Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
The picture above is of a Black-crowned Night Heron, one of the birds that is sometimes seen in the Inner Harbour and might be seen on this Sunday’s bird walk sponsored by River First YGK.
1. River First YGK Bird Walk – Sun, Aug 21
2. Frontenac Arch Biosphere Hike – Sat, Aug 20
3. Really Really Free Market – Sun, Aug 28
4. Kingston Give Away Day –Sun, Aug 28
5. Women’s Art Festival Returns -Sun, Aug 21
6. Kingston Mills Dam Repair
ON THE POLITICAL SIDE
7. Kingston’s Planning Committee rejects Patry’s Tannery Proposal
8. Footage of Arson Suspect of Downtown Fire
9. Federal Webpage now up re proposed $70 million Inner Harbour Clean-up
FROM FARTHER AFIELD
10. Ontario Nature Organizations Call on Province/Feds to Protect Great Lakes
11. Groups Remain Opposed to Line 5 Pipeline
12. Ministry of Transport Invests in Reducing Underwater Noise from Marine Vessels
13. Take a Submarine to the Bottom of the Great Lakes
14. State of Great Lakes 2022 Report
15. Future Proofing Great lakes through Climate Research
OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
16. Bill Gates’s Air Conditioning Initiative
17. Effects of Climate Change on Sea Turtles
18. Rainwater Everywhere on Earth Unsafe to Drink due to Forever Chemicals.
19. St. Lawrence River Research – Zones Hostile to Invasives Can Be Refuges for Native Species
20. Amazing Photos of Fungi that look like small creatures
1.River First YGK Bird Walk -Sun, Aug 21
What: Enjoy the river. Learn about the river.
Who: Led by Kathy Webb of the Kingston Field Naturalists. Event sponsored by River First YGK
When: Sunday, Aug 21, 10 am
Where: Meet at the Belle Park parking lot
2. Frontenac Arch Biosphere Hike Sat, Aug 20
What: Hawkridge Hike to explore micro-habitats
When: Sat, Aug 20, 10 am
Where: 1516 Summers Rd. Lyndhurst, ON, K0E1N0
3. Really Really Free Market Sun Aug 28
WHO: The Mutual Aid Garden Network includes 3 collectively run gardens, volunteer gardeners, folks offering space and community members enjoying delicious fresh vegetables.
What: Focusing on vegies includes herbs, chard, kale, potatoes, beets, onions and more..
When: Sun, Aug 28 – 2-4 pm
Where: Artillery Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre
NOTES: All welcome. Come and chat about the garden network and sign up with gardening. No experience necessary. If you have extra vegies or other food or non-food stuff to give away, you are invited to bring them along too. They will also be distributing stickers and zines and colour-your-own posters for future Veggie Markets#mutualaid#freeveggies#veggies#growveggies#uprootcapitalism#uprootracism#uprootcolonialism
4. Kingston Give Away Day Sat, Aug 20
Received from the KIngstonist Aug 16, 2022 – Jessica Foley
DO CONSIDER SUBSCRIBING TO THE KINGSTONIST FOR UP TO DATE KINGSTON NEWS!
Giveaway Day will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in the City of Kingston. A day to put your unwanted household items out for others in the community who might be able to give your items a second life and keep them out of a landfill.
As part of the City of Kingston’s local waste diversion strategy, participating households are encouraged by the City to post photos of their free items on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WasteNotYGK.
“Giveaway Days are an effective and unique way to reduce waste in Kingston. When you pick up free second-hand items, you not only save them from landfill – you also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing new goods and help your neighbours save money,” said Adam Mueller, Supervisor of Solid Waste.
The following guidelines on how to put items out for pick-up, and how to pick items up on Giveaway Day were provided by the City of Kingston:
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.
For more information on waste diversion from the City, click here
5. Women’s Art Festival Returns
Received from the Kingstonist, Aug 16, Jessica Foley
On Sunday, the Kingston Women’s Art Festival will return to City Park to celebrate women artists. Bring the family, browse, and enjoy original art designed and created by women.
