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Archive for the ‘global warming’ Category

Times Herald-Record

Sustainable Living: Bottled water’s environmental ills

by Shawn Dell Joyce

 

October 14, 2007

 

Many of us choose bottled water because we think it is the healthier choice.

 

Americans are the world’s leading consumers of bottled water, downing about 4 billion gallons per year in little plastic bottles. This is roughly equal to one 8-ounce bottle per person per day. While it certainly is healthier to drink water than soda, bottled water is actually very bad for the planet’s health.

 

There is much more to the ubiquitous water bottle than meets the lips. It actually takes three to five times more water to make and fill one plastic water bottle than the bottle contains. (Water is used in the production of the plastic in water bottles, then also to rinse those bottles.) If you add to that the average energy cost of making the plastic, filling the bottle, transporting it to market and then processing the empty bottle, you begin to see the hidden environmental costs.

 

“It would be like filling up a quarter of every (water) bottle with oil,” says Peter Gleik, a water policy expert and director at the Oakland, Calif.-based Pacific Institute, which studies “real life solutions to water crises.”

 

WATER BOTTLES, like other plastic containers, are made from natural gas and petroleum, which are both nonrenewable resources. More than 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to produce PET, the plastic in water bottles. The manufacturing processes that produce PET cause serious emissions, affecting both the environment and human health. The Pacific Institute calculates that the process of making the plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. uses approximately 17 million barrels of oil per year.

 

Instead of being made into bottles, that oil could fuel more than 100,000 cars. Once the plastic bottle is manufactured and filled with water, it has to be transported, using diesel trucks, ships or airfreight to reach our thirsty lips…” 

 

Shawn Dell Joyce is a sustainable artist and activist from Montgomery. She is the founder of the Wallkill River School, combining plein-air painting with environmental activism. Visit http://www.recordonline.com/earth for more of her articles. 

 

What a waste of precious resources…We have only one home; Earth. Let’s leave our children an earth that is beautiful and well-cared for.

 

More next time-Take care, & Live Green-Donna

 

P.S.Let’s become eco-friendly. Visit www.be-alkaline.com and www.be-alkaline.net -request your free e-book and newsletter to find out how you can have the best water on the planet and you make it in your own home. No more plastic bottles. For more information and research, write to Donna@be-alkaline.com and ask for further information.

 

 

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I found this article, and I had to post it. Experts, not just environmentally concerned citizens, but true experts around the world are voicing their concerns in this article. Consider seriously what their words mean. We really must stop being a discardable society and work together.

The 10th Special Session of UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum is taking place in Monaco right now through the 22nd discussing the concerns. Information follows as to the highly respected people to contact for more information. I hope you find the article of interest and worthy of sharing.–God bless, Donna

Global Warming Adding to Pollution and Over-Harvesting Impacts on the World’s Key Fishing Grounds Says New UNEP – ‘In Dead Water’ – Report

Monaco/Nairobi, 22 February 2008—Climate change is emerging as the latest threat to the world’s dwindling fish stocks a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests.

At least three quarters of the globe’s key fishing grounds may become seriously impacted by changes in circulation as a result of the ocean’s natural pumping systems fading and falling they suggest.

These natural pumps, dotted at sites across the world including the Arctic and the Mediterranean, bring nutrients to fisheries and keep them healthy by flushing out wastes and pollution.

The impacts of rising emissions on the marine world are unlikely to end there. Higher sea surface temperatures over the coming decades threaten to bleach and kill up to 80 per cent of the globe’s coral reefs—major tourist attractions, natural sea defences and also nurseries for fish.

Meanwhile there is growing concern that carbon dioxide emissions will increase the acidity of seas and oceans. This in turn may impact calcium and shell-forming marine life including corals but also tiny ones such as planktonic organisms at the base of the food chain.

The findings come in a new rapid response report entitled “In Dead Water” which has for the first time mapped the multiple impacts of pollution; alien infestations; over-exploitation and climate change on the seas and oceans.

“The worst concentration of cumulative impacts of climate change with existing pressures of over-harvest, bottom trawling, invasive species infestations, coastal development and pollution appear to be concentrated in 10-15 per cent of the oceans,” says the report.

This 10-15 per cent of the oceans is far higher than had previously been supposed and is “concurrent with today’s most important fishing grounds” including the estimated 7.5 per cent deemed to be the most economically valuable fishing areas of the world, it adds.

The report, the work of UNEP scientists in collaboration with universities and institutes in Europe and the United States, was launched today during UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum taking place in Monaco.

