Most of Congress Disagrees With Their Constituents on Climate Change

Eagle TearsDid you know that our congressional representatives are NOT representing us on Climate Change?

I’m confused. I thought our congressional representatives were supposed to “represent” our beliefs when they vote on initiatives that impact us.  If 76% of Americans believe that climate change is caused by man, then why is it that only 41% of the House and 30% of the Senate vote accordingly? That means that over 202 million Americans are represented by climate deniers in Congress.

Say what? Well, maybe the fact that these same climate deniers have received over $73 million dollars from Big Oil might have something to do with it. Hmm.

I like what U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, “Members of Congress should be accountable to their constituents, not to a fossil fuel industry that uses the threat of unlimited campaign spending to command their silence.”

[Source]  Want to put faces to names? Check this out.

Why Isn’t Climate Change Being Discussed in the Debates?

Global WarmingI just read a disturbing quote from the Boston Globe:

“Thursday, while the nation debated the relative size of Republican genitalia, something truly awful happened. Across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, if only for a few hours, apparently crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above “normal” for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization.”

Let me repeat that. This is the first time the North American average temperature rose above 2 degrees Celsius. That’s 35.6 degrees (Fahrenheit) higher than normal.

While the politicians focus on distracting issues (with arguably less consequences), our planet is warming up and beginning to cause catastrophic disasters.  We need to deal with reducing CO2 NOW.

In my opinion, there is nothing more important than stopping the corruption behind politicians, big oil, and manufacturers that deceive the general population into thinking that we have time to solve global warming. It’s time for everyone to get their heads out of the sand and take action to lower their CO2 footprint today.

What are you doing that is more important than this?

Australia Cuts 110 Climate Scientist Jobs. Seriously?

AustralioopsI feel sickened by this news. Australia’s federally-funded research agency, similar to our NASA in the United States, has cut 110 of 140 positions that handle atmosphere and oceans, and another 120 positions will be cut from the land and water program.

I’m in shock! Australia is GROUND ZERO for climate change!

With these climate scientists now working in fields that are unrelated to their training and expertise (climate change and CO2 reduction), who will create the climate models and offer solutions? What kind of message are they sending to their young scientists, and more importantly, what are they going to do when they face climate-caused devastation?

Looks like corporate greed is the culprit, yet again. Yup! Economist Clive Spash says, “Climate science becomes secondary to business; business comes first. The interests of the corporate sector, of the mining and resource extraction industry, are primary in Australia.”

How could this happen to a country that already has extensive deserts, variable annual rainfall, and big problems with water supply? When are the Australians and everyone around the world going to wake up and work together to drastically reduce CO2 in the atmosphere? (Hint: HYDROGEN can be the answer – see this video Kids4Hydrogen made)

I am surprised that a few corporate giants have the power to mislead the masses and that most people still have their heads in the sand.  Actively addressing climate change is something we need to have done YESTERDAY.  It’s time we wake up!

Why We Need to Stop Fracking

Ban FrackingOil and natural gas companies are secretly drilling oil and gas wells using a technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Each well requires approximately one million gallons of water that ismixed with chemicals that are toxic and carcinogenic.  There are thousands of these wells in the United States and the oil companies keep drilling more and more.

Fracking threatens our water supply, increases health risks, threatens air quality and exacerbates climate change.  Don’t believe their blatant lies about how their well casings prevent these toxic chemicals from leaking into our water supply. They must think we’re idiots to believe that their well casing will never crack or leak. 

It infuriates me to think that a few people with the financial resources that the oil companies have can deliberately mislead the entire world population to believe that oil and natural gas are not culprits behind climate change, air and water pollution, cancer, and war. Wake up! It’s time that we as a civilization stand up to the few who control our economy, politics, and more.

What can you do to stop this train wreck?

Get Educated:

Watch Gasland and Gasland 2 to see what is really going on with fracking and how the oil companies are trying to keep us in the dark.  Smells a bit like “Erin Brockovich” or “Silkwood” to me… Seriously, spend a few hours and get educated about what’s really happening right here under our noses.

Read Clean Water Action’s website to get real information about fracking:http://www.cleanwateraction.org/fracking-california

Geothermal Energy: How Does It Work?

Geothermal EnergyHaving lived most of my life in Malibu and Santa Cruz, I’ve never felt like I actually needed air conditioning. Until now, that is.

You would think that beach communities wouldn’t need AC but as our climate is changing, so are what we used to consider “normal” weather patterns.

I’m researching geothermal heating and cooling systems because it makes so much sense.  For example, did you know that the earth always stays at a constant 50-55 degrees both during the summer AND the winter? By running tubing under your house or yard with geothermal heat pumps, you can provide pollution-free heat and air conditioning year round.

Geothermal energy diagram

Experts claim that you can save up to 80% on your heat and AC bills. So why isn’t everyone doing this?

[Source]

Energy Independence Day

For 9/11, I’d like to talk about Energy Independence Day instead of Patriot’s Day. After all, patriotism isn’t the  actual issue, it’s our dependence on foreign energy that caused the need for Patriot Day in the first place. I believe that hydrogen is the answer to this huge question, and there’s been an exciting development TODAY – read about it in this post. Also, if you missed Hydrogen Week, please go here to catch up: http://gakkomom.com

Test driving the Toyota Mirai!

Finally, a hydrogen fuel cell car FOR SALE (not lease)!  We loved the drive!

Entering the “Age of Hydrogen”!

After taking the summer off, Kids 4 Hydrogen met to introduce Evelyn Martinez to the team. Mike Strizki, of Hydrogen House, Skyped in at the start of the meeting to invite the team to his Dedication Event for the first consumer hydrogen house in the United States on September 11th.  He calls it the Energy Independence Day. This exciting news set the tone for a lively meeting where the team members discussed H2 refueling stations for homeowners, internal combustion engine (ICE) conversions to hydrogen, hydrogen house applications, the Toyota Mirai as the first fuel cell car for sale, and creating hydrogen using waste.  Great group of students and teachers; looking for a productive school year!

How Safe is Hydrogen?

I must admit that when I first heard about hydrogen fuel cells, the first thought that came to mind was the Hindenburg. Images of the flagship bursting into flames and crashing to the ground were quite unsettling. Then, of course, there’s the hydrogen bomb — which ranks right up there with the atomic bomb in everyone’s minds.

But, hydrogen is just as safe as gasoline, or even safer.

First, let’s dispel misinformation. The Hindenburg disaster was not the result of a hydrogen fire. In 1998, Nicole, my eldest daughter, met with Dr. Addison Bain in Washington DC where he shared with her his discovery that the Hindenburg caught on fire for two reasons: it began with the decision to change the envelop doping process (they used flammable paint) and ended with the decision to change the final landing procedure. Read Bain’s book, Hindenburg: Exploring the Truth, to learn more about what really happened.

Let’s compare apples to apples:

If you spilled one gallon of gasoline and dropped a match on it, you would have a huge flame. But, if you leaked one  gallon of gaseous hydrogen, it wouldn’t pool on the ground like gasoline, instead, it would shoot straight up into the atmosphere at about 45 miles per hour because it is lighter than air.  If you tried to light it with a match, the hydrogen would long be gone before you could ignite it.

Hydrogen tanks are designed so that in the event of an accident, the tank would leak hydrogen and it would simply go up into the air. Hydrogen explodes when it is compressed in an airtight container. Honestly, I would feel much safer driving with a tank of hydrogen in my trunk than a tank of gasoline.

Batteries vs Hydrogen

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the difference between electric-powered battery cars and hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars. It’s really quite simple!

Both cars are ELECTRIC; which means they have a motor, not an internal combustion engine.  Theonly difference is that electric cars store their energy in batteries, and fuel cell cars store their energy in gaseous hydrogen.

Elon Musk of Tesla has been making a lot of noise about the superiority of batteries over hydrogen. Not sure why he is trying to create a divide in these clean alternative energy storage systems, when he should be joining forces with the hydrogen innovators.  Shouldn’t the “bad guy” be the oil companies?

It’s curious to me that Musk prefers batteries when, if all things were equal (motors, car bodies, tires), batteries lose substantial charge over time while hydrogen will never lose any potential energy. You know that batteries die off in just a few days, but hydrogen stays constant forever.

What’s worse is that at the end of the battery’s life, it needs to be taken to hazardous materials sites because it contains dangerous chemicals and rare earth or highly toxic metals like cadmiumlithium or lead. Hydrogen, on the other hand, simply combines with oxygen to make electricity and the only by-product is pure water.

Electric cars that run on batteries have a prohibitively short range — around 40 to 100 miles per charge. Fuel cell cars, on the other hand, have an average range of 300 miles per tank. Charging batteries takes anywhere from 4-20 hours (depending on the battery and the power source), while filling a hydrogen tank only takes about 3 minutes.

This isn’t a battery vs hydrogen battle.  Hydrogen fuel cell cars use a few small batteries to power accessory devices. I just find it aggravating to see so much misinformation being put out there about hydrogen when we should be doing everything possible to stop using petroleum and natural gas.

H2 Conversions

With over one billion internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles on the road — and spewing CO2 into the atmosphere — today, the most efficient way to reverse this is to convert ICE cars to use gaseous hydrogen.

The team members at Kids 4 Hydrogen are actively finding safe ways to do these conversions. Because it’s not practical to junk all of these cars, we really do need to convert them in order to have any positive effect on our atmosphere.

Simple, right?

Yes and no.  Yes, there’s only one way to deal with the one billion cars on earth.  We need to change the energy they use to something that has zero emissions. Yup. ZERO EMISSIONS.

Well, we all know gasoline is NOT THE ANSWER. It’s too expensive to remove an ICE and replace it with an electric motor. So, the only viable way to continue to utilize the one billion ICE cars is to convert them to use gaseous hydrogen.  That would mean that all billion cars on the roads today would spew ZERO EMISSIONS.

So what about the NO? No because the oil companies don’t want us to convert our ICE cars.  That would mean that we wouldn’t be buying gasoline at the corporate gasoline stations around the world. Which would in turn mean that they wouldn’t continue to enjoy the billions of dollars of profit they make each year on gasoline sales.  These oil companies are so powerful that they have a stranglehold on car manufacturers and our government officials are in their pockets. So it’s not going to be easy LOGISTICALLY or POLITICALLY to convert our cars to using gaseous hydrogen.

Several scientists and innovators have successfully converted ICE cars in the past. It’s not a difficult process.  They’re testing storage tanks to find the most efficient way to store hydrogen in existing cars. I am so excited about this that I am donating my own car to the project.

I can’t wait to drive my own hydrogen-powered ICE car!

What is a Fuel Cell?

In a nutshell, a fuel cell is a device that takes gaseous hydrogen and converts it into electricity. This electricity can then be used to power anything that is normally powered by electricity, like cars with electric motors, ice cream makers, etc.

Watch the excellent one-minute video at the bottom of this post to learn how a fuel cell works.

In 1998, my eldest daughter Nicole and several of her 8th grade classmates received a Dept of Energy (DOE) grant to build a hydrogen fuel cell.

They contracted Schatz Energy Lab at Humboldt State University to design and build the 15-cell fuel cell for Merit Academy.

The students gave fuel cell demonstrations at universities and conventions in 1999 and then Nicole continued to promote hydrogen fuel cells for the next 4 years:

How a Fuel Cell Works

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Our Hydrogen Future

I just test drove a Toyota Mirai — the first hydrogen fuel cell car to be sold in the United States! It has an electric motor but is powered by gaseous hydrogen instead of batteries.

Wondering what hydrogen power is?

Listen to what the kids say about why we shoulddrop oil and embrace hydrogen!

Back in 1998, my eldest daughter Nicole built a fuel cell with her classmates at Merit Academy. They were fed up with the Gulf War (and that was just the start of wars over oil) and after a class debate, they launched a campaign to educate the public about clean alternative energy sources like solar hydrogen. Nicole and her friend Joanne became the first middle school students to ever build a hydrogen fuel cell.

Nicole continued to do educational outreach throughout high school and gave demonstrations at the Hart Senate Building before Congress in Washington DC and across America at conventions and college/high school campuses.

Intrigued by alternative energy possibilities, my youngest daughter Jaclyn invited energy experts for a forum at Merit Academy. She explored alcohol fuel, biomass, and other alternatives but came back to hydrogen as the cleanest and most promising energy solution. Jaclyn started Kids 4 Hydrogen in 2004 and focused on converting internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to use gaseous hydrogen. Getting resistance from the Dept of Energy, auto manufacturers, and oil companies only fueled her passion for converting the 320 million cars on the road in the United States.

In 2012, Michael Beck took the helm at Kids 4 Hydrogen. He researched the revitalization of hydrogen as an energy source and led the team on a 10-Day tour with a Mercedes F-Cell through California.

In 2013, Lexie Lyons created a whiteboard video that best describes why hydrogen is going to be a vital part of our energy future. Although this Indiegogo campaign is over, the message still resonates:

In 2013, the Kids 4 Hydrogen team wrote “In the Year 2050” — a song based on the Zager and Evans’s 1969 number one hit “In the Year 2525.” Vocals by Nicole D’Arcy, lyrics by Rebecca Fang, instrumentals by Daniel Kodama and Nicole D’Arcy, and music video by Zohar Wouk.

My Sustainable Hydrogen Community Concept Is In The News!

Yesterday, I introduced an idea to build an intentional, sustainable community at the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce meeting and I received a great response! And some applause! The Santa Cruz Sentinel was there and mentioned my idea in their article about the meeting:

“Longtime resident and visionary educator Susan D’Arcy wants to create a new kind of place to live. The founder of Merit Academy, she’s mapped out a plan for a sustainable community, a dozen traditional homes, seven tiny homes, a dormitory plus a dining area, theater, pool, basketball court and a garden. She envisions her grandchildren and their friends living there.”

The article is in today’s Santa Cruz Sentinel, and there’s even a video on their site.  It’s exciting to finally start getting some traction on this!

[Source]

Creative Ways Kids Can Get Involved in Stopping CO2 Production

Back in 1998, my oldest daughter Nicole and Merit classmate Joanne were the first students in the world to build a hydrogen fuel cell. They went on tour across the United States to demonstrate how fuel cells work by making ice cream with a machine powered by the fuel cell! Obviously they were the main attraction at their events – everyone loves ice cream! With no moving parts, it’s remarkable that hydrogen fuel cells can produce electricity with no CO2 pollution — the only by-product is water!

In 2005, my youngest daughter Jaclyn started Kids 4 Hydrogen, a California non-profit organization to educate the public about 100% clean hydrogen. She was a keynote speaker at the Walt Disney Concert Hall at an awards ceremony honoring then-governor Arnold Schwartzenegger for initiating the California hydrogen highway. She started a movement to educate Americans on how to convert their internal-combustion engine vehicles so they could run on gaseous hydrogen instead of gasoline.

In 2012, Rebecca, a Kids 4 Hydrogen member, wrote the lyrics and Nicole sang the song, “In the Year 2020” to update the public on our environmental dilemma since Zager and Evan’s 1969 number-one hit “In the Year 2525.” Zohar created the music video. If you’re a boomer, you probably remember this classic. Check out the kids’ new version in this music video to learn more about how hydrogen can and most likely will become the future energy source.

  • Upcoming Events

    The team will continue to build better public awareness for Metrol and Smart Plugs.

    June:

    • Continued work on Climate Change and the Metrol Solution Video
    • Chapter Recruitment

    July:

    • Complete Climate Change and the Metrol Solution Video
    • Preparations for TED Talk!
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