I don’t know about you, but by Friday I’m ready for some good news for a change, especially after hearing that the Canadian government is planning to spend $16-billion on fighter jets, by untendered contract. This is the same government that has done nothing to address climate change, by far the biggest threat to Canadians in the coming decades. They seem to be caught in a time warp, still wrapped up in the Cold War when enemies could be clearly identified and – possibly – fought with fighter jets.
But back to the good news:
- It seems that BP has finally capped the oil well that’s been spewing between one million plus to 4 million plus barrels of oil a day (nobody really knows, because BP has been low-balling the numbers since the beginning and the US government doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to clarify how bad things really are). We won’t know for sure if the oil has stopped permanently for a while, as now a time of monitoring begins. BP engineers will be monitoring pressure gauges and watching for signs of leaks elsewhere in the well. Apparently, there is a chance that pressure from the oil gushing out of the ground could fracture the well and make the leak even worse!
This video is from 2 weeks ago, but Robert Kennedy Jr. has some interesting – and disturbing – things to say about the economic disincentives to swifter action by BP , and why they used toxic dispersants to hide the oil:
The U.S. Climate Network has an interesting page that has been clocking how much oil has been poured into the gulf so far, and the gauge can be adjusted up or down depending on whose estimates are used. Click on their name to go the page.
Okay, back to good news:
- Morris County, New Jersey is planning to go solar with some unique financing. The county plans to install 3.2 megawatts of solar panels on county property roofs with the help of $30 million in county-guaranteed bonds. The remaining costs will be financed in conjunction with the energy utility Tioga Energy, which qualifies for federal solar tax incentives through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Go to Green Tech at CNET.com for the full story.
- The Solar Pebble, a low-cost solar lamp designed by three undergraduates at the University of Leeds in conjunction with Solar Aid, a UK charity which works to fight poverty and climate change, may prove to be revolutionary for families in Africa. The students’ company Plus Minus Design,
…is vying to replace unsustainable and potentially dangerous lanterns in the homes of off-grid Africans with the Solar Pebble. Engineered with the economic constraints of developing-world citizens in mind, the Solar Pebble will provide one hour of LED light for every two hours of charge, and will cost only $2.70 to manufacture…
The Solar Pebble provides light and a means of portable charging, but its implications are even greater. The lamp will ship partially assembled, providing jobs for locals who would finish assembly. Furthermore, Plus Minus Design hopes the lamp will increase radio usage, providing rural African families with HIV/AIDS prevention information.
Read the full story at Green Tech at CNET.com. In fact, the Green Tech column written by Martin LaMonica is a really interesting resource about all things alternative – I highly recommend visiting it regularly.