The technology of the Technology is just starting to come in. Who could have imagines huge wind turbines that float, let alone at sea. I mean, this is really amazing. I am pretty sure they can do this in the Great Lakes. I even hear a rumor that they are going to try to do this in Coos Bay in Oregon. Way to go people!
The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.
The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20,000 homes.
Manufacturer Statoil says output from the turbines is expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones.
It hopes to cash in on a boom in the technology, especially in Japan and the west coast of the US, where waters are deep.
“This is a tech development project to ensure it’s working in open sea conditions. It’s a game-changer for floating wind power and we are sure it will help bring costs down,” said Leif Delp, project director for Hywind.
Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas
A 583,000-square-mile “no-take” zone: President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii.
By Cynthia Barnett
Capping a week of 100th anniversary celebrations for the National Park Service, President Barack Obama on Friday turned to the ocean to create the largest protected area anywhere on Earth—a half-million-square-mile arc of remote Pacific waters known for both exceptional marine life and importance to native Hawaiian culture.
The Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, already covered 140,000 square miles of ocean around the uninhabited northwestern islands of Hawaii, Obama’s home state. (Learn about the name and how to pronounce it.)
Obama more than quadrupled Papah?naumoku?kea’s size, to 582,578 square miles, an area larger than all the national parks combined. Using his executive authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act, he extended most of the monument’s boundary—and its prohibition of commercial fishing—out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).(Read about a monument established this week in the Maine woods.)
Eco funeral alternatives that allow you rest in harmony with the Earth
My mother wants to be composted when she dies. Not just in a figurative “give my body to the Earth” way, but in a way that befits someone whose passion for gardening knows no bounds.
Her final act will be to produce the lushest crop of tomatoes and zucchini her garden and this world has ever seen. I’m not entirely sure what the health department will make of this request, but my mother doesn’t care. She’ll be dead.
As the Baby Boomers enter their twilight years and begin to consider the details of their demise, it’s no surprise that this enterprising generation are pushing the boundaries when it comes to their funerals. And with the environment front and centre of society’s conscience, many are planning their funerals with future generations in mind.
“There’s a global movement towards green burial,” says Zenith Virago, death consultant and president of the Natural Death Centre Australia in Byron Bay.
First on the list of actual green active organizations is Greenpeace. As with most activist organizations, I like them or I hate them based on their actions. When they challenge the whalers, I applaud. When they unroll banners from bridges over the Mississippi River or chain themselves up in trees, I must admit I become embarrassed. I have never been a member needless to say.
My Greenpeace colleagues aboard the Rainbow Warrior in the Indian Ocean shared a heartwarming experience when a frolicking group of humpback and minke whales put on quite a show. It’s not a stretch to say these whales were happy and playful. Why wouldn’t they be as the entire Indian Ocean is a whale sanctuary where they can live in peace? What a contrast this is to other parts of the world where whales not only don’t have protections but face a myriad of direct threats from humans. One huge emerging threat to whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife is happening now in the coastal waters of California. Read more
Well this has been a weird week. Last week wasn’t much better. But now that the 2 political Party Conventions are over we can get back to the real world. Every once in awhile I check in with waterworld to see how they are coming along. Eventually we will get a bunch of energy from the sea, but right now these guys are struggling. This is an old article. For Monday I will try to find something newer and if I can’t I will move on.
Wave energy is among the impressive list of renewable energy resources that is being developed in the United States. New Jersey-based developer, Ocean Power Technologies has launched a project that features the nation’s first commercial wave power farm off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon. Once the project is completed, wave energy will generate power for several hundred homes in Oregon. The wave power farm operates on the wave energy that is created when a float on a buoy flows with the natural up and down movement of the waves.
This action subsequently causes an attached plunger to follow the same kind of ebb and flow movement. The plunger is attached to a hydraulic pump that changes the vertical movement to a circular motion, which drives an electric generator to produce electricity that is sent to shore through submerged cables.
When the initial project is finished, the first $4 million dollar buoy will measure 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, weighing 200 tons. Nine more of these crafts will be set in motion by the year 2012 for a total cost of $60 million dollars. About four hundred homes will receive electricity from Oregon’s wave power farm by the completion of the project.
Scotland will see the world’s largest tidal arrays constructed off its coast, as the first large-scale rollout of tidal energy generation.
A trial with one 30m turbine, the HS1000, anchored to the ocean floor in a fast-flowing channel near the Orkney Islands, raised one megawatt of electricity — enough to power around 500 homes. Now, Scottish Power is planning on building two farms of turbines off the Scottish coast.
