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

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It’s Clean Coal–Again

Mr. Trump has signed yet another Executive Order (EO)….this time it effects the EPA regulations and as usual he uses an old stand by slogan…it will create jobs.

Once again we are told about the idea of “Clean Coal”……(if one believes this lie then one is a member of the “Ignorati”….clean coal…… it is a LIE!)

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to unwind many of the environmental rules put in place by President Obama. The big change is that he ordered a review of the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to curb emissions at coal-fired power plants. The president celebrated “the start of a new era” in energy production, while environmentalists called it both “dangerous” and “embarrassing.” A look at coverage:

  • Trump signed the “Energy Independence” executive order at the EPA while surrounded by coal miners. “Today I’m putting an end to the war on coal,” he declared. See coverage of the event at the Guardian.
  • The Clean Power Plan hadn’t actually taken effect yet because it had been held up in the courts, explains the New York Times in a primer.
  • Despite the move to ease up on coal regulations, the utility industry is expected to continue its shift toward natural gas, wind, and solar, reports the Wall Street Journal. It points out that US utilities generated more electricity last year from natural gas than coal, and that trend is expected to continue.
  • The AP takes a look at the effect on the coal industry and doesn’t see a quick turnaround in the cards. In terms of jobs, it notes that more efficient ways of extracting coal have reduced the need for miners.
  • Amplifying the point is a quote from Robert Murray, chief executive of coal giant Murray Energy. “These actions are vital to the American coal industry, to our survival, and to getting some of our coal families back to work,” he said of Trump’s action. But he added: “I really don’t know how far the coal industry can be brought back.” See the New York Times.
  • Trump’s move does not pull the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord, but it seriously undermines the promises made at the forum by President Obama. An NPR interview explains.
  • Not far enough? Conservative critics are unhappy Trump did not order the EPA to re-evaluate a 2009 “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gas threatens human welfare, notes Politico. A writer at Breitbart makes the case that EPA chief Scott Pruitt should resign over this.
  • A takeaway from a Washington Post analysis: “While Trump can unwind Obama’s climate legacy to some extent, the economic and political forces that have spurred those underlying shifts are largely beyond his control.”
  • Now comes the hard part, warns CNBC: Tuesday’s move provides a framework, but the White House must still come up with a detailed replacement for the Clean Power Plan.
  • One of the Obama orders being repealed directed federal agencies to coordinate and prepare for extreme weather, reports Bloomberg, which looks at the ramifications.

Back in 2009 this same argument was made and thanx to archives I found my post from those days……sadly the post was not that popular in ’09 maybe people are better awake these days……

We are hearing a lot in the media about the use of “clean coal”; even the president is pushing this concept…but people…that is all that it is…a concept…..and above all it is a lie…there is NO such thing as “clean coal”.

Source: The Lie Of “Clean Coal” – In Saner Thought

Some lies never change!  What was once old is new again.

This was a wasted use of mental energy…..and jobs?  This industry is embracing automation rapidly and to make it simple for my conserv friends…automation means less jobs……an easy equation even for a republican.

The Poisoning of Flint

Think back a couple of years ago and the term “Austerity” was all the rage…..trying to cope with an economic disaster these countries of the EU were making cuts and dropping many social programs…..all in the name of austerity…..

Those programs got me to thinking about Michigan and more importantly the city of Flint and their water supply problem……

I had tried to find a got explanation to why this had happened and I think I found a pretty good article that will help people understand what the situation is and how it was a problem that could have been avoided…..

In early 2015, shortly after his victory in a heated reelection contest, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) began exploring a run for president. With his business experience and electoral success in a blue state, Snyder was considered a viable potential candidate, so he embarked on a national speaking tour and set up a fundraising organization. Its name: “Making Government Accountable.”

Source: The Poisoning of Flint | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Keystone: Resurrecting The Dead

For a couple of years there was an amazing debate about the Keystone XL pipeline….you know the one…..it would carry Canadian oil from Northern Canada through the US to Houston for import to China and other points of call…

Toward the end of last year Obama put the screws to the Keystone project……

Just ahead of the president’s big speech on climate change, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein breaks the news that President Obama will ask Secretary of State John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline if State finds the pipeline increases carbon emissions. It’s huge news that took environmentalists completely by surprise. They didn’t expect the president to address Keystone in his speech — he’s avoided discussing the pipeline at all since issuing an executive order to have State study the environmental impact some time ago.

(Salon.com)

With the announcement the peasants (environmentalists) danced…..a victory…..finally a victory!  Got another think coming…….

Now this brings me to NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement…..that worthless piece of crap that Clinton signed into law that has made so much inequality possible….. just what does this have to do with the Keystone?  You might query…….

News breaking today that Canada will take the US to court using NAFTA to re-start the project……

TransCanada could file a complaint against the U.S. if the Obama administration rejects its Keystone XL pipeline, thanks to a North American Free Trade Agreement provision that allows foreign firms to challenge the U.S. on decisions that threaten investments, President and CEO Russ Girling said. Observers say the company can make a strong argument against the U.S. under the international law. However, Shawn Howard, team lead for issues management and media relations at TransCanada, said the company is focusing its efforts on getting approval for the project instead of pursuing such a move.

If the court decides in Canada’s favor you may all thank Bill Clinton for giving them the ammunition to help destroy the environment of the US if there is a disaster……but they will not ….in the end it will be Obama’s fault….just like everything else happening in the country today…..

