Plant A Tree Or Grow A Garden – Save energy by getting your hands dirty

I found myself doing 2 big things today: saucing tomatoes and contemplating what to do with Paw Paws. On the same theme I was considering what to post today when the two lines ran together. Of course when you plant a trees (Paw Paws) you are fighting global warming. Harvesting your own food (Paw Paws and tomatoes) is both buying local and cutting transportation costs at the same time.

So this is the Arbor Day Foundations take.

https://www.arborday.org/globalwarming/treeshelp.cfm

How Trees Fight Climate Change

Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community, or in our national forests, they help fight climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and other pollutant particulates, then store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.

See how planting trees helps fight climate change.

Shaded Home At Your Home Planting the right trees around your home saves energy.

Shaded Community In Your Community Greener communities are cooler communities.

Rural Windbreak On your Rural Property See several examples from Arbor Day Farm.

National Forest In Our National Forests Trees absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Pope Makes It Official – Global warming is here and it has to be dealt with

But how is the Catholic Church going to pitch in? His statement was aimed at policy makers, so politicians everywhere scrambled to comment. But what measures are the church(es) going to take. Solar panels on catholic churches? What?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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Illinois Has A Great Governor – At least from a Global Warming standpoint

But if you live in Texas, or Oklahoma, or Nebraska your governors suck. They deny Climate change and refuse to do anything about Green House Gases. Some Republican Governors at least don’t deny the Climate is changing but again they don’t DO anything about it.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/01/3454502/is-your-governor-a-climate-denier/

 

What Every Governor Really Believes About Climate Change, In One Handy Map

By Tiffany Germain, Guest Contributor and Ryan Koronowski

With all the recent talk at the federal level about the EPA’s proposed carbon regulations for new and existing power plants, it’s easy to forget about the executives that have front row seats to cutting American carbon pollution. And though climate deniers run rampant through the halls of Congress, a new analysis from the CAP Action War Room reveals that half of America’s Republican governors agree with the anti-science caucus of Congress.

Fifteen out of twenty-nine sitting Republican governors deny climate science despite the overwhelming level of scientific consensus, the enormous cost to taxpayers, and the critical place governors occupy in implementing new limits on carbon pollution. None of the country’s Democratic governors have made public statements denying climate change.

This map from the analysis categorizes governors into four groups: green for those who both accept climate science and are taking action to fight climate change; orange for those who either accept or haven’t openly denied climate science, but also have yet to take serious action to address climate change; red for those who have failed to take action or openly rejected to federal safeguards to address climate change, and red with stripes for climate deniers.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Goodbye Secretary Chu – You did the best you could

Given the backward nature of American culture you did the best you could do. Tough job that nobody really wants.

Energy Secretary Chu Resigns Leaving Oil Markets in Turmoil

Raymond J. Learsy

Author, ‘Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues’

In his letter of resignation from the post of Energy Secretary, Chu characterized his Department as a “Department of Science, a Department of Innovation, and a Department of Nuclear Security.” He then goes on to point out the myriad achievements and initiatives during his tenure ranging from BioEnergy Research Centers, Wind and Solar Energy initiatives, nuclear safety, appliance efficiency standards and on. Not an unimpressive list of scientific and clean energy programs. Embedded deeply in his letter is his conviction that rising temperatures present a present and growing danger to the planet and need be addressed. His tenure at Energy addressed this issue relentlessly, and even with the $500 million Solyndra debacle, built a foundation for research, creativity, and with funding guarantees to a plethora of clean energy projects supporting manufacturing plants throughout the country.
Were this his exclusive mandate his four year tenure might well be termed a success. But the Department also has other fish to fry. They relate no only to the environment, but profoundly to the economy and to our national security. Energy, be it oil, natural gas, coal are core commodities to the functioning of our economic viability, and here the Department of Energy under Chu’s tutelage has approached disaster.

As example, within a month of Chu’s ascendency the price of crude oil hovered around $35/barrel (and gasoline prices well under $2.00/gallon). Today’s price is over $95/bbl even though our oil consumption is down some 2.4% from what it was four years ago and production from the Bakken and EagleFord Formations in North Dakota and Texas has increased our domestic production dramatically keeping our domestic oil market amply supplied (oil inventories are at or near all time highs). In a situation such as this it is the Department of Energy’s obligation to ask some hard questions just as Energy Secretary Bill Richardson did during his tenure during the Clinton Administration when he personally lobbied OPEC members only to be chastised, to his great credit, by the OPEC spokesman, “In the forty year history of OPEC there has never been the case of the Secretary of Energy calling OPEC in the middle of an OPEC meeting… We are upset and disappointed at external pressure. We don’t like it.