The project at the Sound of Islay should hopefully generate 10MW, and then the later project off Duncansby Head (the most northeasterly point of Scotland) should generate around 95MW. While individual turbines have been trialled across the world, the arrays will be the largest of their kind, with local communities having their power provided by renewable tidal sources.
The turbines — built by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, a Norwegian firm — represent a tricky engineering challenge. Considerations for wild plants and fish means that the blades can’t move too fast, and the turbines must be located in areas where there is a reliably fast current travelling at at least 2.5m/s (such as the Sound of Islay, a narrow passage between the Scottish mainland and the island of Jura).
Might as well end the week with a kick off for the next. Earth Day is Sunday, but Springfield can’t seem to get its act together on the actual day. But at least people celebrate it. Happy weekend everyone.
Sunday is the 42nd celebration of Earth Day, which was started in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson to help educate people about environmental issues and demonstrate public support for a conservationist agenda. With that in mind, we decided it was the right time to recap the most surprising, awe-inspiring and alarming things that we have learned about the Earth and the environment since last year’s holiday:
1. Undiscovered species are still out there: Countless discoveries over the past year reminded us that, despite centuries of research, the planet still has plenty of surprise species in store. Among the many finds include seven new forest mice species in the Philippines, a “psychedelic” gecko in Vietnam and a new type of dolphin in Australia. A new analysis released last August, billed as the most accurate ever, estimated that a total of 8.7 million different species of life exist on earth.
2. Global warming is already driving up food prices: While many fear that climate change will someday reduce crop yields and cause food prices to rise, a study published last May in Science indicates that this troubling trend has already gotten started. The models used suggest that reduced global yields of wheat and corn are related to global warming. Although the effects are relatively small so far, they may cause severe problems in the future, as climate patterns continue to change and food demand increases.
It’s now been over a month since the Deepwater Oil Disaster began — and not only has BP failed to stop the flow of oil so far, but we still don’t even know how big the spill is — because BP won’t allow anyone else to investigate the extent of the problem.
The secrecy must stop.
BP is refusing to share information — data it’s already tracking — that would assist in the response and public understanding of the scope and severity of the Deepwater Oil Disaster. And they have every incentive in the world to keep doing so — news reports say that the smaller the official estimates of the spill, the lower BP’s liability could be in court.1
We don’t let criminals investigate their own crimes, and this shouldn’t be any different. It’s time for BP to get out of the way and allow access for independent scientists and engineers to determine the real size of this catastrophe.
Independent reviews by scientists across the country are suggesting that the oil leak may be as much as 19 times worse than the original estimates — but BP refuses to provide them with the data required to make their estimates more precise. All we know for sure is that the oil just keeps on gushing.
BP is extremely sensitive right now to public pressure — so let’s tell them that we won’t stand for them hiding the truth. We’ll deliver copies of the petitions and any comments you submit to the CEO of BP, as well as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Maggie L. Fox
Chief Executive Officer
Climate Protection Action Fund
P.S. This disaster is a painful reminder of how dangerous our addiction to oil really is – and how critical it is that our elected officials in Washington pass strong climate and clean energy legislation that weans us off of dirty fossil fuels as soon as possible. We must make sure that Americans and our leaders understand the true cost of oil. We simply can’t afford a BP coverup. Sign the petition now demanding full transparency.
I have dreamed about a building like this for 30 years. In fact I have dreamed of every building in the United States being built like this. At least I lived to see this one. It was a real exciting 2 days. The first day we found it, walked around it and scoped out parking. The second day we went inside. I could get all teenagery about it, but I have to agree with my cyber friend Dan Piraro that the “experience” of the “purpose” of the building was moderate.
Saw the new multi-bazillion-dollar science museum in Golden Gate Park yesterday. In the humble, uneducated opinion of CHNW and I, the architecture of the museum is very cool, the content is pretty dull.
They have an indoor rainforest, but it isn’t as good as one I saw in Dallas built 8 or 10 years ago. They have an aquarium that’s pretty nice, but I’ve seen many better ones. I missed the planetarium, so I can’t comment. The roof is a cool idea with grass and plants all over it, but that is more about architecture than science. That’s about it. Unless you’re an architecture buff, it isn’t worth the $25 admission fee. San Francisco’s Exploratorium is better, in my opinion.
