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Alternative Energy

General Motors to Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind P​ower

General Motors to Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind P​ower

. Last week I predicted it wouldn’t be long before we had more news on Fortune 500 wind power purchases. “This is the way we do business: offering vehicles that serve our customers’ lifestyle needs while providing sustainable solutions that improve our communities.”
GM already has plans to soon power 100 percent of its Arlington, Texas, plant using wind, where more than 100,000 SUV’s are made every year.
Kimberly-Clark, maker of products like Kleenex and Huggies, also announced a new wind deal in recent days.
David Gardiner and Associates examined the recent trend of manufacturers committing to buying renewables in a new report entitled “The Growing Demand for Renewable Energy among Major U.S. and Global Manufacturers.”
David Gardiner and Associates surveyed 160 large U.S. manufacturers, finding that 40 currently have a renewable energy goal in place, and 18 of those 40 have 100 percent renewable targets.
The report adds that manufacturers invest in renewable energy to lower energy costs, secure stable, low-risk energy prices and demonstrate corporate leadership.

Energy

Kim Miller: No, fracking is not good for Colorado

Kim Miller: No, fracking is not good for Colorado

. Former governors Bill Ritter and Roy Romer are doing TV ads promoting fracking in Colorado. They claim fracking is good for Colorado because it reduces our state’s carbon footprint, that we need natural gas, and we should turn Colorado into a “national model not by banning fracking, but by making it as good as we can.” They cite that we have some of the toughest regulations anywhere.
Even with its tough regulations Colorado has experienced earthquakes ( goo.gl/MpRqLo), a house explosion ( goo.gl/UsoztG) and continually poor air quality ( goo.gl/BA7ns7) due to fracking and its wastewater disposal. Fracking uses 3 million to 6 million gallons of fresh water per well that gets left behind in deep wells never to be used again because it is permanently contaminated. That’s a consideration in our climate where water is scarce and becoming scarcer ( goo.gl/8Q14ot). Yes, natural gas leaves less CO2 in the air than burning coal, but the leakage of methane at the well and in the miles of connected pipe is a huge issue.
Its carbon output is less than burning coal, but it’s not the best answer to our energy needs in the long run.
This would encourage investment in renewable energy, and that would be good for Colorado.

Conservation & Sustainability

Tens Of Thousands In Puerto Rico Told To Evacuate Immediately As Dam Cracks

Tens Of Thousands In Puerto Rico Told To Evacuate Immediately As Dam Cracks

. About 70,000 people in Puerto Rico’s northwestern municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas were being urged to evacuate immediately Friday after the Guajataca Dam there was found to be in “imminent” danger of failing.
The storm has dumped more than 20 inches of rain across a wide swath of the island.
A complete failure of the structure would unleash a deadly, fast-moving wave of water as the 2-square-mile lake it once held back is funneled downhill.
“We don’t know what the details are,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said at a news conference Friday.
Jery Stedinger, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Cornell University who has studied dam safety, told HuffPost that Puerto Rico’s dams are particularly vulnerable because Hurricane Irma also swiped the island just two weeks ago.
“We’re seeing a lot more hurricanes these days, and this was back to back,” he explained. “The first one probably got the ground wet, and it really enhances the runoff from the second one.
“So when doing dam safety studies, one worries about more than one flood.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Guardian: Climate Denial is the Fault of Old White People

Guardian: Climate Denial is the Fault of Old White People

Instead, it was the inaugural meeting of Ireland’s first climate denial group, the self-styled Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF) in Dublin in May.
Most deniers accept science in general, and even pride themselves on their science literacy, however, combatting climate change means more regulations and, the paper says, “demands a transformation of internalised attitudes”.
We learned our history – we learned that democracy is fragile, that sometimes people trade freedom for safety, even when the threat is imaginary.
We learned we should not believe everything we read – that people who call themselves scientists sometimes lie about their work.
We learned that it is OK to evaluate the evidence for ourselves, to reach our own conclusions.

Oceans

GLORES Partner Spotlight: Dr. Douglas McCauley

GLORES Partner Spotlight: Dr. Douglas McCauley

. This week, we are excited to shine the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) Partner Spotlight on Dr. Douglas McCauley, a member of our distinguished GLORES Science Council!
Douglas McCauley began his career as a fisherman in the Port of Los Angeles. He now serves as a Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. Prof. McCauley has a degree in political science and biology from UC Berkeley. His PhD research was done at Stanford University where he studied the ecology of sharks, large parrotfish and coral reef ecosystems. Prof. McCauley is a Sloan Research Fellow in the Ocean Sciences and he serves as the Director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative.
We use these sites as time capsules to help us learn how ocean ecosystems worked before they were heavily disturbed.

