Report on Green Manufacturing in Ohio Reveals More Investment Necessary to Sustain Growth
The Ohio BlueGreen Apollo Alliance today released a report that provides a roadmap to create thousands of jobs in Ohio, ensuring the state remains competitive in the global marketplace as America’s Energy Gateway. Existing factors identified in a new report, The Ohio Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP), such as Ohio’s 630,000 skilled workers and strong manufacturing infrastructure, make it one of the best states in the nation for clean energy manufacturers to make new investments.
“Successful renewable energy programs and energy efficiency projects over the past few years have proven that there is significant potential for Ohio to meet the growing demands of the clean energy sector,” said Shanelle Smith, Ohio senior coordinator for the BlueGreen Alliance. “This report affirms it and proves that Ohio can’t afford to stand on the sidelines while other states and countries compete to win good jobs in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.”
Although Ohio has already taken steps to spur clean energy investments, the report identifies a menu of options where further incentives are necessary in order to continue growth. Those recommendations include: expanded financing and incentive support, prioritizing support for small- to mid-size clean energy manufacturers, expanding support for research and development, expanding workforce development programs to train employees for these new industries, expanding Ohio’s demand-side clean energy policies and pushing for improvements in clean energy manufacturing policy at the federal and regional levels.
“As Ohio continues to develop new clean energy sources like wind towers, the Ohio GreenMAP will help us create jobs, becoming a leading supplier and net exporter of those systems as well,” said Wendy Patton, senior project director at Policy Matters Ohio.
Nationally, clean energy job creation has shown to be more resilient than job creation in other sectors of the economy, especially during a recession. While other sectors of the economy have shed jobs over the past few years, the number of jobs created in renewable energy has increased.
“Clean energy manufacturing represents a major family-supporting job creation engine in Ohio, we have the empty factories and skilled workforce to capitalize on this opportunity, now is the time to use the GreenMAP to help put Ohioans back to work in good jobs making the things that America need most,” said Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor.
Outside of Ohio, the number of clean energy investments is accelerating. Global investment in green energy passed $1 trillion thanks to a record investment of $260 billion this year.
“Ohio can’t afford to wait while other states and nations retool to manufacture the clean energy technologies in high demand worldwide. This plan provides us with
a framework that will spur private investment and create clean energy manufacturing jobs in the state,” said Kimberly Gibson, director of the EWI Energy Center.
A significant number of Ohioans already work in the clean economy. Between 2003 and 2010, Ohio added 16,793 clean jobs, growing this sector of the economy by 2.5 percent annually. Clean energy jobs pay better than the average job in Ohio—paying $39,275 on average, which is over $3,500 more annually.
“Manufacturing for the clean energy sector in Ohio will not only put the unemployed back to work but will also reduce pollution and localize our energy sources, making us healthier and less dependent on foreign oil,” said Ashley Craig, senior environmental business specialist at the Environmental Law and Policy Center.
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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