Ban Cars! Ban Cars! Ban Cars! – We will try anyway

It seems really weird that we all started out on bikes after horses and before cars were really affordable. There was a real love affair with bikes in the modern urban environment around the 1900s. Especially women who had never been allowed to get about. Bikes came on strong before mores or laws could be erected (so to speak) and women just went bonkers. Now every envirofreak (no offense intended) wants to go back to them. We shall see. We shall see.

The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

As automakers promise to get rid of internal combustion engines, Heidelberg is trying to get rid of autos.

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Eckart Würzner, a mayor on a mission to make his city emission free, is not terribly impressed by promises from General Motors, Ford and other big automakers to swear off fossil fuels.

Not that Mr. Würzner, the mayor of Heidelberg, is against electric cars. The postcard-perfect city, in southern Germany, gives residents who buy a battery-powered vehicle a bonus of up to 1,000 euros, or $1,200. They get another €1,000 if they install a charging station.

But electric cars are low on the list of tools that Mr. Würzner is using to try to cut Heidelberg’s impact on the climate, an effort that has given the city, home to Germany’s oldest university and an 800-year-old castle ruin, a reputation as a pioneer in environmentally conscious urban planning.

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Go the read – once you catch your breath. More next week.

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The United States All IN On Climate Change – I never thought I would say that

And yet, Here is an article about how Joe Biden could do it once he becomes President. As Earther says, this list is neither exhaustive nor does it include solutions that can be applied to all agencies. It is a great START.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/how-biden-can-ensure-every-federal-agency-is-fighting-c-1845701534?utm_source=digg

How Biden Can Ensure Every Federal Agency Is Fighting Climate Change

President-elect Joe Biden has an unprecedented opportunity to walk the U.S.—and perhaps the world—back from the brink on climate change. After four years of harmful deregulation, his work is cut out for him.

But to truly address climate change will require more than simply repealing President Donald Trump’s rollbacks and maybe strengthening a few rules on power plant emissions before calling it a day. Because climate change is an everything problem, the entire and considerable weight of the federal government will need to be thrown into addressing it. Like rowing competition, the race to address climate change can only be won if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

This “all of government” response to the crisis at hand is the only way to ensure a shot at keeping the globe from heating up more than the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) goal outlined in the Paris Agreement, to say nothing of the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) target outlined in a landmark United Nations report. Over the next four years, Biden will have to center climate change at every agency, from the obvious ones like the Environmental Protection Agency to others like the Department of Education and Treasury.

Earther has pulled together ideas and actions federal agencies can take to address climate change, based on conversations with dozens of experts who know the federal government’s levers of power and how to pull them so that they’re all geared to lower emissions. The ideas below are not exhaustive nor do they include solutions that can be applied at all agencies such as installing climate advocates at all levels, using procurement to electrify the government vehicle fleet, and diversifying the workforce so that new problem solvers are welcomed into the fold. But they do represent some of the best ones out there for how to get the ship turned quickly.

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Go there and rejoice. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Do Not Equal Happiness – It takes a change of MIND to be HAPPY

A little house for me is 800 square feet. That’s what my wife and I have if you discount the storage space and the plant room in the basement. During the spring, summer, and fall months, we spend a lot of time outdoors in are yard or up until March doing other things in other spaces. Whether its an apartment or a rental house, that’s pretty much the way I have always been. Whether there were one of me or two of us.

The idea that small is better has always seemed to be suspect to me. Anyway, here is one take on the down side of a Tiny House. And yes, I still believe Small is Beautiful.

 

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/tiny-houses-look-marvellous-but-have-a-dark-side-three-things-they-don-t-tell-you-on-marketing-blurb?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Pocket Worthy   –  Stories to fuel your mind.

Tiny Houses Look Marvellous but Have a Dark Side

Three things they don’t tell you in marketing blurb.

The Conversation

  • Megan Carras

Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.

Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.

I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disney World. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way.

 

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I am sure there are thousands of people that are happy with their Tiny Houses. Go there and read. More next week.

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I Never Believed In Godzilla – You know radioactive monsters

Chernobyl and Fukushima released a lot of radiation. People died from the severe radiation released just after the accident, but “mild” consistent radiation is not dangerous to animals though it may have mild effects on adults and bigger effects on children. But the idea that a major radiation release would create one eyed giant humans or fire breathing dragons like wadzzilla is really remote. The fear of radiation has done some pretty amazing things for the environment, however.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/8-facts-about-the-animals-of-chernobyl?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Pocket worthy Stories to fuel your mind.

8 Facts About the Animals of Chernobyl

Researchers thought the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was unable to support life. But a bunch of wolves, deer, wild boars, bears, and foxes disagree.

Mental Floss

  • Claudia Dimuro

Three decades after the Chernobyl disaster—the world’s worst nuclear accident—signs of life are returning to the exclusion zone. Wild animals in Chernobyl are flourishing within the contaminated region; puppies roaming the area are capturing the hearts of thousands. Tourists who have watched the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl are taking selfies with the ruins. Once thought to be forever uninhabitable, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has become a haven for flora and fauna that prove that life, as they say in Jurassic Park, finds a way.

1. The Animals of Chernobyl Survived Against All Odds

The effects of the radioactive explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 devastated the environment. Around the plant and in the nearby city of Pripyat in Ukraine, the Chernobyl disaster’s radiation caused the leaves of thousands of trees to turn a rust color, giving a new name to the surrounding woods—the Red Forest. Workers eventually bulldozed and buried the radioactive trees. Squads of Soviet conscripts also were ordered to shoot any stray animals within the 1000-square-mile Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Though experts today believe parts of the zone will remain unsafe for humans for another 20,000 years, numerous animal and plant species not only survived, but thrived.

2. Bears and Wolves Outnumber Humans Around the Chernobyl Disaster Site

While humans are strictly prohibited from living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, many other species have settled there. Brown bears, wolves, lynx, bison, deer, moose, beavers, foxes, badgers, wild boar, raccoon dogs, and more than 200 species of birds have formed their own ecosystem within the Chernobyl disaster area. Along with the larger animals, a variety of amphibians, fish, worms, and bacteria makes the unpopulated environment their home.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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We Can Make A Change – If we all pull together we can make big change

Periodically I try to be up beat. With the Pandemic and all the doom coming out of the environmental community I thought I would say, “We can do things together”! The place to start is small. Ride your bike. Recycle and reduce your garbage. Compost. Walk places when you can. Take the steps not the elevator. I do all of those things and everyday I try to think of more things I can do. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the things we can achieve. Stay safe out there.

What lifestyle changes will shrink your carbon footprint the most?

Three years ago, Kim Cobb was feeling “completely overwhelmed” by the problem of climate change. Cobb spends her days studying climate change as director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, but she felt paralyzed over how to be part of the solution in her personal life. The barriers felt immense.

She decided to start small. On January 1, 2017, she made a personal climate resolution: She would walk her kids to school and bicycle to work two days a week. That change didn’t represent a lot in terms of carbon emissions, she says, “but it was a huge lesson in daily engagement.”

In the beginning, her modest goal seemed daunting, but she quickly discovered that the two simple activities nourished her physical and mental well-being. She wanted to do them every day. “It’s no longer for the carbon — it’s for the fact that I genuinely love riding my bike and walking my kids to school,” she says. And that made her wonder: What other steps was she thinking of as sacrifices that might actually enrich her life?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I Am Not Having Kids – Some people get way to carried away with environment issues

There are people that live their lives to right environmental wrongs. Then there are people who live their lives according environmental principles. Sometimes the two meet in a happy medium. Then there are people who over do it. To those people I say stop. (no exclamation mark) Don’t be vegetarian to “save the planet”. It will not. Don’t have children to make the “world a better place”. It will not. Do those things if they make you feel good and you will have a better life. But if you want to have 3 kids- and you can love them and afford them,  then do that thing.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/2/13/21132013/climate-change-children-kids-anti-natalism

Having fewer kids will not save the climate

Some say you shouldn’t have children in the era of climate change. Don’t buy it.

