Welcome to Rocket Trike Diaries—a 10 week video tour of the 2011 "Ride for Renewables: No Tar Sands Oil On American Soil!" Join Renewable Rider Tom Weis as he pedals his rocket trike 2,150 miles through America’s heartland in support of landowners fighting TransCanada’s toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline scheme. Here are the video entries from Week One:
Video Entry #1: Keystone XL "Tour of Resistance" Launched
Harvard Ayers films Renewable Rider Tom Weis officially launching the Keystone XL "Tour of Resistance" in Loring, MT (pop. 11) on October 13, 2011. From Loring, he will ride 16 miles north to the U.S./Canada border before following the route of the proposed pipeline south to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Video Entry #2: Renewable Rider Crosses U.S./Canada Border
Renewable Rider Tom Weis briefly crosses into Canada before pedaling south across the U.S./Canada border at the beginning of the "Ride for Renewables: No Tar Sands Oil On American Soil!"
Video Entry #3: Renewable Rider Draws Line in Sand at U.S./Canada Border
Renewable Rider Tom Weis draws his own personal line in the sand against TransCanada's toxic "Keystone XL" tar sands pipeline proposal at the U.S./Canada border.
Video Entry #4: Spiritual Leader: American Ingenuity Can Power Our Future
Renewable Rider Tom Weis hears George Horse Capture, Jr., a spiritual leader of the Gros Ventre Tribe in Fort Belknap, MT, talk about American ingenuity and the need to protect Native and non-Native cultures from the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. George blessed the event with a prayer, before Rose Main, Roberta Werk and Gertrude Werk set off on horseback for a solidarity ride with Weis.
Video Entry #5: Tribal Member Calls Oil "Tool of Greed"
Renewable Rider Tom Weis hears Ken Main of the White Clay Nation in Fort Belknap, MT state his opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Calling oil a "tool of greed" that is draining everybody, Ken encourages all races to work together in support of renewable energy solutions: "We're meant to be happy... We shouldn't have to struggle and pay all these oil companies just so that we can live."
Video Entry #6: Imitation of Tommy Weis Pedaling Rocket Trike
Renewable Rider Tom Weis watches Robe Walking of the White Clay Nation in Fort Belknap, Montana playfully imitate him riding his rocket trike. Robe dubs it the "Tommy Weis meditation program."
Video Entry #7: Montana Mother to Obama: "You Are a Liar and a Coward."
Renewable Rider Tom Weis hears Ruth Marshall of Fort Belknap, MT call out President Obama on his "crimes against this earth." Saying, "people are getting sick, people are dying, they're suffering," she says we need to show some dignity and "stand up" to transnational corporations. Asking how much money it would take to give cancer to her baby, she says blocking Keystone XL may be one of Barack Obama's only chances for "redemption."
Video Entry #8: Tribal Member: "We Have the Owners Manual"
Renewable Rider Tom Weis listens to Jake Good Bear of the Mandan and Hidatsa Tribes of North Dakota share a prophecy of his Clan. Jake believes President Obama has a "sacred responsibility" to protect America, which he says the Natives used to call "ours," saying, "We know how to fix the problems in America because we have the owners manual."
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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