Archive for October, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Noise and Vibration Control


Noise and Vibration Control

Noise and vibration control is an issue that is much more common than one might originally think. In fact, it can creep up in the most unlikely of places. A good case in point is animal lab environments. Indeed, ALN Magazine recently ran an article titled “Noise & Vibration Considerations for the Animal Lab Environment.” Therein, the publication pointed out, “In the lab animal facility setting, noise, sound, and vibration affect the life cycle, interaction, and behavior of animals.” However, because “the impact of noise, sound, and vibration is a largely undocumented factor in the research,” it’s an often overlooked issue.

“If the sound pressure levels get too high,” the article continues, “there is a negative impact on animals and structures.” Vibration control, however, is just as important to these animals as noise control in that it “is a driving force behind radiated sound.”

Obviously, exposure to noise and vibration can be detrimental to an animal’s hearing, but the risks don’t stop there. “Sound and vibration can [also] have a physical impact on animals.” Even more startling, “Smaller animals are more susceptible to the affects of sound and vibration over time and will adapt or adjust accordingly. In some cases, mutations may result from exposure to undesirable conditions.”

How can animal laboratories mitigate these problems? The magazine notes, “The designers can control items that are constant disturbances that may greatly impact the animal community. Items within the designer’s control include ventilation system design, machinery vibration isolation, wall construction, lighting selection, and computer terminal placement.”

During the design process, animal labs may want to consult with a producer of custom-molded rubber and rubber-to-metal bonded parts for noise and vibration control. A world leader in the creation of rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonded parts can help to create an environment that is not only safe for the animals being kept there but is also conducive to a healthy work environment for the people who are employed there.

The Vibro-Insulator line of isolators and mounts, in particular, aid in the control of noise, vibration, and shock. Selecting the right type of mount for an individual animal lab’s specific applications can prove tricky, however. That’s why consultation with an expert with reputable qualifications in rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonding can be very beneficial.

Of course, once professional advice has been obtained, browsing the Vibro-Insulator catalog allows animal labs easy navigation so they can select the correct mount for their application. Rubber Vibro-Insulators come in a variety of styles and sizes to handle most vibration isolation problems. Most of the mount styles are designed to be used in either the compression or shear direction.
Selection of the proper Vibro-Insulator for a specific application boils down to a multi-step mathematical function that an expert can calculate for the lab or into which the lab’s design team can plug the following information:

1. The maximum load that must be supported.
2. The number of mounts supporting the load.
3. The frequency of the disturbing vibration.
4. Any restrictions on the size or style of the mount based on space limitations or assembly considerations.

Carmen Fontana is a Web Services Manager for Western Reserve Internet Services. Karman Rubber is a world leader in vibration control.


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PostHeaderIcon Water Efficiency The Resource Matrix Part 2 of 4


Water Efficiency The Resource Matrix Part 2 of 4

Last week, we introduced you to the Resource Matrix, which is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

We showed you how economics leads to people maximizing their benefits in “win-lose” propositions: you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom. And how we’ve been hypnotized in believing what they want is also what we want.

But the scales have been falling from our eyes, we’re beginning to see the truth, and the power has been shifting away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd:

  • Do-gooders have increased our awareness and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win”
  • There is no “free lunch:” finite energy resources will run out; actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible; and that the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

We now realize we’re all in this together: we have greater awareness of our actions and the desire to change, and have ways to change.

Hallelujah and Praise the Collective!

Today, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.

None of this is to dismiss or diminish the contribution of fossil fuels in global warming. Hey, just like the Special Olympics, if you participate, you get a medal. We just think that gold-medal winner Fossil Fuels has stolen the spotlight, letting silver-medalist Water Use keep us hypnotized in believing that water is a free lunch, and that nature will clear up polluted waters while getting away with breaking the rules.

Water, water, everywhere,
not a drop to drink.

According to our friends at How Stuff Works, who I wrote about sarcastically for their oxymoronic clean coal article in discussing how true public relations stuff really works, gives us this data:

  • 98% of the planet’s water is in the oceans. It’s salt water – we can’t drink it or irrigate our crops with it.
  • 2% is usable. Of that 2%:
    • 80% is locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers
    • 18% is underground in aquifers and wells
    • 1.8% is in lakes and rivers
    • 0.2% is elsewhere: either floating in the air as clouds and water vapor, locked up in plants and animals (and your body), and in foods and beverages.

Okay, so 20% of the usable water (only 0.4% of all water on Earth) is accessible, right?

Well . . . no. Many of the aquifers, wells, lakes, and rivers have been sucked dry like a once-juicy fly carcass in a spider’s web. (The 18% and 1.8% you see above is like the money in the Social Security Fund: there actually is nothing there.)

And many of those water sources that do still have a drop to drink are worse than the ocean’s salt water. Drink salt water and you’ll need to yawn into a bucket. Drink this water and you’ll kick the bucket.

And I know you aren’t asking this burning question:

“So . . . global warming to release fresh water from ice caps and glaciers is a good thing, no?”

Percentage this, percentage that.
Talk my language, will you?

I know I’m pulling the disgusting old government trick: drowning you in an ocean of water statistics.

So let’s make it plain and simple:

You bring in $10,000 a month. You’re also living high on the hog and doing your personal best to outshine every bling-bling Hip Hopster Musical Artist in materially conspicuous consumption:

  • $9800 goes to the McMansion mortgage and gold-plated Rolls Royce lease
  • $160.00 goes to investments in clothing and accessories
  • $0.40 has been lost in the sofa cushions
  • $39.60 a month is for everything else: food, phone and electric bills, income taxes, and all the other non-essentials: Don’t spend it all in one place!

Aquifers and wells and lakes and rivers:
Dry or polluted, oh my!

Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry, helps us quickly understand it:

We can all save water in the home. But as laudable as it is to take a shower rather than a bath and turn off the faucet while brushing our teeth, we shouldn’t get hold of the idea that regular domestic water use is what is really emptying the world’s rivers. Manufacturing goods … consumes a certain amount, but that’s not the real story either. It is only when we add in the water needed to grow what we eat and drink that the numbers really begin to soar. (emphasis mine.) (Fred Pearce, When the Rivers Run Dry, Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. p 3)

Here are a few numbers he gives:

  • to grow a pound of rice: 250 to 650 gallons of water
  • to grow a pound of wheat: 130 gallons
  • to produce a quart of milk: 500 to 1000 gallons
  • to produce a pound of cheese: 650 gallons
  • to produce a 1/4 pound of burger: 3000 gallons

He kindly puts water use into perspective in annual terms:

  • 1 ton (265 gallons) for drinking
  • 50 to 100 tons (13,250 to 26,500 gallons) around the house
  • 1500 to 2000 tons (397,500 to 530,000 gallons) for food and clothing

—————————————–

sidebar:
How Many Gallons to Produce One Pound of Beef?
Lies, damned lies, and statistics

US Beef industry’s Cattlemen’s Association: 441 gallons
Fred Pearce: 12,000 gallons
Water Footprint Network: 1854 gallons (calculations: 15500 litres of water per kg; 4079 gallons per kg; 1854 gallons per pound)

In an industrial beef production system, it takes an average three years before the animal is slaughtered to produce about 200 kg of boneless beef.

The animal consumes nearly 1300 kg of grains (wheat, oats, barley, corn, dry peas, soybean meal and other small grains), 7200 kg of roughages (pasture, dry hay, silage and other roughages), 24 cubic meter of water for drinking and 7 cubic meter of water for servicing.

This means that to produce one kilogram of boneless beef, we use about 6.5 kg of grain, 36 kg of roughages, and 155 litres of water (only for drinking and servicing).

Producing the volume of feed requires about 15300 litres of water on average.

—————————————–

Where does all that water come from?
From virtually everywhere

If it comes from imported goods (Thai rice or Egyptian cotton), the water comes from those countries.

When the water is collected from rivers or pumped from underground, as it is in much of the world, it’s:

  • increasingly expensive
  • increasingly likely to deprive someone of water (nothing to drink)
  • increasingly likely to empty rivers and underground water reserves

And when the rivers are running low, as they are more frequently, there is less water to grow anything at all.

The water used in growing and producing goods around the world is known as “virtual water” and the trade of these goods is known as “virtual water transfers.”

And who’s the biggest water exporting Mouseketeer of them all? The United States.

When you drink coffee from Central America, you are influencing the hydrology of the region, virtually taking a share of the Costa Rican rains. The same is true within a national and regional boundaries. The Colorado River is drained so Californians can eat their Big Macs and have friends over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue.

In the same way that your use of fossil fuel is measured as a “carbon footprint,” your water use, actual and through virtual water transfer, is measured as a “water footprint.”

How big is my water footprint?
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

Arjen Y. Hoekstra, professor at the University of Twente, the Netherlands, introduced the water-footprint concept in 2002. It “shows water use related to consumption within a nation, while the traditional indicator shows water use in relation to production within a nation.” (Hoekstra and Chapagain, Globalization of Water, Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2008, p. 3)

With Hoekstra and Chapagain’s water footprint calculator (waterfootprint.org), you select your country, input food, domestic water use, and industrial goods consumption, press a button, and you get your:

  • total water footprint for the year
  • bar charts for the three components
  • bar charts for individual food categories

For example, you’re in the US, eat only 1 pound of cereal a week (.4545 kg) and have a low-fat, low-sugar diet, use a low-flow showerhead, use a no-flush eco-toilet, and never run the tap while brushing your teeth. Two extremes:

  • You’re the hippiest of the hip: making $10,000 a year: Your water footprint: 245 cubic meters (65,170 gallons)
  • You’re the hippiest of the Yuppies: making $120,000: Your water footprint: 2979 cubic meters (792,414 gallons). Difference due to your income’s effect on industrial production.

Three notes on the calculations, because Professor Hoekstra is European and lives in the social welfare country that started birthing hippies in Amsterdam decades before they showed up in the US at Woodstock:

  1. You input kilograms for food:
    • 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds = 35.2 ounces
    • 1 ounce = 0.028 kilograms. 1 pound = 0.454545 kilograms
  2. Your water footprint is in cubic meters per year:
    • 1 cubic meter = 35.3 cubic feet = 266 gallons
  3. The higher your income, the greater your water footprint, even if you don’t personally consume anything: you’re a capitalist pig supporting the Establishment Regime, I guess

So how is Cinnamon’s capitalist water footprint? Answer: 650 cubic meters (172,900 gallons)

I showed you mine. Now you show me yours:

Get the naked truth: Calculate your waterfootprint now:

Water’s running out:
I get the fossil fuel analogy so far.
And what about climate change?

We return to Fred Pearce’s book to find an example, of which he has oceans:

China’s Yellow River: The fifth longest in the world, it begins high in the mountains of eastern Tibet and journeys more than 3000 miles. Almost half a billion people depend on it for drinking and crop irrigation, and it’s made China the world’s largest wheat producer and second largest corn producer. Yet more than half of the lakes it feeds have disappeared over the last 20 years, and a third of pastures have turned to desert. This desertification generates huge dust storms that choke lungs in Beijing, close schools in Koreas, dust cars in Japan, and rain dust on mountains across the Pacific and Western Canada.

State irrigation projects along the Yellow River soak up the majority of its water – the total official allocations are greater than the actual flow.

The resulting drought could be an early warning sign of global warming.

Much of the declines in moisture reaching rivers is in line with prediction of climate researchers. So how does this global warming happen?

