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Scotland: world 1st floating wind farm, built by offshore oil company, begun in 2016 now delivers electricity powering 20k homes

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18 Oct 2017 - First floating wind farm, built by offshore oil company, delivers electricity - Anchored, floating turbines allow offshore wind installations in deep waters.
The world’s first floating offshore wind farm began delivering electricity to the Scottish grid today.

The 30MW installation, situated 25km (15.5mi) from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, will demonstrate that offshore wind energy can be harvested in deep waters, miles away from land, where installing giant turbines was once impractical or impossible. At peak capacity, the wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 20,000 Scottish homes.

The installation, called Hywind Scotland, is also interesting because it was built by Statoil, a Norwegian mega-corporation known for offshore oil drilling. Statoil has pursued offshore wind projects in recent years, using the company's experience building and managing infrastructure in difficult open sea conditions to its advantage.

Hywind Scotland began producing power in September, and today it starts delivering electricity to the Scottish grid.

The five 6MW turbines are the first commercial turbines to lack a firm attachment to the seafloor. The towers extend 176m (577ft) above the water and 78m (256ft) below it. Each tower is capable of pitching its blades to reduce unwanted motion and optimize power output depending on the wind direction and strength.  read more »

Solar vs Coal: same power output from simplest equation: 1 square mile = 4 million barrels of oil

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Last Pacific Coast Coal Terminal Nixed - Industry’s dream to export U.S. coal to Asia is dead
The state of Washington's Department of Ecology has rejected a necessary water-quality permit sought by Millennium Bulk Logistics for its proposed coal-export terminal at Longview, Washington. Barring a successful appeal of the decision, this means the end of the line not only for Millennium's dream of building the largest coal-export facility in North America, but also for the coal industry's larger scheme to ship vast amounts of U.S. coal to Asian markets.

"This is the end," says Bruce Nilles, senior campaign director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. "Almost exactly seven years ago, Peabody Coal proposed its first project to move huge amounts of coal around the globe. This is a testament to the tens of thousands of people who raised their voices and said, 'Hell no.'"

Shipping coal abroad was supposed to be a lifeline for the U.S. coal industry, given plummeting domestic demand as renewables became cost-competitive with fossil fuels. With vast coal reserves readily available in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, coal companies pinned their hopes on exporting it to Asia via seven proposed terminals on the West Coast. With Longview blocked, coal opponents are now seven for seven in stopping those terminals. (The others were to be at Cherry Point and Grays Harbor in Washington; Port Westward, Coos Bay, and Port of Morrow in Oregon; and Oakland, California.)

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Sad: lifeless trophy and lion-less world. Cecil the Lion killed in 2015 and his 6-year-old son in 2017

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The son of Cecil the Lion, the beloved animal killed two years ago by a Minnesota dentist, was shot dead near a Zimbabwe park, officials said.

Lion guardians at the Hwange National Park posted on Facebook Thursday that Xanda, a 6-year-old lion with a family of young cubs, was shot dead a few days ago. He was killed not far from where Cecil died.

"Today we heard that a few days ago, Xanda, the son of #CecilTheLion has been shot on a trophy hunt," the post read.

"We can't believe that now, 2 years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub #Xanda has met the same fate," the park's lion guardians wrote on Facebook. "When will the Lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should."  read more »

21 Aug: moon & sun to align, cast 70mi shadow across N. America. Last total solar eclipse seen by entire US: 99yrs ago


Total Solar Eclipse


Lunar Eclipse: The moon appeared to turn red due to the way the reflected light is refracted in the Earth's atmosphere.


Blood Moon is sometimes used to describe 4 total lunar eclipses in a row.

People across North America will witness a rare total solar eclipse on 21 August.
The earth, moon and sun will momentarily align, casting a 70-mile wide shadow that will move across the US, from the west coast to the east coast. The millions of people living within this ‘path of totality’ – and the millions of others expected to travel to a location on the strip – will see a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely blocks out the sun, leaving the solar corona visible.
The last time the entirety of the US witnessed a total solar eclipse was 99 years ago.

