Jun 30, 2008
The Citroën ECO 2000 was much more than just an exercise in styling. Developed during the period 1981 to 1984, it was used to research economical, low weight, low drag cars intended for the next millenium. Many of the lessons learned were applied to the forthcoming AX ECO 2000 was part of a 50% French State funded programme to build a car capable of achieving 2 litres per 100 km fuel consumption.
SL 10 weighed 450kg and was powered by a three cylinder 750 cc engine developed from Fiat's Fire 1000 developing 35 bhp at 4 750 rpm. The first prototype (SA 103) empoyed a rear mounted twin cylinder engine but subsequent versions had the engine mounted at the front and front wheel drive. Read full here
Why introduce yet another expensive, energy-intensive and risky technology if there are so many other and better ways to solve the energy crisis? If we chose to build a completely new infrastructure of pipelines comparable to that of the existing oil and gas industry, why not build something like an extensive underground tubular freight network instead? This would be a real solution, which would considerably lower transport energy use and CO2-emissions. Why not channel the huge amount of money needed for the development of CCS to countries with tropical rainforests, so that they have a very good reason to protect them fiercely? Stopping deforestation, especially in tropical forests, would contribute more to the fight against global warming than carbon capture technology could ever do. Tropical forests store enormous amounts of carbon and they are not prone to natural forest fires. "Halting deforestation in tropical forests would contribute more to the fight against global warming than capture technology could ever do." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why introduce yet another expensive, energy-intensive and risky technology if there are so many other and better ways to solve the energy crisis? If we chose to build a completely new infrastructure of pipelines comparable to that of the existing oil and gas industry, why not build something like an extensive underground tubular freight network instead? This would be a real solution, which would considerably lower transport energy use and CO2-emissions.
Why not channel the huge amount of money needed for the development of CCS to countries with tropical rainforests, so that they have a very good reason to protect them fiercely? Stopping deforestation, especially in tropical forests, would contribute more to the fight against global warming than carbon capture technology could ever do. Tropical forests store enormous amounts of carbon and they are not prone to natural forest fires.
"Halting deforestation in tropical forests would contribute more to the fight against global warming than capture technology could ever do."
"A 50 percent increase in energy consumption is the last thing that the world needs."
The idea of carbon capture and storage (CCS) – first introduced in the 1970s - is attractive at first sight. Capturing CO2 from smokestacks has been a common practice for many years, for the purification of natural gas or at ammonia production facilities for instance. Injection and storage of carbon dioxide is happening already in the
A complete CCS infrastructure has not been demonstrated yet (all CO2 used for enhanced oil recovery is commercially produced or originates from other sources than power plants, and present capture techniques do not capture CO2 for storage but emit the gas in the atmosphere). Yet, since all the individual parts exist, this does not seem to be an obstacle either.
The problem at hand is that the process of capturing, transporting and storing carbon dioxide requires a vast amount of energy. If this energy were to be derived directly from fossil fuels the benefits of the CO2-savings by capture and storage will be offset by the very same energy intensive process. If the energy were to come from renewable sources the technology is rendered unnecessary as it would be much more efficient to generate electricity directly from the renewable source.
"If fuel use of electricity generation rises by 50 percent, the same goes for air pollution from coal plants and for the ecological consequences of coal mining. Storing the CO2 does not solve that."
Capturing CO2 from smokestacks is the most energy-intensive part of the process. According to the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), which devoted a comprehensive study on the technology 3 years ago, capturing technology (including compression for further transport and storage) raises the energy consumption of a coal plant by an average of 32 percent.
A coal plant equipped with CO2-capture technology would thus need 32 percent more coal and other resources like water, chemicals and reagents to produce the same amount of electricity than the same power plant without this technology.
This 32 percent does not include the energy needed to mine, process and transport the many thousands of tonnes of extra coal, and it does not include the energy needed for the construction of the capture, transportation, storing and monitoring infrastructure either.
It is insufficient to simply place the smokestacks of a coal plant upside down as suitable underground reservoirs do not necessarily lie beneath the world's power stations. A carbon capture and storage infrastructure requires a transport infrastructure consisting of pipelines (and tankers) that rivals the existing oil and gas network.
Manufacturing and installing these thousands of kilometres of stainless steel pipes will require a substantial amount of energy. Also, the transport by ship or pipeline itself requires energy, and so does the injection of the CO2 in underground reservoirs and the monitoring of the whole transport network (today’s pipelines are patrolled by plane every two weeks).
Everything taken together, CCS will probably raise energy consumption by as much as 50 percent.
There are losses during transport, too. According to the IPCC these are 1 to 2 percent per 1,000 kilometres of pipeline transport and 3 to 4 percent per 1,000 kilometres of ship transport (the ship's fuel use included). Carbon dioxide is also not the only harmful effect of power generation. Burning coal brings serious air pollution and produces waste, both of which will also rise by at least 30 percent. The same goes for the ecological damage of coal mining, which is devastating. Storing the CO2 can never prevent this.
Turning CO2 in plastics
However, even though the amount of chemicals and plastics we produce is enormous, as a carbon sink they are all but meaningless.
The Myth - "If all polycarbonates and polyurethane would be produced by means of CO2 this would only store the emissions of 3 coal power plants."
According to the IPCC, producing all polycarbonates and polyurethane by means of carbon dioxide would store 3.3 million tons of CO2 – comparable to the annual emissions of just 3 coal power plants.
What makes this approach even more useless is that these consumer products and chemicals have a relatively short lifespan, from a few months for fertilizers to some decennia for plastic products. When the fertilizers are used, or when the DVD’s end up in the incinerator, the CO2 goes back into the atmosphere.
Using CO2 as a feedstock for algae and then turning it into biofuel - another idea that is hyped these days - faces the same problem. It only delays CO2-emissions for a very short time. The carbon dioxide is converted into fuel which is further burnt in a car engine.
It is impossible to capture CO2 from car engines since the gas is too heavy (your car would gain serious weight while driving, and it would have to pull a trailer to store the large volume of carbon dioxide).
"Turning CO2 into algae could be an interesting strategy if we bury the algae instead of burning them in our car engines. However, that’s not on anyone’s mind."
One could argue that at least the CO2 is recycled and that we are using the by-product of electricity generation to make fuel – which means that we don’t have to dig up more fossil fuels to make gasoline. However, this argument does not take into account the fact that much energy (and water) is lost in the conversion process.
Firstly, there is again the energy penalty of CO2 capture from the smokestacks, on average 30 percent. Next, you have to build a huge infrastructure to produce algae (since their energy efficiency is 100 times smaller than that of solar panels) and furthermore there is the energy that gets lost during the process of turning algae to fuel. If there is net energy gain in the end, it will be small.
Turning CO2 into algae could be an interesting strategy to reduce CO2-emissions if we store the algae underground instead of burning them in our car engines (thus avoiding the energy-intensive process of converting them into fuel). However, that’s not on anyone’s mind.
Atomic waste, meet your rival
Carbon capture technology is expected to become more energy-efficient in the future. But that would make the whole scheme hardly more attractive. Storing carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs (the only realistic option) is risky, not unlike the storing of atomic waste.
CO2 can escape. High concentrations of the gas are lethal to plants, animals and humans. Eventually the gas thins in the atmosphere but during escape concentrations can build up fast, especially since CO2 is denser than air. At concentrations above 2 percent in ambient air, carbon dioxide has a strong effect on respiration (the normal concentration in fresh air is 0.033 percent). At concentrations from 7 to 10 percent, it kills.
"If CO2 escapes from storage reservoirs, the whole energy-intensive operation of capturing, transporting and storing it was all for nothing."
Small impurities in the gas make it lethal at even lower concentrations. Similar amounts in the soil kill vegetation and make groundwater unsuitable for drinking or irrigation. And of course, if CO2 escapes from storage reservoirs, the whole operation of capturing, transporting and storing it was all for nothing. The result is a considerable rise in emissions, because of the energy penalty involved (the energy use of the whole process can go down, but it will never come close to zero).
Real solutions, please
Why not put into force a regulation that prohibits the construction of any more power plants that burn non-renewable energy sources? There is already an enormous energy capacity in the world, why don’t we chose to do it with the energy plants that we have? This would at last make energy efficiency useful (because progress in energy efficiency is now always again nullified by new and more energy hungry products and services). Still want more energy? Build a solar plant or plant a windmill.
These are just 3 ideas that would be effective without the need to adapt our lifestyle (which is, of course, also the attraction of "clean coal"). They would not solve everything, but at least they would be very welcome steps into the right direction, the direction of a solution.
