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The planet, the environment, war
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The planet, the environment, war

  #91 (permalink)
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I love and care for mother nature and feel a deep anguish at what we humans have done to it. It seems we are leaving no place for the animals to live and fouling the land, air and seas.

I hope that we can start to have a change in consciousness that having more than 1 (or 2 max) children is irresponsible. Once we crossed 1 billion (1800?) the achingly beautiful planet we were honoured with has been trashed as the exponential grow curve of population (and greed and arrogance and self-interest resulting in the pollution we have caused).

One person has a tag line:
"The greatest failure of man is to understand exponential growth."

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  #92 (permalink)
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Last night I was talking with someone.

He said that if he felt some people were taking actions in a small way to help
(citing one person he knew that went to bed early to save power) and that little actions add up.

I think these little actions add up to a hill of beans compared to the massive destruction being done in enormous amounts by the vast majority - who are breeding like rabbits on viagra and only interested in the self. Line the nest : more toys power boats and race cars (dying with the most toys wins philosophy - wins what? the destruction and ignorance and lack of caring award?)

Where will the animals go? The tigers lions, elephants rhinos, polar bears, fish ..

Even a 10 yr child can realize:
"Daddy its nice and cool in the forest.
If the planet is getting too hot - why don't they make more forests?"

Common sense the uncommon attribute.

The gentleman countered that people are intelligent.

No they are not.
They are stupid. They may be clever and may make I Phones. but not replanting the forests and limiting their family to 1 or 2 children -is Stupid.

Ignorant, stupid and selfish.


Even a 10 yr old can tell you to replant the forests - so why aren't those with power and money doing it?
Where are you Richard Bradson, Bill gates, Warren Buffet.
Will you do nothing?

The desert in Africa is expanding 50 miles a year.
The desert in China the same.
The Amazon is still being slashed and burned for cattle!!! (size of Belgium each year)

The patient is on life support and people are cutting the cord.

Intelligent?

I think not.

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  #93 (permalink)
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Long known for its rich in color, vibrant coral communities, much of the Great Barrier Reef has been reduced to a murky shade of brown after a mass bleaching event gripped the ocean's corals.

Warmer ocean waters spurred by climate change are the main factor behind coral bleaching, which causes coral communities worldwide to release the algae that provided their color and food, scientists say. The corals that can’t cool down and find new algae fast enough die out and become a milky shade of white before they begin to decompose and attract turf algae, resulting in the shade of brown.

“Some people see coral bleached white and think it looks pretty. But this is what follows - it’s literally an attack of the slime,” World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Australia spokesman Richard Leck told 9 News.

Just weeks after the bleaching, the corals took on a grisly appearance as they became covered with algae and their flesh began to decompose, 9 News reports.

(MORE: Stench From Dead Coral Reefs Stops Fish From Learning to Avoid Predators)

“I can’t even tell you how bad I smelt after the dive, the smell of rotting animals,” XL Catlin Seaview Survey executive director Richard Vevers told ABC News Online.

Recently NOAA reported that coral reef scientists estimate that mass bleaching has killed 35 percent of corals on the northern and central Great Barrier Reef.

“This year is the third time in 18 years that the Great Barrier Reef has experienced mass bleaching due to global warming, and the current event is much more extreme than we’ve measured before,” ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies director Terry Hughes said in a release. “These three events have all occurred while global temperatures have risen by just 1 degree C above the pre-industrial period. We’re rapidly running out of time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“This is a sad reminder of the impact of global warming,” said Leck.

The slideshow below shows the Great Barrier Reef’s corals before and after bleaching, and the shocking photos of them post-bleaching.

https://weather.com/photos/news/great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-death-algae-before-after

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I thought I'd post this here...

Scientists claim ozone layer is healing

Scientists say they have found the first firm signs that the thinning ozone layer over the Antarctic is starting to heal.

The ozone hole was more than 4m square kilometres smaller in September last year than what it was in the year 2000, researchers say, an area nearly half the size of the US.

