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Nature_and_Environment.3

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Hot off the press!

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.1}: Kai Hagen {kai} Tue, 24 Feb 2004 00:31:42 CST (HTML)

This topic is for posting current environmental news, articles and columns, and/or links.

Please do not post complete copyrighted articles here. Instead, we request you post a short-to-moderate excerpt, along with full attribution and a link to the full text.

Thanks.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.2}: Kai Hagen {kai} Tue, 24 Feb 2004 00:34:28 CST (HTML)

Some sources of...

Environmental News

Environmental News Network
Environment News Service
Environmental Media Service
Grist Magazine
Living On Earth
Rachel's Environmental and Health Weekly
World Ecology


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{Nature_and_Environment.3.3}: {jonathan68} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 13:17:25 CST (8 lines)
{name removed by kai Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:28:09 CDT}

Al-Qaida and the Iraqi bombers have no need to bother. America'
is waging war on the environment and is destroying itself in the
process.

The full, and very long, article was published last year and is at
"http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1069831,00.html".

It's beautifully, albeit brutally, written.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.4}: Petre Griffin {simcervos} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 13:24:31 CST (1 line)

It's an editorial.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.5}: Kai Hagen {kai} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 13:31:51 CST (HTML)

Yes it is.

One worth reading. Food for thought, certainly.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.6}: {jonathan68} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 14:13:15 CST (0 lines)
{erased by jonathan68 Wed, 25 Feb 2004 14:14:39 CST}

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.7}: Kai Hagen {kai} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 17:51:28 CST (HTML)

From Environmental Media Services

http://www.ems.org/

Feb. 19

Top Scientists Assail Bush Distortions

Wednesday, more than 60 leading scientists - including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents - issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking.

According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.

Union of Concerned Scientists, "Preeminent Scientists Protest Bush Administration's Misuse of Science"

Baltimore Sun, "Government bends, hides facts, say scientists"

AP/Houston Chronicle, "Group says Bush distorts science to push policies"

Reuters, "White House science policy draws fire"

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.8}: {jonathan68} Thu, 26 Feb 2004 03:01:28 CST (28 lines)
{name removed by kai Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:28:09 CDT}

The piece on America ravaging the planet is written in the
tradition set by one of Britain great newspaper editors who ruled:
"Comment is free, but facts are sacred."

Call it editorial - or call it part of the Karma Sutra - but I challenge
anyone to dispute the facts adduced by the writer and enlarged
in a series of reports from different corners of the US.

Buckeye, Arizona
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1069971,00.html

Crooked Creek, Florida
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1070034,00.html

Jack Morrow Hills, Wyoming
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1070036,00.html

Diamond, Louisiana
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1070021,00.html

Salton Sea, California
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1070025,00.html

Washington: the eco-vandals
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1070023,00.html

As for the writer's perspective - had he thought it widely shared in
Bush's America he'd hardly have bothered putting pen to paper.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.9}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 26 Feb 2004 08:28:50 CST (1 line)

Thanks.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.10}: Jeanette DeMain {cybernettie} Tue, 02 Mar 2004 08:52:13 CST (5 lines)

An article on how coal mining in Pennsylvania is causing land to
sink, water to disappear, and houses to settle so much they can't
really be repaired:

http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/03/01/longwalling/index.html

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.11}: {jonathan68} Thu, 11 Mar 2004 08:31:40 CST (HTML)
{name removed by kai Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:28:09 CDT}

Scientists have sounded the alarm after spotting changes in the environment in Brazil's tropical rain forests.

They say they have found worrying signs that the forests may become less able to absorb the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.

Their long-term study in supposedly pristine areas reveals trees have been growing and dying faster than before.

The trends could have consequences for other plant and animal species, the authors warn in the US journal Nature.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3499500.stm for more.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.12}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 11 Mar 2004 09:28:24 CST (1 line)

Thanks, Jeanette and Jonathan.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.13}: {jonathan68} Sun, 14 Mar 2004 11:15:00 CST (21 lines)
{name removed by kai Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:28:09 CDT}

"The gentle hum of a bumble bee flitting through long grass was
once synonomous with warm spring and drowsy summer days.

"But according to a study, the climate has changed so much that
the confused creatures now emerge from hibernation as
Christmas approaches.

......


"'I definitely believe we are seeing evidence of the effect of
climate change,' said Dr Sparks. 'We do need to be concerned.
Not all species are responding at the same rate, and often
species rely on one another. When the linkages break you don't
know what effect it might have.'"

"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2
F2004%2F03%2F12%2Fnbee12.xml&secureRefresh=true&_req
uestid=22085" has the full story.

Nb. Free registration required.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.14}: Kai Hagen {kai} Mon, 15 Mar 2004 08:37:12 CST (HTML)

Mexico, Cradle of Corn, at Risk From U.S. Biotech Varieties

"The potential effects of transgenic maize on traditional varieties of maize in Mexico have been a source of public debate for several years. The key concern is gene flow from genetically modified plants—or transgenic corn—to Mexican maize and its wild relatives. Such gene flow may threaten the diversity of land races—in the case of traditional maize, crop varieties with a broad genetic base resulting from thousands of years of development and adaptation to particular soil types and microclimates. This is of particular concern not only because of the socio-cultural and economic importance of traditional maize agriculture, but because Mexico is a centre of origin for this important food crop."

http://www.cec.org/maize/index.cfm?varlan=english

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.15}: Jivan Vatayan {panlight} Mon, 29 Mar 2004 20:17:52 CST (4 lines)

Dead Zones Emerging as Big Threat to 21st Century Fish Stocks

"http://www.enn.com/direct/display-
release.asp?objid=D1D1364B000000FB989311D490E45320"

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.16}: Kai Hagen {kai} Mon, 29 Mar 2004 20:25:39 CST (HTML)

Everything is connected.

