Category Archives: climate change

What Exactly is Behind Zinke’s Speech on Offshore Wind Energy?


Just a week ago, Interior secretary Ryan Zinke lead to the explosion of a number of heads when he made known to a collection of stakeholders in the wind industry that his agency is willing, able and ready to assist in peppering the coastal areas of America using wind turbines. Perhaps this is one weird dream in which he is a great fan of fossil and mineral energy development repents of his evil ways and seeks an all-new way of life as a genuine advocate of renewable sources of energy?

Well, maybe you need to awake, you are probably dreaming. Besides the issue of fossil fuel, race issues as well as some other issues of concern, just a week ago, Zinke was attacked as a result of the fact that he basically broke the Hatch Act.

nature-windmills-netherlands-wind-energy

However, Zinke did present a good case for American offshore wind farms a week ago, hence, what exactly is going on?

Something is probably ongoing!

Zinke presented his vision of offshore wind all the way to the offshore international wind forum (2018) in New Jersey which was bankrolled by Business Network for Offshore wind. The rundown of the event is made available by the Department of Energy:

This forum will gather well over 130 enterprises at a conference for offshore wind. People who attend will be able to interact with the leading experts in the industry hence coming up with new innovations and opportunities while also strengthening the American offshore wind energy supply and also give direction to the industry.

It is said that Zinke said that energy from wind was an integral component of Donald Trump’s desire for a greater level of independence as far as energy is concerned, making it known that it was the best thing to do as against hunting for resources in regions that are ridden with conflict.

He basically described the offshore wind industry as a platform with great potentials. Furthermore, his speech also contained the announcement of a call for nominations and information from organizations with interest in areas of wind energy potential for Long Island’s South Shore.

With respect to Zinke’s not too distant history as regards the development of fossil energy on public land, there is quite a lot to think upon in this regard.

Then what exactly

This is perhaps what is going on. Zinke desires to retain his job in the Donald Trump administration and also desires to retain his job after Trump must have left office. However, it is becoming quite difficult to attain owing to the fact that a reasonable number of Trump’s cabinet has been relieved of their jobs.

On the positive side for Zinke, there is already a working template to follow for him. Secretary of energy Rick Perry appears to have made perfect the art of propagating the idea of fossil energy down talking climate change and being quite enthusiastic about the cleantech and science initiatives of his agency. It, therefore, suffices to say that he has retained his job and has also retained some bit of his professional credibility.

Increased Wind Farms in America

While Zinke was talking, the Interior Department came up with two really huge all new offshore announcements over the past week. First and foremost, there is one under the caption “BOEM seeks information and Interest in Offshore Wind energy development in the New York Bight area.”

A bight is basically a recession of the coastline. However, you may need to make use of an Atlantic Coast map and you will discover that the ocean tends to turn at a corner in New York City and goes on to Long Island after it must have gone up the coast of New Jersey and that is the New York Bight.

The total area being considered for lease includes 2,047 square nautical miles which are further subdivided into about four of the “Call” areas which are designated as Fairways South, Hudson South, Fairways North, and Hudson North.

The announcement in New York appeared to have caught the attention of the media; however, even of greater interest is the second announcement which came with the caption “Trump Administration Proposes Sale for Wind Energy off the Coast of Massachusetts.

What simply happened was that BOEM just picked up the announcement of wind energy and simply dropped it upon the lap of administration of Donald Trump. This reminds one of the numbers of time president Trump actually made fun of wind energy during the 2016 campaign season.

Meanwhile, only some days back, the Houston Chronicles came up with a report that Donald Trump will instruct Perry to make a declaration of an emergency measure with a view to ensuring that some money-losing nuclear and coal power plants in America from shutting. It appears to be seen if that directive will be followed.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The Threat to Underground Freshwater Resource Unveiled; Things Happening Around You That You May Have Missed


A large chunk of the industrialized world’s agricultural productivity, high level of urbanization as well as industrial creativity depends largely on the exploitation and pumping of the freshwater resources. In some parts, the water that is being made use of is known as fossil water which is the water which was deposited millions of years before now. It is usually not being replaced by any reason whatsoever which includes the absence of rainfall, or certain impermeable layers such as calcrete that is on top or heavy clay.

When these water reserves reduce, there is usually nothing available for the purpose of having them replaced, with the end result being enormous populations, as well as farmlands that are not feasible in the said regions which are usually accompanied by large-scale migrations from the regions.

tubewell-in-village-groundwater-depletion

Some regions which are quite dependent on fossil water include the Northeastern part of Africa, the American Great Plains, as well as the central southern African region.

The condition pertaining to the depletion of fossil water in some area is further made compounded by the prolonged development of the underground water recharge areas in the areas where the rainfall is hitherto not enough to have the underground water replenished and even further so by usage rates which are not sustainable which further depletes the water reserves.

