31Dec/20

Battle brews over short-term energy investment plans in Puerto Rico

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The number of jurisdictions pursuing a goal of 100 percent renewables keeps growing. Puerto Rico looks to be next, with a late November plan from the island’s governor and a proposal before the legislature both calling for 100 percent renewables by 2050. In October, a diverse group of clean energy advocates also published a proposal, “Queremos Sol,” that outlines a path to all-renewables by the same year.Agreement on the territory’s energy system seems to have coalesced around a renewable portfolio standard and timeline. “I can’t think of any entity that’s said it’s opposed to 100 percent renewables by 2050. That certainly is progress,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which contributed to the Queremos Sol report. “That’s a consensus that didn’t exist before the hurricane.”It’s taken months to get to this point. And while the long-term vision seems to have been clarified, stakeholders remain divided on short-term goals. “What the problem is, and what we need to be careful about, is how different organizations and groups propose to get there,” said Ruth Santiago, a lawyer at local environmental group Comité Diálogo Ambiental and a contributor to the Queremos Sol report.In its August fiscal plan, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said it was looking to convert some plants to burn natural gas and that it would cost $500 million to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal. When the utility’s current CEO, José Ortiz, came aboard, he said natural gas would support a future with more renewables. PREPA did not respond to requests for comment about the proposed RPS, but in its fiscal plan the utility lays out a path to a generation mix in 2023 that’s 32 percent solar and wind and 41 percent gas.The group of engineers, environmentalists and clean energy advocates who wrote the Queremos Sol proposal are pushing for integration of renewables now. Santiago said investing in natural gas in the short term might be “disastrous” and will likely impede investment in solar.“Renewable energy and storage technologies are available now,” said Kunkel. “And if your goal is to get to 100 percent renewables by 2050, you should start investing in them now. The most important challenges are going to be what investment decisions get made in the next few years. Most of Puerto Rico’s power plants are old and [need] to be replaced in any event. What they get replaced with really matters in terms of what type of fuel infrastructure you’re locking yourself into for the next several decades,” she added.More: Inside Puerto Rico’s quest for 100% renewables: A clash over natural gas Battle brews over short-term energy investment plans in Puerto Ricolast_img read more

31Dec/20

Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline looms

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Energy Wire:Germany’s detailed coal exit path and the end-date to coal-fired power generation remain unknown only days before a highly anticipated phase-out proposal is due to be published. A leaked draft of the final report of the country’s coal commission seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests agreements on compensation for coal plant operators, support for affected mining regions, and measures to shield consumers from rising power prices. The draft also refers to Germany’s 2030 emission reduction targets for the energy sector as a guideline for the exit in accordance with its mandate. But the most pressing details from a climate perspective still need to be thrashed out during a marathon session scheduled for Friday 25 January: How many coal-fired power plants will go offline in the near future, and when will the last one be switched off?The draft document runs to 133 pages, and contains only five pages where details still need to be settled – but these concern a plan for coal power plant closures. Passages detailing the exit path are still littered with empty brackets “[XX]” that need to be filled with dates and coal power plant capacities following the final round of negotiations. The draft also doesn’t specify whether the embattled Hambach Forest, which has become a symbol for anti-coal activism in Germany and beyond, will be preserved.Germany’s coal exit commission was set up to find economic prospects for coal workers and regions before spelling out measures to reduce carbon emissions in line with Germany’s climate targets, and naming an end date for coal-fired power production, the most prominent blemish on the former climate action pioneer’s emissions record. This order is reflected in its official title: “Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment.”Officially, the commission’s last meeting will take place on 1 February. But the task force hopes to wrap up negotiations on Friday 25 January, so a safety buffer remains in case a compromise can’t be reached by that date, sources close to the commission told the Clean Energy Wire.The coal commission’s proposal is not legally binding, but since the task force is backed by a large majority in parliament, the government is widely expected to follow its recommendations.From a climate policy perspective, the key issue is how many power stations Germany will switch off in the short term, because this will have the largest impact on the country’s total emissions over time compared to other measures. Seven of Europe’s ten most CO2-intensive power plants are located in Germany. Shutting these down early would save a lot of cumulated emissions over the years.More: German coal exit timetable to be settled in last minute talks Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline loomslast_img read more

31Dec/20

Equinor begins construction of world’s largest floating offshore wind project in Norway

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OffshoreWind.biz:The construction has started on the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen, at Kværner Stord in Norway, Equinor said.Kværner’s assignment will include building eleven floating concrete hulls for the Siemens Gamesa 8 MW turbines on the 88 MW Hywind Tampen.“Eighty percent of the world’s offshore wind resources are located in deep water areas and are available for floating offshore wind projects. If we can use projects like Hywind Tampen to make floating offshore wind competitive with other forms of energy, the technology will be able to deliver large-scale renewable power and contribute to a more sustainable global energy supply. A floating offshore wind market will also open up considerable industrial opportunities for Norwegian industry,” [said Equinor’s president and CEO Eldar Sætre.]Equinor’s ambition is for floating offshore wind to be competitive with other forms of energy by 2030.“By using larger turbines, concrete substructures, new technology and a new assembly method, we’re well on our way toward delivering on the objective to reduce costs by more than 40% compared with Hywind Scotland. This is an important step to establish floating wind as a sustainable power supply alternative,” said Hywind Tampen project director Olav-Bernt Haga. “If more major floating offshore wind projects are realised in the future, it will be possible to reduce costs even further, and we could see a development in cost reductions equivalent to the one we’ve seen in fixed foundation offshore wind.”The Hywind Tampen project will be the first floating offshore wind project to supply renewable power for oil and gas installations. The wind farm is expected to cover about 35 percent of the annual power needs on the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C. Located about 140 kilometres off the Norwegian coast in water depths of between 260 and 300 metres, Hywind Tampen will reduce emissions from the Gullfaks and Snorre fields by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, which corresponds to annual emissions from 100,000 private vehicles, Equinor said.[Adnan Durakovic]More: Construction starts on world’s largest floating offshore wind farm Equinor begins construction of world’s largest floating offshore wind project in Norwaylast_img read more

30Dec/20

Nice Pipe

first_imgSeven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania was selected as the number one terrain park and half pipe on the East Coast by Transworld Snowboarding. This is the second year the park and pipe have been mentioned on the coveted list. Last year, because of the record high snowfalls, Seven Springs’ pipe measured an astounding 600 feet long with 18-foot-high walls.Laying pipe: Watch video of snowboarding at Seven Springs at blueridgeoutdoors.comlast_img

30Dec/20

Solo Backcountry Ski Adventure on North Fork Mountain

first_imgThe drifts are unexpected. There’s easily six feet of snow, piled high in velvety waves, just a few feet shy of the cliffed-out mountain rim. They roll one after the other, like an ocean swell, for as far as I can see into the forest ahead. I assume the trail is somewhere beneath the snow. I lost the blazes a half-mile back, but the ridgeline is so narrow (maybe 10 feet wide), there’s nowhere else for the singletrack to go but forward, beneath the undulating snow. Forward is the only choice I have, too, so I put my cross-country skis back on for the one thousandth time today and ski into the drifts, sinking to my knees under the weight of my backpack.This isn’t how my backcountry ski adventure trip was supposed to go. I was supposed to spend three days backpacking the glorious North Fork Mountain Trail, a 24-mile ridgeline path that hugs the cliffy North Fork Mountain as it splits two forks of the Potomac River in West Virginia. I brought my skis along on a whim, in case I had the chance to drop into nearby Canaan Valley and sample their sublime cross-country specific singletrack. Skiing was supposed to be a distraction, not my main mode of transportation through the wilderness, but a freak spring storm dumped two feet of fresh powder across West Virginia’s Highlands.When I originally drove over the North Fork Mountain, scouting the trail at the beginning of my trip, I took one good look at the icy, snow-covered cliffs and headed straight for Canaan Valley, thinking my notion of a meandering backpacking adventure was completely sunk.I parked my truck in a ski in/ski out campsite with electricity in Canaan Valley State Park and proceeded to spend the day skiing solo along the trickling creeks of the park while listening to The Police on my headphones. I raced half a dozen deer (the deer always won) and only once thought I was entering into a “To Build a Fire” moment because I was completely lost.I could have stayed in Canaan Valley for the remainder of my trip skiing fresh powder and eating chicken wings and drinking bottles of Miller High Life at the state park lounge. It would be a beautiful vacation, but not much of an adventure. So in a moment of hubris, I packed my truck and headed back to North Fork Mountain looking to redeem the original plan. If the trail was covered in snow, then I’d ski it.That’s the beauty of the solo trip, after all. You can do what you want, when you want. I came alone so that I could change my mind on a whim. So I could sandbag it or go full tilt with no one else to consider. So I could ski and eat chicken wings or embark on a backcountry ski adventure with my trusty PBJ’s. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good “bro” trip as much as the next dude, but every once in a while I think it’s important to set forth solo for a few days when you don’t have to compromise, and the only body odor making the tent toxic is your own. Three days in the woods being selfish—what’s not to love?The juxtaposition between the Valley and the knife-edge North Fork Mountain is stark. The snow I skied yesterday in the Valley was like cotton. Soft and pillowy. Up here, along the cliffs, it’s icy and underpinned by a layer of rock. The views are incredible, but the skiing is shit. Most people mountain bike the North Fork. Others backpack it. I know one guy who’s gunning for the trail running speed record. I’ve never heard of anyone skiing it, though, and I can see why.There’s no snow at the northern trailhead when I begin my hike south, so I strap my skis to my backpack and climb the monstrous 2,000-foot vertical slog in my cross country ski boots. The blisters come fast, but as soon as the trail levels out on the ridge, the snow begins to get thicker. Soon, I’m clicking into my skis and kicking slowly beneath a canopy of hardwoods. The snow is patchy for the first few miles, so I’m constantly having to take my skis off, then put them back on, then take them off…My pack weighs roughly 75 pounds even though I’m only going for a 12-mile, overnight jaunt. I blame the obscene number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and extra pairs of socks I felt compelled to pack.There are occasions of flow. Brief moments when the snow is deep enough and the terrain rolling enough for me to glide down a little hill, then kick-kick to another crest and glide down a little hill and repeat for maybe 100 yards. It’s unexpected and blissful. The kind of flow you get when mountain biking or cross country skiing, but never experience while backpacking. It feels like cheating, and I love it.I don’t bother making a fire when I set up camp six miles into the trail. I clear a square out of the snow big enough for my tent, then scramble to the top of a cliff to watch the sunset while eating three PBJ’s. I’ve never liked camping solo and I’m convinced every sound I hear throughout the night is a yeti. When I wake up, I see tracks surrounding my tent. I’m no Natty Bumppo, but I can tell they’re too small for a yeti. I figure something cute and furry came to visit, lured by the aroma of peanut butter wafting from my pack.The skiing is better as I hit the high point of the trail and find myself in the sea of snowdrifts, sinking to my knees with every step. Then the trail drops elevation through rhodo thickets and the snow gets thin and rocky again. I tell myself this is what I wanted. I eschewed deep powder and groomed trails for something more adventurous and difficult. This is the decision I made. I chose the harder option. This is the problem with traveling solo. Not only is there no one around to take your picture, there’s no one around to blame but yourself.Near the gravel road where I stashed my truck, the ridgeline broadens and the forest turns from rocky rhododendron fields into a canopy of tall pine trees. The grade is mellow and the forest is open without a hint of underbrush. Here, the skiing is good. Actually, it’s great. There’s a foot of untracked powder offering unlimited tree runs. You can make wide arcs through the pines for 100 yards to the bottom of the slope, then kick back up to the top and pick a different, fresh line. I drop my pack at the top of the slope, ready to ski laps until my legs turn to jelly, and look around.  There’s no one else around to claim the first tracks. It’s just me and the snow. Not exactly what I expected when I planned this trip, but exactly what I wanted.last_img read more

30Dec/20

The January Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors On Stands Now

first_imgOur January issue is live and on newsstands now! Be sure to pick up your FREE copy, download it from iTunes, and enjoy all stories and more here on BlueRidgeOutdoors.com!DepartmentsEditor’s Note20 Years of YouFlashpointIs Atlantic Oil Drilling Inevitable?The DirtMarathon winner DQed / Four year old climbs 50-foot tree / New A.T. doc / Land conservation wins at ballot box / Sprinter chases Olympic dream / Bear balancing act / Raising hell to save salamandersThen and NowA tale of two iconic outfitters and their evolution.The GoodsThe latest in wintersports gear technology to carry you into the new year.FeaturesBest of the Blue Ridge AwardsAfter four weeks and over 5,000 votes, the results are in. Readers selected their favorite regional races, faces, and places.Roads to NowhereThe Pisgah-Nantahala Forest Plan proposes more roads and logging—and fewer trails and wild places.Man on a WireHighliner Edward Yates conquers the Chattanooga skyline.NewIssue_PrintDig_BRO_0115last_img read more

30Dec/20

Stringduster Travis Book Reflects on the Bluegrass, Beer, and Bikes Tour

first_imgIn October of last year, I was driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, headed for a trailhead, windows down, bike on the roof. The leaves were starting to change; there was no one on the road and there would be no one else on the trail—a perfect day. I started thinking about the Parkway, how it tied the Blue Ridge together, and it occurred to me that it would be really amazing if I could take that perfect day and share it. I thought, “I like bikes, and beer, and playing music, and nice drives in the mountains…maybe other people would join me for this sort of thing.” A few days later I was playing music in Charlottesville, and I got to talking with some friends from Blue Ridge Outdoors about this plan I was hatching: 4 days, 4 breweries, 4 great small towns with world class single track.Fast forward to late March: the breweries committed, bike clubs engaged, sponsors acquired, and itinerary set. We were ready to roll on the inaugural Bluegrass, Beer & Bikes Tour—four straight days, moving from Brevard to Boone to back home in Nelson County and concluding in Roanoke. I would lead a group ride each day and play a solo show at a local brewery each night.11027481_10206345367692403_8964661415612178615_nDay 1I enlisted the help of fellow cyclist, logistical genius, and tour manager of my band The Infamous Stringdusters Katrina to come along and keep the train on the tracks. We left Nelson County on a warmWednesday night, arriving in Brevard around midnight. It had been raining, and I had doubts about the group ride the next day but the morning dawned with sunny skies and temps in the low 60’s. Spring had sprung and we were the beneficiaries as about 15 of us rolled out of Oskar Blues Brewery, onto the greenway and into the legendary Pisgah National Forest.We started making friends immediately, common experience is the ultimate bonding opportunity, and we were in it, stomping the pedals up steady climbs, whooping as we banked down newly tuned trails. After a couple hours we retreated to the brewery, dumped some water over our heads (turns out you can have a shower with just a quart of water) and got down to business. Reps from Keen and Farm to Feet socks were on hand, as well as a contingency from the Asheville Blue Ridge Outdoors offices. I played for about 3 hours; we raffled off some great prize packages; I grabbed a growler to go and headed for the hotel.Day 2The morning dawned cold and we knew it was only going to get colder as we drove north, into the mountains to Boone. There were only six hardy souls out for a mid-day, post-snow group ride at Rocky Knob Bike Park, but what we lacked in numbers we more than made up for in enthusiasm. We shot a bunch of footage for a video, lapped a section of kickers/table tops, then retreated to the warmth and safety of the car before catching a quick shower and heading to Appalachian Mountain Brewery. AMB’s business model is built around giving back to the community through fundraising, profit sharing, collaborations, and just good times. Our Yakima rep arrived after a non-stop drive from Texas and he jumped right in, pitching the raffle, talking shop and, most importantly, helping to drink a few beers.Day 3At 7 a.m. I opened the hotel window, two inches of snow on the car and piling up. Rapidly. We had to get to Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Nelson County by noon, so escaping the North Carolina High Country weather made for an early morning race to the gig! Upon arrival in Virginia, temps were in the low 40s, but the sun was shining so we stuck to the plan and threw the party outside. I needed hand warmers in my pockets to keep the fingers moving, but the crowd needed no help in raising almost $2,000 for CAMBC (Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club). They sold CAMBC branded Klean Kanteen pints that included beer, and needless to say it was a successful plan.After the music, about 20 of us got out on the trails around the brewery for a couple laps. Over the last three years, I’ve lived on the property at Devils Backbone (soon to be known as Devils Backbone Basecamp and Meadows) and in that time I’ve (almost) single handedly plotted, cleared, cut and maintained the three miles of beginner-friendly but fun-for-everyone singletrack. Initially commissioned by the brewery to be used as a 5K XC running course, I designed every section with mountain bikes in mind and it’s resulted in a fun and fast trail with some whoops and jumps, twists and turns that leads you on a complete tour of the property. It made me so happy to see so many riders out on the trails. Post ride we convened in the brewery for beers and dinner. It’s rare that a brewery has trails onsite that dump you out at the brewery so we took advantage.Day 4Early to bed, early to rise, and straight south to Roanoke, our final stop. I had a hunch that Sunday at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewery would be the biggest day of the tour and I was right. We had at least 30 riders join us at noon for our group ride, which consisted of a complete tour of Mill Mountain, accessible from downtown. When I planned the tour I’d assumed we’d ride at Carvins Cove, a legendary riding spot west of town, but I also inquired about riding from the brewery. Craig from RIMBA (Roanoke chapter of IMBA) had literally pointed out the window of the brewery toward the giant M and said, “We’re building trails on Mill Mountain as we speak. Let’s earmark the funding for that project and do a tour of those trails.” Perfect.I’d come to realize that one of the major obstacles or barriers to entry that mountain biking faces is accessibility. When I was growing up, before I had a car, I had a bike and I rode it. Everywhere. 15 miles roundtrip to school then straight out my backdoor into the Pike National Forest. If I had to put a bike in a car and get a ride to and from the trailhead, mountain biking wouldn’t have played the pivotal role in my youth that it did. For mountain biking to continue to grow and reach new participants, it needs trails near population centers, like Mill Mountain. It needs trails near landmarks and in multi-use parks like Devils Backbone. It needs parks specifically built and maintained to bring new mountain bikers into the sport and challenge them as they progress, like at Rocky Knob, and it needs entire communities committed to increasing access to the woods and cultivating a cycling culture, like in Brevard.The ride in Roanoke ended late. The expert group I was in couldn’t get enough, so I had about 30 minutes to dump some water over my head, eat a grilled cheese, and get to making music. Soaring Ridge has a beautiful tasting room with tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass, and plenty of room. We wedged at least 200 people in there Sunday afternoon and raised nearly $500, entirely donations, for the ongoing work RIMBA is doing in the community. By 7 p.m. there was nothing left to do but finish my last pint, pack up the banners and the sound system, toss them in the completely disorganized rear half of the 4Runner and head for home. As Katrina and I drove north, with the sun setting on our whirlwind tour, content, happy, and reflective, we both agreed, next year cannot come fast enough.Huge thanks to Blue Ridge Outdoors. Without your enthusiasm and support, this tour wouldn’t have reached a critical mass. Thanks also to the breweries: Oskar Blues in Brevard, Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers in Roanoke, and Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland. They provided the location and context and put up a substantial part of the sponsorship that made this tour possible. We had 5 great sponsors on board who made product available, sent representatives, and helped spread the word. Yakima, Keen, Klean Kanteen, Farm to Feet, and Ride Solutions were all fantastic partners. Special thanks to Jonny at Yakima who joined us for three dates, took two rides, and stayed at my house one night. Finally, everyone who came out to ride, came out to listen, or just helped spread the word about this tour, without you, it’s all meaningless.In 2016, we’re putting the bikes first; Bikes, Bluegrass & Beer. Website coming soon!Check out this Travis Book original preformed for Gondala Sessions in Aspen, CO.last_img read more

30Dec/20

Mountain Mama Sits Down with Joe Driver from Sycamore Cycles

first_imgSomewhere around grade school, the realization sunk in that when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, they expected a single answer. One of my greatest struggles remains how to experience all the cool stuff in this world. Now when people ask me what I do, sometimes I just say that I’m a dabbler.It’s easier than explaining my non-linear career path from lawyer to middle-school-librarian to sea kayak guide to ski instructor back to a lawyer, which evolved into a real estate investor and writer. No matter how many careers I try on, there will be some jobs I never get to experience.Take servicing bikes.A few months ago I watched Joe Driver from Sycamore Cycles build my Yeti. A smile spanned my face, as my bike materialized before my eyes. For me, seeing someone connecting pieces into my bike was as far from my personal skill set as a street performer juggling a butcher knife, a metal bat and a butternut squash. That day I got the closest I’d ever come to knowing what it’s like to work in a bike shop and mess around with bikes, so I decided to sit down with Joe and get the scoop on working at Sycamore Cycles.Our conversation went like this:So rumor has it that you sometimes ride in jeans. Is that true or just Brevard bike lore?If it’s below fifty, I wear jeans. Skinny jeans are better than tights. The day I interviewed for Sycamore, we rode out in Pisgah. I was in the parking lot with Art, another employee at Sycamore, and Wes, the owner, and Art looked over at me, “You ready to go, you’re wearing jeans?” I said yep.  Art and Wes just sort of shrugged and exchanged a skeptical look.They hired me anyway.IMG_7760So what was that job interview like?We went for a ride in Pisgah, Cove Creek, Daniel’s Ridge and Cat Gap. On the way there I was nervous about keeping up or riding like crap. We didn’t talk business at all, just talked about riding. It was the weirdest and best interview I’ve ever been on. I was pinned the whole time. After the ride we went to dinner. It was instant click with all the guys, everyone I work with is great and now we’re like a family.Were you worried about what to order?Hell yeah, I didn’t know whether to get a beer or not. Then Wes ordered one so it was easy.How did you find out about Brevard? I kept hearing about the riding here. Last fall I came for a long weekend and we arrived in the dark. The next morning we rode. It was love at first light. Everything was closed by the time we finished riding. After that weekend of riding Pisgah, I wanted to figure out how to live here. I didn’t go to downtown Brevard. I didn’t know about the waterfalls. I hadn’t even heart about Dupont. It’s been one amazing discovery after another.IMG_7762How long have you been biking?Five years ago my best friend, Seth, said we should buy bikes.I was reluctant because whatever I do, I’m all in. Seth convinced me and we each spent a thousand bucks. After three rides I was officially hooked.The next thing I know I have a five thousand dollar bike, I started racing, and I was working at a bike shop.I knew there are better bikes so I needed one. I told myself that I have so much fun on an entry -level bike, how much more fun could I have on a better bike.When did you know you’d like to work on a bike?I’m pretty mechanically inclined so I can work on anything.  I started with simple stuff – adjusting gear, headsets, brakes, and changing flat tires. From there went from selling slash service to primary service. Now I mostly just wrench.I like fixing stuff whether it’s a bike or working with hands, figuring stuff out, making it work.What’s your least favorite part about the job?I don’t like to be greasy. The guys tease me because I wash my hands like twenty times a day.What’s your favorite part?Developing relationships with guys who work there. I like going to work, and end up going there even on my days off. When you walk into the store, someone wants to know where you went, everyone cares about each other and customers.I love working at Sycamore, I guess you could say I’ve got a lot of brand pride.Are there any upcoming races that you’re training for?This weekend some guys from Sycamore are going to 12 hours of Tsali, an endurance mountain bike race with a four-person team. We’ll each take turns riding the loop. It’s a great to be able to race together.Then ORAMM – Off Road Assault of Mount Mitchell – is July 31st. It’s 60 miles, 10,500 feet of climbing That’s been on my bucket list for a while and I’m excited about it. I know it’s going to hurt. What tips do you have for beginners just starting to ride?Just start showing up – check out local mountain bike rides and look for group rides in your area. From there, challenge yourself, try new places and new things.last_img read more

30Dec/20

Study Finds Plastic Microfibers in Over 90 Percent of Bottled Water Brands

first_imgA new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90 percent contained tiny pieces of plastic. In response to this finding, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a project to review the potential health risks of plastic in drinking water.This finding was uncovered by scientists at the State University of New York in Fredonia and was commissioned by journalism project Orb Media.According to The Guardian, the scientists analyzed over 250 bottles of water “from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands” and found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water. The study also reported that out of the 259 bottles that were tested, only 17 were free of plastics.The brands tested in this Orb Media study were Aqua, Aquafina, Bisleri, Dasani, Epura, Evian, Gerolsteiner, Minalba, Nestlé Pure Life, San Pellegrino and Wahaha.Polypropylene was the most common type of plastic fragment that was found. This type of plastic is used to make everything from bottle caps to medical equipment.In another study commissioned by Story of Stuff, 19 bottled water brands in the United States were examined. This study, although unrelated to the Orb Media project, also concluded that plastic fragments were pervasive.Plastic microfibers enter the water in a variety of ways. They can easily become airborne, so it is possible that they enter the water both inside and outside the factory.A WHO spokesperson reported to The Guardian that they are unaware of any impacts that the plastic microfibers could have on human health, but plan to launch a comprehensive risk assessment.last_img read more

30Dec/20

Barkley Marathon 2018: The Race Wins Again

first_imgMany of our readers already know the Barkley Marathon. It has a reputation for being one of the hardest and most ridiculous ultramarathons in the world. Five, twenty-mile loops, over sixty thousand feet of elevation, through the hilly backwoods of Eastern Tennessee. Oh, and you have 60 hours to cross the finish line. Since the race debuted in 1980, only 15 have finished.The 2018 Barkley Marathon started this past Saturday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. Nobody won.The race is held at Frozen Head State Park, just outside of Petros, Tennessee. Each year, 40 competitors are selected to compete in the 100-mile ultra marathon.This year, Canadian Gary Robbins did the best. Of the 40 competitors, only four runners made it to the third loop, with Robbins coming up short, 12 minutes past the 36 hour cutoff time. He was tapped out.While the total race time is 60 hours, runners are given 12 hours to finish each loop. One second late and you’re done. Along with Robbins, Guillaume Calmettes, and Ally Beaven, started loop three.This is the second time since 2007 that no runner has finished the race.Read more over at Runners World.Photo by Josh Pattonlast_img read more