Nov 30, 2012
Right on Crime: According to statistics released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, state prisons across the United States continued a three-year decline in the number of prisoners in 2011.
The number of state prisoners fell from 1,314,446, to 1,289,376. This represents a 1.9 percent drop in state prisoners. This decline was sufficient to offset the increase in federal prisoners to create an overall drop in the number of all prisoners of 1.3 percent.
The entire correctional population (state and federal prisoners, jail inmates, parolees, and probationers) dropped 1.4 percent between 2010 and 2011. This is the third consecutive year of decreasing correctional populations.
Massive plunge in U.S. birth rates led by immigrant women, according to a Pew Research Center analysis
(CNN) – It makes sense that since the start of the recession, the birth rate in America has been declining.
In 2011, it dipped to the lowest rate ever recorded: 63.2 per 1,000 women between 15 and 44, the prime childbearing ages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That plunge was led by immigrant women, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released Thursday.
The birth rate for U.S.-born women declined 6% between 2007 (when the recession began) and 2010. However, the rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%, more than in the 17 years before the downturn.
Both foreign- and U.S.-born Hispanic women had larger drops in birth rate than any other group, Pew found. That correlates with larger percentage declines in household wealth for Hispanics than in white, black or Asian households.
Among women from Mexico, the country from where the largest number of U.S. immigrants come, the birth rate fell by 23%. - populationmedia.org
Mercury, lead, and PCBs are of particular interest because they are persistent in the environment and can harm fetal and infant brain development, said study lead author Dr. Marcella Thompson.
"Our research documents the prevalence of women who are exposed to all three of these chemicals," said Thompson. "It points out clearly the need to look at health outcomes for multiple environmental chemical co-exposures."
The study looked at data collected between 1999 and 2004 from women of all different demographics who participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study found that as women grew older, their risk of exceeding the median blood level in two or more of these pollutants grew exponentially. Researchers explain this risk not only because these chemicals accumulate in the body over time, but also because these women were born before most environmental protection laws were enacted.
The study also found that women who ate fish more than once a week during the prior 30 days had 4.5 times the risk of exceeding the median in two or more of these pollutants and women who drank heavily had a milder but still substantially elevated risk.
However, not all risks increased. Women who had breastfed at least one child for a month had about half the risk of exceeding the median blood level for two or more pollutants. Researchers explained that women pass the pollutants that have accumulated in their bodies to their nursing infants.
Although the study did not measure ill health effects, Thompson said, the data still suggest that women should learn about their risks of co-exposure to these chemicals well before they become pregnant.
Read more at Brown University
Register today! 2013 Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference implementing green chemistry for either start-ups or established companies.
*Save the date: *Friday, January 25, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. University of Minnesota Carlson SchoolGo to http://www.greenchemistrymn.org for more information and to register This day-long conference will include keynotes, panels and break-out sessions. Morning sessions will focus on research, technology, work force and labor issues, and academic partnerships. The focus of the afternoon will be business success stories, and the "nuts and bolts" of implementing green chemistry for either start-ups or established companies. Dr. Paul Anastas is known as one of the "fathers of green chemistry," and will be a keynote speaker. He is Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale and has pioneered groundbreaking research on the design, manufacture, and use of minimally-toxic, environmentally-friendly chemicals. Other speakers representing Ecolab, Cortec, Beyond Benign, BlueGreen Alliance, University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, Pauly DeVries Smith Deffner, Fredrikson and Byron, IATP and more will be panelists. *GreenScreen Training*
Thursday, January 24, 2013 (space is limited - registration to open shortly)
This is in-depth experiential training on how to use the GreenScreenTM for Safer Chemicals, a tool developed by Clean Production Action for identifying chemicals of concern and selecting safer alternatives. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. [ mailto:email@example.com ]
