Environment

Save the Planet: Stop buying clothes!

The Economist 

Business and finance

Apr 5th 2017

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Dressing to impress has an environmental cost as well as a financial one. From the pesticides poured on cotton fields to the washes in which denim is dunked, making 1kg of fabric generates 23kg of greenhouse gases on average, according to estimates by McKinsey, a consultancy. Because consumers keep almost every type of apparel only half as long as they did 15 years ago, these inputs go to waste faster than ever before. The latest worry is shoppers in the developing world, who have yet to buy as many clothes as rich-world consumers but are quickly catching up.

Most apparel companies know that sooner or later, consumers’ awareness of this subject will rise. That is a worry……..

Aware now? Just sayin…..

 

Flying Cars! Uber’s white paper

On-Demand Urban Air Transportation

A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities.

Imagine traveling from San Francisco’s Marina to work in downtown San Jose — a drive that would normally occupy the better part of two hours — in only 15 minutes. What if you could save nearly four hours round-trip between São Paulo’s city center and the suburbs in Campinas? Or imagine reducing your 90-plus minute stop-and-go commute from Gurgaon to your office in central New Delhi to a mere six minutes.

Every day, millions of hours are wasted on the road worldwide. Last year, the average San Francisco resident spent 230 hours commuting between work and home—that’s half a million hours of productivity lost every single day. In Los Angeles and Sydney, residents spend seven whole working weeks each year commuting, two of which are wasted unproductively stuck in gridlock. In many global megacities, the problem is more severe: the average commute in Mumbai exceeds a staggering 90 minutes. For all of us, that’s less time with family, less time at work growing our economies, more money spent on fuel — and a marked increase in our stress levels: a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, for example, found that those who commute more than 10 miles were at increased odds of elevated blood pressure.

Where do I sign up? Just sayin….

Getting Sports fans to understand “Go Green!” isn’t just a cheer

The Natural – Ian Gordon for Mother Jones

“The question is, how do you change people’s cultural attitudes?” he says. “How do you change their minds? You don’t do it by arguing in Congress. You don’t do it through talking heads on Sunday talk shows. You’ve got to connect with them in a place where they’re open to changing their minds.”

“Sixteen percent of Americans follow science,” Hershkowitz says, citing aNational Science Foundation survey. “Seventy percent follow sports.” And many of them are not exactly sympathetic to the climate change agenda.

He let me know that there are 154 pro sports teams (“if you don’t include professional lacrosse”), 90 of which share 50 animals as mascots or team names; 31 of those animals are endangered or at risk of going extinct in the wild.

 

Maybe sports fans just need to be given the information so they can make informed decisions?  If you asked all the NFL Philadelphia Eagles fans to support 1% of every licensed gear sale being directed to Eagle habitat preservation, how many people do you think would be against it?  I know, it’s Philly, but I still think they’ve all got hearts and brains (they just get underused occasionally). 😉 Just sayin…

“Blizzards are like roller coasters: they’re only fun if they scare the bejeebers out of you.”

Blizzards can seem like the end of the world

By  GLOBE STAFF  JANUARY 27, 2015

I don’t see the point of writing this column because no one is going to read it. The world is about to end. I saw it on the news.

I was talking to the mayor, Marty Walsh, about the storm and he seemed positively sanguine about the situation.

“Marty,” says I, “it’s the apocalypse. I just saw it on TV.”

Boston’s mayor responded with some tripe about using common sense and common courtesy and we’ll get through this, and I’m thinking, “What’s got into this guy?” Keeping his head when everyone around him is losing theirs? I’m very worried about Marty.

This is Charlie Baker’s first ride at the snow rodeo as governor and he was steely calm when he showed up at the bunker in Framingham Monday afternoon. He’s ditched his predecessor’s MEMA fleece in favor of a suit, a sturdy raft of placidity in a sea of panic. What fun is that? He’s as bad as Marty.

The governor actually had the audacity to point out that it snows around here and sometimes it snows a lot. He obviously didn’t get the memo. This is no time for levelheadedness.

And it all will melt.  Just sayin….

Ever wonder why so many Americans are disgusted with Washington? Look no further than the demoralizing display of Kabuki democracy surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline.

Why the showdown over the Keystone XL pipeline is totally pointless

Damon Linker The Week January 14, 2015

After more than six long years of argument, debate, protest, lobbying, and court rulings, a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is wending its way through the Senate. Once the bill has passed, it will be sent to the president’s desk, where Barack Obama has pledged to veto it, marking only the third time he has chosen to use that constitutional power, and the first time he has done so since 2010.

It’s exciting.

And also utterly pointless.

The strongest argument against the pipeline is that it will contribute in a significant way to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The only problem is that everyone knows that the contribution will be negligible — with estimates ranging from 27 million to 110 million additional tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year out of a global total of roughly 40 billion tons. That’s an annual increase of somewhere between .0675 and .275 percent.

That’s right: the high-end estimate predicts that the pipeline will increase global greenhouse emissions by slightly more than one quarter of 1 percent.

But of course, stopping the pipeline would do no such thing. As everyone on both sides of the debate concedes, the Canadians will get their tar sands oil to market one way or the other, whether or not the pipeline is approved and built as proposed. (Rail transport is the most likely alternative.) And that means that rejecting the project will have essentially no impact on global carbon emissions.

And trains don’t contribute to Global Emissions, right? Or risk huge natural disasters and deaths as they pass through our cities and towns, right?

Yet the number of jobs at stake is as negligible as the projected increase in pollutants. Estimates place the number at around 2,000 annual temporary jobs over two years of pipeline construction, followed by 35 permanent positions once it’s up and running.

You heard that right: 35. Two digits; no zeros.

All of this is common knowledge. Pretty much no one on either side of the argument attempts to deny or refute any of it.

And yet here we are at the O.K. Corral, the Senate and president poised for a showdown.

Are you getting excited yet?  Feel the drama building and your blood boiling with passion?

Of course, for everyone in the country who isn’t an environmental activist, the hoopla defies comprehension. But hey, that’s the way our politics work now: enormous amounts of time, energy, and resources — and the president’s limited political capital — expended on a ploy to get a special-interest group trained and tested for…some as-yet-undetermined future fight.

Pssssssss – that’s the air going out of the drama balloon.  A whole bunch of time, money and energy wasted.  Oh wait, we are talking about politicians aren’t we.  Just sayin’…

Cute and cuddly but so powerful and fast.

Really awesome to see one live and up close, just not too close! 😉  Just sayin…

A photo of a mother grizzly bear walking with her cubs alongside a river in Yellowstone National Park

A grizzly bear and her cubs stop at a river in Yellowstone National Park.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBBIE GEORGE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Should Grizzlies Be Restored to the North Cascades?

The awe-inspiring bears are almost extinct in Washington State, but the government is now studying whether they should be brought back.

Fun reading for Freaky Friday – unless the spew hits us, just sayin… s

There’s a giant spot on the sun, and it’s acting weird

BY JENNY MARDER  October 29, 2014 at 4:38 PM EDT PBS NewsHour

The bright light in the lower right region of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on Oct. 26, 2014, as captured by NASA's SDO. This was the third X-class flare in 48 hour. Image by NASA/SDO

The bright light in the lower right region of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on Oct. 26, 2014, as captured by NASA’s SDO. This was the third X-class flare in 48 hour. Image by NASA/SDO

“It’s kind of like having a rubber band that you twist and twist, and it starts to knot up,” said C. Alex Young, associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division. “The same sort of thing is happening with magnetic fields. They become more twisted, they get more concentrated, and eventually you have to get rid of that energy.”

The result: a spewing forth of ionized gas.

Releasing this pent-up energy typically takes two forms: a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection, and this is key to what makes the behavior here unusual. A coronal mass ejection is made up of balls of gas ejected from the sun’s outer atmosphere, consisting of charged particles and magnetic field. The fastest CME’s travel up to 93 million miles a day, or millions of miles per hour. A solar flare is a burst of x-rays and energy, typically smaller and shorter-lasting than a CME, and rather than being launched out into space, it is caused by material accelerated back into the sun.

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