Category Archives: Environment

Stuff about the environment and our relationship with it

Making Hydrogen The Right Way

The number one problem with the “hydrogen economy” is the hydrogen. Its light, hard to store, and unfortunately does not occur naturally isolated in nature. That means you have to bust it loose from something else. Most often this is from natural gas using a steam reforming process that uses more energy to make the hydrogen than you get from burning/reacting the hydrogen.

turbine at whitelee wind farm

So what are we to do? We don’t want to use a fossil fuel, and we don’t want to waste that much energy. We could use water as our electrolyzing source…but we would still need lots of electricity. Really the only good option for producing hydrogen is to use water, and renewable energy. Enter the wind to hydrogen project.

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Silicon Valley Goes Green

green keyboardSilicon Valley is moving towards a green future. While many other companies are reluctant to even mention global warming, many tech companies are embracing a path towards a green future.

From here

In Silicon Valley, though, climate change is pretty much taken as a given. It’s part of the tech industry’s shift in recent years toward the green end of the spectrum. This year, Silicon Valley delegates — in a combination of good will and self-interest — will be fanning out across the country to preach on the issue to the unconverted.

Just last week, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a regional business booster association founded in 1977 by David Packard, of H-P fame, announced a 12-point campaign called Clean and Green that takes traditional regional planning issues, such as ride-sharing and mass transit, and frames them in the context of global warming. The same group made headlines earlier last year by breaking with other California business groups to endorse the legislation being pushed by nouveau-environmentalist Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to limit greenhouse gases, among other steps.

Carl Guardino, the tech group’s CEO, says the position on global warming has the support of all 210 member companies, which includes virtually all of the area’s major technology players. Mr. Guardino says his group will be spending this year challenging business groups around the U.S. to follow the example set by his association, such as to greatly increase car pooling at local companies.

“These are engineers and they are really good at looking at science,” says Mr. Guardino. “And the science with climate change is undeniable.”

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Tree Seedling by Jouko Karkkainen

tree seeds in boxesJouko Karkkainen has created interesting little box sculptures that are made from different kinds of wood. When you are done looking at the fun little boxes you plant them in the ground and the boxes grow into new trees. Birch boxes grow into birch trees, pine boxes into pine trees and so forth. Art that is life. You can get your own here.

Reminds me of the cellphones you can plant and grow flowers from after you are done with them.

Monday Confessional – Year In Review 2006

2006 year lightsIn this special edition of the Monday confessional I will run down the 2006 year in review.

2006 what a ride! Its been ruff for us Americans, idiot president got more idiotic, illegal useless war got worse, rich got richer, and the earth got hotter.

But for The Sietch its been a great year.
We have gotten several new members, of which Keith and Mouseydew have been really great. The Sietch has been growing a lot, we have added many new projects, have more stories of positive change and got a slick new site design. Our visitors have increased from 100-200 a day to 400-700 a day. We look forward to growing even more in 2007, with more projects, more members, more positive change, and getting more done to help solve the problems the earth is facing.

If you would like to make a difference in the world, or you have something to add, join us! We would be happy to add you to the ever growing ranks of people who are committed to making this planet a better place to live. If we work together there is no limit to what we can do.

This new years I want to make some predictions for the coming year, next year I will come back and revisit this list to see how I have done. So lets gaze into that crystal ball…

New Years Predictions

  • Wind power will be on fire in 2007. Look for triple digit growth in the wind industry and all sectors related to the wind industry.
  • Global warming will start to be taken seriously, particularly by presidential candidates. Look for at least one major candidate to make it there main platform
  • Look for major consolidation in the solar panel industry, perhaps even look to semiconductor companies to take over major solar operations.
  • The plug in hybrid along with bio-fuel ready cars will start to become more popular
  • Look for oil to hit 90+ dollars a barrel this summer.
  • The Sietch will add at least 5 new members, and look to get over 1000 visitors a day by the end of the year.

My top six predictions of 2006, I will see in a year just how close I came.

In more personal news 2006 has been a great year for me. I got a new job leading a crew of AmeriCorps Cape Cod members. I am still with my lovely girl friend Tess, and I have been paying off my student loans. What more could a guy ask for? My new years was spent in front of a nice fire with Tess as we watched the ball drop. A nice quiet end to a rather loud year. I look forward to making 2007 an even better year!

A year-end Perspective From Worldwatch President Chris Flavin

global warmingIf the world succeeds in avoiding ecological collapse, historians may one day look back on 2006 as the “tipping-point” moment.

Around the globe, the past year has produced a remarkable series of indicators that human societies are waking up to the precarious state of our world. If current trends are not reversed-and soon-we will hand the next generation not only a natural resource base on the verge of collapse, but a global economy on the edge of failure.

Even though 2006 was marked by its share of acute crises, led by the conflicts in Iraq and Darfur, the less acute but more profound crisis of global climate disruption reached the top rungs of public attention for the first time. Scientists warn we may soon cross a threshold of no
return as dying forests and warming tundra release additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, enabling climate change to feed on itself. In fact, some believe it could already be too late.

Continue reading A year-end Perspective From Worldwatch President Chris Flavin