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mothernaturenetwork:

8 before-and-after images of ice meltA record-setting, 4-day ice melt in Greenland sets the stage for other comparisons, some decades apart.

mothernaturenetwork:

8 before-and-after images of ice melt
A record-setting, 4-day ice melt in Greenland sets the stage for other comparisons, some decades apart.

Text

Wherein I shamelessly endorse my new blog

So, I’ve decided to start a more serious blog that focuses solely on environmental issues. I figured this would challenge me intellectually and help me gain some confidence in my own opinions. 

So, if you’re interested in environmentalism, or just love me :3, follow my new blog! 

http://518environmentalism.tumblr.com/

Quote
"In 2011, Republicans voted 77 times to undermine Clean Air Act protections, including votes to repeal the health-based standards that are the heart of the Clean Air Act and to block EPA regulation of toxic mercury and other harmful emissions from power plants, incinerators, industrial boilers, cement plants, and mining operations."

— U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, report, “The Anti-Environment Record of the U.S. House of Representatives 112th Congress.” (via climateadaptation)

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danclark:

brushbell:

I wanted to make this chart to clearly outline the pros and cons of the materials we use every day.  Based on EPA’s facts about Styrofoam, Plastic, Glass, and Aluminum (and metals in general) here is a general rule of thumb for what you should use, and how often you should use it.Styrofoam: NEVER use Styrofoam.  It is 0% recyclable and breaks down in the environment into its chemical bases, which is a toxic form of pollution.  Now you can buy bio-degradable packing peanuts made from corn starch that dissolve in liquid, but still keep in mind that you should not use Styrofoam cups or take out boxes.  These are NOT biodegradable and if they are, they are coated in a plastic that will prevent them from breaking down. (because you don’t want your coffee cup melting in your hand)
Plastic: Plastic is a really incredible material, it’s light weight and “cheap.”  But plastic is made from the same stuff we put in our cars: Petroleum! If we want to conserve what’s left of our petroleum reserves we need to really cut back on our plastic use, especially the “one use plastics” like bags, utensils and cups.  A German scientist has invented a kind of plastic that is 100% recyclable.  “Cradle to Cradle” plastic.  Glass Glass is 100% recyclable, and it comes from a completely sustainable source: Sand! However, it IS heavy, and it IS breakable, but with the power of science many companies are providing lighter, break resistant glass.  Think about it, those starbucks frappuccino drinks come in glass bottles, so does old school coke.  Use glass when you can, and make sure to save it all for a Monthly or Bi-Monthly trip to a recycling drop off center, since most Curb Side services will not pick up glass recycling.
Aluminum, Tin, & Steel These metals are incredible, like plastic they are light weight and durable, but they are 100% recyclable as long as they aren’t coated in plastic or wax. They are all 100% recyclable because they are a metal and easily melt down and can be reformed. The only down-side is that we get the raw material from mining, which can have a negative effect on the environment. Especially mountain top removal mining, which is the new “most efficient” method, but almost the most detrimental.  You’ll be surprised how many of the items you use every day are Aluminum, Tin, and Steel.  Just check the bottom and chuck it in the recycling bin. 

Can’t find the specific source page, but this is great.

If I’m not mistaken, aluminum and the chemicals they use on it can also be harmful to our health. I’m not positive though. Overall, a solid analysis. I HATE styrofoam!

danclark:

brushbell:

I wanted to make this chart to clearly outline the pros and cons of the materials we use every day.  Based on EPA’s facts about Styrofoam, Plastic, Glass, and Aluminum (and metals in general) here is a general rule of thumb for what you should use, and how often you should use it.

Styrofoam:
NEVER use Styrofoam.  It is 0% recyclable and breaks down in the environment into its chemical bases, which is a toxic form of pollution.  Now you can buy bio-degradable packing peanuts made from corn starch that dissolve in liquid, but still keep in mind that you should not use Styrofoam cups or take out boxes.  These are NOT biodegradable and if they are, they are coated in a plastic that will prevent them from breaking down. (because you don’t want your coffee cup melting in your hand)

Plastic: 
Plastic is a really incredible material, it’s light weight and “cheap.”  But plastic is made from the same stuff we put in our cars: Petroleum! If we want to conserve what’s left of our petroleum reserves we need to really cut back on our plastic use, especially the “one use plastics” like bags, utensils and cups.  A German scientist has invented a kind of plastic that is 100% recyclable.  “Cradle to Cradle” plastic. 

Glass
Glass is 100% recyclable, and it comes from a completely sustainable source: Sand! However, it IS heavy, and it IS breakable, but with the power of science many companies are providing lighter, break resistant glass.  Think about it, those starbucks frappuccino drinks come in glass bottles, so does old school coke.  Use glass when you can, and make sure to save it all for a Monthly or Bi-Monthly trip to a recycling drop off center, since most Curb Side services will not pick up glass recycling.

Aluminum, Tin, & Steel
These metals are incredible, like plastic they are light weight and durable, but they are 100% recyclable as long as they aren’t coated in plastic or wax. They are all 100% recyclable because they are a metal and easily melt down and can be reformed. The only down-side is that we get the raw material from mining, which can have a negative effect on the environment. Especially mountain top removal mining, which is the new “most efficient” method, but almost the most detrimental.  You’ll be surprised how many of the items you use every day are Aluminum, Tin, and Steel.  Just check the bottom and chuck it in the recycling bin. 

Can’t find the specific source page, but this is great.

If I’m not mistaken, aluminum and the chemicals they use on it can also be harmful to our health. I’m not positive though. Overall, a solid analysis. I HATE styrofoam!

(via challengestomillennials)

Link

sven2:

This is amazing. Why can’t we even TRY this in America? We could do it and do it damn well if we wanted.

(Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.

They will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs.

“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity,” Allnoch told Reuters. “Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over.”

The record-breaking amount of solar power shows one of the world’s leading industrial nations was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed.

Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources.

Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

SUNSHINE

Some critics say renewable energy is not reliable enough nor is there enough capacity to power major industrial nations. But Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany is eager to demonstrate that is indeed possible.

The jump above the 20 GW level was due to increased capacity this year and bright sunshine nationwide.

The 22 GW per hour figure is up from about 14 GW per hour a year ago. Germany added 7.5 GW of installed power generation capacity in 2012 and 1.8 GW more in the first quarter for a total of 26 GW capacity.

“This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power,” Allnoch said. “It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants.”

Allnoch said the data is based on information from the European Energy Exchange (EEX), a bourse based in Leipzig.

The incentives through the state-mandated “feed-in-tariff” (FIT) are not without controversy, however. The FIT is the lifeblood for the industry until photovoltaic prices fall further to levels similar for conventional power production.

Utilities and consumer groups have complained the FIT for solar power adds about 2 cents per kilowatt/hour on top of electricity prices in Germany that are already among the highest in the world with consumers paying about 23 cents per kw/h.

German consumers pay about 4 billion euros ($5 billion) per year on top of their electricity bills for solar power, according to a 2012 report by the Environment Ministry.

Critics also complain growing levels of solar power make the national grid more less stable due to fluctuations in output.

Merkel’s centre-right government has tried to accelerate cuts in the FIT, which has fallen by between 15 and 30 percent per year, to nearly 40 percent this year to levels below 20 cents per kw/h. But the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has blocked it.

($1 = 0.7992 euros)

(Source: smellmmrs, via challengestomillennials)

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nrdc:

Join us for New York Solar Jobs Days
Summer is nearly here, and we’re urging Albany to put more of that New York sunshine to work already! It’s time to show lawmakers that solar power is a priority for New Yorkers.
We’re teaming up with an incredible group of organizations to do just that at free community events up and down the state. These New York Solar Jobs Days will feature fun solar demos, training from solar job experts, opportunities to talk with local solar companies, and plenty of ways to show your elected official that you care.
Get some sun at the New York Solar Jobs Day nearest you:
May 21 on Long Island 
May 24 in Buffalo
June 7 in New York City 
June 11 in Albany 
New York Solar Jobs Days are a joint project of Vote Solar, Natural Resource Defense Council, Pace Energy & Climate Center, Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Solar Energy Industries Association, New York Solar Energy Industries Association, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Workforce Development Institute, Apollo Alliance, New York League of Conservation Voters, Renewable Energy Long Island, Vision Long Island, The Alliance for a Greater New York, People United for Sustainable Housing, Center for Working Families, Sierra Club, Environment New York and Environmental Advocates of New York.  Read more.

I’m definitely going to this! So awesome! It’d be great if the legislature passes the Solar Jobs Act.

nrdc:

Join us for New York Solar Jobs Days

Summer is nearly here, and we’re urging Albany to put more of that New York sunshine to work already! It’s time to show lawmakers that solar power is a priority for New Yorkers.

We’re teaming up with an incredible group of organizations to do just that at free community events up and down the state. These New York Solar Jobs Days will feature fun solar demos, training from solar job experts, opportunities to talk with local solar companies, and plenty of ways to show your elected official that you care.

Get some sun at the New York Solar Jobs Day nearest you:

New York Solar Jobs Days are a joint project of Vote Solar, Natural Resource Defense Council, Pace Energy & Climate Center, Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Solar Energy Industries Association, New York Solar Energy Industries Association, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Workforce Development Institute, Apollo Alliance, New York League of Conservation Voters, Renewable Energy Long Island, Vision Long Island, The Alliance for a Greater New York, People United for Sustainable Housing, Center for Working Families, Sierra Club, Environment New York and Environmental Advocates of New York.  Read more.

I’m definitely going to this! So awesome! It’d be great if the legislature passes the Solar Jobs Act.

Photoset

climateadaptation:

Americans’ concerns about environmental problems have dropped in recent years, coincident with their drop in support for various environmental policies and the higher priority they assign to economic growth than to environmental protection.

There are two likely explanations for the declining concern. First, Americans are a bit more positive now than they have been in the past about the quality of the environment. Second, the economic downturn has forced Americans to focus more on bread-and-butter economic issues than quality-of-life issues. It may be no coincidence that environmental concern was highest in 2000, when the U.S. was enjoying one of the strongest economies in recent memory, and that environmental concern has reached new lows recently, after the worst financial downturn in the last 25 years.”

Source: Gallup

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sardinesaremean:

billboards needed to be seeded 

sardinesaremean:

billboards needed to be seeded 

(via chos)

Photoset

expose-the-light:

The blue planet’s toxic new colours

1. Tissue slurry — Ontario, Canada This man-made lake in Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada, is more than 500 metres long. It’s an aeration pond, part of the waste-treatment system at a factory that produces pulp for Kimberly-Clark tissues. “The treated water is returned to its source — often a river,” says Fair. Each yellow cone is an “agitator” that aerates and churns the liquid, assisting its breakdown. According to Worldwatch Institute figures, if recycled paper was used instead, 64 per cent less energy would be needed.and churns the liquid, assisting its breakdown. According to Worldwatch Institute figures, if recycled paper was used instead, 64 per cent less energy would be needed.

2. Fertiliser — Louisiana, US This emerald-tinted lake near Geismar, Louisiana, includes gypsum, uranium and radium. These chemicals result from manufacturing phosphorous fertiliser and are dumped into this impoundment to solidify. The world’s supplies of phosphates are dwindling and most are located in the US, China and Morocco. Unlike oil, however, there is no known renewable alternative for making fertiliser. “You think the resource crisis is in oil?” says Fair. “Think again.”

3. Spilled oil — Gulf of Mexico, US Fair captured this shot over the BP Deepwater Horizon spill at the Macondo well in June 2010, when 750m litres of oil leaked into the Gulf. “The stuff that was coming out of that well was all different colours,” says Fair. “We think of crude oil as being black — it’s all kinds of different colours and consistencies.” The bright red is the crude on the surface, reflecting light. The less viscous oil below the surface is purple-brown.

4. Liquid sulphur — Alberta, Canada At Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, a blood-red vein of liquid sulphur is pumped on to a bed of solidified yellow sulphur. The element is one of the major by-products of tar-sand upgrading and there is now an abundance of stocks globally. With prices low, producer Syncrude isn’t selling — it’s storing it in giant pyramids. Liquid sulphur, at around 200°C (its melting point is 115°C), is pumped into fenced-off compounds and left to harden.

5. Aluminium sludge — Louisiana, US This slurry pit is where the solid and liquid by-products of aluminium manufacture are separated. The process involves refining bauxite ore, which produces alumina. The waste includes bauxite impurities, heavy metals and sodium hydroxide (one of the chemicals used during processing). Fair estimates that the red-brown sludge has a pH of about 13, “meaning if you touch it, it burns the skin off”.

6. Fertiliser slurry — Louisiana, US This wintry-looking scene is a mix of lead, ammonia, mercury and ethanol — by-products of phosphate fertiliser production. “It’s a giant lake of waste,” says Fair, who shot the image 80km west of New Orleans in 2005. Owned by Mosaic Fertilizers, the plant, called Uncle Sam, has violated the US Clean Water Act nine times. The slurry pit is less than 3km from the banks of the Mississippi.

now this. is depressing. 

(via climateadaptation)

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climateadaptation:

latimes:

Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight: Regulators and lawmakers know very little about how and where oil companies employ hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Is Brown selling out California? 

Hoping to boost the state’s sluggish economy, the Brown administration has eased rules for oil drilling in California, firing two top regulators last year over permitting delays. Though regulators said they monitor drilling operations “quite thoroughly” under existing law,they acknowledged the need for more disclosure of what chemicals are used in oil production.

 Brown has the protection of the Obama administration and the EPA, which are doing virtually nothing to regulate fracking. Also, follow the LA Times.

climateadaptation:

latimes:

Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight: Regulators and lawmakers know very little about how and where oil companies employ hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Is Brown selling out California? 

Hoping to boost the state’s sluggish economy, the Brown administration has eased rules for oil drilling in California, firing two top regulators last year over permitting delays. Though regulators said they monitor drilling operations “quite thoroughly” under existing law,they acknowledged the need for more disclosure of what chemicals are used in oil production.

Brown has the protection of the Obama administration and the EPA, which are doing virtually nothing to regulate fracking. Also, follow the LA Times.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)