Controversy heats up over removal of Lower Snake River dams as orcas suffer losses

Originally Published on seattletimes.com on September 22, 2018 By Lynda V. Mapes

Orca survival may be impossible without Lower Snake River dam removal, scientists say
The Ice Harbor dam on the Snake River is seen near Pasco. (Bob Brawday /The Tri-City Herald, 2013)

The Ice Harbor dam on the Snake River is seen near Pasco. (Bob Brawday /The Tri-City Herald, 2013)

Southern resident orcas that frequent Puget Sound may not survive without breaching the Lower Snake River dams to help the salmon the orcas live on, scientists say.

Leading killer-whale scientists and researchers are calling for removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River and a boost of water over the dams to save southern resident killer whales from extinction.

The scientists sent a letter Monday to Gov. Jay Inslee and co-chairs of a governor’s task force on orca recovery.

The whales need chinook — their primary prey — year round, scientists state in their letter, and the spring chinook runs in particular returning to the Columbia and Snake are among the most important. That is because of the size, fat content and timing of those fish, making them critical for the whales to carry them over from the lean months of winter to the summer runs in the Fraser River, the scientists wrote.
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The need for Columbia and Snake river fish is so acute, “we believe that restoration measures in this watershed are an essential piece of a larger orca conservation strategy. Indeed, we believe that southern resident orca survival and recovery may be impossible to achieve without it.”

Based on the science and the urgency of the current threats confronting the southern residents, the scientists recommended two top priorities for the task force in its recommendations for orca recovery: Immediately initiate processes to increase the spill of water over the dams on the Columbia and Snake, to create more natural river conditions, and to breach the Lower Snake River dams.

The letter comes as the death of three southern resident orcas in four months last summer, one from L pod and two in J pod, have added fuel to the long running-campaign to free the Snake.

Lower Snake River dam removal has been debated in the region for decades as a way to boost salmon runs. Three federal judges in a row in five rulings since 1994 also have called for an overhaul of hydropower operations by federal agencies at eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers to boost salmon survival, including a serious look at dam removal. The latest court review now underway will not be concluded until 2021.

However, the scientists called for urgent action now because the orcas are continuing to decline and need food. “Orca need more chinook salmon available on a year-round basis as quickly as possible,” the scientists wrote.

As orca advocates joined forces with dam busters, BPA has pushed back. In a recent press briefing, BPA managers said the Columbia and Snake produce only some of the fish the orcas use, and that the four Lower Snake River dams are important to the region.

The whales depend on chinook from rivers all over Puget Sound as well as the from the Fraser, Columbia and Snake rivers, a recent listing of fish runs important to the whales shows.

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The first 15 salmon stocks on the priority list include fall, spring and summer Chinook salmon runs in rivers spanning from British Columbia to California, including the Fraser, Columbia, Snake and Sacramento rivers, as well as several rivers in Puget Sound watersheds.

Columbia and Snake rivers were once the biggest chinook producers in the world, but recovery efforts have been a long struggle.

Hatchery chinook recently have been surging, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows. Yet even good returns are a fraction of historic numbers. Wild runs have remained far below the level of adult returns required for recovery — let alone to prevent extinction.

Signing the letter were Sam Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington, and Deborah Giles, who is resident scientist at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs and the science and research director for the nonprofit Wild Orca.

Their research shows a steady increase in mortality and orca pregnancy failure due to lack of adequate food. Today the orca population among the southern residents stands at just 74 individual whales — a 35-year low.

As early chinook runs have declined on the Fraser, Columbia River fish runs have become even more important, Wasser said. “If they didn’t have that Columbia River infusion, they would really be cooked. … The Columbia replenishes you, and sustains you until the Fraser peaks. I don’t think unless you have those Columbia runs you can save these whales.”

Also signing the letter was David Bain, chief scientist for the nonprofit Orca Conservancy, and Katherine Ayers and other scientists whose work has documented that vessel noise disrupts orca feeding. That disruption, as well as toxins in the food chain, are more harmful to orcas when they do not have enough food, because the orcas when hungry metabolize the toxins stored in their fat.

The letter comes as the governor’s task force on orca recovery is set to convene one of its last meetings before making its recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee, due Nov. 16.

