Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Green Myths

I just read a great article which talked about 10 popular green myths. As everyone jumps on the green bandwagon (which is a great thing) it is easy to grab hold of some false truths. Also as things are changing so quickly in these emerging sciences, what might have been true last year may no longer be the case.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Masdar HQ: World's First Positive Energy Building

The Masdar HQ in Abu Dhabi has big ambitions; the site is planned to be the world's first positive energy building, meaning it will create more energy than it consumes. [PICS]

read more | digg story

Solar Collecting Roads Heat Buildings in Denmark

Solar is a highly efficient for heating water. Combining it with underground storage, and a year-round system can be created where the system can cover heating requirements in the winter and cooling in the summer.

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Do Something: Solving Global Warming [PIC]

A multitude of ways you can help. Who will you be?

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Friday, March 7, 2008

What to do with those spend CFL's?

Here is a great article I found about what to do with those spent CFL's.

Consupo - recycling CFL's

Basically it is different depending on where you live of course but this article is well written, details the problem, and gives you some good resources to solve the problem!

Also, did you know that traditional incandescent bulbs needs to be disposed of carefully as well because they contain lead that should not be finding it's way to the landfill as well?

One of the resources listed in the article was earth911.org. There is a great little search on the top of the home page where you can search for recycling centers based on your location and using the drop down, the items you are looking to dispose of.

Daylight savings is found to waste energy

For decades, conventional wisdom has held that daylight-saving time reduces energy use. Now a university study of a unique situation in Indiana has provided compelling evidence challenging that view. Daylight savings may actually waste energy.

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Using Paint Solar Energy Can Be Converted To Electricity

Dr Dave Worsley, a Reader in the Materials Research Centre at the University’s School of Engineering, is investigating ways of painting solar cells onto the flexible steel surfaces commonly used for cladding buildings.

read more | digg story

Solar power: Easier than nuclear power

The New York Times has an article about a "little-known but promising" form of solar power that uses sunlight to create steam power.And it appears that "solar thermal" power offers some real advantages:

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Taxpayer save $14,000 since 2005 with Solar Panels

Auditor: Solar power leads to savings

By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer, as printed in the Albany Times Union
Click byline for more stories by writer.
Last updated: 5:55 p.m., Thursday, March 6, 2008

ALBANY Six municipalities in New York, including Albany County, have saved on energy costs through the use of solar power in government facilities, according to a state comptroller's audit released Thursday.

Three years ago, County Executive Mike Breslin approved plans to install a 40-kilowatt photovoltaic, or PV, system on the roof of the county-operated hockey facility in Colonie across from the airport.

The system uses crystalline silicon modules in the solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, providing up to one-fourth of the facility's entire power load.

New York State Energy and Research Development Authority helped fund the Albany project with proceeds from a lawsuit filed by then Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and counterparts from four other states against coal-fueled plants in Virginia and West Virginia that sent dirty winds eastward in violation of the Clean Air Act. New York received $2 million of the $14 million settlement.

"With the rising cost and dwindling quantity of fossil fuels, along with the toll on the environment and public health, it makes sense to promote the use of renewable and clean energy sources," DiNapoli said. "Local governments can realize financial savings by utilizing solar power and taking advantage of state programs that provide important support."

Albany County has seen savings. From the summer of 2005 when the system became operational until now, county officials estimated taxpayers saved $14,000 in energy costs, county spokeswoman Maureen Murphy said.

Looking ahead, the county estimates that after 25 years it will realize a $136,000 return on its investment and $230,000 after 50 years, she said.

Albany County's costs included $12,500 in consultant's fees that were over and above the general engineering services of the installation company, the audit said. The county will pay $34,030 in bond interest over 20 years, it said.

At the time the project was under way, Breslin called it a "wise investment that will reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources."

In addition to Albany County, state auditors evaluated the use of solar power by the Ulster County towns of Woodstock and Rosendale, the Ulster County village of New Paltz, the Nassau County town of Hempstead and the Tompkins County town of Lansing. All received financial and technical assistance from NYSERDA.

The audit was conducted for the period January 2003 to July 2007 and found that by installing solar panel electrical systems, the municipalities realized immediate savings on electrical bills and reduced environmental emissions. Millions of pounds of air pollution could be reduced over the life of the panels, the audit said.

A photo of the hockey facility's roof that depicts the solar panels was included in the comptroller's report.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This about sums it all up, thanks Mr. Roosevelt!

"The nation behaves well if it treats the
natural resources as assets which it must
turn over to the next generation increased,
and not impaired, in value."
Theodore Roosevelt

I think that about sums it up! How did it take all of us this long to figure it out?

Sierra Club

Geo Engineering

Here is a link to blog post that I found that was discussing geo-engineering. Basically the idea of forcefully doing something about temperature that is not just a matter of reducing carbon emissions. Basically some way of cooling the earth.


Sierra Club

TWC founder and global warming skeptics suing Al Gore

It just amazes me that there are still people out there that don't get it! I mean we would all love for George Bush to have been right. "Turns out there is not issue, you can do what you want and it won't affect the planet." I also wish the surgeon general would come on TV and say that eating cake and soda all day wouldn't make me fat too, but I don't see that happening. And even if it did, if I was fat wouldn't it just make sense to stop eating cake and soda for a while, just to see if it made a difference? I mean worst case I'm wrong and all I missed out on was some cake, that I can go right back to eating!


read more | digg story

OECD: World must act on climate change

By DOUG MELLGREN, Associated Press, printed by the Albany Times Union
Last updated: 6:43 a.m., Wednesday, March 5, 2008

OSLO, Norway -- The world must respond to climate change and other environmental challenges now while the cost is low or else pay a stiffer price later for its indecision, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday.

