WASHINGTON (March 9, 2011) – The cost of constructing or retrofitting coal-fired electric power plants and the rising cost of coal have made coal power an extremely risky long-term investment, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report, “A Risky Proposition: The Financial Hazards of New Investments in Coal Plants,” also identified a number of other factors that make investing in coal a gamble, including its continuing threat to public health and the environment.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 22:44.
Living in Cleveland, fighting against excessive polluting by popular local industrial interests, I've found environmental and climate awareness here brain-dead... zombified... people walking in an unnatural smog, accepting unnatural death around them. So I appreciate a mathematical explanation of how an entire city of 500,000 may become dominated by environmental zombies - from today's Climate Progress, which references a study of the proliferation of zombies finding they will drive humanity to the collapse of civilization.... I believe this effectively explains Cleveland (and much of America) today:
The model showed two equilibria: the disease-free equilibrium (with no zombies) and the doomsday equilibrium (where everyone is a zombie). The application of a linear stability analysis showed that — in the absence of further interventions — the disease-free equilibrium was unstable and the doomsday equilibrium was stable. This finding was not promising.
Simulations based on a city of roughly 500,000 people demonstrated that an entire such city would be replaced by zombies [rapidly]. Were this mass replacement of a population to occur in a city such as Washington, DC, it may be unlikely anyone would notice.
There is a solution: "the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to attack hard and attack often":
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 19:04.
Today's environmental tip: Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year. Save up errands and shopping trips so you need to drive fewer times. If you commute to work, ask if you can work from home at least some days, and you'll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion - and save money.
To support the goal announced by President Obama today to reduce America’s oil imports by one-third by 2025, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will be accepting applications for $12 million in funding for laboratory or small pilot-scale projects that support the development of advanced biofuels. Successful projects will develop technologies that will be able to replace refinery feedstocks or directly replace gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels without requiring modifications to vehicles or fueling infrastructure. These projects will continue to accelerate innovations in the renewable biofuels industry as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to build a cleaner, safer, and more secure energy future for America that ultimately breaks our dependence on foreign oil and moves our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs and boosts U.S. competitiveness.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 18:13.
As a citizen interested in clean energy and renewable fuels, who lives in an environmental injustice hotspot, heavily polluted by fossil fuel emissions, that needs cleaner energy solutions in our region, I have been excited to see President Obama and his core department leadership - especially Department of Energy Secretary Chu and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Jackson - embrace and champion the urgency of moving America beyond our dependency on ecologically-destructive fossil fuels, toward development of a sustainable, localized, environmentally, socially and economically positive biomass and biofuels energy economy, which shall include industrial hemp grown in the United States of America once again, beginning in 2011.
We’re already paying a price for our inaction. Every time we fill up at the pump, every time we lose a job or a business to countries that are investing more than we do in clean energy, when it comes to our air, our water, and the climate change that threatens the planet that you will inherit -– we’re already paying a price. These are costs that we are already bearing. And if we do nothing, the price will only go up.
So at moments like these, sacrificing these investments in research and development, in supporting clean energy technologies, that would weaken our energy economy and make us more dependent on oil. That’s not a game plan to win the future. That’s a vision to keep us mired in the past. I will not accept that outcome for the United States of America. We are not going to do that. (Applause.)
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:33.
You don't need to drive far south or west of Cleveland to find life springing renewed from the soil and plants, and appreciate we will soon have an abundance of sunshine, warm weather and opportunity to grow healthy, local food in our yards here in Ohio, again.
Home-grown food picked fresh from the garden is much more flavorful and environmentally friendly than most food available in markets - much more convenient and far less expensive... essential in times of economic and price uncertainly. This Winter, we ate tomato sauce made from tomatoes we grew last Summer, and froze, and it tasted as fresh as a Summer day - and the tomatoes were free, and as near at hand and low-carbon as the unused back corner of the freezer.
Because of concern about the economy, environment, and our health, I expect our family will grow significantly more food at home this year than last. For inspiration and reasons to plant large, abundant gardens this year, and help others in the community grow local food at home, as well, here is an excellent article from Alternet suggesting you "Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Does":
Tremors in food supply chains and pricing will make gardening look like a lot more than a hobby, a seasonal workout, a practical way to fill your pantry with your summer favorites, or a physically, spiritually and mentally healing activity, or all four. Gardening and small-scale and collective farming, especially of staple crops and the ones that could stave off malnutrition, could become as important as bringing home the bacon, both the piggy and the dollar kind. Why?
