I N · T H I S · I S S U E
The current heat wave sweeping California and the nation, and many parts of the world is historic, but hopefully not a sneak preview of things to come. Imagine concurrent rotating power outages in Calgary; record temperatures in the Szechuan Province and much of Europe; air conditioner sales in the Arctic; and over 100 heat-related deaths in California alone.
Is this a freak incident? Or, as many of us suspect, could our climate possibly be changing so rapidly? Have we reached a tipping point where the effects of global warming -- ice melt, more open sea for solar absorbancy, then more extreme weather patterns -- cycle ever faster? Is Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth squarely on target? What do you think? Write and let us know.
I’m concerned about the severity of the heat wave. Extreme temperatures’ control over our lives is enormous, causing each of us to seek refuge. Life support systems are stretched. Cooling stations are being established; cattle are dying; power usage is off the charts. This week California’s grid of power plants and 25,000 transmission lines managed to deliver 50,270 MW, up 11% from last summer’s peak, 21% above the California Power Crisis levels in 2001, and a level predicted for 2011. In Los Angeles, peak demand rose to 6,164 MW, up 9% from last summer’s 5,667 MW peak.
What caused the global heat wave? Was it a “perfect storm” or a harbinger of things to come? Without question, atmospheric CO2 concentration is a factor. If the Earth were a basketball, painted with a coat of varnish, the atmosphere would be the thickness of the varnish. Close your eyes and imagine some major form of pollution, get an image from your mind of a power plant, or a dirty exhaust pipe, or oil refinery along the 405 or Jersey Turnpike. Now relate that to the varnish- thin shroud of atmosphere. The metaphor provides a compelling case of the incompatibility of these realities. And they provide the EcoMotion Network – see Member Heat Wave Actions, right -- with far more than ample impetus for concerted and consistent eco-action.
Apple Computer's Take-Back Program
Apple is now offering U.S. customers in all 48 contiguous states recycling of their old computers – regardless of manufacturer -- when they buy a Mac. Customers receive an e-mail from Apple with instructions and a label for free shipping and recycling. Apple asserts that all received equipment is recycled domestically; no hazardous material is shipped overseas. Apple continues to offer a free iPod recycling program, providing environmentally friendly disposal of any unwanted iPod and a 10% discount on the purchase of a new iPod. The company also operates a free drop-off recycling service at its headquarters in Cupertino for used computer systems and home electronics.
More EcoMotion News Readers:
"I saw 'An Inconvenient Truth' and am all jazzed about having a more energy- efficient lifestyle.”
Nicki Marshall, Dancer, Brooklyn, New York
“Great work. Just love this news letter.”
Casey Coates Danson, President, Global Possibilities
“Thanks for including me on your EcoMotion mailing list. Feel free to add me to the non-celebrities driving Priuses!”
David Nemtzow, former president, Alliance to Save Energy
“If you need help, I'll recruit my family and friends to help EcoMotion’s very worthy cause!”
Dion Strombotne, Owner, Orion Printing