How bad has this year been for our environment? Here are 60 things in the last 12 months:
As scientists seek ways to improve the efficiency of solar cells, some have increasingly turned to thin film solar cells. Such cells are lighter and more manageable than traditional crystal-based cells and are expected to be more efficient if engineers can find a way to get them to work for longer periods of time. One of the roadblocks to improving the efficiency of solar cells is the high expense of motion hardware that tracks the sun. In this new effort, the researchers took inspiration from the rose butterfly, found commonly in India. It has soft black wings that warm the cold-blooded insect during cool periods.
To learn more about the butterfly’s wings, a team of researchers from California Institute of Technology and the Karlsruh Institute of Technology collected some samples and looked at them under an electron microscope. They found that the wings were covered with scales pockmarked with holes. In addition to making the wings lighter, the holes scattered the light striking them, which allowed the butterfly to absorb more of the sun’s heat.
In their paper, published in the journal Science Advances, the group explains their inspiration for studying the butterfly wings and the details of their improved solar cells.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-black-butterfly-wings-solar-cells.html#jCp
The researchers created similar structures in their lab using sheets of hydrogenated amorphous silicon sheets. A top layer with extremely tiny holes of various sizes caused light to scatter and strike the silicon base below. The design allowed for picking up roughly twice as much light as previous designs. The process took just five to 10 minutes.
Get off the fossil fuel grid! Go butterfly solar.
Until next time,
“We believe that we cannot survive on this planet if we fail to see that human life cannot exist outside of nature.”
The Bolivian law that defends Mother Earth as a living system grants her a presence in a legal framework. It is an important ideology that should be considered globally.
In highly urbanized areas, the built environment does a remarkable job of masking the resources that allow all forms of life to continue their existence on this planet.
As human populations grow, the majority of human activity will take place in urban areas. Overcrowding brings traffic and exhaust, water quality and quantity issues, food shortages, air pollution, and a variety of natural disasters that destroy infrastructure and disrupt lives. These issues can bring unrest, displacement, homelessness, war and death.
Bolivia’s law reestablishes deeply indigenous concepts concerning Earth within a political and legal framework. It is a model for prioritizing the health of our planet and it should be configured into every nation’s environmental policies and sustainability goals.
The Law of Mother Earth outlines Seven Rights this planet is entitled to:
The Law of Mother Earth will be exacted into policy via five strategies:
Bolivia is dependent on the glaciers in the Andes mountains as a reliable water source. Their disappearance has severe and dangerous consequences forcing people to face the challenges of how and where to access clean water. The New York Times, “a World Bank report concluded last year that climate change would eliminate many glaciers in the Andes within 20 years, threatening the existence of nearly 100 million people.”
In an article from the Huffington Post, Peter Neill writes, “Change must begin somewhere, sometime; perhaps Bolivia is inventing the social model and role of governance that will demonstrate how we can transcend the global divisions and conflicts, beyond the destruction and despair that we feel, toward a harmonious, effective, efficient, and equitable society connected by the true value of nature as sustainer. If so, should we not pay attention?”
Until next time,
Definition of morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
Our Earth needs us to behave morally and do the right thing.
The Earth Crisis we have created will not go away by eliminating plastic water bottles one at a time. BUT, that water bottle can get us to think about what is right.
These products are brought to us by the extractive oil industry. They spend billions of PR dollars annually to convince us to pay them to drink water (we can get for free) from their containers that can only be used once.
Their product makes annoying crunchy noises when handled.
Their product is made of a material that mimics hormones; causing bodily changes when ingested.
Their product is ugly compared to every other container you can drink water from again and again.
Their product often contains flouride and other chemicals like Bisphenol A which is linked to obesity, diabetes and cancer. Their product is not required to be tested as frequently or as closely, under Federal and State laws, as Municipal Tap water. Their product is not required by law to list the ingredients found in their water on their labels. Their product is not required to make public the results of all tests done on their product.
Their product has to get to you in boxes, wrapped in single use plastic film. Their product contains 24 bottles in the cardboard case requiring you to buy all 24. Their product is loaded on to trucks or planes using MORE oil for fuel, traveling many miles to get to your market. At its retail destination, their product gets refrigerated — powered by fossil fuel derived energy — in beverage cases that are giant open rooms, with giant glass doors that are optimized for your easy access, not for containing the refrigerated air.
Worse: their company has no obligation to deal with all of this packaging. Once the water has been purchased and consumed, it flows into the waste stream at no cost to the producer/originator of the waste.
If you do not dispose of their product correctly, it contaminates our water ecosystem, killing marine life up and down the food chain. The 1 in 5 bottles of their product that get into a landfill will take 1000 years to break down. Their product essentially never goes away.
This process is being repeated more than 100 million times a day all over the world.
How You Can Help:
This Earth Day, explore our beautiful planet with Google Maps. https://www.google.com/maps/about/treks/#/grid
The main page gives you a selection of extraordinary places to visit. Click on one and take a virtual vacation that will remind you of the glorious place we call home and how important it is to keep it alive and healthy.
How You Can Help:
Do your best.
Until next week,