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San Francisco reports record 80% diversion rate

This is from October 2012, but still worth celebrating. We keep dealing with communities where local officials want to pursue incineration (not realizing that it's the most expensive and polluting way to make energy or to dispose of waste) while they haven't even tried to get serious about zero waste programs (redesign / reduce / reuse / recycle / compost). San Francisco is leading the way, having managed to hit 80% diversion of waste from landfills and incinerators. Other communities, like Austin, Texas, have developed ambitious zero waste plans as well and find them economically viable even while competing with super-cheap landfilling fees of only $20/ton.  Read on for the news from San Francisco:

Help Energy Justice Help You

Friends: We've always done excellent work on a shoe-string budget.  Our small crew has been providing critical support to community environmental leaders all over the U.S., enabling countless victories against coal, gas, incineration and other existing and proposed polluters.

We need to raise $50,000 to bring us through 2013.  We aimed to raise $10,000 of that this month, and have already raised $9,491!  I think we can make it to $15,000.  Please check out our work, reach out to us for help if you need it, and offer whatever support you can:  http://www.energyjustice.net/donate/

Below is an overview of our work that we shared with our email contacts.  Click the "read more" link below to check it out.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

The Energy Justice Team
Mike, Traci, Aaron, Alex, Josh & Samantha
-----------------------------------------------------

Dear Energy Justice friend,

Every day, we're hearing from communities that need our support, whether it's to stop proposals for the coal plant near their homes, the trash incinerator near their child's school, the landfill by their farmland, or the gas pipeline through their town.

Trash and Biomass Incineration Worse for the Climate than Coal

After bringing together the nation's grassroots "No New Coal Plants" network in 2006, helping stop over 100 coal plant proposals, we've focused back on biomass and trash incinerators, which are far more polluting, expensive and worse for the climate. On climate pollution, here's where they fall:

Please note that, especially with the practice of fracking, natural gas is actually worse than coal for global warming, if you count all of the methane leakage from extraction to pipelines to end uses.  This chart is just for smokestack emissions, but for the whole picture on global warming pollution from gas vs. coal, see: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/Marcellus.html

Study: solar, wind and storage can provide 99.9% of power By 2030

A new study has determined that renewables could economically fully power a utility scale electric grid 99.9% of the time by 2030 - and without government subsidies, if the proper mix is implemented.  This new study affirms what we've been saying for a decade now: we don't need nuclear, coal, oil, gas, biomass/incineration or other dirty energy sources.  We can meet our energy needs with conservation, efficiency, wind, solar and energy storage... and it'll be reliable and cheaper than our status quo.   See the press release or the full study.

Occupy Earth Day: An Expose of the Corporate Propaganda Systems that Undermine Systemic Change Activism

This Earth Day, like so many others, we'll be invited to pick up litter, plant trees, be reminded to recycle, and countless other personal habits we can adopt to save the earth. Corporations pitching "green" products will bust out their "Lorax-approved" logos and encourage our "green" consumption.

This will be the first Earth Day since the Occupy Wall Street movement took form. How can we Occupy Earth Day – or as our Indigenous colleagues have urged us all to rename Occupy... how can we Decolonize Earth Day? To get to the root of this (in other words, take a "radical" approach), we need to look deeper into how Earth Day, and our broader culture, got colonized.

Flywheel energy storage makes 100% wind and solar possible

We can meet all of our electricity needs with wind and solar. But what about when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining? Coal, nuclear and natural gas make up 88% of the U.S. electricity mix. There are several answers to the myth that intermittent energy sources like wind and solar can't replace these dirty energy sources. One of the most exciting is flywheel energy storage, now being pioneered on a commercial scale in New York and soon Pennsylvania. Check it out...

Frictionless future for energy

By Scott Stafford, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Monday July 11, 2011

STEPHENTOWN, N.Y. -- The technology contained in a new, first-of-its-kind 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage facility has the potential to make renewable sources of power such as wind and solar even more viable in the coming decades.

Located on seven acres within a couple of miles of the Massachusetts state line, the 3.5 acre storage facility consumes no fuel and creates no emissions by using flywheels housed in nearly frictionless containers. Using kinetic energy, the flywheels absorb or inject electricity to relieve the grid of excess electricity or to pump up power in the grid during high-usage times.

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