Archive for the 'Save energy' Category
It may not be the usual exciting topic for this blog, but readers do need to hear the Good News that the U.S. government is swiftly moving to advance bio-fuel production. The Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is awarding some $ 80 million in order to expand this nation’s biofuels industry. Environmental News Service (ENS) says that these grants will go to 163 energy producers in 41 states.
Essentially bio-fuels are produced from either renewable resources such as plant biomass, vegetable oils, other fats, restaurant and agricultural residue, and treated waste from residential, municipal or industrial sources––all from sources not taken from food products. Thus, new grants are not for ethanol-corn sources.
The largest award of $ 9.94 million goes to Lake Erie Biofuels which promises to use its proprietary blending technology for the least costly “biodiesel from vegetable oils, animal fats or a multi-feedstock blend.”
Moreover, several million-plus dollar grants will go to companies––i.e. Smarter Fuel, Inc., Ag Processing, Inc., Environmental Energy Recycling Corporation, etc.––that will make biodiesel from discarded cooking oils, recycled from the food service industry.
In addition, based on its own invention for special bio-fuel production, Ever Cat Fuels of Isanti, Minnesota, will receive $ 98,500 to offset the cost or producing some 880 gallons of biodiesel. Next Ever Cat Fuels hopes to produce fuel from pennycress weeds that can be grown in even harsh soils.
OTHER Good News: Hundreds of energy specialists from the United States, Latin America and Europe will meet in Miami next month for the “Only Sustainable 2011 Conference.” The goal of the three-day conference is to assess present sustainable energy projects in their countries and to project the growth of those projects in the coming years. to be held November 7th – 9th in downtown Miami at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College.
According to Javier P. Palencia, Director of Only Sustainable, this one of a kind event will also be a “vital meeting place for investors, banks, companies, scientists, governments and other actors within the renewable energy sector.” Those wishing to attend should contact www.onlysustainable.org.
Ignoring naysayers who think that nothing can be done to overcome excessive energy costs, a few people are doing what they can to invent better energy systems. Likewise, God’s Word instructs Christians to ignore negative obstacles and go forward with the message of Jesus Christ. In Philippians 3: 14, St. Paul writes: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Whether in job, home or ministry, true Christians must start pressing for God’s highest awards. Now put that on a plus-size Christian sweatshirt!
I want to thank Maleekie for that excellent article on the astounding life and sorrowful death of Dr. Wangari Maathai. Your blog allows me take this time to explore what others around the world are doing to restore forests, and to explain why such restoration is imperative for earth’s survival.
Earlier this summer, Science Express reported that forests around the world store some 2.4 gigatons of carbon each year. This accounts for virtually all of land-based carbon absorption around the world. A. David McGuire at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology explains: “Our results imply that clearly, forests play a critical role in Earth’s terrestrial carbon balance, and exert considerable control over the evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
But Global Warming, increasing forest fires, insect damage, scant restoration projects, illegal logging, and deceptive associations with environmentalists threaten forests. The Associated Press’ Denis D. Gray writes: “Participants in a global, landmark effort to save the world’s shrinking forests are instead trading in illegally sourced timber and razing jungles . . .”
Gray further discusses allegations by Global Witness that the World Wildlife Federation has been duped by some logging companies that claimed to join in the fight to save forests, while in fact they are rapidly clearing forests in some parts of the world. Such rapid and extensive clearing not only eliminates vital forest areas, it is detrimental to animals living in them.
As greenleft.org.au explains, the earth was once one-half forest. Today it is less than one-third. To increase forest re-plantings, Goran Persson, former Swedish Prime Minister, announced this month that he will head a new global effort. Environmental News Service reports that Persson will head the Global Restoration Council “that will help galvanize action for forest and landscape restoration and build support to achieve the 150 million hectare restoration target.”
Numerous Bible Prophecies make clear that momentous reduction of forest life portents of judgment. For instance, the prophet Isaiah laments: “Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them (10: 16 – 19).
Just as healthy forests protect the world from Global Warming’s destruction, they also indicate the true wealth of nations. In this case, diminishing forests may well illustrate the increasing poverty that errant man has brought to God’s Earth!
It wasn’t carried on American television news. Most newspapers in this country didn’t carry the story, although the Associated Press sent them the news. And talk show hosts never breathed a word of the event. Why such a media blackout? But, it is the privilege of Earth-End – New Beginning to tell our readers that over 60,000 people held an anti-nuclear power march over last weekend.
Even politicians there seem to agree with public sentiment that the day of nuclear power in that country must end. These leaders admit that only 11 out of the country’s 54 nuclear plants are up and operating. The other plants lie dormant under a time of indefinite repair. But, until that country rebuilds those nuclear plants––if ever––Japanese people are living in quite a state of sacrifice, and energy conservation. They are also scrambling to reinvent other energy sources!
What the New York Times did publish is an editorial record of Japan’s new energy conservation: “The government required big power users to reduce peak consumption by 15 percent. Utilities pleaded with consumers to pitch in. Industries, offices and private households turned lights off and thermostats up, above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.” Workers dress in casual wear, instead of the usual Japanese formalities. They also climb stairs instead of running elevators, work early mornings and weekends, and avoid lighting in workplaces (relying instead on computer screens and LED lamps). And no one runs air conditioners.
While outraged citizens hold marches, the government debates whether to resurrect nuclear power or fire up old oil and/or gas powered plants. And if they choose the latter, they explore what can be done to control greenhouse emissions. Japanese engineers are also working on innovative designs of wind turbines that will triple the output of turbines presently in use around the world. Mother Nature Network explains that America has more than enough room to build that type of wind power: “the U.S. with its endless miles of prairie and agricultural land is one of the few nations that could actually deploy such a network of wind turbines without disrupting the current productivity of the land.” The Japanese are also creating deep-sea underwater turbines to produce more vast amounts of energy.
That debate, that era of sacrifice, that willingness to turn away from nuclear power––must also take place in the United States. Japan and Germany are trying to rid themselves of the nuclear menace. Like them, this country must concede that nuclear power is a health and economic hazard. And it is certainly vulnerable to terrorist attack. Bible prophecies make clear that when people are on a wrong road, they must change: “For I am The LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3: 6). Only God’s grace has keep the U.S. safe from chernobyl-type nuclear disasters. Malachi goes on to say that if national behavior does not change, God’s grace should not always be taken for granted!
Resisting the need to give updates on disasters in America this year (updates which mass media ignores), or to begin Feermeno’s series on leaks in nuclear power plants in this country, the editorial board opted to try another Good News Friday. Of course the board had to search for Good News among “what ifs,” “could be’s,” “if only’s,” “a few,” “soon to be,” “working on,” etc. Anyway, here goes:
“The Greenbang Smart Brand Matrix––Smart Cities: How Brands Compare on Marketing vs. Capability in Smart-City Space” certainly shows promise. Selling for over 500 British pounds, the report concludes that larger companies may have the capacity to address the need for green power in explosively growing cities around the world. But apparently, they do not have the agility for change or an ear for new inventions. Greenbang says that it identifies the communications disconnects, as well as the opportunities for smaller companies and newer ideas.
Of course, thanks to the actor Brad Pitt, volunteer corporations like Home Depot, and generous donations, some neighborhoods in New Orleans are examples of devastated urban areas remaking themselves into “Green Cities.” According to Matt Petersen of Global Green, the city’s Sustainable Design Competition makes remarkable contributions to new carbon-neutral communities, greatly reduced energy bills, and healthy living for low-income families––mostly in the future.
And, thanks to botched foreign trade taking jobs from American workers over the last decades (reminder Stay Positive!)––Hertz Rental Cars and General Electric (supposedly American companies) are now over in China helping that country build a city around all-electric cars. According to Environmental News Service, “General Electric will install infrastructure to supply electricity to the vehicles.” The two companies will partner on the project. Mark Frissora, Hertz Chief Executive and Board Chairman, adds: “At the Clinton Global Initiative . . . we announced a commitment to provide electric vehicle access on a global scale, . . . In less than one year, Hertz is now the leading provider, offering an unparalleled selection of . . . plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in cities worldwide.”
Hmmm. Can someone ask Mr. Frissora, Hertz, President Clinton and General Electric when they plan to schedule electric car cities in the United States? Or are they aware that the country in which they and their industries were born need jobs here now? Is their own country not part of the Global Initiative?
These men should learn Bible prophecies defining such practices: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5: 8). Perhaps these men don’t know what God promises to infidels. Or maybe they follow the god of money, not aware that this false god leads only to hell! Reminder: Pray for them!
Drought conditions have gotten so bad that the manager of Big Spring, Texas, is going to use NASA’s system to recycle toilet water. Texas relies on water from Lakes Buchanan, Travis and Mead all of which feed the lower Colorado River. But 70 years ago, those lakes were created by damming that same River. Now seven states––Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona and California––along with Mexico, depend upon water from the Colorado River. And that source of supply is quickly drying up. The urgently important Lake Mead now has a water level that is down some 50 feet. And, although the Colorado River’s water flow fluctuates, like Mead, its levels are battling drought conditions.
Thus, the battle over water is on in the Southwest––and that includes water-hungry industries and vast agricultural farms that must have water for production. And amid the uproar, some cities look for new sources of this most important liquid of life, including toilet recycling. John Grant, District Manager of Big Spring, told Irene Klotz of Discovery News: “We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water.” He adds that this system will speed up the natural process of discharged water flowing through wetlands. But cities in New Mexico and California have been stressing water conservation and high water taxes for some time, and they may now double down for more.
Michael Milstein, revealed in Popular Mechanics magazine that the seven states that depend on the Colorado River funded a study in 2008 for solutions to the water shortage problem. They are now studying ways to implement some of the five major recommendations: 1) Building desalination plants for use in California, allowing Las Vegas to use more of the Colorado River water; 2) Constructing pipelines to run water from the Pacific Northwest; 3) Using tanker ships to import water from Alaska to California and the Southwest; 4) Killing salt-cedar plants and trees that can drink up 200 gallons of water a day; 5) Conservation programs, including storage of overflows from storms, and limiting industrial use of water in power plants and mass agriculture, while treating agricultural industrial wastewater to make it potable.
Bible prophecies make clear that water is a symbol of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit among a people. Several Bible verses indicate that lack of abundant water should be interpreted as God’s presence receding. One of the best known verses is Jeremiah 2:13 “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Politics, technology or vacuous public praying cannot substitute for the presence of God in a country’s life. As this site has stated before, now is the time for “fall on one’s face” repentance prayers for God’s mercy.
While Congress dithers on debt deals, Stock Markets around the world sink, horrible famine continues to triumph in Somalia, and wars spiral unending in the Middle East, now is the time for some better news. This good news Friday celebrates Wind Energy Power in the United States. As wind power takes hold in this country it is: Providing additional income for farmers and other land holders; Reducing dependence upon fossil fuels; and Adding tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. And, perhaps the best good news––all of this is taking place “under the radar,” away from public glare that would allow opportunist politicians to jump in and demand “cuts in spending.”
According to Wikipedia: “As of the first quarter of 2011, the cumulative installed capacity of wind power in the United States was 41,400 megawatts (MW), making it second in the world behind China.” They also report that this surge in wind projects “boost local tax bases, and revitalize the economy of rural communities . . . .” This year, there are over 5,600 wind power projects under construction in this country. Here are just a few examples:
Google invested $ 100 million dollars to work with General Electric and two Japanese companies in building a massive wind farm in Oregon that will produce 845 megawatts. That is enough energy for 235,000 homes, while cutting down about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere. To be completed next year, the farm’s energy will be sold to Southern California.
Also in Ohio, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) will build the first offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes, a $ 100 million dollar project that will produce 20 megawatts by 2013. LEEDCo hopes that this is the start of a wind power supply chain around the Great Lakes region.
Thinking ahead, Kansas leadership passed a Renewable Energy Standard demanding that 20 percent of the state’s energy must come from renewable sources in the next nine years. The 2009 legislation also included up to $ 5 million in bond financing for approved projects, as well as elimination of property taxes on new business machinery equipment, income tax credits, sales tax exemptions, and new Wind Energy Technician college training with generous financial aid support.
In Massachusetts, Interior Department Secretary, Ken Salazar announced the Cape Wind Energy Project Nantucket Sound. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the project will include: “130 3.6± megawatt wind turbine generators, . . . to be arranged in a grid pattern offshore Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island. Numerous Bible prophecies in Proverbs demand of leaders: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (4: 7).” Let us thank God for leaders who avoid dirty politics and use wisdom to do their jobs.
In addition to buying smaller cars that get better gas mileage, more Americans are finding ways to go green, hoping to help the nation lessen its carbon footprint. These methods include: changing household and other everyday habits; buying low-cost green homes, furniture and appliances built with modern-day trash; buying used items instead of new ones; and pushing lifestyles back two or three generations to a simpler, easier and more natural way of life.
Bloggers, domestic “eco-friendly green advisers” and environmentalists all agree that 21st century advancement is, in fact, killing the planet, and it must be reversed. For instance, squidoo writes on this site: “Going Green is a phrase referring to the pursuit of knowledge and practices that lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, thus helping protect the environment and sustaining its natural resources.” That sites makes an astounding statement about today’s lifestyle: “It is estimated that: We only use 20% of the stuff in our homes. We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. De-cluttering eliminates 40% of work needed to clean the average home.”
While it is not said distinctly, those turning to a “greener” way of life, reject business advertisers insistence that Americans must buy new, buy often and buy plenty. In contrast, they suggest that Americans should buy used and recycled items as often as possible, and scale down and simplify modern lifestyles. This struggle between “green-lifers,” and the corporate moguls and politicians who push-back against Global Warming is real. It reflects divisions within the society about what is more important: saving jobs or saving lives. It also reflects the argument as to whether or not mankind must fight to save planet Earth.
On his blog supergreenme.com, among other vital ideas, David Toomey, author of “101 Ways to Go Green and Save Money,” suggests: 1) Hang clothes outside for drying to save electricity and the need for wrinkle-free cloths; 2) Use ceiling fans to cool rooms and circulate air rather than air conditioners; 3) Insulate the basement, as well as the attic, and ducts and pipes of your home; 4) Use authentic items, not paper substitutes, such as cloth diapers instead of disposable ones, and china plates and cups instead of paper ones; 5) Walk, run, cycle, car pool, or use public transportation to go to work and other locations, etc. Toomey’s book is free and can be downloaded from his website.
The quandary is which way of life is better for the country, its economy and its people. The correct answer can only come from godly wisdom. As Bible verse cards for Job 12: 13 say, with God is wisdom and strength; He gives counsel and understanding. But these blessings only come to those who ask Him for them. Regardless of which lifestyle they choose to follow, believers must ask God’s wisdom for the nation. Only He can deliver from this disastrous dilemma.
Several countries in the Western hemisphere, as well as China, are making much greater strides toward renewal and safer energies than the United States. Although it is going through massive austerity measures, Britain recently announced an official government goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2025. And that goal is even more ambitious than the European Union’s official plan to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Denmark even now has a total “green” economy and environment. Germany has vowed to shut down all nuclear power plants within the next decade, and to continue to invest in green energy plans. And the neighbor to the north of the U.S. has already begun projects that will produce heat and fuel using common household waste.
Canada announced this week that several corporate investors have put funds into their program of turing garbage into fuel for automobiles. In one example, a company called Enerkem has a 25-year contract to receive all types of municipal waste. After separating what can be recycled, it heats the remains to 750 degrees so that the waste emits hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is then scrubbed resulting into methanal and other chemicals. The process eventually produces excess heat that can be used to boil water and make electricity, and it even emits lower levels of carbon dioxide than corn ethanol.
Last year, the Pew Foundation’s report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?” revealed that the U.S. continues to slide down the top 10 list of countries racing toward clean energy. At the same time, that report says, China “is now the dominant power in installed clean energy and set new records for investment and manufacturing.” China has surpassed the U.S. in investing in wind and solar energy and in manufacturing clean energy equipment. The Pew report concludes, “It will be a miracle if the United States is able to stay in the top 10 countries in clean energy installation by 2020, much less hold our own.”
This is bad news for a country that is accustomed to leading the world in energy technology, as well as everything else that is good for its own people, as well as for others. But apparently no one in authority is listening. Proverbs 29: 18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish . . ..” It is time for this nation to get back its vision of hope, promise and leadership for the good of the nation and the world. Habakkuk 2: 2 – 4 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. . . . the just shall live by his faith.” Surely, the vision for Christians who live by faith is to begin praying for this nation in repentance and truth. That is the vision to put on plus size Christian T-Shirts everywhere!
Kudos to the many states, cities, and homeowners who have turned to solar power for their energy needs. All across the country, some Americans have decided to invest in solar power for more safer, pollution-free energy. Universities, grocery stores, city governments, industries and private individuals are taking advantage of federal, state and city tax incentives to pay for solar installations. They have also made the wise choice to use environmentally safe, renewable energy that does not contaminate air, soil or water, and will never run out.
The Las Vegas city government got a check for $ 3.5 million from Nevada Energy for installing solar panels at several carports at locations across the city at a cost of $ 6.8 million. According to Betsy Fretwell, Las Vegas City Manager, this project created 74 jobs, and will generate enough electricity to power 260 homes. It will also “reduce the city’s carbon footprint by more than 2,000 metric tons,” Fretwell says. John Owens, Director of Energy Efficiency for NV Energy, adds “It means better air quality, it means jobs, and it means sustainability.”
Maryland’s Energy Administration used $ 9.3 million in federal stimulus grants to garner $ 36 million in private investment funds to double the solar power generated in that state. The Maryland Energy Administration used the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund more than a dozen grants for community colleges, and for county, city and town governments. The grants created projects funding some 80 jobs and paid for the installation of 40,000 solar panels throughout the state, panels that now generate power for 1,000 homes.
Last year Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP) completed five solar projects in California, one at UC San Diego and four at large grocery stores. According to mygreeneducation.com, “SPP now owns and operates 41 solar systems generating approximately 14 megawatts of green energy at schools, universities, medical centers, and businesses.” SPP pays upfront installation cost and then sells energy back to host properties at less than conventional grid costs. Pacific Power Renewables is working on two similar projects in California this year. One is a 15-acre solar panel system known as The Depot Park Solar Field. This site use to be on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list because of toxic chemical contamination. Now that is energy progress!
But the ultimate pollution-free energy source will be after the Battle of Armageddon when God, The Father, and God, The Son rule on earth. Bible prophecies indicate that today’s solar power may well be a foretaste of eternal energy power: “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22: 5). Because oil, gas and nuclear energies so endanger earth’s populations, God’s reign on earth will come sooner than most people think.
When most Americans think about energy sources, ideas are usually limited to oil and gas. However, for decades officials have been aware of other energy sources. And in the past few years, concepts of solar and wind power entered everyday vocabularies. Yet there are other energy sources that are easy to obtain, usually less expensive and more commonly available. These include obtaining energy from geothermal and biomass sources, in addition to wind and sun power.
While the United States does have geothermal plants, that source has been barely tapped. As the word combination indicates, this energy is taken from heated places under the earth, such as decaying minerals, volcanic movement, or naturally stored sun-heated soil. Geothermal energy is presently produced from 77 power plants in the U.S., but there could be many more plants. The U.S. generates some 15 billion kilowatt hours of geothermal power each year. That same amount of energy would need 25 million barrels of oil, or six million tons of coal every year
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gives eligibility for full federal tax credit to geothermal energy, as well as to wind, solar and biomass energy methods. Moreover, unlike wind and solar power energy methods, geothermal is not dependent on weather patterns. Moreover, the Geothermal Energy Association insists that building geothermal plants, as well as plant operational costs, are less expensive than oil or gas usage. The group claims geothermal energy would be a price stabilizer, offsetting the cost of volatile fossil fuels. Also, geothermal energy does not need non-plant or outside fuels to operate. This is important when one considers that the lack of electricity hampered immediate repair of Japanese nuclear power plants in the recent and still ongoing nuclear disaster there.
Digging for coal is toxic to the atmosphere and dangerous to workers; and sources of oil are drying up. As proven recently in Florida, efforts by oil companies to drill into ocean undergrounds can be catastrophic to ocean life, and to workers dependent on ocean foods for income. As this site’s series, as well as well-covered news sources, more than prove the risks of coal and nuclear power sources and of fracking for natural gas. Obviously, it is past time for this nation to push forward on the production of other alternative sources of fuel.In the last blog, we mentioned the need for wisdom. Job 28, verses 12 and 20, asks “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding.” The first nine chapters of the Book of Proverbs posits that Wisdom is a female attribute of God, and that she is crying out for believers to seek her ways of finding God’s knowledge. Believer’s must dig out Christian prayer books and entreat Our Savior for wisdom about earth’s energy sources. If there was ever a time to pray for such wisdom, the time is now!
resources much more expensive and harder to find.
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