EarthTouch: Green Shopping Made Easy
Recognition that we human beings are all on a spaceship rose to the consciousness of greater humanity over 45 years ago, by two events in 1969. In March that year, R. Buckminster Fuller published his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, which was noticed by only a few people then. Dr. Bruce Hector was a student of Dr. R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller more than 40 years ago. By July of that year, most of the world saw the Earth as a small blue globe against the black background of space with the moon’s surface in the foreground. As Fuller noted then: “We’re Still on Spaceship Earth and Still Without a Dashboard.” The image of the Earth starkly contrasted with the heretofore held belief of humans as isolated tribes, communities, states, nations leading us to realize we are all alone together in space have no where else to go.
This was part of the stimulus to make us recognize the need to care for our spaceship leading to the Clean Air and Water Acts a few years later under Republican President Nixon. Recently Dr. Hector was rereading Dr. Fuller’s small book of 120 pages and discovered that there are two dominant themes from it that directly apply to the world today. In Operating Manual Fuller notes that humans were provided a wonderful life support regenerative system unknown anywhere else in universe. However, the Creator provided no operating manual and left it to humans to learn the principles operative in the universe and use them to fulfill our material needs.
Fuller also noted that the human “nest” was equipped with millions of years of fossil fuel reserves to power our success until we are self-generating but that we have used a large portion of those fossil fuel reserves in a miniscule 150 years. These were the fuel reserves to serve ALL HUMANKIND for ALL TIME, not just a few generations. The book urged humans to mature on this planet, transfer to renewable energy sources identifying many of the numerous opportunities that have since been proven capable of meeting man’s needs. Hence my (Woodrow Clark) book The Green Industrial Revolution documents the current concerns today and what the solutions are. Fuller was aware of the pollution created by fossil fuels though he is also famous for saying, “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting,” indicating this too is simply a design failure on human being’s part.
A second important point “Bucky” Fuller makes is that while humankind has been extremely successful as a species growing from about 1.5 billion in 1900 to more than 7 billion now, and expected to reach 9-10 billion by mid-century, we still have not evolved an accounting system for monitoring the impact of our activities. He bemoaned our failure to measure scientifically or in many cases even recognize the impact of our industrial activities because these events often occur outside the narrow range of the electromagnetic spectrum our senses can perceive. Most of the activity of the universe is unseen by humans but well known to be questionable by corporations and governments. Ninety-seven percent of companies fail to provide data on key sustainability indicators
Earth Accounting is the effort of a dedicated but as yet small group to create this real world activity accounting system and present it to people in a form useful to consumers who are responsible for 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This presentation will allow consumers to use their purchasing power to promote sustainable industrial development. When refined it can also allow each consumer to monitor his “footprint,” empowering him to reduce his environmental impact. Who knows, perhaps one day humanity may even recognize that it is more important to tax a person’s planetary impact than his monetary income? Getting accurate and validated information on products, goods and services will help consumer awareness and then consumption. The result will be a dramatic result and change lowering greenhouse gases, carbon emissions and pollution.
For example, recently, in the December 2104 issue of Nutrition Action Letter, Executive Director Michael F. Jackson wrote a memo article titled “Good Luck” which noted five issues the FDA has authority to resolve but is unlikely to do so quickly: 1) setting regulations for food borne illness, 2) reducing antibiotic use in livestock; 3) banning partially hydrogenated oil; 4) setting standards for sodium intake; and 5) compelling food chains to note the calories of their menu items.
After each Jackson notes the lack of progress concluding that if consumers feel they will be protected—“Good Luck.” The public overwhelmingly wants this information, but government appears to be impotent to compel industry to provide it to us. Or “influenced” by companies to “not care.” With this history about something as important as the food we eat, one can imagine how long it will take for government to show appropriate concern about the impact of industrial processes on our Spaceship Earth!
Everyone should recognize these sad facts, which is another reason for the creation of the consumer-empowering app, EarthTouch being developed by Earth Accounting. We consumers must create the tools we need and history indicates neither industry nor government is likely to do so. We welcome your participation in this truly market driven approach to sustainability. For more information click here.
In less than one week, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke will submit his final recommendations to President Trump on whether 27 national monuments around the country should be downsized, eliminated, transferred to state control or left alone.
But as Aaron Weiss, the media director of the conservation group Center for Western Priorities, pointed out: "Rather than spending his final week hearing from local communities who have worked tirelessly to protect their natural and cultural heritage as national monuments, Secretary Zinke is on vacation in the Mediterranean. His wife, Lola Zinke, tweeted a picture early this morning of herself and Secretary Zinke enjoying a sunrise on the Bosphorus Strait."
Energy Transfer Partners' controversial $4.3 billion Rover pipeline has more negative inspection reports than any other major interstate natural gas pipeline built in the last two years, according to a new Bloomberg analysis.
The 713-mile pipeline, which will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and Canada, has been stalled from numerous environmental violations, including a 2 million gallon drilling fluid spill into an Ohio wetland in April.
'A Major Win for New Yorkers': Court of Appeals Upholds State's Denial of Water Quality Certification for Constitution Pipeline
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld New York State's denial of a water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline Friday, a critical win for the Attorney General's office and the state's authority to take necessary action to protect its waters and natural resources. The appeals court noted that the state is entitled to "conduct its own review of the Constitution Project's likely effects on New York waterbodies and whether those effects would comply with the state's water quality standards."
New York must be able to do what's necessary to protect our environment—and we're glad that the court agreed.
By Anne Bolen
On Aug. 21, for the first time since 1918, a total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. from coast to coast. Along the path of totality, the moon will completely block out the sun, turning day to twilight for nearly three minutes. While a partial eclipse will be visible throughout the U.S., millions will be flocking to spots along the path of totality, which begins in Salem on Oregon's coast about 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and exits the nation at Charleston, South Carolina, where maximum coverage will occur about 2:47 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Perhaps no other natural event will inspire so many people to go outdoors.
The Trump administration released an environmental review Thursday of Hilcorp Alaska's Arctic offshore drilling development. Hilcorp plans to build a 9-acre artificial island and 5.6-mile pipeline in the Beaufort Sea for its offshore drilling project. The Trump administration's draft environmental impact statement proposes to greenlight the dangerous drilling plan, which would be a first for federal waters in the Arctic.
The incident was detailed in several Facebook posts from Equinac, a Spanish marine wildlife conservation group.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the 2011 "Water Bottle Ban" that allowed parks to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. That same day, news emerged that the Trump administration removed a nine-slot Capital Bikeshare station at the White House that was requested and installed during the Obama years and used by staffers.
By Catherine Collentine
This week, a federal court ruled that the Obama administration over-penalized Exxon for dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of a pollutant onto the streets of Mayflower and threw out a number of safety violations levied against Exxon on the basis that the company met its legal obligations to consider the risks associated with the pipeline.