The 2015 Corporate Leaders in Renewable Energy

Corporate interest in utility-scale renewable energy is heating up. According to CleanTechnica, six Fortune 500 companies reached purchase agreements for solar and wind power in 2015. Hopefully we are witnessing a race for renewable energy megawatts. The results so far -

These six companies ordered a total 710 megawatts of renewable energy this year, which by a current average of 164 homes/MW is enough to power approximately 116,000 homes.  Three of the companies are in the technology industry, one in the auto industry, and one in healthcare.  The current leader, Dow Chemical, is in the chemical industry.

Hearty congratulations to these companies for leading the way!

The year is still young. It’s time to hear from other Fortune 500 companies. 

The grandeur of North America’s Great Sand Dunes

Among the Earth’s many fascinating nooks and crannies, Great Sands Dunes National Park & Preserve stands apart for its rugged grandeur. Hugging the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in southern Colorado, this 330 square-mile dune field contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. Protected as a national monument in 1932, this wondrous landscape became the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in 2004.

The extensive volume of sand comprising this park is believed to have originated in a vast lake, which was formed from glacial runoff at the end of the last ice age. As this lake dried, forceful winds picked up the sand that was left behind and deposited it along the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where it accumulated over thousands of years.

These days drivers entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve along its southern access are regularly astonished by the vista that greets them. Among its hundreds of dunes, five stand over 700 feet tall and more than thirty tower upwards of 600 feet. Hiking the Great Sand Dunes, either the smaller dunes at the edge of the park or one of the taller dunes, is an activity not to be missed. A round trip hike from the Dunes Parking Lot to the giant High Dune should last no more than two hours. And a 6-mile round trip hike to the colossal Star Dune will generally take around five hours.

Epic, almost surreal in their grandeur, the Great Sand Dunes stand as a testament to the mighty forces of nature, showing us how over time wind and water can build breath-taking mountains from the tiniest of stones. We’re fortunate to possess such a reminder of the power of nature and the fragility of its works, the appreciation of which may reveal to us anew the delicate beauty of this world in which we live.

John Oró & John Michael Oro

Photos: Prime Health @ TAXI March Monthly Meetup

Photos: Prime Health @ TAXI March Monthly Meetup

Prime Health holds monthly Denver Meetups to advance digital healthcare innovation in Colorado. Their March venue was graciously provided by TAXI, a mixed-use community that is “home to a number of full time residents and over 80 creative businesses.”

 

 

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Donny’s advice on Paleo dinning with friends

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

Donny, an undergraduate student at Ohio State University, lost 40 lbs after 6 months on the Paleo diet. She experienced many other benefits as well, including, “unblemished skin, healthier hair and nails, endless energy… and a great night’s sleep every single night.” Like most college students, she enjoys a good dinner party or a night out. However, she found it hard to adhere to the Paleo diet when dining with friends. Her advice as reported in PaleoNonPaleo:

1. Don’t let your new choices affect your social life. Don’t decline dinner party invitations, just offer to bring something to the party that you know you’ll be able to eat.

2. My friends and I used to spend an exorbitant amount of money going out for nights on the town including dinner and drinks. Now, at my suggestion, we spend a lot more of those nights cooking dinner together at one of our apartments and then watching a movie or sitting around a table playing a board game. It’s really brought us closer, and we all agree that we have a lot more fun now.

3. If you’re dining out, outline the basics for your waiter. Most restaurants are a lot more accommodating than you think that they are, and will happily cook your food in olive oil and avoid feeding you gluten. On that same note, a lot of restaurants have gluten-free menus that aren’t advertised. I can usually find lots of paleo options (or options that can be made paleo) on those.

Read about Donny at PaleoNonPaleo.

Find more Success Stories here

Mark Sisson on the Primal lifestyle

Mark Sisson, of MarksDailyApple.com, writes about "tapping into our genetic recipe for health, happiness, and fulfillment" in his book The Primal Connection. Here is a brief section from the Introduction on moving from "the age of distractions" to a "healthy, grounded life."

In the age of distractions, relentless stress, strained relationships, and overemphasized materialism, we often try to rationalize our way toward some precipitous point of balance. We follow regimens. We manage our time and relationships. We pencil in physical activities. We compartmentalize our needs and anxieties. For all the comforts and conveniences, the innovations and the accommodations, something about this whole picture of modern living isn't working for us. For all our knowledge, we impose an increasingly narrow, shallow definition on well being. 
So, what makes for a healthy, grounded life, anyway? What does it genuinely mean to thrive, to feel satisfied and fulfilled? We assume the answers are to be found in further progress: a new medication, a more elaborate gadget, the latest fitness class, or a social trend. The truth is, the answers we seek are often not that complicated. 
What if it isn’t a failure of progress but the frustration of some unmet meed at the cellular level? What if we entertain the notion that we aren’t - all of us as a hominid species - living the lives we were designed to live? Forget the caves and the skins and matted hair for a minute. I’m talking about a life of physical challenge but ample leisure. I’m talking about living by the natural ebb and flow of light and darkness, season to season. I’m talking about living in smaller groups. I’m talking about play and creativity and getting dirt under our fingernails - a life of the raw senses and and overlapping of the self with the natural environment.

Related Post: Book: The Primal Connection

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

French girl becomes blind due to clouding of her lenses -

Beauty in a world beyond light -

A young German soldier avoids life in a coal mine -

Since childhood, he is fascinated by sending & capturing of messages beyond visible light -

Radio -

Their paths cross - 

World War II, thus some harsh episodes -

An ultimately tense tale in a world hopefully gone by -

LocalHarvest: Making fresh locally grown food easy to find

Looking for fresh food grown locally? The LocalHarvest online directory helps you find “over 30,000 family farms and farmers markets, along with restaurants and grocery stores that feature local food.” Over 7 million people search the directory yearly “to find local food, farm events, and family farmer-grown specialty products.”  Using the sites Google Map, you can search by farm, farmers market, Grocery/Co-op, restaurant or more. You can also search by product, and best of all, by city or zip code. 

Take a look and see what you can find. If you grow locally, get registered to be included.

Book: The Sixth Extinction

Just started reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, a writer for The New Yorker. (Her previous book was Field Notes from A Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.)

The following few paragraphs from the Prologue give you an idea of the subject matter and her writing style. Here she traces our early history from our spread out of Africa to our modern ability to drill for energy and its Earth changing consequences:

Although a land animal, our species – ever inventive – crosses the sea. It reaches islands inhabited by evolution’s outliers: birds that lay foot-long eggs, pig-sized hippos, giant skinks. Accustomed to isolation, these creatures are ill equipped to deal with the newcomers or their fellow travelers (mostly rats). Many of them, too, succumb.

The process continues, in fits and starts, for thousands of years, until the species, no longer so new, has spread to practically every corner of the globe. At this point, several things happen more or less at once that allow Homo sapiens, as it has come to call itself, to reproduce at an unprecedented rate. In a single century the population doubles; then it doubles again, and then again. Vast forests area razed. Humans do this deliberately, in order to feed themselves. Less, deliberately, they shift organisms from one continent to another, reassembling the biosphere.

Meanwhile, an even stranger and more radical transformation is under way. Having discovered subterranean reserves or energy, humans begin to change the composition of the atmosphere. This in turn, alters the climates and the chemistry of the oceans. Some plants and animals adjust by moving. They climb mountains and migrate toward the poses. But a great many- at first hundreds, then thousands, and finally perhaps millions – find themselves marooned. Extinction rates soar, and the texture of life changes.

Evidence for Paleo foods continues to grow: Almonds

IMAGE: Daniel Schwen

IMAGE: Daniel Schwen

Science World Report reviews a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on snacking on muffins versus almonds in overweight middle-aged adults with elevated LDL cholesterol:

While past evidence has shown that eating almonds can improve heart health, the researchers decided to investigate this phenomenon a bit further. They conducted 12-week, randomized, controlled clinical studies. In all, 52 overweight, middle-aged adults who had a high total and LDL cholesterol but were otherwise healthy participated. These volunteers ate cholesterol-lowering diets that were identical; the only difference is that one group was given a daily snack of 1.5 ounces of whole natural almonds, while the other group was given a banana muffin that provided the same number of calories.