It is the largest gathering of environment ministers since the climate convention conference in Indonesia just over two months ago where governments agreed the Bali Road Map aimed at delivering a deep and decisive climate regime for post 2012.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “The theme of the Governing Council is ‘Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge’ for trillions of dollars can flow into climate-friendly energies and technologies if governments can provide the right kind of enabling market mechanisms and fiscal incentives.”

“It is sometimes important to remind ourselves why we need to accelerate these transformations towards a Green Economy. In Dead Water has uniquely mapped the impact of several damaging and persistent stresses on fisheries. It also lays on top of these the likely impacts of climate change from dramatic alternations in ocean circulation affecting perhaps a three quarter of key fishing grounds up to the emerging concern of ocean acidification,” said Mr Steiner.

“Climate change threatens coastal infrastructure, food and water supplies and the health of people across the world. It is clear from this report and others that it will add significantly to pressures on fish stocks. This is as much a development and economic issue as it is an environmental one. Millions of people including many in developing countries derive their livelihoods from fishing while around 2.6 billion people get their protein from seafood,” he said.

The report comes in wake of findings issued last week by a team led by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis which estimates that over 40 per cent of the world’s oceans have been heavily impacted by humans and that only four per cent remain relatively pristine.

It also comes amid concern that sea bird chicks in the North Sea may be being choked after being fed on a diet of snake pipefish—a very bony species. Over the past five years snake pipefish numbers have boomed a meeting of the Zoological Society in London was told last week.

One reason for their sharp increase in numbers might be changes in ocean currents bringing the fish into North Sea waters, the experts suggest.

The new UNEP report has been compiled by researchers including ones at UNEP’s GRID Arendal centre; UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre and UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment.

It draws on a wide range of new and emerging science including the latest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the 2,000 plus panel of scientists established by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation.

Other contributions have come from organizations and institutions including the University of Plymouth; the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research; the University of British Columbia; the Institute of Zoology; Princeton University; the University of Barcelona and the Sustainable Europe Research Institute.

In Dead Water Key Findings

• Half the world’s catch is caught along Continental shelves in an area of less than 7.5 per cent of the globe’s seas and oceans.
• An area of 10-15 per cent of the world’s seas and oceans cover most of the commercial fishing grounds.
• 80 per cent to 100 per cent of the world’s coral reefs may suffer annual bleaching events by 2080 under global warming scenarios.
• Those at particular risk are in the Western Pacific; the Indian Ocean; the Persian Gulf; the Middle East and in the Caribbean
• Over 90 per cent of the world’s temperate and tropical coasts will be heavily impacted by 2050. Over 80 per cent of marine pollution comes from the land. Marine areas at particular risk of increased pollution are Southeast and East Asia.
• Increasing concentrations of C02 in the atmosphere are likely to be mirrored by increasing acidification of the marine environment.
• Increasing acidification may reduce the availability of calcium carbonates in sea water, including a key one known as aragonite which is used by a variety of organisms for shell-building.
• Cold-water and deep water corals could be affected by acidification by 2050 and shell-building organisms throughout the Southern Ocean and into the sub-Arctic Pacific Ocean by 2100.
• Climate change may slow down the ocean thermohaline circulation and thus the continental shelf “flushing and cleaning” mechanisms, known as dense shelf water cascading,over the next 100 years. These processes are crucial to water quality and nutrient cycling and deep water production in at least 75 per cent of the world’s major fishing grounds.
• Dead zones, area of de-oxygenated water, are increasing as a result of pollution from urban and agriculture areas. There are an estimated 200 temporary or permanent ‘dead zones’ up from around 150 in 2003.
• Up to 80 per cent of the world’s primary fish catch species are exploited beyond or close to their harvesting capacity. Advances in technology, alongside subsidies, means the world’s fishing capacity is 2.5 times bigger that that needed to sustainably harvest fisheries.
• Bottom trawling is among the most damaging and unsustainable fishing practices at the scales often seen today
• Alien invasive species, which can out-compete and dislodge native ones, are increasingly associated with the polluted, overharvested and damaged fishing grounds. The report shows that the concentration of ‘aliens’ matches with some precision the world’s major shipping routes.

Christian Nellemann, who headed up the rapid response team that compiled the report, said: “We are already seeing evidence from a number of studies that increasing sea temperatures are causing changes in the distribution of marine life”.

Some of these changes are being found from the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey of the Northeast Atlantic.

Warmer water copepod species or crustaceans have moved northward by around 1,000km during the later half of the 20th century with the patterns continuing into the 21st century.

