Showing posts with label Environmentalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environmentalism. Show all posts

September 9, 2020

Duracell Vs Energizer Showdown

This display in Home Depot was like the Duracell vs. Energizer dual to the death for batteries. 

Which one wins?

The whisper is that Duracell beats Energizer close to 2 to 1 for most things. 

Whether or not that's true, the Energizer rabbit "keeps going and going" while the Duracell is copper-topped.

Copper? Bunny? Bunny is cuter!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2020

Merging Of Man

In light of the shutdown due to Coronavirus and nearly everyone doing 100% telework, this cartoon was particularly funny. 
I can't remember--do I work at home or do I live at work?

Maybe this is the ultimate merging of the two halves of ourselves--the worker and the family man/woman.

These days were seeing a lot of mergers like this: 

- Man-machine with embedded technology, robotics, and AI
- Man-environment with environmentalism and greening technologies
- Man-media with social media and other 100% always-on social computing

So why not Man Family-Work, it's just another merger of near equals in our day-to-day lives. ;-)
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February 6, 2020

Build Others Up

I saw this in one of the student lounges at the local JCC.

It says:
"Don't Cut Down Others"

It's far better to build people up then to tear them down. 

Jut like with trees, it's better to plant a trillion trees than deforest the Amazon Rainforest. 

Trees are life and people are life. 

Be constructive and not destructive. 

Offer a nice word or compliment; provide an attentive and empathetic ear; give direction with some advice or guidance; lend a hand to someone in need; and in general, be a good influence. 

Unfortunately, too many people default to cutting down the old cherry tree! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 24, 2020

NJ Pollution--How Do You Ignore It?

This is the view along the New Jersey Turnpike. 

The pollution and stink coming out of these smokestacks running up and down the Turnpike is enough to make anyone sick. 

Personally, I had to cover my nose and mouth with my shirt just to try and filter this crap out. 

What do people tell themselves that live near these?
Oh, it's okay because the government regulators wouldn't let them be here otherwise!

For real???

If you can see it's nasty, and you can smell that it's nasty, and there is a lot of it, then you better wake up as to what you are breathing, drinking, and eating. 

How about these polluters put a cork in it once and for all! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 16, 2020

Sucking It Up

Here we are sucking up leaves in January. 

It almost looks like we're sucking up the whole ground with it!

After the warmest decade on record, we seem to be having the warmest year on record. 

It's 52 degrees out, and we've been reaching up into the high 60's so far this month.

Global warming or the big fires in Australia or action with Iran are heating things up here in Washington, D.C. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 21, 2019

3 Types of Dumping

This was sort of a funny sign:
"No Dumping"

Dumping can refer to at last 3 different types of things and none of them are any good:

1) Dogs - When people are inconsiderate with the animals and they take a "dump" and people don't clean up after them (leaving the messy stink for you to step in). 

2) Trash - When people throw their trash in the dump or what they consider to be a convenient dumping ground and they make a huge mess of the surroundings (like the used mattress on the side of the road).

3) Emotions - When people dump their emotions and problems on others; they just sort of let it all out and while they may feel better (i.e. a nice catharsis), now you feel like sh*t!

Overall, I can't think of any good connotation to dumping, so maybe people should stop doing it--dogs, trash, and problems.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2019

That's How You Make A Green Deal

Wow, thought this painting was awesome. 

The table and chairs in all the green. 

And the green seat cushions works with it as well. 

I love the perspective on this. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 16, 2019

Getting Rid Of The "Farting Cows"

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Getting Rid of the Farting Cows:
When politicians are extremists (Alt-left or -right) and want to get rid of "farting cows" and airplanes, then who knows what or who is next on their genocidal list (and with the elimination of cows being all too reminiscent of the notion of Jews going “like sheep to the slaughter.”)

Bigotry, hate and extremism is unbecoming of a Congressional Representative like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and they should be resolutely rejected-- it hurts an important environmental cause and needs to be rejected for the cows and for us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Pixabay)
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April 19, 2018

Net-Zero Energy House

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to explore the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Net-Zero Energy House.

As its name implies the residential home makes as much energy as it uses. 

It is run by one of NIST's 7 laboratories, the Engineering Lab's Energy and Environment Division.

The 2,700 square foot home is super-insulated and hyper-energy efficient.

It runs on only 12,000-13,000 Kilowatt per year compared to a typical home that guzzles 40,000 KW. 

You can see the array of solar panels on the roof and there is a two-way exchange of energy to/from the grid as available/needed. 

There is also solar thermal water heater. 


The home simulates a family of 4 living there cooking, bathing, watching TV, etc. 

There are 600 sensors inside the house that monitor everything. 

The garage maintains the computers and controls for the research. 

Overall, I was very proud to see the wonderful scientific research being done here. 

It was truly impressive and good for the nation and the planet.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 14, 2017

We Broke The Weather

So my friend who lives in FL and recently experienced the crazy hurricanes down there said something very interesting to me. 

This was during the series of numerous recent hurricanes in just a few weeks period of time, including Harvey, IRMA, and Maria that devastated Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

He said to me:
"We broke the weather!"

And after decades of warning about the impact of global warming--maybe he is right.

This last September was the most active month for Atlantic hurricanes ever on record. 

Further, we are seeing simultaneously the deadliest wildfires raging in California in its history. 

This only 13 years after the deadliest Tsunami from the Indian Ocean in recorded times killing about a quarter million people!

And only 28 years after the deadliest Tornado occurred in Bangladesh in 1989 that killed 1,300 people.

All these as if the increasing threats of nukes and other weapons of mass destruction and cyberattack weren't enough to keep you up at night.

As we get more sophisticated and technologically dependent, incredible manmade and natural disasters are threatening us superbig time. 

And over and over again, it is being reported that a well-placed EMP explosion over the United States would kill 90% of the population within a year--talk about a extinction level event!

As we experience temperatures15 degree above normal this fall, even the trees are behaving abnormally as the leaves are not changing to colors of yellows and oranges and reds and purples that we expect and enjoy. 

Nature is messed up by our abuse of the planet and nurture is messed up by megalomaniacs with the weapons to do us in. 

If we don't correct the dangerous path we are on polluting our planet and over-relying on technology then soon we could be turning horrible colors even if the leaves just fall to the ground or turn to ash. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 26, 2016

Special Blue Bird

Just wanted to share a photo I took of this beautiful blue bird that I came across in Florida. 

This bird was something special. 

I couldn't help admiring his amazingly blue feathers punctuated by the yellow around his smart eyes 

He wasn't the only beautiful animal or flower that we saw there, there were many.

They all just left me in wonderment at the unbelievable beauty that G-d created for us in this world.

No one is going to tell me this is all random by evolution, and that there is not a profoundly wise and all-knowing Maker behind it.

Perhaps, we never really left the physical Garden of Eden, but being expelled from there meant more of a mentality where we have to work and fight hard to keep it all pristine.

Mankind's inclination is to take and use abundantly almost without thought as to the sustainability of his actions.

- Cities expand and encroach on natural rural areas. 

- G-d's beautiful creatures are in retreat and often in danger of extinction. 

- Resources are used willy nilly as we dig and dig, chop and chop, and burn and burn. 

- Garbage is expelled and piles up virtually anywhere and everywhere.

- Pollution fills the land, air, and waterways.

Eden is still here, but people must act more like angels and less like snakes if G-d gracious gifts to us are to survive. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 9, 2016

Reconstituting The Water Of Antarctica

So Antarctica is the 5th largest continent of 7 in the world. 

It is 5.4 million square miles, and it is larger than both Europe and Australia. 

But it has only a temporary population of 5,000 people, mainly researchers. 

About 70% of the world's fresh water is held in the Antarctic ice sheet, which is 90% of all the world's ice. 

And the ice there extends 7,000 feet thick.

If all the ice would melt, the global sea levels would rise 2,000 feet!

Despite 95% of models over the last 30 years predicting the ice sheet melting due to global warming, it actually continues to expand.

It's a paradox for the science community, but one of the explanations is that as ice shelves break off, they actually forms a protective barrier for the new ice being formed along the main ice landmass. 

Even with global warming, the average temperature in Antarctica is still -35 degrees Fahrenheit, and most parts never get above freezing. 

So here's an idea--rather than fear global warming, is there an opportunity to use it and advance it, if only we can channel the effects of it for the good of humanity. 

The Antarctic Treaty System prevents nuclear weapons explosion there, but wouldn't that be a cool way to melt some ice and get some fresh drinking water for this thirsty planet or even to somehow move to MARS for colonization there?

Also, we could place solar mirrors in space to redirect sunlight to melt the ice--that's either some probably some pretty big mirrors or the dispersion ray of a space laser(s). 

The key now is to get the water to where you want it to go and not to destroy by massive flood our worldwide seaboard cities--and that's where a mass molecular transporter comes along. 

There is still much to discover and invent, but when it's done, I think we will definitely be heading to Mars and beyond.

Really, we have to, there is no other long-term survival choice for humankind. 

And perhaps, G-d placed the survival pod for us right under our feet at literally, the southern most point of the world, Antarctica! ;-)

(Source Photo: here via Wikipedia)
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February 5, 2016

Even Our Water

So I was in a meeting yesterday. 

And someone had a bottle of what looked like very dirty water. 

I said to the guy sad-jokingly, "Where's that from--Flint, Michigan?"

He sadly smiles back and says, "No, I just filled the bottle with iced tea!"

But everyone around the table sighed at the tragic state of affairs with the filthy, contaminated water in Flint. 

The high levels of lead in the water has allegedly resulted in "skin lessons, hair loss, high levels of lead in the blood, vision loss, memory loss, depression and anxiety."

It's unbelievable that in an American city with a population around 100,000 that they cannot safely shower or drink their water. 

To make things even worse, now banks are hunkering down and don't want to give mortgages to people in Flint until they can prove that their water is safe

What's amazing is that this miserable situation in our cities is not the exception, but the rule. 

As of 2003 already, The American Society for Civil Engineering gives us a hideous grade of D on our infrastructure that is aged and in disrepair.

This includes our:
- Energy
- Transportation
- Ports
- Aviation
- Levees
- Dams
- Schools
- Roads
- Inland Waterways
- Wastewater
- Hazardous Waste
- Parks and Recreation
- Rail
- Bridges
- Solid Waste
- Drinking Water

They estimate we need at least $3.6 trillion of investment for infrastructure renewal just by 2020. 

Interestingly enough, the useless decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costs us over $4 trillion and the lives of almost 14,000 American military and contractor personnel.

What would you rather have a destabilized Middle East now swarming with ISIS, the Taliban, and a resurgent $100 billion richer and nuclear- and terror-determined Iran or a proper country here for us to live in with an actual strategy-driven national security and good schools and clean drinking water? 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to B1ue5sky)
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October 5, 2015

A Ricksha With A Worthwhile Message

This guy is pedaling this ricksha around town in Maryland, USA. 

And it carries messages of hope and peace. 

Some examples (visible in the photo):

- "Promote the Olympic spirit."

- "Hope for world peace."

- "Protecting mother earth."

It looks like he could be right off the streets of China or something and transported here to deliver and remind us of these important ideas. 

What is interesting to me is that in this day and age of social media and online advertising where messages are often drowned out amidst the daily deluge we get, that here a simple ricksha can grab people's attention and perhaps have a positive influence on them.

With just some subtle messaging along the vehicle's canopy and with pictures and flags around the back.

Perhaps it's not only how much one advertises and promotes, but how thought-provoking and novel it's done. 

I don't know how many miles this guy can pedal a day, but I bet he gets more likes than much of the garbage just being throw up online because it's so easy and available for everyone to do. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 27, 2015

Beautiful Brookside Gardens













Today, we visited Brookside Gardens in Maryland.

My daughter needed to do some drawing for her art class.

We took the opportunity to enjoy the unbelievable beautiful nature there. 

If only the whole Earth was allowed to exist in such pristine form. 

No overcrowding, overdevelopment, and polluting of the planet. 

Just respect for Mother Earth and the bounty and miracles we are allowed to enjoy. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 17, 2015

Keys to The Kingdom

Ah, so good to be given the keys to the kingdom. 

Even if only for a day. 

What to do:

- 1st key - Heal the sick, feed the hungry, raise the downtrodden.

- 2nd key - World peace, for sure. 

- 3rd key - Revitalize our ailing planet and make it sustainable.

- 4th key - Unleash innovation and give everyone a decent living wage to care for themselves and their families. 

- 5th key (the Capstone) - Bring the Messiah and everyone behaves righteously and worships the one true G-d of all.

Uh, and I need one more key to balance the budget and pay off the National Debt. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 8, 2015

Seriously Big And Out Of Order

I took this photo in Washington, D.C., and I don't know about you, but I hate when things are out of order.

We count on everything to be in normal working condition, and for life in general to function with at least a modicum of structure, process, and according to basic laws of nature. 

But these days, the world is seriously off-kilter and here are just a few examples:

- Russia, post the Cold War Soviet Union, isn't supposed to do a blitkreig and just take over Crimea and fight an undeclared war in sovereign nation, Ukraine. Additionally, our vital economic partner, China, presumably wouldn't have near unfetterd access to our industrial and government secrets, including the personnel records of the entire Federal workforce. 

- The major world powers comprising the P5+1 normally wouldn't treat Iran deferentially and as a negotiating equal or even more than than that with near open negotiations and crucial concessions, especially when dealing with no less than the proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. 

- Terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and more wouldn't be taking over swathes of the Middle-East, Africa, and Asia, and we are not sure what our strategy even is or whether we have one yet. 

- Advanced industrialized nations wouldn't be polluting themselves and the rest of the world towards the environmental catastrophic brink all the while denying that our lifestyle is not sustainable and that global warming even exists. 

- Smart democratized nations wouldn't be living incessantly beyond their means and borrowing themselves into national debt oblivion--from Greece to Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and right here in the United States of America. 

- The Center for Disease Control doesn't handle deadly biological pathogens callously and negligently with the potential for a massive lethal outbreak, while admitting to a serious pattern of safety lapses.

- Medicine isn't just another "business and medical treatments for the sick shouldn't cost $250,000 a year for a regiment of one or two pills a day, medical professionals don't simply extend quantity of life without weighing it's quality, and those in hopeless cases with severe pain and suffering wouldn't be forced to go on "living."

- The richest 1% of the world can't truly hold more than 50% of the world's wealth, live in mega mansions and drive fleets of cars, yachts, and planes, while masses of people are malnourished, diseased, homeless or in substandard living conditions.

No life is not perfect and certainly, even those perfectionists among us wouldn't expect everything is be in 100% working order all the time--things break down, accidents and mistakes occur, and sh*t happens--but when life is getting shamelessly more out of order than in order than we need to be asking ourselves some serious and potentially life-altering questions, like what the heck is going on around here? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 6, 2015

A Beauty In The Downtown

I took this photo in downtown Washington, D.C.

Right between the limbs of this tree trunk was this amazing yellow flower almost popping up out of nowhere. 

It was like "Here I am, enjoy me!"

The more nature we put back into our cities the nicer and friendlier they are. 

Nature sooths man's inner beast--and we definitely need more of that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 3, 2015

Happy 4th From Washington DC

Go Independence Day!

But what does it mean?


We are independent from British rule since 1776.  


That made us a free nation.


We are free to be...but be what? 


1) Safe and Secure - Have a strong military, intelligence, and homeland security to keep the peace or compromise on national security and make bad deals for political expediency and face the consequences by a host of crazed terrorist threats, a nuclear Iran, a belligerent North Korea, a bellicose Russia, or a rising confrontational China. 


2) Prosperous And Self-Sufficient - Strengthen education, encourage innovation, invest in research and development and advanced manufacturing, cultivate a motivated and capable workforce, and manage a fiscally responsible economy or spend recklessly and indiscriminately driven by pork-barrel politics and special interests and eventually bankrupt our richly-endowed nation.


3) Equal And With Fundamental Human Rights - Ensure equality and opportunity for everyone under the law, where everyone has respect and dignity and the protection of basic human rights or discriminate in large and small ways perpetuating the have and have nots in every fiber of our society, where the rich get sickeningly richer and for everyone else you're sh*t out of luck. 


4) Socially Just - Provide for a just and fair society ensuring that people are duly protected and crime does not pay or irresponsibly live in managed chaos and let violent criminals back out on the streets in a revolving door of recidivism rather than rehabilitation. 


5) Environmentally Responsible - Safeguard our environment and natural resources, invest in renewable energy resources and sustainability, reduce, reuse, and recycle, and give a hoot and don't pollute or just pig out now and leave an inhospitable gutted world for later. 


6) Democratically Governed - Rule with righteousness and integrity, give back to the people, be open and honest, listen to all sides and ensure a balanced fair approach or perpetuate lies, deceit, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, waste, and abuse. 


Not everyone in the world is so lucky to be free.


Maybe this Independence Day, we think not just about the new Terminator movie, shopping at the mall, and feasting at the BBQ, but also what we want this treasured freedom to mean, what our "leaders" are leading us to, and are we getting the freedom we all, as human beings under G-d, innately deserve.


We can definitely raise the bar and we should. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 1, 2015

Time Runs Out - What Are We To Believe?

Time runs out, but we are still chasing highly elusive goals (just some examples): 

1) Iran - Time runs out on deadline for a nuke deal even after "the framework" was supposedly set three months ago. And as Iran's Supreme Leader and the Iranian Parliament chant death to America, can we really believe that Iran will ever truly give up their pusuit of nuclear weapons of mass destruction (and terrorism) to use on you know who?  


2) Greece - Time runs out on an extension of more Greek bailout funds, and they default on payment to the International Monetary Fund potentially leading to their exit from the Euro and the EU. With a Greek debt of $271 billion, can we really believe they will ever be able to repay this? 


3) Social Security and Medicare - Time is running out on the solvency of our own social entitlement system in the U.S.  For example, the Social Security Disability Trust Fund runs dry already next year in 2016, Medicare is exhausted by 2030 and Social Security by 2033. With just 16 and 19 years of funding left for these major programs that tens of millions depend on, can we really believe that magically we will dig our way out of this mega mess of a financial hole? 


4) Global Warming - Time is running out on cutting carbon emissions leading to global warming and catastrophic climate change. With global warming denial still in vogue and reluctance by the industrial nations to significantly cut back on emissions in time, can we really believe that catastrophic enviornment damage will be averted? 

5) War - Time is runing out as potential for eventual war looms on the horizon with China, says respected DoD Futurist, Peter Singer. With disputes in the South China Sea and with Taiwan, China bulking up on advanced weapons, and the U.S. pivoting to Asia, the fears of a serious confrontation are there. Similarly, with Russia and it's annexation of Crimea and ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine, threats to it's Balkan neighbors, confrontations on the European borders, and an increasingly nuclear and militant Russia, the Cold War is heating up. The last world war ended 70 years ago, can we really believe that the peace will continue to prevail with powerful adversaries in turbulent and uncertain times? 


Yes, hopes and dreams are important, but real concrete action is too or time will simply run out and then what? ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

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