EcoWatch Journal February/March 2011 : Page 9

TEAM HOPE AND THE 2011 RACE ACROSS AMERICA BY ANDRE HUSAIN An adventurous team of endurance cyclists will enter into the 30th Race Across America this June. The team is comprised of three cyclists from Northeast Ohio, one from Los Angeles, and a fifth teammate from Cape Town, South Africa. According to team captain Andre Hu-sain, “At the heart of our decision to enter this event is our charitable partner, Blue Planet Network. We believe strongly in Blue Planet’s mission of providing sustain-able safe drinking water to 200 million people in rural communities of developing nations in the next 20 years.” Since 2006, Blue Planet Network, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit, has sup-ported more than $25 million in sustain-able water and sanitation projects through its breakthrough global online network and has directly financed more than $1.25 mil-lion in projects, impacting nearly 350,000 people in 20 countries. Team members Rich Hinkel, Martin Lorton, Alex Galindo, Larry Smith and An-dre Husain will spend the winter training and preparing for the rigorous event that lies ahead. The route is more than 3,000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing more than 100,000 feet. Team Hope plans to race from Oceanside, Calif., to An-napolis, Md., in less than seven days. Race Across America veteran, and Team Hope crew chief Kat Espino said, “The team will face harsh conditions ranging from moun-tain cold to desert heat on their coast to coast sprint.” This is certainly a small price to pay considering: • 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population. • 2.2 million people in developing coun-tries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanita-tion and poor hygiene. • Some 6,000 children die every day from disease associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. • The United Nations estimates it would cost an additional $30 billion to provide ac-cess to safe water to the entire planet. That’s a third of what the world spends in a year on bottled water. • The average American uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day. The average African uses 5 gallons per day. For more information, visit www.theteamhope.com or www.blueplanetnetwork.org. Team captain Andre Husain trains for the Race Across America. Team Hope’s trek from California to Maryland will help raise money for Blue Planet Network. BURNING TREES FOR POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER We all grew up knowing that planting a tree was one of the best things we could do to clean the air. It still is, which makes utility companies’ plans to cut, chip and burn trees to make energy that much more disturbing. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has given the green light to utility companies to burn trees and call it clean and green “renewable” energy. Nine utility-scale power plants in Ohio want to burn trees as “biomass” on the order of some 2,100 megawatts (MW). While 2,100 MW represents only a tiny fraction of Ohio’s to-tal energy production, supplying that much fuel from Ohio’s forests would have devas-tating consequences. For some perspective, 351 square miles of forest would have to be clearcut every year just to supply this much wood fuel. Utilities like to argue that trees are a renewable fuel source. However, if the goal of renewable energy projects and energy ef-ficiency is to cut carbon in the atmosphere, then burning trees is akin to the corn ethanol debacle—only much worse. When you clearcut trees and burn them not only does the forest floor release carbon dioxide (CO2) for 30 years or more, but all the CO2 stored in the burned trees is released in one tremendous belch. Conservative BY CHERYL JOHNCOX, BUCKEYE FOREST COUNCIL chipped and pelleted trees. This fact is reflected in utility application documents. There is currently no government agency in Ohio looking at where these trees will come from, or what the impact will be on air and water resources. In 1900, Ohio contained just 10 percent of its original forest cover because of cutting to supply iron furnaces and promote westward expan-sion. Are we prepared to make that sacrifice again just so utility companies can generate “renewable” energy credits? For more information, visit www. buckeyeforestcouncil.org or call 614-487-9290. estimates suggest that it would likely take at least 30 to 90 years for such a belch of CO2 to be re-sequestered in growing forests. Some trade groups and even utility companies say they will be using switchgrass to generate electricity, but this is largely misinformation. While biomass pellets may contain some amount of switchgrass, the percentage is usually low. Test burns and research indicate that agricultural crops and grasses are much more acidic and contain higher levels of chlorine than wood—both making it difficult to meet emission limits and causing corrosion and fouling in boil-ers. Therefore, the fuel of choice is mostly Free February Fireside Lectures Natural areas worth knowing SYLVIA M. BANKS 9500 Sperry Road Kirtland, OH 44094 440.602.3833 Go to holdenarb.org for program details and to register WWW. ECOWATCH.ORG ECOWATCH JOURNAL • 9

Team Hope And The 2011 Race Across America

Andre Husain

An adventurous team of endurance cyclists will enter into the 30th Race Across America this June. The team is comprised of three cyclists from Northeast Ohio, one from Los Angeles, and a fifth teammate from Cape Town, South Africa.

According to team captain Andre Husain, “At the heart of our decision to enter this event is our charitable partner, Blue Planet Network. We believe strongly in Blue Planet’s mission of providing sustainable safe drinking water to 200 million people in rural communities of developing nations in the next 20 years.”

Since 2006, Blue Planet Network, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit, has supported more than $25 million in sustainable water and sanitation projects through its breakthrough global online network and has directly financed more than $1.25 million in projects, impacting nearly 350,000 people in 20 countries.

Team members Rich Hinkel, Martin Lorton, Alex Galindo, Larry Smith and Andre Husain will spend the winter training and preparing for the rigorous event that lies ahead. The route is more than 3,000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing more than 100,000 feet. Team Hope plans to race from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md., in less than seven days. Race Across America veteran, and Team Hope crew chief Kat Espino said, “The team will face harsh conditions ranging from mountain cold to desert heat on their coast to coast sprint.” This is certainly a small price to pay considering:

• 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population.

• 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• Some 6,000 children die every day from disease associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• The United Nations estimates it would cost an additional $30 billion to provide access to safe water to the entire planet. That’s a third of what the world spends in a year on bottled water.

• The average American uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day. The average African uses 5 gallons per day.

Read the full article at http://bluetoad.com/article/Team+Hope+And+The+2011+Race+Across+America/628794/60037/article.html.

Burning Trees Is Not The Answer

Cheryl Johncox

We all grew up knowing that planting a tree was one of the best things we could do to clean the air. It still is, which makes utility companies’ plans to cut, chip and burn trees to make energy that much more disturbing.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has given the green light to utility companies to burn trees and call it clean and green “renewable” energy. Nine utilityscale power plants in Ohio want to burn trees as “biomass” on the order of some 2,100 megawatts (MW). While 2,100 MW represents only a tiny fraction of Ohio’s total energy production, supplying that much fuel from Ohio’s forests would have devastating consequences. For some perspective, 351 square miles of forest would have to be clearcut every year just to supply this much wood fuel.

Utilities like to argue that trees are a renewable fuel source. However, if the goal of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency is to cut carbon in the atmosphere, then burning trees is akin to the corn ethanol debacle—only much worse. When you clearcut trees and burn them not only does the forest floor release carbon dioxide (CO2) for 30 years or more, but all the CO2 stored in the burned trees is released in one tremendous belch. Conservative estimates suggest that it would likely take at least 30 to 90 years for such a belch of CO2 to be re-sequestered in growing forests.

Some trade groups and even utility companies say they will be using switchgrass to generate electricity, but this is largely misinformation. While biomass pellets may contain some amount of switchgrass, the percentage is usually low. Test burns and research indicate that agricultural crops and grasses are much more acidic and contain higher levels of chlorine than wood—both making it difficult to meet emission limits and causing corrosion and fouling in boilers.

Therefore, the fuel of choice is mostly chipped and pelleted trees. This fact is reflected in utility application documents.

There is currently no government agency in Ohio looking at where these trees will come from, or what the impact will be on air and water resources. In 1900, Ohio contained just 10 percent of its original forest cover because of cutting to supply iron furnaces and promote westward expansion.Are we prepared to make that sacrifice again just so utility companies can generate “renewable” energy credits?

Read the full article at http://bluetoad.com/article/Burning+Trees+Is+Not+The+Answer/628796/60037/article.html.

The Holden Arboretum

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