As the underground water in the areas which have the tendency of recharge is being used at rates which can only be described as unsustainable, although one thing which occurs is known as underground water subsidence. In clear terms, what happens is that the ground tends to sink as a result of the absence of the support which was hitherto made available by the groundwater which is no longer available. In this sense, subsidence is quite notable owing to the fact that it leaves the aquifer under review at a capacity which is far less than capable to store water as a result of compaction.

The Underground-water pumping permanently erodes the ability of a number of aquifers to get water stored thus leaving the overall aquifer capacity at a level which is quite lower than what was previously available and hence contributes to the fading of the region that is in question.

All the issues above listed are on their own further made worse by the intrusion of saltwater in certain coastal areas as a result of excessive pumping of the groundwater resources thus leading to the vacuum effect which attracts saltwater inside the aquifers and also as a result of subsidence of the ground, sea level increase, as well as the contamination of groundwater. In a number of regions, which is mostly as a direct result of the agricultural and industrial actions which are in themselves making the most use of water?

It therefore suffices to say that what we have in the modern world when we backtrack is the coming together of increased problems of issues such as: the breakdown of the ability of a number of aquifers to retain water as a result of excessive pumping due to the subsidence of the ground, depletion of fossil water, as well as saline water intrusion of the aquifers which is as a result of excessive pumping as well as rise in sea level and the contamination of groundwater as a result of agricultural and industrial activities.

Saltwater intrusion, excessive pumping, as well as ground subsidence

The excessive pumping of the freshwater which derives its origin from the aquifers as highlighted earlier is a major cause of the subsidence of the ground as well as the intrusion of saltwater in the coastal regions. What was not made known earlier is the fact that as the levels of the aquifer drops, the water quality generally drops as well as an increase in the ground salt levels as well as a rise in the levels of contaminants and grits?

On another thing which is worthy of note on this basis is the fact that as the aquifers get reduced, the natural constituents of the area such as springs and the likes will inadvertently experience lowered flows or even get extinct.

Linking to this, the earlier mentioned ground subsidence leads to a sinking of the land, which in turn ups the possibility of floods as well as reducing the overall capacity of such an aquifer to retain aqua. It is worthy of note for instance in some areas in Texas that ground levels have reduced by as much as 9 feet in recent times as a result of too much pumping of the groundwater.

Groundwater pollution and contamination

As well as the challenge of the unavailability of freshwater is the challenge of contamination of freshwater. The contamination of freshwater has indeed become a more common challenge in recent times even as agricultural and industrial productivity has gotten to levels which are not sustainable

Climate change, glacier losses, increased atmospheric moisture and rising temperature

In addition to the contamination and depletion of the underground water resource of the freshwater resource is the above surface freshwater resources which include winter snowpack, larger glaciers as well as high altitude lakes which are disappearing at a rather rapid rate in a large portion of the earth.

What these imply is that the long-term availability of freshwater is being negatively impacted at a rate which is much faster than what should be. Even as the glaciers melt, there would be an increase in the scarcity of water thus having an effect on billions of people.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Shell facing Litigations over its inability to fight Climate change convincingly


The British-Dutch Multinational oil and gas organization Shell faces the threat of legal action if it does not respond immediately to the demands of Friends of the Earth Netherlands to desist from its perceived destruction of the earth’s climate. This suit if lost by Shell could have rather damaging effects on the oil and gas holdings of the company on a global scale.

Advocates of climate change world over refer to the numerous oil spills as well as water contamination, abuses of human rights and wanton destruction as the handiwork of companies such as Shell. Many are of the view that shell is guilty of many of these crimes. Back in the month of July 2017, a report gotten from CDP indicated that about 71% of the greenhouse gas emissions dating back to 1998 derive their origin from the 100 producers of fossil fuels, and Shell was identified as one of the companies which were ranked as one of the highest emitters of same.

shell-logo-large

I have said previously that a number of advocates of the environment usually adopt a rather naive approach to what the companies ordinarily should have done. However, the obtainable reality is that we cannot simply end the use of fossil fuels without it leading to a large-scale effect on lives as well as living conditions over the world. However, on the other side, it is vital to recognize that organizations such as Shell have been in the know for well over 3 decades that fossil fuels have a rather damning effect on the environment especially as it has to do with Climate change.

In the defense of Multi-National company Shell; it has been making rather significant steps to mend its image as it has to do with the public. Shell has made it a part of its mandate to invest in clean sources of energy as well as electric car technologies. Back in the month of January, Shell bought into Silicon Ranch Corporation a solar owner and operator based in Nashville. This was as a part of a $20 million investment in spearheading the rural distributed company Husk power systems which operate in Africa and Asia and made an announcement for a power purchase pact for the Bradenstoke solar plant located in England.

