Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Viability of Using Wind Power

Solar and wind powered homeImage by richardmasoner via FlickrBy Alan Paterson

Have you ever stood outside for any length of time and thought that wind power was the way to go to solve the world's electricity problems? In some countries it's only natural that you'd think along those lines, but just how viable is wind power as a solution?

In this article we're going to look at how a wind turbine works, whether it makes sense to use this method to generate the energy for your home, or whether it's something that is better left to the power companies to do.

How does a wind turbine work?

It's a fairly simple idea that goes back many hundreds, if not thousands of years. As the wind blows it pushes a propeller, and the propeller turns an actuator which produces the electricity. While the earlier ones would have been used to turn a great spur wheel, which then turns the stone nut, and this turns the stones that do the grinding, the basic principal is the same.

Is it worth getting one installed at home?

Using wind power is one of the two major 'energy self-sufficiency' routes that people tend to look at going down (usually after seeing the latest power bill), and many of them then plump for the solar power option, but using a nice stiff breeze to keep your laptop going shouldn't be over looked.

The type of wind turbine you get will really be down to three things; your location, the amount of wind you normally get, and, quite naturally, the amount of money that you can afford.

When it comes to the amount of wind that you require you really only need as much as it will take to charge up a car sized battery. But, a wind turbine will always produce electricity when the propellers are being turned, so, if your batteries fully charged, you'll have to find some other way of using the excess energy (this is known as load diversion) - otherwise it could damage the wind turbine.

Wind turbines need to be put in a position that's as high in the air as possible - allowing for any restrictions that may be placed on this by local government - and in a place where it's free of things like trees that could interfere with the wind flow.

If you decide to put it on your roof you really should use some sort of dampener. There will be a fair amount of vibration from it when it starts working, so, to prevent any damage from happening to your house, you need to make sure that as little as possible of that vibration is transferred through to the roof.

The cost of buying one will vary, because there are a number of sizes available, but you may find that you're restricted on size anyway, based on your location i.e. if you have a lot of open land and nobody nearby who will have to see it, you can get away with the largest one. If you live in a town or city you may only be allowed the smallest turbine to generate your money saving wind power.

While these are also going to cost more to buy and install than connecting to the mains electricity, you should bear in mind that this is going to be a long term money saving plan.

You should work out how long it will take to start saving money by finding out how much your standard monthly power bill is, then divide the cost of the bought and installed wind turbine to see how many months it takes at the current cost before your wind power is actually free energy.

That isn't a totally accurate way of working it out though. Seasonal power changes and the frequent increases the power companies decide to levy can dramatically reduce the time it takes for it to pay for itself, but it's still a good way to get a rough idea.

Is this a method better left to the major power companies?

In a lot of cases the major power companies are slow to take up these alternative methods for generating power, and, if you're doing this as a way of helping to save the planet, there's no guarantee that the power you get will have any green credentials in the first place.

Also, wind farms aren't exactly everyone's cup of tea. They take up vast tracts of land, often resemble an H.G. Wells invasion, are quite loud, and have been known to kill bats.

Oddly enough, you may be able to sell your own wind power back to the electricity grid, meaning you know that some of the power being used is from a renewable source, and you get some money for doing it.

There we have it; the viability of using wind power.

It is possible if you live in a fairly exposed area with at least an average amount of wind. There is more than one size of wind turbine, but you may have council restrictions on the size you can install anyway. Finally, they may cost a bit to buy and have installed - even when compared with solar power - but with the diminishing resources and increasing prices, they're going to pay for themselves fairly quickly.

So, are you just shooting the breeze when it comes to wind power?

Could a better option for you be solar power?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Paterson

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Choosing A Temporary Greenhouse

Mini indoor greenhouseImage via WikipediaBy Owen Coleman

If you need to extend the season of growing somewhat, a temporary greenhouse can be just the thing you need. In the spring or fall seasons, a greenhouse can cover seedlings and tender young plants and protect them from sudden cold fronts that can cause so many problems for a gardener. Both the first and the last average frost free dates are 100% that. They are only an average. To lessen the frost chances, gardeners can give you an idea of how to create what they call a "cold frame." A collapsible greenhouse made of plastic or old window frames can both be used well for this purpose.

You can set window frames upon a box in a nice, sunny location or on top of a trench you dig. If you use a box, then its northernmost side should be higher than the others, and its western and eastern sides should be angled down toward the front or the south. The window can hinge on the northern side, and the window glass will magnify the sun's bright rays for the growing plants inside. The trench method uses sawdust and fresh manure that is layered down in a hole at least 3 feet wide, deep, and long. You wet that mix down, then place boards upon it. Bales of hay can be used to put up walls of a box on top of the trench. The plants will go inside and on top of all that will be the window.

A indoor greenhouse that collapses down quickly is a popular choice, and it can save you a great deal of energy and time. The materials you use can be PVC piping and sturdy plastic sheeting, or you can buy one already made. Both use the plastic to amplify the sun, just as somewhat older ways do.

Gardening in the springtime or later in the fall can be less stress for you if you decide to use a short-term greenhouse with supplemental LED growing lights. They can be easy to make and cheap to buy; they will surely save wear and tear on your plants and on you as well.

Owen Coleman has been running and training for many years and enjoys writing about his experiences with Indoor Greenhouse. He also likes to pass on useful information on how to get the best out your Life Style choices, also reviews of interesting topics and products to his friends and readers on his website Pose Running Method.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Owen_Coleman

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Digging a Water Well on Your Property

Faro Caudill drawing water from his well, Pie ...Image by The Library of Congress via FlickrBy Aigo Shimonaka

Water wells are a great addition to your property in both decor and utility savings, but there are a few things you need to know before you just "start digging". Although the most common method people have used for millennia to dig wells is to simply...dig them, it's easier said than done. It has more often than not been a community effort where all the able-bodied men in the village would gather to dig.

In other words, it's not exactly a one-man job if you know what I mean. Digging your well manually is probably the surest, cheapest way - but the time and effort it takes to do so can make these benefits seem all but ridiculous. Other alternatives use drills, hammers, and various machines. But let's say you're in for some long-term fun and want to give it a shot. Alright...if you say so. In any case, now's not the time to be short on friends. Call all your buddies and put a spade in their hands!

But before you start getting your hands dirty, you're gonna need to know the more technical side of digging a well. The general concept is to dig down to the nearest groundwater or aquifer. But how do we know where and IF there is groundwater? Good question. Theoretically, there is groundwater of some kind pretty much everywhere in the world - the catch is the depth at which it's located! In your case, you'd better pray to God it's not too deep.

There are 2 broad well classifications:

1. Shallow or unconfined. This will most likely be the first aquifer you'll hit upon digging. Although these water reserves can be reached and extracted without too much ado, there are several potential drawbacks. Due to its shallow depths and "unconfined" nature, there is more risk of contamination and/or salinity. Also, being that it's the point of uppermost saturation, it's a considerably more unstable water source and may dry up during certain times of the year depending on location.

