Green News

Turning the suns rays into gold

Posted by TheGreen on 10/01 at 02:43 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

According to this article in the Toronto Star, we may be on the verge of large-scale solar power generation, using large expanses of the world’s deserts as energy-producing hubs. Not a bad accomplishment for a Canadian cameraman. Have a good read and follow it up with some positive thinking. With ideas like this, we may just get ourselves out of this mess yet…

About the author: TheGreen

Environmental Fair kicks off with an Antarctic Mission

Posted by TheGreen on 09/19 at 05:47 PM
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Jean Lemire presents ANTARCTIC MISSION on climate change

A presentation rich in images organized by the Project Ecosphere Environmental Fair

FRELIGHSBURG, September 4, 2007 – Project Ecosphere is proud to open its second annual Environmental Fair with ANTARCTIC MISSION[MC1], a lecture by charismatic explorer Jean Lemire. To tell this extraordinary adventure story and show the effects of climate change Lemire, leader of the Sedna IV expedition, uses hundreds of captivating high-resolution images from across the frozen continent. An explorer and gifted communicator, Lemire will be making a stop in Brome-Missisquoi in the Eastern Townships on Friday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30), at the MASSEY VANIER auditorium in Cowansville. Biologist, photographer and renowned filmmaker, Jean Lemire is the honorary president of the 2007 edition of the Environmental and Green Building Fair taking place on the weekend of September 29 and 30 at the picturesque Brome Fairgrounds.

A respected navigator-ecologist-scientist-filmmaker, Jean Lemire covers every angle. Recipient of numerous prizes, in 2006 he was voted the Personality of the Year by La Presse/Radio Canada in the human sciences, pure sciences and technology category. He has had an extraordinary media and educational impact, contributing to raising public awareness to global environmental challenges. Sometimes in the spotlight, sometimes behind the camera, this passionate advocate of science, preoccupied by the future of our planet, has an undeniable talent for showing the “beauty and fragility of our world.”

Aboard his 51-metre “goddess of the sea” the Sedna IV, Jean Lemire set out on his biggest adventure ever in the fall of 2005. Joined by a team of sailors, filmmakers and scientists, he headed for the Antarctic, the last unspoiled continent on the planet, with its millions of birds, whales and seals. Antarctic Mission became one of the greatest expeditions in modern history. A 430-day voyage of navigation, isolation and extreme adventures in the harsh climate, Antarctic Mission was much more than a mere exploration of the ends of the earth to witness and record the effects of climate change on the icy continent. Within the human drama is found a deep reflection on the great challenges facing our society. From the sad realization of the rapid melting of the South Pole to the pure beauty of the baby seals of Weddell, Jean Lemire invites you to share in an adventure filled with images and emotion.

Tickets are available at book stores in Cowansville and Knowlton, at the Cafetier de Sutton, at the Rumeur affamée in Dunham, or by credit card by calling the Ecosphere office at 450-298-1214, through Admission at 1-800-361-4595 or 514-790-1245 or online at www.admission.com. The cost is $27 for adults, $23 for five to 12-year-olds, students and seniors.


Afterwards the Environmental Fair continues throughout the weekend of September 29 and 30 at the picturesque Brome Fairgrounds, not far from Cowansville, Sutton, Brome Lake (Knowlton) and Granby. Known for her involvement in protecting the environment, Quebec actress Pascale Bussières is pleased to be the event’s spokeswoman once again. “Last year, despite a very full schedule, I took part in the Fair for the two days. I am planning to do the same again this year. This event is really interesting and inspirational! I also have the great pleasure of presenting Jean Lemire at his lecture on September 28,” said Pascale Bussières.
“With 150 exhibitors, 50 lecturers, workshops, movies and documentaries, this country celebration of the environment is a stimulating source of inspiration. At a time when our planet is fighting for its life, Project Ecosphere offers concrete solutions to make greener choices in our daily lives,” stated Pascale Bussières.

Project Ecosphere is the Environmental Fair created by Groupe Écosphère, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the environment and sustainable development. By bringing together the main actors in the domain, this multidisciplinary event aims to inform and raise the awareness of the general public of the efforts to improve our wellbeing and environment. Project Ecosphere’s main partners are Desjardins, Nature Conservancy, the MRC and CLD of Brome-Missisquoi, La Presse, La Maison du 21e siècle, the towns of Bromont, Brome Lake and Sutton, UNESCO, Sani-Éco, Mont Sutton, RCI Environnement and the Régie intermunicipale de récupération des déchets solides de Brome-Missisquoi.

See our Internet site for a full list of exhibitors, lecturers, workshops and films, which is growing every week, at www.projetecosphere.org. Information and registration: 450-298-1214.

