Daily Green Wrap-up 8.November, 2012

Last week Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas of the East Coast, especially New Jersey and New York, leaving roads closed, public transportation swamped, and over 15,000 cars destroyed. This left people with a serious transportation problem…at least those who didn’t invest in a bicycle. As many people sat in gridlock or waited hours in line for the bus, those who rode bicycles on the regular managed to avoid the worst of it.
There’s something fishy going on in the Golden State, and we aren’t talking about the GMO genes being spliced into the tomatoes. On Tuesday, California voters ultimately failed to pass Proposition 37, a bill that would mandate labeling for GMO foods – the vote was close, with 47% in favor and 53% against. However back in October, the U.S Department of Justice received an official complaint from an attorney with the CA 37 Right to Know campaign stating that the opposition had made a number of outrageous and possibly illegal statements in their efforts to defeat the law. The advertisement featured the FDA logo below the quote, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says a labeling policy like Prop 37 would be ‘inherently misleading’.” The FDA never made such a statement, and faking their endorsement could get the creators of the ad into serious hot water.
A new grid scale battery technology developed by Stanford University researchers led by Yi Cui is able to withstand 1,000 charge cycles without degrading and losing capacity. This is a huge breakthrough for grid-scale energy storage, which is a crucial component of bringing more renewable energy sources into the grid.
Superstorm Sandy — and its revival of the issue of climate change, most prominently through Michael Bloomberg’s sudden endorsement — probably aided Obama’s reelection victory last night. But at the same time, there has been a vast debate about the true nature of the storm’s connections to global warming (as well as plenty of denialism regarding those connections).
  • Jeff (GreenJoyment): It’s frustrating to see the science of climate change muddled up by the politics of “Global Warming”.I find the work done by Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković (Milankovitch cycles theory) particularly interesting.  Our planet has clearly been warmer than it currently is, and it has be far, far colder too.  About 50 degrees Fahrenheit colder.

    While we are in this up trend on a short scale though, we can expect storms like hurricane Sandy only to be more and more severe.  A hurricane is nature’s way of finding balance.  There is an absolutely enormous amount of energy stored in our oceans as heat, and the tropical storms serve to pull that heat out of the water and into the atmosphere.

By now, most of America has started to shake the Election Night hangover. While it was the wee hours of the morning before President Obama delivered his victory speech, many other victories were won early in the evening. There were several important environmental and socially responsible initiatives on state ballots this year, many of which were strongly opposed by big corporate and industrial interests. Thankfully, grassroots efforts prevailed in many cases, with environmental advocates winning landmark measures that will help keep humans, wildlife, and the planet safer as a result. Read on to find out which green ballot measures won and which ones will have to try again in the next election.
Here in the northeast, it is warm soup time, and with the abundance of autumn vegetables, sweet squash and tree fruits, the possibilities for exciting recipes ignite the imagination. The essential ingredients for making great soup may vary from culture to culture, but they each work magic in very simple ways. Slow cooking yields the best results, while soup pots, as well as quality ingredients, can make the difference between a great or a mediocre soup.
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: I have been crazy for soup this year as the weather has turned colder. The best recipe I’ve found so far is this Harvest Feast recipe that I found on Hubpages. The spices are just right! I usually use boxed vegetable broth, but next time I’ll definitely try the great tips in this article for making nutritious vegetable stock without the sodium of boxed broth.
Americans waste $165 billion in food each year – which means that about 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten. The National Resources Defense Council found that the average family of four wastes $2,275 annually – or 650 pounds of food! What a waste! Not only because of the huge impact on the environment, but the fact that one in five Americans struggle to put food on the table everyday.