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Pick Your Power

May 12, 2019

What do wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydro power all have in common? You're right - they're all forms of renewable energy. Better than that, taken together they all put the kibosh on coal-produced energy this past April. Expectations are that they'll do the same thing in May. Best of all, this is the first time that's ever happened, and it won't be the last. According to Dennis Wamsted, of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), "Five years ago this never would have been close to happening. The transition that's going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal."

Renewable forms of energy are expected to enjoy sporadic dominance over coal during the rest of 2019 and 2020.The IEEFA is a non-profit organization that supports the transition to renewable energy.  Their analysis indicates that renewables will surpass the roughly 2000 to 2200 thousand megawatt hours per day generated by …
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It Pays to Recycle Right

April 25, 2019

I thought I knew about recycling plastics, and I guess I know enough to get by. Still, there are some big no-noes, so pay attention. Before we get to the yeses and noes, however, let's make sure we're all on board when it comes to the simple stuff. You know about little numbers inside a triangle on the bottom of your plastic recyclables, right? We all know that. But did you know that number is called a resin identification code? I didn't.

If you want to know what should go straight into the recycling bin, look for the numbers 1, 2 and 5. Why? " . . . because we have great markets for them in the U.S.," according to Brent Bell of Waste Management. Items such as water and soda bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, yogurt cups and butter tubs can be recycled without a second thought. If you're feeling ambitious, help out by rinsing them and removing labels.

On the other hand, items like squeezable bottles, plastic bags, meat trays, some c…

Prepare to be Electrified

April 14, 2019

I'd never heard of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) before, but the 160 countries and regional intergovernmental agencies that comprise its membership have released a report entitled Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050. I ran across a summary of the report at Think Progress, and I thought I'd share parts of it with you. This is an important report.

The members of IRENA base their research on the premise that renewable energy sources, as the most accessible energy on earth, can accelerate conversion to electricity on a global scale while meeting agreed-upon climate objectives. (I should mention that member countries must also belong to the United Nations.) Their report maintains that because prices of key clean energy technologies are dropping, as much as 85% of the world's energy could come from renewable energy sources, primarily solar and wind. Keeping the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fa…

Glyphosate on Your Food: A Bad Idea

March 17, 2019

You don't want glyphosate (RoundUp) on your food, so this article will tell you how to avoid this and other pesticides that have been sprayed on crops, or have drifted onto organic crops. A lot of the information I'm passing along is common sense; some of this might be new to you.

Wash all grocery store and supermarket purchases, even organic foods. You can use plain water to do this: rinse for a few seconds and wash away all visible dirt. Don't use any kind of soap.

Dry and wipe down your produce with a clean dish cloth or paper towel.

Peel off outer layers of produce. Again, this includes organically grown foods.

Fat and skin in meats are the places where toxins are stored, so remove them before cooking. If the animal you are consuming was fed on non-organic grains or vegetables, you need to pay attention to this. Remember, the idea is to avoid having to grapple with cancer, so every step you take to keep your distance from poisons will make a difference i…

B is for Benefit

March 9, 2019

We've just read about the worst of the worst: Monsanto. Monsanto is huge and powerful; nevertheless, there are corporations that want you to know that their standing with workers, the community, and as stewards of the environment, matters to them.  They've come together to brand themselves as B corporations. The B stands for benefit, and for a better way of doing business.

What exactly makes a B corporation better? It must have a legally binding commitment to sustainability, and to treating workers fairly. Generally, this means their commitment is spelled out in their charter. B corporations must report on their social and environmental impacts every two years, thereby qualifying them for certification as a B corp (certification provided by non-profit B Lab). The ultimate goals of certified companies are lower levels of poverty and inequality, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and high-quality jobs that support human dignity. You will find a list of …

Getting to Know Monsanto

March 8, 2019

The information in this summary is taken from an article, written by E. Hanzai, that first appeared in the Waking Times in June of 2014.

Monsanto was founded in 1901 by John Queeny, for the purpose of making saccharin for Coca-Cola. He named the company for his wife, Olga Mendez Monsanto. Astonishingly, the government sued Monsanto, since saccharin was a known poison, to make them stop production. It lost! It's been downhill ever since. In the 1920s, Monsanto began production of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, a long-lasting toxin and carcinogen. PCBs were banned after fifty years for causing environmental holocaust, but are still present in animal and human blood samples and tissue cells around the world. Court documents plainly showed Monsanto's awareness of PCBs' deadly effects.
The pattern of behavior established nearly a hundred years ago continues to this day: hiding the facts from the public, and denial, denial, denial. Monsanto failed to disclose …

The Green New Deal

February 14, 2019

Since the introduction of legislation, the purpose of which is to mitigate climate change and its effects, is almost literally earthshaking, I feel compelled to write about it. Suffice it to say, that's a tall order, because the authors of the resolution "recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal," have taken into account any and all matters caused by or related to climate change. Those authors are Sen. Ed Markey(D-MA), long-time environmental advocate, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), much-vaunted and newly-arrived member of the House of Representatives.

Let's start at the beginning: if you'd like to read the 14-page resolution, you will find it at
https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729033-Green-New-Deal-FINAL . While the innumerable "Whereas's" as well as the outline format can be disconcerting, there's also a lot of real substance to wrap your mind around. For my money…