According to one of the studies authors:

Our research found that substituting almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack improved numerous heart health risk factors, including the new finding that eating almonds reduced belly fat. Choosing almonds as a snack may be a simple way to help fight the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

How the Chevy Bolt helps Tesla

The all-electric Chevy Bolt was announced today. With an expected range of 200 miles per charge, the Bolt should be ready for purchase in 2017. While many have called this a "Tesla killer," Business Insider sees it differently:

The greatest obstacle to Tesla’s long-term success is not rival electric cars, but a global transportation infrastructure that is built for gasoline-powered cars rather than battery-electrics. For Tesla to crack the mass market, it needs other major automakers to invest heavily in electric-vehicle technology, including a network of charging stations that would allow for long road trips in battery-powered cars. That’s why the company opened its patents to competitors last year. At this stage in its growth, Tesla wants more rivals, not fewer. So should everyone who believes that burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment.

What does Tesla think about the Bolt - 

We are always supportive of other manufacturers who bring compelling electric vehicles to the market. Tesla applauds Chevrolet for introducing the Bolt, and we are excited to learn more about the product.

Andromeda: New image of our beautiful neighbor

andromeda-galaxy-van-den-hoevel.jpg

Astrophotographer André van der Hoeven has captured a spectacular image of our beautiful neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. A 9.6-hour exposure and post-processing reveal Andromeda’s luster and enchantment. How would our own galaxy, the Milky Way, look from there? Most likely we would be a stellar sight, proudly shimmering throughout our galactic center, central bar, and spiral arms.

Can it be that Andromeda and the Milky Way will merge in 4 billion years? That a gap of 2.5 million light-years will be closed? During the slow cosmic tug, how will Andromeda appear in 1, 2 or 3 billion years? How much of Earth’s sky will it cover?

As a teenager, my first naked-eye sighting of the small fuzzy disk of Andromeda in the night sky was truly arresting. Not another star, but a galaxy far away from our own. Far from all the stars we see, far through deep dark space was another island of stars.

John Oró

Anne-Marie: Year 1 beyond Crohn’s Disease

Anne-Marie’s Crohn’s disease was making her fade away. At 5’8”, her weight went from thin 105 pounds to dangerous 73 as her disease failed to respond to treatment. Writing her story for Mark’s Daily Apple, she continues:

My doctor told me there was one last drug he wanted to prescribe, and if it didn’t work the next step would be surgery to remove the damaged part of my gut. He prescribed a powerful immune-suppressor called Humira.

And later - 

During our engagement, my husband heard Mark give an interview on a podcast that convinced him to buy The Primal Blueprint. He had changed his whole lifestyle after reading it, and when I was finally discharged from the hospital, I went completely Primal. It wasn’t an easy process. The eczema and psoriasis seemed to intensify at first, but I was vigilant and kept following the Primal guidelines. About six months later, when a paperwork mix-up on the part of my insurance lead to my Humira shipment being delayed, I was sure a flare was right around the corner. But that temporary delay turned into a week without my injection, then a month, and now a year.

Orion Spaceship Being Prepped for Launch

Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA’s Orion spacecraft, our future spaceship to Mars and beyond, travels past the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center on its way to Launch Complex 37. After being lifted on top of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket the unpiloted spacecraft will be readied for launch on Dec 4.

Paleo Meals to Go

We are happy to announce that finally, there is a place you can purchase freeze-dried meals that adhere to the general principles of the Paleo Diet! Sometimes a snack just isn’t enough and you need a solid meal, whether you are backpacking in the wilderness, camping, competing in ultra marathons, undertaking an epic adventure, participating in extreme events, traveling, or anytime you do not have access to fresh foods and your own kitchen. Paleo Meals To Go are a great option!

Learn more: Paleo Meals to Go

Initially skeptical, Pamela finds a new understanding of human biology

Mark’s Daily Apple is a leading & insightful resource on evolutionary health. If you are new to the site, the menu selection Success Stories is a good place to start. Here are a few snippets of Pamela’s success story:

“Unfortunately, I still kept up my vegetarian ways by day, which led to one of the worst summers of my life. Depression and anxiety were my constant companions. Psychosis would not be too strong a word. And, I was still fat. My diet was, admittedly, atrocious. I remember eating cinnamon rolls, brownies, dipped ice cream, and frozen pizza all summer, with a few iceberg lettuce salads tossed in for good measure.” 

“Around that time, I began writing for LIVESTRONG on health and fitness. I continued to toe the line of conventional wisdom on healthy whole grains and calorie restriction. I even explored veganism and created a vegan food blog.”

“In the course of the job, I began exploring the paleo diet. I was skeptical. Didn’t cavemen die before their 30th birthday? In an effort to confirm that this was all just a fad—that was certainly the opinion of nearly every other health publication—I sent an email to UCLA’s evolutionary biology department and requested an interview. They directed me to Aaron Blaisdell PhD, founder of the Ancestral Health Society.”

“The interview forever altered my perspective and led me down a new path of understanding human biology.”

Read more: Skeptical Journalist Turned Primal Advocate

Paleolithic and Mediterranean diets reduce chances of colorectal adenomas

In a study reported in The American Journal of Epidemiology earlier this year, researchers found “that greater adherence to the Paleolithic diet pattern and greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet pattern may be similarly associated with lower risk of incident, sporadic colorectal adenomas.” The authors suspect “evolutionary discordance” may explain the increase of colorectal neoplasms found in the Western dietary pattern.

Take home: Western dietary pattern is a significant departure from our evolutionary dietary pattern and may lead to more colorectal adenomas.

LANIAKEA: Immesuarable Universe

Scientists studying the motion of the galaxies in our region of the universe have found some are being pulled towards us while others are being pulled away. Our local cluster of galaxies is part of a supercluster believed to be 100 million light years across. Through these gravitational studies, scientists have radically altered the map of our supercluster (show above) and found it to be more than 100 times larger than previously thought.  Our home, the Milky Way (red dot) is nestled in our supercluster, recently christened Liniakae, Hawaiian for Immeasurable Universe. 

Junk food limits intelligence of teenagers

From a study on the dietary patterns and cognitive performance in 602 adolescents performed at The University of Western Australia, researchers found a “higher dietary intake of the ‘Western’ dietary pattern at age 14" was "associated with diminished cognitive performance 3 years later, at 17 years."

Using a food frequency questionnaire administered when the children were 14 years old (2003–2006), ‘Healthy’ and ‘Western’ dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis. Associations between dietary patterns at 14 years of age and cognitive performance at 17 years of age were assessed prospectively using multivariate regression models.

Epoch Times reports:

It was observed that children with higher consumption of takeout foods, processed meats, soft drinks and other refined and sugar-laden fare had decreased psychomotor function, impaired reaction time and problems focusing visually. Junk food eaters also had trouble learning and remembering things compared to those who ate more fruits and leafy green vegetables.

Well, maybe change is coming

Within a few decades, large-scale, centralized electricity generation from fossil fuels could be a thing of the past in Europe.

That’s the word from investment bank UBS, which just released a new report anticipating a three pronged assault from solar power, battery technology, and electric vehicles that will render obsolete traditional power generation by large utilities that rely on coal or natural gas. According to Renew Economy, which picked up the report, the tipping point will arrive around 2020. At that point, investing in a home solar system with a 20-year life span, plus some small-scale home battery technology and an electric car, will pay for itself in six to eight years for the average consumer in Germany, Italy, Spain, and much of the rest of Europe. Crucially, this math holds even without any government subsidies for solar power.