Tag Archives: environment

The mercury is rising….no, well, yes, … I mean toxic mercury levels in the environment

We knew there was a reason not to live in New Jersey

We knew there was a reason not to live in New Jersey

Yes, it’s getting hotter. And we are doing that to ourselves with fossil fuel burning with resultant emission of carbon dioxide. But the extraction and use of minerals/fossil fuels (particularly coal) also results in the emission and accumulation of toxic mercury in the air, land and water that surround us, and according to research by scientists at Harvard University, things are getting worse. It gets into our food, and into us, and into our brains and hearts. The EPA should come down harder on mercury emitters. Because the Republicans are just trying to make it worse.

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Toola the sea otter, dead at 15.

Toola and one of her foster babies

link.

She taught mankind how to help her species, while she taught orphan sea otters how to live.

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Keystone XL Pipeline opens the eyes of conservative midwesterners

“Republicans could give a rats ass about the people out here.”


The proposed XL pipeline is a giant toxic Love Canal across America’s heartland. The Canadian corporation that wants to build it is bullying landowners in its path, threatening the use of condemnation proceedings, and the sheeple aren’t taking it lying down:

The effect of it today is to place people like Randy Thompson on an unfamiliar side of the divide between conservatives and environmentalists; and business and liberal political activists. He even testified this month against TransCanada as a witness for Henry Waxman’s minority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I’m a little ashamed to say that maybe if it hadn’t come across our land, I wouldn’t have gotten involved,” he told me. “I’ve gained a great deal of respect for people who do care about our environment I’ve become much more aware of environmental issues. I have to admire them for being concerned about our environment.”

“Republicans,” he said, by contrast, “could give a rats ass about the people out here.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, global warming/environment, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Steny Hoyer: isn't he really a Republican?, Supreme Court, Wordpress Political Blogs

UN environmental center to be located in San Francisco

artist's conception

artist's conception

San Francisco’s Hunters Point Shipyard – so toxic it’s listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site – will be the future home of a U.N.-sponsored think tank to study solutions to global warming and other environmental crises plaguing the planet.

Due to open in 2012, the facility is envisioned by Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration as the centerpiece of a new green technology campus, akin to Mission Bay serving as a biotech hub.

The 80,000-square-foot United Nations Global Compact Center will include office space for academics and scientists, an incubator to foster green tech start-ups, and a conference center.

The center is expected to cost $20 million. Lennar Corp., the developer partnering with the city to rebuild large swaths of the shipyard and Candlestick Point, will donate the land and infrastructure. The city hopes the remainder of the funds will come from corporate sponsorship, state and federal grants and foundation money.

“Locating the U.N. Global Compact Center in San Francisco will reinforce our city’s commitment to global justice and sustainability,” Newsom said in a statement.

Michael Cohen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, said San Francisco is the perfect site for a green tech campus because the Bay Area is university-rich, heavily tech-driven and has a wealth of venture capitalists willing to invest in startups.

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Gasoline-powered Leaf-blowers: stupid, loud, unnecessary and irresponsible

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electric Toro Super Blower/Vac

We need to change to electric vacuum mulchers.

Small gasoline engines are notorious polluters, not to mention viciously loud. And, what they do is blow leaves from one person’s yard into, eventually, other people’s yards…where other people with gasoline-powered leaf-blowers will continue the cycle.

Some communities have decided that there is only so much stupidity that can reasonably be tolerated. And since there is no market force that will stop the GPLBs, laws are the only solution.

Bravo !!

Now, it is certainly possible to “leave your leaves.” The heck with the appearance. But in the first place, these leaves will kill anything, like grass, underneath them. And they will mildew as they rot, not to mention their acid content. And, they stain your concrete.

Raking: yes, the time-honored method still works. But, talk about a waste of time. And then you have to pick them up and do something with the enormous mass. Lawn sweepers are faster, but bulky, and have the same limitations as raking.

Another alternative: mulch the leaves with your lawnmower. This works, although it still involves, in many cases, the small gasoline engine. And, I can’t recommend it for irregular areas, stone yards, and it obviously won’t get the leaves out of your hedges and plants.

Here’s a good alternative for most of us: Go down to your hardware store and look for the Toro Super Blower Vac, a powerful electric item that you can use to vacuum up your leaves, if you have small problem areas. If you want to use it for larger areas, you first use it to blow the leaves into a big pile, then suck them up, mulching them into a small volume as you do so. Costs about 60 bucks and produces air flow as good as the gasoline ones. It will clean your hedges, though that requires a bit of muscle power to horse the thing around. It comes with a strap to help stabilize it.

Sure, you have to have a long extension cord, plug it in…but come on, you don’t have to keep a gasoline can on hand, with the oil blending, blah blah.

It makes some noise, of course, but nothing like the penetrating gas engines.

I hope that more communities will outlaw the gasoline blowers, and that even without new laws, people will start converting to electric, and putting pressure on their “yard guys” to also do so.

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