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Archive for May, 2009

A Summary of the Pending GHG Regulations

by earth guide on May.31, 2009, under Green News


A Summary of the Pending GHG Regulations

The newly formed Obama administration has listed greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking and reporting as a major goal, with the objective of protecting the future of the environment by reducing today’s carbon footprint. If no action were taken, the makeup of the earth would significantly altered. Future actions will establish a market drive carbon cap and trade program to drive GHG emissions reductions.

Greenhouse Gas tracking is outlined in The Climate Registry Protocol, which details the requirements for mandatory monitoring and tracking. The premise around greenhouse gas tracking are included in the U.S. Clean Air Act, aimed at improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes mandatory reporting of the gases contributing to global climate change from about 13,000 facilities nationwide. These facilities account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions within the United States and present a logical starting point for emissions reductions in the US. The regulation would cover companies that either release large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) directly or produce or import fuels and chemicals that when burned emit large amounts of carbon (CO2) gases.

One of the major focuses of the Greenhouse Gas tracking protocol is refrigerant gases used in refrigeration and cooling systems by numerous facilities, including manufacturers, food processors, retailers, grocery stores, office buildings, municipalities and hospitals, just to name a few. Because of their chemical makeup, refrigerant gases contain significant levels of carbon in the form of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Use of these compounds has been regulated under the U.S. Clean Air Act for several years.

Greenhouse gases absorb and release radiation into the atmosphere, setting off a global warming effect on earth. The intent and overall goal of GHG tracking relates to better collection and management of the emissions data now so informed decisions can be made about future carbon trading schemes. The tracking protocols also help government entities to more accurately inventory the amounts of emissions reaching the atmosphere. The new GHG legislation puts in motion the data collection, organization, and first stage reporting mechanisms to allow the US to accurately calculate and maintain a GHG emissions baseline across the entire economy. This will allow for better understanding today as well as to determine progress for future Cap and Trade programs. With this accurate information, it can be determined if the guidelines are effective in lowering the harmful effects of these substances to the ozone layer.

Greenhouse Gas tracking involves measuring direct and indirect emissions and keeping extensive records on its usage, maintenance, leak containment and disposal. Heating and cooling systems, as well as other energy consumption, are defined as direct emissions.

Better and more effective GHG management is an objective of the current US government. No longer will the US sit by and watch the world attack the issue of climate change. The US is now taking action to lower carbon emissions to the betterment of future generations. By taking no action, the earth’s makeup would significantly change, with humans and animals adversely affected and marine and plant life severely damaged.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management and reporting is now falling under the EPA regulations contained within The U.S. Clean Air Act because the causes of global climate change is now well know. Human activities and the use of global warming substances, like refrigerant gases, are all leading to increased global warming. The substances are carbon dioxide, chlorine, bromine, nitrous oxide, chloroflurocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, sulfur hexafluoride, hydroxyl, perfluorocarbobs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, fluorine, and the fluorinated gases hydrofluorinated ethers and nitrogen trifluoride. The mandatory law is aimed at reducing the use of these substances to lower the effects of global warming.

Beginning in 2010, GHG management, tracking, and reporting will be environmental law for the highest emitting facilities. Part of the management will revolve around better tracking and reporting of refrigerant gases. Entities must submit usage reports and service records for all refrigerants having high GWP. Special calculations are applied to refrigerants when any leads occur. The GHG emission reporting rules and related protocols allow for progressive companies to take advantage of software already created to help with carbon emissions reporting. Some web applications allow organizations to track GHGs to the asset level across global, distributed facilities.

Software provided by Verisae tracks carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions according to The Climate Registry protocols across all sites so companies can manage their carbon emissions and work towards reducing their carbon footprint. To learn more effective refrigerant management tactics and the tools, you can research http://www.Refrigerant-Tracker.com