Sasha Jiminez French, local multi-disciplinary artist, is volunteering her time to help ensure the festival returns to full strength after the COVID-19 hiatus.
“This is my first year working with the Women’s Art Festival and I’m excited to see the many traditions this festival holds continue on, with some exciting new growth for the organization,” French told Kingstonist in an email. “Meagan Lapointe has really taken a leading role with the organization this year and is responsible for a big part of bringing the festival back after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.”
According to French, the volunteer committee that runs the festival wasn’t sure the festival would return this year.
“Many local artists really were hoping to see the festival’s return, and some, including myself, joined the organization to help relieve some of the work that was mostly being run by three women,” she stated.
Since the late 1970s, the unique, one-day rain-or-shine art festival has operated with the same four facets:
Celebrating women’s creativity through the arts
Providing a forum for artists to display their work and meet other artists
Encouraging women to meet, exchange ideas, and connect with organizations
Fundraising for local women’s organizations
The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in City Park on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022. According to French, the festival will have a similar feel to other outdoor art events, with tents lining the park, and a kid’s interactive area near the splash pad, sponsored by the Rocking Horse, including face painting, along with live music from the stage. A water buggy will be on site as well, and French recommends attendees bring their reusable water bottles. And, of course, over 200 female artists and artisans will be on hand, sharing and selling their works.
“The Women’s Art Festival is the longest running festival in Kingston and Canada’s largest women’s festival,” said French. “We’re featuring four amazing local women performers, Alex Mundy, Savannah Shea, Anna Sudac, and Selina Chiarelli, and an art installation by local designer Chelsea Pope of Lil Sis Studio.”
The Kingston Women’s Art Festival has a long history of providing funds to area programs and services for women and children. This funding support remains integral to the festival, and funds available for distribution are based on the financial success of each year’s event, after expenses.
A total of $93,000 has been provided to the community since the inception of the festival.
Some of the organizations that have applied for, and received, funding from the Women’s Art Festival include:
Ban Righ Centre
Doula Support Foundation
Resolve Counselling Services Canada
Dawn House Women’s Shelter
Dress for Success
Joe’s Musical Instrument Lending Library (MILL)
Interval House (Kingston and Lennox and Addington)
Baby and Me
Disabled Women United for Change, Kingston
Kingston Community Counselling Services
Street Health Centre: Creating a Better Life Program
South Eastern Ontario Breast Feeding Coalition
Kingston Immigrant Services Multicultural Women’s Program
HIV/AIDS Regional Services
Post Partum Adjustment Coalition
Breast Cancer Action Kingston
Women’s Training and Employment Program
Disabled Women’s Network
Anorexia and Bulimia Association of Kingston
Girls Inc. Limestone
To support these organizations, a silent auction is currently running online. Take a look at the products available and place a bid.
“The silent auction funds go to local charities and we also offer support for charities and local non-profits by providing free/reduced booth fees if they would like to participate in the festival,” French explained.
“Donations for our silent auction have come from many local artists and businesses like BSE, Martello Alley, Modern Fuel, Harlow Green and more. Other funding comes from festival fees and direct local sponsorship. This year the festival is supported by the City of Kingston, Trailhead, The Rocking Horse, Kingston Community Credit Union, and Cher-Mere. We’re very grateful for the continued support of the community like these businesses and others. They have helped us ensure enough funds to pay our performers and recognize the professional talent we have in Kingston.”
Learn more about the Kingston Women’s Art Festival on their website.
6. Kingston Mills Dam Repair
Received from Ben Doornekamp in Doornekamp August Update
In the Fall of 2021 Doornekamp Construction Ltd., was awarded a contract to replace the Head Gates to the 2 Penstocks at Kingston Mills which included: installation of a Water Proof Membrane and Structural Steel support on the Trash Rack, and followed by partial dewatering of the head pond, removal of the historic head gate lifting devices, removal of the concrete deck slab, removal and repair of existing concrete, removal of the wooden head gates, and followed by installation of new steel head gates, head gate guides, concrete repairs and cast in place concrete, and installation of new head gate actuators. Work has been completed this summer.
