Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Great Change: Mount Pleasant by Albert Bates

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"The problem is not our understanding of the science or the efficacy of our potential solutions. The problem is human willingness to do the right thing before its too late."

We first latched onto the notion of catastrophic climate change back around 1980 when we were a young attorney taking quixotic cases involving impossible-to-rectify injustices like cancers among atomic veterans, trespass of sacred sites or nuclear waste disposal, and shoving those insults under the noses of attorneys-general, judges and justices to try to get a reaction.

Occasionally we would finesse a surprising win and that helped attract donations to keep the enterprise running and the entertainment value high, attracting more donors, and so it went.

One such case was against the deepwell injection of toxic effluent from the manufacture of pesticides and herbicides by agrochemical companies in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee. The effluent in question had been extracted from an aquifer and tested by State laboratories where was quickly ranked as the most concentrated poison they had ever pulled from the wild. A single green fluorescent drop killed all the fish in the tank. There were 6 billion gallons injected under Middle Tennessee from 1967 to 1980. It made Love Canal look like the kiddie pool.

https://goo.gl/gw1SCk

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Petition to UN Secretary-General to change the name of our planet from Earth to Peace


Humanity is now playing in the Major Leagues.

As I said in 2011, in 2016, and say again today in 2017, unless the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion protest, like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Dakota Access Pipeline protest is successful, there will be casualties, political casualties and eventually millions of human casualties. Casualties from run-away climate change, sea level rise and from conflict. Not to mention from from difficulties in feeding an ever increasing population.

Continued burning of fossil fuel, driven mainly by capitalist greed, will eventually pollute the atmosphere and the environment to the degree that is will no longer support life. What future are we leaving to our children and grandchildren and future generations? There are those scientists like James Lovelock who argues that it is too 'little too late'. http://bit.ly/2irVnAY

Even if we did suspend the burning of petroleum and coal tomorrow our coastal cities and small island developing states would continue to experience sea level rise for hundreds of years. http://bit.ly/2irRxrC

We have had now had, besides the upcoming Trans Mountain pipeline expansion protest, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Dakota Access Pipeline protest, the election of president-elect Trump, OWS protests in 2011, protests in Brazil and Turkey, and like it or not social protests are here to stay. As Robbert Muggah said of Brazil's Protests "There is little doubt that the protests have challenged the existing social order and alerted a new generation of youth to the unacceptability of the status quo". This holds true globally. http://huff.to/2gTbl60

The political paradigm has changed. Politicians and governments and the corporate world are proving once again to be slow learners, they are resisting change rather than embracing it, and without listening to their people's protests, they will be swept away by the winds of change.

Globally we are faced with climate change, the most serious peril that has faced humanity in its brief history. However, we are faced with more than climate change, there are the life threatening CO2 levels and looming sea level rise, resource shortages and an out of control population, as well as concerns for water and food security in the years to come.

As I say frequently “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Humanity is today playing in the major leagues. We are in a sink or swim situation. If we can keep the planet habitable by mitigating and adapting to the changing climate, switching to alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, wave, ocean thermal and nuclear, sequester CO2 and provide the population with adequate supplies of water and food and bring the population under control, humanity may survive . Survival means, amongst all the issues above, learning to navigate successfully through a new political morass.

Warfare and conflict will also need to become a thing of the past, as climate change and energy may well exacerbate conflict situations. With a 9.5 billion global population by 2050 ensuring that everyone has adequate food and water could be problematic.

There is however, no ‘Plan B’ if we fail to resolve all the problems facing us.

When playing in the major leagues, there is no time out, there is no one that is going to offer help, let alone rescue us. Look around, the neighbourhood is somewhat sparsely populated and there are no other worlds on which humanity can survive. Even if there were other habitable worlds nearby they would in all probability belong to someone else. Neo-colonialism on an intergalactic scale may well not end well for humans.

There are, in all likelihood, other intelligent races out there somewhere, however, in the major leagues one survives on ones own. As a young civilization it is up to us to solve all our problems, to make peace among ourselves, to bring the population under control, to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and resolve the inequality that is partially responsible for the protests that are occuring around the world.

We must solve our own problems. As a young race we are as children, and as such we may not be able to solve our own problems. But solve them we must. If we are able to solve the situation facing us and make it to adulthood, in the galactic meaning of the world, we may then be introduced to the neighbors. If we do not make it to adulthood we will be just another minor statistic, a failure, a insignificant footnote in the universal history book.

Humanity needs an initiative to train our young people to become Stewards of Nature and the Environment. I envision this being done by involving and employing indigenous peoples around the world to introduce our youth, at the appropriate age, to indigenous philosophy and cultural understanding of the environment and what nature provides for mankind through ecosystem services.

