Month: December 2020

Doctors in Australia Urge Transition From Coal

first_imgDoctors in Australia Urge Transition From Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tom Arup for The Age (Australia):More than 300 doctors and other medical professionals have signed an open letter demanding the state government develop a plan to retire the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal power plants because of the health damage they cause in the local community.The letter, organised by the group Doctors for the Environment Australia, argues a transition away from brown coal-fired power – responsible for 85 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation – is necessary because its pollution is responsible for local disease, and even death, and poses a broader health threat through a contribution to climate change.The letter is an attempt to heap pressure on the Andrews government to include measures to start retiring the valley’s four brown coal plants as part of its promised state renewable energy plan, which is expected to be released in coming weeks.Dr John Iser, the Victorian chair of Doctors for the Environment and a retired gastroenterologist, said the state government had carried out “commendable” work to inform its clean-energy strategy, but it was still “paper planning” and the doctors group was “getting fed up with the lack of action.”Economic modelling commissioned by the Andrews government as part of the development of the renewables plan has looked at options to ease “barriers to exit” for coal plants from the oversupplied energy market, along with ways to support new clean-energy projects.The results of the modelling, which was carried out by Ernst & Young, has been closely guarded by the government.An earlier issues paper, obtained by Fairfax Media, outlined numerous policy options the modelling would examine, including emissions or age standards for power plants, trading schemes and even a levy on coal royalties paid by the generators.But it also states that none of the options being modelled are necessarily supported by the government. Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio confirmed the government was looking at “barriers that generators face to exit the market”, as was the state and federal energy council.The letter points to past research linking coal-fired electricity to cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases, as well as lung cancers, through their generation of local air pollutants.It also references a paper by researchers at Harvard last year that implied pollution from the Hazelwood power plant was responsible for 18 deaths a year in Gippsland, about 1 per cent of the regional total. The letter concedes that sudden, unplanned closures of power plants would also have negative health effects due to job losses and social upheaval. It calls for the state government to develop with the Latrobe Valley community an “economically just and planned” transition plan away from coal.Full article: Doctors call for brown coal power shutdown plan in the Latrobe Valleylast_img read more

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State Street Corp., With $2.6 Trillion in Assets, Calls for Companies to Disclose Climate-Change Risk

first_imgState Street Corp., With $2.6 Trillion in Assets, Calls for Companies to Disclose Climate-Change Risk FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E:One of the world’s biggest investment firms is pressing companies to think seriously about the risks of climate change and explain how they manage those threats.In a recent research note, a division of State Street Corp. urged companies in sectors exposed to climate change and carbon regulations — like oil and gas firms, utilities, and mining companies — to plan for the serious challenge of global warming.Boards of directors “should regard climate change as they would any other significant risk to the business” and ensure that long-term plans are “resilient to the impacts of climate change,” the note says.State Street, which manages about $2.6 trillion in client money, called on companies to share information about their assessments of financial hazards related to climate change and carbon taxes, as well as their goals to slash emissions.The company joined a growing list of organizations demanding that the private sector pinpoint how climate change threatens operations. The multitrillion-dollar investment group BlackRock Inc., the mutual fund giant Vanguard Group Inc. and the London financial firm Schroders PLC have all raised concerns about the economic risks posed by climate change.More: ($) Investment firm calls climate change a ‘significant risk’last_img read more

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Siemens Gamesa building hybrid wind-battery storage project in the Philippines

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Siemens Gamesa is working on a hybrid energy project for Berkeley Energy in the Philippines that will combine an existing 16MW wind farm, battery storage and an in-house central control system managing the energy produced at the plant.The project is at Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro and will provide a stable electricity supply in a location with a weak link to the grid, reducing its dependence on diesel.The plant is expected to be in full operation in the second half of 2020, following the recent signing of a supply and five-year maintenance contract including the Siemens Gamesa hybrid plant controller (HPC) system. The HPC system manages the power generated and stored at the plant and can fine tune the wind turbines to optimise the entire plant’s performance.The wind farm has been fully installed, comprising eight Siemens Gamesa 2MW turbines, while the 6MW Gamesa Electric lithium battery storage system will be set up and commissioned later this year.Siemens Gamesa said that an additional wind farm is also being negotiated, which would increase capacity by 10MW pending the issuance of appropriate approvals from the Department of Energy and other government agencies.“The plant represents a significant technological advance towards making renewables an energy source that can be used on demand,” Siemens Gamesa said.More: Siemens Gamesa delivers Philippines hybrid Siemens Gamesa building hybrid wind-battery storage project in the Philippineslast_img read more

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Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

first_imgIf you are like me, you spent the Fourth of July holiday celebrating all that is America by saluting our flag, thanking our veterans, and pigging out at a backyard barbeque. Sure, you may have worked in the casual volleyball or cornhole game, but that isn’t going to burn off the calories of that hotdog-eating contest with cousin Larry or Aunt Sally’s 17-layer dip. Time to get back on the horse, and that means taking a hike. Nothing captures the spirit of the American can-do attitude like the Appalachian Trail, so bring those good Independence Day vibes full circle by taking a day hike on the quintessential American footpath.The Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia, so there is no better place to check out the trail. Take this 6-mile moderate loop hike to the summit of Blood Mountain, the highest point on the A.T. in the state.Directions: Begin at the Byron Herbert Reece Parking area north of Neels Gap off Highway 19. The parking area is a half-mile north of the Walasi-YI Center, a good place to stop and get any extra provisions you may need.Take the trail from the parking area southwest where you will cross the A.T. after about a mile of steep trail. Continue southwest on the Freeman Trail which follows the south side of the mountain for two miles before intersecting the AT again at Bird Gap. Go right (northeast) on the A.T. to reach the 4,461 foot summit of Blood Mountain. Follow the white blazes across the top of the mountain taking in the panoramic views of Brasstown Bald and Lake Burton before taking the side trail to the Freeman Trail and back to the parking lot.The Blood Mountain shelter at the summit is one of the oldest on the AT (built in 1934) so be sure to stick your head inside before heading back down.View Larger Maplast_img read more

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The beauty of Smartwool Socks

first_imgSplash…splash, splash, slosh, splash.These were the sounds that accompanied my run through the Shenandoah National Park. A rainy previous day and melting ice and snow had generously provided me some wet and cold conditions for my 15-mile trail run.Normally this type of trail condition would have me upset, and contemplating cutting a run short. Not that I am soft or anything, but my feet get cold, and the added wet could really make for a rough day. Luckily, as shown to me during my 24 mile New Years day run earlier this year in the ice, slush, and snow Smartwool socks have a few tricks up their sleeves.Socks are one of those items that normally we don’t give the most thought to. We just wear them, shuck them off at the end of the day, and don’t give them the credit they deserve. On these runs however I was thanking my Smartwool socks with just about every stride. Not only are they soft and incredibly well tailored, they also are made of wool and therefore keep your feet warm no matter if they are wet or dry.I have been able to try three different variations of Smartwool socks, and now I want to go a bit more in depth on each one.PhD Run Ultra Light MiniThe Ultra Light is just that ultra light. It has padding where it’s necessary then cuts away any excess from there. They are extremely comfortable and hug the foot. Despite being lightweight they do not feel like 5 runs from now they are going to fall apart, a problem I have found with other lightweight offerings. I found these best for runs lasting under an hour and a half, and as the description states they are good for mild weather. Don’t wear them in the bitter cold, they are not meant for it. $15.95PhD Run Light MicroThis sock is a bit more cushioned than the Ultra Light Mini. With a thicker wool construction the sock keeps your keep warm in cold weather without feeling bulky or cumbersome. The people at Smartwool are well smart. The fit is great and again is tight where it needs to be keeping the sock in place no matter what the trail throws at you.PhD Run Graduated Compression Ultra LightThe running crowd is an odd one, and just like most sports we have our own unique dress code. A popular fashion trend is wearing taller socks with shorts. Why you ask? Well the taller socks keeps your shins a bit more protected from thorns and other debris, while also not being as hot as a pair of tights. The Ultra Light is a great choice for this if you’re looking for a pair of longer socks.  I wore them quite a few times on both road and trail and they never slipped down, which was critical. It would surprise you how a small thing like a falling sock wears on you 3 hours into a run. They are soft and fit great just like the other two models. $37.95compressionIf you give Smartwool a closer look, they really are an interesting and neat company. They believe in the “power of comfort” which as they say is “a simple idea: when you’re comfortable, your body performs better, allowing you to forget about what you’re wearing and enjoy the moment.” If there ever were a product that falls under the “Power of Comfort” it would be socks. They keep us warm, comfortable, and allow us to spend more time enjoying the trail than fretting over the elements.The PhD Micro is not yet available online, so I was not able to find a link or picture.Bottom line: Picking socks doesn’t have to be a tough choice, go with Smartwool and make your feet happy.last_img read more

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Propét Shoes Love Your Feet (Even When You Don’t)

first_imgOur feet withstand a hell of a lot. We may take this constant support system for granted, but these guys are troopers; from jogs, hikes, and walks around the block, to running errands, dashing to work, and playing with the family, even a normal day can wear them down. That’s where Propét Shoes come in.Propét knows that feet go unnoticed way too often for their own good, so the company has taken on a mission to give them some much deserved TLC. Developed in coordination with podiatrists, Propét’s shoes work to keep feet comfortable, cushioned, and aligned. Their claim to fame comes from a focus on restoring a natural range of motion and preventing walking quirks that add unnecessary stress.The Leila walking shoe is one of Propét’s most versatile. It manages to combine several different styles into one multifaceted design: simultaneously comfortable and supportive enough for a full day’s wear, sleek and subtle enough to match an everyday outfit, and athletic enough to take a decent beating.I even took them on a recent climbing trip and used them as approach shoes between boulders. They were perfect for my little weekend romp through the woods: lightweight, sturdy, and reliable on both dirt and sandstone. The Leila’s rubber outsoles actually made them a great alternative to traditional approach shoes in straightforward situations like this one. Sticky and stable, they held their ground without all the extras that are crucial on more aggressive trips but wholly unnecessary in the middle of a simple boulderfield. Plus, they looked good from the rock to the restaurant – major points for versatility.Propét’s forté lies in their specialized Rejuve Motion Technology. The Leila shoe, in accordance with Rejuve, pays particular attention to the heel bone of the foot. I can’t say that I’ve ever given my poor heel bone much thought before, but luckily Propét is here to reverse the damage that most of us are, apparently, guilty of.Propét shoes feature four separate layers that combine to build a sole that realigns our heel position and boosts foot support. My neglected heels finally got some love. After way too much time squeezed into tight climbing shoes (“torturously small,” as my mother would say), hiking boots, and the occasional high heel, they definitely noticed the difference. I got the feeling Propét had helped me play a trick on my own feet – they were still ready to keep on trucking at the end of that long climbing day as if I hadn’t just spent all those hours walking from rock to rock lugging a pile of gear on my back. I like a shoe that lets me feel devious.One unexpected result was that it was also much easier to keep a good posture, and that’s a big deal. Climbing is famous for slowly morphing its disciples into hunchbacks due to all those uneven shoulder muscles. I really should do more yoga, but in the meantime, the Rejuve system built into the Leila shoes does its job in reseting the heel to reduce back pain and reinforce our ideal posture.last_img read more

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Weekend Picks: Get in Gear Fest

first_imgExcited to get outside this spring, but need some extra help getting prepared? The Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina know that great gear makes for a great trip, so they’ve got everything ready for you to take the first step toward adventure success at the Get in Gear Fest in Asheville, N.C.The Get in Gear Fest, taking place this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at RiverLink Performance Plaza, will have a little something for every adrenaline junkie. Backpacks, bikes, boats, crashpads, tents: you name it, they’ll bring it. Plus, the Gear Builders suppliers will have plenty of that gear on hand for test runs. Meanwhile, your fellow athletes will show you how it’s done with demos, examples, and clinics. Even beer enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to thanks to the many local breweries that will be joining the crowd.Get in Gear FestThere will be more gear for sale than you’ll know what to do with, but you might also get the chance walk away with some of it – minus that pesky pricetag. Raffles, races, and giveaways galore will take place throughout the day, so come grab your own opportunity to win.Some of the proceeds from the beer sales during the event will benefit RiverLink, a local environmental conservation non-profit working to protect the French Broad River area. Good gear, good beer, good cause… good deal!No matter what you need to leap into spring, the Get in Gear Fest will help you get it all together. Don’t miss this one-stop shop for outdoor fun.While you’re there, say hi to our travel editor Jess Daddio who will be set up with the SylvanSport crew and her Live Outside and Play project! She’ll have copies of this month’s issue and stickers to give away.last_img read more

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Iditarod Changes Course Due to Lack of Snow

first_imgThe 44th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has been forced to move its starting location 360 miles north from Willow, Alaska, to Fairbanks, Alaska, due to low snow conditions. Much of the 1,000-mile trail has been determined by race officials to be unsafe for competitors. Volunteers and race staff attempted to groom particularly bad sections of the race but were unable too because of vegetation that would normally be covered by a thick blanket of snow.Areas of trail in the Alaska Range have experienced a lot less precipitation this year than usual. In the past three years, two races have been unable to start from Anchorage due to limited snow. Many believe climate change to be the main culprit of the lack of snow. Race officials have reportedly been concerned about the effects of climate change on the race for several years. These concerns are currently materializing. The changed route will affect many towns and villages that depend on of the Iditarod for financial and cultural reasons.  “It’s a different event, but it’s still the Iditarod. It’s still a world-class dog race with the best mushers in the world,” said Race Marshal Mark Nordman at a press conference last week.Related:last_img read more

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Youth Cycling in Schools

first_imgThe impacts of the program have been massive. “[In the past year] the number of suspensions has decreased and grades have increased. I’m sure many factors contribute to this progress, but I feel the Riding for Focus program is one of them,” says Ford. “The other benefits I have seen are tremendous: increased self-confidence, increased social and spatial awareness, increased accountability.”  ANYONE CAN DO IT The Strider Foundation is founded upon the belief that cycling should be available to everyone, regardless of their physical, mental, or financial abilities. “[When we learned] the approach and the impact of the foundation, my husband and I were literally moved to tears…it resonated so deeply as a way to honor all that our friend had embodied,” says Turner. In addition to donating bikes, the Strider Foundation also offers their “Learn-to-Ride” curriculum, which equips teachers with the training necessary to make learning how to ride fun, safe, and educational. ADVOCACY IN ACTION In her first year on the job, Matthews teamed up with Bailey Middle School physical education teacher Stephanie Ford to apply for the Ride for Focus grant. “The goal of this program is to provide a healthy outlet for kids who are struggling,” Matthews explains. “This helps with their behavior and academic achievements.”  Working hard to get bikes in schools in North Carolina is Cathy Matthews, Advocacy Specialist with Spirited Cyclist in Huntersville, near Charlotte. Matthews has helped middle and elementary schools in her community implement the programs that Outride and Strider have to offer. Meet a dedicated group from North Carolina working hard to get bikes into schools. And the benefits aren’t limited just to the fun of riding, Ford explains. “Every student has a job during class such as safety, maintenance, teacher assistant, and technology, which includes wearing a GoPro while riding.” Students at Bailey Middle not only gain cycling skills, but also learn about collaboration and the work that goes into having a safe and fun ride. While I grew up with my own bike at home, many kids lack access and aren’t so fortunate. However, thanks to Outride’s Ride for Focus grants and Strider’s All Kids Bike program, bikes are being incorporated into physical education programs all over the country to give kids that feeling of freedom and confidence that we all need in our youth.  THE FREEDOM OF THE RIDEcenter_img Bailey Middle was awarded the grant in 2018 and used the funds to purchase bikes from Spirited Cyclist. “It was very exciting for us at Spirited Cyclist to build and deliver 21 brand new bikes to Bailey Middle school for their new bike program,” Matthews recalls. HONORING A FRIEND Between the funds raised through the GoFundMe and the connection to the Strider Foundation, Donna and her husband, Ed, were able to get Strider’s bikes and curriculum into three schools: Bruns Academy, Torrence Elementary, and Endhaven Elementary. Turner explains, “the longevity and impact of the program seemed ideally suited to have [Jeanette’s] passion live on.” After the success of this effort, Turner is just getting started. “We made the decision to try to raise additional funds to sponsor more schools. We’re partnering with Primal Brewery & Spirited Cyclist to host a benefit at Primal Brewery in Huntersville on March 21st,” Turner says. Bikes offer kids the opportunity to exercise, learn, and gain a sense of freedom and confidence, regardless of their home life or background. “Bikes are independence, confidence and fun all rolled into one,” Turner says. “We’ve seen how quickly the confidence grows, and how much fun a kid can have doing something [many of us] were blessed to have taken for granted. We’d love to see every kid have the opportunity to learn and have fun at the same time.” Matthews, Ford, and Turner all have shown that with some serious dedication and collaboration, getting bikes and cycling curriculum into schools is possible. With organizations like Strider and Outride working hard to team up with schools, bike shops, and everyday people, we could be looking at a future where all kids have access to ride a bike. Students at Bailey Middle School posing on their brand new Specialized Bikes. Matthews and the Spirited Cyclist team also helped get bikes into three Charlotte-area elementary schools by partnering with Donna Turner, a local who was moved to advocate for bikes in schools after the passing of a close friend who had a deep passion for cycling. “When J [Jeanette Martin] passed following a battle with breast cancer, I wanted to do something to keep her spirit and memory alive, so I started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for bikes [in schools]…” Turner explains. “We heard about the Strider Foundation through Spirited Cyclist… I reached out to [owner] James Good looking for direction on how to use the funds we had raised to honor the passing of [Martin] to bring bikes to kids in the community.” Any one of us who loves to bike had that moment when we took off the training wheels, finally kept our balance, and pedaled forward without ever looking back. Freedom at last. Biking gave me the independence, confidence, and coordination that I so craved for the six years leading up to that moment.  If you’re interested in advocating for bikes in schools, reach out to your nearest bike shop. Many bike shops have information on grants and programs that make bikes more accessible.last_img read more

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Spain Willing To Aid Colombia’s Peace Process

first_imgBy Dialogo April 29, 2009 Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe that Spain is ready to offer Bogota whatever help it can in settling the Andean nation’s decades-old internal conflict. The Colombian president began a two-day official visit to Spain. The Spanish government announced that during the meeting, Zapatero expressed to Uribe “the solidarity of Spain in the struggle against violence and drug trafficking” and Madrid’s willingness “to continue cooperating, if Colombian authorities feel the same way, in the … peace processes.” Spain is collaborating with Norway and Switzerland in the dialogue with Colombia’s ELN rebel group and is participating with Switzerland and France in the mediation process for the release of hostages with the larger FARC insurgency. Uribe and Zapatero discussed the international financial crisis, the regional integration processes in Latin America and the progress in negotiations for the association agreement between the European Union and certain Andean countries. The swine flu that is affecting several countries, particularly Mexico, was also dealt with by the two leaders. Spanish officials called bilateral relations “excellent,” while Uribe said ties between Colombia and Spain are “optimal: they have been and our hope is that they continue on that course.” The Colombian leader had an intense day on Tuesday, during which he visited the Spanish Parliament and gave a speech at the New Economic Forum in Madrid. On Wednesday morning, he will meet with a group of businessmen and will also get together with the leader of Spain’s main opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy. Uribe, who is accompanied by his wife on the trip, will conclude his visit on Wednesday with a luncheon hosted by King Juan Carlos, where Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, will also be in attendance. Spain is the second-largest foreign investor in Colombia, with 9.4 percent of the total such investment, exceeded only by the United States.last_img read more

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