Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Organic Elite Surrender to Monsanto

from Natural News at:

"The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must" - Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.

A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and "seed purity," gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the "conditional deregulation" of Monsanto's genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.

Beyond the regulatory euphemism of "conditional deregulation," this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.

To read more, go to:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wind Turbines: Pretty in Pylon?

A windfarm and electricity pylons/power lines ...Image via Wikipedia

by Mark Halper from the SmartPlanet blog:

Wind Turbines: Pretty in Pylon?

Powys county in Wales is a gorgeous part of the world. Steep verdant hills reach up to skies that turn strawberry at dusk. Velvety streams gently cascade along rocks worn smooth by the ages. People mistake this place for the UK’s renowned Lake District, poetically heralded by the likes of Wordsworth.

Wouldn’t it all look prettier with 50-meter (164-feet) electricity pylons running through it?

That’s what Britain’s National Grid – the publicly held company that runs the country’s transmission network - is considering.

In order to connect a series of planned wind farms to the electricity network, it wants to run transmission towers through some of Britain’s most unspoiled scenery, such as the valley in Powys pictured above near the town of Welshpool.

It plays into the UK’s national goal of generating 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, in an effort to cut CO2 emissions by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Many locals aren’t having it. Drive through Powys, and you’d have to be asleep not to spot the ubiquitous, hand made “no pylon” signs scrawled everywhere (they’re not much more attractive than a pylon would be, but they sure make their point).

To read more, go to:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flood Berm Collapses At Nebraska Nuclear Plant

by Barracuda at Before It's News:

Flood Berm Collapses At Nebraska Nuclear Plant

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A berm holding the flooded Missouri River back from a Nebraska nuclear power station collapsed early Sunday, but federal regulators said they were monitoring the situation and there was no danger.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station shut down in early April for refueling, and there is no water inside the plant, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Also, the river is not expected to rise higher than the level the plant was designed to handle. NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said the plant remains safe.

The federal commission had inspectors at the plant 20 miles north of Omaha when the 2,000-foot berm collapsed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Water surrounded the auxiliary and containment buildings at the plant, it said in a statement.

The Omaha Public Power District has said the complex will not be reactivated until the flooding subsides. Its spokesman, Jeff Hanson, said the berm wasn't critical to protecting the plant but a crew will look at whether it can be patched.

"That was an additional layer of protection we put in," Hanson said.

The berm's collapse didn't affect the reactor shutdown cooling or the spent fuel pool cooling, but the power supply was cut after water surrounded the main electrical transformers, the NRC said. Emergency generators powered the plant Sunday while workers tried to restore power.

To read further, go to:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunflowers To Clean Radioactive Soil in Japan

Sunflowers in Fargo, North Dakota.                                          Image via Wikipediafrom Before It's News:

Sunflowers To Clean Radioactive Soil in Japan

Campaigners in Japan are asking people to grow sunflowers, said to help decontaminate radioactive soil, in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed March's massive quake and tsunami.

Volunteers are being asked to grow sunflowers this year, then send the seeds to the stricken area where they will be planted next year to help get rid of radioactive contaminants in the plant's fallout zone.

The campaign, launched by young entrepreneurs and civil servants in Fukushima prefecture last month, aims to cover large areas in yellow blossoms as a symbol of hope and reconstruction and to lure back tourists.

"We will give the seeds sent back by people for free to farmers, the public sector and other groups next year," said project leader Shinji Handa. The goal is a landscape so yellow that "it will surprise NASA", he said.

The massive earthquake and tsunami left more than 23,000 people dead or missing on Japan's northeast coast and crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant that has leaked radiation into the environment since.

Almost 10,000 packets of sunflower seeds at 500 yen ($6) each have so far been sold to some 30,000 people, including to the city of Yokohama near Tokyo, which is growing sunflowers in 200 parks, Handa said.

Handa - who hails from Hiroshima, hit by an atomic bomb at the end of World War II - said the sunflower project was a way for people across the nation to lend their support to the disaster region.

"This is different from donations because people will grow the flowers, and a mother can tell her children that it is like an act of prayer for the reconstruction of the northeast," Handa said.

"I also hope the project will give momentum to attract tourists back to Fukushima with sunflower seeds in their hands. I would like to make a maze using sunflowers so that children can play in it." Source
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wind Turbines And The Direction Of Renewable Energy

A barn and wind turbines in rural IllinoisImage via WikipediaBy Cory Sober

Wind turbines are popping up all over the world. It is not unusual to find single windmills or acres of wind turbines creating clean energy these days. This energy producing alternative is costly to install, but very effective in reducing the price of energy for consumers over time.

This type of natural power is clean energy, but what exactly does that mean? Wind turbines do not rely on fossil fuels or natural gas to produce energy and therefore do not deplete the earth of its natural resources. This power can be directly acquired from the country in which it is generated, cutting importing costs and further reducing prices for the consumer.

The economic growth of the industry also lies in the manufacture of the windmills themselves. The more in demand they are, the more economic and employment growth will develop. This growth not only depends on building the actual windmills, but also on manufacturing the batteries, capacitors, and cables which store and transmit the energy accumulated by these rotating giants.

It has been predicted that by the year 2030, many of these wind farms will be set offshore. The huge turbines would almost not be seen above water, but the power they would produce could be immense. This is a first of its kind innovation and is reported to be somewhat stalled in the bureaucratic phase for the time being.

Batteries will ensure that the turbines will continue to move even when the force of the wind is significantly reduced. By contrast, the East Coast wind farms will probably never suffer from a lack of power source. These farms will be highly productive and the predicted outlook is excellent for the immediate future and long-term future.

Huge offshore cables, called "spines", are buried in shallow trenches under the sea to transport the collected energy to the mainland. Initial reports indicate that this development could possibly produce enough energy to sufficiently power the entire Eastern seaboard. The cable is being laid now, even before the windmills are planted.

The amount of energy created by these offshore farms is predicted to significantly reduce the load of the current energy grid in the Northeastern US. The cost of this project is said to be in the high multi-billion dollar range, which is causing some delay. There are other significant factors, however, which are also delaying the progress of this project.

