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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Earthships

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On the desert mesa of New Mexico, miles from the nearest town of Taos (pop. 5,700), Star-Wars-like shelters rise from the earth, half-buried and covered in adobe. Called “Earthships” – brainchild of architect Mike Reynolds in the 1970s- they’re nearly completely self-sufficient homes: no electrical grid, no water lines, no sewer.

The Greater World Earthship Community, about 70 passive solar homes built from earth and trash on 633 acres, had a rough start; they were shut down as an illegal subdivision in 1997 and it took them 7 years to come to compliance. Though today, the county fully cooperates with Reynolds and his Earthship Biotecture operation to turn trash (tires, cans, glass bottles) into shelters and has even given them 2 acres to experiment with housing in anyway they like (they also provide their recycling).

Sixteen years ago, Tom Duke had just finished over a decade on the pro volleyball circuit when he bought a bit of land here with his wife and began to build a tiny Earthship the size of a storage shed. When their first son was born they built their dream house on the property, a two bedroom that, like other Earthships, collects rainwater, uses its water four times (the plants in the indoor greenhouse filter the greywater) and even processes its own sewage.

In this video, Tom takes us on a tour of his home, his original “Earthship survival pod”, the “nest” ($50,000 studio apartment), the “Simple Survival Earthship” (aimed mainly at the developing world), a custom home designed to feed a family of four (including a tilapia pond in the greenhouse) and the “BMW of Earthships”, the “Global” (aimed at the typical American family).

Earthship Biotecture: earthship.com

Written by mattliving

July 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bitumen

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Tar Sand Sad

(Globalnews.ca) Ten things an unpublished government-commissioned study found remain unknown about the effects of oil and oilsands products in rivers, lakes and oceans:

  1. Toxicology: Research on the biological effects of oilsands products is lacking. Report found no peer-reviewed articles at all.
  2. Bitumen in water: There is little information on how bitumen, diluted bitumen or products used to dilute bitumen behave in water, including whether bitumen sinks or floats.
  3. Metals: Although bitumen has different heavy-metal concentrations and components than conventional oil, their behaviour in a spill hasn’t been studied.
  4. Condensate: Not much is known on the toxicity of condensate — a lighter hydrocarbon used to dilute bitumen for pumping — once it enters a body of water.
  5. Pathways: The mechanics of how bitumen and other oilsands products interact with organisms is unknown.
  6. Air toxicity: More research is needed on the toxicity and deposition of oilsands hydrocarbons through the air.
  7. Specific water bodies: Little research has been done on the effects of hydrocarbon spills specific to Canadian waters such as the Great Lakes.
  8. Photo-toxicity: Studies should be conducted on whether chemicals in bitumen are made more toxic by sunlight, as happens with some hydrocarbons
  9. Dispersants: More needs to be known about the interaction of bitumen, the environment and dispersants, which are chemicals sometimes used to break up and speed the decomposition of oilspills.
  10. Ice: The behaviour of oil, bitumen and dispersant in the ice-choked, cold and dark waters of the Canadian Arctic is largely unknown.

It’s strange how a government that claims to protect you from every evolving terrorist threats by needing to know everything you do, say, read and write yet doesn’t apply the same logic to protecting our environment. I think the government needs use more resources to protect our environment and not billions defending our “values”.

Written by mattliving

February 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

Keystone Pipeline = 35 Full Time Jobs and NO Increase in Capacity!

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Tar Sand Sad

If approved, the new Keystone would have the same 36-inch diameter — and the same capacity of 830,000 barrels per day — as the existing segments. That means refineries in Texas and along the Gulf Coast would have at their disposal about the same volume of crude oil to refine after Keystone is built as they do now. TransCanada is expected to spend $3.3 billion building the U.S. portion of the pipeline. – Dallas News

Written by mattliving

November 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

When “Safely” Buried Pipelines Break…

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Buried Exxon Pipeline Arkansas
There is going to be a LOT of talk about oil pipelines this year. The above photo is the result of a broken pipeline buried in Arkansas.

Pipelines are OLD methods of moving oil. In fact, it’s actually much better to move this oil on trains which can be sent any where the oil it needed. But that would mean the oil boys would have to build refineries all over the United States and not just in a very few port cities so they can quickly and inexpensively export their product to foreign markets.

Written by mattliving

March 31, 2013 at 10:26 am

Posted in Environment, Greed, Politics

The World is FULL.

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Have we used up all our resources? Have we filled up all the livable space on Earth? Paul Gilding suggests we have, and the possibility of devastating consequences, in a talk that’s equal parts terrifying and, oddly, hopeful.

Written by mattliving

March 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

There’s No Tomorrow

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In short… the myths of ever expanding economies and limitless growth are just that myths. It doesn’t matter where you borrow your resources to fuel growth the simple fact is we WILL be running out of most of the resources that have powered our global economy quite possibly in our lifetime.

The current financial crisis will be a lot MORE devastating then we are being lead to believe. The simple fact is… unrelenting debt to power an unrealistic global economy will be our ultimate demise.

You can’t borrow against a future that has already been spent.

Canada Set to Unleash Toxic Apocalypse on the World…

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… On a scale NEVER before seen in ALL of Human History.

 

What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

For almost twenty years, Garth’s photography of threatened wilderness regions, devastation, and the impacts on indigenous peoples, has appeared in the world’s leading publications. His recent images from the boreal region of Canada have helped lead to significant victories and large new protected areas in the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Ontario. Garth’s major touring exhibit on the Tar Sands premiered on Los Angeles in 2011 and recently appeared in New York. Garth is a Fellow of the International League Of Conservation Photographers

Filmed at TEDxVictoria on November 19 2011

Written by mattliving

February 21, 2012 at 10:32 am