In addition to this, back in November 2017, shell made public plans to reduce the total carbon footprint of its products by about 50% before the year 2050 with an initial projection of 20% by the year 2035.

However, despite the good all of this appears to be doing for the image of Shell, it still is considered as inadequate considering the position of the organization. It is believed that it should be doing more in its quest to fight the damning effect of global warming especially owing to the perceived direct input of shell in the issue of global warming.

By reason of this, Friends of the Earth Netherland as well as an organization Friends of the Earth International which is a synergy of about 75 member groups from different parts of the world advocating for justice for the climate- has made threats to charge shell to court if it does nothing on its request to act pertaining taking action against the destruction of the ecosystem.

In the words of Karin Nansen the chairperson of Friends of the Earth International, “this case is important for individuals all over and it is worthy of note that Shell is doing a whole lot on a global scale in terms of damaging the climate. With this lawsuit, Shell will surely be made to account for its actions.”

A notice letter was specifically sent by Friends of the Earth to the Chief executive officer of Shell Ben Van Beurden with a subject “Liability for inadequate climate policy”. In the opening statement, the brains behind the letter stated the reason why they held the opinion that Shell via its activities as well as corporate strategy is going against its legal responsibility of care by inducing damages to the climate all over the world and as such negating the Paris agreement.

The said letter is about 20 pages long and ends by asserting that in the interest of the human race as well the environment and generations unborn, Shell should take responsibility and meet up with its duty of care as well as its responsibility.

The primary aim of the legal threat is to make Shell find a solution to this rather unlawful situation by making sure that its investment decisions, as well as corporate activities, are in line with its climate targets on a global scale. If Milieudefensie is able to record success in its legal target against shell, it should make shell reduce its oil and gas investments on a global scale and hence lead to a compliance of climate agreements on the organization which should have serious effects on its business runnings.

This recent rise in legal actions as advocated for by the activist James Hansen is without doubt mounting pressure on the multi-Nationals. However, as regards it yielding any lasting or significant effect, time is the only thing that would tell.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Saudi Arabia Set to Build the World’s Largest Solar Project


Conferring to a recent information which was produced from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Saudi Arabia is a big country that produces a large percentage of the world’s oil and it also occupies the second position as the world’s oil-producing nation. It is also necessary to know that this country also gets 60% of its own electricity from petroleum.

However, Saudi Arabia recently signed the Paris Agreement action plan, but it was seen as not been enough or sufficient according to the Climate Action Tracker late last year. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is set to become one of the revolutionary countries to take a great action against climate change by building the biggest solar project in history.

alternative-alternative-energy-clouds-eco-energy-solar

On Tuesday, the country publically declared that it is making plans to build the world’s largest solar project in conjunction with Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, Bloomberg reported.

In another report by Bloomberg, it is estimated that Saudi Arabia’s project will be built in the county and the project is said to produce more than 150,000 jobs and also 200 GigaWatts of power by 2030, which is more than the next biggest project in Australia, called the Solar Choice Bulli Creek PV Plant.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to know that this is an important step in combating climate change and the Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman stated to Bloomberg that, “it’s bold and risky and we hope we can succeed in this project that we are about to undertake.

Making use of the solar energy is a reasonable choice by the Saudi government. However, due to the fact that the country’s capital, Riyadh, has an average of 8 to 9 hours of sunshine every day, the country will be greatly affected by climate change if global temperatures hit a point above 1.5 degree centigrade.

The Climate Action Tracker has a made it known that if the temperature of the world increases to three or four degrees Celsius, about 75% of the country, Saudi Arabia, would greatly turn to desert a nation at the end of the century. This is true, due to the excessive temperature as a result of climate change which would greatly make the environment inhabitable.

Saudi Arabia has a high level of sunshine and large lands which can be exploited by different works of life, like engineers. It also has a powerful labor force, and above all, the country has great plans for the future,” said SoftBank pioneer, Masayoshi Son, in a new project, which was reported by Bloomberg.

In accordance to the great future plans by the country, Fortune has made it clear the summary of all the total solar power projects that exist in the world is close to 400 gigawatts, thus, only doubling the solar power project produced by Saudi Arabia. Another great fact is that Saudi Arabia’s solar power project also quadruples China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park, which is currently the biggest solar power installation and it generates more than 2 gigawatts. Due to the fact that Saudi’s project will produce about 7.2 gigawatts by next year, it will surely surpass the Chinese Tengger Desert, Solar Park.

Although the Saudi’s solar project will certainly cost more than $200 billion; the country is making efforts to achieve its dream despite what it might cost them. In addition, the country would have to purchase solar panels from other countries, and it will also need to produce the battery capacity to the store the solar energy from the sun. it also necessary to keep in mind that the first part of the project will actually cost $5 billion, although, $1 billion will be gotten from the Vision Fund, which Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank are joint investors in.

Furthermore, SoftBank pioneer made it known that the reason why he is collaborating with the Saudi government is that the project that they are about to embark on is actually worth it. Also, the pioneer also said that “The project itself will fund its own expansion and it is a great project that will be worthwhile” This project will not only benefit the Saudi government alone but to the whole world. Nevertheless, as at the time when the Saudi government announced its plans to build the world’s largest solar power project, almost all nations in the world have been astonished.

The Saudi government’s bold investment in solar power greatly shames the U.S., which is now the world’s largest oil-producing nation, according to the EIA data.

Nevertheless, ever since the inception of climate change, the world is beginning to come together to climate change, but the present American government under the leadership of President Donald Trump is not in one accord in the fight against climate change. Instead of encouraging the solar industry to produce more innovative plans powered by solar energy to decrease the manufacturing oil fossil fuels, the American government has announced that 30% tariff should be placed on imported solar panels this January.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Ireland Set To End The Use of Coal By 2025


The Irish government approves that it will join the international group as it looks for vital ways to expunge coal and coal-products by 2025. Out of the few countries that have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Ireland is set to be the latest country to have joined.  It is important to know that the Alliance needs about 50 signatories to commit to putting a stop to high carbon power sources when the UN climate summit comes up next year, according to reports from Business Green.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a global initiative that tends to involve different nations, businesses, and organizations that are united in taking the right actions to curb climate change and enhance a clean environment by phasing out traditional coal power.

wind-park-sunset-birds-wind-energy

The UK and Canada expressed their interest to join other 25 nations and regional states in order to introduce a new global alliance which is aimed at removing coal-fired power and dissuading the world from the use of coal to make the world a conducive place to live in.

Ireland’s commitment in National Development plan 2018-2027 to the conversion of Moneypoint Power Station to close the burning of coal by 2025 marks the end of the role in Irish power generation; it also goes in line with the objectives of the Power Past Coal Alliance.

Moreover, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, have reported the move of the Irish government in a visit to Canada, which founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance last year together with the UK. On this visit, Naughten meets Catherine Mckenna, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in Toronto.

I am very happy to make this known to my Canadian counterpart, Catherine Mckenna, in person here in Toronto that the Irish government is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Changing Moneypoint and ending the burning of coal through a commitment in Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan. As one of the biggest emitters of coal, the conversion is a big-step-forward towards achieving a long-term objective to reduce coal emissions to 80% by 2050 throughout the electricity generation, environment and transport sectors” said Naughten.

Furthermore, together with the Alliance at the global stage, Naughten also said, “Ireland is a showing its profound support to end the use of coal power to the international community. We are joining other nations and other members of the Alliance in order to encourage other nations, organizations, and businesses to foster the elimination of coal power.

The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna said, the new coal phase-out strategy was “the best step to take in order to ensure a better future for generations to come, and we applaud Ireland in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.”

It is necessary to also know that Ireland once voted to divest of public funds from fossil fuels due to the detrimental effects of coal power on the environment. But nevertheless, about 91% of Ireland’s energy is from fossil fuels in 2014, 85% of its energy was imported and the action of the recent government was slow on the transition away from fossil fuels.

Undeniably, Ireland has just one coal power plant left at Moneypoint in County Clare, but this is set to close by 2025. This indicates to every investor, regulator, and industries that nations who are slow in trying to prop up inefficient plans and infrastructures will be left behind.

The commitment which was passed on by the Irish government is a good step to take but the country still has a long way to go to be a ‘top-dog’  to have a sustainable energy future.

The move made by Ireland came in just a few weeks after the country unveiled a wide-range of market reforms related to energy and the National Development Plan that includes set-up plans to foster climate change policies arranged on a €22bn state investment plan to support the change from fossil fuels and products related to it.

Moreover, Ireland’s commitment to stop the use of coal power is a great example of how nations can build a safer and cleaner environment for its residents.

Additionally, in December 2015, the former Irish government was committed to identifying the best replacement for low-carbon technology across the country at Moneypoint, before Moneypoint comes to an end of its operating life by 2025.

The Irish ESB has been decreasing the consumption of coal at the facility in Co Clare since 2012 but it hasn’t made a declaration on an alternative energy source. However, it is expected that the alternative is natural gas, which is cleaner than coal.

Moneypoint is the only remaining coal-powered station that imports and burn about 2 million tons of coal each year as Colombia. It also remains one of the largest power stations with an output of over 900 megawatts, offering most of Ireland’s electricity needs.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Effects of Climate Change Looms On Easter Island


The effect of climate change has spread across most places in the world today and it shows no signs of stopping. However, one place in the world that is threatened by climate change is the Easter Island. This island has been a reminder of what happens to civilization; now, this iconic place is now suffering from the effects of global climate change.