Fishermen make their living off the North American eastern coast and studies are being conducted regarding the reconciliation of the two industries. Another problem being faced is the fact that there are sacred burial grounds submerged in the sea there, which should not be disturbed. A third hindrance is the assumption by special interests groups that this development will destroy the beautiful view off the East Coast, who are lobbying to stop the project.

Wind turbines are one of the safest and cleanest means of generating energy, providing economic growth and reducing the load on the current energy grid. Along with solar power and thermal heat, it is a viable and sustainable solution to our energy crisis. There is significant growth in the wind-turbine industry all around the globe. There are many online sites with information regarding the direction in which renewable energy efforts are headed for the immediate and long-range future.

Cory Sober is the IT Director for UpWind Solutions, a full-service operations and maintenance provider for utility-scale wind farms. He is part of a highly trained team focused on maximizing long-term productivity of wind turbines, and as a result, delivering a higher return on investment for wind energy projects.

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 24, 2011

3 Developments Accelerate Clean Energy Evolution

Passivhaus cross-section, English annotationPassive House Cross-Section - Image via WikipediaBy Mike Nemeth

When I was 17, I discovered how fast my step-father's then almost-new 1976 SR5 Celica fastback would go.

105 mph.

Urging me on was a not-so-shabby Chevelle. It passed me heading out the deserted Glenn Highway near Mirror Lake going about 90. I blew past it at what I discovered to be top speed, catching a little air on the rolling frost heaves outside Anchorage.

I'm getting that same sense of wide-open acceleration now, watching developments in clean energy. Technologies appear to be testing just how fast they can move forward.

Solar and LED lighting threaten to go mainstream with price reductions. But other technologies also show exceptional promise.

1. Passive House

A house at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History designed with no furnace - honest - has been completed and is already catching attention. The residence, which uses "passive house" design and technology, cuts its greenhouse gas footprint and utility costs to the quick. SmartHome Cleveland received a national write-up from Renee Schoof of McClatchy Newspapers. "Because the house is so well insulated, it can hold heat from sunshine, body heat, lights and appliances," she wrote.

I did a piece on the house while it was under construction in January 2011, explaining how the passive house movement is gaining a foothold in Europe and possibly finding its way into this country. Super-insulated homes are hardly new, especially in the North. I worked on one at 14 in 1975 in Fairbanks. But their adoption has been slow going. That may certainly change when people paying hundreds of dollars a month in heating bills see an option for cutting that to near nothing.

The stakes are high. Buildings account for about half of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. And while there's a big push nationally and worldwide to address that with retrofits, upgrades and better building practices, finding the mainstream remains a challenge.

But I'm feeling positive, especially with efforts like the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED building certification system, which was designed to improve energy savings, water efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction. And more stringent building practices, now in play, would make a big dent in greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

2. Buildings that clean the air

This boggles the mind. A domestic alumninum manufacturer has developed a proprietary process, using a titanium dioxide coating that offers, in the company's words, "the world's first coil-coated aluminum architectural panel that helps clean itself and the air around it."

Here's the way it works: Titanium dioxide on the siding interacts with sunlight to break down organic matter both on and floating around the surface of the building panels, leaving the organic matter sitting on the surface. Rain washes it away. The company says 10,000 square feet has the cleaning power of 80 trees.

Expect other companies to jump on the bandwagon. This is a simple way for corporate America to "green" their portfolios with minimal cost, and it could be a big deal.

3. Buildings that generate more power than they use

A professional organization of engineers interested in new technologies released a report that says solar eventually could begin to challenge fossil fuels in electricity production. "Solar PV will be a game changer," said James Prendergast, IEEE executive director, in a statement. "No other alternative source has the same potential." The professional organization that promotes technological advancement says solar has been growing 40 percent a year over the past decade.

That means homeowners who install solar today may wind up selling their surplus capacity back to their utilities. This would create an entirely new dynamic and further advance the looks-like-it's-gonna-happen theory of Al Weinrub who wrote a fascinating report about how decentralized power generation through root-top and parking lot solar could be a game changer in California.

In Texas, Weinrub's vision is playing out. Dan and Karen Cripe of Round Rock, Texas are producing more energy than they consume in their energy efficient home, according to a story by ABC affiliate WOTV. "Our electric bills have actually dipped into the negative range," says Dan Cripe (a friend of mine sent the link).

Expect to see more reports in this vein. That's why I used the Celica acceleration analogy. For one, that was a great car. Quite dependable. And it didn't go too fast, just fast enough to pass the Detroit standard-bearer muscle car.

Actually, there's more to the speeding story. The Chevelle took up my challenge and blew past me going about 120 mph. The driver and passenger were grinning, loving the race. Must have been headed to Palmer. Barely anybody lived in Wasilla back then.

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

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Giant Earthquakes Of The Pacific Northwest

Seal of the United States Geological Survey. T...                                  Image via Wikipedia
on Before It's News:

The danger of a very large earthquake striking the coast between northern California and British Columbia proves much greater than suspected

Few people question the possibility of a devastating earthquake once again hitting Los Angeles or San Francisco. The state of Alaska has also suffered some serious shaking, including, in 1964, one of the world's largest earthquakes. Until recently, however, many residents believed that the intervening territory from northernmost California to southern British Columbia (an area sometimes referred to as Cascadia) was a safer place to live. Seismologists had recognized that Vancouver and Seattle were not exactly sheltered--sizable earthquakes buffeted the region in 1946, 1949 and 1965--but no truly disastrous events had ever damaged these cities.

Yet views have changed drastically. Ten years ago Thomas H. Heaton of the U.S. Geological Survey and Garry C. Rogers of the Geological Survey of Canada began warning that giant earthquakes could indeed strike this seemingly quieter stretch of coast. Initially, many scientists questioned the seriousness of the threat, but most doubters now realize that such earthquakes have happened in the past and will do so again. How could perceptions have shifted so quickly?

To understand the change in thinking requires some knowledge of the way seismologists estimate how and where powerful but infrequent earthquakes occur. For most active fault zones, the rate at which earthquakes take place decreases with increasing size in a systematic way, as was shown in the 1930s by Beno Gutenberg and Charles F. Richter. This regular pattern applies up to some maximum earthquake size--one that corresponds to a break of the entire fault zone from end to end. Using the Gutenberg-Richter relation, seismologists can gauge how often large earthquakes strike a given place even if no such events have ever been recorded. Engineers can then design buildings, dams and other structures accordingly.

To read more, go to:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sicilian Island Travels Through Time 15 Min Into Future!

from Before It's News:

Sicilian Island Travels Through Time 15 Min Into Future!

Upon research saw that it was posted in several forums and alternative news blogs, this is the only video I was able to find of it from an actual news source 0.0

"Sicilians are not normally renowned for their punctuality but something strange is afoot that's making them turn up early for work.

Hundreds of digital clocks on the island are running more than 15 minutes fast and no-one is quite sure why. The phenomenon has left people scratching their heads for weeks and several theories have been put forward involving aliens, poltergeists, volcanic activity on Mount Etna and solar explosions. Armageddonists are pointing to further proof of the imminent end of the world.

The town of Catania lies at the heart of the mystery and two young locals have set up a facebook page calling for those affected to come forward. One of them, Francesco Nicosia, told French online magazine Rue89 "I realised something was wrong when I started getting to work earlier. After some investigation I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was on time, which is quite rare here in Sicily."

This isn't the first time the island has experienced strange goings on linked to electronic devices: several years ago electronic equipment started spontaneously catching fire across the rural countryside, reports Rue89.

Among the most credible explanations is electrical disturbance caused by underwater cables that have been undergoing maintenance, but that hasn't stopped many who think that the whole thing is a conspiracy to punish Sicilians for their tardiness."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Midwest Floods: Both Nebraska Nuke Stations Threatened

Nuclear power plant.Image via Wikipedia

by Rady Ananda - Before It's News:

Midwest Floods: Both Nebraska Nuke Stations Threatened

June 20 UPDATE: On June 17, the NRC published another Event Report by Fort Calhoun. A hole in the floor (caused by what?) has led to flooding, threatening the pumps. "Flooding through this penetration could have impacted the ability of the station's Raw Water pumps to perform their design accident mitigation functions."

About 5 million* acres in the US corn belt have flooded, which will spike the cost of gas and food over the next several months. Worse, several nuclear power plants sit in the flooded plains. Both nuclear plants in Nebraska are partly submerged and the FAA has issued a no-fly order over both of them.

On June 7, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant filed an Alert with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after a fire broke out in the switchgear room. During the event, “spent fuel pool cooling was lost” when two fuel pumps failed for about 90 minutes.

On June 9, Nebraska’s other plant, Cooper Nuclear Power Station near Brownville, filed a Notice of Unusual Event (NOUE), advising it is unable to discharge sludge into the Missouri River due to flooding, and therefore “overtopped” its sludge pond.

The Fort Calhoun TFR (temporary flight restriction) was issued the day before the nuclear Alert. The FAA issued another TFR on June 7 for the Cooper plant.

To read further, go to:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 20, 2011

Carbon Reduction Commitment

Se belowImage via WikipediaBy Jeremy Paalmer

The United Nations Convention on Climate Change or UNCCC is an undertaking which aims to reduce the overall production of greenhouse gases through a legally binding agreement between participating nations.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries are required to reduce the four major gases responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. The agreement calls for the gradual reduction of all greenhouse gases from 1990 levels to those which don't interfere with the climate system.

Signatories are required to make reports on their current greenhouse gas productions and are tasked with ensuring that national policies are in line with their Carbon Reduction Commitment The Kyoto Protocol has provided measures and guidelines in order for participating countries to achieve this which includes the use of clean development mechanisms, emissions trading and joint implementation projects.

The objectives of the United Nations sponsored agreement is the reduction of greenhouse emissions to levels that are not detrimental to the climate system. Its aim is to cut the production of dangerous emissions by 5.2 percent from their 1990 levels.

The Kyoto protocol also recognizes the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Signatories agree that the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions still lie with highly industrialized countries. This is acknowledgment that much of the global emissions originate from developed counties. That overall greenhouse emission from less developed countries is small but as their economies grow so does their share in responsibility.The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement among countries that recognizes the need for a concerted effort in carbon reduction commitment.

The Kyoto Protocol also calls for the creation of an enforcement branch to monitor countries which are unable to comply with emission limitations. Countries who are unable to comply may find themselves paying an additional percentage of their gas emission deficits and suspension in their gas emission trading programs.

Carbon reduction commitment still remains to be a highly contentious political issue as countries such as the United States has expressed concerns about the effects of the Kyoto Protocol on its economy. However, even with its difficulties the UN Sponsored agreement remains to be the best step in reducing global greenhouse emissions.

With an overwhelming amount of evidence in support of man made climate change, government and international policies will have to be agreed on and fast. The time is now to act of climate change with many experts suggesting we are close to the tipping point.

The author of this article has expertise in Carbon Reduction Commitment. The articles on Carbon Reduction Commitment reveals the author's knowledge on the same.

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Four Bonanza Living Green Tips to Conquer the Endless Cycle of Consumption

The waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs&q...Image via WikipediaBy Emma G Davis

If you are stuck in the cycle of consuming endlessly, and care for the environment, then you might seriously be thinking about having a change in lifestyle. The goals of living greener and more sustainably, and consuming less material possessions go hand in hand. To get you on your way, here are four bonanza living green tips to live by:

Tip No 1 - Shop Out of Necessity, Not out of Boredom

Have you ever felt bored and decided to go down the shopping mall to see what was happening. Before you know it, you arrive back at home with a few bagfuls of shopping. Your bags are full of stuff that you didn't even need. Does this sound like a familiar situation?

Avoid the temptation, and think of participating in other activities besides shopping down at the mall. Take the kids to kick a ball down the park, or start a new hobby. Starting a new fitness regime will get the heart pumping and get your fit. You might also save a few dollars from your hard-earned pay packet. Try to shop when only necessary. Avoid treating your shopping like a hobby.

Tip No 2 - Recycle, Reuse and Reduce (The 3R's)

The 3R's of Recycle, Reuse and Reduce are a really handy motto to keep in mind. Look around the house and see what possessions you own. You'll probably be surprised at how many possessions you own, more than you thought. Over the years, we tend to accumulate many possessions, some of which we may no longer have a requirement for. If this is the case, donate these well loved possessions to someone in greater need than ourselves. Other family members, relatives or friends, or charity shops would be appreciative of donations of well loved goods to go to new homes.