A growing contingent of young people are refusing to have kids — or are considering having fewer kids — because of climate change. Their voices have been growing louder over the past year. UK women set up a movement called BirthStrike, announcing that they won’t procreate until the world gets its act together on climate, and high-profile US figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez amplified the question of whether childbearing is still morally acceptable.

One of the main worries cited by this contingent is that having a child will make climate change worse. Their logic is that anytime you have a kid you’re doing something bad for the planet. You’re adding yet another person who’ll cause more carbon emissions, plus their children, plus their grandchildren … and so on, in a never-ending cascade of procreative shame.

Driving this logic are studies claiming to show that having a child leads to a gargantuan amount of carbon emissions — way, way more than the emissions generated by other lifestyle choices, like driving a car or eating meat. Media reports have trumpeted the takeaway that if you want to fight climate change, having fewer children is far and away the best thing you can do.

But that’s just not true, according to a new report by Founders Pledge, an organization that guides entrepreneurs committed to donating a portion of their proceeds to effective charities.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Louisiana Is Drowning In Toxic Pollution – Propublica chronicles it all

This is kinda funny because my blog is an accumulator blog and these guys are the maximum accumulators. Having lived in New Orleans for 12 years you can smell it, you can taste and there are days when you just should stay inside. Then there is the urban detritus, it rained 110 inches one year and the flooding was horrid. Walking through the water everyday I faced motor oil, gasoline and even used syringes.

https://www.propublica.org/series/polluters-paradise

Polluter’s Paradise

Environmental Impact in Louisiana

The petrochemical industry has grown in Louisiana, with more plants on the way, but the state’s environmental regulations haven’t kept up.

the first Article:

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-oil-companies-avoided-environmental-accountability-after-10.8-million-gallons-spilled

How Oil Companies Avoided Environmental Accountability After 10.8 Million Gallons Spilled

Louisiana still hasn’t finished investigating 540 oil spills after Hurricane Katrina. The state is likely leaving millions of dollars in remediation fines on the table — money that environmental groups say they need as storms get stronger.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, while stranded New Orleanians flagged down helicopters from rooftops and hospitals desperately triaged patients, crude oil silently gushed from damaged drilling rigs and storage tanks.

Given the human misery set into motion by Katrina, the harm these spills caused to the environment drew little attention. But it was substantial.

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Go there and read at least 15 articles. More next week.

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We Are Going Over The Climate Cliff – At least these people are trying

Natural Gas will be the death of us. Let me repeat that. Natural Gas will be the death of us. Why? Because Capitalists will sell it as a bridge to renewables and humans will die half way across the bridge. Let’s be honest, METHANE is a much more corrosive long lasting green house gas. While using natural gas will decrease the Volume of green houses gases. It will speed up Climate Change. Humans do not want to face up to what is killing us – Greed sped on by a pernicious economic system. If we stopped venting green house gases tomorrow it would be a 100 years before the effects wore off. We are not stopping today, are we?

Illinois offering affordable solar installation for low-income housing

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Greta Thunberg – I can’t say it better or louder

In the past 12 years I have never posted an entire work. That is kind of the point here. To get you to go to other sites and read. Maybe on your own to go to another link to expand your world or you knowledge base. But Greta said it so well and what she said is so important that I am going to put it all up here. I am going to put up a link so NBC gets credit but there isn’t anything extra there.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/read-greta-thunberg-s-full-speech-united-nations-climate-action-n1057861

My message is that we’ll be watching you.

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice.

They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

So a 50 percent risk is simply not acceptable to us, we who have to live with the consequences.

How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you and if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Thank you.

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Thats all folks. More next week.

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