Light a candle in the darkness

As most of us know there have been significant improvements in  LED’s efficiency the last few years and now some of our basic needs are starting to be met by them. One of these is light without sunshine, batteries or water wheels. The Deciwatt gravity light uses a pulley system and a weight. The weight can be pretty much of anything – sack of sand or bag of rocks. Think power outage, camping or a romantic interlude. Soon as this becomes available I’m in.

If you want to know more follow this link:  http://deciwatt.org/

Think Global – Act Local!

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Where are the fish going?

An article in the journal Science has provided evidence that ocean animals are consistently keeping pace with the speed and direction of climate changes such as ocean temperature and water movement.

‘Researchers have compiled 43 years of data related to the movement of 128 million animals from 360 species living around North America, including commercial staples such as lobster, shrimp and cod. They found that 70 percent of shifts in animals’ depth and 74 percent of changes in latitude correlated with regional-scale fluctuations in ocean temperature.’

Makes you wonder if the human animal is doing the same thing?

Think Global, Act Local!

How will you deal?

Climate change is continuing apace with more severe weather events and warmer temperatures. The fifth report from the UN IPCC is now available in draft form. You can find it and other reports on climate change on their web site at: http://www.ipcc.ch/. The take home is basically that we (humans) are responsible for global climate change. How we deal with this is something that we will all have to think about sooner or later.
As climate change impacts our infrastructure, agriculture and social systems people will react to these events as individuals and groups. The form(s) that these reactions take will be varied and start off slowly but gain momentum as the full impact of climate change takes a functional grip on the public’s consciousness. Some of these reactions will take the form of moving to where there are less severe weather events, available fresh water, arable soil and living space. These reactions are nothing new. Humans have been responding to climatic events throughout the centuries. Some of these have been in slow motion and took a century or more to take place, like desertification. Others, like flooding, are immediate and put millions on the move. What is new is that the previous events were caused by ‘normal’ fluctuations in our climate while some recent and future events have and will be influenced man’s impact on the environment.

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Cash in the Trash

In April of this year I posted an article on how rare earth elements are the choke point in the batteries used in hybrid and electrical vehicles. Without these elements the batteries would be little better than the lead acid car batteries we now have. Rare earths are also in every rechargeable battery you can think of like your cell phone and laptop.

China has 95% of the known concentrated deposits of rare earth elements on the planet. China has raised the price per kilogram on one of these elements from $15 in 2009 to $500 in 2011. Another element that’s used in halide lamps and lasers went from $114 in 2010 to $2,830 in 2011. This kind of resource control could put a real crimp in the United States’ energy technology development and production.

Well, lo and behold, scientists and commercial investigators have found that in the old tailings from mines in the western US contain potentially high concentrations of several rare earth elements. The final assessments are yet to come in but this may be a way for the US to temporarily get around China’s monopoly of rare earth’s. Follow the link below for more information.

http://news.yahoo.com/gold-rush-era-discards-could-fuel-cellphones-tvs-133752521.html

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Scientist say

What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell”, avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

R. Heinlein circa late twentieth century

Scientists think like this – don’t you wish everyone did?

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Getting drier up here

 

A month in ‘Ecotopia’ and loving it! When the weather forecast says 90% chance for rain it doesn’t mean all day rain. There is a brief shower, sometime in the morning, and then the sun comes out for the rest of the day. Thinking about attending a ‘Meetup’ group of writers here in Eugene. From the brief bios that I’ve read it seems to be primarily composed of – wanna bes, older women who want to leave something for their grandchildren and one well published business writer. Now, back to the planet.

 

 

 

I’ve been talking briefly with the locals who have lived here for more than ten years and they say that it doesn’t rain as much as it used to for this time of year and it’s getting warmer. I’ll need to speak with some people at the university (U of O) to confirm this. From looking at decadal shifts in global and ocean temperatures plus wind patterns, this follows. Changes in global and regional terrestrial and oceanic plant and animal distributions also support this perception.

‘Think Global – Act Local’

 

 

In Eugene Oregon

Well, I made it, 3,156 miles later. The trip was without any problems. I’m having to learn a new driving style because of all the bikes and walkers here in Eugene.  Most people drive at or below the speed limit but there are the usual ‘get out of my way’ types. The weather has been showery for the last two days in the morning but it breaks off to sunny in the afternoon.

The apartment is coming together – looking for some furniture tomorrow and today.

People here eco-conscience and willing to tell you how to do things whether you want the advise or not. Most them are young enough to be my grand-daughter, if I had one.

Mold prevention is for most on people’s mind as I did not find an any apartments that had heat pump heating and cooling. the internet is faster and cheaper that Gulf Shores with the electricity about the same.

I’m working on a couple of articles but it will be a few days before they’re ready.  Bear with me and soon I’ll stop writing about what I’m up and get back to the Earth.

 

 

Half way to the Emerald City

I left Gulf Shores, AL on the morning of 9 May on my way to Eugene, OR. After a night each in Houston, TX and Oklahoma City, OK I’ve landed in Albuquerque, NM. It is very dry and windy – imagine that?! The feeling of space is great after the eternal closeness of coastal Alabama.

The locals say it is getting dryer and dryer and mentioned that several businesses which were considering moving here have made other plans because of water concerns.

I should in Eugene, OR on the 15th of this month. Looking forward to being there on multiple levels.

 

 

 

Memories and Margs

When we leave a place we’ve called home for many years we  leave a part of ourselves behind. I’m take with me the warm memories of friends and loves to keep me warm and safe on the trip to Oregon and in my new place. Know that there will always be a room in my house and my heart for my friends and loves.

Gandalf’s quest for Galadriel continues. Will she/I find each other? Have we already met?

 

Packing memories and stuff

There was a movie called ‘Men don’t leave’ and I’m not sure what it’s about but the memories I have about some of the stuff I’ve hauled around for 40 years just won’t go away. A rock I picked up on a mountain in Colorado, abalone shells from SCUBA diving in California, pictures from my hang gliding days and a vial of oil from the ‘Deep Water Horizon’ spill, to name a few.
All the memories of people and places that I knew are what make us (me) up. To let them go would be like erasing a part of me and friends long lost.
Maybe, this is what happens when we age and aren’t making new memories. I know that once I get to Eugene I’ll make some new good ones.
‘Positive waves, Baby.’ to quote oddball from ‘Kelly’s Heroes’.