“We can now be confident that the things we’ve done have put the planet on a path to heal,” said Professor Susan Solomon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lead author of a paper on the findings.



From the FT

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  #95 (permalink)
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Hemp in building materials

Hemp in construction

While cannabis has had a long history as a fiber used in ropes, sails and paper products — Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew it — Mr. Savage is among a small number of entrepreneurs who have instead turned to a novel application known as hempcrete.
Hempcrete is made using the woody, balsalike interior of the Cannabis sativa plant (the fiber for textiles comes from the outer portion of the stalk) combined with lime and water. Though it lacks the structural stability its name might suggest, hempcrete does provide natural insulation that is airtight yet breathable and flexible. It is free from toxins, impervious to mold and pests, and virtually fireproof.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/nyregion/cannabis-construction-entrepreneurs-use-hemp-in-home-building.html?_r=0
The material was developed in the 1980s in France, though it has roots going back centuries not only to homes as far away as Japan but also to Merovingian bridges in ancient Gaul.
Hempcrete has since caught on across Europe, where hemp cultivation was never criminalized. Hundreds of buildings now use hempcrete, including a seven-story office tower in France, a Marks and Spencer department store in the United Kingdom, and even a home built by Prince Charles.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1642947129/hemphome-tiny
At the moment, all raw material must be imported, and last year Canada alone shipped $600 million of hemp to American businesses.
------------
Industrial hemp holds the potential to strengthen growing communities on reservations and rural areas, as the fibers and hurd from the hemp plant can reinforce traditional adobe and fiber reinforced concrete mixtures. In addition, one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees, resulting in an excellent material to be used in the composites industry.
Hemp resin can be used as an additive in the creation of biodegradable polymers that help to reduce the problems of waste disposal associated with toxic materials. Biodegradable polymers can potentially be combined with plant fibers to produce biodegradable Eco-Composite materials. The reinforcement of these polymers by means of vegetable fibers improves their mechanical properties and opens up new fields of application within the construction industry with the use of techniques such as film stacking, injection molding, and press consolidation.
A mixture of hemp fibers and hurds subjected to extreme heat and pressure can be molded into a completely biodegradable material that possesses excellent thermal and acoustic capabilities, as well as being fire-resistant and competitive in mechanical characteristics (tensile and compressive strength) with modern materials that are produced with a petrochemical base. Many of these qualities have been extensively tested with techniques such as electron microscopy an analysis of crystallographic changes that occur within the organic biopolymer that exists within the hempen matrix.
Research in the area of biological renewable materials has shown that the main building blocks of life &endash; carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and their derivatives &endash; could be substitute products from the modern non-renewable resources. (Almost everything made from a hydrocarbon can be produced from a renewable carbohydrate.) The advantage of using a renewable resource as the root of our building industry can be seen as we assess the life cycle of the material through its growth harvest and production, as well as in the examination of the gases that are released into the environment (or household) after construction.
Resources

Conrad, Chris. "Hemp; Lifeline to the Future" Creative Expressions Publications. Los Angeles, California 1994.
Berman, Allen. "Your Naturally Healthy Home: Stylish, Safe, Simple" Rodale.
Pejis, Ton. International Conference on EcoComposites" Queen Mary University, London.
Hemp Industries Association. Occidental, California
Hemp World/Hemp Pages. Forestville, California 2000
Hemphasis.net ~ Hemp Building Material
---------
Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime,[1] sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation.[2] It is marketed under names like Hempcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre.[3] Hempcrete is easier to work with than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.[3]

The typical compressive strength is around 1 MPa,[4] around 1/20 that of residential grade concrete. Hempcrete walls must be used together with a frame of another material that supports the vertical load in building construction, as hempcrete's density is 15% that of traditional concrete.[5]

Like other plant products, the hemp crop absorbs carbon dioxide gas as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. 165 kg of carbon can be theoretically absorbed and locked up by 1 m3 of hempcrete wall during manufacture.[6]

Limecrete, Ltd. (UK) reports a fire resistance rating of 1 hour per British/EU standards.[7]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hempcrete
------------
Hempcrete Factsheet
Posted on 26/04/2014 by Tom Abbott

Hempcrete is a combination of chopped hemp shiv and binder comprising of natural hydraulic lime and a small amount of cement. It is firm and self insulating. Hempcrete is suitable for uses such as timber frame infill,
insulation and, with the addition of aggregate, floor slabs. Hemp is a renewable biomaterial and lime is an abundant quarried material.

