Archive for July, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Conservation Efforts


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.

Green Technology


Solar thermal seeks U.S. breakthrough | Green Tech – CNET News

The new technology could move the United States away from its dependence on fossil fuels–if it can overcome the high price tag for the massive plants needed. Read this blog post by Reuters on Green Tech.


The Week in Pictures: Solar Plane Sets New World Record, Pipeline …

Here we go again… a pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy Partners has leaked 800000-840000 gallons of oil into a creek flowing into the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan. On a more positive note, the Zephyr solar plane finally.


July 22, 2009 Total Solar Eclipse from China â?? Let's Chase …

The total solar eclipse which just occurred on the 22nd of July 2009 was the longest maximum duration of the 21st century. Not since Saros 1991 have.


The Solar Dynamics Observatory in 3.5 Minutes | Universe Today

This great new video (just uploaded today!) does a great job of explaining the upcoming Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission, which is slated to launch on Feb. 9, 2010. SDO will provide a new eye on the sun that will deliver solar


The IPCC, Climate Change and Solar Sophistry « An Honest Climate …

Top Posts. The IPCC, Climate Change and Solar Sophistry · Snow hits Australia one week away from Summer · The Tree Ring Circus. Top Clicks. quadrant.org.au/magazine/â?¦ canadafreepress.com/indexâ?¦ newswise.com/articles/stuâ?¦ Recent Comments …

PostHeaderIcon Do We Want Too Much?


Do We Want Too Much?

What can be done about this increasingly worrying contribution to global warming?

The most important options to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions are:

Changes in aircraft and engine technology; use of alternative fuels, such as (sustainably produced) biofuels; regulatory and operational measures such as improvements in air traffic management; economic measures such as inclusion of aircraft emissions in emission trading schemes.

But, as Giovanni Bisignani, manager of International Air Transport Association (IATA), stated: “Emissions trading schemes only make sense with efficient infrastructure. The IPCC estimates that there is 12% inefficiency in air traffic management globally: we produce up to 73 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year by aircraft flying inefficiently due to air traffic management limitations”. **

On a personal level we could ask ourselves especially in the developed world: “Do we really need to fly so frequently?” The use of telework, teleconference and video conference could be largely increased to plan work and meetings. Can’t the development of land and air transportation infrastructures be balanced better according to the real needs of people and businesses? Trains could connect cities better and more cheaply for example in Europe, where the prices are not competitive with those of many flights anymore (and night train services have been reduced if not cancelled).

Life styles do matter because if millions of people want to have cheap weekends in relatively close tourist locations, many flights are needed to satisfy their desires and consequently a lot of pollution is generated. Also, our per capita emissions could be cut also by reducing the “surplus” trips, by slowing down our life rhythms and enjoying more local attractions in our free time. Who knows? We could discover the “exotic” in our own neighborhoods without flying to the Caribbean Sea…

Furthermore the relationship between the costs and the environmental externalities (i.e. costs not included in the economy like health damages caused by pollution) needs to be considered as well: there are higher marginal impacts for short-distance flights that should be considered in prices paid by passengers.

All these political, technological and personal choices are some of the good examples needed by the developing countries to follow the 21st century’s Western society along a new sustainable path which looks like the only good alternative forward.

**”Talks to reduce aircraft global-warming emissions

For further information on Climate Change please visit the Responding to Climate Change website – http://www.rtcc.org

Gadgets of Solar

PostHeaderIcon When Sea Levels Rise


When Sea Levels Rise

It is no new scientific fact that there is a slow steady increase of temperature; we’ve been studying and recording changes for a few decades. For some reason people are only now starting to take notice of how desperate the situation is.

Due to the increased temperature, sea levels are on the rise. It now is easier for boats full of scientists to access the Northwest Passage for research due to the polar icecaps melting . Areas that were once almost unreachable are now becoming navigational and the search for precious gems, gold, and oil is on! There is no end to mans greed.It makes sense that when the sea levels rise the ground surfaces slowly disappear. We will lose our agriculture farmlands. There may not be enough food needed to sustain ourselves, let alone other countries that we already support. Many farmers will lose their farms and their lifestyle.

Should sea levels on the rise be a worry about freshwater? Our drinking water is not a luxury it is a necessity and is as important for people, plants, and animals. The possible damage to freshwater due to rising sea levels should be a major worry to all of us.

For hundreds of years polar bears have been the king of the Arctic ice and roamed over vast areas of icy tundra. But with the icecaps melting away, and the distance between ice flows becoming greater, many polar bears have drowned from exhaustion before reaching shore. It also makes hunting their primary source of food, the seal, more difficult. Dying of hunger is now a probable fate for many of them.

The total extinction of many of the world’s beloved land animals may be just around the bend due to rising sea levels.

Show some concern about the environment and save money at the same time by searching for eco friendly products from sites like http://www.EnergySavingProject.com.

The author is a specialist in environment, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Clean Green Engine Fox News

PostHeaderIcon The Environmental Plenty Compared


The Environmental Plenty Compared

Life has so many contradictions. It was a privilege and joy to take a colleague friend, who had very little of this world’s goods, to the local supermarket in Kenya and encourage him to buy whatever he and his family required along with a little treat for his children. To be able to pay at the checkout desk was an honour.

He and his family lived in a food desert. They had maize and rice but not much more. Margarine and sugar and one or two other products would make their life a little better for a little while.

Jesus Christ, Who was King of Kings and Lord of Lords, lived in the desert praying and fasting for forty days. Having been there at the north end of the Dead Sea it is stoney, hot, barren, and dry. Reading the account of what happened in the early Chapters of Matthew or Luke can challenge our crazy consumption lifestyles.

To show concern and care for our environment may involve fasting from various habits and foods we have become used to and have taken for granted. The sin element has to be dealt with, and sin is a word from which people shy away in these present times, but most of the suffering is the direct consequence of sin, and there can be no hiding from that fact.

When you see children who should be at school having to walk miles daily to fetch water can make me angry! All we have to do in ‘the west’ is turn on the tap and there we have clean clear water. When we flush the toilet the efficient sewerage system does the rest.

But, in Kenya, and in many other nations, the lack of fresh water and the total absence of sewerage is the cause of so many serious illnesses and diseases. Much of this could be rectified within a few months if the leaders of the nations were genuinely concerned and interested.

There are no quick solutions to remedy the massive issues facing those who are truly poor, but there are solutions which could start to become operational by a different type of leadership, where corruption could be by-passed. People working and serving in the Aid Agencies are normally in this fight against poverty for years and they realise that it is a long haul, where change comes slowly.

I have just thought of a phrase. I am out to change the world by seeing one person at a time converted to Jesus Christ. Visiting some of the projects in Kenya and Uganda is proof of what just can be done, but oh how they need a little more financial resources.

To provide water for people by piping it through filters can make such a massive difference to households and families and entire communities.

If only Governments would make this a priority, but that would depend upon radical leadership which might shake supporters but would certainly benefit those in need.

Are there leaders out there who would be willing to take such a political risk? The rewards would be enormous and surprising, as the blessing of Almighty God would fall upon these leaders and nations.

Many can chase wealth and power, rather than humility, service and selflessness.

The consequences of greed and corruption cause devastation in the lives of millions, and the greedy and corrupt appear to be unaware of that. Are they so blind? Remember, we all have to appear before the judgment seat of Almighty God one whether we want to or not!

O, to send farmers where we have sent fighters and water experts where we have sent warriors and sewer layers where we have sent soldiers.

The environment is more than soil and waves and icebergs. Care for the environment is demonstrated by our care for people.

Many in ‘the west’ are trapped in a wealth culture just as millions are caught in the poverty trap. Release and deliverance and freedom is possible. In which ways can we move forward and help? If there are any in leadership reading this article then the responsibility is yours and mine.

Sandy Shaw.

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland” on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shaw
sandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Green Technology Revs

PostHeaderIcon Water Efficiency – The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4 – Why We Have Water and Fuel Shortages


Water Efficiency – The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4 – Why We Have Water and Fuel Shortages

“The Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

In my last water efficiency article (Water-Efficiency: Why Most Advice You’ve Read is Absolutely Inefficient), we began a slow turn away from lighting with a discussion of the 80/20 Rule and how your little positive behavioral changes with water aren’t even a drop in the bucket when your other positive behavioral changes – making homemade pizza – evaporate the entire year’s ocean of benefits in a few tasty bites.

In a four-part series, we talk about a resource besides energy: water.

  1. Today, we begin far above this “turn off the porch lights and take short, icy showers” efficiency thing to show you how we got to where we are now both in fuels and in other resources.
  2. Next week, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.
  3. The following week, 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.
  4. And in the final week, we tie together the articles in a symphony of three movements, showing you how all the elements hold the Resource Matrix in place and how, like Neo in the movie, you can break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is. (At least, my version of it, anyway.)

Ready to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes?

We start with one of the most boring subjects known to college students, one birthed out of the Enlightenment when extremely titled, idly rich, powdery wig-headed fancy foppish men dressed like women and walked in high heels and squealed like school girls:

Economics: it’s totally insane

Economics is described as the science of allocating scarce resources. Since it’s the study of human behavior, it’s a social science rather than a physical science.

And although any individual’s behavior may not be predictable, individuals as a group can be. Kinda like the weather: you don’t know much about a single raindrop’s effect but you can track the overall storm and predict what’s next.

Economics likes to fool itself that it can predict behavior based on the assumption that people make rational choices. Understand what people think and you understand what choices people will make.

It unfortunately leaves out the other part of being human: human behavior based on emotions.

And emotions weigh heavily in how we interact with each other, especially in exchanges of value.

