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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Fires IN The Arctic – Need I say more

Well. I would say, They’re Here! To paraphrase the famous movies.See when I started to talk about green house gases and then global warming a little later it was always in the future tense. Like 2050 or 2040 but the god awful truth is that, the ruinous effects are here. Now. They are escalating.

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/unprecedented-wildfires-arctic

Unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic

12

Published

12 July 2019

Unusually hot and dry conditions in parts of the northern hemisphere have been conducive to fires raging from the Mediterranean to – in particular – the Arctic. Climate change, with rising temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, is amplifying the risk of wildfires and prolonging the season.

WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme has released a short animation which highlights the risks and explains how advances in satellite technology make it possible to detect and monitor fire dangers. Improving forecasting systems is important for predictions and warnings around fire danger and related air pollution hazards.

In addition to the direct threat from burning, wildfires also release harmful pollutants including particulate matter and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere.

Particles and gases from burning biomass can be carried over long distances, affecting air quality in regions far away.

Heatwaves fuel fires

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Go there and read. More next week – if we are still here.

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Energy Efficiency In The Home – A fan sends me an excellent guide

I know it has been a while since I have put anything up about Residential Energy  Use, which is where this BLOG started out but we get requests from organizations to get a plug and so here you go.

Tyler <tyler@greenteensclub.org>
To:info@censys.org
Aug 7 at 1:01 PM

Hi there,

My name is Tyler and I’m a member of GreenTeensClub. We’re spreading resources that help make our planet a little healthier, like this home energy efficiency guide: https://www.basementguides.com/basement-and-home-energy/

I think your site is a great place to share this resource: http://censys.org/date/2015/05

The page includes the biggest culprits of energy waste in a home, tips for locating the source of energy-waste issues, and how to lower your bills while reducing your footprint.

Please help us spread awareness of the importance of making homes more energy efficient. Even if we only get a few people to make minor changes, then we’ve made a huge difference.

Thanks!
Tyler

GreenTeensClub

Basement And Home Energy

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Go there and read. More 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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Openly Embracing Climate Change – That is the Bitcoin way

Now I know. The Tech companies and the Cloud companies are all in on alternative energy sources. For that matter so is Walmart for god’s sake. Nonetheless. Companies using as much energy as a small country? Really? If nothing else it just looks bad.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/4/20682109/bitcoin-energy-consumption-annual-calculation-cambridge-index-cbeci-country-comparison

Bitcoin consumes more energy than Switzerland, according to new estimate

21 comments

Though researchers acknowledge that reliable estimates are ‘rare’

Bitcoin consumes more energy than the entire nation of Switzerland, according to new estimates published by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

An online tool that launched this week called the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI, estimates how much energy is needed to maintain the Bitcoin network in real time, before using this to calculate its annual energy usage.

Currently, the CBECI says the global Bitcoin network is consuming more than seven gigwatts of electricity. Over the course of a year that’s equal to around 64 TWh or terawatt hours of energy consumption. That’s more than the country of Switzerland uses over the same time period (58 TWh per year), but less than Colombia (68 TWh per year).

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Go there and read. 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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Nuclear Power In China – The new frontier

OK. It never fails to be true. The Nuclear Power Industry always has “A new safer problem free” Nuclear Reactor, and it never is true. But they sold China, and I am sure they are trying with India. Look out! South America and South Africa.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-france-nuclear/china-launches-worlds-first-epr-nuclear-project-in-taishan-idUSKBN1OD0Y4

China launches world’s first EPR nuclear project in Taishan

BEIJING (Reuters) – The world’s first third-generation “Evolutionary Power Reactor” (EPR) has gone into operation at Taishan in China’s Guangdong province, the French and Chinese developers behind the project announced on Friday.

The 1,750-megawatt EPR, formerly known as the “European Pressurised Reactor” and designed by France’s Areva, completed a 168-hour trial run on Thursday evening, said state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN).

