This bird has it going on. Its like one of those surfing clips where the surfer reaches out and touches the wave. It don’t get more real than this.
Now if I could just get the fork from my plate to my mouth…getting old sucks!
Germany is a perfect example of how producing energy with no pollution (in many case no burning) leads to an economic expansion and creates new good paying jobs. Bush and the Republicans have been wrong all along. Nixon, Reagan and Bush oh my!
The cumulative effect of all these programs is to place Germany in a commanding position as nations beset with environmental problems search for ways to reduce pollution quickly and inexpensively. Thailand, for example, decided to install scrubbers on its coal-fired power plants after a single episode of air pollution in Mae Mo District sent more than 4,000 of its citizens to doctors and hospitals. Smog-bound Mexico City has been forced to implement emissions controls on cars and factories. Taiwan is even going so far as to require catalytic converters for motorcycles. Such mandates will almost inevitably benefit Germany because, as Harvard Business School economist Michael Porter explains, “Germany has had perhaps the world’s tightest regulations in stationary air-pollution control, and German companies appear to hold a wide lead in patenting–and exporting–air pollution and other environmental technologies.”
In the United States, however, where environmental standards were relaxed by a succession of Reagan/Bush appointees, often in the name of competitiveness, “as much as 70 percent of the air pollution control equipment sold…is produced by foreign companies,” according to Porter, whose 855-page study of industrial economies, The Competitive Advantage of Nations, examines the impact of environmental regulations on competitiveness.
Germany’s actions continue to contrast sharply with those of the United States, even under President Clinton, whom most environmentalists supported as the green answer to George Bush. Germany’s emissions limits on power plants and incinerators are 4 to 300 times more stringent than those of the United States. German companies that generate electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable forms of power are reimbursed at twice to three times U.S. levels. German recycling is mandatory, while American programs are usually voluntary where they exist at all.
Still, support for Germany’s environmental initiatives is by no means unanimous. Wolfgang Hilger, for example, the chairman of Hoechst, Germany’s largest chemical company, complained bitterly in 1991 that the government had lost all sense of proportion. He claimed that regulations had jeopardized 250 jobs at his company, and threatened it with a $100-million loss. But Hilger represents a minority view. Most German citizens and businesses remain convinced both that environmental protection is essential and that the technological innovation stimulated by stringent environmental requirements will, over the long term, strengthen their national productivity and competitiveness.
Tragically, U.S. political leaders continue to embrace the outmoded and false view that the environment can be protected only at the expense of the economy, when the truth is precisely the opposite. Meanwhile, products of American genius continue to depart for Japan, Germany, and other nations, only to be sold back to U.S. industry sometime in the future. So far, the homes-from-pollution process hasn’t traveled full circle back to its place of invention in the United States. But don’t be surprised if sometime soon you see a piece of wallboard being nailed into a new office or a remodeled home only to find it boldly emblazoned: “Made in Germany.”
When you type “Hot Environmental Topics” into google search, they are the FIRST TWO websites that pop-up. I am not kidding! So I clicked on the first link. The contradictions are amazing:
The page you go in at is all gushy about the future but when you click on their global warming page whoa does the corporate speak snap into play?
Q. What is Chevron’s position on The Kyoto Protocol?
A. The Kyoto Protocol assigns mandatory emission limits of greenhouse gasses to signatory nations. We support the intentions of Kyoto in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and respect the individual countries that have made the decisions to sign. However, while we support the global engagement that it envisions, we believe it focuses on signing up many countries rather than truly engaging the 10 – 12 critical emitting countries. Further, we think it asks for emission reductions that are too aggressive too quickly, given the technologies that are currently available. Finally, we don’t think the economic consequences are fully outlined.
A. In 2006, California Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The legislation seeks to cap California’s greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2020.
Again, we support the intentions of the state in reducing GHG emissions. But we believe that effective mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions can only occur at a global level, given that climate change is a global issue. This requires coordinated national frameworks, and fragmented actions by individual states have the potential for undue economic costs without effectively mitigating the climate change risk.
We have experience with state–by–state and region–by–region regulatory approaches, and these have not been favorable to consumers.
Bottomline “YOU CAN’T TELL US WHAT TO DO”
When you click on General Electric’s web site you get very pretty animated stuff. Do these guys have bucks or what?
But the first thing they offer up is CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY! Sorry Caz I wish I was a good enough blogger to put up the video but this is the link:
Everyone should ask google how this is possible? Especially after they announce that they are going to spend big bucks on clean energy production??????
A new standard has been set for any new buildings in Springfield and Central Illinois in general. While I think they should have included some generation capacity, its pretty good. Please see the specifications below:
Melotte Morse Leonatti, Ltd.
213’/2 South Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701-1502 (217)789-9515 FAX (217)789-9518
illinois municipal electric agency headquarters
building fact sheet
• project team:
o owner: illinois municipal electric agency o architect: melotte morse leonatti, ltd. o engineer: eta engineers o contractor: o’shea builders
• prairie style influences• 2.5 acre lot, 75 stall parking lot• 33.OOO gross square feet• s-bay garage• 36 seat board room with integrated AV and voting, 25 seat gallery• executive conference facility with integrated AV & phone• 24/7/365 CONTROL CENTER IN 3,53O SQUARE FOOT TORNADO SHELTER (DESIGNED FOR
category F5 storms) with 72 hour generator backup
• alternative transportation (Bus rte, car pools, Low CO2 cars)• bicycle storage/shower
•—»- “cool” roofing/paving, light pollution reduction
• goal of 3o% water use reduction• building envelope 16% better than code• 10o% geoexchange (geothermal) heating/cooling:
o 82 tons capacity – 54 tons = bl_dg. 28 tons = data racks
o methalene solution in > 5o,ooo feet of polyethelene piping
o 1 1 high efficiency heat pumps — each heat pump a zone
o 6 loops (thermal exchange zones) of (1 2) 4″ diameter holes, 3oo feet deep
— reverse return system
o fossil fuel consumption = O at the building o energy savings: 84,601 kwh/year over similar water source heat pump
system. $6,10o estimated annual energy savings over conventional
system (as defined by ashrae 9o: electric boiler for heat and air-cooled
chiller/vav system for cooling) — 3o%
• fundamental & enhanced commissioning• goal of 5o% construction waste diversion• goal of 2O% recycled content a 2O% regional materials• automatic lighting controls:
o interior based on available daylight and occupancy o exterior based on astronomical time clock
• daylighting/views, operable windows• Low VOC finishes/indoor air quality• goal of silver level LEED certification
Rails C. Melotte, A.I.A. • Richard R. Morse, A.I.A. • David J. Leonatti, A.I.A. • T. David Parker, A.I.A., Principals
Darrell R. Schaver, Associate
Here is the real reason that Ray Lahood is not running for Congress again. He sent me this letter after I wrote him to support increases in the CAFE Standards. When he finally gets around to it in the letter below…it turns out he supports a much lower CAFE Standard than I was asking for. In fact its the “Floor” or the lowest standard that President Bush Proposed!
The politicians have been told for years by the coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries that:
1. renewables are “years” away from being able to helpay LaHood Member of Congress
2. nuclear will have to be part of the mix
3. that we must drill and mine on environmentally sensitive areas to be energy self sufficient
4. people who say other wise are out to destroy our economy
They have said it for so long that the politicans came to believe it. Now that the world is changing the energy companies can’t say “oh we were lieing to make more money”. So they are just mum and as the Environmental Storm brews all the dinosaurs are running to get out of the road.
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
select intelligence oversight panel ranking member
subcommittee onagriculture, rural development,
food and drug administration,
and related agencies CONGRESSMAN RAY LAHOOD
subcommittee onlegislative branch 18TH DISTRICT, ILLINOIS
November 14, 2007
Mr. Doug Nicodemus
948 E. Adams
Riverton, IL 62561
Thank you for contacting me and sharing your concerns about global warming and our nation’s energy supply. It was good to hear from you on these important issues, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
America must take responsibility for its energy needs, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, promote clean renewable energy sources, and implement a plan to keep our economy growing and our nation safe. It is my understanding that, even though the United States is the world’s third largest crude oil producer, less than 40 percent of the crude oil used by U.S. refineries was produced in the United States. About 50 percent of our petroleum imports are from countries in the Western Hemisphere, with 20 percent from the Persian Gulf, 15 percent from Africa, and 15 percent from other regions. Given these facts, I believe that we need to continue to research and develop alternative fuel choices, reduce our consumption of oil through conservation, and work to increase our domestic petroleum supply.
