School Buses with White Roofs Lower the Heat | Albedo Effect

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 14, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

Many decision makers in our towns as well as local businesses and corporate office parks are aware of the albedo effect and apply the principles. We can see this with our own eyes as we drive through our towns and cities. Large sports arenas and convention centers seem to glow in the sun, many with their white exteriors and white roofs. I hiked up a mountain over the weekend and was startled to look out and see the bright white church steeples, metallic silver domes covering silos, and a few other gleaming white rooftops on buildings dotting the rural landscape. Another excellent example of the albedo effect principles being applied all around us is the widespread use of white roofs on public school buses in communities across the country. My county in Virginia has white-topped school buses.

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In 1992, Brunswick County, North Carolina decided to run a pilot program to gauge the effectiveness of white roofs on school buses to lower the temperature. They’d learned about the white tops being used in California and Florida. California had begun applying albedo principles to school buses 20 years earlier. The Brunswick County pilot ran from August through December that year. At the conclusion, they found that the white roofs:

  • lowered the temperature by 10 degrees
  • lowered the temperature by 17 degrees during peak hours
  • and only lowered the temperature by 3 or 4 degrees in the winter

Heart of the Matter. Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Kathy Castor (FL-D) said at a recent hearing, “We are all dealing with the devastating consequences of a rapidly warming planet. In the past 5 years, about 4,000 Americans have died from extreme wether events. Every year we lose about 700 Americans to heat related deaths.” Experts have gone on record stating officially that heat has a direct negative impact on our health.

Chelsea, Massachusetts has taken protecting the health and well-being of school children to the next level. According to WBUR in Boston, Chelsea Massachusetts just finished installing two white roofs on their two public middle schools this past July 2021. Their objective was to lower the heat in the classrooms, as well as the area surrounding the school. Chelsea is an oppressive heat island, North of Boston, across form Logan airport and is considered one of the hottest cities in Massachusetts. In addition to lowering the heat in the classroom for the students, according to WBUR, the Superintendent, Almi Abeyta, is also looking forward to the lower cost of electricity that will free up some money in the school budget.

Chelsea elementary schools are up next for the white roofs. Additionally, the city planner, Ben Cares, explained they also plan to replace the asphalt with a lighter material.

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I’m personally and professionally very excited about the two white roofs reducing carbon emissions and also having two more buildings added to the growing collection around the world that will help reflect the sun’s energy and make up for the shrinking icecaps. August 20, 2021 was yet another alarming global warming red flag. It rained for the first time in recorded history on Greenland’s summit. According to the Sierra Club, 337,000 square miles of Greenland’s ice sheet, experienced surface flooding and 7 billion tons of water flooded the summit.

Active measures such as these — switching to white roofs on buildings and buses, and lighter ground surfaces to reduce deadly heat — are what every community should be rushing to do to save lives in this new high heat era. We have the ability to lower the heat. We must act.

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Chopping Down Trees Creates Legal Liability

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 16, 2020 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

Trees provide everything from oxygen to habitats for animals, yet they are chopped down with impunity. The damage to the environment is incalculable. To put it into perspective, however, half the number of trees exist now than those in existence when humans first evolved; fifteen billion trees are cut down annually; and ten percent of climate change is attributable to chopping down trees. Environmental carnage aside, legal liability and criminal liability exist for cutting down trees that do not belong to the harvester.

The legal terms most closely associated with cutting down and removing trees that do not belong to the harvester are “timber trespass” (mistakenly harvesting trees from another’s property) and “timber theft” (stealing trees from someone’s property). Timber trespass deals more with the civil end whereas timber theft can involve civil and criminal penalties. It varies from state to state. Nevertheless, lawsuits are filed for large sums of money over taking timber that does not belong to the harvester. 

In South Carolina, as of 2016 one-hundred cases per year are investigated and pursued with a value of between $500,000 and $600,000. A man in North Carolina illegally cut timber near Asheville, the value of the trees owned by a conservancy assessed at $1,000, but the mill rights to the timber of $25,000-$30,000. 

Illegal tree harvesting tends to be less of a problem in North Carolina, which has a larger population, than it is in Maine, which has a smaller population and vast swaths of uninhabited forests. Maine has over one-thousand complaints of timber theft each year.

The damage to the environment cannot be separated from the legal issues that arise from stealing trees, which are property, but they are far more than that to every living thing. In the most basic sense, illegal harvest of trees contributes to the problem of deforestation:

Over half the world’s land-based plants and animals live in forests, and three quarters of the world’s birds live in and around forests. It does not take a science PhD or intricate knowledge of environmental science or ecology to understand that the more trees that are cut, the more environmental problems that will follow.  

And it is a problem all over the world from the rainforests in South America to the United States to even Ireland:

All of it is interconnected, and every time a tree is cut down (regardless if it is replaced), the owner of the tree is impacted as is the rest of the planet. While planting new trees can certainly mitigate the problem, it cannot recapture what is lost every time a tree is cut down. Sadly, the only way to stop harvesting of trees may be filing lawsuits because people and corporations tend to respond the most when their money is on the line. 

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Senate Steps-Up | Perspective

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SENATE SECURES 30th CO-SPONSOR

The senate secured the required 30th co-sponsor Monday to reverse the recent net neutrality repeal by the FCC.

In light of Trump’s apparent indifference to the checks and balances of the three branches of government, which were established by our founding fathers to restrain each branch from having more power than it was designed to have, Trump’s continuous forceful over-reaching has been stymied.

This first feat of the new year, the first morning Senate was back in session, was accomplished when Senator Claire Mccaskill added her name to the list.

Net neutrality was a major notch in Obama’s belt of achievements. It guaranteed equal access to all internet content without “favoring or blocking particular products and websites.”

Citizens in countries such as Iran and North Korea, those run by dictators, are blocked from most internet content that we take for granted including social media. Additionally, citizens suffer through painfully slow connection speeds in oppressed countries. Under Trump, the FCC was directed to repeal the Net Neutrality protections, resulting in large corporations being able to limit consumer access to all content.

“‘We’ve reached the magic number of 30 to secure a vote on the Senate floor, and that number will only continue to climb,’ Markey said in a statement Monday. ‘Republicans are faced with a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.’”

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STATES

A panel of federal judges has ruled North Carolina’s U.S. congressional GOP-drawn districts are overly partisan and thus unconstitutional. No more elections can take place using the old maps. Gerrymandering will also be reviewed by the Supreme Court in 2018. Many states will likely follow North Carolina’s lead.

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ENVIRONMENT

The warming air and seas across the globe, brought on by climate change, is turning 99% of the sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean female. “…the sex of the sea turtle is determined by the heat of the sand incubating their eggs.” The relationship between the number of females to males is now extremely mismatched. There are other temperature dependent species who’ll be similarly impacted.

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HEALTH

Many health conscious professionals believe there are natural alternatives for the most prescribed drugs. This because we’ve been on earth several millenniums and it’s only recently in the past few decades that pharamacutucals have been the primary go-to solution for most medical conditions. Medication is quick and easy and we don’t have to make too many changes in our lifestyle. However, side-effects can be a serious liability, which result in many new conditions.

Here are natural remedies for several of the top ten medical conditions: pain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure.

 

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