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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Green Energy Times 10 Year Anniversary!!!

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Green Energy Times #55, our 10th anniversary edition, is now available online. You can download it as a pdf file HERE.

Now at our 10 year anniversary, we need your support to keep going for another 10 years and beyond. Please, consider making a donation (button in right hand margin).

May 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Scientists Fear Impact Of Deep-Sea Mining On Search For New Medicines” • Scientists who view the deep ocean and its wealth of unique and undocumented species as a prospecting ground for new medicines, fear such potential will be lost in the rush to exploit the deep sea’s equally rich metal and mineral resources. [The Guardian]

Ocean life (Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

  • “Unlocking The Economic Potential Of Adapting To Climate Realities – Jay Inslee Gets It” • Among Democrats running for president, Jay Inslee has distinguished himself with a bold zero-carbon climate plan. He says it will create 8 million clean tech jobs at a cost comparable to what has been spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Maine Solar Bill Would Expand Access And Increase Net Metering Cap” • A bipartisan bill making its way through the Maine Legislature would set the state on a path to develop 400 MW of distributed solar energy. The legislation would allow more people to participate in community solar projects and raise caps for net metering. [Energy News Network]
  • “‘Earthworm Dilemma’ Has Climate Scientists Racing To Keep Up” • Worms are wriggling into Earth’s northernmost forests, creating major unknowns for climate-change models. The forests have had no earthworms since the last ice age. Now the worms are invading, and scientists fear possible negative environmental effects. [The New York Times]
  • “Repowering Old Mines With New Energies In The US Southwest” • Across the US, there are swaths of mine lands that are now prime locations for renewable energy. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Sunshine for Mines Initiative has a goal of helping the mining industry shift from a paradigm of extraction to one of stewardship. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work” • Drowned cities; stagnant seas; intolerable heatwaves; entire nations uninhabitable. A four-degree-warmer world is the stuff of nightmares and yet that’s where we’re heading in just decades. Meeting our emissions targets may seem hard. It will be far harder for our children if we don’t. [The Guardian]

As permafrost melts, grave markers tumble. (Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images)

  • “Australia Poll Result Divides The Nation” • The result of yesterday’s election in Australia triggered rage and disgust for those hoping for a change of government deemed fairer and kinder to the environment. Many took to social media to express dismay after an election in which climate change was a major issue. [The Straits Times]
  • “New Report On Plastics And Climate – The Hidden Costs Of A Plastic Planet” • The Center for International Environmental Law published Plastic & Climate The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. It says that greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic “threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “India: Share Of Non-Fossil Fuel Generation Tops 22% In 2018–2019” • Data released by India’s Central Electricity Authority and analyzed by CleanTechnica shows that the share of non-fossil fuel generation, including renewable energy, nuclear power, and large hydropower, topped 22.2% in the financial year 2018-19 (April 2018 to March 2019). [CleanTechnica]
  • “Republican Justin Amash Calls For Trump Impeachment” • Rep Justin Amash is the first Republican congressman to call for impeachment of Pres Donald Trump. He accused AG William Barr of misleading the public about the Mueller report, which found 10 instances where Mr Trump possibly attempted to impede the investigation. [BBC]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “OPT PowerBuoy Passes MWh Milestone” • Ocean Power Technologies PB3 PowerBuoy system has delivered more than 1 MWh of electricity since deployment in the Adriatic Sea in November. The company said the wave device has operated “continuously and error-free” while being controlled remotely from its New Jersey facility. [reNEWS]

OPT PowerBuoy (Ocean Power Technologies image)

  • “Deadly Flooding Is Rocking Texas. Scientists Say This Is Our Future Under Climate Change.” • Across the US, trends indicate that flooding is becoming the new normal. Climate scientists say it is a challenge to connect isolated events to climate change, but they have linked the wider trend uptick in rain and disasters to global warming. [ThinkProgress]
  • “Another Electric Vehicle Benefit: No Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” • Several hundred Americans die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and far more are made sick. A number of the deaths occur in gas-powered vehicles where CO can build up without the occupants knowing, because the gas is colorless and odorless. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Stalling Renewables Growth Raises Concern About Global Decarbonization Efforts” • In 2018, for the first time this century, global growth rate of new renewable energy capacity did not show a year-to-year increase. This leveling off has raised concern that efforts to advance a low-carbon energy transition may be stalling at just the wrong time. [Forbes]
  • “Air Pollution Is Slowly Killing Us All, New Global Study Claims” • A comprehensive global study by the International Respiratory Society’s Environmental Committee appeared in the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians. It says that air pollution may damage every organ in the human body. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

LOCAL CLIMATE ADVOCATES RALLY IN MONTPELIER, VT

Climate Protest halts House debate, three arrested

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Protesters disrupted proceedings at the Statehouse Thursday, demanding action on climate change from lawmakers.

 

May 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Hawaii Court Halts Biomass Plant Over Climate Concerns” • The Hawaii Supreme Court stopped plans by a biomass company to burn locally grown eucalyptus trees to provide energy to the state’s largest utility. The court ruled that the state Public Utility Commission approved the plant without considering Hawaii’s emissions goals. [Climate Liability News]

Hawaii (Credit: James D Morgan | Getty Images)

  • “Inslee Releases $3 Trillion Jobs Plan Centered On Clean Energy, Green Infrastructure” • Washington Gov Jay Inslee has unveiled his presidential campaign’s jobs plan, providing details of a proposal that has a laser-like focus on combating climate change. The proposal projects the creation of 8 million jobs over the next 10 years. [CNN]
  • “Canberra Will Be First Australian City To Run On 100% Renewable Energy From October” • Canberra will be effectively powered by renewable energy from October 1, with completion of the third stage of the Hornsdale wind farm. It will be the first Australian jurisdiction to do so, the Australian Capital Territory’s Climate Change Minister said. [ABC News]
  • “Five Reason’s Why HB 6, Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected” • By giving a blatant handout to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the latest proposal for a “Clean Air Program” in Ohio is bad for consumers, the economy, and the environment. [Union of Concerned Scientists]
  • “Instability Spreading In West Antarctic Ice Sheet” • Almost a quarter of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now affected by ice thinning, according to a study. It found that the ice sheet has thinned by as much as 122 meters in some places, and thinning has left glaciers unstable, according to scientists at the University of Leeds in England. [CNN]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “2-GW Offshore Bill Advances In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted 134 to 10 in favor of legislation that would see the state buy or develop up to 2 GW of offshore wind power. The proposed legislation now goes to the state’s Senate for consideration. Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont is in favor of the measure. [reNEWS]

London Array (reNEWS image)

  • “India’s Largest Power Company Shifts Away From Coal” • Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, announced that it will build no new coal-fired plants. In India, over 40 GW of coal-fired power plants are financially stressed, and new additions are coming to a near halt. Peak coal capacity may be closer than anticipated. [Sierra Magazine]
  • “Volkswagen Continues To Ramp Up Its Electric Car Push” • VW’s board of supervisors announced that it is prepared to invest €1 billion in a battery cell factory. The preferred site is Salzgitter in Lower Saxony, where pilot production of battery cells is to begin later this year. The new factory siting is contingent on negotiations with the government. [CleanTechnica]
  • “ACT Declares Climate Change Emergency – Slams Federal Government Failure To Act” • The Australian Capital Territory has become the first state or territory in the country to make a formal declaration of a climate change emergency. The passage of the motion follows similar declarations made in the UK and Ireland. [RenewEconomy]
  • “Renewable Energy Capacity In Texas REC Program Grew By Almost 10% In 2018” • For Texas’ voluntary Renewable Energy Credit program, including areas not in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the total capacity increased by about 2.6 GW, almost 10%, between 2017 and 2018. Analysts differ over whether the growth can continue. [S&P Global Platts]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Healthy Soils Legislation Helps Green New Deal

Image: theemeraldcup.com

Seth Itzkan, Steven Keleti, and Karl Thidemann

Congressional Democrats have offered an ambitious legislative framework for 2019. Titled the Green New Deal, it seeks to tackle impending climate threats while generating innovative opportunities in the energy, transportation, and agricultural sectors. The Green New Deal includes support of soil health. Between 50% to 70% of agricultural soil has been lost, and rebuilding soil health is crucial for food system security, water quality, and climate change mitigation.

A bi-partisan movement at the state level is calling for what is termed “Healthy Soils Legislation.” Proposed bills nationwide promote good land stewardship through principles and practices that support the aspirations of the Green New Deal by providing practical support for farmers and ranchers, many of whom might not otherwise be supportive of climate efforts. Speaking to this point, Bill McKibben, founder of the global climate movement, 350.org, stated, “Soil is increasingly taking its rightful and necessary place in the climate fight; this is a battle farmers and ranchers can help the world win.”

A promising indicator of this comes from New Mexico where a Healthy Soils Act was approved with rare, overwhelming consensus. The House version passed with a vote of 48-6 and the Senate version passed unanimously, 34-0. Officially titled “An Act Relating to Natural Resources,” the New Mexico law creates a Healthy Soil Program and a Healthy Soil Grant Program in the state’s Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the program is “to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the health, yield and profitability of the soils of the state.”