Any energy policy that addresses our petroleum needs must look at increasing our domestic supply. Several areas in the country offer opportunities worth exploring to increase domestic petroleum production, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), other areas in Alaska, the Rocky Mountain region, and along the continental shelf. The technology exists where we can safely extract oil and natural gas from these areas and not adversely affect the local and regional environment. Increasing efficiencies and technological advancement allow us to capture more resources from a smaller footprint.
Two bills aimed at reforming our energy laws, H.R. 2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007, and H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, both recently passed the House of Representatives. However, a number of concerns have arisen with both of these pieces of legislation.
The unfortunate reality is that neither of these bills does anything to help develop our own domestic supply of oil, but rather punishes America’s oil and gas workers by raising taxes, imposing new fees, and putting the brakes on energy exploration, making us even more reliant on foreign oil. Other concerns arose from the amendment offered by Representative Tom Udall of New Mexico. His amendment, which was accepted and included within the final legislation, requires electric suppliers to provide 15 percent of their electricity using renewable energy resources by the year 2020. The intentions of this amendment are good; however, it unfortunately implements a standardized requirement for the entire country without taking into account the specific needs of individual states. While this new mandate may be easily fulfilled by certain areas of the country that have readily available access to renewable energy sources, such as wind, water, and solar, it becomes more difficult and costly to implement these requirements for other parts of the country where such amenities are not easily found. At the same time, I am also concerned that this legislation
1424 longworth house office building fj 100 NE monroe O 3050 montvale drive D 209 west state
washington, DC 20515 peoria, IL 61602 springfield, IL 62704 jacksonville, IL 62650
(202)225-6201 (309)671-7027 (217)793-0808 PHONE/TTY (217) 245-1431
FAX (202) 225-9249 FAX (309) 671-7309 FAX (217) 793-9724 FAX (217) 243-6852
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
Mr. Doug NicodemusNovember 14, 2007
Page # 2
excludes nuclear energy from being defined as renewable. This would make it increasingly difficult for states such as Illinois to meet these new energy restrictions where nuclear is the dominant form of energy used.
This legislation also failed to address an important issue which I have consistently been concerned with, the promotion of fuel efficient vehicles. Of the 20 million barrels of oil the U.S. consumes in a day, 67 percent is used to power our cars. If Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were increased by only three miles per gallon, not only would it save you money, but it would steeply reduce the amount of oil consumed each day by our country. We already have the technology to increase CAFE standards, and it is the single most important thing we could do to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Consistent with this goal, in the new 11 Oth Congress, I have signed onto legislation, as I have done in the past, which would increase our automobile fuel efficiency standards in the United States, H.R. 656. This legislation, introduced by my colleague from Washington, Representative David Reichert, would prescribe CAFE standards for automobiles manufactured after 2016 of at least 33 miles per gallon. This legislation has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. While I am not a member of this committee, I will closely monitor the progress of this legislation, hopeful that it will reach the House Floor for a vote so that I may continue to show my support for it.
As a result of my dedication to decrease America’s dependence on oil, while researching alternative forms of energy, I was happy to vote to support and pass H.R. 6, the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, by a vote of 264-163, earlier this Congress. This bill will repeal a number of tax credits given to major oil corporations in the hope that this would generate investment and research in new and renewable energy alternatives. It will also amend certain deepwater oil and gas leases, issued during 1998 and 1999, to incorporate specified price thresholds applicable to royalty suspension provisions. The funds generated from this legislation would then be put into a ‘Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewable Reserve Fund’. The money in this fund would go to researching and developing new and renewable alternatives to petroleum energy in order to wane America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I will continue my dedication to promoting alternative and renewable fuel choices to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil as we continue to work through the 110th Congress. Please feel free to contact me again should you have any further thoughts or concerns.
Sincerely,Ray LaHood Member of Congress
I hope this day brings you blessings of all kinds.
Please come if you can!!!
Sorry for the omission…
The Bicentennial Room is on the third floor of the Lincoln Library downtown, 7th & Capitol.