The meetings are scheduled for all day Wednesday and Thursday at the Tacoma Landmark Convention Center at 47 St. Helens Ave., in the Plaza Grand Ballroom.

The agenda includes three hours scheduled for public testimony between 5 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday. A summary of public comments shows a bigger consensus for Lower Snake River Dam removal than for any other action considered for orca recovery.
Lynda V. Mapes: 206-464-2515 or lmapes@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @LyndaVMapes. Lynda specializes in coverage of the environment, natural history, and Native American tribes.

Sac Sustainable Business Awards 2018

golden 1Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Sacramento Area Sustainable Business Awards Expo at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA.  It was such a cool event.  Best part was it was free.  As we arrived, we were able to check out some really cool cars.  Tesla’s, Nissan Leaf, Honda Fuel Cell and more.

val tesla

Valerie, a Health Coach and Johnny, a Videographer checking out the Tesla’s.  

Once we arrived inside the beautiful Golden 1 center, there was a free contentinenal breakfast which was really good.  It was all locally grown and zero waste as well.  Major score!!

Congresswoman Doris Matsui was there and she gave a little speech about how awesome Sacramento is and their sustainable way of life.  Also Aran Rush, Vice President of Arena Operations for the Sacramento Kings discussed how smart the Golden1 Center actually is.    It has solar panels and also gets its energy from a solar farm.

2018 Award Winners

Cocktails

The Award for Water Conservation goes to Veg Cafe which is a Thai Restaurant.  They do many things to conserve.  They allow you to take only the amount of water that you will drink.  All water that is left over is used to water the plants and also they use it to flush the toilets.  What a cool restaurant.  I definitely want to go there.  The food and beverages looks amazing!!

The Award for Transportation and Air Quality goes to Taylor’s Market & Kitchen.  I can’t remember why they got it to be honest but hey they did something to get the recognition.  Way to go Taylor’s Market & Kitchen

The Award for Pollution Prevention goes to Roxy Restaurant & Bar.  They get their food locally and they compost. They are a Farm to Fork restaurant.  Can’t wait to try this place!!

roxy

The Award for Solid Waste Reduction goes to Gutterglove Inc. They have removed 4500 tons of waste from the landfill. Wow that’s a lot of waste!!  Thank you so much!!!  You’re a rockstar!!

The Award for Energy Conservation goes to Datacate, Inc.  It’s a Virtual Data Center with Cloud computing and all kinds of cool stuff!! Congratulations!!

The Award for Green Building goes to Clark Pacific. Their core value is to be sustainable. They built the 49ers Stadium and are working on the Warriors Arena as well.

Honorable Mentions: Sacramento Eco Fitness, Refill Madness, Cal Family Fitness, Tim’s Music,  Dream Coffee.

I had the opportunity to check out the bikes with Sacramento Eco Fitness and you can watch the video here:


The BERC Sacramento Area Sustainable Business (SB) program certifies businesses that voluntarily adopt environmentally friendly practices in any one of the above areas.  This certification is provided free of charge due to sponsorship of the following:

Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento County Department of Water Resources, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), SACRAMENTO REGIONAL COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, Sacramento Regional solid Waste Authority (SWA), Environmental Management Department, Environmental Management Department, Business Environmental Resource Center, US Small Business Administration, California Farm Fresh to You, Sacramento Metro Chamber, Dr. Bing Gu, CEO California Sunlight, SAC EV.

This was such an amazing event!!  I’ll definitely come again next year.  There’s so much happening that’s wonderful in the world.  And this was definitely an opportunity to meet some amazing people that are taking positive action.  They are not just complaining but choosing to do it the right way.  I’m so grateful to have attended this event.  It gave me so much hope for out beautiful world.  A world  that is coming together in Unity to heal our Dear Beloved Mother Earth.

Please Follow my blog to heal the world.  Also have you heard about the new Climate Economy.  $900,000,000,000,000.00 by 2030.  That’s $900 Trillion dollars to be invested world wide by 2030.  Read the comprehensive Climate Economy Report.  It’s comprehensive but well worth the read.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and  a Yoga Instructor.  She has a passion for  Singing and Dance.  She believes as you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  To learn more about Zero Waste Eco skin and hair care click here.  For Eco friendly products that need to be purchased globally to reduce waste  click here.

 

The New Climate Economy

earth space cosmos

Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

While the Global Climate Action Summit ended yesterday.  But it actually united so many nations,cities and it ignited theThe New Climate Economy.  This is a short post about everything that you need to know about what’s coming so you can get ready.

This is an awesome time in our world.  All of the beautiful people coming together with one agenda in mind.  To heal our dear wonderful beautiful Mother Earth.

Thank you for all the beautiful people who made this possible.  You are an answer to many prayers and I will support and promote everything I can.  We are so intelligent and creative.  Let’s tap into all of the divine creativity within us all and may all people have a complete spiritual awakening.

Clean air, land and water are our right and future.  We can all come together in Unity and I do now feel that world peace is possible.

Now let’s just relax and celebrate all of these amazing victories.  Read about what’s happening here.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach who loves Mother Earth.  She believes that as you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  To support Eco Friendly products, go here.Val_Red Curtain

 

Balloons and Wildlife: Please Don’t Release Your Balloons

Originally Published on www.fws.gov on August 5, 2015

Balloons and Wildlife Please Don't Release Your Balloons

Credit: USFWS

Balloons are great at birthdays, weddings, graduations and more, but once they get loose, balloons can pose a threat to many animals.

Balloons and Wildlife Please Don't Release Your Balloons_2

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them.

In addition, many animals can become entangled in balloon strings, which can strangle them or hurt their feet and hands.

For example, more than a hundred balloons were recently collected at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey at a cleanup, and that’s just the number that made it to this one particular beach.

Balloons and Wildlife Please Don't Release Your Balloons_3

Credit: Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program

Some of the following pictures are hard to look at, but they make clearer than any words why we all should find alternatives to letting a balloon go.

Balloons and Wildlife Please Don't Release Your Balloons_4

Credit: Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response ProgramPhoto: Pamela Denmon, USFWSPhoto: USFWS Eastern Shore of VA and Fisherman Island NWR Sea turtles are especially hit hard as they surface to breathe and eat and commonly eat balloons.

Entrepreneurs Call To Action at Global Climate Action Summit

Originally published on Global Climate Action Summit.org on July 29, 2018 by Feature Pressroom Summit News
Entrepreneurs Call To Action at Global Climate Action Summit
Energy Nexus July 29, 2018
This is a call for signatories for the Global Climate Action Summit from September 12-14, 2018. It builds on the Entrepreneurs Call to Action Statement presented at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit this September in San Francisco, entrepreneurs from all over the world have issued an Entrepreneurs Call To Action for world leaders to scale their cleantech innovations that alter the course of climate change and enable sustainable energy for all.

The Entrepreneurs Call To Action already has 62 signatories from 25 countries and our goal is to recruit 1000 signatories by September. SIGN THE CALL TO ACTION STATEMENT HERE (takes 3 minutes)

WE ARE THE DISRUPTORS. WE WANT TO GROW FASTER.

We are some of the thousands of cleantech business women and men, founders and starters, workers and builders, commonly known as entrepreneurs, from all corners of the world that have the solutions ready to help our customers to lower their cost, achieve better performance and improve their lives without the need of harmful fossil fuel emissions.

We are forerunners in all areas of daily life, providing solutions that address human needs for shelter, mobility, food, water, heating and materials – powered by clean, renewable energy. We also represent a myriad of labs, incubators, accelerators and ecosystems supporting these startups to succeed. We build goods and service delivery organizations, companies, social enterprises and projects in the face of a failing incumbency to address the conditions of over a billion people waiting for modern energy services.

We develop and deliver these services in new efficient ways and explore new business models where this can be done faster and cleaner as part of a circular economy. Together we can provide cooling, heating, steam, cooking and water treatment for rich and poor using renewable energy, energy efficiency across traditional industries, biogas displacing fossil alternatives, performance materials inspired by nature, and infrastructure and power for zero emissions transport. Our solutions enable super-efficient buildings so they can produce more energy than they consume, ever more efficient renewable energy production, energy storage, remanufacturing, optimization of the growth of plants, removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and agriculture based negative emission solutions and much, much more. We provide more jobs than the fossil fuel industry per unit of energy and we feel proud in taking real actions for a sustainable world. The more we grow, the faster emissions will shrink.