Alternative Energy

Ohio EPA Hikes Fines Against Rover Pipeline to $2.3 Million

Ohio EPA Hikes Fines Against Rover Pipeline to $2.3 Million

. Crews cleanup a spill from the Rover pipeline near the Tuscrawas River in southern Stark County.
Rover leaked more than 2 million gallons of drilling mud into protected Ohio wetlands this spring, leading the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order a halt to construction.
The Ohio EPA claim that while Rover’s owners, Energy Transfer Partners—which also owns the Dakota Access Pipeline—has done sufficient cleanup and monitoring at impacted sites, the company has refused to pay multiple fines. Over the last two years, the pipeline has racked up more “noncompliance incidents” than any other interstate gas pipeline.

Energy

Apple Just Made QR Codes A Must Have For Your Strategy

Apple Just Made QR Codes A Must Have For Your Strategy

. The feature was likely added for Chinese consumers (Apple is desperate to get into the market) but could really change up the way a lot of Western marketers work at the same time.
Asian markets have known for decades that QR codes offer utility and potential but they never caught on over here. (ExactTarget). Expect these numbers to go up sharply in the coming 12 months.
So what can you do with a QR code? A better question may be what can’t you do with one?
Local governments could really change the way the have issues reported.

Climate Change & Global Warming

First Day of Fall Essentials: Our 2017 Guide to Having an Awesome Autumn

First Day of Fall Essentials: Our 2017 Guide to Having an Awesome Autumn

. The smell of pumpkin pies, hot chocolate, warm apple cider and crackling fires is once again upon us… Happy First Day of Fall!
So to keep cozy by the fire this Fall, we are loving the Pottery Barn Benjamin Plaid Throw.
Minimalist Baker Golden Milk Recipe: For anybody who isn’t a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or any other traditional Fall drink, we recommend brewing up your own “Golden Milk,” recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker. we promise you that it is absolutely divine and is pretty much a hug in a cup.
FlapJacked Cinnamon Apple Protein Pancake Mix: Just because it isn’t bikini season anymore doesn’t mean that you should be deterred from going to the gym! And the FlapJacked Cinnamon Apple Protein Pancake mix is a perfect option.
HydroFlask Coffee Thermos: When walking to classes or work on crisp Fall mornings, a nice warm beverage is a necessity.
So pop these on, grab your Pottery Barn Throw, make some pancakes with a side of Golden Milk and enjoy the upcoming fall season!

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Conservation & Sustainability

Tens Of Thousands In Puerto Rico Told To Evacuate Immediately As Dam Cracks

Tens Of Thousands In Puerto Rico Told To Evacuate Immediately As Dam Cracks

. About 70,000 people in Puerto Rico’s northwestern municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas were being urged to evacuate immediately Friday after the Guajataca Dam there was found to be in “imminent” danger of failing.
The storm has dumped more than 20 inches of rain across a wide swath of the island.
A complete failure of the structure would unleash a deadly, fast-moving wave of water as the 2-square-mile lake it once held back is funneled downhill.
“We don’t know what the details are,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said at a news conference Friday.
Jery Stedinger, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Cornell University who has studied dam safety, told HuffPost that Puerto Rico’s dams are particularly vulnerable because Hurricane Irma also swiped the island just two weeks ago.
“We’re seeing a lot more hurricanes these days, and this was back to back,” he explained. “The first one probably got the ground wet, and it really enhances the runoff from the second one.
“So when doing dam safety studies, one worries about more than one flood.

Conservation & Sustainability

The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures

. Alba, an albino orangutan, snacks on a watermelon at the orangutan rehabilitation centre in central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The conservation group wants to create a 12-acre forest island for the world’s only known albino orangutan after rescuing it from villagers five months ago. Alba can’t be returned to the wild because of health issues related to her albinism.
California condors huddle around a watering hole in the Ventana wilderness east of Big Sur, California. Three decades after being pushed to the brink of extinction, the California condor is staging an impressive comeback, thanks to captive-breeding programs and reduced use of lead ammunition near their feeding grounds.

