Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Activism is More Important Now than Ever

Why Activism is More Important Now than Ever
What I want is to see people taking on the challenge of reversing our headlong rush towards extinction.
Sure this may mean some drastic downscaling in lifestyle for a few and a shift in worldview for many, but...
it's that or watch everything unravel for the next decade.
It may also mean some clashes with those who would maintain the current system.
The noose has been tightening over the past few years and I am feeling that we have reached the point where we need to fight or be asphyxiated.
Kyra, ActionSpark

Dear fellow Earth citizens,

Here again are a couple of stories I think you should know about and... where appropriate and possible hopefully even act on the info provided! :)

Environment and Global Warming
Report Gives Sobering View Of Warming’s Impact on U.S. - A new U.S. government report paints a disturbing picture of the current and future effects of climate change and offers a glimpse of what the nation’s climate will be like by century’s end. Witness these trends: In the northeastern U.S., winter temperatures have increased by 4 degrees F since 1970; in the Pacific Northwest, the depth of the Cascade Mountain snowpack on April 1 has declined by 25 percent over the last half century, while spring runoff from the Cascades now occurs nearly a month earlier than 50 years ago; and in Alaska, winter temperatures have increased a stunning 6.3 degrees F in the last 50 years.
Rainforest Destroying Palm Oil Hiding in Far More Products Than Previously Thought - A bit more than a year ago, Lloyd wrote about how palm oil is in everything and since then more and more voices have detailed just how environmentally devastating the Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil trade has become. What's more, according to The Independent palm oil may be in many common food items you buy, and you may not even know it. Writing about brands in the UK (many of which at multi-national brands, so it's probably not a stretch to at least roughly apply these numbers elsewhere), it had been assumed that about 1 in 10 products contained palm oil, often thrown in under the catchall term 'vegetable oil'.
Consulting With Clouds: A Clear Role in Climate Change: Study shows strong evidence that cloud changes may exacerbate global warming -In a study published in the July 24 issue of Science, researchers Amy Clement and Robert Burgman from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Joel Norris from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego begin to unravel this mystery. Using observational data collected over the last 50 years and complex climate models, the team has established that low-level stratiform clouds appear to dissipate as the ocean warms, indicating that changes in these clouds may enhance the warming of the planet.
How Many Gallons of Water Does it Take to Make . . . - A worldwide water crisis is a-comin'. Don't believe me? Violence over water rights is already breaking out in regions of the world where water is scarce. Along with political tensions--and maybe wars--we're going to see food production affected, and more people flat out hungry and thirsty. And it's all because we're simply using too much water. We use too much when we shower, when we do the dishes--but mostly, we use too much to produce all the stuff we buy. In fact, you'd be surprised how many gallons of water it takes to create the products that make our lives comfortable. Here's a rundown of some of the most shocking . . .
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate - This inexpensive detergent is commonly used in cosmetic cleansers, hair shampoos, bath and shower gels, bubble baths, etc. - It is probably the most dangerous ingredient used in skin and hair-care products. In the cleaning industry SLS is used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car-wash soaps, etc. It is very corrosive and readily attacks greasy surfaces.
"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic: Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don’t - The seed bank is being built inside a mountain on Spitsbergen Island near the small village of Longyearbyen. It’s almost ready for ‘business’ according to their releases. The bank will have dual blast-proof doors with motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick. It will contain up to three million different varieties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future,’ according to the Norwegian government. Seeds will be specially wrapped to exclude moisture. There will be no full-time staff, but the vault's relative inaccessibility will facilitate monitoring any possible human activity. Did we miss something here? Their press release stated, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future.’ What future do the seed bank’s sponsors foresee, that would threaten the global availability of current seeds, almost all of which are already well protected in designated seed banks around the world? Anytime Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta get together on a common project, it’s worth digging a bit deeper behind the rocks on Spitsbergen. When we do we find some fascinating things...

Taking Action
Does Recycling Waste Precious Water? - It turns out that recycling actually saves water. This is because the extraction of virgin raw materials and manufacturing them into single use packaging uses quite a bit of water. Recycling reduces the need for materials from virgin sources and therefore reduces water use. Rinsing containers that held food not only reduces the amount of mess and stink that the people have to deal with in the sorting facility, but it also reduces the level of contamination. When materials are recycled they are first separated, oftentimes shredded, rinsed to remove labels, bugs, remaining food waste, etc., and then they are melted down (in the case of plastic, glass and metals). The melting process not only burns off any remaining glue, ink, and contaminants, but also any remaining food waste. If your idea of rinsing, however, is to blast the debris down the sink with hot tap water you have room for improvement. First begin by mechanically scraping food waste into your compost bucket (you have one, right?) or trash. Then save the container until you are done with the dishes and use your dirty dish water. This way you will be using water that would be going down the drain anyway. If you don't have any dishwater handy don't use hot water, cold will do just fine.
The simplicity and elegance of small scale solar power - The roof space in our towns and cities is so under-utilized; every roof should be collecting rain water and solar energy. Distributed power generation through massive uptake of residential and commercial grid connect solar power systems is also a good idea in terms of national security. And while coal powered stations won't be disappearing any time soon, they could increasingly be used just for base load... Large solar farms are becoming ever more massive - for example, the Castilla La Mancha solar farm in Spain occupies an area the size of seventy football pitches and will have 100,000 solar panels when fully operational; capable of generating 30 million kilowatts an hour. That's a lot of panels. That's a lot of land. Plus, there's increasing talk of turning our deserts into solar farms which sounds like a pretty good idea - except that deserts are habitats too; they aren't all just sand and nothing else. Another big challenge is something called line loss. This is the loss of electricity when it is transmitted along power lines. The lost energy is usually in the form of heat and the longer the distance between source and point of consumption, the more energy is lost.
Have a good week everybody,

1 comment:

  1. We all need to get woking on adopting energy alternatives. Spreading the word is key to getting these alternatives adopted. Activism is needed now more than ever. Personally, I like wind turbines electricity best. I have been an advocate for wind for many years. I'm currently petitioning my small town to incorporate a turbine into the electrical setup of our town hall.