Its commercial launch can be “a source of inspiration” for other next-generation reactors, Guo Limin, general manager of the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company, said at a press briefing in Beijing.

World’s second EPR nuclear reactor starts work in China

A next-generation EPR nuclear reactor in China has carried out its first chain reaction, French energy giant EDF announced Wednesday, becoming the second using the much-delayed European technology to reach the milestone.

The fission reaction at the Taishan 2 reactor on Tuesday follows the Taishan 1 becoming last year the first of its kind to advance to the operational stage.

“The was authorised and yesterday the Chinese reactor carried out a for the first time,” EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday.

As a side note, if you are interested in a Guide To Solar Power, the replacement for nukes. Please look here.

https://www.flexible-solar-panel.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-solar-energy/

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Go to all of those places and read. More next week.

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Xcel Dumps Coal – But where are the renewables

It is sad that a corporation bets on nukes and not renewables and alternatives. Corporations are dumb and if they refuse to react to market changes then they shall be slain on their nukes…So be it.

 

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/xcel-energy-accelerates-coal-plant-closures-to-meet-100-clean-energy-goal

Regulation & Policy

Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures but Extends Nuclear Window

The utility struck a deal with environmental and labor groups in the Upper Midwest that will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions while easing job losses related to coal plant retirements.

Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040 — the latest step in the eight-state utility’s plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed early closures are part of its Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which Xcel expects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July. If approved, it will allow Xcel to cut its carbon emissions in the state by 80 percent compared to 2005 levels. That’s a key metric from Xcel’s companywide zero-carbon goals announced in December, up from its previous target of 60 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as part of a settlement agreement with environmental and labor groups, meant both to boost clean energy alternatives and help ease the job and economic losses when the Allen S. King coal power plant in Bayport, Minnesota closes by 2028 and the Sherco 3 coal-fired generator in Becker, Minnesota closes by 2030.

Under the agreement, Xcel would proceed with plans to buy the Mankato Energy Center natural-gas plant. But its plans to build a new natural-gas power plant, as well as extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear plant past its 2030 expiration until at least 2040, are being opposed by some environmental groups.

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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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This Is How A Dying Industry Behaves – They try to steal every dime they can get before they fail

Next up, they will try to get the government to by their excess capacity. Oh They  already ARE, through Nuclear subsidies.

https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/blog/

A thing called capacity—and why it could be devastating to our power bills

When CUB threw its support behind the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the watchdog said one of the biggest reasons is an ongoing battle with fossil fuel generators in a special electricity market called the capacity market. If we don’t do something, this could cost most electric customers in the state up to $500 million a year in higher electric bills.

You may not know it, but EVERYONE pays for “capacity” on their electric bills. Here’s what you need to know—and why you should support the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

What is capacity?

Not only do you pay for the power you use now, but you also pay for power you could use in the future. Capacity refers to extra payments consumers give power plant operators for the commitment to have enough electricity available if demand suddenly spikes. (Think of a hot summer afternoon, when everyone blasts the AC.)

The PJM power grid stretches from Illinois to the East Coast.

The price for capacity for ComEd customers is determined through auctions run by PJM Interconnection, the power grid operator for northern Illinois and all or part of 12 other states and Washington, D.C.. (Ameren’s market is run by a different power grid operator.)

How does capacity affect my bill?
For most customers, capacity charges are embedded in the electricity supply charge on your power bill. While actual electricity prices have been relatively low in recent years, capacity has become a bigger and bigger part of your bill, and is now roughly 21 percent of the supply charge, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. (By the way, alternative energy suppliers as well as ComEd buy electricity on this market. So you won’t escape capacity charges by changing suppliers.)

CUB has long said that capacity market rules are stacked against consumers, causing us to pay higher bills for more capacity than we actually need. But a new plan pushed by PJM and fossil fuel generators could make it even worse.

Why do generators want to change the rules?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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