Wilderness Society Atlanta Gala

I attended the Gala Dinner for the Atlanta Chapter of the Wilderness Society last night…will write more about their goals and plans for the coming year soon.
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Fight for the “Right to Dry!”

What if legislators learned dryers use 10 to 15% of domestic energy in the United States!
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What if they found out that this reduction could be obtained right away, at a negligible cost? What if they discovered that the savings would be obtained by using less power from coal-burning plants and dams, relying instead on energy from the sun? And what if they saw that the primary impediments to such a conversion were fussy provisions in the rules for residential subdivisions?

An unbeatable coalition of legislators would form. Crusaders against global warming and boosters of alternative energy would make common cause with advocates of consumers’ economic interests and defenders of property rights. Greens, blues and reds would join to support a House Bill and would then scramble to take credit for its approval.

Apparently clotheslines are associated in some people’s minds with urban tenements and rural poverty. Such people don’t want to walk — or more likely, drive — through their neighborhood and see someone’s shirts and towels flapping in the breeze. Actually, the shirts and towels probably aren’t the problem — it’s the idea of underwear in plain view that induces waves of dread and fear of falling property values.
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Opponents might change their minds if they knew that the U.S. Department of Energy reported that they could cut their electric bills by an average of 5.8 percent by spending a few dollars on a length of cord and a bag of clothespins.

Even if the weather permits outdoor clothes drying only half the time, the savings would be noticeable. About 17 percent of clothes dryers run on natural gas. These appliances are more efficient, but a clothesline still costs less.

Should we have to fight for the “Right to dry”? There is even a petition to get clothes lines up at the White House.

No Ice in the Arctic in OUR Lifetime!

Perhaps now Global Warming should be changed to Global WARNING.

Summer ice measures suggest that the Arctic may lose most of it ice cap within three decades — three times faster than projected — suggest federal scientists. Only coastal Greenland and Canada may then retain ice cover, suggest the study in the April 3 Geophysical Research Letters. “The Arctic is changing faster than anticipated,” says author James Overland of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had projected severe summer ice cap loss in the Arctic by the end of the century. But more recent ice declines, fed into six separate climate projections, suggest that 620,000 square miles of the Arctic will be ice-covered by the end of the summer in 2037, compared to 2.8 million miles today.

“Averaged together, the models point to a nearly ice-free Arctic in 32 years, with some of the models putting the event as early as 11 years from now,” says a joint statement of the University of Washington, American Geophysical Union and NOAA.

Scientific Climate is Changing as Obama Takes Office

The politics of science, which has been storm-tossed for the past eight years, heads for uncharted waters with the inauguration of Barack Obama.
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The Bush administration has fought a long battle with the nation’s scientific community over funding and philosophy, and great divides have formed over such issues as global warming and stem cell research. Scientists are hopeful that

Obama, who has called for increased research spending, will bring a new dawn. But how realistic are their hopes? And can the nation afford to make them a reality?

“My administration will value science. We will make decisions based on the facts, and we understand that facts demand bold action,” Obama said at the nomination of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, a climate-change technology advocate, as the next secretary of Energy.

Says environmental scientist Donald Kennedy, Stanford University’s president-emeritus: “I think we are seeing some really good first steps, appointment of people that the science community takes seriously, people who value science.”

Let’s see what happens…I am no tree hugger but I think we must start to do something now!

Green Fades to Black

Two years ago, spurred on by a groundswell of interest in all things eco-friendly, green-related content was sprouting everywhere. For magazines, that meant a flurry of green-themed issues. But the economic downturn, coupled with cooling consumer interest, have some publishers pulling the plug on those products.

Among titles holding off on green issues in ’09 are Conde Nast’s Domino, Time Inc.’s Sunset, Mariah Media’s Outside and independent title Discover. Active Interest Media’s Backpacker, already seeing the concept as tired, did not produce a second global-warming issue this year. “My sense is the idea of doing a green issue has been done so much it feels anachronistic,” said Backpacker editor Jonathan Dorn.

It didn’t help that newsstand sales weren’t so hot for some green issues. Backpacker’s global-warming special sold 44,038 on stands versus its average of 50,227. Discover’s green issue this past May sold 93,000 newsstand copies, versus its 115,767 average. Domino’s 2008 and 2007 green issues sold below average, even though vp, publisher Beth Brenner pointed out that March is not a strong month for single-copy sales.

Not all green issues bombed. Outside sold above average on stands, while this year’s special from Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair, featuring cover subject Madonna, sold 370,000 copies at stands, only slightly below average.

Editors insist readers are still interested in green themes, although some said they are evolving coverage in response to green’s maturation. Hachette Filipacchi Media’s Elle — which made a statement by publishing its green issue on recycled paper this year — plans a water-themed issue in ’09, reminiscent of the blue issue of Rodale’s Women’s Health in 2007.

VF editor Graydon Carter said, via e-mail, that while he may not devote his entire May issue to the environmental theme next year, he plans more eco-oriented coverage overall — “especially now that we have an incoming administration that is sensitive to the environment, knows what it means to be green and takes the science, and the science of global warming, seriously.”
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National Geographic folded its quarterly Green Guide, a consumer-service publication it bought in 2007. But Claudia Malley, vp and U.S. publisher of Nat Geo, said the declining ad market, rather than waning consumer interest, was to blame, noting that newsstand sales for the first two issues were in the 70,000-80,000 range. Malley said a special newsstand issue is planned for next September.

Day One, Global Summit for Ecology

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Al Gore kicks off the Summit with passion. He introduced some of the initiatives that the new administration under Barrack Obama will begin as priority one!

Here is the press release from Waseda University’s P,resident
“An Honorary Doctorate was presented to Mr. Al Gore – the 45th vice-president of the United States of America – in Okuma Auditorium at Waseda University.

Waseda University awarded Mr. Al Gore an honorary doctorate at a presentation ceremony held on November 19, 2008, under clear autumn skies. After receiving the degree, Mr. Al Gore addressed the audience. He expressed how honored he was to have been presented with an honorary doctorate by Waseda University, and he congratulated the university on its long and proud history that spans more than a century. After the ceremony, Mr. Al Gore gave a special lecture entitled “An Inconvenient Truth”. It was both the commemorative lecture for the doctorate and the keynote lecture for the Global Summit for Ecology.”
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Honda Clarity, ZERO Emissions

Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle in 2007 and plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle this summer.
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Jaimie Lee Curtis taking delivery of her new Clarity in LA

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack.

FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

“The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we’ve made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. “Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles.”

How It Works

The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda’s V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle’s electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle’s main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed.
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The FCX Clarity’s only emission is water.

Based on its vision of, “Blue Skies for our Children”, Honda has worked for forty years at reducing the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future.

If this exists now why manufacture anything else? Forgot to mention it gets 270 miles per one charge and is quite powerful because of its drive train …it is no golf cart!