ON THE POLITICAL SIDE
7. Kingston’s Planning Committee Rejects Patry’s Tannery Proposal
Received from the Kingston Whig Standard. So very sorry I forgot to record the date or writer.
NOTE: There were 49 delegations of up to five minutes each at the meeting with an overwhelming majority of the deletations opposed to Patry’s plan.
“Members of Kingston’s Planning Committee rejected a proposal by Patry Inc, which would have seen the Davis Tannery lands rezoned in order to allow for a large scale residential and commercial development project. In a 4-2 vote on Thursday night, committee members denied Patry’s request for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments, which were needed in order for Patry to construct 1,670 residential units at t he tannery site.
The project would have included 9,700 square meters of commercial space, as well as four hectares of open space and a waterfront park. The development would have also allowed for an option to build 100 affordable housing units, with the City having the option to acquire 25 of those units for its own social programs.
The 13-hectare site, located at 2 River Street and 50 Orchard Street, was once the site of the former Davis leather tannery but has sat vacant for several decades. Much of the site is significantly contaminated, with many citizens and members of Council calling for the area to be cleaned up.
City Staff had recommended that the committee approve the development and its rezoning requests, with staff calling for re-zoning in accordance with three phases of the project. The staff report also included a controversial request for a Minster’s Zoning Order (MZO) by the province for phase four. According to the report, an MZO is necessary “to remediate the contaminated portion of wetland, re-naturalize it, and allow a portion of those lands for re-development.”
The report noted that an MZO is not being requested to expedite the application, but to “overcome a fundamental provincial policy issue” with Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), currently prohibiting cleanup and redevelopment of industrial sites within provincially designated wetlands.
Paige Agnew, the City’s Commissioner of Corporate Services, addressed obtaining an MZO, describing it as a request that is “very much driven by the municipality.”
“Although it is the minister’s sole discretion as to whether they support an MZO or not, the process that happens leading up to the minister reviewing something and applying their signature for approval is very collaborative,” Agnew stated.
The public portion of the meeting saw a number of presentations to the committee, with residents addressing concerns surrounding the overall environmental impact of the proposed development. Jeremy Milloy noted the importance of the wetland designation. “The point of a provincially significant wetland designation is not just so that the Province will have authority, it’s so that the Province can exercise its duty to protect our wetlands,” he said.
Annabelle Mills voiced similar concerns, as she shared her own desired alternatives to the development. “My first wish would be to see Kingston buy back from Patry the tannery land, which we could remediate using plants.” Mills also spoke on behalf of the advocacy group No Clearcuts Kingston, which has been vocal about its opposition to the project, given the number of trees that would need to be cut down in order to make way for the development.
Several delegates spoke in favour of the project, as well, with DBIA Chair Ed Smith addressing the support of Kingston’s business community toward the proposal. Citing the need for greater residential development near the downtown core, Smith said, “Our business owners are on a long road to recovery, [following] the devastating effects of COVID-19. As we move into the future, the key to the survival of our business community is to hyper-focus on our mission to attract more people to experience and contribute to our downtown community.”
Executive Director of Downtown Kingston, spoke about the ways the development would allow downtown businesses to add to the customer base. “We need more people to frequent [the] downtown. Residential intensification is the number-one priority to creating a stable customer and employee base for the community. There is a housing shortage… Kingston needs housing. How can we turn down 1,670 new units?” questioned Cuerrier.
Other groups have also come out in favour of Patry’s proposal, including Kingston’s Chamber of Commerce. In July, the Chamber unanimously endorsed the project, stating, “The Patry proposal represents an opportunity to sustain and grow a healthy community while at the same time puts to effective use vacant land so close to the downtown core.”
Throughout the meeting, staff and proponents of the development had the ability to address comments made by the public. James Bar, Manager of Development Approvals at the City of Kingston, reiterated the staff’s commitment to due process throughout the entire application period. “The staff report that we have put together, in our opinion, is appropriate and comprehensive for the step that we are at in moving this development forward,” he said. “We are dealing with zoning and Official Plan framework that establishes the basis of land use for a site; it’s really the first step in establishing what can actually be developed.”
