Monday, December 26, 2011

Tis the season - for new LED lightbulbs!

Today is the day to use those gift cards you got to help save yourself some money and the planet too. Based on this morning's trip to Home Depot, I have updated my lifetime cost calculations for LED/CFL/Incandescent bulbs. The chart is based on recessed lights, 65-75W equivalent R-30 bulbs, 5 yrs use per day, $.12 kWh electricity price. These lights are very common in the houses in my neighborhood. The LED bulbs are down to $30 each, so get our there and replace those old bulbs!

On a related note, 40w equivalent LED bulbs in A-19 (standard bulb shape) are selling for only $10 a piece. This is a great deal - I got 5 of these today for a dimmable fixture and they work great! Anyone care to work the payback numbers for those? Please leave a comment if you do!

Total Lifetime costs of light bulbs

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New report from Dr. Janette Sherman, MD

PRESS RELEASE - Janette D. Sherman, MD

This report, "An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the United States Follows Arrival of the Radioactive Plume from Fukushima:  Is There a Correlation?" published in the Internat. J. of Health Sciences  today, is not new science, but confirms research done over the decades as to adverse effects caused by radioisotopes to the unborn and the very young because of their rapidly developing cells, immature immunological systems and relatively small weight.

As background, in the 1950s, I worked for the Atomic Energy Commission (the forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) at the Radiation Laboratory, University of California in Berkeley and the US Navy Radiation Laboratory at Hunter's Point in San Francisco.  Near 60 years ago, we learned that radiation could damage animals and plants and cause cancer, genetic damage, and other problems.

The issue of the danger from nuclear power plants is not just the engineering, but biology and chemistry. We have understood for decades where and how radioisotopes interact with life systems.

Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 have half-lives of  approx 30 years.  It takes 10 half-lives for an isotope to fully decay, thus it will take 300 years or Three Centuries before radioactive cesium and strontium will be gone. Cs134, Cs-137 and Sr-90 continue to be released from Fukushima in tons of contaminated water that is making its' way across the Pacific Ocean.  Cesium concentrates in soft tissue, strontium in bones and teeth, of the unborn and young.

Immediately after Chernobyl the level of thyroid disease increased.  Given the large amounts of radioactive iodine (I-131) released from Fukushima, thyroid disease will develop in those exposed in Japan, as well as in those exposed to lesser amounts throughout the northern hemisphere.  Public health officials need to anticipate and prepare for these findings.

The highest levels of I-131 measured by EPA in precipitation varied from a high of 390 pico Curies (pCi) in Boise to 92 in Boston, with intermediate levels in Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Jacksonville and Olympia, WA.   (Normal is @ 2 pCi)

Not every system was evaluated after Chernobyl, but of those that were:  wild and domestic animals, birds, fish, plants, fungi, bacteria, viruses - even humans - were altered by the radiation, often for generations. Birds in the 30-kilometer "exclusion zone" of Chernobyl display small brain size, alterations of normal coloration, poor survival of offspring, and poor adaptability to stress,

Recent, independent studies conducted in Scandinavia shows a decline on academic performance in children exposed during the Chernobyl fallout. 80% of children in Belarus are considered un-well by government standards.

Unless the earth stops tuning, and the laws of biology, chemistry and physics are rescinded, we will continue to see sickness and harm spread to the children of Fukushima, the same that occurred after Chernobyl.  We ignore history at our peril.

More information available at:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good videos on sustainability

Recently I have watched a couple of good videos explaining some of what is going on in the world in relation to energy, economics, environment and sustainability in general.

If you have limited time, this video by Tom Murphy is only 23 minutes but provides a very good explanation of why continued exponential growth is simply impossible:

Tom Murphy is an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and he also blogs about sustainability issues at: Do The Math. Here you can read more of Tom's analysis which is backed up by his knowledge of physics and his calculations based on actual physics formulas and real data.

For a much longer but still very good video to watch (it's around 3 hrs but comes in 19 parts), I recommend the "Crash Course" by Chris Martenson. Chris is a gentleman who has a PhD in neurotoxicology, an MBA in Finance and has studied in great detail some of the current economic, environmental and energy issues the world is facing today.

This video is available from his website (Chris Martenson dot com), or Sustainable Loudoun has a DVD copy. Chris also allows people to make copies of his DVD, please contact me if you would like a copy of your own.

These examples are just two of many resources available to learn about this unique time in history that we live in. If anyone has more examples they would like to share, please reply or comment on this post and I will update it with more resources.

Note: Myself or Sustainable Loudoun are not associated with either of the above mentioned individuals, I just think they have made some very informative presentations.