Internationally Unrelated provides hard facts about the ecological footprint of our society. August 19th, Tania reports, was Earth Overshoot Day – the day which marks when we as a global society have used as much resources as the earth can replenish in one year. If this date was December 31st, then we would be a sustainable society. However, we still have four full months left on the calendar, and a part of August! This translates to a shorter life for the earth overall through harsher effects of harvesting resources, and land and habitat degradation. Read the article reblogged below for a fuller picture on Earth Overshoot Day! Thanks Internationally Unrelated!
I could start with the typical “save the earth, it is the only we have”, which is completely true, but I will start to tell you that we, as humans need to stop acting like the planet is infinite and it is never going to run out of resources, if not for the earth we share, for ourselves. It will. It is already… And still, it passes us by like it is nothing. Why? Because we don’t see it truly in front of us. If we see war, we see dead people, we see injured people, we know it is happening, we know we need to do something. We don’t see the impact of our actions in our planet, at least clearly. But it is happening.
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Bottled water, revealed by an article from Mother Jones, comes from either springs, or regular tap water. Companies then package it and ship it to stores, where consumers seem to prefer it over what they get from their own taps. The privitisation of a community resource, something that is required to be provided by the government, is my first issue with the product. Why should consumers pay for water that is bottled and moved around, if it is the same as what they already have? It boggles my mind to say the least.
What is even worse is that the springs and taps which provide water for these companies are centralized in California, which right now is experiencing their third driest summer on record! You’d think that the needless use of plastic, and commodification of a community resource would be enough to ruffle some feathers; yet the source of the water is continuing to degrade the Californian land! When will the issues with bottled water be enough to slow their sales? Nothing it seems compares with the taste of “real water” (quote taken from a comment on the source article! Can you believe it!?).
Look at the diagrams below show the concentration of water sources in California, in relation to the rest of the United States – or read the article for yourself here!
After over a decade of testing and prototype work, Atlantis’ MeyGen tidal array is set to move forward! Over the next two years, two tidal turbines will be installed on the sea bed of the inner sound of the Pentland Firth. By 2020 that number will increase to 61, and when the project is fully installed the number will reach 269 turbines! This will power 150,000 homes, and take 100 people to maintain. The project has been financed by many large grants from different levels of the UK government and corporations; the funding totals at £50m! Set to begin construction later this year, this tidal array will be the first of its size and type in the world! Read the full report at BBC Scotland: http://bbc.in/XMmGaz.
So much good has come from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been very popular lately, in both donations and awareness. Yet, how much good does it do when the money being raised is being used for research that is tested on animals!? I encourage you to be mindful in the ways you choose to make a difference because the real price of every dollar is paid by the animals being tested on, not the donaters! Read the full article below from Life or Lunch and see how Pamela Anderson challenged the Ice Bucket Challenge!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, odds are you’ve heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. People from all walks of life have joined in, but Pamela Anderson has voiced her concern over the fact that the ALS Association fund and carry out animal testing.
In a recent Facebook status, Anderson wrote, “Sorry – I can’t bring myself to do your Ice bucket challenge. I enjoy a good dare. It’s always good to bring awareness in fun, creative ways … I don’t want to take away from that.” She went on to explain that after some research, she’d realized that her beliefs weren’t aligned with the practices of the ALS Association, so instead…
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Land degradation and desertification is major problem and poorer areas of the world, and a major issue for food production as a whole. This article from Food (Policy) for Thought features a Ted Talk and extensive written portion explaining the problem, and a possible solution! Are cows the answer?
Sooooo guess who I had the honor to hear speak yesterday? Allan Savory!
He is the founder of the Savory Institute and a man on a mission to convince the world that livestock could be the solution to, not the cause of, land degradation and desertification. His TED-talk here is a perfect representation of his idea and also his quietly convincing presentation style – which I got to know in depth today at an event at SLU called “Holy Cow!” on his idea of Holistic Management of soils, in particular holistic grazing practices, and their practical application.
This video gives even more infos about the Holistic Management concept, but I’m not going to just sit here and let you watch videos, now am I? My friend and I had so many questions – many of which were answered mid-session – that I thought a Q&A style post would work really…
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On Monday, Duke Energy joined the growing list of corporations to grossly contaminate nearby waterways this month. 5000-8000 gallons of diesel was spilled into the Ohio River in the thirty odd minutes before the company noticed an overflow valve was accidentally open. The water is thankfully now clean to drink. Read the full article from Thought Progress here.
Altaeros Energy’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, is the beginnings of a new step for Wind Energy. This turbine is not on a tower, but a helium blimp housing a turbine which is tethered to the ground from about 300 meters in the air (making it the worlds highest wind turbine!). The air is not only more powerful as you climb higher into the atmosphere, but the technology is less prone to problem. Without the massive steel tower, and yaw mechanism which rotates the turbine to face the wind as it changes, the maintenance is much less significant. The turbine also is quieter, while producing more energy! Although this technology is only in prototype phase, tests have been positive. Now being tested over Alaska, CEO Ben Glass predicts to provide power at about $0.18 per kilowatt-hour, about half the price of off-grid electricity in Alaska.
It seems like this is a win for energy efficiency and standards of living! Kudos to Altaeros! Find a full article, from The Spirit Science here: Wind Turbines Take to the Skies to Generate a Magnificent Quanta of Energy VIDEO! , as well as from IEEE Spectrum here.