According to Bar, many elements would still need to be worked out, but staff feel it is “appropriate” to move the proposal to the next stage of the application process. “The Federal Government is still working on its plans for the inner-harbour, but… these lands don’t have the zoning established to be able to move to the next stage,” he explained.
Members of the committee also heard from representatives of Patry Inc., who addressed questions regarding the contamination currently at the site, and some of the environmental assessments that have been carried out. “From day one, this project would not [have been] supportable if this wetland were not heavily contaminated,” said Robert Snetsinger, an environmental expert with Patry. “This wetland is not helping the local ecology, the offsite contamination has been well documented.”
After public comments and responses from staff and the applicants, members of the committee had the opportunity to ask questions, before the recommendations were put to a vote. Williamsville Councillor Jim Neill compared the current request for an MZO to other developments in the past. “I won’t be supporting the MZO portion of the recommendation, I haven’t seen a really compelling reason like the other MZO’s that I’ve supported in the past,” he said.
Wayne Hill, Councillor for Lakeside district reflected on the variety of comments heard throughout the meeting. “I’m disappointed, to some degree, at the level of discourse… Experts are not experts only when they agree with your point of view,” Hill stated. “And we’ve heard from a lot of experts, both on our staff and from the proponent, and I did hear some pretty disparaging comments… that maybe expertise wasn’t in play.
“I just want to comment on how thorough I thought the report was, and the good work that staff have done, and recognize that it’s a beginning and not an end,” he added. “This is the first serious proposal, that I’ve seen, that would allow for that contamination to be cleaned up. I think we have to take a really hard look at turning something like this down because it’s not coming back again anytime soon.”
Lisa Osanic, who represents the Collins-Bayridge district, addressed the length of time councillors and City staff have spent on this particular item. “We have spent hours and hours on this Tannery land file over the last many years… This is the third public meeting, we’ve had motions at Council leading up to this… I don’t take this file lightly at all.
“There’s problems with [the proposal], and while I sympathize with our housing crisis… the trade-off of what we’re going to be doing, the destruction of wildlife, does not warrant it… We’re taking down a forest,” remarked Osanic. “There’s no way that I can support an MZO to pave over the wetland, that’s the biggest thing, [it’s] dangerous [and] precedent-setting.”
Loyalist-Cataraqui district Councillor Simon Chappelle argued that proper public consultation was not conducted regarding the recommendation for an MZO. “I don’t agree that we’ve had consultation on this specific issue. I believe there are significant problems in having the MZO applied to a provincially significant wetland.”
Before putting the entire list of staff recommendations to a vote, members of the committee opted first to strike the clause regarding the MZO. Once that passed, the Planning Committee voted 4-2 against the recommendations as amended, with Councillors Kiley and Hill voting in favour.
The committee’s decision will be presented to City Council next month, with that body having the ultimate decision as to whether or not the proposal will be approved.”
8.Footage of Arson Suspect of Downtown Fire
NOTE: This fire occurred in Kingston’s oldest extant stone building.
Received from the Kingstonist Aug 16, – Tori Stafford
As previously reported by Kingstonist, Kingston Police are currently investigating the fire that took place on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at the building located at 72 Princess Street, which is being treated as an arson case.
The fire began on the morning of August 4, and was started in the tarped in area at the back of the building, which is home to Modern Primitive, an imported jewelry, textiles, and home goods store. A week later, Kingston Fire and Rescue confirmed that they had handed the investigation into the fire over to Kingston Police, and that the case is considered to have been an arson.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, Kingston Police released the following video, taken from a security camera across the street from the building, which is often referred to as Rochleau House — one of the oldest buildings in downtown Kingston.
“The suspect can be seen exiting Rochleau Court, located between 76 Princess St. and 72 Princess St. The suspect then crosses to the north side of Princess St. before continuing west bound on Princess St,” Kingston Police said in a press release.
“The suspect is wearing a yellow top, light colored pants and carrying a bag over their left shoulder. The suspect also walks with a unique gait.”
Anyone with information about the identity of this individual in the footage is asked to contact Detective David Wein at 613-549-4660 ext. 6198, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips can also be made anonymously by calling the Kingston Police general number (613-549-4660 ext. 0) and requesting to remain anonymous.
9. Webpage Now Up re 70 Million Dollar Inner Harbour clean-up proposed by the feds
http://www.kihproject-projetpik.ca/Home/IndexEN Have a look.
Our comments will be included in the Sept. update
FROM FARTHER AFIELD
10. Ontario nature organizations call on province, feds to protect Great Lakes, National Observer, August 11, 2022. Over 60 nature organizations in Ontario have signed a letter calling on both the federal and provincial governments to officially protect the Great Lakes. This letter asks David Piccini, Ontario’s minister of environment, conservation and parks, and federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault to designate the lakes as a national marine conservation area — starting with Lake Ontario and followed by the rest.
NOTE: The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour supported this initiative.
11. It’s our duty to protect Great Lakes: groups remain united against Line 5 pipeline, The Turtle Island News, August 10, 2022. Efforts to protect the Great Lakes from a Line 5 oil spill disaster are first and foremost about the water. Opponents of Enbridge’s pipeline shared the latest news on the battle over the future of the 69-year-old pipeline in a live webinar July 28. Despite Enbridge’s best legal, political and media efforts, people in the Great Lakes continue to unite around water.
12. Minister of Transport announces funding for new technologies to reduce underwater noise from marine vessels, yahoo! finance, August 11, 2022. Underwater noise from boats can negatively impact the marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals — including species like the endangered Southern Resident killer whales. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in new technologies that will help reduce underwater noise from vessels on Canada’s waters. Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced more than $3.1 million for 22 projects to help reduce the impact of underwater vessel noise.
13. Take a Submarine to the Bottom of the Great Lakes, Thrillist, August 11, 2022. One of Viking Cruises’ newest itineraries, the Great Lakes Explorer, allows guests on the Viking Octantis ship to see one of the great lakes from the other side of the surface. Guests can participate in science-research activities like microplastics research, bird-watching, and weather balloon launches. The submarines are equipped with lights, cameras, and some handy claws to pick up anything valuable the pilot sees on the lakebed. They’re typically used as research vessels to take information back to the Octantis’ science program, which works in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA eventually plans to tack instruments to the bottoms of the submarines to get more detailed information about the water, the lakes, and the lakebed.
14. Canada and the United States release the State of the Great Lakes 2022 Report and the 2022 Progress Report of the Parties showing continuing restoration of the Great Lakes, Benzinga, August 15, 2022. Fifty years ago, Canada and the United States first signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, a commitment to work together to restore and protect our shared and increasingly precious resource. Since 1972, the Agreement has been a catalyst for strong regional partnerships and innovative approaches to environmental actions. Today, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency jointly published two reports required under the Agreement: the State of the Great Lakes 2022 Report and the 2022 Progress Report of the Parties.
15. Future-proofing the Great Lakes region through climate research, Phys.org, August 3, 2022. The Great Lakes have a profound impact on the country’s identity, economy and its climate. But the long-term influence of the Great Lakes on regional weather patterns, especially under a changing climate, has not been well understood. A project called Coastal Observations, Mechanisms, and Predictions Across Systems and Scales (COMPASS), funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, is working to address this knowledge gap.
OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
16. Bill Gates’s Air Conditioning Initiative
Received from Freethink – Kristin Houser
| A Bill Gates-backed startup’s air conditioning tech could help cool the world:|
The prediction: The number of ACs in use worldwide is expected to increase from 2 billion today to 5.6 billion by 2050.
The problem: Air conditioning is already responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, so more ACs means more global warming.
The solution: Blue Frontier is developing a tech that slashes air conditioning’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 87%.The world is getting hotter due to climate change. At the same time, the population is growing, and incomes are rising. Add those factors together, and you get a booming market for air conditioning (AC).
While AC can help us cope with summer heat and the worsening effects of climate change, it also generates copious amounts of greenhouse gasses. Those make the problem of global warming worse, which means we need more air conditioning.
Now, a Bill Gates-backed startup is poised to break this cycle with a new kind of AC that requires 50-90% less electricity than the ones we use today — and you might be able to buy a unit for your home as soon as 2026.
A warmer / cooler world
Between 1990 and 2016, annual sales of air conditioners (ACs) more than tripled, and according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) predictions, 5.6 billion units will be in use worldwide by 2050 — a huge increase from today’s roughly 2 billion units.
ACs are doing more than just making us comfortable, too. Air conditioning has been linked to increased learning in schools and productivity at work on hot days.
And when temperatures are really high, AC saves lives — the CDC calls air conditioning “the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness.” With heat waves expected to worsen due to global warming, AC will become even more important over time.The challenge
ACs are power-hungry devices, and because our electric grids are still largely supported by fossil fuels, their usage directly releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Even before they’re turned on, AC manufacturing and transporting is heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
Another issue is intrinsic to how AC works, using heat-absorbing chemicals called refrigerants. These often have global warming potentials (GWPs) hundreds to thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide, so leakage from ACs is another way air conditioning contributes to climate change.
After adding all those sources up, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) determined that air conditioning is currently responsible for 3.94% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Serious innovation is needed to address the issue.
“We’ve already made the existing, century-old technology nearly as efficient as possible,” said Jason Woods, a senior research engineer at the NREL. “To get a transformational change in efficiency, we need to look at different approaches without the limitations of the existing one.”
Florida-based startup Blue Frontier has now developed a radically different air conditioning system that uses 50-90% less electricity than the traditional kind and doesn’t require refrigerants with high GWPs.
The key to the tech is the use of a liquid desiccant, which is a type of chemical that pulls water from air. (You’ve seen solid desiccants before — they’re the little gel packets that say “do not eat” on them, often found in shoe packaging or other consumer goods that need to stay dry.)
Blue Frontier’s liquid desiccant is a proprietary saltwater solution that’s stored in a small tank inside the AC. An electric-powered heat pump is used to evaporate water in the solution. The evaporated water is recovered, and the desiccant is left with a higher concentration of salt.
When the desiccant is allowed to come in contact with warm air, it pulls moisture from it. The dehumidified air is then cooled to the ideal temperature using the recovered water and a process called “indirect evaporative cooling.”
The cooled air is released into the environment, and the heat pump is used to evaporate water in the liquid desiccant again, priming the system for another round of air conditioning.As long as the concentrated liquid desiccant in Blue Frontier’s AC is prevented from coming in contact with warm air, it regains its cooling potential.
The system is designed so that the heat pump concentrates the salt water solution when electricity is cheapest and cleanest (often late at night). It can then store the primed solution until you need to cool your home (likely the middle of the day).
The AC does require some refrigerant, but only 20-33% as much as a traditional AC, and the way the refrigerant is used — to operate the heat pump, not cool the air — allows Blue Frontier to use a kind of refrigerant with a lower GWP.
“The combined effect is an 85% to 87% reduction in our system’s contribution to global warming,” CEO Daniel Betts told CNBC.
Blue Frontier just raised $20 million — with Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures leading the investment round — and plans to install its first test units in buildings before the end of 2022.
If everything goes according to plan, Betts says the company expects to have a product ready for commercial buildings in 2025 and one for residences in 2026 or 2027 — meaning a good portion of 2050’s 5.6 billion ACs could be far more sustainable than today’s units.
17. Effects of Climate Change on Sea Turtles
Thanks Barb Schlafer for this. Received Aug 9, 2022.
“This is worth following should it turn out more males are needed as the ground heats up. Kingston could possibly find a way to shield nests from direct sun.”
18. Rainwater Everywhere on Earth Unsafe to Drink due to Forever Chemicals.
Received Aug 9, 2022 Pexels By Rosie Frost • Updated: 08/08/2022 – 13:47
Rainwater everywhere on Earth unsafe to drink due to ‘forever chemicals’, study finds
Rainwater was found to contain unsafe levels of forever chemicals.
Rainwater almost everywhere on Earth has unsafe levels of ‘forever chemicals’, according to new research.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of human-made chemicals that don’t occur in nature. They are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment.
They have non-stick or stain repellent properties so can be found in household items like food packaging, electronics, cosmetics and cookware.
But now researchers at the University of Stockholm have found them in rainwater in most locations on the planet – including Antarctica. There is no safe space to escape them.
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Rainwater everywhere is unsafe to drink
Safe guideline levels for some of these forever chemicals have dropped dramatically over the last two decades due to new insights into their toxicity.
“There has been an astounding decline in guideline values for PFAS in drinking water in the last 20 years,” says Ian Cousins, lead author of the study and professor at the Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University.
For one well-known substance, the “cancer-causing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)”, water guideline values have declined by 37.5 million times in the US.
Based on the latest US guidelines for PFOA in drinking water, rainwater everywhere would be judged unsafe to drink.
Lead author of the study
“Based on the latest US guidelines for PFOA in drinking water, rainwater everywhere would be judged unsafe to drink,” he says.
“Although in the industrial world we don’t often drink rainwater, many people around the world expect it to be safe to drink and it supplies many of our drinking water sources.”
Infertility, heart failure and kidney disease: How does climate change impact the human body?
‘We don’t have water’: Here’s what it’s like living through Europe’s driest summer in memory
What risk do ‘forever chemicals’ pose to our health?
The health risks of being exposed to these substances have been researched widely. Scientists say that they could be linked to fertility problems, increased risk of cancer and developmental delays in children.
But others say that no cause and effect can be proven between these chemicals and poor health.
Though we don’t usually drink rainwater it does feed the water sources we rely on.Pixabay
Despite this, and as a result of this new research, some are calling for tighter restrictions on PFAS.
“It cannot be that some few benefit economically while polluting the drinking water for millions of others, and causing serious health problems,” says Dr Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packing Foundation in Zurich who wasn’t involved in the study.
“The vast amounts that it will cost to reduce PFAS in drinking water to levels that are safe, based on current scientific understanding, need to be paid by the industry producing and using these toxic chemicals.”
The time to act, she says, is now.
19. St. Lawrence River Zones hostile to Invasives Can be Refuges for Native Species
Received from The Conversation Aug 10 – Christina Charette, Alison Derry, OlivierMorisette from the University of Quebec at Montreal
Disclosure statementAlison Derry is a member of the Interuniversity Group in Limnology (GRIL). She has received funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQNT) – nature et technologies and from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Alliance project with the River Institute.
Cristina Charette is a member of the Interuniversity Research Group in Limnology (GRIL). She has received funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – nature et technologies (FRQNT) and Mitacs.
Olivier Morissette is a member of Aquatic Resources Quebec (RAQ). He has received funding from the Quebec Research Fund (FRQNT) – nature and technologies and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
PartnersBiological invasions are among the main factors contributing to the significant decline in biodiversity worldwide.
Several invasive species, such as the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) are native to the Ponto-Caspian region, which includes the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas, and were imported to North America by transoceanic ships. These species are known to have disrupted ecosystems around the world, including those of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
However, the impacts of Ponto-Caspian invaders on native biodiversity, although significant, appear to have been less extensive in the St. Lawrence River than in the Great Lakes. This phenomenon might be explained by the river’s weaker conductivity.
Conductivity is the ability of water to conduct an electric current, which results from a concentration of dissolved minerals. It is highly dependent on salinity, the concentration of all salts dissolved in water.
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Invasive species that originate from the Ponto-Caspian region have evolved in brackish waters, which are less salty than seawater, but still rich in essential minerals. When they are introduced into habitats that are low in minerals, or weaker conductivity as in the river, these species have difficulty surviving.
We are studying how conductivity gradients in the St. Lawrence River promote aquatic diversity in the presence of invasive species. These gradients provide native species with habitats that are unfavourable for invasive species.
The round goby invades the St. Lawrence
The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), Ponto-Caspian invader, is an established fish that has become widespread in the St. Lawrence River within the past two decades following its introduction into the Great Lakes. It has disrupted coastal fish communities because it reproduces quickly and frequently, is highly adaptable to various habitat conditions, and behaves aggressively.
The round goby is an invasive fish found in the St. Lawrence River.
The presence of the goby has been associated with the decline of several native fish species, such as the Johnny Darter, and the spread of certain fish diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia. There is also evidence that the round goby contributes to the spread of avian botulism and the bioaccumulation of contaminants, such as mercury, in the aquatic food chain.
In addition, these impacts are expected to worsen with climate change, as round goby growth rates will increase faster with the rise of water temperatures in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Most of the ecological impacts of the round goby on native fish and macroinvertebrate communities (animals without a spine and visible to the naked eye) appear to depend on its density and invasion status. The impacts will be greater in areas where the species has been present in large numbers and for a long time.
Since the spatial distribution of several invasive species (including zebra mussels) in the St. Lawrence River appears to be influenced by the water conductivity gradient, it is debatable whether this habitat characteristic represents a limiting factor in the invasion of freshwater environments by the round goby.
A matter of refuge
Environmental heterogeneity, namely the variation in the physical and ecological characteristics of the landscape, can play an important role in maintaining the diversity and abundance of native species in goby-invaded ecosystems. In fact, this diversity can generate refuges for native species in the face of biological invasion when environmental conditions, such as water conductivity, restrict the abundance and impact of invaders by limiting their survival.
There are compelling studies — but of a limited number — on the Great Lakes that suggest that wetlands (seagrass beds and marshes) are unfavourable to some key aquatic invaders, notably the round goby.
Goby harvesting in the St. Lawrence River. (Cristina Charette)
Our work has also shown that both habitat types, the conductivity gradient and local wetlands, limit round goby dominance. Even in places where they are present in large numbers, wetlands help mitigate their negative effects on native communities. This may be linked to the structuring effects of vegetation, which provide favourable conditions for maintaining fish and macroinvertebrate diversity.
Important tools for biodiversity conservation
The results of this study, while highly relevant to the risk assessment and management of round goby, were based on observations of a limited portion of the St. Lawrence River. Two major fish inventories along the St. Lawrence, the Fish Identification Nearshore Survey (FINS) and the Ichthyological Monitoring Network (RSI), conducted by the River Institute and the Québec Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks, respectively, now provide the opportunity to test the phenomenon on a much larger spatial scale — practically the entire freshwater portion of the St. Lawrence River.
Our research is one of the few freshwater studies to date that has addressed the essential but little-known role of refuges in an ecosystem with diverse environmental conditions. In addition to reducing the effects of the invasion on native biodiversity, these areas ensure their sustainability. The mitigation of the presence and quantity of the round goby in the St. Lawrence River by low-conductivity waters and the presence of wetlands present a conservation tool that can contribute to the preservation of this culturally and socio-economically important river system.
The round goby, an invasive fish with significant impacts in the St. Lawrence River. (Stephany Hildebrand)
In addition, the relationship between goby abundance and water conductivity is a simple but informative tool in assessing the risk to habitats that are not yet colonized by the round goby (such as the St. Lawrence River tributaries) that may harbour fish species at risk, including the eastern sand darter (Ammocrypta pelludica), the channel darter (Percina copelandi) and the pugnose shiner (Notropis anogenus).
Our research highlights the importance of preserving a wide variety of natural habitats, including wetlands, for their beneficial effects in mitigating the negative impacts of biological invasions on freshwater biodiversity.
In particular, we recommend protecting the St. Lawrence River wetlands as a critical step in sustaining this ecosystem resource.
Matthew Windle of the River Institute provided data and contributed to the project. Louis Astorg developed ideas, directed and implemented the first study of our research.
20. Amazing Photos of Fungi that Look Like Live Creatures
NOTE: Hope you can access these. They really are incredible.
So that’s it for August. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour