China Exports Pollution

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Earlier this year as I read about China’s pollution problems I thought, “They are polluted because they make products for the United States!”  We have exported our jobs, manufacturing and pollution, and some of that pollution is finding its way back across the Pacific Ocean.

There is evidence that China is exporting pollution from their manufacturing back to the United States.  China has lax manufacturing standards in every area and now their extreme carbon pollution is crossing the Pacific Ocean to pollute California, Oregon and Washington State.

What about products made in India? Experts have long known that India’s air is among the worst in the world. A recent analysis by Yale researchers found that seven of the 10 countries with the worst air pollution exposures are in South Asia.

Carbon Pollution is a global issue.  There are many things you can do and shopping for American made products is one of those things.   Buying USA made is green and creates needed jobs here in our own country.  I have been trying to do this for over 20 years and it is tough, but I feel better about my purchases. Yes, sometimes it is impossible, but consumer demand can bring some of those jobs and products home.

Below is a post from Todd Lipscomb from   www.madeinusaforever.com 

“According to a recent study, up to 25% of air pollution on the West Coast is floating over from China. Sadly, we’re directly responsible for much of that pollution. The study tied a significant amount of Chinese pollution to the production of goods for export to the United States and other countries.

Of course, the pollution we now know is drifting to our coast comes on top of the pollutants actually in the products themselves and the huge amount of pollution cargo container ships create. According to other studies, the largest 15 cargo container ships create more pollution than all the cars in the world combined, due to the nearly unrefined fuel they burn.

I saw firsthand in China that environmental laws are much less stringent and often ignored completely. Walking outside, the air was so thick it was like I was smoking cigarettes 24/7. In spite of the occasional PR push by Chinese government authorities, the pollution situation just continues to get worse there.

However, “there” is not as far away as it may seem. Sure they are seeing the worst of it, but there is no doubt that pollution is affecting us here the USA as well.  In fact, experts already estimate that Los Angeles experiences at least one extra day per year of smog exceeding safe ozone levels because of pollution from China.”

www.madeinusaforever.com 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/21/china-pollution-pacific-us-smog

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/world/asia/beijings-air-would-be-step-up-for-smoggy-delhi.html?_r=0

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/study-pollution-from-chinese-factories-is-harming-air-quality-on-us-west-coast/2014/01/21/225e9b1e-8281-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html

Other American product sites:

http://bgreenapparel.com/

http://www.earthcreations.net/

http://tesoromio.org/

http://www.doitgreen.org/

http://www.mygreenhome.co/

http://www.mossenvy.com/

http://footvote.com/

www.americanapparael.net

www.foreverusa.com

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Minnesota Weather Disasters Cost Big Money

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Minnesota prides itself in being number one, but who would think that land locked Minnesota would top the list in weather insurance claims?? We are all paying for climate change with our health and wallets. Minnesota has become the “New Florida” of the Midwest in paying for weather disasters. The new numbers from 2013 bring Minnesota into the top three states in the United States for catastrophic weather losses. AND…Insurance rates in Minnesota have increased 267% since 1997 according to Bob Johnson of the Insurance Federation of Minnesota.

The tornadoes in Illinois probably bumped Minnesota out of the number one spot for 2013, but the trend continues, and the frequency of extreme rains and hail is one of the triggers of insurance rate increases for Minnesota.

The changes in climate are happenings faster than we have ever seen, and it is clear we are changing the composition of the atmosphere according to Meteorologist Paul Huttner on Minnesota Public Radio.

Yes, we are already paying enormous costs because of the changes in our atmosphere and those that pollute should be paying their fair share. Polluters should be responsible for paying a fee for their contribution of carbon entering the atmosphere. This is a global problem.  Minnesota, and the United States together with the EU, need to take leadership to work with the entire world to do what we can to mitigate the climate effects we are seeing.  And we should all strive to reduce our individual pollution footprint.  Our health and the health of our earth depend on an enormous cooperative effort.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/updraft/2014/01/climate-cast-minnesota-near-1-in-extreme-weather-catastrophic-losses-in-2013/

Also, see below the number one catastrophic  disaster for the world.  It will surprise you:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/global-disasters-killed-cost-2013-21444994

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A New Year

A New Year on Lake Superior

Lake Superior beyond the lake sprayed trees
Lake Superior beyond the lake sprayed trees
unusual snow deposts
Unusual snow deposits, koala bears climb the tree?

Embrace the beauty

Snowshoe through snowy balsams

Into deer bedrooms

Five days of below zero cold.  The magnificent beauty of winter is at it’s best and the quality of the snow for snowshoeing is perfect. Chickadees, downy and pileated woodpeckers work to find food. Deer tracks cover the woods. The bay in front of our house has frozen over, but a strong lake wind could change that in a minute. A fisherman has ventured out on the tenuous ice.

Shrew tracks
Shrew tracks

And…my 3 year old buck friend has survived another hunting season!

It Is Cold Outside, Make Some Soup!

When it’s cold, make soup from whatever you have in your refrigerator.  This is just a suggestion.

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

3 carrots cleaned and chopped

Quinoa Vegetable Soup
Quinoa Vegetable Soup

2 celery ribs chopped

1 small zucchini sliced

1 sweet apple diced (I used fireside)

green beans  fresh, frozen or canned  1 -2 cups

2 vegan vegetable broth cubes

2 bay leaves

1 T basil

½ cup rinsed fair trade quinoa

2 cloves garlic

1 ½  tsp sea salt

2 pinches of rosemary

About 7 cups of water

Brown onion in a large pot until it just begins to turn brown. Next add apple, garlic and the remainder of vegetables.   Stir and fry about 5 minutes.   Add salt, broth cubes, basil, bay leaf, quinoa, and water.  Simmer for about one hour.  Serve hot with bread, crackers and grated cheese.