Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 04/08/2011 - 17:16.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: It's electric.
Today's environmental tip: It's electric! You can check how much of your electricity comes from renewable “green” power sources, such as wind or solar. Green power produces less carbon emissions, reduces air pollution, and helps protect against future costs or scarcity of fossil fuels. If green power is a consumer option, check price differences from suppliers before you buy.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 13:18.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: Be sensible.
Today's environmental tip: Be sensible! The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact only one percent of all water on the planet is available for humans. Buy fixtures and products that are water efficient - you can use less water to get the same job done just as well. When you go shopping, look for the WaterSense label to find water efficient products.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 13:21.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: Environmental hazards and the elderly.
Today's environmental tip: Be extra aware of environmental conditions where older people live! As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to chemicals and environmental conditions. So you should carefully use products such as pesticides or cleaning solvents near areas where older adults live and sleep. Always follow the directions on the product package or label.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 14:31.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: Make it a full load.
Today's environmental tip: Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it's full. Don't pre-rinse dishes - tests show pre-rinsing doesn't improve dishwasher cleaning, and you'll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for one that saves water. Water-efficient models use only about only about 4 gallons per wash.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 19:04.
Compliance and Enforcement and Water News (Region 5): Vice president, two managers of waste treatment facility sentenced for Clean Water Act felonies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 4, 2011
Vice president, two managers of waste treatment facility sentenced for Clean Water Act felonies
WASHINGTON - Three officials of Ecological Systems, Inc. (ESI), an oil reclamation company that operated a centralized waste treatment facility in Indianapolis, IN, were sentenced in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana for felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecution stemmed from ESI's intentional discharges of untreated wastewater and stormwater from its facility directly into the Indianapolis sewer system.
"The Clean Water Act is designed to protect our nation's water resources, and the defendants' repeated attempts to hide the plant's capacity to handle the wastes that ESI accepted and excess rain water threatened those critical protections," said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of the EPA Criminal Investigation Division's Chicago Area Office. "Today's sentences prove that those who willfully circumvent our nation's laws and put Indiana residents and nearby homeowners at risk will be caught and prosecuted."
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 15:08.
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 13:37.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: Check before you go.
Today's environmental tip: Heading to the beach? Check out the beach water before you go! We Americans take almost two billion trips to the beach every year, but people who swim at the beach sometimes get sick because the water is polluted. The good news is in the state where the beach is located, you can check with the state office to find out about the beach water - before you go.
When we talk about environmentalism, it typically brings to mind sweeping vistas and wide-open landscapes. Some people might think of saving the whales, protecting spotted owls or preserving old-growth forests. Those things are critically important – but they only tell part of the story. When the modern environmental movement got its start in the 1960s, it took hold in our nation’s cities and was led by people concerned about pollution in the air they were breathing, toxins in the water they were drinking and chemicals on the food they were eating.
The effort to safeguard our environment started – and continues to be – an effort to safeguard our health.
Toxic "CFL" Bulbs from China That We're Forced to Buy Congress's Clean Energy Bill, H.R. 2454 of April 2009 bans incandescent light bulbs by 2014 and requires Americans to buy compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs.
The new bulbs contain poisonous mercury and pollute our landfills. It's all wrong.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:34.
Earth Month Tip of the Day: Don't idle
Today's environmental tip: Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked. Exhaust from idling school buses can pollute air in and around the bus, and can enter school buildings through air intakes, doors, and open windows. Constant idling also wastes fuel and money, and school bus engines really need only a few minutes to warm up.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 16:24.
Today's environmental tip: Protect yourself from sun overexposure! In summer, always apply sun block SPF 15 or more to protect your skin from solar UV radiation. Just five or more sunburns can really increase your risk of developing skin cancer. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so at the times, seek shade or wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 03:17.
March 29, 2011, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported: "In a bold move to bolster one of the few bright spots in California’s economy and set a precedent for strong renewable electricity standards nationwide, the California Legislature today approved a bill that would require utilities in the state to obtain at least 33 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as the wind and sun, by 2020. Promoted by the governor and legislative leaders in both houses as part of a green jobs stimulus package, the bill would create the most aggressive renewable energy requirement in the country and position California as a national leader in clean energy investments."
“This bill establishes California as the national leader in clean energy, improving the environment and stimulating the economy while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs,” Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto has said of Senate Bill ("SB") X1-2 he sponsored, which is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Brown.
Below is an overview of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission’s Renewable and Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that by the year 2025 25 percent of the electricity sold by each utility or electric services company within Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources, and Senate Bill ("SB") X1-2, which requires California's electric utilities to increase their renewable generation to 33% by 2020. Passage of that legislation is the culmination of years of effort to increase California's Renewable Portfolio Standard ("RPS") from its current 20%.
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 Sat, 04/02/2011 - 00:16.
David L. Sokol, above, and Warren E. Buffett say he has done nothing wrong.
In a March 30, 2011, press release (below), Warren E. Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, announced the resignation of David L. Sokol, Chairman of several Berkshire subsidiaries, who orchestrated Buffett's near-$10 billion acquisition of Cleveland's Lubrizol, and who is now suspected of insider trading in connection with the Lubrizol deal. As reported in a New York Times editorial today - Excuses, Excuses, Excuses:
Let’s recount the story, shall we? On Dec. 13, some investment bankers meet with Sokol to pitch possible acquisitions. He expresses an interest in Lubrizol and tells them to convey his interest to its chief executive, James Hambrick. He then buys 2,300 shares, selling them a week later. (Go figure.)
The plot soon thickens. In early January, Sokol goes back into the market and buys 96,000 shares at around $100 apiece. A week later, Sokol calls Hambrick and has a preliminary discussion about a possible deal. Sokol then takes the idea to Buffett, mentioning “in passing” that he owns some Lubrizol stock.
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.
----Filmmaker and public speaker Reggie Bullock is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the United States. On March 15, 2009, Reggie’s short film "A War For Your Soul" was independently released on the internet, and has catapulted as a “stirring, epic and inspirational” video for today’s generation”. Over 6 million internet viewers have watched “A War For Your Soul” in 1 year.
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.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 21:53.
I'm writing today with an update on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi. For further details, please take a moment to watch this morning's Weekly Address (above).
Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm's way is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, it is in our national interest to act. In fact, it’s our responsibility.
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).
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 18:45.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- March 18, 2011
Air News Release (HQ): JOINT EPA/DOE STATEMENT: Radiation Monitors Confirm That No Radiation Levels of Concern Have Reached the United States
WASHINGTON – The United States Government has an extensive network of radiation monitors around the country and no radiation levels of concern have been detected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency RadNet system is designed to protect the public by notifying scientists, in near real time, of elevated levels of radiation so they can determine whether protective action is required. The EPA’s system has not detected any radiation levels of concern.
In addition to EPA’s RadNet system, the U.S. Department of Energy has radiation monitoring equipment at research facilities around the country, which have also not detected any radiation levels of concern.
As part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s International Monitoring System (IMS), the Department of Energy also maintains the capability to detect tiny quantities of radioisotopes that might indicate an underground nuclear test on the other side of the world. These detectors are extremely sensitive and can detect minute amounts of radioactive materials.