Tip No 3 - Have you ever Free Cycled?

Visit the free cycle website and list any household items that you no longer require. You may also be looking for something, and rather than buy a new item, you could find something on Free Cycle. Do your bit to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. It is also a good feeling to give stuff away from free.

Tip No 4 - Reduce Your Consumption

Make a concerted effort to reduce your consumption around the house. This may involve changing your bad habits into good ones. Good habits to adopt that require little effort include switching off appliances at the power socket when not in use, turning off lights that would otherwise have been left on all night. Heating and cooling costs can also be easily curtailed by using appliances sparingly, and only when required. There is no need to leave heating on all night, when it only takes fifteen minutes to heat up a room.

Beat the cycle of consuming endlessly and adopt more environmentally friendly practices. It's healthier for you, and healthier for the environment.

EMMA G DAVIS is passionate about living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. She is the ebook author of "The Little Green Book- Sustainable Living Made Simple" and blogs at Easy Living Green Tips. Take action to green your life today and get your free mini course at Easy Living Green Tips.

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Increased Incentives Means More Green Power

CROYDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 25:  Wind t...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeby Lizzie Westminster

Governments around the globe are using incentives to try to cut their carbon footprint on the planet, this has led to a huge take up in interest in producing green energy from all areas of communities. The UK is one of the country's leading the way in this globally important field.

At sustainable energy seminars, workshops and meetings around the country local residents, businesses large and small, landlords, property developers and farmers are learning how they could benefit from producing their own renewable energy.

One reason for an increase in interest in renewable energy generation is the impending implementation of the governments Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which has increased not only the interest, but excitement about potential opportunities.

The RHI payments scheme is aimed at promoting the generation of energy by providing payments over a period of 20 years to bridge the financial gap between the cost of conventional and renewable heat systems. The RHI scheme should not be confused with the longer standing electricity feed in tariffs for more general electricity, the new scheme is only for power used to generate heat. The scheme starts in July 2011 for non domestic premises, however it is hoped that a domestic version can be supported from October 2012.

Interest in renewable energy generation of all kinds is gathering momentum and again the UK is at the forefront, with farmers and landowners all over the country looking at the issues around planning permission for wind turbines as they look to create additional income streams from the land by investing in wind farm technology.

The planning issues around intentions can be complex and usually requires the intervention of a rural planning consultant or chartered surveyor. Recent news stories about the inefficiencies of large-scale wind farming has seen a growth of interest in smaller arrays of turbines in suitable areas of the country, these have less of a visual impact and are likely to meet with less objections from the local community and planning offices.

Solar power is now looking very attractive to investors and small-scale users alike, perhaps the 2 main driving forces of this are the previously mentioned debate about the efficiency of wind farming and the constantly improving Photo Voltaic (PV) technology.

With ever-increasing output and better storage and distribution abilities solar energy has become an attractive option, combined with the potential payments from the RHI scheme more and more people and businesses are looking to utilise their south-facing aspects in this way. All other renewable sources have also seen interest rise as a result of the new incentives, biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and biogas to name but a few are all becoming the topic of hot debate.

Now is the time to consider your carbon emissions from home or business and look into how to reduce them while the incentives exist. Using naturally renewable sources such as wind power, solar energy or water if you have it makes perfect sense in today's world, the rising cost of fossil fuels, the damage they do to the environment and the availability of tax breaks, incentives, feed in tariffs and a host of other grants and financial aids means that not only can you save money but you can also turn a healthy profit and almost negate the cost of initial investment. Perhaps we can change the world after all.

Liz Westminster is an author with a keen interest in all environmental matters, she passionately believes that the time is here when we need to seriously attempt change in how we deplete the planet's natural resources. With no wish to become a Luddite or technologically retarded in anyway she is continually investigating sensible ways to change our reliance on fossil fuels and oil dependency.

When it comes to green energy she believes every one of us should take responsibility for our own environment and encourage businesses to do the same by practicing responsible consumerism, if we only support environmentally aware businesses, more of them will become environmentally aware in an effort to gain our business.

Resources used in this article:

Wind turbine planning specialists H & H Bowe Chartered Surveyors.
Build Your Own Home with green energy built in at

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scientific Research For A Better Environment

Redondo Beach - King Harbor signImage via Wikipediaby Tom Mc Carrick

Decades back, it was wonderful how we all rejoiced in having a clean, friendly and healthy environment. Today, our environment is slowly deteriorating; just look at the global warming issues in many countries.

Thus, it is important to take good of the environment around you so that you will get the best out of it today and in the days to come. It is common knowledge that without proper care for our environment, we endanger the lives of humanity, animals and the plants.

The environment is the source of livelihood for all that exists under the skies. There are many ways that have been identified through which you can join in taking good care of our environment. The key source of these wonderful tactics is scientific research. With the knowledge that is taught in schools, colleges and universities, we find new ways to look after our environment better.

Harmful substances

There are substances that are produced mostly by machines which are harmful to the environment. It would be difficult for you to understand which ones of these substances are harmful were it not for scientific knowledge. However, this does not mean that you have to possess the highest level of knowledge so as to be able to know which substances are harmful to the environment.

There are reference materials that have been developed which will enable you to identify harmful substances. The most common things that affect the environment include smoke from factories, vehicles and other machines. It contains toxic substances that pollute the air and affect the health of people, animals and plants alike.

Marine life

Recently, there was the case of sardines that were killed in masses at Redondo Beach in California. Scientific research showed that the sardines could have died as a result of neurotoxins in the waters that affected them to adopt an unusual swimming behavior which made them swim into harbor where they died of suffocation.

Generally, the amount of soluble oxygen at the harbor is low and was made worse by the fact that there were so many sardines piled up in one area. Sadly, this could have been avoided if the neurotoxins had been prevented from contaminating the waters. The sardines could still be swimming happily in the waters. However, this case led to a lesson learnt since scientific research has proven the cause of the death and this knowledge can be applied for potential similar cases in the future.

The way forward

It is important to embrace research as the best way to forge forward in our efforts to conserve the environment. It is only with good scientific knowledge as well as research that the people will be able to tackle the ever emerging new challenges in the conservation of our environment.

Tom Mc Carrick hosts Scientific Knowledge, a website where you can find out about topics such as scientific research

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Ethical Implications of Population Growth

World Population Growth 1950-2050Image via Wikipediaby Garry Baverstock

Population growth or population control? The organisation 'Population Matters' opposes coercive population restraint policies on ethical grounds in defence of individual human rights, especially women's rights. However there is no doubt that population growth does raise ethical issues around the balance between reproductive rights and social and environmental responsibilities, which we ask people to take into account.

Population Growth and Inter-Generational Ethics

It is a fact, not an opinion, that current growth (10.000 more per hour) will stop one day, simply because a finite planet cannot sustain an infinite number of people. But it can only stop in one of two ways:

a: Sooner: The humane way, by fewer births, brought about by family planning, backed by policy to make it available and encourage people to use it, or:

b: Later: The natural way, by more deaths, brought about by famine, disease and predation/war. Campaigners against the former are in practice campaigning for the latter. We owe it to our children to prevent this.

International Ethics

Population growth is not just an issue for poor countries. The UK population is projected to grow by 10 million in the next 22 years. That's '10 more Birminghams'. England is already the most overcrowded country in Europe, taking far more than our share of our planet's natural resources.

Each of us does far more damage to the planet than any poor African. Every extra Briton, for instance, has the carbon footprint of twenty-two more Malawians. We owe it to others to stabilise our numbers too (and our resource-consumption) and then reduce them to a sustainable level.

Ethical Implications of Having Large Families

It is also a fact, not an opinion, that if two people with two living children have a third child, they will ratchet up the population of the planet, and thus ratchet up damage to the environment, bring nearer the day of serious ecological failure and ratchet down everyone else's share of dwindling natural resources to cope with this population growth.

So their decision to create a whole extra lifetime of impacts affects everyone else - far more than any other environmentally damaging decision they make. We need to be aware of the ethical implications of population growth as a result of having large families. Sex education in schools should cover this subject.

Humanitarian Ethics

Some 220 million women world-wide lack access to family planning and 40% of pregnancies are unintended. There are some 50,000 deaths from unsafe abortions each year; while the women dying from pregnancy-related causes is equivalent to 4 full jet liners crashing every day. The close correlation of high fertility rates with high maternal and child mortality is well established. Every mother on $1 per day knows that the family will be better fed if there are three children around the table rather than ten.

Universal access to family planning is 'Millennium Development Goal 5b' and coercive pregnancy through the absence of it can be seen as an abuse of women's rights. A proclamation from UNICEF states "Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other known technology". Restriction of population growth should be a very high priority.

Inter-Species Ethics

The very recent population explosion since the industrial revolution is causing the current '6th major global extinction' as humans occupy, degrade, pollute and destroy wildlife habitats. Other creatures have as much right to occupy the planet as we do.

Political Ethics

For all the above reasons the UK government should state a national goal of stabilising and then reducing UK population growth to a sustainable level by non-coercive means, as soon as possible and give top priority to family planning and women's education and empowerment programmes in the development aid budget. Restriction of population growth should be a very high priority..

About Garry Baverstock

Garry Baverstock, A.M. Leading Australian architect in passive solar design, challenges government to take the initiative in the matter of climate change. Find a wide range of informative sources and innovative solutions covering, solar and renewable energy here:

Read the full article at Population Growth.

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT: 'Controlled' Power Cuts Likely as Sun Storm Threatens National Grid

By Steve Connor, Science Editor, in Boulder, Colorado - on The Independent:

'Controlled' Power Cuts Likely as Sun Storm Threatens National Grid

Officials in Britain and the United States are preparing to make controlled power cuts to their national electricity supplies in response to a warning of a possible powerful solar storm hitting the Earth. In an interview with The Independent, Thomas Bogdan, director of the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, said that controlled power "outages" will protect the National Electricity Grids against damage which could take months or even years to repair should a large solar storm collide with the Earth without any precautions being taken.

To read more, go to:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Can I Save the Planet?

Worldwide energy sources (TW)(2004)Worldwide Energy Sources - Image via Wikipediaby J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD

Ideas to save the planet include grand schemes that only governments could attempt, down to the small but incrementally effective actions of individuals.

The 'every little helps' approach has a lot to commend it. Everyone can take a unique part, guided by his or her own preference, yet collectively there is great effect. And there are so many options.

We could save water by putting a bucket in the shower, fixing leaky taps, only running the washing machine when it is full, and taking shorter showers.

We could conserve energy by switching off the lights, installing energy saving globes, lagging the roof or only opening the fridge door when we have to.

We could travel less. Between us we made 2.5 billion aircraft journeys in 2009, the result of an ongoing surge in wandering the globe helped by growing affluence and a 60% drop in ticket prices over the last 40 years. Projections are for 3.3 billion journeys by 2014, but we could choose to move around less often.

We could eat less meat. The 'mean American diet' (often referred to by the killer acronym MAD) requires 71% more land and 340% more active nitrogen (the key nutrient for plant growth) to produce than an average vegetarian diet. Being a vegetarian massively reduces your environmental footprint.

All these personal choices are mitigation actions. Ideas for changes to behavior that reduce demand on energy and natural resources and also reduce pollution. Even if only half of us acted on these suggestions we would lower global energy demand, reduce water use and ease the pressure on a host of natural resources. If we all did it, then we might save the planet.

And this is where these articles usually finish. Yes we can! Go turn off the light or even run for office and get some big schemes cooking.

What if the planet does not need saving? Suppose that the trajectory of human exploitation and appropriation of resources is just part of the rich journey of life on earth. Then, by definition, I cannot save it.

Convention says that a catastrophic meteorite strike killed off the dinosaurs. What if they had already become so numerous as to have eaten themselves out of all available cycads and the dark clouds from all the dust simply tipped a balance that was already teetering?

There is always an alternative explanation to convention. One alternative to saving the planet is that it's not up for being saved. Sure it is changing, and much of that change is a result of human activity from land clearing to pollution. But the earth has changed before and will again.

Perhaps a better question is 'can I save myself?' Not in the selfish sense of pushing to be the first into the lifeboat of a sinking ship, but to save a sense of self and a personal relationship with the earth. This has more depth than conserving electricity and, in time, answers all the questions.

