Environment

Sen. Jim Inhofe Accepts Challenge To Debate Global Warming

This will probably be one of the more entertaining political spectacles this year, and that's saying something.

Green party founder and activist Ralph Nader has issued a challenge to Sen. Jim Inholfe (R-OK), the most outspoken climate change denier in the U.S. Congress, to a public debate with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the former chairman of the House Select Committee on Global Warming. Inholfe accepted the challenge to debate Markey, saying that he welcomes the opportunity to debate the international “hoax”.

United Nations Comes To Underwhelming Agreement On Climate Change

US looks eager, but China and India hold out. The real losers, as always, are the most vulnerable Pacific nations.

To get an idea of how the United Nations’ has dealt with Climate Change, look to our own federal government’s constant waffling and posturing. Now imagine that it’s not just political parties that are playing the penny ante politicks, but entirely different nations, some of whom have some real skin in the game (technically we all do, but the U.S. isn’t worried about the ocean rising to swallow it in the next several decades). Now you’ll have some idea of the tenor and progress made in the latest UN Climate debates.

One issue at hand it simply that some nations, usually the most wealthy and industrialized ones, are in a position of being the worst polluters with the least to lose in the short run. The U.S., China, and India, as well as the Eurozone, have been notoriously resistant to real changes to their current policies, and often depend on ambiguous language and half-truths to wriggle out of committing to changes in future ones. Meanwhile, many South Pacific nations, and nations with low-lying coast lines, are already seeing some of their most valuable real estate submerged beneath rising sea levels.

Personal Wind Turbines Make Energy Self Sufficiency Possible

I remember when several wind farms were proposed for my area and the uproar that people had with the behemoths. People complained about everything from blocking their view to killing migrating ducks and geese.

The one thing that no one had any problems with was a decrease in electrical costs that were both ecological and economical. People don't seem to have a problem with self sufficiency as long as it doesn't affect them in any way.

Technology has progressed to the point where people can have their own personal wind turbine and generate electricity on their property to power their home. Personal wind turbines are perfect for rural farms because they often have several buildings on the property and don't have the stringent zoning laws of cities and towns.

Are your plants toxic?

I recently came across a great site, the Aggie Horticulture that had compiled a list of toxic and nontoxic plants. With the yearly toxic mushroom incidents I felt that I should share this site with everyone. Of course we have long known not to eat random plants that we come across, however if you happen to suddenly have a toxic weed in your yard it can be helpful to know before a young child takes a bite.

Nuclear Disasters and Accidents - The Kyshtym Disaster

"Despite their efforts more than 8,100 people eventually died as a result of radiation."

On the 29th of September, 1957, a cooling system broke down at the Mayak nuclear facility in the town of Ozyorsk in Russia. When the radioactive waste began to overheat, all the liquid in it evaporated and the dried ammonium nitrate that was left over spontaneously exploded with a force equivalent to at least seventy tons of dynamite. A one hundred and sixty ton lid was blown off the tank by the force of the explosion, and a huge cloud of radiation escaped.

Band-Aids For Bullet Wounds

Reform Is Not Enough

If environmental sustainability is what you want, reforms and half-measures amount to nothing more or less than putting band-aids on bullet wounds. In a world where people think they need to live in massive, cheap McMansions and drive gas-guzzling SUVs to jobs located an hour or more away so they can earn enough money to buy a jacuzzi or a TV the size of a movie screen, what does it really matter if they also recycle?

The Time is Now for an Energy Revolution!

Communities should strive to use natural resources for energy.

According to Chris Nelder, the current national grid with regards to energy support for our country would require well over a trillion dollars in infrastructure costs from now until the year 2030. It’s no doubt that the middle class (also known as: loyal American taxpayers) ideally contributes the biggest amount of support for the new infrastructure costs to avoid the grid from crumbling.

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