Jun 27, 2008
According to a recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a reasonable R&D investment in these technologies could create the opportunity to develop 100,000 megawatts of geothermal power in the United States by 2050, an amount equal to 20% of the current U.S. generating capacity.
DOE issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) last week for the research, development, and demonstration of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), an advanced geothermal technology that drills deep wells into hot rocks, fractures them, and circulates a fluid through the fractures to extract heat. EGS technologies can be used to create new geothermal reservoirs or to stimulate existing geothermal reservoirs that are underperforming. The FOA offers up to $90 million over four years, of which $40 million will go toward research and development (R&D) projects for the technologies needed to commercialize EGS and $50 million will go toward demonstration projects that stimulate existing unproductive geothermal reservoirs. Applications are due by August 12. See the DOE press release and the FOA on Grants.gov.
See the reports from DOE and MIT in the EGS technology section of DOE's Geothermal Technologies Program Web site.
"There seems to be enough interest this time that we'll see activity on site," he said.
New regulations curb climate changing, smog forming and toxic emissions
SACRAMENTO: Today the Air Resources Board approved regulations limiting emissions of climate-changing chemicals from air canisters used to blow dust off equipment such as computer keyboards to cameras, the nation's first for consumer products.
In addition to greenhouse gases, the board's decision will reduce smog forming emissions and toxic air contaminants. The regulation establishes specifications for consumer products that will annually reduce:
* greenhouse gases by 200,000 metric tons;
* smog-forming volatile organic compounds by 2,000 tons; and,
* toxic air contaminants by over 70 tons.
The greenhouse gas cuts will come from replacing the use of HFC-134a with HFC-152a in gas-duster canisters. HFC-134a is known to have a massive heat-trapping potentialand is rated 1,300 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide.
"We are getting a lot of bang for our buck on this regulation because these seemingly benign air canisters emit an especially potent greenhouse gas," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "This measure also reduces ozone and other toxic air contaminants with a viable propellant alternative readily available so consumers shouldn't see much change in the effectiveness of these products."
For more information on the consumer products regulation go to: www.arb.ca.gov
Jun 26, 2008
The standard covers only direct emissions from a company's fuel and electricity use, as well as from business travel such as flights. It does not cover the emissions caused by a firm's products, or supply chain. And companies with polluting manufacturing sites abroad would not have to count them if they sought accreditation, say, for a head office in London.
WOW - that does sound "genuine", a genuine greenwash - Haase
Dell on Wednesday said its server power supplies have met an industry target of 92 percent efficiency.
Its servers comply with the 80 Plus benchmark of making power supplies 92 percent efficient when a server is at 50 percent load, explained Albert Esser, Dell's vice president of power and infrastructure solutions.
Esser said the server power supply Dell has developed is the first to comply with the 80 Plus Gold certification, making it 14 percent more efficient than existing equipment.
That standard also meets the 2009 target set by IT industry consortium Climate Savers.
What's perhaps most notable from Dell's announcement--part of a marketing barrage from IT vendors touting energy efficiency--is that it underscores the growing importance of industry standards.
Industry experts have called for the equivalent of a miles-per-gallon rating for servers and other IT equipment so that buyers can compare products on efficiency.
Read full VIA- cnet.com
Jun 25, 2008
When it starts to sound like a good idea to let "congress control financial markets" we have really had cheap gas too long...
The price of retail gasoline could fall by half, to around $2 a gallon, within 30 days of passage of a law to limit speculation in energy-futures markets, four energy analysts told Congress on Monday.
Testifying to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management said that the price of oil would quickly drop closer to its marginal cost of around $65 to $75 a barrel, about half the current $135.
Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co., Edward Krapels of Energy Security Analysis and Roger Diwan of PFC Energy Consultants agreed with Masters’ assessment at a hearing on proposed legislation to limit speculation in futures markets.
“Speculation is the root of capitalism,” he said. “If the speculation is forced out of the U.S. exchanges, it’ll simply show up on other exchanges that are OTC like the ICE, or new exchanges will pop up to allow for the spec trades to continue functioning.”
Ryan said he does see a reason for Congress to look at eliminating aspects such as allowing West Texas intermediate crude oil futures to trade on foreign markets and the “Enron loophole,” but “these exchanges are currently functioning as they are supposed to in a free marketplace.”
The creation of a comprehensive U.S. energy policy that tackles issues of increasing domestic supply and reining in consumer demand via conservation should be Congress’ focus, Ryan said. “Instead we’re on bended knee begging the Saudis to put more oil on the market and talking about shutting down spec trades.”
Mercedes To Introduce Cleanest Diesel SUV In The U.S.
Mercedes-Benz has announced it is ready to introduce the R, ML and GL 320 SUVs equipped with Mercedes’ BlueTEC technology in the U.S. The company says that the vehicles are the most economical full-size SUV in the U.S. - the GL 320, gets 25 mpg, the company says.
Jun 21, 2008
Those who believe we will clean up our environment by using hydrogen as a fuel are not required to be familiar with the first law of thermodynamics, but the willingness of industry to play along is frightening. GM had a hydrogen car driving around Capitol Hill, and Shell had added a hydrogen pump at a nearby station. This week
Honda announced the Clarity, a highly-subsidized hydrogen fuel-cell car and said Jamie Lee Curtis is buying one. She lives near one of the four hydrogen stations in California. Today a NY Times editorial was mildly skeptical. You can make cars that run on hydrogen, although they have big problems, but it won't fix the energy problem or clean up the environment.
RUNNING ON WATER: JAPANESE COMPANY UNVEILS CAR.
Sigh! Genepax uses a membrane to breaks the water down into hydrogen and oxygen, and then uses the hydrogen as fuel. A year ago there was a similar scam http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN07/wn081007.html . Sam Leach did it in 1971, when gas was only $1.31 corrected for inflation. He demonstrated his car, collected money from "investors," and then retired to an ocean-side villa in California. Occasionally seen in a chauffer-driven Rolls Royce that ran on gasoline, it was rumored that Leach had sold out to the oil barons.
Jun 20, 2008
While nuclear energy has great potential to be clean, low cost, abundant power, it has not been in...
How will McCain battle the safety, cost and waste issues that have put the U.S. nuclear energy program in the 30 billion hole? Or is this just added fluff to fend off short term energy and environmental answers our country desperately needs?
Haase - While I would love to post this entire Wikipedia thread, it is lengthy and should be read in full at Wikipedia for those interested in tackling our three decade old economic energy debate. (i.e. senate, congress, pres. candidates etc..) as I am not sure they are qualified to discuss nuclear power... here is a brief history of nuclear energy for McCain's energy program: From Wikipedia
History of waste cost over runs and safety issues... we need to resolve
The United States produces the most nuclear energy, with nuclear power providing 19% of the electricity it consumes, while France produces the highest percentage of its electrical energy from nuclear reactors—78% as of 2006. In the European Union as a whole, nuclear energy provides 30% of the electricity.
In 1954, the consensus of government and business at the time was that nuclear (fission) power might eventually become merely economically competitive with conventional power sources.
Installed nuclear capacity initially rose relatively quickly, rising from less than 1 gigawatt (GW) in 1960 to 100 GW in the late 1970s, and 300 GW in the late 1980s. Since the late 1980s worldwide capacity has risen much more slowly, reaching 366 GW in 2005. Between around 1970 and 1990, more than 50 GW of capacity was under construction (peaking at over 150 GW in the late 70s and early 80s) — in 2005, around 25 GW of new capacity was planned. More than two-thirds of all nuclear plants ordered after January 1970 were eventually cancelled.
During the 1970s and 1980s rising economic costs and falling fossil fuel prices made nuclear power plants then under construction less attractive. In the 1980s (U.S.) and 1990s (Europe), flat load growth and electricity liberalization also made the addition of large new baseload capacity unattractive.
Brookings Institution suggests that new nuclear units have not been ordered in the U.S. because the Institution's research concludes they cost 15–30% more over their lifetime than conventional coal and natural gas fired plants.
For those with short term memory loss, I'll include a few previous posts in the last year on nuclear energy:
- Nuclear power will be economically obsolete in next decade
- Uranium Paradox: Reason To Favor Coal-Fired Electricity? Or Not?
- Future won't favor new nuclear plants
- Clinton goes nuke and so will Hillary
- United States could have Nuclear fuel Shortage in six years
- New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs Wall Street Journal
- LA Times Anything But Nuclear
- 53 million gallons in danger of leaking nuclear waste
- $500 billion needed to build the country's next generation of nuclear power plants.
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Oversight: Security of Our Nation's Nuclear Plants
- U.S. may import 20,000 tons of nuclear waste
- OBAMA's connection to nuclear energy
- "alarmist pressure" forces pursuit of the Nuke option...
- The Achilles Heel of Nuclear Power
- Nuclear power concerns cloud US emissions benefits
- Nuclear Power Can't Curb Global Warming - Report
- United States could have Nuclear fuel Shortage in six years
- California - Goina, hafta, go nuke
Question: Lets put the aside the simple arguments of: "billions in debt, rising cost of maintenance & safety components, subsides & trillions of pounds of radioactive waste"... What obstacles bother me?
Water? I mean the Achilles heel of nuclear power in the context of climate change: water. Climate change means water shortages in many places and hotter water everywhere.
nuclear power is the most water-hungry of all energy sources, with a single reactor consuming 35-65 million litres of water each day. Our nation is fighting a war on Water use and 150 nuclear energy plants use 600,000,000,000 gallons of fresh water PER DAY. As with most power plants, two-thirds of the energy produced by a nuclear power plant goes into waste heat (see Carnot cycle), and that heat is discharged into large bodies of water — cooling ponds, lakes, rivers, or oceans. Droughts can pose a severe problem by causing the source of cooling water to run out.
Throwing away a finite source - Current light water reactors make relatively inefficient use (using only 3%) of nuclear fuel, fissioning only the very rare uranium-235 isotope. Main article: Depleted uranium
Reliability - Of all 132 U.S. nuclear plants built (52 percent of the 253 originally ordered), 21 percent were prematurely and permanently closed due to reliability or cost problems, while another 27 percent have completely failed for a year or more at least once. Normally operating nuclear plants must shut down, on average, for 39 days every 17 months for refueling and maintenance.
Jun 19, 2008
The National Science Foundation reports of a very interesting breakthrough. Using corncob waste as a starting material, researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at an unprecedented density of 180 times their own volume and at one seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks.
This corncob “sponge” will allow for the storage of methane, a natural gas derived from rotting bio-waste. With this new technology comes the possibility of using waste methane from cow manure, food waste, heck even human waste to power your car. Read full writeup link here
Jun 18, 2008
DOE - Cited a new report from New Energy Finance that concludes producing 7.2 billion gallons of biofuels are "only" responsible for a 17% increase in global food prices. Noting - "The increasing price of fossil fuels caused 35.2% of the increase in grain prices."
The report concludes that population growth and fossil fuels prices placed the greatest pressure on grain prices, and that growth was not matched by increases in yields.
Sources: Energy Finance press release (PDF 16 KB)
See a summary of DOE testimony on the EERE Web site.
In an effort to encourage appropriate geothermal energy development on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service have prepared a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for geothermal leasing in the West, including Alaska. The draft PEIS considers all public lands and national forests with geothermal resources to be available for leasing, with the exception of those lands that are withdrawn or administratively closed to geothermal leasing. That option includes 117 million acres of public lands and 75 million acres of national forests, while an alternative option would limit geothermal leasing for power plants to areas near transmission lines. By 2015, the lands could potentially host 110 new geothermal plants producing 5,500 megawatts of power, and by 2025, an additional 132 geothermal plants could produce another 6,600 megawatts of power. In addition, 270 communities could potentially draw on geothermal resources as a heating source.
The draft PEIS was opened for public comment on June 13, and it will remain open until 90 days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice in the Federal Register, an event expected to occur on June 20. The BLM will also hold public meetings in 13 cities throughout the region in July. Approval of the PEIS will allow the BLM to modify its land use plans and to issue decisions on geothermal lease applications that are now pending. It will also help the Forest Service decide when to approve leases in national forests, although the Forest Service will require a separate environmental review process to amend its land use plans. See the BLM press release and the BLM's Geothermal PEIS Web site.
The rising cost of shipping everything from industrial-pump parts to lawn-mower batteries to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas.
The movement of factories to low-cost countries further and further away has been a bittersweet three-decade-long story for the U.S. economy, knocking workers out of good-paying manufacturing jobs even as it drove down the price of goods for consumers. But, after exploding over the past 10 years, that march has been slowing.
The cost of shipping a standard, 40-foot container from Asia to the East Coast has already tripled since 2000 and will double again as oil prices head toward $200 a barrel, says Jeff Rubin, chief economist at CIBC. He estimates transportation costs are now the equivalent of a 9 percent tariff on goods coming into U.S. ports, compared with the equivalent of only 3 percent in 2000.
"In a world of triple-digit oil prices, distance costs money," Mr. Rubin wrote in a recent report. He figures that for every 10 percent increase in the distance of a trip, energy costs rise 4.5 percent.
Transportation costs are just part of a larger wave of inflation sweeping global manufacturing, which has also been pounded by higher costs for basic materials, such as steel and resins.
The cost of doing business in China in particular has grown steadily as workers there demand higher wages and the government enforces tougher environmental and other controls. China's currency has also appreciated against the dollar - though not as much as some critics contend it should - increasing the cost of its products in the U.S.
"I believe a decent amount of production could come back into the States within five years, not everything," he says. "But it won't be because of transport costs - it'll be because other production costs have gone up and companies have realized they can have better control over their production when it's closer to home."
For many manufacturers, though, oil prices that have hurtled past $130 a barrel have been the tipping point.
"That's when it became a dominant part of the discussion," he says, adding that oil then was less than $100 a barrel. "So with oil now at $130, it's even more serious." Mr. Monser says Emerson's larger strategy is to regionalize manufacturing, producing as much as possible within the part of the world where its sold.
While many manufacturers are re-evaluating production strategies, there are limits to how many jobs will flow back to the U.S. One problem is that much of the basic infrastructure needed to support many industries - such as suppliers who specialize in producing parts or repairing machines - has dwindled or disappeared.
U.S. job losses in manufacturing have averaged 41,000 a month so far this year - nearly double the pace last year, with sectors such as autos and construction materials tied to the housing slump especially hard hit. In essence, every job added as a result of companies pulling work back home is being more than offset by others reeling from the domestic slump.
And the heavier and bulkier goods are, the more sensitive they are to fuel costs. CIBC's Mr. Rubin predicts Mexico will be "the biggest winner of all" as increased transportation costs make China uncompetitive in an ever-growing list of businesses in North America. Even Mexico may be too far for some companies.
Source: Wall Street Journal via libertypost
URL Source: http://libertypost.org/
- Offsetting Coal power is the largest finical support Gore's "carbon trade" market is driven by.
- Nearly every contributor to Al Gores financial interests are democrats'
- And seriously, Did someone think Gore would endorse a republican?
Jun 17, 2008
COAL ... after 30 years of low returns, "can't wait and wants more profits" and is holding off on production and exploration until Environmental, safety are lowered and more subsidies are given
Jun 16, 2008
but, "let's tackle climate change and global warming by cutting emissions to halve by 2050!"
Jun 13, 2008
Toyota Prius: 39.9 mpg
Jeep Patriot: 38.9 mpg
Honda Civic vs. Ford Focus Econetic
Honda Civic IMA: 40.2 mpg
Ford Focus Econetic: 52.7 mpg
[Source: Clean Green Cars]
Free online directory targets state's construction waste - WasteCap Wisconsin launched the state's first online directory of reuse and recycling markets for Wisconsin's construction and demolition waste in April. The directory, named WasteCapDIRECT, is a free service for contractors to connect with haulers, processors and end markets for some of Wisconsin's most common construction and demolition waste materials. To read the full article, visit www.wastecapwi.org/golivedirect. To use WasteCapDIRECT, visit www.wastecapdirect.org
Greening the Heartland 2008 - The premier annual conference on green building and sustainability in the Midwest will be held at America's Center in downtown St. Louis. The U.S. Green Building Council – St. Louis Regional Chapter will host this fifth annual event, which is geared toward people interested in greening their town, business, college campus or building. The conferencve will feature internationally renowned sustainability leaders in four content areas: corporate, community, education and government. WasteCap will host it's Construction Waste Management Training Program for Accreditation the day after the conference in St. Louis. For more information and to register for the conference and the training, visit www.greeningtheheartland.org/
Save the date! Third Annual WasteCap Wisconsin R3 Awards - Professionals and businesses working to reduce, reuse and recycle commercial debris will be honored at the third annual R3 Awards on October 9th at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. The highlight of the night will be the presentation of the Big Diverter award recognizing the construction and/or demolition project with the highest recycling rate. More details coming soon. To read about past R3 Awards, visit www.wastecapwi.org/r3
Changing the minds of Wisconsin contractors - Jenna Kunde is executive director of WasteCap Wisconsin, a nonprofit that provides waste reduction and recycling education to businesses. She said many contractors hesitate to implement recycling processes because they fear there could be additional costs and time attached to them. Kunde said she changes even the most stubborn minds, though, by showing contractors they can have a positive impact on the environment in a cost-saving way that has a minimal impact on construction schedules. To read the full article, visit www.wibuilder.com/wb-june-2008/foundation.html
Available in 3-door and 5-door variants, the Corsa GSi gets sporty bodywork, an attractive set of 17" five-spoke wheels, and two-tone seats. It goes on sale in Europe this September. We'll have to wait for the next-gen Corsa to arrive, which will be sold here as a Saturn.
Read full at: autoblog.com
Jun 12, 2008
Because it is not chemically bound to the plastic polymer, fat-loving DEHP readily migrates out of products and is now ubiquitous in the environment, Nicell says. It has been found in human breast milk, blood, and urine as well as house dust, snow, and sewage sludge. The European Commission has classified DEHP as a priority organic pollutant and in 2006 proposed a water quality standard for DEHP of 1.3 micrograms per liter, Nicell adds. Denmark limits the concentration of DEHP in sludge used in agriculture to 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) dry weight.
"Environmental fate studies tend to focus on the parent compound, but the unanswered question is, what does it turn into?" Nicell asks. Expecting that DEHP would eventually degrade into CO2 and water, Nicell and his colleagues at McGill were surprised to find that soil microorganisms break down DEHP into metabolites that exhibit acute toxicity in standard tests.
Nicell's new study tracked for the first time the DEHP breakdown products in sewage sludge and found concentrations ranging from 1 to 228 mg/kg. "We don't have a handle on what is the long-term impact associated with exposure to minute concentrations, [when combined with] a whole bunch of other toxins or endocrine disrupters, on the health and reproductive health of organisms," Nicell says.
However, a burgeoning body of work on human exposure to DEHP has sprung up during the past 8 years, notes Russ Hauser, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. Humans oxidize DEHP into a different suite of metabolites compared with those from soil microorganisms, starting with MEHP (mono-ethylhexyl phthalate) and followed by four additional oxidative metabolites.
In an earlier study published in November 2006, Hauser and his colleagues measured the concentration of DEHP metabolites in urine samples collected from men at an infertility clinic and found a positive association of MEHP with DNA damage in sperm. "When we adjusted our statistical models for the oxidative metabolites, we found a strong and consistent signal for MEHP that would otherwise have been missed," Hauser says.
Scientists have been able to establish DEHP and its breakdown products as antiandrogenic in rodents, according to Shanna Swan, an epidemiologist at the University of Rochester. Exposure to DEHP in utero puts a damper on testosterone production in fetal male rats, which leads to undescended testicles, penile deformations, and a shorter anogenital distance.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 recommended that hospitals use alternatives to DEHP-containing plastics for vulnerable populations such as premature baby boys, mothers pregnant with male fetuses, and boys nearing puberty, says Ted Schettler, science director for the Science and Environmental Health Network, an advocacy organization. To date, FDA has resisted calls from a coalition that includes the American Medical Association (the top advocacy group for doctors) and leading hospitals to require manufacturers to label medical devices that contain DEHP.
Read more From American Chemical Society
"You folks are on the front lines, you know the real story. I feel for you," Rifkin told EHS pros. "You know what needs to be done, but you spend your time putting fires out after the fact. It must be incredibly frustrating," he said.
A massive shift to distributed energies (wind, sun, water, geothermal) and away from centralized "elite energy" controlled by corporate hierarchies and governments.
GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR
Where EHS professionals have a real role to play is in the construction of energy-generating buildings, said Rifkin. "Buildings are the solution to being able to go off the grid. Building can collect and distribute energy. This will be a building redesign revolution, with diagonal roofs, wind mills, solar panels" and the information technical to monitor consumption, save energy, and share it.
TAKE THE SPIN OUT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In the follow-up Q&A, Rifkin pointed to two other roles for EHS professionals. One, help make sustainable development a central part of a company's business plan. "They should bring you experts in to help model a sustainable development plan in the beginning," he said. Right now, "99 percent of the sustainable development commercials you see on TV is spin, PR," Rifkin said. "We're not as far along as those TV commercials suggest."
DON'T SQUABBLE, EMPATHIZE
Second, EHS pros, by the nature of their mission, tend to be empathetic. And they can use that to influence what Rifkin said is a necessary change in our cultural thinking. "Empathy gives us the glue to survive, to keep us together. We've got to extend our empathy worldwide. We can no longer squabble and squabble and squabble. We need a change in perspective. We need to be more mindful" of the big picture, he said.