2. Deep or confined. These aquifers are what you would ideally be going for, although rather unrealistic digging with pick and shovel. They are located between 2 impermeable strata which must be penetrated before you can access it. Due to its depth and "confined" nature, there is a considerably lower risk of contamination - although it will still be "hard water" and may need to be softened before drinking.

Deciding whether you'll dig a confined or unconfined well is great and all, but finding out other details such as just how deep the water table is in your given location, recharge area and rate, as well as your local seasonal patterns before excavation can save you a lot of time and effort - as not every back yard is an ideal water well location. This is done via geophysical imaging, and you may need to call in the cavalry for this one.

Fast-forward to the next step. So you've determined that your land is suitable for a water well and are itching to get started. You should select a site for your well that is conveniently located and can be accessible from the places of your choosing - such as your kitchen or garden. Having a storm drain of some kind nearby would be ideal to dispose of waste. Once you've chosen a good place for your well, you can begin excavation.

This step is relatively straight-forward and simply consists of digging, digging, and more digging. The diameter can vary but will need to comfortably fit at least one digger. The obvious safety issue is that of the sides collapsing on the workers as they dig. This is a very real danger and serious measures must be taken to ensure safety. Traditionally, various forms of bracing were used such as planks of wood pinned against the walls with wooden rods spanning the diameter.

Modern techniques incorporate reinforced concrete "rings" made slightly smaller than the diameter of the well. These rings will sink with gravity as the hole gets deeper and additional rings are added until the aquifer is reached. You'll need men to both dig and pull up excavated material. Taking turns inside the hole is advised as this will help maintain optimal digging speed. Once the well is dug, you can top it up with a wall style of your choosing.

And there you have it. Building a roof over it is a good idea to prevent contaminated rain water from getting in, and you should also have a good tight lid to keep over it when not in use! You don't want anything falling in your well that shouldn't be there. Having this lid installed over the opening that can be unlatched during water extraction will keep a curious child from accidentally falling in.

And if you do dig deep enough - which with pick and shovel is highly doubtful - to hit a confined aquifer, you should be mindful of its hydraulic head. An "Artesian well" is a well whose "hydraulic head" is higher than the level of the top of the aquifer. In simple terms it's the potential pressure of the water. This means that the water pressure will cause the water to spring out naturally creating a "fountain" of sorts. Hmm, nice for tourism but possibly impractical for a household.

If you liked my article please visit my websites at Free and Handy and Your Japanese Garden for more, thanks!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Aigo_Shimonaka

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Is a Green Roof, and What Are the Benefits of Having One?

Chicago City Hall Green Roof                                  Image via WikipediaBy Guy R Smith

Green roofs, also known as living roofs provide an environmentally friendly, attractive and practical roofing solution. No longer just the preserve of architecturally designed 'eco pads', this technology can be applied almost anywhere where buildings are present. How about putting a one on your shed as a small scale DIY project?

Green roofs fall into two main categories:

Intensive green roofs are usually roofs with a reasonable depth of soil, enabling it to grow a range of large plants, a kitchen garden, or a conventional lawn. This type of green roof is ideal if you are looking to create a new space that you can utilize and enjoy. The downside of this type of roof is that the upfront costs will be higher, and a reasonable amount of maintenance, such as weeding feeding and irrigation, will be required.

Extensive green roofs consist of only a thin layer of soil, or equivalent medium, and tend to be populated with a small number of specially selected species of plants. This type of roof is generally cheaper to set up, and requires relatively little maintenance with many systems only requiring weeding and fertilizing once a year.

Living roofs can be installed on bot flat and sloped roof surfaces, and can be as complicated and expensive to install as a roof top park, or as simple as a layer of Rockwool or other medium fastened to an existing waterproof roof and seeded with Sedum species and mosses.

Whichever type you decide to install the benefits to both you and the environment are numerous, including:

Benefits to you:
  • Provides great insulation, reducing your energy bills
  • Evaporative cooling generated reduces air conditioning loads by up to 90%
  • Great sound insulation
  • Dramatically increased roof life span
  • Increases property value
Environmental Benefits:
  • Increases energy efficiency, reducing CO2 output
  • Creates diverse wildlife habitat, often in habitat poor areas of urban wilderness
  • Reduces storm run off
  • Filters both air and run off water, removing pollutants and increasing purity
  • A concentration of living roofs can combat the urban island heat effect, reducing city temperatures
So in summary, green roofs are a practical roofing solution that provide many environmental benefits and benefits for the users of the building on which they are installed. Whilst they cost a little more to install than a regular roof to install, they more than pay this back over time in reduced energy bills and increased roof life span. A green roof will also add value to your property

The author is the director of National Energy Performance Certificate provider Easy EPC, and Easy EPC Brighton. He is a long time advocate of green roofs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Guy_R_Smith

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Outlook For Coal - Even Greater Use And More Pollution

A coal mine in Wyoming, United States. The Uni...                                 Image via WikipediaBy Steve Stillwater

Everyone has heard that the use of coal for power generation should be de-emphasized in favor of greener, less-polluting sources. But what is the outlook, according to the New York Times? Even greater use of coal between now and the year 2050.


Because economic growth in China is, and will continue to be, powered by burning coal. Current trends are for the usage of coal to decrease in Europe by 2050, but more than double in China over the same period of time. In other words, even though there will be a shift to cleaner power generation in the USA and Europe, that shift will be overwhelmed by growth of coal-burning power plants in China.

No one beleives China will avoid coal due to its lower cost compared to other power generation sources. That is why carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) may be the only hope to keep emissions in check. Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said that when it comes to climate change, the "single most important issue is how to get China to deploy carbon capture and storage into its coal sector."

Of course, carbon capture and sequestration also adds cost. The USA has poured funding into new technologies that could make CCS more economical, including a recent 575 million in grants. But even the best methods will likely add $30-50 per tons of CO2 emitted, which would add about 30% to current power generation costs.

And get this: China thinks the rest of the world should underwrite the cost of efforts to get China to reduce its emissions. Will Western countries be willing to do this? I hope not. China is the fastest growing economy on earth and should bear its own responsibilities and costs in this area.

And now I would like to invite you to claim Free Instant Access to two of my Living Green Reports that will help you save money as you go green when you subscribe to the Living Green and Saving Energy Newsletter at http://livinggreenandsavingenergy.com

The newsletter brings you practical tips and information on how to create and enjoy a green lifestyle and save money at the same time. The newsletter is absolutely free!

For the latest Green News, updated continuously 24/7, check out the Green Newsfeed

From Steve Stillwater, Green Living Enthusiast

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Stillwater

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Solar Power Versus Generator Power In Zimbabwe, What's Best?