About the author: TheGreen

A taste of the traditional

Posted by TheGreen on 09/12 at 05:25 PM
ThoughtsPermalink

Hello readers! If you’re looking at kinder, gentler and more traditional ways of living, you might want to check out this upcoming event in Vermont:

Subject: Animal Power Field Days promotional reminder….please distribute widely!

Northeast Animal-Power Field Days Trade Fair & Conference
Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30, 2007, Fair Grounds, Tunbridge, VT

Gates Open 8:30 am, Activities Begin by 9:00 am Both Days

Admission: $10/day, $15/both days

This two-day trade fair and conference will present resources for farmers, loggers, and forest landowners pursuing the use of draft animals as part of their land-based livelihoods. By encouraging diversified farming, low-impact logging, and the use of draft animals, small acreage can be effectively managed for valuable farm and forest products, expanding opportunities for families to enjoy good livelihoods where they live.

The Weekend Activities will include:

Event Welcoming, Saturday 1 PM;  Secretary Roger Albee, Vermont Agency of Agriculture.

Saturday Keynote, 1:15 PM;  Lynn Miller, Horse-farmer & Editor of Small Farmers Journal.
Sunday Keynote, 12:00 Noon;  Jason Rutledge of Healing Harvest Forest Foundation.
Teamster Round Table; Saturday 5-7pm;

Equipment Auction; Sunday 3-5pm;

Other weekend activities will include presentations, panel discussions, vendor exhibits, working animal presentations, and field demonstrations of animal-powered farming and logging equipment. Workshop topics will include grazing management, composting, carbon farming, CSA/Market Gardening, and working with draft animals on the farm and in the woods. Local food vendors (including NOFA-VT’s Pizza Mobile and Howling Wolf Barbeque), a farmers market, kids activities, music and art will also be present. Camping is available at the fair grounds! Come for a weekend of fun!

For information on sponsoring, exhibiting or reserving a camp-site ($20 per night)
Contact: Carl Russell or Lisa McCrory, Phone: 802-234-5524, Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Interested in Volunteering?
Contact: Kristen Gage, Phone: 802-431-1029, Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Visit our Website: www.animalpowerfielddays.org for our brochure, event schedule, speaker and workshop descriptions, directions & lodging information and more.

About the author: TheGreen

Montreal Plastic bag tax, just another excuse

Posted by TheGreen on 08/13 at 01:25 PM
RecyclingPermalink

The Quebec government feels that we use too many plastic bags. Wow, you think? Quebec, and Montreal seem to continually tell us they want to help the environment and help make our planet greener. Like most politicians, they are afraid to upset anyone, and in doing so only come up with partial measures for improvement. At a recent town meeting my wife and I attended we were told that the City Montreal had put into place a mandate to have the average amount of recycled material for residences at 60%. That is 60% of all output from residential homes would need to be recycled by the year 2008. The chair of the meeting told us it was quite a goal for us to reach. A few truly concerned citizens asked the question, why 60%? Why not 90%, or 95%. 60% seems almost laughable in todays age.

Now, the government wants to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. Those bags that people love to complain about in spring, blowing around the streets. Those bags the city complains about on recycling day, when the wind blows. Their idea of a solution is a 20 cent tax on each bag. If you go to the store to shop you will need to basically buy the bags for 20 cents a-piece. “Hey, I just spent $150 on groceries, and now I need to pay an additional $2 on bags to get my groceries home?” Most people I think will become overly complacant about this little tax, and the result will be little reduction.

Jacques Lalonde, founder of EcoContribution, an environmental advocacy group says “A ban would require lots of consultations and preparation. A tax has shown it can work from one day to the next.” Perhaps I am naive, but why so much consultation and preparation. People need to adjust and make a difference, and sometimes we need a radical change to make it happen. If I rememeber correctly, the introduction of taxes in the past has been quite expensive to set up. We need to follow the countries that have made the cut, those countries that banned plastic bags, some of them years ago. Heck, Manitoba has banned the plastic bag in grocery stores! Quebec, and Quebecers, wake up! Let’s get ahead of the game and show people how this is done. Let’s show the rest of the world that Canada can make a difference.

Where are the politicians with back bone? Where are the politicians that are not afraid to get a little bad press for doing something they believe in? Perhaps today’s politicians don’t believe in anythine? It makes me so angry that our current politicians are so worried about the polls that they never really bring in any measures of note anymore, or they simply flip flop until election day and then try to tell us that, “next term we will make a difference.”

If we care, then we need to stand up and say “No more plastic bags in Canada!” We outlawed incadenscent bulbs—which is a discussion entirely unto itself—so let’s outlaw the plastic bag. Let’s set the example, and not be the example, from now on. One day, maybe, just maybe, we can be proud to say that we have reduced our waste to a point comparible to some of those countries in Europe.

Taken from the Gazette article, here is how a few other places around the world are putting the curb on plastic bag use:

  • 2002: Ireland introduces its “plastax,” a 15-cent levy on plastic bags given by retailers.
  • 2002: Bangladesh bans polyethylene bags after drains and sewage lines clogged by bags are blamed for health hazards and flooding.
  • March: San Francisco bans petrol-based plastic bags in large supermarkets and pharmacy chains, a U.S. first.
  • April: Leaf Rapids, [Manitoba], becomes Canada’s first plastic shopping bag-free zone: retailers can no longer give away or sell plastic bags for single use.
  • By 2009: Australia plans to phase out plastic bags.

A lot of you reading this article, including my cousin in the townships, will say, “Hey Jim, we can’t rely on the government to do everything for us.” You are absolutely correct. We as individuals need to set the example too, perhaps first, and stop using these bags. There is no reason whatsoever, except shear laziness that we use these plastic bags. As for our family, we rely on reusable shopping bags, similar to the ones that Provigo now sells only much better (we have a couple of the provigo bags too). We were fortunate to have bought some excellent bags from Regal before they stopped selling them. Bags that stand open on their own making them easy to fill. Bags that are super strong so you can really pack them up with groceries. My wife is constantly being asked “where can I get bags like that,” to which she has no answer. If you are bag manufacturer, there is a market for quality shopping bags that are made to last. Even the provigo bags are not really made to last, meaning they too will start to get tossed into the land fills.

Can we ever get away from our throw-away society? Perhaps that is a topic for another day.

I invite you to comment on my thoughts here. Tell me how wrong I am, or how right I am. Tell me what ‘you’ are doing to help reduce the disposal of recycled bags.

About the author: TheGreen

Out of Green site look and all

Posted by TheGreen on 08/03 at 09:27 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

Just a quick note to let you all know that the look of this is site is really not that great. I realize this, and it is sort of a work in progress right now. My work has recently been pretty packed and little time has remained for this site. Over the next few weeks you should start to see some improvements to the site, and hopefully see more writings.

About the author: TheGreen

Solar Power and Home Power

Posted by TheGreen on 08/03 at 07:27 PM
ThoughtsPermalink

Today while talking with a collegue at one of my new contracts, we got to talking about construction and solar power. He asked if I had ever read the HomePower Magazine. This was a new magazine for me, but a quick web search came up with a great site which is the HomePower magazine. Here is a little blurb from their website:

Since 1987, we’ve dedicated more than 100 issues to renewable energy and sustainable living solutions. That means comprehensive coverage of solar, wind, and microhydro electricity, energy efficiency, solar hot water systems, space heating and cooling, green building materials and home design, efficient transportation, and much, much more.
Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or not, off-grid or on-grid, Home Power is here to help you make informed decisions about your energy use. We provide extensive product information, homeowner testimonials, buyer advice, and “how-to” instructions.

Their site is easy to navigate and is broken down into 6 clean sections: Solar, Wind, Water, Design, Build and Miscellaneous. The solar section has already given me more hope than any other read, that one day I too might be able to have solar power on my house.

About the author: TheGreen

Global warming might rid the world of coffee?

Posted by TheGreen on 07/25 at 01:52 AM
Global WarmingPermalink

Okay, so it probably won’t rid the world of coffee, but it could send the price of coffee sky high. As the National Geographic article says:

“And a new report warns that even a slight increase in temperature could wipe out Uganda’s entire coffee crop, which brings in more than half of the East African country’s revenue.”

According to the ICO website, Uganda exported 2,137,216 bags of coffee from June 2005 to May 2006. Each bag is 60 kilograms. This might seem like a lot until you compare that to the world coffee export market, which exports roughly 84,659,013 bags of coffee. This works out to Uganda accounting for 2.5% of the worlds export crop. If only Uganda has troubles, it won’t be the end of the world. Coffee will still arrive in my intravenous on a daily basis for some time to come.

Please don’t think I am not worried. It is little stories like this that keep reminding me that we need to do whatever we can to help reduce global warming. Speaking of which, my wife and I are going to make a batch of Pesto tonight. The ingredients (Basil) grow right in our garden, so no need to import it from Italy or wherever.

About the author: TheGreen

Celebrities who have gone green

Posted by TheGreen on 07/07 at 05:02 AM
Global WarmingPermalink

On July 7, more than 100 pop stars will perform at nine concerts around the world in a bid to spur governments, corporations and the public to take action on global warming. Live Earth, with events staged on all seven continents, will feature artists including Spinal Tap, the Police, Madonna, Red Hot Chilly Peppers, Leonardo Dicaprio, Al Gore, Robert Redford, Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and many more... of course.

Wow, Spinal Tap, saving the world. This brings back memories of my room-mate in college, Chris. He would bust a gut laughing about the drummer in Spinal Tap, going poof, and leaving a little green globule on the drum stool. So how fitting that they promote a Green project such as saving the Earth!

If this concert and its purpose is of interest to you, then please visit their website at http://www.liveearth.org/

Live Earth Pledge

  • I PLEDGE:
  • To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
  • To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become “carbon neutral;”
  • To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
  • To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
  • To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
  • To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
  • To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

Bands playing Live Earth July 7th 2007

Here is a basic list of some or all of those who will perform, in a bid to gain attention to the climate crisis:

12 Girls Band China Rock
AFI United States Rock
AI Japan Rock
Abingdon Boys School Japan Rock
Ai Otsuka Japan Rock
Akon United States R&B/Soul
Alicia Keys United States R & B/Soul
Angélique Kidjo South Africa Rock
Anthony Wong China Rock
Ayaka Japan Rock
Baaba Maal South Africa Rock
Beastie Boys United Kingdom Hip-hop/Rap
Black Eyed Peas United Kingdom Hip-hop/Rap
Bloc Party United Kingdom Rock
Blue King Brown Australia Reggae
Bon Jovi United States Rock
Bonnie Pink Japan Rock
Chris Cornell Germany Rock
Cocco Japan Rock
Corinne Bailey Rae United Kingdom Pop
Crowded House Australia Rock
Damien Rice United Kingdom Rock
Danny K South Africa Rock
Dave Matthews Band United States Rock
David Gray United Kingdom Rock
Duran Duran United Kingdom Rock
Eason Chan China Rock
Enrique Iglesias Germany Rock
Eskimo Joe Australia Rock
Evonne Hsu China Rock
Fall Out Boy United States Rock
Foo Fighters United Kingdom Rock
Genesis United Kingdom Rock
Genki Rockets Japan Rock
Ghostwriters Australia Rock
Huang Xiao Ming China Rock
Jack Johnson Australia Pop
James Blunt United Kingdom Pop
Jan Delay Germany Rock
Joey China Rock
John Butler Trio Australia Rock
John Legend United Kingdom R&B/Soul
John Mayer United States Pop
Jorge Ben Jor Brazil Rock
Joss Stone South Africa Rock
Jota Quest Brazil Rock
Juli Germany Rock
KT Tunstall United States Rock
Kanye West United States Hip-hop/Rap
Kasabian United Kingdom Rock
Katie Melua Germany Rock
Keane United Kingdom Rock
Keith Urban United States Rock
Kelly Clarkson United States Pop
Kenna United States Rock
Kumi Koda Japan Rock
Lenny Kravitz Brazil Rock
Linkin Park Japan Rock
Lotto King Karl Germany Rock
Ludacris United States Hip-hop/Rap
MV Bill Brazil Rock
Macy Gray Brazil Rock
Madonna United Kingdom Pop
Mando Diao Germany Rock
Marcelo D2 Brazil Rock
Maria Mena Germany Rock
Marquess Germany Rock
Melissa Etheridge United States Rock
Metallica United Kingdom Rock
Mia. Germany Rock
Michael Nyman Japan Rock
Missy Higgins Australia Rock
O Rappa Brazil Rock
Paolo Nutini United Kingdom Rock
Paul Kelly Australia Rock
Pharrell Brazil Rock
Pu Ba Jia China Rock
Pussycat Dolls United Kingdom Rock
Razorlight United Kingdom Rock
Reamonn Germany Rock
Red Hot Chili Peppers United Kingdom Rock
Revolverheld Germany Rock
Rihanna Japan R&B/Soul
Rip Slyme Japan Rock
Rize Japan Rock
Roger Cicero Germany Rock
Roger Waters United States Rock
Samy Deluxe Germany Rock
Sarah Brightman China Rock
Sasha Germany Rock
Shakira Germany Rock
Silbermond Germany Rock
Smashing Pumpkins United States Rock
Sneaky Sound System Australia Electronic
Snoop Dogg Germany Rock
Snow Patrol United Kingdom Rock
Soler China Rock
Spinal Tap United Kingdom Rock
Stefan Gwildis Germany Rock
Taking Back Sunday United States Rock
Terra Naomi United Kingdom Rock
The Parlotones South Africa Rock
The Police United States Rock
The Soweto Gospel Choir South Africa Rock
Toni Collette & The Finish Australia Rock
UA Japan Rock
UB40 South Africa Rock
Vusi Mahlasela South Africa Rock
Wang Chuan Jun China Rock
Wang Rui China Rock
Wang Xia Okun China Rock
Winnie Hsin China Rock
Wolfmother Australia Rock
Xuxa Brazil Rock
Xzibit Japan Rock
Yellow Magic Orchestra Japan Rock
Yusuf Germany Rock
Zola South Africa Rock

About the author: TheGreen