It is true too. Having come from the Monterey Aquarium which knocks your socks off the minute you walk in the door , I can say that the experience was geared for kids and has many learning “moments” to it. But that is OK, I mean it is the California Academy of Sciences. Much like the Field Museum in Chicago they are about exposing science, and “doing” science, but also about getting kids INTO science. Dan doesn’t have any kids so it is kinda beyond him. But a building that generates most of its own power and uses geothermal to heat and cool. One that has a living roof, reuses water and has manditory recycling. O HOLY God.
“The total message of the building is a green message. It’s about life, how we got here, the marvelous diversity of life, it’s preciousness, and the choices we face in learning how to stay.”
—Dr. Gregory C. Farrington, Ph.D., Executive Director
California Academy of Sciences
Below is the Academy’s official statement on sustainability recently approved by the Academy’s board of directors:
“Sustainability is often defined as meeting current human needs without endangering our descendants. There is a broad, scientific consensus that our current environmental demands are unsustainable, causing climate change, degradation of natural habitats, loss of species, and shortages of essential resources. The California Academy of Sciences’ mission to explore, explain and protect the natural world compels the Academy to engage in scientific research relevant to sustainability, to raise public awareness about these urgent problems, and to minimize its own environmental impact. The Academy’s green building signifies its commitment to sustainability. The culture and internal practices mirror that commitment in the areas of energy, water, waste management, transportation, purchasing and food. Academy programs highlight the living world and its connection to the changing global environment . Academy research focuses on the origins and maintenance of life’s diversity, and its expeditions roam the world, gathering scientific data to answer the questions, “How has life evolved, and how can it be sustained?”
The first thing that overwhelms the senses is the very entryway, which is essentially a huge wall of glass revealing the contents of the building as if it were presenting an intellectual feast. From the door, you can see two huge, exotic-looking domes, a glassed-in piazza with a roof so high it’s tough to see the top, and enough aquatic pools to fill an entire shoreline.
Taking possession of the building simply means the two-year-long construction job is virtually done, and the exhibits and collections must now be installed. But it’s easy to see what’s coming by looking at the structures that sit ready for stocking.
And what’s to come will essentially amount to a massive, working display case for the public. Newly renamed the Kimball Natural History Museum, the sprawling edifice takes the musty old, dark-halled concept of natural history museums and blows it wide open.
It is full of airy, glassily transparent galleries and research labs, and everything from the “living roof” of plants and birds and butterflies already at home there, to the heat-recycling systems, is aimed at making it one of the most environmentally friendly museums on the planet. The exhibits being readied push the old paradigm forward several expensive steps in many ways – from adding bubble-shaped observation windows for viewing coral reefs and sharks to presenting the nation’s largest planetarium, with digital film quality so precise it will make visitors feel like they’re flying through space.
Nestled into the fog and forest of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences aims to be the world’s largest eco-friendly public building when it reopens in 2008. (It’s bucking for a platinum LEED green-building certification.) Architect Renzo Piano used a textbook’s worth of enviro-engineering tricks for the seven-year effort, an almost total teardown and rebuild. At $484 million, it’s one of the most expensive museum projects in a century. But if it all works as planned, the city will boast a natural history museum that enhances nature instead of just stockpiling it.
Ironic isn’t it that this is the last post I made before our server crashed and CES lost 9 posts. Well we are back in the game today Ladies and Gentlemen. We are here to stay. Renewed in our faith that homosapien can live here in peace and harmony.
Conspiracy theoriests say that this is the result of collusion between, Big Oil, Dick Cheney, President Bush, the Big Refiners, the Gasoline Dealerships and certain Rich Republicans (you know who you are) to artifishally lower the price of Oil and Gasoline to steal the election from Barack Obama and hand it to John McCain. Damn that was a long sentence.
It’s not because the Oil Markets were destabilized by speculators for the first time in nearly 100 years and prices are going to swing widely as a result. I bet Oil Prices go to 40$$ per barrel, before they skyrocket out of sight again. The Saudi’s are getting soaked. That sucking sound you hear is billions of Saudi $$s flowing into the US. I imagine at some point the Saudi’s will take murder contracts out on the hedge fund managers, the super wealthy, and the currency traders who caused all this craziness in the first place. Which is fitting I suppose.
I am busy with the election so maybe no energy post to follow but Dan Piraro asked me to pass along a couple of cartoons that were rejected by a really really famous magazine that ethics prevents us from naming (Time):
If you find the titles too hard to read the first one says “mommy is too tired to run her hands under your bed clothes tonight, honey” and the other one says “let me put my glasses on because it doesn’t look as big as you said”
And if you believe that well you probably believe the conspiracy theory above. Oh go to dan’s web site and click on the cartoons. They magically get bigger and then you can read the print.