Water to Stay on for Maryland County outside Washington, D.C.

IX Power Water Machines, OrganiClearGood news for Prince George’s County in Maryland:  While they are still going to be under water restrictions for a while – no lawn watering, car-washing, and they have to limit their showers and toilet flushes (pew in this weather!) –  they will at least have some water and shouldn’t be totally without for five whole days more or less!  

Yes, good news, but America’s lost the chance to see what’s it’s like to live without running water.   See earlier post on this subject below.

Still – maybe this incident will serve as a real wake-up that we have a dangerously aging infrastructure and while no one wants to pay higher taxes, it’s way past time to do something about it.  Taxes for infrastructure just need to be presented like a 2 x 4 across the butt:  We all pay up, or wake up one day to no water or electricity.  I’d rather pay up in advance.  What about you?

Water: Now U.S. Gets a Taste of Going Without (and in a Heat Wave!)

Thousands in Maryland are frantically preparing to lose running water for as much as five days

We have it so good here.  Really.  Yes, it’s true.  Here in the section of the U.S. that stretches from about the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, we are having a heat wave.  It’s not THAT hot compared to say, Arizona, or maybe Death Valley! – but when you factor in the humidity, it’s miserable.  (And I thought I was escaping the relentless steam bath I endured in Orlando, by moving to Northern Virginia.  Ha!)

However, it’s still not so bad.  Most folks seem to have air conditioning or some access to it.  And, there’s plenty of water to drink, swim in, take refreshing showers in, etc.

Until Now.   Splashing water on white.  Splash of water on a surface.

Now, a part of Maryland that borders Washington, D.C. is about to see what it’s like to live like so many people have to outside of the U.S.  Thousands of folks living in Maryland’s Prince George’s County are going to have the water turned off to their homes and businesses.  The reason?  Our country’s notoriously aging infrastructure is rearing its ugly head. In this case, a 54-inch water main is beginning to fail, officials say, and they must shut down part of the system to replace it.  For as many as FIVE days.  And, this event affects not only regular businesses and homes.  It’s knocking out all the business at National Harbor, a popular resort and conference hotel area, and even Joint Base Andrews, the combo Air Force and Navy Base that’s the home of Air Force One. The media is full of advice on which pots and pans to fill up, how much each person will need, etc. but there is no getting around the fact this is going to be a BIG PAIN IN THE NECK for a bunch of Americans, and a good deal that serve our federal government.

Maybe it’s good however, for two reasons:IX Power LLC is offering new clean water technologies

Maybe, just maybe, it will help highlight the issue of our infrastructure, which is literally decrepit in many areas.

And, # 2:  Some folks are going to get a taste of what it’s like to live without running water.

True, no one in Maryland is going to have to walk two miles in bare feet in 100 degree temperatures with a gallon of questionable water on their head like folks must in Africa, Asia, South America and even parts of Mexico.  But, maybe it will help open some eyes in this country about the urgency of the water scarcity situation on this planet. There’s nothing like going without yourself, to bring home others’ suffering.

We simply don’t have enough water on this planet. The total usable freshwater supply for humans and ecosystems is only around 200 000 km3 of water – less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources. According to the United Nations, water scarcity already affects almost every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.  To look at it another way, we are over-consuming our natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Scientists at the U.N. say that around 3.5 planets just like Earth would be needed to sustain a global population achieving the current lifestyle of the average European or North American. And realize – everyone on the planet pretty much is striving to live like we do. Fat, happy and with plenty of water.

IX Power Water Machines, OrganiClearSo, what are we going to do about it?

At IX Power we’re working on new ways to clean “produced” water – the water from oil & gas extraction and processing. We have a new way to clean it for use in irrigation, and by livestock and humans. That’s one of our particular water niches. But, we can’t do it alone. More effort by other labs, companies, and government entities needs to be put into finding solutions for the growing problem of water scarcity.

In Maryland, I expect their short-lived water incident will build some, albeit temporary, empathy and sympathy for those who are already without water. But what happens when the water is turned on again?  Worse yet, what happens when the water crisis is no longer a temporary event for Maryland?  For the rest of the U.S.?

It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid! April 22 is Earth Day

The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding

Take a look at The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding. It makes sense to me that the planet has a finite amount of natural resources and we could run out …

Every year it comes and goes with not nearly enough attention from the mass media.  What am I talking about?  EARTH DAY.  Officially it’s Monday, April 22, although EVERY day SHOULD be Earth Day.  Contrary to deniers of climate change, the planet is changing.  Whether mankind is wholly responsible for this is something that’s been hotly debated.  But, while experts and subsidized deniers do their hot debating about who or what caused it, and whether or not it is a normal cyclical change, it continues to get even hotter, and we still have to deal with droughts, storms, loss of shoreline, loss of species, acidification of the oceans, reduced foodstock from the sea, lack of clean fresh water and more! AUGH!

Ignoring, evading, denying, and mocking the problem is not helping and all this takes precious time and resources away from actually doing something to prepare for the change that IS coming.  

The problem for most Americans is that we live our luxurious lives (compared to that of other nations) in air conditioned offices and homes far, far removed from the processes of farming, water purification, and energy resource extraction.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty.  We are only affected by increased prices.

But, this somewhat blissful shelter from the realities of climate change is not going to continue for long for Americans.  Soon, it will no longer be a problem for “the poor folks in Africa,”  Nope, the problem is going to come home and hit us hard, and not just in the form of an extra dollar per gallon of gas.

i’ve been reading “The Great Disruption – How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy” and I would suggest it be read by everyone. Basically, the author talks about how climate change is just one of many factors that is going to affect the way we live on this planet.  It’s the kickstarter that people notice, but there are other factors such as the gobbling up of natural resources in the making of “stuff” that is going to change our idea of a successful and productive life.  Simply, we won’t have the natural resources to keep making stuff; we’re going to have to recycle to get even the basic materials and everyone is going to have to live with less stuff – particularly less “throwaway” stuff.  It’s a good read, but I’ve also added photos here of some of my other favorites.  

Take a look; pick up one of these books. Knowledge is power. Sticking your head in the sand will just irritate your eyes so you can’t see the truth.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

See more books and links to Earth Day websites below, including one where you can get the great bumper sticker that says, “It’s the Green Economy Stupid!”

Hot - Living through the next Fifty Years on Earth

Another insightful book discussing a proactive approach to climate change and dwindling natural resources …

T-Shirts, posters, and my favorite bumper sticker “It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid.” can be found on the home page of http://www.earthday.org

 http://www.earthday.org

http://www.epa.gov/earthday/

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/earth-sciences/

 

Earth - Making Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben

Earth – Making Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben – more suggested reading!

 

The End of Growth

The End of Growth is another good read.

Die Bundesregierung handelt dumm

For a culture so steeped in logic and science, it’s surprising Germany has made the most expensive and silly decision concerning its energy independence. Not only will retiring their nuclear power fleet cost them ~$1.5 TRILLION, they will be forced to purchase electricity from neighboring countries such as France, which will continue to generate almost all of its baseload via safe, clean, affordable nuclear power.

Dummkopfs!

NUCLEAR POLICIES: Trillion-euro cost of German energy transition
Germany’s plan to transform its energy system to one reliant on renewable power as it phases out nuclear energy could cost up to €1 trillion, German energy and environment minister Peter Altmaier has publicly admitted.

Hurricane Sandy: It’s Time to Re-Start the Conversation on Climate Change

Throughout this long summer and fall of presidential campaigns, we’ve been wondering where was even a mention of Climate Change?  The coal lobbyists have been running a lot of TV commercials advocating for the election of folks to the House and Senate that would slash at the EPA’s effort to regulate the use of this polluting, toxic fossil fuel. But where and when recently has anyone stood up to the elephant in the room – the obvious change in our climate that is going on?

Photo from Getty Images. Story in the Huffington Post.

Whether you believe it’s largely manmade or a historically natural recurring feat of our planet’s system, it’s hard to deny it’s happening. Let’s  just focus on how the human race is going to accommodate the changes in the climate that are happening.  What steps can be taken to mitigate the effects of stronger storms?  How can we improve our infrastructure and the way we build our population centers? Hey all you politicians: It’s time to start talking about Climate Change!

For more on this subject, read Mark Hertsgaard‘s article in The Nation, “Hurricane Sandy as Greek Tragedy.”  Hertsgaard has covered climate change for twenty years and is the author of six books, including, most recently, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. But don’t stop there. For another view, also read Nicholas D. Kristof’s comments in The New York Times, “Will Climate Get Some Respect Now?”  

Sending thoughts and prayers for those affected by Hurricane Sandy …

Video link to Washington Post of Hurricane Sanday

Queens, NY was hit with the one-two punch of not only water – but fire as well. About 80 homes were burned to the ground during the Hurricane. Hopefully, no one was lost in the blaze but it may be days before authorities are certain everyone got out alive. Click on the picture to see the video.

 

As dawn broke on the East Coast this morning, it was painfully evident that Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) was unfortunately everything forecasters had warned it would be and sometimes more. IX Power will continue to send our thoughts, prayers and donations to the brave survivors of one of history’s most infamous storms.

NYC’s financial district really got a bath from Superstorm Sandy.

Here’s how you can help too:

 

Donate to the American Red Cross.  We have seen many news reports of the Red Cross whipping into action to mitigate the misery of people affected by the storm.

The Salvation Army had boots on the ground providing hot meals well before the storm even hit and they will be there long after. Donate directly to the Salvation Army specifically for victims of Hurricane Sandy by  texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your cell phone. Or make a donation to the Salvation Army online.

Click here to read the Better Business Bureau’s advice on how to select a charity for your donations regarding Hurricane Sandy. 

Click here for more information on other charities assisting victim of Superstorm Sandy.

Click here for the FEMA site on how to donate and volunteer responsibly.

Y-12 Protestors Should Refocus Efforts on more Insidious Threat – Global Warming & Climate Change

The protestors that cut through the fence and broke into a secure area to deface buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex, the Oak Ridge, Tennessee facility* that stores and processes uranium, should consider refocusing their efforts on a more insidious threat to the future of the planet.  While all-out nuclear war would indeed be a global disaster, it is less likely to occur than in fact the global disaster which IS apparently full-speed ahead and is not being taken seriously enough.

For much of the planet, Climate Change is going to mean either too much water — or too little.

What the little old nun and her two middle-aged cohorts should focus on is Climate Change.  But, so should we all.

Here’s what we have to look forward to with Climate Change:  longer droughts, bigger floods, the loss of coastline and cities that are on the coast, acidification of the oceans and the eventual death of many species of sea creatures including those we depend upon as a food source, hotter temperatures, more storms – stronger hurricanes and tornadoes, worse pest problems, more disease – including the regeneration of some diseases like the bubonic plague, more and bigger wildfires, more air pollution, less food for everyone, mass extinctions,  and in general, less water where it’s needed – more where it’s not.

The problem with the Climate Change problem, what makes it so dangerous, is that it’s sneaky.  Scientist tried to tell us it was coming, but we – the United States’ “we” here – didn’t take it seriously because we didn’t see it in our daily lives … I mean who cares about the Polar bears?!   As long as we can still get a good steak at Longhorn, let the bears swim, for crying out loud. (being facetious here)  Americans continue to be Americans – good people, but historically, until the crisis is staring us in the face, we’re pretty complacent on the whole. WE Americans can be summed up as Winston Churchill said: You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

Aah, but this summer has seen the crisis brought to our own backyards.  This Summer has provided THE HOTTEST JULY EVER in the United States.   And, we ALL felt it.

Has this GLOBAL WARMING been caused by mankind or is it a naturally occurring cycle?  WHO CARES?!

Wildfires

Wildfires did a lot of damage to the U.S. in 2012. The coming years will see even more so get used to it.

it doesn’t really matter now because global warming has caused a climate change that many scientists such as those at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe cannot be stopped.  We can still “mitigate” global warming if we act fast, but the ball is rolling downhill.  Mitigation can put a few bumps on the hill to slow climate change and keep the situation from being QUITE SO BAD, but it’s still going to happen.

Let’s take a moment here to define some terms that we’re using in this, and future blog posts at IX Power.

Global Warming is:  Not the same thing as Climate Change! (They frequently are used interchangeably, but that is incorrect.) Global warming is the human-instigated rise in temperatures caused by too much carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Climate Change is: the EFFECTS that Global Warming has on the earth.  Climate Change is the effects on the earth’s natural processes and the impacts that are the result – stronger storms, worse droughts, melting polar ice, etc.

Mitigation is the set of actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions that generate global warming.

Adaptation is the actions that we can take to reduce the impacts of climate change – rising sea levels, strong storms, worse droughts, etc.

Mitigation is important – yes, we should continue to do things to reduce greenhouse gases – but the horse is out of the barn.  Scientists, including those at the IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe that even if we took really drastic measures to reduce global warming today, we are still going to have climate change and its impacts.  But, of course, since no one is taking drastic measures, we are most likely on our way to a slow hell.  We need to now focus at least as much effort on ADAPTING to climate change, as we should to mitigating global warming. Actually, we must do more, since not enough is being done to mitigate global warming.  

ADAPTATION – getting ready for the next 40 years so that fewer people, animals and ecosystems have to die, should be the concern of not just the Y-12 protestors, but all of us.  And I mean ALL.  Just because you are wealthy, or your corporation is big and healthy, does not mean you shouldn’t care.  EVERYONE is going to be impacted.  

Stay tuned to this blog – we’ll be talking more – not just about MITIGATING GLOBAL WARMING, but ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE as well …

*  According to the Y-12 web site: The Y‑12 National Security Complex is one of four production facilities in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. Their unique emphasis is the processing and storage of uranium and development of technologies associated with those activities.

Regardless of who or what is causing Climate Change, Obama Administration moving forward to mitigate its effects

Regardless of what you think about Global Warming or Climate Change, there’s no denying it has definitely been warmer this Winter.

What little snow we received this year quickly melted away, but we managed to capture a few shots of the event near the Washington D.C. office of IX Power Foundation.

 Today and tomorrow at the D.C.-area office of the IX Power Foundation, temperatures are expected to soar into the high 60’s.

The forest out the back door of the IX Power Foundation office.

It appears Spring is springing, and Winter has wafted away.  (We should still remain vigilant. We could get pummeled in February or March by a rogue storm.)  But, all in all, its been a freakishly warm winter in the U.S.

So how does the apparent change affect us and what is anybody proposing we do to prepare for it?  

Well, in the United States, we are beginning to get more serious about it. On Jan. 19, the Obama administration released a draft of a plan to coordinate responses to global warming across the country.  It’s called the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, and while the United States has no national strategy for curtailing its contributions to climate change, it does now have a partial strategy for responding to its effects.

The flowering plants seem quite confused! Should we try to bloom? When we do bloom during the Winter we get hit with an overnight dusting of ice or snow ...

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is a call to action — a framework for steps that can be taken over the next five to 10 years based on climate change projections for the next century. It is designed to be a key part of the nation’s larger response to a changing climate, and to guide responsible actions by natural resource managers is a comprehensive, multi-partner response to the threat of climate change in the United States.

You can see the snow we did get in the Greater Washington, D.C. area was greatly reduced from that of year's past ...

It involves decision-makers at all levels of government: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the New York Division of Fish, Wildlife, & Marine Resources (representing state fish and wildlife agencies.) The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is also providing support.  

The "Big" snow of the 2011 - 2012 season thus far in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. area may be the harbinger of things to come ... Are we headed to drought conditions?

 The Strategy is being developed with input from a wide variety of federal, state, and tribal representatives, along with active engagement and input from non-government organizations, industry groups, and private landowners. To learn more, visit: http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/index.php