Maximizing returns:
“I want your goodies for nothing”

Economics recognizes that people are motivated by self-interest to maximize their benefits at the lowest cost.

On an individual basis, this can turn into a “win-lose” proposition:

  • I want to acquire the best stuff for the cheapest terms
  • I want to dispose of the lousiest stuff for the greatest terms

In short, you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom.

May the Force be with you:
getting diamonds and gold for nothing:

Economics comes out of 18th century political economy, which studied production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government. Political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy.

This moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, which comes pretty close to getting your diamonds and gold for nothing: forcibly take over a country and use its people to extract its resources to be reallocated to your bank account. And make sure nobody but you has any say in the matter.

Social good in the equation:

A few people didn’t see the morality in this philosophy. Enter the lousy, meddling individual do-gooders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Upton Sinclair, and many others who messed with the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd.

And some of the individuals do-gooders formed their own organizations like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

They all worked to increase awareness that there are alternatives to being forced to give away your diamonds and gold for nothing while having no say in the matter, and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win.”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who could only lose in the change to “win-win,” found their salvation in the late 1800s with the rise of modern psychology (the scientific study of mental functions and behavior). Applied to politics, it’s called propaganda. Applied to spirituality, it’s called religion. Applied to commerce, it’s called marketing and advertising.

All these applications are forms of hypnotism, and are based on the proven principle that if you repeat anything enough times, including a falsehood, your audience will grow to believe it and then to defend it as the truth.

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd used economics to hypnotically declare for 250 years that fossil fuels, the air, and water were without cost. They called them “free goods.”

And they used force (”Oh yeah, and what the hell are you going to do about it?”) to declare that pollution had no consequences.

What’s an Oxymoron?
“Free Good” in economics

The free good is a term used in economics to describe a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society.

Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want. Examples in textbooks (even in the 1980s) included fresh water and the air that we breathe. However, these are now regarded as common goods because competition for them is rivalrous.

In short, there is no free lunch.

An additional moral philosophy:
“There’s a sucker born every minute”
becomes
“How can I help you help me?”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd continues to rise early and work late to craft their “win-lose” deals every day.

Yet, out of those rising early and working late, a small radical fringe discovered the curious fact that if you don’t beat a dog bloody every time you see it, it’s less likely to bite your hand off, and it even might go out and hunt down a squirrel for your evening stew.

Their moral philosophy became a hybrid offshoot.

The Hybrids still want your goodies, but they are willing to help you get your goodies with less pain and damage to yourself so you’ll be willing to come back to them and hand over more of your goodies.

Both use the same mind-numbing hypnotic slogans: “We care about you.”

The difference is the Hybrids actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do. Even if they don’t actually give a hoot about you. Contrast that to the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who merely sends you more hynoptic slogans when they want your goodies.

Where Do You Want to Go Today?
Everywhere but here

We’ve all awaken to the shocking realizations that:

  • finite energy resources will run out
  • actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible, and
  • the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, you could just pop some soma and totally trip out.

But the cowardly old world we’re experiencing has quickly turned into a total bummer of a bad trip, man. Down with the Establishment and praise the Collective.

We’re all in this together, or
Toss the lousy, greedy bastards overboard

The decades of the Do-Gooders increasing our awareness of possible “win-win” possibilities and of the Hybrids backing their “we care about you” lip service with actual service has brought us to another realization:

There’s a price to everything, and if I don’t pay the price, someone else will, and somehow, some way, on some sunny day, they’re going to get even and make me pay.

And this has been an important change in the understanding of energy efficiency and global warming: the environment has a limited capacity within our human-lifetime periods to absorb civilization’s byproducts and transform them into resources. It usually needs geologic time to turn dead trees and critters into oil and gas. In the meantime, the trash piles up in the streets.

The solution: create less trash.

Thanks to the Do-Gooders, we have greater awareness or our actions and the desire to change, and have the Hybrids offering ways to change.

And the result is a shift of power away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd. It’s now Power to the People.

But wait, there’s more …
to the Resource Matrix

Just because you know about fossil fuels, their finite amounts, their polluting, warming effects on the environment, and alternatives offered by the Hybrids – even if you have done your part to the best of your ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle — you haven’t escaped the Resource Matrix.

Energy to power our lives is one component of the Resource Matrix. And it’s the most visible in discussions of global warming and being resourceful. But there’s more:

Coming Attractions!

In the next three articles, we will talk about concepts concerning the resource that makes up 75% of the planet and 75% of your body:

Water.

You’ll learn that, although 75% of the planet is water, only 3% of water is potable (can be consumed), and of that 3%, only a small fraction is available, and of that small fraction, only a small fraction is potable, because the rest is polluted for hundreds of years to come.

You’ll learn how the actions of an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed peasant on the other side of the globe affects you where you are.

You’ll learn how, unlike oil, water is transferred invisibly from poor to rich by sleight of hand, like paying your utility bill through your online bank account.

