This may be the beginning of the death of green house gas pollution in our atmosphere. To be clear it is not just carbon dioxide, but includes many other gases such as methane. It is the first generation, so dedicated, and it is magnificent to see. If I could
Last Friday, students across 110 countries walked out of their classes in the massive Youth Climate Strike to bring attention to the effects of climate change. Hundreds of students filled New York’s City Hall Park, the air thrumming with excitement and anxiety. Some even hung from the lamp posts to get a better view of the swarming crowd before police inevitably invited them to climb down. It was the first protest I’ve been to where children far outnumbered adults.
“I’m here because I don’t want to have to grow up in a world where I am terrified the people I love could lose their home,” Simone Rubin, a senior at NEST+M high school, told The Outline, referencing the potential affect sea level rise could have on New York City’s coast. “It’s unfair that we’re in this situation now because adults refuse to act and now we’re tasked with cleaning up an earth that we shouldn’t have had to do because we shouldn’t have put ourselves in this situation to begin with.”
The Youth Climate Strike was born out of the #FridaysforFuture demonstrations started by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. In August 2018, Thunberg started skipping school each Friday to protest outside of the Stockholm Parliament House, calling on leaders to prioritize environmental issues. Thunberg’s notoriety grew as she spoke at the U.N. climate talks last December, and the #FridaysforFuture hashtag received more and more attention. She’s since been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.
Please go there and read most joyously. More next week.
I usually post this on CES’ Bulletin Board for them but it dawned on me when this came in this morning, that many people are already working with the the goodness of the Earth in mind. That includes all of the Earth advocates in groups like Clean Techies and the Nature Conservancy.
Subject: View New Job Openings – Win Free Event Tickets!
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WHALE SKIN: Pilot whales also ooze a gelatinous mix of enzymes from their skin, which deters barnacles and other sea parasites from attaching. (Photo: Scubaben/Flickr)
The biological world continues to inspire some of the most efficient, yet bizarre, technological innovations. Now scientists are designing ships with hulls that ooze a slippery, gelatinous slime which continually sloughs off, in an attempt to mimic the skin of pilot whales.
Long-finned pilot whales are known for their smooth, blemish-free skin. For whales, that means being free of barnacles and other marine life forms which can taint and irritate them. But how do they do it?
It turns out that the fresh-faced fins manage to stay so smooth due to a criss-cross of nanoscale canals in their skin which are too small for any barnacle larvae to attach to the skin. In addition, the canals are filled with a gel of enzymes that destroy proteins on the surface of bacteria and algae.
That gave researcher Rahul Ganguli of Teledyne Scientific an idea, reports New Scientist. He is now working on a design for ships that similarly self-clean themselves by sweating a sticky, biosafe chemical that becomes more viscous on contact with seawater. The slimy goo, secreted by pores, would fill gaps in a specially designed metal mesh on the outer layer of the hull. As it eventually sheds, it will take with it any barnacle that managed to gain a foothold.
A new high-rise building in Boston USA may be the future home of a bunch of green slime. Plans to turn the building into a vertical urban farm are moving ahead with the intended crop to be biofuel algae. Potatoes would be cooler, but hey, whatever works.
The project is going to be called Eco-Pod and confirms that we finally live in the future, where a bunch of detachable pods grow algae and act as incubators for scientists to study the production of biofuel. They also plan to include parks and gardens, because people like wandering through slime fields, especially if they’re modular.
Slightly crazier than the concept itself is some of the infrastructure. Since the pods will be able to move and be reshaped, the whole structure will come complete with a robot arm, powered by the biofuel, that can rearrange the pods as necessary. We can all agree a giant, robot arm that moves around slime pods is just what Boston tourism needs.
DALLAS — The world’s largest wind farm officially got up and running Thursday, with all 627 towering wind turbines churning out electricity across 100,000 acres of West Texas farmland.
