Nebraskans Install First Solar Panels Inside the Keystone XL Pipeline Route

‘Solar XL’ project breaks ground along Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, highlighting clean energy solutions over the fossil fuel industry
 
Silver Creek, NE — On Saturday, July 29th, the “Solar XL” project placed its first solar panels along the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, on the farm of Nebraska landowners Jim and Chris Carlson near Silver Creek. The Carlsons, who rejected a $307,000 offer from the pipeline company TransCanada to build Keystone XL through their backyard, partnered with Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO, and Oil Change International to put renewable energy directly in the pipeline’s path. Solar XL underscores the need to center solutions to climate change while rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and resisting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. 

“Build Our Energy Barn” built in 2013 on the Hammond family’s land inside KXL route near York, Nebraska — one of the many signs of resistance to Keystone XL. Photo Credit: Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska

Source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/boldnebraska/albums/72157686827119456

“While we are dedicated to Keep It In The Ground efforts to stop new fossil fuel development, we are also deeply committed to the Just Transition. Solar and renewable energy can provide a sustainable transition away from fossil fuels and provide job growth in areas traditionally left behind, like rural America and our Indigenous communities. By placing solar projects in the route of Keystone XL, we are demonstrating how vital it is to not just stop dangerous and unnecessary projects like KXL but to also show that there are alternatives to the fossil fuel industry that do not put communities at risk and sacrifice Indigenous Peoples and land. We are excited to be a part of this resistance that also highlights the solutions that are needed,” commented Joye Braun, organizer from the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The Solar XL project is being supported through an ongoing crowdfunding campaign launched earlier this month. The solar panels, which will be installed in at least two other locations along the pipeline route, will serve not only as a form of clean energy, but as a symbol of the urgent need for a just transition away from fossil fuels toward a 100% renewable energy economy. The panels will help power the homes of Nebraskans resisting Keystone XL, and are being installed by the family-owned rural solar business, North Star Solar Bears, run by Jim Knopik.

Jim Knopik (left) and North Star Solar Bears solar installers with farmer Rick Hammond (right) and his 25 kW solar array near Benedict, NE. (Photo: Mary Anne Andrei)
Jim Knopik (left) and North Star Solar Bears solar installers with farmer Rick Hammond (right) and his 25 kW solar array near Benedict, NE. (Photo: Mary Anne Andrei)
‘Solar XL’ project breaks ground along Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, highlighting clean energy solutions over the fossil fuel industryThe Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil a day from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and then on to the export market. The pipeline would pass through farms, ranches, and Indigenous land, posing a threat to the Ogallala Aquifer and other water sources that would be contaminated by spills and leaks. Landowners continue to fight eminent domain for private gain knowing this would be the first time the Public Service Commission (PSC) grants those powers to a foreign corporation. Lastly, all along the route, local economies are connected to agriculture, and climate change is a serious issue. Keystone XL would significantly add to climate risks for farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations.

The first installation took place just over a week before the Nebraska Public Service Commission holds hearings in Lincoln on whether to grant a construction permit for Keystone XL through the state. One day before the hearings on August 6th, people from around Nebraska and surrounding states will converge for a march through the streets of Lincoln urging the Commissioners to reject the permit. If permits are granted for Keystone XL construction in Nebraska, TransCanada will have to tear down homegrown clean energy in order to build, galvanizing people across the country to fight back.
  

Jim Carlson, Nebraska landowner who placed solar in path of Keystone XL on his family’s farm: 

“I am vehemently opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline mainly because of the properties of the contents of the tar sands oil it will carry — this is not your Mother’s crude oil, it is the Devil’s, and it can kill. We must be focused on clean, renewable energy and America can get along just fine without this foul concoction they call bitumen that TransCanada wants to pipe across our precious soil and water.”
Jim Knopik, North Star Solar Bears. LLC:

“Our family-run company is based in Nebraska — and by installing solar projects, like the ones to stop the Keystone XL pipeline — my kids are able to stay on the farm. It’s time for our country to start the transition to clean energy now.”

More information on the “Solar XL” project:

http://boldnebraska.org/solarxl

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Experts Share their Secrets to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle

Whether it’s protesting the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement or vowing to transition to electric-only vehicles within the next decade, many businesses have been focusing on how they can do their part in saving our planet.

Although many Americans want to make the personal transition towards green living themselves, most don’t even know where to begin! That’s why the team at EmPower Solar decided to speak with a panel of eco-friendly experts on their personal practices. You can see their best advice here.

Whether it’s protesting the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement or vowing to transition to electric-only vehicles within the next decade, many businesses have been focusing on how they can do their part in saving our planet.  Although many Americans want to make the personal transition towards green living themselves, most don’t even know where to begin!

YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY & FUNNY OR DIE LAUNCH BOILING THE FROG with SENATOR AL FRANKEN

NEW YORK / LOS ANGELES – We bet you didn’t think climate change could make you laugh! But this new series can…

The Primetime Emmy® Award-winning television and digital series Years of Living Dangerously has joined forces with Funny Or Die to launch a new digital series which tackles the issues surrounding climate change with humor.

Produced in collaboration with The Years Project, Years of Living Dangerously is the multimedia series that has brought together some of Hollywood’s biggest influencers who are passionate about environmental issues and revealed emotional and hard-hitting accounts of the effects of climate change from around the planet.

Produced in collaboration with The Years Project, Years of Living Dangerously is the multimedia series that has brought together some of Hollywood’s biggest influencers who are passionate about environmental issues and revealed emotional and hard-hitting accounts of the effects of climate change from around the planet.

http://www.funnyordie.com/years_of_living_dangerously
http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/learn/news/boiling-the-frog

Season 1 of the new series Boiling the Frog with Senator Al Franken involves six five-minute episodes. Each episode will be released every week on the Facebook pages of Funny Or Die and Years of Living Dangerously beginning July 10th. The entire season will also be available on www.funnyordie.com. Each episode can be embedded on other sites via the Facebook or YouTube versions of the videos.

U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, the former comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member, has emerged as a powerful voice on climate change and environmental issues in the U.S. Senate. But it’s a serious job and for the past decade he really hasn’t had the opportunity to be that funny.

“I thought Senator Al Franken had lost his comedic mojo,” said series creator and executive producer David Gelber. “And I assumed that his mind was permanently stuck in the serious policymaker mode. But our team discovered that this guy still has it. And with great humor he’s able to tackle the hot-button and deadly-serious issue of climate change in a way that is both hilarious and informative.”

“Senator Franken literally gave us the third chair – a front row seat – to his conversations and interactions with former late night television host David Letterman and some of his Senate colleagues,” said series creator and executive producer Joel Bach. “And the result is special. We find that Franken is a truly optimistic Senator when it comes to climate change, even as he holds back no punches when it comes to the lobbyists and politicians who are pushing for a U-turn in climate change policies.”

Episode 1: Intro

Senator Franken talks about climate change by making an analogy: an overweight heavy smoker wants to find a doctor who will tell him he doesn’t have to change his lifestyle at all. The question is, just who is this doctor?

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/8fd42231b4/boiling-the-frog-ep-1-senator-al-franken-takes-on-climate-change

Episode 2: Siegfried & Roy

Senator Franken tells Letterman about who is behind a lot of the inaction in Washington on climate change. He calls them Siegfried and Roy, and they have Franken’s Republican colleagues running scared. Who are these guys?http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/1d1411374f/boiling-the-frog-ep-2-siegfried-and-roy

Senator Franken tells Letterman about who is behind a lot of the inaction in Washington on climate change. He calls them Siegfried and Roy, and they have Franken's Republican colleagues running scared. Who are these guys? https://www.instagram.com/YearsOfLiving/

Episode 3: Little Rhody

Senator Franken wants Letterman to hear about a real solution to climate change. Behind Franken’s senate office door is just the man to explain it. Hint: he’s from “Little Rhody.”

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/a7b547e19b/boiling-the-frog-ep-3-little-rhody

Episode 4: Don’t Drink the Water

Senator Franken is impressed that Letterman went to India to find out what the Indians are doing about climate change. But he also wonders, “Dave, when you were in India, why did you seem so stupid?”

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/357ddf0162/boiling-the-frog-ep-4-don-t-drink-the-water

Episode 5: Igneous

Senator Franken and Letterman take on Trump for having no idea why coal jobs are really disappearing. Then Franken takes on Letterman for using the word ‘igneous’.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6bb176c541/boiling-the-frog-ep-5-igneous

Episode 6: Is He A Doctor Or A Barber?  Senator Franken and Letterman learn that Letterman’s prodigious beard is actually a powerful weapon in the struggle to control carbon emissions.

Episode 6: Is He A Doctor Or A Barber?

Senator Franken and Letterman learn that Letterman’s prodigious beard is actually a powerful weapon in the struggle to control carbon emissions.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3c8d2913ed/boiling-the-frog-ep-6-is-he-a-doctor-or-a-barber

The first season of Years of Living Dangerously won the 2014 Emmy award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and was executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with Emmy-winning “60 Minutes” producers Joel Bach and David Gelber. Season Two ran on National Geographic to critical acclaim in late 2016.

The first season of Years of Living Dangerously won the 2014 Emmy award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and was executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with Emmy-winning “60 Minutes” producers Joel Bach and David Gelber. Season Two ran on National Geographic to critical acclaim in late 2016.

Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 and has grown into a premier comedy brand and production studio known for creating award-winning, high-quality content with a global audience of more than 70 million. Funny Or Die is the #1 comedy brand on both Twitter and Facebook. Funny Or Die is the top destination for celebrity-driven comedy videos and highly topical political commentary. Funny Or Die’s founders are Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy), and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Judd Apatow is also a principal partner.

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https://www.instagram.com/YearsOfLiving/

3 Ways to Make Your Home a Little Greener

greenlivingguy.com3 Ways to Make Your Home a Little Greener

Climate change and going green are two of the hottest topics on everyone’s mind. Going green can mean quite a few things for different people. It can begin with transportation, diet, or changing the cleaning supplies you use. Today we want to discuss how we can make you’re a bit greener and change your impact on the planet.

Look to Your Roof

Green roofs are very popular amongst city dwellers. Land can be harder to come by, making growing a garden that much more difficult. And we need to have as much green space as possible to help create more oxygen, reduce urban heat issues, and provide affordable sustainable food sources for families in our communities. It’s important to pay attention to the weight of your green roof. Some soils, not to mention watering them, can create very heavy gardens on the roof. You also want to be aware of creating drainages to allow for safe run off. 


You also should decide if you wish to create a food garden or grass garden. Certain types of plants will be heavier than others and there are tons of different kinds of grass seed types available on the market. With so many options, we are confident you can find a green roof to fit your lifestyle!

Shorter Showers

This is one tip that bears repeating over and over, even though it’s one of the most popular tips out there. Baths take a lot of water and showers are a little more efficient in terms of water usage. But, you should still take the time to get in and out as fast as possible. An average shower runs around 8 minutes long, which is quite wasteful. Here are a few tips on how to cut down on shower time:

· Don’t turn on the shower until you are ready to get in

· Use a non toxic soap, shampoo and conditioner. So many toxins in typical brands

Meyer’s is a non toxic soap

· Save any shaving for the bathroom sink

· Wash and get out, no standing around under the water

· Swap out your shower head for a more efficient model

Change Your Lighting

Lighting is easily an area to go green in. Changing your lighting will reduce your electric bill and your impact on the planet. Additionally, changing out the materials can lessen the use of toxic materials to create them. Here are a few ways you can change the lighting in your home to reflect a greener lifestyle:

· Change your light bulbs to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) 

· Purchase lamps that are made from wood or recycled materials

· Unplug your power adaptors when your lighting fixture is not in use

· Install skylights designed to filter in sunlight to light your home

· Install dimmers to minimize electric usage for lighting

Lighting is easily an area to go green in. Changing your lighting will reduce your electric bill and your impact on the planet. Additionally, changing out the materials can lessen the use of toxic materials to create them. Here are a few ways you can change the lighting in your home to reflect a greener lifestyle:

Going green can sound like a daunting task, but really, it’s one of the more simplest moves we can make. And given our ecological state, it’s one thing we should do. Even if you only go green in one area of your life, it still makes all the difference. Do what you can, when you can!

Five Ways Your Roof Can Save the Earth

Searching for ideas to make your home a greener place to live? Consider the roof over your head- the material you choose to protect you from the elements can make a big difference to the environment.

A metal roof is a perfect choice for homeowners looking for a sustainable roof. Home improvement expert Bill Hippard, president of the not-for-profit Metal Roofing Alliance (www.metalroofing.com) outlines five reasons why a metal roof is the best roofing material for your home and for the environment:

Eco-friendly products, including metal roofs, are rapidly replacing petroleum-based asphalt shingles. Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated and disposed of in U.S. landfills every year.

The average metal roof contains a minimum of 25 percent recycled content. Some contain a much higher percentage. Although durable metal roofs will likely outlast your home, if you ever do re-roof, the material is 100% recyclable.

Because of its ability to reduce both cooling and heating energy usage, cool metal roofing, is considered by many to be the perfect sustainable product to put on your home. Homeowners who install a metal roof immediately see a change in their energy bills. In addition, this durable alternative can serve as an excellent platform for photovoltaic systems or to capture rainwater for irrigation.

Eco-friendly metal roofing products are now the #2 roofing product on the market. There are tons of choices, including unpainted or natural metal, pre-painted metal, and granular-coated metal. The wide variety of finishes, colors, textures and profiles give homeowners an opportunity to fit into any neighborhood, or stand out from the crowd.

When combined with other energy-saving components of a roof assembly and attic system, heat gain into the attic can be reduced by over 90 percent.

As a bonus, U.S. homeowners who install an Energy Star rated metal roofing system before the end of the year, will be eligible for up to $500 in tax credits.

For more information and a photo gallery of roofing options, homeowners can visit http://www.metalroofing.com

A metal roof is a perfect choice for homeowners looking for a sustainable roof. Home improvement expert Bill Hippard, president of the not-for-profit Metal Roofing Alliance (www.metalroofing.com) outlines five reasons why a metal roof is the best roofing material for your home and for the environment: Eco-friendly products, including metal roofs, are rapidly replacing petroleum-based asphalt shingles. Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated and disposed of in U.S. landfills every year.