UIS Has A New Student Union – It is Green as all get out

I am a graduate of Sangamon State University. What is now University of Illinois Springfield. They just build a Student Union and I am so proud of it. It could be LEED certified and it is student centered. Our Student Union was in a temporary building 0n the temporary campus “down the hill”. This is just so cool.

Strategic Design of the UIS Student Union

This is the part I like:

Environmentally Excellent

UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council), both for the sake of the environment and in order to take advantage of energy saving measures. For this reason, the building will have a green, or “living,” roof with vegetation and a growing medium over a sloped membrane. This roof will provide insulation, help to lower air temperatures, and last much longer than other roofs—50 to 60 years rather than the 20 to 30 years most roofs last. The vegetation will most likely include wildflowers that will change throughout the growing season, adding to the building’s beauty.

To reduce storm runoff and eliminate water irrigation, the Student Union will have a rainwater reclamation system that takes advantage of the roof’s slope. Also in consideration of LEED approvals, lighting will be designed to meet the USGBC’s very stringent requirements.

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No Man Is An Island – But this wind farm may need one

I have to admit I love European design and innovation. They seem to want what is best for human kind in a stylish sort of way. Still this is big for even the Dutch who always dream big.

https://qz.com/1169226/the-worlds-largest-wind-farm-is-being-planned-by-electric-grid-firm-tennet/

ICE-AGE DREAMS

The Dutch plan to build an artificial island to support the world’s largest wind farm

Wind farms need a lot of space—not something the world has much to spare. That’s why they’re being pushed out into the sea.

TenneT, the operator of the Netherlands’ electric grid, has come up with an ambitious plan to build an artificial island in the middle of the North Sea that on completion would support the world’s largest wind farm.

The location for the artificial island is a region called the Dogger Bank, about 100 km (60 miles) off the coast of Yorkshire in the UK. During the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago, when sea levels were 100 meters lower than today, Dogger Bank was actually a landmass called Doggerland, which connected mainland Europe to the British isles. The bank’s shallowness means it won’t require ungodly amounts of sand to build the island, and it will be able to support the thousands of wind turbines that need to be tethered to the sea floor. Its location also puts any electricity generated from the farm within reach of five countries.

Wind power generators are searching for better locations because wind farms are a much less dense form of electricity generation compared to fossil-fuel power or nuclear power. A nuclear power plant can generate 400 times as much energy per unit of area compared to a wind farm.

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Can Beating Climate Change Be This Easy – I certainly hope so

Sorry this is so late but the Christmas Season collided with my volunteering at Dana Thomas House which collided with the death of my dear friend Bob Paddack. Plus my car developed a penchant for flat tires. So I have been breathless. I could have ended on a downer note by posting about dumbass 45’s attempts to repeal regulations put in place after the Deep Water Horizon’s humongous oil spill, but that is insane so without further ado.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/switzerland-giant-new-machine-sucking-carbon-directly-air

In Switzerland, a giant new machine is sucking carbon directly from the air

Originally published by E&E News

The world’s first commercial plant for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air opened yesterday, refueling a debate about whether the technology can truly play a significant role in removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.

The Climeworks AG facility near Zurich becomes the first ever to capture CO2 at industrial scale from air and sell it directly to a buyer

Developers say the plant will capture about 900 tons of CO2 annually — or the approximate level released from 200 cars — and pipe the gas to help grow vegetables.

While the amount of CO2 is a small fraction of what firms and climate advocates hope to trap at large fossil fuel plants, Climeworks says its venture is a first step in their goal to capture 1 percent of the world’s global CO2 emissions with similar technology. To do so, there would need to be about 250,000 similar plants, the company says.

“Highly scalable negative emission technologies are crucial if we are to stay below the 2-degree target [for global temperature rise] of the international community,” said Christoph Gebald, co-founder and managing director of Climework

 

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Happy New Year everyone. Go there and read. More next week.

