Category Archives: ATTRA

Big Oil is spinning the New York Times’ historic climate article as a PR win. It isn’t.

Turns out, fossil fuel interests love “Losing Earth.” The New York Times Magazine’s massive climate change article from earlier this month has attracted furor from critics, who argue that it sidesteps issues of climate change denial and fossil fuel lobbying. But recently, it has also drawn praise from supporters of ExxonMobil.

“Bombshell: New York Times debunks #ExxonKnew climate campaign,” crows a headline on the website of Energy in Depth, an oil and gas lobby group funded by BP, Shell, Exxon, and others. For reference, #ExxonKnew is a campaign that aims to hold Exxon accountable for researching and accepting the science of climate change in the 1980s — and then spreading misinformation about it for the next several decades.

You don’t have to read all 66 pages of “Losing Earth” to see that the Times is definitely not debunking #ExxonKnew. You only have to read the epilogue, in which author Nathaniel Rich describes some of the denial campaigns launched by Exxon and the petroleum industry’s so-called Global Climate Coalition. Rich is aware of the role Exxon played in spreading and perpetuating climate change denial. But he does shift some blame off of fossil fuel groups and conservatives, and on to the amorphous concept of “human nature.”

“The rallying cry of this multipronged legal effort is ‘Exxon Knew,’” Rich writes. But, he counters, “The United States government knew … Everyone knew — and we all still know.”

This narrative — however well-intended and well-executed — plays right into Big Oil’s hands.

Advertising the Losing Earth issue as a win for Exxon is low-hanging fruit — Look! Even the left’s favorite newspaper is hesitant to blame us for climate change!

For oil and gas companies, it also represents a new play on an old, tired trick.

“Putting out these ads just proves the point that they’re trying to manipulate public opinion and confuse people about who’s to blame for this crisis,” Jamie Henn, communications director at 350.org, tells Grist.

For years, Exxon faced off against established science, lobbying against environmental regulation in Congress, publishing reports that undermined action on climate change, and putting out ads (in papers like the Times!) that spread doubt about the causes of global warming.

As temperatures rise and the effects of climate change — crazy wildfires, mega-hurricanes, heavier downpours — become more and more visible, Exxon and other companies like it have shifted their marketing approaches to keep their ships upright in the sea of public opinion. Whereas Exxon used to rely heavily on Earth’s “natural changes” to explain away rising temperatures, it’s now changing course to accommodate the fact that a clear majority of Americans accept the science behind climate change.

One of its new strategies is to advertise low-carbon energy projects, says Ed Collins, a research analyst at U.K.-based nonprofit InfluenceMap. Shot-in-the-dark projects, like ExxonMobil’s algae push, intend to show the public and politicians that the free market and technological innovation, not government regulation, can solve the dangers posed by climate change.

Rich’s piece is an unexpected gift for an industry that’s trying to show that it’s on the side of the people — and on the right side of history. Finally! An opportunity for Big Oil to align itself with journalists and historians rather than climate deniers.

But at the end of the day, Henn says, it’s just one article. “The idea that Exxon and its front groups somehow think they’re off the hook because one New York Times Magazine journalist wrote a story one particular way is pretty naive,” says Henn.

Plus, the tides of public opinion may have already turned. BP is still dealing with fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in which nearly 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. And a slew of cities, districts, and attorneys general across the country have launched lawsuits and investigations against major polluters for the role they played in misinforming the public about climate change.

“I think people are realizing that companies like ExxonMobil should be the ones to pay for the damage that they’ve done,” says Henn.

Taken from – 

Big Oil is spinning the New York Times’ historic climate article as a PR win. It isn’t.

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, OXO, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A fiery Fourth of July threatens Southwest economies

This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Around the country, Americans are cooking up hamburgers and bratwursts on their barbecues, embarking on backcountry camping trips, and preparing fireworks displays to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In the Southwest, those celebrations will be markedly different. Fire restrictions — and in some cases closures — are in place for many national forests in the four corners region of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. Officials hope to avoid adding to the wildfires already burning there and across the West, including in Alaska, Northern California, and Oregon. Over a dozen fireworks celebrations have been canceled in Colorado mountain towns, which often depend on the holiday to bring in tourism revenue.

