HAPPY EARTH DAY!
We here at LGBG wish you a happy Earth Day, and we hope that you use this day to recommit to the protection of the environment. Please do something special today to show your love for our planet!
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
We here at LGBG wish you a happy Earth Day, and we hope that you use this day to recommit to the protection of the environment. Please do something special today to show your love for our planet!
The world’s ever-increasing population and overwhelming demand on the freshwater supply, combined with the adverse effects of climate change, has triggered a new and urgent focus on the issue of water security and the need to address looming threats to water shortages globally, and now includes conversations on market-based solutions to this problem. Some readers may find it difficult to appreciate the reality of a water shortage given that 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water; however, the facts are that (1) the majority of that 70 percent is saltwater and (2) clean freshwater for consumption, agriculture and other human activities is in short supply.
In the United States alone, the total use of water for agriculture, industrial and personal use is greater than the entire amount of water that flows in the country’s rivers. The net amount required to meet the demand is pulled from ground water beneath the earth’s surface, thus creating a shortage there. Consequently, our extreme demand on the water supply has led to a “new geologic era” in which “humanity has taken over key [planetary] drivers: the water cycle, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle”.  One proposed solution to the water shortage is the adoption of a market-based system that privatizes freshwater services and allocates a price for its use. Under such a scenario, water quantity and quality would be traded as goods with the potential that water would become the “biggest commodity of the 21st century”. 
The greatest benefit derived here is that a market-based system would provide a strong incentive to conserve water. Everyone would pay for what they use as priced on the open market. This would then focus more attention on water quality. The removal of water services from state, county and municipal control and placement in the competitive market also would encourage more efficient use of water. Ultimately, with the creation of investment opportunities, private companies would be better able to fund research and development on sustainable practices and to build and maintain the necessary filtration, clarification and delivery systems without political and budget constraints inherent under public control. On the flip side of such a proposal, privatized water could negatively impact poor communities, possibly leading to health catastrophes as people unable to afford water would use rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, which often are contaminated and pose health risks. As such, any solutions that privatize freshwater delivery would have to include a component that provides affordable access to the water supply for basic consumption and hygiene to those unable to purchase service. Interestingly, studies do show that people tend to find a way to purchase things they deem important. As an example, statistics indicate that in India, more people have access to cellphones “than to basic sanitation“, i.e., toilets. 
The privatization of water could be a boost to the green movement simply by the change in attitude with the realization that its use comes with a premium price tag. Individuals would be more receptive to reduce their reliance on water in the home by carefully planning lawns and landscaping. Hopefully, they would use more grasses and plants that are drought resistant. Also, as the cost of water to feed farm animals is passed on to consumers, it is likely that people will entertain the notion of reducing their meat consumption to some extent. Lastly, farmers hopefully will be more inclined to shift from flood irrigation of crops to drip irrigation, thereby reducing their agricultural water consumption by about 20%.
The reality here is that fresh water shortages are a major concern, particularly here in the United States where the availability of freshwater largely has been taken for granted. A recent report by the U.S. Drought Monitor notes seven states, namely Oklahoma, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska are in the throes of severe drought.  Clearly, this is an issue that deserves immediate attention simply because we cannot exist without fresh water. Privatization of the management and delivery of freshwater through a market-based system is a possible albeit extreme solution and definitely merits discussion. To save our freshwater is to save our lives. To do this, let’s live green, be green.
Sources for this article:
In the wake of the realization that climate change is a reality, a geoengineering technology incorporating the use of artificial trees to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is a clear indication that “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy”. Geoengineering is defined as “climate engineering, climate remediation, and climate intervention” .(1) Geoengineering has been used primarily to refer to “the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system, in order to moderate global warming“. It typically involves efforts to rid the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and solar radiation management techniques to “offset effects of increased greenhouse gas concentration by causing the Earth to absorb less solar radiation“. (2)
It has been noted that scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute are working on a “carbon capture” project, which involves the use of a prototype of artificial trees that will remove carbon dioxide from the air “faster and at higher levels than natural photosynthesis can accomplish”. (3) This group postulates that the captured carbon dioxide then can be released by a “gentle flow of water” and then can be used industrially or safely sequestered underground. Many environmentalists take an exception to technological fixes for global warming, such as these because such actions “discourage us from the hard work of actually cutting down on greenhouse emissions”. The main consideration here is whether the goal here is climate manipulation or solutions to address climate change.
The reality here is that trees are not the culprits in this scenario. They consistently have done their job well. They effectively reflect the “greatness of God“. It is man who has disrupted this process by actions that increase our carbon footprint, namely pollution of land, air and water, reliance on fossil fuels, and to a large extent, deforestation. Consideration of ethics and moral responsibility is a very valid approach to this issue. Followers of the green movement recognize themselves as “stewards” of the Earth. We have a duty to protect the environment and to pass on a healthy world to future generations. This notion of benevolent management of the world has a foundation in religion, ethics and morality and must not be diminished by greed, politics or sheer lack of responsibility.
Now on to the role of beer (which is good) and its relationship to the idea of artificial trees, in particular, and geoengineering, in general. So many of us are caught up in a rat race. You have to admit that when you take a break with an ice-cold beer, the stress level goes down and you can reflect on life. Now you can appreciate a tree as opposed to the stressful periods when you “couldn’t see the forest for the trees”. Things start to make sense. You realize that so many things about life have become artificial, and maybe we should stop this nonsense.
Finally, the acceptance of artificial trees clearly would indicate that people are crazy. By definition, artificial means “humanly contrived, often on a natural model, manmade, simulated; sham” Already we rely on so many artificial products and ingredients which ultimately bear heavy costs in terms of money, waste, and adverse health consequences. Now trees? To this notion, we must say a resounding NO. We can grow trees with seeds made by trees. We do not need to manufacture them artificially.
We can address climate change by a consolidated effort to avoid pollution, recycling, reducing our fuel and energy consumption and living responsibly. We do not want climate manipulation. Rather, we demand climate change solutions. We want to live green, be green.
Sources for this article:
1. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) (July 2011) (PDF). Climate Engineering: Technical Status, Future Directions, and Potential Responses (Report). Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
2. Royal Society (September 2009) (PDF). Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty (Report). p. 1. ISBN 978-0-85403-773-5. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
4. Credit to Bill Currington from song “People Are Crazy”.
With the Oscar’s upon us, our minds as a nation tend to drift towards the extravagance as a result of watching global icons in Hollywood’s biggest party of the year. Opulence and decadence are the most appropriate adjectives to describe the evening and more specifically the gowns and tuxedos worn to the event. It is fairly common for dresses to cost tens of thousands of dollars as designers use the star-studded event to promote their fashion lines and brands on the most expensive mannequins money can buy. Despite the lavishness however, many of these actors and actresses are heavily involved with charities and humanitarian efforts. Their global statuses help to raise tremendous amounts of money for causes they deem valuable, or even crucial for society to survive moving forward. Leonardo DiCaprio for example has consistently sought to bring about awareness of environmental issues through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF). DiCaprio’s latest project is called LYON, which is an organic and fair trade coffee company, whose proceeds support LDF’s other sustainable ventures which include, but are not limited to, “…Wildlife protection, forest preservation, clean water, and climate change.”
In addition, Colin Firth, who currently is working on a project to help save the Brazilian indigenous Awa tribe, who are being threatened as a result of illegal logging of the Amazon Rainforest, is among a growing population of celebrities who are involved with charities and humanitarian efforts geared around the environment and green issues.
And while it is difficult to say that some charities are more valuable or important than others, the impact of green initiatives and sustainability affect us all to some degree or another. I realize that the focus of the Oscars (or any other awards show in general) is not charity i.e. the Guardian Charity Awards. Yet, a lot of good can be done by a simple celebrity plugin. Actors and actresses are already asked what and who they are “wearing” for the evening. By wearing a green inspired dress or tuxedo and mentioning that to the public is relatively harmless, and is in line with the questioning they already receive from reporters for the night. Imagine how much awareness for green clothing can be provided by even a single celebrity endorser. For example, just think about how many eyeballs watch an event like the Oscar’s. Now imagine the amount of attention a green clothing initiative would receive if say a George Clooney wore a hemp fused Armani tuxedo or a Jennifer Lawrence wore a Donna Karen dress made from recyclable materials. The amount of good press for a celebrity who endorses such a movement and for the designer, who took time out to make a sustainable and fashionable garment for a celebrity to wear, would only be equaled by the amount of exposure for the green clothing movement. Celebrities are already involved with green charities. Yet, their statuses as global icons will only help to push a movement like sustainable clothing quickly into mainstream if they choose to endorse it. What a personal and humanitarian statement that would make if a celebrity showed up to an event that is broadcast worldwide in elegant clothing made from green materials. Let’s push our celebrities to wear sustainable clothing and to promote the movement’s ideals to a worldwide audience. In that way the world can see the possibilities of sustainable clothing and can further help to promote a world in which we live green, and be green.
As we march, rally and cajole our elected officials to address the issues of global warming and climate change, it is important that we include our homeowners associations (HOA) in the group of elected bodies who must be committed to this effort. According to data by the Community Associations Institute,  there are more than 323,600 homeowners’ associations in the United States, resulting in jurisdiction over 63.4 million Americans.
HOAs have quasi-political powers over its residents. In many cases, they represent “government among friends,” where rules and covenants are adopted and enforced regarding upkeep of facilities to ensure that these communities look good and function well. The HOA is an excellent source to incorporate sustainability practices, but some serious nudging by residents is needed to accomplish this. In fact, HOAs in the past have been notable for employing restrictive practices that are contrary to a green lifestyle, all in the name of aesthetics. Some of these practices include the prohibition of outside organic gardens that feature edible flowers and fruit, banning the use of outdoor clothes-drying and prohibiting the use of solar panels.
The first step to engage the HOA in going green is to get involved in the election of officers to the board of directors. Often the individuals who serve on these boards are cajoled by the current officers to simply be a warm body to fill a vacant seat or they are individuals who join the board to fulfill a specific agenda– approval for a new playground or installation of speed bumps are immediate examples that come to mind. Imagine the impact that a board of directors who are committed to climate change, living green and sustainability would have on the community. In addition to working to have a beautiful neighborhood, the community could adopt a plan for eco-landscaping,  which promotes a healthy environment with the selection of flowers and deciduous trees that save the soil, require fewer pesticides and herbicides and need less water to survive.
Those “green voices” on the board of directors of the HOA also encourage discussion on green technology. The board could then make informed recommendations regarding sustainable products, and they may be able to get group discounts for some items. This alone will spike residents’ interests in programmable thermostats, hot tub timers, CFL bulbs, motion sensors and green appliances. Also, those “green voices” on the board could rally the residents to force the HOA officers to review restrictive covenants and remove the provisions that thwart sustainability, such as the prohibition of the use of solar panels.
The point to be made here is that the HOA should represent the community. After all, the residents pay dues to live in these neighborhoods, and they should have a voice in the management of their developments. The residents have the right to property management companies which truly look out for their interests, and the companies selected to do this should be versed in green living and capable of directing the board on instituting policies and procedures which help the developments they serve to be healthy communities in addition to being clean and beautiful.
As we approach the season for HOA annual meetings and elections, we here at LGBG hope that each of you who live in communities served by homeowners associations use this opportunity to elect officials who will truly represent you and promote your agenda to live green, be green.
Sources for this article:
The reality of climate change, combined with global warming and deterioration of infrastructures, has resulted in numerous power failures in many areas of the country, and now is the time for each of us to accept the responsibility of maintaining power in our homes when our utility companies fail to maintain the flow of electricity during extreme weather occurrences. The need to take matters into our own hands is more urgent than ever as we now witness the task of finding solutions to climate change being undertaken by our politically divided Congress. We can assume that major upgrades of power grids will happen one day, hopefully before a complete irreparable power failure ensues. Meanwhile, on a more frequent basis, we are forced to endure days or hours without electricity during winter and summer storms or during excessively hot days when the present power grids face an undue burden.
A little research shows that there are remedies to ensure house power when the utility companies fail, some more costly than others, but solutions, nonetheless. We will take a look at few of these.
Considering that the storm season is approaching and that it is more than reasonable to expect as many or more power outages than we have previously experienced during the past summer seasons, it is important that we take charge of the responsibility of keeping our electricity running when the local power grid fails. We must continue to hold our elective officials, federal, state and local, responsible for enacting policies to protect the environment and to make it a priority to upgrade deteriorating infrastructures and power grids. Also, we must communicate with utility companies and demand to be included in the conversation on the power needs of our communities. Lastly, we must continue to rally and speak up for the environment, the need to reduce our carbon footprint, protect our waters and to accept the reality of climate change based on hard scientific facts. We must continue to fight to live green, be green.
As the debate over the reality of climate change rages on in Congress and in the news, the details of a promising series of events are emerging that belie the arguments of climate change critics, who deny the existence of climate change and the negative consequences of inaction to address global warming.
Objective data now available clearly indicates a steady movement towards sustainability practices by many businesses. For instance, recent statistics show that there has been a major shift away from the use of coal and towards natural gas to generate electricity in America. This shift is documented by a major decline in coal transported by railroads. This trend is concerning to railroads because coal is the most important commodity for them, accounting for 43.3 percent of freight railway tonnage and 24.6 percent of gross rail revenue in 2011. It is important to note that the decline in coal transport by rail, for the most part, is directly attributable to electric utilities’ needs “to take advantage of more price-competitive natural gas“. While the production of natural gas does pose issues, particularly with fracking, it is a cleaner source of fuel, releasing fewer global-warming gases, such as carbon dioxide, thereby resulting in a reduction of greenhouse emissions in America. As scientists work to make the fracking procedure safer, natural gas definitely competes against coal as a preferred fuel source.
A look at events going on in Alaska also provides evidence of belief in climate change, a willingness of people to accept its existence and the need to protect the environment. A recent story chronicles Sarah Palin‘s efforts to address the issues of climate change while she was governor of Alaska. Palin’s recognition of global warming and its effect on her state and its citizens led her to establish a climate change sub-cabinet to produce ideas on “how Alaskans can save energy and reduce greenhouse emissions”. During this period prior to her interest in higher political aspirations, Palin was dedicated to find solutions to “protect Alaska’s most at-risk communities“. Now fast forward to today where we find that current Alaska Republican governor, Sean Parnell (previously a lobbyist for oil companies) has quietly dismantled Palin’s Immediate Action Workgroup. As a result, it is noted that there are 12 small indigenous communities on Alaska’s coast that need to relocate because of global warming. Currently in Alaska, the voices are getting louder in support of these displaced communities and in recognition of the reality of global warming and climate change.
A third interesting series of events pointing to acceptance of global warming and the need to seek alternative energy solutions can be seen in the NFL’s increased use of solar energy for stadiums. Of course, we just witnesses the major power failure at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana. While it may come as a surprise to some people, for the past 18 years the NFL has been pursuing green energy solutions. It recognized long ago that the sheer size of most NFL venues were outpacing the infrastructures, thereby taxing the electrical grids and at some point resulting in power failures. To date, several NFL stadiums are equipped with solar panels, including Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots), MetLife Stadium (NY Jets and NY Giants), FedEx Field (Redskins), and Century Link Field (Seattle Mariners). The company responsible for most of these projects is NRG Solar Company (www.nrgsolar.com). These efforts clearly are indicative of the NFL’s recognition of the importance of solar energy and the role it can play in business today, particularly for industries with very large energy burdens at any particular time.
We here at LGBG feel empowered by the efforts of individuals, businesses and organizations who refuse to be deterred in their efforts to seek solutions to global warming. We know that climate change is a reality. As we enter the weekend, we are posed to witness another reminder of the reality of climate change and global warming by two huge storms coming from the west and the south and expected to result in a major blizzard in the Northeast, which still has not recovered from Sandy. We wish the best for everyone in the path of these storms. They truly are Mother Nature reminding us to live green, be green.
Sources for this Article:
The recent action by the House Republican leadership to allow the current Congressional term to expire without voting on an aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims speaks volumes about the GOP‘s commitment to fight climate change and help those hurt by its severe weather. Moreover, this Congress’ lack of action represents an abandonment of responsibility and duty to American citizens.
To date, there still are thousands of people whose homes and businesses were damaged or completely destroyed by the storm. Many families are caught up in bureaucratic entanglements and local ordinance conflicts that prevent them from repairing their homes and businesses or finding accommodations close to their former schools and businesses so that they can regain some sense of normalcy while trying to get their lives back on track. While FEMA trailers are being delivered, there still is a process required to secure such lodging. Once approved, the families have to wait for the trailers to be delivered, secured to a pad and hooked up to utilities. As many families as possible are being placed in local rentals, and as can be expected, there is now a scarcity of available properties.
With that said, the result is that the storm was emotionally and financially damaging to so many people with the massive loss of property and life. The resulting homelessness and uncertainty have pushed the scales to a tipping point. The victims of this storm need help now, and our government is capable of providing that help. Shame on any Congressman who chose to leave without making this right. If the House of Representatives cannot not act on this because they want to go home on vacation, we as citizens must rally together and use the vote to send them home for good.
Climate change is real and its adverse weather occurrences is equally damaging to the financial and mental health of its victims. Super storm Sandy struck the New Jersey/New York/Connecticut area in November. The next storm could be anywhere in this country. The face of each Sandy victim is the face of any American citizen. Let’s stand together to protect ourselves by seeking solutions to climate change and global warming with its severe weather. Let’s all live green, be green.
This year has soared by, and we would like to thank all of our friends, old and new and our followers and co-bloggers for your support for our group and for your commitment to the green movement. We wish you all a Happy New Year.
As we move forward to a new year, we know that it is important that we renew our commitment to protect the environment and the green movement so that we can live green and healthy lives. As we face the fiscal cliff, we are aware of the uncertainty of the continuation of some of the successes that we have already achieved. There is a chance that we may lose some gains in the area of alternative energy (wind and solar energy) , and we may see decreased financial support for our national parks and forests. However, we will not be deterred. We will start the new year out maintaining our personal commitment to live green by continuing our routine habits of recycling, living healthier, eating healthy diets, supporting local eateries and local farmers, and taking all the steps we can to reduce our carbon footprint.
We also must remain mindful of the eco-cliff. As bad as financial debt is, environmental debt is worse. Our legacy to our children must take into consideration the state of the environment. There is no value in a country with a balanced budget but with polluted air, depleted natural resources and lack of fresh water. Failure to deal with the looming eco-cliff will hurt the U.S. economy, plus the lives of billions of people around the world. In this new year, we must keep environmental issues in the forefront of discussion, policy and legislation.
During the next year, we would like to focus more on policies and legislation regarding green issues. Our goal here is to keep you abreast of pending legislation in different jurisdictions on issues important to the green movement. We would like to bring notice to our representatives in Congress who support green initiatives, as well as those who consistently thwart our efforts. This past election year proved costly to “flat earthers” and others who doubted or totally denied the existence of climate change and its impact on global warming. We owe our thanks especially to the efforts of the League of Conservation Voters and Momsrising.org for their tenacity and relentless determination to bring climate change doubters to task and block their reelection. We must continue with this effort, and LGBG wants to concentrate time and effort into lobbying our Congress and local public officials in this regard.
We here at LGBG are excited and energized about our work for the new year. We will continue to research and learn, share and educate and do all that we can to protect our environment so that we all can live green, be green.
Source for this article:
Credit : Ecopreneurist
Oroeco is running a campaign to “realign the economy for GOOD!” This group has developed an app that tracts the sustainability of individual spending and investment choices. With the app, an individual can “link his or her spending and investment transactions to scientific data that calculates the impact of each choice. In addition to improving the environment, participants can compete against friends and earn “oro” points, which can be cashed in for both virtual and real world prizes. This program clearly allows people to make better environmental choices and encourages businesses to produce more sustainable products or lose money.
Oroeco recently launched a campaign on the crowd funding platform, Indieggo, as a means of acquiring additional fucning to complete the app. The campaign specifics are presented in the exceptional Indieggo style– very clear and concise with top tabs and sidebars that thoroughly detail all the aspects of the application, including galleries, updates, comments and funders. There also is a bar graph that accurately notes the funding received to date, as well as a clock that displays the time remaining in the campaign.
The Oroeco app that they are working to launch, more specifically, provides useful tools to aid users in their education on the personal impacts of their spending and investment choices. The Oro 1.0 app, as it is called, tracks spending transactions and provides a visual of the climate change impact of each transaction a person makes. It allows users to set goals, and it gives reminders to fulfill them. Users can customize the appearance of their Oroeco profiles, and they can compare and compete against friends to earn rewards for better investments. There also is a sidebar which delineates perks for the different levels of contributions, the expected dates of delivery, and the number of perks available, as well as the total already claimed.
Oroeco is extremely passionate about climate change and has truly developed a unique program to involve each of us in the movement to live green. Unlike most current “green” applications, Oroeco uses scientific data to provide a clear picture of the impact of our personal choices on the environment. Oroeco is backed by a solid team of scientists and engineers to accomplish this goal. Ultimately, in order to be successful, the company needs funds to pay for a user interface designer to make its platform totally functional.
The idea here is a great one worthy of consideration and support. Please go to http://www.indiegogo.com/oroeco to learn about this exciting project. LGBG encourages support for Oroeco financially so that we all can benefit from its work to help people and live green, be green.