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

  #41 (permalink)
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Very true Gabrieyle!

Thanks for the video.

Sadly they don't need to use mercury in vaccines to preserve them - there are lots of safe choices.

Reading "Cure for all diseases" is a real eye-opener. This the author was far ahead of her time and the death and disease establishment (aka medical). Very worthwhile book and covers the dangers of floride, mercury, lead etc. etc.

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  #42 (permalink)
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The Truth About the New Light Bulb Law | Green
By Sarah B. Weir





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Old bulb, new bulbOn January 1, 2012 a law phasing out standard 100-watt incandescent bulbs will go into effect. However, it won't be the bulb apocalypse that some detractors have been warning of. In short: the notion that incandescent bulbs will no longer be available is a myth. Nor will you be forced to buy Compact Fluroescent Lightbulbs ( CFLs ). "You will still be able to buy incandescents," Noah Horowitz , senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) , told Yahoo! Shine. "The only difference being that the new and improved ones are more efficient."

Related: Samsung Introduces Advanced LED Light Bulbs to Brighten U.S. Households with Energy Efficient, Natural-looking Light

The new incandescent bulbs operate and look just like the old-fashioned bulbs that you are used to-they have the same shape and base design. And, according to Horowitz, most people won't notice any difference in the color or quality of light. What is different is that they have an improved filament design, which makes them 28% more efficient as the law requires. So, when you are bulb shopping for replacements for your old 100-watt incandescents, look for new ones labeled "72-watt soft white." Sylvania , Philips , and GE all make similar versions.

The Federal Trade Commission has revised its labeling requirements for most light bulb packages, which might initially cause some confusion. All new bulbs will be labeled prominently with lumens in addition to watts. Watts measure power used, lumens measure the amount of light emitted. Since CFLs, LEDs and other types of bulbs vary in wattage, the most accurate way to look for new efficient bulbs that give off the same amount of light you are used to and prefer is by lumens. The approximate equivalents for old standard incandescents are:

40 watts=450 lumens60 watts = 800 lumens75 watts = 1100 lumens100 watts= 1600 lumens

The new light bulbs do cost more, but will save you money over their lifetime. On average, a new incandescent bulb will cost $1 to $2 compared to 25 cents. That may seem like a big jump, but the NRDC estimates that you will actually save $3 to $3.50 over the life of each bulb--which means they pay for themselves. The average homeowner using all efficient lighting will save $100 to 200 per year on energy costs. That adds up to a savings of $13 billion per year in the United States. New bulbs also reduce pollution. Upgrading our nation's lighting will cut the need for 30 large power plants and reduce carbon pollution by the same amount as taking 17 million cars off the road.

New incandescent bulbs aren't your only option. All major retailers, such as Home Depot , Lowe's , and Target , sell a range of bulbs that meet the new energy standards including the improved incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are the cheapest, while LEDs are the most expensive but last for as long as 25 years.

Here are some more shopping tips from Horowitz:

1. Look for "warm white" CFLs and LEDs . Most people prefer "warm white" over those marketed as "cool white" or "day light."

The Environmental Protection Agency offers detailed information on buying the right CFLs for your needs

2. Not all new bulbs are dimmable . If you are replacing a bulb that was in a dimming circuit, make sure to buy a new incandescent or a CFL bulb specifically labeled dimmable.

3. Not all new bulbs are created equal . To ensure you are getting the highest quality product, choose bulbs with the Energy Star label, which meet strict performance requirements.

4 . Dispose of bulbs properly . You can throw incandescents and LEDs in the trash. To dispose of CFLs, which contain a small amount of mercury, place them in a plastic ziploc bag and bring to a Lowes's, Home Depot, or IKEA for free recycling.

The NRDC has a simple light bulb buying guide you can print and bring to the store.

Old incandescents will not be taken off store shelves on January 1, but phased out as they are sold off. The old 75-watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out in 2013 and the 60 and 40-watt bulbs in 2014. Horowitz points out that that new law has spurred innovation: "Without the law, we'd still be stuck with the 125-year-old technology that was so inefficient 90% of the electricity used was wasted as heat."

