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Four Corners Electronics RecyclingRecycle Now!
Four Corners Recycling InitiativeThe mission of the Four Corners Recycling Initiative is to promote sustainable living through waste diversion and recycling, education and outreach, and economic opportunities without increasing the tax burden on those we serve.
Stop the Junk Mail MonsterEco-Cycle Do-It-Yourself instructions
41pounds.org Hands off, 100% guaranteed, 5 year, non-profit service costs $41
Check Your Appliance Power UseCheck out Kill-a-Watts at
Mancos Public Library Do you know what your refrigerator, freezer or other household appliances are costing you per month? Empire Electric and the Mancos Public Library have teamed up to help you determine how you are using your electricity in your home. Empire Electric has donated KILL-A-WATT METERS that you can check out just as you would a book. Take it home, plug it in and test your electric consumption! It is free but electricity is not.
Lotsa Useful Links
The EC has five goals that guide our work* Empower students
* Make sustainability a community effort
* Strengthen community-based learning and research
* Encourage innovation
* Integrate environmental and social justice issues (read more)
Partners in protecting the agricultural lifestyle in Montezuma County.(read more)
Dolores and Mancos Conservation Districts
The La Plata Climate and Energy Action Plan project provides a concrete and systematic way for concerned citizens to volunteer and get involved right now in identifying the many ways, large and small, that our community, individuals, governments, businesses, and other groups can reduce greenhouse gasses throughout La Plata County.(read more...)
Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency
Read more... "People´s Climate Stewardship Act": A Simple Carbon Fee with Revenue Returned to Americans
Environment Tech Sites
and Climate Events
Four Corners Power Plant
October 6, 2010 − Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Best Available Retrofit Technology Determination for Four Corners Power Plant
EPA proposes to cut NOx emissions at nation’s largest source, Four Corners Power Plant
... Read More
Union of Concerned Scientists Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. To protect the health and economic well−being of current and future generations, we must reduce our emissions of heat−trapping gases by using the technology, know−how, and practical solutions already at our disposal.
Nasa's Global Climate Change Site contains the latest information regarding climate change in very readable format. The site is by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech.
June 2010 NewsletterRead it here if you didn´t get it by email.
Local Environment Tech
Local, State, National
What is Carbon Footprint?
First, why "carbon"?
Carbon is the essential element common to almost all lifeforms on this planet. Its the thread running through, and stitching together, earth's biology.
So it's not surprising that carbon shows up in the gasses produced by virtually all biological processes. This is true of bovine belches, decomposition of flora/fauna and, most critically, combustion of the substances lifeforms leave behind. That is to say, burning of wood, coal, petroleum, etc. Its also not surprising then that carbon is the basic component of the most common greenhouse gasses.
Call it poetic license.
Each of us active earthlings enjoy a modern life that is, so far, made possible by (pardon the alliteration) carbon carcass combustion. Carbon stuff powers our lifestyle.
Each of us consumers can be associated with the amount of carbon burnt to support our activities and make our "stuff". In a way, we're each responsible for the amount of greenhouse gasses produced on our behalf... our footprint.
It's how much greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to an individual or to anything else like a country or a factory whose "carbon footprint" we're calculating. This can be "primary" (your car burned the gas) or "secondary" (you bought something and its manufacture or distribution caused the gas emissions). Tracking secondary emissions will keep the carbon accountants busy.
It's not the carbon itself that's the problem, but the greenhouse gasses, the most common of which are carbonaceous in nature.
What Does Greenhouse Gas Mean?
Now comes the less well known part.
We have all held our hands out toward a campfire or woodstove to warm them. It was infra-red radiation coming from the fire or stove that was warming our hands. In this same way, the earth cools by sending some of its heat back into outer space.
That's not the only way things cool off, but its the way the earth cools to balance the sun's heating.
Here's the "greenhouse" trick part.
Thus the earth and its atmosphere trap some of the sun's energy but lose some back into space.
The amount of these gasses in the atmosphere determines the amount of the IR from the earth that gets out versus the amount trapped as heat. How much heat is trapped by "bouncing" back and forth between earth and atmosphere is determined by the atmosphere's greenhouse gas content.
The amount of energy (heat) trapped has kept the planet comfy or cold (ice age) due in large part to the rising or falling greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.
But now the excess greenhouse gasses we're creating are building to levels that haven't existed on earth since back near the dinosaur's reign and beyond when the planet reached much higher temperatures (as much as 12C or 21F higher on average).
Heating something as large as our planet takes a while, and in spite of the tremendous amounts of extra energy being trapped, the temperature hasn't moved much yet (not quite 2F). Picture heating a cast iron frying pan to cooking temperature with a heat lamp.
How Long Do We Have?
The main scientific discussion now is how long before we lose the ability to affect whether the temperature rises to a level that makes life as we know it difficult or impossible.
Once in the atmosphere, CO2 lasts a long time. Additionally, the rising temperatures will eventually release huge stores of methane which is now trapped in the frozen arctic tundra and under the ocean floors as frozen methane hydrate. Methane is about 23 times as effective at trapping heat from IR light as CO2 is. Once this self-sustaining methane release feed-back loop gets rolling, we will have little if any ability to affect the outcome.
There are strong global hints in the expansion of deserts, melting glaciers, rising oceans, increasing scarcity of fresh water, reduced productivity of oceans and soils, movement of habitation zones toward the poles, etc, that we have a very short time to act... maybe as little as 10 years.