You’ll learn how poor water decisions, rather than fossil fuel’s atmospheric effects described in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, leads to those drybeds of the formerly humongous Aral Sea and along the Amazon.

You’ll learn how to measure the global water impact of any nation, city, corporation, even yourself – to the nearest gallon or liter.

You’ll learn the little changes you can make – the water equivalent of “change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lamps” – and still be able to take your wastefully long showers.

And all of this is for one purpose:

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

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

Start your gardens for Green Tech News

PostHeaderIcon Water Efficiency – The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4 – Why We Have Water and Fuel Shortages


Water Efficiency – The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4 – Why We Have Water and Fuel Shortages

“The Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

In my last water efficiency article (Water-Efficiency: Why Most Advice You’ve Read is Absolutely Inefficient), we began a slow turn away from lighting with a discussion of the 80/20 Rule and how your little positive behavioral changes with water aren’t even a drop in the bucket when your other positive behavioral changes – making homemade pizza – evaporate the entire year’s ocean of benefits in a few tasty bites.

In a four-part series, we talk about a resource besides energy: water.

  1. Today, we begin far above this “turn off the porch lights and take short, icy showers” efficiency thing to show you how we got to where we are now both in fuels and in other resources.
  2. Next week, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.
  3. The following week, 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.
  4. And in the final week, we tie together the articles in a symphony of three movements, showing you how all the elements hold the Resource Matrix in place and how, like Neo in the movie, you can break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is. (At least, my version of it, anyway.)

Ready to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes?

We start with one of the most boring subjects known to college students, one birthed out of the Enlightenment when extremely titled, idly rich, powdery wig-headed fancy foppish men dressed like women and walked in high heels and squealed like school girls:

Economics: it’s totally insane

Economics is described as the science of allocating scarce resources. Since it’s the study of human behavior, it’s a social science rather than a physical science.

And although any individual’s behavior may not be predictable, individuals as a group can be. Kinda like the weather: you don’t know much about a single raindrop’s effect but you can track the overall storm and predict what’s next.

Economics likes to fool itself that it can predict behavior based on the assumption that people make rational choices. Understand what people think and you understand what choices people will make.

It unfortunately leaves out the other part of being human: human behavior based on emotions.

And emotions weigh heavily in how we interact with each other, especially in exchanges of value.

Maximizing returns:
“I want your goodies for nothing”

Economics recognizes that people are motivated by self-interest to maximize their benefits at the lowest cost.

On an individual basis, this can turn into a “win-lose” proposition:

  • I want to acquire the best stuff for the cheapest terms
  • I want to dispose of the lousiest stuff for the greatest terms

In short, you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom.

May the Force be with you:
getting diamonds and gold for nothing:

Economics comes out of 18th century political economy, which studied production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government. Political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy.

This moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, which comes pretty close to getting your diamonds and gold for nothing: forcibly take over a country and use its people to extract its resources to be reallocated to your bank account. And make sure nobody but you has any say in the matter.

Social good in the equation:

A few people didn’t see the morality in this philosophy. Enter the lousy, meddling individual do-gooders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Upton Sinclair, and many others who messed with the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd.

And some of the individuals do-gooders formed their own organizations like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

They all worked to increase awareness that there are alternatives to being forced to give away your diamonds and gold for nothing while having no say in the matter, and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win.”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who could only lose in the change to “win-win,” found their salvation in the late 1800s with the rise of modern psychology (the scientific study of mental functions and behavior). Applied to politics, it’s called propaganda. Applied to spirituality, it’s called religion. Applied to commerce, it’s called marketing and advertising.

All these applications are forms of hypnotism, and are based on the proven principle that if you repeat anything enough times, including a falsehood, your audience will grow to believe it and then to defend it as the truth.

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd used economics to hypnotically declare for 250 years that fossil fuels, the air, and water were without cost. They called them “free goods.”

And they used force (”Oh yeah, and what the hell are you going to do about it?”) to declare that pollution had no consequences.

What’s an Oxymoron?
“Free Good” in economics

The free good is a term used in economics to describe a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society.

Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want. Examples in textbooks (even in the 1980s) included fresh water and the air that we breathe. However, these are now regarded as common goods because competition for them is rivalrous.

In short, there is no free lunch.

An additional moral philosophy:
“There’s a sucker born every minute”
becomes
“How can I help you help me?”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd continues to rise early and work late to craft their “win-lose” deals every day.

Yet, out of those rising early and working late, a small radical fringe discovered the curious fact that if you don’t beat a dog bloody every time you see it, it’s less likely to bite your hand off, and it even might go out and hunt down a squirrel for your evening stew.

Their moral philosophy became a hybrid offshoot.

The Hybrids still want your goodies, but they are willing to help you get your goodies with less pain and damage to yourself so you’ll be willing to come back to them and hand over more of your goodies.

Both use the same mind-numbing hypnotic slogans: “We care about you.”

The difference is the Hybrids actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do. Even if they don’t actually give a hoot about you. Contrast that to the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who merely sends you more hynoptic slogans when they want your goodies.

Where Do You Want to Go Today?
Everywhere but here

We’ve all awaken to the shocking realizations that:

  • finite energy resources will run out
  • actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible, and
  • the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, you could just pop some soma and totally trip out.

But the cowardly old world we’re experiencing has quickly turned into a total bummer of a bad trip, man. Down with the Establishment and praise the Collective.

We’re all in this together, or
Toss the lousy, greedy bastards overboard

The decades of the Do-Gooders increasing our awareness of possible “win-win” possibilities and of the Hybrids backing their “we care about you” lip service with actual service has brought us to another realization:

There’s a price to everything, and if I don’t pay the price, someone else will, and somehow, some way, on some sunny day, they’re going to get even and make me pay.

And this has been an important change in the understanding of energy efficiency and global warming: the environment has a limited capacity within our human-lifetime periods to absorb civilization’s byproducts and transform them into resources. It usually needs geologic time to turn dead trees and critters into oil and gas. In the meantime, the trash piles up in the streets.

The solution: create less trash.

Thanks to the Do-Gooders, we have greater awareness or our actions and the desire to change, and have the Hybrids offering ways to change.

And the result is a shift of power away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd. It’s now Power to the People.

But wait, there’s more …
to the Resource Matrix

Just because you know about fossil fuels, their finite amounts, their polluting, warming effects on the environment, and alternatives offered by the Hybrids – even if you have done your part to the best of your ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle — you haven’t escaped the Resource Matrix.

Energy to power our lives is one component of the Resource Matrix. And it’s the most visible in discussions of global warming and being resourceful. But there’s more:

Coming Attractions!

In the next three articles, we will talk about concepts concerning the resource that makes up 75% of the planet and 75% of your body:

Water.

You’ll learn that, although 75% of the planet is water, only 3% of water is potable (can be consumed), and of that 3%, only a small fraction is available, and of that small fraction, only a small fraction is potable, because the rest is polluted for hundreds of years to come.

You’ll learn how the actions of an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed peasant on the other side of the globe affects you where you are.

You’ll learn how, unlike oil, water is transferred invisibly from poor to rich by sleight of hand, like paying your utility bill through your online bank account.

You’ll learn how poor water decisions, rather than fossil fuel’s atmospheric effects described in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, leads to those drybeds of the formerly humongous Aral Sea and along the Amazon.

You’ll learn how to measure the global water impact of any nation, city, corporation, even yourself – to the nearest gallon or liter.

You’ll learn the little changes you can make – the water equivalent of “change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lamps” – and still be able to take your wastefully long showers.

And all of this is for one purpose:

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

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

Going Green

PostHeaderIcon The Perfect Solar Storm: A Global Disaster


The Perfect Solar Storm: A Global Disaster

The average solar cycle lasts for eleven years. The cycle includes a minimum of solar activity and a maximum. The sun is unusually quiet right now and has been for some time but there should be an increase in solar activity at some point in the near future.

The best current scientific estimate for the next solar maximum is 2012. If this estimate is correct, there is still a few years to try and prevent the potential of a future global disaster. A disaster that would begin on the surface of the sun and could end with tragedy on earth.

The surface of the sun is a mass of plasma that contains highly charged energy particles. Once in a while, some of these particles escape the suns surface and a mass of plasma travels through space on the solar wind. This process is known in scientific terms as a coronal mass ejection but it can also be called a solar storm.

A disaster for the planet would occur if a solar storm reaches and hits the earths magnetic shield in just the right way. If it were to happen, millions of people would lose their lives and the planet would be thrown into chaos as the technology that has become crucial to every day living suddenly gets taken away.

The perfect solar storm will start with skies that will be filled with a bright red aurora. However, soon everything will become dark as every electric bulb becomes devoid of light. The storms damage to the electric grid would be caused through an increased DC current. The runaway current would knock out and melt hundreds of key transformers within minutes, cutting off power for hundreds of millions of people.

Those damaged transformers cannot be repaired only replaced and installing a replacement takes a well-trained crew a week or more. Its incredible to consider that most major electrical utilities have just one or two suitably trained crews available for these type of transformer repairs. In addition, there are only a few spare transformers available and the rest would have to be built to order. Its a process that can take nearly twelve months.

So, the power blackout from the perfect solar storm would last for months but its not just the absence of light that would be the problem. Drinking water would still come through the taps for maybe half a day after the storm. With no electricity to pump water from reservoirs, there would be no more tap water after that.

