Solar Power: Finally Within Reach

Tuesday, 04 September 2007 11:48

By Micaela Cook, Citzenre Representitive

Solar power is gaining popularity and attention in mainstream America, but solar technology has reliably producing clean power for decades, in fact, many photovoltaic systems installed in the 70s are still operating today. Today’s typical solar cells have conversion efficiencies of 15 to 20%, but research and development programs aim to increase that to greater than 50%. While solar cells are already used for calculators, watches, satellites, remote telecommunications devices, municipal lighting, off-grid, and grid-tied power, solar energy also offers many possibilities for a sustainable future. Each day, 89 petawatts (that’s 89 followed by 15 zeros) of sunlight reach the earth’s surface. That is almost 6,000 times more than the 15 terawatts of average power consumed daily by humans. As technology improves, and more of this energy is harvestable through photovoltaic (PV) cells, greater quantities of ground-level air pollution emissions will be avoided. Non-renewable sources of power are the greatest source of this type of pollution.  Additionally, solar electric generation has the highest power density (global mean of 170 watts per square meter) among renewable energies, and this is without releasing any greenhouse gases whatsoever.

Read more: Solar Power: Finally Within Reach

 

Education that Nutures

Wednesday, 01 August 2007 06:40

By Dr. Deanna Berman and Bill Strauss

In today’s highly competitive world, one educational approach stands out in its embrace of children as both spiritual and physical beings. The Waldorf approach cherishes childhood and contends that children need the chance to imagine, create, connect to their physical world, and be participants in a social community as an essential part of a healthy life.

In this way, the early years of a Waldorf education focus on the expressive arts of song, dance, music, language, hand-work, and a variety of artistic mediums. In this setting, the work of the child is to play and create, imagine and sing, while learning social skills of timing, rhythm, and cooperation. With this focus, the “push” to learn and the “race” for grades are almost non-existent. This approach inherently leads to a greater sense of social health and well-being. Given the sickness and stress many of us see see in our own lives, perhaps letting our children have an opportunity to experience themselves through their head, heart, and hands, to learn reverence for the environment and participate in activities that foster healthy society makes more sense than ever.

Read more: Education that Nutures

Taking a Stand on Global Warming

Thursday, 31 May 2007 09:37

By Sigrid Kulkowitz

Many of us have accepted for years that pollution of all sorts was a problem wreaking havoc on our internal and external environments. We have watched many things get worse. If you were like me, though I tried to be conscious, I also had blinders on to exactly how bad things had gotten. I preferred to maintain a certain comfort level, and to keep that feeling of being overwhelmed at bay.


Read more: Taking a Stand on Global Warming

 

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  • A New Documentary Shows How Food Co-ops Are a Force for Change

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Membership Manager

    If you attended the Annual Spring Member Meeting in April this year, you had the opportunity to watch the trailer for a powerful new documentary, Food for Change: The Story of Cooperation in America. This feature-length film shows how food co-ops are a force for dynamic...

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