Lessons learned from U.S. Navy microgrids in Hawaii

June 22, 2018 by  
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Military microgrids are expected to reach $1 billion in the next eight years.

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Lessons learned from U.S. Navy microgrids in Hawaii

The Pentagon removed 23 climate change references from a report on military risk

May 10, 2018 by  
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Internal documents from the Pentagon reveal a notable de-emphasis on climate change as a national security threat, seemingly to accommodate a president who does not believe in climate change itself. As revealed by the Washington Post , earlier Obama-era drafts of a Defense Department report referenced climate change 23 times; the Trump-era version mentions climate change only once, with previous references removed or changed to more Trump-palatable phrases such as “extreme weather.” Though the Pentagon continues to treat climate change as a potentially destabilizing threat to national security, it seems poised to avoid political battles on what has become a partisan issue. The Washington Post was not able to verify who made the changes to the report, and the Department of Defense would not comment on that issue. “As highlighted in the report, the effects of climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to missions, operational plans, and installations,” Pentagon spokesperson Heather Babb said in a statement . “DOD continues to focus on ensuring its installations and infrastructure are resilient to a wide range of threats, including climate. The Department has a proven record of planning and preparing for such threats.” Related: Hawaii just set the most ambitious climate goal of any US state: carbon neutral by 2045 While the Trump-era version of the report still reaches the conclusion that extreme weather poses a national security threat, it does not address sea-level rise as directly as the Obama -era version. This problem is particularly pertinent for the US military, whose bases in Norfolk, Virginia and the Marshall Islands are at risk of flooding as sea levels increase. A map that revealed locations which face heightened flood risk was also removed. “The wordsmithing, not saying ‘climate,’ I could live with that,” Dennis McGinn, a former Obama Administration assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment and retired Navy vice admiral, told the Washington Post . “But taking out … maps of critical areas of flooding, that’s pretty fundamental. And the Arctic , that’s huge, for a lot of reasons, not just for Department of Defense, but for the Coast Guard, and commercial shipping business.” Via The Washington Post Images via Depositphotos (1)

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The Pentagon removed 23 climate change references from a report on military risk

O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa

May 10, 2018 by  
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In the Netherlands, an old home dating back to the 1960s has been given an energy-neutral makeover, and the results are stunning. At the request of the owners,  O2 Studio revamped the home into an energy-efficient powerhouse . In addition to using passive strategies, like adding more windows and skylights to let in optimal natural light, O2 Studio installed an innovative hybrid system of PV panels and geothermal heat to generate clean energy. Located in Bunnik, near Utrech, the family home is a great example of how to renovate an old structure using sustainable materials and energy-efficient features to bring it into the 21st century. The architects decided to retain the original layout of the structure, but wanted to flood its interior with as much light as possible. Thanks to several windows and a skylight, the house is naturally lit throughout the day, reducing energy use and costs. The home’s self-sustaining energy system takes advantage of both geothermal heating and solar power  through a roof-mounted PV array. Related: Kumar residence is an energy-efficient, zinc-clad renovation in San Francisco On the interior, a new glass staircase leading to the upper floor was installed to enhance the home’s open floor plan. The ground floor of the home was extended to make space for an open kitchen and seating area, which leads to the outside through extremely large glass sliding doors — again, bringing in natural light wherever possible. The kitchen and dining area was placed 50 centimeters lower than the entrance level — a strategic design tactic that seamlessly connects the inside of the villa with the outdoor garden and a beautiful river nearby. In fact, the home is surrounded by greenery , giving it a contemporary cabin-in-the-woods feel. + O2 Studio Photography by Ossip via O2 Studio    

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O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa

Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

November 8, 2017 by  
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Physicists at Tel Aviv University and University of Chicago have discovered that quark fusion, involving the tiny particles known as quarks of which protons and neutrons are made, is an even more potentially energy-packed reaction than much-touted nuclear fusion . Although the scientists were originally concerned about quark fusion’s potential destructive power and had considered keeping the discovery secret, they came to learn that the process, still theoretical, would most likely be safe for civilian use. The newly identified kind of reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, could be the answer to endless clean energy someday. A fusion reaction, whether nuclear or quark, occurs when two or more atomic nuclei are close enough to each other to form at least one different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. In fusing, the involved reactants and products release an enormous amount of energy, which could theoretically be harvested as nearly-infinite clean energy , the holy grail of renewable technology. A quark reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, involves the fusion of bottom quarks, subsequently resulting in a larger subatomic particle, a spare particle known as a nucleon, and an enormous output of energy.  It’s reaction is so potent that it is potentially more powerful than the reaction at the center of an exploding hydrogen bomb. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 “I must admit that when I first realized that such a reaction was possible, I was scared,” said Marek Karliner, quark fusion co-researcher at Tel Aviv University, “but, luckily, it is a one-trick pony.” Nuclear explosions in hydrogen bombs gain their destructive power from chain reactions. Quark fusion, it seems, could not possibly be dangerous because bottom quarks disappear only a picosecond (1/1,000,000,000,000 of a second) after they form. There simply is not enough time for these subatomic particles to form a chain reaction. “If I thought for a microsecond that this had any military applications , I would not have published it,” Karliner said, according to Live Science. Although quark fusion remains in the theoretical stage, the researchers state that it could be achieved at the Large Haldron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider located in France . Via Live Science / Engadget Images via CERN , lead image via Deposit Photos

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Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

What civilians can learn from military investments in solar

October 2, 2017 by  
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Power outages aren’t just inconvenient, they could undermine national security.

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Why hydrogen fuel cells are a boon for the military

September 27, 2017 by  
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About a decade ago, the United States federal and state governments began experimenting with hydrogen fuel cells, said Stan Osserman, director of the Hawaii center for advanced transportation technologies. The push was driven by high oil prices at the time. As the prices tapered, however, the development kept going. “The prices have come down and the weight has come down on [hydrogren fuel] equipment,” said Osserman. “Lots of companies are realizing this is a good business case on its own.” 

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How the U.S. Army approaches net zero energy

July 26, 2017 by  
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The U.S. Army needs to be at net zero, says Kristine Kingery, director of energy security and sustainability policy for the military. “How can we go with the ‘N’ state?” she asked in a conversation during VERGE Hawaii 17. “In the army, everything has to be tied back to readiness.” She discusses how operating on renewable energy is mission critical for the U.S. Army, why energy independence is critical for the nation’s security and how collaborations help get there.

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Pence vows America will put boots on the face of Mars in near future

July 7, 2017 by  
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During a speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, Vice President Pence made a bold promise that in the near future, the United States of America will send astronauts to both the moon and Mars. Now the chair of the National Space Council — which was revived this last Friday – Pence explained that new, ambitious goals will ensure America becomes a leader in space exploration  once again. “Here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” said Pence. He then applauded the space organization’s efforts to make “science fiction ‘science fact.” Pence made sure to pay homage to Donald Trump, as well, who he referred to as a “champion” who will “usher in a new era” of American space leadership. According to CNN , Pence then noted the importance of space exploration for American national security interests. He also reaffirmed President Trump’s desire, which was revealed during his inaugural address in January, for the US to “unlock the mysteries of space.” He said, “I can assure you that under President Donald Trump , American security will be as dominant in the heavens as we are here on Earth.” Plans to reconvene the National Space Council before the end of summer were also shared. Reportedly, the Council will be comprised of many experts who are sourced from government agencies, such as the military , private industries, and academic institutions to enhance the present space policy. Related: NASA unveils 6 prototypical deep space human habitats for Mars and beyond Originally established in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, the National Space Council was discontinued in 1993. One individual pleased with President Trump’s executive order to revive the Council is NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. Said Lightfoot, “The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.” Support from the White House is undoubtedly a positive achievement for the NASA, which already has plans to send humans — specifically teachers, farmers, and engineers — to Mars by 2030. With the revival of the National Space Council and a renewed vigor to investigate the “final frontier,” America may very well become a leader in space exploration. Via CNN Images via  Schriever Air Force Base , Pixabay

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Pence vows America will put boots on the face of Mars in near future

A look into a Turkey sweatshops use of Syrian child labor to make ISIS uniforms

June 12, 2016 by  
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Syrian refugee children are working 12-hour shifts for a little over a dollar per hour to make ISIS uniforms in a Turkey sweatshop, according to The Daily Mail . The children, reportedly sent by their parents, work in a shop that makes uniforms, backpacks, and other military gear for the Syrian market. While the factory owner Abu Zakour concedes that school would be a better place for the children, he says the parents want their children to work. Complicating the issue is the language barrier and other social barriers that dissuade Syrian children from attending Turkish public schools.

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A look into a Turkey sweatshops use of Syrian child labor to make ISIS uniforms

R.Riveter: Upcycled Handbags Crafted By Military Spouses

September 25, 2015 by  
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No matter how much people may disagree on war and politics, one thing most people can agree on is that our military deserves our support, respect and appreciation. They make sacrifices to protect the rest of us. However, too often we forget the…

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