Photo courtesy of Anthony Clark (NRDC)

Related links:

Top Eco-Friendly Magazines

Hybrid Bulbs Combine Halogen and CFL Features Meet Nest: The World's Sexiest Thermostat

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  #43 (permalink)
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civilization will be at risk if Canada exploits oil sands

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NASA scientist James Hanson says civilization will be at risk if Canada exploits oil sands
By Andy Radia | Canada Politics – Thu, 10 May, 2012

An aerial view of the Syncrude tar sands mine is seen, north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.A prominent NASA scientist penned a provocative column in the New York Times Thursday, suggesting the end of civilization could be nigh, thanks to Alberta's 'tar sands.'

"Global warming isn't a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves 'regardless of what we do,'" climatologist James Hanson wrote.

"If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies...twenty to 50 percent of the planet's species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk."

Hansen, who has directed the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies for nearly three decades, has published numerous articles on the subject of climate change.

In recent year's he's become an activist, once getting arrested at a White House protest against mountaintop coal mining.

His solution to stop Canada's 'exploitation' of the oil sands is for the U.S. government to introduce a different kind of cap and trade system.

"We should impose a gradually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies, then distribute 100 percent of the collections to all Americans on a per-capita basis every month. The government would not get a penny," he wrote.

"Most Americans, except the heaviest energy users, would get more back than they paid in increased prices. Not only that, the reduction in oil use resulting from the carbon price would be nearly six times as great as the oil supply from the proposed pipeline from Canada, rendering the [Keystone] pipeline superfluous, according to economic models driven by a slowly rising carbon price."

This isn't the first time Hansen has weighed-in on the oil sands, but his musings comes on the heels of a parliamentary report suggesting Canada won't meet its emission targets - a report, which made it on to the New York Times website, on Tuesday

------------
Way-to-go Harper - you make all thinking Canadians ashamed to have you in office!

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Visionary author Ernest Callenbach dies

Ernest Callenbach, Last words to an America in decline | Energy Bulletin



Epistle to the Ecotopians

By Ernest Callenbach

[This document was found on the computer of Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012) after his death.]


To all brothers and sisters who hold the dream in their hearts of a future world in which humans and all other beings live in harmony and mutual support -- a world of sustainability, stability, and confidence. A world something like the one I described, so long ago, in Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging.

As I survey my life, which is coming near its end, I want to set down a few thoughts that might be useful to those coming after. It will soon be time for me to give back to Gaia the nutrients that I have used during a long, busy, and happy life. I am not bitter or resentful at the approaching end; I have been one of the extraordinarily lucky ones. So it behooves me here to gather together some thoughts and attitudes that may prove useful in the dark times we are facing: a century or more of exceedingly difficult times.

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  #45 (permalink)
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Zondor View Post
Ernest Callenbach, Last words to an America in decline | Energy Bulletin



To all brothers and sisters who hold the dream in their hearts of a future world in which humans and all other beings live in harmony and mutual support -- a world of sustainability, stability, and confidence. A world something like the one I described, so long ago, in Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging.

Many thanks Zondor,

I shall his books that you mention.
I get very saddened in these dark times and would like to read a positive vision.

I penned some time ago a vision of a planet where there was room life for the animals, there was no pollution, every lake and river sparkled fresh and clean and you could drink and swim in any of them. The oceans were restored to pristine abundance (like John Cabot who crewmen tossed over a woven basket and drew it up overladen with fish. Where the air was pure and clean and the land without chemicals and poisions.

Everything was done with zero pollution.

The entire population of the planet lived at a good standard living with good food, water a nice home with garden, free access to healthcare, recreation and higher education (perhaps like a Swede or Norwegian or Swizz e.g $60,000 per year). No war. (Probably families with one or two children?).

It has been said
"Without a vision the people will perish"

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  #46 (permalink)
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Soil erosion

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Driving home from western Iowa last night I could think of only one thing. Soil erosion is totally out of control in the hills there.