It is necessary to know that Easter Island is situated in Rapa Nul, Polynesia and it’s known for its monumental statues called moai, located on ahu or stands. The Easter Island also has tombs, and inside the tombs are old obsidian spearheads, and pieces of cremated bones which make it an iconic island. But conferring to an insightful report which was issued recently by The New York Times, these monumental statues are at risk from erosion as a result of the increase in sea levels.

earth-globe-water-fire-flame

Lots of the moai statues and almost all of the ahu platforms surround the island; with some climate predictions that sea levels will rise by 5-6 feet by 2100, residents and researchers have fears that the storms and waves now pose a big threat on the island more than ever.

Archeologist believes that the moai represent the ancestors of the Islanders. The bones in the tombs and some other bones basking openly to the sun are also believed to be the remains of the ancestors.

Camilo Rapu, the head of Ma’u Henua, which is a native organization that takes care of the National Park which covers the island and its archeological sites said, “There is a feeling of incompetence in all of these, of not being able to protect the remains of your own ancestors. It hurts enormously.”

An article which was written by Nicholas Casey with some photos by Josh Haner, introduce a series by the Times titled Warming Planet, Vanishing Heritage which studies “the effects of climate change and how it is obliterating the cultural identities of the world.”

However, Haner made a photograph of one moai that has fallen over and lies just yards from the edge of an eroding cliff in the Easter Island. Casey also made some reports on a stone wall that stood between some stands and the coast which had slightly collapsed due to strong waves.

Nevertheless, even though the monumental statues of the Easter Island called moai are the most obvious signs of the Rapu Nui’s cultural identity, what lies beneath them might hold some cultural significance which is not yet known.

Furthermore, it is necessary to know that lots of archeologists have told the Times that the remains kept inside these tombs might assist in determining the exact cause of deforestation of the island and the decrease in the population of the island from thousands to hundreds by 1870. For many residents still living on the island, the fate of the tombs has more personal meaning.

Another milestone that has been attained is the Ovahe Beach, which is covered by sand. Right now, the sea engulfed most of it, leaving only rocks. In addition, its nearby burial site has now been threatened.

Hanga Roa mayor, Pedro Pablo Edmunds told the Times about a time capsule the town had buried 2 years ago to be opened in 2066, with a picture of the still-sandy beach.

“They will dig it up in 50 years and see us standing there, where there is no beach,” Edmunds said.

However, the loss of iconic monuments could destroy the economy of the island, which relies mainly on tourism. It is also vital to note that more than a thousand people visited the island in 2016, according to the Times.

Right now, there are lots of debates and talks on what caused the first, disreputable change of Rapa Nui’s environment. In several reports such as Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, the inhabitant deforested the island in the process of constructing the moai, leading to erosion, the deterioration of agriculture, starvation, and war.

Moreover, conferring to Scientific American, the report made by Jared Diamond is now debated by archeologists all over the world. This is due to the fact that there were no signs of armed conflict in the remaining artifacts. Most people think that the process of deforestation in the island was slow and perhaps, it was assisted by droughts or rodents and also, the residents of the island were not aware of it as a disaster.

Some islanders find hope in their ancestors who survived the collapse. “They knew the environment was going to collapse but that didn’t stop them from continuing in this place. It is thesame with climate change today,” Ma’u Henua’s head of planning, Sebastian Paoa told the Times

Recently, Mr. Huke, who is an architect and collaborating with the Ma’u Henua organization made it known that looking for the bones of his ancestors on the island is not a cause of despair, but a call to action.

Image credit: geralt

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

How Humans Are Saving the Environment in 2018


Feeling slightly blue over reports of extreme weather patterns and rising temperatures? The World Economic Forum reported early this year that weather change tops their list for global risks in 2018. So it’s natural to experience some alarm over the state of the world’s climate.

But along with these alarming reports come remarkable inventions, findings, and movements. Humans in all fields are rising to the challenge to do their part in the fight against climate change.

future-ecology-environment-energy

Here are some out of the box ways individuals and businesses are doing their part to be eco-conscious citizens.

Better, greener farming techniques

Farmers who are concerned with conservation have largely turned to no till farming as a sustainable and eco-friendly way to farm. Traditionally, farmers have relied on tilling with tractors to prepare the soil for planting season. But tillage can injure both the soil and the environment by exposing the soil to erosion. Businesses like Exapta have created equipment that allows the farmer to puncture the ground and plant seeds.

Allowing the soil to remain undisturbed instead of tilling increases water retention in the soil. This results in less water needed for watering a crop. Additionally, reducing tractor use means less fossil fuels used during a planting season.

