Sunday, 28Jul18

It is Sunday and I have read something that gives me a small glimmer of hope in our future……first a little background…..

Every time I see a “building boom” I think of the wood being used……why can we not with our technical know how come up with a more efficient way to build a home?

Not long ago I read about an engineer in Western Sahara that was building homes for refugees out of plastic water bottles…..

As the sun rises on the Sahara desert, Tatah Lehbib begins his 2.8-mile walk to the garbage landfill just outside of the Sahrawi refugee camp, where he finds the long-sought treasure to help his people endure living in one of the most inexorable places on Earth: plastic bottles.

https://thinkprogress.org/sahrawi-refugees-housing-dd57f9591d57/

That is a great way to use all those damn water bottles that we as humans make everyday……then I read another good piece about using plastic bricks to build homes……

Conceptos Plásticos is a Colombian construction company that builds homes, shelters, classrooms, and community spaces out bricks and pillars made entirely from recycled plastic, rubber, and electronic waste. The company was founded by Oscar Mendez, an architect, and Fernando Llano, who had previously researched the reuse of plastics as building materials to create “ecoblocks.”  This business venture intends to address three major issues: affordable housing, jobs for vulnerable communities, and reuse of materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The base material for these homes are gathered from local recyclers resulting in a reduction of water and energy consumption. By reusing plastics, the company is able to divert materials that otherwise would take 500 years to biodegrade from being dumped in landfills. This plastic is ground into a rough powder then melted and poured into a mold that creates stackable bricks or “ecoblocks” that can be put together in a Lego-like fashion to build walls, roofs, and decks that are insulated as well as earthquake- and fire-resistant. Simple assembly and disassembly make for homes that are easily relocated, making them useful for temporary housing of refugees, homeless people, or military personnel.

http://projectcensored.org/affordable-housing-built-days-recycled-plastic-bricks/

Humans are making great use of technology to find and use materials made from recycled goods……and then I read about a home built using a 3D printer……

While using basic technology may still cause daily grief for some, the industry is moving in leaps and bounds, with progress being made in alternative, and somewhat surprising, domains.

With these advances in technology and the advent of 3D printing, it has now become possible to print a building – a development that’s caused a stir in the construction business for various reasons, including potential disruptions in multiple global supply chains.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2018/07/printing-homes-3d-printed-houses-change-world-180722081917866.html

These are great stories and great use of technology to build homes and schools and such……always a feel good day…..and the trees will smile.

May your day be calm and relaxing….chuq

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The Eco-Village

My Sunday and I feel like a lazy mutt that wants to lay in the sun and ignore everything around him.  But I have a tradition to maintain of at least one post per day even on weekends…..I will not disappoint.

Over the years there have been several attempts to put together a totally environmentally friendly living space…..even one that a moron like Bannon was part of in the past……The Biosphere 2 , I believe….well there is yet another attempt to put together an eco-village…….

Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota opened in 1925 to build Model Ts in a state-of-the-art facility powered by a hydroelectric dam on the Mississippi River. At its peak, the factory employed 1,800 well-paid UAW workers in a 2 million-square-foot facility about 7 miles from both downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. When the last vehicle, a Ranger pickup truck, rolled off its line just before Christmas in 2011, it was Ford Motors’ oldest factory. About 7 million vehicles were built here over 86 years.

The closure left behind an economic hole in St. Paul, and a formidable environmental challenge: The site was laced with residue from decades of automaking—petroleum compounds, paint solvents, lead, and arsenic.

https://www.wired.com/story/ford-st-paul-development-housing-cities-yimby-nimby/

Not as ambitious as the Biosphere but at least it is an attempt……I wish them well in this endeavor….but let’s be honest the average American does not care one iota about the environment until it is too late and then they will sob and ask why…..

On another ecological front……..

Take the big announcement from Starbucks about there banning of the straw tops……

Based on this ambitious goal, Starbucks hopes to eliminate one billion straws a year from its 28,000 stores worldwide. As an alternative, the company has designed a straw-less lid made of a recyclable plastic that, unlike lightweight, single use straws, can easily be captured in the recycling process. The lid will be introduced to Seattle and Vancouver consumers this fall with pilots in other global stores starting in 2019. Other options being considered include paper or compostable straws that can be used for cold drinks. As an industry leader, Starbucks has the influence to persuade other brands to reconsider their approach to packaging and plastic waste.

As with everything……there is more to the story……

2018 will forever be remembered as the year that hating plastic straws went mainstream. Once the lonely cause of environmental cranks, now everyone wants to eliminate these suckers from daily life.

In July, Seattle imposed America’s first ban on plastic straws. Vancouver, British Columbia, passed a similar ban a few months earlier. There are active attempts to prohibit straws in New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. A-list celebrities from Calvin Harris to Tom Brady have lectured us on giving up straws. Both National Geographic and The Atlantic have run long profiles on the history and environmental effects of the straw. Vice is now treating their consumption as a dirty, hedonistic excess.

