“The chance to prevent brain damage in children was a low bar for most of Scott Pruitt’s predecessors, but it apparently just wasn’t persuasive enough for an administrator who isn’t sure if banning lead from gasoline was a good idea…
“Instead, in one of his first major decisions as head of the EPA, like a toddler running toward his parents, Pruitt leaped into the warm and waiting arms of the pesticide industry.”
–Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook
Though deadly to human health, wildlife and to the environment, chlorpyrifos has been the most widely used pesticide in the United States for decades. A neurotoxic pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical, chlorpyrifos is acutely toxic and associated with extreme neurodevelopmental harm in children and prenatal exposure has been found to cause lower birth weight, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders, and delayed motor development. Direct exposure, by inhalation, skin contact or ingestion, as happens to both farm workers and residents living in proximity to agricultural areas, and to others even further away, causes convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and, in some cases, death. As to the “others” referenced, they can and do include anyone who consumes agricultural products that contain a residue of chlorpyrifos, as well as people whose drinking water has been contaminated with the pesticide and people breathing air exposed to a toxic spray of wind-blown chlorpyrifos. (“What You Should Know – Chlorpyrifos The toxic pesticide now harming our children and environment”)
Due to its overwhelming and overpowering risk of harm, residential use of chlorpyrifos was outlawed by the EPA almost two decades ago, but its widespread commercial use continues.
Recent studies have shown that a minimal degree of prenatal exposure causes permanent harm and an EPA human health risk
assessment released in November, 2016 found that there are NO safe levels of chlorpyrifos exposure. The study found that Continue reading
Commonly today referred to as the “Oya”, the traditional “Olla” or “Aulla”, an unglazed ceramic jar with a wide body and narrow neck, dates back to ancient Rome, where it was originally used for cooking and storage, and as a funeral urn. As Roman culture spread across Europe and co-mingled with other cultures, in Celtic Gaul the “Olla” found common usage in agriculture, and became a symbol of Sucellus, the God of agriculture. In later years “Ollas” found popular use as the required vessel for the preparation of localized foods in Spain and Catalonia.
Similar vessels became popular in the American southwest, and while they could have been introduced to the region by Spanish settlers it is more likely that Native American contemporaneously developed them on their own. In the New World they were used for storing water, cooking and serving, as well as for other uses.
But the primary use of the “Olla” was is irrigation, primarily among the Spanish and then Native Americans. As water slowly seeped through the unglazed ceramic walls of the Olla”, its use in agriculture become obvious, and widely used. “Ollas” would be buried in the earth with the necks sticking out above ground. Fruits and vegetables would be planted around the “Ollas”, and the “Ollas” were then filled with water. The slow seepage of water to the roots of the plants made for effective and efficient growth, with little waste through spillage or evaporation.
With today’s climate crisis and pervasive drought conditions, the use of the “Olla” is a water-saving and cost-saving effective way to garden for virtually anyone with a little plot of land where they wish to grow vegetables, fruit or decorative, flowering plants. Continue reading
Is US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry smart enough to engineer a coverup of a massive radiation leak in the state of Washington, or is he being kept out of the loop by other department officials, or is there really “nothing to see here”?
My guess is the middle scenario, based on the likelihood that Perry couldn’t care less about knowing what is going on as to storing the country’s nuclear waste or how “his” department responds to urgencies.
But first, let’s back up a bit. What is now generally referred to merely as the “Hanford Site”, was built as part of the Manhattan Project, and in the mid-1940s, it included the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor where plutonium for the world’s first nuclear bomb was manufactured. As nuclear weapons’ development mushroomed during the Cold War, Hanford was expanded to include
eight additional nuclear reactors, and the site produced the bulk of the plutonium used in the entire US nuclear arsenal, said to at one time number over 60,000 weapons. The Hanford Site has a long history of failures, however, and over the years unknown amounts of radioactive material have escaped into the air and into Washington State’s rivers. With the end of the Cold War and the end of nuclear weapons’ production, reactors were decommissioned, leaving the site with 53 Million gallons of high-level radioactive waste, 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste and 200 square miles of land with contaminated groundwater, in all amounting to two-thirds of the high-level radioactive waste existing in the United States, making Hanford the most contaminated nuclear site in the country. Continue reading
On the go? Need that phone or tablet available every time you need it? No time to let it charge before you’re out and about? Used it all day and still need it now – no time to sit and wait for it to charge?
Well, with the Solar On-The-Go Backpack Charger from Touch of Eco, waiting around is a thing of the past!
Charge almost any USB powered device, including phones, iPods. smart watches, Kindle Fire, speakers and more, on the go, with the revolutionary solar integrated Touch of Eco Solar On-The-Go Backpack. Equipped with a flexible and incredibly rugged integrated 3 watt solar panel featuring solar-on-plastic technology, the solar panel adds only minimal weight allowing the backpack to remain flexible enough to allow it to be fully packed without risking damage to the panel or to the bag. Features include: Continue reading
Tesla is now taking orders and next month will begin installation of their solar roof tile systems, transforming homes first in California and then across the country into energy-producing, money-saving stylish homes that give no outward appearance of traditional solar panels. Instead, Tesla has created standard and upscale-looking roof tiles in a variety of styles and colors that look just like the roof tiles on the traditional house next door.
Their solar roof tile system includes Tesla’s Powerwall home battery that stores solar energy allowing the home’s residents to use solar energy whenever they choose, yes including at night, and providing uninterrupted electricity during grid outages.
The system is designed to include both solar tiles and non-solar tiles, which are indistinguishable when seen from the street after installation. Customized power needs for residents is easily created Continue reading
The burgeoning commercial use of hydroponics – the growing of plants in water without the use of soil – has led to the development of aquaponics, where fish are raised in the plant water, suppling the bulk of needed nutrients without the need of constant monitoring and the frequent adding of outside supplements. In commercial applications, large-scale tanks are used and thousands of fish are raised, supplying nutrients to large agricultural crops.
Now, however, you can combine this economical and ecologically friendly method of growing of house plants with the additional hobby of maintaining a home aquarium, enhancing your green linving and raising your favorite tropical fish, with the home aquaponic Water Garden.
A low-maintenance, mini aquaponics ecosystem, the Water Garden is a self-cleaning fish tank that grows organic sprouts and herbs. The fish feed the plants and plants clean the water, Continue reading
The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a composite index that includes many weather and drought indicators and it produces the drought map that policymakers and media use in discussions of drought and in allocating drought relief. It is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maps courtesy of NDMC-UNL.
Here is their most current map of drought conditions in the United States, released April 20, 2017 (Click map to enlarge).
One can easily see many areas of continuing drought throughout the country, including areas of severe and extreme drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has five definitions of drought severity: Continue reading
I first read about and began writing about Solar Roadways almost two years ago, and I had the opportunity of bringing this new technology to the attention of some of the consultants working on the new General Plan for the future of my city of residence, West Covina, Ca. While little has been heard regarding advances in the development of Solar Roadways recently, at least in the United States, this week a significant new development has occurred, with the state of Missouri now involved in a plan to redevelop an existing and popular roadway with this new technology. This would be a significant advance in Green Living and pro-environment benefits for all of
|today’s society, as a single popular road rebuilt in this fashion could spur the widespread utilization of Solar Roadway panels and the further reduction of the demand for fossil fuels.
The Missouri project, a test that is very limited in scope, will involve the rebuilding of a portion of historic Route 66 near Conway, MO, with the solar panels, with the promise of producing
enough energy to power a nearby rest stop. Continue reading