In Fort Collins Colorado, renewal is a way of life” at least according to their town motto. However, recent debates have emerged between local politicians and environmentalists regarding two projects the city is currently working on. The goals of both projects are to produce a new form of zero-carbon energy, but while one process has earned residential approval, the other one hasn’t. But neither one of them seems particularly green in its execution.
The most controversial of the two projects would utilize a uranium mine a fact that has never pleased the townspeople and massive drilling to extract nuclear-generated electricity. Local politicians have united in expressing their concerns about using the mine as part of the project, given the potential contamination of the city’s water supply.
Local enviornmentalist Dan Bihn, according to an article in the New York Times, believes people should hear the complete plan for the uranium mine before jumping to conclusions. The newspaper quotes Mr. Bihnwas as saying, “I think nuclear needs to be on the table […] and we just can’t emotionally react to it.” Yet, strangely enough, when asked for his emotional reaction to the issue, he replied, “Deep down inside, my emotional reaction is that we should never do this.”
Even stranger, the more popular project is called AVA Solar and proposes to utilize new technology to create solar panels using cadmium, a hazardous metal thought to cause cancer.
Which begs the bigger question of whether or not communities should potentially sacrifice local green in their attempts to achieve global green.
The debate is currently going on in Fort Collins, and will no doubt be popping up in other areas.
“Mysterious creatures found lurking under the islands of the Aleutians…” Sounds like the beginning to “Underworld”, doesn’t it? But the follow up is far from Likens or Vampires. What have been discovered by a team of scientific divers are three new types of marine organisms.
Two new forms of sea anemones were discovered swimming along the ocean floor in search of food. While most anemones latch onto the ocean’s bottom, the swimming kind can detach and moved along with the currents. The size of the newly found anemones ranged from softball to basketball. (Those are some BIG anemones. I’d almost rather come across a vampire.)
The third type of organism found was a new form of Kelp. It has been named Golden V Kelp or Aureophycus aleuticus. (I’ll stick with Golden V.) Mandy Lindeberg, an algae expert with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service states that the kelp may represent a new family of the seaweed. Golden V was about 10 feet long and was found growing near the thermal vents in the region surrounding the dive.
Stephen Jewett, a professor of marine biology and the dive leader on the expedition, stated that “since the underwater world of the Aleutian Islands has been studied so little, new species are being discovered, even today.”
The dives were part of a health assessment of the Aleutian Islands and were sponsored by the Alaska Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, AKMAP. The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The samples from the dive are being used to check the biodiversity in the region as well as checking the water quality for potential contaminates such as radioactive materials left over from underwater nuclear tests conducted at Amchitka Island between 1965 and 1971.
Nice to know something wonderful (like the discovery of new species) can come from something catastrophic.
The American auto industry giants just took another big hit. This time it didn’t come from the latest Japanese or German invention that gets better mileage on a smaller engine; the hit comes from a guy in his garage in Witchita, Kansas: Johnathan Goodwin. He is making America’s biggest, hulking SUVs more efficient, less polluting, and beefier on the horsepower.
How’s he doing it? His latest project, according to fastcompany online, turns a jet turbine into a super-efficient battery charger – in a Hummer. The jet doesn’t drive the powertrain – sorry Batman fans – it chips in only when the “supercapacitor” batteries are running low. These batteries kick, providing over 600 horsepower (over 2 times the gas engine). Fuel efficiency? Burning biodiesel, it runs about 60 mpg. Goodwin also incorporates a hydrogen-injection system that cuts in half the already-decreased biodiesel exhaust, creating the meanest, greenest thing I’ve seen.
Remember Madonna’s striped house in the Hollywood Hills? Back in the mid-‘90s, she owned a spectacular nine-story Spanish castle just below the Hollywood sign. And for whatever reason, she painted red and yellow horizontal stripes on the outside of it. Reportedly, the neighbors were not pleased.
Now she’s gone crazy with the colors again – and this time she’s pissed off more than the neighbors.
