible bio-mass) is now cheaper than coal and nuclear and will also soon be cheaper than natural gas electricity production as well:

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Go to the sites and read the offers. More next week.  Oh never mind I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Bye.

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Carbon Tax – The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board thinks it is a really good idea

The Carbon Tax is long overdue nationally, though California’s seems to be chugging right along. But think how far we have come – worse yet, think how far down the tubes we must be that the Chicago Tribune, as an entity, is advocating for it. Read it and weep, either for joy or sadness.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-carbon-tax-epa-climate-20180702-story.html

Editorial:

A carbon tax that could put money in your pocket

Editorial Board  Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

The indications of a warming world are numerous and hard to miss. Last year was the third-warmest year on record for both the planet and the United States — exceeded only by 2015 and 2016. In June, scientists reported that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992 — yielding “enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet,” the Associated Press reported.

The indications of inaction on the subject are also abundant and visible. Last year, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ease regulations on power plants and motor vehicles that were integral to the Obama administration’s efforts to slow climate change.

Bipartisan action – once a normal response to environmental harms – is not on the agenda for Congress or the White House. But a growing group of farsighted pragmatists are nonetheless trying to find a middle ground between the entrenched adversaries.

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Go there and read. Google much more. 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.

Small Houses For Vets – Why not small houses for all the homeless

Don’t get me wrong. I think this is really good and really good work as well. But housing as seems obvious is the solution to homelessness. So why not house all the homeless in small houses. Hell for that matter house all the poor people that want them in small houses.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article197241499.html

Thirteen homeless veterans got a look Monday at the furnished tiny houses they will call home for the next six to 12 months. The Veterans Community Project also got a chance to show the public the first phase of the “Veterans Village” taking shape. – Shelly Yang, The Kansas City Star
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‘Housing with dignity’: First 13 homeless veterans to move into tiny houses in KC

January 29, 2018 02:12 PM

Updated January 29, 2018 03:12 PM

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Replacement Batteries For EV – The Secondary Markets are developing

I haven’t written or posted about environmentally sound cars, but this article caught my eye. Having robust Secondary and Tertiary markets means that EVs are here to stay and will eventually conquer the market.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116722_nissan-begins-offering-rebuilt-leaf-battery-packs

Nissan begins offering rebuilt Leaf battery packs

Starting this month, Nissan has begun offering rebuilt battery packs for the older Leafs, filling a gap for drivers of older cars whose packs have begun to run down.

The company built a new facility in Japan to rebuild the packs, and will sell them for about $2,850 (based on the price in Japan), according to Inside EVs. A Nissan spokesman told Green Car Reports that the company is investigating offering the program in the United States, but has not yet made a decision.

Electric car repair trainer Craig Van Batenburg, of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the refurbished battery packs are new among electric carmakers. Previously, older battery packs had to be replaced with new ones, which cost more than $6,500 (minus a $1,000 trade-in, or core charge, on the old battery pack.)

The cost covers the 24-kwh battery pack in the original Leaf, which was rated at only 73 miles of range when new.

Owners of early Leafs had problems with the cars losing range after only a year or two in hot climates such as Phoenix, Arizona.

READ THIS: Nissan Buys Back Leaf Electric Cars Under Arizona Lemon Law [2012]

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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California Demands Solar In New Housing – Only 49 to go

I have been at a loss for words for the last month. Things are going so well. I know Dotard is still President and many things are seriously messed up. But on the alternative energy front things just keep getting better and better. Don Blankenship actually made a fool out of himself and lost a primary vote for the Senate in West Virginia. Next week I may even get to report that Yucca Mountain is open for business. But for now, California hits one out of the park.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-panels-20180509-story.html

 

California regulators approve mandate for solar panels on new houses

California regulators on Wednesday mandated that all newly built single family houses have solar panels, part of the state’s aggressive push to combat climate change.

The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature.

The requirement is expected to save consumers money in the long run through reduced utility bills, but also make a new house more expensive to purchase at a time many families already struggle to afford a mortgage.

In addition to the solar mandate, the commission approved new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. In all, the new residential requirements are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, but save $19,000 in reduced utility bills over a 30-year period, according to the Energy Commission.

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Go there and do a happy dance – I mean read. More next week

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