I thought that any celebrations was a bit premature…..and apparently I was right…..

Clinton Flips Off Keystone (Finally)

Finally……word has come from the “Ivory Tower”…….

The raging battle for the last year or so in climate change and the environment has been the debate on the Keystone XL pipeline…..us Left leaning people have been against this stupidity from the start….even Bernie has been an outspoken opponent of this lunatic plan…..

The one silent Nellie has been Hillary Clinton….maybe it was because she was part of Obama’s team or maybe something else….anyway she has come out swinging after a long silence….

Take a step back from the general election, but take two steps forward toward the Democratic primary. That seems to be the strategy behind Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday that she opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, writes Philip Bump for the Washington Post, asserting that Clinton may have purposely timed her anti-pipeline statements to lure liberal Democrats who’ve been more amenable to competitor Bernie Sanders, per CNN/ORC polling—even if those Dems may not be the ones to push her over the top in November 2016. “The politics explain themselves,” Bump writes. “Clinton is now willing to make her November case slightly more difficult if she can make her spring fight easier.”

According to a Gallup poll cited by the Post, while only 67% of moderate and conservative Democrats believe global warming is caused by human activity, a more substantial number—81%—of liberal Democrats think that’s the case. And because of environmental concerns swirling around the pipeline, it may make political sense for Clinton to bring that up now to pull liberal Democrats in—even though polls from late last year and earlier this year show that support among Americans overall for the Keystone project is strong, Bump notes. And Sanders knows what’s the what, he adds, welcoming her to the opposition party yesterday in a tweet. “Clinton is late to the party on Keystone, but she’s clearly interested in being where the party is,” Bump writes. Click for his full column

Personally it sounds like a personal political prop…..she knew she had to make some sort of statement in opposition if she is to win the nomination…..and viola!  We have her thoughts on Keystone.

I wish I could believe her……do you?

War, What Is It Good For?

That was the question asked in a protest song from the 60’s…..and it still remains  an excellent question.

We know that war is not good for life or health or to massage an economy back to health…..not good for food production….then what is it good for?

The US is involved in the fight against ISIS    and with that comes all the deaths, destruction and violence…….what good could come out of this war?

The BBC is reporting the only good thing to come out of war…….

Researchers say that in countries like Syria and Iraq, levels of air pollutants have fallen dramatically.

The amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air over Damascus has fallen by up to 50% since start of the civil war.

The authors believe their work has important lessons for projections of global emissions.

Since 2004, scientists have been able to monitor atmospheric pollutants with high levels of precision thanks to the deployment of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument onboard the Nasa Aura satellite.

Say what?  Yep the air quality is getting better where the fighting is engaged……what about the other countries that are not “at war”?

But in nearby Lebanon, there was a “drastic” rise of up to 30% of the same pollutant, thanks to the influx of refugees. The scientists say that this was very unusual as economic growth in Lebanon declined significantly at the same time.

Even in a relatively calm country like Israel…..the air quality is sucking also…..

What conclusion can we draw from this news…..

Other scientists welcomed the study, saying that it followed on from previous research carried out during the Iraq war. They say that it highlights the critical role of accurate satellite information. It also highlights the scale of destruction across the Middle East and the huge impact on people.

“It is very sad that we have on the borders of Europe this huge conflict,” said Prof John Burrows from the University of Bremen, Germany.

“But perhaps scientific information like this helps our understanding. It’s proportional to people, so if emissions have gone down in Syria by 50%, I’d expect that 50% of the people might have been displaced, as indeed they have.”

It is sad that the only ‘benefit” found for war is……the quality of the air we breath gets better……I think the people in Iraq and Syria had rather worry about dying from bad air than a barrel bomb……whatcha you think?

The Children Are Our Future

How many times have you heard this from both parties…….our children make a great political prop and campaign slogan……but so far I have seen NO indication that anyone in Washington actually gives a crap about futre generations……how about you?

I recently came across a piece that leads me to believe that our children are on the right track even if the government is not……

I know that there are many that feel that climate change is just sosme made up crisis to gain some sort of political advantage and then there are those that feel the climate change is going to devastate our planet in the near future…….and of these people the children are showing the country the way….

A group of 8- to 19-year-olds says climate change will doom the future unless changes are made now—and they’re trying to force the government to do just that. Nearly a dozen young people filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon yesterday, arguing that the current consumption of fossil fuels is unconstitutional and a health threat. “We brought this case because the government needs to immediately and aggressively reduce carbon emissions and stop promoting fossil fuels, which force our nation’s climate system toward irreversible impacts,” plaintiff Kelsey Juliana, 18, says in the suit, according to Al Jazeera America. “If the government continues to delay urgent annual emissions reductions, my generation’s well-being will be inexcusably put at risk.”

Former NASA chief climate scientist James Hansen is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, which follows a climate change plan unveiled by President Obama earlier this month. The Clean Power Plan seeks to “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030,” according to WhiteHouse.gov, but the lawsuit demands more aggressive action. A similar lawsuit filed by environmental advocacy group Our Children’s Trust and some of the plaintiffs in the Oregon case was dismissed last year by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

The children are truly our future and they are concerned that with the status quo they will have….NO FUTURE!

My hat goes off to these brave kids…..in their hands this world just may survive the stupidity around climate change.