The cancellations aren’t new, but they are more prevalent this year as the Southwest grapples with a severe drought. While precipitation levels vary from year to year, all signs point to further aridification in the region over the long term. This year may illustrate the likely changes to come as communities across the West are forced to confront challenges to their economies — and their quality of life.

Take the town of Silverton, Colorado, for example. This year’s weather hit the town of 630 people doubly hard. First, a bad snow season delayed the town’s ski resort opening date until mid-January; then drought brought forest closures and fast-moving wildfire, including the 416 Fire, which closed off one of the main gateways to town. The blaze also halted service of the narrow gauge train, a major tourist attraction, between Silverton and Durango. Those factors, and the ensuing media coverage, led to a “tsunami of lodging cancellations for all the summer season,” said DeAnne Gallegos, executive director of the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce. The town usually makes most of its money during the summer months. This year, however, Gallegos estimates the summer economy is down by 60 to 80 percent, with businesses along the train route faring even worse. Fourth of July is typically the area’s biggest summer draw, but this year the town had to cancel its fireworks.

Nearby towns, including Durango, Ouray, and Pagosa Springs, also decided to skip the pyrotechnics this year. Where officials have the financial resources, however, they are embracing new forms of celebration. Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs have scheduled laser shows, and Aspen is advertising a patriotic drone light display in lieu of explosives. Closer to the Front Range, Breckenridge town council members acknowledged that doing away with fireworks might be a permanent reality. “If we see our summers continuing to get hotter and drier that’s definitely going to be probably more of the future,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Haley Littleton said at a city council meeting last week.

In addition to fireworks cancellations, most of the national forests in the region are under at least Stage 2 fire restrictions. That means anything that can produce a spark is forbidden, including campfires, barbecues, smoking in open areas, target shooting on public land, and using tools like chainsaws without a device to stop sparks. The situation is dire enough to close many national forests in the Southwest. In New Mexico, for example, the 1.5 million-acre Carson National Forest shut down last week — a month after the Santa Fe National Forest closed. The Cibola National Forest has also been closed since mid-June. In Arizona, where several wildfires have cropped up, popular areas in the Prescott National Forest, the Tonto National Forest, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests have also been shuttered until conditions improve.

As the climate changes, these types of forest closures and fire restrictions will continue to strain town coffers around the West. That means places like Silverton will be tasked with examining their identities as weather-dependent tourism economies. For Gallegos, that realization is hitting home now as the residents of her community take financial hits in order to keep their businesses open and their neighbors employed. “When you live in a high alpine town that is completely connected to Mother Nature and the weather and tourism … it impacts you that much more dramatically and exponentially,” she said.

View original: 

A fiery Fourth of July threatens Southwest economies

Posted in alo, ALPHA, Anchor, ATTRA, Casio, FF, GE, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A fiery Fourth of July threatens Southwest economies

What’s the ‘Green New Deal’? The surprising origins behind a progressive rallying cry.

This story was originally published by Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The man who popularized the phrase that left-leaning Democrats now use to describe a vision for a radical government spending plan to combat climate change is a self-described centrist “free-market guy” with a New York Times column.

It was Thomas Friedman who in 2007 started calling for a “Green New Deal” to end fossil fuel subsidies, tax carbon dioxide emissions, and create lasting incentives for wind and solar energy. At the dawn of the global financial crisis, the “New Deal” concept that Franklin D. Roosevelt coined 76 years earlier to describe the labor reforms and historic spending on infrastructure and armaments that pulled the United States out of the Great Depression proved attractive.

Friedman’s ideas made it into the mainstream the following year when presidential candidate Barack Obama added a Green New Deal to his platform. In 2009, the United Nations drafted a report calling for a Global Green New Deal to focus government stimulus on renewable energy projects. A month later, Democrats’ landmark cap-and-trade bill — meant to set up a market where companies could buy and sell pollution permits and take a conservative first step toward limiting carbon dioxide emissions — passed in the House with the promise of spurring $150 billion in clean energy investments and creating 1.7 million good-paying jobs.

But, by 2010, austerity politics hit. The cap-and-trade bill, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, died in the Senate. In Britain, the Labor Party, acting on a proposal that a team of economists calling themselves the Green New Deal Group drafted, established a government-run green investment bank to bolster renewable energy — only for the conservative Tories to sweep into office months later and begin the process of privatizing the nascent institution. Balanced budgets and deficit hysteria became the dogma of governments across the developed world. Talk of a Green New Deal withered on the vine.

Today the phrase is making a comeback among the ranks of Democratic insurgents running on left-leaning platforms in 2018 primaries across the country. Far from serving as shorthand for middle-of-the-road climate policies, the decade-old slogan is being reborn as the kind of progressive platform that increasingly looks like the only policy approach capable of slowing the nation’s output of planet-warming gases and adapting to a hotter world.

Progressive activists have long complained that there is no climate change version of a “Medicare for all” bill — legislation that serves both as a vehicle for sweeping reform and a litmus test for how far a Democratic candidate is willing to go on an issue. Yet the Green New Deal seems to be filling that three-word void.

Defining a ‘Green New Deal’

From the beginning, there were competing definitions of what “Green New Deal” meant.

Friedman’s version focused on policies that compelled the “big players to do the right thing for the wrong reasons.” He liked a lot of what Obama enacted — including $51 billion in “green stimulus” and a $2.3 billion tax credit to clean energy manufacturing — even after the administration shelved the Green New Deal rhetoric after the midterm election.

Sure, big-ticket policies like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system and sunsetting the $20 billion in subsidies to oil, gas, and coal each year never came to fruition. Even the regulations the administration did achieve — like tightening fuel economy standards and incentivizing utilities to produce more renewable energy — disintegrated as soon as the Trump administration took over.

Subsidies for wind, solar, and battery technology managed to survive proposed cuts in the tax bill Congress passed last year because Republicans in states that have come to rely on those burgeoning industries saved them. For Friedman, that is proof that lasting climate policies are ones that make private renewable energy companies powerful enough to sway politics.

“The more the market does on its own, the more sustainable it is,” he said. Even as the Trump administration dismantles Obama’s climate legacy, Friedman feels the battle shouldn’t be for more aggressive government intervention to wean the economy off fossil fuels, but on messaging that focuses on the patriotic, nation-building aspects of greening the economy.

“We are the true patriots on this,” said Friedman. “We’re talking about American economic power, American moral power, American geopolitical power. Green is geostrategic, geoeconomic, patriotic, capitalistic.”

But then there’s Richard Murphy, a British tax scholar who also claims to have coined the phrase “Green New Deal” around the same time as Friedman. “I don’t even know who Tom Friedman is. If he used the term, it’s complete coincidence,” he says.

In 2007, Murphy, a political economy professor and founder of the London-based Tax Justice Network, started meeting with a cadre of newspaper editors, economists, and environmentalists to discuss the coming financial crisis and how any fiscal stimulus issued in response could be used to tackle the ecological crisis already underway.

This “two-birds-one-stone” approach proposed an aggressive spending plan that called for investing public funds in renewable energy, building a zero-emission transportation infrastructure, insulating homes to conserve energy, and establishing training programs to educate a national corps of workers to carry out the jobs.

Murphy’s cadre, which named itself the Green New Deal Group, was more ambiguous on how to fund all this green development. He said they supported “straightforward deficit spending” — meaning government money that’s borrowed rather than already raised through taxes — as well as quantitative easing, a strategy in which the government buys bonds to inject money straight into the economy. Rather than buying bank bonds to prop up private financial institutions, Murphy suggested instead establishing a green infrastructure bank that would issue bonds the government could then buy back — a policy with enough leftist bona fides to be nicknamed the “people’s quantitative easing.” He also proposed closing tax loopholes.

The ideas caught on, and in 2010 the ruling Labour Party established a green infrastructure bank. But later that year the conservative Tories swept into office, sold the bank and scaled back renewable and energy-efficiency subsidies.

“The austerity narrative took over,” Murphy said by phone. “This is the polar opposite of the austerity narrative.”

Revival of an idea

Talk of a Green New Deal went quiet for years in the U.S. and Britain. But a new wave of progressive candidates, spurred by the organizing that went into Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Democratic presidential bid, began reviving the term in the past year.

It could be a winning strategy. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce climate pollution and increase renewable energy capacity, even if it comes with a cost. Sixty-one percent of Americans who voted for Obama in 2012 and then for Trump in 2016 supported requiring a minimum amount of renewable fuels even if it increased electricity prices, according to Cooperative Congressional Election Study’s 2016 survey results analyzed for HuffPost by Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank. That increased to 76 percent among voters who picked Obama in 2012 but sat out the 2016 race, and it surged to 85 percent among those who voted for both Obama and, in 2016, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The data showed similar support for strengthening enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, even if it cost U.S. jobs. Fifty percent of Obama-Trump voters said they would support such regulations, increasing to 77 percent among voters who picked Obama then sat out the 2016 election, and 83 percent for Obama-and-Clinton voters.

Some have called for federal spending plans similar to the World War II economic mobilization to bolster renewable energy and rebuild roads and bridges to make them more resilient in extreme weather.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialists of America-backed challenger who trounced Democratic Representative Joe Crowley Tuesday night in a working-class Bronx and Queens district in New York City, outlined a similar vision. She called the Green New Deal proposed in Obama’s 2008 platform a “half measure” that “will not work.”

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she said by email. “It will require the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs. We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy but this time green energy.”

Others suggested tying such a plan to a federal jobs guarantee, a policy that has recently gained traction among a similar cadre of candidates.

“Our infrastructure is crumbling,” said Democratic candidate Randy Bryce, a union ironworker and Army veteran running to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. “We need to reinvest in our country. I can’t think of a better way than to have that be a future that’s reliant on renewable sources.”

At the heart of this policy is a call for 100 percent renewable energy. Among this group, Kaniela Ing, a state representative running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, stands out as a candidate from the only state so far to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy mandate. To him, a Green New Deal provides a mechanism for meeting that goal.

“The backbone of this proposal will be a jobs guarantee, something like what FDR proposed in the Second Bill of Rights,” he said by phone. “There’s so many jobs out there that the private sector won’t create that would literally help protect our planet and save us from impending climate doom.”

Other candidates were more vague. Kevin de Leon, the California state senator and union-backed progressive who is facing off against U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, did not identify specific proposals for federal spending policies on climate. But he hinted that he would support large-scale federal spending to bolster a renewable infrastructure push, agreeing that Republican concerns over the deficit — the wellspring of austerity politics — proved bogus as the GOP-controlled Congress passed a massive tax cut law last year.

Left-leaning visions for a Green New Deal have even gained traction in state-level races. Abdul El-Sayed, the underdog progressive running in Michigan’s gubernatorial race, proposed a green infrastructure bank to start building renewable energy projects across the state, and he said he’d use his bully pulpit to push for federal action.

“We’re thinking about it at the state level, which both gives us a level of concreteness that is helpful and also allows us to be very specific about solving these challenges encapsulated under the umbrella of Green New Deal,” he said.

“We’ve watched as our infrastructure has crumbled,” he added. “We understand the responsibility to stand up against climate change, create jobs, and rebuild that infrastructure — it’s a clear, crystalline opportunity.”

Still, some climate activists see the term as trite and ineffective. Some climate organizers say it’s time to abandon the phrase “new deal” and embrace something newer and more forward-facing.

But for others, the phrase offers a helpful entry point to a policy program that would, in essence, buck with the last 40 years of neoliberal market-based solutionism and government spendthrift.

“The Green New Deal is a great framing, and I’m glad it’s catching on, but this whole thing needs to be at least as comprehensive as the New Deal,” said Ashik Siddique, who serves on the Democratic Socialists of America’s climate working group. “We are talking about the need to transform the physical infrastructure of every sector of the economy.”

“It’s very clear that something possibly even bigger scale than that is necessary now. Getting people used to thinking of it in those terms is welcome,” he said, then he laughed. “Even Tom Friedman is talking about it.”

Link to article: 

What’s the ‘Green New Deal’? The surprising origins behind a progressive rallying cry.

Posted in alo, ALPHA, Anchor, ATTRA, Brita, Casio, FF, GE, green energy, LAI, Landmark, ONA, PUR, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s the ‘Green New Deal’? The surprising origins behind a progressive rallying cry.

The water crisis the Trump administration didn’t want you to know about

The government just released a huge study about chemicals. Mazel tov! You made it through the most boring part of this article. Now for the fun stuff: The Trump administration didn’t want you to see the results of this study.

As you go about your daily business, you’re surrounded by compounds called perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS. They’re used in carpeting, food packaging, clothing, pots and pans, and the foam firefighters use to douse flames, to name a few. That’s because PFAS are resistant to heat, water, and oil. They’re incredibly helpful! They’re also toxic.

According to a major study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, the EPA has seriously underestimated how much of this stuff human beings can safely be exposed to. The major takeaway? PFAS have thoroughly contaminated many of the nation’s water sources, and they are associated with cancer, liver damage, fertility issues, and more — even in small doses. The study is the most fleshed-out assessment of information on PFAS to date, and it found that the EPA’s exposure limits should be 10 times lower than they are now.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the study’s findings, here’s the story behind why EPA chief Scott Pruitt and the White House wanted to block its publication in the first place.

White House emails from earlier this year show that the Trump administration was worried the study would cause a “public relations nightmare,” and Pruitt’s aides intervened to block the report. An unnamed White House aide also said, “The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful,” according to a report in Politico last month.

In other words, the Trump administration headed off a study that highlighted a major public health crisis because officials didn’t want to deal with the fallout. When members of Congress got vocal about releasing the report, Pruitt decided to hold a summit at EPA headquarters about PFAS in drinking water systems at the end of May.

The saga, already pretty dramatic, started to resemble an episode of House of Cards when an AP reporter was forcibly removed from that summit. The reporter, along with journalists from CNN, Politico, and E&E News, were barred from entering the summit because of limited space, but reporters who were allowed to sit in on the meeting tweeted out pictures of empty chairs in the room.

It seems like Pruitt should have learned by now that doing something like, oh, I don’t know, forcibly ejecting a reporter from a summit, only serves to attract attention to the very thing he’s trying to downplay. Luckily for us, he’s a slow learner. It’s worth highlighting two more notable revelations from the newly published 852-page CDC report.

In studies of rats and mice, researchers found regular exposure to PFAS affected development, body weight, and brain activity. If you’re thinking, “Well, those are just rats!”, keep in mind that the CDC assumes humans are more sensitive to this stuff than other animals when it goes about setting exposure limits.
The CDC only looked at 14 PFAS compounds in its study. There are more than 4,000 kinds of PFAS chemicals out there in the world, and the chemical industry regularly switches between types. So there’s a lot to learn about these pesky and incredibly harmful little compounds.

It’s no wonder the Trump administration wanted to keep this one quiet. A Harvard study from 2016 that analyzed PFAS contamination in drinking water showed that 6 million Americans were drinking water that exceeded the EPA’s limits — and that was using the agency’s old standards. This new study indicates a lot more people are at risk than previously thought.

There’s another reason why White House officials may have hoped this report would fly under the radar. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense reported to Congress that 126 water systems at or nearby military bases in the U.S. were contaminated with PFAS. More than 600 additional sites are at risk of serious contamination, which means the federal government will have to foot a hefty cleanup bill. But if there’s one thing we know about Scott Pruitt, it’s that he hates spending money on the environment.

Originally posted here:

The water crisis the Trump administration didn’t want you to know about

Posted in alo, ALPHA, Anchor, ATTRA, FF, GE, LG, ONA, ProPublica, Sprout, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The water crisis the Trump administration didn’t want you to know about

Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field – Nancy Forbes & Basil Mahon

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field
How Two Men Revolutionized Physics
Nancy Forbes & Basil Mahon

Genre: History

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


The story of two brilliant nineteenth-century scientists who discovered the electromagnetic field, laying the groundwork for the amazing technological and theoretical breakthroughs of the twentieth century Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men – separated in age by forty years – discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which overturned the strictly mechanical view of the world that had prevailed since Newton’s time. The authors, veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man’s life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday’s ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics. Faraday’s and Maxwell’s collaborative efforts gave rise to many of the technological innovations we take for granted today – from electric power generation to television, and much more. Told with panache, warmth, and clarity, this captivating story of their greatest work – in which each played an equal part – and their inspiring lives will bring new appreciation to these giants of science.

Read More:  

Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field – Nancy Forbes & Basil Mahon

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, FF, GE, Good Sense, ONA, PUR, Smith's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field – Nancy Forbes & Basil Mahon

North Pole, South Pole – Gillian Turner

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

See the article here: 

North Pole, South Pole – Gillian Turner

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, FF, GE, ONA, PUR, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on North Pole, South Pole – Gillian Turner

8 Lesser-Known Medicinal Herbs You Should Add to Your Garden

Are you looking for something different to plant in your herb patch this year? Many lesser-known medicinal herbs make easy-to-grow, attractive additions to any herb garden or container. They also come with a variety of unique uses and health benefits.

The following are some under-used herbs that deserve recognition. You can generally find seeds or starter plants for these herbs at your local garden center or online.


Photo credit: Salicyna, from Wikimedia Commons

1. Ashwagandha

Scientific Name: Withania somnifera

Uses: Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to increase vitality, reduce stress and inflammation, and improve quality of sleep. Ashwagandha is what?s known as an adaptogen, a type of plant that?s said to help your body deal with stress and maintain physiological balance. The roots are typically harvested at the end of the growing season, dried, then added to food. You can also make tea out of the leaves or roots.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 9. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: A mature ashwagandha plant is a small shrub that grows about 3 feet (1 meter) tall in one growing season. It can reach 6 feet (2 meters) over time in hotter climates. Ashwagandha grows well in hot and dry conditions and makes red berries you can collect for seeds to grow new plants.


Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Brahmi

Scientific Name: Bacopa monnieri

Uses: Brahmi is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to ?that which gives knowledge of Brahmin, or supreme reality?. Traditionally, it?s used in its native India to assist with meditation, concentration, memory and overall brain health. Modern research has also proven that brahmi improves cognitive function. The plant is completely edible and can be steeped into a tea or added fresh to salad, pesto or other dishes.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 8. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: Brahmi is a creeping, succulent plant that only grows up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall. It?s easy to care for and prefers full sun and moist conditions. A healthy plant tends to grow quickly, which means you can regularly harvest branches to eat.

3. Gotu Kola

Scientific Name: Centella asiatica

Uses: Gotu kola is used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to help heal wounds, improve circulation, enhance longevity and promote mental clarity, focus and calmness. You can add the leaves to smoothies, salads, soups, sauces or even juices. Gotu kola tastes similar to parsley, so it goes well in many different dishes.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 7. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: Gotu kola is an easy-to-grow creeping plant. If growing it indoors, give it a fairly shallow, wide pot to allow it some growing space. Outdoors, it can simply be left to ramble. It prefers a location with some shade and evenly moist soil. Avoid letting it dry out, as it can wilt quickly.

4. Heal-All

Scientific Name: Prunella vulgaris

Uses: Also known as self-heal, this herb has been used for a wide variety of issues for centuries. It can be applied externally to help heal cold sores and other herpes outbreaks, as well as wounds, ulcers and toe fungus. It can also be taken internally to assist with allergies, digestive disorders and even diabetes. The entire plant is edible and you can add it to foods or make it into tea. To use it on cold sores or wounds, simply crush fresh leaves and apply directly to your skin.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 3.

Growing Tips: Heal-all grows best in cool to moderate temperatures and partial shade. It can spread vigorously, so plant it along an edge of concrete or in a pot to help contain it. Heal-all blooms with attractive white or lavender spikes during summer. Keeping it deadheaded will help encourage blooming and prevent self-seeding.

5. Horehound

Scientific Name: Marrubium vulgare

Uses: Since ancient Roman times, horehound has been used as an expectorant to treat coughs, colds and other respiratory ailments, as well as a digestive aid. Today, horehound is what gives many cough candies and syrups their distinctive flavor. The leaves and stems can be dried and kept year-round to make your own teas for respiratory and digestive support.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4.

Growing Tips: Horehound grows wild throughout most of the world. You can grow it at home from either seed or plant divisions. Horehound spreads vigorously, so make sure you plant it somewhere with lots of room, or plant it in a pot to keep it contained. Trimming off the flowers before they set seed will also prevent its spread.

6. Rhodiola

Scientific Name: Rhodiola rosea

Uses: This adaptogenic herb is native to northern regions of the world, including Tibet, Russia and China. Rhodiola is known to help combat anxiety by promoting calmness and mental stamina. It can also be used to improve sleep and boost your immune system. The roots of rhodiola are harvested for medicinal use and eaten fresh or dried, or brewed into tea.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 2.

Growing Tips: Rhodiola is an attractive, low-growing plant similar to sedum. It requires freezing temperatures during winter, so it will not grow over USDA zone 8. Rhodiola prefers full to partial sun and well-draining soil. It grows well from seed, although the seeds will need a cold period before germinating. Check the seed package for detailed germination instructions.

7. Valerian

Scientific Name: Valerian officinalis

Uses: Valerian is a traditional sleep aid and pain killer, as well as helping to calm nerves during stressful times. Also, valerian is not known to be habit-forming like many modern pharmaceutical medications for sleep and pain control. The roots are used medicinally and are typically dug up after at least two years of growth. They can be used fresh or dried in foods or tea.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4.

Growing Tips: Valerian has tall, white flowers with a beautiful scent. They also make great cut flowers. Keeping your plants deadheaded will prevent them from spreading too much by seed. Valerian is also much-loved by dogs and cats, so you may want to put a barrier around small plants to protect them until they?re big enough to withstand your pets? attention.

8. Winter Savory

Scientific Name: Satureja montana

Uses: Winter savory has natural antiseptic properties that can help stop infections from bug bites and other wounds. Crushing the fresh leaves into a poultice and applying this to bug bites will help them heal as well as reduce itching. Winter savory tea can help sooth a sore throat or ease indigestion. Winter savory has a nice peppery flavor and goes well in cream soups, bean and vegetable dishes, and herb butters.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5.

Growing Tips: Winter savory is a semi-evergreen perennial that grows up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall. It has white blossoms in summer that bees and other pollinating insects love. Winter savory can handle a variety of conditions, but does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Before adding these or any other herbs to your diet, consult with your doctor first to make sure they do not interact with your current medications or health conditions.

Related on Care2

Benefits of Growing and Eating Lovage
6 Less Common Herbs and Spices for the Kitchen
9 Plants to Grow That Help Your Brain and Memory

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Original post: 

8 Lesser-Known Medicinal Herbs You Should Add to Your Garden

Posted in alo, ATTRA, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, oven, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Lesser-Known Medicinal Herbs You Should Add to Your Garden

How to Conduct a Home Energy Audit

Energy is a precious resource, and wasting it can really?take a toll on your monthly utility bill and on the environment. On the flip side, taking the time to locate and address your home’s greatest inefficiencies is one of the best things you can do to ensure the energy?you’re buying is being put to good use.

But how do you discover those energy inefficiencies? A home energy audit of course!?So block out your Saturday??? it’s time to take a tour of the?attic, windows and doors, and a couple of stops?in between. Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:

  1. A clipboard and pencil to take notes
  2. A smartphone or computer with internet access
  3. A measuring tape or ruler
  4. A stick or two of incense and matches

Step #1: Take a peek at?your insulation.

On average,?30 percent of heated air is lost through leaks in attic floors. That’s 30 percent of your heating costs going toward energy that will never heat your home! According to the Department of Energy, the vast majority of homes built before 1980 were not properly insulated when built.

Ready to find out if your home is?losing conditioned air? Follow these steps:

  1. Fill out this form to determine your home’s recommended R-value (a measure of thermal resistance)
  2. Submit the form and mark down your results. Save for later.
  3. Measure the depth of visible insulation in your attic using this tutorial.
  4. Calculate your home’s current R-value.

Return to the recommended R-value you discovered in step one. Is your home’s R-value less than the recommended value? You’re probably losing energy. Consider hiring a contractor to insulate your place!

Step #2:?Check for draftiness.

Besides gaps in the attic, drafty walls and crawl spaces are also big causes of wasted energy. Air leaks can be a little bit difficult to find, but sealing them up can make a huge difference in the comfort of your home.

Here’s how to find air leaks in your house:

  1. Shut all windows, fireplace flues and exterior doors (leave interior doors open).
  2. Turn on every exhaust fan that blows air outside (clothes dryer, bathroom fans, vents, etc.).
  3. Light an incense stick and hold?it in front of access points like doors and window frames, as well as attic hatches, electrical outlets and vents.
  4. Look for smoke that wavers or blows in odd directions. This signals a draft!

Step #3: Examine your windows.

Those windows giving you all that gorgeous natural light could also be a main source of energy loss! Similar to insulation, windows?are rated by U-factor ? aka their ability to keep conditioned air inside where it belongs. The lower the rating, the better.

Here’s how to check your windows:?

  1. Grab the R-value you calculated earlier in step number one.
  2. Input that value into this calculator and leave the U-factor section blank. Calculate.
  3. Mark down the result. This is the?recommended U-factor for your home!

If the U-factor you calculated is a lot lower than the U-factor listed on your windows, you are most certainly losing energy. They aren’t up to snuff. To solve the issue, look into replacing single pane windows with double pane windows, as well as considering air sealing.

Action Steps

Make it through? By now you should have a solid idea of whether your home is well-insulated and well-sealed, as well as whether it’s operating efficiently or inefficiently. Take note of those areas of improvement. Every upgrade?you make?to address energy inefficiencies is a step toward a more comfortable, more eco-friendly home.

These upgrades are also a great investment!?Looking to sell your place in the future? A well-insulated home will be much more attractive to buyers. Sticking with your place for the long haul? You’ll get to reap the benefits for years to come. Enjoy it!

What steps have you taken to make your home and your lifestyle more eco-friendly?

Related Stories:

9 Questions to Ask Before Buying Solar Panels
11 Home Energy Enhancers
An Easy Guide to Saving Energy in Your Home

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Continue at source:

How to Conduct a Home Energy Audit

Posted in alo, ATTRA, bigo, eco-friendly, FF, GE, LAI, LG, Natural Light, ONA, PUR, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Conduct a Home Energy Audit

Tensions rise in battle over Canadian pipeline.

Rick Scott, who has served as Florida’s governor since 2011, hasn’t done much to protect his state against the effects of climate change — even though it’s being threatened by sea-level rise.

On Monday, eight youth filed a lawsuit against Scott, a slew of state agencies, and the state of Florida itself. The kids, ages 10 to 19, are trying to get their elected officials to recognize the threat climate change poses to their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

18-year-old Delaney Reynolds, a member of this year’s Grist 50 list, helped launch the lawsuit. She’s been a climate activist since the age of 14, when she started a youth-oriented activism nonprofit called The Sink or Swim Project. “No matter how young you are, even if you don’t have a vote, you have a voice in your government,” she says.

Reynolds and the other seven plaintiffs are asking for a “court-ordered, science-based Climate Recovery Plan” — one that transitions Florida away from a fossil fuel energy system.

This lawsuit is the latest in a wave of youth-led legal actions across the United States. Juliana v. United States, which was filed by 21 young plaintiffs in Oregon in 2015, just got confirmed for a trial date in October this year.

Source:

Tensions rise in battle over Canadian pipeline.

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, Broadway, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, Jason, LAI, Miele, ONA, oven, Pines, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tensions rise in battle over Canadian pipeline.

This 1983 article about the EPA hitting rock bottom is way too relevant.

Rick Scott, who has served as Florida’s governor since 2011, hasn’t done much to protect his state against the effects of climate change — even though it’s being threatened by sea-level rise.

On Monday, eight youth filed a lawsuit against Scott, a slew of state agencies, and the state of Florida itself. The kids, ages 10 to 19, are trying to get their elected officials to recognize the threat climate change poses to their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

18-year-old Delaney Reynolds, a member of this year’s Grist 50 list, helped launch the lawsuit. She’s been a climate activist since the age of 14, when she started a youth-oriented activism nonprofit called The Sink or Swim Project. “No matter how young you are, even if you don’t have a vote, you have a voice in your government,” she says.

Reynolds and the other seven plaintiffs are asking for a “court-ordered, science-based Climate Recovery Plan” — one that transitions Florida away from a fossil fuel energy system.

This lawsuit is the latest in a wave of youth-led legal actions across the United States. Juliana v. United States, which was filed by 21 young plaintiffs in Oregon in 2015, just got confirmed for a trial date in October this year.

Original link:  

This 1983 article about the EPA hitting rock bottom is way too relevant.

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, Broadway, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, Jason, LAI, Miele, ONA, oven, Pines, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on This 1983 article about the EPA hitting rock bottom is way too relevant.