• Category Archives: Other Stuff

    400,000 black colored balls to protect LA reservoir

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    Why do you think a group of water and power workers in LA decide to throw 400,000 black colored balls into the water? At first glance it may appear like some art work in action; however it’s more for the benefit of the people of L.A. Nothing could be better than shading. It is an action intended to protect the quality of L.A. drinking water and preventing it from becoming a health hazard. An abnormally high level of bromate was detected last year in the water reservoirs and this signaled the prevention measure.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 13, 2008
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    Centralized printing is a greener office solution

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    When it comes to IT infrastructure the immediate environmentally focused goals include ensuring that all its PCs, laptops, and servers meet the highest level of energy efficiency and have a minimal number of toxic components. It is planning centralized power management on its PCs, as well as extending the life of PCs from three years to four years to keep them out of the landfills for as long as possible. But what about other waste like the misuse of paper for un-necessary notifications or memos among colleagues. San Francisco wants to cut its paper use in offices by 20 percent as part of its new environmental strategy for the city. One great way to reduce paper waste is the centralization of printing to one printer per floor. Of course this may cause an epic panic if say one printer gets jammed and the entire floor’s print jobs are routed to the other floors. It would be the ultimate logistical nightmare if no one really knew which printer got the job done. San Francisco uses about 215 million sheets of paper per year, spending about $946,000 on paper. That doesn’t account for some of the other expenses involved with printing, such as the ink and the hardware. But the city wants to become more environmentally responsible.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 11, 2008
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    Laughing gas enters atmosphere, will not cause mass hysteria

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    The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment said workers at Albion Chemicals Ltd. poured nitric acid into a disposal container that was contaminated, causing a reaction that produced plumes of nitrous oxide. This caused a massive cloud of smoke which initially appeared toxic, firefighters and police men jumped in their cars and rushed to the scene. Protected by their equipment including gas masks, firefighters sprayed the gas cloud with water mist and rushed on to halt any leaks in the sewage.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 11, 2008
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    World environment day global events

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    The United Nations kick started this year’s World Environment Day by urging the world to kick an all-consuming addiction to carbon dioxide and said everyone must take steps to fight climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said global warming was becoming the defining issue of the era and will hurt rich and poor alike. World Environment Day, conceived in 1972, is the United Nations’ principal day to mark global green issues and aims to give a human face to environmental problems and solutions. Global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are rising quickly and scientists say the world faces rising seas, melting glaciers and more intense storms, droughts and floods as the planet warms.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 6, 2008
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    Gas price hike a boon in disguise for the environment

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    Find yourself looking at bus schedules instead of a trip to the gas station? The rise of gasoline prices, coming at a time when most Americans are tightening their belts, has led to a spike in demand for public transit. This in turn is great for the environment as more people choose environment friendly alternatives than their gas guzzling 4x4s and Humvees for everyday transit.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 6, 2008
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    Filterbrella – Water conservation to the max

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    If you feel that a rainy day is an opportunity for water harvesting and aren’t keen with the upside-down umbrella that collects water, a more practical solution is in the works. The FilterBrella actually collects water on the move in the handle which acts a portable bottle. The canopy is made of compostable polylactic acid plastic blends, which makes it environment friendly. Adding to the environmental friendliness is the innovative activated carbon filter in its hollow rod. The hollow rod actually lets in rainwater, which, then gets purified by the activated carbon.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 6, 2008
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    Ecological greenlash – An ignored calamity

    artic.jpg Globalization may have brought the world closer in terms of producing goods cheaper and yet maintaining the costs and quality of the produced product. This however has caused a rampant illness to the eco system of the planet, termed as Ecological Greenlash. Ecological greenlash occurs when human action aimed at increasing the supply of a desired ecosystem service (e.g. food production) inadvertently degrade other ecosystem services (e.g. climatic regulation or pollination) that are essential for the provision of the desired ecosystem service, consequently reducing the supply of the desired ecosystem service. The world is also becoming highly interconnected through the movement of people and the transport of goods locally to globally. Among ecologists, there is an increasing realization that these connections can have profound influences on the long-term dynamics of ecological systems.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 4, 2008
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    Tokyo to impose its own carbon emission standards

    tokyo_governor.jpg Tokyo will target reducing greenhouse gas emission by a total of 25 percent by 2020 from the 2000 level. Shintaro Ishihara, an acclaimed novelist turned politician, is known for his blunt nationalistic remarks including denunciations of other Asian nations. But he is also known for environmental consciousness and imposed a total ban on heavily polluting diesel vehicles inside Tokyo. He has now proposed a new ‘cap-and-trade’ system to manage carbon emissions in Tokyo, Japan. Under a “cap-and-trade” system starting in 2010, the Tokyo government would require major businesses to reduce carbon emissions while creating an economic incentive by allowing the trade of emissions credits. The move by Tokyo — which with 13 million people is one of the world’s largest cities — is reminiscent of action taken by California, the biggest US state, which launched climate measures despite resistance from President George W. Bush. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has vowed to push forward action on global warming at the July 7-9 summit of the Group of Eight rich nations. Environmental activists said they hoped the rest of Japan would follow Ishihara on climate change.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 4, 2008
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    German government set to make billions in carbon trading

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    Carbon trading is sometimes seen as a better approach than a direct carbon tax or direct regulation. By solely aiming at the cap it avoids the consequences and compromises that often accompany those other methods. It can be cheaper and politically preferable for existing industries because the initial allocation of allowances is often allocated with a grandfathering provision where rights are issued in proportion to historical emissions. Germany is on its way to earn more than $1.55 billion this year in the sale of carbon rights to 12,000 utilities and energy-intensive plants across the continent.

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 4, 2008
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    Climate change causing extinction of rare birds

    pigeon_morris.jpg Climate change has become firmly established as an accelerant to many of the factors which have put one in eight of the world’s birds at risk of extinction, 2008 IUCN Bird Red List warns that long-term droughts and extreme weather puts additional stress on key habitats. The assessment lists 1,226 species as threatened with extinction – one-in-eight of all bird species. In the revised Red List, eight species have been added to the “critically endangered” category. One of them is the Floreana mockingbird (Nesomimus trifasciatus), which is confined to two islets in the Galapagos Islands has reduced from 150 in 1960 to less than 60 today. Another example of a species being affected by shifts in the climate was the akekee (Loxops caeruleirostris), a Hawaiian honey-creeper. It’s being negatively impacted by prolonged heavy rain causing nesting failures, but they are extremely threatened by introduced diseases, which are carried by invasive mosquitoes. The mosquitoes have been restricted to lower altitudes, so the birds do best at heights above which the mosquitoes can go and pass on avian malaria. But because of climate change, the temperature zones are shifting. It is getting warmer at higher altitudes, so the mosquitoes can now move higher. This is eliminating the mosquito-free zone that the birds used to occupy.

    Posted in Other Stuff on May 22, 2008
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