J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD is a scientist, consultant and educator with a different take on our environmental challenges. Read more of his work at or grab a copy of his book 'Awkward news for Greenies and everyone else' at

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 13, 2011

Food Security - How Will We Grow Enough Food?

log-y scale of the world population curve. Jus...Image via Wikipediaby J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD

Around the middle of 2011 the world population clocks tell us that there will be 7 billion people on earth; that is 7,000,000,000 chemical engines requiring a minimum of 2,000 calories a day in food to stave off hunger.

The calorific value to our digestive systems of rice and wheat, the staple starches for most of us, is around 340 per 100g. If we only ate cereals to supply our daily calorific needs the gents would get through 290 kg and the ladies 214 kg in a year.

So we need 1.76 million every day if we were all vegetarians. Of course many of us enjoy meat. The efficiency of the energy transfer from plant to livestock to us means we need roughly three times the plant calories to provide animal protein.

Round off some numbers and ratios for the meat eaters and each and every day the agricultural land must produce the equivalent of 3 million metric tons of usable grain; over a billion tons every year.

Suppose that 7 billion was the peak and the population was stable for a while. Maintaining food production would get harder each year because nutrient depletion, soil degradation, desertification and shortages of irrigation water are spreading across much of our productive land. Demographers suggest global population growth will slow but not until the total number has reached somewhere between 9 and 12 billion souls. Then the numbers may drop back over time to perhaps 6 billion by the end of the millennium.

The challenge for this generation is the planning to get through this population hump without starving.

Imagine the squabbles we will have if food supplies run out. Our history is one of war and conquest whose proximate cause might be the desires of egotistic empire builders but ultimately is about land, natural resources and growing enough food.

It would also be sensible to get through the hump without stripping the land of its ability to support life.

This challenge is real. Finding enough food is a daily truth to many in the developing world but food production requires solutions from everyone, even those of us who are well fed.

So what can be done?

One solution is to continue to throw technology at the problem. For some time now farmers have used artificial fertilizers, genetics and irrigation methods developed by scientists to prevent yield declines. These agronomic efforts have produced spectacular results in the short term, notably the green revolution of the 1970's.

In recent times more hi-tech has been added to the mix. Today we can see crops grown on laser levelled fields with irrigation managed by computer to synchronise with plant water demand and fertilizers applied with precision from hoppers triggered by onboard GPS systems linked to yield maps. This is the ultimate high input system and it can work extremely well where the soil is suited to the precise management of nutrient input and offtake. The Dutch have been especially good at perfecting these systems.

This intensive approach to farming sits well with us. We are very fond of the technology fix that decreases the direct human effort and increases both the amount and reliability of returns even though initial investment is prohibitive for subsistence systems.

Hi-tech agribusiness also sits well in our economies. It generates profitable product and uses many suppliers and service providers to spread the economic returns through the market.

Given all these benefits option one looks attractive and we must implement it, especially where the soils, climate and management capacity are suitable.

But technology is not a universal solution.

Most agriculture is low input relying on nature to deliver production mostly unaided. It will be hard to supply technology solutions to agricultural land managed with little or no external input because the farmers that rely on the natural regeneration of soil have no alternative. They lack the resources to do it any other way. Yet these lands must also produce consistently to support the growing human population.

The solution on these lands is to assist nature achieve natural regeneration and efficient nutrient recycling. This means helping soil regenerate the natural fertility.

Maintaining production in low input farming has been the holy grail of agricultural development work for many decades. Under the guise of 'sustainable land management' organisations from the FAO and the World Bank to local organic co-operatives have searched for ways to achieve sustainability.

What has been missed in many of the grander schemes is the simplicity of the sustainable solution. All it requires are practices that retain carbon in the soil.

So how will we grow enough food?

We will need to apply technology where we can. The science will help and we cannot be too picky on issues such as genetic modification.

However, smart application of technology is essential. It cannot work everywhere and it is unwise to create vast tracts of monoculture crops even if they are managed with computers. Nature has a nasty habit of replacing similarity with diversity. And in this case for diversity read pests and disease.

The big solution though will be to both put carbon back into the soil where it has been depleted and also enhance soil carbon levels wherever we can.

Soil maintained for optimum carbon levels retains and exchanges nutrients efficiently, has good structure that supports plants and allows roots to develop, and retains moisture but also drains. In short, soil carbon promotes plant growth.

The initial solution to growing enough food on low-input lands is to use the carbon markets to reward farmers who store carbon in soil. Paying farmers to farm carbon will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even sequesters some CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil. Emitters of greenhouses gases can buy the greenhouse credit created by the low-input farmers.

In the end though a greenhouse benefit is not the real value of the investment; the real return is growing enough food.

J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD is a scientist, consultant and educator with a different take on our environmental challenges. Read more of his work at or grab a copy of his book 'Awkward news for Greenies and everyone else' at

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Environmental Issues for Real - Urbanization

A exposure blended photo of the Sydney Opera H...Image via Wikipediaby J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD

Sydney, Australia is a fantastic city. There are water views everywhere thanks to a harbor that folds its way for more than 40km inland from its ocean entrance. The beaches, all 62 of them, are fabulous and the water is warm most of the year. And if you tire of the beach there is a world heritage forest wilderness an hour away in the Blue Mountains.

Not surprisingly there are roughly 4 million Sydney residents. Most live in suburbs spread across a metropolitan area of 12,145 km2, leaving plenty of space between and in the dwellings, and open areas to enjoy. Almost everyone is within walking distance of a park. Add some sun, those infamous beaches and you have the ideal city.

Visitors also like Sydney. Each year the city plays host to close to 10 million tourists, 3 million of them from overseas.

The place is so popular that in the last decade around half a million people have decided to become Sydneysiders, the local name for residents. This is roughly 1,000 new inhabitants per week, a growth rate of 15%, a little higher than the rate of increase in the overall population of Australia over the same period.

In addition to the arrivals social trends have seen families become smaller, splitting faster than they are merging. And whilst youngsters are staying at home longer, they eventually want to move out.

Over the coming decades Sydney will need to supply 640,000 new homes just to keep up with projected demand.

Whilst developers may be smiling, this number has had planners in state and local government waving their hands in the air. Even in a place with so much space, such a sustained influx places huge pressure on infrastructure, especially transport.

It also generates environmental challenges.