You could see the damage across several counties stretching from the Loess Hills above the Missouri River to the western reaches of the Des Moines River watershed. I gave up trying to photograph it. An iPhone camera simply can't do this sad drama justice.


In many fields the losses were easily visible from the highway as large gulleys and soil deposits at the bottom of the fields. Newly planted crops were entirely washed away in places. Even on some of the better tended sloping soils--those with grass waterways, terraces and no-till--the damage was clear.



Creeks looked like open sewers. One normally clean pond I visited was as dirty as Big Muddy itself.



To be fair, the rains in the area have been heavy--nine inches in a week near my home town, according to a friend. One farmer's first comment to me was "The rains came quick and hard."



This map (click here) generated on May 19 by the Iowa Daily Erosion Project documents just how damaging intense storms can be: Note that those orange and red areas show where soil losses reached seven tons per acre for that single day.



I get the fact that it rained, and it rained hard. But, this dramatic damage to the land pulls back the curtain of what's been going on in the hills for a decade or more now. More and more, farmers are pushing to grow corn where it's not possible in any kind of sustainable way. In the process, they're destroying the soils, polluting the waters, and scarring the landscape.



Some hillside corn fields, ones I remember as grass and timber not so long ago, are so god-awful steep that you wonder how a tractor and combine can even operate on them. It's breathtaking in a perverse sort of way.



It appears that some guys are hanging a planter wheel out over the edge of creeks and rivers. The field edge is literally the stream bank. There's not a buffer, terrace or grass waterway in sight on many of these newly converted fields.



I welcomed the setting sun as I approached the flatlands of central Iowa. I couldn't take another minute of witnessing what's happening in too many places in those once-beautiful hills.



I wanted to blame the goverment for not enforcing conservation compliance and sodbuster regulations. I wanted to blame certain farmers for abandoning their moral responsibility to care for the land for future generations. I wanted to blame local citizens for not applying peer pressure on their bad apple neighbors.



But mostly, it felt shameful yesterday to be associated with agriculture, and I was ashamed of myself as much as anything.

Good trading to everyone.
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  #47 (permalink)
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excerpt
Epistle to the Ecotopians
By Ernest Callenbach

(Thanks Zondor)

"By law and by stock-market pressures, corporations must seek their highest possible profits, no matter the social or national consequences -- which means moving capital and resources abroad, wherever profit potential is larger. As Karl Marx darkly remarked, “Capital has no country,” and in the conditions of globalization his meaning has come clear.

The looter elite systematically exports jobs, skills, knowledge, technology, retaining at home chiefly financial manipulation expertise: highly profitable, but not of actual productive value. Through “productivity gains” and speedups, it extracts maximum profit from domestic employees; then, firing the surplus, it claims surprise that the great mass of people lack purchasing power to buy up what the economy can still produce (or import).

Here again Marx had a telling phrase: “Crisis of under-consumption.” When you maximize unemployment and depress wages, people have to cut back. When they cut back, businesses they formerly supported have to shrink or fail, adding their own employees to the ranks of the jobless, and depressing wages still further. End result: something like Mexico, where a small, filthy rich plutocracy rules over an impoverished mass of desperate, uneducated, and hopeless people.

Barring unprecedented revolutionary pressures, this is the actual future we face in the United States, too. As we know from history, such societies can stand a long time, supported by police and military control, manipulation of media, surveillance and dirty tricks of all kinds. It seems likely that a few parts of the world (Germany, with its worker-council variant of capitalism, New Zealand with its relative equality, Japan with its social solidarity, and some others) will remain fairly democratic.

The U.S., which has a long history of violent plutocratic rule unknown to the textbook-fed, will stand out as the best-armed Third World country, its population ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-educated, ill-cared for in health, and increasingly poverty-stricken: even Social Security may be whittled down, impoverishing tens of millions of the elderly.

