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Featured in this newsletter :
- A huge fracking mess - part 2
- Earth day events coming up valley-wide
- Uses of Desert Native Plants ~ Yesterday & Today
- Video of the week : Sustainability in 7 - Cradle to Cradle
- The PSGS bulletin board
A huge fracking mess - part 2
March 6 PSGS newsletter reported on what is behind the current push by
oil & gas companies who are agressively promoting "natural
gas" as a clean energy. Our research helps establish the terminology
and background issues - a useful read if you haven't seen it yet (scroll down to "ClearEdge").
Some may think
that this issue is not really relevant to us here in the desert, and
that we are far away from the communities that are suffering from the
severe pollution caused by the no longer "natural" gas wells.
Well, we should be concerned. Oil & gas companies are
morphing themselves into "energy solutions consultants", and are
advising certain cities in the valley to buy into the myth of CLEAN
gas. It is very tempting to just focus on the fact that as end
users, gas emits less greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels - in our
efforts to become more sustainable, our cities are tracking on reducing
the level of emissions in the valley. So it's very tempting to ignore
the global footprint of shale gas and buy into the benefits as end
A new report from Cornell University confirms the dark underside of shale gas:
The new kid on the energy block, shale gas, may be worse in climate change terms than coal, a study concludes.
Drawn from rock through a
controversial "fracking" process, some hail the gas as a "stepping
stone" to a low-carbon future and a route to energy security.
But US researchers found that shale gas wells leak substantial amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
This makes its climate impact worse than conventional gas, they say - and probably worse than coal as well.
"Natural gas has been widely touted as a clean energy source that will
help the U.S. transition to renewable energy options while lowering
greenhouse gas emissions relative to other fossil fuels. While it is
true that end-use combustion of natural gas emits markedly less carbon
dioxide (CO2) than other fossil energy sources, methane (CH4) losses
during modern gas exploration and development, as well as processing,
transmission and distribution may fully negate these CO2 savings. A
full accounting of modern gas development indicates that natural gas
may actually exacerbate, rather than mitigate, global climate change."
"We have produced the first
comprehensive analysis of the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas,"
said lead author Robert Howarth from Cornell University in Ithaca, US.
"We have used the best available
data [and] the conclusion is that shale gas may indeed be quite
damaging to global warming, quite likely as bad or worse than coal,"
"We should not proceed to view shale gas as a 'transitional fuel' to be
used over the next few decades to replace other fossil fuels, but
rather work harder to move towards truly green renewable fuels as
quickly as possible, such as wind and solar."
Quotes from Robert Howarth, Cornell University
Natural Gas Dirtier Than Coal
Climate Impacts of Shale Gas Development
you for contacting your Members of Congress earlier this week about
restoring clean air and drinking water protections for communities
impacted by the unprecedented gas drilling boom underway in this
country—brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic
fracturing or "fracking."
was a busy week for oil and gas companies trying to defend their unfair
loopholes in the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Air Acts.
While victory is still a ways off, we think we've all earned at least a two-minute break.
what better way to spend those two minutes than by watching a short,
funny animated video about fracking, featuring the dastardly Oil and
Gas Twins? Watch it, chuckle, and pass it along to your friends and
Because the earth needs a good lawyer
People in cities and towns all around the country are finding ways to
protect the things they love from fracking. Jim and Jen Slotterback of
Pennsylvania are among them. Don't miss a short film on Slotterbacks'
journey to save their favorite park from gas drilling—and learn how you
too can protect the areas you love from fracking.
|"The take-home message of our study is that if you do an integration of
20 years following the development of the gas, shale gas is worse than
conventional gas and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil,"
Howarth said. "We are not advocating for more coal or oil, but rather to
move to a truly green, renewable future as quickly as possible. We need
to look at the true environmental consequences of shale gas."|
Earth day events coming up valley-wide
Before April 20th
Uses of Desert Native Plants ~ Yesterday & Today
The SummerTree Institute presents
Uses of Desert Native Plants ~ Yesterday & Today
Presented by Robin Kobaly - Botanist, Founder & President
of The Power of Plants, and Executive Director of The SummerTree Institute
Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 12:30 – 3:30 pm
Covington Park Community Center
11165 Vale Drive, Morongo Valley, CA
This three-hour class offers a fascinating look at ancient and tribal
uses of desert medicinal and food plants, and presents ways to adapt
those uses to fit today’s needs. Find out why these powerful native
plants’ survival strategies make them so useful to us today.
includes demonstrations and samples, and an interpretive walk through
nearby native plant settings with tips on identifying and harvesting
native plant species.
$25 tax deductible donation for the
class. Spaces limited – RSVP required. To reserve your space or for
more information about this Spring Fundraiser, call The SummerTree
Institute at (760) 363-7229 or email email@example.com
|Video of the week |
Sustainability in 7 - Cradle to Cradle
world in which all the things we make, use, and consume provide
nutrition for nature and industry—a world in which growth is good and
human activity generates a delightful, restorative ecological footprint.
may seem like heresy to many in the world of sustainable development,
the destructive qualities of today’s cradle-to-grave industrial system
can be seen as the result of a fundamental design problem, not the
inevitable outcome of consumption and economic activity. Indeed, good
design—principled design based on the laws of nature—can transform the
making and consumption of things into a regenerative force."
McDonough needs no introduction for anyone with an interest in
environmental design: he's been exploring sustainability through
architectural practice for some twenty years now, and his insights are
more relevant than ever. In this edition of Sustainability in 7, Bill
discusses the notion of "Cradle to Cradle," covering everything from
reversing entropy to butterfly hatcheries. Designers Accord -
Sustainability in 7 - Bill McDonough
Prior "Work with the planet, not against it!" postings:
millions of years life on Earth has persisted and evolved in concert
with the chemical, physical and biological processes in the
environment. The advent of the Age of Liquid Fossil Fuels brought
humanity the ability to jump start and force-march many of these
processes at terrible cost to the planet's environmental viability. In
the waning days of the Oil Age, it is time for humanity to relearn the
lessons of the past tens of thousands of years of civilization: life,
human and otherwise, on Planet Earth can recover and maintain its
viability and sustainability only as we rediscover working WITH this
planet's environment, animate and inanimate, not against it!" John Cooper
The PSGS bulletin board
Introducing the Green Earth Film Festival
Opening with two days of film
Benefiting the Natural Science Collaborative and the S.C.R.A.P Gallery
The Natural Science Collaborative announces the First Annual Green Earth Film Festivalto
be held in the Coachella Valley of California on April 22 and 23,
2011. Screenings of award winning environmental films will be hosted by
the Natural Science Collaborative and Desert EcoFest @ Aqua Soleil
14500 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, and the S.C.R.A.P. Gallery and
CoachellaValleyGreen.com at the Green Zone in Palm Desert.
The First Annual Green Earth Film Festival will be a soft opening, aimed at raising awareness and support for the Festival’s formal debut in April of 2012.
Screenings are free
with a suggested donation to benefit the Natural Science Collaborative
and the S.C.R.A.P. Gallery. There is a suggested donation of $2 at the
Desert EcoFest @Aqua Soleil.
15th Slow Food Desert Cities Farm To Table Fundraiser Details
A convivial Spring celebration to remember, with delicious
foods prepared by local celebrity chefs. We are expecting some 15
chefs, and each will be featuring sustainably grown produce from
local farms in their dishes. A few farmers and artisans will also
be joining us and showcasing their products.
There will be live music, wine, local beer and good cheer.
Teachers from the local schools whose gardens we are funding will
sell the childrens' artwork and a silent auction will feature
unique Reginald Pollack fine art. The raffle includes numerous
goodies such as gift certificates for gourmet meals, foot
massages, spa packages, interpretive hikes, hair salon treatments,
30-day gym memberships, and more.
This wonderful and upbeat event is happening on the beautiful
grounds of the MiraMonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells.
Looking forward to seeing you there! Tell your friends too.
Supporting local school gardens & growing the greens!
The World Environmental & Water Resources Congress is an important
opportunity for professionals in the environmental and water fields to
convene and focus on topics of the day. This year's technical program
focuses on “Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability”. It is important that
the environmental and engineering community integrate sustainability, in
dealing with today’s issues whether they be technical, economic,
social, environmental or political.
Registration is open. More information.