Medical marijuana is now a $1.7 billion market, according to a report released Wednesday by See Change Strategy, an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets. The figure represents estimated sales of marijuana through dispensaries in states with medical marijuana laws. It is the first time a definitive dollar figure has been given to the emerging medical cannabis industry.
To put that number in perspective, sales of medical marijuana rival annual revenue generated by Viagra, a $1.9 billion business for Pfizer.
Comparison of relative temporal changes in lead concentration in tooth enamel and lake sediments, and relative changes in the total amount of lead additives to gasoline. Maximum absolute values and symbols are: 4.94 μg/g (teeth, smoothed data, uninterrupted line), 72.7 ppm (“new core Lake Erie sediment, triangles), 41.1 ppm (Graney et al., 1995 Lake Erie sediment, open circles), and 253,000 mt of lead additives to gasoline produced in the US, closed circles (see Methods).
Japan is considering the sale of all food products from around the site of a nuclear power plant damaged by a tsunami a week ago, according to the UN nuclear watchdog - ...The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said there was a short-term risk to health after radioactive iodine was found in foods from Fukushima prefecture, where the power station is located....
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:55.
Draft Plan EJ 2014 Implementation Plans
Toaccomplish the goals outlined in Plan EJ 2014, the EPA developed nine Draft Implementation Plans which will guide agency actions in rulemaking, permitting, compliance and enforcement, community-based action, Administration wide action, science, law, information, and resources. The Draft Implementation Plans outline EPA goals, strategies, activites, deliverables, and milestones for each of the nine areas.
For each of the Draft Implementation Plans, we are asking for feedback from the public on how we can continue to address the issues that are most important to ensuring the protection of the air, water and land that support all of our nation’s communities and will result in environmental and economic health benefits.
Blind man sees wife for first time after having a tooth implanted into his eye
Seeing clearly: Martin Jones opens his newly-sighted eye fitted with a tooth. When Martin met his wife four years ago, he never imagined that one day he would get to see what she looked like. The 42-year-old builder was left blind after an accident at work more than a decade ago.
But a remarkable operation - which implants part of his tooth in his eye - has now pierced his world of darkness.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 14:15.
U.S. Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide Map (red = most polluted, blue = least polluted)
I'm certain more people than ever in history are interested in the subject of global air pollution monitoring, as a deteriorating cluster of nuclear power plant disasters in Northern Japan are already contaminating the Earth's atmosphere with deadly radioactive emissions, which will blow across the Pacific Ocean and in other directions to all points downwind until they settle back to Earth, on us, our land, in our water, and into our food-streams.
If the Japanese nuclear core were to melt, certain radioactive materials, such as iodine, strontium and cesium, would also be released. These particles are one-quarter the size of a grain of salt and can be carried by winds. The larger the grains, the more quickly they would fall out of the air.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:25.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES – FEBRUARY 2011 - reporting ongoing significant price increase trends in core sectors of the global economy - like US import and export food and energy prices - that indicate US annual inflation in the double-digits for many products and services impacting daily life in America... like the price of gasoline, milk and bread. The impacts worldwide - especially in developing countries - will be staggering... radicalizing.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/14/2011 - 07:14.
EPA's 2005 National Air Toxins Assessment looks at human health impacts from estimated, chronic inhalation exposures based on emissions data from the
2005 National Emissions Inventory for hazardous air pollutants, assuming these emissions remain constant throughout one's lifetime
On March 11, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a press release (below) and held conference calls supporting release of the fourth update of the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) - a computer tool that helps federal, state, local governments and other stakeholders better understand the potential health risks from exposure to air toxics. The EPA states: "the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) contains 2005 emissions data submitted primarily from the states for 178 pollutants. Models are used to make broad estimates of health risks for areas of the country. The tool is not designed to determine actual health risks to individuals living in these areas." "Because the data submitted varies from state to state, it is also not possible to use the data to compare risks between different areas of the country."
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 14:20.
U.S. Commerce Department Announces Launch of i6 Green Challenge to Promote Clean Energy Innovation and Economic Growth
U.S. departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Energy, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation, support entrepreneurship initiative
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship today announced the opening of its $12 million i6 Green Challenge in partnership with the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs. Its partner agencies will award more than $6 million in additional funding to i6 Green winners.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 04:44.
Wherever you live in America, there should be some near-by gathering, event, public meeting or celebration in support of Hemp History Week - May 2nd-8th 2011 - and if there isn't, you may help organize one in your community. Check their website for planned events - and how to organize events - and do it ASAP, as events registered by March 15th may get hemp product samples to distribute, and that is worth hustling-for.
