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Canary in a Coal Mine

By Ted Nelson ecomii.com
October 6, 2009
File under: Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Electric Sources, Natural Resources

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It’s not a secret that a big draw-back of renewable energy is cost. The direct financial costs borne by the producers, and therefore consumers, of electricity created from fossil fuels is lower than that of renewable sources like wind and solar. However, the argument in favor of renewable energy is that there are indirect costs of electricity generated from fossil fuels that are not borne directly by the producers or consumers, but by society at large.

These are environmental and health costs that do have a direct and meaningful impact on our quality of life, but are not directly paid by producers and consumers of electricity generated from coal and other fossil fuels.

These indirect costs are not as tangible as the direct costs: you feel the impact of your electricity bill on your budget immediately, while the health and environmental impacts of coal usage are hard to quantify. …read more of Canary in a Coal Mine here

 
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The Truth About US Energy Subsidies

By Ted Nelson ecomii.com
September 21, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Electric Sources

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A new study from the Environmental Law Institute in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “Estimating US Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008,” shed light on US energy subsidies.

The study finds that fossil fuels received almost two-and-a-half times more subsidies over the 7 year period than renewables: $72 billion for fossil fuels compared to $29 billion for renewables.

Of equal concern is that 58% of renewables subsidies ($16.8 billion) went towards corn-based ethanol, a fuel that’s carbon credentials are in question and has been linked to increasing world food prices. …read more of The Truth About US Energy Subsidies here

 
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Cash for Refrigerators

By Justin O'Neill ecomii.com
September 2, 2009
File under: Carbon Emissions, Saving money

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Time to turn that old “icebox” into a “nice box” of money.

Okay, bad pun.  But the point is: yep, cash for refrigerators.  The new measure from the Obama Administration’s national economic stimulus plan will provide you with a rebate for replacing your old “clunker” of a fridge for a shiny, new, high-efficiency model.

While the act will give consumers a nice cash break, it’s doubtful it will do much to revitalize the ailing appliance industry.  The more efficient appliances will also help consumers cut down on their monthly electricity bills, while eliminating millions of tons of CO2.

Program Details

This new act is based on the popular Cash for Clunkers program for old, inefficient cars, except this one will include refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, and other energy-hogging household appliances. …read more of Cash for Refrigerators here

 
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Why Trees and Vegetation Are Important

By Loretta White ecomii.com
April 17, 2009
File under: Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Green Economy, Waste Reduction

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Over the past 15 years working and communicating with people globally, I have noticed a pattern; where trees are cut down and land has been cleared, erosion and drought soon follow.

I remember talking to a woman in Kansas where the area was in the midst of another major drought. Mother Nature was not conforming to “modern farming”. When it did rain, the soil was washed away due to the lack of vegetation. My first thought was “Why did they cut all the trees down and reshape the plains?”

A simple solution is to plant some trees and other vegetation to hold the soil before it becomes barren. Encourage Mother Nature to re-boot herself.

Its not rocket science; trees are the key to maintaining life. They keep the heat island effect down, retain ground water, create oxygen, and evaporate water into the atmosphere. Most importantly, they remove tons of carbon dioxide from the air. …read more of Why Trees and Vegetation Are Important here

 
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Biomass: A Renewable Resource and Green Solution

By Loretta White ecomii.com
March 23, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Carbon Emissions, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction

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When I think of biomass, I think of the silver DeLorean in “Back to the Future” where the professor was able to turn garbage into fuel for his time machine.

When that movie came out, the idea of using banana peels to power your engine was probably thought of as ridiculous. But today, humans can use all sorts of natural, renewable vegetation and substances.

 
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