Climate, Culture

A corporate president I interfaced with often one time said to our team, “you have completely failed to understand the power of the English language.” How we use language has tremendous impact on what we can accomplish with other humans. Grist has some great advice!

Key words and their ‘non jargon’ explanation … which would you prefer to hear? (quoted below)

  • Carbon footprint: How much carbon-dioxide emissions can you attribute to a country, company, or maybe your neighbor? The answer is their carbon footprint.
  • Circular economy: A system where nothing really gets thrown away.
Read the rest

Quote – no comment needed

The United States could generate 20% of its electricity from wind within 10 years, without requiring any additional land, according to Cornell University research published in Nature Scientific Reports.

“The United States currently produces about 7% of its electricity from wind energy,” said Sara Pryor, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “This research shows that a quadrupling of the installed capacity of wind turbines from 2014 levels will allow us to attain the goal of 20% of electricity from the wind, without requiring additional land, or negative impacts on systemwide efficiency or local climates.”Read the rest


Infographic: Where U.S. Apartment Rents Are Rising Fastest | Statista

while this data is interesting, what was the baseline … just looking at changes w/out knowing the starting point renders an actionable inference impossible. This is not helpful, but still somewhat interesting to ask another set of questions… Read the rest


In reading a post about Janet Yellin’s recent interview, I ended up here – my most valued take-away from the post.

Here’s the reference section, quote: “Yellen referenced a McKinsey report on automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and the future of work that estimates about half of current jobs could be automated by new technologies. What happens to the people who are displaced? Many are likely to end up in low productivity jobs. And that, Yellen said, is “a scary prospect.”

Agree or disagree on the specifics or the particulars of skill sets or geography, the magnitude of the changes are probably not too far off … a tremendous inflection point.… Read the rest


Quote: “Researchers have set a world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity via the use of tiny nanoparticles called ‘quantum dots’. The technology has a huge range of potential applications, including the possibility to use it as a flexible, transparent skin to power cars, planes, homes and wearable technology.”

This is really cool if it pans out and is commercially viable; no surprise that the research does NOT come from US (seems we spend all our research $ on guns and bombs).

A bit more detail, quote: “Professor Wang’s team set the world record for quantum dot solar cell efficiency by developing a unique surface engineering strategy.Read the rest


I disagree and find this almost inflammatory in its complete disregard for environmental impact.

Article: Cobalt supply can meet demand for electric vehicle and electronics batteries (reference)

Here is there summary, quote: “Greater use of electric vehicles might be good for the environment, but further growth hinges on continued availability of critical battery components such as cobalt. Cell phones and other electronics also depend on the element’s availability. Supplies of the metal are adequate in the short term, but shortages could develop down the road if refining and recycling aren’t ramped up or made more efficient, according to new research.”Read the rest


Pyrolysis recycling – black
Mechanical recycling – green
Recycled plastic demand surplus – grey

Basically, the demand for recycled plastic is growing faster than the supply (not supply of ‘old’ plastic, but the supply of recycled available plastic).

From Bloomberg, quote: “About 8 million tons of plastics are going into the ocean annually,” he said in an interview. “If you look at plastic packaging, around 95% is not being recycled each year which is $100 billion worth of plastic, and that’s valuable for entrepreneurs.”

And the punchline: “An estimated $80 billion-$120 billion of value is lost because of packaging that goes into the environment, said Navneet Chadha, principal operations officer at the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.Read the rest


There is an answer (from Grist)

Quote: “When it comes to water use, the difference between manual and machine practices was even starker: Hand-washers used 34,200 gallons of water to a dishwasher’s 16,300 gallons over 10 years. In short, a dishwasher that’s being used correctly emits 63 percent fewer emissions in its entire lifecycle — including manufacturing and disposal — than a typical sink.

However, there’s a silver lining for resource-savvy hand-washers. If you happen to have a two-basin sink, filling one basin with hot water and the other with cool water, and then soaking and scrubbing your dishes in the first and rinsing them in the second — and then letting them air-dry — was the least energy-intensive method out of all the techniques the researchers tested.Read the rest


The history of developing country investments especially in power generation space is filled with corruption (bi-directional) and extreme climate and ecosystem impacts and – probably even more disastrous – human health, well being and livelihood impacts.

The recent announcement that GE has a new MOU in DRC is troublesome on so many fronts. I get the point that electricity in DRC (and many other areas of sub-shara Africa) is inconsistent, insufficient and intolerably expensive for those living there. But why are we (and more importantly the Congolese) being forced to make a false choice between modern electricity supply and massive ecological and human disruption (and financial bondage via debt)?… Read the rest


W.A.T. = Walking around town

First, a few interesting birds – a black-throated Anna’s Hummingbird, nesting Great Blue Herons, swimming ducks (American Wigeon and Ringed Neck)

Second, early flowers continue to catch my eye

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Been a Grateful Dead fan since around 1972 when I was 13/14. Most Friday’s you will find me w/ some variant of Jerry’s genius filling my headphones and speakers …

Today’s hit: Touch of Grey (video)


Must be getting early, clocks are running late
Faint light of the mornin’ sky, looks so phony
Dawn is breakin’ everywhere light a candle curse the glare
Draw the curtains I don’t care ‘cuz it’s alright

I will get by, I will get by
I will get by, I will survive

I see, you’ve got your fist out, say your piece and get out
Yes I get the gist of it but it’s alright
Sorry that you feel that way, the only there is to say
Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey

I will get by, I will get by
I will get by, I will survive

It’s a lesson to me, the eagles and the beggars and the seas
The ABC’s, we all must face try to keep a little grace

It’s a lesson to me, the deltas and the east and the freeze
The ABC’s, we all think of and try to win a little love

I know the rent is in arrears the dog has not been fed in years
It’s even worse than it appears but it’s alright
Cows givin’ kerosene, kid can’t read at seventeen
The words he knows are all obscene but it’s alright

I will get by, I will get by
I will get by, I will survive

The shoe is on the hand that fits, there’s really nothing much to it
Whistle through your teeth and spit ‘cuz it’s alright
Oh well a touch of grey kinda suits you anyway
And that was all I had to say and it’s alright

I will get by, I will get by
I will get by, I will survive

We will get by, we will get by
We will get by, we will survive

We will get by, we will get by
We will get by, we will survive

Read the rest


From Grist, quote: “The European Union has undergone a pretty dramatic transformation as of late — and we’re not talking about Brexit. The group of member states, which pledged as a collective to become carbon neutral by 2050 as part of Europe’s Green Deal, cut carbon emissions from electricity by a whopping 12 percent in 2019, according to a report compiled by the European thinktanks Agora EnergieWende and Sandbag. Coal use, in particular, plummeted by about 25 percent.

“What surprised us most was the magnitude of the collapse of coal and the accompanying decrease in CO2 emissions,” said report coauthor Fabian Hein.Read the rest


A recent article got my attention as it connected pesticides on food we eat as a contributing factor to obesity.

The article referenced is FULL of click-bait ads, so I will not link here. It, however, links to another article w/less bait.

Quote: “More than two-thirds of the U.S. population—twice the global average—is either overweight or obese. This is typically attributed to overeating and inactivity. But evidence that pets, laboratory animals, primates, and feral cats living in industrialized human societies also are showing a rise in obesity suggests that environmental obesogens may be playing a role.Read the rest


Quote: “When I saw a new film called “The Story of Plastic,” a lightbulb went off for me with regards to how I think we ought to be tackling the plastics issue. Rather than shaming consumers for personal consumption — which I also agree is good to curb — we need to focus on the plastics that get forced on us by the tons.”

And, if that was not enough for you … think thru the implications here: Quote – “Amazon has upped its used of film and bubbled bags in the last year in an effort to fit more packages in freight.Read the rest