Tag Archives: environment

Denmark Just Produced 140% Of Its Electricity Needs Via Wind Power

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According to the chief commercial officer of the Ecofys energy consultancy, Kees van der Leun, a surge in wind farm installations could allow Denmark to produce half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – that’s only five years away.

Not everyone is likely to be happy about this news, however. As The Guardian shares, the British wind industry is likely to view the Danish achievement with envy. This is no doubt because David Cameron’s government announced a withdrawal of support for onshore wind farms from next year, and planning obstacles for onshore wind builds.

“If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s aging grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market,” said Joy of the European Wind Energy Association.

Around three-quarters of Denmark’s wind capacity presently comes from onshore wind farms, which have strong government backing. One thing is for sure, the country is definitely putting the rest of the world to shame with these figures.

source: http://www.trueactivist.com/denmark-just-produced-140-of-its-electricity-needs-via-wind-power/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=sh
image credit: http://humantouchofchemistry.com/

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Study Finds Over 24,000 Chemicals In Bottled Water: Which Ones Are Harming You?

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German researchers have discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different bottled water products. Of the 24 520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, they can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders.

This study comes from Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology. They determined that bottled water could contain serious amounts of EDCs that should be a cause from concern.

Researchers used spectrometric simulation to narrow down their findings to DEHF as the only possible EDC giving rise to harmful activity. DEHF is also known as an anti-estrogenic compound, which means that another unidentified EDC must be present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity.

The authors employed a sensitive in vitro bioassay to characterize the total estrogenic burden leaching from plastics, including potential mixture effects and unidentified EDCs. Using a similar approach, a series of studies reported a widespread estrogenic contamination of commercially available bottled water. Here, we combine biological and chemical analysis to identify putative steroid receptor antagonists in bottled water. Most of the products were potently antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic in the bioassays. Nontarget high-resolution mass spectrometry pointed towards maleate and fumarate isomers as promising candidates and subsequently enabled the identification of di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate. Because its concentration is too low to explain the observed activity, other compounds must contribute. However, further maleate/fumarate isomers are not only biologically active but structurally highly similar to phthalates. Hence, we speculate these compounds might represent a novel, so far overlooked group of EDCs. An increasing number of in vitro studies reports the presence of EDCs in bottled water. With previous studies focusing on estrogenicity, the present work provides evidence for an additional contamination with steroid receptor antagonists. We detected antiestrogens and antiandrogens in the majority of analyzed bottled water products. Moreover, the antagonist activity was very potent. An equivalent of 3.75 ml bottled water inhibited estrogen and androgen receptor by up to 60 and 90 percent. Bottled water from six different countries has been found to contain estrogenic, antiestrogenic, as well as androgenic, progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals. This demonstrates that a popular beverage is contaminated with diverse-acting EDCs.

What Can You Do?

The answer is simple, don’t drink bottled water! Apart from that, you can purchase water filters that take out the chlorine and fluoride from your water if you choose, they aren’t that hard to find and if you do your research you can find some fairly inexpensive ones. If you’re interested, shoot us an email and we can help you out in your search. 24,000 chemicals is a lot of chemicals to be putting into your body. I’m not saying all of them are harmful, but who would want to take that chance? It’s not uncommon for us to taste some of these chemicals within the water that come from the plastic, especially if you leave the bottle in the sun for a short period of time.

Here is a very informative video that shares a lot more of what needs to be known about bottled water:

source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/10/07/study-finds-over-24000-chemicals-in-bottled-water-which-ones-are-harming-you/

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Wireless Radiation causes Cancer – latest scientific Findings

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National advocacy group calls on major children’s health organizations to promote safe technology in schools with the “Turn It Off 4 Kids” Initiative.

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology (NACST) is taking action after two recently published studies indicate there is sufficient evidence demonstrating exposure to wireless radiation, also known as RF-EMF, causes cancer. Wireless routers and devices such as tablets, laptops, baby monitors and cell phones all emit this type of radiation.

The State of the Science: The Debate is Over

Professor of Oncology Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD, and Statistician Michael Carlberg of Orebro University Hospital, Sweden found a 3-fold risk with 25 or more years of cell and cordless phone use in a study published October 2014 in Pathophysiology. Very significant was the finding that people who first used mobile or cordless phones before the age of 20 had the highest risk.

Increased wireless phone use also correlated with lower survival rates for people diagnosed with the most malignant gliomas in a second study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by the same researchers. Hardell and Carlberg stated, “Due to the relationship with survival, the classification is strengthened.”

In both studies, the authors state that RF-EMF should be regarded as a human carcinogen, “requiring urgent revision of current exposure guidelines.” These two studies followed the July 2014 Occupational and Environmental Medicine Journal publication of the CERENAT case controlled study where French researchers found almost a 3-fold increase in brain cancer with 896 or more hours of lifetime cell phone use.

Based on the accumulation of research demonstrating the health effects from wireless radiation, Professor Olle Johansson of the Karolinska Department of Neuroscience has stated, “the debate is over” on wireless.

“Given the established and emerging science, it only follows that students be provided a safe learning environment, free from wireless radiation,” stated an NACST spokesperson.

Scientists Call for the World Health Organization to Reclassify RF-EMF

In 2011, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF radiation as a Class 2B, “possible human carcinogen.” Since 2011, several of the World Health Organization invited scientists have called for a reclassification to an increased risk level. The abstracts of these 2014 studies state that RF should now be regarded as a “Group 1 Human Carcinogen,” placing it in the same category as tobacco, asbestos and benzene.

NACST’s Turn It Off 4 Kids Initiative

In light of these recent scientific publications and expert warnings, NACST is reaching out to health organizations asking them to prioritize the issue of children’s health and wireless exposures in educational settings for 2015 in the following ways:

  1. Call for all new school technology to be hardwired.
  2. Call to replace existing wireless technology systems with hardwired systems.
  3. Call for the implementation of primary prevention efforts such as educating the public about simple steps to reduce exposure, especially in regard to children and pregnant women.
  4. Educate their organization’s members and audience on this issue by emails, informational web pages, updated materials, and all other means possible.

Expert Endorsements

NASCT’s Initiative has been endorsed by several prominent scientists, physicians and safety advocates including Drs. Lennart Hardell, Olle Johansson, Anthony Miller and Dariusz Leszczynski. Dr. Leszczynski was a participating scientist in the WHO IARC panel on RF-EMF and cancer, and Dr. Miller has served as Director of the Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Canada, Toronto.

Details on NACST’s Turn It Off 4 Kids Initiative, including endorsements, are here.

About NACST

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology is dedicated to raising awareness about the health impacts of wireless radiation on children as well as advancing policies that safeguard children’s health and well being.

source: http://truththeory.com/2015/02/07/researchers-conclude-wireless-radiation-causes-cancer-after-latest-scientific-findings/

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Farming on Australia’s largest woodland ‘would release 40 m tonnes of carbon’

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A proposal to turn up to 500,000 hectares of Australia’s largest woodland into farmland would release up to 40m tonnes of stored carbon dioxide and contradict the federal government’s Direct Action policy, green groups say.

The Great Western Woodlands spans 16m hectares in south-eastern Western Australia, ranging from the wheatbelt west of Kalgoorlie to Esperance and stretching toward the Nullarbor.

It is the largest remaining area of temperate woodland in the world, but just 12% is protected in conservation reserves.

About 60% of the woodland is made up of unallocated crown land. Emails from shire chief executive Matthew Scott, obtained under freedom of information by the Wilderness Society, identified 500,000 hectares of that land that might be suitable for farming.

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A map released under Freedom of Information laws from the shire of Esperance, identifying up to five 100,000 hectare pockets of unallocated crown land that it says the government should consider converting into farmland. Photograph: Wilderness Society
Wilderness Society WA campaigner Peter Robertson said the environmental cost would be much greater than any economic benefit and might result in 40m tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere.

“It would undermine any effort that Direct Action has in terms of net greenhouse gas deficit,” he said.

Dr Heather Keith from ANU’s Fenner School of Environment and Society, who co-wrote a 2009 study on the woodland’s carbon value, said it would be “reasonable to say that most of the carbon in the vegetation would be lost”.

“If an area has been ploughed for agriculture, getting back that stored carbon takes many, many decades.”

Robertson said the woodland boasted 20% of all Australian plant species and 25% of all eucalypt species.

The Great Western Woodlands is said to be home to 20% of all Australian plant species and 25% of all eucalypt species. Photograph: Barbara Madden/Wilderness Society

“The south-west of WA has lost thousands of hectares of woodland … the bits that are left are too valuable now and contain too many rare and vulnerable species that are even more vulnerable because other areas were cleared,” he said.

The West Australian government was briefed on the proposal when the cabinet visited Esperance in June.

In a letter to Scott dated 12 September, released as part of the FOI documents, premier Colin Barnett said he looked forward to “exploring” the “agricultural land opportunity” presented in the briefing.

“As you suggest, a whole-of-government effort is needed to undertake such an agricultural land release feasibility study and to that end I have sought the support of the minister for regional development in coordinating a number of portfolios,” Barnett wrote.

Barnett said local government should seek to get “industry and traditional owners” involved in the endeavour.

But Esperance shire president Malcolm Heasman told Guardian Australia traditional owners had not yet been consulted because the governing body of the area’s Indigenous Land Use Agreement was not formally established.

“At this stage we can’t speak with anybody because the body that manages it has not been incorporated,” he said.

Esperance’s unallocated crown land is covered by native title, which would be nullified if it was converted to freehold land.

In emails from July, the Department of Regional Development said it was “definitely interested” in the proposals and asked the shire to put forward 10,000 to 20,000 hectare lots for a “trial” program.

Most of the lots the shire subsequently put forward were in the Cascade region, on the north-west edge of the shire, and have previously been surveyed for release.

Heasman said every 100,000 hectares of crown land could potentially host 25 viable farms. He said the cost of existing agricultural land meant young farmers could not afford to buy into the area, and the town needed to do something to preserve its population.

“We need to keep our young farmers on these farms. It’s getting to the point where they can’t afford to come back to the community at all.”

A spokesman for the WA regional development minister, Terry Redman, said the government had received no formal request to convert any areas of the Greater Western Woodlands into farmland.

source: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/dec/10/farming-australias-largest-woodland-release-40m-tonnes-carbon?CMP=soc_567
first image credit: https://www.wilderness.org.au

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The disgusting truth about cruise liners

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Thinking about taking a nice cruise over the holiday period? If you decide on it you’ll be one of about 20 million people who hop on the giant floating hotels every year.
And while it’s surely an incredibly relaxing way of spending some cash and searing in a sunglass tan before heading back to the office, it turns out cruise liners are even worse for the environment than you thought.
Here are some sobering facts from the Friends of the Earth, who graded 16 cruise liners on four environmental factors.
Each year cruise ships dump 3,78 billion litres of sewage into the ocean.
That number is difficult to get your head around, so think of it this way… A single 3000-person cruise liner generates 568,000 litres of sewage per week, which is enough to fill 10 backyard swimming pools.
To reiterate, that’s one cruise ship every week. As you’d expect, lots of sea creatures (particularly manatees off the Florida coast) are dying very stinky and unpleasant deaths that’s to this vast and crappy gift.
And according to the US EPA, each day an average cruise ship is at sea it emits more sulfur dioxide than 13 million cars and more soot than 1 million cars.

Have a look at the full findings here

source: http://businessnow.theaustralian.com.au/2014/12/10/the-disgusting-truth-about-cruise-liners/

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Netherlands Is The 1st Country To Open A Solar Road For Public Use

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The world’s first solar bike lane is soon to be available for use in the Netherlands! The bike path that connects the Amsterdam suburbs of Krommenie and Wormerveer is a 70-meter stretch of solar-powered roadway set to open for the public on November 12th, 2014.

The new solar road, which costs €3m (AUD$ 4,3m), was created as the first step in a project that the local government hopes will see the path being extended to 100 meters by 2016.

More complimentary plans are also on the table as the country intends to power everything from traffic lights to electric cars using solar panels.

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School children and commuters see the bike road as very useful and a cool part of their daily commute, with approximately 2,000 cyclists expected to use it on an average day.

The road, which is named by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as SolaRoad, is set to open in the next week. It is made up of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells, which were embedded into the concrete of the path and covered with a translucent layer of tempered glass.

“The surface of the road has been treated with a special non-adhesive coating, and the road itself was built to sit at a slight tilt in an effort to keep dust and dirt from accumulating and obscuring the solar cells.”

Since the path cannot be adjusted to the position of the sun, the panels will generate approximately 30% less energy than those placed on roofs. However, the road is tilted slightly to aid water run-off and achieve a better angle to the sun and its creators expect to generate more energy as the path is extended to 100 meters in 2016.

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Actually, SolaRoad is not the first project aimed at turning roads and pathways into energy-harvesting surfaces. Solar Roadways are another major project -you can find out more about them by clicking HERE. The following video was posted online less than year ago, getting over $2.2 million to start the production.

“If all the roads in the US were converted to solar roadways, the Solar Roadways website claims, the country would generate three times as much energy as it currently uses and cut greenhouse gases by 75 percent.”

But the difference between the two projects is that Solar Roadways are working to integrate programmable LEDs in order to achieve custom road signs, heating components to drive away ice and snow, and specific kind of corridors to store fiber optic and TV cables.

source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/11/09/netherlands-is-the-first-country-to-open-solar-road-for-public/

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How Much Room Do We Need To Supply The Entire World With Solar Electricity?

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In 2009, the total global electricity consumption was 20,279,640 GWh. The sun creates more energy than that in one hour. The tricky part is collecting that energy and converting it into useful electricity with solar panels. How much area would need to be covered with solar panels in order to capture enough energy to meet global demand? Actually, it’s not as much as you’d think.

The image above has three red boxes showing what area would need to be covered for Germany, Europe and the entire world.

So what the hell are we waiting for? Let’s start getting more solar panels on some rooftops and start chipping away at those boxes!
source:  http://www.iflscience.com/environment/how-much-room-do-we-need-supply-entire-world-solar-electricity#T2edsszWO4fjLa3o.99

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Good idea! GoSun Stove: Portable, High Efficiency Solar Cooker

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Fast: Cooks a meal in as little as 20 minutes, utilizing every drop of sunshine

Portable: Pre-assembled package, deploy in seconds, weighing less than 4lbs

Versatile: Cook what you want and how you want. Bake, boil and fry; if there’s sun, you’re good to go.

Fuel Free and Clean: No burning charcoal embers to dispose of, no open flame to worry about. When you are done cooking, just fold up your GoSun and go.

Summer or Winter: If there is sunlight, you are cooking, even after a snow; plus, the wind won’t steal your heat

Keeps Food Hot For Hours: Our evacuated tube technology is in essence a giant thermos. This means that when spotty clouds arrive, the tube will remain hot and steadily cook between sun-breaks. Plus, it keeps your brownies warm for hours until a late night snack.

More info here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/707808908/gosun-stove-portable-high-efficiency-solar-cooker

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Sweden Runs Out of Garbage

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Imagine a world where pollution is a non-issue, cities are pristine, healthy environments to live in, and little to no entanglements from discarded trash injures wildlife or clogs the oceans. In Sweden, this is almost a reality, yet it’s causing a paradoxical predicament for the recycle-happy country that relies on waste to heat and provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes.

The Scandinavian nation of more than 9,5 million citizens has run out of garbage; while this is a positive – almost enviable – predicament for a country to be facing, Sweden now has to search for rubbish outside of its borders to generate its waste-to-energy incineration program. It’s namely Norway officials who are now shipping in 80000 tons of refuse annually to fuel the country with outside waste.

The population’s remarkable pertinacious recycling habits are inspiration for other garbage-bloated countries where the idea of empty landfills is scarce. In fact, only 4 percent of all waste in Sweden is land-filled, a big win for the future of sustainable living. By using its two million tons of waste as energy and scrapping for more outside of its borders, this country is shown in international comparisons to be the global leader in recovering energy in waste. Go Sweden.

Public Radio International has the whole story. This (albeit short-term) solution is even highly beneficial for the Scandinavian country; Norway pays Sweden to take its excess waste, Sweden burns it for heat and electricity, and the ashes remaining from the incineration process, filled with highly polluting dioxins, are returned back to Norway and land filled.

Catarina Ostland, senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, suggests that Norway may not be the perfect partner for the trash import-export scheme, however. “I hope that instead we will get the waste from Italy or from Romania or Bulgaria, or the Baltic countries because they landfill a lot in these countries” she tells PRI. “They don’t have any incineration plants or recycling plants, so they need to find a solution for their waste”.

There’s definitely something to be said about being ‘green’. Regardless of its sourcing, hopefully Sweden’s impeccable job of reducing its carbon footprint may serve as an example to other areas of the world that have more than enough trash to utilize and put to sustainable use.

source:  http://www.trueactivist.com/sweden-runs-out-of-garbage/
photo credit: http://www.wired.co.uk

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