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I Have Prostate Cancer – I just had radioactive seed implant surgery

Yes I know it is ironic that a total anti-atomic energy advocate has some shoved up his butt. Yet I am hoping good things will come of. What I can honestly say is sitting here is painful. So no post this week.

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More next week.

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Navajos Should Deal With The Coal Problem – Retrain your workers

I have always said that the solution to coal and natural gas was to retrain those workers for green technologies and move them on. Here is a perfect example of a culture that controls its resources and could do just that. But they don’t get it. Wake up Navajos!

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/utilities-vote-to-close-2250-mw-navajo-plant-largest-coal-generator-in-we/436222/

Utilities vote to close 2,250 MW Navajo plant, largest coal generator in western US

Dive Brief:

  • Four utilities led by plant operator Salt River Project have decided to shutter the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station (NGS) near Page, Ariz., by 2019. The 2,250 MW plant is the largest coal generator in the western United States.
  • Competition from inexpensive natural gas generators means electricity from NGS is already more expensive than wholesale power prices, the utilities said in a release, a trend that’s not expected to reverse in coming years. The decision is the second major coal shuttering announcement in less than a month.
  • The deal announced this week aims to maintain employment at the plant for almost three years, while also preserving revenues for the Navajo and the Hopi tribes. It also allows the Navajo Nation or others to continue operating the plant beyond 2019, though the current group of owners will not be involved.

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Unitarian Church Goes Sustainable – Thank god

The Unitarian Church in Springfield Il. has invested in itself and its environment. I must add frustration here, as an accumulator type journalist, because I had the article in my hands. It did a great job of describing what they have done. I could not find so I had to use two sources that do it justice, but not as good as the first article. I am sorry.

http://www.aluuc.org/togetherweshare/wp-content/uploads/ALUUC-Newsletter-March-2017-web.pdf

Page
8
Green Sanctuary News
Notes from the ALUUC Prairie
The Green Sanctuary Committee burned the ALUUC prairie the
first Sunday in February. What a blaze! Flames over 5 feet tall
for
maybe 10 minutes. These burns have to be conducted with care using
equipment and training that have been developed over years of experi-
ence with prairie burning.
So why burn? Before Europeans arrived in the U.S., native people
routinely burned the prairies to stimulate growth of new plants for game
and to make hunting easier. Lightning also set prairies ablaze. Over thou-
sands of years, prairie plants adapted to these fires
sending roots deep
into the earth to protect against both drought and fires. Fires can kill less
adapted plants such as cool season grasses and some shrubby plants that
can take over the prairie. So we burn for the same reason
to rid the area of last year’s growth, stimu-
late new growth and rid the prairie of undesirable plants such as cool season grasses.
A common concern is that burning releases carbon
into the air adding to global warming. True, burning
does release carbon into the air
but this carbon is
“new” carbon that has been circulating in the air in the
last few years
not “old” carbon sequestered millions of
years ago in the coal and oil we now burn. Because of
their deep roots, prairie plants sequester more carbon in
their roots than released in a burn, even in prairies
burned every year. So in balance, prairie plants are a
carbon sink. (Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy’s Direc-
tor of Science in Nebraska).
-trip-part-3-questions-about-frequent-prairie-burning/

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160925/16-springfield-sites-part-of-saturdays-illinois-solar-tour

Springfield resident Bob Croteau has been involved in local solar projects since 1989 and played a major role in three of the local sites on the tour.

The Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation held fundraisers and used members from the church who are contractors to purchase and install their solar array. It has been operational since early 2015, features a web-based remote monitoring system, and “faces southeast, toward the morning sun, so solar electricity is running the lights and sound during the morning services,” said Croteau, who spearheaded the effort.

The net metering program offered by CWLP means that “if we are producing power when we don’t need it, it allows the meter to spin backward,” he added.

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Wind Power In Illinois Is Strong – I am so proud

Not much more I can say about this report. Well done sirs, Well done!

http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/business/miscellaneous/2016-07-25/report-wind-energy-means-billions-illinois-economy.html

Report: Wind energy means billions to Illinois’ economy

NORMAL — A new report on the economic impact of wind energy in the state shows Illinois’ 25 existing wind farms have supported 20,173 jobs during construction and will add $6.4 billion to local economies over the 25-year life of the projects.

