New Wind Turbine That Looks Like A Tree Is Coming To Paris

Sourced from: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-wind-turbine-looks-tree-coming-paris/

One of the biggest criticisms against wind turbines is that they aren’t usually nice to look at, but that may be about to change thanks to the French company NewWind. Their new device, Tree Vent, is an array of vertical wind turbines that look a lot like a tree.

Though the tree looks like a piece of modern art that would fit in at any urban area, it also provides a very important function. Each tree has a current power output of 3.1 kilowatts, which might not be able to power much on its own. However, using several of the trees together as landscape features in a park or along a roadside would make more of an impact to the homes and buildings nearby.

The trees are 11 meters (36 ft) tall, and 8 meters (26 ft) in diameter at its widest point, which makes it about the same height as many urban trees. The white frame of the tree is made out of steel, and it can hold 72 turbines that sit vertically. This orientation cancels out noise, allowing the turbine to spin silently. Wind turbines are typically very tall in order to reach the altitude where the wind is stronger, but these vertical turbines are able to spin with wind blowing as low as 7 km/h (4.4 mph), making this twice as sensitive as traditional turbines. However, they are durable enough to withstand Category 3 winds, which can reach 178 – 208 km/h (111-129 mph).

Each turbine “sheet,” called an Aeroleaf, is constructed out of lightweight plastic. The plastic has been treated with a resin which protects it from weather conditions such as humidity and salt (for areas close to the sea). The turbines are wired in parallel so that if one stops working for whatever reason, the others will not be affected.

Image credit: NewWind

Anxious to check one of these out? NewWind will be testing a tree in Paris’s Place de la Concorde between March 12 and May 12 of this year, allowing the public to see how the turbine functions in a normal setting. About 40 more units are due to be installed around the country in September.

For those wanting a Tree Vent for themselves, you are going to have to wait a bit longer. They aren’t due to go into mass production until the summer of 2016 and will initially only be available in France and other proximal European countries. There is no word on when or if they plan to extend the product into the United States. The approximate price of each tree will be about €29,500 (US$35,000), though that price will hopefully decrease as production becomes less expensive and the technology is further developed.

Check out this video of the turbines in action:

Beer Company Develops Edible Six-Pack Rings That Feed, Rather Than Kill, Marine Life

 for True Activist

A craft beer company and an ad agency brewed up a brilliant idea to save marine life if six-pack rings end up in the ocean. Are you aware that 80% of the plastic humans throw away ends up in the oceans? The sad reality is made worse when one learns that, as a result, billions of pounds of plastic are now swirling in convergences in the seas. In fact, 40% of earth’s total ocean mass is now covered by plastic.

According to Greenpeace, approximately 70% of Seabirds and 80% of Sea Turtles are now ingesting plastic. As a result,1,000,000 birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles are dying each year.

One of the major contributors to this epidemic are the seemingly harmless six-pack rings found around cans of soda and beer. Because the rings have little value, consumers nonchalantly throw them into the trash without any regard for marine life. Now, 99% of seabirds are expected to have plastic in their guts by the year 2050. This is unacceptable, and a Florida-based brewery agrees.

In partnership with We Believers ad agency, the Saltwater Brewery in Delray conjured the brilliant idea to create edible six-pack rings that feed, rather than kill, marine life to offset the damage being done by plastic pollution.

Credit: We

Credit: We Believers

The rings are created from beer by-products during the brewing process, such as barley and wheat, and are completely safe for humans and fish to eat. In addition, the invention is 100% biodegradable and compostable.

Considering that Americans drank 6.3 billion gallons of beer in 2015, and 50% of that volume was from cans, this impressive invention will have hugeimplications for the environment.

Credit: We Believers

Credit: We Believers

The craft beer company says that the innovative design is as resistant and efficient as plastic packaging. Though, one major drawback is that they are more expensive than plastic rings.

The company believes, however, that when consumers are made aware of the horrific consequences of using plastic six-pack rings, they’ll be more than happy to pay a little extra to preserve the Earth for future generations.

Credit: We Believers

Credit: We Believers

Says Peter Agardy, head of brand at Saltwater Brewery:

“It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea.” 

The brand also believes that if more breweries opt to use the edible rings, prices may go down.

Credit: We Believers

Credit: We Believers

At present, the brewery is in the process of patenting together with a small startup of young engineers in Mexico. The social entrepreneurs believe that edible six-pack rings will have a huge impact on the CPG and Food and Beverage Industries. Of course, their number one goal is to save thousands of marine lives.

The company writes:

“For brands to be successful today, it is no longer about being the best IN the world. But rather, being the best FOR the world and take a real stance.”

Would you be willing to pay a little extra to help ocean life? Please comment below and share this news!


This article (Beer Company Develops Edible Six-Pack Rings That Feed, Rather Than Kill, Marine Life) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Sourced from:  http://amazyble.com/green-tech/beer-company-develops-edible-six-pack-rings-feed-rather-kill-marine-life/

Timber Company Tells California Town: Go Find Your Own Water

Editor’s note:  This is maddening – and wrong on so many levels.  The water belongs to the people.  As does the land.  The air.  It ALL belongs to We The People – here and all over the planet.  Water is a basic human right and this growing dark trend of privatizing is ugly.  Given my research on this topic, which spans back over a decade, this has been the agenda for a very long time.  Fight the good fight citizens of Weed.  And a smack on the head to this Roseburg, Oregon based timber company.  To the time out corner of shame you go.  

The snow-capped dormant volcano Mount Shasta, as seen from Weed, in Northern California. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

WEED, Calif. — The water that gurgles from a spring on the edge of this Northern California logging town is so pristine that for more than a century it has been piped directly to the wooden homes spread across hills and gullies.

To the residents of Weed, which sits in the foothills of Mount Shasta, a snow-capped dormant volcano, the spring water is a blessing during a time of severe and prolonged drought.

To the lumber company that owns the land where the spring is, the water is a business opportunity.

Roseburg Forest Products, an Oregon-based company that owns the pine forest where the spring surfaces, is demanding that the city of Weed get its water elsewhere.

“The city needs to actively look for another source of water,” said Ellen Porter, the director of environmental affairs for Roseburg who led the company’s negotiations with the city. “Roseburg is not in a position to guarantee the availability of that water for a long period of time.”

For the past 50 years, the company charged the city $1 a year for use of water from the Beaughan Spring. As of July, it began charging $97,500 annually. A contract signed this year directs the city to look for alternative sources.

Roseburg has not made public what it plans to do with the water it wants to take back from the city. But it already sells water to Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring, which bottles it in Weed and ships it as far away as Japan. Crystal Geyser is looking to increase its overall supply.

Residents of Weed, including the current mayor and three former mayors, say the water was always intended for municipal and domestic use and should not be sold to the highest bidder.

Photo

Bob Hall, a member of the Weed City Council, at Beaughan Spring, a source of Weed’s water. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

“The corporate mentality is that they can make more money selling this water to Japan,” said Bob Hall, a former mayor of Weed and currently a member of the City Council. “We were hooked at the hip with this company for years,” he said of the timber company, the largest private employer in the area. “Now, they are taking advantage of people who can’t defend themselves.”

Bottled-water plants have met with resistance and in some cases protests in a number of places across California, including a Nestlé plant last year in Sacramento. In the water-rich towns in the shadow of Mount Shasta, residents have raised concerns over proposed bottling plants that they say could severely diminish local water supplies.

A measure on the ballot in the November election in Siskiyou County, where the towns are, would for the first time require that companies obtain permits to export water.

The disputes echo California’s broader water wars. Five years of drought have escalated competition among farmers, factories and residents over water use and have pitted the arid south against the more water-rich north.

“Water is money,” said David Webb, a resident of the city of Mount Shasta who follows the water disputes in the area. “If you can get it, you can make money from it.”

The mayor of Weed, Ken Palfini, says the value of the city’s water was emphasized during a visit several weeks ago by Pierre Papillaud, the founder of the company that owns Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring. In what the mayor and another participant described as a tirade of abuse, Mr. Papillaud demanded that the city give up its spring water so that his company could have more.

“He said if he didn’t get his way, he was going to blow up the bottling plant,” Mr. Palfini said of Mr. Papillaud’s visit. “He said that twice.”

Mr. Papillaud’s son Ronan Papillaud came to Weed in mid-September to apologize for the brusque treatment and to rescind his father’s demands. But Mr. Palfini said it was a lesson on how small municipalities in the area need to protect themselves from water-hungry companies.

Photo

Paul Welliver at the controls of a lathe at the Roseburg Forest Products mill in Weed. Roseberg owns the pine forest where the spring providing city water surfaces. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

“They are just corporations,” Mr. Palfini said. “They are not your friend.”

Residents of Weed, which is still rebuilding after a major wildfire two years ago, say they believe that their dispute with Roseburg will end in the courts and that they have a document showing that the previous owner of Roseburg’s timber business here, International Paper, handed over water rights to the city in 1982.

But they describe a David and Goliath battle between Roseburg, a wealthy corporation capable of paying for high-powered lawyers, and a relatively poor city with just 2,700 people.

Residents in Weed followed the legal battles of Missoula, Mont., where the State Supreme Court ruled in August that the city could seize water from a private company by eminent domain to secure the municipal water supply.

The alternative to legal proceedings for now is to drill a new well at a cost of around $2 million, according to Ron Stock, the Weed city administrator.

Roseburg has suggested a site on its property, but city officials say it is potentially dangerous: The well would be located a few hundred yards from a former wood treatment facility that is contaminated with highly toxic chemicals including arsenic. The facility, which is managed by Roseburg, was fenced off in 1986 and has been declared a Superfund site.

Because of the complex hydrology of the area, including lava tubes that carry water in various directions under the mountains, the city would not know whether the water was safe until it drilled a test well, Mr. Stock said.

“The city has to be very careful,” he said. “We don’t want a Flint, Mich., situation.”

Ms. Porter, the Roseburg representative, said the proposed well site was “well outside any area of contamination.”

In an interview at the company’s timber plant outside Weed, where logs are spun and shaved into thin sheets used for plywood, Ms. Porter blamed Mr. Hall, the city councilor, and others in the city for casting Roseburg in a bad light.

Photo

Bottles filled with water from the Mount Shasta city spring in a park in Mount Shasta, Calif. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

“We are becoming the corporate bad guy, and that’s really unfortunate,” she said. The city already has wells that serve around half the population, she said.

Ronan Papillaud, the president of CG Roxane, which owns Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring together with a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Otsuka, was also defensive when asked about his company’s plans.

“We do not belong in this story,” Mr. Papillaud said. “We are not depriving anyone of anything.” CG Roxane has bought water from Roseburg since the late 1990s and dedicates one of its production lines in its Weed plant to bottling water bound for Japan.

Mr. Papillaud described his deal with Roseburg as a simple relationship between a buyer and seller.

“Is this blood water? Are they involved in child labor?” he asked rhetorically. “We are clients, end of story.”

Watching the water dispute warily are members of the Winnemem Wintu, a small Native American tribe that considers the slopes of Mount Shasta sacred.

According to tribal beliefs, one of the springs on the mountain is the place where animals and mankind emerged into the world. Six years ago, for the first time in the oral history of the tribe, that spring dried up, according to Luisa Navejas, a tribe member.

The water around Mount Shasta is not limitless, she said.

“This mountain is calling us now, and we need to listen,” Ms. Navejas said of the inactive volcano.

“This mountain will talk,” she said. “The time will come.”

Sourced from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/california-drought-weed-mount-shasta.html?_r=2