More Buckets of Icy Cold Reality for Green New Dealers, Dems and UN on Climate Crisis

Democrats, Green New Dealers and UN gabfest attendees need to get “woke” on eco-energy.

The full-court press is on for climate chaos disaster and renewable energy salvation. CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate event for Democratic Party presidential aspirants. Every day brings more gloom-and-doom stories about absurd, often taxpayer-funded pseudo-scientific reports on yet another natural event or supposed calamity that alarmists insist is due to fossil fuels that provide 80 percent of U.S. and global energy.

MSNBC just hosted another two-day Democratic Party presidential candidates climate forum at Georgetown University – where I spoke at a contrarian program. Meanwhile, a big Climate March took place in New York City, while protesters tried to block Washington, DC streets. They were all kicking off the UN’s “Global Climate Week” in NYC, featuring a Youth Climate Summit and UN General Assembly event where world leaders will demand global action to supposedly stop the supposed climate crisis.

Their standard solution is biofuel, solar, wind and battery power. My recent article dumped buckets of icy cold reality on several of those claims. They obviously need to be doused with a few more icy buckets.

To reiterate: Wind and sunshine are free, renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly. However, the lands and raw materials required for technologies to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather-dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, their environmental impacts are monumental.

The Democratic Party candidates and their supporters want to replace coal and gas backup power plants with batteries, to ensure we have (much more expensive) electricity even when intermittent, weather-dependent wind and sunshine refuse to cooperate with our need for 24/7/365 power for our electricity-based homes, schools, hospitals, factories, businesses, computers, social media and civilization.

So let’s suppose we blanket the United States with enough industrial-scale wind and solar facilities to replace the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours Americans used in 2018 – and we manufacture and install enough king-sized batteries to store sufficient electricity for seven straight windless or sunless days.

We would need something on the order of one billion 100-kilowatt-hour, 1,000-pound lithium and cobalt-based battery packs – similar to what Tesla uses in its electric vehicles. (This does not include the extra battery storage required to charge up the cars, trucks and buses we are supposed to replace with EVs.)

All these batteries would support the millions and millions of Green New Deal solar panels and wind turbines we would have to build and install. They would require prodigious amounts of iron, copper, rare earth metals, concrete and other raw materials. And every one of these batteries, turbines and panels would have to be replaced far more often than coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric power plants.

Indeed, what are we going to do with all those worn-out and broken-down turbines, panels and batteries? The International Renewable Energy Agency has said disposing of just the worn out solar panels that the UN wants erected around the world by 2050, under the Paris Climate Treaty’s solar energy goals, could result in two times the tonnage of the United States’ total plastic waste in 2017!

So another icy cold reality is this: All this “free, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly, ethical” energy would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has ever seen. But when was the last time any environmentalist or Democrat supported opening a single U.S. mine? They detest mining.

Which brings us to the dirtiest pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable energy secret of all – the one these folks absolutely do not want to talk about: slave and child labor.

Because of rabid environmentalist opposition, the United States and Europe no longer permit much mining within their borders. They just import minerals – many of them from China and Russia. And the same groups that extol the virtues of wind, solar and battery power are equally opposed to Western mining companies extracting rare earth, lithium, cadmium, cobalt and other minerals almost anywhere on Planet Earth – even under rigorous Western labor, safety, environmental and reclamation rules.

That means those materials are mined and processed in places like Baotou, Inner Mongolia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly under Chinese control. They are dug out and processed by fathers, mothers and children – under horrific, unsafe, inhuman conditions that few of us can even imagine … under almost nonexistent labor, wage, health, safety and pollution standards.

Those renewable energy, high-tech slaves get a few pennies or dollars a day – while risking cave-ins and being exposed constantly to filthy, toxic, perhaps radioactive mud, dust, water and air. The mining and industrial areas become vast toxic wastelands, where nothing grows, and no people or wildlife can live.

For cobalt alone – say UNICEF and Amnesty International – an estimated 40,000 Congolese children, as young as four years old, slave away in mines, from sunrise to sundown, six or even seven days a week. That’s today. Imagine how many will be needed to serve the ethical green energy utopia.