China 2035 Bigger Than USA

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The Queen of Re-Use

by earth guide on May.30, 2009, under Green News


The Queen of Re-Use

If I gave my family questionable marks on its efforts to reduce, I admit that when it comes to re-using I am the Queen. When I was a teenager there was a song, ‘I was country, when country wasn’t cool.’ Well, I was re-using back when it was called hand-me-downs and everyone looked down on you for wearing them. Honestly though, I can remember being about five and having a distant second cousin visit. She had brought a bag of clothes that had been her daughter’s, who had died. That may sound morbid, but I think my smiles and thanks for the ‘new’ clothes may have helped to let go of not only the clothes, but a bit of her grief as well.
If you were to look in my three year old’s playroom, most of the toys you would see have been given to her second-hand from friends, purchased at charity shops or even salvaged from the bin…including her wonderful Little Tikes kitchen centre.
But my re-using does not stop there, if you open my kitchen cabinets you will see stacks of old containers that once held spread, cottage cheese or something else. With the exception of the air-tight sealing bowls that my husband uses to transport his food to work each day, we do not purchase or use Tupperware, Serv-rite or any other type of plastic wear. And those plastic containers that once housed my produce such as strawberries, blueberries and peaches are now being re-used as pots for my spring seedlings. I also have a cabinet full of sauce jars that I am looking for ideas on how best to re-use. I have already filled several with nuts, bolts, nails and the like. But even after getting organised myself, I just can’t bring myself to throw these into the recycle bag when I know that they are perfectly re-usable as they are. As I mentioned yesterday, I re-use the few plastic bags we get from quick trips to the corner store for bin liners in the bathrooms.
I have even taken to re-using my daughter’s Fruit Shoot bottles by refilling them with concentrate fruit and water. Of course, a tad of a warning on this one: do not freeze plastic bottles as it can cause a cancer causing chemical to leach into the drinks. So I always replace the bottles after a few uses just to be safe. But then they can go into the recycle bag (but that is tomorrow’s topic).
Even dinner last night was re-used food; better known as left-overs. Anyone that reads my blog knows I have dozens (hundreds?) of ideas for re-using food as soups, smoothies, casseroles, stir-fries or just re-heated and served. I call this creative cooking and make it a staple of not only our family’s diet, but of my blog as well: offering recipes to my readers.
I think one of the most beautiful examples of re-using is the folk-art form of quilting. Not only can worn-out old clothes be turned into colourful quilts, but they can tell a story: our history. I have also heard of people braiding old cloth to make rugs as well. Last year at the Green Show, I bought my daughter the cutest little purse made from old plastic juice boxes by a women’s cooperative in the developing world.
Thinking back to my own childhood and the used toys and clothes that I was blessed to enjoy, I am glad that it has become the ‘cool’ thing to re-use. Not only do these items still have good life left in them, but they remind us that we, ourselves, re-use life’s lessons to improve our world. So next time before you toss that item into the bin or even the recycle bag, stop and ask yourself could it be re-used instead: perhaps that wine bottle would look nice on a table with a candle or a few flowers or could that old t-shirt be cut into squares and used instead of paper towels or how about making puppets with old and mismatched socks. The ideas are limitless…I hope you will share your favourites with me as well.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.
Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.
Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.

Chek Technology Inc.

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Helping Kids Care: Ideas For Earth Day and Beyond

by earth guide on May.29, 2009, under Green News


Helping Kids Care: Ideas For Earth Day and Beyond

Earth Day is April 22, and while it’s important to get involved on this day, there are things we can do as families that will make a huge impact throughout the year.
It starts with helping our kids to celebrate the world in which we live, and it continues with helping them to love it so much that they want to do everything they can to help protect it. Here are six ideas to help your kids celebrate and care for our earth:
1. Get out and enjoy it. Researchers are now saying that simply getting kids outside in nature may be the most effective way to raise their awareness of environmental issues. Suddenly, these problems that they hear about on the news and in the classroom have a real impact on their daily lives. They see firsthand how a forest or a beach or a tidepool or a meadow is teeming with life, with ecological relationships that are interdependent, delicate and complex.
To encourage your kids to get out there and enjoy the natural world, you may have to purposefully inject some extra excitement in the idea, but just at first. Take your dog (or a friend’s dog) for a walk in the woods. A dog’s love for nature, and subsequent enjoyment of it, is infectious. Create a list of things to find and make your adventure into the outdoors into a scavenger hunt.
If possible, and if your kids are old enough to be by themselves out there, find a safe place for them to play in a natural environment. Allow them to go there to get away, to sit and think or to talk with their friends. Make a point to get the kids out in nature every day. Better yet, go with them.
2. Watch “An Inconvenient Truth” as a family for inspiration. Invite some of your children’s friends over to watch it with their parents and talk about some initiatives that you can each commit to or some larger projects that you can work on as a neighborhood or community.
3. Help your kids learn about endangered animals. Together, look into organizations that help endangered animals and see how you can get involved.
4. Reduce and re-use, then recycle. Lots of kids get excited about recycling. Fewer are into reducing or re-using. Model to your children a healthy pattern of consumption. Talk frequently about the many benefits (which go way beyond environmental) of living a simple life and of being wary of a lifestyle of mass consumerism. As kids spend more time outside and less time at the mall or watching television advertisements, this shift may feel increasingly more natural to them.
5. Teach your kids about potentially harmful chemicals and how they can be everywhere in our world: in the foods we eat, in the supplies we use to clean the house, in our paint, in our cosmetics, in our lawn care products. Turn the search for these things into a game and allow your kids to be detectives, learning about and seeking out these harmful chemicals and then finding natural alternatives.
6. The next time you take the kids to the grocery store, see how you can minimize the amount of packaging that you purchase. We have been known to purposefully not purchase an item because of the manufacturer’s use of wasteful packaging. It won’t take long for the kids to realize that the best item in the store for minimal packaging: raw fruits and vegetables.
In our family, the more we can make these life changes into a game, the more apt the kids are to follow suit. Help your kids to understand how one person really can make a difference (especially when that person is part of a committed family or group) and review often the personal impact that you all have made.

Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com and Susies-coupons.com, where you’ll find discounts on ethically-made natural beauty products as well as coupons for green living and organic products.

Green technology

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Are Tsunami’s Caused by Global Warming ?

by earth guide on May.29, 2009, under Green News


Are Tsunami’s Caused by Global Warming ?

Throughout the history of our planet it has endured a constantly changing climate. It endured an ice age and has also experienced long periods of heat. But over the last two hundred years, give or take, the temperature of our planet has been steadily increasing. This change in the climate on earth is known as global warming, and global warming is the direct result of the industrial revolution.
Because of the industrial revolution, people are constantly burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal. But by burning these fuels dangerous greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are then released into the earth’s atmosphere. These gases block heat rising from the earth from being able to escape into space. The same basic function that glass panels on greenhouses have, hence the name. Our burning of fossil fuels causes more than three quarters of all carbon dioxide emissions. Power plants and other stationary sources contribute more than half of that amount.
Along with increasing CO2 emissions, deforestation is on the increase as well. This is disastrous, because trees recycle CO2 and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Because of the rise in deforestation levels the fossil fuels we burn are seriously jeopardizing our planet. We know that global warming is the cause of glaciers getting smaller and for the rise in sea levels. Plants and animals show clear and undeniable signs that they are affected in many different ways. Earth is experiencing longer seasons which results in rivers and lakes freezing later than usual and melting sooner. Without a doubt, global warming causes many changes and affects our planet in many ways but can it also cause a tsunami?
Nobody will ever forget the utter destruction, grief and loss left behind after the huge tsunami that hit parts of Asia on December 26th, 2004. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, injured and traumatized. The areas it hit were left completely destroyed.
Generally speaking a tsunami is made up of a series of waves. More often than not the first one is the mildest. Prior to the arrival of the first wave, the shoreline recedes dramatically and often leaves the ocean floor exposed. They mostly occur where the water is shallow but they can also occur around coastal areas. In deep water a tsunami appears as a big wave and nothing more. In shallow water this is not the case. The wave can reach as high as one hundred metres, although, in all honesty, this is not at all common.
We know that tsunami’s can be caused by an earthquake, but this is not the only cause. They can also be caused through volcanic eruptions and landslides. Another cause is if a large amount of water is somehow displaced, such as when meteors happen to fall into large bodies of water. Tsunami’s are caused by events that can be, and are, affected by global warming, however global warming itself does not directly trigger the formation of a tsunami. Basically, it is an indirect cause.
One thing is certain, global warming is not a myth as some suggest. The planet is displaying clear signs that we dare not ignore.

For more global warming articles and daily news why not visit http://www.globalwarmingnewsblog.com - a site dedicated to information about climate change: effects, issues, causes, solutions, opinion and more.

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How Can We Cope?

by earth guide on May.29, 2009, under Green News


How Can We Cope?

The world has some decisions about sources for future energy. The increase in population and increasing demand present a problem. The cost of conventional non-renewable energy sources is on the rise. Oil, gas, water, coal, and other natural resources have a limit to their supply.
Gas, Oil and petroleum products are more expensive than ever, and the supply is running thin. Many may think that the planet may never run out of these however it seems that drilling these supplies is becoming ever more difficult. There have been three major energy crises thus far.
Due to the shortage of resources and decreased output, the cost of these energy sources has increased rapidly over the years.
How long will it take before all of these resources are exhausted? The truth is that we really do not know. Experts say that 50% of the world’s supply of available oil has been exhausted. Every day the demand is increasing and it could take mere decades to exhaust the supply of crude petroleum.
What could possibly be done about this situation? How can we as a society cope with the energy crisis at hand? What can we consumers do about this? We can all start by understanding the importance and impact that energy has in our lives. These supplies of energy should not be taken for granted. Additionally we should avoid wasting energy.
There are simple things that we could do to conserve such as getting involved with a car pool, check our car tires for proper inflation, and using fuel efficient vehicles. If we can cut down on our use of fuel and oil in everyday activities we can be further prepared for the impending energy crisis.
Another way that we can cope with the energy situation is by utilizing renewable energy sources. Solar and wind power systems are becoming ever more available. These power solutions are feasible, cost effective and environmentally friendly. In addition, you save on your power bill and help contribute towards a better future for our world.

Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at EnergySolutionsDIY.com.

american idol - green brain

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The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4

by earth guide on May.28, 2009, under Green News


The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4

“The Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
In my last water efficiency article (Water-Efficiency: Why Most Advice You’ve Read is Absolutely Inefficient), we began a slow turn away from lighting with a discussion of the 80/20 Rule and how your little positive behavioral changes with water aren’t even a drop in the bucket when your other positive behavioral changes - making homemade pizza - evaporate the entire year’s ocean of benefits in a few tasty bites.
In a four-part series, we talk about a resource besides energy: water.

Today, we begin far above this “turn off the porch lights and take short, icy showers” efficiency thing to show you how we got to where we are now both in fuels and in other resources.
Next week, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.
The following week, we continue going with the flow of water, when we show the parallel between the current hot Oil Wars and in the future cold Water Wars.
And in the final week, we tie together the articles in a symphony of three movements, showing you how all the elements hold the Resource Matrix in place and how, like Neo in the movie, you can break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is. (At least, my version of it, anyway.)

Ready to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes?
We start with one of the most boring subjects known to college students, one birthed out of the Enlightenment when extremely titled, idly rich, powdery wig-headed fancy foppish men dressed like women and walked in high heels and squealed like school girls:
Economics: it’s totally insane
Economics is described as the science of allocating scarce resources. Since it’s the study of human behavior, it’s a social science rather than a physical science.
And although any individual’s behavior may not be predictable, individuals as a group can be. Kinda like the weather: you don’t know much about a single raindrop’s effect but you can track the overall storm and predict what’s next.
Economics likes to fool itself that it can predict behavior based on the assumption that people make rational choices. Understand what people think and you understand what choices people will make.
It unfortunately leaves out the other part of being human: human behavior based on emotions.
And emotions weigh heavily in how we interact with each other, especially in exchanges of value.
Maximizing returns:
“I want your goodies for nothing”
Economics recognizes that people are motivated by self-interest to maximize their benefits at the lowest cost.
On an individual basis, this can turn into a “win-lose” proposition:

I want to acquire the best stuff for the cheapest terms
I want to dispose of the lousiest stuff for the greatest terms

In short, you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom.
May the Force be with you:
getting diamonds and gold for nothing:
Economics comes out of 18th century political economy, which studied production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government. Political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy.
This moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, which comes pretty close to getting your diamonds and gold for nothing: forcibly take over a country and use its people to extract its resources to be reallocated to your bank account. And make sure nobody but you has any say in the matter.
Social good in the equation:
A few people didn’t see the morality in this philosophy. Enter the lousy, meddling individual do-gooders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Upton Sinclair, and many others who messed with the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd.
And some of the individuals do-gooders formed their own organizations like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.
They all worked to increase awareness that there are alternatives to being forced to give away your diamonds and gold for nothing while having no say in the matter, and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win.”
The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who could only lose in the change to “win-win,” found their salvation in the late 1800s with the rise of modern psychology (the scientific study of mental functions and behavior). Applied to politics, it’s called propaganda. Applied to spirituality, it’s called religion. Applied to commerce, it’s called marketing and advertising.
All these applications are forms of hypnotism, and are based on the proven principle that if you repeat anything enough times, including a falsehood, your audience will grow to believe it and then to defend it as the truth.
The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd used economics to hypnotically declare for 250 years that fossil fuels, the air, and water were without cost. They called them “free goods.”
And they used force (”Oh yeah, and what the hell are you going to do about it?”) to declare that pollution had no consequences.
What’s an Oxymoron?
“Free Good” in economics
The free good is a term used in economics to describe a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society.
Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want. Examples in textbooks (even in the 1980s) included fresh water and the air that we breathe. However, these are now regarded as common goods because competition for them is rivalrous.
In short, there is no free lunch.
An additional moral philosophy:
“There’s a sucker born every minute”
becomes
“How can I help you help me?”
The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd continues to rise early and work late to craft their “win-lose” deals every day.
Yet, out of those rising early and working late, a small radical fringe discovered the curious fact that if you don’t beat a dog bloody every time you see it, it’s less likely to bite your hand off, and it even might go out and hunt down a squirrel for your evening stew.
Their moral philosophy became a hybrid offshoot.
The Hybrids still want your goodies, but they are willing to help you get your goodies with less pain and damage to yourself so you’ll be willing to come back to them and hand over more of your goodies.
Both use the same mind-numbing hypnotic slogans: “We care about you.”
The difference is the Hybrids actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do. Even if they don’t actually give a hoot about you. Contrast that to the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who merely sends you more hynoptic slogans when they want your goodies.
Where Do You Want to Go Today?
Everywhere but here
We’ve all awaken to the shocking realizations that:

finite energy resources will run out
actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible, and
the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, you could just pop some soma and totally trip out.
But the cowardly old world we’re experiencing has quickly turned into a total bummer of a bad trip, man. Down with the Establishment and praise the Collective.
We’re all in this together, or
Toss the lousy, greedy bastards overboard
The decades of the Do-Gooders increasing our awareness of possible “win-win” possibilities and of the Hybrids backing their “we care about you” lip service with actual service has brought us to another realization:
There’s a price to everything, and if I don’t pay the price, someone else will, and somehow, some way, on some sunny day, they’re going to get even and make me pay.
And this has been an important change in the understanding of energy efficiency and global warming: the environment has a limited capacity within our human-lifetime periods to absorb civilization’s byproducts and transform them into resources. It usually needs geologic time to turn dead trees and critters into oil and gas. In the meantime, the trash piles up in the streets.
The solution: create less trash.
Thanks to the Do-Gooders, we have greater awareness or our actions and the desire to change, and have the Hybrids offering ways to change.
And the result is a shift of power away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd. It’s now Power to the People.
But wait, there’s more …
to the Resource Matrix
Just because you know about fossil fuels, their finite amounts, their polluting, warming effects on the environment, and alternatives offered by the Hybrids - even if you have done your part to the best of your ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle — you haven’t escaped the Resource Matrix.
Energy to power our lives is one component of the Resource Matrix. And it’s the most visible in discussions of global warming and being resourceful. But there’s more:
Coming Attractions!
In the next three articles, we will talk about concepts concerning the resource that makes up 75% of the planet and 75% of your body:
Water.
You’ll learn that, although 75% of the planet is water, only 3% of water is potable (can be consumed), and of that 3%, only a small fraction is available, and of that small fraction, only a small fraction is potable, because the rest is polluted for hundreds of years to come.
You’ll learn how the actions of an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed peasant on the other side of the globe affects you where you are.
You’ll learn how, unlike oil, water is transferred invisibly from poor to rich by sleight of hand, like paying your utility bill through your online bank account.
You’ll learn how poor water decisions, rather than fossil fuel’s atmospheric effects described in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, leads to those drybeds of the formerly humongous Aral Sea and along the Amazon.
You’ll learn how to measure the global water impact of any nation, city, corporation, even yourself - to the nearest gallon or liter.
You’ll learn the little changes you can make - the water equivalent of “change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lamps” - and still be able to take your wastefully long showers.
And all of this is for one purpose:
To help you see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.
You can access it now by going to: http://www.a19.com/pub/articles/
From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 — woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures

Gadgets of Solar

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No Bailouts Necessary - Green Transportation

by earth guide on May.28, 2009, under Green News


No Bailouts Necessary - Green Transportation

Unless you have been trapped in a cave for the last seven months you are well aware of the disaster overtaking the American automobile industry. Our government is using billions of taxpayer’s dollars to prop up an industry that has been one of the leading facilitators of numerous ills in our society, which will also take billions of dollars to repair, if it is even possible to do so. 
Air pollution which contributes to increased medical costs, urban sprawl, a negative balance of payments from importing oil and global warming can all be traced at least in part to our addiction to the automobile. Now that I’ve ranted about the autos effect upon our society I also greatly acknowledge that we all, myself included, greatly enjoy the mobility and freedom provided by the pernicious machine. We can’t live with ‘em and we can’t live without ‘em. What are we to do?
A lot has been written about the currently nonexistent plug-in electric car. This machine when it finally hits the market could help solve some of our problems but current pricing estimates place the car in the forty thousand dollar range. I’m sure of one thing, it won’t solve many problems if you don’t sell them and at that price I’d hedge my bets.
However, there is one personal transportation option on the market that fits into all of President Obama’s initiatives for energy self sufficiency, global warming (reduction of green house gases), health care (exercise and weight loss), environmental protection (reduction of air and water pollution), and infrastructure renewal.   That option is the Electric Bicycle.
The electric bike using lithium batteries (traditional lead-acid is very environmentally harmful) can go, depending on load factors and riding habits, roughly twenty miles at twenty miles an hour on one charge. It is almost completely silent, gives off no emissions, does not use foreign oil, does not require much room to operate or park, never needs a tune up and provides exercise. It eliminates many of the drawbacks of riding a traditional bicycle for basic transportation while having few of its own. I recognize that not many of us are hardy enough to ride a bike in the rain, snow or freezing cold but that applies as well to motorcycles, motor scooters and traditional bicycles. The electric bike can get you farther, faster without arriving at your destination soaked in sweat. It can operate in many places where other motorized vehicles cannot and makes taking hills a cinch. Riding five or ten miles to work is no big deal and you can simply pedal around bottled up traffic. Usually the lightweight batteries easily detach from the bike and can be carried into your place of work or school for recharging.
Some electric bicycles offer high tech extras such as LiFePO4 batteries that are good for a thousand recharges, regenerative braking that helps recharge the battery much as a Prius does, and internal gearing to generate more torque for uphill climbs. Most electric bikes use what is referred to as a hub motor. This is not a traditional gear or belt-drive motor but is built directly into the hub of one of the wheels. This motor contains two internal rings of opposing magnets that when power is applied causes the wheel to spin. Such motors need little service and never require oil changes, spark plugs or new belts.
Electric bikes come in several of styles. There are the traditional “beach cruiser” and mountain bike styles as well as electric folding bikes, tricycles and “road bikes”.   The electric folding bikes are particularly interesting. Smaller and lighter than a traditional bicycle, they easily fold up and fit into a car trunk and can be carried on a commuter or subway train with little effort. You can take the train to your stop, unfold the bike and pedal on your way. They are also useful for those who live in tight quarters and have no external place to store their ride.
For those of you that are moderately handy with tools, there are a number of electric bike kits on the market that allow you to adapt an ordinary bicycle into an electric bike. One company, Worldwide Electric Bikes, has a particularly well-designed kit that has many of the features I previously mentioned. These electric bike kits do not require a high level of mechanical ability to install. A few common hand tools, a basic understanding of how things go together and the ability to read directions is all that is required. However, if you don’t know the difference between a crescent and a hex wrench, you may wish to buy a pre-made bike or have someone install the kit for you. If you do choose to go the kit route, you can end up with a much more powerful and sophisticated bike for substantially less money than a factory built electric bike. 
Electric Bicycles in all forms have long been a staple of personal transportation in Europe and Asia where there are hundreds of thousands in operation. In the United States bicycles have traditionally been dominated by the toy or recreation market or for the dedicated enthusiast. In both Europe and Asia, cycling has been a traditional means of basic transportation. I believe that this is going to be more and more the case in this country. People are avidly seeking relief from the high financial and societal cost of automobiles. The electric bicycle, while not a panacea, is definitely poised to help provide a portion of that relief.
Electric Bicycles are inexpensive to purchase, require no license or insurance, have a negligible cost of operation and are totally “green”. So, what’s not to like?
 

http://www.worldwideelectricbikes.com

 
 

Technology Environment News 12-14-07 of Dekalb Academy

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Are Tsunami’s Caused by Global Warming ?

by earth guide on May.27, 2009, under Green News


Are Tsunami’s Caused by Global Warming ?

Throughout the history of our planet it has endured a constantly changing climate. It endured an ice age and has also experienced long periods of heat. But over the last two hundred years, give or take, the temperature of our planet has been steadily increasing. This change in the climate on earth is known as global warming, and global warming is the direct result of the industrial revolution.
Because of the industrial revolution, people are constantly burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal. But by burning these fuels dangerous greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are then released into the earth’s atmosphere. These gases block heat rising from the earth from being able to escape into space. The same basic function that glass panels on greenhouses have, hence the name. Our burning of fossil fuels causes more than three quarters of all carbon dioxide emissions. Power plants and other stationary sources contribute more than half of that amount.
Along with increasing CO2 emissions, deforestation is on the increase as well. This is disastrous, because trees recycle CO2 and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Because of the rise in deforestation levels the fossil fuels we burn are seriously jeopardizing our planet. We know that global warming is the cause of glaciers getting smaller and for the rise in sea levels. Plants and animals show clear and undeniable signs that they are affected in many different ways. Earth is experiencing longer seasons which results in rivers and lakes freezing later than usual and melting sooner. Without a doubt, global warming causes many changes and affects our planet in many ways but can it also cause a tsunami?
Nobody will ever forget the utter destruction, grief and loss left behind after the huge tsunami that hit parts of Asia on December 26th, 2004. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, injured and traumatized. The areas it hit were left completely destroyed.
Generally speaking a tsunami is made up of a series of waves. More often than not the first one is the mildest. Prior to the arrival of the first wave, the shoreline recedes dramatically and often leaves the ocean floor exposed. They mostly occur where the water is shallow but they can also occur around coastal areas. In deep water a tsunami appears as a big wave and nothing more. In shallow water this is not the case. The wave can reach as high as one hundred metres, although, in all honesty, this is not at all common.
We know that tsunami’s can be caused by an earthquake, but this is not the only cause. They can also be caused through volcanic eruptions and landslides. Another cause is if a large amount of water is somehow displaced, such as when meteors happen to fall into large bodies of water. Tsunami’s are caused by events that can be, and are, affected by global warming, however global warming itself does not directly trigger the formation of a tsunami. Basically, it is an indirect cause.
One thing is certain, global warming is not a myth as some suggest. The planet is displaying clear signs that we dare not ignore.

For more global warming articles and daily news why not visit http://www.globalwarmingnewsblog.com - a site dedicated to information about climate change: effects, issues, causes, solutions, opinion and more.

KETV News

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To Be Green very Expensive?

by earth guide on May.27, 2009, under Green News


To Be Green very Expensive?

Really? Seriously? Is it still too expensive to be green? I am a little surprised when people say that cannot do anything to be green because the products are too expensive. This may have been the case eons ago but not anymore. People now say going green is too expensive as an excuse in my opinion. Granted, I am not able to afford solar panels on my roof just yet but that does not mean I am not green or trying to be green in my own ways.
Here are some simple things that you can do now to start you off in the right direction without too much money out of pocket. Keep in mind, that while you will spend money at first, the payback is well worth it for you and the environment.
One of the first things I did to start my own green movement at home was to buy canvas bags for the grocery store. They were $1.00 each and I bought 10 of them. I always leave them in my car so no matter what store I go to I bring a bag with me. Each time I visit the grocery store I get 5 cents back for each bag that I bring.
So each week when I grocery shop I get 50 cents back. Each week that adds up quickly and before you know it, I have made my $10.00 back and am no longer a slave to the plastic bags. U.S. consumers use approximately 100 billion plastic bags annually which require an estimated 12 million barrels to produce! Just think, the majority of these bags are used just once from for less than 30 minutes and then they go into our landfills or end up in our oceans where they are a serious threat to wildlife.
The second green thing I did was change my water bottle habits. I have to admit, this one was hard for me until I did the math and it was at that moment I went to Target to buy a water filter and ordered my CamelBak Better Bottle.
The funny thing is that people are so quick to complain about the cost of gas but have you ever complained about the cost of the water bottles at the grocery store? I paid $10.00 for my bottle and $30 for my water filter and I have never once gone back to the store to buy my 12 pack of water for $6.00. And to think, a 12 pack of water bottles was finished in one week or less! I really don’t like when people say they reuse their plastic water bottles…. Do you know the bacteria that are on the bottles and the plastic leaching that occurs? Please do yourself and the environment a favor and buy a BPA Free water bottle today!
How many of us use paper napkins each day for lunch and dinner? Time to save a tree! Even napkins made from recycled materials are not as innocent as they may seem since they too wind up in landfills. A family of 4 can easily go through 84 paper napkins a week and if you think of each paper napkin costing 2 cents - well that adds up quickly over the course of a week, month, and a year. Cloth napkins can be used several times before tossing them into the laundry. With a family of four, laundry is done quite a bit so go ahead and make the switch.
Finally, do you wash all loads of laundry in cold water? Did you know that if you washed all of your clothes in cold water your clothes would last longer? Not only that, but you would save on your electrical bill. Unless you are washing baby diapers or grease stains, cold water is the way to go. 85-90 percent of the energy needed to wash your clothes in a machine is used to warm the water. Only 10-15 percent actually goes into the washer. The next time you need to buy laundry detergent, look for the detergents that are specially made for cold water.
And of course, we all know about the light bulbs and such but these were a couple other reminders of what you can do today to start saving money and you can be proud of yourself for going green! Remember, it is cool to be green!

