Tags >> resources
Oct 20
2009

Bio-converter

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , resources , invasive species , Ideas , government , garbage , environment , design , conservation , climate change , chemicals , carbon , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Sonoma County inventor James McElvaney (right), has developed a system to convert organic waste into energy and other beneficial byproducts, one that creates the energy that powers it in the bargain.

Bob Hillman, McElvaney's partner in their start-up,  Bioconverter LLC,  sees their new technology as a tool to capture greenhouse gases while also combating invasive, non-native plants, such as the Ludwigia, or Creeping Water Primrose, now prevalent in the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

The company offers a more comprehensive explanation of their processes on the FAQ page of their website, but you can read an overview here.

The primary process of bioconversion takes place in a series of vertical tanks, such as those seen at left.  In addition to the environmental benefits of bioconversion, Hillman notes that it has the economic potential to actually fund some of those productive outcomes.

 

 

Oct 16
2009

Ecosystem Rights

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , trees , speaker , resources , protest , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , Marin , legislation , land rights , justice , international , Ideas , government , environment , conservation , climate change , birds , author , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

U.S. law gives constitutional rights to corporations. Now a countervailing legal theory is emerging that defines and defends the legal rights of the environment.

Mari Margill is Associate Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, based in their West Coast office in Portland, Oregon. But as she explains here, the organization's origins lie in Pennsylvania.


Obtaining legal standing for nature, says Margill, requires enacting new laws to spell that out, something that is beginning to happen in scattered local jurisdictions, but faces an uncertain future on appeal.

 

For more information about CELFD click here.

 

 

 

Oct 08
2009

The Immigrant Paradox

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , resources , poverty , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , medicine , jobs , immigration , housing , healthcare , Health , government , food , finances , families , events , employment , education , economy , community , children , California

Bruce Robinson

What segment of California’s population is healthiest?  It’s probably not what you would think.

As Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Iton (left) directed efforts to correlate data from death certificates, parole offices, income reports from the national census and other sources and see where they overlapped in his county. And he found a high correspondence to the areas where poverty is most prevalent.

Taking their cue from the social support systems that many immigrant families enjoy, Dr. Iton suggests that public health departments also instigate informal gatherings of residents in impoverished neighborhoods, as an additional tool for improving their collective well-being.

Dr.  Iton  also co-authored this report (pdf, 87 pages) detailing the relative medical and social factors that shape health outcomes among the population of Alameda County. Similar results apply in Sonoma County and much of California.

 

Sep 29
2009

Bill McKibben and 350.org

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , Santa Rosa , resources , policy , ocean , international , Ideas , events , environment , climate change , carbon , author , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Global warming has moved from a looming problem to an imminent crisis, warns environmental writer Bill McKibben, and the international campaign to demand action rests on a simple three digit number.

The urgency that underscores the 350 campaign is tied to the newly realized effects of the well-documented one degree increase in the temperature of the world’s oceans. Noted environmental writer Bill McKibben says that until recently, it was believed that was not enough of a difference to trigger the cascading changes that are now being documented.

 

Even if humankind is successful in tempering the worse effects of global warming, McKibben says it will take generations to bring atmospheric carbon levels back down to 350 or less.

 

  Bill Mckibben is the author of The End of Nature and numerous other books on environmental issues, including the newly published Bill McKibben Reader. He’ll be talking about the 350 campaign  on Friday, October 2 at Sonoma County Day School in Santa Rosa.