Green New Dealers demand sustainable, ethical, human rights-based coffee, sneakers, T-shirts, handbags and diamonds. Absolutely no child labor, sweat shop, or toxic, polluted workplace conditions allowed. But they have little or nothing to say about the Chinese, Russian and other companies that run the horrid operations that provide their wind turbines, solar panels, smart grids – and batteries for their cell phones, Teslas, laptops and backup electrical power.

I’ve never seen them make ethical wind turbines, solar panels and batteries an issue. I’ve never seen them protest outside a Chinese, Russian or Congolese embassy, or corporate headquarters in Beijing, Moscow or Kinshasa. They probably don’t want to get shot or sent to gulags.

And just a few weeks ago, California legislators voted down Assembly Bill 735. The bill simply said California would certify that “zero emission” electric vehicles sold in the state must be free of any materials or components that involve child labor. The issue is complicated, the legislators said. It would be too hard to enforce. It would imperil state climate goals. And besides, lots of other industries also use child labor … they explained.

As Milton Friedman said, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Wind, solar, biofuel and battery power are not free, clean, green, renewable or sustainable. America must not let delusion, dishonesty and ideology drive public policies that will determine our future jobs, prosperity, living standards, freedoms and civilization.

What Green New Dealers are talking about has nothing to do with stopping dangerous manmade climate change – or with real sustainability, resource conservation or environmental protection. It has everything to do with increasingly socialist, largely taxpayer-financed activists, politicians, regulators and crony capitalists controlling people’s lives; dictating our energy use, economic growth, job opportunities and living standards; and getting richer, more powerful and more privileged in the process.

Meanwhile poor, minority and working class families – pay the price. And destitute families in hungry, impoverished, electricity-deprived nations pay the highest price. China, India, Indonesia and Africa are not about to give up their determined efforts to take their rightful, God-given places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people. They are not going to stop using fossil fuels to reach their goals.

They are not going to let anyone – including the UN, EU, U.S. leftists and other eco-imperialists – tell them they can never enjoy those blessings, or that they will be allowed to improve their health and living standards only at the margins, only to levels achievable with wind, solar and cow dung power.

That’s why, even as the United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent between 2000 and 2017 – India’s plant-fertilizing CO2 emissions soared by some 140 percent and China’s skyrocketed some 194 percent – further greening Planet Earth. In 2019 alone, China alone will add more coal-fired generating capacity than what all existing US coal-fired power plants generate.

While all these countries continue using more and more fossil fuels to improve their economies, health and living standards – why in heaven’s name would the United States want to join Green New Dealers and others in an environment-destroying ban-fossil-fuels economic suicide pact?

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environmental and human rights issues.

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7 Reasons Why Businesses Need to Go Green or Get Out

Sustainability has become a buzzword in the business world. However, embracing eco-friendliness isn’t a temporary trend like lava lamps or pet rocks. If you hope for ongoing viability in a changing world, you must adopt environmentally healthy practices.

Today’s customers demand green initiatives and will pay more for sustainability. Plus, playing catch-up with changing regulations stifles innovation as you scramble to keep up with applicable laws. Discover seven reasons to embrace protecting the planet — if you haven’t already.

1. Customer Demand Drives Innovation

Around 73 percent of millennials claim they’d pay more for green goods across a variety of industries. Though the economy proves challenging, their commitment to leaving the planet a healthier place for future generations supersedes financial worries. Today’s youth have less disposable income overall, and they carefully consider which companies deserve their hard-earned dollars.

Instituting eco-friendly practices creates an instant marketing campaign. Let the world know your commitment to sustainability. You’ll keep your existing base happy while attracting new customers.

2. Going Green Offers Tax and Legal Benefits

Federal and state governments offer businesses significant tax incentives to go green. Your accounting team can keep you advised on rapid-fire changes to available credits and deductions.

For example, you can claim a 30% credit for investing in solar or wind. If you need to upgrade the HVAC system for your organization, you can save considerable cash by exploring these options. Credits offer a dollar-by-dollar reduction in your overall tax bill. Converting to a green-certified building, for instance, creates a tax deduction.

3. Sustainability Saves Money on Supplies

If you’re printing handouts for an internal meeting, do you need to use a clean sheet of paper for each one? Many businesses go through reams of paper unnecessarily, and this practice destroys a lot of trees. Put recycling boxes next to all copy machines and printers. Institute a policy of printing all non-client correspondence on repurposed sheets.