Not to be outdone by busybody legislators, Starbucks, the nation’s largest food and drink retailer, announced on Monday that it would be going strawless.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/07/12/starbucks-straw-ban-will-see-the-company

Hope your day is good…….chuq

Closing Thought–10Oct17

Nowhere To Run!

We all have seen the horrific refugee crisis that the many wars in the Middle East has created….millions upon millions trying to find a spot that they can live without worry about their livelihood or their family.

Even if every war in the Middle East was cease today the refugee crisis would not be abated……

Plagued by heat and dust: Desert dust storms such as here in Kuwait could occur more often in the Middle East and North Africa as a result of climate change. In addition, temperatures on very hot days could rise to 50 degrees Celsius on average in the region (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Credit: Molly John, Flickr, Creative Commons

The number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised. The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario. The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium. In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.

More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa – a region which is very hot in summer and where is already evident. The number of extremely has doubled since 1970. “In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy,” says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Source: Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Soon climate change will show the world that it is a problem that should not have been ignored until it was too late.

Its The Farts!

Most people on WP have a cat or a dog and they post on their antics, moods, photos ……(I’ll get back to our furry friends in a moment)……

Awhile back there was a theory floated out there that the dinosaurs because of their immense size and their diet were allowing massive amounts of methane into the air….more simply…the did a lot of farting.

Then there was the theory that all the cows across the globe were farting constantly and thus the methane level was rising across the world.

Now back to the cats and the dogs……

A UCLA professor isn’t saying anyone who cares about the environment should get rid of their beloved pet dog and/or cat. But he’s not not saying that either. It’s widely accepted that eating meat is bad for the environment for a number of reasons, and it turns out our pets eat a whole lot of meat—in fact a country comprised only of the US’ cats and dogs would place fifth in global meat consumption, according to a press release. Professor Gregory Okin was interested in the environmental impacts of our pets and—in a paper published Wednesday in PLOS One—calculates that American cats and dogs create about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year due to eating meat. That’s equivalent to the yearly output of 13.6 million cars. “The numbers are surprisingly large,” he tells the Sacramento Bee.

All told, cats and dogs account for 25% to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US. Okin says that’s “huge.” And yet, he’s “not saying people should go out and kill their animals or feed them something that isn’t appropriate”—like an all-veggie diet. Okin does identify a number of possible ways to lessen the problem: people could transition to vegetarian pets, such as hamsters, birds, and chickens (which have the added benefit of providing protein for their owners); the pet food industry could get more sustainable and find alternate sources of protein; and, according to the Santa Monica Mirror, pet owners can make sure they’re not over-feeding their dogs and cats.

If the climate is changing then these “scientists” want to blame our furry friends.

Does not matter to me….my two dogs may fart as much as they like….please just do it another room.

Time for some figs, bleu cheese and honey…..the grill will be busy today…..I will be making a hand made pizza….a meat lovers of course…….be well, be safe…..chuq

Closing Thought–10Jul17

There is a debate going on about climate change…well there is a discussion because twats are denying there there is anything different….that nothing is changing and if it does it is only as nature wants.

Well and good but I personally do not give a shit which side one cares to take….I am talking about what I see….you may dispute what I see that is your right as it is my right to think negatively……

I have a small orchard with plums, tangerines, satsumas, limes, peaches and olives and since we have NO winter to speak of here in my state these trees do not bear the way they should…so something is changing and not for the good…..10 years ago I was getting so much fruit I was having to can to keep from losing the crop…..these days I do get enough to make a good snack.

I then read an article about the change climate here in the South……

As the United States confronts global warming in the decades ahead, not all states will suffer equally. Maine may benefit from milder winters. Florida, by contrast, could face major losses, as deadly heat waves flare up in the summer and rising sea levels eat away at valuable coastal properties.

In a new study in the journal Science, researchers analyzed the economic harm that climate change could inflict on the United States in the coming century. They found that the impacts could prove highly unequal: states in the Northeast and West would fare relatively well, while parts of the Midwest and Southeast would be especially hard hit.

There is some good news for some states other than the South but since I live in the area mentioned I really do not give a crap about Ohio or New York or any state in the Northern quadrant….sorry about that just being honest.
Not good news for my orchard….the one upside is that the olive trees are doing well these days so there is that……
There is nothing I can do to change this….I need a winter of freezing weather for the fruit to set without it I got a tree…all this is sad because I do love my fruit…well maybe things will improve when my granddaughter inherits the house and land…..
Day is done……..I am off like a dirty shirt…..be well, be safe….chuq

Where’s The Door?

The wait is over!

There has been much speculation on what the prez will say on the Paris Agreement……we now have the answer….

