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Supercars Taking Steps To Go Eco-Friendly

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Tesla Motors IPO was just $19 a share in 2010, and many on Wall Street thought the company was doomed for disaster. Boy, were they ever wrong. As of 5/5/2014, Tesla is trading at $216/share with specialized Tesla recharge stations starting to pop up across the country. This story of the “little electric engine that could” now looks to be one of the biggest, most daunting shadows to be cast over the car industry since the likes of Henry Ford.

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Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson said on October 31st, 2004,

“[Supercars] are designed to melt ice-caps, kill the poor, poison the water table, destroy the ozone layer, decimate indigenous wildlife, recapture the Falkland Islands, and turn the entire Third World into a huge uninhabitable desert… but only after they’ve nicked all the world’s oil.” 

10 years ago, this sentiment was amusing. Today, as we have become significantly greener as a species and woken up to the damage we’ve done to our planet, it’s not as funny. But what exactly is a “supercar” you ask? Let me give you a few brand names to point you in the right direction —

Bugatti. Ferrari. Lamborghini. Bentley. Aston Martin. Porsche. Mclaren. Koenigsegg. The list goes on. These are car manufacturers that produce vehicles designed for ultra high speeds. If it doesn’t have a top speed above 190 MPH, it’s not a “supercar.”

These cars are not just outrageously expensive to acquire, but to own and maintain as well. I recently had the privilege to drive a 2007 Bentley Continental GT with a W12 engine (that’s basically two V6 engines fused together to produce a monster with 610 brake horsepower.) Everything about it was kingly. Leather covering almost every square inch of the interior. Hand crafted wood panels, steering wheel, and dashboard… And my god was it comfortable. But there was one thing I noticed above all else while driving the car – it had a complete dismissal towards fuel efficiency (6 MPG, and it took premium). I suppose if you can afford a car with an original MSRB of $200,000, you aren’t exactly concerned with what you’re paying for gas. Yet curiously the car was 7 years old, and things have changed quite a bit since then.

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By 2025, California emission standards will require cars to get at least 54.5 MPG. Although California is largely the instigator of higher emission standards, the rest of the country is rallying behind them. Since 2007, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New York have all adopted stricter emission standards for vehicles. They’re not as ambitious as California’s 2025 requirement, but it is instigative change none-the-less. And it’s not just here in the United States. If anything, we’re late bloomers to this trend. The European Union, Australia, and Japan all have strict emission regulations for vehicles in their respective countries.

So what does this mean for the future of the supercar? Will you be pulled from your vehicle and beaten by an angry mob of environmentalists who think you’re an eco-terrorist? Unlikely — the supercar game is changing as well.

Enter the Porsche 918 Spyder, the game changer for the supercar industry. It’s considered to be the successor to the now decade-old Porsche Carrera GT. The predecessor had a top speed of more than 205 MPH and got roughly 13 MPG. The 918 Spyder has a top speed of 216 and gets roughly 80 MPG! It’s a gas/electric hybrid that can run 18 miles on pure electricity alone.

Porsche’s 918 Spyder, a supercar that gets 80 MPH and has a top speed of 216 MPH

Only 918 are being built (thus the title, the “918”), and with a sticker price of $845,000, it certainly isn’t a car for the masses. But it is a vehicle that will no doubt change the future of supercars. Mclaren is catching on as well– their recent supercar, the P1, is also a gas/electric hybrid. It’s MPG isn’t nearly as impressive as the 918’s is, but the sheer fact that the car was produced in the first place speaks volumes to the future and importance of the technology. Oh, and now BMW has a $135,000, 95 MPG hybrid sports car as well — the i8. It’s top speed may only be 155 MPH, but its 4.5 second 0-60 is on par with many supercars today.

Mclaren P1

Mclaren’s Gas/Electric P1

Porsche and Mclaren aren’t the only companies waking up to the truth that change is upon them. At this year’s Beijing Auto Show, Bentley unveiled plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV by 2017, and then introducing hybrid technology into their entire lineup thereafter.

Bentley's grand unveiling of a plug in system at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

Bentley’s grand unveiling of a plug in system at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

The bottom line is the game is changing in the world of supercars. Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Lamborghini are all developing hybrids of their own. Every car company “for the masses” are already producing hybrids and are even starting to turn towards fully-electric. In fact, Porsche CEO Matthias Muller recently said he sees Tesla as a serious threat.

Engines are getting smaller, but it does not mean the death of the supercar as we know it. It means the rebirth. Smaller engines that are turbo charged are not only more efficient, but faster too. It’s a win-win for both the drivers of these cars, and for the environment. The only negative consequence of this change is what will happen to the current supercars on the road? The 2005 Ford GT has been known to literally stoop to 3 MPG. In 15 years, will it even be legal to drive something like this any more, and what will this do to the value of these cars?

