Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin On The Environment

Grist reports that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin strongly opposes the Alaskan gas tax, threw money at Alaskans to quiet their concerns over rising energy costs, and "recently sued the Interior Department over its decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species."

read more | digg story

Friday, August 29, 2008

E-waste Poisoning Environment In Ghana: Greenpeace

E-waste Poisoning Environment In Ghana: Greenpeace

LAGOS - E-waste from European, US and Japanese manufacturers is contaminating the environment around the sites where it is dumped for recycling and disposal in Ghana, Greenpeace said in a statement received Wednesday.

Greenpeace said it visited two scrapyards — one at Abogbloshie in the centre of Accra, the main centre for recycling computers in Ghana, and one in the city of Koforidua in the country’s Eastern Region.

The scientist in the team took samples from the open-burning sites at both locations as well as from a shallow lagoon at Abogloshie.

“Some of the samples contained toxic metals including lead in quantities as much as 100 times above levels found in uncontaminated soil and sediment samples,” the Amsterdam-based environmental campaigner said in a statement.

The group also noted the presence in most of the samples of other chemicals such as phthalates, which interfere with reproduction, and in one of the samples of a high level of chlorinated dioxins, known to promote cancer.

“The nature and extent of chemical contamination found at these sites in Ghana is similar to that previously exposed by Greenpeace for e-waste open-burning sites in China and India,” the group said.

It pointed to the fact that many of those working on the sites were children and noted that hazardous chemicals may be more dangerous to children than to adults.

The children are employed to retrieve metal parts, mostly made of either aluminium or copper, for sale.

Greenpeace said container-loads of old and often broken computers, monitors and TVs arrive in Ghana from Germany, Korea, Switzerland and the Netherlands “under the false lable of ’second-hand goods’”.

“Unless companies eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their electronic products and take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products, this poisonous dumping will continue,” Martin Hojsik, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner was quoted as saying.

“Electronics companies must not allow their products to end up poisoning the poor around the world,” he said

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'Zero-energy' pilot homes planned at Fort Campbell


FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Environmental designers and green architects are meeting this week at Fort Campbell to plan what they say will be the first "zero-energy" homes on a U.S. military installation.

The two duplexes would incorporate solar panels and geothermal technology to produce as much energy as they consume from the power grid over a year.

Patrick Tahaney, development manager for Actus Lend Lease, the private company that is building the homes, said Tuesday the project is still in the design phase and won't be completed until 2010.

But Tahaney says the military hopes the project will be a starting point for finding ways to reduce energy costs for its housing on bases worldwide.

"If you look the consumption rates and how much we're paying for power these days, I think the Department of Defense housing used about 11 trillion Btu (British thermal unit) of power in 2007," he said.

Actus, which manages Fort Campbell Family Housing and has built 400 new homes on the base since 2003, dedicated $500,000 to transform their designs for a two-family duplex into a zero-energy home. The project is also funded with a $870,000 grant from the Department of Defense.

Although the actual cost of the homes hasn't been determined, the military will be monitoring the construction costs and performance of the homes over time, Tahaney said.

"The intent is to take all of the lessons learned in the technologies, see how they perform over time and disseminate that information, not only to other military housing projects, but to other private housing," he said.

Cyanobacteria: The Next Big Biofuel?

Cyanobacteria can convert up to 10 percent of the sun’s energy into biomass. This is a drastic improvement over the 1 percent rate of crops like corn and sugarcane, as well as the 5 percent rate of algae.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ziggurat: Dubai Carbon Neutral Pyramid will House 1 Million

The Mayans and Egyptians constructed incredible feats of architecture able to weather the test of time, but they had no idea their pyramids would inspire the shape of the latest carbon-neutral super-structure to hit Dubai.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 25, 2008

AP: Drinking Water of 41 Million Americans Contaminated

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

read more | digg story

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles