Tag Archives: Environment

Bajan Dreamers heading for the Antarctic! (with a little help from their friends)

Bajan Dreamers Antarctic

Bajan 17 year-olds Mickell Als and Shanice Holder have a dream: visit the Antarctic in 2015 while working to protect the environment.

Both have already been hard at work for years with various environmental and community projects on the rock – and now that they have been selected to be team members on the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2015, all they need is a little help along the way. Cash, that is.

World Electronics in the Bridge Street Mall signed on as their first corporate sponsor, but Mickell and Shanice know it’s going to take more work to raise their mission profile and convince fellow Bajans that theirs is a worthwhile project. We at BFP are convinced that the project will benefit the environment, Barbados and the two young people so we’re on board to help them as we can.

BFP pledges to do regular stories about their project and progress and we’ll also publish some articles from their BajanDreamers blog. And yes, we’ll also do what we can to publicize their other sponsors like World Electronics (who are selling the new BlackBerrys Q10 & Z10 unlocked, for the lowest price we could find.)

Good luck to these two fine young people and… Keep working hard at your goal!

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbadians should shake and fold!

The popular adoption of small ideas can lead to big changes. Here’s one from the TED Talks.

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Free market and science drive Apes Hill Club’s choice of grass

apeshill_Barbados

Barbados Free Press has been kicking ’bout hey for over seven years and that is a long time in the blog world to post every day and build credibility with the search engines like Google and Yahoo!. Readership goes up and down with the news stories and when a big event happens we receive tens of thousands of visitors a day. Our best day ever was 44,087 visitors and just last week we did alright when some discussion about Harlequin was flying and 33,669 visitors stopped by.

Those numbers aren’t much compared with the big blogs that drive that kind of traffic and better every day, but we still do 3 million visitors a year at BFP and that’s not bad for a little nothing blog run by a bunch of drunks and the occasional unemployed aircraft riveter. (Anybody want to buy the world’s best set of bucking bars and dimplers – give me a shout! And when I say “the world’s best set” I mean it. It includes some wildly customized bucking bars and cutters that you didn’t even know you needed until you use them. I shoulda patented them a long time ago but it’s too late now.)

Some press release agents think Barbados Free Press is a real newspaper. Huh?

Some people mistake us for a real newspaper (or maybe they don’t) and we receive a couple of dozen press releases a week about anything and everything. Most are boring product announcements but today we see one about a type of grass that does exceptionally well in the Barbados and similar climes. I never considered it before but the press release has me thinking about how a good drought-resistant grass could save big money for a golf course over a few years. Water is scarce and expensive in Bim, so the choice of grass for any type of space should be a carefully considered decision.

Apes Hill Club Nursery is the licensed producer of this Zoysia sod in Barbados. That probably means it’s expensive… but how much water will you save over the years by using this type?

Robert

BARBADOS — Bladerunner Farms, the world’s largest privately owned zoysiagrass research and development facility, is proud to announce that Apes Hill Club Nursery, a licensed producer of JaMur Zoysia on the Caribbean Island of Barbados, now has this environmentally friendly turfgrass available for harvest.

The wholesale Apes Hill Club Nursery grows 15-acres of JaMur Zoysia for harvest as sod, along with some 50,000 plants, that are sold to commercial landscapers, land developers and homeowners on the island of Barbados. Ed Paskins, CGCS, is the golf course superintendent at the neighboring Apes Hill Club golf club and was instrumental in developing the Apes Hill Club Nursery.

Before planting the sod farm at Apes Hill Club Nursery, Paskins visited the Poteet, Texas, research facility of Bladerunner Farms to see JaMur Zoysiagrass in a real-world situation. That visit helped him decide to license JaMur Zoysia for use in Barbados.

“You need to know that you’re getting quality and that the person is going to stand beside it. I think that because Bladerunner Farms is a family business and the owner, David Doguet, was willing to put his reputation on the line for the grass was extremely important,” Paskins said.

…continue reading this article at WorldGolf

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Electricity from ordinary sewage waste: Microbial Fuel Factory Cells

microbial fuel cell

Barbados should give MFC’s a look!

by Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

Recently there has been much talk about the diverse means available of obtaining energy from renewable sources (solar, wave, wind as-well-as bio-diesel/gas). However, no mention has been made locally of the use of microbial fuel/factory cells (MFC’s). MFC’s are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy as do batteries, via the use of micro-organisms.

Unlike batteries, MFC’s can sustain their output of electricity as long as the chemical input is maintained. Most bacteria are electrochemically inactive and cannot be used in MFC’s. Those bacteria which are capable of producing an electric current are called exoelectrogens. Exoelectrogens, when placed into a suitable medium, transfer electrons (negatively charged particles) to an electrode which has been inserted into the medium. This flow of electrons is facilitated by an active electron transport system, which carries electrons directly from the microbe’s respiratory system to the anode ((negatively charged electrode).

“MFC’s do not depend on sunlight to be able to function. There is no need to have storage facilities for storing electricity as is the case with solar energy.”

Continue reading

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Chunk of glacier becomes an iceberg the size of Manhattan

Thanks to an old friend for this interesting short. Aside from the astounding and beautiful photography and the scale of the ice ‘calved’ from the ice fields, I did not know that the ice fields have retreated more in the last 10 years than in the last 100 years.

Those who say that human activities don’t alter the earth’s climate are living in some sort of reality warp. Any pilot who has flown into New York City on a winter’s day will tell you about micro-climate: about how the heat, thermal mass and exhaust from this great city causes local climate changes including temperature inversions and dangerous wind shears, local icing, and restricted visibility – depending upon the prevailing winds and other factors.

If that’s what we can do on a purely local basis, imagine what humans do around the globe! When they burn the fields in Brazil, it’s Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) for hours when there is no real need of it. It’s the same in the Philippines – only there crop burning usually makes big and violent rainstorms. You can see them forming over the smoke if you’re sober!  🙂

Have a look at this short for the visuals and for the message. Visit the website too: Chasing Ice

Robert

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One video Elizabeth Thompson won’t be showing at the Earth Summit in Brazil

Browne’s Beach: effluent meets the water as it has for a decade and more…

As we’ve said in the past, Liz Thompson did little except talk when she was Environment Minister. Her environmental legacy includes not bothering to introduce an Environmental Protection Act, letting corporate polluters like Shell Oil run wild in Barbados, building a garbage dump on shifting soil in a National Park, killing the last mangrove forest and telling environmental activists to shut up if you are white.

The video above is courtesy of Barbados Today, and shows beautiful Browne’s Beach where the effluent from five canals (and all those suck wells along the canals – that’s ‘septic tanks’ to outsiders) joins together and flows onto the beautiful tourist beach and into the sea.

How about a sea bath at Browne’s Beach? Anyone?

Further Reading

Elizabeth Thompson a big shot at upcoming Rio Environmental Conference.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment

Should you turn off the lights for Earth Hour? An environmentalist talks about his doubts.

Well-intentioned people produced some of history’s worst environmental disasters

by Nevermind Kurt

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be switching off the lights at 8:30pm tonight (March 31st) and we will too. It’s time again for ‘Earth Hour’ – the largest environmental event in history. Last year over 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries participated, and that included a home near Grape Hall, Barbados where yours truly and a few friends sat outside in the dark and sipped cold Banks beer from the electrically-powered refrigerator still humming away in the house.

Luckily the petroleum-based paraffin wax candle burning on the kitchen table didn’t set fire to anything. To be truthful, we never thought about how the smoke from the candle impacted the ozone layer. We saw the candle as a symbol that we were doing our bit for the world.

We felt good about our little Earth Hour party. We were doing something important to help the environment. It was good for the environment, wasn’t it? It did help forward the environmental movement around the globe… didn’t it?

This year though we’re going to do something a little different: we’re going to talk about whether Earth Hour does any harm to the environment or to the environmental movement, and if so, what lessons can be learned and what should be done about it.

I can already hear the angry shouts from fellow environmentalists “How could Earth Hour possibly harm the environment? How could it harm the environmental movement?”

Calm down, friends. Unless you’ve thought about my questions before, why do you think you immediately know the answers? Why do you react so defensively when someone dares to deconstruct what you believe or asks you to verify that which you hold as environmental truth?

When science and common sense yield to shouted dogma

Shouldn’t we constantly question ourselves, our peers and the environmental elites and leadership? Why the defensive, dare I say almost religious indignation when someone dares to question the environmental dogma of the day? Where does this precious environmental dogma originate… from the environmental gods and saints? Is it therefore never to be challenged?

The environmental experts, gods and saints haven’t done so well lately. They have been wrong on more than a few occasions. Like all human beings they are sometimes wrong as individuals and not infrequently they act like a herd of lemmings headed for the proverbial cliff. Continue reading

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