Only time will tell.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/autos-must-average-545-mpg-by-2025-new-epa-standards-are-expected-to-say/2012/08/28/2c47924a-f117-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html

http://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Air/MobileSources/CleanCars/Pages/states.aspx

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/emission/

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10777398/Bentley-reveals-hybrid-powered-luxury-car.html

http://clarksonisms.com/jeremy-clarkson-quotes/popular/27866-supercars-are-supposed-to-run-over-arthur-scargill-and-then-run-over-him-again-for-good-measure-they-re-designed-to

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2014/4/10/Porsche-Sees-Tesla-as-a-Real-Threat-7719663/

 

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What Is Humanity Capable Of? This Man Got 152 Million Mangrove Trees Planted In 10 Years

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal's Minister of Environment, has led one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen. The program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta, Senegal.

  • Reflect On:

    If one person can do this, why can't the 'global elite' who have access to tremendous resources do more of this type of thing? What's really on?

Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal’s Minister of Environment, led a program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta of souther Senegal over the past decade. This represents one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen.  He’s been planting since 2009, and the success of the project truly goes to show what the human race is capable of, let alone one person.

As most of you reading this know, forests are one of the most exploited habitats on our planet, and a number of industries are responsible for their rapid destruction. Animal agriculture, alone, for example, makes up the large majority of amazon deforestation. It’s linked to 75 percent of historic deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nearly a third of biodiversity loss to date has been linked to animal agriculture. According to some estimates,  27 per cent – more than a quarter – of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. (source)

To truly begin exploring how new ideas can be implemented practically, watch the following video we recently put out: Regenerate: beyond The CO2 Narrative

Deforestation is a tragedy that plagues our world, and it’s something that can be solved as we have the potential as one human race to initiate large scale tree planting and reforestation, and this example from Senegal is a great example of that.

In a video interview with BBC, Haidar described how the original mangrove forest in Southern Senegal was disrupted in the 80s and 90s as the nation began to build roads which diverted or ended the flow of rivers. “At the time there were no environmental impact studies, of course.” After this he described lumbermen who clear-cut the mangroves, and then goes on to explain that the salt from sea water ended up coming in as a result and poisoning nearby rice fields. This really got peoples attention to the point where they began thinking about replacing what had been lost.

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The truth is, the human race has a tremendous amount of potential. All we hear from politicians and mainstream media seems to be nothing but talk, without the implementation of actual solutions. They’ve been doing this for years, yet you have people like Ali out there who are actually getting things done without access to the resources that the world’s elite have access to. If one man can do something as tremendous as this, imagine if the most wealthiest people in the world came together, pooled their resources and started something similar? It seems that ideas are always given, and conferences are always held and initiatives are always started, but nothing ever seems to get done when it comes to the political sphere. Countries agree to enter into certain accords that really do nothing for the planet, and crisis’ like climate change and pandemics, for example, always seem to be used for the elite to somehow profit off of them.

It’s time to ask the question, do our ‘leaders’ really have the intention to change our world for the better? Are our global organizations and politicians put in place to tackle these issues really making planet Earth a priority?

It’s hard to imagine that we couldn’t change this planet and clean it up in the blink of an eye if it actually were a priority.

If we can shut down the planet for months due to an outbreak, why can’t we do the same to make sure everybody is fed? Why can’t we do the same to spark a massive global reforestation campaign? Why are there so many barriers and obstacles to implementing solutions that can help change our world? The solutions are abundant and available, so one should ask themselves, if the solutions to our problems aren’t the issue, what is? Something to think about…

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins Key Court Case In Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A key victory came yesterday for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a Washington DC court ruled the Army Corps of Engineers must perform an Environmental Impact Statement to show the Dakota Access pipeline will not negatively affect the tribe's land.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we seeing further shifts in the old paradigm of money first and environment second? Are we seeing the power of relentlessly standing up for what you feel will make humanity and nature thrive?

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Their relentless energy towards having a full environmental impact statement (EIS) done with regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline that would run through their land and potentially impact their water supply, has finally paid off. This will bring the future of the Dakota Access pipeline into question entirely.

A Washington DC court ruled that the US army corps of engineers must conduct a full EIS given that their existing permits violated the National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa).

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said the tribal chairman, Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”

You may recall from 2016, the Sioux Tribe rallied and inspired millions all over the world to help in getting behind the movement to raise awareness about the environmental impact of this pipeline. People travelled from all over the world to join the tribe on the ‘front lines’ as clashes sometimes became violent between water protectors and police, as well as pipeline workers.

I recall being down in North Dakota covering this story and was amazed by the sheer amount of people coming to support, as well as the efforts police were taking to silence journalists from covering the story. Cell phone jammers were used to stop those on-site from live streaming what was going on. Independent media were the only form of media in Standing Rock for months until eventually, mainstream media showed up. There appeared to be a long-standing solidarity within mainstream media to portray water protectors as violent and to avoid telling their side of the story when it came to the pipeline. This was why independent media was so important at that time.

In December 2016, the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and effectively ordered a full EIS to be done in order to determine what alternative routes could be taken as well as what impact the pipeline may have on the tribe’s treaty rights. Yet, during the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, he signed an executive order to expedite construction of the pipeline. Construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline was completed in June 2017.

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Not long after, the tribe challenged the permits and won. The Army corps of engineers were ordered to redo its environmental analysis, but they did so without taking into consideration tribal concerns or expert analysis. This was likely to allow it’s the transport of oil to continue until they were again sued.

Finally, as this Wednesday, federal judge James Boasberg determined that the environmental analysis by both the companies behind the pipeline and the corps was severely lacking, and the track record of Sunoco when it comes to oil spills is not promising, and “does not inspire confidence”, he added.

The fresh court-mandated EIS will be more in-depth than the assessment already completed by the corps – and could take years to complete. Next, the court will decide if the pipeline will be shut down while the EIS is being completed and until the EIS is approved.

“This validates everything the tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Jan Hasselman, an EarthJustice attorney.

The Takeaway

The news of this Standing Rock victory may fall on distracted ears and minds at the moment considering the current global focus on the Coronavirus pandemic, but this is a big victory that shows the power of collective action and moving to stand up to actions of those who do not make the entirety of human ‘thrivability’ a part of their paradigm, but who instead operate from a space of disconnection and capitalization.

This news comes as I recently released my latest film Regenerate to everyone for free. The film re-examines our current mainstream approach to climate change and instead looks at our relationship to land, life, nature, money and each other as a whole. I propose that it is here where we will find the solutions we are looking for to truly allow our environment and each other, to thrive. You can check out the trailer below, and watch the full film here.

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Alternative News

Does Our Recycling Actually Get “Recycled?” (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”...

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time, instead of "recycling" that the production of harmful materials simply be banned across the world?

Everyday we produce waste, in our current society, it’s almost impossible not to. Many of us make an effort to recycle our recyclables, but unfortunately much of that still ends up in the trash. There are also a lot of countries that don’t recycle at all so all of the waste – all of that plastic, effectively ends up in the ground or sadly in our oceans. For those of us who do recycle, we feel good about ourselves, and feel like we are doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment, but do we ever question what actually happens to our recycling and where it ends?

Like many other aspects of our society, our recycling is, for the most part, out of sight out of mind. We don’t actually know what is happening to it, we just drop it off into the appropriate containers and hope for the best. Unfortunately this is not helping and in many cases is making the issue of the global waste epidemic, much worse that we could ever imagine. Whether or not the waste is actually recycled doesn’t really matter, because as soon as it leaves the country it came from and is labeled as recycling it is counted as such, regardless of where that plastic and other waste actually ends up. Often, there is so much un-recyclable garbage and material mixed in with the stuff that actually can be recycled that it all just ends up going to landfills.

This could be avoided if communities and countries became more strict with their recyclable material standards, it could also be avoided if everything we manufactured was made of biodegradable substances, like hemp.

The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”…


Something Needs To Change

It is clear that our current “solution” to all of our plastic waste is not working, as the video says, we need to find a better solution to this epidemic. Recycling standards certainly need to become a lot more strict, and each country should be held responsible for their own recycling and potentially laws should be put in place by the UN that makes it illegal to export plastic waste and recycling, this would then force us to come up with a better option. It is not fair that there is no transparency towards what is really going on with the public. If people really knew, it is likely that they would take a stand against this.

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What Can We Do, Ourselves?

Sometimes, we truly have to take matters into our own hands, we cannot rely on our governments to do the right thing, I’m sure many of us are aware of this by now. If we truly want to make a difference we have to do as Gandhi says and,

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

What does this involve? Taking responsibility for our own actions and dealing with these matters on a personal level. Do you know where your recycling is going? Have you ever actually looked into it? This is a great start, but an even more effective way to deal with this problem is to stop it before it starts. How can you lower your consumption and amount of waste you are producing? Can you choose products that are not packed in plastic? Can you use reusable, glass or stainless steel containers? Could you go back to the old-fashioned bar of soap? The fact of the matter is, we got along just fine without plastic for many years, we have other options and can all make a conscious decision to choose those other options.

We have to remember that as the consumer, we do have a direct say in what the big corporations are manufacturing. By opting out of plastic products, the companies will have no choice but to update their products and materials, or go out of business. We have already seen massive companies like Starbucks & McDonald’s making huge changes in this regard. If you need some ideas on how to reduce your impact, check out 10 Smart Hacks TO Cut Plastic Packaging Out Of Your Life.

Change starts with you!

Much Love

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