Sustainable Transportation

This is for Nicole and for all of our kids – and theirs to come.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 15:55.


Dear Friend,

Two days on the Louisiana Gulf Coast last week changed me in profound and gut wrenching ways.

My throat burned and my head foggy and dizzy from the Gulf's toxic fumes, I returned home and shared my pictures and my flip-camera video with my wife, Fran, and 13-year-old daughter, Nicole.

"Cannabis has been cultivated in nearly every province and climatic zone in China from ancient times to the present"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 10:30.

December 29, 2009 - China executed a British citizen, Akmal Shaikh, caught smuggling heroin

When United States leaders speak of developing our "homeland security" by drilling and stripmining our way to "energy independence", I must question their scientific integrity and intellectual competency.

It is well understood worldwide that our Federal government has made impossible the development of an industrial hemp economy in America, which offers citizens a greater degree of energy independence here, because past corporate tycoons were able to force corrupt and ignorant politicians to incorrectly associated "hemp" with "marijuana", and "marijuana" has incorrectly been branded as dangerous and addictive by many ignorant and corrupt American scientists, and the corporate tycoons who pay their salaries.

Long story short, because of the ignorant 1936 low-grade American exploitation film called "Reefer Madness", the tuly mad leadership of America has long outlawed developing industrial hemp resources, intellectual property, and technologies in America.

Congressional Research Service Report for Congress: Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity - Updated March 23, 2007

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 05:15.

In 2007, the Congressional Research Service published a Report for Congress: Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity - Updated March 23, 2007 - which gives a good summary of the thinking and US Federal government analyses of industrial hemp over three years and a president ago, when Representative Ron Paul introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in the 110th Congress ...

Time to enact the Industrial Hemp Farming Act! Time to prepare Ohio for that inevitability - "the state’s determination would be conclusive and binding."

Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity  - Recent Legislative Activity

In February 2007, Representative Ron Paul introduced the Industrial Hemp
Farming Act
in the 110th Congress (first introduced in the 109th Congress in June
2005 as H.R. 3037). This is the first legislative proposal at the federal level intended
to facilitate the possible commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United
States. The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to
add language stating that the term “marijuana” does not include industrial hemp. The
measure was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and to the
House Committee on the Judiciary.

If enacted, the bill would permit industrial hemp production based on state law,
without preemption by the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act.
The measure would grant exclusive authority to any state permitting industrial hemp
production and processing to determine whether any such Cannabis sativa plants met
the limit on THC concentration as set forth in the Controlled Substances Act. In any
criminal or civil action or administrative proceeding, the state’s determination would
be conclusive and binding.

Reason Foundation Explores "Illegally Green: Environmental Costs of Hemp Prohibition"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 02:49.

ENCOURAGE BOTTOM-UP REDEVELOPMENT: REASON SAVES CLEVELAND WITH DREW CAREY, EPISODE 5

While researching the economic potential of industrial hemp, I was fascinated to find the Reason Foundation published a 2008 study, "Illegally Green: Environmental Costs of Hemp Prohibition", that concluded: "Ultimately, the environmental costs incurred by the prohibition of hemp cultivation in the United States cannot be calculated purely in the abstract. The full potential for industrial hemp in domestic agriculture and industry can only be tested by unrestricted inclusion in the U.S. market, along with other top biological feedstocks."

Drew Carey is working with the same Reason Foundation in his efforts to help Cleveland transform our economy, as I previously reported on realNEO here (Episode 5 above). The Reason Foundation website writes Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey "investigates and analyzes the problems that turned Cleveland from the nation's sixth-largest city in 1950 into today's "Mistake On The Lake."  About Drew Carey's efforts, I wrote "I can't say I agree with all that I have seen of these documentaries but I do intend to explore Carey's overall vision and his willingness to follow-through further."

Video of the Day: Middlebury College Biomass Gasification Plant - A Milestone Toward Carbon Neutrality

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/14/2010 - 15:45.

A short virtual tour of Middlebury College's biomass plant, which opened in January 2009.

In exploring alternative fuel sources for the many coal burning powerplants in Ohio, biomass is an obvious alternative. Our bright green proposal is to make hemp biomass the center of a bright new economy in this state. Below is how one great university has used wood biomass (as UNC plans) to move to carbon neutrality and the forefront of bright, green college leadership. But, they don't use hemp...  no university does, yet...

From the Middlebury College website, about their biomass initiative:

A Milestone Toward Carbon Neutrality

Our biomass gasification plant represents eight years of creative collaboration among Middlebury students, faculty, staff, and trustees. It will

  • cut Middlebury’s carbon dioxide output by 40 percent,
  • reduce our use of fuel oil by 50 percent,
  • stimulate a local, renewable energy economy.

Question of the Day: Are you boycotting BP?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/12/2010 - 10:53.

The most important aspect of industrial hemp farming, the most compelling thing hemp offers us, is fuel

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 23:27.

Hemp as a Fuel / Energy Source

By Jeremy Briggs

Biodiesel fuel from Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil can be used as is in bio-diesel engines. Methyl esters, or bio-diesel, can be made from any oil or fat including hemp seed oil. The reaction requires the oil, an alcohol (usually methanol), and a catalyst, which produces bio-diesel and small amount of glycerol or glycerin. When co-fired with 15% methanol, bio-diesel fuel produces energy less than 1/3 as pollution as petroleum diesel.

Energy and Fuel from Hemp Stalks through Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is the technique of applying high heat to biomass, or organic plants and tree matter, with little or no air. Reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants and automobiles can be accomplished by converting biomass to fuel utilizing pyrolysis technology. The process can produce, from lingo-cellulosic material (like the stalks of hemp), charcoal, gasoline, ethanol, non-condensable gasses, acetic acid, acetone, methane, and methanol. Process adjustments can be done to favor charcoal, pyrolytic oil, gas, or methanol, with 95.5% fuel-to-feed ratios. Around 68% of the energy of the raw biomass will be contained in the charcoal and fuel oils -- renewable energy generated here at home, instead of overpaying for foreign petroleum.

I paid $.05 extra at Marathon to F***BP today

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 19:40.

When I think about it, I always avoided BP before Deepwater - totally do now - they always seemed highest cost with the least local authenticity and creativity of the brands, markets and products. From a personal perspective, I saw them take over SOHIO and do little for the old home town, and then vacate - barely know SOHIO ever existed, yet I think the old HQ is still called the BP building - new BP ownership rejected our Oldenburg, which wound up in a different format and venue, by City Hall - what about them has there ever been to like, from the NEO perspective? That they are British? Our beer is better - they live on a tiny island and try to rule the world - they took over America to try to escape their own pollution and unsustainability in the first place...

Identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of a pollutant in ambient air, e.g. Heart Attacks

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:00.

As a result of old science, politics and industry dominating energy, health and environmental planning and development of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, Ohio and America, citizens here must confront the realities of too much pollution in our air today, with certainty of growing air pollution worldwide in the years ahead. As such, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter finds our pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory problems and death... topping a long list of cumulative harm pollution causes people and society. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter forms the scientific foundation for the review of the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) in America, and "accurately reflects “the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in ambient air”".

As I've long written on realNEO, Northeast Ohio has a pollution crisis and does a poor job or monitoring our pollution, putting citizens' lives in danger. How much in danger is the subject of this lengthy EPA analysis. In short, you are certainly being harmed greatly by the high levels of PM clearly released into the air in Northeast Ohio, especially near major roadways and coal burning facilities that are source points, like Mittal and MCCO. For example: "Epidemiologic studies that examined the effect of PM 2.5 on cardiovascular emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions reported consistent positive associations (predominantly for ischemic heart disease [IHD] and congestive heart failure [CHF]), with the majority of studies reporting increases ranging from 0.5 to 3.4% per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM 2.5".

Lakeview Road in East Cleveland Declared Area's Worst Road, Compliments of University Hospitals and MCCO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/05/2010 - 23:59.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer missed a nice opportunity to pick up on a major social injustice issue today when they announced with much stupidity and little diagnosis "Lakeview Road in East Cleveland picked as area's worst road: Road Rant"... leading to the usual cackles from the cleveland.commies about how my city should be rototilled and dissolved into Oz... while the big story is why Lakeview Road is the worst road in Ohio, as that is the fault of adjoining property owners MCCO and University Hospitals. Those parasitic corporate charities, along with RTA, if I recall right, have for years been using THEIR TAX-EXEMPT blighted brownfields on either side of Lakeview at Euclid as staging areas for their ego-tripping across Greater University Circle, all leading to MCCO plans to build a $250-300 million coal-fired powerplant AT Lakeview and Euclid, for University Circle institution use... already approved by Cuyahoga County and the City of East Cleveland... now all boarded-up. Work on the Euclid Corridor, the Ireland Cancer Center, and MCCO expansion, featuring a period of years of heavy construction equipment access, has abused our tax-base, roads and trust entirely. All while University Hospitals and MCCO contaminate the neighborhood by burning coal. And the ignorant, disrespectful, inaccurate Plain Dealer declares this EC's fault. This is the PD's fault!

“I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow" - Lincoln

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/04/2010 - 23:49.

“Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”  - Abraham Lincoln

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; / Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; / In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Assessment of Power Plants That Meet Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Performance Standards - Final Report - 4/22/2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/04/2010 - 08:00.

The chart above presents some of the most important data in the world for citizens to understand about the future physical and economic health and well being of all people on Earth, and for all life on Earth - the Total Levelized Costs of Electricity including TS&M shown in Exhibit ES-11 is the cost breakdown from the ASSESSMENT OF POWER PLANTS THAT MEET PROPOSED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS - November 5, 2009 - REVISED 4/22/2010 that demonstrates that all the technologies available and in immediate development to burn coal to generate utility scale power at the emissions standards set for California are more expensive than generating electricity by wind - significantly more expensive. Solar has better economic value than coal as well.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just conducted a comparison of the relative impacts of various financial, technological, and wind resource variables on the LCOE from utility-scale wind projects and found a base case range of $54-74/MWh.

Should NEO Citizens Be Concerned About Lead Poisoning From Piston Engine Airplanes Flying From Our Regional Airports?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:23.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Using Leaded Aviation Gasoline (yes they do)

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 04:29.

Next time you drive by Burke Lakefront Airport - or perhaps when considering attending the next Cleveland Air Show - realize the following facts about such small-time airports and many of the planes flying there... they cause lead poisoning! From "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Using Leaded Aviation Gasoline: Regulatory Announcement", from the EPA, that certainly impacts Burke Lakefront Airport and other small local airports, and should have been reported in the local media (as this is a time for public comment), consider these facts - There are almost 20,000 airport facilities in the U.S. where leaded avgas is used ( Burke is certainly among them) - Aviation gasoline is utilized in general aviation aircraft with piston engines, which are generally used for instructional flying, air taxi activities, and personal transportation. Lead is not used in jet fuel, the fuel utilized by most commercial aircraft (Burke seems popular with piston engine airplanes) - Emissions of lead from piston-engine aircraft using leaded avgas comprise approximately half of the national inventory of lead emitted to air (being dumped on area citizens from various altitudes along the flightpaths for Burke Lakefront Airport) - EPA estimates that approximately 14.6 billion gallons of leaded avgas were consumed between 1970 and 2007, emitting approximately 34,000 tons of lead (we sure got/get our share) - Airport-specific lead inventories for 2008 are currently undergoing review by state, local and tribal authorities and will be completed in 2010.

Citizens of Northeast Ohio should have been informed about local inventories and plans to meet more stringent EPA guidelines in the future... perhaps it is time to now CLOSE THE DAMN AIRPORT!!! The EPA will accept public comment on the ANPR for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. To provide comments to EPA, follow the instructions provided in today’s action... read more below....

Air Quality Advisory in NE Ohio - Thursday, May 27, 2010 Only

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:46.
05/27/2010 - 00:00
05/27/2010 - 23:59
Etc/GMT-4

Northeast Ohio - Today's high temperatures and lack of wind may result in exceedances today for both ground-level ozone and fine particles.  An Air Quality Advisory is in effect for today, May 27, only.  Fine particle concentrations will be highest in urban areas, while ozone may be more widespread.

Location

Northeast Ohio
United States

A Dangerously Misleading Article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Prompts Me To Publish REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 05/20/2010 - 02:45.

I was flabbergasted to read an article in the Cleveland Plain Deal titled "Organic food benefits debated in wake of president's report on cancer, environment", about the 2008–2009 Annual Report of the President’s Cancer Panel - REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK... What We Can Do Now, that has nothing to do with ORGANIC FOOD, is misleading, and seems intended to further dumb-down local citizens to the health hazards caused by excessive polluting and medical interventions here, preventing citizens from following one of the core Recommendations:

SELF-ADVOCACY

7. Each person can become an active voice in his or her community.  To a greater extent than many realize, individuals have the power to affect public policy by letting policymakers know that they strongly support environmental cancer research and measures that will reduce or remove from the environment toxics that are known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  Individuals also can influence industry by selecting non-toxic products and, where these do not exist, communicating with manufacturers and trade organizations about their desire for safer products.

"When my gut tells me something is wrong, I've been around long enough to know something is wrong"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 05/18/2010 - 01:03.

I got chills today, scanning ongoing coverage of Cleveland City Hall's plans to lock citizens and their children here into a 10 year sole-source LED lighting contract with Sunpu Opto, of China - Cleveland council committee embraces LED lighting deal - when I made the interpretation my instincts about Sunpu Opto are the same as Councilman Polensek's... which means my instincts may be wrong, as how could he be right?

Polensek's take on the Sunpu Opto deal:

"When my gut tells me something is wrong, I've been around long enough to know it's not right," Polensek said during the hearing.

He accused the administration of conducting a faulty process in choosing Sunpu-Opto.

"We're going to pay for every one of those jobs five times, six times over," Polensek said.

PCI fell 0.3 percent in April, suggesting the economic recovery may have stalled

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 05/12/2010 - 15:47.

Source: Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index

 

Ceridian reported today the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) fell 0.3 percent in April, suggesting the economic recovery may have stalled. "The latest PCI numbers are disappointing and cast considerable doubt on the strength of the recovery and the strength of GDP numbers for 2010," said Ed Leamer, the PCI's chief economist. Five of the nine US census regions were weak in April. With a decline of 1.7 percent, the PCI in Ohio's East North Central region fell the most.

Now this is a team Clevelanders can really fight for, and real NEO can really love! Go Sansai!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 05/12/2010 - 03:06.

The ICEarth Welcome Wagon stopped by Sansai Environmental Technologies this weekend to tour the world's largest indoor vermitechnology facility and meet Cleveland's greenest, meanest, fighting machine - the 60 million worm team bringing the world "Magic Dust". See Sansai for more information on their amazing processes and products... here are some pictures of their crib, right in the heart of South Collinwood - Cleveland - Ohio.

Make sense of what just doesn't make sense, by doing things like growing GRASS...

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 05/01/2010 - 16:05.

ICEarth Bigbang computers, our Linux distro, and our optimal open source data and application configurations are designed to handle the most processor (CPU and GPU), memory and transaction intensive challenges in the world, to save Earth. Doing that requires an integration of our regional and global geographic information systems with layers of valuable insight not yet integrated, like environmental, atmospheric and topographic data, to drive analyses of life impacting factors in our neighborhoods like environmental fallout from all sources of pollution, to the home and child, for free to them. A good explanation of the type of data and analyses included in such capabilities is described below, helping you make sense of what just doesn't make sense, by doing things like growing GRASS...

Another Issue I Support To Bring Funding To The IT Sector in NEO - Yes on Issue 1

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 14:58.

While I have never considered Issue 1 - the Third Frontier - offered me direct opportunity, as an Information Technology entrepreneur I do recognize this relatively low-burden, low-exposure state funding offers great opportunities for many other important technology initiatives across Ohio. The results are well documented by the well organized supporters of Issue 1 - see their message posted below - and I certainly expect this will pass by a large majority (if not, I will be shocked). Assuming this passes, I'd like to see changes in the processes for how Third Frontier money is used in the future, as I believe all our processes in the state and region must become brighter and greener. But we can't try to accomplish that without this funding being available for the technology sector. I'll vote for Issue 1, and then become active making sure the money has as great an impact as possible - results so far provide a good foundation. I recommend you do the same... see the official story below:

NEO Leaders Speak Of Driving New Economy Growth - Since November, 2008, real NEO Has Grown Like This!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 11:38.

I've been asked what our traffic looks like over time, so I pulled a few quick charts of the number of visitors to realneo since we started using Google Analytics, and what they have visited, to measure performance of this site - and we've grown by pretty much all counts I've considered important by 30-100% since then - in some cases by 1,000s% - in less than a year-and-a-half.