—– Original Message —–
Cc: Freecycle Springfield ; Greene ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; ‘Tih-Fen Ting’ ; Marc Klingshirn ; Bob Barewin ; Arthur Neal ; Bill Crook ; John Sanford ; Brett Ivers ; Doug Nicodemus ; Coplea, Wynne ; email@example.com ; O’Connor, Catherine
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 6:59 PM
Subject:Council for the Environment
There have been many responses from the email regarding a meeting date for the first organizational meeting of a new group comprised of representatives from the local environmental groups. The purpose of this meeting is to begin a network of information sharing for the benefit of all.
It seems as if Thursday, November 29th at 7:00 pm at the third floor conference room (Bicentennial Room) is the date of most favor.
An agenda will be prepared, and anyone wishing to include items for discussion are welcome to reply to this email.
I believe the date will be the 29th.
Hello fellow environmentalists, hope all are well,
Following up on an idea that was offered Sunday’s Cool Town Meeting
forming an Enviromental Council, made up of the organizations that are
functioning locally, the following are the dates that are available at
Lincoln Library for an evening meeting:
November 20th, 26th, or 29th.
The purpose of this first meeting would be to share ideas on how we can
better support each other’s group by coordinating meetings and planning
future events together. One idea that seems to have great interest is
expansion of the Earth Awareness Fair held each April at the
Wynn Copela, the City’s Recycling Coodinator and one of the prime
organizer’s for this event is very supportive regarding all the
environmental groups comming together to discuss how this fair can be
Please get back to me regarding which date works best, & we’ll go ahead
reserve the meeting room.
Also if any group wants their meeting dates posted at
http://www.sustainablespringfield.org/Calendar.htm , please let me know
Let’s sustain the energy that was generated Sunday!
Jim Johnston, President
While I was doing national posts, I over looked some local things. I have been very bad and apologize. On November 4rth there was a very important meeting of all the environmentalists in Springfield and led to the next blog.
Meeting yields ways to locally battle climate change
By AMANDA REAVY
on Natemeyer attended a town hall meeting devoted to climate issues Sunday afternoon, ready to learn ways he and other citizens can make an immediate impact.
But as some participants asked for more direction, Natemeyer decided to pitch his own idea of planting Illinois native species along blighted alleyways.
It started when Natemeyer began cleaning the alley behind his house. Soon, he saw one of his neighbors was planting native species behind his garage.
Natemeyer liked the idea and thought it could lead to a sponsorship program in which seed heads are collected and then planted in alleys that have been cleared of litter and other debris.
“It’d be simple, easy, and doesn’t cost anything except time,” Natemeyer told the crowd.
A representative of the Illinois Native Plant Society expressed interest in the project.
“I will talk to them next and see if they want to help. Maybe we can pick one alley or something and experiment,” Natemeyer said after the meeting.
Such networking is what “Cool Town Meeting: Facing Global Climate Change Locally,” was all about, said Diane Lopez Hughes, the event’s chief organizer.
“We want to hear from people and get great ideas from people who live in the community,” Hughes said.
About 150 people attended the gathering in Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. Seventh St.
The meeting featured a discussion as well as presentations by University of Illinois at Springfield professor Jim Bonacum, an evolutionary geneticist, and State Journal-Register Outdoors Editor Chris Young.
Representatives from 10 community environmental organizations were also on hand to ex- plain their initiatives. Those represented were: Community Energy Systems, Cool Cities Springfield, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Jubilee Farm, Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club, the St. Joseph Parish Environmental Justice Committee, Sustainable Springfield Inc., UIS Students Allied for a Greener Earth, Justice and Peace Office of the Franciscan Sisters and Pax Christi.
Ideas presented during the discussion included adjusting tax rates to discourage city residents from using too much electricity and water, providing course credits for homeless people and troubled youths who participate in clean-up projects and creating a database or Web site where the environmentally conscious can find information on resources in Springfield.
Lindsay Record, local food coordinator for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, said she was particularly inspired by Natemeyer’s suggestion.
“It’s a simple idea, but I liked it so much when someone stood up and said, ‘Why don’t we do something here…. I’m willing to do something, here’s an idea, who wants to do it?'” Record said. “I think it’s all these little things that add up to making our community the way we want it to be.”
Amanda Reavy can be ro—’-