History has proven that the general population wants changes, but they don’t necessarily want changes to happen to them.Â “I believe in rights for all people, but not with my daughter.”Â “Support the troops and be a patriot, but don’t draft my kid.” “Reduce dependence on foreign oil, but don’t build your bike lanes, wind power, etc. in my back yard!”
This next article addresses these points.Â There is a quote below, but you can read it from the original source:
But some supporters of high-profile green projects like these say the problem is just plain old Nimbyism â€” the opposition by residents to a local development of the sort that they otherwise tend to support.
â€œItâ€™s really pretty innocuous â€” itâ€™s a bike lane, for goodnessâ€™ sake â€” their resistance has been incredibly frustrating,â€ said Walter Hook, executive director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in Manhattan and an expert on sustainable transport. He lives in Brooklyn and uses the Prospect Park West bike lane to get around.
Nimbyism is nothing new. Itâ€™s even logical sometimes, perhaps not always deserving of opprobrium. After all, it is one thing to be a passionate proponent of recycling, and another to welcome a particular recycling plant â€” with the attendant garbage-truck traffic â€” on your street. General environmental principles may be at odds with convenience or even local environmental consequences.
But policymakers in the United States have been repeatedly frustrated by constituents who profess to worry about the climate and count themselves as environmentalists, but prove unwilling to adjust their lifestyles or change their behavior in any significant way.
Since the beginning of the Space Age the total length of high-voltage power lines crisscrossing North America has increased nearly 10 fold. This has turned power grids into giant antennas for geomagnetically induced currents. With demand for power growing even faster than the grids themselves, modern networks are sprawling, interconnected, and stressed to the limitâ€”a recipe for trouble, according to the National Academy of Sciences: “The scale and speed of problems that could occur on [these modern grids] have the potential to impact the power system in ways not previously experienced.”
So, basically, ninjas, in an attempt to protect the power grid from a solar storm, NASA is developing tech that could monitor the sun and adjust the grid as necessary to let key components remain un-damaged against powerful electrical surges. Read the article below and click through to find out more!
Every hundred years or so, a solar storm comes along so potent it fills the skies of Earth with blood-red auroras, makes compass needles point in the wrong direction, and sends electric currents coursing through the planet’s topsoil. The most famous such storm, the Carrington Event of 1859, actually shocked telegraph operators and set some of their offices on fire. A 2008 report by the National Academy of Sciences warns that if such a storm occurred today, we could experience widespread power blackouts with permanent damage to many key transformers.
What’s a utility operator to do?
A new NASA project called “Solar Shield” could help keep the lights on.
“Solar Shield is a new and experimental forecasting system for the North American power grid,” explains project leader Antti Pulkkinen, a Catholic University of America research associate working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We believe we can zero in on specific transformers and predict which of them are going to be hit hardest by a space weather event.” -> Continue Reading at NASA Science
So, these idiots are replacing the Sunchips compostable bags that they spent millions developing and producing with the old plastic non-biodegradable bags because the new ones are too noisy?Â That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
NEW YORK (AP) — Frito-Lay hopes to quiet complaints about its noisy SunChips bags by switching out the biodegradable bags for the old packaging on most flavors.
The company is switching back to original packaging, which is made of a type of plastic, for five of the six varieties of the chips. It will keep the biodegradable and recyclable bags for its sixth variety, its original plain flavor. That’s its second best-selling, after Harvest Cheddar.
The snack maker said the switch started in the middle of September and should be complete by middle to late October.
The bags were launched in April 2009 with a big marketing effort to play up their compostability because they’re made from plants and not plastic.
But that which makes them compostable also makes them loud. The bags have a different molecular structure from the original packaging, and they’re stiffer. So people complained about the noise. Groups on Facebook abound with names such as “I wanted SunChips but my roommate was sleeping…” and “Nothing is louder than a SunChips bag.” [LINK]
Recent events – including my own brewing exploits – have forced me to reconsider how much trash/pollution that we dump into the ocean on a daily basis. I mean, just today I drank 4 cans of soda, ate two meals out of Styrofoam containers (with three sets of plastic silverware and a stack of napkins). One you start to add things together, it’s a pretty staggering picture how much trash an average North American produces, just living a normal life. Now imagine that you actually produce something useful to society in any way, and you start to enter into a quagmire of epic proportions. I mean, I brew my own beer, which has got to be environmentally friendly in some way. However, in brewing, the cleaner your materials are the less chance you have of your beer being infected by wild yeasts. That, generally, ends up in a few teaspoons of iodine dissolved in a few gallons of water being dumped down the drain. Epic, mostly because it’s pretty clear that if and when we destroy our environment, the picnic’s over. Everything adds up.