The electric grid is necessary for almost all natural gas and fuel pipelines to operate. As a result, fuel and natural gas will quickly run out and without food delivery, supermarket shelves would soon become bare. Soon it would become necessary to control public hysteria and the military would have to be called in to restore civil order

There will be no power for heat, cooling or refrigeration until the grid is repaired and after their back up generators run out, hospitals will not be able to provide modern healthcare. A lack of water and food will result in spreading disease but Pharmaceutical companies without electricity will not be able to produce the necessary medicine.

Of course, many will say that this is absurd science fiction and it cannot happen here, but this chilling disaster scenario was outlined in a report released last January (funded by NASA) by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

The fact is that a storm from the sun did hit the earths magnetic field in 1859. The effect of this solar storm on earth became known as the Carrington Event. The event was named after the amateur astronomer who observed two patches of intensely bright and white light emanating from a large group of sunspots that may have produced the event.

The solar storm that produced the Carrington Event created a red aurora across the planet from the poles to the tropics. Throughout the world, telegraph systems crashed, machines burst into flames, and electric shocks rendered operators unconscious. Compasses and other sensitive instruments reeled as if struck by a massive magnetic fist. It can happen again and the technology of the planet is now much more advanced and vulnerable.

The next solar maximum is estimated to return in about three years. A global disaster from the perfect solar storm can be prevented with proper contingency planning. There is still time for the government to be proactive and prepare to avoid disaster by creating a potential response to quickly repair the damage to the electric grid from the perfect solar storm.

James William Smith has worked in Senior management positions for some of the largest Financial Services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. He has always been interested in writing and listening to different viewpoints on interesting topics. Visit his website at http://www.eworldvu.com or his daily blog at http://www.eworldvublog.blogspot.com

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PostHeaderIcon BBC World News America


BBC World News America

No Bailouts Necessary – Green Transportation

Unless you have been trapped in a cave for the last seven months you are well aware of the disaster overtaking the American automobile industry. Our government is using billions of taxpayer’s dollars to prop up an industry that has been one of the leading facilitators of numerous ills in our society, which will also take billions of dollars to repair, if it is even possible to do so. 

Air pollution which contributes to increased medical costs, urban sprawl, a negative balance of payments from importing oil and global warming can all be traced at least in part to our addiction to the automobile. Now that I’ve ranted about the autos effect upon our society I also greatly acknowledge that we all, myself included, greatly enjoy the mobility and freedom provided by the pernicious machine. We can’t live with ‘em and we can’t live without ‘em. What are we to do?

A lot has been written about the currently nonexistent plug-in electric car. This machine when it finally hits the market could help solve some of our problems but current pricing estimates place the car in the forty thousand dollar range. I’m sure of one thing, it won’t solve many problems if you don’t sell them and at that price I’d hedge my bets.

However, there is one personal transportation option on the market that fits into all of President Obama’s initiatives for energy self sufficiency, global warming (reduction of green house gases), health care (exercise and weight loss), environmental protection (reduction of air and water pollution), and infrastructure renewal.   That option is the Electric Bicycle.

The electric bike using lithium batteries (traditional lead-acid is very environmentally harmful) can go, depending on load factors and riding habits, roughly twenty miles at twenty miles an hour on one charge. It is almost completely silent, gives off no emissions, does not use foreign oil, does not require much room to operate or park, never needs a tune up and provides exercise. It eliminates many of the drawbacks of riding a traditional bicycle for basic transportation while having few of its own. I recognize that not many of us are hardy enough to ride a bike in the rain, snow or freezing cold but that applies as well to motorcycles, motor scooters and traditional bicycles. The electric bike can get you farther, faster without arriving at your destination soaked in sweat. It can operate in many places where other motorized vehicles cannot and makes taking hills a cinch. Riding five or ten miles to work is no big deal and you can simply pedal around bottled up traffic. Usually the lightweight batteries easily detach from the bike and can be carried into your place of work or school for recharging.

Some electric bicycles offer high tech extras such as LiFePO4 batteries that are good for a thousand recharges, regenerative braking that helps recharge the battery much as a Prius does, and internal gearing to generate more torque for uphill climbs. Most electric bikes use what is referred to as a hub motor. This is not a traditional gear or belt-drive motor but is built directly into the hub of one of the wheels. This motor contains two internal rings of opposing magnets that when power is applied causes the wheel to spin. Such motors need little service and never require oil changes, spark plugs or new belts.

Electric bikes come in several of styles. There are the traditional “beach cruiser” and mountain bike styles as well as electric folding bikes, tricycles and “road bikes”.   The electric folding bikes are particularly interesting. Smaller and lighter than a traditional bicycle, they easily fold up and fit into a car trunk and can be carried on a commuter or subway train with little effort. You can take the train to your stop, unfold the bike and pedal on your way. They are also useful for those who live in tight quarters and have no external place to store their ride.

