Friday, June 15, 2007

Electric Bill Pain Reliever

Two Simple, Easy Ways To Save On Your Electric Bill And Help Save The Planet

Learn about and use Compact florescent lighting. This is good sense and a relatively easy conservation method.

There are even a new type of such bulbs mentioned in the current issue of Popular Science magazine that have a softer yellow glow more like incandescent bulbs instead of the harsh blue light of common CF bulbs, for about $4.00 - one of the main objections of most people to using CF bulbs.

There is another very simple means of conservation of electricity that is also relatively painless. Install surge strips on all TV, stereo, and computer equipment and turn the surge strip off after shutting down these devices.

All such devices nowadays go into a "stand by" mode so that they come back up quickly when a person pushes the "on" button. They never truly shut off when people think they've been turned off - and so still draw power whether in use or not. This is why modern TV's no longer need to "warm up" before displaying a picture when you turn them on - they never really turn off.

The same is true of any device using those small black transformers to convert wall outlet AC power into low voltage DC power. As long as they are plugged into the wall they use the same amount of power regardless of whether or not the device they operate is in use.

Putting a surge strip between such devices and the wall outlet allows you to truly disconnect them from the electrical supply.


Rev. Dan Stafford
The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy & Hydrogen Journal

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Dead In The Water" on the Sundance Channel

Dead In The Water - airs June 19th at 9:30pm local time on The Sundance Channel:

This documentary shows the long and clearly devastating history of the privatization of public waters systems around the world at the urgings of large corporations and the IMF.

Obviously and clearly a gross failure to the people of the affected regions, many countries following down this dead end trail have suffered from massive disease outbreaks as those too poor to pay for water are able to find it only in questionable sources or die of thirst. In many cases, riots and massive public uprisings result after many deaths, and the water companies are booted out in abject failure, leaving the water supplies again under municipal control.

What's not discussed here is the stealth privatization of municipal water supplies happening in various areas of the US, which has not had first hand experience with this disaster-in-waiting with some notable exceptions in California. Needless to say, those exceptions are quite enlightening, but not of the burden people will bear, literally, having to carry water home in plastic jugs right here in the USA regardless of income level.

Dead In The Water features many common-sense arguments, and direct interviews with people "served" by first public, then private water systems. You'd love to think this can't happen in first world countries, but guess STARTED with a first world country of major proportions. Beyond that, there are decades of historic examples clearly exposed here.

In what I think is the most eloquently simple paraphrase of the best line in this movie, "Markets are driven to serve those with money, not those without. It's a failure of reason and logic to expect market driven systems to honestly and effectively serve the disenfranchised and destitute at the expense of their bottom line, which the obvious reason why services that peoples very lives depend on are best left in the public sector." ( In my mind, this also speaks volumes as to what is the missing chapter in classic Libertarian theory, which utterly fails to account for people in this position. Heads up, you Libertarian think-tankers, get on it if you want to get relevant. This issue gives a glaring example of what market forces will do to life-essential services. )

Watch Dead In The Water June 19th at 9:30pm local time on The Sundance Channel to learn the birthplace of the Water Barons - and what water privatization could do to, uhhhm, I mean FOR you and your family!

This film is an essential education for anyone who requires daily water to survive or thrive.

Look for my review of "Five Disasters Waiting To Happen" next week to appear at The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy and Hydrogen Journal, and at The First Church of Healing The Earth.

Meanwhile, take a good solid look at this must-see presentation of what we all need to work together on at 9:30pm June 19th on The Sundance Channel.

All the best,

Dan Stafford
Co-Chair, Progressive Democrats of Illinois

Owner and Publisher
The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy and Hydrogen Journal

The First Church of Healing The Earth

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Trouble In Paradise - Hawaii

Trouble in Hawaiian Islands Marine Monument on World Ocean Day
By Sunny Lewis

HONOLULU, Hawaii, June 8, 2007 (ENS) -

Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, environmentalists say all is not well in America's first national marine monument on World Ocean Day, observed each year on June 8.
They are outraged at the recent decision of the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, BLNR, to allow bio-prospecting in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument.

Conservationists and native Hawaiians are attending the BLNR meeting today in Honolulu to demand a moratorium on all research permits in this far-flung island chain that stretches for 1,400 square miles north and west of the main Hawaiian islands.

"The BLNR's decision is unacceptable," said Vicky Holt-Takamine, president of the 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition and a member of the Congressional commission developing a bio-prospecting policy for the state.

Bio-prospecting is the theft of natural resources from native peoples. It should not happen in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or anywhere in Hawaii," she said.

The conservationists argue that the BLNR should not grant rights to bio-prospectors when a law on the issue is being drafted.

On the BLNR agenda today are several permits for a University of Hawaii research mission through the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. These researchers are seeking to collect thousands of samples of living organisms with the possibility of patenting the biological material they find.

The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology received $2.3 million in federal funding for this research project last summer, but the permit applications were made public only last week.

The ship for this research mission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hi'ialakai, is requesting permission to dump human waste in the monument waters. According to the permit application, the ship's waste system is broken and unable to separate grey water from black water, so the institute says it must dump both types of waste into the ocean on a daily basis.

But dumping waste is prohibited in both the state and federal waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. "This is not the way to treat a fragile and unique marine environment," said Marti Townsend of KAHEA: The awaiian-Environmental Alliance. "Dumping waste water onto ancient, pristine coral reefs is inexcusable, especially when it is the federal government doing...

Full Story:

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Refugees Of The Blue Planet

The Refugees Of The Blue Planet
- airs June 12th @ 9:30pm on The Sundance Channel:

The Refugees Of The Blue Planet is a beautifully shot environmental documentary that lays bare the fate that has already befallen tens of millions of people around the globe, and stands poised to overwhelm hundreds of millions of people as global warming and environmental degradation takes off with a vengeance.

This film does a wonderful job of laying bare the results of sacrificing environment and community for the sake of convenience and profit, without the usual requests for funding and projection of the producers' favored solutions that accompany so many documentary films focused on specific issues. In the end, the reader is left with a clear understanding of the nature of the beast, yet left to draw their own conclusions as to what actions to take - or not take, as they might believe best.

Shot on location around the globe, The Refugees Of The Blue Planet shows the direct human results of environmental catastrophes and exploitation in no uncertain terms. Whether the tragedies are engendered by run-amok weather or rampant environmental degradation as a result of industrial activities, the point is clearly driven home.

In some cases, the victims or refugees are who you would expect, but in many cases they are not. The viewer is left without the artificial sense of insulation from potential disaster that our disconnected-from-nature industrialized society is so good at fostering. There is a clear impression that anyone could be the next Refugees Of The Blue Planet.

The Refugees Of The Blue Planet is the lead of a series of environmental documentaries scheduled to air on The Sundance Channel this June and July. The next feature will be titled "Dead In The Water" and will air on June 19th at 9:30pm. This will be followed by "Five Disasters Waiting To Happen" at 9:30pm on July 10th.

Look for my review of "Dead In The Water" to be published early next week, followed by a review of "Five Disasters Waiting To Happen" the following week to appear at The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy and Hydrogen Journal, and at The First Church of Healing The Earth.

Meanwhile, take a good solid look at this must-see presentation of what we all need to work together on at 9:30pm June 12th on The Sundance Channel.

All the best,

Dan Stafford
Co-Chair, Progressive Democrats of Illinois

Owner and Publisher
The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy and Hydrogen Journal

The First Church of Healing The Earth