Rant ended, I saw this article over at The Oyster’s Garter about the supposed “North Pacific Trash Gyre,” which is what it sounds like: a huge floating pile of Trash in the Pacific. Because our earth is some 75% water, it’s not a big deal that you don’t particularly notice this “trash gyre,” an effing whirpool of muck south of Cali, but it damn sure is a big deal that it’s there. And it’s the size of Texas.
The Pacific is not big enough, however, to hide all the plastic crap that comes pouring off North American and Asia. Many of the broken flipflops, lost plastic bags, abandoned waterbottles, and so forth collect in the North Pacific Gyre, which is essentially a big slow gentle whirlpool. But instead of sucking the trash down, it just collects at the center, forming a floating trash heap the size of Texas. LINK
Although the articles I quoted are old, The Oyster’s Garter, apparently run by a Miriam Goldstein, is probably the best continuing blog I’ve read on this subject in my short week of research.Â Another article over there deals with the lack of images relevant to the story:
To really get a sense of how much plastic is in there, you have to do a trawl, which entails dragging a net with a bucket on the end behind your boat. Hereâ€™s a photo of a bongo trawl taken off of southern California. (Credit: Barbeau Lab, SIO) And hereâ€™s a photo of what a normal bongo trawl should produce â€“ lots of zooplankton, a few invertebrates, and the occasional small fish.
Now, contrast this with the results of a trawl from the North Pacific Gyre. Hereâ€™s the bongo net being hauled up â€“ see how the ocean looks normal? But the contents â€“ plastic, plastic, and more plastic.* (Credit: Algalita Marine Research Foundation).Â When all that plastic collects somewhere, you get beaches like this one in the NW Hawaiian Islands. LINK.
One dude was so struck by (what basically amounts to) the huge pile o’ shit in the ocean that he went on to found an organization dedicated to studying this situation.Â Some of their pictures are used in this post.Â You can find their page here: http://www.algalita.org/
always good stuff from Green for All out of Oakland.
Three vignettes from Copenhagen show that personal responses to the conference might be the greatest cultural happenings around.
I am running through the crowd with the French artist Thierry Geoffroy. He is saying (in a deep French accent): “Zee, it is getting dark. They are closing in. They are going to kill us all. This is the plan. But then we keep going and we move around a corner and Geoffroy is saying. Ah, but you see, now it is more calm. We have come to a different part. All that has past.”
Such was my experience of the mass protest in Copenhagen this past Saturday. Estimates vary widely as to how many marched. Fox News says 25,000; the organizers say 100,000; and the police say 60,000. There were arrests of 968 (this number appears exact).
In the media centers and on the street, more intense interest has been paid to the possibility of violence than any particular detail of the negotiations. This is understandable. In addition to our seemingly innate tendency to be fascinated and compelled by images of violence, there is the fact that the expression of violence is the one real thing happening here.
“Violence, when not in the hands of the law, threatens [the state] not by the ends that [the violence] may pursue but by its mere existence outside the law,” writes Walter Benjamin. “By what function violence can with reason seem so threatening to law and be so feared by it, must be especially evident where its application, even in the present legal system, is still permissible.”
The example that Benjamin gives to illustrate this point in “A Critique of Violence” is the worker’s strike – the state allows it to happen, despite its violent nature, because the power of the massed workers is sufficiently dangerous. The strike, like the protest, is violent regardless of whether it employs overt violence as a particular technique because it opposes order and the interests that constitute the state. Of course, even protests and strikes can go too far in the eyes of the state and claim a level of violence that the state cannot abide without losing authority. Protest, in both its permitted and non-permitted forms (both of which, by Benjamin’s definition, are essentially violent) is the most available and most direct negotiating tool for the 6 billion people not inside the Bella Center.
Four people from different parts of the world arrive at Lykkesholms Alle 7C. They are greeted by a Danish family: husband, wife, and three boys, the youngest a baby. Also in the home are three women from Peru – two dressed in traditional highland clothing, one in jeans?and a camera crew of two people. After some small talk and a little getting to know each other, people take seats around a coffee table, others on the floor, some on chairs and a sofa. The camera crew remains standing. The children come in and out. The older of the Peruvian women asks for a photo from each person. She places the photos (given in the form of IDs) on some yellow flowers in the middle of the table, then gives each person a yellow candle. Each person writes his or her name and also his or her wishes for the next year directly onto the candle. The woman then lights each candle, muttering various incantations. She sprinkles sugar over the flowers and the photos and the candles. And then we sit and wait for each flame to burn down the wax entirely. Where we were rushing before, we are not rushing now. It is just the 14 of us in the room and the early northern darkness that presses against the window becomes a hypnotic abyss.
