Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘saving the earth’ Category

I brought you into the world… (on midwifery)

Posted by Charles II on March 19, 2012

A fascinating segment on midwifery on DemocracyNow. US maternal death rates are worse than Puerto Rico. And death rates have risen substantially over the last few years.

Ina May Gaston claims to have been able to greatly reduce the rate of birth complications through natural birth methods. She notes that many maternal deaths areiatrogenic: in C-sections, the uterine artery can be nicked, for example. She says that she was able to avoid a C-section for her first 200 births. In the US, almost 1 in three births is by C-section!

As her story illustrates, those 60s hippies knew a thing or two.

Posted in saving the earth, science and medicine, women's issues | 2 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 »

US CO2 Emissions Dropped In 2008 And 2009

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 7, 2010

The good news: US CO2 emissions dropped for two years in a row, and the second year’s drop was steeper than the first.

The better news: Only about a third of that drop was due to the world economic downturn.

The other causes: The rise in clean energy production, low natural gas prices encouraging use of that cleaner-burning fuel over oil or coal, improvements in energy efficiency, state renewable standards, and encouragement of clean energy in President Obama’s stimulus package.

The more we use clean energy and improve energy efficiency, the easier it will be to save humanity.

Posted in energy, environment, global warming, Good Things, saving the earth, sustainability | Comments Off on US CO2 Emissions Dropped In 2008 And 2009

Sanity In Moscow And Washington

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 25, 2010

Looks like Russia and the Obama Administration are getting down to brass tacks on the question of nuclear disarmament.

Now let’s see if the Senate Republicans are still pouting when the time comes for them to help ratify the agreement when it’s finally ironed out.

Posted in nukes, Obama Administration, Russia, saving the earth | Comments Off on Sanity In Moscow And Washington

Behold The Power Of Exxon Mobil!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 27, 2010

They can bankroll the people who take the hacked and stolen e-mails of climate-change scientists and then lie about the e-mails’ contents — and every single TV network and major paper treats their bankrolled tools’ version of events as truth, or at least as a legitimate way of discussing the subject.

Yet when Bjorn Lomborg, their favorite fake environmentalist and ethically-compromised political scientist masquerading as a climate-change expert, is revealed to be a mass of deceit whose favorite trick is the Ann Coulter method (as shown here and here) of claiming that a footnote cite you’re making backs up your point when it really doesn’t, the TradMed silence is deafening. If it wasn’t for P.Z. Myers‘ passing along this Newsweek article, I would never have known about it. It certainly hasn’t been a story, much less a lead story, every single night on at least one of the networks for weeks on end.

Posted in big money, climate change, energy, environment, evil, GOP/Media Complex, Oil, saving the earth, science and medicine | 7 Comments »

Solar Power In Haiti

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 15, 2010

One silver lining of the earthquake is that it may be what gets Haitians to move away from burning increasingly-expensive wood and coal for power and cooking fuel:

Solar setups are quick to install, mobile, and relatively inexpensive compared to the price of rebuilding a damaged electricity grid. They can also be incredibly robust. Alan Doyle, a science editor at MSNBC, recently wrote that a single solar water purification system, recovered from the rubble by the Red Cross, is now purifying 30,000 gallons (over 110,000 liters) of water a day.

Sol Inc, a US-based solar street lighting company, has sent a first shipment of lights for roadways, food distribution, and triage sites. This may sound mundane, until you imagine trying to perform street-side surgery or find family members in the dark. The LED lights can also withstand hurricane force winds – no small thing in a country that has also recently been hit by tropical cyclones. Sol Inc has promised to match donations for people wanting to contribute to the program.

Communications are another crucial need being met by solar. China’s ZTE corporation has donated 1,500 solar cellphones and 300 digital trunking base stations. The same technology was used in China when an earthquake hit the Sichuan Province in May of 2008. A similar project is being set up by a group from Holland.

My favorite among all these groups is the Sun Ovens company, if for no other reason than it provides a cheap and low-tech way for poor Haitians to cook their food. Sun Ovens are llittle more than cleverly-folded shiny pieces of metal.

Posted in Good Things, Haiti, saving the earth, solar, sustainability | 4 Comments »

The Case For Solar Power

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 13, 2010

I’ve written in the past about the Solar Roadways concept. Well, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation last year, it’s now a bit more than just a concept:

On Feb. 5, Scott Brusaw demonstrated a 12-foot by 12-foot solar road panel in a friend’s garage in Sagle. A cameraman filmed the event, and officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation will likely visit the demonstration by the end of February.


“I thought, you know, I can build this,” said Brusaw. He started Solar Roadways four years ago with his wife Julie. “If they’re going to give me 100 grand, I’ll take half of it and buy the parts I need and put it together.”

So Brusaw spent the last six months in his home electronics lab building a small solar panel road prototype. By Feb. 12, he’ll submit a final report detailing his project’s feasibility to the USDOT.


After the demonstration, the USDOT will decide whether to give Brusaw an additional $750,000. That money would be used to build highway-size solar road panels that could be driven on and thoroughly tested.

Fingers crossed here. This may be what saves humanity. (Or at least saves humanity from a thousand-year period of starvation, famine and barbarism.)

Posted in energy, environment, Good Things, saving the earth, solar | 13 Comments »

Climate Change Deniers Funded By Exxon-Mobil

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 9, 2009

In news that will surprise absolutely no one who’s been paying attention, the “ClimateGate” people have been found to have extensive ties to Exxon-Mobil:

The story details the nexus between the NIPCC, the Heartland Institute (recipient of $676,500 from Exxon-Mobil over the last 10 years), the Cato Institute ($125,000 from Exxon-Mobil in the last decade) and multiple other right-wing front groups.

In addition, one of the key pieces in the hacked ClimateGate emails refers to a study reported in scientific journals that was revealed to be underwritten by the American Petroleum Institute, yet another Exxon-Mobil front group…

Oh, and by the way: The sunspot gambit, a favorite of the deniers, has been debunked. Solar cycles aren’t the cause of global warming.

[Added, 12/9 to help complete idiots understand the issue and how the stolen e-mails do not mean that scientists doubt that manmade global warming is occurring; via Atrios and Tim Lambert. –Charles]

Posted in capitalism as cancer, climate change, environment, Oil, saving the earth, science and medicine | 7 Comments »

While The GOP/Media Idiots Were Babbling About Bowing…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 24, 2009

While the GOP/Media clowns were babbling about bowing, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao were hammering out a climate-change deal in advance of the great Copenhagen climate summit.

Because of this deal, President Obama is now able to go to Copenhagen with the following good news:

The news that President Obama will seek a emissions target at global talks in Copenhagen has animated a once-moribund meeting and given hope to environmentalists that something tangible can come from them.

The emissions target is expected to correspond to numbers that have been discussed on Capitol Hill, namely a reduction of 17 to 20% below 2005 emissions levels by the year 2020.

This is a direct result of the meeting with China’s Hu Jintao and was expected by those news outlets that were actually paying attention instead of freaking out over bows. As I mentioned last week, both the US and China have now agreed to stop playing climate-change chicken.

And it’s not just China that’s agreed to join the US in working to curb emissions. Obama has met with the leaders of India as well, and got commitments from them on this.

This may be the most significant news of the last decade.

[UPDATE: And no, it’s not too late. The economic downturn has bought us an extra 21 months in which to retool our economies to lower emissions. That’s 21 extra months for China to retool the older, grossly inefficient and polluting steel factories it has idled because of the downturn. That’s 21 extra months for India to do similar upgrades to its factories. That’s 21 extra months for the US to do the same thing with its factories. Considering that these three nations account for 56% of the world’s CO2 emissions, that’s not a small thing.]

(Crossposted at The Seminal.)

Posted in China, climate change, energy, environment, India, industry, international, President Obama, saving the earth | 6 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 12, 2009

Because this beastie doesn’t vrooooom.

Posted in saving the earth, sustainability, transportation, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

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