“Further evidence of this warming signal is seen in the appearance of a Pacific planktonic plant in the Northwest Atlantic for this first time in 800,000 years by transfer across the top of Canada due to the rapid melting of the Arctic in 1998,” said Dr. Nellemann. “We are getting more and more alarming signals of dramatic changes in the oceans. It is like turning a big tanker around. Our ability to change course and reduce emissions in the near future will be paramount to success”.

The link between healthy and productive fishing grounds and ocean circulation or ‘dense shelf water cascading’ is in some ways only now emerging.

Three years ago the Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas of which UNEP is part, documented such a phenomenon in the Gulf of Lions in the north-western Mediterranean.

A quantity of water equal to two years-worth of the river discharge from all rivers flowing into the Mediterranean is, in four months, transported from the Gulf of Lions to the deep Western Mediterranean via the Cap de Creyus canyon.

It has a critical impact on the population of the heavily harvested deep sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus, the crevette rouge, by bringing food that in turn triggers a sharp increase in young shrimp resulting in plentiful catches three to five years after the ‘cascading’ event.

“Imagine what will happen if climate change slows down or stops these natural food transport and “flushing” effects in waters that are often already polluted, heavily fished, damaged and stressed”, said Dr. Nellemann. “We are gambling with our food supply”.

Stefan Hain of UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, said it was critical that existing stresses were also addressed too in order to conserve fish stocks and coral reefs in a climate constrained world.

He said there was growing evidence that coral reefs recover from bleaching better in cleaner, less polluted waters.
Dr Hain cited monitoring of corals around the main Seychelles island of Mahé which were among corals world-wide that suffered from the high sea surface temperatures of the late 1990s. Here coral reefs recovery rates have varied between five to 70 per cent.
“Coral reefs recovering faster are generally those living in Marine Protected Areas and coastal waters where the levels of pollution, dredging and other kinds of human-induced disturbance are considered low,” he said.

Notes to Editors

The report “In dead Water: Merging of climate change with pollution, over-harvest, and infestations in the world’s fishing grounds” can be accessed at at http://www.grida.no or at http://www.unep.org or http://www.globio.info

High resolution maps and graphics from the report for free use in publications can be accessed at:
http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Graphics/DeadWater

The 10th Special Session of UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum will take place between 20 and 22 February in Monaco. http://www.unep.org/gc/gcss-x/

The theme is Globalization and the Environment–Mobilizing Finance to Meet the Climate Challenge. Monaco, the Host Country’s web site is at http://www.unep2008.gouv.mc/pnue/wwwnew.nsf/HomeGb For more information, please contact
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media,  Email: nick.nuttall@unep.org and Robert Bisset, UNEP Spokesperson for Europe-robert.bisset@unep.fr  . Mr. François Chantrait, Directeur. Centre de Presse
10 Quai Antoine 1er, 98000 – MONACO Email: pnue2008.press@gouv.mc
UNEP News Release

Plastic water bottles contribute a great deal to the the water pollution problem to the tune of billions of bottles each year. They just don’t disappear: They’ll be around for hundreds of years in the environment and continue to do so unless we do something individually right now.

To find out how you can drink the healthiest water, and make it in your own home from your tap, go to http://www.be-alkaline.com and request the free newsletter and the free ebook for great information. Watch the videos. You’ll be amazed at how you can drink the best, alkaline, micro-clustered, anti-oxidant(anti-aging) water for you and your family, and how easy it is to do while saving the environment. Call us if you have any questions. The number is on the site. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. —Have a beautiful day, Donna

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I just had to post on the article that was written on all the travel destinations that are now endangered because of Global Warming. Go here to read the article: http://travel.msn.com/Guides/greenarticle.aspx?cp-documentid=387810
And great slide show: http://travel.msn.com/Guides/greenSlideShow.aspx?cp-documentid=385955

Now that many of us empty-nest boomers are able to travel, we are facing the possibility that the destinations we have always dreamed of seeing may not be as we once pictured in our minds or saw in travel magazines and Natonal Geographics. And, this tragic story doesn’t end with us. This will affect our grandchildren, their children…unless we do something NOW!! Let’s take care of the Earth. We can all help-Live Green.

Have a beautiful, happy Sunday,
Donna

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Wow! Starting this month in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom has banned city departments from buying bottled water for their water coolers. Other mayors, one in Utah and one in Michigan have followed in Mayor Newsom’s footsteps.

Imagine: 45,000,000 plastic water bottles are dumped into landfills every day in the US alone. Following is a quote by Sylvia Carter from Newsday.com: “Even if the water is not killing us, we’ve been had, money-wise. Both Aquafina by Pepsi and Dasani by Coca-Cola depend on supplies of municipal water; we are paying for water that came from the tap – which can end up costing more per gallon than gasoline. In many cases, bottled water in this country has been found to be no safer than tap water; the National Resources Defense Council tested bottled water and found a third of it contaminated with bacteria, synthetic chemicals and arsenic. The EPA’s regulations on tap water are stronger than the FDA’s regulations on bottled water.”

She continued, “The environment is at risk because of our ridiculous water consumption out of plastic bottles. Last month, the Houston Chronicle, in a strong editorial, spoke of “a beast-like mass two times the size of Texas” that slowly “roams and grows.” This is the Eastern Garbage Patch in the northern Pacific Ocean, likely the world’s largest trash dump, according to The Los Angeles Times; 90 percent of this trash is plastic, much of it water bottles. Americans annually consume more than 9 billion gallons of water in plastic bottles, most of them made of polyethylene terephthalate. It takes the equivalent of 18 million barrels of crude oil to create the plastic used in a year’s worth of bottles, according to the Chronicle editorial.” http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ny-fdsyl5296059jul18,0,494428.column?coll=ny-entertainment-columnists

Unimagineable statistics, aren’t they? An incredible amount of plastic is used in the production and sales of drinks-both water and soda-and mass amounts of crude oil are consumed in the process. The by-products and CO2’s are unleashed into our atmosphere and environment contributing to Global Warming. And, on top of all that, all those bottles do not bio-degrade for 1000 years. What a horrible legacy we are leaving to the children of the world!

I personally don’t agree with drinking tap water in many areas, however. There are some statistics on that which I will get to you in the future. There are other alternatives; safe alternatives with added health benefits that won’t endanger our environment and contribute to Global Warming. Get information at www.be-alkaline.com . Go ahead and request the free book and the newsletter. Both are “need to know” information and pertinent to the times. The only ones to get your info is us & we will never share or sell it-very private.

More next time…

Take care, Live Green, & have a great evening,
Donna
www.be-alkaline.com

Write me: donnasinfo@gmail.com

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Welcome back to my blog. I haven’t posted since the end of April, and, oh, how I missed posting and reading  comments and e-mails from my readers.  I was away to be with my dear Aunt Rose who became very ill and subsequently passed on at 94 years “young.”  I took some time off afterward for reflection and to spend time with my family.

Oh, how I miss her, though. She was quite a lady and great inspiration to me with her optimistic outlook on life. She had  a natural ability to tell jokes, getting the punchline perfect everytime. Her right leg was amputated 4 1/2 years years ago; however, she used a prosthetic leg after that to get around independently. Her favorite quip was, “I’m fine, as long as I have one leg to stand on,”  and then she would laugh. And, independent she was. She drove her car, taught her music students for both organ and piano, and volunteered to play the piano at her church and a nursing home once a month. Music was an integral part of her life. She lived to play her music everyday, and she played beautifully. She’d been playing since she was a very young girl.

As I was packing her things, I found the canvas shopping bags she regularly used in shopping for groceries and such. Ever concerned about the  environment and having a love for nature and this beautiful planet, she had an old-fashioned philosophy of “waste not, want not.” Plastic and paper bags were scarce in her little home. If only the earth’s general population had a speck of that mind-set. 

This last week-end, many well-known, dedicated celebrities shared their talent with the world while joining with Mr. Al Gore to express their message of concern about Global Warming for “Live Earth’ the Concerts for a Climate in Crisis.”  People everywhere were further encouraged to live an eco-friendly lifestyle for the sake of the environment and Planet Earth, our only home. I know that my Aunt Rose would wish that everyone be blessed with a long, happy life filled with music and love, while living “green” even into our 90’s, leaving a legacy of a safe, beautiful world behind for children everywhere. 

My aunt had a favorite little poem that I will leave you with. Print it out and hang it somewhere. It’s a great reminder for everyday life and all the wonderful blessings we have.

Have a great evening, and may God bless.

Donna

“We Thank Thee”

For the flowers that bloom about our feet;

For the song of bird and the hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear and see,

Father in heaven we thank Thee!

For the blue of the stream and the blue of the sky;

For the pleasant shade of branches high;

For the fragrant air and the cooling breeze;

For the beauty of the blooming trees,

Father in heaven we thank Thee!

For the mother-love and father -care,

For brothers strong and sisters fair;

For the love at home and here each day;

For guidance lest we go astray,

Father in heaven we thank Thee!

For this new morning with its light;

For rest and shelter of the night;

For health and food, for love and friends;

For everything His goodness sends,

Father in heaven we Thank Thee! –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amen

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As an addendum to the post of several days ago-April 19th-regarding CFL’s and the danger of having one break in your home and then wonder how to clean it up, I have some thoughts from the Mother Earth Magazine. We have been readers of the journal for a long time. For those of you who have picked up the latest issue of Mother Earth Magazine, you may have read the article on suggestions as to how to save energy and one of the recommendations is switching to the use of CFL’s entitled Bright Ideas for Home Lighting by Megan Phelps.

The subtitle was “Better Lights are the No. 1 way to save money and energy.” There was one section that was entitled Concerns for Mercury. She noted that many are hesitant to use CFL’s since there is a concern of mercury pollution.

There was the statement expressed about the mercury in CFL’s. It was said that ”even if it breaks…most experts say not to worry about the health effects of exposure to the mercury in a compact fluorescent…one CFL contains 4 milligrams of mercury, just a fraction of 500 milligrams found in an old mercury thermometers” This last statement was from the EPA. Interestingly, this was not what was told to Mrs. Bridges in Maine as was reported in the article of which I posted on April 19-See sidebar for April’s issues.

Ms. Phelps wrote the following a few paragraphs later quoting Alex Wilson, executive editor of Environmental Building News and author of Your Green Home: “The take-home message is that when fluorescent have ceased to work properly, they shouldn’t just be thrown in the trash; you should dispose of them through your local solid waste agency.”  

“The point is to keep fluorescents out of landfills where there’s always a chance that some mercury could eventually leak out. As more and more people start using CFL’s, the collective mercury could become more of a concern…’But the pros outweigh the cons,’ “says Wendy Reed of the U.S. Governments Energy Star Program.

CFL’s are known to be much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.  They are said to last much, much longer: 10,000 hours.  At $2 to $3 a piece they could save substantially over a period of years compared to the use of incandescent bulbs.  However, not all cities are set up for their disposal or have convenient drop off-points where the bulbs/lamps can be safely discarded.

Wanting to protect the environment, our own 37 year old daughter with 2 small children and a new baby was about to purchase CFL’s for her home. In the past, she had a lamp get knocked over accidentally-she has a beautiful Great Dane. After reading the article from my other post, she is seriously reconsidering using CFL’s at all: Better safe than sorry. She was, frankly, frustrated that this subject wasn’t being discussed. There’s no dialogue going on about the potential negative aspect of the CFL’s. Being a mother with small children, she expressed that it’s something very important of which to be at least aware of.

So the big question is this: What should we do with broken or non-working CFL’s?  Since mercury is a neuro-toxin, and in light of the article I already posted about, how do we clean up broken CFL’s in our homes, schools, and workplace around the country? It might be well to check with your own city sanitation department or solid waste agancy, do your own research, and have the information to make an informed decision for your own particular personal needs and household. You can, also, go to www.earth911.org, call 1-800-CLEANUP  for more information, or log on to www.energystar.org for their fact sheet.

Because of the high recommendations in magazine/newspaper articles, the web, and on TV for CFL usage, I will continue to do research on this and will let you know of any future findings. Write me should you have any comments or other information on this subject – donnasinfo@gmail.com  . I’d love to hear from you.

Eventually the day will come when LED’s will be available at affordable prices and at a brilliancy that will be conducive for everyday lighting. Until then, if you do use the CFL’s, PLEASE, do be careful .

Till next time…Live Green.

Peace, Donna

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“The sun can produce all the energy in one hour that the world needs for an entire year. Adopting Solar Energy just makes sense. It’s safe and smart. YOU really can make a difference in the life of future generations.”

“What we do to the planet, we do to ourselves.”

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Email Stephen & Donna at: adoptsolar@gmail.com

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There are many pros and cons on a lot of subjects, Global Warming and the environment being one of them. There are still many skeptics. All one has to do is go on forums and on-line chat rooms. There are many debates regarding the reality of Global Warming. I am just pleased that there are so many experts that look at this issue as something to take very seriously. 

Taking care of the earth and being good stewards is just something we should be doing anyway-God commanded it in Genesis 2:15: My Post 4-21. Not taking care of it and continue debating Global Warming could lead to an irreversible disaster in the coming years.

Skeptics, I ask you: Is it really worth the debate? Why even take  a chance with our children and grandchildren’s future? Why take the chance of even more animals facing extinction than are already on the endangered list about to join those that are already gone never to be seen again? That’s a tragedy.

Just think about it, will you?    

Peace to you, Donna

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