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Climate Foundation presents at Climate March

posted Sep 29, 2014, 2:36 AM by Laura.Talsma@climatefoundation.org   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 2:41 AM ]

Climate Foundation participated in the largest climate march in history, with a third of a million participants in New York City! We took it to the streets to put a predictable and rising price on carbon with a nationwide fee and dividend plan: read more here

And we are taking it to Washington DC this week with the Climate Ride: read more here.



Support Ryan's Climate ride!

posted Sep 26, 2014, 10:59 AM by Laura.Talsma@climatefoundation.org

HELLO

My name is Ryan Symancek.  I am a recent graduate of Bates College, documentary filmmaker, private pilot, and a motoring enthusiast.  I’m joining the Climate Ride in support of the ClimateFoundation.org, a foundation dedicated to educating individuals on the real problem we face today, Global Climate Change.  What I find so intriguing about the Climate Foundation is that they are not just an advocacy group, but an environmental engineering and design group determined to investigate new avenues in energy usage and better ways to decrease our carbon footprint.  From the development of Biochar sanitation in developing nations, to the preservation of coral reefs, the Climate Foundation covers vast landscapes in order to reach the common goal of halting global warming.   

So what does this have to do with me?  I’m an automotive journalist, doesn’t that make me the bad guy?  I’d like to think not, and here’s why:

MY STORY

My entire life I’ve dreamed about becoming involved in motorsport, and I’ve been lucky to do so thus far.  However, my entire life did not see me advocating for climate change.  As I grow older, and begin to change the way I look at politics and environmental issues, I feel it is important for me to show that even though I’m not the poster child for advocating the need for climate awareness, I’d like to think I’m trying.  I feel that the need for people in all walks of life to be aware of the climate issues we face is the most important way to start change. 

In my profession, I find there are two types of people when it comes to the Climate Change topic…. Those who have an idea that the earth is changing because of human existence (and as an added bonus, enjoy the outdoors), and those who frankly don’t care as long as they can keep racing and driving petrol vehicles. 

The latter is the wrong way to handle the motorsports addiction.  Being an automotive enthusiast shouldn’t limit a person’s agenda to just motoring.  I am human.  I love the outdoors, biking, hiking, swimming, photographing wildlife.  Seeing ecosystems change abruptly because I am human is an extremely scary and disappointing realization.  After all, I’m knowledgeable of the fact that the number 15 is bigger than 5, owls do exit, and there are hats (see the John Oliver video linked below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkBvsCMxrNU

I will continue to drive my car, a 5-speed Subaru Impreza.  However, I will do it with the knowledge that automotive propulsion is and needs to continue to change for the better. 

A gas engine is a remarkable piece of engineering, and I love the sound they make.  But in reality, I don’t need to drive petrol engines everyday.  I travel a lot, and I promise you my driving pleasure is not fulfilled while I’m stuck idling in traffic for an hour trying to enter the Lincoln Tunnel.  For reasons like this, you could understand that the future possibility of owning a Tesla might be awesome for both your wallet and moral.  Transportation needs to change, commercialized industry needs to change.  Our dependence on fossil fuels to move goods all over the county is astoundingly too high. 

I am riding for awareness of the need for further production into fossil fuel free transportation in the vehicles we drive daily (and to see if my earlier years of BMX and Velodrome championship wins still have any merit). 

On top of all of this, I will take part in the 300 mile bike ride, and with the help of filmmaking partner Cam Held, and Climate Foundation founder Brian von Herzen, I will develop a short documentary focused on my struggle throughout the ride and the stories of others as I travel from New York to D.C. searching for how I fit into our generation’s biggest problem.

HOW TO HELP

My goal is to raise $500 by August 15th, and $2,800 before the ride starts.

You can make a secure online donation today by clicking on the 'Support Me' button. You'll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support.  Your donation will be noted in the video, so look out for the documentary upon its completion.

Climate ride website

Thanks again!

Ryan Symancek


Ready, Set, Conserve - Climate Foundation Executive Director to pedal 400 kilometers on Climate Ride California 2014

posted May 17, 2014, 6:52 AM by tsfrench@climatefoundation.org   [ updated May 17, 2014, 7:17 AM ]

Contact: Caeli Quinn, Co-Director, 406/871 5477, caeli@climateride.org, or Dr. Brian von Herzen, info@climatefoundation.org
 
April 17, 2014: Dr. Brian von Herzen, executive director of the Climate Foundation, will participate in the annual Climate Ride California 2014, a multi-day cycling fundraiser and ‘green conference on wheels,’ with more than 200 cyclists traveling 250 miles from San Francisco, through wine country, to Sacramento.