Higher air temperatures from desertification increase evaporation from oceans and intensify the water cycle. This increases atmospheric water vapor – 8 to 10% more than today. This increases global rainfall, but the rain is being redistributed: middle latitudes (read: the US) are becoming drier. Higher temperatures increase evaporation on land, meaning soil dries out faster, meaning less rainfall is reaching rivers.

The higher temperatures melt glaciers and snowpacks. At first, this leads to unpredecented floods. After the glaciers disappear, meltwaters that feed rivers disappear. The combined decreasing rainfall and increasing evaporation will lower moisture by 40% in the southern and western states.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack could diminish by 70 to 80 percent over the next 50 years. And some of the world’s most productive agricultural regions could dry up.

Global climate is becoming more extreme: the dry areas become drier, and the wet areas become wetter. And more areas are becoming dry deserts. Loss of habitat and agricultural lands. It’s a vicious cycle.

So what can you do?
Navigating through the Resource Matrix

As Fred Pearce points out, your drinking and bathing account for 0.05% of your total water consumption. Your food and clothing weigh in at 95.00%, although I find his 12,000 gallons needed to produce a pound of burger rather wild.

As Professor Arjen Y. Joekstra shows with his Water Footprint Calculator, your consumption of meats accounts for a lot, as does your guilt by association of being in an industrialized country.

The obvious solution: eat fewer e-coli burgers from your neighborhood Salt and Fat Slop Bucket restaurant.

The wiser solution: like your choices in energy use, become more aware of the resources needed to produce anything and the consequences. Such as luxurious cotton grown in the Egyptian desert.

Next article in the water efficiency series:
How an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed
peasant on some other side of the globe affects you

We continue going with the flow of water, when we show the parallel between the current hot Oil Wars and in the future cold Water Wars.

And all of this is for one purpose:

To help you see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .

To your green, brighter future,

Cinnamon Alvarez,
A19

And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.

You can access it now by going to: http://www.a19.com/pub/articles/

From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 — woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures

BBC World News America


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PostHeaderIcon Have You Got Earthday Business


Have You Got Earthday Business

The sun is shining across the hills of West Cork as I listen to the story of Earthday told by a team of evangelists with nothing but Earthday business on their minds. In 2008, visionary Simon Ford started a group to bring like-minded, positive people together in socially conscious activities. He called the group Social Traffic and right now that group has Earthday business on its mind.

The group’s first major campaign centers around Earth Day with an event named, Earthday Birthday a global birthday party for Mother Earth. Earthday 2009 and the celebrations that will go with it is all set to clamor its way across the social media landscape like some all embracing vine, covering the sometimes harsh elements of the online world with a softer, greener facade which many hope will last for more than a lifetime.

Earthday 2009 is a global celebration and a day to spread awareness of people’s destructive impact on the planet. But before you jump right in there and start changing the world on a massive scale here’s a few simple things you can do to make a difference right now, tomorrow and every single day after that.

Here’s my list of top five things to do to celebrate Earthday 2009 and reduce your impact on our planet;

1. Plant a tree or two. If you’re feeling energetic plant a whole field full.

A tree will absorb CO2 and other forms of pollution, provide a home to hundreds of creatures, help to create and retain soil and performs a whole host of other ecological functions. And, in case you needed a reminder, will leave a lasting legacy of your time on the planet.

2. Walk to work for a day, a week or a whole month. You’ll feel better and the earth will be a much healthier place to live too.

You might even want to think about joining a car sharing scheme and make it a permanent part of your work life balance to drive to work only one day a week and sleep the other four in the passenger seat while someone else does all the hard work!

3. Dry your dishes naturally. Turn off the dishwasher at the dryer stage of the cycle and leave your plates and cutlery to dry themselves for a change!

4. Turn off all your plug sockets before bed. Maybe spend the evening in the dark for one day a week and treat the kids to a few ghost stories before bedtime!

5. Don’t be a water importer.

Get rid of your supply of bottled water, keep a jug of fresh tap water in the fridge and reduce the damage we do to the environment by producing plastic bottles to hold gallons of mineral water that tastes no different to the clear, fresh water that is piped through your home.

So, if you’ve got business on your mind this Earthday, perhaps you should take a few minutes to look around you and realise how precious our planet is and how beautiful that small piece of turf is right outside your window.

If you want to know more about this subject and how you can make a difference take a look at this great squidoo lens all about Earth Day Birthday right now.

Neil Ashworth is a member of Simon Ford’s Social Traffic Team who are raising awareness of environmental issues using the power of social media marketing to support the Earth Day Birthday campaign.

Danish Goes 'Green' Island

PostHeaderIcon Green Driving Tips


Green Driving Tips

Are you trying to make changes in your lifestyle that will help to preserve some of the natural resources being used everyday? There are many things that individuals can do to make a difference. However, one of the biggest concerns is the problems caused by all the vehicles being driven today. Everyone knows that vehicles put out gas emissions that add to the amount of air pollution already causing problems for humanity. But what can you do?

Very few people can do without some sort of vehicle in today’s society. It would be almost impossible to get from one location to another without driving most of the time. Still, it’s important to do all you can to reduce the amount of pollution being emitted into the air. Since buying a hybrid is not an option that everyone can take advantage of, here are a few tips for driving green that will help reduce pollution caused by vehicles.

• Proper Maintenance – One of the best things that you can do to make sure you’re driving green is to keep the maintenance up on your vehicle. Keep it tuned up, air filters changed and make sure the tires are inflated properly.

• Carpool When Possible – It may not always be possible to carpool but do so whenever you can. This will make more of a difference than you might think.

• Plan Your Trips: If you plan your trips in advance you can cut down on your driving time. You can plan the shortest route that will accomplish everything you need to get done. Stop by the store on your way home from work instead of going home first and leaving again. Anything that reduces your driving time will help.