The more we grow, the more people will have access to sustainable energy. The more we grow, the closer we will be to a full decarbonisation of the global economy.

YOU NEED TO SCALE UP THESE SOLUTIONS. EXPONENTIALLY.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that the rate of adoption of clean energy must accelerate six-fold for us to meet our Paris commitments, which means we need many millions of companies to start and scale up solutions – fast – in years to come. The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco must be where we begin to accelerate this:

  • GCAS must be where we learn to harness innovation for the solution to the great challenges of our times: climate change and social inequality. We must set the course towards an equitable and just transition that limits warming to 1.5°C degrees, protects people and biodiversity and builds a climate resilient future. Moving towards a fossil fuel free energy system – which we should reach no later than 2050 and preferably long before – can address both problems with clean electricity and mobility services, more jobs and opportunity for all. As part of this renewable energy powered transition we can and must aim for universal energy access by latest 2030. The world must keep moving in this direction. We must all aim at the lower range of our finite carbon budget and see a global greenhouse gas emissions peak by latest 2020 and roughly halve global emissions each decade thereafter towards a carbon neutral global economy by 2050.
  • GCAS is where we start a new quest for the best and brightest of the 21st century to challenge the incumbent industries with better products and better services that do not destroy the climate but help us build resilience.
  • GCAS comes a year after wind and solar project finance more than doubled the finance flowing into coal, oil, gas projects globally – but that is not enough. We need the financial sector to align their portfolios with a well below 2°C-or-better future and invest at three or more times the rate into the new companies and asset classes of clean energy, especially in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa. GCAS should seek to ensure the scaling up of climate finance from developed countries towards the promised $100 billion per year by 2020. We need to continue phasing out perverse public subsidies towards fossil fuels in various shapes and forms, not least to halt some countries going “back to the past” in support of coal.
  • GCAS needs to reaffirm governments commitment to science-based targets and policy instruments that support innovative solution providers that have everything to gain from a rational playing field. In a fair competition we win. It is encouraging to see large corporates, including the tech sector so prevalent in San Francisco, buying 100% renewables to control costs and contribute to solution but we ask them to do more in their supply chains and in support of innovation across the globe. The new energy economy is going to be a $120 trillion opportunity space according to some forecasts in the time period of the Paris agreement – strategic investment will favor the bold. We will consider corporates that have alignment with a well below 2°C-or-better scenario as part of their value proposition an important factor when we look for venture partners. We will seek corporates, investors, cities and regions that actively explore ways to support entrepreneurs innovating to overcome the climate challenge in their value chains. Those willing to actively share the risk in exploring better ways of doing business in an efficient and fully renewable energy based future, whilst reaping the rewards in lower costs and increased revenue of getting there before others.

With the investment of large corporates and financiers we can change the world. We are. With the will of the leaders gathered in San Francisco, we can do it faster. If you undo the distortions protecting the incumbents and at the very least get out of our way and ideally get on our good ship of clean energy we will make it happen. We the entrepreneurs, startups and startup support organizations of the world commit to this journey with all that we have got. Our ingenuity and sweat will be poured into the problems of our times, We will hasten our progress to the destination, which has gone from being impossible to one which is now inevitable – a world powered with clean energy. Our only question is can we all, working together, make it happen in time?

As world leaders you have the power to propel us forward, inspiring citizens to become proud actors, aiders and abetters of change. You set the markets and the pace. You cannot hesitate to put these solutions into place. We all must be disruptive. Together we must push forward in creating best-in-class, modern energy solutions for all. This needs to happen from today – at full speed.

Within the next decade, we have a window of opportunity to turn the climate boat around into safer waters. We can still set the world on track to continuously build resilience and manage climate risks with minimal loss and damage through 2050 and beyond. The solutions are already here, ready to be scaled. Now – help us and hundreds of thousands of blueocean-chasing cleantech entrepreneurs to speedwell. Thank you for your work and service.

Eco Friendly Buyer’s Guide

Let me just start with saying that I am not receiving any endorsements or kick backs from any of these companies.  I like that I can just be independent and if I find something that is awesome, I can freely discuss it and not have to feel like I am bought and paid for. So just for the record, these are items that I have found at my local grocery store, Nugget Markets.  They do have quite a few Eco Friendly products and it’s worth it for our planet to support these companies and also you can go on line to purchase as well.

if you care

1)The First product is called “IF YOU CAREPaper Snack & Sandwich Bags.”  I did purchase these and they give you 48 bags that are compostable, unbleached and totally chlorine free.  They have no Paraffin Wax, Not chemically treated  and it keeps bread soft up to 6 hours.  It’s also has all of these approvals from FSC, VINCOTTE that it’s OK to compost, USDA Certified BIOBASED PRODUCT.  Usually my kid puts just snack type items in them.  Such as crackers or chips.  But I feel so good knowing that I don’t have to use those wretched plastic sandwich baggies which are killing marine line and are made from Petroleum products.  So big shout out to Nugget for carrying this product.

beverage in clear wine glass

Photo by Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net on Pexels.com

2) World Centric has compostable straws.  (I couldn’t use the image due to copyright) They are made from corn not petroleum.  I think this is a great alternative for plastic straws.   It’s understandable to use them when driving or if you have small kids or if you have a disability or a medical procedure.  So if you really need them then they do have these at Nugget or you can order them from here.  

Other options include stainless steel, glass and bamboo.  Also they have them made out of cookies as well.

chico bag

3)Chico Bags are super convenient and cool.  They break down into these small little bags you can keep in your purse.  And when you need it, you can open it up and have a bag in two shakes of a lambs tail.  These are available at Nugget or you can get it here.

TP

4)  I tried to find some toilet paper that was not in plastic.  They did have toilet paper that  was from recycled paper but it was wrapped in plastic.  So that defeats the whole purpose of having sustainable toilet paper.  There is a Toilet Paper called Who Gives A Crap.  They give money to build toilets.  So you can feel good when you use toilet paper and you can buy it here.

forks

5)These Repurpose utensils are BPA Free, Plant renewable and compostable. What more do you need?  These are so awesome and anyone who buys these is a rock star and an official Earth Angel.  So all you have to do is buy this kind of stuff and you are an Official Earth Angel.  Thanks for caring and you can order these here.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Plogger.  (Jogging and picking up trash) She’s on a mission to spread the news about living a more sustainable life style. The more Eco Friendly items people use the less harm to the ocean and marine life. Thanks for caring.

Top 6 Reasons Plogging is Awesome

What is Plogging?  It is jogging and picking up trash =Plogging.  We’ll get straight to the reasons.  We’ll count down like the Casey Casem Top 40.

6)  You’re outside getting fresh air.  Most people spend too much time inside.  But with Plogging you have to be outside to do it.  Otherwise, you’re just cleaning your house.  We all know being outside has many benefits from getting Vitamin D to Fresh air.  So get outside and Plog away.

photo of person wearing white t shirt holding tree trunk

Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

5) You find some pretty cool stuff.  I found $20 the other day just laying there waiting for me.  I haven’t checked to see if it’s counterfeit or not.  I also found an I Phone adapter, plastic bottles, cans which I recycle, a shirt that say, “Shut the Fuck Up.”  I mean what else do you need in life after you have this shirt?

achievement-bar-business-chart-40140.jpeg

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

4)  You do get a work out.  When you start picking up trash, you can squat and lunge as you pick up trash.  Pretty soon you will begin to feel your legs getting a little tired.  So you definitely get a leg work out!!  (Make sure you use good form when you pick up trash.  Once you really get into it, you will want to invest in a grabber to give your legs a break.

city exercise fun girl

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

After she ties her shoes she can pick up some trash while she’s down there.

3)  It can be a social event.  I joined a group of Ploggers and met some really cool people.  Everyone is really nice and it’s a great way to meet new people.  There’s actually a group that also kayaks and picks up trash on Rivers and Lakes too.  So if you want to do that, there’s always that too.

2) Because you are doing something good, you suddenly begin to get really good luck.  You generate a lot of good Karma and good things just start coming to you.  This you will have to just try to see if it works.  If you’ve been a jerk lately, go Plogging and then quit being a jerk after that.

shallow focus photography of four leaf clover

Photo by Djalma Paiva Armelin on Pexels.com

1)The most important reason is that you are helping Mother Earth and all of the marine life.  You are also helping our planet to be cleaner and healthier thereby creating a healthy world and you can be the change you want to see in the world.

beach child clouds cold

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

So remember no matter where you are on the Planet.  You can do this and you will be recognized as an Official Earth Angel.  Mother Earth needs you now and all you have to do is commit to picking up 5 pieces of trash per day.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  She’s on a mission to share the news of how to be kind to Mother Earth.  The good thing is that as you Heal Yourself, You Heal The Planet.

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry

Originally published on Bloomberg.com on April 23, 2018 By Jeremy Hodges

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry

 

A worker charges an electric bus in Shenzhen.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

 

Electric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model.

“Everyone was laughing at BYD for making a toy,” recalled Isbrand Ho, the Shenzhen-based company’s managing director in Europe. “And look now. Everyone has one.”

Suddenly, buses with battery-powered motors are a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transport—and add to the forces reshaping the energy industry. With China leading the way, making the traditional smog-belching diesel behemoth run on electricity is starting to eat away at fossil fuel demand.

The numbers are staggering. China had about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

All this is starting to make an observable reduction in fuel demand. And because they consume 30 times more fuel than average sized cars, their impact on energy use so far has become much greater than the passenger sedans produced by companies from Tesla Inc. to Toyota Motor Corp.

For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market, according to BNEF calculations. This year, the volume of fuel not needed may rise 37 percent to 279,000 barrels a day because of electric transport including cars and light trucks, about as much oil as Greece consumes, according to BNEF. Buses account for about 233,000 barrels of that total.

“This segment is approaching the tipping point,” said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at the London-based research unit of Bloomberg LP. “City governments all over the world are being taken to task over poor urban air quality. This pressure isn’t going away, and electric bus sales are positioned to benefit.”

China is ahead on electrifying its fleet because it has the world’s worst pollution problem. With a growing urban population and galloping energy demand, the nation’s legendary smogs were responsible for 1.6 million extra deaths in 2015, according to non-profit Berkeley Earth.

A decade ago, Shenzhen was a typical example of a booming Chinese city that had given little thought to the environment. Its smog became so notorious that the government picked it for a pilot program for energy conservation and zero emissions vehicles in 2009. Two years later, the first electric buses rolled off BYD’s production line there. And in December, all of Shenzhen’s 16,359 buses were electric.

BYD had 13 percent of China’s electric bus market in 2016 and put 14,000 of the vehicles on the streets of Shenzhen alone. It’s built 35,000 so far and has capacity to build as many as 15,000 a year, Ho said.

BYD estimates its buses have logged 17 billion kilometers (10 billion miles) and saved 6.8 billion liters (1.8 billion gallons) of fuel since they started ferrying passengers around the world’s busiest cities. That, according to Ho, adds up to 18 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution avoided, which is about as much as 3.8 million cars produce in each year.

“The first fleet of pure electric buses provided by BYD started operation in Shenzhen in 2011,” Ho said by phone. “Now, almost 10 years later, in other cities the air quality has worsened while—compared with those cities—Shenzhen’s is much better.”

Other cities are taking notice. Paris, London, Mexico City and Los Angeles are among 13 authorities that have committed to only buying zero emissions transport by 2025.

London is slowly transforming its fleet. Currently four routes in the city center serviced by single-decker units are being shifted to electricity. There are plans to make significant investments to the clean its public transport networks, including retrofitting 5,000 old diesel buses in a program to ensure all buses are emission-free by 2037.

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry_1

A BYD Co. double-decker electric bus at the EV Trend Korea exhibition in Seoul on April 12.Photographer: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg

Transport for London, responsible for the city’s transport system, declined to comment for this article because of rules around engaging with the media ahead of May local government elections.

Those goals will have an impact on fuel consumption. London’s network draws about 1.5 million barrels a year of fuel. If the entire fleet goes electric, that may displace 430 barrels a day of diesel for each 1,000 buses going electric, reducing U.K. diesel consumption by about 0.7 percent, according to BNEF.

Across the U.K. there were 344 electric and plug-in hybrid buses in 2017, and BYD hopes to be picked to supply more. It has partnered with a Scottish bus-maker to provide the batteries for 11 new electric buses that hit the city’s roads in March.

Falkirk-based manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd. began making electric buses in 2016 and has quickly become the European market leader with more than 170 vehicles operating in the U.K. alone.

More work is on the horizon, with London’s transport authority planning a tender to electrify its iconic double-decker buses, Ho said.

“The tech is ready,” Ho said. “We are ready, we have our plants in China, and Alexander Dennis in Scotland is geared up for TfL. Once we’re given the word, we are ready to go.”

(Corrects fifth paragraph to clarify total attributable to buses. )

How Long Does it Take for a Glass Bottle to Degrade in a Landfill?

Originally Published on Education.Seattlepi.com

How Long Does it Take for a Glass Bottle to Degrade in a Landfill

When a dropped glass shatters or a rock chips the car’s windshield, it’s tempting to think of glass as a fragile material. Actually, it’s one of the longest-lasting man-made materials. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services estimates that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment, with conditions in a landfill even more protected. Glass artifacts from glassmaking’s beginnings in Egypt, around 2000 B.C., still exist.

Naturally Occurring Glass

Examples of the long-lasting qualities of glass come from glass made in nature, an opaque material called obsidian. It results from volcanic activity melting silica rock or sand to form black, red, gray, brown or green glass. Natural obsidian deposits were mined by prehistoric peoples to make weapon points, cutting tools, mirrors and other objects. In Iraq, obsidian use dates back to Paleolithic times, around 30,000 BP. In North America, the Obsidian Cliff deposits in Yellowstone National Park were formed about 180,000 years ago and mined by native Americans for more than 10,000 years.

Glass Components

The basic ingredients for glass are silica sand, soda and lime. Other ingredients give glass its color, clarity or opaqueness, and strength. Different minerals give glass color, with gold giving red, manganese purple and cobalt blue. Raw ingredients need very high temperatures — ranging from 2,600 to 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit — to change into molten glass, depending on the composition. Molten glass is pressed, blown, molded, drawn or cast into glass objects. Once formed and cooled, glass doesn’t readily react with other substances to change its structure.

Long-Lasting Glass

Glass items exist from throughout the history of glassmaking, whether they were buried in archaeological remains, sunk in sailing vessels or carefully preserved by collectors. Glass can change in appearance after it is buried, with chemical reactions between the surrounding soil and the glass often resulting in iridescent surfaces. This adds to its beauty but doesn’t detract from its strength. Glass can be brittle or strong, depending on its composition. Older glass is more brittle than modern glass, but this does not affect its decomposition rate in landfills. In landfills, glass isn’t exposed to degradation by wind or erosion.

Recycling Glass

Originally, glass was a rare and precious commodity, because it took so much fuel to melt the ingredients and because of the labor-intensive production. Modern methods allow mass production of glass containers and objects. In 2011, Americans contributed 11.5 million tons of glass to the municipal solid waste stream. Glass lends itself to indefinite recycling without loss of strength. Broken into cullet, recycled glass goes into new containers or to products such as kitchen tiles, wall insulation and abrasives.

The Value of Recycling Glass

Given the long life of glass and the ease with which it can be recycled, it makes sense to recycle glass. As of 2011, Americans recycled more than 3 million tons of glass, an increase from 750,000 tons in 1980. Most recycled glass comes from beverage and food containers. Cullet costs less than virgin glass and saves energy because it melts at a lower temperature, which in turn means lower emissions of greenhouse gases, such as nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to run a computer for 25 minutes, according to British Glass.

From Blogger to Plogger

A blogger is someone who writes a Web Log which has been shortened to Blogger.  I initially started the Blog because I was very concerned for many of my co workers and American Citizens who I had seen become ill and die from stress related issues such as suicide and also many of my old co workers died at a young age from heart disease and just not waking up in the morning.  They were dying too young.  I thought as a Health Coach that starting a Blog would be a great way to share my knowledge.  You see I myself was on a dangerous path.pexels-photo-262218.jpeg

I was very anxious, stressed and I knew if I didn’t get a grip on things, I too would have a shortened life.  Being a Mom, I knew that my daughter needed me to get a grip.  So I decided to learn what I needed to do to heal myself.  I am still on my journey.  I still do experience stress and get depressed at times.  I am a human and we have a wide range of emotions and experiences.

I was born in the 60’s and when I was a child I remember seeing those commercials that said, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.  Never be a dirty bird.”  I really took that to heart and knew that pollution was a bad thing because I did not want to be a “dirty bird.”  So it kind of just stayed with me.  But I wasn’t radical about it.  I just recycled and didn’t litter intentionally.
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Fast forward to 2017 and I realized that there is a Great Pacific Garbage Patch 3 times the size of France.  There is just too much pollution and it’s killing Flipper, Dory, Nemo and too many other marine life for me to mention.  The worst part is that much of this plastic has broken down into micro-plastic and now the fish eat that and so if you eat fish, you are eating micro plastic too.  That is very unappealing to me.  It really pisses me off because I would love to be eating some fish and chips but I can’t enjoy it when I think that I am eating plastic.  So now I don’t eat fish for that reason but that’s not the only one.  So now that kind of pisses me off.  I’m not going to lie and say that I’m happy about not being able to enjoy seafood.  But it’s OK, I don’t need seafood to survive.

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But the Marine Life needs a clean home.  Imagine how you would feel it someone dumped a whole bunch of trash on your front yard, back yard and everywhere you walked there was plastic and then it choked your kid because your kid didn’t know and your child died.  You would be mad AF. And sad!!  Well that’s basically what we are doing to the Marine Life.  They have been on the planet for thousands of years happily enjoying the food chain.

Now they aren’t doing so well.  But luckily The Ocean Clean Up is going to clean the Pacific Ocean starting in 2018.  Thank you so much for starting with the Pacific Ocean.  So now if they are cleaning up this trash from the ocean the last thing we need to be doing is adding more trash to it.  So I decided to do my part which is where the Plogging comes in.

Plogging is jogging and picking up trash.  I don’t jog but I walk and pick it up.  There is no shortage of trash.  It is literally everywhere.  Look around wherever you live.  And I can fill up 4 bags in an hour walk.  I carry as much as I can and then throw it away.  I wear gardening gloves, hiking shoes, hat and I will go behind bushes, go in water ways, hike, go in the streets, anywhere I see it, I will get it.  I kind of consider myself a plastic hunter.  It’s actually fun.  It feels good to get that plastic and put it in its proper place.  But the really cool thing is that I am going to recycle what I can and donate it to the ocean cleanup.

I have to admit I’ve just started doing this because usually I just put it in the Blue Trash Bin and I’m done with it.  But now I want to help out The Ocean Clean Up.  So I haven’t recycled anything yet.  But I’m close to taking it down to the recycling center and getting paid.  I’m sure it won’t be that much.  But I don’t care if it’s $1.00.  Every little bit adds up.

So that is how I went from Blogger to Plogger.  That’s just one of the hats I wear.  My gosh how many hats can one person wear?  But I will say that I need help.  If you are reading this, please for the sake of our planet and future generations, join me in Plogging.  I understand if you are too busy and can’t do it.  I totally get it.  The other things you can do are:

  1. Don’t drink anything from plastic bottles.  It’s bad for you and the planet
  2. Refuse straws!!!!
  3. Take a coffee cup with you when you get coffee
  4. Take a bag with you to the grocery store.
  5.  Donate to me so I can continue to share this message.
  6. Most important DON’T BUY PRODUCE IF IT IS IN PLASTIC.
  7. Eat Fruits and Vegetables, nuts, beans, grains that are not in plastic (glass is fine.)

That’s not too much to ask is it.  And here’s the best part.  Once you start doing this you become an Official Earth Angel.  And because you are now an Earth Angel, you start having amazingly good luck.  Good things will just start coming to you.  But you have to do a little effort on your part.  The other thing you can do if you cannot muster the strength to do any of the above is that you can share this message with people who are like minded.  You know we all have that friend that’s a little crazy for Mother Earth.  Send this article to them.  You’ll still be an Earth Angel.  We just have to do what we can.

Here’s a short video of my puppy Amber and us Plogging.  She loves Plogging.  Please watch here.

Thank you for being Canonized as an Earth Angel.  Just get ready for lots of blessings dear.  Also please follow my Blog and Subscribe to my Youtube channel.