The ride will take place from May 17 to 20, 2014, and is designed to raise awareness of sustainability, renewable energy, climate change issues, and bicycle advocacy.
 
Dr. Brian von Herzen
“It will be challenging to ride 400 kilometers in 4 days,” said Dr. von Herzen. “But the issues and the organizations that Climate Ride supports are critical. I am fundraising and pushing myself to do this ride to inspire people to take action in their day-to-day lives. Climate Ride is about awareness and exchanging ideas, resolving serious issues that will affect our future, and doing something I believe in. And it’s going to be a really beautiful ride.”

 
Brian is joining two hundred other riders who each raised at least $2800 to benefit one of more than 60 organizations including Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, NRDC, 350.org, Green America, Environmental Defense Fund, 1% For the Planet, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Alliance For Climate Education and more.

Brian Von Herzen obtained his A.B. in Physics, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Computer and Planetary Science from Caltech where he was the recipient of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship (http://www.hertzfoundation.org). While at Princeton, Brian spent four years working closely with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. At Princeton, his dissertation on global climate models demonstrated how changes in the Earth's orbit affects climate.

The foundation strives to achieve carbon balance in land, sea, and air, moderate and reverse the effects of climate change in critical ecosystems, use biochar for sanitation, fertilization, and carbon sequestration in developing nations, and facilitate adoption of renewable energy.

Climate Ride is the first multi-day bicycle ride to raise money for and awareness of sustainability, renewable energy, climate change, and bicycle advocacy. Participants will cycle approximately 60 miles a day, and along the way, they will hear from an impressive list of guest speakers who are leaders in sustainability and green innovation. Topics will include climate science, sustainable living, bicycle advocacy, and environmental activism.

Registration for Climate Ride California and Climate Ride NYC-DC 2014 is now open at www.climateride.org. Registration includes a personal fundraising web page, training support and access to a nationwide network of Climate Riders and eco-heroes. The ride includes a cycling jersey, accommodations, luggage transfer, road support, meals, bike mechanics, expert guides and the nightly expert speaker series. Each participant pays a registration fee of $100 and then raises at least $2800 to participate in Climate Ride. Riders can choose to ride in Climate Ride NYC-DC or Climate Ride California.

About Climate Foundation:
Climate Foundation is dedicated to educating and empowering people to halt global warming in our lifetime. The foundation strives to achieve carbon balance in land, sea, and air, moderate and reverse the effects of climate change in critical ecosystems, use biochar for sanitation, fertilization, and carbon sequestration in developing nations, and facilitate adoption of renewable energy.

About Climate Ride:
Climate Ride was founded to inspire and empower citizens to work toward a new energy future. Climate Ride events raise money for a collection of rider-nominated, innovative organizations working at both the national and local levels, including Green America, 350.org, Transportation Alternatives, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Green For All, Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Climate Counts, 1% For the Planet, WABA, Grist, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bicycle Coalition and many local bicycle and sustainability organizations. For more information about Climate Ride, or to support a participant, please visit www.climateride.org.
 
 

Climate Foundation receives letter of congratulations from EPA Head on Alaska grant

posted May 16, 2014, 7:49 PM by tsfrench@climatefoundation.org

Climate Foundation has received a letter of congratulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthy on being chosen as a recipient of the 2013-15 North American Partnership on Environmental Community Action grant.
 
On March 4, the international Commission for Environmental Cooperation awarded an $85,000 grant to Climate Foundation and the Re-Locate project to work with the Tribal and City Councils of Kivalina, Alaska to develop a shovel ready project to provide biochar sanitation to the village.

Ms. Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in her letter, “Your work to improve sanitation for Arctic villages across North America will strengthen communities and complement efforts under way at the EPA. The EPA is proud to support The Climate Foundation as you address environmental challenges at the community level.”

“Local relationships, roles, and responsibilities are critical to understand, visualize, and integrate into the design of any new waste management plan,” said Michael Gerace, founder and chief curator of Re-Locate. “Biochar systems and dry toilets play an important role, but the success of the technology depends on its effective integration with and support of the autonomously functioning practices that are operating in the village already.”

In the Kivalina project, partners will improve upon, engineer, and adapt Biochar Reactor technology developed for sub-Saharan Africa by the Climate Foundation to Arctic conditions. These reactors process human waste into energy, biochar briquettes, and useful raw materials

The biochar project addresses sanitation as the most critical opportunity to improve public health in the village. Residential homes in Kivalina lack toilets and running water, and people use honey buckets (paint buckets lined with plastic trash bags and covered with portable seats) to store and haul human waste. Located on a barrier island, Kivalina is highly susceptible to erosion and the impacts of climate change, and has had limited investment water and sewer services.
 
Letter of congratulations from EPA


About Climate Foundation:
Climate Foundation is dedicated to educating and empowering people to halt global warming in our lifetime. The foundation strives to achieve carbon balance in land, sea, and air, moderate and reverse the effects of climate change in critical ecosystems, use biochar for sanitation, fertilization, and carbon sequestration in developing nations, and facilitate adoption of renewable energy.

Innovative Sanitation Solution Revealed at Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India

posted May 16, 2014, 10:03 AM by tsfrench@climatefoundation.org   [ updated May 16, 2014, 7:34 PM ]

Climate Foundation demonstrated its innovative processing solution for human waste management at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India. One half of India's population (which is more than all the people in the United States) and a total of more than 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate sanitation.

This year’s fair, co-hosted by the Government of India's Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighted creative approaches to develop affordable and sustainable sanitation solutions without connections to sewer, electrical, or water systems. 

 The Climate Foundation biochar reactor comprises an innovative breakthrough in managing human solid waste that can eliminate the need for externally delivered power, water or sewers, while being financially sustainable. The reactor can process the waste from thousands of people per day, by converting it to biochar - biological charcoal - that can be used as a soil amendment among other beneficial uses.

Dr. Brian von Herzen, Executive Director of the Climate Foundation, says “We are working with an international team of experts to reinvent the toilet. Together we aim to solve the global sanitation problem by processing human solid waste into biochar - a pathogen-free and odor-free resource that can be used as a valuable agricultural supplement.”
 
Climate Foundation staff and partners gathered in India to assemble their prototype for the fair. Other partners included: 
 
Sanergy has worked with Climate Foundation on a lab in Nairobi to analyze human waste and produce biochar samples. Sanergy will field-test the prototype later this year.

Cornell University Department of Crop & Soil Sciences researchers study biochar’s usefulness as a soil amendment around the world.

Agfuel Energy Systems from Aurora, MO, in the United States, has provided two biomass furnace bases, which are retrofitted to meet the standards of processing human waste.

Prasino Group from Calgary, Canada provides operations, sales, and marketing for biochar.

Tide Technocrats India provides design and manufacturing expertise in Bangalore, India.

ClearStak is an environmental engineering company in Woodstock, Connecticut in the United States, and has retrofitted the biochar reactor.

Thermal Energy International in Ottawa, Canada has designed the waste heat recovery system and the energy efficient biomass dryer to dry human waste.

Triopac, based in Montreal, Canada has worked on the manufacturing of the biomass dryer.

Genoa Stirling from Milan, Italy is providing a Stirling engine for generating several kilowatts of electricity at target price points.
 
 
Biochar is created from biomass, which is heated in a low-oxygen environment, creating a high-quality charcoal. When mixed with depleted soil, biochar can reduce the amount of fertilizer and water needed to grow crops. Biochar is retained in soils for more than 1000 years.
 
The biochar reactor can process up to 100 kg human waste per hour with no pretreatment, and recaptures heat of condensation for energy-efficient drying. It could process human waste for less than 5 cents (based on the US dollar) per person per day. Biochar as an agricultural soil supplement can potentially be sold in Kenya for ~$550 per ton. 

Dustin Dover, AgFuel director of operations, says “I am excited to be a part of the demonstration and the innovation that has the potential to mitigate sanitation problems in impoverished regions of the world.”  

 “Partnering with the Climate Foundation allows us to explore Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology while helping to resolve the problem with human waste,” explains Dover. “ClearStak, LLC, the company that manufactures the electric components for AgFuel furnaces, has modified these systems to burn human waste for this challenge. The result is a unique system that not only produces heat, but power, too.”  

 William Crossland, CEO of Thermal Energy International Inc, said: “We are excited by the future possibilities that this sanitation solution may represent. The prototype unit utilizes our FLU-ACE® heat recovery system and our DRY-REX® Biomass Dryer technologies to recapture waste heat for energy-efficient drying. While there is still work to do to optimize and commercialize the system, the Biochar sanitation solution represents an innovative breakthrough in managing human solid waste and, consistent with goals of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, is designed to eliminate the need for power, water or sewers, while being financially sustainable.”

Hamish Fallside, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Foundation, helped lead the research and development of the reactor. Fallside describes how the solution is able to produce its own energy. 

 “After drying, the human waste is fed into the carbonizer, an oven heating it up to 300-700 degrees Celsius, without oxygen present to make biochar,” Fallside says. “As you know from barbecuing, charcoal contains energy. In this case, the energy can be used to heat up the carbonizer, or removed and used for agricultural purpose or fuel. Heat from the carbonizer powers the Stirling Engine, which produces electrical energy to power the drying system - closing the loop. Leftover heat helps to dry the input material.” 

 Fallside says the “The system is a valuable addition to the sanitation chain because it can easily be put in a remote area, processing the waste of thousands of people per day. All components support easy maintenance and affordability.” 

 Climate Foundation is also receiving an $85,000 grant to adapt the system for Kivalina, Alaska, an Arctic North America community that faces significant public sanitation concerns in the midst of severe climate change. 

The pilot project is co-developed with the municipal and tribal councils in Kivalina, an Alaskan native village of approximately 400 people. Phase 1 of the Community-Scale Feces Waste Treatment (CSFWT) project involves conducting research and analysis for the conceptual design. 

Other benefits include the entrepreneurial potential for biochar to be sold in the region and the system’s resilience to climate change. Says Dr. von Herzen, “Biochar reactors require no underground pipes, self-generate the energy required to operate, and are easily transportable by shipping container to possible future village sites being planned in response to the impacts of climate change on Kivalina.” 
  
Biochar Reactor Exhibit at Reinvent The Toilet Fair in New Delhi, showing the carbonizer in front of the shipping container, which contains the biomass dryer. Exhaust from the dryer passes through the orange odor filters on top of the container.

 
Climate Foundation team and partners at Reinvent the Toilet Fair - India

Some Climate Foundation team members and partners at Reinvent the Toilet Fair: standing left to right are David Homa, Los Gatos High School California; Laura Talsma, Climate Foundation marketing; Dustin Dover, AgFuel; Sampath Kumar, Tide Technocrats; Jeff Hallowell, Clearstak; kneeling left to right are Hamish Fallside, Climate Foundation COO; and Dr Brian Von Herzen, Climate Foundation Ex. Director.
 

Sustainable Sanitation with Biochar

posted Mar 22, 2014, 2:16 PM by Erica Schleicher

Climate Foundation will present its innovative solution for human waste management at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, which coincides with World Water Day on March 22.

One quarter of India’s population (which is more than all the people in the United States) and a total of more 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate sanitation today. The Climate Foundation is among participants in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, which funds research to develop waterless, hygienic toilets that do not require a sewer connection or electricity and cost less than five cents per user per day.
This year’s fair is co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event will highlight creative approaches to develop affordable and sustainable sanitation solutions.

International Funding Grant Awarded to Support Biochar Sanitation Project in Kivalina, Alaska

posted Mar 22, 2014, 2:15 PM by Erica Schleicher

Kivalina, Alaska – On March 4, the international Commission for Environmental Cooperation awarded funding to the Climate Foundation and Re-Locate to work with the Tribal and City Councils of Kivalina to develop a shovel ready project to provide biochar sanitation to the village. Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo community in the Northwest Arctic, is among seventeen other communities that received an award out of a total pool of 589 applicants.

The biochar project addresses sanitation as the most critical opportunity to improve public health in the village. Residential homes in Kivalina lack toilets and running water, and people use honey buckets (paint buckets lined with plastic trash bags and covered with portable seats) to store and haul human waste. Located on a barrier island, Kivalina is highly susceptible to erosion and the impacts of climate change. Plans to relocate the village have limited investment in basic water and sewer services. Kivalina Tribal and City Councils are partnering with the Climate Foundation and Re-Locate to co-design a pilot project to address these issues. The project will include designs for community-scale waste management systems, dry toilets, and a biochar reactor that converts human solid waste into charcoal and substrate for fertilizer.
 


Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India - Solutions for India and the World

posted Mar 22, 2014, 2:11 PM by Erica Schleicher

As we enter 2014, momentum is building to ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable sanitation. Now is the time to harness- and hasten-this momentum. That’s the reason behind the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India.

The fair is co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. and highlights creative approaches to develop affordable and sustainable sanitation solutions.

 


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