Dynamo Pond, A Little Known Piece of American History

Get outside with a little #MondayMotivation from these fall photos taken at Dynamo Pond and Green Creek!

Dynamo Pond was home to the first hydroelectric power plant in the Eastern Sierra, which supplied power for the mining camp at Bodie, now California’s most famous ghost town. Built in 1892, it was the first test of the theory that electricity could be transmitted over a distance– until then power was always generated on-site. The hydroelectric power was successfully carried across wires for 13 miles to Bodie proving the theory. They installed the power lines in a straight line, as at the time it was feared the electricity would not be able to turn corners! 

'Eat less fish' if you're worried about methylmercury: MP Nick Whalen
St. John's East MP says Muskrat Falls methylmercury problems can be solved reasonably

The MP for St. John’s East has a solution to concerns over the higher levels of toxic methylmercury expected from flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir: eat less fish.

NDP Leader Earle McCurdy said in an interview with NTV that government should be making it mandatory to clear vegetation and soil from the flooding site at the hydroelectric project, saying “if we can’t afford to clear the reservoir, we can’t afford to do the project.”

Whalen disagreed with McCurdy’s statement.

“That is ridiculous. Just measure MeHg [methylmercury] levels, eat less fish while MeHg are too high, and compensate,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Reaction from Muskrat Falls protesters and opponents of the Labrador hydroelectric project was swift. Timmins-James Bay NDP MP Charlie Angus accused him of mocking Indigenous people.

Labradorian Charlie Flowers said Whalen supports “poisoning Indigenous food supply and compensating later,” and asked if the Inuit people were expected to buy cultural and traditional practices at the grocery store as well.

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'I want to keep my culture safe,' says Muskrat Falls protester
Some workers on site cheered demonstrators worried about potential contamination of their water

Protesters who broke through a gate and entered the Muskrat Falls work site in central Labrador Saturday night say they were proud to make their voices heard.

Toby Williams was one of the protesters who walked into the site of the hydroelectric project with a group of others on Saturday. He said he grew up living off the land, and still eats food that he hunts and gathers from the land.

“I want to keep my culture safe,” Williams said.

He and others were voicing their concerns about the flooding of the reservoir as part of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

The flooding could increase the potential for mercury contamination in traditional food sources like fish and seal downstream in Lake Melville, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University.

Protesters are demanding Nalcor clear the reservoir of vegetation and topsoil before flooding begins to reduce that danger, and about 50 protesters remain on site Sunday, according to a statement released by Nalcor.

Williams said some of the workers at the site supported the protesters.

“They chanted with us almost, they were giving us thumbs up, they understood what you were there for, and they agreed with it,” said Williams.

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Gullfoss – The Golden Waterfall

Gullfoss is a beautiful waterfall situated in the southwest of Iceland, about 100 kilometers from its capital city Reykjavík. The water from the Hvitá River plummets down into a rugged canyon with walls that reach up to 70 meters in height. The river is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Lángjökull. It deposits sediment and debris into the fast flowing water and turning it a golden colour, when the sun shines on the waterfall.

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Take notes, world: Austria’s largest state goes 100% renewable

Lower Austria, the largest state in Austria, is now generating 100% of its power from renewable sources, its governor Erwin Proell announced on Thursday (Nov 5th).   

“We have invested heavily to boost energy efficiencyand to expand renewables. Since 2002 we have invested 2.8 billion euros ($3.0 billion) in eco-electricity, from solar parks to renewing (hydroelectric) stations on the Danube,” Proell told a news conference.

The state in northeastern Austria now gets 63 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric power, 26 percent from wind energy, nine percent from biomass and two percent from solar.

In Austria as a whole, which voted against nuclear power in a 1978 referendum, 75 percent comes from renewables and the rest from fossil fuels.

The announcement comes ahead of a gathering of world leaders in Paris in December aimed at reaching an ambitious global deal to tackle climate change.

image credit: Andrij Bulba

Protest over Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project comes to Ottawa
The hour-long rally included speeches from all the hunger strikers, as well as a healing circle in which people linked arms and stood in a circle around the monument to show support.

A growing protest over the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in N.L. arrived in Ottawa on Sunday over fears that planned flooding could contaminate water with methylmercury, poisoning vital fish and game stocks in the community.

Inuk artist Billy Gauthier and fellow hunger strikers Delilah Saunders, Jerry Kohlmeister and Mitzi Walk, gathered at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street, along with Inuit elders and other supporters.

Gauthier, who is on day 10 of his hunger strike, said he’s already lost 19 pounds. He told the crowd of about 200 that their support is invaluable.

“You are my food, you are my nourishment, you are what’s keeping me going — you are what’s keeping all of us going,” he said.

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Zero-Emission Wave-Generated Energy and Desalinated Water are Happening in Australia

On February 18th, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Minister for Industry and Science (Ian Macfarlane) officially switched on the Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project’s onshore power station, the first renewable energy source the country has ever utilized, according to a press release. It is said to create enough energy to power 200,000 homes while also generating desalinated water from the ocean. And the whole system operates without creating emissions…

WHAT’S LOST – WHAT’S NOT? When a “type” plate tectonic locality and Geowonder is flooded by a dam in Greece.

It’s taken about fifteen years, but the new hydroelectric dam on the Aliakmon River is finished, and now the river valley is slowly filling with energy – yes, energy – the energy contained in the waters of the new lake. Hydroelectric energy is clean energy, no carbon footprint, no nuclear waste, and we’re all for it… right?

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Ontario to buy hydroelectricity from Quebec in bid to cut emissions
Under the seven-year agreement, Ontario will buy two terawatt hours a year – about 1.4 per cent of the province’s total demand

Ontario has reached a deal to buy hydroelectric power from Quebec in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions by replacing some of the province’s natural gas-generated electricity.

Under the seven-year agreement, Ontario will buy two terawatt hours a year – about 1.4 per cent of the province’s total demand, or enough electricity to power a city of 240,000 people, sources in both governments said.

The two provinces agreed that Ontario will also store some of its own electricity at Hydro Quebec facilities, and to extend by five years an arrangement to swap 500 megawatts of power annually.

The deal is expected to cut Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by one million tonnes a year, and will replace about 15 per cent of the province’s natural gas-fired power with clean hydroelectric power from Quebec, an Ontario government source said.

It is also meant to save Ontario ratepayers $70-million over the life of the agreement because storing power with Hydro Quebec is expected to be cheaper than paying U.S. states to accept Ontario’s excess electricity, which is the current practice.

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