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Archive for the ‘Good Causes’ Category

Recycling the Great Pacific garbage patch

Posted by Charles II on November 16, 2015

Arthur Neslen, The Guardian (h/t Doug, Eschaton):

A crowdfunded 100km-long boom to clean up a vast expanse of plastic rubbish in the Pacific is one step closer to reality after successful tests of a scaled-down prototype in the Netherlands last week.

Further trials off the Dutch and Japanese coasts are now slated to begin in the new year. If they are successful, the world’s largest ever ocean cleanup operation will go live in 2020, using a gigantic V-shaped array, the like of which has never been seen before.

The so-called ‘Great Pacific garbage patch’, made up largely of tiny bits of plastic trapped by ocean currents, is estimated to be bigger than Texas and reaching anything up to 5.8m sq miles (15 sq km). It is growing so fast that, like the Great Wall of China, it is beginning to be seen from outer space, according to Jacqueline McGlade, the chief scientist of the UN environmental programme (Unep).

The Ocean Cleanup project aims to do the technology part with a floating barrier as long as the Karman line that reaches from the sea to outer space.

Posted in environment, Good Causes | 1 Comment »

A real winner

Posted by Charles II on April 22, 2015

DemocracyNow:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we continue to mark Earth Day, we end today’s show with a new report that finds at least two people working to save the environment were killed each week in 2014. In total, the group Global Witness documented the murders of at least 116 environmental activists last year. Three-quarters of them were killed in Central and South America.

AMY GOODMAN: The report is called “How Many More?” It looks in detail at an activist who stood up to a mining project in one of the deadliest countries and survived. Her name is Berta Cáceres, and she is another winner of this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize. This is Berta Cáceres describing how she helped organize indigenous communities in Honduras to resist a hydro dam on the Gualcarque River because it could destroy their water supply.

BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] In more than 150 indigenous assemblies, our community decided that it did not want that hydroelectric dam.

NARRATOR: Berta filed complaints with the Honduran government and organized peaceful protests in the nation’s capital. As her visibility increased, she became a target for the government.

BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] We denounced this dam and were threatened with smear campaigns, imprisonment and murder. But nobody heard our voices, until we set up a roadblock to take back control of our territory.

NARRATOR: For well over a year, the Lenca maintained the roadblock, withstanding harassment and violent attacks. Tragically, Rio Blanco community leader Tomás Garcia was shot by the Honduran military at a peaceful protest.

BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] Seeing this man murdered, the community became indignant, forcing a confrontation. The company was told that they had to get out.

PROTESTER: [translated] We have 500 people here, and we are Rio Blanco comrades. We will defend Rio Banco, and we will not let them pass.

BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] And that is how Sinohydro left Rio Blanco. But it cost us in blood.

AMY GOODMAN: Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Prize, as well. For more, we’re joined by Billy Kyte, campaigner for Global Witness, author of their new report, “How Many More?

AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us a little more about the 2015 Goldman Prize winner who we just played a clip of, Berta Cáceres, and her significance and what she’s doing in Honduras?

BILLY KYTE: Well, she’s an emblematic case. I mean, she’s a very courageous activist. She fights for indigenous rights, but also women’s rights, as well. Her leadership in COPINH, indigenous network in Honduras, has been inspirational for many, many people. She’s suffered threats against her life. Two of her children have had to flee the country because of these threats. She continues to receive threats. Even recently, she received attempted plans to kidnap her. And despite this, she still struggles on with the fight to protect indigenous areas and the rivers of the Rio Blanco community.

Berta Caceres was one of the strongest resisters of the 2009 coup. She is a real winner.

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things, Honduras | Comments Off on A real winner

For a worthy cause

Posted by Charles II on March 6, 2013

Speaking of the Central American massacres, The Consortium needs coin, on an urgent basis:

From Editor Robert Parry: After paying our writers for their original work last month, Consortiumnews is down to two-weeks-worth of money in its bank account. If you agree that this experiment in independent investigative journalism is important, please contribute what you can.

Your donations can be made by credit card at the Consortiumnews.com Web site or by check to: Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201. To use PayPal, our account is named after our e-mail address: “consortnew @ aol.com”

Bob Parry, of course, was one of a handful of reporters who told the American people what was being done in their name during the 1980s in Central America. Without him, the torture and mass murders done under Reagan and Bush the Greater might still be unknown to Americans.

[added by MEC] Consortium News is a 501(c)3 organization, so your donation may be tax-deductible.

Posted in Good Causes | 1 Comment »

If you can help JP, please do so

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2011

America should not be this way.

Posted in Good Causes | 2 Comments »

Good News From The Biomass Front

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 6, 2010

The Kreidermachers show how it’s done.

From the Sustainability page on their website:

Everything grown onsite – our family grows everything on the farm starting from seeds or small cuttings of plants, so there is no trucking of finished plants before you purchase them in our retail greenhouse. We have a special production greenhouse with open roof vents (below), so we don’t need to run fans to cool the greenhouse and plants get direct sun making them adapt faster when you take them home.

Water conservation – for several decades we’ve watered all the plants thru “ebb and flow” benching (below), which means we pump water into the bench, let the plants soak up the water and then drain the remainder back into a tub at the end of the bench to save for the next watering. Besides saving a lot of water, the plants stay healthier since the foliage isn’t getting wet (and susceptible to disease). For nearly the past decade, we’ve taken the next step by collecting rain water onsite and using it to water the plants. We also have rain collection barrels for customers to use at home.

Heating thru renewable energy sources – as everyone is concerned about the increasing cost of gas for their cars/trucks, we’ve been seeing even sharper increases in natural gas prices for heating the greenhouses over the past decade. Eric and Paul have changed the greenhouse heating to bio-mass boilers (above) and currently working on making our own pellets from native prairie grasses, corn stover, etc., which are better renewable energy sources. See Alternative Energy Solutions, LLC for more.

Natural liquid Daniels Fertilizer – everyone comments on how healthy our plants look. We credit some of that to the fact that for more than ten years we have used a liquid fertilizer that is much “friendlier” to plants. It’s a natural fertilizer, made from soybean extract, and thereby doesn’t burn the plant’s roots if it’s stressed. We also sell the Daniels Fertilizer in the retail for use at home.

Soil Mix made with renewable resources – we’ve been working for years to get the right mix of components to grow in, and in the past few years we’ve been primarily looking at alternatives to peat moss. Our soil mix (pictured below) is now primarily made with Coir (Coconut fiber) and Rice hulls. We also make a soil mix especially formulated for container gardening that can be purchased in our retail.

Organic pest & disease control – We don’t like having to spray chemicals anymore than our customers, so we’ve been experimenting with beneficial bugs and compost teas. We still need to do more work to understand how it all works, but so far it seems to be looking very promising. Customers are always asking for “safer” means of treating bugs and fungus on their plants at home. We have the best organic products on the market.

Bio-degradable pots & baskets – for a number of years we’ve used fiber hanging baskets and perennial pots, as well as Rice hull pots for the annuals. Both the fiber and rice hull pots will break down in a compost pile or landfill within 2-3 years, but unfortunately they don’t break down fast enough to leave the plants in them when you plant in the ground. Our goal, beyond getting rid of the use of plastics, is to find a pot that you can just put in the ground with your plant still in it and the roots will go right thru the pot. We’re getting closer this year with a new pot (pictured below) for the vegetables that has slits for the roots to grow right thru.

We’re never done searching for ways to improve the way we grow or “greener” ways to do it. We’ll be sure to keep updating on what we’re doing.

Posted in energy, environment, family values, farming, food, gardening, global food crisis, global warming, Good Causes, Good Things, Minnesota, sustainability | 3 Comments »

Good News For (And From) A Good Guy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 2, 2010

Jerome a Paris, aka Jerome Guillet, French energy banker and wind power developer, has some good news:

As you may remember, I created my own company earlier this year, after 15 years in the banking world, to help developers find money to build their renewable energy projects, in particular in the offshore wind sector where I’ve been involved in the past 5 years.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that the first transaction to happen with my new company’s help was signed last week last week.

Here’s what happened:

C-Power NV, a Belgian wind farm developer, signed a $1.16 billion loan agreement for its Thornton Bank wind power project off the nation’s coast, the largest ever for the offshore industry.

A group of seven commercial banks will provide non-recourse construction financing together with the Danish export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden, its German counterpart Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs AG and the European Investment Bank, according to a statement released today by C-Power.

“While offshore wind asset finance will not anytime soon be characterized by frequent project financings, this deal is the closest the sector has to a template,” Charlie Hodges, a wind industry analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in London.

Posted in energy, Good Causes, Good Things, wind power | Comments Off on Good News For (And From) A Good Guy

Do-gooders

Posted by Charles II on November 13, 2010

For those who admire the work of Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health, Sixty Minutes is doing a segment on their work in Haiti this Sunday: here.

Dr. David Walton has been working with “Partners in Health” in Haiti for over a decade and talks to Byron Pitts about the cholera outbreak in the earthquake-stricken country. Pitts reports Haiti this Sunday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things, Haiti, health issues, international | 3 Comments »

Solar Roadways: Inching Closer To Saving Us

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 26, 2010

The Solar Roadways people are inching ever closer to saving our keisters:

On Thursday, GE (GE) announced that Solar Roadways was the top community vote-getter in the company’s $200 million Ecomagination challenge. Although the winners won’t be formally announced until next month, Solar Roadways received the most votes among the community and was awarded a $50,000 prize.

[…]

As the electric car passes over the [solar-powered] road, it receives a charge from the road itself. One method for the power transfer involves induction, in which a magnet under the car would draw power as it travels over the road. Additionally, Brusaw’s prototype involves embedding LED lights into the road for navigation or safety signals.

The DoT’s impressed enough that it’s encouraged Solar Roadways to apply for a $750,000 grant on top of the $100,000 one the DoT gave them last year. They’re also urging the Brusaws to start with parking lots first, and to work with businesses such as McDonald’s and various big-box stores to retrofit their parking lots so people can charge their cars while they shop or eat.

Another thing that’s occurred to me: The big holdup here is developing a glass that can withstand 18-wheelers, frost heaves, and vandals. But that’s not insurmountable — and it’ll be a far easier nut to crack than fusion power’s proved to be. Plus, once that’s solved, whoever owns the patent on that super-glass is going to give Bill Gates a run for his money in the Richer-than-God department, as that glass will have potential uses far beyond solar roadways.

Posted in automobiles, energy, environment, Good Causes, Good Things, saving the earth, solar | 1 Comment »

Support the good guys

Posted by Charles II on September 2, 2010

POGO.

That is all.

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things | 1 Comment »

Jimmy Carter Frees Another Hostage

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 28, 2010

As shown here:

Former President Jimmy Carter announced that he is leaving Pyongyang, North Korea, this morning accompanied by Mr. Aijalon Mahli Gomes. Mr. Gomes was imprisoned in January of this year and later sentenced to eight years of hard labor with a fine of about $600,000 for the crime of illegal entry into North Korea. At the request of President Carter, and for humanitarian purposes, Mr. Gomes was granted amnesty by the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Jong-Il.

It is expected that Mr. Gomes will be returned to Boston, Mass., early Friday afternoon, to be reunited with his mother and other members of his family.

But of course, he’s still History’s Greatest Monster TM, right? Or is that Raul Grijalva?

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jimmy Carter Frees Another Hostage