Category Archives: Environment

100 Years from Now: Part 4 – Water

Water is the essence of Life. Without it all known organisms cannot exist. Yet water is so much taken for granted today. Though much of the western half of the country is in a state of drought there is still much water being wasted. However 100 years from now when Global Warming is in full swing water in the western half of continents where most of the population will be concentrated will be a desert with less than 5 inches of rain per year. So water will be a very cherished substance. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 3 – Energy

Energy is a key element that enables just about all that will happen in the future. Due to Global Warming any source of energy must emit no greenhouse gas and should be as clean and safe as possible. It is best if it is compact and can be located near the communities in which it serves so that the lengthy transmission lines of today that are vulnerable to large scale disruptions and produce loss of power due to the resistance of the wires carrying power can be mitigated. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 2 – Technology

Technology will be a dominant part of life one hundred years from now. Robotics and the world of so-called computers (I suspect our traditional computers will be obsolete) and technology will have advanced far beyond all but a few Start Trek gadgets. I believe that a Holodeck like technology as seen in Start Trek will exist with some of the sensory perceptions of reality. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 1 – Considerations

In the past year I have given some thought to what the future would look like a hundred years from now given the state of science today and the effects of global warming, diminishing natural resources, and a populations of over twice times what it is today (population control will be in effect). One thing is clear, the word Sustainable will be far more than a buzzword. It will be a way of life. Continue reading

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Sustainable

All living organisms on earth with the exception of man unknowingly obey Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Man has global impact due to his mobility and the shear volume of his pollution. That is because of man’s ability to create his own environment by consuming an enormous variety and amount of global resources just to build his communities. Medical science has made it possible to reduce the mortality rate of young, defective, and weak human beings to such an extent that his population continues to increase from 1 billion in 1800 to over 7 billion today in a little over 200 years and there is little letup as it increases by almost a billion every 15 years. Continue reading

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More Bicycles, Not Cars

In 2012 33,561 people lost their lives to car accidents. Most people drive their cars less than 5 miles to shop or do other tasks. Our dependance upon cars is complete almost to the exclusion of other modes of transportation such as walking, biking, or public transportation. Yet in other countries bicycles are the major mode of transportation, not only in under developed nations but also in highly developed nations such as Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and other norther European countries. These nations realize the negative impact of cars in terms of safety, pollution, and dependance upon oil so they have emphasized the use of biking with supporting infrastructure. Continue reading

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Bike Lanes and Paths Best Practices Videos

[Note: this page may take a minute for slow computers or networks to load] The following collection of YouTube video clips are of various bike lane and thoroughfare best practice designs used throughout the world.  If you are serious about … Continue reading

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Really Clean Nuclear Energy for the Near Future

After all the bad press nuclear power received after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011 the world community has become paranoid about the use of nuclear power in spite of the rarity of nuclear accidents. But there are several old but newer technologies for generating nuclear power that are even safer. I have already written about breeder reactor technology. Another developing nuclear technology called Fusion emits a modest amount of radiation only while in operation and produces no radioactive byproducts. Two deuterium atoms, a heavier isotope of hydrogen having two neutrons instead of one, fuse together (Fusion) to produce ordinary helium gas releasing millions of times more energy than the most powerful conventional explosive. Lockheed Martin believes it can have an ultra-compact 100 megawatt Fusion reactor and generator that could be transported on a semi-trailer flatbed operating in ten years. This would generate enough electricity to run a very large aircraft carrier or thousands of homes. Continue reading

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Harnessing Greenhouse Gases

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the primary Greenhouse gas that contributes to Global Warming around the world. What if this CO2 and other Greenhouse gases could be captured and turned into something useful to man so that it doesn’t get released into our atmosphere? In fact there is some research being done around the world to see if this can be done but not much funding or public press is given to such research. Having a manufacturer process for capturing and using most of the CO2 released by power plants for example would have a significant impact on Greenhouse gas emissions and thus Global Warming. Continue reading

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Is the Cost of Carbon Reduction Too High?

Early this week President Obama announced that the EPA will enforce a 30% reduction in carbon emissions for power plants by 2030. Republicans, conservatives, and climate change deniers claim that the cost to the public in loss jobs and increased cost of energy will be devastating to many. Climate deniers will say that these recent catastrophes are not the result of global warming by man but the result of normal cyclical changes in weather patterns. But what if they are wrong as the vast majority of climate scientist are saying? As storms become more frequent and increase in severity they cause more damage and loss of lives in the communities they hit. This results in the loss of jobs and cost of damage to affected residents. The government then declares these disaster relief areas and provides disaster relief money which comes from tax dollars we all pay. Continue reading

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Balance and Harmony

When one looks at nature and the universe one notices that the greatest complexity of atoms and molecules exist at an optimum temperature range between extreme hot and absolute cold. Take for example the universe. In places where the temperature is extremely high such as stars there is much randomness and little order to matter. Atoms exists in extremely unstable states as plasmas where it is so hot that their electrons have been stripped off leaving unstable nuclei of primarily the two simplest atoms, hydrogen with one proton and helium with two. Temperatures are simply too high for stable elements and chemistries to exist. In much cooler areas of the universe such as our planets more complex elements and compounds can form and exist for long periods. Earth is at an optimum temperature that is ideal for extremely complex organic chemistries making possible the formation of life. Continue reading

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Global Warming still Much on my Mind

Global Warming remains daily on my mind as I wished it did in everyone’s mind because I believe it to be the single most important issue facing the United States and the world.  It has to do with the survival … Continue reading

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The Ultimate Superbug

The news sometimes reports about certain superbugs bacteria that defy all attempts to eradicate it using antibiotics and other medical wonders.  They play havoc upon the human body by endlessly destroying tissues until the organs give up and the body … Continue reading

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U.S. Public Transportation Failures

America’s love affair with their cars continues unabated as auto sales continue to increase making that industry and oil companies richer each year.  Cars are among our most expensive and cherished possessions. But there are costs associated with car ownership … Continue reading

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New Technology May Overshadow Global Warming

Fracking is a relatively new technology that threatens efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. This new technology can produce an abundant source of domestic fossil fuels that could provide us with greenhouse producing energy for many decades to come, increasing global warming and the threat of increasing super-storms and devastation. This article describes the Fracking process and many of its other dangers. Continue reading

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Putting Garbage to Good Use

America produces millions of tons of garbage daily that goes into landfills.  This is becoming a major problem because landfills are filling up faster than we can develop new ones.  New York City for example sends most of its 10,000 … Continue reading

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Na-sayers and the Apathetic on Global Warming

The vast majority of na-sayers of global warming are political conservatives, typically Republicans, who don’t want to believe that global warming is a fact and/or that it is primarily caused by greenhouse gases produced from man.  Most do not have … Continue reading

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California SB 4 Monitors and Informs Public about Fracking and Drilling for Gas and Oil

Senator Fran Pavley’s bill – SB 4 – informs you if fracking is being done in your area and what chemicals are being used and much more.  The California Assembly will likely vote on her bill this week, and the … Continue reading

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Hints for Saving Money and the Environment

Let me start by saying that I am fortunate to live in California’s San Francisco Bay Area where we have moderate Mediterranean climate.  So relative to much of the nation our utility consumptions are modest.  But most of the suggestions … Continue reading

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Global Warming Require Lifestyle Changes

I have been an environmentalist much of my adult live.  I have fought industrial pollution and live a life that is low in energy and water consumption.  Though I live in a modest two story house my utility bill is … Continue reading

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A Republican Case for Climate Action

4 Republican EPA appointees who are political conservatives urge conservatives in an opinion article in the New York Times to believe in the preponderance of scientific evidence that global warming is real and to fully support efforts by President Obama to dramatically curb greenhouse gases emissions. They stressed the urgency for this “before warming becomes “locked in.”” Continue reading

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Global Warming Getting a Power Boost from Methane Gas

There exist vast stores of a gas that is trapped under the Arctic ice sheets and permafrost which is more than 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide that is in danger of being liberated if our Arctic ice fields melt from the effects of global warming that could give an extremely potent boost to global warming. Continue reading

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The Mother of All Problems that No One Wants to Deal With

I consider population a problem when a social-economic structure produces more problems than solutions and can no longer sustain itself.  We have witnessed throughout history the fall of many great civilizations and empires due to this.  Nations often try to … Continue reading

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Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns and their Consequential Impacts on Global Warming

As nuclear power plant shut down greenhouse producing power plant will take their place thus replacing clean energy with much more dirty greenhouse gas energy. This will significantly add to the greenhouse gas burden. Anti-nuclear activists who are ofter also greenhouse gas opponents don’t seem to realize this. It will be decades before alternative energy can replace such clean power. Continue reading

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Does Eliminating Nuclear Power as an OPTION for Replacing CO2 Emitting Power Plants Make Sense?

A case is presented that Nuclear Power, especially fusion from breeder reactors, should be considered as an Option for a source of non-greenhouse gas power generation. It has the potential of generating non-greenhouse power for the next thousand years. The potentials for accidents and the taking of lives by nuclear power is miniscule compared to lives taken annually by weather events as a result of Global Warming. Global Warming is happening at a faster rate than scientists had predicted and solutions urgently needed now. Continue reading

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