The supply of water, sewage services and power must all increase as the city grows. And there comes a point where delivery systems for utilities are past their sell-buy date. They cannot be upgraded or expanded anymore and a whole new system is needed.

Or, as with Sydney and its sewage release to the open ocean, the system is no longer acceptable.

640,000 homes and the roads, railways, shops and public spaces that support them need space. Some will be squeezed in amongst the existing suburbs; others will be green field developments. Conservation of natural habitat is a challenge when the concreted area expands.

In Sydney the built up area is encroaching on fertile agricultural land that has traditionally supplied a large proportion of the horticultural produce consumed by the city's residents and those 10 million visitors. Planners must make the difficult choice between food production and living space. Good choices need local input and a clear regional strategy.

Sydney has a few quirky issues too, such as what to with a resident population of grey-headed flying foxes, an endangered but nuisance species of fruit bat the size of a small cat, roosting in the botanic gardens that sit in the shadow of the CBD skyscrapers.

Then there is the real environmental issue of the city's footprint. Water, energy, food and waste cannot all be generated within the Sydney basin. A much bigger land area is needed to supply the resources and places are needed to dispose of waste.

There is also the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from lifestyles that use fossil fuel based electricity and transport.

It is a long list of challenges that each place pressure on the integrity of the environment.

Sydney is a moderate sized city by modern standards, similar to Phoenix, Arizona. It is half the size of Chennai, a third the size of London, a quarter that of Shanghai and a blip compared to Tokyo, the largest agglomeration in the world, at 34 million inhabitants.

The significant statistic is that there are at least 70 cities in the world that have larger populations than Sydney. Urbanization is a big deal.

The environmental issue for real is that we have to have this urbanization. The world population of 7 billion will peak at between 9 and 12 billion and, to help retain an environment that can support them; we probably want most of these extra people to live in cities.

Attention to how we make these cities livable and how we can manage their environmental footprints should be a priority for us all.

J. Mark Dangerfield, PhD is a scientist, consultant and educator with a different take on our environmental challenges. Read more of his work at or grab a copy of his book 'Awkward news for Greenies and everyone else' at

Article Source:

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Common Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, and Our Way of Thinking

Any piece of real estate can be the subject of...Image via Wikipediaby Tito II Pontilan

The quality of the air we breathe is an essential factor in the maintenance of our health. It is sad however that the advances in our technology have resulted in the development of chemicals and machines that pollute this important necessity. A large number of studies have pointed out, unequivocally, the need to rectify this situation. Despite this awareness, most people are unwilling to sacrifice certain conveniences for the sake of the environment.

Six Common Air Pollutants At Ground Level

There are six main air pollutants whose sources a person serious about the environment should avoid using, or if there is no other recourse, at least limit its spread to ground-level atmosphere.

The most common one is ozone from vehicle exhaust and emissions from factories. Ozone may be something beneficial if it is in the upper atmosphere. However, it results in health problems if inhaled. It is also produced through the interaction between certain plastics and the air.

Other pollutants from the same source are carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and lead. There have been significant strides in limiting the production of these gases by cars and factories. However, because of their widespread use and their need by an ever increasing population worldwide, scientists are setting the bar at zero emissions.

Another pollutant, sulfur oxide, also stems from the transportation industry. It comes from locomotives and ships. The sixth main pollutant is particulate matter from burning various materials like cigarettes, plastics, paper, etc. This burning results in small particles, about 2.5 micrometers in size, easily carried by the wind which may enter the lungs and from there the bloodstream.

A Change In Our Way Of Thinking Is In Order

The prevailing mentality, inadvertently, is that air pollution is a national concern so the government should address it. The citizenry's participation is not needed because they, through their taxes, employ agencies like the EPA to solve this concern for them. Thus, they should not be compelled to modify their way of life.

This way of thinking will not yield the desired results. In reality, everybody contributes to the problem, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. In order to achieve any measurable impact on the problem, the solution should be one that everyone actively supports, even if it deprives them of certain things they have become used to.

Things are not entirely dreary. Petroleum based products that fuel the majority of modern day cars is one of the roots of this problem. The recent development of electric and alternative fuel cars which do not emit air pollutants bodes well for the future. Their popularity is being helped along by the rising cost of petrochemical fuels like gasoline.

A comparison between a densely populated city, in a third world country like the Philippines, with a similarly dense city in Europe, which takes the control of air pollutants seriously, will show the difference the right mentality can achieve. In places where people are serious about controlling the threat of air pollution through a change in lifestyle and choice of equipment, the citizens are healthier, live longer, and enjoy their surroundings better.

Hire me on oDesk or sign up as a contractor and do the jobs you enjoy.

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 10, 2011

What Is a Green Home?

A laundromat in California supplements water h...Image via Wikipediaby JeanPierre Prieur

It doesn't matter if you are a new home buyer or somebody looking to rent a green home, there are a few things that you should look for to make sure you are indeed getting a green house. The latest trend in the market today seems to be products which are energy efficient. Sustainable living is in fashion and this not only applies to a green building, but also with many things we use in our lives today. So the next big question is if you are in the market to buy a green home, how do you know it fulfills the necessary criteria to become an eco-friendly home? The following are some pointers to find a truly modern home.

Environmentally sustainable homes should not be too large in size. Obviously, a large home, say a 6000 square foot home will take more energy to live in, compared to a smaller 1500 or 2500 square foot home. Therefore, always go for smaller size if possible. However, even a large green house will leave behind a smaller carbon foot print compared to an ordinary or conventional home. Our American green architects are now capable of designing practically any size green building you need.

The next important part is the design of the house. It should be placed in such a way so that it takes advantage of the elements surrounding the house, for example sunlight. If the windows are designed and placed in a certain way, it will better be able to take advantage of outside light, which will help bring down energy consumption. This is because the dependency on electrical lights will go down. Another name for this is passive solar design.

Next we come to building materials. Materials used to make an home should be as environmentally friendly as possible. This includes renewable resources such as strawboard and bamboo. If wood is going to be used then it should be approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. This is to ensure that only cultivated woods such as pine or teak are being used. Materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as sealants and paints should not be used.

Last but not least, location, location and location. The location of the house is almost as important as the house itself. This means not choosing environmentally sensitive locations such as wetlands, habitats where endangered species may be living and farmland.