(en) Zimbabwe Location (he) מיקום זימבבואהImage via WikipediaBy Michael Phiri-Smith

I am a big fan of paying things off. I like to look at a credit card with a zero balance, to look at a car that's fully paid and do my best to pay more than I should just to get the mortgage moving. So when you ask me about solar power and generator power, I am inclined to go with the one that will not require paying over and over again or even forever!

Sounds like solar power right? Right.

But just like that mortgage that's paid off one needs to actually pay it off and that's not easy for most people now is it? Same with solar power. While with solar power you can go for years without paying anything at all, the setup tends to be very expensive. The reason you do not see solar panels on every roof right now when all we talk about is green energy and global warming is because electric power on the grid is still the cheapest alternative per watt of power generated. I know you may argue that it is because big business has invested heavily to make it efficient and cheaper so we can do the same with solar in time. Well true. But again just like the mortgage I mentioned before, getting there will be painful. For now setting up solar power is expensive and for most people just not worth it.

A generator on the other hand is "very affordable" but it comes with its own disadvantages. First of all it is an engine and will be just like your car. I am talking oil changes and frequent servicing, spark plugs and MOTs for maintenance sake and not for legal mandatory reasons. And I have not even started on the noise and smell of diesel or petrol. Overall with the servicing and the limited life span due to the engine involved ground costs will be hefty. This not taking into consideration the actual fuel bill you will have to foot every week or so.

Solar panels have an average lifespan of up to 30 years so let's see how many generators you will need to last you 30 years and how many times you will need to "fill 'er up" to get some power. On this basis alone solar power is better. If it's a question of start up costs one can always try to get it factored into your mortgage so it becomes part of the rent payment and not an extra. Keep the generators to what they were intended for and that's for emergency use only limiting their use to a few hours at a time.

In Zimbabwe in particular we have had times when fuel shortages were so bad that half the road traffic would not make it on a good day so if you have to depend on this for your home as well its not a particularly smart move at all.

In conclusion solar power is a better option for Zimbabwe. And if the costs are too steep then one can always take a week's course on making home-made solar panels. Get the solar cells and other raw materials required and make one for yourself. I took this course and have made trial solar systems and they work great. With the scale of an actual house I would recommend that when finished, one should always get a skilled electrician to verify everything before going live. This is electricity and safety must always come first.

If you are in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and so on and need a company you can trust to source solar panels in Zimbabwe or any services from abroad then visit http://www.zimswap.com. You can contact the author at the website listed for more information on DIY solar projects.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Phiri-Smith

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sudan Reforestation Program

DeforestationImage by crustmania via FlickrBy Mark Lawrence Lovett

The tragic conflict in Darfur has resulted in deaths totaling hundreds of thousands while causing widespread devastation to the local region and the surrounding societies in the Republic of Sudan. Over 2 million internally displaced persons (IPDs) now live in Sudan while millions more suffer from extreme poverty and famine caused by ongoing drought, desertification, and overpopulation.

Citizens of Sudan, the largest country on the African continent, have suffered for well over 50 years. The First Sudanese Civil War (1955 to 1972) was followed by the Second Civil War (1983 to 2005). Today conflict rages in the western region of Darfur, a section of Sudan about the size of France.

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought." United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The process of desertification can consume entire villages, turning the residents into nomads, which in turn results in tensions and, at times, violent conflict. Few are aware that this environmental crisis is projected to affect approximately one third of the earth's land surface. According to a recent article in the Yale Environment 360 publication, "Desertification claims a Nebraska-sized area of productive capacity each year globally."

The Village Reforestation and Restoration Initiative is a pilot project which can be applied to Darfur and many other parts of Africa. The intent of the project is to cultivate indigenous trees and shrubs which produce medicinal herbs, biofuel elements and support the production of honey. This program not only serves to restore the water tables and arable land, but will also be a catalyst for stimulating local economies, fostering entrepreneurs and encouraging environmental rehabilitation.

Business Partnership Leads to Success

I was made aware of this ambitious program by Alissa Sears, Global Betterment Director for Christie Communications. With a background in International Development, Ms. Sears was eager to work on this program which began with an assessment trip to Sudan in 2006. What I found enlightening about the company itself was the business philosophy embraced by Gillian Christie, founder and CEO.

"The Christie Community is succeeding in establishing a new business model where together we are all Making Peace Profitable™ by delivering ethical services and products, helping each other succeed, and working together to build a better world."
This is an approach that all corporations around the world should adopt. We can no longer separate the goal of profit from the goal of building a sustainable world. It is time that compassion, ethics, fairness, and respect become the hallmarks of a great corporation, not just beating the quarterly earnings estimate.

"We are building replicable, community-based models to address desertification and severe environmental degradation through the community-led development of forest belts, sustainable agricultural lands, biofuel-powered irrigation systems, and sustainable local industries."
Aid Still Required

I was impressed to learn that Christie Communications had partnered with Aid Still Required to launch the initiative. This international relief organization has served the needs of humanitarian efforts from Hurricane Katrina, to the Asian Tsunami and the current situation plaguing Darfur. Using the donation facilities of Dedicated to Make the Difference Network, you can still make a personal contribution to the planting of trees. You can also watch the Aid Still Required video with Kobe Bryant.

Program Goals

  • Addressing the critical issue of desertification while promoting self-reliance through environmental stewardship;
  • Offering livelihood and income generation opportunities and thus potentially diminishing the cycle of poverty;
  • Promoting cooperation of local communities, non-profit organizations, local academic institutions, and international businesses;
  • Improving the status of women by supporting women's education, community development, and scholarship opportunities.
The idea is to plant a series of forest belts which will protect the soil from the fierce desert winds. Approximately 30,000 trees, comprised of five species, will occupy an 8 square kilometer area. This approach also results in lowering temperatures in the surrounding area.

Project Management

Rather than a top down approach, whereby outside organizations come in and control the entire operation, this project is managed by a local community-based organization. Approximately 5.8% of the budget will be provided by the local community through a fund-sharing strategy.

Ms. Sears emphasized the point that this project was being lead by well-educated volunteers from the region, many of whom possess PHDs, and that it is the Sudanese who provide virtually all the labor. They own the process, and the success.

The overriding benefit is that The Village Reforestation and Restoration Initiative represents more than just a solution to one particular problem; this type of program is designed to be holistic in nature, inclusive of the community, respectful of the environment, viable for the long term, and replicable throughout Africa.

Project Advisor

Dr. C. Jean Weidemann, President of the Weidemann Foundation, is the project advisor. She is known worldwide as a microlending specialist and is the author of more than 40 books and publications, including the recent United Nations Development Programme guidebook, Supporting Women's Livelihoods: Microfinance that Works for the Majority. Among the Weidemann Foundation's projects are school lunch programs for underserved children in Dakar, Senegal; co-sponsorship of the UCSB Capps Center lecture on microlending in Haiti; funding for Direct Relief International which trains Rwandan women genocide survivors, and support of Tibetan nuns in India.

Inspiring Us to Greatness

A few years ago a dear friend gave me a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. If you've ever read it, you know it to be a seminal work on the simplicity and beauty of life and nature, and after more that 150 years its importance is renewed by our current environmental situation.

I found this quote from Walden in the Christie Communications' newsletter, and it exemplified one of the ideals of Global Patriot, that we have the ability to achieve unexpected success in our lifetime.

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a sense of success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden
What are you dreaming, and what unexpected success is awaiting your efforts?

Mark Lovett is focused on promoting the belief that everyone deserves to live on a healthy planet, in peace and prosperity, using sustainability, compassion and respect as our guiding principles. Please visit the Global Patriot Blog and leave comments as a way to foster intelligent conversation on important topics. You can also join the Global Patriot Foundation on Facebook.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Lawrence_Lovett

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Stormwater Design - Reducing the Impact on the Environment

Autumn Mediterranean flooding in Alicante (Spa...                                 Image via WikipediaBy Alastair Kent-Johnston

To ensure your property has the correct stormwater design for the particular application, while meeting the strict local and national bylaws, the services of a professionally trained and experienced engineer should be employed. It is vital that stormwater is managed effectively to reduce the associated costs and potential environmental damage that can be the result of inadequate storm water design. It is vital that careful consideration be given to the various weather trends in assessing the requirements of such a system.

An engineer who possesses the correct training and experience relating to the construction and engineering of stormwater is becoming highly sought after. The need for such design is continually growing as various regions around the world are experiencing population growth and a resulting increase in demand for hygienic waste water disposal that does not contaminate drinking reservoirs. The need for catchment management that meets the needs of these communities is one that cannot be ignored. Individuals living in both rural and urban metropolitan areas require that their storm-water is carefully disposed of and held in a safe manner. Combined with the growth in the development of many areas causing an increase in the need for floodwater design, also the expansion of environmental awareness is leading the increased interest in storm water design.

Environmental awareness by many governmental bodies and local individuals from various communities are leading a change in the way in which catchment management is undertaken. Creative solutions and management solutions to storm-water design are required in order to meet the requirements outlined to bring about positive environmental change and the protection of clean water. It is these engineers that are aware of the need to engage in floodwater construction in a manner that is forward thinking and respectful of the environment in which they live. It is these individuals who are leading a positive change and impacting the environment in a way that will future-proof catchment management for future generations.

The focus given to storm water design features a strategy that surrounds the importance of causing as low an impact as possible. Designs incorporate nature as a means to manage floodwater close to the source of the storm-water. A growing trend that stems from this strategy is using floodwater as a resource as opposed to a product that must be disposed of because it is 'waste'. As more governmental agencies and bodies enact legislation that focuses on the protection of water within the environment, storm-water design strategies will quickly become widely used and demanded.

Harrison Grierson is a large advisory and design consultancy working in four key market sectors; Land and Buildings, Water and the Environment, Utilities and Transport. The Company operates throughout Australasia and the Pacific Rim from two regional bases, New Zealand (Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch) and Australia (Brisbane).

Our water and environmental engineers at Harrison Grierson provide location specific expertise in developing catchment management and stormwater design strategies for each project.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alastair_Kent-Johnston

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Radioactive rodent on the loose

From http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_wa_radioactive_mouse.html

RICHLAND, Wash. -- After catching a radioactive rabbit just north of Richland, Hanford workers now are on the hunt for a radioactive mouse.

Radioactive mouse droppings have been found in the same area where radioactive rabbit droppings were found earlier this month. About 60 mouse traps have been set, but the two mice caught so far have not been contaminated.

The Washington State Department of Health is monitoring the situation, but does not believe there is a danger to the public, said Earl Fordham, the department's regional director of the Office of Radiation Protection.

No contaminated droppings have been found near areas that are open to the public, said Todd Nelson, Washington Closure Hanford spokesman.

Because the mouse and rabbit droppings were found in the same area, Washington Closure Hanford believes the animals ate or drank a common source of radioactive cesium contamination. Another theory is that a mouse may have gotten into contaminated rabbit droppings.

When Hanford workers began finding radioactive rabbit droppings, they checked 18 rabbits that were trapped or shot with pellet guns. Just one was contaminated, and it was killed and disposed of as radioactive waste.

No more rabbits have been seen or caught in the area where the droppings were found, Nelson said.

All were near the 327 Building, where hot cells were pulled out and demolition began on the structure about six weeks ago. During the years that plutonium was produced at Hanford for the nation's nuclear weapons program, workers stood outside of the hot cells and remotely operated equipment to perform tests on highly radioactive material.

One theory is the rabbit might have sipped water in the building's basement that was sprayed during demolition to suppress dust.

To Read more, click here
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Climate Change and Peak Oil Are Intimately Related and Require Urgent Action

Carbon dioxide variations over the last 400,00...Image via WikipediaBy Greg Grochola

Due to continued government inaction around the world, climate change and peak oil (oil depletion) are now fast looming as two of the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity. These issues are intimately related such that when considering solutions for one, we must consider the other. There are proponents for tackling climate change using geo-engineering approaches and/or other means which do not involve reducing our rate of fossil fuels usage.

It can be argued that any such approaches, are insufficient over the required adoption of dramatic reductions in fossil fuels usage. Further, these approaches could cause more harm than good if they divert investment funds away from technologies which cut the use of fossil fuels and if they provide a false sense of security, allowing a business as usual attitude in the business sector and/or a "they'll fix it" attitude in the general public.

From the perspective of peak oil, most industry observers now agree that we are either past peak oil or will pass it within a few short years. The main issue is this - in the coming decades, as easy to get at reserves of oil disappear, countries faced with the challenge of peak oil and all that it entails for their domestic economy and population WILL - regardless of climate change and the resulting environmental consequences - transition to carbon intensive reserves such as coal, coal liquefaction, deep sea oil, oil shale and tar sand deposits, for which the energy and hence carbon emissions costs to develop is huge. If we invest in technologies which do not at the same time reduce fossil fuel usage, then this transition will not only come earlier but the world will be even more dependent on green house gas emitting fuels when it does arrive.

Moreover, the earth's environment is incredibly complex; there is a very real chance that any such geo-engineering solution would either have adverse consequences elsewhere in the system or worse yet, be ineffective. If so, where would that leave our (not too distant) future generation? Saddled with a large dependence on fossil fuels with only carbon intensive reserves remaining, as well as record atmospheric CO2 which all but guarantees rapid climate change for decades to come.