It should be noted that the phrase, “increase soil organic matter,” literally means to increase the carbon content of soil. Carbon is naturally accumulated in soil through the photosynthesis process. Conventional farming and ranching practices have greatly depleted soil of its carbon, contributing to global warming and exacerbating the impact of droughts and floods. Fortunately, improved cropping and grazing methods embraced by environmentalists and producers, and emphasized in healthy soils legislative efforts, can reverse this negative trend and increase soil carbon, making these approaches important allies in the climate flight. It is estimated that improving soil globally can sequester many billions of tons of excess atmospheric carbon annually. Such “drawdown” efforts — meaning they pull carbon out of the air — will be essential as we take measures to bring atmospheric carbon dioxide back down to safe levels.

Commenting on the bi-partisan nature of the New Mexico effort, Jeff Goebel, a management consultant involved in drafting and lobbying for the legislation stated, “We understood that the only people who can actually change the health of the soil on a daily basis are ranchers, farmers, foresters, and gardeners. Therefore, we need to do everything possible to help land managers be successful. We were adaptive (consensual) in the language without giving up the integrity of the legislation.”

Nebraska recently passed legislation to create a Healthy Soils Task Force to develop a healthy soils initiative and action plan. A Massachusetts bill, “An Act to Promote Healthy Soils,” directs the state to form a Healthy Soils Program that shall “seek to optimize climate benefits while supporting the economic viability of agriculture in the commonwealth.” With strong bi-partisan support from both chambers, passage is likely. Healthy soils legislation has also been in legislatures in 2019 in the following additional states: Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Illinois, Iowa, Washington and Oregon.

A complete list of state-level healthy soils legislative efforts is available at the Soil4Climate website, www.soil4climate.org.

 

May 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Students press Portland school board to adopt climate curriculum promised 3 years ago” • Dozens of students packed the auditorium at Portland school district headquarters to demand a science and social studies curriculum that addresses climate change. The school board passed a resolution three years ago promising just that. [OregonLive.com]

Student Activists (Eder Campuzano)

  • “Teachers Grapple With Climate Change: ‘A Pretty Scary Topic'” • The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network reviewed more than 30,000 free online resources and found only 700 acceptable for use in schools. The rest include materials from climate change doubters, the oil industry, and others with misleading information. [NBC 10 Philadelphia]
  • “Glasgow Aims To Be The UK’s First ‘Net-Zero’ City” • Plans unveiled by Glasgow would make it the first UK city to reduce its greenhouse emissions to net-zero. The city wants to reach the target before 2045, beating the Scotland-wide ambition of the Scottish government. Glasgow’s plan includes mass EV charging stations. [BBC News]
  • “187 Nations Signed UN Plastics Waste Protocol, But The US Was Not One Of Them” • After China stopped importing waste, delegates from 187 countries met in Geneva to figure how to deal with plastic refuse. They agreed that waste may not be shipped to a country, if it refuses its permission. The US did not sign the protocol. [CleanTechnica]
  • “A Strong Bipartisan Vote For Wind Power In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan measure that proponents say would make Connecticut a reliable customer of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines, a step to match the output of the aging Millstone nuclear power station. [The CT Mirror]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Strolling of the Heifers “Tour de Heifer” challenging rides attract cyclists to Brattleboro

Cyclists from many states will participate in the Tour de Heifer, the cycling event on Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, taking place on Sunday, June 9.

“Strolling of the Heifers works on many programs year-round to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation at farm and food businesses, to connect people and organizations around sustainable living and resilient communities, and to promote the value of local food systems, local thinking and Slow Living”, said Orly Munzing, Strolling of the Heifers’ founder.

Proceeds from this year’s Tour de Heifer will support the Stroll’s Farm-to-Table Apprenticeship Program, which teaches nutrition and culinary skills to underemployed community members, placing them in full-time, permanent positions at local restaurants and institutional kitchens.

The Tour features scenic 15, 30 and 60 mile rides that all begin and end at Robb Family Farm in West Brattleboro.

The Robb Family Farm has been involved with Strolling of the Heifers since it started 18 years ago. Heifers from their 100-year-old family-run farm were some of the first to “stroll” up Brattleboro’s Main Street, but in 2011 the Robbs decided to cease their dairy operations and focus on maple syrup production and pasture-raised beef cattle. Their maple syrup was named the “Best Vermont Made Food Product” in the 2019 Best of Business Awards by Vermont Business Magazine. In addition to hosting the Tour de Heifer, the farm will be offering public tours on  Sunday, June 9 as part of Strolling of the Heifers’ Local Farm Tours. Please pre-register for Farm Tours at www.strollingoftheheifers.com/farmtour.

All Tour de Heifer rides include a farm-fresh lunch served at Robb Family Farm. A Vermont Table Catering will prepare “Tour de Heifer Quiches” and frittatas with field green salad and yummy dessert.

“The 15-miler includes some pavement and more moderate hills,” said Munzing. “We call that the Country Ride, and it can be done by riders without too much experience who are in good shape.”

But the 30-miler and 60-miler, she explained, are nearly all on dirt roads and involve lots of hills: a total of 3,300 vertical feet for the 30-miler, and over 7,000 feet for the 60-miler.

So far, the Tour has signed up riders from all over New England, plus New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

For all of the riders there are water/snack stops en route, including one at the scenic Green River Covered Bridge, the mid point for all of the rides.

All of the routes feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain and New England villages.

For families and people who love to walk, the Tour also offers a three-mile guided hike to the top of nearby Round Mountain.

The tour is part of the annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, which takes place June 7-9 in Brattleboro, Vermont. The centerpieces of the weekend are the world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade and the Slow Living Expo, both on Saturday, June 8.

All of the Tour de Heifer routes include substantial stretches of dirt roads. Use of mountain bikes, cross-bikes, or road bikes fitted with at least 28mm tires is recommended. No highway travel is involved in any of the routes. Rental bikes are available at West Hill Shop in Putney at a very reduced rate of $10.

The routes are:

Heifer Classic 60+ mile Ride: A very challenging ride for experienced riders, which starts at 8 a.m. (Slower riders are encouraged to start as early as 7 a.m.) This route is 61 miles, with 7119 feet of climbing.

The 30-mile Green River Challenge: A challenging ride for experienced riders, starting at 9 a.m. It has about 3,300 feet of elevation gain, and minimal pavement.

The 15-mile Country Ride: This is an out-and-back ride, starting at 10 a.m., designed for moderately experienced cyclists. It includes about 1,250 feet of elevation gain over a mix of rolling paved roads and a nearly level dirt road along the Green River.

For walkers: 3-mile Road and Trail Stroll: The guided hike starts 10:30 a.m., from Lilac Ridge Farm to the top of nearby Round Mountain, and then back via Ames Hill Road and Abbot Road. The climb to the summit is about 750 vertical feet and is rewarded by scenic vistas to the east, across the town of Brattleboro to Mt. Wantastiquet and Mt. Monadnock.

Registration and information: Riders and hikers may register for the Tour at www.bikereg.com/tourdeheifer. Rates, lunch included, are $20 for the hike, $40 for the Country Ride, and $70 for 30 and 60-mile options. Children 16 and under riding on any route, $15. Higher rates will be in effect on the day of the event.

More information is available at www.strollingoftheheifers.com/tour

For information on all Stroll Weekend events: www.StrollingoftheHeifers.com

Warren, NH Chosen for Second NH Solar Shares Location

The next NH Solar Shares community PV array will be located on the roof on the right side of the Appleknockers General Store in Warren.

NH Solar Shares announced today that they will be partnering with the Appleknockers General Store to build their second community solar PV array in Warren, NH.  NH Solar Shares is a program run by the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative designed to share solar energy with income eligible families, increase the portion of solar energy on the grid and contribute to a healthier environment.

 
“When we first heard about NH Solar Shares and their mission to bring the benefits of solar energy to local families in our area, we were immediately interested,” said store owner, Tori Berger.   “We want to support our local community in any way we can and we have the perfect roof for installing solar panels.”
 
NH Solar Shares built their first community solar project in Plymouth, NH last Fall on the hillside behind the Frosty Scoops ice cream stand owned by the Common Man Family of Restaurants. Currently ten local families from the Plymouth area sever as shareholders for the Plymouth solar array.  Once the project in Warren is underway, NH Solar Shares will be looking for families from the Warren/Wentworth area to sign up for the program. There is no cost to sign up and new families rotate through the program every two years.
 
The solar energy generated from the community solar arrays are credited monthly to the families’ electric bills. To participate, households must be in the NH Electric Cooperative service territory, qualify for NH Fuel Assistance and be interested in learning about both solar energy and home energy savings. 
 
“We are committed to working long term with NH Solar Shares and supporting its effort to build community PV arrays in our service area and bring the benefits of solar energy to more of our members.” Said Steve Camerino, President of the NH Electric Cooperative.
 
The Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative is kicking off a special small donor fundraising campaign to help raise the funds to build the community solar project in Warren.  For just pocket change, community members interested in supporting the project can reduce climate change by donating to the cost of the solar panels for the project.  Learn more about the Buy C02 Fundraising Campaign here: https://nhsolarshares.org/carbon/
 
Interested donors, volunteers, and local families wishing to get involved should contact NH Solar Shares, PO Box 753   79 Highland Street   Plymouth, NH 03264; 603-536-5030 nhsolarshares@plymouthenergy.org For more information visit www.nhsolarshares.org   NH Solar Shares LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative – a 501-C 3 Not for Profit Tax Exempt Charitable Organization.