DART Misses the Bullseye with its Greenwashing Efforts…

Styrofoam fights come and go. NYC was stopped from enacting its styrofoam ban by good legal maneuvering by DART Corporation and by DART’s ridiculous claims that styrofoam food containers are easy to recycle.

The reality is that anything can probably be recycled from a pure chemistry standpoint. The point is, can it be sustainably recycled?

In this case, the answer is no. Styrofoam is essentially air and polystyrene. When recyclers move materials they need to move large loads by weight over the shortest distance possible with the material having the greatest value possible.

Styrofoam food packaging fails on almost all fronts. It does have a potential value, but shipping it to the midwest is not the solution.

Styrofoam beads in residue

It is also a significant contaminant as you can see in the photos posted. These photos are at a paper mill that makes new paper from old cardboard boxes. All that white junk is styrofoam packaging. Not really useful.

Styrofoam in pulp residue

Styrofoam food packaging is a product whose time has come and gone. It is not sustainable, it is harmful from an environmental standpoint and it wastes resources.

Any claims to the contrary are greenwashing.

Read the full article:
N.J. schools make efforts to ban Styrofoam food containers

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Pity the BeeKeeper

Of the 100 crops that account for 90% of the food eaten by people; 71% are pollinated by bees…So notes the NY Times in its recent article on beekeepers. But, as I have noted before, bees are having a very hard time of it lately…and as noted before, many are dying each year. Indeed, the article notes that 44% died as of April 2016 compared to 17% on a bad year in the past.

beekeeperWhat does that mean? Well, besides the cost of food rising, it means that something is killing the very creatures that our food supply relies upon. And more importantly, no one really knows why this is happening.

There is strong evidence that pesticides are the culprit, but other causes are also possible.

Now, let me say that the thrust of this article is that the largest beekeepers have a good deal of work to help them financially. However, it is not always about the money (the President’s personal views notwithstanding).

We need to carefully examine the issues around bee death.

More importantly, each of us should do something that helps bees do well. That means that we can improve our own backyards to enhance bee habitat. Look into this if you will and do your small part.

Read the full article:
A Bee Mogul Confronts the Crisis in His Field
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Water, a Terrible Thing To Waste

In a series of articles with part one just being issued by the New York Times, we see what happens when people build in a manner that works against natural systems rather than working with natural systems. It is painfully obvious that Mexico City is a city on the verge of collapse, both figuratively and physically because of water; or should I say a lack of water.

water

The City was built on and over ancient wetlands and acquires. But rather than learn from those who built the city, The Aztecs, who, in their wisdom built their city in such a way so as to work with the water in the area, the Mexican government allowed and is still allowing for the destruction of acquires, paving of recharge areas, the overuse of water and the pollution of that same water.

Here we have a major city that still emits raw sewerage into open air canals.

This article is a good lesson on what happens when development is allowed to proceed unchecked, with no or ineffectual government regulation.

So, new Administration…and you know who I mean, do you really want to dismantle our environmental regulations? Well, you probably do, but may I just opine…that is dumb…

Read the full article:
Climate change is threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point.
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Nuclear Power Pull Out by Toshiba; A Proof that we need to be careful what we wish for.

With Toshiba/Westinghouse pulling out of the nuclear power plant market, we see further proof about the economic failure of this mode of power generation. To be sure, there are a number of factors that contributed to this event, from Fukushima to regulations as they are applied in the U.S.

This is not about reducing regulatory standards. But the pull out may trigger the law of unintended consequences.

As noted, in the U.S., nuclear power plants must meet stringent safety standards. This is clearly a good thing.

These standards are effectively exported by the large companies that design and build such plants in the U.S. But with this pull out, state owned plants and companies (clearly a bad idea) can and may very well lower their standards for safety in certain parts of the world. That is clearly a bad thing.

Any ideas?

Read the full article:
The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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