Leah LaBrece
http://www.earthkits.com

 

Green Technology - Bloomberg

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Paint That is Environmentally Friendly, Should I Really Buy Into It?

by earth guide on May.27, 2009, under Green News


Paint That is Environmentally Friendly, Should I Really Buy Into It?

Over the past few years, more and more people have become quite aware of the need to take care of the environment and take responsibility for our part in saving the planet from ecological disaster brought on by the inventions and waste products created by man. As a natural result of the many developments, inventions, and innovations made by man, the environment has slowly been degraded to the point that it has become a real point of concern for everyone living on the planet. The toxic byproducts of the manufacture of most of the inventions of man have slowly choked and poisoned the environment, slowly producing adverse conditions that would take years to undo, if at all. Other than the production of fuels and modern lubricants, another source of chemical pollutants that are not only toxic to the environment but also directly to humans as well, are the various paints being made in manufacturing plants. These paints have pigments that are laced with lead, and this lead is a heavy metal that is highly toxic.
Thankfully, some paint manufacturers have taken the problem to heart and devised new compounds that are lead free and contain no other toxic chemicals, in effect, environmentally friendly paint. This is probably one of the best developments in the field of synthetic materials, since having environmentally safe paint is beneficial not only to the environment long term, but also directly and immediately upon humans, since this paint does not exude the strong toxic fumes that people have come to associate with freshly applied paint. Environmentally friendly paint is in many ways better then the traditional paint of old, not only in the fact that it will not poison the environment, and the residents of the house using it eventually, but also because of the fact that formulation of the environmentally safe paint actually allows it to dry quite faster than traditional paints. What’s more is that the colors found available in environmentally friendly paint are as varied as the ones you find in traditional paint, so finding the paint color that you like in non-toxic form should be quite easy now.
In case you are wondering just how environmentally safe paint is beneficial to you, here are just a few pointers:
Not a health hazard
There are millions of people with both diagnosed and undiagnosed chemical allergies that are easily triggered by numerous stimuli, and one of the most popular irritants are the traditional paints and their strong, noxious fumes. Environmentally friendly paint exudes little, if at all, chemical fumes when they are applied and while they are drying, making it ultimately ideal for the home and for places where people tend to stay indoors for a long period of time.
Safe for the environment
Like the name suggests, environmentally safe paint is just that, safe for the environment. Production of this type of paint did not in any way contribute to the contamination of groundwater and landfills, and does not have any substance in it that will deplete the ozone layer even faster. This is the entire reason for making this type of paint. Rest easy knowing that as you use environmentally friendly paint, you are in no way damaging the environment
Cost-efficient and effective
Environmentally friendly paints are known to perform rather well in coverage, scrubability, and in hiding the flaws that came out during previous coats of paint. People who have used environmentally safe paints say that the paint itself has enough body to allow more areas to be covered with the same amount of paint that would normally only cover a smaller surface area. This translates into significant savings by not having to buy more paint than is necessary.
Water-based paint
Being water based means it can be easier to clean, since it will not retain and absorb dirt and other stains, much like what traditional paint tends to do. A lot of discoloration in old paints is primarily because of dust and dirt actually seeping into the paint, causing it to grow darker and uneven in color.

Rico Franco is an SEO Copywriter/Marketing Specialist specializing in optimized written content and marketing/advertising copy. He was awarded by the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2005 for Best Business/Feature story written, produced, and aired. Rico also writes various articles in paint colors, online games, and other topics.

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