(midnight – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Lyrics are from Loreena McKennit’s Mummer’s Dance
When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair
The Enviromower, which we observed back here, was conceived in Australia and is also sold throughout Europe, the UK and New Zealand. And in North America, except there it goes by the name of Neuton. It’s a battery-powered electric mower. As we buy accredited 100% Solar GreenPower from our energy utility, our Enviromower is, in essence, powered by the sun.
The battery is a sealed unit of two linked 12V lead-acid type batteries. It can be removed from the mower, or left in-situ to be recharged. This takes about 12-16 hours. (I originally had my eye on the 36V Bosch Rotak LI with its lithium ion batteries, which are said to charge in one hour! But these mowers seem to be only available in Europe.)
However, from my perspective, the red coloured Enviromower Eco 500 can handle a standard suburb yard with aplomb. It cuts grass very well. It gives a clean, even cut, albeit a little narrower (35.5cm or 14″) than most petrol mowers. Three modes of mowing are possible: attaching the included grass catcher, using the included rear deflector to let the clippings fall behind the cut, or the included mulching plug. This latter attachment keeps the clippings next to the blades, so they’re sliced and diced fine enough to fall down as useful nutrient for improved lawn.
LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY (26 FEBRUARY 2008) – The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries. With the deposits ranging from unique varieties of major African and Asian food staples such as maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, and sorghum to European and South American varieties of eggplant, lettuce, barley, and potato, the first deposits into the seed vault represent the most comprehensive and diverse collection of food crop seeds being held anywhere in the world.
In this case, PG&E customers will pay to offset 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by giving an undisclosed amount of money to help The Conservation Fund manage a nonprofit working forest in Northern California. That’s about as much CO2 emissions created by 37,000 average PG&E households annually.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s largest plastic bag maker has closed following a state-led environmental campaign discouraging plastics use, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.
China launched a surprise crackdown on plastic bags in January, banning production of ultra-thin bags and forbidding its supermarkets and shops from handing out free carrier bags from June 1.
Suiping Huaqiang Plastic Co, owned by Guangzhou-based Nanqiang Plastic Industrial Ltd. and employing 20,000 workers stopped production in mid-January.
When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp will team up with Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd and Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd to develop large lithium-ion batteries that can store solar energy for houses, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.
Arizona Public Service (APS) has announced plans to build a 280-megawatt concentrating solar power plant in the desert 70 miles southwest of Phoenix. The Solana Generating Station, if it were operating today, would be the single largest solar power plant on the planet. Solana, with its thermal energy storage, will be able to operate 24/7 providing power for 70,000 homes.
A tiny Alaskan village is suing 24 major energy companies for damages due to global warming. The 390 residents of Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo village built on a barrier reef in the Arctic Ocean, have found themselves of the front lines of climate change over the past few years, as melting sea ice has exposed the village to storms and erosion. The cost of eventually relocating the entire village has been estimated at $400 million
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay
Coca Cola has ordered 120 Eaton hybrid delivery trucks, on top of the 20 it bought in 2007. These should reduce emissions by about 32% and fuel consumption by up to 37% compared to the company’s regular trucks.
UPS Canada is going a different route: Propane (LPG). The company will use 139 new propane-powered trucks that are expected to reduce UPS’ CO2 emissions by 254 metric tonnes per year, a 35% improvement compared to conventional engines. “Additionally, particulate matter emitted from vehicles will be virtually eliminated.
For rent: “830,000 hectares of pristine tropical rainforest. Rich in wildlife, including forest elephants and gorillas. Provides a regionally important African green corridor. Price: $1.6m a year. Conservationist tenant preferred, but extractive forestry also considered. Please apply to the Cameroonian minister of forestry.”
This offer by the government of Cameroon has been on the table since 2001, but they haven’t found any takers from the conservation side yet. If nobody steps up, the forest of Ngoyla-Mintom will probably be leased to logging companies.
Perhaps if voters in the US spent money on this instead of funding candidates we could really make a difference.
The airline’s president Sir Richard Branson described the launch as historic in his pursuit of environment-friendly flights.
The launch came as a debate on environmental degradation dominated media in Europe and America, and also as industries in the US embrace new technology, which can reduce carbon dioxide by more than 50 per cent from the atmosphere.
The fuel used in the trial flight was obtained from coconut and babassu oil from Brazil and the Philipines.
No modification was done on the engines of the aircraft to accept the use of the new jet oil.
Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year
Applying organic fertilizers, such as those resulting from composting, to agricultural land could increase the amount of carbon stored in these soils and contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. Carbon sequestration in soil has been recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the European Commission as one of the possible measures through which greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated.
Bacteria often get bad press, with those found in water often linked to illness and disease. But researchers at The University of Nottingham are using these tiny organisms alongside the very latest membrane filtration techniques to improve and refine water cleaning technology.
The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days
The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Panthera Foundation announced plans to establish a 5,000 mile-long “genetic corridor” from Bhutan to Burma that would allow tiger populations to roam freely across landscapes. The corridor, first announced at the United Nations on January 30th, would span eight countries and represent the largest block of tiger habitat left on earth.
The proposed corridor includes extensive areas of Bhutan, northeast India, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia, along with potential connectivity to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It has already been endorsed by the new King of Bhutan, his Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who requested other heads of state to support similar efforts.
And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone
“A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord’s hand
(OT – I assume she speaks of the Horned God Cernunnos, but any God will work I guess hehe)