Editorial: Ending Federal Study on Effects of Surface Mining Is a Move Meant to ‘Please the Coal Industry’

first_imgEditorial: Ending Federal Study on Effects of Surface Mining Is a Move Meant to ‘Please the Coal Industry’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader:There’s no good explanation, no budgetary or scientific reason for ending a federal study into the possible health effects of living near surface coal mining in Appalachia.This study is well underway. The only reason the Trump administration would pull the plug now is to please the coal industry. And that reason is not good enough when so many people are waiting for answers.The scientists who are delving into what’s known and not known come from across the country and from an impressive range of disciplines and backgrounds. They are working as volunteers under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.One industry argument against the study is that surface mining in Appalachia provides only a tiny fraction of the nation’s coal supply. That ignores the huge impact it has — during and after mining — on the people who live nearby. As Appalachia’s thin seams are mined, more rock has to be blasted away, which puts a new set of potentially harmful substances into the air and water.It would be wasteful — the opposite of economical — to have spent this much time, money and effort without getting the final product, a report that many people are awaiting.More: Health and strip mining? Study onlast_img read more

Renewables close in on coal generation in Germany

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Germany is edging ever closer to its national target of 65 per cent renewable energy by 2030, with new data showing wind and solar produced 38 per cent of the electricity consumed in the country between January and September 2018.The figures mark an increase of three percentage points over a year earlier, according to utility association BDEW, and were boosted by the renewables’ share reaching 43 per cent in the months of January, April and May. “If we have an average amount of wind in the fourth quarter, renewables could also cover 38 percent over the entire year,” BDEW said in a statement.But for the first three quarters of the year, this means that renewables produced almost 170 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), while lignite and hard coal added up to about 172 billion kWh. “Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.Meanwhile, the rise in renewables generation has helped to set Germany’s carbon emissions on course for their largest drop since the 2009 recession, the Clean Energy Wire reports. Strong renewable power production and warm temperatures lowered Germany’s CO2 emissions by around 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, according to the calculations by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).More: German renewables share jumps to 38% for 2018, nearly catches coal Renewables close in on coal generation in Germanylast_img read more

Italy’s Enel to power Anglo American’s full renewable switch in Chile

first_imgItaly’s Enel to power Anglo American’s full renewable switch in Chile FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:A mining giant has turned to Enel to power its transition to a fully renewable energy supply in Chile, signing a deal set to kick in, in two years’ time.The developer announced this week its clean energy portfolio will provide Anglo American with up to 3TWh annually, starting in 2021 over a 10-year period.The energy will come from Enel’s existing renewable portfolio in Chile, developed through the Enel Generación Chile subsidiary.The deal will help green the energy footprint of the Chilean projects Anglo American owns interests in, including the Los Bronces, Collahuasi, El Soldado mines and the Chagres smelter.The mining group estimates the potential 3TWh a year in renewable supply will slash its overall Chilean CO2 emissions by 70%, equal to taking 270,000 cars off the road.According to Enel, the deal with Anglo American is the most sizeable such arrangement seen to date in Chile and the largest clean energy supply agreement the firm itself has ever entered.More: Enel plants to power Anglo American’s full renewable switch in Chilelast_img read more

Oil industry set to ink record number of renewable energy deals in 2019

first_imgOil industry set to ink record number of renewable energy deals in 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:The world’s biggest oil companies are on track to do a record number of deals to invest in alternative energy and green technologies this year, BloombergNEF said in a report on Wednesday. Seven months into 2019, Big Oil has already made nearly 70 deals involving renewables and biofuels, compared to 80 such agreements for the entire 2018, according to the report.European oil majors are much more active than U.S. supermajors on the clean energy investment front, having sealed seven times as many agreements as the U.S. firms, BloombergNEF said. The most active oil firm in clean energy investment is Shell, beating its French rival Total to the first place this year, according to BloombergNEF’s report.Big Oil has been facing increased investor pressure to start addressing climate change risks and set emission reduction targets if the world is ever to achieve the Paris Agreement targets.Earlier this year, BP’s shareholders voted in favor of a climate change shareholder resolution, pushing the UK oil and gas supermajor to set out a business strategy consistent with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.Shell announced its first-ever short-term goals to cut the carbon footprint of its operations and product sales. In July, Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden said that the world reducing emissions to net zero “is the only way to go,” and called on businesses to work together to move faster in addressing climate change. The Anglo-Dutch major has pledged to invest US$2 billion annually in renewables and clean technologies.More: Big Oil to seal record number of green energy deals in 2019last_img read more