Hempcrete regulates the temperature and humidity of a building; in some cases completely eliminating the need for heating and cooling systems, resulting in huge energy savings. Hempcrete is carbon negative and the obvious choice for buildings aiming to achieve a low carbon footprint and the highest sustainable building code levels.

Hemp has been grown in East Anglia for hundreds of years. The carbon trapped in the hemp offsets the carbon not only of the hemp production but also the residual carbon from the lime production after re-absorption of carbon as the lime cures.

Being breathable, hempcrete is ideal for use in historic buildings and modern buildings using natural materials. Breathable buildings bring benefits for the health and comfort of the occupants.
Hempcrete Factsheet - Essential hempcrete info - The Limecrete Company
------------
Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp. (CGT), a bio-based construction materials company located in Calgary, AB, Canada, owned by Treestar Capital Corp., is a part of an expert, international-award winning, licensed engineering & manufacturing group, in business for almost 30 years. CGT is a sister company of (and founded by the same founders as) Cementec Industries Inc. – an industry leader in developing, manufacturing and supplying specialty, high value building materials to major, multi-billion dollar cement / concrete construction and oil & gas well cementing companies in Canada, USA and overseas.
Construction Materials - Canadian Greenfield

-------------companies making hemp-based building materials -----
The Hemp Company of Steve Allin in Ireland is known worldwide for its high quality hemp-based building materials. The official website Hempbuilding.com provides all the information about the hemp materials.

The Hemp Builders in Australia produce all types of hemp building materials from hemcrete plywood, bricks to flooring materials.

Wellington Polymer Technology Inc. based in Chatham, Ontario specializes in low-maintenance roofing product branded as "Enviroshake". The products are made from hemp, plastics and crumb rubber from tires.

Natural Building Technologies in England is a leader in high-insulation material made from hemp and recycled cotton fibers. The building materials are fire-proof and pest resistant. The products are sold under the label "Isonat".

How is Hemp used in Building?
------------

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  #96 (permalink)
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Each year for the past few decades during the Southern Hemisphere spring, chemical reactions involving chlorine and bromine cause ozone in the southern polar region to be destroyed rapidly and severely. This depleted region is known as the “ozone hole”.

The area of the ozone hole is determined from a map of total column ozone. It is calculated from the area on the Earth that is enclosed by a line with a constant value of 220 Dobson Units. The value of 220 Dobson Units is chosen since total ozone values of less than 220 Dobson Units were not found in the historic observations over Antarctica prior to 1979. Also, from direct measurements over Antarctica, a column ozone level of less than 220 Dobson Units is a result of the ozone loss from chlorine and bromine compounds.

Ozone is a colorless gas. Chemically, ozone is very active; it reacts readily with a great many other substances. Near the Earth’s surface, those reactions cause rubber to crack, hurt plant life, and damage people’s lung tissues. But ozone also absorbs harmful components of sunlight, known as “ultraviolet B”, or “UV-B”. High above the surface, above even the weather systems, a tenuous layer of ozone gas absorbs UV-B, protecting living things below.




Ozone Hole Watch: Latest status of Antarctic ozone

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OZONE.mp4 (266.1 KB, 11 views)
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  #97 (permalink)
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Let take heat from the ocen

We should find a way to extract heat from the ocean create clean energy.

Ideas anyone?

------The news from coral surveys south of the popular tourist city of Cairns was bleak, with about 5 percent of corals found dead or dying. But that was some 10 times better than the doom that befell reefs further north.

Corals south of Cairns appear to have been saved by the happenstance trajectory of a February cyclone, which washed them with cooler waters and churned up the sea. That protected them from the high temperatures and searing exposure to UV rays that killed so many of their cousins further north.

“We dodged a bullet in the central portion of the reef this time, but no guarantees that will occur again,” Pandolfi said. “Nature is an incredibly complex place, and it’s very difficult to predict how future bleaching might play out.”

The discovery of the collapse of sweeping sections of corals was viewed by scientists with so much urgency that they were not put through peer review before highlights were released to the media on Monday. James Cook University, which led the surveys, declined to provide detailed information about the sampling methods or analysis, making it difficult for journalists or other scientists to evaluate or interpret the findings.

“The research is publicly funded,” James Cook professor Terry Hughes said. “I released our mortality results because, as a scientist, I’m ethically obliged to inform people on an issue of national and international importance.”

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Every year during Zambia’s dry season that lasts from around April to November, river levels drop, forcing herds of hippos into increasingly crowded pools during the heat of the day. A regional drought that’s the worst in 35 years has also increased competition over nocturnal grazing, meaning the beasts have to roam further to find food.

Hippos Are No Longer on Zambian Menus as Anthrax Threat Rises - Bloomberg

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  #99 (permalink)
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Industrial air pollution — bad for people’s health, bad for the planet — is strikingly concentrated in America among a small number of facilities like those in southwest Indiana, according to a nine-month Center for Public Integrity investigation.

The Center, which merged two federal datasets to create an unprecedented picture of air emissions, found that a third of the toxic air releases in 2014 from power plants, factories and other facilities came from just 100 complexes out of more than 20,000 reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A third of the greenhouse-gas emissions reported by industrial sites came from just 100, too. Some academics have a name for them: super polluters.

Twenty-two sites appeared on both lists. They include ExxonMobil’s massive refinery and petrochemical complex in Baytown, Texas, and a slew of coal-fired power plants, from FirstEnergy’s Harrison in West Virginia to Conemaugh in Pennsylvania, owned by companies including NRG Energy and PSEG. Four are in a single region — southwest Indiana. Together, owners of these 22 sites reported profits in excess of $58 billion in 2014.

Thomas O. McGarity, a law professor and regulatory scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, said the Center’s findings show that “a lot of the problem is isolated, and what we need to do is focus in on these plants.”

The EPA says it’s doing that. In a written statement, the agency said its sustained emphasis on the electric power sector has led to “dramatically” lower emissions from power plants since 1990 — “while the U.S. economy has continued to grow” — and it is working to get further improvements.

But not all the states are on board. Indiana is one of 27 suing the EPA over its Clean Power Plan, which would require reductions in climate-altering greenhouse-gas pollution from electric utilities. Indiana is also among the states that tried to block a federal rule to reduce emissions of dangerous metals and acid gases from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Its governor, Mike Pence — Donald Trump’s running mate — is a pro-coal, climate-change skeptic who says the costs of shifting to cleaner energy sources are too high.

Maintaining the status quo has costs as well: bad air that threatens health and fuels global warming. More toxic pollution from utility coal plants was sent into the air within 30 miles of Evansville than around any other mid-sized or large American city in 2014, a Center analysis shows. That same 30-mile radius accounted for the most greenhouse gases released by U.S. coal plants that year around any city.

Mike Pence — Donald Trump’s running mate — says the costs of shifting to cleaner energy sources are too high.

Across the country, the top 100 facilities releasing greenhouse gases — almost all of them coal plants — collectively added more than a billion metric tons to the atmosphere in 2014. That’s the equivalent of a year’s worth of such emissions from 219 million passenger vehicles — nearly twice as many as the total number registered nationwide.

The top 100 for toxic air emissions vented more than 270 million pounds of chemicals in 2014. The vast majority of these chemicals have known health risks, according to the EPA; they can target the lungs, the brain or other organs, and some can affect the development of children born and unborn.

Eight of the super polluters have closed. The rest, including all four in Indiana, still operate.

