Tag: Carbon Footprint

The Footprint of Your Food | Vegan Scene

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 8, 2021 by Sarah J. Kings

Many of us know about the widely successful climate campaign #Change1Thing. The idea is fantastic. People need to feel empowered; we need to feel like there is something we can do to combat the massive problem we are facing. #Change1Thing does that! With each metal straw and every reusable bag, consumers feel like they are slowly turning the wheels in the right direction. Still, if you are looking at your latest zero waste purchase, and wondering if this is enough to reduce your carbon footprint, then you’re in the right place.  

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Let’s think about plastic bags. These single-use shopping bags produce 6 kg of CO2 per kg of plastic used to create them. When you swap out plastic with your favorite reusable tote at the grocery store, you make an impact. However, you could quadruple that impact, only by switching up what goes in that tote as well—according to the Environmental Working Group, EWG, lamb and beef combined produce nearly 67kg of CO2 per kg consumed. In contrast, foods like tofu and broccoli produce only 2 kg of CO2per kg consumed. Foods like lentils are even more environmentally friendly, coming in at only .9 kilograms.

Environmental Working Group – Meat Eater’s Guide Report

Switching to a plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian diet is one of the most powerful changes you can personally make to combat the climate crisis. If this all sounds lovely to you, but you can’t quite see yourself being vegan just yet, that’s okay. Making one plant-based change to your daily routine can still have a significant impact. After all, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has reported that the greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture are comparable to those produced by residential and commercial activities. That means, if everyone ditched meat and dairy for the year, it would be like we all turned the gas and electric off in our homes and businesses for that year too! 

Time to face the music. In order to succeed at carbon drawdown, we have to return to the Garden of Eden. #ActNow Take a listen.

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Biomass Industry Poses a Greater Threat Than the Coal Industry

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 23, 2021 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

Biomass sounds like a living blob slithering its way towards New York City in a bad sci-fi movie. The reality may be worse. Proponents of the biomass industry will call this fearmongering and argue biomasses are carbon neutral and “green.” But the biomass industry involves chopping down vast swaths of trees, turning them into pellets, and shipping them to Europe where they are burned for energy. In other words, it is deforestation on a massive scale, and anyone who knows anything about climate change knows deforestation is one of the major causes of climate change. So how can a practice which is so harmful to the planet — more harmful than the coal industry which releases less carbon than burning trees — be at the same time beneficial? It cannot be whatever anyone claims to the contrary. 

Heart of the Matter 

If the U.S. Congress and other international lawmakers are to be believed, then it is through a metamodernist suspension of disbelief because the notion that deforestation and burning a source of energy more pollutive than coal is somehow “green”  is an absurd notion. 

The biomass industry is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it hails mainly from the American South where twenty-three wood mills devoted to biomass exist. Trees are grown, ground up, turned into wood pellets, and shipped to Europe to be burned for fuel under the auspices that this power is as clean as solar and wind power, which is as ridiculous as it sounds. While proponents of the biomass industry claim they plant trees to replace the felled trees, those trees cannot make up for the mature trees lost, trees that have absorbed carbon dioxide for decades. This is especially true considering the Paris Climate Accord cites deforestation as a major driver of climate change and a barrier to the ambitious emissions targets for 2050. 

Proponents of the biomass industry also ignore the desolate landscapes it leaves and tons of “waste wood” (wood that is left behind and cannot be used). While they claim to replant trees, this is often not done, and the saplings are not nearly as useful as trees that are decades old. 

How This Impacts You Personally

Whether the issue is nuclear waste, toxic water from chemical leaks, or  toxic algae from phosphate deposits, the way this impacts you personally is it is bad for the environment. And that is bad for you. In this instance, trees reduce carbon dioxide, which makes the air more breathable, the planet less hot, and the world cleaner. All of these things benefit everyone regardless of what people believe.

What You Can Do

It is important to learn as much as possible about this topic as it is not going anywhere. A multibillion dollar industry based in the United States, which supplies energy for Europe will not go away gently. Climate activist Greta Thunberg certainly sees the problem:

Think about what paper products you use and how to reduce that consumption. Recycling is not the answer as very little of what is recycled is reused. It is more important to not use paper or fuel sources that are derived from burning trees. 

Next Steps

  • Reduce your consumption for paper and paper products;
  • Stop using plastic bottles and other plastics; 
  • Do not burn wood; 
  • Learn about and try to use solar and wind power;
  • Find out what companies use wood as a source of energy and do not use them;
  • Contact your local, state, and federal representatives and tell them you oppose the biomass industry.

Energy is important for so many reasons, but there are better sources than the biomass industry. We need more —not less — trees in the world, and everything must be done to make sure the reckless and dangerous biomass industry does not continue. 

Adding composting worms to our home composting bins and/or directly to the soil in our yards will dramatically improve the amount of carbon we can store in the soil. Climate solutions are much easier than we realize. Act today! CLICK here.

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Bitcoin’s Carbon Footprint May Destroy the Environment

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 8, 2021 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” China poses military, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire world. Yet, with the myriad threats it poses, one threat it has awakened, Bitcoin, threatens to shake — and possibly destroy — the environment. Although Bitcoin requires the most advanced computers performing dizzying calculations, it needs unfathomable amounts of energy, and that energy comes primarily from fossil fuels in China, namely coal.

Home composting boosts soil health and carbon storage in the soil, saves our food supply, our planet, and millions of lives. Let’s all jump in together and make this fun!

Heart of the matter. For years Bitcoin appeared to be a passing fad and something many people were only vaguely aware of, but it is here to stay as is other cryptocurrency. And most of it is constructed or “mined” in China, which requires tons of hardware that needs energy. In China, that energy is supplied by coal based power, according to a February 5, 2021 CNBC article. Bitcoin is the 9th most valuable asset in the world, and it requires more energy than New Zealand. In fact, if Bitcoin were a country, it would rank 31st in the world for energy consumption, according to a March 19, 2021 Independent article. Although Bitcoin has been around since 2009, its energy use came to the forefront in 2017, but, since that time, its energy use has quadrupled since then.

Proponents of Bitcoin, as cited in the Independent article, argue Bitcoin is “moving” towards “renewable energy,” and it will one day be a leader in renewable energy. Little evidence exists of these assertions. What is apparent, however, is the cryptocurrency market, led by Bitcoin is growing. As a currency it is attractive because its so-called block chain technology makes it unique, tough to steal, scarce, and easy to spend. The downside of that is the creation of cryptocurrency or “mining” requires computing power and vast energy sources. That computing power mainly comes from China, which relies heavily on coal however advanced their society may be. And that is a huge problem for the environment no matter how proponents want to spin it.

How this impacts you personally. If you are worried about food shortages, pandemics, cities under water, droughts, or most any other calamity flowing from climate change, then the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should worry you because they rely so heavily on fossil fuels, namely coal. Until Bitcoin derives its energy from renewable energy sources, it will continue to be an environmental threat, a threat that grows larger as the demand for Bitcoin increases.

What you can do. The best way to lessen the Bitcoin environmental threat is not to buy stock in the company. Another way is not to use the currency or be involved in “mining” it. In addition, tell people it is a threat because many people are probably unaware Bitcoin poses such a threat.

Next Steps:

  • Learn as much as possible about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies;
  • Do not purchase Bitcoin stock shares or fractions of shares; 
  • Learn more about renewable energy; and
  • Contact your local, state, and federal officials and let them know how you feel about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Adding composting worms to our home composting bins and/or directly to the soil in our yards will dramatically improve the amount of carbon we can store in the soil. Climate solutions are much easier than we realize. Act today! CLICK here.

Subscribe to Force of Nature to stay connected to the insights we provide in our effort to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, eco-friendly, carbon neutral global community. Click here to subscribe.

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Keystone Pipeline Closure Means Less Toxic Oil Spills

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 27, 2021 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

The average person not well versed on the policy and science surrounding the Keystone Pipeline likely knows it is over 1,000 miles long running from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, and it frequently spills. It takes no more knowledge than these two facts to realize the Keystone Pipeline has always been a problem, and its closure benefits the world. 

Heart of the matter. The Keystone Pipeline pumped 800,000 barrels per day of carbon intensive “tar sands” oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska. The unrefined oil was then sent to Texas to be refined. According to a Vox article from March 18, 2021, Indigenous peoples from Alberta use the river, Athabasca River, that is used to mine the oil, which creates toxic waste that hurts the wildlife and pollutes the groundwater; the problem is not only environmental, though, as transient workers are linked to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, a crisis worth of much more discussion than is the purview of this article. 

The same Vox article also notes the environmental  problem certainly is not limited to Canada as, most notably, in 2017, in South Dakota, 210,000 gallons of oil leaked. The problem is so bad that the Supreme Court blocked the building of the pipeline over water until a full evaluation of bodies of water could be done. Since it appears the demand for that kind of oil is dropping and in light of the environmental and safety issues caused by the pipeline, it makes clear closing the pipeline was the correct choice. 

How this impacts you personally. Perhaps the greatest threat posed by the Keystone Pipeline centers around the risk to the water supply. Specifically, in Nebraska near the Keystone Pipeline sits the Ogallala Aquifer, which is the largest freshwater aquifer in the United States. If an oil spill occurred near this aquifer and the water supply contaminated, it may affect the entire country with catastrophic results. In other words, it could potentially affect the entire United States water supply were the Keystone Pipeline still in existence.

What you can do. As with any fossil fuel, the less people use them, the better off the environment will be. This is why it is so important to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and electric power. People can do small things to lessen dependence on oil such as turn off lights when not in use. Consider carpooling, walking, or taking the bus when you go places. There are many small things, but the more people do these things the better off everyone will be. 

Adding composting worms to the soil in our yards will dramatically improve the amount of carbon we can store in the soil. Climate solutions are much easier than we realize. Act today! CLICK here.

Next Steps:

  • Lessen your “carbon footprint” by taking small steps such as drinking from reusable bottles, cutting off lights, carpooling; 
  • Learn about the Keystone Pipeline and other oil pipelines; 
  • Consider purchasing an electric car; and 
  • Contact your local, state, and federal representatives to let them know you support green laws and regulations.

The Keystone Pipeline is shut down (for now), but that does not mean a new president will keep it shut down. Ultimately the dependence on fossil fuels is up to us, and, if we modify our behavior, it can go a long way to ending our dependence upon these fuels and greatly benefiting the environment in the process. 

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Recycling Cancelled in Jackson, MS | Climate Action

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | August 20, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

It’s alarming to learn that Jackson, MS has cancelled it’s curbside recycling program with Waste Management effective September 1, 2019, claiming that there aren’t enough residents recycling to continue paying the cost. Why does Jackson allow residents not to recycle? It seems that most towns and cities would initiate a marketing campaign to lure their residents on board with the importance of recycling. Recycling is typically the very first step we all take to help cut carbon.

It’s imperative that everyone on earth understand that the climate crisis erupted from unrestrained small actions by the global public, particularly Americans as a result of our wealth, and that all it takes to cut carbon is for each of us to focus on these same small actions. We each have to lower our own carbon footprints.to an optimal range from 4-7 million metric tons of carbon per year. Americans currently average 20 million metric tons of carbon annually.

Recycling is a must. So many of our products are now manufactured from recycled material rather than virgin. Using recycled material to manufacture new products creates a substantial energy savings which cuts carbon emissions. Every little bit helps. For a city like Jackson, MS to have a convenient curbside recycling service, there’s no reason for residents to not step up. Many towns have to rely on recycling centers which are drive to sites and can be very annoying, yet these residents establish weekly habits that make it work.

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Every single day there’s another alarming headline warning of the perilous climate crisis we now find ourselves embattled in. There’s no time to delay. There’s no excuse for not complying with basics like recycling.

To cut carbon significantly, and lower our carbon footprints to 7 metric tons per year, we only need to focus on 4 areas of concern:

  1. Household energy – go solar!
  2. Transportation – EV cars, walk, public transportation
  3. Food –  minimize dairy and red meat
  4. Stuff – buy less stuff, always recycle

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Recycling is mandatory. We can do this!

 

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Focusing On Small Things | Climate Action Success

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | July 30, 2019)
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Succeeding at substantial climate action in the shortest period of time is an absolute imperative. However, we’re never going to reach our carbon targets if we promote the required changes using intimidating long-range objectives as the key selling points for executing the Climate Action strategy.

Clearly, many of our political leaders care deeply about the intense climate crisis and want us to know about the dire consequences if we don’t act quickly. They feel passionately about this looming catastrophe. Their tireless commitment to the Climate Crisis is heroic and noble.

But, in order for the general public to make the necessary changes we must break everything down into small simple weekly steps that can be executed immediately:

  • Call local Solar Energy companies and ask about promotions for switching. Search online for all those with solar sharing about how low their energy bill is. (Solar is MUCH less expensive than electric or gas and oil). Deadline, Friday August 2, 2019.
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  • Call town hall and ask about the city’s plan for switching to solar panels for street lighting, solar panels on town buildings, and electric buses. While on the phone, suggest apiary bus stops (planting flowers and greenery on the roofs of bus shelters for bees and other pollinators to visit ). Cities in general need far more green downtown. Mrs can simply invest in rooftop gardens. Others can add to sidewalks along the streets. Deadline, Friday August 2, 2019.
  • Stop by car dealership and ask about deals for Hybrids and EVs. It’s absolutely incredible how far the price has come down. Take a test drive. Deadline, Sunday August 4, 2019.
  • When grocery shopping, grab the almond milk instead of regular milk. Choose chicken or turkey rather than red meat.  Deadline, Sunday August 4, 2019.
  • Do all errands on the same day. ONLY use re-usable bags.
  • At dinner each night, talk with family about trees and gardening and where to plant more trees.  How to care for the trees you’ll plant. Where to buy the trees. What kind of trees. Trees are a great way to build strong family ties. Trees nurture our children when they take good care of them. Trees become part of the family. As children grow, they return home and marvel at the tree height, and the sprawling branches and subliminally identify that they have grown taller and ar branching out just like the tree.

None of these small tasks are difficult. Or time-consuming. They are not expensive.  There are very few excuses for why we can’t do each this week, versus next week. The Climate Crisis DEMANDS we each, every last one of us, immediately execute all of these.

Good luck… Have fun!

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Cows & Climate Crisis | What We Eat

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 10, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Holy cow! Who knew that eating such healthy, wholesome meat and dairy would one day threaten humankind’s existence?

It’s shocking to learn the huge impact cows have on global warming. It’s all about the methane and the significant amount of methane that cows emit. Surprisingly, methane causes 23 times more global warming than CO2, which requires us to pause and take note as we begin to analyze our individual global footprint, so we can each do our part in reducing carbon emissions.

A critical  factor into why our dietary choices need to be modified is global population. Back in 1985, when we were a huge red meat and dairy consuming populace, the global population was 4.85 billion, and the US population was 237.9 million. But today in 2019, the global population has increased 59% and is now 7.7 billion, and the US is 329.1 million. Each individual has a carbon footprint that we’re obligated to manage. As responsible, global citizens we’re supposed to be mindful that one person/family’s excess will threaten another’s existence.

Some people love red meat and will never stop eating it. This is understandable. So then red meat lovers can simply offset somewhere else, ie switch to solar energy ASAP, or live in a smaller home, drive a Hybrid or EV car. There are many ways we can level our individual carbon emissions once we becomes aware of our personal impact on the climate crisis.

Sadly, cows are a now a big part of the climate crisis calculus due to methane being a critical lynchpin in global warming.

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EMERGENCY | Curbing Personal Carbon Footprint, 4 Key Areas to Nail

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 8, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Climate expert Dr. Joseph Romm has made carbon reduction super easy for all of us by organizing our decision making into four manageable categories.

The only way for the United States to SAVE our East Coast landscape – our beautiful, fabulous cities and all the homes, businesses and assets contained within – is to RUSH on minimizing our individual carbon footprints by taking advantage of numerous  green solutions under each category.

  1. HOME: one of the easiest and fastest ways to cut carbon.
    • Solar Panels: take advantage of one of the many offers being floated in 2019 where the Solar Energy provider will install solar panels with no $ down.
    • Replace all lightbulbs: all traditional lightbulbs in the home should be replaced with either LEDs, halogen incandescents, or compact fluorescent lamps. These cost more, but they last 3-25% longer, so we’ll save money in the long run.
    • Turn Off Lights: so basic, turn off lights whenever we leave a room.
    • Buy Smaller House (if moving): it’s no longer cool to have a huge house. The new life-saving logic is to have a smaller home with more land, beautiful gardens, and plant as many trees as possible.
    • Use cold water for laundry: washing clothes uses a lot of water, warming water wastes energy. Get used to cold for washing whites. New normal.
  2. TRANSPORTATION: Hybrids and EV options have been transformed in just a few short years. Much longer range. Super fast charge. Many more charging stations. More affordable. One of these must be on our list when we replace existing cars.
    • Hybrid: prices have come down and range is up to 280 MPG.
    • EV: Significant price reduction, with one model as low as $30,000, range is now at 200 MPG.
    • Walk, Bike, Scooter, Public Transportation, Carpool: Attend monthly Town Legislation meetings and work to get walking/bike trails set-up maintained.
    • Run all errands at same time: awareness of who our actions impact the survival of other people will make us more organized about how we time manage simple things like grocery shopping and going to bank.
  3. DIET: surprisingly, cows add as much carbon to environment as fossil fuels.
    • Switch to white meat & fish: turkey  & chicken, etc.
    • Minimize dairy: this may also cure several health conditions that stem from high levels of antibiotics and pesticides found in dairy.
    • Vegan: finding the right protein is a climate solution. Beans, lentils, eggs.
  4. STUFF: Stuff we buy, Stuff we cart around, Stuff we store. Who knew that our “stuff,” particularly the vast accumulation and management of, is a significant factor in global warming.
    • Carting around stuff, results in buying larger cars than necessary.
    • Buying more stuff than we need or can possibly use, results in buying a larger house that uses more energy
    • There’s substantial carbon emissions involved in the manufacturing and transporting of stuff.
    • American consumerism has been a global frustration since the 1980’s.

In 2019, America’s population is only 4.6% of global total, however we are now ranked #1 in carbon emissions. We are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Let’s jump on this so we can save lives and save our country as well as the world.

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