Planting a garden and farming are often touted as being a popular way to be eco-friendly that anyone can take up. After all, with a garden, you have vegetables and food produce that does not need to travel thousands of miles to arrive at your kitchen table. But how you go about doing so matters as proven by enterprising eco-conscious farmers.

Vegetarianism to save lives, dollars, and curb CO2 emissions

Surprise! #MeatlessMondays has more substance than its use as a trending Instagram hashtag.

BBC.com reports that a family of 4 consumes and emits more greenhouse gasses from the meat they eat than from driving 2 cars.

We are all likely familiar with the notion that too much red meat in one’s diet could lead to various cardiovascular troubles. And years of research proposes that adopting a vegetarian diet could save us from such illnesses.

But what is coming as a surprise to many is how cultivating livestock for our meat consumption contributes to 14 percent of CO2 emissions. Experts suggest that a vegan diet could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about 70 percent.

There are food supply problems with the entire world deciding to go vegetarian in one go. But since only 3.2 percent of US adults identify with being vegetarian, there is room for many more individuals to step away from the meat aisle.

A shift in diet to eating more vegetables will not only benefit the environment but it will also have direct health benefits for the individual. Vegetarian diets are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. And therefore have been connected to cancer prevention. Studies of Japanese women who follow meat-based diets showed that those individuals were more likely to develop breast cancer than those who followed the traditional Japanese diet, which is plant based.

The tiny house movement not just for tiny people

Heard of the tiny house movement? The movement has thousands of followers in the US and more around the world. Did you think it was just some advanced expression of minimalism? Think again.

In a study by Oregon’s Dept of Land Quality, research shows that 86 percent of the environmental impact of a house is from energy used. The smaller the house, the less energy is required to heat, cool, illuminate, and keep it running.

Also, building a tiny house uses fewer materials to build. Generally, tiny houses are classified as structures that are between 100 to 400 square feet. A building at this size means less lumber that is cut for creating the abode. Less wood used also means less that requires transportation to the building site.

A smaller space means a limit to the amount of gadgets and appliances that can fit in your tiny house. This equals less energy used on gadgets that require fossil fuels to run. Unrelated to the environment but directly good for individuals is spending more time outdoors. Which likely means increased physical activity. The benefits of being more physically active include lessened risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and various cancers.

Citizen activism is the hope for the future

Is moving into a smaller living space not your cup of tea or not possible in your present circumstances? You can still adopt the mindset while staying in the same place.

Look for ways to reduce your use of electrical appliances. Turn off your heating and cooling system during days with moderate weather. Invest in solar panels if you want to go hard core. An advantage to that is the 30 percent tax credit you get for installing them. Once it’s yours, you get electricity for free and can even sell some back to electricity companies for those months when you’ve made extra.

Often it takes a shift in attitude before individuals, communities, and businesses take that step to implement more eco-friendly solutions into their daily operations. The spark that triggers the shift is one caused by awareness. NGOs and organizations that are bringing environmental issues into the public eye play a vital role in creating that change in the public consciousness.

If you are ready to be a part of the solution, educate yourself on the problems. But do not stop there. Support these organizations through dollar donations, or campaigning on their behalf. Government policy on climate change is key to preventing further risks to our world. And citizen activism is an essential part of making that policy change happen.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

224 Million People Left Undernourished In Africa Due To Climate Change


Around 224 million people in Africa are suffering from undernourishment or malnutrition due to climate change and the conflicts that are associated with it. Conflicts that are associated with climate change have increased the level of food insecurity in Africa, an official in the UN food agency stated this in a statement on Monday.

Furthermore, the UN food agency through its official issued a warning that climate change and its conflicts will lead to more food insecurity for millions of people living in Africa.

earth-globe-water-wave-sea-lake-climate-change

The official from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) spoke at a conference on Africa, and during this conference, the official stated that the current crises are a “cause of concern” due to the fact that the population of the continent is increasing and it is expected to attain 1.7 billion by 2030.

Bukar Tijani, an FAO’s assistant director-general for Africa, said “Malnutrition has widely increased from about 21% to approximately 23% between 2015 and 2016” at the regional conference that occurred in Khartoum. He also said, “During the same period, the level of malnutrition rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This is becoming a big concern for all of us.”

The effects of climate change and the conflicts associated with it across the continents have caused lots of havoc on lives and properties. Nevertheless, the increase in undernourishment and food insecurity is associated with the effects of climate change and natural disasters, Bukar Tijani later stated this to AFP.

“This is very strongly associated with climate change. We had floods and droughts and we also had crop failures” he also stated.

Tijani said that crises in Somalia, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic further increased the level of food insecurities. “When you take a look at these crises, you will notice that it has brought bigger challenges to people due to the fact that even when there is the availability of food, it is not affordable and cannot be reached in these places that are affected with conflicts.”

However, it is important to note that the UN officials have stated a warning that the increase in the level of food insecurity in Africa is displacing lots of people; this is due to the increased need of food which is the main cause of conflicts in certain regions like South Sudan.

More than a million people that reside in Sudan have become refugees and have migrated to other places as they flee from violence in the world’s youngest country that was formed in 2011.

On a positive note, Bukar Tijani stated that Africa’s economy is on the rise and that the continent is taking adequate measures to decrease the level of food insecurity. However, he has also stated that Africa has improved the food and agricultural market and it is estimated that this provision is expected to reach one trillion dollars by 2030.

Furthermore, the report stated in 2017 by FAO showed that, after many years of failure and deterioration, hunger is on the increase again and it has worsened in some parts of Africa such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Eastern, and Western Asia. The residents of these areas are suffering from hunger and malnutrition; this has called for lots of attention from other governments to tackle climate change and its effects to make the world a better place to live in.

Citing the occurrence of the effects of climate change in these areas, Leah Samberg, who is a postdoctoral research associate with the Global Landscapes Initiatives, stated from a study: “in this time, these regions are witnessing increased powerful storms, more frequent and persistent drought, and more variable rainfall which is linked with climate change that affects every part of the world today.”

However, it is also necessary to note that these happenings are not unconnected to each other. Most importantly, countries that have been affected by severe conflicts are more vulnerable to disasters that are related to climate change, and also crop and livestock failure due to the fact that climate change can offer social and economic unrest.

Nevertheless, as a result of climate change, several food commodities have risen in its price, thus, making it difficult for people in Africa to purchase. Poor South Africans interviewed for a recent report stated that there spend about 50% of their income on food, and have little to spare for other areas of their lives such as clothing, education, etc.

Climate change is a global threat and not in Africa alone. The effects of hunger are numerous, and thus, it also strips people off their dignity and perpetuates inequality. With these in mind, the need for other governments, individuals, and continents to come together in fighting against climate change is vital so as to save the planet that we all live in.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Disinformation Campaign on Climate Change Is Still on, ExxonMobil Says


Due to a recent statement made on a blog, the executive of ExxonMobil, Suzanne McCarron have restated the claims made by her company that it is fully mindful of climate change and she has also stated the company has plans to do something on protecting the environment against climate change.

McCarron has said: “I would want to use this chance to be 100 percent clear on where we stand on climate change. We believe that the risk of climate change is detrimental and we want to be part of the solution and not the problem”.  However, one question that comes to the mind is that, if this company is devoted to fighting against climate change, then, why is a still part of the problem.

climate-change

Due to a conversation and a hearing between Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe and the administrator of the U.S EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Scott Pruitt, which provides an exposure to how ExxonMobil’s undue influence remains the obstruction to the actions on climate change.

In the time of this hearing which took place on Jan 30 and was held by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Sen Cory Booker unconsciously aggravated Inhofe by bringing up the issue of environmental justice. Booker also made reference to the threats of climate change such as flooding which poses a three dozen Superfund sites in his state and he has pleaded with Pruitt if he has “considered the environmental problems directly impacts people of different communities and of low-income communities”.

During this hearing, Inhofe took the opportunity to refute Brooker saying that lots of low-income communities are excessively harmed by environmental protections, thus, citing that the last government which was headed by Obama through the Clean Power Plan, which would have actively reduced carbon emissions drastically if Pruitt hadn’t abolished it.

Inhofe also concluded that Brook was suggesting that Pruitt was trying to put lots of American citizens at risk by punishing them. Furthermore, Inhofe also made some confession on the effects of the Clean Power Plan and made reference to the Harry Alford, the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce who provided that the Clean Power Plan and some other regulations would aggravate the cost of living and increase the level of black and Hispanic poverty, in addition, to increasing loss of job and energy costs. Inhofe also wonder if the last government forgot that lots of Americans do pay the price just to keep their house warm and to feed themselves.

In addition to this, Inhofe concluded his statement by using the testimony made by Harry Alford who is the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) as a point of reference which was unremorseful when it comes to benefiting from the fossil fuel industry. “No doubts, we do and it is only natural that way,” Alford stated on NBCC’S website. “The history of fossil fuels have long helped the legacy of the black people, however, the fossil fuel has been our economic pal”.

However, one of NBCC’s closest economic is ExxonMobil, and it is important to note that this company has offered more than $1.14 million to NBCC since 2001.

In 2015, NBCC officiated a report that appealed that the Clean Power Plan would impose severe poverty and impoverishment especially the low-income families”.

Despite all of these, it is important to also note that unchecked climate change would more than likely affect those communities most and also investments in energy efficiency under this program would ultimately decrease electricity bill all over the country.