A new report by 30-nation organization looks at "red light issues" in the environment, including global warming, water shortages, energy, biodiversity loss, transportation, agriculture and fisheries.

"A window of opportunity to act is now open," the report said. "We need forward-looking policies today to avoid high costs of inaction or delayed action over the longer term.

"Without more ambitious policies, increasing pressures on the environment could cause irreversible damage within the next few decades," said the summary, which was released in advance of the report.

The report, called Environmental Outlook to 2030, was to be presented by the organization's secretary-general, Angel Gurria, in Norway's capital Wednesday.

It recommends that governments create policies such as "green taxes" that encourage sound, environmentally friendly technologies and practices. The rich world must help poor countries develop without spewing pollution by providing them with technology and expertise, it says.

The report includes a model of the impact on the environment if no steps are taken, compared to the result if the report's policy recommendations are adopted worldwide. Economic growth would be nearly the same in both cases, but with a much healthier environment if the recommendations are adopted, it says.


On the Net:

OECD: http://www.oecd.org

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guilt Free MP3, and video, and data, and photo album, and...

Now here is a product that is exactly what I've been looking for! Who doesn't want all the latest gadgets? MP3, video, photo album, FM Radio, Data storage, Voice Recorder, and a built in loud speaker! All that sounds great on it's own right? Well here is the kicker...you don't need to plug it in to charge it!

In thinking about getting the latest gadget I had also been thinking about getting on of these carry bags that has a solar panel built in to charge all this fun. But now I can cut out the middle man. All you need to do is turn the built in crank on the back of this baby and you are good to go!

Just one minute of winding will give you 40 minutes of use. When fully charged it'll give you 20 hours of constant music or 10 hours of constant video!

Ok so what if you've broken your hand while installing some solar panels on your roof, or installing your compost tumbler, or some other eco-friendly project around the house? No worries it will also plug into a USB port and charge up for you! Just don't use this option too much or the green Gods will have their way with you!

Oh and also in case I forgot to mention it also has a flash light and will charge your cell phone. Maxwell Smart, you just leave you shoes on, we've got this one!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lunar Eclipse May Shed Light on Climate Change

Researchers are using the eclipse data to track changes in the opacity of Earth's atmosphere.

read more | digg story

Power Items in your house with your bike!!!

Now this is cool! There are a few green items offered by this site, but by far the coolest is an attachment for you bike that will create 75 -200 watts of power while you get your exercise. I've heard of this before (they did something similar at the superbowl this year) but this is the first I've seen something you can order.

I specifically would like to try it because I have two small kids that soon will be old enough to play video games. What a great thing to say yeah you can play your video game but you have to ride your bike long enough to power it!

You can buy the product fully assembled or you can buy plans to build it (think about your kids understanding how to build the machine that ensures they get exercise and have fun!!!!). It looks like you can also purchase a battery to store the energy to be used later, or just plug in whatever you want to use while you are riding.

If you have an existing 12V power system (solar panels or wind, etc) you can tie it right into this and be creating additional power when you do your exercise!

Very interesting. I think I'm going to purchase. If I do I'm going to get the build your own plans and will take pictures for a future blog post! Please let me know if anyone out there has tried this yet!

Here is the link: www.ecovergence.com

Live It Up: We’ve Got '20 years before it hits the fan'

Here is an interesting thought about how we've passed the tipping point. Basically we've done so much damage to the environment that we're past the point of no return. 20-40 years left before it all goes off?!

read more | digg story

Link to sites that make it easy to help

Here are two links that seem to be good sites to give you tips on how to reduce your personal carbon emissions, as well as show you how to offset the ones you can't...

Environmental Defense Fund

Fight Global Warming

Also this is a GREAT blog that I came across while looking into these sites: Climate 411

Also here is another GREAT link to a site that shows the 47 most common reasons that skeptics of global warming use to debunk the "myth". It then gives the detailed reason why it just doesn't make sense. This is exactly the kind of site I've been looking for to use as ammunition when talking to someone that just doesn't get it! Awesome site! www.SkepticalScience.com

Coal plant to test capturing carbon dioxide

This is the first I have heard of a US power plant actually sequestering carbon. 3% isn't much, but at least one of them is doing something!

read more | digg story

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Green Washing

The Truth about Green Washing!

I've been away from the "blogishpere" for sometime now (having two kids in two years will tend to do that). But I recently came across an article in a new magazine that I've been reading (Fast Company) about Green Washing.

In recent years (probably mainly because of the two kids) I've become much more aware of green issues, and would like to do everything that I can to pass on a viable planet to future generations. As part of that I do try to find products which are "Green", whenever I can. However the writers of this article did a little research and selected over 1200 "Green" products to look at. Would you like to take a guess as to the percentage of these products that were just claiming to be green, as opposed to actually doing something real to help the world????

Try 99.9%!!! OUCH!!!

In other words if you are trying to be conscious like me to buy green products you are really only doing something good 1/10 or 1% of the time!

Now in fairness the criteria that the writers chose was very strick. But still even if you relaxed the criteria and brought the green products up to 50%, is that really any good? I mean some of these products use 1% recycled paper in the packaging, and are horrible for the environment besides and put a huge "GREEN" at the top of the label and you and I purchase it thinking we are saving the world when really we're just make it worse!!!

Another great overall point that the article made was that people that are truly trying to be green aren't as worried about the smaller stuff like the percentage of recycled paper in the toilet paper they buy (although every little bit does help) as they are about moving to a home where they can ride their bike to work. Or finding someplace where they can grow their own food. Things like this.

It's really the bigger items that will make the vast difference. But for people that are at least trying to make a difference even if in some small way, it's a shame that they wool gets pulled over their eyes, and they end up making things worse.

They moral of the story is that Green might not be easy, but it can be cheap and worth while, but you'll have to do your research!