As empires decline, their leaders become increasingly incompetent -- petulant, ignorant, gifted only with PR skills of posturing and spinning, and prone to the appointment of loyal idiots to important government positions. Comedy thrives; indeed writers are hardly needed to invent outrageous events.

We live, then, in a dark time here on our tiny precious planet. Ecological devastation, political and economic collapse, irreconcilable ideological and religious conflict, poverty, famine: the end of the overshoot of cheap-oil-based consumer capitalist expansionism."

....

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  #48 (permalink)
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environmental shift

(Read below for a gross underestimation of how bad things really are -- except if you count every fish )


source
Earth reaching an environmental 'state shift': Report
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Researchers suggest the planet's ecosystems could shift into a new state within just a few decades or a few generations if human population and consumption rates continue to soar.
Photograph by: Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory , NASA Johnson Space Center.

Humans are so altering Earth's biosphere that an international team is warning "a state shift" could be just decades away.

They don't use the word doomsday, but they come close.

"Humans now dominate Earth, changing it in ways that threaten its ability to sustain us and other species," the researchers report Thursday in the journal Nature.

The researchers stress it is not known how close Earth is to a global tipping point, or if it is inevitable.

But they suggest that the planet's ecosystems could shift into a new state within just a few decades or a few generations if human population and consumption rates continue to soar.

"It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point," says lead author Anthony Barnosky, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Or, as Canadian co-author Arne Mooers, at Simon Fraser Univeristy in British Columbia, puts it: "Once the shift occurs, they'll be no going back."

A shift or tipping point is "speculation at this point," Mooers told Postmedia News.

"But it's one of those things where you say: 'Hey, maybe we better find out,' because if it's true, it's pretty serious."

The Nature paper grew out of a 2010 conference that raised plenty of questions about whether humans could trigger a state shift, but few answers on how to recognize and avoid it.

The 22 biologists, ecologists, theoreticians, geologists and paleontologists who produced Thursday's report reviewed past stateshifts — the latest being end of the most recent ice age — and the remarkable changes humans are driving on the planet.

The climate is warming so fast that the "mean global temperature by 2070 (or possibly a few decades earlier) will be higher than it has been since the human species evolved," they say.

And to support the current population of seven billion people, about 43 per cent of Earth's land surface has been converted to agricultural or urban use. The population is expected to hit nine billion by 2045 and they say current trends suggest that half Earth's land surface will be altered by humans by 2025.

That's "disturbingly close" to a potential global tipping point, Barnosky says in a release issued with the report. The study says tipping points tend to occur when 50 to 90 per cent of smaller ecosystems have been disrupted.

"I think that if we want to avoid the most unpleasant surprises, we want to stay away from that 50 per cent mark," Barnosky says.

The "ultimate effects" of a state shift are unknown, but the researchers suggest it could have severe impact on the world's fisheries, agriculture, forests and water resources. And they warn that "widespread social unrest, economic instability and loss of human life could result."

Mooers says it is known the biosphere is changing because of human activity. "It's a question of whether it is going to be manageable change or abrupt change," he says. "And we have reason to be the change may be abrupt and surprising."

Mooers says he hopes that they are proven wrong. "It would be great if the naysayers were right, I wouldn't have to worry.

"But there is no evidence to suggest they are right," he says. "The evidence is the opposite."

The report is one of series of papers in Nature this week on the huge challenges facing international leaders and delegates gathering in Rio de Janeiro on June 20 for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20. It is the 20th anniversary of 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

The journal notes there has been little progress on key international commitments made 20 years ago.

Instead of curbing carbon emissions to try slow climate change, global greenhouse emissions have soared 45 per cent since 1990. And governments are nowhere near meeting 20-year-old pledges to better protect biodiversity — 30 per cent of amphibians, 21 per cent of birds and 25 per cent of mammals are at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Read more: Earth reaching an environmental 'state shift': Report

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  #49 (permalink)
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Industrial scars: aerial photographs of pollution by J Henry Fair - Telegraph

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Don't worry so much....nature has a way of correcting things

Amazon.com: The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (9780143036494): John M. Barry: Books

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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