During a conversation with a friend at a party, it became clear that ‘Good News’ doesn’t have the universal appeal that I want for this series. Many people associate the term with the Christian faith and spreading ‘good news’ in order to convert others to their path. Though maybe that does fit my blog. 🙂 I want to convert you to thriving as a way of life based on living fully with joy, love and care for the good of all (like sustainable practices).
Another party guest blurted out “how about ‘F..ing Awesome Stories?'” We both laughed, and I had the new name, minus the swear word. Again, I didn’t want to offend anyone, though I love the evocative emotion of his version.
So here is my first F..ing Awesome Story. Enjoy.
Meet Rachel Macy Stafford and her daughter.
Rachel tells a touching story of how taking her daughter to the inner city slums changed her daughter, but not in the way that you might expect. Her daughter was able to look to look at the suffering and see a person who needed help as opposed to her Mom’s perspective of seeing insurmountable suffering.
How about using the pressure of deep water to generate and store energy?
That’s the goal of Rainer Schramm at SINTEF. Water storage tanks on the sea bed at 400-800 meters depth are opened and filled with sea water. The flow of the water moves a turbine and generates energy which is stored in the tanks. The water can be pumped up and out to repeat the cycle. This system can be combined with wind power at the surface to create more consistent energy generation like wind and solar applications on land.
Hug It Forward has transformed from a free hugs group to a micro loan organization.
They are now sponsoring communities to build “Bottle Schools” using recycled trash in a creative way thanks to Laura Kutner. She had the inspiration to use discarded plastic bottles stuffed with trash to be the wall frames. The bottles are collected, filled with trash, lined up, bound with chicken wire and cemented. These new walls are better insulators than the previous walls, plus they creatively help reduce and reuse trash.
Printing solar cells? Wow!
Science has caught up with science fiction. Researchers in Melbourne are using current 3D printing technology, much like screening for t-shirts, to print solar cells onto thin plastic or steel sheets. According to Dr. Scott Watkins of CSIRO, they plan to use this technology for printing solar cells directly onto signs, laptops, buildings and more. I want to print a bunch for my roof, windows, car and more. Hurry to market please!
One story of contrast this week.
I need to to do more research, but it appears that electric vehicles, and many devices run on lithium batteries, may not be any “greener” than traditional gas cars when the disposal costs and risks from the metals in the batteries are included. Here is some background on the challenges with batteries if you’re interested.
This leads back to the idea that nuclear may be the best current energy source with sufficient capacity to meet demand and reduce emissions at the same time. If you’re wondering about the waste, you might want to learn about nuclear fast reactors that can run on current nuclear waste. Here is a more objective perspective on nuclear and why many leading scientists and environmentalists are now supporting nuclear.