Archive for May, 2012

Recycling Industrial Equipment

Essential parts are simple to find online

There is a large debate going on at the moment about the use of industrial machinery and the most economic way to implement green change in a way that will have a positive effect on the environment without damaging the structure of industries like agriculture. One thing that is grossly overlooked when it comes to most forms of industry is the use of recycled equipment and machinery. It is very possible to repair, upgrade and improve old machinery in order to make it apply to new standards on safety, efficiency and functionality.

One of the reasons that this has been overlooked in the past is because it can be hard to procure precisely the right materials. But since the advent of the internet it is perfectly possible to buy used tractors very cheaply and to upgrade them with parts like catalytic converters to make them more energy efficient. The cost of this process is far lower than it would be to purchase a brand new tractor, yet the finished result is the same.

Recycling your old machinery online, repairing it or repurposing it yourself helps to greatly reduce the huge scrapping crisis that we are facing from industry in particular as the scrap large machines and a lot of the working parts end up on the scrapheap or getting melted down unnecessarily. What may have become useless to you may be very valuable to somebody else just because their needs are different. The B2B trade market can benefit greatly from the mutual trade of industrial equipment.

Rather than letting these machines fall into disrepair through neglect and underuse, if you realise that an item has become surplus to requirements, you can get a very decent price for equipment through the second hand market. Taking the time to research the value of what you are selling is essential, just as it would be if you were in the market to buy. It is important to make sure that you have all the knowledge and will get a good deal.

The importance of practices like these can not be understated and has already been seen to make a considerable difference in an industry that can be the most environmentally damaging of all. In Europe they have noticed the rise of ‘green agriculture‘ as farmers and producers take it upon themselves to make a positive difference to the environment with the hope that policy makers will take notice and actually catch up with them rather than waiting for slow systematic change. The benefits of recycling equipment is that it does not have to make a difference to your day to day routine and with enough research and time devoted to maintenance it can result in a cheaper solution for the farmers that take it on board.

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Earth’s Environment Getting Worse Ahead Of Rio +20 Meeting

20 years after the Rio Earth Summit, and shortly before this year’s Rio +20 meeting of leaders a report has shown that the worlds environment is getting worse. It has confirmed a huge 30% decline in wildlife across the globe since 1970.

The Living Planet Report has been compiled by the WWF and uses data from more than 9,000 animal populations across the globe. The diversity of animals and plants has been hit the hardest, affecting the basis of such resources as clean water.

Increasing population, urbanization, migration to cities, increased energy use, soaring carbon dioxide emissions and many other factors have all contributed to the squeeze on the planets resources.

The latest Living Planet report has estimated grim figures for the future. It says that global demand for resources has doubled since 1996 and it now takes 1.5 years to regenerate the renewable resources which are used in one year. The report predicts that by 2030 the current demand on resources will require the equivalent of two planets to supply.

It also states that many of the changes have accelerated over the past decade, despite numerous summits and meetings over this time designed to slow this change. For example, Carbon emissions have increased 40% in the past twenty years, with two thirds of it happening over the last ten.

Looking to the future, one of the major points is sustainable population growth. Although the global population hit 7 billion in 2011, the population growth rate has dropped, from 1.65% to 1.2% since 1992, which is a step in the right direction to decrease our impact on the planet.

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Global Policies on Wind Farms

Nowadays, there seems to be an endless torrent of news coming through for and against renewable energy. It is a very contentious issue with polarised views economically, politically, culturally and geographically. Obviously there are massive variations with all these factors contributing to differences of opinion. Wind turbines are one of the most talked about, and controversial, issues in energy production, seconded only by nuclear power.

Wind turbine use is still hotly debated

In the UK, wind turbines have been a part of our countryside for many years, with the first on land wind farm being built in 1991. The growth has been rapid since then, increasing energy output 6 fold in only the last 5 years. There are always new wind farms being proposed and built, with England and wales largest onshore wind farm being announced recently, which will power an estimated 206,000 homes a year once completed.

With many countries using wind power to count towards tough targets for reducing CO2 emissions, they are the easiest and best technology available now, without the need for long running research. In Australia there has been recent uproar about increased numbers of wind farms. The media has caused a small scale panic over the safety of wind farms. Nature groups have complained about the number of birds being killed by wind farms, which is insignificant compared to the amount killed by power lines, cars and other factors which are in use now. Issues over health have also been raised over the use of wind farms. If they caused adverse health effects then there would have been a pandemic across Europe, where large numbers have been in use for many years.

In China, wind turbine energy has grown at a fast rate, producing around twenty times as much energy as the country did 5 years ago. This has been required to keep up with the county’s increased population and economic growth. They have had problems though, infrastructure for power lines and the often rural areas where they are situated can create problems for installation and repair.

An example of a traditional fossil fuel power station

In the USA, energy production and consumption is a hot political topic, especially now during the run up to presidential elections. As the population is polarised on most issues, for and against arguments, issues can be used as huge vote gaining policies. A recent article has dug into the politics behind wind farms and found that there is a large network of people and organisations working to stall the building of wind farms. There are numerous reasons behind this; keeping the US’s fossil fuel industry going, undermine the strength of current political powers, bolster the more conservative sectors and many other issues. With this worrying information and America’s power in the global economy, there is a severe need for other countries to lead the way and force Americans into acting responsibly. Using issues that affect the whole world is no way to run one country’s political campaign.

With most countries trying hard to meet lowered CO2 emission targets, there looks to be hope for future generations, but blocks in the path of progress will ultimately damage everyone and have ramifications long into the future.

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Hosepipe Bans and Flooding, a Typical British Spring

Recent headlines about drought in the UK have been starkly contrasted with this week’s flood warnings and severe weather. Over the last 2 years, below average rainfall has continued, leading to a recent hosepipe ban.

Flooding in Tewkesbury April the 30th

This may seem ridiculous with flood warnings across the country and even tragic events, with a man drowning whilst fording a swollen river in Hampshire. Even with the wet April weather, there have been warnings that more will be needed for our reservoirs to last over the summer.

Last night (30th April) the Met Office said that an average of 121.8mm of rain had fallen across the UK in the past 30 days, being the highest amount recorded since records began in 1910. For comparison, the average for April is just under 70mm. This seems even stranger after March, being the third warmest and fifth driest on record.

There are flood warnings across England, with the only area without them in the North West and the Met Office have forecast another wet week, giving little respite.

Flooding in York after the Ouse burst it’s banks.

The floods are directly linked to the drought conditions that we have been suffering from recently. As soil dries out it becomes hard and compacts, making the rainwater unable to permeate it easily, making the rainwater simply run off. Whilst some water does get soaked up and makes it to reservoirs, more prolonged periods of lighter rain are needed to let the ground regain its moisture.

Polly Chancellor, national drought co-ordinator for the Environment Agency, said: “We’ve had a lot of rain this past week, which is a welcome boost for farmers and gardeners, and has delayed the need for water companies to apply for further drought permits.

“But with the dry soils, most of this rain is either soaked up or, worse still, runs off quickly, causing flooding, as we have seen in some areas this week.”

For the North of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the outlook is brighter, but with better weather, the problem of drought still remains. With rainfall during hotter periods of weather, more water gets evaporated compared to during the winter months: So for supplies to be restored there would need to be a great deal more than during winter.

It is impossible to tell if summer will be dry or a wash out, but as the past few months have shown, either way will have its own problems.

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