President Trump announced Thursday that the US will immediately cease “all implementation” of Paris climate change accord standards, the AP reports. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but [begin] negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said, per CNN. “We’re getting out.”

While introducing Trump in the Rose Garden, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is “choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first” with his announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris accord. Pence praised Trump’s leadership and said Trump is “is choosing to put the forgotten men and women of America first.”

There has been applause and there have been sighs……but with all that what is next?

Here’s what else you need to know about Trump’s decision:

  • First, Fortune explains the Paris climate agreement. The gist is that countries agree to work toward keeping the global average temperature from rising 3.6 degrees over the pre-industrial average, at which point scientists believe the effects of climate change would be irreversible.
  • In a statement, Al Gore called Trump’s decision “reckless and indefensible.” But he adds the transition to clean energy will be continued by mayors, governors, the business community, and the American people.
  • Bill McKibben, writing for the New York Times, calls withdrawing from the agreement “our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq” and one that hurts not only civilization’s ability to survive climate change but also civilization itself by undermining both diplomacy and science.
  • Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry in the Week counters that outrage over the decision is “absolute nonsense” in that the agreement was weak and ineffectual, with countries left to set their own goals for reducing emissions. (Though he also says withdrawing from it won’t do anything to add jobs in the Rust Belt.)
  • President Obama says leaving the Paris climate agreement is a rejection of the future, leaving the countries that remain to “reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” the Hill reports.
  • Elon Musk is leaving Trump’s presidential advisory council over the decision, tweeting, “Climate change is real.”
  • Weather.com was also, clearly, not a fan of the decision. Below a livestream of Trump’s press conference, it ran stories about “Antarctica turning green” and “California’s coast disappearing into the sea” in an effort to get the American public to care about climate change.
  • Finally, Quartz reports a US not fully committed to reducing emissions may have actually hurt the climate agreement more by staying in it. “It is a club for countries who are part of a global effort to tackle dangerous climate change … The US no longer meets these admission criteria,” says a member of Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council.

Now you have everyone’s opinion and now mine.

Trump pulled out with hope that the conversation would change from all the stuff about the Russian connection (it will fail)…..of course he invoked the magic word……you can sell the American people any stupid idea as long as you use the word…….”JOBS”.

The agreement was self-regulating by each country…..it is non-binding…..That means that it had NO regulatory teeth….just how sis this agreement hurt American jobs?  This is not a big deal but it will take the US off the table and turn over leadership to some one else…..that in my opinion is not a wise decision.

What can the world do with trump’s newest decision…..

As I have previously written, under Trump the United States has ceded whatever lingering threads of global leadership it had not already shredded by pointless wars of aggression and financial doomsday devices; we are now something of a pariah state. On climate change, it now falls to Europe, China, and India to corral this blundering, addled elephant of a nation, until our janky political machinery can eject Trump and the Republican Party from power. Here’s how they can do it.

Source: How the world can contain Trump’s climate lunacy

America cannot be first if they are not part of the conversation.

This Is How We Build A House

Saturday in the garden……snacks of cheese, fruit and nuts and a really nice Riesling…..

Before I post my regular stuff I need to report that ZBig has died…….

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

A very intelligent man especially in international relations….I did not agree with him on much but I could still appreciate his approaches…..

May he Rest In Peace

Now for today’s gem of knowledge……..

You know there is always a story or a report about all the plastic build-up around the world….we have had stories about a massive island of the stuff floating in the Pacific and there has been reports of the amount of the stuff left behind on Mt. Everest……even a story about millions of piece of plastic found on some Pacific island…..in other words solid waste is becoming a major problem.

Let’s turn our attention to Western Sahara…a region that I know well for I worked there for months in the late 70’s…..but first a little history via youtube…..

The conflict had made a refugee crisis that most of the world knows nothing of…..or even really cares….

I recent read a story about this guy in Western Sahara that has a new approach to building adequate housing…low cost housing…..for refugees.

Sahrawi engineer Tateh Lehbib has designed houses for Sahrawi refugee camps that are resistant to desert heat, sandstorms and torrential rain

With temperatures soaring beyond 50 degrees Celsius and sand storms wrecking havoc on the Sahrawi refugees inhabiting the adobe houses and tents of the refugee camps around Tindouf, western Algeria, the region has been aptly named, the Devil’s Garden.

Young Sahrawi engineer, Tateh Lehbib, 28, found an answer to their woes: all they needed to rebuild a home in this arid land was 6,000 plastic bottles.

Source: Meet the Sahrawi refugee building homes from plastic bottles in the desert | Middle East Eye

A completed round house made of plastic bottles in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

I always like a good recycling story and this one is a great one……plus it provides a home for some family that does not have one……

My day is done….posting is a chore on weekends that is why you only get one per day……time for that snack and a glass of wine…….

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have some laughs….chuq