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August Update 2021

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
We remain concerned about Provincially Significant Wetland aspects of the Tannery property. 
At the last Council meeting, Mayor Paterson and Councillor Kiley put forward a motion to have City Staff report to Council at the end of September about various government policies concerning potential clean-up of the Provincially Significant Wetland that constitutes the northern part of the site. Councillor Osanic supported by Councillor Chapelle suggested a couple of important amendments.  We remain concerned about the possibility of MZOs (Municipal Zoning Orders) that have been happening in abundance under Ford’s Conservative government throughout Ontario and have raised huge concerns in several communities. City staff affirmed that for an MZO to happen it would have to go through Council.
The dotted black line at the top shows the property boundary.   The wiggly black line a bit lower down shows the extent of the current wetland with the area in brown showing where the developer plans to fill in the wetland. The green shows the area to be capped. The proposed buildings to be built on potentially filled in wetland are outlined in grey. 
Do you think contaminated Provincially Significant wetlands should be cleaned up + filled in for development?

If you are interested in learning more about Inner Harbour shoreline concerns and/or might like to get involved go to the River First YGK Facebook page or contact  They send out updates about once a month.
1. River First YGK Community Event
2. Beware of  Phishing Calls using City’s Phone Number
3. Taking the Fear out of Living Alone -Homeshare Program Launch
4. Kingston Community Action Fund – Apply Today
5. Waste Not YGK – Giveaway Day, Sat, Aug 21
6. Kingston Transit Welcoming High School Students Back
7. Micro Home Initiative Receives Council Support – Helping the Homeless
8. Temporary Public Art Project – Supporting Artists during COVID
9. Your Comments Welcome on Current City Initiatives
10. Lane Closures on LaSalle Causeway
11. CORK August Sailing Events
12. Use Your Brain to Change Your Footprint – Newsletter
13. New Doornekamp Newsletter
14. Rick Revelle’s Latest Book in the Algonquin Series – Book Signings Coming Up
15. Climate change already impacting communities on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River
16. Policy change needed to drive decarbonisation of shipping
17. Gov. of Canada increases marine mammal response capacity in southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
18. Millers, bakers fret as drought withers North America’s spring wheat
19. Government of Canada launches new $20 million fund to make fishing gear safer for whales
20. Great Lakes water Levels Expected to Remain Above Average
21. Great Work by EcoJustice
22. Connection to Nature Tied to Desire for Reconciliation
23. Apocalyptic films give false sense of hope about future of Climate Change.
24. New Sodium Ion Batteries
25. Artivism in Afghanistan.  Inspiring – Sad this is probably no more.
26. Plastiglomerate – New naturally forming blends of rock and plastic
27. Vermont seeks environmental cost of Quebec’s Hydro Electricity
1. River First YGK Community Event

2. Beware of Phishing Calls using the City’s Phone Number
Received from the City, Aug 13, 2021
The City of Kingston has received reports from people who have received phone calls from fraudsters apparently using the City’s phone number – 613-546-0000.  If you receive a recorded call from the City’s phone number, hang up. The City is not sending out recorded messages to phones, at this time.
The City has received several reports of such calls – most of which feature a recording threatening to put the person in jail due to an outstanding warrant. The City has made Kingston Police aware of these calls.
If you receive a suspicious call:
Do not provide any personal information including utility account or credit card account numbers.
Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
 This agency collects information on fraud and works closely with police to solve these crimes.

3. Taking the Fear out of Living Alone – Homeshare Program Launch 3. Taking the Fear out of Living Alone – Homeshare Program Launch
4. Apply Today for Kingston Community Climate Action Fund
Received from the City Aug 16, 2021
Submit your application to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund and realize your green project! Starting today, all nonprofits and charities in the city with a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are invited to apply to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund for consideration.
“We are thrilled to launch our second annual call for applications,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Manager of the City’s Climate Leadership Division. “I invite all of the charities and nonprofits to review our applicant guide to learn more about the fund, the sorts of projects it aims to help realize, and to find answers to frequently asked questions.”
If you’re a non-profit with questions about your application, you can arrange a one-on-one meeting with Salter-Keane on Aug. 18 or 19. Book your meeting now.
“The City is here to support your climate action efforts so that together, we can realize our vision of becoming a carbon neutral city no later than 2040,” says Salter-Keane.
In its inaugural year, the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund raised more than $42,000 through the generous support of the community, donations from the Kingston Community Credit Union, and City support. 
One of the projects to benefit from the success of the Climate Action Fund was put forward by Martha’s Table, a well-known community organization connecting residents in need with good food and support.
“Thanks to the Climate Action Fund, we were able to purchase an electric vehicle. We hope that while we’re out on the roads, we will inspire other people to look for green options,” says Ronda Candy, Executive Director.
Another group to receive support was Habitat for Humanity, Kingston, Limestone Region. With donations from the fund, the organization was able to purchase four air source heat pumps, which will be installed in four new townhomes being built on Rose Abbey Drive.
“Together, we have the ability to realize our vision of becoming Canada’s most sustainable city,” says Salter-Keane.
Donate online to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund. Gifts of $20 and more made at a Kingston Community Credit Union will be eligible to receive a tax receipt, issued by the City of Kingston. 

