U.S. Navy Jets to Use BioFuels

An article on Yahoo Green reported that the Navy would begin testing their fighter jets using biofuel. The F/A-18 Super Hornet jets will test a 50/50 blend of a non-food feedstock like jatropha, camelina, and algae that will be mixed with petroleum-based jet fuel. The Navy is calling for 40,000 gallons of the mix called JP-5.

Ground tests will take place at a GE facility first and then test flights will begin next year with a goal of approving a biofuel for use by 2013 not only for the jets but also the Navy’s ships.

The article also reported, “Boeing recently conducted a successful test flight of a 747 using a 50/50 blend of jatropha and jet fuel and saw significant fuel savings and emission reductions.”

Ecogeek.org gave details about that flight:

Air New Zealand recently released the scientific findings from the jatropha-fueled test flight they conducted in late December 2008. The flight resulted in a 60-65 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the jatropha-jet fuel blend compared to traditional jet fuel flights.

The biofuel was responsible for a 1.2 percent savings in fuel over the 12-hour flight, which equaled 1.43 tonnes of fuel. Scientists also estimate that the decrease in fuel consumption saved around 4.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The biofuel used was a 50/50 blend of jatropha and Jet A1 fuel.

According to science.org.au: “Jatropha is a group of plants, shrubs and trees that can grow in dry, less productive land. Jatropha curcas seeds contain up to 40 per cent oil which can be used for biofuel. Because Jatropha grows on land of lower productivity, it is sometimes considered to be a biofuel that does not compete with food growing land and resources. However, commercially viable production of Jatropha can still use productive land, water and fertilisers. Jatropha curcas is considered a potential weed in Australia.”

Good, if commercial airliners switch to jatropha and petro biofuel maybe I won’t have to cover my pool and flip my stack chairs upside down. We figured out that all the pitting, and graying that happened to the plastic tables and chairs, and the stain in the bottom of the pool was from jet fuel. It started happening as flight patterns increased over our house. The stain we couldn’t scrub off finally went away when we covered the pool. We looked for the source. It wasn’t until I was floating in the pool looking up at all the criss crossed jet fuel plumes that the light bulb went on. Now I flip all the plastic stuff and it lasts just fine. The bad thing is that we’ve been breathing it.


New Campaigns Look to Secure Federal Funds for Training for Green Jobs

Ever since I watched the series “Eco Tech” on the Science Channel I’ve been optimistic about going green in America relative to a new economy, one that most of America desperately needs. Along with thousands of other Americans who are embracing a new future, and huge corporations like GE that is having trouble keeping up with wind turbine demands, I see very little drawbacks to forging ahead in the world of green. I’ve listed all the positives before and it appears that others are trying to put all those positives into action.

An Oakland, California based human rights activist named Van Jones is seeing the future in green also. He believes it will be power for the people by the people, that there is a need in the green industry for blue collar workers redubbed “green collar.” Jones says, ‘Polar bears, Priuses, and Ph.D.s aren’t going to do it alone’ according to an article about him in Time magazines Dec. 3rd, 07 issue called “Bring Eco-Power to the People.” Green jobs need to find a way to expand to the rest of the economy.

Jones is a Yale educated lawyer who founded the Ella Baker Ctr. for Human Rights in Oakland. He sees the need to: ‘Give the work that most needs to be done to the people who most need the work.’ This man is figuring that many unemployable workers could easily be retrained for green jobs like installing solar panels, organic gardening, and green construction.

The article says that a study by the “Cleantech Network, which tracks green investment, found that for every $100 million in green venture capital, 250,000 new jobs could be created.”  Jones along with Majora Carter recently started a campaign called GREEN FOR ALL to secure one billion in government funding to train a quarter-million workers in green fields. Carter says in the article: “We’re looking for an environmental Marshall Plan for the 21st century.” Jones sees this as a way to reunite a very separated left and right. He wholeheartedly believes in bringing together the business, tech, and racial-justice communities. From that there will be no more blue and red division in America. We’ll all be working toward the green.

This is not the only article I’ve read about future green collar jobs. My husband’s skilled trades paper had an article about union trades people volunteering their own time to help learn as they constructed an environmental house with Lawrence Tech students for the Solar Decathlon 2007. The interest in green is there, but as the article stated, global warming must relinquish its narrow focus as just an existential threat and embrace the new look of an “enormous economic opportunity.”

Read my blog on Eco Tech if you haven’t done so. If you ever get a chance to catch the weeklong series again please do. There are green companies and inventions in place and ready to go. An example: Centia which plans on mass producing jet fuel from the thick grease, some 4 billion lbs. of it, discarded annually by restaurants. It is indistinguishable from the real stuff at only $2.23 per gallon, and creates far less pollution while eradicating the greasy, gobby stuff. And like Jones’s idea, another company RWA employs the homeless and unemployable to collect the grease for Centia. I’m waiting for Centia or RWA stock. Another company that is set to purify water from sewage came up with the same figure of 250,000 for new jobs in a green economy just to start.

Going green does not mean doom and gloom for the world’s economy, just ask Germany, the world’s leader in going green and quickly.  It’s a time of great opportunity because it is a time of great need. Every country must utilize their most ingenious, most intelligent citizenry for new invention, but there will still be the need for everyday people to finance, layout, truck, construct, assemble, and create those new ways to power the world.  It is truly “power for the people by the people.”



To hear interviews with green movement leaders goto: time.com/going green also.


Jet Fuel Additive Widespread in Our Food Supply

You know I’m amazed at people that don’t believe man has any hand in global warming. Especially since my house sits in a jet zone. Oh I don’t mean I can hear my house shake when they take off. They are pretty high up there. When I look up, they look to be about inch in size. No one let homeowners know where the flight patterns were going to be when they enlarged Detroit Metro. I got lucky and now the sky above me is full of planes coming and going. I’m listening to one right now. It’s loud because it’s flying lower. I’ve turned down the TV before to see if it’s thunder or a plane.  With all these planes criss-crossing in the sky but doing so way, way up there, most people wouldn’t notice any problem. But just last weekend my husband closed our pool and in 2 short days time without a solar cover on that pool, we could see a gas slick on the surface of the water. We left it off for a week once before and a stain appeared at the bottom. 

I don’t need someone telling me man has created a big pollution problem due to fossil fuel use. I can see it! Out of curiosity I went rummaging around the internet to see just how much jet fuel falls on me everyday and found an article that jet fuel additive is in our food supply. Not a surprise to me. Fuel in my pool, fuel in the protected wetlands marsh behind my house. So it follows it’s in the groundwater, our drinking water, and our food supply. Our population has had 100% exposure to a jet fuel contaminant called perchlorate. The article went on to say: “The shocking thing is that it appears to be very widespread in the food supply. No one knows for sure, because the FDA has not done the studies they need to do to document its complete presence in the food supply.” Gee, I wonder why?

 This is just another way to keep under wraps the real pollution that’s taking place right under our noses in favor of the fossil fuel industry. For more about Jet Fuel Additive you probably ate tonight read: http://www.ewg.org/node/21582.


Heathrow Airport Expansion Gathers Environmental Protestors

The BBC announced this morning that a large protest by environmentalists would take place this weekend over Heathrow Airport’s plans to expand. Are you kidding me? They are that aware of the environmental problems jet fuel poses that they are organizing protests? Finally, someone has the foresight to see an environmental problem ahead of time and the stamina to start doing something about it right away. The protesters saidHolding the camp at Heathrow aims to highlight the lunacy of the government’s airport expansion plans,” says a statement from campaigners,” according to the BBC. What’s wrong with the lunacy in America?
While they are setting up camps to thwart efforts to expand Heathrow because that will mean more jet fuel released into the atmosphere exacerbating the CO2 problem, which aggravates global warming, Michigan is seeing to a massive expansion right here at Metro airport. Instead of protestors, we have people rubbing their palms together. Just like the so so response I got on the Monroe talks blog about BP’s dumping more sludge and ammonia into Lake Michigan. Someone responded that it’s all right, the EPA signed off on it. EPA in this administration? Right. The idea that it creates more jobs (80), and oil for us overrode any environmental problems it produced.
And finally what do you think the protestors would think about our Dream Cruise where hundreds of cars from across the country will show up here to dump a big load of CO2 in the air over Michigan in just one weekend? Oh, but it brings income into the state and is so much fun. Money is the name of the game. I hope people learn to eat and drink money when there is no fresh water, or decent food to eat. Without irrigation in the ever-increasing intense heat, we will not be able to grow anything, including corn for ethanol. 39 people have died in the south so far because of scorching heat.
As always, Americans have their heads buried in the sand about our environmental gaffs in lieu of money, always money. I blame this administration for the spin they’ve put on an ever increasing and obvious weather problem. This administration has done more evil by altering reports about everything including the war than anything else. What they’ve done is create doubt. And as the earth’s weather gets more and more erratic, the doubters cling to the validity altered government reports. I think feeding the public lies about climate change is a crime against humanity.  A 4.6 earthquake in Hawaii, and 7.9 earthquake in Peru, with over 590 dead so far and thousands injured, and now this morning a 6.2 earthquake in Indonesia again. The satellite view of hurricanes show spinning masses everywhere in the oceans. There is a searing heat wave hovering across many states, and massive fires across our country. But all is well. Our government said so.
Many people do not see the correlation between earth quakes and global warming but doesn’t it stand to reason if excess pressure builds up on the earth’s surface due to an unusually heavy atmosphere from CO2, there will be consequences beneath that surface? Peru’s earthquake was 25 miles deep! Some thing is going on. The protestors in England have my admiration; unlike the response I get here about environmental problems in a country that is supposed to have the best of everything but the truth.
Michigan has a law in effect against outdoor burning right now as we proceed ahead with an airport expansion and the Dream Cruise. More CO2, more global warming and more fires. 18,000 acres burned in the UP and the fire is only 62% under control.  Is this irony at it’s finest? We’re just not getting it.


Boeing Premiers Its 787 Dreamliner Jet

Boeing premieres its 787 “Dreamliner” jet tonight at around 7:00 pm EST. It will more than likely be on CNN since they announced it. It is more environmentally friendly than the usual airliner because it is lighter and more fuel-efficient. Boeing estimates the 787 will use 27% less than the jets it will be replacing.

The Dreamliner isn’t huge. It’s a wide, mid-size, twin-engine jetliner that will hold 210-330 people in two interior sections. There will be three categories of 787, the 787-3,  8, and 9 with a price tag that spans from lowest to highest also. For a mere $138-143 million you can purchase a 787-3. The 787-8 will cost $148-157 million, and the 787-9 a whopping 178.5 to 188 million. Over 500 of these planes are sold already. If you want to preview the plane and get more info on-line click here: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787family/787premiere.html#time.

On the same note, the British have come up with a smaller jet that is really different in design and meant for the short haul such as cross-country. It has been called easyJet ecoJet because it will emit 50 percent less CO2 and 75 percent less nitrous oxide than our newest short haul jets. Now that’s really environmentally friendly.

The ecoJet uses much the same material for its body as the Boeing “Dreamliner.” It uses open rotor engines and is supposed to be 25 percent quieter. With all the jets going over my house, I hope we get these up and running soon. Major airliner manufacturers are applying the same type of technology to new jets in development all over. When this jet comes out, the airlines are poised to eat them up.

It appears the original easyJet wasn’t that hard on the environment to begin with. When the amount of CO2 emitted by the jet is divided among the passengers per kilometer it only generates 97.5 grams of CO2. The Toyota Prius emits 104 grams. The European car industry has a target of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer for the energy standards. 

If you’re wondering why this is important, well NASA did a study in 2004 that showed a 1 percent per decade increase in cirrus cloud cover over the U.S. due to air travel. You know all those jet trails that blend in with the clouds? Those jet plumes caused a 1 percent increase in clouds per decade. If you don’t think that’s much, I would have to say that it shouldn’t be evident at all, at least not an amount that can actually be measured. No wonder all our patio furniture gets so pitted up. Those emissions eventually rain down on everything. We breathe that air. We’ve become way too comfortable with pollution. It’s good to see the easyJet is not that far off from production and that most jet manufacturer’s are embracing that same technology.  For now we have the 787 Dreamliner, a step in the right direction for going green. Read more about the easyJet ecoJet at Live Science:


Global Warming, the Supreme Court, and the EPA

Today is the first time a global warming case has reached the Supreme Court. They will begin hearings based on testimony of 12 states that are asking the court to force the U.S. government to order its environmental agencies to control CO2 emissions from vehicles under the Clean Air Act.  Michigan is among 8 of the 12 states that support the EPA.

But do we really trust the EPA? It was originally established to be independent of government, focusing on public health and its relation to the environment. We all know any business or agency’s ethics and motives are only as good as the people governing them. Also, there are other governmental agencies that have an impact on the EPA. The White House Council for Environmental Quality, formerly headed by Phillip A. Cooney is one of them. Cooney was caught editing important data from scientific reports for quite awhile as well as pressuring the EPA to go along, so much so, that in 2002 the EPA removed an entire section on global warming from its annual report about air pollution. In 2003 it published an extensive report of the environment with no information whatsoever about global warming. Cooney came to his position at the council as a lawyer and former lobbyist  for the American Petroleum Institute.  He has no scientific background to make any alterations of scientific data. You might say throw the bum out, but he has already left the position and now works for Exxon Mobil.

James Hansen, a climatology expert from a NASA Space Study, was pressured by his superiors after giving a presentation about human related climate change. He was told it was still an uncertain topic by his administrator. He reported that in 30 years he never witnessed as much White House involvement and filtering of information from science to the public.

The State Department pressured an international panel of representatives known as the Artic Council to alter their report on global warming. The final draft withheld recommendations for policy to reduce green house gas emissions in order to stop its horrible impact on the Artic. The State Department was also successful in ousting Dr. Robert Watson who chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1996. During his time the IPCC produced a report that predicted an increase of 2.5 to 10.5 F in avg. global warming by 2100 with new evidence it was due to human activities. Exxon Mobil opposed the proposed regulation of CO2 and wanted Watson out. The State Department complied. Dr. Watson lost the support of the U.S. and his position as chair.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service developed a brochure on ways to curb agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. They managed to send the first printing but the White House’s Council of Environmental Quality objected to it and a reprint was canceled. 

As I stated in a previous blog, many Americans are wondering how our environment got so bad, so fast. Well this White House accomplished what they set out to do. Appointments to key environmental positions throughout the administration were filled by people that were once employed by the tobacco industry, and are now busom buddies with the petroleum industry. By altering scientific facts, they’ve attempted and succeeded in concealing from and confusing the public about the ever-increasing effects of global warming due to CO2 emissions. The biggest culprits of CO2 emissions are jet airliners, automobiles, refineries and coal burning facilities.  I watched a CBC segment by The Fifth Estate called “The Denial Machine.”  Phil Klapp cornered Jeffrey Holmstead, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation about altering scientific documents. Klapp had in his hand documents with visible alterations. As he read the changes, it was clearly understood they were meant to dilute the message of the reports. We weren’t just duped about the war folks. We’ve been lied to about the state of our world. And now the race is on to clean it up. It can be done and hopefully the U.S. will emerge as a model in that endeavor. It will take each and every one of us to do our part.  


We’re in this together

     There are all types of casualties we endure on a daily basis especially during times of war. Losing someone or something precious can happen moment to moment. And although our lives are upset to the point we don’t think we’ll recover, we do. I just wonder how many people realize the biggest casualty of all is happening in small increments every day that none of us will recover from if we don’t turn it around.

Our environment is taking hit after hit, and many of us still do not know that when it’s stated we have 10 years to do something, it does not mean we have ten years before we start doing something. It means if we do not start today toward reversing global warming by controlling our pollution it will be irreversible within 10 years. It’s a good idea to control pollution to begin with. By all the water bottles I see these days, I realize that everyone does get the idea that maybe our water isn’t all that clean, and probably our air.  What I also see by those same water bottles is that we really aren’t getting it at all. Where do you think those plastic bottles go? If your community recycles that’s great. If you recycle on your own, then bless you, but unfortunately only 70% of all our garbage is recycled. Those bottles end up in landfills of which there are approximately 6000 in the U.S.  Plastic takes around 500 years to decompose. Do we love our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren? Then what are we doing?

The intent of this news blog is to be in your face about our world because we’re all in this together, and if you or my other neighbors don’t jump in and help, the experience of living won’t be what we once knew. Right now it is what it is “An Inconvenient Truth” as Al Gore aptly named it. Many of our little conveniences in life may have to be abandoned to save our earth, save ourselves. It’s a rude awakening, but the sooner we snap out of it, the sooner we turn it around. No more burying our heads in the sand or waiting for “they or them” to do something. They or them is us, all of us.

Anyone who has any questions about anything environmental feel free to blog. If you know something you don’t think the rest of us are aware of blog it. If you don’t quite believe in global warming yet let us know why. Anyone who has already adapted his or her lifestyle differently to save on anything let us know how, so we might adapt. One idea becomes a ripple that becomes a wave and the whole community benefits.

None of us are perfect angels about the environment. I still drive a gas hog, although I’m looking at all hybrids and beseeching Ford to revive the cobra body style with an electric/ethanol motor. I’m a baby boomer that wants a hybrid sports car. Any baby boomers out there want to weigh in on that? Doesn’t an environmentally friendly sports car sound good? My tip to any other gas hog drivers out there, consolidate your running around. I’m down to 2 days per week. Group up and ride to work together. Quit running your kids around and enjoy family nights. Quitting our rat race can help the environment.