Particularly frustrating when we generally know how to prevent it...and don't.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.17}: Jivan Vatayan {panlight} Wed, 14 Apr 2004 20:48:33 CDT (9 lines)

Fish No Exception To Trend In Marine-organism Disease

> Disease is increasing among most kinds of marine organisms,
> according to a long-term study by Cornell University and
> the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
> in Santa Barbara, Calif. And fish are no exception to the
> troubling trend ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040414005932.htm

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.18}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 29 Apr 2004 13:38:22 CDT (HTML)

Getting in Bush's Faith

Christian leaders challenge Bush's environmental policy

by Amanda Griscom

28 Apr 2004

Almighty God, your word of creation caused the water to be filled with many kinds of living beings and the air to be filled with birds ... Thank you for seeds and soil, green stem and air. For fruit on the vine, then falling fruit rotting on the moist ground, then new seed again ... We pray for your wisdom for all who live on this earth that we may wisely manage and not destroy what you have made for us.

So spake a reverend at Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., last weekend at an Earth Day Sunday service attended by Muckraker -- one of tens of thousands of similar services that took place nationwide as part of a growing effort in America's church community to stimulate environmental activism.

Even enviros of a decidedly secular bent who might normally blanch at such creationist sentiments will appreciate the call for wise management of natural resources. Indeed, when they discover that in the past week Christian leaders have delivered this plea not just to millions in their congregations, but also to our very own God-fearing commander in chief, they may cry "hallelujah!"

Complete article:
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/muck/muck042804.asp

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.19}: Jan Rickey {jrickey} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 19:19:54 CDT (3 lines)

Small wind turbans for our homes?

http://www.tidepool.org/original_content.cfm?articleid=117956

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.20}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 19:26:32 CDT (2 lines)

Isn't that cool? I want my next house to be covered with stuff like
that ;-)

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.21}: Jan Rickey {jrickey} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 20:04:42 CDT (2 lines)

I like the idea that it's evidently in some sort of case or frame.
That should help protect the birds.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.22}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:12:35 CDT (HTML)

There's nothing new about small wind turbines for rooftops. But it is a bad idea on any number of levels. The first is noise, something that small has to spin fast to generate any energy at all and that is noisy. Magnify that through you house structure and it will be like getting a root canal everytime the wind blows. Plus, that small a turbine just simply can't produce much energy, certainly not in the magawatt a year ranges they are talking about.

Power production from wind turbines is a function of what is called "swept area" or the area encompassed by the blade diameter. Smaller wind turbines try to make up for this deficiency by spinning fast, which requires high wind speeds.

I had a small wind turbine at my home (a Southwest Windpower Air 303, also claimed to be "rooftop", though I had it on a tower) and it exhibited the problems of all small, high revolution turbines, the power output falls off drastically as the wind speed drops. So if a turbine, like the 303, is rated to produce 400 watts in 28 mph of wind it will only produce 1/8 of that (due to the physics of harvesting power from wind) at 1/2 the speed (14 mph). At 7 mph wind speed it is only producing 1/64 of its rated output, which is hardly anything at all.

Now figure that most sites considered good for wind power (larger turbines) have average annual wind speeds of 5-10 mph and you can see why small turbines are a bad investment.

If you live on a cliff, or a mountaintop (literally) or an area that gets high winds all the time it might pay off.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.23}: Jan Rickey {jrickey} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:25:54 CDT (11 lines)

The prototype of this turbine is supposedly quiet, so the article
says.

A good deal of USians live in areas that get high winds. Ask any
Kansan or Nebraskan.

I don't think of my personal electricity use in megawatts. This
month's bill came in at 156 kilowatts.

I imagine that a small turbine could be used to supplement my grid
usage. Or vice versa, depending onthe wind.

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.24}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:32:07 CDT (1 line)

Tom, that's really pessimistic. Is there nothing we can do?

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{Nature_and_Environment.3.25}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:35:00 CDT (HTML)

Suzanne, you slipped. Sure, and I give one solution at the bottom of this post. But there is nothing that has frustrated me in this business more than the pie in the sky promises that never pan out. This isn't the first "small rooftop turbine" and it likely won't be the last. But the physics just don't support it.

=======

Well, even in Kansas or Nebraska unless you are outside of town it won't do much good. Those places are really ripe for harvesting wind power with decent sized wind turbines.

I live at 9000' in the Rockies in an alternative energy powered home. Part of my original power system included the Air 303. It provided no good usable energy unless the wind speeds were over 20mph (also a function of altitude). It too was marketed as a "quiet" turbine for rooftop mounting. I know some people who did that who couldn't get the damn things off their roof fast enough, the noise drove them crazy. The speeds at which those turbines have to turn means vibration, there is no avoiding it. Plus it isn't just a function of how fast it can turn but how much power it can transfer. The blades on those Scottish things look so tiny and thin that they couldn't transfer much power at all.

At best I'd wager they are really nice kinetic sculptures but that is about it. If you have adequate wind it makes far more sense to get a 1-2 kilowatt wind turbine at a minimum, mount it on a tower high enough to get out of the turbulence of low trees and structures. You'll get far more bang for the buck that way.

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