In addition, it has been noted that ExxonMobil has tried to finance lots of facts and studies to derail the Clean Power Plan. Also, ExxonMobil is a major supporter of lots of Senate EPW Committee members with Inhofe included. These set of people are obstinate climate science deniers.

Moreover, Inhofe has tied communication with the oil and gas industry, which has donated $1.85 million to his campaign more than twice, furthermore, there other oil and gas industries among the top 10 that have also contributed to Inhofe campaign, some of them include the Koch Industries, Devon Energy, etc.

Nevertheless, 6 of other 10 Republicans on the EPW Committee are also on the list of ExxonMobil’s donation list and this also includes Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who is the current committee chairman. Almost half of $119,500 ExxonMobil contributed to the seven senators in the past few years went to Barrasso and Inhofe.

In some weeks when the company made a donation last 2 years of a sum of $50,000, Pruitt and also RAGA Chairman, Luther Strange, who was Alabama’s attorney at that time, co-authored a National Review column confronting a coalition of state attorney general inspecting ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel industry about not be truthful to investors and the citizens about climate change.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Paris Make Plans to Sue the Fossil Fuel Industry


The effects of climate change in most parts of the world are becoming drastic and thus, affecting lives and properties. Due to the present change in the climate, Paris has been experiencing its detrimental effects and on Tuesday, the city has said it is making out plans to sue the fossil industry. As a result of damages from climate change, Paris has also responded to these destructions, including immense recent floods, and it has decided to take this action to follow suit in the footsteps of New York and other cities in the United States.

It is necessary to know that 3 years ago, Paris had made plans to dissociate itself from assisting the fossil industry in the build-up to COP21, where the city itself agreed to sign the Paris Agreement. However, the Paris council has aims to use its power, together with the authority of President Anne Hidalgo within the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to persuade other big cities to join in the campaign.

smoke-from-plant

Earlier this month, Paris was a victim of a major disaster pertaining to floods, which according to Anne Hidalgo, poses “a clear question of the city’s adaptation to climate change”. With the advent of the downpours that flooded Paris in May 2016, various research has indicated that climate change doubled the advent of the floods. However, it is important to know that during the course of these floods in 2016, various lives and properties were lost.

Following the announcement on Tuesday by the city, it was also indicated that other cities that have been affected by climate change are following the same action as Paris. However, Clemence Dubois, of 350.org France stated: “it is a welcomed news that other cities such as New York and Paris are mobilizing to shield their residents from climate change and hold various fossil fuel industries accountable for their actions. This major action for the movement against fossil fuel companies and the support of thousands of people all over the world against climate change is a good one in order to protect the planet from being destroyed completely”.

We need to know that big fossil fuel companies like Total, Shell, BP, and Exxon are imposing a big threat to the world by causing floods and increasing the number of heat waves which are intensifying not only in Paris but other areas of the planet. Other detrimental effects caused by these big fossil fuel companies include droughts, forest fires, rising sea levels, etc. The movement will not only help France but other areas of the world.

In addition, on Jan. 10, the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, declared that New York would dissociate from investing on the fossil fuel pension funds of $ 191 billion and he also stepped further to state that the city is making plans to sue BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

Bill de Blasio has also made this known: “We want to commence the fight against climate change by tackling big fossil fuel companies that know how dangerous their activities are but go ahead to mislead the public to protect their personal interests. As climate change tends to aggravate, it is left for these fossil fuel companies whose interest in their profits puts us in this situation to take it upon themselves to make New York a safer place to be”.

Various court documents have stated that New York has also suffered from flooding and erosion as a result of climate changes. As a result of future threats, it has also sought to protect its residents from the effects of climate change back on the companies that have done lots of activities in creating changes on our climate – the fossil fuel companies.

Paris and New York are collaborating in the fight against fossil fuel giants due to Tuesday’s statement. Other major cities like Sydney, Cape Town, Berlin, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm are not left out in their support and they have also stated their commitment to the divestment of fossil fuels. Could this be the beginning of the movement against big fossil fuel giants by major cities in the world?

Nevertheless, 33 major local authorities in France have stated their support in the divestment; such authorities include, Bordeaux, Lille, La Rochelle, and Dijon.

Clemence Dubois said: “we will persuade our local authorities to ask other cities to follow our movement. We all know that our local communities have more authority in the resistance against these big fossil fuel companies, comprising through their links with the “Caisse des Depots et Consignation” who manages the pension of the employees. We also request that this public financial institution joins this movement that is happening all over the country.”

With all of these actions, the pressure on the fossil fuel industry is increasing every day. Right now, over 800 institutions including religious and medical groups have given their support to this movements. In order to increase the chances of victory, the Fossil Fuel movement is also making out plans for local action all over the world to increase the change to renewable energy. To be part of this movement- find out how you can take action anywhere you are.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)