Now I am getting upset. A great man once said, “Human beings cannot correct problems he creates, for if he could see he was about to cause a problem, he would stop if before it needed the solution.” Or something like that. The point is, we are doing things that are seemingly irreversible. Most of us know what we have done to our air with the advent of the automobile and the petroleum-fueled engine. It was created to get rid of the problem called, “the streets smell like horse dung.” Thus it was deemed the horseless carriage and horsepower is still the way we measure an auto’s speed. What had me go off on this topic today??? In reading the Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Have we gone too far? Or not far enough? Dam! While alternatives to dirty electricity have been realized by damming large bodies of water, a study conducted by researchers from Utrecht University in The Netherlands and led by Roelof Dirk Schuiling, suggests that damming the south entrance to the Red Sea would generate 50 gigawatts of electricity. The proposed dam, to be named Bab-al-Mandab, would prevent the inflow of seawater from the Indian Ocean and would win the prize as the largest hydroelectric plant in the world.
While no one can deny the potential positive outcomes — less tension between Middle Eastern countries, a cleaner solution to the growing energy needs of millions of people who currently rely on fossil fuels — the question arises, what about the negative impact?
With an acronym like SLUT, the city of Seattle must be expecting ridicule. But what’s in a name? And what are YOU doing to save the planet? Probably not more than Seattle’s SLUT.
Besides, the South Lake Union Trolley is no joke. Trolleys, as we know, are a more fuel efficient option than cars and buses, which is good news for the environment.
Developed by Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan, this sexy modern streetcar made its maiden voyage last week. It runs a 1.3 mile route, connecting South Lake Union, the new waterfront park, the Denny Triangle and the Downtown Retail Core/Westlake. Before you balk at the modest route, understand that it hooks up with light rail, regional buses and the monorail at Westlake. The streetcar stops every 2 – 3 blocks and can carry up to 140 passengers at 15 minute intervals. Ridership is projected at 330,000 in the first year, growing to over one million as the area develops.
You’d think a streetcar named SLUT would be undesirable, but it might be working that maxim of “no publicity is bad publicity”. At the Kapow! coffee shop in the old Cascade neighborhood, 100 T-shirts bearing the words “Ride the SLUT” sold out in days.
Hmmm, perhaps the City should adopt that as their official slogan. Kurt Cobain certainly did.
There should be awards for award shows. For example, the coolest music awards? The Brit Awards, natch. Best schaudenfraude awards? The Razzies. (Now we’ll never forget “Gigli”.) Most irritating? The CMT awards. All that crooning and yodeling gets under my skin Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The Bali Conference closed last weekend to a chorus of boos and hisses, directed mostly at the U.S. delegation for its successful stonewalling of progress in the war on climate change. It’s well known by now that the U.S. is the only industrialized country not to have signed on to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls for countries to reduce emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Although it became clear at the Bali conference that Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
What could be more gratifying than rebuilding a tornado-ravaged town into an environmentally responsible and efficient safe haven for its survivors? The opportunity to educate and enlighten others during the process.
Welcome to “Eco-Town”, quite possibly the world’s first reality show with socially redeeming value.
This past May, a frenzied tornado devastated the tiny Midwestern town of Greensburg, Kansas. Nearly every structure – houses, businesses, schools, even hospitals – was severely damaged or destroyed. Lives were lost and those who survived did so without their homes.
The near total decimation of a town is a terrible thing, as the people of New Orleans can attest to. But can something good ever come from it?
This past May, a frenzied tornado devastated the tiny Midwestern town of Greensburg, Kansas. Nearly every structure – houses, businesses, schools, even hospitals – was severely damaged or destroyed. Lives were lost and those who survived did so without their homes Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
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.
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.
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.