For a recent Vogue photo shoot at her Ashcombe Estate in England, the singer had her sheep dyed blue, pink, yellow and green. Not sure what look she was going for there, but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) responded by labeling it “an irresponsible publicity stunt.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal says “doing a lot doesn’t take a lot” in the opening of her video promo for Trickle Up, an organization with which she’s teamed up to help combat poverty this holiday season.
The actress invites you to make a $100 donation in the name of a loved one. The money, according to Trickle Up’s Seed A Dream website, will be someone’s “first steps out of poverty.” The loved one will receive a necklace designed by NY designer TENTHOUSANDTHINGS and a note explaining how your gift to them has been the betterment of someone’s life.
Salvaged wood is all the rage. It’s not recycled, it’s not renewable — it’s a completely reused product. If milled right, the whole process has a very small impact on the environment. Many homeowners also match hard-to-find antique woods, like Heart Pine flooring, with reclaimed wood from other sources.
And (as if you needed another reason) it can be cheaper than new lumber.
Designers Bart Bettencourt and Carlos Salgado are salvaged wood trendsetters. In 2003, their furniture line, Scrapile, was born in Brooklyn. Using a special technique of collecting and repurposing scraps of wood, they create benches, dining tables, stools and side tables.
There’s a giant debate over a tiny creature in Colorado after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to keep the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse on the endangered species list. The tiny animal is the subject of much debate in the West over water usage, land development and rights.
On November 1st, the Wildlife service removed the mouse from the endangered species list in the state of Wyoming, but kept it on the list in Colorado. The land in Wyoming on which the mouse lives mainly consists of agriculture, and the Wildlife service does not see where this would be cause for concern over the extinction of the mouse. However, in Colorado — according to a report from the Wildlife service — land development activities have really altered the habitat. The development continues, thus creating a major concern to the Wildlife service in regards to the Jumping Mouse’s future.
Naked celebrities always get my attention. Especially when there’s a message behind bare-ass. And just in time for the holidays, Samantha Who? star Christina Applegate is showing some skin for PETA.
What does Christina’s nakedness and PETA have to do with the holidays, you ask? According to those People For The Ethical Treament of Animals, the actress has “posed nude to help remind people to stay away from fur and fur-trim during the holiday season.”
And you can remind your friends to do the same by sending a free E-card from the PETA site.
Are we ready for artificial trees and volcanoes, stimulating massive plankton growth, and putting a giant mirror in space above Greenland? It’s sad, but true that we’re going ahead and planning artificial techniques as our plan “B” to cool the earth.
Does knowing that there’s a backup plan like geoengineering encourage people to do less on their part? On the contrary, it should be a red flag and only encourage people to pump up action taken locally and globally.
Early in November, a conference was held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to discuss geoengineering remedies for global warming. The participants in the conference noted that global emissions of greenhouse gases were moving above the limits predicted by climate models.
Here’s an interesting site to check out: 19.20.21. is an organization that will study 19 cities with at least 20 million people in the 21st century, compiling a five+-year package of “information on population’s effect regarding urban and business planning.” From what I’ve been able to glean from the site, 19.20.21. will investigate the trends of urbanization for the purpose of Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
When The Stern Review into the Economics of Climate Change was released last year many applauded its contents. One of those was former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Blair felt it was the most important report about the future ever written by the UK Government. However, after many experts have had a look at the report, they feel it just may be overrating the risks of global warming, and taking too lightly the cost to prevent and stop it.
Chief reporter of the report, Sir Nicolas Stern’s message was very straightforward: if nothing was done about global warming, the annual cost would be the same as 5% of Global GDP now and in the future. Yet acting on this could prevent a major disaster. Blair reiterated this at the reports launch last year.
According to the experts, the report, looked at in detail, doesn’t mention the problem in such an extreme way as previously thought. It states that these figures would not start to show up for another 100 years, and the forecast for a catastrophe would not be seen in our lifetime.