Home Away from Home

first_imgThe North Face Meadowlands 6 The trouble with big family tents is that they often require an engineering degree to pitch them. The North Face simplifies the process as much as possible with the Meadowlands, a six-person behemoth, by giving you color-coded poles and exterior pole clips, so you don’t have to fish the poles through 13 feet of tubing. As for space, the Meadowlands has it: 90 square feet to be exact. There’s lots of mesh for venting, but the tent is burly enough to hold up to winds that might cripple lesser family digs. 14.4 pounds. $429; thenorthface.com 1 2 One size fits all? Not when you’re talking about tents. Check out these four new shelters, fit for soloists or big families.REI Hobitat 4 Yes, the Hobitat is a tent, but you’d be better served thinking of this as a modular home. The four-person tent comes standard with a rainfly and mini vestibule, but it’s also built with a special “connect tech zipper” that allows you to add a full-sized garage. Pop open the garage’s awning and you’ve got shaded outdoor lounge space; close it down completely and you’ve got weatherproof storage for all your gear. Not that the tent isn’t spacious enough on its own. The odd pod-shaped design gives you more headroom throughout the tent, and tons of mesh pockets and hang loops keep your family’s gear off the floor. 16lb 8oz. $269; rei.comSierra Designs Lightning HT 2 Compared to most two-person tents, which are really only big enough for one regular-sized person and a dog, the Lightning HT 2 feels like a roomy amphitheater. The square footage isn’t revolutionary (28.5 square feet) but a few smart design features enable the Lightning HT 2 to live big. An extra ridge pole adds head room, then double doors keep you from having to step over your buddy every time you have to pee. And the rain fly has two separate vestibules, so you each get your own space. It’s a fully mesh tent, so if the weather’s right, ditch the fly and the entire forest becomes your bedroom, minus the bugs. 3lb 14oz. $279.95; sierradesigns.comlast_img read more

101: Intro to Climbing

first_imgSchool of Hard Rocks: A climber ascends the south peak of Seneca Rocks, W.Va. Photo: Massey TeelFrom the gear and terminology to the fear factor, learning to climb can be intimidating. But the payoff is huge.  Here is some crucial info to help you rock your first rock climb.Three Ways to ClimbTop rope: The climbing rope is run through a fixed anchor point above the route, allowing the climber to send shorter routes without any extra protection on the wall. Sport: Fixed protection is bolted into the rock wall, allowing climbers to clip into bolts as they send a route.Traditional: Artificial protection (cams and wedges) is placed in grooves and cracks on the rock wall as the lead climber sends a route. The second climber then “cleans” or removes the protection as he follows up the route. Trad climbing is the most prevalent form of climbing in the Southeast.Climbing GlossaryAnchor: The point where the rope is attached to the rock. Anchors are typically trees or bolts.Belay: To secure a climber with a rope to minimize a fall. In a top rope scenario, the climber, anchor, and belayer form three points of contact with the rope.Crux: The most difficult section of a climb.Gripped: Overcome with fear and fatigue in the middle of a climb.Lead climbing: To climb a route from the bottom up, placing artificial protection, or clipping into permanently placed bolts, along the way.Multi-pitch: A long route that demands traditional protection placement. Each pitch of the climb must be shorter than a single length of rope (50 meters).Protection: “Pro” for short, anchors placed by a lead climber to secure a climb.Myth BustersFirst, forget everything you think you know about rock climbing. Here are two common misconceptions dispelled:1. Climbing is dangerous: Sure, you’re hundreds of feet off the ground strapped to a rock wall, but climbing is far safer than most non-climbers realize. According to a study released in 2008 by the American Alpine Club, climbers suffer fewer accidents than snowboards, skiers, and sledders.“Knowledge is power,” says Swis Stockton, owner of Granite Arches, a service that guides beginners all over the Southeast. “A lot of beginners are scared to fall because they don’t realize the equipment is built for that very thing. If the ropes and harnesses are cared for, they’re much safer than most beginners think.2. Climbing is about upper body strength: Sylvester Stallone made climbing looking brutally hard in Cliffhanger, but it’s not really about bulging biceps and huge “lats.”“Climbing is about leg presses, not pull ups,” Stockton says. “Good climbers think about their foot placement first, moving from one foothold to the next, using their hands just for balance.”Practice your footwork in the gym. Find a low-angled wall built for kids and try to traverse it using only your feet. If you can, keep your hands on your hips. 1 2last_img read more

Video: Fishing the South River SRA

first_imgFly fishing for brook, rainbow and brown trout on the South River Special Regulation Area outside of Waynesboro, Virginia.Read the full story here.Fishing the South River SRA from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.last_img

Greenest American Cities

first_imgPortland (Oregon), Seattle, and San Francisco often top “greenest city” lists, but others, like Honolulu, by virtue of its large number of homes utilizing solar power, and New York, with more than double the amount of public transit ridership per capita than any other U.S. city, also place high. Pictured: Biking to work in San Francisco. Credit: iStockPhotoEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: Which are the greenest American cities, and why?        — D. Hansen, Wichita, KSWhich American city is the greenest depends on who you ask. Every year dozens of publications and websites release their own assessments of which cities have the most environmentally conscious citizenry, the highest percentage of recycling or the lowest carbon footprint per capita. Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco are often top contenders, but some of the other leading choices may be a surprise.The Daily Beast based a recent round-up of greenest U.S. cities on data collected by market research firm Experian Simmons, which has been tracking the greening of the nation for half a century. Researchers polled thousands of Americans to find out what percentage in different geographic regions think and act in an eco-conscious way versus what percentage do not, as well as what percentage make a conscious effort to recycle. The company also tracked the number of public transit trips per capita and the percentage of households that use solar heating by region. Honolulu, most likely by virtue of the fact that one percent of homes there utilize solar power, came out on top. New York, with more than double the amount of public transit ridership per capita than any other U.S. city, is #2, followed by San Francisco, Seattle and Boston.Meanwhile, the website Ecosalon looked at similar types of data and drew different conclusions, finding San Francisco to be the greenest. Ecosalon was especially impressed by San Franciscans routinely voting for aggressive green programs (like banning plastic grocery bags and financing renewable energy sources for public facilities) and by the fact that the city diverts 70 percent of its waste, thanks to mandatory recycling and composting. To top it off, nearly half of all San Franciscans bike, walk or take public transit every day—and the city is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels this year. Ecosalon ranks Portland, Oregon second, followed by Seattle, Chicago and New York.In another ranking, Canadian research company Corporate Knights granted Portland, San Francisco and Seattle a three-way tie for America’s greenest city. Denver ranked #4 while Albuquerque, Charlotte (NC) and Oakland tied at fifth. “Unlike other city-sustainability rankings, this ranking focuses on the effort cities are making rather than on their results, which could take years to achieve,” reported Kent Portney, a Tufts University researcher who participated in the project. “In other words, this ranking is aspirational in nature.” He says that each city was awarded a point for undertaking one of 38 programs or policies listed by Corporate Knights, in categories such as smart growth, land-use planning, pollution prevention, etc.And in yet another recent round-up, Mother Nature Network (MNN) declared Portland, Oregon—where 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes and legions of supporters of local and sustainable food sources rule—the nation’s greenest city. San Francisco, Boston, Oakland and Eugene (OR) round out MNN’s top five.Regardless of which city is “greenest,” all U.S. cities are greening up every day because planners now realize the economic advantages of using less energy, recycling more and keeping air and water clean. We can all help by supporting municipal energy savings, recycling and composting programs and community enhancement efforts. Who knows: If you keep it up, maybe your city will top one of next year’s lists.CONTACTS: The Daily Beast, www.thedailybeast.com; Ecosalon, www.ecosalon.com; Corporate Knights, www.corporateknights.com; Mother Nature Network, www.mnn.com.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

Weekend Pick: MoTown Throwdown Urban Rail Jam

first_imgThe 7th Annual MoTown Throwdown, presented by Pathfinder, is this Saturday, November 2nd in Morgantown, West Virginia. This is the last standing block party in Morgantown and unlike any other. They track in tons of snow and bring in the famous Seven Springs terrain park crew to build structures for skiing and snowboarding. Think of it as a snowy, urban terrain park. Gotta see it, to believe it!Morgantown is the only city in the South that shuts down its main thoroughfare to hold a sick rail jam. The Halloween weekend event has become one of the region’s most anticipated, attracting the Mid-Atlantic’s best new-school skiers and boarders. The event kicks off the season for many competitive riders in the Mid-Atlantic, offering enough prize money to attract talent from as far away as Vermont. It is also one of the biggest parties of the year for this college town, with the students rallying downtown to cheer, heckle and rabble-rouse. It rained during the competition last year, but even that didn’t stop the competition and the crowds still packed High Street.The competition kicks off at 6:00pm and lasts until 8:00pm. Want to participate? Email the event coordinators and they can make that happen. Admission is free.There will also be tons of wintry gear for sale (and marked down 20-50% off) to get you excited for the upcoming ski and snowboard season. Music will be provided by DJ Zimmie again this year and there will be food and refreshments galore. Come one, come all, this is definitely something not to be missed!View Larger Maplast_img read more

Carrying the Weight: Backpacking with Diabetes

first_imgWhen I was first with diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, backpacking became yet another line on my mental list of things I’d probably not be able to do now that I was managing such a complicated condition.Although the first thing they reassured me of (while I was still in the ER, without me asking), was that with the advent of modern technology, I would be able to safely have children, they did not assure me I’d still be able to romp through mountain streams, swim in crystal clear pools, and sleep under the stars. They did not go so far as to assure me that I’d still be able to stretch my skirt over my kayak and paddle all day, or travel to third world countries. Needless to say, the first consolation did not address my main concerns.Eight years have passed since then, and as I get to know myself more and more as a person with diabetes, I learn that to do what I’ve always loved to do and to try new things is definitely possible, but both require more planning. It’s been a long road to accepting that my version of spontaneous will not look like it used to, when I could decide on a whim to jump in a car headed for Gauley Fest or throw some granola in my pack and head off for a weekend of camping, like I had a few months before my diagnosis. My version of spontaneous does not need to look like anyone else’s, and I’ve learned to validate that for myself by moving one adventure at a time off of the, ‘Can’t Do It’ list, and onto the, ‘Plan It!’ list.The first time I went backpacking with diabetes (and also with an ex-boyfriend, a seasoned backpacker himself) the car ride to the trailhead was mortifying. My brain was in an endless feedback loop of, “What did I forget? What if I my blood glucose meter stops working? What if my insulin gets hot? What if I run out of honey and glucose? I’m going to die on the trail and let all the people who love me down!” And so on.I told myself to pull it together and then we plunged into the woods. The trip was miraculous. We backpacked for just one night, up and over Black Balsam, down and around, to camp at my beloved Flat Laurel Creek in the shadow of Sam’s Knob. We gazed at a small fire. We ate food that tasted like a five-star meal as we spooned it out of crinkly aluminum bags. During the hike I downed an entire honey bear just to keep my blood sugar high enough to walk on. I’ve learned that the added weight of my pack causes me to burn glucose at a rate like nothing else, and it takes me a while to get enough carbohydrates in my system to sustain the activity. Luckily I love honey and I don’t get to eat it like a bear (or straight from the bear) as often as I’d like. There were things I forgot, non-essentials, but it was hard to miss them. From day one backpacking made me feel self-sufficient and whole in a way that I hadn’t since that day at the hospital, when I came to grips with the fact that my pancreas was no longer working for me.Type 1 diabetes is a funny condition. In one way you get to know yourself much more intimately than before, taking over the job of organs and hormones that once ran themselves. In another way, there are so many mysteries, so many unanswered questions, from, “Why has my body turned on itself?” (Stop that immune system, chill out!!) to, “Why do I wade through a dizzy dream of low blood sugars one day and spend other days slogging through persistent high blood sugars that make me lethargic and frustrated?” With diabetes there are no guarantees, no continuity, and a thousand variables, except that it is always there, accompanying you like a weight you can never put down.But the good news is, and here’s the point I’ve been switchbacking my way around to: carrying a weight can make you stronger! And, beautifully, it can make you more prepared to face whatever arises in your life with positivity, preparedness, and resilience. Those things, I’ve found, are essential in both chronic condition management and adventuring, whether it be backpacking in the woods, through a foreign country, or entering bravely into a new job or life experience!Most recently backpacking led me to celebrate Independence Day 2014 under the stars and half moon in a small clearing on Higgins Bald with my house-mate and dear friend. Sweating our way through the steep Appalachian Mountains has brought us closer, each of us seeming to remember what the other forgot, one whipping out hummus, one bringing sunflower seed butter to slather on shared tortillas. More than that, we’re there for each other to share laughter and glorious sunsets. We joked, as we tore through the underbrush searching for the open space that gave Higgins Bald its namesake, that someone must have applied a heavy dose of ‘Rhodo-Gain©’ to this mountain man, because the hillside is now covered with scrubby undergrowth and a tangle of rhododendron and laurel.Before we left I ran through the list of things I would need to survive in the woods, but since I’ve developed a go-to paper checklist, with my medical supplies listed next to my camping essentials, diabetes no longer gets all the attention when I’m planning. Loading my pack is an equalizer for me; everyone has to deliberate, prepare, and strategize before heading off into the woods and away from their myriad belongings and comfortable routine. I’m managing my survival every day anyway, and with my pack on, I’ve got everything I need. The heaviness of it helps me to realize that the time and energy diabetes takes, although it can be huge, is necessary. More than that, it’s worthwhile. Planning for and honoring my unique condition allows me to reach new heights and places, and feel as good as I can along the way.For about a year and a half I’ve worn the Omnipod insulin pump. It’s a funny little thing if you’re new to the concept, comprised of a PDM, which is like a remote control the size of a chunky phone, and a small hard plastic pod, which looks like a tiny computer mouse. Every three days I fill a new pod (or ‘big white leech thing’ like a friend once called it), with insulin and stick it on to my body (it uses strong tape). I check my blood sugar on the PDM about ten times a day. Once I count and enter the amount of carbohydrates I am going to eat it suggests a dosage which I can accept or alter. I am able to choose a higher or lower baseline rate depending on my activity level. It’s my own personal perma-pack of insulin, a little bit like an external pancreas, and it’s helped me to live a more flexible life than when I was on 4 to 6 shots a day.We people with Type 1 diabetes are always toting around something: the things we need to actually balance our blood sugar every minute of every day and the emotional and mental load of taking over for one of our organs. On the trail, the load is simplified and well balanced. The smell of Galax and rich soil, the sight of the mountains and trickling sound of streams helps my mind even out to smooth waves. On the way to Higgins Bald, I realized that my mental checklist has become manageable. I reviewed it calmly: “insulin, a way to get insulin into my body, glucose, water….okay, I have all I need to survive.” It was freeing.Maybe because managing diabetes requires me to constantly consider what I need to survive day in and day out regardless of where my adventures take me, I have gained an appreciation for what I really need to thrive and what is excess. In the woods, my journal tends to lie dormant. There is no space for technology, for vanity, or for ‘entertainment.’ There is also no need. The woods etch beauty into your mind, they are accepting and non-judgmental, and are endlessly captivating in a way that stills my drive for external stimulation.There is a simplicity in the trees and rocks that allows silence to be nurturing and brings a person into the present moment whether alone or with friends. With my pack on my back I feel strong, joyful, and whole, carrying the weight of diabetes in stride.— Katie Souris works as the Coordinator of Preventive Health at the YWCA and writes a blog about living adventurously with diabetes in mind at: thesweetadventurer.wordpress.com/last_img read more