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)  read more »

World most amazing bridges: Golden Gate, Sydney Harbour, Ponte Vecchio, Gateshead Millennium, Pont du Gard Aqueduct...


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Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, United States
Now over 75 years old, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is arguably the most recognizable bridge in the world.


Sydney Harbour Bridge: Sydney, Australia
Nicknamed "The Coat Hanger" by Sydney locals because of its arch-based design, the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 and is a focal point of Aussie pride and celebrations.
For aspiring bridge climbers, BridgeClimb offers people just that.
Every year for New Year's Eve the bridge itself is used to complement fireworks displays creating various effects like smiley faces and a disco ball.


Ponte Vecchio: Florence, Italy
A Medieval bridge over the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio is mainly known for its shops of jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers and for being Europe's oldest stone, closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge.
It has a rich history dating back to the time of the Romans. During World War II the bridge was not destroyed by the Nazis -- unlike many other bridges in Europe -- under an express order from Adolf Hitler.


Brooklyn Bridge: New York City, United States
Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic feature of New York.


Gateshead Millennium Bridge: Gateshead, England  read more »

Impact of pollution, climate change - lethal heat waves threaten third of world population, 75 percent by 2100

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Deadly Heat Waves Threaten Third of the World
Currently, nearly a third of the world's population is exposed to lethal climate conditions for at least 20 days a year, according to findings published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a monthly peer-reviewed journal. As the planet's temperature rises, more of the world's population will be exposed to conditions that trigger deadly heat waves, the report said.

For a city like New York, which currently sees about two days per year that surpass the heat threshold, that could mean 50 deadly days per year by 2100.

The researchers analyzed more than 1,900 cases of fatalities associated with heat waves in 164 cities across 36 countries between 1980 and 2014 to define a global threshold for life-threatening conditions based on heat and humidity. Researchers found the overall risk for heat-related sickness or death has increased steadily since 1980.

The study notes well-documented heat waves, including a five-day stretch that claimed hundreds of lives in Chicago in 1995, the European heat wave in 2003 that saw tens of thousands of heat-related deaths and lethal temperatures in Moscow in 2010 that killed more than 10,000. Across Russia, the heat wave in 2010 claimed more than 50,000 lives. But the research team found that heatwaves are more common than most people think, and humidity levels combined with heat play a major role in heat-related heath risks.  read more »

World Meat Free Day: plant-based diet vs carnivorous diet, which way health-wise, earth-friendly?

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Why take part in World Meat Free Day? Experts say that by 2050 the world’s population is set to increase to over nine billion people, which is 30% higher than today. If we don’t make any changes to our diet by then, the increase in meat production is forecast to reach 200 million tonnes. This is a demand that simply cannot be met.

Food’s carbon footprint is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. Changing the foods that you eat, such as reducing meat consumption, can have a big impact on your carbon footprint. The CO2 kilos equivalent for producing a kilo of beef is 27 miles; you need to drive 63 miles to produce the same emissions as eating one kilogram of beef.

Recipes from Around the World, Kid Friendly, Family Favorites...

One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way
More than two billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight, a new study reports.

This equates to one-third of the world's population carrying excess weight, fueled by urbanization, poor diets and reduced physical activity.

The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adultcs, at 13%, while Egypt led in terms of adult obesity, with almost 35%, among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.  read more »

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Before man to blow to right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.

Man came to tell it what was wrong:
It hadn't found the place to blow;
It blew too hard - the aim was song.
And listen - how it ought to go!

He took a little in his mouth,
And held it long enough for north
To be converted into south,
And then by measure blew it forth.

By measure. It was word and note,
The wind the wind had meant to be -
A little through the lips and throat.
The aim was song - the wind could see.

— Robert Frost

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