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The other side of Global Warming

Anyone who can think for themselves will realize that there are at least, and I mean, AT LEAST, two sides to any given argument. That’s why it’s important to consider these 7 links. They basically show another side to the near hegemonic discourse about global warming.

Image credit: NASA (via Flickr)

1- http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/21/rahn-the-world-did-not-end/

2- http://www.scienceclarified.com/scitech/Global-Warming/Global-Warming-and-the-Future.html

3- http://www.dailytech.com/After+Missing+5+Predictions+IPCC+Cuts+Global+Warming+Forecast/article33457.htm

4 – http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/02/18/5-scientific-reasons-that-global-warming-isnt-happening-n1796423/page/full

5 – http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2472/global_warming_just_isn_t_happening_official

6 – http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/12/19/lawrence-solomon-for-global-warming-believers-2013-was-the-year-from-hell/

7 – http://www.thegwpf.org/nasahansen-climate-model-prediction-global-warming-vs-climate-reality/


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Is the Age of Oil coming to a close?

Image via Tumblr (Flickr)

Two very different stories about oil production in Canada…

Story 1 – http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/why-clean-cars/oil-use/what-are-tar-sands.html

Story 2 – http://www.oilsandstoday.ca/whatareoilsands/Pages/QuickFacts.aspx

Original image credit: kris krüg http://bit.ly/1niNBQO


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Earthpages gets a new Facebook page!

ep-fb

Earthpages new Facebook page

There’s an old saying that success is like a snowball. The more it rolls down the hill, the bigger it gets. This has certainly been the case with my use of Facebook.

Since opening my personal Facebook page to the public, I’ve met a lot of really interesting people. People who I’ll probably never meet in person but who are open to relating through the web. Not everyone has that kind of global perspective. Some want to keep their Facebook page private for known friends and family. And I can appreciate that. But I believe the broader perspective will become increasingly normal in the future (it already is with musicians, who collaborate with like-minded souls at a distance).

It’s only a matter of time before mankind’s little boundaries get bigger. And I want Earthpages to be at the forefront of that change.

Funny thing is, as I get to know my new Facebook friends (whom I haven’t met in person), the whole bunch starts to feel like an extended family. Or maybe a circle of acquaintances. We all have common interests. And many post vital stories that I want to share with the rest of my Earthpages visitors.

But still, there’s a slight tension – I’ll be honest – with my extended circle, on the one hand, and my old friends and family, on the other hand. I have to think before posting family photos or divulging somewhat personal info. So far, I’ve managed the two realms on one Facebook page pretty well.

But it’s time to break free and start up a whole new page. And that’s why I’ve launched a second Facebook page for Earthpages. It’s quite new and doesn’t have many followers yet. But I am delighted that the search engines have picked it up.

This new page contains cutting edge stories and alternative commentary. It won’t tell you how I feel today or if I brushed my teeth after dinner! That kinda stuff will be at my first Facebook page, which everyone is still welcome to join. My new page, simply called “Earthpages“, is about what’s happening now. And what will make a difference tomorrow.

Check it out!  https://www.facebook.com/earth5569

—MC


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Does Your Home Have A Radon Problem?

radon

radon (Photo credit: oparvez)

The following comes from a Canadian source, but it seems the Radon threat is just as bad in the US. Scientists generally agree that Radon is the second mostly likely cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The real horror, however, is that Radon occurs naturally in the soil, beneath unsuspecting homeowners. — MC

By News Canada

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided. The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: http://www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, http://www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided? The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/wellness-articles/does-your-home-have-a-radon-problem-1961379.html

About the Author

For over 25 years, News Canada has been providing the media with ready-to-use, timely, credible and copyright-free news content. Editors, broadcasters, web and video content providers rely on News Canada for newsworthy content to effectively enhance their websites, newspapers and broadcasts. Content is made available to you, the media, in the format you need, when you need it.

www.newscanada.com


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Soy vs. Paraffin Candles – The Great Debate

soy colourful!  Handmade, soy candles.

soy colourful! Handmade, soy candles by lindsay.dee.bunny via Flickr

By Stephanie Davies

You may have heard stories recently about the benefits of soy wax, or about how paraffin wax is unhealthy or not good for you. In this article we will examine the myths and rumors and give the straight facts on both soy and paraffin wax candles and allow you to see what the truth and fuss is all about.

Before we start, it is important for you to know what the actual difference is between soy and paraffin waxes, and to see how each are produced. Let’s start with paraffin wax, the most common wax to create candles with today. If you purchase a candle that isn’t marked as soy, beeswax, or any other special blend of wax, chances are that you have purchased a candle that is made from a paraffin blend of wax.

Paraffin wax is a heavy hydrocarbon that comes from crude oil. Paraffin waxes are produced by refining or separating the waxes out of crude mineral oils. Obtained from the ground, crude oil is a compositionally varied product, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons. Another name for crude oil is fossil fuel. Crude oil is transported to refineries where it is refined into finished products by complex processes. One of the many products derived from refining is lubricating oil. It is from the lube oil refining process that petroleum waxes are derived. There are three general categories of petroleum wax that are obtained from lube oil refining. They include paraffin, microcrystalline and petrolatum. Paraffin waxes are derived from the light lubricating oil distillates. Paraffin waxes contain predominantly straight-chain hydrocarbons with an average chain length of 20 to 30 carbon atoms.

Soy wax, on the other hand is made from vegetable matter. Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. The hydrogenation process converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The leftover bean husks are commonly used as animal feed. The U.S. grows the vast majority of the world’s soybeans, primarily in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.

So now that you know how both soy and paraffin candles are made, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both types.

There are a lot of myths surrounding soy candles. Most of these are designed to sell soy candles better, and have very little truth in them. A great example is the great ‘no soot’ myth. Sites that sell soy candles love to say that there is absolutely no soot produced with a soy candle. However, there is no truth and all hype to that claim. Absolutely, positively, and most importantly, scientifically, all organic compounds when burned will emit some carbon (soot) due to incomplete combustion. Sooting is primarily a factor of wick length and disturbance of the flame’s steady teardrop shape. There is no such thing as a soot-free candle. Further, while soy wax is all-natural and will not produce the thick black soot that you see on some paraffin containers, it does produce soot. An important fact to remember is that not all soot is black. Soot can be a ‘white soot’ that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Soy wax will produce little black soot – unless the candle is improperly wicked, made, or burnt, but it may produce white soot.

But before you get scared of soot, let me tell you, that soot is in fact not harmful to you. Candle soot is composed primarily of elemental carbon particles, and is similar to the soot given off by kitchen toasters and cooking oils. These everyday household sources of soot are not considered a health concern, and are chemically different from the soot formed by the burning of diesel fuel, coal, gasoline, etc. So the myth of ‘soot free soy candles’ is not only inaccurate, but simply an effort by some companies to scare the general public into buying their candles.

With that being said, there are some benefits to purchasing soy wax candles. While petroleum based paraffin wax is a limited resource, soy wax is a renewable resource that is limited only by how many soybeans we can grow. It is also beneficial to farmers who sell soybean crops, as well as lasting almost twice as long as paraffin wax.

However, soy wax is naturally a ‘soft’ wax. While container candles, tealights, and small tarts may be made entirely of soy, it is extremely difficult to make good pillar candles and votives out of 100 pure soy wax. Additives are used to make them better, but in most cases, paraffin wax is still a much better solution for those types of candles. In my own company, Mystickal Incense & More, we use a blend of 50 soy wax and 50 paraffin wax for our free-standing candles.

In the end, both paraffin wax and soy wax are both good choices for candle wax. Neither is more ‘environmentally friendly’ than the other, as there has never been scientific evidence that paraffin wax is harmful to your health in any way at all. It is a personal choice of which type you prefer to use, and both types hold scent and dye just as well. The only benefit that there is in all reality, is that container candles using soy wax do burn longer. And it does benefit the farmers of the Mid-western United States. However, most other claims regarding soy wax are false and/or misleading.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/soy-vs-paraffin-candles-the-great-debate-39919.html

About the Author
Stephanie Davies is a 27 year old Missourian with a loving husband and an 8 year old son. She currently owns her own business, Mystickal Incense & More, and sells handmade candles, incense, bath & body products and more at http://www.mystickalincense.com


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Technology Looks to Hydrogen Fuel Cells

English: Cutaway illustration of a fuel cell car

Cutaway illustration of a fuel cell car (via Wikipedia)

By Velma Harvey

Apple has consistently set an example within the computer industry by pursuing and instituting environmentally friendly practices wherever possible. Most recently, Apple has applied for a few patents that suggest the company may be looking into using hydrogen as a source of power for future devices.

Since the creation of the first uni-body MacBook Pro, which was made from recycled aluminum and glass and contained few of the toxic chemicals present in most laptop computers, Apple has banked on its reputation for producing environmentally friendly devices.

In late 2011, Apple upped the ante, publishing multiple patents for a hydrogen fuel cell to be used in portable computing devices. According to Apple, fuel cells, ‘can potentially enable continued operation of portable electronic devices for days or even weeks without refueling.’

Hydrogen fuel cells look to be the new frontier for portable computing. Verizon already has a hydrogen powered charging device on the market called the MINIPAK, which is a pocket-sized device that uses a refillable hydrogen cartridge to produce the energy equivalent of about 10 AA batteries. If you plan to try carrying 10 AA batteries in your pocket, expect to be walking with a noticeable limp.

The benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells over the current lithium-polymer batteries are pretty compelling. Hydrogen fuel cells are lighter, can hold longer lasting charges, and can potentially be powered entirely by carbon neutral fuel sources. The byproducts of a hydrogen fuel cell are electricity and water, making it far cleaner and easier to dispose of than traditional batteries.

English: Hydrogen engine.

Hydrogen engine (via Wikipedia)

Hydrogen does have its hurdles to overcome, however. Currently, fossil fuels are used to produce most of the hydrogen available on the market. While the hydrogen and oxygen that fuel cells require can be produced through electrolysis, the electrolysis process requires an electrical input in order to work. If that electricity is produced from fossil fuels, your fuel cell is no greener than any other device you already own.

Hydrogen is also difficult to store. In its gaseous state, hydrogen takes up a lot of space, so it is usually highly pressurized in order to reach effective densities. Liquid hydrogen can store even higher densities, but it requires constant cooling, which, for portable devices, seems unrealistic. In either case, you would be carrying a highly pressurized container of explosive fuel in your pocket. This may make boarding an airplane a tad difficult. There is a lot of research being done on ways to store hydrogen in a solid state, but these technologies are not yet market ready.

One of the most exciting prospects of Apple’s investigation of hydrogen power is that they might actually pull it off. Hydrogen fuel cells are on the precipice of becoming one of the most important technologies of our generation. With Apple’s research capabilities and vast funding, it’s possible to imagine that they will provide the push this technology needs to become a real competitor with traditional energy sources. Apple has already revolutionized the personal computing industry and the music industry; maybe they can do the same for energy.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/technology-looks-to-hydrogen-fuel-cells-6154840.html

About the Author

Velma Harvey lives in Californa, USA and has a passion for preserving the earth and green energy products.


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Energy-saving lamps become "special waste"

Mercury in fish

Mercury in fish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: loveboa

From September 1 this year, the EU does not allow the production and import of incandescent lamps. View of the progressive implementation of this provision from four years ago, particularly the media emphasis on incandescent lamps on the market is not ‘off the shelf’ In these reports, which have no impact on people’s daily lives, so Austrian consumers’ response to the scheme is more peaceful. From local media reports, the environmentalists have finally breathed a sigh of relief and think this is a step forward toward ‘green energy’. However, many people believe that the EU of this provision is superfluous, reflect the Brussels bureaucratic regulation mad ‘, policy work will take some time.

As early as 2007, during Germany holds the EU’s rotating presidency, someone said that the ordinary incandescent energy consumption efficiency is too low, only 5of the energy consumption is converted into light, the rest is converted into heat volatilization. In contrast, energy-saving lamps can save 65-80 Such as a household saving 15 EU a year can reduce 32 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, per household per year can save 50 euros of electricity. In the face of this account, the European Union decided to phase out incandescent. 2009 is not allowed production or import more than 100 watts of incandescent in the EU, ban extended to more than 75 watts in 2010, and in 2011 expanded to more than 60 watts, September 1, 2012 ban involving all incandescent.

Critics pointed out that market competition should be to phase out incandescent and should not use administrative means. Incandescent come out over the centuries, because it warm light color, color variety, rich styling and low price is very popular among consumers. While currently energy-saving light on the market color dim, a single shape, expensive, and also can be not  dimming, which is difficult to be accepted by consumers. In addition, the energy-saving lamps are also harmful to the environment. Each energy-saving lamps containing 5 milligrams of mercury, once the damage cause mercury leaks, pollution of the environment not only more than incandescent, but also harmful to the body. European consumer protection agency recommended, once mercury leakage after the energy saving lamp breakage should windows open for ventilation, and promptly removed. According to the provisions of the European Union, less than 50 watts of energy-saving lamps of mercury content can’t exceed 5 mg; Experts suggest that, If you want energy-saving, but do not like the energy-saving lamps, LED lighting equipment can be also choose.

In Austria, the energy-saving lamps belong to the ‘special waste’, which must be sent to the designated place to deal with. Consumers also reflected in the energy-saving lamp lighting brightness and light color neither meets the needs of home lighting.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/energy-saving-lamps-become-special-waste-6176399.html

About the Author

Shenzhen Ohmax Optoelectronic Lighting Co., Ltd. is a professional design, development, production and sales of LED high power lamp beads package, LED application lighting company. Our main product: Plant Grow LightLED Grow LampIndoor Grow LightLED Aquarium Light.

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