The sponsors and supporters of Hemp History Week include Vote Hemp, the Hemp Industry Association, and leading hemp manufacturers, natural foods retailers, celebrities, farmers, historians and hemp advocates. "Hemp History Week is all about celebrating the goodness of hemp", and that is something all these organizers and millions of other people are working hard to make legal in every state across America - like New Mexico is succeeding with this week - to making hemp agriculture legal in America and worldwide, as is the mission of Vote Hemp and other advocacy organizations, large and small.
Cleveland Sees Plunge in Population, reports the Wall Street Journal today, announcing: "A larger-than-expected exodus from Cleveland during the past decade shrunk the city's population by 17% to about 397,000, according to U.S. Census data released Wednesday." That's right, Cleveland's population has crashed below the 400K floor for the first time since around the start of the 20th Century, which triggers all sorts of unsustainable, shrinking, un-re-imaginable financial and political realities for leadership and citizens here.
Perhaps the only silver lining is that this proof of Cleveland political and leadership failure will have a significant price of leaders' heads. From the Wall Street Journal:
Political observers said the decline could tilt the balance of political power in one of America's most hotly contested swing states.
"Ohio is expected to lose two congressional districts, and this big decline in Cleveland suggests that both could come out of northeastern Ohio," a Democratic stronghold, said John Green, a University of Akron political-science professor.
Attached is New Mexico House Bill 565 (.pdf - 214 kb), and below is the press release announcing INDUSTRIAL HEMP BILL RECEIVING SUPPORT FROM NM LEGISLATORS - the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee has passed Bill HB 565 relating to agriculture: Providing for licensing, growing, selling and processing of “Industrial Hemp - Santhica”.
House Bill No. 565 is sponsored by Raye Begaye (D-NM 4th District ), NM State Representative 7th term: Vice Chair; House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee; Concurrent Jurisdiction for Tribes, Nations, Pueblos and the State of New Mexico.
The progess of this bill was announced by Ray Begaye - from their press release: "House Bill 565 passed the agriculture committee by a vote of 8-l this past Monday. The bill will go to the Judiciary Committee and then onto the Floor of NM legislature. House Bill 565 upon passage will stimulate the New Mexico economy with producers, processors, manufacture, and growers."
New Mexico Industrial Hemp Coalition Contacts are Bernice Muskrat, Attorney at Law and CFO for The Native International Solutions, Inc. - Bernicemuskrat [at] yahoo [dot] com - 575-759-4412... and Gloria Castillo, President; New Mexico Hemp Commission - gjc777 [at] gmail [dot] com - 505-554-5476. They are taking donations through the non-profit Rural Coalition to support these efforts.
They are each and all to be congratulated!!
Among the reasons New Mexico passed this bill, from their Press Release about NMHB 565 and industrial hemp:
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 13:34.
I just received an email from the EPA announcing it "updated its database that helps Americans understand the health and environmental impacts of electricity generation" and now provides a useful public interface - "Power Profiler is a user friendly online application that uses eGRID data to show air emissions information and the type of electricity generation, such as coal or nuclear, in various regions of the country.By simply entering a zip code and selecting a utility, users can learn more about where their electricity comes from and what impact it has on air quality and the environment."
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:28.
The state of the American education system today is unacceptable. As many as one quarter of American students don’t finish high school. We've fallen to ninth place in the proportion of young people with college degrees. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.
For the sake of the next generation, and America's economic future, this has to change.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:07.
Energy Department Announces New Advance in Biofuel Technology
Highlights Opportunity to Reduce America's Oil Dependence and Create Jobs in Rural America
March 07, 2011
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today congratulated a team of researchers at the Department's BioEnergy Science Center who have achieved yet another advance in the drive toward next generation biofuels: using bacteria to convert plant matter directly into isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline. This research is part of a broad portfolio of work the Department is doing to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and create new economic opportunities for rural America.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 20:40.
This update contains solicitations for renewable energy generation, renewable energy certificates, and green power as a courtesy to our subscribers. Unless otherwise noted, these requests for proposals and solicitations are neither supported nor endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy, Green Power Network.
March 31, 2011 Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) RFP seeking qualified solid biofuel materials for use at two of its generating stations for the next three years to meet Ohio RPS requirements. DP&L will consider contracts for quantities starting in the 4th quarter of 2011 and in the years 2012-2014. Questions due by March 23, 2011.