Going green is all the rage whether in Hollywood or in the rural countryside. This is something that the environmentally conscious individual should take on, if for nothing else the benefits this sort of home profers to the environment.

Copyright © 2011 Jean-Pierre Prieur Internet Marketing Coordinator for Brian Darnell Green Architect in California. A company such as Leap Adaptive will design your new new green home with all of the above considerations in mind.

Article Source:
Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 9, 2011

E Coli - It's Always The Meat, Never The Vegetables

outbreakImage by alasis via FlickrBy Mark Brohl

An E. coli outbreak in Europe has claimed the life of over twenty people and as of yet the cause is unknown. One thing is for sure, however, only a fool would place the blame on vegetables. It has never been a plant derived disease and never will be. Meat is the culprit and always has been.

This deadly strain seems to be new and seems to be resistant to antibiotics which makes it almost impossible to eradicate. But this is not difficult to understand, since farm factory livestock is continuously pumped full of antibiotics so they won't die of disease from the filth they live in as well as the unnatural diet of grains which they are forced to eat and cannot digest. Death before the slaughterhouse is unacceptable but also feeding cattle fresh grass from the field is unacceptable because it is too costly. Besides saving money by feeding livestock indigestible food they are also forced to live in unimaginably cramped conditions. They literally stand in their own urine and feces for the majority of their lives. That is why they are force fed antibiotics, and that is why bacteria become immune to these heavy doses of antibiotics.

I don't know for sure who is responsible for placing the blame for this deadly strain of bacteria on plants instead of meat but it would not be hard to imagine that this nonsense comes from the meat industry. As far as they are concerned feeding cows grain instead of grass as well as ground up parts of other animals cannot be the cause of the E. coli outbreak. They would also sternly deny that the unnatural conditions that this feed causes in the digestive tract of these poor tortured animals could actually be the problem. But getting back to reality for just a moment, the question should be, "How can these animals be fed this unnatural diet and it be expected that resistant strains of deadly bacteria will not be the result?"

Every time you eat a hamburger you are eating the ground up remains of hundreds or even thousands of cattle that have lived and died in these horrible conditions. Do you think the meat industry cares any more about you than they do the cattle that they raise (torture)? Of course not. But even if they did care about you the consumer there is no way to monitor the raising and slaughter of billions of animals that have been abused, drugged, cannibalized, mass produced and mass slaughtered. Step inside a modern day farm factory or a modern day slaughterhouse and what I am saying would soon make perfect sense. If you became aware of how your meat got to your table you would be a fool to eat it and a child abuser if you fed it to your kids.

As long as farm factories exist, animals will be tortured and fed a diet that is totally incompatible with their intestinal tract. As long as they are forced to live the entirety of their lives standing in their own fecal matter they will continue to produce deadly strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. When their feces is spread over fields of plants grown for human consumption it will always add up to a very bad problem. But this problem is not going to end soon because the antibiotic, hormone, and bacteria laden feces of multiplied billions of farm animals has got to go somewhere. Don't think for a moment that it only pollutes our drinking water. No, it also becomes part of the plant kingdom.

Keep the vegetables and get rid of the farm factories. This is the simple solution to any and every past or future outbreak of E.coli. As a matter of fact it is the simple answer to almost every disease that plagues this great country.

My name is Mark Brohl and 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 that a steady flow of money and perks from the meat, egg, and dairy industries to the U.S. government is the reason we have had a long sustained brainwashing campaign that has precipitated the shift from a predominantly 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 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.

Article Source:

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint Just Got Easier

New fuel economy label in 2008 shows estimated...Image via WikipediaBy Finn Turner

Burning gasoline to get to work, run errands, and to get away on weekends is not only damaging to the wallet, it's damaging to the atmosphere.

One of the biggest contributors to the average American's carbon footprint is driving a car. That's why the U.S. federal government recently redesigned the fuel economy window stickers for new vehicles. The program, aimed at educating consumers about the car or truck's lifetime fuel consumption and pollution output, will start with model year 2013.

Fuel economy stickers haven't had a sweeping design overhaul in nearly two decades. The new look, in part, represents the dramatic change in the type of inventory available on car lots. Different kinds of cars, like conventional automobiles, hybrids, plug-ins, and all electric vehicles will have different information displayed on their stickers.

Hybrids and electric car stickers, for example, will include information like charging times and how many miles can be driven on one charge. Vehicles with gas engines will show the annual operation cost when gas is $3.70 and the vehicle is driven 15,000 miles. The price of gas will be updated every year to stay current.

Most consumers are used to seeing the familiar highway and city mileage per gallon, but the new sticker will also include a figure that reflects how much fuel is required to travel one hundred miles. By providing new car shoppers with all of this additional information the U.S. Environmental Agency, who runs the fuel economy sticker program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, hopes consumers will make better-informed purchases.

In addition to allowing consumers to be well informed on the costs associated with the fuel economy of a new purchase, the new stickers will also help drivers anticipate their carbon footprint. Each sticker will include a greenhouse gas rating, which will allow buyers to compare new cars against one another and determine how much carbon dioxide they will produce over their lifetime. The sticker also includes a smog rating for emissions such as nitrogen oxide and particulates.

While the new stickers may go a long way at helping consumers make educated decisions about what they choose to drive, the way the system is devised falls short of calculating the amount of pollution and greenhouse gas created at electric power generation plants for plug-in cars. To truly get a full accounting of an electric car's impact a consumer would have to do a little bit more investigation and find out where their electricity comes from and what sort of fuel is used. Then, combined with the information on the sticker, they should be able to figure out how much emissions their vehicle generates.

The new sticker system is generally viewed as an improvement of the more simplistic miles-per-gallon rating. But many environmentalists and climate change advocates were lobbying for a different type of sticker that would have given each new vehicle a letter grade from A to D on how it compared to other cars and trucks in terms of fuel economy and noxious emissions. After much debate, the letter grade system, which was viewed as misleading by the auto industry, was not adopted.

In the coming years clean air advocates hope that the federal government will pass legislation that makes the shrinking of driver's carbon footprint mandatory by passing stronger mileage standards. By 2017 auto industry watchdogs hope that new cars will be required to average 60 miles to the gallon.

For more information on calculating your carbon footprint visit

Article Source:

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta