Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cree Likes its LEDs... Helps colleges and others save lots of money & energy.

San Diego Community College District – San Diego, CA

San Diego Community College District is the recipient of the APPA’s 2015 Sustainability Award recognizing and advancing sustainability excellence in educational facilities. An CREE want a little school credit. The upgrades used Cree® LED lighting upgrade with SmartCast® Technology.

Looks good.

In the meanwhile, Ikea stores are moving to only selling LED lights by 2016. Read here about Idea's LED ideas.  They argue that about 20% of electric energy use in the world comes from lighting. So if LED lights can reduce that by about 85%. That is a BIG Woo Hoo for the environment too.  The savings of energy/electricity are really only a small part of the savings. Other lights produce huge amounts of heat, which generally increase air conditioning costs. It takes time and money to buy replacement bulbs, install the new and dispose of the old. The costs to a business are huge. Whereas the LED light will not be replaced in many of our lifetimes. 

LED lights now have much better light quality, and many are dim-able. 

Oh. And if you love CREE's products and services, be careful buying the stock of the company.  Even with all their patents and proprietary technologies, this is an overly competitive market. 

Very cool. 

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ain't no Global Warming Here. {insert your facts here}

In comes another commentary saying 10 reasons why there is definitely no such thing as global warming. This one includes evidence that the mooses (moose population) are doing much better. Huh!...
I simply direct people to look at the multiple databases of actual real-live data related to each and every conceivable measure of global warming. Look at the data yourself. Draw it out, and then start discarding junk that misrepresents the facts. There are between 2 and 6 sets of data available for each of the things you might consider related to global warming. Let's say: earth temperature, air temperature (lower, middle, upper atmosphere), ocean temps (surface & deep), ice packs of glaciers melt offs (ice extents and ice thicknesses)... Not only are these not pretty pictures (graphs really), but some show acceleration. :-( 
Here's what the facts show: Climate Change (unarguable fact, happening everywhere), Global warming (fact), Acceleration of global warming (less easy to prove, but visible), Human cause of climate change (lots and lots of correlations, but not an exact cause-and-effect). Check out Global Warming at Wikipedia (the best summary of information available).
Catastrophic Human Caused.... {whatever} ... This is a matter of probabilities here, but the chances get uglier and uglier once the facts on the ground get uglier.
Humans causing massive disruptions to each and every one of our earth systems. We're not just disrupting them, we are breaking them.
Give a look at the WikiBook by Hall (2013 and updated in 2015). It has a foreword of his own text and thoughts followed by active links into current Wikipedia pages (articles). This way each and every page is totally up-to-date. Wikipedia is the best single source/compilation of information in the world about each of the topics listed. If you question the facts in the articles, then complain. Even better, if you question the facts, research them and post a substantiated correction to the article.
Each page has hundreds, if not thousands of followers. And the editorial review for these mature pages is very tight. It is not really possible for a Green-Greenie or a King-Coal Denier to jump in and put crappy miss-information.
In fact, if you find that the facts are wrong or misleading on any of the pages, let us know, and we will gladly assist with the correction(s).
Check it out, here's The Sustainability WikiBook:  Scroll to the bottom for an organized table-of-content set of links to Sustainability information in Wikipedia.
Expect each of the links to have been updated repeatedly within the last week or so as new facts/figures and research become available and contributors update the Wikipedia store of knowledge.
There's a very good source that shows graphs, charts and facts related to climate change and those who would deny it exists:  It has lots of real information combined with debunking bogus arguments. This is a great source of facts. Visit with an open mind. 
Make no doubt about it, being wrong about the warming of the planet would make lots of people including the SustainZine folks very happy. Unfortunately the facts don't lead that way. What seems like a bit of a slowdown in the rate of temperature increases, does not hold up under careful scrutiny. Contributions to what seems like a minor slowdown of the up-rise in temperature are illusive one you factor in mild solar activity, volcano activity and increased pollution (from China and India's coal).

Monday, August 3, 2015

Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind - The New York Times

Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind - The New York Times:

There's some good and some bad about this.

We really should have an energy policy in the country, but we don't. And the congress should be doing that planning and guiding of long-term energy and economic development. But no.

The video says saving on energy. That's not true, it will cost more for energy, the massive savings will come from improved health. Coal causes huge health and environmental impacts.

"The Clean Power Plan will ultimately save about $45 billion a year, the EPA says, by both shrinking Americans’ energy use and reducing health costs for asthma, lung cancer and other illnesses caused by air pollution. The EPA estimates the rule will also cut about $85 a year from the average American’s utility bill."  via USA News.

Expect that the costs at the meter will be more, especially since it is so easy for the power utilities to pass them on, given a good (or bad) excuses. However, the health savings are each and every year forever. These are massive savings. Probably far greater than the $45B or so estimated.

The switch from coal is happening already without any such effort by the EPA. Clean(er) NatGas has been over-abundant and been the main gainer over the last 8 years. Also, we flair about half of the NatGas in the USA from fracking, why not figure out how to flair it into an electric generator and wire the energy back home?

Two secrets of coal is that about 10,000 people die each year in mining accidents, mostly coal. That's more than die in many years from natural disasters. The really dirty little secret of coal is coal ash. It has very high levels of heavy metals and such. It appears that we have no plan as to what to do with the ash, so it sits around in every state just waiting for disaster. Much like we have not plan for Nuclear waste.

NatGas is far better than coal, but it is still not sustainable. Since power plant planning is 50 to 100 years forward thinking, it seems that we should be doing likewise. Wind only works when the wind blows. Solar only works with the sun signs.

It seems that if we had a plan to be sustainable eventually, we would be better able to make decisions on the actions that a rational man (or woman) would make today.

Sadly, the coal miners and coal economies are stuck in the middle of this ugly downturn to their livelihood way of life.

Just saying...

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