Need evidence that ACC defends cancer-causing chemicals that you and your family are exposed to? A new scientific study also just out this week shows that the foam in our household furniture like couches contains detectable levels of many harmful chemicals, including ones like chlorinated-Tris long-known to cause cancer, placed there on purpose as a flame retardant (Stapleton et al, 2012). Chlorinated-Tris was banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because of its health risks, but it is still frequently used in the sofa’s that children sit on, and ends up in the house dust that children touch, along with other harmful and unnecessary chemicals made by ACC member corporations (see the blog of my colleague, Dr. Sarah Janssen, here for more details). ACC is reported in a news response saying that there is no evidence that the levels found in the furniture would cause health problems, and the chemicals provide valuable escape time from house fires although this claim was proved false by government studies of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Defending cancer-causing chemicals is standard operating procedure for the ACC, acting on behalf of some of the biggest chemical companies in the world including Dow, DuPont, BASF and Exxon. Some of the ACC's recent cancer-promoting activities include the following:
ACC efforts to derail the congressionally mandate Report on Carcinogens issued biennially by the National Institutes of Health have been reported In an op/ed by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof titled, “The Cancer Lobby”. (NYT, October 2012)
This past spring the Chicago Tribune reported that large chemical manufacturers including ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and BASF Corp. were blocking EPA from listing their toxic products as “chemicals of concern,” going so far as to tell the White House rules office in closed-door meetings that “the chemicals they make are safe” despite increasing scientific evidence to the contrary. (Chicago Tribune, Chemical industry lobbyists keep stronger oversight plan at bay. May 2012)
And, in a five-part investigative expose titled, “Chemical companies, Big Tobacco and the toxic products in your home”, the Chicago Tribune pulled the curtain back on dishonest and manipulative tactics of the chemical industry to defend the continued use of toxic flame retardants in household furniture and other consumer products. Their tactics include generating false scientific data and setting up phony consumer groups to misrepresent information to the public and regulators. (Chicago Tribune May 2012)
The ACC is currently opposing a new LEED Green Building ratings proposal that would give builders credits for not using materials that contain chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects and other harmful environmental and health impacts. (See my blog here).
See more of ACC’s pro-cancer activities documented in the blog of my colleague, Daniel Rosenberg here.
Most of us really would like to prevent breast and other cancers, but it won’t happen without getting effective regulation of cancer-causing chemicals. The President’s Cancer Panel (appointed by President George W. Bush), in a 2010 report concluded that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated” and specifically called for reform of our federal toxic chemical regulations (called the Toxic Substances Control Act, TSCA) which the Cancer Panel called “the most egregious example of ineffective regulation of chemical contaminants.” Other organizations calling for reform of TSCA include the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association and the American Nurses Association.
This reform, The Safe Chemicals Act (S.847) needs your public support!Full blog with links here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jsass/we_wont_prevent_cancer_until_w.html
Jennifer Sass, Ph.D is a Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and, Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University
Nov 29, 2012
Talk about sustainability with Johnson Controls - the largest company in Wisconsin, and one of its most sustainable.
Sustainability Speaker - Susan Kreh, Vice President Finance & IT, Johnson Controls
Friday, November 30, NOON, 5120 GraingerSusan will join us to talk about sustainability at Johnson Controls (JCI). JCI is the largest company in Wisconsin, and one of its most sustainable. They routinely show up as a top WI company on Newsweek?s Greenest Businesses ranking, as well as on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, in the Climate Disclosure Project and on many other sustainability rankings. JCI has two divisions, building control and automation systems, and Power Controls (batteries). Susan is from the Power Controls side of the business, so there are some obvious sustainability linkages. We'll hear about past accomplishments and future directions. Please join us to hear Susan Kreh on Friday, November 30th at noon. We will meet in room 5120 of Grainger (975 University Ave in Madison).Registration (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFA0S2stUjdEMktWcWNJNVlVQ2hiYnc6MQ) is requested so that I can make sure you get information about upcoming sessions. The Friday session will conclude no later than 1:15.
Susan is the sixth and final speaker for the fall series.The event is free. Please share information about this speaker series with others who might be interested.
Additional information is available from Tom Eggert at 608 267-2761 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for your interest in sustainability and these community forums!
This is important, they said, because the vast majority of heat that is generated from, for example, a car engine, is lost through the tail pipe. It’s the thermoelectric material’s job to take that heat and turn it into something useful, like electricity.The researchers, led by Donald Morelli, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, developed the material based on natural minerals known as tetrahedrites.
Read more at
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People who eat doughnuts for breakfast should be charged for prescriptions, cost of 'lifestyle' diseases like obesity could bankrupt
(Denver, Colo. November 28, 2012) It's getting cold in the Rocky Mountain and Plains region, and the arrival of winter means we're firing up our gas furnaces and wood-burning stoves to warm our homes. When we use our furnaces and stoves, and spend mor...
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Nov 28, 2012
* Introduction to Arc Flash
* NFPA 70E: Revised
* Electrically Safe Work Conditions
* Flash Protection Approach Boundary
* The NFPA 70E
* Flash Protection Computations
* Using the Appropriate PPE
* Minimizing Arc Flash DangersDate Created: 2011 Number of Slides: 81 OHSA Regulations: This presentation is complaint with 29 CFR 1910.333. Created by: West Virginia University Link and information provided by Matthew Pelletier for the Compliance and Safety Team at complianceandsafety.com
Other Arc Flash Safety Presentations
Arc Flash Safety by Murray State UniversityOHSA Regulations: This presentation is compliant with 29 CFR 1910.333. Created by: Murray State University
Implementing NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Standards by ISRI SafetyOHSA Regulations: This presentation is compliant with 29 CFR 1910.333. Created by: ISRI Safety
Arc Flash Energy and Protection by EWB EngineeringOHSA Regulations: This presentation is compliant with 29 CFR 1910.333. Created by: EWB Engineering
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Nov 27, 2012
Need another reason to quit? An alarming new British study links smoking to mental diseases like dementia.
River vessels are cutting loads on the nation’s busiest waterway while railroads sign up new business and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draws criticism from lawmakers over its management of the river, which could be shut to cargo from companies including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. next month.
“Our shippers are looking at alternate modes of transportation,” said Marty Hettel, senior manager of bulk sales for AEP River Operations, the barge unit of American Electric Power Co., a utility owner based in Columbus, Ohio. “If you’re shipping raw materials to a steel mill in Chicago, you’re trying to figure out if you can go to Cincinnati or Louisville, Kentucky, unload it out of the barge and rail it up to the steel mill.”
Barges on the Mississippi handle about 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports entering the Gulf of Mexico through New Orleans, as well as 22 percent of its petroleum and 20 percent of its coal.
Mississippi water levels may drop to an historic low next month. The waterway is falling in part because of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which last week started reducing outflows from the Missouri River as part of an annual operating plan to ensure regions further north have adequate water.
That may help make the Mississippi too shallow to navigate by Dec. 10 from St. Louis south about 180 miles to Cairo, Illinois, where the Mississippi meets the Ohio River, according to the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council Inc., a trade group based in Arlington, Virginia. About $7 billion worth of commodities usually travel on the Mississippi in December and January, according to the organization.
Bangladeshi Factory Fire Horror Exposes Horrible Working Conditions of Global Economy | race to the bottom
“These international, Western brands have a lot of responsibility for these fire issues,” labor leader Kalpona Akter told the New York Times. “In this factory, there was a pile of fabrics and yarn stored on the ground floor that caught fire. Workers couldn’t evacuate through the stairs. What does this say about compliance?”
Some years ago, two Bangladeshi garment workers and a union organizer from that country visited The Progressive offices here in Madison, Wisconsin, along with labor activist Charles Kernaghan. The workers, whose factories supplied a number of American companies, told of regularly working from 8 in the morning till 10 or 11 at night seven days a week. They also described physical abuse, such as being hit in the leg for standing up from their stools and slapped for talking on the job.
The fire in Bangladesh is far from an anomaly. More than 500 garment workers have died there in the past six years. Other countries in South Asia have suffered similar calamities in the recent past. In September, a factory fire in Pakistan claimed an astonishing toll of almost 300 workers. It was the same tale of a complete neglect of labor rights.
“Workers were said to be unable to escape because the doors were locked,” The Guardian reported. “Allegedly, there was no emergency exit, with other doors blocked by piles of finished clothes, workers had to smash iron bars on the windows to jump several storeys to escape the flames, and unsafe chemicals in the rickety building made the smoke even more toxic.”
Here, too, the factory was making clothes for Western retailers, in this case jeans for the German discount chain Kik. What we have here is the global race to the bottom in action.
When: December 19, 2012
Time: 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST
How: Register for FREE! Complying with Workplace Hazardous Information System (WHMIS) is highly important for businesses that deal with hazardous materials in Canada. With the proposed adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in WHMIS set for possibly as early as January of 2013, it is imperative for companies to understand the current regulatory structure and prepare for the regulatory changes. Join us, as 3E Company's James Lee, Regulatory Analyst, discusses the following topics and provides practical overview of WHMIS and GHS implementation status in Canada.
* Legal framework
* What is WHMIS?
* Who should comply?
* Material Safety Date Sheet (MSDS)
* GHS Implementation status and newsRegister today to learn more!
Last year, fire protection was the most dangerous type of work.Nationwide, there were about 13.5 nonfatal injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time workers at local fire departments, according to labor department data. The incident rate of injury and illness for all industries was 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that about 70,090 injuries to firefighters occurred while in the line of duty in 2011. In addition, firefighters in thousands of instances were exposed to infectious diseases and hazardous conditions, such as asbestos, radioactive materials, chemicals and fumes. Battling fires is very hard, physical work, because firefighters must wear about 80 pounds of gear, and they must lift and carry heavy ladders and hoses up staircases or feed them through high windows, said Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, which has 12,000 members. “You can call firefighters industrial athletes,” said Sanders, a lieutenant with Cincinnati Fire Department.Firefighters are forced to enter burning structures where there is falling debris that can strike and injure them. Firefighters are also at risk of tripping and falling on staircases or uneven or slippery surfaces while taking rescue or fire-control actions. Smoke inhalation always poses a risk, and firefighters can be injured helping escort or carry people out of their homes or buildings. “The nature of the work is you are running into dangerous situations while other people are running out,” said Dayton firefighter Gaye Jordan, president of the Dayton Firefighter’s International Association of Fire Fighters Local 136. “And it’s a physical job, both on the fire and EMS sides, where some of our patients are bigger, and lifting the cot and lifting patients can strain your back.” ...Strain of nursing home work
In Ohio, sprains and strains account for about 40 percent of injuries that result in workers’ compensation claims, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. About 30 percent of lost-time claims are caused by overexertion, while another 30 percent are caused by slips, trips and falls, the bureau said. And the frequency rate of injuries and illness in fire protection is just slightly higher than in state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities, according to labor department data. The rate of injury and illness in that part of the nursing industry nationwide is about 13.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. Ohio does not operate state-run nursing facilities, and the injury and illness rate of all nursing homes is significantly lower in than in government-run facilities.But in 2010, employees in private nursing homes in Ohio accounted for about 591 lost-time workers’ compensation claims, more than any other private industry, according to the most recent state data. Lost-time claims are when employees are off from work for at least eight days. Go to the Full Story at http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/firefighters-nurses-among-most-dangerous-jobs/nTCpq/
A tax break that has long been untouchable could soon be in for some serious scrutiny.
Many home buyers deduct their mortgage interest when assessing their tax bill, a perk that has helped bolster the income of millions of families — and the broader housing market.
But as President Obama and Congress try to hash out a deal to reduce the budget deficit, the mortgage interest deduction will likely be part of the discussion.
Limits on a broad array of deductions could emerge in any budget deal. It is likely that any caps would be structured to aim at high-income households, and would diminish or end the mortgage tax break for many of those taxpayers.
Please continue reading at: New York Times
Nov 26, 2012
EIA presents reference case from Annual Energy Outlook 2013 Early Release Overview with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices to 2040.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
1:00 PM Eastern TimeWEBCAST:
A link to a webcast of the press conference will be available by 1:00 PM on
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/live.html
Energy, Resources and Environment Program
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Johns Hopkins University
1740 Massachusetts Ave, NW
The Kenney Auditorium
Washington, DC 20036
For more info see Press Release
or by going to the link:
1. Aerospace Medicine: An Overview (Dr. Thomas Luna, MPH, FACOEM)
2. USAF Aerospace Medicine and RPA (Drone) Operations: Fighting From Home Station (Col. Joe Ortega, MD)
3. Communicable Disease and Air Travel (Col. Joanne Richardson, MD)These may be heard on your digital tablet (e.g. Ipad), smartphone, or laptop. You may also refer to the handouts as you listen to these informative lectures.
Presenter: Alex Stone Senior Chemist Washington State Department of Ecology
Webinar Description: Because of the high level of technical and resource commitments required by many hazard assessment tools, a simpler alternative called the Quick Chemical Assessment Tool (QCAT) has been developed by the Washington State Department of Ecology. The primary goal of the QCAT is to assign an appropriate grade to a chemical using both a refined group of high priority hazard endpoints identified in the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program and fewer data sources. QCAT was written to enable small and medium sized businesses with limited resources and technical expertise to conduct a basic hazard assessment with the help of technical assistance resources. QCAT provides an introduction to the hazard assessment process and allows the identification of those chemicals with the highest level of concern. For those companies new to the hazard assessment process, the QCAT provides a good starting point. Registration link for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1968506588412612096
Join the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program!
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable announces that companies have
until April 1, 2013 to join the 2025 Safer Chemistry Challenge Program (SCCP). The objective of this voluntary initiative is to motivate, challenge, and assist businesses in reducing their use of chemicals of concern to human health and the environment. The SCCP will also recognize and reward companies for finding safer alternatives to the hazardous chemicals they currently use. For information on how to become a member of the Safer Chemistry Challenge program visit www.p2.org/challenge
. Facilities in the Great Lakes basin can join the program at no cost for two years under the current EPA grant. Questions can be directed to email@example.com. Green Chemistry Conference and GreenScreen on Jan 24-25, 2013 in Minneapolis!
We invite you to mark your calendar for Jan 24 for a GreenScreen training and Jan 25, 2013, for the Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference: Beakers to Business Plans. This day-long conference will include keynotes, panels, and break-out sessions. Morning sessions will focus on research, technology, work force and labor issues, and academic partnerships. The focus of the afternoon will be business success stories, and the “nuts and bolts” of implementing green chemistry for either start-ups or established companies. You can check out the agenda at:
and register at: http://greenchem2013.brownpapertickets.com/
One of Cincinnati’s largest employers fired approximately 150 employees Wednesday for failing to get a required flu shot.
TriHealth offered all of its 10,800 employees free flu shots. Employees had a month to get the flu shot. The deadline was Nov. 16. Employees who did not get the shot were terminated Wednesday, a company spokesperson said.
Nov 25, 2012
Nowadays, when you see a driver ahead edging out of his lane, your first thought is: Get off your phone. Just in time for Thanksgiving, one of the biggest driving holidays on the U.S. calendar, a new State Farm Insurance survey confirms just how widespread the automotive use and abuse of social media is.
Drivers in older age groups have nothing to be smug about, though the percentage of people who report Internetting-while-driving does decline with age (doesn’t everything?). Overall, 21 percent of all drivers have tried to stay connected while staying in motion—that’s one-and-a-half times 2009's rate. Fifteen percent check social media, and, golly, 13 percent update their social networks while supposedly in control of a ton of hurtling metal, glass, volatile hydrocarbons, and fine Corinthian leather.
(ZeroHedge, Nov 24, 2012): Back in March, we first presented a rather stunning finding: by 2020 75% of Americans will be obese or overweight. This was promptly followed up with a post showing just how it is transpired that America became the fattest nation in the world in less than 20 years. What however may not be known, is that America’s fatness epidemic is not localized to the country that gave the world the McDonalds burger (and the McMansion): it really is a fat, fat world, after all. Behold – survival of the fattest:
It is hardly surprising in this light, then, that the estimate for number of people living with diabetes has been increased, to 371 million – an increase of 11% over 2011.
So with the sensitive issue of what one stuffs in their mouth becoming of paramount importance, primarily due to the avalanche in social costs as a result of escalating morbid obesity, here is a primer on the key facts and figures relating to obesity, domestic as well as foreign, and impacting not just the developed world but also emerging economies, from GS’ Mick Ready and Keyur Parekh.
Obesity is a unique phenomenon affecting almost all countries. It is defined as excessively high amount of body fat in relation to lean tissue, and individuals are generally considered overweight if their BMI is over 25, and clinically obese if their body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30.
The 1980s saw a sharp acceleration in BMI in OECD countries. Before 1980, global obesity rates were generally below 10% but today, in almost half of OECD countries, 50% of the population is overweight. Interestingly, data suggests that obesity is a pandemic that is now impacting not just the developed western countries, but also the emerging economies. In BRIC economies, obesity rates are somewhat lower than in their OECD counterparts, but urbanisation and lifestyle changes are driving a significant increase in average BMI. In China, the proportion of the population considered overweight increased from 13.5% in 1991 to 26.7% in 2006; in Brazil between 1975 and 2003, the obesity rate tripled in men and doubled in women; and in Russia 25% of women and 10% of men are now considered obese.
- Data suggest that at levels of GDP below US$5,000 per capita there is a linear relationship between GDP and mean BMI, and that the only pre-condition for developing an obese population is the ability to afford food.
- In low income countries, obese individuals are typically middle-aged women from wealthy, urban settings.
- In countries with GDP of more than US$5,000 per capita pa, obesity is not characterized by gender, or age, but disadvantaged groups typically are at greater risk of becoming obese;
- 33% of US adults earning over US$15,000 pa are obese, compared with 25% of those earning over US$50,000 pa.
- 33% of adults who did not graduate high school were obese, compared with 21.5% who graduated from college.
What’s causing this increase?
Obesity is a complex problem, with multiple factors influencing its development within a population. These factors include systemic and environmental drivers, which provide an infrastructure to promote high growth, consumption of transport and recreational factors, which limit the physical activity within a population, and behavioral patterns, where individuals consume high-energy foods and lead sedentary lifestyles.
For an individual, obesity is caused by an energy imbalance: simply put, obese individuals consume more energy than they use. Energy intake is a clear factor in the rise of obesity, and dietary intake is strongly influenced by the kinds of food we eat. Changes in the food system to more mass-produced, processed foods with added salt, fats and sugars, coupled with more effective marketing of these products, especially targeting young children has changed the kind of food we eat which contributes to this energy imbalance.
To summarize, changes in the global food system, which produces readily available, inexpensive, highly processed and well marketed foods, coupled with changes in working patterns, has created an energy imbalance resulting in increased levels of obesity.
Sugary drinks: The choice of a heavy generation
There are multiple factors which are linked to the development of obesity globally, but sugar-sweetened drinks have attracted particular attention in the US. Sugar intake from sugar-sweetened drinks is thought to be the largest single caloric food source in the US, approaching 15% of the daily calorific intake in several population groups.
Nov 24, 2012
Researchers are mimicking this natural trait to develop a bevy of important water harvesting platforms, including tent covers and roof tiles several times more effective at capturing H2O than the next most effective method. In the near future, it looks as if we’ll have water bottles that can capture drinkable water from the air as well.
NBD Nano: Self-Refilling Water Bottle
A company called NBD Nano is implementing this technology originally found only in nature into water bottles, with the hope that they’ll continually fill themselves while you’re on the go. In an interview with Public Radio International, we learn that the conceptual self-filling bottle can operate using a rechargeable battery or solar cell to speed-up accumulation and filter the water.
NBD Nano co-founder Deckard Sorensen wants this green technology available in all walks of life; installing it on people, cars, homes and anything else you can imagine. Sorensen believes that in a climate with 75% humidity, his device can harvest “three liters per square meter per hour”.
“We see this being applicable to anything from marathon runners to people in third-world countries, because we realize that water is such a large issue in the world today, and we want to try to alleviate those problems with a cost-efficient solution.”
“If you are talking about sustainability, and you are comfortable, then you are not talking about sustainability,” said Talkington. “It should make you very uncomfortable because it leads to deeper questions. It makes you question everything that you are, how you live, how you eat, how you drive. It should be very uncomfortable.”
Page said the ecovillage would be multigenerational and not just for single students. Depending on what direction the project would go, the ecovillage could be a place for alumni, faculty, staff and community members.
“This generation of students wants to move away from gimme, gimme, gimme,” said Page. “But they don’t have a role model or a space to do that. ... The technology is easy. We have the technology. We can invent the technology. We have brilliant minds here. It’s the will to do it. It’s the will to make a difference. The will to live differently.”
There are approximately 2,000 functioning ecovillages located around the world, Talkington said. An ecovillage at OSU would be one of only a few located at universities in the United States.
Eight acres at McElroy and Walnut will be used by students as a test ground for the ecovillage. It is located behind the home of OSU President Burns Hargis.
“This is an intentional community,” said Brandon Burlingame, a senior landscape architecture student who is actively involved in the project.
Talkington said the ecovillage could be up and running within two years, much sooner if the commitment to proceed is forthcoming.
“This isn’t for everybody,” Page said. “But I think we have a significant amount of students who would want to, and an even bigger number who would benefit.” Please continue reading at:
Nov 23, 2012
U.S. News: More Americans used food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before, according to a new report from the nonprofit government watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation.
The Food Stamp Challenge, which challenges higher-income families to live as if they are on food stamps, estimates that a person on food stamps has a budget of about $1.25 per meal. In other words, a family on food stamps must buy an entire meal per person for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee.
Usage of food stamps among low and no-income families has spiked since the collapse of the U.S. financial system four years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70 percent since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won’t go down until unemployment improves.
Please continue reading at: U.S. News
Link source: http://www.sustainablepractices.info
Looking better...age-adjusted death rates for heart disease & cancer declined significantly by 32.5% in U.S.
* Data for 2008 and 2009 are preliminary.
The figure above shows age-adjusted death rates for heart disease and cancer in the United States from 1999-2009. During 1999--2009, age-adjusted death rates for heart disease and cancer declined significantly by 32.5% and 13.5%, respectively. The mortality rate for heart disease decreased at a faster pace than the cancer death rate during that period. The risk for death from heart disease was 32.7% higher than from cancer in 1999, whereas it was 3.6% higher from heart disease than from cancer in 2009.
Source: National Vital Statistics System. Mortality public use data files for 1999--2007, and preliminary data for 2008 and 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6021a6.htm?s_cid=mm6021a6_x
When the wind generation exceeded hydro generation that early morning, it represented about 38 percent of regional and export load. The events posed no operational problems for BPA, indicating how much it has learned as it has integrated vast amounts of wind power. Read on at: http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Pages/default.aspxLink source: http://www.sustainablepractices.info
SELF-ACTING EARTH CLOSET (1881)
Another example of early composting toilet history that throws the recent claims of some manufacturers that they invented composting toilets out the window.A Composting Toilet World reader sent us in this wonderful photo of an advertisment for the “Self-Acting Earth Closet” from April, 1881 edition of “The Ironmongers’ Catalogue.”SELF-ACTING EARTH CLOSET.
Portable, and requires no fixing indoors or outside.
A substitute for the Water Closet, securing healthy homes, inoffensive drains, and garden fertility.“Thou shalt not pollute rivers or water-courses.”
Nov 22, 2012
Nov 21, 2012
At 6:11 p.m. on September 6, 2010, San Bruno, Calif. 911 received an urgent call. A gas station had just exploded and a fire with flames reaching 300 feet was raging through the neighborhood. The explosion was so large that residents suspected an airplane crash. But the real culprit was found underground: a ruptured pipeline spewing natural gas caused a blast that left behind a 72 foot long crater, killed eight people, and injured more than fifty.
Over 2,000 miles away in Michigan, workers were still cleaning up another pipeline accident, which spilled 840,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010. Estimated to cost $800 million, the accident is the most expensive pipeline spill in U.S. history.
Over the last few years a series of incidents have brought pipeline safety to national – and presidential – attention. As Obama begins his second term he will likely make a key decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed pipeline extension to transport crude from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The administration first delayed the permit for the pipeline on environmental grounds, but has left the door open to future proposals for Keystone's northern route. Construction on the southern route is already underway, sparking fierce opposition from some landowners and environmentalists.
The problem, protesters say, is that any route will pose hazards to the public. While pipeline operator TransCanada has declared that Keystone will be the safest pipeline ever built in North America, critics are skeptical.
"It's inevitable that as pipelines age, as they are exposed to the elements, eventually they are going to spill," said Tony Iallonardo of the National Wildlife Federation. "They're ticking time bombs."
Please read on By Lena Groeger and ProPublica at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-safe-are-americas-2-5-million-miles-of-pipelines