• Walk More – When you’re visiting a neighbor, going to the local park or anywhere that is near your home, try walking whenever it’s practical to do so.

• Cut Down on the AC – Only use the air conditioning whenever it’s absolutely necessary. You can roll down the windows other times to let a breeze blow through.

• Drive Smart – Driving smart includes avoiding sudden stops and starts and driving the speed limit. Speeding uses more gasoline and produces more pollution than necessary.

These are all simple and easy things that everyone can do to help the environment. If every driver were to make these changes it would make a huge difference in the amount of pollution created each day.

Lisa Mason is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

Lisa Mason, Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company (http://www.liti4.com), public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa’s blog from her website: http://www.freelancewriter4hire.com

MTV News Of MPSystem in Hungary

PostHeaderIcon Water Efficiency The Resource Matrix Part 2 of 4


Water Efficiency The Resource Matrix Part 2 of 4

Last week, we introduced you to the Resource Matrix, which is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

We showed you how economics leads to people maximizing their benefits in “win-lose” propositions: you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom. And how we’ve been hypnotized in believing what they want is also what we want.

But the scales have been falling from our eyes, we’re beginning to see the truth, and the power has been shifting away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd:

  • Do-gooders have increased our awareness and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win”
  • There is no “free lunch:” finite energy resources will run out; actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible; and that the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

We now realize we’re all in this together: we have greater awareness of our actions and the desire to change, and have ways to change.

Hallelujah and Praise the Collective!

Today, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.

None of this is to dismiss or diminish the contribution of fossil fuels in global warming. Hey, just like the Special Olympics, if you participate, you get a medal. We just think that gold-medal winner Fossil Fuels has stolen the spotlight, letting silver-medalist Water Use keep us hypnotized in believing that water is a free lunch, and that nature will clear up polluted waters while getting away with breaking the rules.

Water, water, everywhere,
not a drop to drink.

According to our friends at How Stuff Works, who I wrote about sarcastically for their oxymoronic clean coal article in discussing how true public relations stuff really works, gives us this data:

  • 98% of the planet’s water is in the oceans. It’s salt water – we can’t drink it or irrigate our crops with it.
  • 2% is usable. Of that 2%:
    • 80% is locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers
    • 18% is underground in aquifers and wells
    • 1.8% is in lakes and rivers
    • 0.2% is elsewhere: either floating in the air as clouds and water vapor, locked up in plants and animals (and your body), and in foods and beverages.

Okay, so 20% of the usable water (only 0.4% of all water on Earth) is accessible, right?

Well . . . no. Many of the aquifers, wells, lakes, and rivers have been sucked dry like a once-juicy fly carcass in a spider’s web. (The 18% and 1.8% you see above is like the money in the Social Security Fund: there actually is nothing there.)

And many of those water sources that do still have a drop to drink are worse than the ocean’s salt water. Drink salt water and you’ll need to yawn into a bucket. Drink this water and you’ll kick the bucket.

And I know you aren’t asking this burning question:

“So . . . global warming to release fresh water from ice caps and glaciers is a good thing, no?”

Percentage this, percentage that.
Talk my language, will you?

I know I’m pulling the disgusting old government trick: drowning you in an ocean of water statistics.

So let’s make it plain and simple:

You bring in $10,000 a month. You’re also living high on the hog and doing your personal best to outshine every bling-bling Hip Hopster Musical Artist in materially conspicuous consumption:

  • $9800 goes to the McMansion mortgage and gold-plated Rolls Royce lease
  • $160.00 goes to investments in clothing and accessories
  • $0.40 has been lost in the sofa cushions
  • $39.60 a month is for everything else: food, phone and electric bills, income taxes, and all the other non-essentials: Don’t spend it all in one place!

Aquifers and wells and lakes and rivers:
Dry or polluted, oh my!

Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry, helps us quickly understand it:

We can all save water in the home. But as laudable as it is to take a shower rather than a bath and turn off the faucet while brushing our teeth, we shouldn’t get hold of the idea that regular domestic water use is what is really emptying the world’s rivers. Manufacturing goods … consumes a certain amount, but that’s not the real story either. It is only when we add in the water needed to grow what we eat and drink that the numbers really begin to soar. (emphasis mine.) (Fred Pearce, When the Rivers Run Dry, Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. p 3)

Here are a few numbers he gives:

  • to grow a pound of rice: 250 to 650 gallons of water
  • to grow a pound of wheat: 130 gallons
  • to produce a quart of milk: 500 to 1000 gallons
  • to produce a pound of cheese: 650 gallons
  • to produce a 1/4 pound of burger: 3000 gallons

He kindly puts water use into perspective in annual terms:

  • 1 ton (265 gallons) for drinking
  • 50 to 100 tons (13,250 to 26,500 gallons) around the house
  • 1500 to 2000 tons (397,500 to 530,000 gallons) for food and clothing

—————————————–

sidebar:
How Many Gallons to Produce One Pound of Beef?
Lies, damned lies, and statistics

US Beef industry’s Cattlemen’s Association: 441 gallons
Fred Pearce: 12,000 gallons
Water Footprint Network: 1854 gallons (calculations: 15500 litres of water per kg; 4079 gallons per kg; 1854 gallons per pound)

In an industrial beef production system, it takes an average three years before the animal is slaughtered to produce about 200 kg of boneless beef.

The animal consumes nearly 1300 kg of grains (wheat, oats, barley, corn, dry peas, soybean meal and other small grains), 7200 kg of roughages (pasture, dry hay, silage and other roughages), 24 cubic meter of water for drinking and 7 cubic meter of water for servicing.

This means that to produce one kilogram of boneless beef, we use about 6.5 kg of grain, 36 kg of roughages, and 155 litres of water (only for drinking and servicing).

Producing the volume of feed requires about 15300 litres of water on average.

—————————————–

Where does all that water come from?
From virtually everywhere

If it comes from imported goods (Thai rice or Egyptian cotton), the water comes from those countries.

