I write for several places on the issues of sustainability and alternative energy so today I decided to post some of the links from other places including pieces on powering garbage trucks with garbage, utilizing sewage for power, and establishing a solar power highway, and nuclear power plant safety, enjoy.
Posts Tagged ‘energy’
Tags: alternative energy, blog, energy, environment, japan, news, nuclear energy, philosophy, SMUD, solar energy, sustainable sunday
Tags: energy, fountain, passive solar, security lights, solar
So with all of the discussions about renewable energy and particularly solar, you may be wondering how I can easily use solar energy at my home. Now we’re not suggesting you go out and put an $8000 solar system on your house. Today, we are talking about smaller and mostly inexpensive ways you can employ solar technology and principles to your home.
First off is something most of us have been doing for a long time, utilizing the sun and our blinds to either help heat or cool our homes. Utilizing your blinds by closing them during warm days or by opening them during cooler sunny days, you can impact the temperature in your home by as much as 10 degrees. Additionally and at a larger level is the appropriate placement of trees around your home the following site is an excellent resource for the proper use of vegetation.
One area that has always been problematic due to electrical power considerations is the use of outdoor security lighting. Today that is easier than ever before because there are convenient set ups that include lighting, motion sensors and a small solar panel to power it. Nothing more complicated than hanging the set up and the following site provides a nice example of what I’m talking about, this is a top end system and there are smaller systems for available around $50.
Finally a small and relaxing way in which to utilize solar is through the use of a simple solar fountain and at a larger level a garden sized solar fountain is also an option, links to show you both are below and I hope this information was helpful.
Tags: earthships, energy, energy star, environment, farm, life, news, organic, sustainability, sustainable, sustainable sunday
Sustainable Sunday: Blog Roll of Sustainability Articles
Energy Star is a government program that helps you find out the energy efficiency of products, and also evaluates home improvements in your own area:
Green Seal is a site that refers you to environmentally friendly products and services:
Local Harvest is a site that shows you where you can find local organic farms and farmers markets:
Some interesting reading:
Tags: christian science monitor, economics, energy, fossil fuels, news
The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is possibly my favorite newspaper, they have a really in-depth news section that actually has news stories and a great spread of both domestic and international news. Also they don’t seem to be particularly wed to either a conservative or liberal bias and often when there is something going on in the world I will turn to the CSM to get their take on it, along with the New York Times the CSM is the only other paper I read regularly or trust as a news source. Even more so for anything having to do with the environment and the link below is a fantastic example. The article focuses on what Economists refer to as internalizing externalities, fancy terms for actually accounting for the true cost of something. In other words, it may cost a manufacturer $10 to make a product, however that cost does not consider the environmental impact of the production process, so if that pollution takes $2 to clean up then the true cost of the product should be $12 not $10, but in our society that $2 cleanup cost gets dumped on all of us. Check it out, it’s a good read:
Tags: Battlestar Gallactica, clean water act, Dick Cheney, ecology, energy, energy policy, environment, epa, flaming tapwater, fracking, gasland, George Bush, Haliburton, haliburton loophole, hydraulic fracturing, John Stewart, josh fox, tapwater, The Daily Show, water
I had heard about the documentary Gasland for a while and didn’t pay much attention, I first heard about the film on NPR and then I saw Josh Fox, who made the film, on The Daily Show with John Stewart. Mr. Fox showed a video clip of someone’s tap water catching on fire, you can see a clip at the link below:
That little clip was enough to get me to check out the film which I caught On Demand, through cable on HBO and yes Comcast that was a shameless plug, how about a little free cable. I watched the documentary and was really impressed with Josh Fox and his story. Fox was obviously not a filmmaker and that shows particularly early on in the story. However, the deeper he digs into what’s going on, the better his film work and story-telling become. Essentially Mr. Fox was offered a decent sum of money to give up the gas rights to his property and unlike most of us he became suspicious of easy money and promises of no adverse environmental effects. The film is basically about his initial quest to learn more about the offer and proceeds into an in-depth investigation of a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. On a side note fracking serves as the alternate universe substitute for the word fucking on Battlestar Gallactica and the irony of being fracked by big gas companies didn’t escape me as I watched the film.
Fracking, not in the Battlestar Gallactica sense – that’s a talk for your parents to handle, is a process by which natural gas companies drill down through the ground into pockets of natural gas not previously accessible. Then high pressure water and chemicals are pumped down into the ground to fracture the rock and release the gas helping it flow up through the well to be captured. According to the companies that do this, the chemicals they use are safe, and there is no contamination of nearby drinking water wells. However Josh Fox shows us this just isn’t so and visits folks who have some of the nastiest water you’ve ever seen including some that is actually flammable when it comes out of the taps. Other people show how their cats, dogs and horses are getting ill and losing their hair and talk about the very real fear that their families will get ill or their house will blow up from the gas in the water lines.
Our old friend Dick Cheney and Haliburton are involved, and to quote the promotional site for the film we find out the following: ”In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.”
The worst part of the loophole is that it means that there is no regulatory agency even looking at this issue and it allows the companies involved, Haliburton included, to poison people’s drinking supply and the people impacted have nowhere to go, enter Josh Fox and his film. A lot of the folks involved truly looked scared and some have very definite proof of what these companies are doing in their heartless pursuit of profits as some of the companies have paid for alternate water sources of water indefinitely. These sources include bringing in tankers of water to fill giant cisterns or full industrial level filtration systems.
The scariest part of this issue is the sheer area of the United States that has the type of rock that possess the natural gas. The areas include some of the largest watersheds in the Northeast including the drinking water supply for New York City. Take a look at the trailer below and then the link for the movie’s promotional website below that:
The promotional site:
And finally take the time and see Gasland