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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Pipeline Defeated – Judge James Boasberg sides with Native Americans and the Environment

We have been fighting this 1000 mile long monstrosity for over a decade. First at the EPA hearing level and the Political Level (Obama), then at the protest and blockade level, and now at the Legal level. While Obama was a great guy on the environment and temporarily halted the pipeline, this ruling is a major step at blocking tar sands and fracking products from coming to Illlinois and then ultimately to the Gulf Coast. It is also a major blow against Koch Industry. We have gone past 1.5 Degrees temperature rise with the current level of Green House Gases, so the Lord better give us a couple more victories.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/06/dakota-access-pipeline-environment-oil

Judge suspends Dakota Access pipeline over environmental concerns

  • US district judge sides with Standing Rock Sioux tribe
  • More extensive environmental review is required – judge
Opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline march out of their main camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in February 2017.
Opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline march out of their main camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in February 2017. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

A federal judge has sided with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to be shut down until a more extensive environmental review is carried out.

US district judge James Boasberg had previously said the pipeline, which has been in operation three years, remained “highly controversial” under federal environmental law, and a more extensive review was necessary after an environmental assessment by the US army corps of engineers.

In a 24-page order on Monday, Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption such a shutdown will cause” but said he had concluded that the pipeline must be shut down for an environmental impact statement (EIS).

“Clear precedent favoring vacatur [an order setting aside a previous judgment] during such a remand coupled with the seriousness of the Corps’ deficiencies outweighs the negative effects of halting the oil flow for the 13 months that the Corps believes the creation of an EIS will take,” Boasberg wrote.

Boasberg had ordered both parties to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operating during the new environmental review.

 

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Go there and read. Hallelujah. 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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Alternative Energy Will Never Work – They said

The wind doesn’t blow all the time.

The sun only shines during the day.

Geothermal can’t be done everywhere.

Heat Pumps only work in certain temperature ranges.

There will never be enough storage.

Storage will be too expensive.

You can’t power an industrial society like this.

Then there is the big LIE, Nuclear Power is carbon free.

So much CARBON goes into a Nuclear Power Plant the it would never be carbon free…Not in a hundred years.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032118303897?amp=1

The feasibility of 100% renewable electricity systems: A response to critics?

BenEllistonc

Highlights

Large-scale electricity systems based on 100% renewable energy can meet the key requirements of reliability, security and affordability.

This is even true where the vast majority of generation comes from variable renewables such as wind and solar PV.

Thus the principal myths of critics of 100% renewable electricity are refuted.

Arguments that the transition to 100% renewable electricity will necessarily take as long or longer than historical energy transitions are also refuted.

The principal barriers to 100% renewable electricity are neither technological nor economic, but instead are primarily political, institutional and cultural.

There is this as well:

100% renewable electricity is viable  

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Go there and read. One is a book. So you may have to check it out of the library. More next week.

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Americans Would Not Know Good Design If It Bit Them ON The Ass

These people have been conserving massive amounts of energy for years. Americans, Russians and Chinese, NOt So MucH. You know – energy exuberance and all that poppycock.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/a-design-concept-is-transforming-the-energy-efficiency-of-buildings.html?utm_source=digg

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings

 

Key Points
  • The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs.
  • Could a shift in the way they are designed make them more energy efficient?
H/O - Goldsmith Street Norwich
Goldsmith Street, in the English city of Norwich, won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2019.
Tim Crocker

The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs, whether it’s an office block in the middle of the city or a small house in the suburbs.

Think of a building’s temperature: It can be regulated by radiators, fans and air conditioning systems, while basic actions such as opening and closing a window or door can also be effective. Today, smart technology allows many of these appliances to be controlled remotely using smartphones.

You only need to look at your monthly utility bill to know that living in a building — be it large or small — costs money.

The impact of buildings on the environment is also a concern. According to the IEA, final energy use in buildings hit approximately 3,060 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2018, up from 2,820 Mtoe in 2010.

Fossil fuels’ share in buildings’ energy use was at 36% in 2018, the IEA says, a small drop compared to 38% in 2010.

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Go there and read. Its all you’ve got to do, right? More next week.

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GeoEarth Power – Forget fusion power, nuclear, coal or natural gas

If we can perfect this method, who needs any other form of energy? Yes we should keep producing Solar, Wind and Local geothermal. But with Deep Geothermal the only horizons we would have to conquer to be carbon free would be water shipping and air transport. Maybe Deep Geo could even make electric water transport possible. This stuff is so cool.

https://www.wired.com/story/want-unlimited-clean-energy-just-drill-the-worlds-hottest-well/?utm_source=digg

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well

An engineering team bored 2 miles into hot rock without causing major earthquakes—a good sign for harnessing the Earth’s heat as a power source.

There’s treasure buried deep beneath the viridescent foothills of Tuscany’s Apennine Mountains, where the stark metal trusses of the Venelle-2 drilling tower mark its location like an X on a map. This geothermal well reaches nearly two miles beneath the surface to a region where temperatures and pressures are so high that rock begins to bend. Here, conditions are ripe for supercritical geothermal fluids, mineral-rich water that exhibits characteristics of both a liquid and a gas. It’s not exactly gold, but if Venelle-2 could tap into a reservoir of supercritical fluids and use them to spin a turbine on the surface, it would be one of the most energy-dense forms of renewable power in the world.

But getting there isn’t so easy. Boring deep into the ground risks triggering an earthquake if a large chunk of rock slips out of place. This risk was amplified at the Venelle-2 well, which aimed to breach the K horizon, a poorly understood boundary between the hard rock near the surface and the more pliant rock below. What would happen when the drill punched through this layer into the supercritical fluids below was anyone’s guess.

And for now, the mystery remains. Drilling at Venelle-2 stopped just shy of the K horizon when temperatures at the bottom of the well overwhelmed the equipment. Sensors at the bottom of the well indicated temperatures had breached 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures 300 times greater than at the surface. Nevertheless, Venelle-2 is the hottest borehole ever created, and it demonstrated that it’s possible to drill at the extreme end of supercritical conditions. And this week, a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research showed that it could be done without producing any major seismic activity.

The authors say they hope their study will assuage fears that all geothermal drilling causes earthquakes. After all, the public usually hears about geothermal wells only when something goes wrong. But Venelle-2 shows that “there are also many positive cases of wells drilled for geothermal purposes,” says Riccardo Minetto, a researcher at the University of Geneva and coauthor of the study.

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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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Go See Broken Ground – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s new Podcast

This pretty cool and I can’t explain alot more. Listen to one and you will listen to more.

 

https://brokengroundpodcast.org/?utm_source=Digg&utm_medium=Homepage&utm_campaign=Kingston

About Broken Ground

Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the south that don’t always get the attention they deserve, and giving voice to the people bringing those stories to light. Named a “New & Noteworthy” podcast by Apple for 6 weeks in a row.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Years of storytelling for public radio and through her award-winning video productions prepared Emily well for crafting podcast-sized stories for Broken Ground. Some podcasts she’s currently listening to include Radiolab, This American Life and On the Media.

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Go there and listen to the 5 episodes. More next week.

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The Darkside Of The Green Revolution – Lithium extraction really messes things up

I should very quickly say – the way things are done now. The mining industry, as it functions in the past and now, destroys things no matter what it is extracting – gold, lead or lithium. So if we are going to have a real revolution we are going to have to change the entire extraction industry. This point is larger for me than this article implies because capitalism is the problem. We as a society can achieve a carbon negative atmosphere and humans will still threaten the planet because that it what capitalism does – destroys thing. Still you have to start somewhere.

https://logicmag.io/nature/what-green-costs/?utm_source=digg

Issue 9 / Nature

December 07, 2019

What Green Costs

Thea Riofrancos

Deep in the salt flats of Chile lies the extractive frontier of the renewable energy transition.

Clean energy advocates envision an electrified home running on 100 percent renewable energy with a Tesla parked in its garage, solar shingles gleaming on its rooftop, and a smart meter dutifully collecting usage data and uploading it to the cloud. But swim upstream and eventually you arrive at the extractive frontiers of the renewable energy transition.

It was 8:45 am on the first day of the 11th Lithium Supply & Markets Conference in the basement level of the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile. There was no way for me to blend in. “Providence College” on my name tag rendered me a curiosity. Still, I was glad I remembered to wear lipstick and that my backpack had straps that converted it into a tote.

I found an empty seat in the sea of suits, almost all men but of different ages. They hailed variously from China, Australia, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Argentina. They were market analysts and prospectors; equipment salesmen and regulators; executives, consultants, and peddlers of information in the notoriously opaque world of lithium, a “space,” in Silicon Valley talk, not quite meriting the word “market.”

As I slid into my seat, the chairman of one of the largest lithium companies in the world, with a sordid past in a corrupt privatization process under Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, took to the stage. “Mining is the spine of Chile; mining runs through our veins.” I might have been the only person in the room who immediately thought of Eduardo Galeano’s anti-colonial page-turner, Open Veins of Latin America?—?incidentally penned the same year Pinochet came to power, brutally crushing the dream of democratic socialism in Chile. But I don’t think the chairman meant to call to mind the vampiric iconography of global capital. The dead sapping the living; the blood and sweat and tortured landscapes of extraction, especially in its colonial variant.

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Go there and read. More next week, if there is a next week.

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