Conservation & Sustainability

The Ocean Flyway: The Surprising Open Water Routes of Songbird Migrations

The Ocean Flyway: The Surprising Open Water Routes of Songbird Migrations

. Blackpoll warblers, Connecticut warblers, bobolinks and perhaps other species all make this paradoxical choice, setting off across a watery abyss as they make their way to winter destinations in South America.
Keith made the case that Bermuda was on the path of a songbird “regular overwater migration route.” They noted that species which wintered in South America were more likely to be seen in Bermuda during fall.
One additional and dramatic bit of circumstantial evidence for the ocean flyway came in 1987 during the confluence of a hurricane and migrating birds over Bermuda.
Tracking work by Emily McKinnon and her coauthors that was published this year shows that Connecticut warblers lift off from the east coast and fly for two days before making landfall on Caribbean Islands (Cuba, Haiti and Dominican Republic).
Why do these birds choose the overwater route?
Birds use a tailwind to head southbound until they reach tradewinds north of the Caribbean that guide them southwestward to island stopover sites.
On his first voyage, Columbus happened to be sailing on the tradewinds north of Puerto Rico at the peak of fall migration in early October.
As climate changes, winds may also change.
For example, we now know that the fate of Connecticut and blackpoll warblers hinges in part on habitat availability and quality in the Caribbean islands.

Conservation & Sustainability

Can Pine Squirrels Change the Evolution of a Forest?

Can Pine Squirrels Change the Evolution of a Forest?

As tree densities change, so do types of flowers, birds, trees and other small mammals.
Why, you may now be asking, are squirrels living in these certain areas?
“You had all this serotiny that would rain down after a fire, and in areas where serotiny was really low, you would have more meadows than trees because there was no seedbank up there,” he says.
The magnitude of the results surprised even Talluto.
It only took, on average, about one pine squirrel per football field of forest to dramatically change rates of serotiny.
Since Benkman and Talluto’s research was published, Talluto moved onto other universities and Benkman continued his work with crossbills.
“The squirrels eat pine, but also fungi,” Benkman says.

Conservation & Sustainability

Days After Irma’s Destruction, Caribbean Residents Now Face Hurricane Maria

Days After Irma’s Destruction, Caribbean Residents Now Face Hurricane Maria

. Puerto Rico, along with both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, are bracing for a hit from Maria on Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center’s forecast. As of Monday afternoon, the storm was packing 130 mph winds and set to bring storm conditions to Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique later at night.
The threat of destructive rain ― predicted to be as high as 20 inches in some areas ― severe winds and storm surge come just as many who live in the Caribbean attempt to get back on their feet after Irma, which claimed at least three lives in Puerto Rico, at least four in the British Virgin Islands, and at least three in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where electricity may not be restored for months.
She had moved there with her husband 46 years ago and lost everything ― “a lifetime of labor and love” ― to Irma’s destruction.
Irma largely spared Puerto Rico but still knocked out power for about a million residents, which is simultaneously grappling with its worst economic crisis in modern history and has been in a near-continuous recession for the last 10 years.
As Maria neared, Rosselló said that about 85 percent of customers in and around San Juan, the territory’s capital, were still without electricity because of Irma.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jessie Smith told Florida Today that it never hurts to be prepared.

Conservation & Sustainability

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world, Climate Week edition

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world, Climate Week edition

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar.
Asia’s glaciers to shrink by a third by 2100, threatening water supply of millions Himalayan glaciers — a crucial source of fresh water for millions of people in South Asia and China — will lose up to a third of their mass, a study found.
The story: The Asian high mountains, the new study said, were already warming more rapidly than the global average, Agence France Presse reported Wednesday in The Guardian.
The bad news: This is a best-case scenario, as it assumes that global average temperature rise can be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The big picture: While much of the conservation world’s attention is focused on protecting forests, wetlands and coral reefs, mountains are sometimes taken for granted — yet climate change could crumble their ability to support life as we know it.
Mountains’ contributions to fresh water, energy and biodiversity are at risk in a changing climate.
The story: Much of the food we grow has been growing less nutritious over the years: A 2004 study of fruits and vegetables found that nutrients had declined significantly since 1950.
No one has been able to say exactly why, but now, a handful of scientists are beginning to suspect that the atmosphere itself — i.e. higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air — may be changing the food we eat.
Unlike in 2005, when the U.S. was racked by Katrina, Rita and Wilma, scientists are now more willing to link factors like worsened storm surge flooding and hurricane rainfall to climate change, Mooney writes.
Want to read more stories like this?

LATEST FROMClimate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change & Global Warming

Guardian: Climate Denial is the Fault of Old White People

Guardian: Climate Denial is the Fault of Old White People

Instead, it was the inaugural meeting of Ireland’s first climate denial group, the self-styled Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF) in Dublin in May.
Most deniers accept science in general, and even pride themselves on their science literacy, however, combatting climate change means more regulations and, the paper says, “demands a transformation of internalised attitudes”.
We learned our history – we learned that democracy is fragile, that sometimes people trade freedom for safety, even when the threat is imaginary.
We learned we should not believe everything we read – that people who call themselves scientists sometimes lie about their work.
We learned that it is OK to evaluate the evidence for ourselves, to reach our own conclusions.

Climate Change & Global Warming

First Day of Fall Essentials: Our 2017 Guide to Having an Awesome Autumn

First Day of Fall Essentials: Our 2017 Guide to Having an Awesome Autumn

. The smell of pumpkin pies, hot chocolate, warm apple cider and crackling fires is once again upon us… Happy First Day of Fall!
So to keep cozy by the fire this Fall, we are loving the Pottery Barn Benjamin Plaid Throw.
Minimalist Baker Golden Milk Recipe: For anybody who isn’t a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or any other traditional Fall drink, we recommend brewing up your own “Golden Milk,” recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker. we promise you that it is absolutely divine and is pretty much a hug in a cup.
FlapJacked Cinnamon Apple Protein Pancake Mix: Just because it isn’t bikini season anymore doesn’t mean that you should be deterred from going to the gym! And the FlapJacked Cinnamon Apple Protein Pancake mix is a perfect option.
HydroFlask Coffee Thermos: When walking to classes or work on crisp Fall mornings, a nice warm beverage is a necessity.
So pop these on, grab your Pottery Barn Throw, make some pancakes with a side of Golden Milk and enjoy the upcoming fall season!

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review: Week Ending September 22, 2017

Climate Change Week in Review: Week Ending September 22, 2017

This will go down in climate-activism history as the week that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump began dropping

Climate Change & Global Warming

LSE Bob Ward: Hurricanes are President Trump’s Fault

LSE Bob Ward: Hurricanes are President Trump’s Fault

Irma and Harvey lay the costs of climate change denial at Trump’s door The president’s dismissal of scientific research is doing nothing to protect the livelihoods of ordinary Americans Bob Ward Sunday 10 September 2017 09.05 AEST As the US comes to terms with its second major weather disaster within a month, an important question is whether the devastation caused by hurricanes Harveyand Irma will convince Donald Trump and his administration of the reality of climate change.
Third, apart from strong winds and heavy rainfall, hurricanes cause damage through storm surges as their winds push seawater ahead of them.
Sea levels have been gradually rising globally, making storm surges bigger and deadlier.
Scientists are still not sure about the other ways in which climate change may be impacting hurricanes.
… Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/10/hurricane-irma-harvey-climate-change-trump The biggest problem for alarmists like Bob is there is no upward trend in hurricane frequency or intensity.
(h/t Benny Peiser) … It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.
What if we keep burning fossil fuels and putting more CO2 into the atmosphere?
Climate models have never been validated in any meaningful scientific sense – an issue which bothers some climate scientists so much, they argue that the definition of science itself must be changed, to accommodate climate models’ lack of scientific falsifiability.
Are climate models falsifiable?
In a new study, the Stanford team used the insect-inspired design to protect a fragile photovoltaic material… Guest essay by Eric Worrall A Californian judge ruled that President Trump’s administration acted illegally in suspending Obama era royalty hikes against resource projects on government land.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending September 8, 2017

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending September 8, 2017

  This is a big week for watery news: news about oceans, about the fish that swim in them and

Climate Change & Global Warming

Google’s search bias against conservative news sites has been quantified

Google’s search bias against conservative news sites has been quantified

Guest essay by Leo Goldstein A Method of Google Search Bias Quantification and Its Application in Climate Debate and General Political Discourse Abstract The percentage of domain traffic, referred by Google Search, net of brand searches (PGSTN), tends to be in or around the range 25%-30% for a broad class of web domains.
Thus, PGSTN can be used rigorously to detect and even quantify Google Search intentional bias.
Methods It is known that Google Search provides 25%-30% of the user’s traffic to an average website.
Nevertheless, the Google attitude toward a domain has been provisionally noted and color coded in the attached spreadsheet PGSTN-Domains.xlsx as follows: Whitelist / Green Light: >36% Normal: 20%-36% Grey Area: 12%-20% Blacklist: <=12% Most domains were expected (based on the cited SEO research) to have PGSTN in the 20%-36% range. Google Bias in Climate Debate The domains were selected mostly according to Alexa classification. There is a huge gap between PGSTN of realism domains (6.3% – 17.4%), and PGSTN of climate alarmism domains (23.5%-52.4%). Except for drroyspencer.com, all climate realism domains are blacklisted by Google (PGSTN is 6.3% – 11.0%). Its PGSTN = 44.5%. Google Bias in General Political Discourse To quantify Google general political bias, I selected top U.S. news and opinions sites by their ranking in Alexa, then added some lower ranking conservative sites based on my personal knowledge and/or Alexa suggestions. In a new study, the Stanford team used the insect-inspired design to protect a fragile photovoltaic material… Guest essay by Eric Worrall A Californian judge ruled that President Trump’s administration acted illegally in suspending Obama era royalty hikes against resource projects on government land.

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