The Roscoe Wind Complex, which began construction in 2007 and sprawls across four counties near Roscoe, is generating its full capacity of 781.5 megawatts, enough to power 230,000 homes, the German company E.ON Climate and Renewables North America said.
“This is truly sign milestone for us,” said Patrick Woodson, the company’s chief development officer. “In three years to be able to take this project from cotton fields to the biggest wind farm in the world is something we’re very proud of.”
The complex is about 220 miles west of Dallas and 300 miles south of the land where billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens had planned an even larger wind farm before he scrapped the idea in July.
Texas leads the nation in wind power production, and this wind farm tops the capacity record of 735.5 megawatts set by another West Texas farm southwest of Abilene.
Renewable energy makes up a small fraction of the electricity grid, but the wind and solar sectors were among the fastest growing in the U.S. before the recession. Wind power in Texas has grown again this year but has slowed from the 2008 rate.
“We are expecting ’09 to be a somewhat smaller year overall, but still a fairly solid year,” said Kathy Belyeu of the American Wind Energy Association.
FPL to Buy 3 Wind Power Farms From Babcock & Brown (Update2)
By Katarzyna Klimasinska
Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) — FPL Group Inc., the biggest U.S. producer of wind and solar power, agreed to buy three wind farms from Babcock & Brown for $352 million.
The turbines, located in Texas, Wisconsin and South Dakota, have combined capacity of 184.5 megawatts, FPL’s NextEra Energy Resources LLC subsidiary said today in a statement. More than 80 percent of the output is sold under long-term contracts.
Juno Beach, Florida-based FPL will need approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Justice Department to complete the transaction, which is scheduled to close by the end of this year. The wind farms will add to FPL’s 2010 earnings, according to the statement.
NextEra said the purchase includes a 79.5-megawatt wind farm in Carson County, Texas, northeast of Amarillo; a 54- megawatt development in Dodge County, Wisconsin, northwest of Milwaukee; and a 51-megawatt farm in Jerauld County, South Dakota, south of Wessington Springs.
FPL fell $1.48, or 2.7 percent, to $53.75 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock had climbed 9.7 percent this year before today:}
For the past two years, Texas has been the top wind producer in the United States, with over 3,953 wind-generated megawatts (MW) installed. Texas is also the first state to achieve the milestone of one Gigawatt of wind installations in a single year (2007). The demand for additional wind power has grown so rapidly that the Texas electric transmission grid has a critical need for expansion. In July 2007, the Texas Public Utility Commission announced its approval for additional transmission lines that could deliver as much as 25,000 megawatts of wind energy from remote areas in the state to urban centers by 2012, depending on how many wind farms are built. New transmission infrastructure will allow all Texans to access the the state’s vast wind resources.
DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy technology, growing by 45% in 2006 due to strong demand, investment of private capital, and the support of federal and state governments. Electric utilities have shown an increased interest in wind project ownership, and wind industry sales to power marketers have become more common. Wind power has consistently remained at or below the average price of conventional electricity such as coal, nuclear, and natural gas.
AWEA has determined that two-thirds of the predicted growth of wind energy generation in the U.S. will occur in Texas, as three of the five largest wind farms in the nation are located in Texas. Texas already holds the record for the world’s largest wind farm, Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, which was completed by FPL Energy, Inc. in late 2006. It also is the site for the nation’s second-largest wind farm, the 504.8-megawatt Sweetwater wind project, the fourth phase of which attained commercial operation in May, 2007.
The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas remains the largest wind farm in the world with a total capacity of 735 megawatts (MW) spread across approximately 47,000 acres in Taylor and Nolan counties near Abilene in west central Texas.
The wind plant consists of 291 1.5-MW wind turbines from General Electric and 130 2.3-MW wind turbines from Siemens.