For those of you that are moderately handy with tools, there are a number of electric bike kits on the market that allow you to adapt an ordinary bicycle into an electric bike. One company, Worldwide Electric Bikes, has a particularly well-designed kit that has many of the features I previously mentioned. These electric bike kits do not require a high level of mechanical ability to install. A few common hand tools, a basic understanding of how things go together and the ability to read directions is all that is required. However, if you don’t know the difference between a crescent and a hex wrench, you may wish to buy a pre-made bike or have someone install the kit for you. If you do choose to go the kit route, you can end up with a much more powerful and sophisticated bike for substantially less money than a factory built electric bike. 

Electric Bicycles in all forms have long been a staple of personal transportation in Europe and Asia where there are hundreds of thousands in operation. In the United States bicycles have traditionally been dominated by the toy or recreation market or for the dedicated enthusiast. In both Europe and Asia, cycling has been a traditional means of basic transportation. I believe that this is going to be more and more the case in this country. People are avidly seeking relief from the high financial and societal cost of automobiles. The electric bicycle, while not a panacea, is definitely poised to help provide a portion of that relief.

Electric Bicycles are inexpensive to purchase, require no license or insurance, have a negligible cost of operation and are totally “green”. So, what’s not to like?

 

http://www.worldwideelectricbikes.com

   

PostHeaderIcon Free Computers of Your Green Life Segment!


Free Computers of Your Green Life Segment!

The Honey Bee Crisis – Believe Me It’s Bad!

“My Oh My” this is getting serious. What is happening to our honey bees? We have been starting to see the actual effects of the honey bee decline after placing our last order for bulk beeswax. As a manufacturer of natural beeswax lip balms and candles we have always been getting our beeswax here in our home state of Florida and last month was the first time we had to order from outside the sunshine state. Is this due to the rapid decline in honey bees or are we just worrying too much? Well facts are facts and we have some serious problems with the honey bee decline. Why are the bee colonies down as much as 60% we ask? Well it does seem that bees and humans may have something in common. Nutrition is as vital to us as it may be to the honey bees and it is possible that the bees are undernourished which may be the cause of the problem. Many states are seeing less dense bee hives and this may be contributed to the lack of nutrition the bees are getting.

Another possible cause of the honey bee crisis may be the pesticides that are being used. Many hives die as a result of “pesticide poisoning”. There are literally billions of honey bees dying prematurely and the source must be found before this world suffers severely. The honey bee only has a six week life cycle in the summer, three weeks inside the hive and three weeks outside, but many are not even making it to the fourth week.

So yet another possible source of this dilemma is the huge rise in cell phone stations and also cell phone use. Some are claiming the huge growth of clogged air waves with cellular waves may be disturbing the bees and causing the early deaths. Stephen C. Sharp who has been studying this problem for many weeks while not a scientist gives no personal merit to this cause. He states “Cellular phones have been around for long enough to see a potential problem with the bees. This problem came like a train wreck. I think there would have been many initial signs if the cellular wavebands were the source of the bee problem.”.

Other topics that have been thrown around as to the potential source of the bee crisis has been a virus or possibly mites that have worked their way into the bee colonies. Whatever the cause it must be isolated and controlled. Bottom line is if the bees all die maybe we will too! Bees are the only source to carry pollen of various fruits and nuts. Many plants do not reap the benefits of wind travel for pollination therefore if the bees vanish so does much of our food supply. We would begin to see a decline in new plants, brush, flowers, crops, and more. The honey bee gets food such as nectar and pollen from flowers and in turn pollinates the flower which allows the plant to reproduce. No bees, no reproduction!

Sincerely,

Stephen C. Sharp

Port Orange, Florida

On sale at wholesale prices buy over 1200 premium organic certified herbs, spices, roots, leafs, barks, and more. Visit us online at http://www.SharpWebLabs.com today. Florida Herb House is centrally located in Port Orange, Florida and specializes in retail and wholesale distribution of herbs, gourmet culinary spices, natural seaweed, essential oils, organic coffee, herbal tinctures, organic mushrooms and powders, liquid ionic minerals, beeswax candles and lip balms, and much more.

PostHeaderIcon Free Computers of Your Green Life Segment!


Free Computers of Your Green Life Segment!

Vocabulary Green People

The international passion to protect our planet from the ravages of pollution and to preserve our natural resources for future generations has become an everyday fact of life. With international support by “green” political parties, consumer organizations, celebrities and politicians, the green movement has become a powerful force with an agenda that needs to be addressed by industry, politicians and consumers. Discussions about the environment are taking place in corporate board rooms, legislative hearings, and by consumers in supermarkets and department stores.

Can we fully understand environmental concerns and energy implications without a working knowledge of basic green vocabulary? Do we understand all the issues relevant to tax incentives for oil companies? Can we properly compare the organic and nonorganic products that we decide to eat or wear every day? In essence, to think and live green you need to speak and understand green.

Understanding some key green terms and their implications can help us evaluate alternatives between our planet and sacrificing aspects our personal lifestyle. It can help us decide how we cast our vote or spend our money or how we live our lives. A green vocabulary can help us reduce our “carbon footprint “. The following represents what is best described as a green vocabulary of definitions and commentary to help eco-oriented consumers make informed green decisions.