Let us therefore be aspirational and rename our planet, the home of the human race and many other species, as the planet PEACE

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

World's Largest Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, Apparently Mulling $5 Billion Renewable Investment

World's Largest Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, Apparently Mulling $5 Billion Renewable Investment | CleanTechnica

The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, is apparently mulling over as much as $5 billion in renewable energy investments as part of plans to diversify from crude oil production, according to people with knowledge on the matter.

According to various reports, Saudi Arabia’s national petroleum and natural gas company, Saudi Aramco, is apparently considering as much as $5 billion worth of investments into renewable energy firms as part of larger plans to diversify their operations. According to one report from Bloomberg, “banks including HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG have been invited to pitch for a role helping Aramco identify potential acquisition targets and advising on deals.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching the global energy market fluctuate over the last decade. The Gulf countries currently have as close to a monopoly as possible over the world’s oil resources, and dictate oil prices at their whim. But if natural gas reserves and renewable energy continue to put a dent in the need for their oil, then their businesses are going to stumble.

Subsequently, we have seen over the last few years big oil majors from the Middle East begin to diversify their portfolios, looking to renewable energy investments as a surefire way to keep themselves afloat in the long run.

Back in November of 2016, reports circulated regarding seven leading oil and gas majors looking to join forces to create a renewable energy investment fund for the development and promotion of renewable energy. The news was confirmed not long after with the creation of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) which announced a $1 billion investment over the next ten years into renewable energy development. More

Tesla Needs Just 3 Months To Complete World's Largest Grid Storage Facility

Tesla Needs Just 3 Months To Complete World's Largest Grid Storage Facility

Tesla has just completed the world’s largest battery grid storage facility and did it all in about three months from start to finish. The installation consists of 396 Tesla Powerpack units, each with 16,000 lithium ion battery cells, for a total of 210 kilowatt-hours of capacity in each Powerpack. In total, this one 20 megawatt/80 megawatt-hour installation is equivalent to 15% of all the installed grid storage presently available in the entire world. More

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

We have some exciting news to share. Recently, The Climate Reality Project Founder and Chairman Al Gore attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, for the debut of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. The film earned a “rapturous response” at its opening-night premiere screening on January 19.

At the festival, Vice President Gore joined an esteemed panel of climate innovators to discuss the role of storytelling in the climate movement. Vice President Gore described how engagement and inspiration through storytelling can encourage climate action alongside Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of The Skoll Foundation, scientist and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki, and Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives.

Read more about the hotly anticipated sequel to the influential, Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth here:

Sundance Film Review: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ (Variety)
Sundance: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Debuts to Rapturous Response (THR)
Sundance: Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ has added timeliness with Trump (USA Today)
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ Review: Al Gore Drops the Mic (Again) On Climate Change (IndieWire)
Al Gore is a climate change James Bond in urgent, exhilarating ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ (Mashable) More

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What if we gave universal income to people in biodiversity hotpots?

What if we gave universal income to people in biodiversity hotpots?

Writer and professor, Ashley Dawson, argues in his new book that capitalism is behind our current mass extinction crisis. But installing universal guaranteed income in biodiversity hotspots may be one remedy.

Around five hundred years ago, Europeans brought about the invention of modern day capitalism, a system that was rooted in colonialism, slavery and environmental destruction, according to Dawson.

“Capitalism is an economic system founded on ceaseless expansion,” Dawson, who specializes in Postcolonial studies, said. “It must grow at a compound rate or it will experience convulsive economic and social crises. The contradictions of this system are patently self-evident: an economic system based on infinite expansion must inevitably crash into the natural limits of finite ecosystems.”

Although capitalism has spread over the world in the last half millennium, Dawson argues it didn’t have to be this way.

“The global expansion of capitalism was not a deepening of some inherent human drive to environmental destruction, but a complete transformation in the foundation of human societies, the substitution of an ecocidal and genocidal system for the relatively sustainable social forms that preceded it.” More

Friday, January 20, 2017

Introducing RePlast! This alternative building material

ByFusion – Transforming Plastic

INTRODUCING REPLAST
The ByFusion machine is configured to produce RePlast blocks with the size and dimensions of common concrete blocks and can be used in a wide variety of infrastructure, development, and construction projects.

Characteristics of RePlast Block

Requires no glues or adhesives for use
Can contribute to LEED certification for construction and communities
95% lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GhG) compared to concrete block
Very high thermal and acoustic insulation


(http://www.byfusion.com/

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