Of course the other issue which most geo-engineering solutions do nothing to address is ocean acidification caused by high levels of atmospheric CO2. Only sharp cuts in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from direct reductions in CO2 emitting fuels can help address these issues at the same time as climate change and the peak oil issues.

By investing in technologies which directly reduce fossil fuel usage now, we are not only cutting emissions today, but we are delaying peak oil and the inevitable transition to more carbon intensive fossil fuels. This gives the renewable energy industry time to mature and develop. We cannot gamble and bank on geo-engineering solutions, I urge you as a citizen of your country and temporary custodian of this fragile earth not to adopt a "they'll fix it" attitude and to actively do your bit in cutting fossil fuel usage.

You can make a big difference through the choices you make. Always choose the more energy efficient option and support initiatives which directly off-set the use of fossil fuels. Let's not use up the easy to get at oil and gas reserves for our future generation, as we would be leaving them in a world saturated with CO2 and a large dependence on non-renewable fuels with nothing but carbon intensive fossil fuels tomorrow.

Greg Grochola

Optex Solar Pty. Ltd., we promote and support only the most cost effective solutions which directly reduce fossil fuel usage.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Is Fair in Fair Trade, and Coffee Beans!

International Fairtrade Certification MarkImage via WikipediaBy Suzanne A Edwards

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "It is not fair to ask others, what you are unwilling to do yourself". If you agree with this statement, then when did it ever become ok to pay two cents an hour to some factory worker in countries like China, Sri Lanka or India?

You would be up in arms if your employer tried to make you work all day for a mere two cents an hour. Even if you worked a twelve hour day, you would only receive 24 cents (providing no taxes were taken off that). In North America, many of us make that in one minute of work. If your employer tried to pull this on you, you would be calling the Ministry of Labour citing a long list of complaints against this unfair practice. You might even call your lawyer to report this injustice.

As unfair as this sounds, why does it continue to happen across the globe, and do these unfair employment practices have an effect in other areas?

The answer is a complex one, but in a nutshell, it can be explained something like this. Multinational companies are more concerned with their profit margins than the minor details of fair wages. Factory workers in underdeveloped nations are most often very poor and feel thankful to have a job in spite of poor working conditions or wages. In fact, for many of them, it is a means of survival.

So, with the money these multinational companies save in wages (even if you add in the costs to transport the finished product overseas), they still make a bigger profit than if they had factory workers in North America produce it at minimum wage. Once the product gets shipped back to North America or to other developed nations, it can then be sold at a lower cost to you, the consumer. This means these multinational companies sell more product as people will line up to save whatever money they can, especially in this economy. So, when you buy that great leather handbag for only $26 you can bet that it came from a factory somewhere overseas. Check the tag and more often than not, it will say, made in China or made in India, etc.

So you might be thinking to yourself, wherein lies the problem? Well, its kind of a catch 22, as more times than not, most people will be drawn to buy the cheaper product in an effort to save money in this global economy. Multinational companies love this arrangement, as it allows them to make bigger profits by selling more product. It seems that factory workers are surviving as a result of this substandard job, so why care then, if all the players seem to be reaping the benefits from this producer/seller/consumer relationship?

Around 40 years ago, someone did care and saw a problem with this relationship whereby everyone in this producer/seller/consumer relationship seem to be equally reaping the benefits except the poor factory producers/farmers. It was from identifying this lack of equilibrium, that the concept of 'Fairtrade' was born.

Although the concept of Fairtrade has been around for over 40 years, the formal labelling scheme didn't get off the ground until the late 1980s. In 1988, Max Havelaar launched the first Fairtrade label, under the initiative of the Dutch development agency Solidaridad. The first Fairtrade coffee from Mexico was sold into Dutch supermarkets. It was branded "Max Havelaar," after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in Dutch colonies. Since then, Fairtrade goods seem to all the buzz and larger grocers are now stocking their shelves with anything from coffee to beauty products and clothing all bearing the trendy mark, 'Fairtrade'. Fairtrade also became more recognizable as a result of stores such as "Thousand Villages" creeping up across north America showcasing the many fares that were a result of Fairtrade practices.

Similar to organic foods however, Fairtrade products will cost more, but you will be getting a superior product and one that was produced equitably with all members being respected. By buying Fairtrade products you will also be helping the environment. Yes, that's right, your purchase because it was equitable, will allow farmers to improve their outdated farming equipment by adopting more environmentally safe equipment/practices. In fact many examples of this trend can be seen in various parts of the world today, where the notion of Fairtrade practices were adopted. Many towns and cities around the globe are also eager to jump on the Fairtrade bandwagon, by applying to become a 'Fairtrade town' by ensuring that their local growers/farmers interests are being treated fairly. In Canada, Wolfville, Nova Scotia was the first town to become a 'Fairtrade town' on April 17, 2007. Since then, many other cities and towns worldwide have followed suit.

The next time you are out and about scouring the endless product lines that adorn the shelves of your local grocers or department store, take a few extra seconds and ignore the price tag, and simply take notice of the 'made in' tag. If you want a greener tomorrow and one that is based on respect and equitable treatment for all, you will consciously make a choice to buy 'Fairtrade'.

Like with most injustices in the world, change does not happen overnight. But if more and more people buy fair trade products, this will force multinational companies to rethink their current model and then someday perhaps these deplorable factories will be closed forever.

Written by: Suzanne Edwards

Creator of Bartholemew A Green Adventure http://www.bartholemew.webs.com. Creating a greener tomorrow, one reader at a time

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Environmental Statistics Might Be Counterproductive To The Prevention Of Farm Animal Cruelty

Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona, Spain.Image via WikipediaBy Mark Brohl

I admit to being guilty of bandying about the negative statistics concerning the raising of farm factory animals for the sole purpose of making the case that animal consumption is a blight on our environment as well as a major contributor to world hunger and other humanitarian issues. I also try not to miss touching on the issue of health, since it is pretty clear that an animal based diet is one of the surest ways to become a heart attack, cancer, stroke, or diabetes statistic.

Sometimes however, in my most intuitive moments, I realize that if vegetarianism is a movement, then many times my maneuvering of statistics can in the long run become counterproductive. The highest purpose for the eradication of farm factories is not the environment, nor the overall health of the human race but because it is the cruelest system imaginable and responsible for the barbaric torture of innocent animals for profit.

If the movement to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle focuses more on environmental woes, as opposed to keeping the main focus on the barbaric treatment of our animal friends, then even if we win many battles and get the word out at record pace the result might very well be merely a tapering off of animal consumption in the same way that we tend to be more careful about our automobile driving in a gas crisis. This would cut down on the sheer volume of animals raised and slaughtered for consumption but it would not eradicate the farm factories heinous brutality nor the plight of innocent animals caught in this web of torture.

Another great danger would be that when many farm factories were forced to shut down due to less demand for their product, the ones that remained would certainly feel the need to dream up new ways to pad the bottom line. Profit is and always will be the only issue no matter what commodity is being exploited, even if that commodity is an animal with a heart and soul and a great desire to live, care for its offspring, and to thrive and grow in surroundings that are compatible with a natural habitat. The profit margins will never be allowed to suffer for the sake of humane practices, especially if there is no regulation or enforcement in place. How much more would this be true when the surviving farm factories had to tighten their proverbial belts because of economic survival of the fittest.

To be perfectly honest, global matters are far too complex for this writer to attempt to make sense of the myriad of concerns and how each relates to the other. Environmental issues, economics, politics, racism, and entrenched cultural mindsets are just a few of the puzzles that need to be solved. Although selling the flesh of animals as a commodity is a major contributor to a large number of social woes, whether it be the environment, world hunger or the health of the human race, nevertheless it is irresponsible to contend that adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle would be the answer to all of these issues. It would be a great help but it is just one part of the solution.

If the vegetarian movement (and me) are too busy throwing statistics in the face of those who don't really have a heart for the issue, then instead of eradication of farm factories, there might be a measure of reform or even reduction. This would be functional in alleviating some of the environmental problems, but would not result in the abolishing of farm factories. They would continue to exist, albeit under a slightly different form, but the torture, and exploitation of animals as mere commodities for human consumption would continue.

I am passionate about health issues, and the state of the health of our wonderful America. I believe the American Diet is literally killing us and I believe that lobby money is the reason that we have been brainwashed into the shift from a plant based diet to an animal based diet. The result has been an unprecedented increase in heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancers of all varieties. I believe Americans are suffering from a lack of truthful information concerning our diets. I enjoy writing motivational articles that will help to correct the problem regarding this lack of information and also examine the prevailing misinformation in the light of truth.

Healthy Vegetarian Choices For Life - Dedicated to the advancement of informed choices that will benefit our health, our environment, and our animal friends. Please visit my website at http://www.ourhealthforlife.com and look around awhile. I would very much appreciate comments concerning your reaction to what I have written as well as any input that might aid me in the task of making my site more helpful. I thank you in advance for your consideration.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bat Conservation - Is Bat Survival A Losing Battle?

fruit batsImage by ksbuehler via FlickrBy Ann Moss

Conservationists are now actively promoting the conservation of bats. Bats, which are nocturnal creatures, often remind us of the unpleasant memories of horror movies with vampires. The stories of feeding on blood are accurate for a small portion of bats, but they rely on cattle for their blood and not humans. And while they are known to carry rabies, humans are more apt to be bitten by a dog.

The fact is, bats are a useful creature to us humans. They are the major predator on many night flying insects like mosquitoes. They also feed on beetles and red worms which are also unwanted in every garden. It is amazing to note that one colony can consume tons of insects every year. Think of how much less pesticide could be used.

Other bats feed on fruit and nectar. These are crucial to the pollination of plants throughout the countryside. There are some plants that only survive due to this pollination. Without it, plant life is in danger as well. They are so important to our ecosystem, that it's hard to believe that they are pretty much ignored by the majority of the human population.

While categorically a mammal, people tend to label them as rodents. They are actually a true flying mammal which can perform a continuous flight over a distance. Since they are nocturnal, they are also thought of as being blind, but this is another misconception. They do have vision, although it is not strong. They will navigate their way by sonar much like submarines do. By day, they will return to their roosting nest, which is normally a cave with its dark and humid living conditions.

There are many concerns about the number of bats dropping in the last few years. Studies have shown that the main reason is their depleting natural habitats. Conservationists are now embarking on conservation programs to create awareness among the public about how important this creature is in nature.

The focal point of these programs is the habitat. Bats are often using caves where the living conditions for them are at their best. However, due to the popularity of extreme sports, caves have become one of the more popular pastimes for exploring. This is creating a situation where bats are being disturbed during their roosting time.

This is leading to a migration to other places such as abandoned buildings or mines. They are also moving closer to cities as their natural habitats start to disappear. Human activities around these locations often result in their extermination.

For this reason, conservationists are actively working with communities to education them and show them how they can attract bats to specific areas that will be beneficial for all. By providing homes for them, it is the first step in creating a co-habitation area for all.

Since they are nocturnal, people who have installed houses for them tend to not even notice that they are around. This sharing environment is important to protect this declining species and we need to assist when we can. Take the time to learn more about these wonderful winged creatures. The conservation of bats will ensure that the balance of nature is preserved. By using bat houses you will be helping to reduce the insect population naturally. It's a win-win situation for all.

Are you interested in finding out more about bats and bat conservation? At My Bat Houses Ann Moss shares with you some things that will help you understand the world of bats and how important they are for our environment. Check out more information at http://my-bat-houses.com/the-need-for-bat-conservation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ann_Moss

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Attention Taiji, The Dolphin Slaughter Will Be Stopped

Cover of "The Cove"Cover of The CoveBy Ben Pittsley

Pressure mounts in Taiji as efforts rapidly increase to stop the annual killing of more than 26,000 dolphins.

Thousands of dolphins are captured every year in Taiji, Japan. The strongest and healthiest are shipped off to aquariums and marine parks around the world and the rest are simply slaughtered for their meat.

Taiji has come into the media spotlight recently after a 2009 American documentary, The Cove, shed light on the annual slaughter where migrating dolphins are herded into a hidden cove then netted and killed by means of spears and knives. The water is stained bright red from all the bloodshed.

Ric O'Barry, lead activist in the Oscar winning film, The Cove, has launched a new series, Blood Dolphins, on Animal Planet.

Dolphin activists all over the world are converging on the small town including Michael Dalton of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd rescued fifteen dolphins in 2003 after cutting nets and releasing them back to the open ocean. "If a hundred people could be here throughout the ordeal faced by these dolphins, the killing could be significantly reduced, if not stopped altogether," said Dalton.

Although the Japanese Coast Guard has stepped up their response, threatening to arrest anyone who interferes with the fishermen, the slaughter has yet to commence. "Our plans will depend on the actions of the fishermen. If they plan to start killing dolphins, then we will take appropriate action," Dalton said.

Increased pressure to stop the slaughter in Taiji has and will continue to negatively affect the local economy  until the annual killing is stopped. "The key to saving the dolphins is for people to constantly be in Taiji so the slaughter is not allowed to go on out of sight of cameras and witnesses," said Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd vessel and well known for Whale Wars, a reality television series on Animal Planet.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Energy Efficiency Movement Gains Steam

Example EU energy label for washing machine; s...                                     Image via WikipediaBy Mike Nemeth

Energy efficiency doesn't boast the sex appeal of solar or wind power, but it gets results.

And influencing more people to champion the cause could siphon off a large resource of untapped energy savings. At least that's the conclusion of a study released this week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE.