5. Waste Not YGK – Giveaway Day, Sat, Aug 21
Received from the City, Aug 16, 2021
This Saturday, Aug 21, is Giveaway Day – that’s the day you put out reusable items you no longer want for your neighbours who might like them. 
Share pictures of your Giveaway Day items on Twitter at #WasteNotYGK and #ygk.
Remember to maintain physical distance and wear a face covering as needed when putting out/collecting items on Giveaway Day.
Giveaway Day Guidelines
Only set out appropriate items that you know someone else might want.
Appropriate: books, CDs, DVDs, furniture and small appliances, electronics, construction materials (including drywall, lumber, hardware), kitchen gadgets, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and, yes, unwanted gifts.
Inappropriate: the Consumer Product Safety Bureau of Health Canada advises that these items should not be given away (or picked-up): baby walkers, cribs, car seats, strollers, playpens, bath seats, mattresses, blinds and toys.
How to put items out:
Place items at the curb in front of your home.
Place stickers or signs on the items with the word ‘FREE.’
Ensure any items that you do not want taken are kept away from items placed at the curb.
At the end of the day, bring any uncollected items back in to your home. The City will not collect unwanted items left at the curb. Consider donating them to a charity.
How to pick items up:
Respect other people’s property: don’t walk on people’s lawns or gardens.
Take only the items marked ‘FREE’ and placed at the curb.
Don’t leave previously picked up items on the curb at other people’s property.
Find these guidelines at

6. Kingston Transit Welcoming High School Students Back
Received from the City, Aug 16, 2021
Kingston Transit is looking forward to welcoming high school students to transit as they head back to class this September.
Grade 9 students entering high school will need to obtain a card for the first time and all returning Grade 10 – 12 students with a valid pass from the 2020-21 school year will have their passes automatically renewed. Students, parents, and guardians are encouraged to review the changes online at for information about how to get a Kingston Transit high school transit pass.  
Grade 9 Students
Kingston Transit will visit high schools in the area on the following dates to issue Grade 9 passes and to complete a transit training session.
Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School – Sept. 1
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School – Aug. 30
Kingston Secondary School – Sept. 22
École Secondaire Catholique Marie-Rivier – Sept. 21
École Secondaire Publique Mille-Iles – Sept. 23
Frontenac Secondary School – Sept. 20
LaSalle Secondary School – Sept. 24
Bayridge Secondary School – Sept. 15
Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute – Sept. 13
Ernestown Secondary School – Sept. 17
Grade 9 students wishing to obtain their transit pass prior to Kingston Transit attending their school can also obtain a transit pass by downloading and completing the Transit Card Registration Form available online at
Bringing the filled-in form to City Hall, 216 Ontario St., or the Guest Services desk at the Cataraqui Centre, 945 Gardiners Rd., along with:
a 2021-22 Grade 9 student timetable and a birth certificate.
Grade 10 to 12 Students
Grade 10 to 12 students who had a valid transit pass in the 2020-21 school year will have their passes automatically renewed for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. These students do NOT need to take any action to have their passes renewed.
Grade 12 students returning for an additional year of studies will not have their passes renewed automatically and will be required to renew their pass by:
Bringing their 2020-21 student transit pass to City Hall, 216 Ontario St., or the Guest Services desk at the Cataraqui Centre, 945 Gardiners Rd., along with their 2021-22 Grade 12 student timetable
Home-Based Education Students
Private school and home-based education students must contact the Kingston Transit Office by phone at 613-546-4291 ext. 2365, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to make arrangements to obtain their transit passes. 
All Other Students
Students who have never had a transit pass or students who have lost or damaged transit pass can obtain their transit passes by:
Downloading and completing the Transit Card Registration Form available online at
Bringing the filled-in form to City Hall, 216 Ontario St., or the Guest Services desk at the Cataraqui Centre, 945 Gardiners Rd., along with:
a previous Grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 transit pass, and a 2021-22 10, 11 or 12 student timetable; OR
a 2021-22 Grade 10, 11 or 12 student timetable and a birth certificate.
A $3 fee for a new or replacement card applies to Grade 10, 11 and 12 students.
For additional information about the High School Student Transit Pass, visit or call customer service at 613-546-0000.

7. Micro Home Community Group Receives Council Support – Helping the Homeless
Received from The Kingstonist, Aug 11, 2021 – Jessica Foley 
Local advocate, Chrystal Wilson, presented her plans for a micro home community to support the local unhoused population during the Aug 10, 2021 meeting of Kingston City Council.
Wilson, no stranger to policy and procedure in City matters, had to fast-track some of her intentions in order to present to council this week, as they were discussing Rapid Housing Funding, of which micro homes would hopefully be a part.
“We’re all taxpayers,” she said. “We tell the government how to spend our money, their tax money, so it’s up to us to stand up and say that it’s not okay for people to be forced to live in the woods, and live on the streets. We know there’s a housing crisis and we know there’s nowhere for them to go.”
According to Wilson, a micro home community will help take care of people, and individuals can help support the most vulnerable in our community by offering help and encouragement where and how it’s needed.
“The community can stand up and say things like ‘micro home communities will really help take care of people’. I think it’s important to work together and build places that people can be safe,” she continued.
Wilson spearheaded the local micro homes project after getting to know the individuals living at the Belle Park encampment during the spring and summer of 2020. When she was helping at the encampment, Wilson said, many of those camping at the site told her about tiny home communities, and indicated they would like to be housed in something similar.
In early July 2020, a tent city opened in Kitchener and Wilson visited to learn about the concept and how they were operating. “I took pictures, brought them back and asked people if that was what they were thinking of. They confirmed, and we started having discussions on the designs of the homes and what would make sense for them,” she said.
The evictions at Belle Park effectively slowed the planning and conversations Wilson was able to have with the local unhoused population, but she had already connected with a company willing to help bring the micro home idea to life.
Using the facilities at CanCoil, a foreman took charge of the build. Over evenings and weekends, a prototype micro home was constructed, and CanCoil covered some of the costs.
As the build was happening, Wilson would bring in people to offer feedback and ideas on the project. “I would bring in people who don’t have homes and ask them what they thought of it. Mostly all I got was tears – happy tears,” Wilson told Kingstonist.
The prototype home has been ready for a few months, but in order to share the build, bring awareness, and gather feedback for the project, a custom-designed trailer had be to constructed to move the micro home around town.
“The intent was to first bring it back to people who are specifically living in the woods, living on the streets, and didn’t have homes, and get feedback from them again, now that we have a prototype for them to look at and touch,” Wilson shared. “And then, with the rapid housing funding announcement, it kind of fast-tracked what we were planning to do.”
According to Wilson, council was supportive and interested in furthering the conversation. She has a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, with city staff to discuss potential locations and support from the city to keep up the momentum for this project. Wilson hopes to have the community up and ready before winter.
The project is still gathering feedback from those with lived experience, who will be most likely to live in a micro home community, from community members and businesses with expertise in building, and from anyone else ready and willing to support this housing initiative.
Wilson shared that they had an idea for a program that could spread the support for this project throughout the community. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen now, after the council meeting last night, but we had conceived a community program where we partner people who have the means to fund a tiny home with people who could build it and somebody who might live in it,” she explained. “The three groups together could build something that was really feasible, and then, if we do that enough times, it spreads the load through the community, rather than having one organization building all the homes.”
At next week’s meeting with city staff, Wilson hopes to outline how the city can support this project, and find some suitable parcels of land that could house this community.
“What we asked last night at council was if the city could help us with land and the support building that will go with these micro homes,” she shared. “Then let us build the homes, so that they’re not shouldering the full burden of the project either, but so that we have ownership throughout the project.”
The support building she’s speaking of would house kitchen, laundry and shower facilities, and would be located in the micro home community. The homes, as designed so far, are insulated and have basic electrical wiring, but no plumbing features. Wilson suggested inhabitants could have a bar fridge and hot plate, as well as a wall heater to provide comfort over the winter months. She also mentioned that kitchen and bathroom facilities would significantly increase the cost of building these micro homes.
Step-by-step instructions for building the current micro home prototype are available online, and Wilson said based on current retail costs for materials, they can be built for about $6,300. They are designed in such a way that anyone who’s “handy” could construct a home over a weekend or two.
“It’s a weekend or a couple weekend project,” Wilson said. “I’m handy, I’m capable, I could build one of these homes. So it doesn’t take a skilled construction crew to be able to build what we put together.”
Visit the Our Livable Solutions website to learn more about the micro homes initiative, view the plans for the homes, or get in touch with the team.
While there are many hoops to jump through yet for this project, Wilson is very thankful for the community support she’s seen so far. Wherever she takes her prototype, people are expressing interest, asking questions, and offering to help.
Throughout the interview, Wilson told Kingstonist many times that a solution is desperately needed to help alleviate the homeless situation in Kingston, and these micro homes are the support that the underhoused community is asking for.
“Let’s support them in the way that makes sense for them, rather than the way that’s most comfortable for us,” she stated.

8. Temporary Public Art Project – Supporting Artists During COVID
Received from the City, Aug 11
Art all Around is a new public art project featuring 20 local artists who have captured and reflected on life during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kingston. The Art all Around installation can be found on Kingston Transit bus stations at 16 different locations across the city. Kingston artists representing different disciplines – including the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, writing – were commissioned to respond to the question: “Where do we go from here?” The result is the creation of a series of powerful textual responses combined with unique visuals that speak to a diversity of thought in this complex moment. 
“Through this public art project, we wanted to engage local artists in the conversation of city-building, resiliency, and recovery post-COVID-19,” says Danika Lochhead, Manager, Arts and Sector Development. “Artists and creativity have a critical role to play in our community as we move towards reopening, reflect on what’s happened over the last 18 months, and find a good path forward.”   
As part of this project, residents are also being invited to share their response to the question “Where do we go from here?” using the hashtag #WhereFromHere on Instagram and Twitter.  

Featured Artists  
Céline Klein, Chantal Thompson, Deb St. Amant, Elizabeth Morris with Alistair Morris, Eric Williams, Kayla MacLean and Luca Tucker with Erin Ball, Jill Glatt with Mutual Aid Katarokwi-Kingston, Kingston Freestyle Dance Collective, Leah Riddell, Liz Turner, Mo Horner and Grace Dixon, Roots and Wings, Ryan Lewis, Sadaf Amini, Sadiqa de Meijer, William Carroll, Yessica Rivera Belsham.  

To find the artworks’ locations and more information on the artists, visit the City of Kingston Public Art webpage.  
9. Your Comments Welcome on Current City Initiatives

10. Lane Closures on LaSalle Causeway
Received Aug 10, 2021

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) wishes to advise motorists of a lane closure on the LaSalle Causeway for repair work during the following periods:
Tuesday, August 17, from 8 6 a.m.
Wednesday, August 18, from 8 6 a.m.
Thursday, August 19, from 8 6 a.m.
Friday, August 20, from 8 6 a.m.

During these periods, one lane will be closed and one lane will remain open for alternating traffic. Two flagpersons will be on site to direct traffic. Motorists should expect short delays.
The bridge will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians during these periods, and marine traffic will not be affected.
PSPC encourages users to exercise caution when travelling on the bridge and thanks them for their patience.
Real Property Services, Public Services and Procurement Canada

11. CORK August Sailing Events
Received from the Kingstonist Aug 14 – Jessica Foley

12. Use Your Brain to Change Your Footprint Newsletter

13. New Doornekamp Newsletter

14. Rick Revelle’s Latest Book in the Algonquin Series – Book Signings Coming Up!


15. Climate change already impacting communities on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, North Country Public Radio (Canton, New York), August 2, 2021.  $2 billion – that is how much communities on the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River are planning to spend over the coming years to repair damages from flooding and erosion events in the recent past.  That figure is in addition to $1 billion that has already been spent and only covers government expenditures to repair public property.  The data comes from a survey of cities and towns across the region conducted by the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative.

16Policy change needed to drive decarbonisation of shipping, Out-Law, August 2, 2021.  The shipping industry is under increased pressure to cut its carbon emissions, as part of a broader drive by governments and regulators to decarbonize the global economy and address the risks posed by climate change.  Cleaner, ‘greener’ fuels are emerging as alternatives to the “bunker fuel” currently relied on to power vessels across oceans, which is typically the ‘dirty’ remnants from the petroleum refining process.

17. Government of Canada increases marine mammal response capacity in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Government of Canada, August 4, 2021.  Today, Member of Parliament for Acadie-Bathurst Serge Cormier, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, welcomed the arrival of a new vessel that will provide much needed capacity to respond to large whale incidents in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Over the past several years, this body of water has been a popular destination for North Atlantic right whales in the spring and summer months.  The new vessel, based out of Shippagan, New Brunswick, will be operated by the Association des pêcheurs professionnels crabiers acadiens Inc. (APPCA), and is the first dedicated marine mammal response vessel to operate out of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Until now, marine mammal responders from other areas would need to travel several hours or days to respond to marine mammal incidents in the area, which would impede rescue efforts.

18. Millers, bakers fret as drought withers North America’s spring wheat, KELO AM-FM (South Dakota), August 6, 2021. Millers and bakers are draining wheat reserves and paying more for spring wheat used in baking, as drought shrivels crops across the Canadian Prairies and northern U.S. Plains that produce more than half of the world’s supply. U.S. and Canadian farmers are bracing for a sharply smaller spring wheat harvest due to the driest conditions in decades, as severe weather damages crops across the hemisphere, from heat scorching cherries in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to frost chilling sugarcane in Brazil.

19. Government of Canada launches new $20 million fund to make fishing gear safer for whales, Benzinga (Detroit, Michigan), August 11, 2021 (also appeared at yahoo! finance).  Entanglements in fishing gear can pose serious harm to whales and other marine mammals.  They can impact the animal’s ability to swim, eat, and reproduce, and they can be fatal.  That is why the Government of Canada is working to prevent these entanglement risks from occurring, including by requiring all non-tended, fixed-gear fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec to use whalesafe gear by the beginning of the 2023 fishing seasons.  These new gear requirements, such as weak breaking points and low breaking strength rope, will make it easier for large whales to free themselves from fishing gear, which will help reduce the severity and duration of entanglements.

20. Great Lakes Water Levels Expected To Remain Above Average, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM (St. Joseph, Michigan), August 15, 2021.  Great Lakes water levels are now down to below their 2019 and 2020 levels, when record highs were set across the system.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers physical scientist Deanna Apps tells WSJM News the lake levels are still above their averages, but below their recent highs.  That’s despite a rainy July.

21 Great Work by EcoJustice
This week the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report that made for harrowing reading…The planet is now hotter than at any time since the beginning of the last Ice Age, 125,000 years ago. We are closer than ever to irreversible climate tipping points — sea level rise from destabilized Antarctic ice sheets or dying forests that emit more carbon that they store — that will accelerate and amplify harm to people and the natural world.
We are bound for 1.5°C warming in all scenarios, but every fraction of warming averted can save lives.
To stabilize warming at 1.5°C, governments around the world must take immediate action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero by 2050.
While this new report is frightening, the antidote to anxiety is action.
The IPCC report also makes clear decisive action by governments and political leaders can chart a path out of the climate emergency. Now our job is to hold them to account.
The last time an IPCC report made headlines around the world it was 2018. Famously, that special IPCC report warned that the world had less than 12 years to avert the worse impacts of the climate crisis.
Since then, thanks to your action and support, Ecojustice has ramped up our climate law program and led the legal charge in the battle against climate change. Together, we have secured important victories that have pushed those in power to make better decisions for our environment.
Here are just a few of our reasons for hope:
Our legal intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada helped uphold carbon pricing and unified climate action in Canada.
Ecojustice’s legal advocacy led to what amounts to a death knell for new thermal coal mines in Canada.
Joint efforts by Ecojustice, our partners, and supporters like you were instrumental in pushing federal politicians to introduce and pass the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
A historic youth-led lawsuit, backed by Ecojustice, has made it further in the courts than any other youth-led climate case in Canada and is headed to a full hearing.
With your support, Ecojustice will continue to take the fight for urgent, ambitious climate action to courtrooms and legislatures across the country. Renew your commitment to the fight by making a special gift to Ecojustice today.
Please donate now.
Ready for more? Here are other important actions you can take today to contribute to the cause:
Make sure you are registered to vote and cast your ballot at elections. You have the power to elect governments you believe will take necessary action on climate change — and hold them to account at the ballot box.
Call for an end to thermal coal exports in Canada. Write to your elected official today.
Learn about the links between Canada’s colonial roots and the climate crisis, and the critical role Indigenous leadership must play in shaping policy solutions.
Devon Page, executive director, Ecojustice

22. Connection to Nature Tied to Desire for Reconciliation
People who feel more connected to Nature are more likely to support reconciliation and coming together happens better in natural settings.

23. Apocalyptic films give false sense of hope about future of Climate Change.

24. New Sodium Ion Batteries
Received from FreeThink Aug 5 – Kristin Houser
Future Explored

Welcome to Future Explored, your weekly guide to world-changing technology. If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe, please do so here
I’m Kristin Houser, a staff writer at Freethink covering all things science and tech. I’ll be filling in for Amanda while she’s on maternity leave.
Future Explored: The world’s first sodium EV battery
Reading Time: 4 minutes

A new type of EV battery has just entered the big leagues.
On July 29, the world’s biggest battery maker for electric vehicles (EVs) became the first major manufacturer to unveil a sodium-ion battery — a cutting-edge technology that proponents hope will revolutionize the world of electric cars.
The sodium-ion battery promises to be cleaner, safer, and cheaper — as well as charging quickly and performing better in extreme weather — than the lithium-ion batteries you’ll find in almost every EV today. But will the reality match the hype?
Why it matters: Lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density, meaning they can store a lot of charge relative to their weight. That’s made them well-suited for powering EVs, since heavier batteries will reduce the car’s range.
However, mining lithium is expensive, environmentally destructive, and requires a lot of water — about 500,000 gallons per ton of lithium.
That’s particularly problematic because more than half the world’s lithium supply happens to be in one of the driest parts of the planet, so farmers are forced to compete with lithium miners for scarce water supply.
Lithium is also relatively rare, and increased demand is already causing the element’s cost to skyrocket. Higher battery costs mean higher EV costs, so we’re going to need to explore alternative types of batteries if we want more people to trade in their fossil fuel-powered vehicles for EVs.
A salty solution: Battery developers see sodium-ion tech as an attractive alternative to lithium batteries.
Sodium is cheaper, easier to extract, and 1,000 times more abundant than lithium. Sodium-ion batteries can operate at a wider temperature range, which could make them particularly attractive to drivers in places that are extremely cold or hot.
They’re also non-flammable, meaning EV owners wouldn’t have to worry about their cars spontaneously catching fire — a pretty major added bonus.
What’s new: China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) is the world’s biggest EV battery maker, providing batteries to Tesla, Volkswagen, and other car makers — and after years of development, it’s finally adding a sodium-ion battery to its product line.
This sodium-ion battery can charge quickly, according to CATL, reaching 80% capacity in just 15 minutes (exactly how far that would get a driver would depend on the EV). It also performs well at sub-zero temperatures.
“CATL producing large scale sodium-ion batteries shows the technology’s appeal is coming to fruition sooner rather than later,” Max Reid, an analyst at energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement.
The catch: CATL’s new battery suffers from the same issue that’s long held back sodium-ion tech: it can’t match the energy density of a lithium-ion battery.
In other words, the battery has to be heavier, which means the car wastes more of its energy hauling its own battery around, reducing its range.
It’s also hard to put the charging time of CATL’s battery into context because we don’t know what type of charging station is needed to achieve 80% capacity in 15 minutes. (It’s probably not your average home setup.)
There are already EVs on the market that can reach 80% capacity in 30 minutes at fast charging stations — and because their lithium-ion batteries are more energy dense, drivers may get more range for their time.
To address some of the limitations of sodium-ion batteries, CATL has also announced the development of a single system that features sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries.
This could provide the best of both worlds, delivering the higher energy density of lithium-ion batteries, along with the advantages of sodium-ion tech, such as great performance at low temperatures.
The bottom line: CATL plans to continue developing its standalone sodium-ion battery, with the goal of increasing its energy density from the current 160Wh/kg to 200Wh/kg.
That still won’t put it on par with some of the lithium-ion batteries already on the market — the one in Tesla’s Model 3, for example, has an estimated energy density of 250 Wh/kg — but the other benefits of sodium-ion batteries might make up for their shortcomings.
“Nothing may ever surpass lithium in performance,” Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer at Stanford University, said in 2017.  “But lithium is so rare and costly that we need to develop high-performance but low-cost batteries based on abundant elements like sodium.”  

25. Artivism in Afghanistan.  Inspiring – Sad this is probably no more.

26.Plastiglomerate – New naturally forming blends of rock and plastic

27. Vermont seeks environmental cost of Quebec’s Hydro Electricity
So that’s it for August.  Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour