Friday, August 29, 2008

Is Global Warming Causing More Hurricanes?

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the answer is "No."

I found an article at National Geographic, in which NOAA has stated that Global Warming will actually decrease the amount of hurricanes and tropical storms. They say that this theory will always be something that is up to debate. In 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, along with 27 other tropical storms that year, the debate about Global Warming really took off. However, NOAA's studies show that by the year 2060, these storms will be reduced by 18%. The drawback to that, is that when a hurricane or tropical storm does in fact hit, "hurricane winds could increase by about 2 percent, and rainfall within 30 miles (48 kilometers) of a hurricane's center could increase by 37 percent."

I started thinking about all of this when I first heard about Gustav (which has now officially become a hurricane), that is happening in Jamaica right now and making its way towards the Gulf of Mexico. I still don't know who to believe on whether global warming is increasing these storms, but I do agree that it will be debated for a long time to come.

When rain or garden hose and sprinkler water flows into the gutter, it carries all pollutants along with it into the Storm drain, Usually the pollutants are motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, grass clippings, paint and pet waste. Usually whatever flows into a storm drain, flows directly into our local creeks and lakes; ending in our ocean. This is a bad thing because the polluted water is harmful to humans as well as wildlife.

* Motor oil is never to be put in the trash or poured on the ground. It is recyclable so you can take it to any auto store and they will dispose of it for you.

* The pesticides that are washed off of your lawn are toxic to our environment. In most cases these pesticides are lethal to living creatures. The best way to go is using non-toxic pesticides.

* After your done painting and it is time to wash off your paint brushes, if your using a latex water based paint, you can wash your brush right there in the kitchen sink. However if you are using oil based paints, you must clean your brushes in a container with solvent. After you are finished washing them you can dispose of the liquids by taking them to a household hazardous waste center.

* Pet waste is harmful because it contains a bacteria that can easily spread disease. The proper way to dispose of it, is to seal it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Do not hose it off into the storm drain.

* When disposing of your yard clippings, you can either leave the clippings ion the lawn or composite them. By leaving them on the lawn, you actually reduce water loss and the need for fertilizer. When using the composting method, nature allows your green waste to be broken down back into the earth.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teacher Enforces Awareness on Alternative Energies

Ben Vander Heiden a teacher at Woodbridge Elementary School in Lodi, CA was mentioned in a recent article posted on for his teaching efforts towards alternative energy awareness. Ben has been taking the extra effort to show his students how important our environment is by focusing his science lessons on alternative energy over the past several years. Every year Ben's students participate in the annual Solar Olympics submitting class inventions. The article is located on and is worth taking the time out to read it over. The responses from the students show how early education on energy and water efficiency can help improve the future of our environment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Search the Internet and Save the Rain Forest

Brazilian rain forest. Photo by Christoph Diewald via Flickr.

How many times a day do you use Google to search for stuff? 10? 20? 100 maybe? Now think what would happen if every time you searched with Google you saved part of the rain forest. Wouldn't that be cool? That's exactly the idea some creative developers had when they came up with Forestle (Forest + Google).

Forestle uses Google's Adsense for publishers to generate revenue. Translation: every time you click a sponsored ad (just like millions of people do on websites everyday) the proceeds (minus operating costs of course) are given to The Nature Conservancy to use to purchase acres of rain forest land as part of their Adopt an Acre program.

Not a bad deal. Looks like a "win-win" to me. So go ahead, start searching. Don't forget to spread the word. The more people using Forestle the more rain forest can be saved.

Click here to search on Forestle

Photo by Christoph Diewald via Flickr.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Deals For Renewable Power

I was researching last week and came across two articles, one was regarding PG&E's plans to buy 800 megawatts of solar power, the other was Southern California Edison just signed a 20-year contract for 909 megawatts of wind power. I believe that both of this companies are doing this in an effort to meet the state's renewable portfolio standard.

For SCE it will provide more than 10% of its renewable power. As for the PG&E's plans it should provide electricity to at least 239,000 homes and hopeful that it would increase their renewable energy to 24% by 2013. Since they are required to have at least 20% of their electricity come from renewable energy sources by the year 2010, these two deals should help them reach that goal.

Tommy Lee and Ludacris Duke It Out to Prove Who is the Most Green

So what happens when you take a famous rock star and pit him against one of the top rappers in a battle to see who can be the most green? Well to find out you need to be watching Battleground Earth on Planet Green (part of the Discovery Channel Networks) where rocker Tommy Lee is battling Ludacris to see who is the most green.

I've seen several of these episodes and it's a great show. Every episode features an assignment they must complete. Along they way they pull in celebrities and friends to help out. Each show features a different way you can be green.

To check it out go to or check with your local cable or satellite provider to find out where you can find Planet Green then follow along as Tommy Lee and Ludacris prank, tease and taunt each other while helping spread the word that "little changes add up to big savings".