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Go there and read. More later.

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The Green Energy Council – Covering the world

These guys cover the globe.

http://www.greenenergycouncil.com/

The International Green Energy Council is an educational and advocacy body. We pride ourselves on educating from kindergarten students all the way up to leaders of nations about energy efficiency, environmental stewardship and renewable energy. We also aid international leaders on creating sound policy and regulatory atmospheres in order to promote expeditious applications for renewable energy and green technologies.

Over the past six years we have worked with 22 Governors in regards to Renewable Portfolio Standards for their states. Furthermore, we are liaison and facilitators with several countries including but not limited to the following: Canada, South Africa, Greece, Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria, Philippines, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, China, Morocco as well as a host of others. The IGEC is also working with many utility company’s around the Globe to meet their Renewable Energy Portfolio mandates. We have chartered chapters in 68 nations around the World.

The GEC is a professional association comprised of individuals and companies that promote sustainable forms of energy production, renewable energy sources, sustainable design practices and advanced thinking in utilizing education and information for the promotion of being better stewards of our environment while providing National Security Energy Plans to nations around the Globe.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Nanocrystaline Cellulose – Its nature’s way of telling you

This isa  pretty interesting piece. It implies that most of the complicated and expensive atom level experiments to create nanotubes and other “nanostructures” were something of a waste of time. They also imply that the next advance in nanotechnology maybe finding ways to form, market and install new nanostructures at the real world level. In the literature it is stated that this form of cellulose can be both an insulator and a conductor so it would be nice if someone came up with a shielded electrical cable that could be used in the housing market, for instance. I have included 2 references for clarity’s sake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanocellulose

http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2012/06/nanocellulose-is-no-small-thing/

Nanocellulose Is No Small Thing

Trees could become part of electronics, medical devices, and military gear

 

For centuries, the forestry industry has produced paper and lumber. But what if trees could be transformed into an entirely new set of products, ranging from electronic sensors to biomedical implants to military protective gear?

The idea isn’t as improbable as it sounds. Researchers are studying a nanoscale material that can be extracted from trees and, in some forms, is about as strong as Kevlar. Called “nanocellulose,” this lightweight material is composed of bundled sugar chains from the cell walls of wood. Researchers can extract nanocellulose by grinding pulp or using chemicals to break it down into tiny particles. At such small scales, the material has fewer defects, making it stronger. One type of nanocellulose particle, called cellulose nanocrystals, is especially tough because the sugar chains are arranged in a highly ordered structure.

Researchers envision a huge array of applications for nanocellulose. It could partially replace fossil fuel–based products such as petroleum-derived plastics and might be cheaper than other high-performance nanoscale materials. Clear sheets of nanocellulose might be useful for windows or electronic displays. Studies have shown that some forms of cellulose are piezoelectric, meaning they generate an electrical signal when deformed, so nanocellulose-based sensors could potentially monitor structures such as bridges for signs of stress. Nanocellulose food packaging could block oxygen permeation and keep the contents from spoiling, while nanocellulose scaffolds implanted in the body might aid bone regeneration. And at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, researchers are investigating whether nanocellulose-reinforced materials could better protect soldiers on the battlefield.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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So That Is Why They Call It Downunder – Australia loves to deface nature

I had never heard of coal seam gas before so this is a real education for me. Thanks to The Wilderness Society for that.

http://www.wilderness.org.au/regions/new-south-wales/pillaga-coal-seam-gas-project-an-environmental-disaster

Pilliga coal seam gas project an environmental disaster

The Pilliga Scrub is one of Australia’s bush icons. At over 500,000 hectares – two thirds the size of Belgium – it is the largest temperate woodland in eastern Australia.

It is one of 15 national biodiversity hotspots identified by the Federal Government, and is home to threatened species such as the Regent Honeyeater and the endemic Pilliga Mouse.

Now mining company Eastern Star Gas wants to turn the Pilliga into a massive industrial development zone.

Eastern Star has plans for a huge 1100 well coal seam gas development in the Pilliga. The destruction of the Pilliga is the first big step to seeing our natural forests and rural land covered with gas wells.

This gas field will fragment 85,000 hectares of forest, including a protected area, and this is just the beginning.

The Pilliga project also involves gas pipelines sited along environmentally-sensitive travelling stock routes and across prime agricultural land, against the wishes of local farmers. The associated export terminal at Newcastle will threaten the Kooragang RAMSAR wetland.

Allowing coal seam gas developments in the Pilliga threatens the Great Artesian Basin with the existing dozen-well project already discharging waste water into the Murray-Darling Basin.

Communities across Australia are worried about coal seam gas projects polluting their local water supplies with toxins and salt. If the Pilliga project is built, there’s no telling what the impacts on water in north west NSW will be. The Pilliga coal seam gas project is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Take Action

Sign up to our cyberactivist list and receive regular updates on the Coal Seam Gas and other Wilderness Society campaigns.

For more information, please contact:

Campaign Coordinator

The Wilderness Society Newcastle Inc

Hunter Heritage Centre,
90 Hunter Street,
Newcastle, NSW, 2300
Phone: 02 4929 4395

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Atrazine Peaks In Illinois Waters In April And May – Still getting the word out never hurts

I got this from my buddy Darryl Malek-Wiley. At:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001252051472

He has been a very active environmentalist in Southern Louisiana for 30 years. He got it here:

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/2011-1123atrazine-tied-to-menstrual-irregularities

Atrazine in water tied to menstrual irregularities, low hormones

Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study. The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. The newest research, which compared women in Illinois farm towns to women in Vermont, adds to the growing scientific evidence linking atrazine to altered hormones.

2011-1129cropspray
University of Georgia
The herbicide atrazine is frequently detected in surface and groundwater, especially near cornfields in the Midwest.
By Lindsey Konkel
Environmental Health News
Nov. 28, 2011

Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study.

The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. Approximately 75 percent of all U.S. cornfields are treated with atrazine each year.

The newest research, which compared women in Illinois to women in Vermont, adds to the growing scientific evidence linking atrazine to altered hormones.

The women from Illinois farm towns were nearly five times more likely to report irregular periods than the Vermont women, and more than six times as likely to go more than six weeks between periods. In addition, the Illinois women had significantly lower levels of estrogen during an important part of the menstrual cycle.

Tap water in the Illinois communities had double the concentration of atrazine in the Vermont communities’ water. Nevertheless, the water in both states was far below the federal drinking water standard currently enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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It is a long article. I stopped at the mention of Illinois. Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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The International Year Of Sustainable Energy – Did you know

I had no idea this was declared by the UN. I have no idea how I missed it. Sustainability is the only way the human race will survive. Steady state economies can attain just as big aspirations as corporate capitalism without the environmental degradation. It is just that a lot more people would have to agree to the giant goal. Like space travel for instance.

http://www.un-energy.org/stories/860-international-year-of-sustainable-energy-for-all

International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Publication Date: May 31, 2011

 

“Expanding access to affordable, clean energy is critical for realizing
the MDGs and enabling sustainable development.”
-Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

 

The Challenge and the Goal

 

Access to clean and affordable modern energy is critical to fostering lasting social and economic development and to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Worldwide, some 2.7 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, and 1.4 billion have no access to electricity, with one billion more having access only to unreliable electricity networks.

The lack of modern energy services stifles income-generating activities and hampers the provision of basic services such as health care and education. In addition, smoke from polluting and inefficient cooking, lighting, and heating devices kills nearly two million women and young children prematurely every year and causes a range of chronic illnesses and other health impacts. Black carbon emissions from these devices worsen global climate change, and foraging for fuel contributes to deforestation.

In response, the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change – composed of global business leaders and heads of UN agencies – has called on the United Nations and its member countries to commit themselves to ensuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030. UN-Energy a collaboration of 20 UN agencies will lead the effort.

Why Energy Matters 

Energy Lifts People From Poverty:
Energy is essential to economic development and to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, yet 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity and 2.7 billion people lack clean cooking fuels and stoves.

Clean Energy Saves Lives:
Nearly two million women and children, die prematurely every year (that’s four every minute) due to illnesses caused by indoor air pollution.

Energy is the single biggest contributor to climate change:
Energy accounts for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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More tomorrow.

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IEEE And A Link Request – I have gotten a lot of link requests

So today and for the next couple, I am going to put up those up here:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid

FERC Issues Major Rule to Encourage Grid Expansion

Fri, July 29, 2011

Blog Post: Most important power grid reform since the power system was opened to wholesale competition

More Smart Meter Pushback 

Wed, July 06, 2011

Blog Post: British review raises questions about cost of national rollout and claimed benefits

Planned U.S. Power System Experiment Means Some Clocks Will Speed Up 

Fri, July 01, 2011

Blog Post: Will anybody really know what time it is? Will anybody really care?

Flywheels Keep the Grid in Tune 

July 2011

Article: Spinning masses face off against big batteries in the half-billion-dollar market for grid stability

Saving Smart Meters From a Backlash 

August 2011

Article: Fears of irradiation from antennas threaten to smother smart meters in the crib

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More tomorrow

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