A Green Vocabulary for Green People

Organic identifies products made under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. Organic production guidelines are established to use organic materials and practices that improve ecological balance. Organic production incorporates agricultural system components to enhance natural biological systems.

Organic Agriculture is an ecological farming system that promotes natural chemical and biological cycles that improve soil fertility and maintains a balanced and productive farming system. Any products introduced to this system for fertility or pest protection are of natural composition. It eliminates the use of harmful synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, growth stimulants or antibiotics. These essential restrictions can reduce contamination or pollution to our air, water or food supply.

Natural Fibersare “certified” organic fibers derived from organic agriculture such as cotton, bamboo and hemp.

Certified Organic Cotton is derived from organic agriculture. The cotton is grown without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Conventional cotton farming ranks about fourth in the use of pesticides in the US. Several of the top pesticides used in nonorganic cotton farming are EPA recognized carcinogens. It takes 1/3 of a pound of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to make one organic T-shirt disregarding the use of any toxic dyes (Organic Trade Association). A typical organic tee shirt is also about the same weight but without these harmful chemicals. Organic cotton is produced using conservation minded or “sustainable” approaches to crop production. Such practices help to retain and promote soil fertility and the natural recycling of soil resources.

Organic Certification is provided by various organizations. The most widely recognized standards are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) which is the basis for the statement “100% certified organic cotton” used by many green companies.

Fair Labor Practices are not necessarily restricted to agriculture but generally support fair wages and healthy working conditions.

Fair Trade Certification “…guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product.”(www.transfairusa.org).

Sweatshop-free describes the absence of manufacturing conditions currently existing in many countries, referred to as “sweatshops”. They are production facilities or factories where goods are produced cheaply by minimizing workers’ salaries, and increasing working hours. Proper environmental health standards are diminished, yet demands for high levels of productivity still remain. These sweatshops may thrive from corporations seeking to increase profits by subcontracting inexpensive labor.

Sustainable means conserving and preserving limited natural resources and energy supplies. It is connected with the term “recycling” when natural products are re-used like rubber (for tires, shoes) or paper/trees (for books, business cards, magazines etc.), or wood (for recycled furniture). They are made from or made into recycled, carbon based products. A good example of preserving our resources is Trees for the Future, a charitable organization dedicated to replacing and planting trees. Unfortunately, most of our energy production is derived from organic (carbon based) fossil fuels that cannot be recycled as compared to wind or solar energy. All of this is connected to our lifestyle and our “carbon footprint” discussed next.

Carbon Footprint is a descriptor of environmental impact. It describes the consumption of carbon based natural resources or the production of carbon by-products like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or “greenhouse emissions”. It’s about lifestyle and the amount of carbon based resources we consume through transportation, climate control, manufacturing etc. Basically it relates to how much each of us consume in terms of natural resources to meet our needs. In general each of us should be committed to reducing the size of our “footprint” to sustain resources for present and future generations.

Eco-fashion is a general term describing organic clothing that has addressed the needs of the environment as well as socially responsible working conditions.

Eco-friendly suggests a product or process than has a reduced impact on the environment.

Low Impact Dyes refers to dyes used the manufacture of goods that should have minimal impact on the environment. Sometimes the term non-toxic is used here as well.

Green is a generally positive term referring to the environment, organics or even a green lifestyle to be discussed shortly.

Conscientious Clothingdescribes organic clothing has addressed environmental, ethical and socially responsible standards.

The Green Lifestyle

Green Lifestyle or Green Living describes a lifestyle reflecting a strong commitment to the environment. In addition, it addresses compassionate and positive thinking. It means choosing a life with charitable deeds and practices, reflecting compassion for the environment and others. Green living is being proactive and incorporates spiritual growth leading to ethical thinking.

Social Responsibility can be defined as accepting responsibility for others and taking action against social injustice. It includes meeting the needs of others through charitable giving.

Charitable Giving describes a sense of genuine compassion and reacting to it with charitable practices towards others.

In summary, a green lifestyle represents caring for the environment combined with positive thinking leading to ethical behavior and compassionate living. Ultimately, your deeds represent positive thoughts in action. The result can be a clean, safe environment and a better quality of life for yourself and others.

If you learned some green vocabulary, be sure to use it to make decisions and set priorities in your life. Think about adopting a greener lifestyle!

Bob Folkart is Vice-President of Live Life Organics, a company devoted to encouraging the living of a passionate life through environmental awareness. Live Life Organics has created a range of eco-friendly, organic cotton clothing from adults to babies. Every item of apparel displays positive inspirational messages promoting courage, hope and compassion and includes a plantable hang tag that recycles and grows into wild flowers. To view these organic products, go to: http://www.livelifeorganics.com.