2010 Olympic Medals Are Made of Recycled Electronic Waste

An article on ENS reported: “The medals that will honor winning athletes at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver will be the first in history to contain gold, silver and copper recovered from end-of-life electronics otherwise destined for the landfill.” Cool.

Teck Resources in Vancouver supplied more than a 1000 medals for our future Olympians. Of course the medals aren’t 100% recycled material but it is a first. The article went on to say: “The recovered gold, silver and copper used in the medals came from 6.8 metric tonnes of electronics circuit boards collected and processed at Teck’s Trail, BC facility and the Umicore facilities in Belgium.”

The whole process of producing the unique 2010 Olympic medals is pretty interesting and in keeping “with the sustainability philosophy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Read about the gold, silver, and bronze: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2010/2010-02-11-01.html.


Iran, Brazil, China, and Israel Lead the Charge for Alternatives to Gasoline


Unbelievable isn’t it? The Washington Post ran the article about Iran’s mandate to its “domestic automakers to make ‘dual-fuel’ cars that can run on both gasoline and natural gas, a crash program to convert used vehicles to run on natural gas, and a program to convert Iranian gas stations to serve both kinds of fuel. According to the International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles, more than 100 conversion centers have been built throughout the country: Iranians can drive in with their gasoline-only cars, pay a subsidized fee equivalent to $50 and collect their newly dual-fuelled cars several hours later.”


What a novel idea to switch the cars over AND create the filling stations, AND conversion centers at the SAME TIME.


Then there is Brazil who was no better off than we are now, importing 80 percent of its oil supply in the 70’s. Since then, Brazil has switched to its own oil, which is used to “insulate” the country’s economy from the pain of spiking oil prices. Even so, this year more sugar-based ethanol will be sold in the country than gasoline, which is the goal, to get off of gasoline altogether.

Meanwhile, China is moving toward methanol, which is made from wood grain alcohol. There are many methanol plants currently under construction. And China is set to produce flex fuel cars for that methanol. The nice thing about methanol as the article stated is that: “it can be made from natural gas, coal, industrial garbage and even recycled carbon dioxide captured from power stations’ smokestacks — an elegant way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

It looks like China whose smoggy environment is a source of concern for the Olympics has got plans to use up all that filth and fuel their cars with it. That’s really one up on us, and pretty much everyone else.

Finally, Israel is going to electric cars with “hundreds of thousands of recharging points planned to be erected throughout the country. Israeli motorists, the government hopes, will be able to swap their batteries in a matter of minutes at dedicated stations or recharge them at home or at work.” Hmm, stop at a station and swap out a battery—never thought of that.

The Washington Post went on to say that: “Policies such as ‘drill more’ and ‘drive smaller cars’ all keep us running on petroleum. At best, they buy us a few more years of complacency, while ensuring a much worse dependence down the road when America’s conventional oil reserves are even more depleted — whether or not we drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

Looks like Al Gore’s challenge to change within a decade isn’t ridiculous. We’ve just been fed another fat lie by political forces working with the oil industry about what we can and cannot do, and we fell for it again. We need a big dose of street smarts in this country, or a kick in the pants.








Olympics to Finally Go Green

Organizers for the winter Olympic games of 2010 that will be held in Vancouver, Canada have set a goal of holding carbon-neutral events with no net emission of CO2. The organizers and the United Nation’s Environmental Program signed an agreement that together they will work together to become models of environmental performance and bring awareness to the importance of finding alternative sustainable energy.
I thought it was funny the article I was reading said that: “The agreement between UNEP and VANOC comes several days after the 7th World Conference on Sport and Environment, which took place in Beijing on October 25 to 27.” That was probably the clincher right there. The organizers got a whiff of Beijing. I’ve been concerned about the Olympics being held in China. Their air quality is very, very poor and the worst concentration of pollution is not far from the Olympic arena. I reported that a marathon in Hong Kong resulted in many runners passing out. The air quality there—not so good either.
It’s about time the Olympic committee got around to realizing they are definitely connected to the environment. Without snow there wouldn’t be much of a winter Olympics would there? And I imagine the first Olympians really counted on the weather to work in their favor, since they performed naked.
With so much interest in sports and the Olympics in particular, going green will get a great boost with the amount of exposure the Olympics can contribute. This was a great move by the organizers and the UNEP who stated: “In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness that environmental and sustainability considerations should be at the heart of the Olympic project. All Olympic Games are now expected to leave a sustainable legacy and promote environmental awareness.”
Read more at: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2007/2007-11-01-02.asp.


Should China Host Olympics?

When we think of the Olympics, we think about human beings exerting their best performance humanly possible in a given sport. In order for the athletes to perform to their best ability, their bodies must be at their strongest, and therefore, healthiest. The two things just go together. So is China a healthy example to be holding the Olympics in Beijing? China likes to put on a facade. They like to present themselves as strong, modern, but it’s the same old communist regime. The change in China’s behavior toward the environment has shown no significant improvement despite the environmentalists that were displayed in a documentary I watched. 

The documentary was 90 minutes of eye-opener. China’s lakes, streams, and rivers are all polluted. The air quality is so poor, some Chinese wear facemasks on the streets. The Chinese have stripped the land bare of trees in many places, so the ground is scorching at a faster rate. The Gobi desert is 100 miles outside the city of Beijing and encroaching.  Beijing is the 16th most polluted city on earth, city not country. To rank 16th among that many cities is bad. I’m curious. Who is number one?

CNN reported last night that China is having a heck of a time cleaning up for the Olympics. The outdoor arena where some of the events take place has very poor air quality. Some of the worst air in the city is nearby. According to the World Bank 400,000 people die each year because of the air. The bad air near where the athletes will compete may cause some of the events to be canceled because of poor air quality. There is fear that so many steroids in the food may trigger poor responses for athletes and drug testing. Everyone going to China is warned not to drink the tap water.

China is hardly the model of health and purity, which is a significant part of any athlete’s regime. It is a communist regime that has also decimated a peaceful Tibet, advanced on Taiwan again, exported food and merchandise that is harmful to human beings, and warned us more than a few times “Do not interfere.” The latest warning over not accepting their exported goods is to ruin us economically. They hold $407 billion in U.S. bonds and threaten to dump them if we stop importing their stuff. Isn’t that extortion? We should never have become indebted to a communist regime country. There are over a billion Chinese people. They are dying from their environment. How long will they stay in place? Think about it. If you’re forced to move somewhere, and someone owes you big time, of course you’re  moving near that someone, or in on that someone.