After all, the nation's largest single user of energy - accounting for about half - is homes and commercial buildings, said William Fay, executive director of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition, this week. Fay made his remarks at the Final Action Hearings for the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code in Charlotte, N.C. on Monday where building officials from across the country voted for a series of new building energy codes expected to improve energy efficiency in new buildings by 30 percent, according to BrighterEnergy.org.

The ACEEE study's authors said programs that motivate green behavior could lead to significant savings and should be implemented with greater zeal. "We need to design and build programs that change habits as well as light bulbs," they said.

The sentiment reflects that of Art Rosenfeld, the nuclear physicist and California energy commissioner, a pioneer and tireless advocate of energy efficiency. He was dubbed the Godfather of Green by KQED and told CBS news in a past interview that the United States' descent into an unrepentant energy guzzler can be explained simply: "Energy in the U.S. is dirt cheap. And what's dirt cheap is treated like dirt."

Rosenfeld adopted the position advocated by ACEEE early on, successfully working to change consumers' wasteful habits in California.

The state got the message - with Rosenfeld's help - back in the 1970s at the height of the anti-nuclear movement. To avoid building another reactor, the state went with energy efficiency, improving building and appliance standards. The result: the Rosenfeld Effect, which resulted in the flattening of the state's per capita energy use.

ACEEE's researchers made a number of recommendations for enhancing the acceptance of energy efficiency. One was increasing the visibility of energy using behaviors. One particular program, already offered by PG&E's smart meters, allows consumers to see more clearly how much power they consume.

The smart meter on my house enabled me to monitor power consumption of my new SEER 13 air conditioning unit. I had switched from an evaporative, or swamp cooler, and was worried about ballooning electric bills. Fortunately, those didn't come to pass, and my family was able to keep summer cooling bills relatively low, keeping the thermostat on 78 degrees.

We're still not great about dealing with vampire power - the electronic devices all over the home constantly sucking energy and consuming as much or more than 10 percent of a home's power demand.

Changing habits can make a big difference to the environment, not just the bottom line. As Rosenfeld said, "To delay global warming, you get halfway there with efficiency."

Energy efficiency is what many refer to as the "low-lying fruit" in the move to clean energy. For instance, a recent report by Boulder, Colo.-based Pike Research estimates potential annual energy savings of more than $41.1 billion if all U.S. commercial space built as of 2010 were included in a 10-year retrofit program.

The next step in the clean energy movement is more costly.

Rosenfeld said renewables like solar and wind should be pursued once energy efficiency is addressed. "But renewables cost you money, while efficiency saves money," he said.

Mike Nemeth, project manager of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, spent 24 years working as a newspaperman editing and reporting from Alaska to California. The SJVCEO is a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life through increased use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO is based in Fresno, Calif. and works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, go to http://www.sjvcleanenergy.org.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Can Renewable Energy Work?

Illustration: Different types of renewable energy.Image via WikipediaBy Julia Greenburg

There has been a lot of debate about the contribution renewable energy is having or potentially could have as part of our growing energy needs. Is alternative energy really a feasible answer to our current energy problems.

There is no doubt that in the West our energy demands are rising even with the introduction of more energy efficient appliances. Our current infrastructure is struggling to keep up and at some point soon a permanent solution will need to be found.

Green energy has long been seen as the answer with it's ability to produce limitless amounts of free non polluting power. There is however a problem, with current technology we will not be able to meet the current demands. The current focus is on wind energy and photovoltaic solar panels. Whilst these are proven technologies they are nowhere near efficient enough to provide all our energy needs with our current land mass.

We also have the added problem that the actual infrastructure that carries the electricity from where it is produced to our homes is very inefficient. Much of the power generated is lost in the transfer of the power. Before we can concentrate on renewables we need to fix the infrastructure first. If you had a badly leaking tap you wouldn't go and build a bigger reservoir would you?

Too much focus is being put on solar and wind, tide and wave power is severely underutilised and could in theory produce a large percentage of our energy needs. No only this but the sea is reliable and predictable unlike the sun and wind. With twice daily tides and continuous waves power from the sea looks like it can overcome many of the shortcomings of renewable energy.

We also need to look at our own power consumption, it is a lot easier and a lot more cost effective to reduce the amount of energy we consume rather than try to keep pace with it. Many appliances wee use in the home are inefficient and power hungry. We leave things on when we are not using them and most of us have no idea which of the appliances in our homes are the ones that eat up all that power.

The reason for this is our relatively cheap power being supplied from gas and coal. This free ride will not last forever and we are going to see a steep rise in the cost of running our homes. Surely now is a good time to prepare for this rather than just waiting for it to happen and have to face the sudden price rise.

Discover how you can get free solar panels and find out more about the governments feed in tariff at http://www.freesolarpanelsuk.co.uk

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bat Conservation - Let's Save A Natural Wonder Through Bat Conservation

Golden crowned fruit bat (Acerodon jubatus) Re...Image via WikipediaBy Ann Moss

Some people may become surprised to see this title, where I use the word 'natural wonder' for bats and bat conservation as it may be a new thing for them. And it is not unusual because for most people the significance of bats and their role in the ecology of our world is not even known.

All they have known about bats are from the scary stories from their childhood and from the horror movies involving vampires. In most countries they are known as the symbol of darkness, evil, death and diseases.

Only in China, do people believe that bats are lucky. And biologists and naturalists are now agreeing on this last comment, that bats are really lucky.

This is because they play a very important role in maintaining the ecological balance of our world. Bats are the principal weapon or biological tool for controlling insects and pests because a single bat can eat a thousand mosquitoes in a single night.

Now consider the capacity of a colony in controlling mosquitoes. Each year tons of pests are removed from our crop fields, saving money on not needing pesticides. Nature has a way of taking care of their own without the use of chemicals if we would let it. Just think how this could affect your garden as well.

Pollination and seed transfer are important as there are 150 types of plants that solely depend upon fruit-eating bats. As a result, these winged mammals play a vital role in maintaining our green world.

Guano is a byproduct of bat's dung and is rich in nutrients needed in soil for growing crops. This is an organic fertilizer that again will outperform chemicals. So if you are still thinking of bats as creatures of the night that are terrifying, think again. You are actually doing them an injustice because they play such an important role in our eco-system.

Now that you know that bats are good for pest control, help with pollination, and organic fertilizer, are they still the scary little creatures you thought they were? I think not. They are our eco-friends that we need to help protect.

There is more and more conservation being done in attempts to save the habitats for bats. Urbanization has created havoc on their world and their roosting habits. It will take a lot of work by all of us to create a safe environment for our eco-friendly little friends.

There are little things that we all can to do help bats survive in today's world. We can create a safe environment for them to live in by putting up houses for roosting. We can learn to share space with our winged friends and provide them water close to their roost. We can make sure that their roosts are safe from predators. We can make sure that their roosts are weather tight and warm to live in.

We can all do our part to save these amazing winged mammals. By learning more about bats and how they live, you can share in the wonderful world that they live in.

Are you interested in finding out more about bats and bat conservation? At My Bat Houses Ann Moss shares with you some things that will help you understand the world of bats and how important they are for our environment. Check out more information at http://my-bat-houses.com/the-need-for-bat-conservation.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Cleaning The Planet That Provides Our Every Need

By Tara Gomez

With the advent of modern technology and because of human intelligence, our lives have been made easier. It is apparent that people work hard to have a good life that they dream and to enjoy things that we can acquire.

To have a huge a house filled with appliances can provide the comfort that we need. Traveling is made easy with the various modern transportation that we have today. Human intelligence have paved way for the emergence of computers, internet, gadgets, huge machinery and all the tools that can make life easy no matter if we are at home, in school, in the office or anywhere we desire to go.

But do we realize the price this technology brings? Little by little without knowing, this technology is affecting our environment causing destructive disasters. Typhoons, earthquakes, tsunami, flash floods and oil spills are some of the disasters that should give us a clue that we should take action to prevent these disasters to take its toll.

The earth is ill. And it is because of our actions and our selfishness. Some engage in illegal logging which is
seen to cause flash floods; dynamite fishing and oil spills which is causing water pollution. All these cited are harmful to humans and to the environment. That is why now is the best time that we need to help it heal by joining in non-profit organizations that endeavors to provide good environmental services and environmental remediation that our Mother Nature needs now.

We do not have to wait for tomorrow, all of us should act now to prevent tremendous things to happen. There are many simple ways we can take part in environmental services and remediation that our environment needs like:

Proper garbage disposal


Consume energy and electricity

Avoid the use of plastics

Tree planting

Through these activities our environment will be clean. We can surely enjoy bountiful blessings that Mother Nature is providing like fresh fruits and vegetables, clean water, clean air and clean surroundings and prevent epidemic diseases as well. Not forgetting, a healthy environment that will lead to a healthy life. We need to repay our planet with good things because it is the one that provides us with what we need to live.

Tara Gomez is an environmentalist. He writes about environmental services and environmental remediation. He seeks to campaign for the preservation of environment and wildlife.

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Psychological Filters of Climate Change

Dry earth in the Sonora desert, Mexico.Image via WikipediaBy Scotland Willis

Whether you are a believer in climate change or not, the intensity of your belief passes through many filters. This is one of the many things preventing the kind of progress which advocates for climate change would like to see.

Opponents, on the other hand, lack research infrastructure, attempting to manipulate and falsely extrapolate intensely researched data from climate experts - not advocates.

Researchers from Yale University published a book titled Global Warming's Six Americas. They examine varying degrees of individual's perception on climate change. More extreme views for immediate action (which might include shutting down all coal fired power plants), make up a small percentage of environmental activists. You could easily put Jim Hansen in this category. Though a renowned scientist, he is becoming increasingly recognized as an aggressively staunch environmentalist, rather than scientist. But like many people, Hansen has likely become frustrated with the tree sap pace implementation of legislative, social, and industrial (policies, lifestyle and operations) respectively, and the commitment to reversing human induced climate change.

Opponents of climate change concern's have a line to tow, depending on the degree of opposition. Even starlet opponents such as Bjorn Lomborg, who lead a study sponsored by Copenhagen Consensus funded by the IMF, to address what the most pressing issues are facing humanity and how to prioritize them; Lomborg noted the environment is not a priority in his comments. Claims by legitimate scientist counter Lomborg's opinions as fabricated and deliberately distorted. Lomborg lacks fundamental insights to science and is not qualified to contest the evidence put forth by most climatologist; and as the evidence mounts his opposition continues to wilt.

Because human activity on the Earth is also directly related to conflict on the Earth (environmental, social, economic and otherwise) setting priorities will grow increasingly difficult- but making the right choices is paramount. In a recent discussion with a friend who had come up with a model for saving polar bears that are dying because of melting ice caps; he asked for my opinion. I was forced to ask him a series of provocative questions challenging the invention, for which he was not prepared to receive. As it turned out he neglected to consider a number of ecological unintended consequences. Opponents often don't support their arguments with hard data because of such oversights.

Heavily disputed IPCC's work happens to have 831 scientists and researchers in the fifth climate report they will generate. For whatever data they omit from their report, we still have to recognize the strength of the caliber of talent this body is made up of. If the strongest argument for opponents of climate change is that data was left out; which it was, there arguments will continue to fall apart. It is important to understand that government leaders specifically asked that IPCC research include significant data that might present insight to the most challenging environmental issues. That would imply that some pressing matters may not take priority over others- report back to us on those matters. Also universities, and other governing authorities as well as the National Academy of Sciences verified that the work was not compromised in terms of ethics or procedure and is in fact valid.

Ultimately individual people will have to amass enough knowledge to influence government to set environmental policies. Knowledge helps to persuade government of a matters significance. And because of the force of lobbyist against climate change policies, consumers must be able to consistently present formidable arguments capable of becoming mainstream thinking- but that requires a change.

Our perception of the cost of goods is skewed in the United States, resulting from a long standing feeling of entitlement. Cheap fuel, merchandise and taxes all make the United States very appealing but we have a lot to learn about the impact of our amenities. When we learn to adapt to a higher cost of living for the resources we use we will become a nation of advocates and revolution will be a mantra that is not as painful as it is in its current form.

Thomas Friedman author of Flat Hot and Crowded suggests that we are not even on the cusp of an environmental revolution; in a real revolution there are winners and losers. That means no cheer leaders, society is much more sophisticated than that. An environmental revolution will set policies that say either you get on board or get in the water and hope for the best. There is no compromise. The environment is not going to wait and give us a few more years until we get our house in order. Friedman was right when he said, the dot com revolution created leaders and those who got left behind- you got it or you didn't. We need an environmental vision that powerful.

There are very specific reasons we are going to experience what I call Climate Strange, because the climate will always change; but the strange occurrences will increase in frequency. This is a broader topic I will address in the near future.

Each of us needs to get out of our comfort zone and do something to advance a reversal of our carbon footprint. There an abundance of evidence and numerous experts indicating the urgency of climate change. If we fail to acknowledge as a nation the matter before us in the environment; and if we don't make it a national priority(which means creating jobs, investing in research and development and positioning the United States to be a leader in the industry of environmental products and innovation) we will no longer be identified as a leading nation among our global counter parts.

Scotland Willis is an environmental strategist, lecturer and advocate. He is currently a dual Masters candidate at Tufts in Environmental Engineering and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He does management consulting in systems and large scale change and is a columnist/ photographer for environmental issues.

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