Tina Dearing, 48, with 8-year-old daughter Maleah. Dearing believes air pollution contributed to her husband’s fatal heart attack.
Credit: Jamie Smith Hopkins / The Center for Public Integrity

Tina Dearing, 48, from Huntingburg, Indiana, was unexpectedly widowed in March when her 57-year-old husband died of a heart attack. Coronary artery disease, the death certificate says. Two months later, researchers published the results of a 10-year study that showed why previous investigations kept finding shorter lifespans in areas with poorer air quality: pollution appears to accelerate harmful deposits in the arteries that cause nearly all heart attacks and most strokes.

Dearing’s family lives northeast of Evansville in a community within 30 miles of two of Indiana’s largest coal plants. She knows a variety of factors can play a role in an early death, but believes dirty air contributed in her husband’s case.

“The air quality stinks,” she said.

The Center, which relied on the EPA’s most recent final Toxics Release Inventory data to track total chemical releases, found that the people who live within three miles of the top 100 polluters are in some ways a cross-section of America: spread across half the states, all races, young and old, in a wide range of income brackets.

Hyper-polluters “disproportionately expose communities of color and low income populations to chemical releases.”

But more of them are poor or African-American than the country as a whole, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. For instance, nearly 90 percent of the thousands living within three miles of ExxonMobil’s refinery and chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are black and about a third are below the poverty line. The complex, which ExxonMobil said has reduced total emissions over 40 percent since 1990, released more than 2.6 million pounds of chemicals to the air in 2014, including hydrogen cyanide — which can cause headaches, confusion and nausea — and known carcinogens such as benzene.

Mary B. Collins with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and two other researchers found similar disparities in a sophisticated analysis this year, writing that “there exists a class of hyper-polluters — the worst-of-the-worst — that disproportionately expose communities of color and low income populations to chemical releases.”

While people nearby are the most affected, these facilities can degrade air far afield. Almost all the states with top toxic-air emitters send a significant amount of pollution to downwind states, according to EPA analyses — in some cases reaching people hundreds of miles away.

Some of the companies that own the nation’s biggest polluters say their emissions break no rules and are simply a reflection of a facility’s size. Others point out that they’ve ratcheted down releases in recent years, including after 2014. FirstEnergy said it has shuttered coal plants accounting for more than 5,000 megawatts of power generation since 2012.

NRG, which owns or co-owns several coal plants on the top-100 lists, said its toxic air emissions are falling, including a sharp drop in mercury in 2015 to comply with new federal regulations, and it has set aggressive climate goals — a 50-percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2030, 90 percent by 2050 — that would mean a major overhaul in the way it makes power.

“Things can’t continue on the same path as they have for decades,” Bruno Sarda, NRG’s chief sustainability officer, said of businesses worldwide. “More and more of our new revenue is coming from much lower-carbon sources.”

“Things can’t continue on the same path as they have for decades.”

But coal is far from dead in America. And the tug-of-war over the future of electric power generation will affect everyone, some more than others. The influential utility industry. Blue-collar energy workers, from coal miners to solar-panel installers. Neighbors of coal plants. Electricity customers. People suffering from the lengthening pollen season, dangerous heat waves, devastating floods and other effects of global warming.

To watch this unfold, come to one of the biggest coal-burning states, a place with no renewable-energy requirements. No mandatory energy-efficiency targets to cut back on unnecessary, money-wasting usage. No contingency plan for climate-change repercussions, which so worried local university researchers that a group of them sent a letter to the governor last fall pleading with him to call on their expertise — a letter that went unanswered.

Come to Indiana.

Super Polluters - Super Polluters

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source:
Global Warming Nears Tipping Point - Bloomberg

Global temperatures continue to shatter records this year, rising to within less than one degree of the level that scientists say would be catastrophic, according to the United Nations.

During the first nine months of the year, temperatures were 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded at the end of the 1800s, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said in a report Monday. If the Earth warms more than 2 degrees beyond those pre-industrial levels, scientists have warned that climate change could hit an irreversible tipping point, unleashing a torrent of floods, droughts and storms.


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