A dinner of about 25 people in a home near the center of town: home-cooked food, arrangements of dried flowers on the table, and several bottles of wine. Many at the dinner are involved in one form or another with a labor-intensive intervention project that is calculated to have an effect on the media coverage of COP15. The dinner is a break in the preparatory work for this intervention. Again there is a camera crew filming the event. At some point, people start giving speeches. This has been planned, which surprises me, because everything leading up to it has seemed so casual. The first speech is by a scientist, who gives a long hymn to Tycho Brahe and the scientific process (truth above ideology, and so forth). He is followed by an art student talking about the power of images, who in turn is followed by a business professor on the topic of learning not to be frightened by the facts of a new world, who is followed by an artist and activist on the need to avoid the grips of institutions. Then the planned speeches end and one woman stands up and proposes that the fundamental problem with comprehending climate change is our inability to come to terms with death. She then speaks about a friend, Brad Will, who was recently shot dead during a protest. She gathers herself and sings a song the she and Will used to sing together. ??My karma is to good for you to worry ’bout the crazies / I love everybody and there’s nothing that I own??
I almost didn’t stay for the dinner. I said that I needed to go get some work done, that I was writing a blog about cultural response to the conference. The host said, “This is culture.”
The greenest of green holidays (other than Earth Day) is coming up – March 17 is St Patty’s Day!Â What better way to show you are truly green than showing up to the pub in a sustainable St. Patty’s T!Â Get your limited edition gear from our ninjas at Duality T’s – available in organic cotton & hemp.
Also tons of other fun non-leprechaun designs!
.:check ‘em out -> Duality
Boston’s premier conscious consumer convention returns!Â Down:2:Earth Boston is back for its second yearÂ with three days of exciting eco events not to be missed.Â There is a “Local Bites” kick off party Friday night, the D2E Video Project returns and this year there is a new contest in partnership with the City of Boston called Pitch the City:
Down:2:Earth Sustainable Living Expo
Build a better future by learning how to eat, work & live sustainably!
A marketplace for eco-friendly products, a public stage for community initiatives, and an educational forum for learning about sustainability issues.
Friday, April 3 5:00 pm â€“ 9:00 pm
Saturday, April 4 11:00 am â€“ 6:00 pm
Sunday, April 5 11:00 am â€“ 5:00 pm
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02115
Tickets can be purchased online at www.d2eboston.com
Adults: $8.00 ($10.00 at the door)
Students & Seniors: $6.00 ($8 at the door);
Weekend Passes & â€œLocal Bitesâ€ Preview Party (includes weekend admission): $20.00
Children 12 and under are free.
“Local Bites” – Friday April 3
AÂ festive preview party and artisanal grazing event built around local sustainable chefs, local food producers and sustainable wine.Â D2E co-founder Betty Fulton says, â€œWeâ€™re excited to have some of Bostonâ€™s best chefs â€“ from The Fireplace, Upstairs on the Square, New England Aquariumâ€™s Harbor View CafÃ©, and Henriettaâ€™s Table, among others â€“ sampling their culinary creations at Local Bites.Â Â A special thanks to sponsor Kunde Winery, who among others, will be providing sustainably produced vintages.â€Â A portion of the eveningâ€™s proceeds will benefit Mass Farmersâ€˜ Markets and New England Aquariumâ€™s Sustainable Fisheries Initiative.
Pitch the City
AÂ contest sponsored in partnership with the City of Boston that seeks creative ideas to make Boston a greener city. Four finalists will present their proposals to a panel, including Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino at D2E, on Sunday, April 5.Â According to D2E co-founder Lorelei Grazier, â€œWe want D2E to be a catalyst for community engagement around issues of sustainability â€“ a forum for public and private, profit and non-profit sectors of our economy to come together to build a greener future.â€ http://changents.com/d2e
D2E Video Project
[Click on flyer for full size]
D2E invites students, artists, activists, and everyone in between to submit original three-minute digital videos focused on themes of sustainable living and natural landscapes in New England. Your videos should be visually compelling and can explore any related theme, in any style: narrative, montage, animated, documentary or experimental.
Selected entries will be presented on the main stage at D2E. The most effective and creative entries will be recognized at D2E’s Kick-off Event on Friday, April 3.
Video topics could include:
Environmental consciousness in everyday life, volunteerism, nature walks, poetry as a subject, outdoor activities with a message, profiles of people living sustainably, Artists impressions, consumerism, etc. It’s up to you! Video entries must follow the simple rules listed below and must be received by March 20, 2009.
See you there!