When the water is collected from rivers or pumped from underground, as it is in much of the world, it’s:

  • increasingly expensive
  • increasingly likely to deprive someone of water (nothing to drink)
  • increasingly likely to empty rivers and underground water reserves

And when the rivers are running low, as they are more frequently, there is less water to grow anything at all.

The water used in growing and producing goods around the world is known as “virtual water” and the trade of these goods is known as “virtual water transfers.”

And who’s the biggest water exporting Mouseketeer of them all? The United States.

When you drink coffee from Central America, you are influencing the hydrology of the region, virtually taking a share of the Costa Rican rains. The same is true within a national and regional boundaries. The Colorado River is drained so Californians can eat their Big Macs and have friends over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue.

In the same way that your use of fossil fuel is measured as a “carbon footprint,” your water use, actual and through virtual water transfer, is measured as a “water footprint.”

How big is my water footprint?
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

Arjen Y. Hoekstra, professor at the University of Twente, the Netherlands, introduced the water-footprint concept in 2002. It “shows water use related to consumption within a nation, while the traditional indicator shows water use in relation to production within a nation.” (Hoekstra and Chapagain, Globalization of Water, Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2008, p. 3)

With Hoekstra and Chapagain’s water footprint calculator (waterfootprint.org), you select your country, input food, domestic water use, and industrial goods consumption, press a button, and you get your:

  • total water footprint for the year
  • bar charts for the three components
  • bar charts for individual food categories

For example, you’re in the US, eat only 1 pound of cereal a week (.4545 kg) and have a low-fat, low-sugar diet, use a low-flow showerhead, use a no-flush eco-toilet, and never run the tap while brushing your teeth. Two extremes:

  • You’re the hippiest of the hip: making $10,000 a year: Your water footprint: 245 cubic meters (65,170 gallons)
  • You’re the hippiest of the Yuppies: making $120,000: Your water footprint: 2979 cubic meters (792,414 gallons). Difference due to your income’s effect on industrial production.

Three notes on the calculations, because Professor Hoekstra is European and lives in the social welfare country that started birthing hippies in Amsterdam decades before they showed up in the US at Woodstock:

  1. You input kilograms for food:
    • 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds = 35.2 ounces
    • 1 ounce = 0.028 kilograms. 1 pound = 0.454545 kilograms
  2. Your water footprint is in cubic meters per year:
    • 1 cubic meter = 35.3 cubic feet = 266 gallons
  3. The higher your income, the greater your water footprint, even if you don’t personally consume anything: you’re a capitalist pig supporting the Establishment Regime, I guess

So how is Cinnamon’s capitalist water footprint? Answer: 650 cubic meters (172,900 gallons)

I showed you mine. Now you show me yours:

Get the naked truth: Calculate your waterfootprint now:

Water’s running out:
I get the fossil fuel analogy so far.
And what about climate change?

We return to Fred Pearce’s book to find an example, of which he has oceans:

China’s Yellow River: The fifth longest in the world, it begins high in the mountains of eastern Tibet and journeys more than 3000 miles. Almost half a billion people depend on it for drinking and crop irrigation, and it’s made China the world’s largest wheat producer and second largest corn producer. Yet more than half of the lakes it feeds have disappeared over the last 20 years, and a third of pastures have turned to desert. This desertification generates huge dust storms that choke lungs in Beijing, close schools in Koreas, dust cars in Japan, and rain dust on mountains across the Pacific and Western Canada.

State irrigation projects along the Yellow River soak up the majority of its water – the total official allocations are greater than the actual flow.

The resulting drought could be an early warning sign of global warming.

Much of the declines in moisture reaching rivers is in line with prediction of climate researchers. So how does this global warming happen?

Higher air temperatures from desertification increase evaporation from oceans and intensify the water cycle. This increases atmospheric water vapor – 8 to 10% more than today. This increases global rainfall, but the rain is being redistributed: middle latitudes (read: the US) are becoming drier. Higher temperatures increase evaporation on land, meaning soil dries out faster, meaning less rainfall is reaching rivers.

The higher temperatures melt glaciers and snowpacks. At first, this leads to unpredecented floods. After the glaciers disappear, meltwaters that feed rivers disappear. The combined decreasing rainfall and increasing evaporation will lower moisture by 40% in the southern and western states.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack could diminish by 70 to 80 percent over the next 50 years. And some of the world’s most productive agricultural regions could dry up.

Global climate is becoming more extreme: the dry areas become drier, and the wet areas become wetter. And more areas are becoming dry deserts. Loss of habitat and agricultural lands. It’s a vicious cycle.

So what can you do?
Navigating through the Resource Matrix

As Fred Pearce points out, your drinking and bathing account for 0.05% of your total water consumption. Your food and clothing weigh in at 95.00%, although I find his 12,000 gallons needed to produce a pound of burger rather wild.

As Professor Arjen Y. Joekstra shows with his Water Footprint Calculator, your consumption of meats accounts for a lot, as does your guilt by association of being in an industrialized country.

The obvious solution: eat fewer e-coli burgers from your neighborhood Salt and Fat Slop Bucket restaurant.

The wiser solution: like your choices in energy use, become more aware of the resources needed to produce anything and the consequences. Such as luxurious cotton grown in the Egyptian desert.

Next article in the water efficiency series:
How an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed
peasant on some other side of the globe affects you

We continue going with the flow of water, when we show the parallel between the current hot Oil Wars and in the future cold Water Wars.

And all of this is for one purpose:

To help you see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .

To your green, brighter future,

Cinnamon Alvarez,
A19

And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.

You can access it now by going to: http://www.a19.com/pub/articles/

From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 — woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures

China 2035 Bigger Than USA


Powering Up The Nation's Largest Solar Power Plant

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has announced the near completion of its DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida. This solar power.


Largest Defense Solar Facility May Get Bigger · Environmental …

Previously announced as having 500 megawatts in capacity, the Fort Irwin solar facility may end up double that size. The US Army Corps of Engineers selected Clark Energy Group, an affiliate of Clark Realty Capital, to develo…


HPCwire: Supercomputing Code Helps Develop New Solar Cells

If scientists could use simulations to zoom in on the atomic level of solar cells, the insight they gain could launch solar power into the next energy orbital. Unfortunately, those simulations would require an exorbitant amount of …


New solar farm makes history | Great Lakes Echo

(ON) The Toronto Star – Canada’s largest solar generating station, called First Light, made history on Sept. 26, when at 10:16 am it became the first.


Solar-Powered Ferries to Sail Hong Kong Harbor – GoodCleanTech

An Australian company called Solar Sailor has joined forces with a small shipyard in Hong Kong to build four solar-powered hybrid ferries that will soon sail Hong Kong Harbor.

PostHeaderIcon Global Warming is Caused by Both Man and Nature


Global Warming is Caused by Both Man and Nature

It will take all of us to make a significant impact in the world against global warming. The earth is in trouble because of the pollution that we may have caused. It would seem that we are apathetic to the earth’s plea for help. Every natural disaster that is happening to the world, to us, is caused by us. We may have caused it directly or indirectly.

One of the more significant effects of the damage that we have caused this planet is global warming. We may have been feeling how it is a little warmer, how the seasons are all in disarray. It is cold when it should have been hot and it is hot when it should have been cold. Typhoons are also stronger than ever before, aside from the fact that it is more frequent. And haven’t you noticed how a little rain could cause floods? Don’t you find that weird? Well, these are all the effects of global warming and we should be alarmed by it.

That is why natural and environmental causes such as the earth day should be supported because aside from minimizing the use of electricity which is by the way one of the causes of global warming. It brings about social awareness to inform those who are oblivious to what is happening to the world and it re-educates those who are aware. Information is the key and it may be the cure if we do it together. Great things are going to happen. Just the recent earth day brought about great changes that will be felt by the people for generations to come. Can you just imagine the positive effects that this will bring to mankind? Earth will benefit if it continues yearly. Who knows maybe one day global warming will no longer be a problem.

Cheryl Forbes owns and operates the website http://www.global-warming-statistics.org

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

 

Start your gardens for Green Tech News


Future German government to cut subsidies for solar, other …

Next German gov’t to cut solar subsidiesBERLIN â?? Germany’s next government is considering slashing subsidies to renewable energy industries, particularly solar, an energy expert with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats said …


LG announces solar cell e-book | Gear Live

Looks like e-readers are a hot item, as LG is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon. Their devicee has a 10×10 centimeter solar cell that is designed to work in conjunction with the 6-inch TFT LCD. This allows the reader to get a …


Canadian Solar Says Q3 Shipments Topped Guidance – Tech Trader …

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) this afternoon said it now sees Q3 shipments of 101 MW to 103 MW, ahead of previous guidance of 90 MW to 100 MW. The company also said it expects to report revenue for the quarter of $210 million to $215 million, …


New German coalition aiming to cut solar energy subsidies – The Local

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new centre-right coalition could slash subsidies to the country’s already beleaguered solar energy manufacturers, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.


Solar Refract House Slowly Edges Ahead

Right now 20 solar-powered homes are competing for bragging rights at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC With a few more contests left and the final results this Friday, Team…

PostHeaderIcon Global Warming – Are We to Blame?


Global Warming – Are We to Blame?

Global warming is one of those topics that I still find myself wondering what to truly believe. Is our CO2 production really the culprit in the warming of the planet? Or are there some other larger influences at play here. I have a hard time believing mankind’s activities are solely to blame for any kind of climate change.

After all, CO2 is only one of many greenhouse gases that can affect the warming trend. Water vapor is by far the most abundant and effective at influencing the greenhouse problem. But I don’t see any kind of public concern over evaporation of water in any way at all. Okay, I realize that there is little or even nothing that can be done about that but the point is CO2 is just a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gases affecting our climate. So if water vapor is by far the largest greenhouse gas then why are we so obsessed by manmade CO2? Mankind’s ego.

We see a small trend in the planets temperature rising and of course we assume it must be what we are doing. I am truly pleased to see that we are taking an interest in reducing pollution from cars and industry but I really have my doubts about the connection to global warming at least in the significant way the media would like us to believe.

The media is sounding the alarm bell which of course sells more newspapers than reporting the less extreme predictions surrounding the warming trend. The weather models produced by scientists predict a reduction in the temperature differences between the poles and the equatorial regions. This will in fact reduce the number of violent tropical storms, as there will be less of a temperature discrepancy to stimulate them. Also the warming of the regions closer to the poles will allow agricultural pursuits in areas where it was not possible before. Food production would be able to rise accordingly. The alarmist media isn’t interested in those types of stories it seems.

The change in the world’s temperature is just that, change. There is irrefutable evidence that the temperature of the planet has and most likely will always be changing regardless of what we are doing. What are we so afraid of? Do the alarmists doubt mankind’s ability to adapt and cope with a few degrees of temperature change or even sea levels rising a meter or so? There will doubtless be hardships and even some displaced people in some regions but man has the ability to adapt and change. We have demonstrated this through the ages. I am confident that we will not only survive these changes but also learn to use them to our advantage.

I live in Canada and if you ask anyone living north of the temperate zone about rising temperatures the resounding response would be “bring it on, we could use a little global warming around here”. Life will improve greatly for huge numbers of the world’s population with a couple of degrees increase in the planet’s temperature. Migration to areas that were before considered uninhabitable by most will have a more moderate climate allowing for farming and other activities. You can’t sell newspapers with stories like that.

The scientific data indicates that 1998 was the warmest year on record. The planet has been cooling ever since. A quote from Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences “The earth is at the peak of one of its passing warm spells, It’ll start getting cold by 2012, and really, really cold around 2041″. So who are we to believe? A respected scientist or Al Gore who has made millions from his crusade for the planet and his questionable agenda and phony pseudo science.

If the planet is warming I can honestly say I hope so. We will get by and probably do well in the process. What really concerns me is the muzzling of real science in the debate. An objective media would go a long way in helping us all deal with the facts as they truly are. Focusing on the alarmist perspective only causes undue fear where none is warranted.

Is driving our SUV’s and minivans really the problem here? Or is our planet just going through another climate cycle like it has done so many times before? The only thing I know for sure is I can’t count on the media to provide the answers.

I recently produced the feature film The Harvest Project. Find out more and view the trailer at http://www.theharvestprojectmovie.com The movie is also available for sale at http://www.filmannex.com/search/searchkey/harvest%20project You can contact me at doug_king@shaw.ca

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

10 Tips Of Green At Home


Sustainable Design Update » Blog Archive » Historic Solar Tech

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.


Solar Decathlon solar house competition heats up

We take a look at some of the entries competing in the DoE’s Solar Decathlon, which sees 20 teams of college and university students competing to …


Solar Cell e-Book from LG Display

lg-solar-ebook LG Display unveiled an e-book that is equipped with in-house developed solar cell. The thin-film solar cell featured in the e-book measures 10 centimeters in width and length, it was developed to perfectly fit the 6-inch …


Solar Ebook â?? Yes, Life's Good | Daily Contributor

And you thought the ebook reader wars was about to subside. LG has unveiled one of its latest weapon that is to enter the market, the LG Solar Ebook!


More Singapore retail malls go solar

Sembawang Shopping Centre (SSC), a revamped mall that was re-launched in December 2008, boasts 51 solar panels on its roof that generate 34.52kWh of electricity per day. The daily output is said to be able to power a 32W fluorescent …

PostHeaderIcon Clean Landfills


Clean Landfills

We’ve all read the stories about how municipal water systems in the United States are contaminated with toxins such as  lead, mercury, copper and even bacteria. In some parts of the country, stories of raw sewage leaks into fresh water supplies have made the news. And, people have reacted by drinking expensive bottled water as a supposedly healthier alternative to ordinary, inexpensive tap water.

City Water Supplies Are Safe

Of course, the truth about the safety of the nation’s municipal water supplies has finally come forth – drinking water from household taps virtually anywhere in the country is safe, pure and incredibly inexpensive. And, we’re learning that bottled water isn’t as healthy for us as we first thought. 

Get Off The Bottle

First there’s the plastic container, or bottle itself.  That convenient, plastic water bottle we’ve gotten used to carrying around is made from plastic material that contains cancer-producing toxins called phthalates.  These toxins actually leach into the water in the plastic bottle and accumulate in our bloodstreams.  Studies show that the concentrations of phthalates in our systems are increasing with each generation, mainly as a result of drinking water bottled in toxic plastic containers. 

Plastic is Hardly Boidegradable

These plastic bottles aren’t biodegradable.  Plastic throw-aways now represent at least 25% of the contents of our landfills.  And plastics won’t break down for around 10,000 years – some plastics can take even longer to degrade.  So our healthy-water myth has turned into a big health hazard.  What can people do?

A Nice and Effective Alternative

Fortunately, there are many easy and inexpensive alternatives to our drinking water challenges.You can easily install a simple charcoal-type filter system on your kitchen faucet. These inexpensive filters can remove up to 99.9% of heavy metals and other toxins that may (or mostly may not) be present in your city’s drinking water. And you can now buy a portable water filtration system that’s as convenient as your old plastic sports bottle, but the bottle is not made of toxic materials.

Cheap Filter Removes Most Contaminants

The filters that can be attached to your kitchen faucet are cheap (generally under $50) can be found at most hardware stores, reduce chlorine and heavy metals, and generally make your tap water taste better.  For example, the Brita system costs about $20 – 40 for a starter set, and $20 for each replacement filter.  It will filter about 100 gallons of drinking water and lasts for about 4 months.

Portable Filtration is the “Wave” of The Future

For about the same price, you can now get a 16 ounce portable water filtration system from Back to the Tap, which actually filters as you drink.  It uses a number 4 LDPE plastic bottle, which is the kind of plastic that doesn’t normally leach phthalates.  The filters are replaceable, and you can refill anywhere with plain tap water.  It can be refilled about 300 times, and that’s 300 disposable plastic bottles you’re not throwing into already full landfills.

Going green does take some conscious thought and careful planning, but it’s getting easier every day to go green.  In this case, you will be rewarded with better health and less plastic in landfills – and more money in your wallet.  Remember – bottled water costs MUCH more than gasoline, per gallon. So, save your health and the environment and tons of cash – by drinking water from your own household tap!

There’s no reason to poison your family and spend thousands of dollars just to have a clean home. Clean your house with simple and pure natural cleaners – and save enough money for a really nice vacation! Want to find out how to go green, save money and save Planet Earth? Click HERE to find out how being green can save you green!

GIGA Green tech visite of Kevin Koerber

PostHeaderIcon Go Green With Natural Finishes – environmental friendly finishes


Go Green With Natural Finishes – environmental friendly finishes

Finishes are coatings that are  applied to the external and inside surfaces of walls to protect them from the elements and from wear and tear.  They also improve the appearance of the structure and are used to enhance the design of rooms.

Petroleum, our main source of oil-based wood finishes and paint, is a non-renewable resource.  There are now paints and finishes on the market that are derived from a renewable resource, which  in a small way, helps to reduce dependence on oil, and  contributes to a more sustainable world.

