Posted in Environment, Science, Technology

Science Guy Bill Nye Explains How Wind and Solar Can Power the Entire World

The technology is there; unexploited renewable resources exist around the world – enough to end all reliance on fossil fuels. So why aren’t governments listening?

 

American actor and CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye, popularly known as the Science Guy, has claimed there’s enough wind and solar to power the world. In an interview with CNN, Nye has also called out CNN for having essentially a climate change denier meteorologist.

“The big unexploited renewable resource on the East Coast of the United States, and Canada and Mexico, is wind. So, I encourage you, I am not a member of this, but I encourage everybody to check out The Solutions Project, a bunch of civil engineers who have done an analysis that you could power the United States, you could power most of the world, renewably if you just decided to do it, right now.”


 

“There’s enough wind and solar resources, a little bit of tidal and some geothermal, to run the whole place… Then you would not need to have a military on the other side of the world protecting oilfields. People would not be as motivated to set oilfields on fire if we had renewable electricity.”

 

 

Last year, Nye, who started as a mechanical engineer at Boeing but who is now on a mission to combat scientific ignorance and fight against climate change, brought the point home when he insisted climate change could be fixed because we’ve already got everything we need. He told The National Geographic:

“There’s enough energy in most places — wind, solar, tidal and geothermal — to run the whole world. What we need is to DO IT. We need to get started. What we want to do is provide electricity, worldwide communication via the Internet, and clean water to everyone in the world. This is absolutely doable from an engineering standpoint. But to get it done in a timely fashion we have to enact a fee on carbon dioxide production and the release of methane. If we had this policy change, we could change the world.”

The Solutions Project Nye referred to in the CNN interview is a California-based nonprofit founded by prominent figures in science, business and entertainment such as Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson, banker Marco Krapels, documentary filmmaker and activist Josh Fox, and Hollywood actor and activist Mark Ruffalo.

bill nye

The organization is not just focused on helping the United States transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2050; it also suggests future energy mix to achieve the zero-emission target for 139 different countries around the world. The Solutions Project also describes in percentages the type of renewable energy that can be used, depending on their location and the weather patterns typically present in that area.

When there are solutions and plans to safely replace the old, destructive energy of oil, coal and gas with natural renewable energy, there are no prizes for guessing why the governments and the oil and gas companies want to turn a deaf ear to such feasible options.

 

 

Science Guy Bill Nye Explains How Wind and Solar Can Power the Entire World by Vandita licensed under CC.

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Posted in Environment, Food, News

McDonald’s Engages in Massive Fast-Food-Is-Nutritious Propaganda in US High Schools

 

McDonald’s

McDonald’s wants you to believe its diet contains the daily recommended allowances for carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and fat and has even sent an ‘educator’ to schools to spread their message!

Can you lose weight while eating McDonald’s fast food? Well, McDonald’s wants you to believe its diet — which has been proven to be full of unhealthy ingredients — contains the daily recommended allowances for carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and fat; and so, it is healthy to eat and does not cause obesity and the other health ailments, as widely claimed.

Remember when John Cisna, a high school science teacher from Iowa, lost 56 pounds while eating nothing but McDonald’s in 2013? Just so you know, John went for the McDonald’s-only diet, limited his daily intake to 2,000 calories, and exercised for 45 minutes five times a week.

After six months, he lost a total of 21 inches off his chest, waist and hips; his total cholesterol dropped from 249 to 190; from 38, his body mass index came down to 30; and from 280 pounds, his body weight came down to 224 pounds.

I ate 540 straight meals at McDonald’s. I spent a half a year of my life eating nothing but McDonald’s and I know it works so when I hear the skeptics, it doesn’t disgruntle me. It actually fires me up because those are the people that I have to educate,” John insisted in a documentary McDonald’s pedaled to schools as a tool for teaching kids about healthy eating.

As a paid brand ambassador for McDonald’s, he even traveled across the United States promoting the fast food chain to middle and high schoolers, as well as students studying dietetics.

 

The 20-minute documentary, titled 540 Meals: Choices Make The Difference, showed John discrediting the famed documentary Supersize Me and explaining his unconventional weight-loss plan that made him lighter and healthier. While John tried to convince students that McDonald’s fast food is a nutritious, wholesome choice for lunch, McDonald’s swayed them to ignore any negative information about fast food, or McDonald’s, that they may encounter on the Internet. John argued:

“This experiment wasn’t about McDonald’s, this experiment wasn’t about me. This experiment was about teaching kids to use critical skills in making proper choices.”

As expected, experts weren’t impressed. Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York and author of Younger Next Week, told TODAY:

“Much of John’s results have to do with cutting his calorie intake, so it’s not surprising that he lost weight and lowered his cholesterol. But it’s likely his diet was high in sodium, low in fiber and not as rich in vitamins and minerals as it could be because it lacked a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutrient-rich foods.”


“I personally would not recommend this to anyone. Fast food can be part of a healthful, balanced and nutrient-rich diet but it… shouldn’t be a large part. I would advise people trying to lose weight to cook at home more, eat out less, and follow current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

 

 

UPDATE:

Faced with widespread criticism, McDonald’s not only stopped sending John to schools to educate students about nutrition and good habits, the company also stopped supplying related materials, including the 20-minute documentary the critics called a subtle form of fast-food marketing that could imperil kids’ health and understanding of nutrition. Christina Tyler, a McDonald’s spokesperson, said in a statement:

“John’s currently focused on the opportunities that make the most sense for our brand at this time. Specifically, as our brand ambassador, John is currently focused on internal and local community events, and he is not appearing at schools.”

In his response, John told The Washington Post:

“My focus has always been to encourage people to exercise and make more informed choices about food. Now I’m focused on and enjoying talking to employees and community groups about my story of choice and balance.”

 

 

McDonald’s Engages in Massive Fast-Food-Is Nutritious Propaganda in US High Schools by Vandita licensed under CC

Posted in Environment, Technology, Uncategorized

Grow Your Own Food Throughout the Year with the Cost and Energy Efficient Micro-Climate System

As the population keeps on increasing, so too will humans have to keep searching for food, water and other basic necessities of life. The Greenhouse of the Future may have the solution to our problem.

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Some observers have predicted that the world will soon face a population crisis. According to the United Nations, the world’s population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. This means the world now has a population of more than 7 billion people. It has been projected that by the middle of this century, the population will reach 10 billion. Some experts even put the figure higher.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

As the population keeps increasing, humans will have to keep searching for food, water and other basic necessities to continue living. The world is already running out of fresh water, and currently, food is also becoming increasingly scarce. Increasing unreliable weather patterns, due to climate change, is causing crops to fail. Needless to say, Western countries are certainly not immune to this effect. The recent Californian drought in the United States caused many crops to fail.

By 2050, if the weather patterns continue to worsen, our situation will not be pleasant. The world will face a disaster: food will become very scarce and many will probably die of starvation. Already, it happens in some parts of the world.

However, some people are determined to find alternative ways to produce food without relying on the unstable natural climate.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

A team of innovators from Quebec, Canada, have developed an eco-friendly and exceptionally cost-effective solution to our food problems. The facility is a sort of micro-climate that allows people to grow their food all-year round.

 

 

The facility was initiated by Francis Gendron. Gendron realized that our current food system is no longer sustainable, and that we need creative solutions to quickly turn the situation around before things get out of hand. Gendron, together with two friends, Christian Désilets and Curt Close, designed and built a radically different food growing system. The team set out to build a greenhouse that would grow organic food in any climate. They named their invention The Greenhouse of the Future. Their main focus was to create a micro-climate for producing an abundance of food with minimal energy usage and low construction cost.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Greenhouse of the Future combines the principles of Earthships, aquaponics and passive solar greenhouses to grow food. The facility utilizes easy to find recycled materials. It also provides a space for people to connect with nature and relax in warmth during the frigid winter months.

According to Wake-up World.com, The Greenhouse of the Future is designed so that it is partially dug into the ground to take advantage of the earth’s insulating properties. Recycled tires are filled with soil and used for the walls to further help regulate the indoor temperature. When prepared in this manner, the tires absorb heat during the day and then release it at night. In addition, earth tubes are used throughout, heating the interior during the winter and cooling it during warmer weather. Solar panels can be installed on top, making the facility a completely off-grid structure.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Positioning of the greenhouse is crucial. In the northern hemisphere, the clear polycarbonate front-side faces southward to make the most of the sunlight. Situating the greenhouse in this way also puts into service the insulated roof. During the winter months, the roof reflects light towards the plants, whereas in summertime, it helps to protect the crops from extreme temperatures. The facility also utilizes a passive rainwater collection system. Gutters in the roof funnel rain into collection barrels within the greenhouse. Not only does this provide water for the plants, but also increases thermal mass, furthering the regulation of temperature. Aesthetic features include attractive glass bricks pieced together from recycled bottles, cedar siding and a DIY polycarbonate door.

The real beauty of the facility lies within its ingenious design.  It is both eco-friendly and inexpensive to build. With little attention to details, you can build the facility and start growing your own food using the techniques involved.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

“The greenhouse of the future project is a breakthrough for the S.A.F.E (Sustainable Autonomy/Abundance for Everyone) movement because it synthesizes many of the best resilient and passive sustainable technology. It allows anyone to understand and apply them in their own lives, but also encourages people to keep innovating so that together, we can create a climate FOR change”, co-developer, Curt Close said about the facility.

 

 

 

Grow Your Own Food Throughout the Year with the Cost and Energy Efficient Micro-Climate System by Amando Flavio licensed under CC.

Posted in Environment, Technology

Drones cleaning trash in the ocean!

The Waste Shark is about the size of a passenger car and can vacuum up 1,100 pounds of floating trash. Because it can work 24/7, it’s incredibly efficient.

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Picture credit: Richard Hardiman

 

Thanks to the intelligent use of technology, the world’s oceans are already getting a little bit cleaner. This is great news, considering that at present, the world’s oceans are ridden with pollution which kills approximately 1 million seabirds, 300,000 dolphins and porpoises, and 100,000 sea mammals every year.

The Waste Shark is a small aquatic drone that is capable of vacuuming up 1,100 pounds of floating trash. Designed by Richard Hardiman of RanMarine, it’s basically like a Roomba for the ocean. Popular Science reports that the drone has officially embarked upon its first mission: To pick up trash in the waters around Rotterdam before it makes it way out to sea.

The inventor gifted four Waste Shark prototypes to the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the Netherlands. For the next year, the drones will patrol the waters and collect waste to help improve the state of the environment. As Conserve-Energy-Future shares, more innovations with similar application need to be utilized – and soon, because of the amount of trash which is circulating in the waters and affecting wildlife. In the Pacific Ocean, for example, there is an island of trash twice the size of Texas which contains items incapable of breaking down for thousands of years.

WasteShark-768x512.jpg

Picture credit: Richard Hardiman

 

Hopefully, the growth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will decrease as Waste Sharks are put to work in bodies of water around the world. Each drone is approximately the size of a passenger car and picks up trash in a 14-inch “mouth” that extends below the water’s surface. Being autonomous, they’re able to patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week without oversight.

It is Hardiman’s hope that the Waste Sharks eventually help make ocean trash a thing of the past (what a concept!). He explained in a statement:

“It may sound like a strange thing to say for an entrepreneur, but my mission will only truly be accomplished when I’m ‘out of business.’”

That’s a future we can all get excited about. Watch the Waste Shark in motion below!

 

Now that’s one proper use of drones for improving the crisis situation regarding environment! What do you think of this approach? Could there be more such solutions?

 

Drones Are Officially Cleaning Up Ocean Trash [Watch] by  licensed under CC.