Likewise, if you hand out single-use water bottles with your logo to clients, you’re spending a small fortune — and wasting plastic. Plus, once your customer tosses it into the recycle bin, they lose your contact information. Instead, gift repeated clients a reusable water bottle or coffee mug. You save money in the long run and keep your name front and center.

4. Eco-Friendly Measures Cut Utility Bills

With solar technology, you can reduce your electric bill. Small businesses with little need for backup generators can eliminate this bill, freeing up significant money each month. Even large firms who stay on the grid to preserve continuity save considerable cash.

Switching to low-flow faucets and toilets can save you money on your water bill. If your facility contains amenities like laundry areas and kitchens, appliances with a high Energy Star rating further reduce expenditures.

5. Green Companies Attract and Retain Talent

Most people spend half or more of their waking hours at work. Considering the time investment, they want a company culture that shares their values and visions. Many seek companies that embrace sustainability.

According to one study, 64% of millennials consider a business’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. The same number is also willing to turn down a job without a strong corporate responsibility. If you want to attract talent and retain top producers, commit to going green.

6. Environmentally Friendly Policies Improve Health Outcomes

Pollution can kill. An estimated 4.6 million people die each year from air pollution. That staggering figure doesn’t include the number of days lost to upper respiratory and chronic health conditions stemming from breathing particulates and toxins.

Because the U.S. lacks a universal system of health insurance coverage, employers get left footing the bill. This system comes with a hefty price tag, more than $6,000 annually for an average person. This number pales beside the $15,000 needed to train a replacement, but it’s hardly a minor expense.

Embracing greener practices improves health outcomes overall. Healthier employees call out sick less often and seek care less frequently, driving costs down for everyone.

7. Sustainability Is Key to Ongoing Viability

With apologies to those in the non-renewable energy sector, certain resources will begin to dry up. At the very least, fossil fuels will become harder to acquire, making them pricier. If you use hemp packaging when this occurs, production can continue as usual. However, if you’re stuck using plastic, you’ll need to halt operations to invest in new material.

Climate change also impacts your future customer base. Some people are even refusing to bear children due to concerns about the planet’s future. Increased competition for business is coming — if you’re an innovator, you want to get ahead of the trend.

Why Businesses Go Green or Risk Extinction

Green initiatives offer a host of benefits. Organizations that embrace sustainability will thrive in the coming economy. Eco-friendly practices and profits are increasingly going hand in hand. Those who fail to realize it will eventually fade into obsolescence.

If you’re interested in writing for International Policy Digest – please send us an email via submissions@intpolicydigest.org

Neste, World’s Largest Producer of Renewable Diesel Fuel Honored as Clean Air Champion by East Bay Clean Cities Coalition

Neste supplies renewable diesel fuel, Neste MY Renewable Diesel™, to several cities in the East Bay and elsewhere in California and Oregon. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a drop-in, advanced diesel fuel made of renewable waste materials, compatible with existing distribution and logistics systems as well as all diesel vehicle engines.

In addition to supplying Neste MY Renewable Diesel to 17 cities in California, Neste also has partnered with the City of Oakland to initiate a program in which local waste grease is collected, sent to Neste’s refinery and used as a feedstock for the low-carbon renewable diesel that is returned to the city for use in its vehicles.

“Neste is proud to accept this award,” said Neste US, Inc., President Jeremy Baines, “as it recognizes the partnerships that our company strives to create as part of our business, which is bringing renewable and sustainable products to our customers.”

Neste’s renewable diesel fuel has been a prime contributor to the success of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a key tool in the state’s program to combat climate change.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional petroleum diesel. It also cuts engine-out emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 9%, carbon monoxide by 24% and fine particulates by 33%, all while enhancing engine performance.

About Neste Corporation

Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. Our wide range of renewable products enable our customers to reduce climate emissions. We are the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the aviation and plastics industries. We are also a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research, and sustainable operations. In 2018, Neste’s revenue stood at EUR 14.9 billion. In 2019, Neste placed 3rd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more at www.nesteMY.com.

Media Contact: Helen Deian, Neste US, Inc., 713-407-4400, helen.deian@neste.com

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Clean Energy: Power Your Home with Wind Turbines

Humankind has been using wind power for generations. Throughout history, from sailboats to windmills, wind has been a crucial source of energy.

In recent times, wind energy has become more popular as an efficient and more sustainable substitute for fossil fuels. Wind farms have started dotting coastlines and mountaintops across the globe.

For efficiently and judiciously producing the highest amounts of electricity with wind energy, there’s a lot to take into account. 

RELATED: THE SCIENTIFIC REASON WHY WIND TURBINES HAVE 3 BLADES

How do wind turbines work?

Before we discuss the technical requirements of a wind turbine, it is essential to know the basic principle on which these wind turbines work.

Wind turbines utilize the kinetic energy of wind to turn the propeller-like blades, which in turn powers the motor-generator set to produce electrical energy.

The wind flow depends on the differences in terrain, vegetation, and water bodies. Hence, you’ll often find wind turbines placed at higher altitudes where the wind blows steadily.

Several sizes of wind turbines are designed depending on the power requirements. Utility turbines are capable of producing 100 kilowatts to several megawatts and are often used to power the electrical grid.

Offshore wind turbines are tall and massive structures, capturing powerful ocean winds to generate vast amounts of electrical energy.

Smaller turbines that produce power less than 100 kilowatts are used for residential and agricultural applications. These are often used in remote, off-grid locations.

However, given the benefits of clean and cost-effective energy, small turbines are now increasingly used in grid-connected applications too.

Planning a small wind power system

If you’re planning to capture this abundant energy to power your home, it is important to understand the basic requirements of setting up a wind turbine.

The first and foremost requirement is to check the suitability of your site for an electric wind power system. You need to estimate the wind resource, as it can vary depending on the terrain.

If you live in the U.S., you can estimate the wind source in your area by referring to the wind resource maps provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program.

Another way is to use a direct wind resource measurement system to get a clear picture of the available resource.

Clean Energy: Power Your Home with Wind Turbines
Source: Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

How big of a wind turbine do you need to power a house?

The size of the wind turbine you require depends upon your application. An energy budget for residential applications should be made, and whether monetary incentives are available.

This data will help decide the turbine size you will require. As energy efficiency is typically more affordable than energy production, making your abode more energy proficient will probably be more financially savvy and will decrease the size of the wind turbine you need.

Wind turbine makers, sellers, and installers can help appraise your framework depending on your power necessities and the particulars of your nearby wind resource and micro-siting.

Depending on the power you need to create, turbines required for residential usage range from 400 Watts to 100 kW (100 kW for very large loads). Small turbines are in the range of 20 Watts to 100 kilowatts (kW).

Every year, a typical residence consumes about 911 kWh every 30 days, which sums up to around 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power. A wind turbine in the range of 5 to 15 kW, in view of the normal wind speed in the region, would be required to make significantly extra to this demand.

For a home requiring 300 kWh every month, a 1.5-kW wind turbine can suffice yearly in a region with a 14 MPH (6.26 meters every second) average wind speed. The expected annual energy output of the turbine as a function of annual average wind speed can be provided by the manufacturer, dealer, or installer.

The producer will likewise give data about any maximum wind speeds at which the turbine is planned to work.

To prevent the rotor from turning unstable in very high winds, most turbines have customized overspeed-directing structures. Insights that will enable you to pick which size turbine will best meet your capacity, will be based on the data about your local wind resource, which incorporates wind speed, heading, and your energy spending plan.

How much does a wind turbine cost for your home?

Wind turbine expenditure proportion changes significantly between producers and installers in contrast to other sustainable power sources for private or business use.

Here are the commonly available types of wind turbines you can choose from:

Roof-mounted wind turbines

A roof-mounted turbine might well take the edge of expanding fuel charges throughout the following years. However, it won’t give all the power you require.

Roof-mounted wind turbines
Source: Andol/Wikimedia Commons

You may consider introducing a rooftop mounted wind turbine, on the off chance that you have a high rooftop that gets enough wind speed most of the time. These can be utilized to enhance your power supply and differ in power from about 0.5 kW to 2.5 kW.

The ordinary cost of a rooftop mounted wind turbine is around $3,000, which ought to be kept up and could cost you as much as several hundred dollars consistently.

Free-standing wind turbines

Free-standing wind turbines can be an effective option for those who are genuinely considering utilizing wind as a method of giving renewable energy for a local power source. But, they are likewise increasingly expensive to install.

Cost depends upon the size and the yield that is needed. Depending upon your zone and wind speeds, a 1.5 kW turbine would generally cost $8,000 and $12,000 and give out around 2,600 kW over a year.

A greater exhibit that has a 15 kW limit would cost in the area of $100,000 and return around 36,000 kW over a year.

You will also need to consider the maintenance cost and if you required to arrange authorization for all wind turbine structures.

Free standing wind turbine
Source: TechnoSpin Inc./Flickr

A lot of significant parts may need supplanting, for instance, batteries or the inverter that change DC current to AC. However, taking everything into account, a wind turbine is made to last more than 20-25 years.

What’s the best wind turbine for a home?

Producing your electricity is an efficient way of bringing down your electric bills. While solar energy is usually the go-to eco-friendly option, wind power can also be another alternative for those residing in areas with reliable wind speeds.

Whether you are residing in a rural area and the electric grid is non-accessible or are living in a suburb and wishing to cut-down your utility bill, home wind turbines are a one-stop solution. You just have to have little knowledge, some land, and a high voltage battery bank.

You can get a mid-range home wind turbine for approximately $700, which will conveniently meet your needs. A bigger one, with a capacity of over 1500W and 2000W, will cost you around $1,500 and $2,000, respectively.

These Eco-Lodges Are Dreamy, Guilt-Free Getaways

You want a vacation that feels like a vacation—a pool, a comfy bed, good food, plenty of things to do (or not). But you also don’t want a holiday that puts the environment second fiddle to your comforts. Now more than ever, properties in dreamy locales are making environmental protections part of the experience, either through design, like making the most of alternative energy sources, green building protocols, energy-efficient heating and cooling, and waste-reduction practices, or by inviting you to participate in conservation efforts. Here are seven notable outposts doing just that.

Wilderness Safaris Jao Camp

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy Wilderness Safaris Jao Camp)

Okavango Delta, Botswana

At Wilderness Safaris Jao Camp, which closed for a top-down renovation in 2018 and reopened this summer, you’ll stay in one of five villas built into the tree canopy, with your own private plunge pool, outdoor shower, butler, and chef. This entirely solar-powered safari camp was reconstructed with an intentionally low footprint to minimize impact on the Okavango Delta. Electricity and hot water are powered by on-site solar panels, rooms are chilled with a silent evaporative cooler, which consumes less energy than normal air-conditioning, and single-use plastics have been replaced with reusable, organic amenities. When you’re not relaxing in your villa, paddle the delta in a traditional dugout canoe, search for buffalo and elephants, or stargaze on an outdoor deck. From $1,262 per person, all-inclusive

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The Nines Hotel

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy The Nines Hotel)

Portland, Oregon

The silver LEED-certified Nines Hotel, located in a historic downtown Portland building that once housed a department store, gets creative with its sustainability efforts. All 331 guest rooms have energy-saving thermostats, low-flush toilets, and LED lights. But this property goes beyond the typical requirements, with a rooftop herb garden and rainwater collection system, an on-site beehive that supplies all of the hotel’s honey, and discounted rates on valet parking if you drop off a hybrid car. Close to 80 percent of its waste is diverted from landfills, thanks to a full-proof recycling system and biodegradable products. Take the MAX light-rail around town, run through Waterfront Park, or dine on vegan sushi and dim sum on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. From $235

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Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy Clayoquot Wilderness Resort/Tom Cahalan)

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

At Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, sleep in one of 25 well-appointed waterfront or rainforest tents set along a seven-mile-long deep-water fjord. No roads lead here, so arrive via a 40-minute boat ride from nearby Tofino (you can also get there by a 45-minute floatplane ride from Vancouver, but it won’t fit the eco theme quite as well). Meals are served in a log cookhouse, yoga takes place daily in the studio or on its deck, and you can paddleboard or enjoy guided hikes throughout the area’s estuary. If you feel inspired to give back, join the hotel’s wildlife-habitat rehabilitation efforts on the Clayoquot Sound by signing up to remove marine debris or replenish salmon-spawning environs. Since 2001, the resort, in concert with Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Ahousaht First Nation, has been working to repair environmental damage left from the mining and logging industries of the 1800s. From $3,531 per person for a three-night package

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Kasiiya Papagayo

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy Kasiiya Papagayo)

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

There are just five tented suites built on timber platforms at Kasiiya Papagayo, which opened in January, and each comes with supreme privacy on the resort’s 123-acre waterfront property. This solar-powered wilderness retreat was built without cutting down any trees and by using natural, low-impact materials. An electric car delivers guests to nearby sights, tents come stocked with drinks in a cooler instead of a fridge, and there’s an empty, white-sand beach steps from your deck. Surfing at Tamarindo is an hour away, or you can climb a tree, sea kayak to islands, or take a hike through the jungle right from your tent. Spot monkeys, crocodiles, and butterflies in the animal sanctuary at the nearby Diamante Eco Adventure Park. From $490, including meals, activities, and airport transfer

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The Blake Hotel

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy The Blake Hotel)

Taos, New Mexico

The upscale, slopeside Blake Hotel opened at the base of Taos Ski Valley in 2017. This 80-room silver LEED-certified property is part of a revamp of the ski area’s base village, continuing the resort’s ongoing commitment to environmental practices. The hotel’s geothermal heating and cooling system and its water efficiency will contribute to Taos Ski Valley’s goal of reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. (Taos Ski Valley is the first and only ski resort in the world to become a Certified B Corporation, a designation for businesses that exhibit high standards of social and environmental impact.) As a guest, you’ll appreciate the spa’s skier-specific massage treatments, overnight ski storage with boot dryers, and après-ski cocktails at the hotel bar. From $259

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Oxford Hotel

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy Oxford Hotel)

Bend, Oregon

Borrow a free cruiser bike from the 59-room Oxford Hotel to explore downtown Bend, or park your Tesla out front in one of the electric-vehicle charging stations (electric cars also get free valet parking). This boutique property has comfortable suites with views of the Cascade Mountains, loaner guitars for impromptu jam sessions, and organic breakfast delivered to your room. Powered entirely by renewable energy, the Oxford is equipped with low-energy heating and cooling systems, recycled materials in the design build, low-flow bathroom faucets, and all-natural mattresses. From $409

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High Lonesome Ranch

eco lodges
(Photo: Courtesy High Lonesome Ranch)

De Beque, Colorado

Less than an hour north of Grand JunctionHigh Lonesome Ranch is a conservation-minded organization disguised as a guest ranch. Stay in private cabins, shared homes, or canvas tents along a tumbling creek on the ranch’s sprawling 250,000 acres. Miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails surround the property, and horseback riding and fly-fishing for brown and brook trout are a must. While it doesn’t have many eco-lodge elements in its design, the ranch works to protect and preserve biodiversity through an on-site research group that studies everything from stream restoration and migratory animals to aspen-grove replenishing. It also has a team dedicated to preserving and restoring degraded wildlife habitat in an effort to promote mixed use of the land, from ranching and farming to recreation. From $1,245 for two nights of double occupancy, meals and some activities included

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Texas’ embrace of green energy should inspire hope

Opinion


Texas is paving the way to becoming more eco-friendly. | Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

Green energy is vitally important to the future of society and its combat with climate change. Fossil fuels are, of course, used in nearly every facet of society, but their methods of acquisition and use are bringing incredible harm to the planet and the environment.

Thankfully Texas, despite being a world leader in the oil and gas industry, is making efforts to decrease its carbon footprint and is working toward a more sustainable energy model. The steps currently being taken may be somewhat small, but it’s great to hear progress is being made.

The state is making great strides toward more green sources of energy. In fact, Texas produces the most wind energy of any state by a huge margin — nearly tripling the output of the runner up in the category, Iowa. Wind production has come so far in the state that current predictions estimate it will outperform coal in 2020, which is inspiring to hear.

A probable reason for this is the plummeting cost of harnessing wind energy. It has reportedly become one of the cheapest forms of energy, even lower than the ever-increasing price of natural gas and just cheaper than solar. Through wind and solar power, green energy is no longer only making sense environmentally but also economically.

Hearing about these advancements should inspire hope in the hearts of a generation that is currently staring an apocalypse in the face.

Global warming is real, and it’s being expedited by our society’s rampant use of fossil fuels. Wind energy is clean and incurs far less environmental impact than the methods that have been relied on in recent centuries.

All that being said, however, natural gas is still king in Texas, dwarfing its competition. This makes sense, as Texas’s oil and gas industry is famously massive. While hearing that may seem discouraging to some, the aforementioned economic incentives to push for more green energy is already pushing the state in the right direction.

As mentioned, solar power is currently about as affordable for energy companies as wind, but its use in Texas isn’t as widespread as wind’s.

While, again, this may seem discouraging to some, the reason behind it makes sense: solar has been much more expensive than its contemporaries, making it a less desirable option. Now that it’s nearly as cheap as wind, however, it should see more use in the state.

Additionally, solar energy doesn’t have to be exclusive to big businesses and energy producers. Anybody with the necessary time, money and location could and should consider installing solar panels on their home. It’s easier and more affordable than ever and will bring down carbon footprints by a non-negligible factor.

So, while Texas still has a considerable way to go before being considered entirely eco-friendly, inspiring progress is being made toward that goal. Wind and solar power are on the way in, and hopefully that progress can continue and perhaps even speed up in the upcoming years. Because if it doesn’t, nothing good could come of it.

Opinion writer Kyle Dishongh is a finance junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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CalBio and Bloom Energy to Generate Renewable Electricity From Dairy Waste

SAN JOSE, Calif. and VISALIA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) and California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), today announced a collaboration to deploy the companies’ commercial solution for the conversion of dairy waste into renewable electricity without combustion.

CalBio’s dairy digester technology with Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology delivers an end-to-end solution for the capture of methane and generation of renewable electricity. The solution has been designed such that the electricity will power electric vehicles (EVs) throughout California. In integrating these proven technologies, the two companies have created the world’s first commercial solution to generate non-combusted electricity from dairy waste to power EVs.

Today, most California dairies are making plans to install digesters to capture biogas from their cow manure and are looking for a cleaner way to utilize this fuel. Biogas captured from cow manure contains approximately 65 percent methane, which has a 25 times greater impact on global warming than CO2 emissions and accounts for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but is also a useful, renewable fuel.

The CalBio-Bloom Energy solution not only produces clean electricity, it also removes methane that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere. Capturing and utilizing waste methane is a powerful way to positively and quickly impact climate change.

How It Works

CalBio digesters capture biogas, primarily consisting of methane, released from the anaerobic decomposition of dairy manure. CalBio’s technology also separates hydrogen sulfide from the biogas. The biogas is then converted to renewable electricity in a Bloom Energy Server through an electrochemical process. The Bloom Energy Server is the world’s most efficient electricity generator. It produces twice as much electricity as conventional combustion generators using the same amount of biogas.

Once generated, all of the renewable electricity can be transmitted via the electric grid to EV charging stations throughout California.

Today, emissions generated by EV charging vary according to when EVs are plugged in to charge. For example, at night, California draws the largest portion of its electricity from burning natural gas or from imported power, including coal, so EV charging may not be very clean at all. Going forward, any EV network buying electricity from a CalBio-Bloom Energy dairy project will be able to provide their customers renewable electricity.

The Potential

There is an estimated 320 megawatts of economically viable dairy biogas in California. With significant deployments of dairy digesters occurring throughout the California dairy industry, there is need for an on-site power generation solution that uses the captured biogas to generate renewable electricity without combustion.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in California

The state of California has set ambitious goals to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions, including methane. In order to advance these goals, the state provides grants and sets policy through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Both small and large dairies deploying the new CalBio-Bloom Energy biogas solution will be eligible to apply for CDFA grants. CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), meanwhile, creates value for low carbon fuels, enabling EV charging operators to buy the renewable energy credits generated by dairy farmers to meet carbon reduction goals.

Air Quality Benefits

California’s Central Valley, and especially the San Joaquin Valley, where many dairies are located, has some of the worst air quality in the United States, as well as the highest rates of childhood asthma in California. Using fuel cells to generate electricity from dairy biogas, instead of combustion engines, eliminates smog-forming emissions, and improves air quality and public health. Charging more EVs with renewable electricity will contribute to air quality improvements throughout California, called for under the Governor’s Executive Order for five million zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

Executive Quotes

The urgency of the fight against climate change and unhealthy air quality requires us to slash potent, super-pollutant emissions, including methane from agriculture, and get combustion out of our energy and transportation systems,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. “This solution is a trifecta – slashing methane, avoiding combustion from electricity generation, and supporting our transition to electrified transportation.”

Our California dairy families play a critical role in producing nutritious, high-quality milk and dairy products, while, at the same time, engaging in air, water, and environmental sustainability efforts,” said Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “This is a great example of the partnerships needed to advance technologies from the Silicon Valley and agriculturally rich Central Valley in order to move the needle further in renewable energy from dairies.”

While the San Joaquin Valley is already subject to the most stringent air quality regulations in the nation, innovative programs such as this, which assist in deploying the latest clean air technologies, play a vital role in addressing the Valley’s air quality challenges,” said Samir Sheikh, air pollution control officer and executive director for The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District.

In bringing together the best technology from Silicon Valley with the best technology from the Central Valley, we’re really doing something special for California,said N. Ross Buckenham, CEO of CalBio. With Bloom, we have found an ultra-clean “on-dairy” biogas system that can scale from small to large dairies, with attractive economics for the capture and utilization of methane. We’ll create local jobs, generate income for dairy farmers, help the environment by reducing greenhouse gases and fossil fuel consumption and greatly improve local air quality.”

To achieve its ambitious climate goals, California has to embrace every innovation that can make a difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said KR Sridhar, founder, chairman, and CEO of Bloom Energy.We’re proud to be tackling both the causes and consequences of climate change through this innovative collaboration with CalBio, and through the clean energy that Bloom provides to California businesses every day.”

About California Bioenergy

CalBio is the leading developer of dairy digesters generating renewable electricity and vehicle fuel in California. Founded in 2006, CalBio has worked closely with the dairy industry and state agencies to develop programs to help the state achieve its methane reduction goals while delivering, a new revenue source to California dairies and clean air for the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, visit: www.calbioenergy.com. For questions related to California dairy digesters and dairy methane, please visit: www.dairycares.com.

About Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy’s mission is to make clean, reliable, and affordable energy for everyone in the world. The company’s product, the Bloom Energy Server, delivers highly reliable and resilient, ‘Always-On’ electric power that is clean and sustainable. Bloom’s customers include 25 of the Fortune 100 companies and leaders in cloud services and data centers, healthcare, retail, financial services, utilities, and many other industries. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the extent of the project’s anticipated megawatt demand and environmental impact, including but not limited to improvements in air quality and the reduction of methane emissions generated by agriculture. Bloom Energy Corporation cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Bloom Energy Corporation; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. Certain factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Bloom Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information. The information in this press release is as of October 10, 2019. Bloom Energy Corporation expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information, except as required by law.

Turning waste into wealth: World Habitat Day focus on cleaning up cities

“We must reduce the amount of waste we produce”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement. “And, at the same time, start seeing it as a valuable resource that can be re-used and recycled, including for energy”.

Linked to the International Day, UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency for human settlements, has launched a “Waste Wise Cities” campaign, to address the increasing challenges of coping with solid waste.

As part of the campaign, cities are invited to confirm their commitment to uphold a set of principles. These include assessing the quantity and type of waste, improving waste collection, ensuring cities are environmentally safe, and implementing waste-to-energy schemes.

The campaign notes that dealing with waste eats up a significant proportion of city budgets, and that waste management is not being sufficiently financed. So-called “frontier technologies”, however, can provide cost-effective answers to the problem of how to clean up cities.

Examples include automation and artificial intelligence which, when used together, can help sort recyclables more efficiently. Smart packaging is another potential solution, using sensors to help reduce the amount of food thrown away, and innovative new technologies which can turn organic waste into renewable energy and compost.

The technology also provides an opportunity for newer, rapidly-growing cities in developing countries to “leapfrog” older cities, by taking advantage of the latest solutions and avoiding more established, but less efficient methods.

Using these tools effectively, said the UN chief on Monday, can help us to build well-planned and smartly managed cities, which can steer us towards inclusive growth, and low-emission development.

The potential benefits of frontier technologies for developing countries are outlined in the UN’s 2018 World Economic and Social Survey, which concludes that they can help the world to change for the better, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and address climate change.

The study also warns that the widespread introduction of these tools must be accompanied by appropriate, effective policies, to help countries to avoid pitfalls and minimize the economic and social costs of technology-related disruption.