Released by Illinois State University’s Center for Renewable Energy, the report also shows how wind power creates jobs in the short and long term, provides millions of dollars for farmers and landowners, revenue for counties and municipalities, and supports businesses both in and out of the wind supply chain.

“Wind power does much more than generate clean energy,” said  Kevin Borgia, public policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. “Wind power is an economic engine for the state, providing jobs, landowner payments, tax dollars and business opportunities.”

The report further details all that the state’s wind farms offer, including $30.4 million in annual property taxes for local communities and $13.86 million in extra income for landowners who lease their land to developers.

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Big Just Got Bigger – The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument just got twice as big

This is a happy fuzzy story, that i normally wouldn’t post. But here is the thing, as fun as it is, I dare you to say the name of the monument. Can you huh huh huh?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/obama-creates-world-s-largest-park-off-hawaii/

The Power of Parks

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.

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.)

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Go there and read in wonderment. More next week.

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Organized Crime And Pollution – These people will traffic in anything

I had originally planned on Posting about Obama’s new environmental goals, but I couldn’t find the article. I had been offered a guest blogger’s article about recycling. However I had been wanting to read this article about how industry was using organized crime to dump toxic crap into the environment, so here it is.

http://mosaicscience.com/story/how-mafia-causing-cancer

 

24 June 2016

 

How the mafia is causing cancer

When doctors in rural Italy began to see a surge in cancer cases, they were baffled. Then they made the link with industrial waste being dumped by local crime syndicates. Ian Birrell learns about the tragic consequences.
A few days before I visited the rather scruffy Hospital of Saint Anna and Saint Sebastian in Caserta, a boy aged 11 arrived complaining of headaches. Doctors feared the worst – and sure enough, the case was rapidly diagnosed as another child with brain cancer. Some of these young patients arrive in agonising pain, others mystified by falling over all the time; they do not know lethal tumours are swelling up inside their heads. Yet more turn up with cancer in their blood, their bones, their bladders. There are so many cases not all can be treated in the hospitals of Campania, a largely rural region of southern Italy.It was too early to provide a prognosis for the boy with the brain cancer, let alone to offer real comfort to his distraught family. Yet in a town where doctors used to rarely come across a child with cancer, never mind brain cancer, they now see these traumatic cases crop up almost every month. Too many young patients are ending up dead, some barely out the womb but with bodies riddled with disease. Then there are all the women getting breast cancer unusually early, the men with lung cancer despite never smoking, the children born with Down’s syndrome despite the comparatively young age of their mothers.

So why is this happening in an area north of Naples known as the ‘Triangle of Death’? The answer, locals believe, can almost certainly be found in places such as an old quarry three miles away by the historic town of Maddaloni, which I visited with an energetic 57-year-old youth worker named Enzo Tosti. As we drove there, he told me he was having treatment to counter the high levels of dioxins found in his blood five months earlier. “My wife works for the hospital as a radiologist and she is very concerned,” he said. “I thought about leaving for my health and going to live somewhere else, but where would I go? This is my land.”

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Go there and read, read, and read. More next week.

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I AM Really High On Solar Power – I may even get giddy

This article claims that solar power could be as cheap as 4 cents a kilowatt. It speculates that solar power might even reach the 3 cent level. I have doubts about those prices, but it is good news however low it goes.

http://fortune.com/2016/06/13/solar-to-get-crazy-cheap/

Solar Is Going to Get Ridiculously Cheap

Costs of the clean energy tech will keep falling over the next decade.

Solar will become the cheapest source to produce power in many countries over the next 15 years, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Part of the cheap solar power will be unleashed because the cost of installing solar panels at big solar farms and on rooftops will drop 60% to an estimated average of around four cents per kilowatt hour by 2040, the report said. That’s cheaper than coal and natural gas power in many regions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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