The basis for these products is whey, which is a product of cheese making, and which has a high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).  This increases the burden on waste treatment facilities, and can also pollute our natural water sources.  In the last ten years, this by-product has been used for many new purposes, one of which is natural wood finishes.

When choosing paints for your decorating, use the low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. For hundreds, no, thousands of years, earth, clay and lime have been used, both in hot and cold areas of the world.  And now this knowledge is being readapted for contemporary use. If you do any redecorating or new building, it makes sense to contribute to having green, healthy surroundings.

Low and no VOC paints have less smell and less impact on air quality.  EPA studies have shown that indoor air quality is up to five times more toxic than outdoors, mainly because of toxic emissions from paint and finishes. This particularly affects anyone with allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities. With the new “green” paints, there will be lower contamination of landfills, groundwater, and the ozone.

Switching will not cost you more.  Cleanup is easily done with soap and water, instead of toxic chemicals, and brushes can easily be cleaned and reused.  The paint is still washable, and is far less harmful to you, your pets, and the environment.

Lisa is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company (http://www.liti4.com), public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa’s blog from her website: http://www.freelancewriter4hire.com

Bees dying Green Tech News


World's Largest Solar Project Unveiled – Renewable Energy World

For the past few weeks, solar industry insiders have been whispering of a massive multi-MW solar thermal power project slated for the desert Southwest that would be the first commercial application of dish-style solar thermal stirling …


The Reread Reviews â?? Solar, Man of the Atom: Hell on Earth …

And, so we continue our look back at Acclaim Comics’s reinvention of Solar, which began with Warren Ellis, continued through Jim Krueger, and ends here with a four-issue mini-series. Spoilers, of course. There are always spoilers. …


Florida's Solar-Powered City | Geology.com

News about geology and earth science from around the world!


Make: Online : Novel edge-collecting solar panels

This is a solar panel. Really. If you’ve observed that it looks a lot like a piece of live-edge fluorescent acrylic, you’re more than halfway to understanding how it works. Light entering the panel from the sides is absorbed by dyes and …


The Nilon Report: Going Rogue – Florida Solar Energy Industries …

This past Friday, word went out the the Florida Solar Industries Association (FLSEIA)has decided to become a beneficiary of off-shore drilling along the coast of Florida. Unbeknown to the most of us are what deal was struck between the …

PostHeaderIcon Historical Conservation Efforts


Historical Conservation Efforts

How often have we come across lovely historical sites suffering from neglect and misuse? Every country needs to take good care of its historic places. Because things like malls, stadiums and highways can be built again. But a historic place which is neglected and misused will lose its glory and slowly disintegrate into zilch. And no amount of action plan or noble intentions can ever bring a historic place back to its former glory when it has been totally neglected and abused by us. The oldest of historic sites can be preserved for the future generations if we have a proper plan for their conservation.

Conversation of historic places requires a systematic approach. If the historic site is conserved with the help of a proper plan, it will show amazing results. While chalking out a plan for the conservation of historic sites, it’s very important to keep the costs under control. If the costs go up to an unwanted level, it will draw criticism from the general public and act like a death sentence for the conservation of other similar projects in the future.

The first thing which should be done by the restoration experts is to check the age of the historic site. This can be easily achieved by conducting a series of scientific tests. It can also be done if there are public or archaeological records of the site. Once we know the actual age of the historic site, we get to know the actual worth of the site – this doesn’t mean that if a site is not very ancient – it’s not worth taking care of.

Also check the sturdiness of the materials which have been used on the historic site. This will need a proper list of all the materials used on all the structures found on the site. Factors such as the effect of temperature, humidity, weathering, fire, air pollution, storms and flood on the material found on the site needs to be studied in detail, so that best possible plan to prevent further degradation of the site can be prepared.

Don’t forget to note the architectural design of any structures present on the site. This is needed to take help of conservation experts according to the style they specialize in. Taking the help of the best of experts who are not competent in the architectural design displayed at the historic site would create a major problem for your conservation project.

Your team of conservation experts also need to keep a track of all the past repairs and changes made on the historic site. The problems faced by the previous restoration team while restoring or repairing the historic site too needs to be researched and noted down. Always remember materials like wood and leather rot quite easily, on the other hand stone articles and pottery items always manage to survive better. Once you have finished your complete study of the historic site, you can then do the restoration part of the site step by step in a phased manner till it is complete. You might even have to restrict the number of visitors, once it has been restored, as although the site has got its former glory, it might not be in a state that it can be exposed to an endless number of people everyday.

For more information on the historical sites of the world, visit Matt’s website about world historical sites, especially his favorite place, tikal.

Hybrid SUV


ARRLWeb: ARRL NEWS: The K7RA Solar Update

Perhaps someone is expecting a reappearance of either 1026 or 1027, because if we look at the October 1 forecast from the US Air Force and NOAA, it shows an expectation of a rising solar flux above 70 beginning October 17. …


Evander Holyfield To Build 40-Acre Solar Energy Farm, Organic …

The four-time heavyweight champion is partnering with Global NES-Georgia to create a 40-acre solar farm, as well as a one-acre community organic garden. The total power produced with the new solar plant is expected to amount to produce …


First Solar Makes a Sale (ENB, FSLR, YGE, TSL, STP) â?? 24/7 Wall St.

Canadian oil and gas pipeline company Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB) today announced that it would purchase a 20 megawatt solar generation plant from First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). No purchase price was given for the plant, which is located …


Tariff on Solar Imports May be Challenged · Environmental Leader …

A recent decision to impose tariffs on a type of Chinese solar panels could eventually extend to other such imports, raising the cost of installing solar in the US The solar industry hopes to reverse the 2.5 percent tariff, …


Some Shine Solar Energy Storage System

We here at Ubergizmo love renewable energy – after all, we want to leave a world that is sustainable for future generations and not just the next. Here’s a concept that will definitely get you all excited – the…