Saturday, October 18, 2008

hypocracy

Lush plant life and exotic wild animals. Formal dinners and luxury accommodations. Twenty five adventurous days in 11 different countries, all reached by private jet. Sounds like a great vacation, sure, but also an expensive exercise in hypocrisy by the World Wildlife Fund.

The organization does an admirable job protecting the world's flora and fauna from the impact of human development and global climate change. We applaud so noble a cause, but it is hard to take the WWF seriously when it organizes a fundraising trip that will spew 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide shuttling well-heeled donors around the globe on a private jet.


The WWF says the tour allows adventurous travelers — those who can pony up the $64,950 ticket price, anyway — to "touch down in some of the most astonishing places on the planet to see the top wildlife, including gorillas, orangutans, rhinos, lemurs and toucans."

Good thing they aren't planning to visit any glaciers.

While the whole thing is way over the top, it's the private jet that really gets us. The 88-seat, luxuriously appointed jet will transport passengers on a whirlwind tour with stops in such far-flung places as the Amazon, Easter Island, Chile, Malaysia, Laos, Nepal and London.

We're not sure what kind of plane the WWF is using — the sales pitch says only that it is "a specially outfitted private jet." But an excellent piece by Steven Milloy in JunkScience notes that flying the 36,000 mile route in a Boeing 757 would burn about 100,000 gallons of jet fuel and produce more than 1,200 tons of CO2. Milloy says that's the same as putting 1,560 SUVs on the road for the three weeks the eco-adventurers are jetting around the world. He uses the WWF's carbon footprint calculator to estimate it would cost $44,000 to offset the emissions — though the WWF's brochure (.pdf) doesn't say anything about offsets.

It gets even harder to take once you read the WWF's mission statement, which states it is committed to "protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources; and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution."

Um, hello?

We disagree with a lot of what Milloy has said in the past — he's dedicated an entire page of his website to debunking the myth of climate change — but in this case he's spot on. An organization that implores us to do our part by carpooling, embracing fluorescent bulbs, replacing our old appliances and taking other steps toward eco-friendliness shouldn't be taking wealthy donors on a 25-day pollution-fest.

The WWF does good work, and like every other nonprofit, it needs money to carry out that work. But a fundraising trip like this is a bad idea. There must be a better way.

hypocracy

Lush plant life and exotic wild animals. Formal dinners and luxury accommodations. Twenty five adventurous days in 11 different countries, all reached by private jet. Sounds like a great vacation, sure, but also an expensive exercise in hypocrisy by the World Wildlife Fund.

The organization does an admirable job protecting the world's flora and fauna from the impact of human development and global climate change. We applaud so noble a cause, but it is hard to take the WWF seriously when it organizes a fundraising trip that will spew 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide shuttling well-heeled donors around the globe on a private jet.


The WWF says the tour allows adventurous travelers — those who can pony up the $64,950 ticket price, anyway — to "touch down in some of the most astonishing places on the planet to see the top wildlife, including gorillas, orangutans, rhinos, lemurs and toucans."

Good thing they aren't planning to visit any glaciers.

While the whole thing is way over the top, it's the private jet that really gets us. The 88-seat, luxuriously appointed jet will transport passengers on a whirlwind tour with stops in such far-flung places as the Amazon, Easter Island, Chile, Malaysia, Laos, Nepal and London.

We're not sure what kind of plane the WWF is using — the sales pitch says only that it is "a specially outfitted private jet." But an excellent piece by Steven Milloy in JunkScience notes that flying the 36,000 mile route in a Boeing 757 would burn about 100,000 gallons of jet fuel and produce more than 1,200 tons of CO2. Milloy says that's the same as putting 1,560 SUVs on the road for the three weeks the eco-adventurers are jetting around the world. He uses the WWF's carbon footprint calculator to estimate it would cost $44,000 to offset the emissions — though the WWF's brochure (.pdf) doesn't say anything about offsets.

It gets even harder to take once you read the WWF's mission statement, which states it is committed to "protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources; and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution."

Um, hello?

We disagree with a lot of what Milloy has said in the past — he's dedicated an entire page of his website to debunking the myth of climate change — but in this case he's spot on. An organization that implores us to do our part by carpooling, embracing fluorescent bulbs, replacing our old appliances and taking other steps toward eco-friendliness shouldn't be taking wealthy donors on a 25-day pollution-fest.

The WWF does good work, and like every other nonprofit, it needs money to carry out that work. But a fundraising trip like this is a bad idea. There must be a better way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

1366 Tech. Opens Innovative Solar Manufacturing Facility

The MIT-founded company has invented both a new cell architecture for multi-crystalline solar cells and a manufacturing process to lower the cost of the cells. The process is so effective that 1366 believes it can make solar cost-competitive with coal by 2012.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Xerox

(NaturalNews) Xerox subsidiary Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has developed a type of paper that, combined with a special printer, can print documents that erase themselves after a day so that the paper can be reused.

Xerox says that 25 percent of all documents get recycled the same day they are printed, and that 44.5 percent are intended only for a single viewing. Using the new printer and paper for one-shot documents like daily menus, work summaries and office memos could vastly reduce paper and energy use, the company said.

"Think of the Google map you printed to get here," PARC Area Manager Eric Shrader said at a product demonstration. "Thirty years ago, we said the future was paperless."

"Despite our reliance on computers to share and process information, there is still a strong dependence on the printed page for reading and absorbing content," said Paul Smith, manager of Xerox's new materials design and synthesis lab.

The new paper is coated with a chemical that turns dark upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In order to create a document, the printer simply bombards the paper with UV radiation in the appropriate places.

While the "ink" will eventually fade on its own, after 16 to 24 hours, the printer can also be used to erase a page and print something new. Tests by Xerox found that if it was not torn or crumpled, a single piece of paper could be put through the print-and-erase cycle hundreds of times.

According to Shrader, it takes 204,000 joules of energy to create a new piece of paper and 114,000 to recycle one. Printing onto a normal sheet of paper uses about 2,000 joules.

It takes only 100 joules to print one page of the special erasable paper. If the printer also has to erase the prior image, printing uses about 1,000 joules of energy.

The erasable paper and ink are available in a variety of colors. Xerox expects to take the new product commercial within the next few years.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pound for Pound, All Life Uses Same Amount of Energy

No matter whether you're talking elephants or bacteria, a new study proposes that, pound for pound, all living things' at-rest metabolisms use similar amounts of energy. Though living things vary greatly in complexity and size, their energy usage falls between 3 and 90 watts per kilogram of biomass.

read more | digg story

House Uses Hydrogen For Power

Hydrogen power is usually associated with vehicles, but a house in the UK is showing that there are a multitude of uses for fuel cells. The grid-connected West Midlands home is powered by hydrogen as part of a £2 million University of Birmingham and Black County Housing Group (BCHG) project.

read more | digg story

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Researchers discover baldness gene: 1 in 7 men at risk

Researchers at McGill University, King's College London and GlaxoSmithKline Inc. have identified two genetic variants in caucasians that together produce an astounding sevenfold increase the risk of male pattern baldness. Their results will be published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature Genetics.

read more | digg story

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles

http://www.ewastedisposal.net