Big Carbon Emitters Can’t Hide in 2022 | Carbon Tracking from Space

Washington (GGM) Analysis | January 18, 2022, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; image credit NASA 2006/05/07

With so much greenwashing and delusional thinking from big companies about their real CO2 emissions, the need to refine the process of tracking carbon through satellite imagery continues to be enhanced. Accurate measurements will either make or break us on our quest to stay below 1.5ºC within the next eight years. Cutting our national carbon emissions 50% by 2030 is a very tall order to fill.  Knowing who’s continuing to emit high levels of CO2 and methane, and whether carbon cutting initiatives are or aren’t working, is critical to our success as we fight our way up this steep cliff.

John Doerr states in his book, Speed & ScaleAn Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis NowIf we fail to measure what matters, there’s no clear way to get where we need to go. To get to net-zero in time, we must measure precisely how much carbon the planet is emitting, where is it happening, who is responsible, all in real time.” 

NASA is determined to be the eye in the sky that gathers the much needed accurate measurements through it’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) strapped to the International Space Station (ISS). OCO-3 orbits the Earth and collects many dozens of regional images per day in blocks that are 50 miles x 50 miles. Cities, farms, forests, suburbia. The images are taken from sun up to sun down. “This is very important,”  Annmarie Eldering, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s OCO-3 Project Scientist, explains. “Plants respond to sun, so we need to see them behaving across the day.” The OCO-3’s predecessor, OCO-2, could only take images at 1:30 PM, 16 days on, 16 days off. Collecting measurements all day during daylight is a significant advancement. 

“The capability of OCO-3 is to map out some of these areas and see some change over time. That’s how we’re going to advance our understanding and modeling for the future, and understanding of climate.”

Annmarie Eldering, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

An excellent example of what Eldering is talking about is the way the CO2 levels rise and fall in the farm belt depending on the season. During the spring, when farmers plow and release the carbon stored in the soil, the satellite can see and track this. In June, when the plants are busy photosynthesizing, absorbing significant amounts of carbon, and quickly growing, the satellite can see the carbon levels decrease. Regenerative farmers then have the tangible proof they need to educate conventional farmers about why no-till farming practices are best. Seed drilling equipment was invented to support the no-till movement. The documentary Kiss the Ground was able to highlight these game-changing facts and educate the public on why regenerative farming is so vital to saving humanity. Kiss the Ground included the satellite video from NASA’s OCO-2 report to highlight this.

The OCO was originally tested back in 2009, updated in 2014 to OCO-2, and reconfigured again in 2019 to become OCO-3. The majority of kinks have now been worked out. We should feel confident in the readings. We need to believe in their accuracy in order to make the correct decisions that will transform our culture into the sustainable, carbon-neutral culture we need it to be.

The following OCO-3 Quick Facts were taken directly from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology:

  • OCO-3 is a vital part of the continuous global CO2 measurements that provide aerial views of regional carbon sources and sinks.
  • OCO-3 can take measurements at different times of the day, which diminishes uncertainty about the readings and assists in assessing how measurements taken from space can roll back human carbon emissions on Earth. Human CO2 emissions are the greatest question mark in our carbon budget and thus there’s a great desire to monitor and constrain.  
  • OCO-3 measurements can be combined with other measurements such as biomass and evapotranspiration to examine operational details in Earth’s ecosystems.
  • OCO-2 demonstrated that satellite imagery can accurately measure carbon levels better than 1 ppm. OCO-3is expected to have the same heightened accuracy. 

Knowing what we now know about OCO tracking over the farm belt, I hope Eldering and her colleagues can measure the impact that painting roofs white, and parking lots and roads white or light grey, will have on carbon emissions. There’s anecdotal evidence (lower energy bills) that points to high albedo colors such as white and light grey substantially decreasing carbon emissions in buildings, but a satellite image showing the lower carbon reading might be what really wins the hearts and minds of billions of people across the globe, and will inspire them to swiftly take action.

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Going Green Without Losing the Clean

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 18, 2021 by Sarah J. Kings

Now more than ever, keeping a clean home is rising to the top of the priority list.  As a parent, you are diligent in wiping down surfaces, disinfecting door-knobs, and beating back dust bunnies. But as you recycle container after container of Clorox Wipes and Febreze, you may be starting to wonder what impact this is having on the planet.  You might even be thinking about making some eco-friendly swaps to your cleaning routine.

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The heart of the matter. You are not wrong to worry.  The cleaning products that you are used to picking up at your local grocery store are incredibly harmful to the environment.  Most wet wipes contain tiny plastic particles that never biodegrade and many aerosol cans used for freshening up contain toxic chemicals and neurotoxins— filling homes with formaldehyde and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).  Though the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in old aerosol cans associated with causing the development of a hole in our Ozone are banned, that doesn’t mean they are good for the environment.   According to scientists at NASA, aerosol cans contribute to changes in rain patterns, lower air quality, and a higher carbon footprint.

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These products are piling up in landfills, contaminating oceans, and wreaking havoc on our environment.  But do the green alternatives really leave your house clean?  The answer is yes!

What you can do about it. For a truly green clean, try Young Living’s Thieves essential oils and cleaning products.  Their formulas are 100% plant-based and will rid your home of germs and viruses.  Not to mention their bottles are recyclable and promote sustainability.  One 64 oz bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner combined with a reusable amber spray bottle and warm water can replace almost all of your household cleaning products for a whole year.  Similarly, adding a few drops of their vibrant and health-promoting essential oils to your cleaning solution will virtually eliminate your need for harsh aerosol sprays. 

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Thieves received a B rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning— being beaten out by only one cleaner, AspenClean. Meanwhile, the most popular brands like Clorox, Fabuloso, and even Green Works earned  F- ratings.

Next Step: Consider changing up your routine for a healthier planet and a greener cleaner home!

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  • Concerns about COVID-19 have led to high cleaning supply sales
  • Most wet wipes contain non-biodegradable plastic fibers and some aerosol sprays may be causing changes to rain patterns across the world.
  • Clorox, Fabuloso, and even Green Works earned  F- ratings on the EPA’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
  • Switching to a more eco-friendly sustainable brand like Thieves or AspenClean will positively impact the climate crisis
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