One MW is enough electricity to serve 250 to 300 homes on average each day
American National Wind Power is a subsidiary of National Wind Power. This wind farm is National Wind Power’s (NWP) first project in Texas and is located in Culberson County, northeast of the town of Van Horn in West Texas. The ranch on which it is built is used for raising cattle and deer and is also the site of the West Texas Wind Farm Power Project, described below. Given the right legislative environment, NWP plan to develop it to a full potential of 250MW. The power produced by the Delaware Mountain Wind Farm is purchased by the Lower Colorado River Authority (Austin, Texas) and Reliant Energy HL&P (Houston, Texas) for distribution to their customers.
Texas Wind Power Project
General Land Office & Lower Colorado River Authority
Culberson County, Texas
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) teamed with the General Land Office GLO) and private industry to develop this commercial wind power plant, the first in Texas. The Texas Wind Power Project, located in Culberson County in West Texas, has 112 Kenetech 33M-VS wind turbines capable of generating 35 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 12,000 to 15,000 homes. Since the ribbon-cutting for the Texas Wind Power Project in 1995, the Texas’ Permanent School Fund earned more than $750.000 from it. The project is expected to earn more than $3 million for the PSF and create $300 million in increased economic activity over the 25-year lease period. For additional information see thisGLO web page.
If climate change can have a silver lining, then some optimists might argue that it probably lies in the Northeast Passage. Last week two German cargo ships sailed part of its course, making their way along Russia’s Arctic coast from South Korea to Siberia, passing through the Bering Strait, with an ease that would have been unthinkable before local sea ice began to feel the heat of global warming.
Already speculation is rife that this heralds the advent of a major new shipping route, running through waters that are expected to eventually become ice-free for much of the year round. This route, it is said, will link Europe with booming Asian markets, slashing distances and journey times through the Suez and Panama Canals by as much as a third. Shippers could then pass their savings onto customers, who would benefit from lower prices in the high street.
Russia could block ships that belong to states that don’t toe the Moscow lineThe political price of an active Northeast Passage, however, may not be quite so attractive. For what no one has noticed is that it would effectively become a maritime, commercial pipeline – and the story of how the Kremlin views and uses its pipelines elsewhere is by now a highly familiar one.
Moscow would benefit from this commercial pipeline in the Arctic Ocean in two distinct ways. On the one hand it could potentially charge exorbitant transit revenues – thinly disguised as ‘icebreaker fees’, even when such escort is unnecessary – on ships that move through what it regards as its own ‘national waters’. Earlier this year, Russia was levying an extortionate $16 fee on every ton of oil cargo, compared with the meagre $1 that Finland charged Baltic shipping.
Help us weatherproof our house. October 17, 2005 6:25 PM
I need suggestions for inexpensive weatherproofing on our home.
My husband and I rent a townhome (in Denver) and it is horribly drafty. We can feel cold air coming in through most of our windows. We love our little house–it’s a lot of space for the money–but we have a very uhm, “hands-off” landlord and there’s little to no chance to get them to invest any money in weatherproofing. With energy prices the way they are, I’d love some low-cost suggestions for how to weatherproof our windows along with any other tips for keeping warm while keeping our energy costs down. We’re living on a one-income graduate student budget, so I have to stress the low-cost part. Thank you!1. cheap: Plastic for your windows! You can get it at hardware stores pretty cheaply [whole house of wondows for maybe $20-30 if you shop in bulk at Home Depot or someplace. It’s a bit ugly but basically you tape this plastic over your windows, use a blow dryer on it to shrink the plastic, and voila, you can see out but wind can’t get in. Hair dryers cost a few bucks at a thrift store if you don’t have one. If you have friends, borrow a heat gun if possible.
3. make from common household items: draft stoppers for underneath doors. Get an old pair of nylons and stuff them with rags, old socks, other fabric and some sand/rocks/something heavy. Lay on floors by doors to the outside or colder rooms.
4. worth the $: curtains and rugs and a hassock for your feet so you don’t notice the cold as much. Close curtains at night, open in the morning. An electric mattress pad warmer can heat up the bed before you get in it without you having to sleep under a plugged in appliance all night.
5. also: if it’s a big house shut off a room or two that you don’t use much and cut off the heat to those rooms [if you can] and focus on the parts of the house you actually live in. Cook more meals that take longer to heat up the kitchen. Keeping moving helps you stay warmer. posted by jessamyn at 6:46 PM on October 17, 2005
Check your local utility company’s website. They likely have a list of energy saver tips, household energy guzzlers (so you can prioritize), programs that provide weatherization and/or discounts to low-income households. Call them too. Some util companies are willing to schedule a free onsite energy audit to help you find the worst offenders.
The plastic over the windows trick is good. Just make sure you’re using the right tape. Some can leave a gummy residue or else pull off the paint/wallpaper underneath. Painter’s tape is not transparent, but it’s designed to remove cleanly.
If the landlord is willing to greenlight DIY improvements, $20-30 in materials can buy enough weatherstrip, outlet/switch seals, and door gaskets for a 1 bd apt. All you need is a screwdriver, a pair of scissors, and several hours time. Since weatherstrip just fills in the gaps between door/window and frame, you’ll be able to open & close year-round. Plus in the summer it’ll help keep out whatever bugs normally come in through those same gaps.
Replace or install weatherstripping and door sweeps on exterior doors or a door to a garage. Also consider installing weatherstripping and door sweeps on interior doors to less-often used rooms.
If you have a little-used room, such as a laundry room, close the heating vent to the room, install a vent cover, and keep the door closed.
Caulk cracks (use a good UV & weather-resistant caulk for the exterior and a cheaper paintable caulk for the interior). In particular, check around the roof-line or anywhere something penetrates a wall (such as ceiling beams, vents or pipes). Make sure to seal around any exterior outlets (and consider installing exterior outlet covers).
Seal air leaks and other larger gaps with expanding foam. Good places to check are around switch and outlet boxes, places where ceiling beams penetrate interior walls, etc.
If your HVAC ducts are accessible, seal any leaks with metal-backed tape or mastic. Also consider applying insulation, if they are uninsulated.
The average house-even when well-insulated-contains cracks and gaps between building materials that add up to a hole about 14 inches square (see image below). In the winter, those gaps may make the house drafty and chilly. All year long, a leaky house not only wastes energy but can lead to water damage and provide a path for insects.
Inside this document you will find information about:
Types of Caulking
Types of Weatherstripping
In all the discussion of insulation and R-values, don’t forget that poor weatherproofing is often a more important source of discomfort, as well as high heating and cooling bills.
Some air leakage can be prevented during construction by using housewrap or getting a tight fit between framing members, for example. Once the house is built, however, the remaining gaps must be sealed. Gaps around doors and window sashes should be weatherstripped, and gaps between permanent building materials sealed with caulking.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a black agency in the sense that much of what it does is shrouded in some secrecy. Its a Think Tank at one level. It is a contractor at another. It is a black site in the sense that it has no budget. But heh, they got a webpage and a Facebook Page too. How Hip and Modern.
The quest for limitless energy has preoccupied military researchers for years, and Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out science arm, has often led the way. Now the agency is looking for yet another method to harness cheap and environmentally friendly energy that would be as simple as turning on the tap.
Well, sort of. Darpa is soliciting proposals for using seawater to create liquid fuel. Their hope is to harvest the abundance of carbon and hydrogen in ocean water, and somehow convert the molecules, via chemical reaction, into usable energy. Since fuel is mostly made up of hydrocarbons, the right interplay between water molecules and the carbon dioxide lurking among them would — in theory — yield fuel compounds.
Sounds good, right? Except Darpa’s not entirely sure what reaction needs to take place, or how to make it happen. That’s the first step for researchers: coming up with an efficient, effective catalyst, and one that won’t be affected by water pollutants, pH levels or the carbon dioxide concentrations of different water samples.
Of course, this isn’t the only out-there energy proposal the military’s got researchers working on. In July, the Air Force started investigating purple bacteria whose pigment could power flying drones. And Darpa’s already throwing money at another water-based energy source: last year, they spent $20 million dollars on converting algae into jet fuel. No word yet on how that worked out.
Its original name was simply Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed DARPA (for Defense) during March 1972, then renamed ARPA again during February 1993, and then renamed DARPA again during March 1996.
DARPA was established during 1958 (as ARPA) in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik during 1957, with the mission of keeping U.S. military technology more sophisticated than that of the nation’s potential enemies. From DARPA’s own introduction:
DARPA’s original mission, established in 1958, was to prevent technological surprise like the launch of Sputnik, which signaled that the Soviets had beaten the U.S. into space. The mission statement has evolved over time. Today, DARPA’s mission is still to prevent technological surprise to the US, but also to create technological surprise for our enemies.
DARPA is independent from other more conventional military R&D and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has around 240 personnel (about 140 technical) directly managing a $3.2 billion budget. These figures are “on average” since DARPA focuses on short-term (two to four-year) projects run by small, purpose-built teams.
With gas prices skyrocketing, public transit ridership is at an all time high. Instead of cutting back on public transportation services, we should be reforming our national transportation system to create more affordable travel options for the whole country.
Check out our 10 Facts About Oil and Gas to learn more.
96 Percent of the world’s transportation energy currently supplied by oil.
Cost of barrel of oil on July 18th, 2007.
Cost of barrel of oil on July 18th, 2008.
Number of fewer miles Americans drove in May 2008 compared to May 2007.
Number of trips taken via the U.S. public transportation system in 2007, the highest in 50 years.
Percent increase in price of diesel fuel paid by public transit agencies.
Percent of America’s public transit agencies that are cutting services due to budget constraints.
Percent of population that has no access to public transit.
Amount the average two-worker household saves annually by taking public transportation instead of driving a car.
Year by which lifting the ban on offshore drilling may start to impact the price of gas
…Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Palast on why Saddam had to go.
“This war in Iraq has been the best thing in the world for Big Oil and OPEC. They’ve made the largest profits in the history of the world. The interesting thing about your book is you show how it was all planned from the beginning. The story is like a spy thriller.” — Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The 323-page multi-volume “Options for Iraqi Oil” begins with the expected dungeons-and-dragons warning:
The report is submitted on the understanding that [the State Department] will maintain the contents confidential.
For two years, the State Department (and Defense and the White House) denied there were secret plans for Iraq’s oil. They told us so in writing. That was the first indication the plan existed. Proving that, and getting a copy, became the near-to-pathologic obsession of our team.
In the sanitary words of the Council on Foreign Relations’ report (written up by Jaffe herself), Saddam’s problem was that he was a “swinger”:
Tight markets have increased U.S. and global vulnerability
to disruption and provided adversaries undue potential in-
fluence over the price of oil. Iraq has become a key
“swing” producer, posing a difficult situation for the U.S.
Now hold on a minute: Why is our government in a “difficult” position if Iraq is a “swing producer” of oil?
The answer was that Saddam was jerking the oil market up and down. One week, without notice, the man in the moustache suddenly announces he’s going to “support the Palestinian intifada” and cuts off all oil shipments. The result: Worldwide oil prices jump up. The next week, Saddam forgets about the Palestinians and pumps to the maximum allowed under the Oil-for-Food Program. The result: Oil prices suddenly dive-bomb. Up, down, up, down. Saddam was out of control.
“Control is what it’s all about,” one oilman told me. “It’s not about getting the oil, it’s about controlling oil’s price.”
So, within days of Bush’s election in November 2000, the James Baker Institute issued this warning:
In a market with so little cushion to cover unexpected
events, oil prices become extremely sensitive to perceived
supply risks. Such a market increases the potential lever-
age of an otherwise lesser producer such as Iraq…
I met with Falah Aljibury, an advisor to Goldman Sachs, the Baker/CFR group and, I discovered, host to the State Department’s invasion planning meetings in February 2001. The Iraqi-born industry man put it this way: “Iraq is not stable, a wild card.” Saddam cuts production, or suddenly boosts it, playing games with the U.N. over the Oil-for-Food Program. The tinpot despot was, almost alone, setting the weekly world price of oil and Big Oil did not care for that. In the CFR’s sober language:
Saddam is a “destabilizing influence… to the flow of oil
to international markets from the Middle East.”
With Saddam out of control, jerking markets up and down, the price of controlling the price was getting just too high. Saddam drove the oil boys bonkers. For example, Saddam’s games pushed the State Department, disastrously, to launch, in April 2002, a coup d’etat in Venezuela.
This could not stand. Saddam delighted in playing cat-and-mouse with the USA and our oil majors. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t playing with mice, but a much bigger and unforgiving breed of roden
It amazes me after living in 2 hurrican prone areas…Tampa and New Orleans… that anyone would mess around with downed powerlines or purposely come int0 contact with high power electrical equipment. But they do every year.
The cylindrical object on the left houses a multi-million volt (MV) high voltage impulse generator (called a Marx Generator) at the Siberian Power Research Institute (SIBNIIE) high voltage testing facility in Novosibirsk, Siberia. The rate of rise of the voltage pulse from the Marx Generator was adjusted to maximize the “efficiency” of long spark propagation. Although first reports of huge 100+ meter sparks were initially met with skepticism by scientists and high voltage engineers, a number of power engineers and scientists have subsequently witnessed similar events at this facility. Sometimes these errant bolts hit the top of street lamps in the adjacent parking lot! At this facility, sparks up to 200 meters long have been created using a (comparatively low) potential of 5.2 MV. In order to gain a feel for scale in the above photo, the cylindrical building is 28 meters (~92 feet) high, and it houses a 28-stage Marx generator that’s capable of generating positive or negative output pulses of up to 7 million volts.
In late 2005, a member of the Tesla Coil Mailing List (Dmitry, a Tesla Coiling enthusiast who lives near the facility) was able to schedule a visit with members of their staff. Dmitry subsequently shared details about this facility in a series of email messages to the other members on the list, and the excellent pictures he took can be seen on our mirror of Terry Fritz’s old Hot-Streamer web site. :}
Everyone who is human has started a fire. It is primal, but now it is deadly. The “off gases” of combustion are changing the planet Earth’s composition to the point that much of the animal world will not be able to live in it.
China’s position as one of the world’s pre-eminent clean tech hubs was underlined yesterday, with the release of a major new report from The Climate Group arguing that the country has already secured a lead over many of its global rivals in the race to develop and implement low-carbon technologies.
The report, which updates a similar study from last year, concluded that despite the onset of the global recession, Chinese clean tech firms are continuing to record impressive growth, aided in no small part by the government’s decision to focus much of its $585bn (£354bn) stimulus package on low-carbon projects.
The study found that while the Chinese government is resisting international calls to set carbon emission targets, it is delivering good progress against domestic targets to improve energy efficiency, having cut the energy intensity of the economy 60 per cent since 1980.
So one fine Saturday, recently, (to be exact it was the third of February, 1996), we were kinda bored, and we were messing around with some hard drives, trying to get them to work. One of ’em was completely dead — no spin-up, no blinking light, no nothing. The computer said it was a Micropolis but couldn’t tell us more than that. So we figured, the thing’s toast, right? And we figured, we’re on the third floor, right? Cool. Open da window. (Remember, it was -6 degrees F out that night!) ;-> Well, enough of my ranting, why dontcha look at the pictures! (If you are using a text-only browser, you might as well quit now. We took 87 pictures for this thing, and they *ARE* the good part, OK???)
We throw so much up in the air, SOX, NOX, Natural gases like methane, butane, and propane, and dangerous particulates like mercury. Yet everyone wants to worry about carbon. I guess that is as good a place as any to start: