Month: December 2020

  • Middle East Could Cut Water Woes by Turning To Solar

    first_imgMiddle East Could Cut Water Woes by Turning To Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Thomson Reuters Foundation:Thirsty Middle Eastern and North African countries could tap into their solar energy potential to cope with freshwater scarcity, according to resource experts.Water could be saved by switching to renewable solar energy from fossil fuel electricity generation that uses up water, said the World Resources Institute (WRI). The findings show moving to clean energy has benefits aside from cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, said Tianyi Luo, a senior WRI manager.“A lot of times, the water savings, that kind of benefits from renewable projects are overlooked,” Luo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan ranked among the top countries, measured by lack of freshwater and solar energy potential, that could benefit from such a switch, the WRI said.“These countries have high-average resources for both solar and wind that could be put to very productive uses, and it could potentially assist them in their water-related challenges,” said Jordan Macknick, energy and water analyst at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.Fresh and sea water is often used in the process of cooling fossil-fuel power plants, ubiquitous in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the World Bank. Put another way, powering one 60-watt incandescent light bulb for 12 hours over one a year can consume 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of water, according to the U.S.-based Virginia Water Resources Research Center.Solar panels, meanwhile, require little or no water to install and maintain.More: Solar Power Could Save Water In Thirsty Middle East, North Africa, Analysis Sayslast_img read more

  • New Mexico regulators approve utility’s plans to hit 20% renewable energy goal

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Albuquerque Journal:Public Service Co. of New Mexico has reaffirmed a commitment to build five new solar plants next year to boost the utility’s renewable energy to 20 percent of retail electric sales by 2020.The Public Regulation Commission approved PNM’s 2019 renewable energy plan last week. The plan, submitted annually to the PRC, lays out efforts to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard, which requires that public utilities derive 20 percent of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources by 2020. PNM now gets more than 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources.The new plan essentially reaffirms projects PNM outlined in its current, 2018 plan, which included construction of 50 more megawatts of PNM-owned solar generation in 2019. The current plan also calls for extending existing contracts with third-party power producers to buy more wind and geothermal electricity from plants that are now being upgraded to increase output.Under the new 2019 plan, the utility’s renewable energy rate rider, which residential and commercial customers pay for as a line item on their monthly bills, will increase slightly. Residential customers who consume an average of 600 kilowatt hours of electricity will pay about 55 cents more per month, raising the monthly charge from about $3.77 now to about $4.32 starting in January, said Patrick O’Connell, PNM’s director of planning and resources.“The renewable energy plan gets us to 20 percent by 2020,” O’Connell said. “It’s been approved by the PRC and we’re moving forward on it.”More: PNM: Plan gets renewables to 20 percent of electricity sales New Mexico regulators approve utility’s plans to hit 20% renewable energy goallast_img read more

  • Axis Capital to exit coal, oil sands insurance business

    first_imgAxis Capital to exit coal, oil sands insurance business FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Canadian Underwriter:Starting next year, Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. will stop writing new insurance and facultative reinsurance for oil sands extraction and pipeline projects.Pembroke, Bermuda-based Axis writes commercial specialty and reinsurance. Its new thermal coal and oil sands underwriting and investment policy takes effect Jan. 1, Axis Capital said Wednesday in a release.“AXIS will not provide new insurance or facultative reinsurance for the construction of new thermal coal plants or mines and their dedicated infrastructure or oil sands extraction and pipeline projects and their dedicated infrastructure; or to companies that generate 30% or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining, generate 30% or more of their power from thermal coal, or hold more than 20% of their reserves in oil sands,” the insurer said. “Renewals will be considered on a case-by-case basis until Jan. 1, 2023. Exceptions to this policy may be considered on a limited basis until Jan. 1, 2025 in countries where sufficient access to alternative energy sources is not available.”The announcement comes less than a week after Canadian Underwriter obtained a memo that purports to be a “CrossLine Alert,” issued for internal users only, from Munich Re. In that memo – which Munich Re has neither confirmed nor denied to be authentic – the insurer says facultative reinsurance covers and primary insurance business, including renewals, will no longer be signed for the planning, financing, construction of new oil sand sites. “We believe insurers have an important role to play in mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a low-carbon economy,” Axis Capital CEO Albert Benmichol stated Wednesday in a release.As a result of global warming, Canada will have more frequent heat waves, droughts and precipitation events, Insurance Bureau of Canada CEO Don Forgeron said Apr. 25 at IBC’s annual general meeting.More: Another insurer to withdraw coverage from oil sandslast_img read more

  • Galactic Fireworks: Shooting Stars On Display This Month

    first_imgDecember is the darkest month of the year, with 31 days of overeating and overshopping. No wonder folks find it depressing. But for the pre-Industrial Revolution crowd, winter was a welcome respite. Shorter days meant less work. Fires and storytelling filled the nights. In the age of ESPN and MGM, we work long hours in spite of short days and are more likely to derive our entertainment from acronyms than from nature. The winter night—held at bay with space heaters and TiVo—holds no mystery that cannot be tamed by a five-year-old with a flashlight. But in the immortal words of John Lennon, what do you see when you turn out the light?Turns out the December night sky is quietly orchestrating a fourth of July spectacular that almost no one watches. The Geminid meteor shower, which occurs annually on the nights of December 13 and 14, is “the best meteor shower of the year,” says Dr. Edward Murphy, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia. I typically associate meteors with Armageddon events and shooting stars as celestial fireflies, but they’re actually one and the same, Dr. Murphy tells me. A “shooting star” is just a misnomer.The vast majority of meteors are tiny particles, no bigger than a grain of sand. I can barely see a speck of sand on my big toe, let alone miles away. So why can we see meteors? Well, these particular grains of sand are traveling around 36 miles per second. According to Dr. Murphy, as a meteor hits the Earth’s atmosphere, “it both compresses the air around it and creates friction in the atmosphere, causing it to glow, leaving that beautiful streak you see in the sky.”An average Geminid meteor shower produces 60 meteors per hour. The best time to see the Geminids is between 2am and dawn, because this year the meteors are competing with another showstopper—the full moon.2009 Meteor ShowersJanuary 3—Quadrantids:100 per hour.April 21—Lyrids:15 meteors per hour. The Lyrids are the earliest recorded meteor shower, with Chinese observations dating to 687 B.C.May 6—Eta Aquarids:20 meteors per hour. The Eta Aquarids are caused by Halley’s Comet.July 28—Southern Delta Aquarids:20 meteors per hour. This shower is best seen in the Southern Hemisphere.August 1-24—Perseids:Its bright streaks and mid-summer peak makes this meteor shower the most commonly observed.Oct 8—Draconids:Researchers believe that in 2018, the Draconids will produce a meteor storm of 1,000 meteors an hour or more.October 21—Orionids:25 meteors per hour. Like the Eta Aquarids, the Orionids emerge from the debris of Halley’s Comet.November 1-24—Southern Taurids:An hourly rate of less than 15 meteors.November 17—Leonids:These meteors travel at 45 miles per second; about half of these meteors leave trains that can persist for several minutes.last_img read more

  • Now That’s a Weird Bike

    first_imgKids in Chattanooga had the chance to pimp their bikes and build their ultimate dream ride over the summer as Houston-based artist Smitty Regula spearheaded Art Bike workshops in the Southern City. What’s an Art Bike? Imagine a cruiser with a flame thrower, and an antenna of stuffed animals. Imagine a bumper car bike. A dragon bike. A fish bowl bike. Regula helped a handful of school kids conceptualize, weld, and finalize their own dream bikes over the summer. Recently, the kids pedaled their kick-ass bikes through Coolidge Park in ‘Nooga. Check out the vid, and start thinking about what your personal dream bike would look like.last_img read more

  • Mind of Meditation

    first_imgBreathe in.I’ve been climbing this hill — more like a mountain, actually — for ten minutes now. My legs and lungs are burning and I find my mind drifting to the moment when I’ll crest. Only a few more seconds and I can relax. But wait, my goal for today’s run is to stay in the present. Refocus. Forget about the top of that hill, where I’ll be soon. Back to this minute.Breathe out. Be here now.Recently I’ve been practicing mindful running, or as Sakyong Mipham would put it, Running with the Mind of Meditation. A friend recently sent me this book, and I think it has the power to alter my running dramatically.Sakyong Mipham is the leader of Shambhala, a community of meditation retreat centers. As well as being a spiritual leader and Tibetan lama, he is an experienced marathoner. This book is the result of his effort to blend the two, as he believes that spiritual well-being is enhanced by physical activity. The Sakyong talks about how both meditation and running are opportunities to engage our minds, to be fully present in our lives. He warns, however, that if we participate in these activities half-heartedly, simply trying to keep ourselves distracted, we’ve lost out on a valuable lesson. Practicing mindful running has the result of changing running from “simple exercise to a journey of discovery and growth”.Reading this, I realize how emotionally absent I tend to be on many of my runs. On my long runs, I’m counting the hours and miles until I’m finished, and during interval workouts, I’m just trying to ignore the pain. Lunchtime runs are spent focusing on work issues, and many a time I’ve finished a run feeling like I’ve just spent the past hour with several of my most challenging students. Where is the peace and joy in that? Something tells me that I’m not really getting the most out of my runs if I finish feeling just as stressed as when I began.The Sakyong says that by staying present in the here-and-now, we are able to leave our daily stressors behind. During our run, we should focus on our run, not the millions of other things going on in other areas of our lives. The most basic way to accomplish this is to focus on one’s breathing. He calls this following the breath. Sounds simple — just take your mind away from its current thought or worry and pay attention to your breathing instead.Easy enough. I take off down the trail, determined to empty my mind of all concerns. I make it for a couple of minutes. Maybe. It might have been only thirty seconds before my thoughts drifted off to such random topics as what I’d have for dinner, how I needed to transplant those perennials, and the topic of my next blog. Enough! Back to the breath. I breathe in and out. What’s that twinge in my Achilles? Focus — the breath. Wait — how’s my pace? Didn’t I run this stretch of trail faster last week? FOCUS — it’s the breath, stupid. The thoughts just keep coming and I start to recognize just how busy my brain is with superficial concerns and how easy it is to allow myself to chase each of these fleeting thoughts.Eventually I finish my run. This mindful running stuff is trickier than it appears. Over the next few weeks I make several more attempts, and am pleased to find myself making progress. The Sakyong emphasizes the importance of not evaluating oneself, not focusing on improvement but simply on where one is in the moment. Still, the practice does get easier, and even though I’m still only able to stay fully present for a few minutes at a time, something is changing. The experience of running is different, and I finish feeling both relaxed and refreshed. There just might be something to this mindfulness thing.Check out another one of Anne’s posts about running in a dress!last_img read more

  • Clips of the Week: Weekend Destination Profiles

    first_imgOne of the best things about living in the Blue Ridge is the quick and easy access to surrounding mountain towns and other regional destinations. Whether you’re looking to take off for a weekend on the Carolina coast, spend some time top roping in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky, or hunting down the next Appalachian mountain biking hot bed, there are no shortage of options within striking distance of your Blue Ridge home base.Figuring out which destinations are worthy of your weekend can be a daunting task, but we’re here to help take some of the guess work out of that process. Check out these BRO TV destination profiles in the Clips of the Week!BRO-TV: A Day at Looking Glass from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.BRO-TV: Kentuckybound from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.BRO-TV: Experience Bryson City from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Best Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge: Part IV from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Best Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge – Part I from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.last_img read more

  • Come Run with Corrigan Sports in 2017

    first_imgCome Run with Corrigan Sports in 2017!  As the premiere event management team in the Mid-Atlantic, we have the endurance event for you! Our races offer fair yet challenging courses, family friendly distances and activities, and a great post-race party to celebrate your accomplishments.  Plus we offer multi-event discounts and benefits with the Maryland Double and the King Crab Challenge.Here is our 2017 lineup:Frederick Running FestivalMay 6-7, Frederick, Md.Half-Marathon, 2-Person Relay, 5k, Kids RunDelaware Running FestivalMay 13-14, Wilmington, Del.Marathon, Half-Marathon, 4-Person Relay, 5k, Kids RunColumbia TriathlonMay 21, Columbia, Md.Olympic Triathlon, Duathlon, Aquabike, Triathlon RelayBaltimore 10-MilerJune 3, Baltimore, Md.10-Mile RunIronGirl TriathlonAugust 20, Columbia, Md.Sprint Triathlon, Triathlon RelayBaltimore Running FestivalOctober 20, Baltimore , Md.Marathon, Half-Marathon, 4-Person Relay, 5k, Kids Runlast_img read more

  • Live Outside and Play RovR Products Giveaway

    first_imgRules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked. Name: Email*: Phone Number: Address*: City*: State*: ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYZip Code*: I certify that I am over the age of 18.WIN ONE MORE ENTRY IN THIS CONTEST! I would like to receive updates from BRO, and prize partners straight to my inbox!* denotes required field Everyone needs a good cooler for their adventures. We’ve loved the RovR Rollr 80 with it’s smart compartment to keep food dry, while still ice cold inside the cooler. It also comes with a variety of nifty accessories, like a cupholders, cutting board and ability to attach it to your cruiser bike. You know you want one. Sign up today for a chance to win a RovR!last_img read more

  • Forest Service encourages visitors to recreate responsibly

    first_imgWe’re heading into a busy holiday weekend and large crowds are expected at national recreation areas. The Forest Service is asking visitors to put safety first by recreating responsibly and provides these tips for enjoying the outdoors: National park visitor severely injured by ‘territorial’ otter The course will take place in Joshua Tree, California on October 2, 2020 through October 4, 2020. During the inaugural event, Mountain Hardwear will cover all participant fees, aside from travel expenses. There are four spots available in the program and applications are open now through July 20, 2020. Current AMGA membership and a two-part application are required to be considered.  Water Safety- Choose swimming areas carefully and ensure small children are not left unattended. When boating, ensure all passengers wear a life jacket and look out for other boaters and swimmers.Severe weather- Weather conditions can change rapidly. Monitor weather before and during outdoor activities.Wildlife- Do not feed wildlife, keep a safe distance when encountering wildlife and do not disturb their habitat. Clean up food or garbage around your camp or picnic site.Hiking- Stay on marked trails. Don’t hike alone. Plan for emergencies such as becoming lost and bring along extra food, clothing and water. Be Fire Safe- Keep fires small and never leave them unattended. Ensure firepits are cold to the touch before leaving.Driving- Use caution when traveling through areas that are heavily congested. Regulations are enforced for the protection of visitors and natural resources.Fireworks- Leave fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks are prohibited in developed recreation areas and dangerous in other parts of the forest. Open spaces tend to dry out quickly and fireworks could start a wildfire.Alcohol- To ensure a family-friendly environment, alcoholic beverages are prohibited in many areas of the forest including campgrounds and many day-use sites.  The visitor was sent to the hospital. Their injuries have not been disclosed. Although otters are cute, they have sharp claws and teeth and can become aggressive when protecting their young. The park is requesting visitors avoid swimming or using floatation devices in the eastern part of the lake where the attack occurred.  Photo: Forest trail in Shenandoah Blue Ridge Appalachian mountains on skyline drive near Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center with yellow flowers and path – Getty Images krblokhincenter_img Forest Service encourages visitors to recreate responsibly A visitor to Lassen Volcanic National Park was swimming in Manzanita Lake on June 25 when they were attacked by a river otter, the park reported on their Facebook page. There was no indication that the visitor provoked the otter in any way. The Facebook post said that the otter was “most likely a female protecting its young and den.”  Mountain Hardwear and American Mountain Guides Association Announce LGBTQIA2S+ Climbing Instructor Course  Mountain Hardwear and American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) have announced a 3-day climbing course instructed by and in celebration of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. AMGA has offered the Single Pitch Instructor course since 2008, but thanks to financial support from Mountain Hardwear, this will be the first course with a direct invitation to the LGBTQIA2S+ community.last_img read more

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