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Obama and the EPA 's fight on power plants, the epa, climate change and green house gas

We at Green Halo Systems have been following the news about the USA’s greenhouse gas policies since the beginning of the year when the Secretary of State John Kerry’s goal was to become the “lead broker of a global climate treaty” according to The New York Times. John Kerry has made President Barack Obama and millions of others focus on global warming in the past six months and today it was announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a 30% cut from 2005 figures to all power plant emissions by 2030.

To review some of what has happened since the beginning of the year, this past February, the EPA drafted a new rule to regulate 1,500 power plans in America to curb climate change and to tighten the language on such a rule. Later that month, Pres Obama ordered the development of new fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s heavy-duty trucks through the use of executive authority. Days later, the Supreme Court considered the President’s orders when it comes to emissions from “stationary sources” such as power plants. Pres Obama’s use of executive authority has since become a popular topic.

At the end of March the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report warned that climate change is having a “sweeping effect worldwide” that is likely to grow worse unless greenhouse emissions get under control. The report gave weight to Pres Obama’s effort to use his executive authority under The Clean Air Act.

During April the United Nations report said that the United States needs to develop a climate change law so taxing carbon pollution was up for discussion. Paul Krugman’s response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statement was that economists’ optimism about limiting emissions of greenhouse gases is due to technological innovations that have decreased the cost of renewable energy.

At the beginning of May, Pres Obama announced investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The President campaigned to build support for the EPA’s carbon pollution limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants. Also in May, research about the giant glaciers’ “tipping points” as proof of global warming was scrutinized by The New York Times. Pres Obama also recently stated that the proof of climate change makes this issue “not some distant problem of the future”.

And so now, in the beginning of June, Pres Obama reiterated the importance of climate change policies in his second-term agenda. On June 1st, 2014, the Obama administration proposed what might be the most ambitious climate change mitigation strategy in the USA so far. The proposal is that the entire power sector (America’s largest carbon polluter) must bring its emission levels down by 30% from what they were in 2005 by the year 2030.

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GE makes gas engines that feed on bio gas produced from a variety of foods and food by-products; and now these GE machines can also process synthetic gas, or syngas from wood. Many gas engines can run on natural gas, landfills gas, sewage gas, biogas, mine gas, coal gas, and syngas (such as the popular- Jenbacher).

In remote towns and villages, these gas engines supply power and they help cities integrate renewable energy into the power grid. The gas engines can also be configured with generators and other GE products to form power plants to supply power. This energy method is commonly used in areas such as Europe. GE has distributed power solutions including: generator sets, cogeneration systems and containers. Distributed Power is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and you can learn more about it here: https://www.ge-distributedpower.com/

A visualization of a Jenbacher can be viewed here:

(Source: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140407/infographic-field-guide-us-environmental-movement

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Yesterday morning, a NASA “mega-rocket” and a spacecraft video was posted on the web and it explained that NASA plans to test this new rocket later this year. This would be the “largest and most powerful rocket in history” so Orion will fly farther than any other spacecraft has in 40 years. Experts say that Orion has a somewhat old-fashioned design which is reliable as well as cost effective. Orion can also stay in space for over 6 months.

Orion is designed to deliver up to four astronauts even further into the solar system than ever before. Orion might go to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars. For those familiar with the Space Launch System (SLS) seen here:

 SLS NASA

This is an artist rendering of an SLS that is planned to launch the MPCV. Another great Green article from Green Halo Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

NASA asked people from around the globe to upload a selfie on Earth Day on social media so that a mosaic of the images with the globe could be created and posted on GigaPan at: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/155294

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This spectacular image was built using 36,422 photos that were tagged #globalsefie in five humongous social media platforms around April 22, 2014. Here, people from more than 100 countries are all organized in a high quality rendering that people can zoom in and out of to see the selfies large or small.

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Ecovative Design, Troy, N.Y.

A new type of brick called bioMASON has arrived, and it is actually GROWN not built…by putting microorganisms to work! One of the most energy intensive materials to manufacture is concrete and the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere in this process is also something that could be lessened if bricks could be made in a bio-friendly manner.

bioMASON is a “unique biotechnology start-up manufacturing company with a natural process that will revolutionize the building and construction industry. bioMASON employs natural microorganisms and chemical processes to manufacture biological cement-based masonry building materials”. In addition to the fascinating science behind this is bioMASON’s award for the: Next Generation “the Big Fix” by Metropolis magazine.

green halo waste tracking system biomason

The founder, Ginger Krieg Dosier had the idea to grow bricks since she studied coral structure and the process has been refined by bioMASON. A video of Dosier and the product can be viewed here:

 

(Source: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/05/20/sponsored-ad-biomason-green-challenge)

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The International Space Station will have a new lifeboat for approximately seven months. The lifeboat spacecraft is not necessarily wished to be called into service but in the event that people need to be evacuated off of the International Space Station, this “next generation” American spacecraft will come to rescue.

Right now, in the place of this next generation American spacecraft, the lifeboat function is served by a pair of Russian Soyuz spacecraft which hold three people each. The Soyuz lifeboat is pictured here:

russian space soyuz space craft landed

This means that there can be six people working on a station at a time. With the next generation spacecraft, there is the ability to offer another four to seven seats so more people would be available for research duties according to NASA. This section explained the difference between the Soyuz spacecraft and the next generation American spacecraft that will soon be used. The new lifeboat looks like this:

nasa life boat space station

Next, we look into engineering specifications and some of the conditions that lifeboats are designed to face.

In a recent article by NASA, their engineers revel the two capabilities that a spacecraft must perform to be called a life boat. They are: “First, the spacecraft needs to provide a shelter for astronauts in case of a problem on the station. Second, the ship has to be able to quickly get all its systems operating and detach from the station for a potential return to Earth.” In addition to these two requirements, the spacecraft also needs to run on the little amount of power that is dedicated for a docked crew spacecraft (the amount of power is about the amount of electricity a refrigerator uses). Let’s look at engineering’s relative that is, design.

When it comes to spacecraft design for the lifeboat feature, the challenges include a few things. First, it is ideal for the lifeboat to be powered off when not in use, but the deputy manager of CCP’s Spacecraft Office explained that this isn’t currently the case because air needs to be circulated since air doesn’t automatically circulate in microgravity the way it does on Earth. Another thing that designers need to look out for is that the spacecraft needs to be protected from things outside the spacecraft like micrometeoroids and should be able to survive an occasional hit, yet the armor cannot be too heavy to launch.

nasa life boat space station international

The new lifeboat is much anticipated because of the increased amount of people that it can hold. The “extra seats” compared to the Soyuz lifeboat which is currently used will most likely be used for researchers. In addition, the design and engineering challenges and specifications are extraordinary. We highly recommend viewing the NASA website for more information at: http://www.nasa.gov/

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Aside from its speed, shocking good looks, ultimate customer satisfaction and impressive mechanical/electrical design there are many fun facts about the innovative Model S. Whatever else the company and Elon Musk have up their sleeve, we are excited to see it in the much anticipated Model X and more!

A reflection on some of the Model S’s impressive accomplishments is in order, and just remember, you read it here.

Some fun facts about the Tesla Model S include:

  • The NHTS’s tried to perform a root crush resistance test on the Model S, and it actually broke. The roof crush resistance is over twice the requirement by the NHTSA.
  • It also got a 5.4 star crash test rating which was the highest ever recorded.
  • The Model S has the largest panoramic sunroof of any production car.
  • The Motortrend’s Car of the Year Award is extremely coveted and the Model S was the first electric vehicle to receive this award ever.
  • The largest digital display/touchscreen at 17” of any production vehicle. In effect creating a “minimalist” design with no knobs or physical dials on the dash.
  • This car also has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, at 0.24.
  • The sound system in the Model S includes “visual surround control” where a 3D image of the insides of the vehicle comes on the screen and users can just drag their fingers to direct music to be louder accordingly.
  • The cargo space in the car is the largest in its class, in fact underneath the front hood is even more storage space!
  • There are only 20 moving parts
  • A web browser is included in the 17” display, with internet provided entirely by Tesla!

Now we are interested in knowing more about Tesla’s commitment to the planet…and that smaller Model S (code name: “Blue Star”).

 

 

inside tesla model stesla

 

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Adobe Systems Inc. which is a digital marketing and digital media company headquartered in San Jose, Ca is very proactive when it comes to sustainability and energy conservation. The company has recognized that their industry is increasingly energy intensive and so they aim to reduce energy consumption and to stabilize their costs. Their ultimate goal is for their buildings to “produce or offset as much energy as they consume, resulting in Net Zero energy usage”. So far, the company has been tracking Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions (for purchased energy of the leased sites and for employee business travel since these two areas are part of their value chain). Reducing energy demand has been an area of observance for Adobe since before 2002. The company has impressive statistics about their energy efficiency projects and renewable/alternative energy here: http://www.adobe.com/corporate-responsibility/energy-conservation.html

In addition, Adobe even tracks over 30,000 data points on energy usage and critical operations.

Adobe’s commitment to the environment is legendary for the corporate world. In an area of relatively poor air quality, it is refreshing to see Adobe’s headquarters which are revolutionary, awe-inspiring and clean.

Green Halo - Google Buys Solar-Powered Drone Manufacturer Titan Aerospace to Boost Internet Access in Third World Countries3D printing may be all the rage in design, but for Big Tech, drones are where the money is. On Monday, web giant Google beat out Facebook in a race to acquire Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone manufacturer. Although Google claims the drones will be used for the forces of good, such as broadcasting Internet signals to remote areas, some worry that the high-flying drones may pose troublesome consumer privacy implications.

New Mexico-based drone maker Titan Aerospace specializes in the creation of high-altitude solar-powered drones. “It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation,” said a Google spokesman in an email to AFP. Google also plans to use the high-flying drones to assist their ongoing Project Loon, which uses giant balloons to broadcast Internet signals, as well as Makani, a project to build an energy-efficient airborne wind turbine.

The drones may also be used to enhance Google Earth’s aerial imagery capabilities. According to Titan, its drones can stay airborne for up to five years without the need for routine maintenance. The search engine giant’s continued foray into drone investing mirrors similar gambits by other high-profile consumer-based businesses such as Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service and Facebook’s similar plans to deliver Internet via drones to third-world countries.

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Is the robot apocalypse already here? Scientists at Harvard are developing a robot that can build structures without humans telling them how. The bot is inspired by nature’s best builder — the termite. Researchers hope one day they’ll be able to build projects on Mars and rescue people from burning buildings. (Source: Bloomberg)

Video:

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