February 24, 2012

GOP = Green Organization Positive?

Seems sometimes like our neighbors down in the U.S. stereotype the Democrats as the ones who care about the environment, and the Republicans just want things to stay the same, but that might not be true.  At least, governor-wise.

There’s a news article that says Republican governors in the States are putting in place policies that promote a “green economy,” and in some cases they’ve even done a better job than their Democratic colleagues.

Here’s the deal:  A report just came out from the National Governors Association which shows that between June 2010 and August 2011, 28 states enacted more than 60 new “clean” economic development policies. Among those states, 16 — more than half of ‘em — have Republican governors. In five of the those states, the policies were started under Democratic governors and were continued by the Republicans who replaced them.  Which means that eleven of those Republican governors were doing it on their own.

“Clean” means aiming to build local supply chains to meet the growing demand for clean power. Policy-wise, that includes tax breaks for renewable energy manufacturers, grants for clean-tech start-ups andprograms that train folks for green jobs.

Installing solar panels in Colorado. Part of a nutritious green economic development policy breakfast. Good job, guys.

Sounds good to me.  You know, a lot of Canadian news focuses on what’s happening with our “downstairs neighbors,” even far up where I am.  So it’s nice to hear a bit of good news that shows people defying their stereotypes — ‘specially with all that political bickering they got going on down there all the time — and doing green stuff that hopefully helps keeps my icebergs right where I want ‘em.

February 6, 2012

Here comes the sun, doot-n-doo-doo

OK, so obviously I care about the environment and wanna get people to think about how they live their lives and what kind of impact that makes on the Earth.  I’ve always thought that wind power was an amazing idea, equally as good as solar power.  But now it turns out maybe not, in the long run.

My Earth Science teacher from last year, Mr. Hoekbaard, emailed a bunch of us who run the Environment Club at our school about this article he thought we would find intriguing.  We’ve been, um, discussing it a lot, which is really saying something, ’cause we’re a hyper-opinionated group.  Anyway, it’s from New Scientist, and it’s completely fascinating, and you should absolutely read it.  It basically says that as the global demand for energy grows (’cause of population growth, and more people getting access to energy), nuclear energy is too risky, and large-scale wind power could negatively affect the environment, too.  Strap on your nerd helmet, ’cause this here’s a diagram to show how it works:

This basically shows why solar is going to be the way to go. Copyright New Scientist.

One of the scientists quoted in the article says:

Sagan used to preach to me, and I now preach to my students, that any intelligent civilisation on any planet will eventually have to use the energy of its parent star, exclusively.

If that doesn’t blow your mind, read the last third of the article, about how pulling down cool air from the four jet streams of wind ten kilometers above the Earth could be harnessed to “geoengineer” the temperature of the Earth.  In other words, counteract and even reverse the effects of global warming.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re like, This is all really far in the future.  But it shouldn’t be.  It could start happening more now.

Not sure why? But this article makes me really happy.  Hence, my totally corny title for this post, which is a nod to my mom and dad and their olde-tyme musical tastes.  Also, I’m finally finished with all the stuff I was supposed to do today, so now I can treat myself to the latest episode of “Fringe”.  Don’t worry, I’ll be watching on the lowest-possible brightness level on my computer to save energy.  ; )


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    "The Next Forever" is a song from The Great Immensity. The footage was taken on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal by videographer David Ford. Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman.
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