Can we get rid of plastic foam in our buildings?

When one complains about the use of plastic foam insulation in building, people look at you like you are nuts. It’s got great insulating value, it’s cheap, spray foams are really effective, what’s not to like? If you complain that they are made from fossil fuels, they will point out that it will save far more fossil fuels over its life than is used to make it.

But as Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen pointed out years ago, they are also full of fire retardants that are bioaccumulative toxins, they are made with known carcinogens, they are incredibly dangerous in a fire and the blowing agents used are often terrible greenhouse gases.

In an era where we are trying to cut our use of fossil fuels, insulate and seal our buildings better, it may seem crazy to many people that we would give up such a useful tool. But it has come to the point where architects are finally taking the health issue seriously and looking at alternatives. Few of them give as much insulation value per inch, many are much more expensive and they need a lot more care and detail, but it’s happening. At BuildingGreen, Tristan Roberts asks Can we replace foam insulation?

Perhaps, but it’s a “nice to have”.

While the issue is on the radar, it is not yet an incoming missile. One health care specialist told Tristan:

“A project where we might consider this is also targeting net-zero energy and has a tight budget, so it’s a ‘nice to have,’ and it slides down in importance,” she says. Also working against the issue: “It’s not contributing to LEED Platinum, which is another goal that some projects would have. It’s an issue external to LEED and energy—or in conflict with energy.”

Foam works better in tight spaces. Spray polyurethane foam is effective in renovations, in sealing everything up into a tight package. I was planning to use it in my own house, where I am doing a small addition and every inch counts. (I am not anymore; the City rejects it when you are close to a lot line because of its combustibility)

It is a difficult call. In his own house renovation, Alex Wilson is using Foamglass under his slab and cork on his walls. Both are seriously more expensive than the usual foams, and the trades are unfamiliar with them. In my own house, I am using mineral wool, But will have a wall with conventional R-ratings, a third less than I would have had with SPF. On the other hand, we live in interesting times; new products are being developed and old products are making comebacks. Tristan concludes that “we’re arguably in one of the most creative and environmentally innovative stages of development the industry has yet seen.”

This is an important article about a significant change happening in green building, an awareness that there is more to building than just saving energy; Health and safety matter too. Read Can We Replace Foam Insulation?

Source Article from http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/can-we-get-rid-plastic-foam-our-buildings.html

06-28-13 — Karen Kwiatkowski – Hr 1 & 2 (Retired Lt Col USAF) (MP3 & VIDEO LOADED)

 
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Source Article from http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Media/137170-2013-06-28-06-28-13-karen-kwiatkowski-hr-1-2-retired-lt.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Lake George to become ‘the smartest lake in the world’

 
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Source Article from http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/137204-2013-06-28-lake-george-to-become-the-smartest-lake-in-the-world.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Obesity’s ‘disease’ designation sparks outrage on the web

 
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Source Article from http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/137203-2013-06-28-obesitys-disease-designation-sparks-outrage-on-the-web.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Hiker’s time-lapse video: A new take on the ‘selfie’?

 
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Source Article from http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/137202-2013-06-28-hikers-time-lapse-video-a-new-take-on-the-selfie.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

BEST OF THE WEB: Full Disclosure: What the media isn’t telling you about Syrian ‘Civil War’

LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK AND JOE QUINN

Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a
satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for
carrying them out – until now.

BUY IT NOW!

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/263384-Full-Disclosure-What-the-media-isnt-telling-you-about-Syrian-Civil-War

U.S. military’s ‘underground’ warfare in Syria

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Following the debacles and disasters in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has actually adopted a new role to avoid direct engagement, like in Syria, to go underground and conduct secret operations, an analyst says.

“The decision to pull back on massive engagements of military force does not mean force is not going to be used. It just goes underground,” Gordon Adams wrote on the website of Foreign Policy on Wednesday.

“Arguably, today the U.S. military is more involved than ever overseas, on a global basis, carrying out missions that extend well beyond classic military competencies,” he added.

Adams said that the approach, described by the Pentagon and the White House as “building partner capacity” is a “stealthy” model which focuses on training and equipping the troops from other countries, allowing the US military to make smaller deployments to more countries across the world.

The U.S. has indirectly and unofficially been facilitating the deployment of arms to the militants in Syria while the White House only recently authorized the CIA to provide the armed groups in the Arab country with more weapons, Adams said.

“But well before this announcement, lethal weapons had been flowing to the Syrian rebels. While the hardware was not supplied from American stocks, the United States has been playing an active role in facilitating the traffic,” the article read.

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The U.S. is actually equipping Jordan, one of its Middle Eastern allies, by leaving its Patriot missiles and F16 fighters, as well as 700 troops, in the country after a recent joint military drill. Hundreds of US special forces have for months been training Jordanian forces as well as the militants in Syria in the country.

The U.S. has also deployed hundreds of troops as well as Patriot missile system to Turkey, Syria’s northern neighbor.

The U.S. military is also considering ways to send troops to Lebanon and Iraq and is planning to accelerate sales of weapons to these countries, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday.

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/263383-US-militarys-underground-warfare-in-Syria

Swedish security service Säpo infiltrated country’s left-wing party

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The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) embedded a spy to monitor activities in the Left Party beginning in the 1980s, according to revelations in the Aftonbladet daily on Tuesday.

The newspaper reports that Säpo officer Hans-Erik Sjöholm infiltrated the party in the early 1980s tasked with keeping tabs on party members, including then party secretary, and later leader, Lars Ohly.

“Säpo really has no bloody business collecting information about a party secretary in the a Riksdag party, that is completely out of order. I am extremely surprised,” Ohly said to Aftonbladet when told of the claims.

Sjöholm relates how he joined the party, then known as Left Party – the Communists (VPK), in the beginning of the 1980s and continued to report on members and from meetings over the following two decades.

He is reported to have a series of handlers at Säpo over the years to whom he made regular reports, handing over recordings and notes.

He told the newspaper of a meeting in Uppsala ahead of the 1998 election when Ohly is alleged to have spoken of the need for an extra-parliamentary struggle and his supported for a revolutionary proletarian dictatorship.

“I posed questions to him at the meeting, as did others, and I wrote down what he said,” Sjöholm said, explaining that this is the type of information that Säpo was looking for.

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/263337-Swedish-security-service-Sapo-infiltrated-countrys-left-wing-party

Volcanic eruptions rage in Alaska: Geologist, "for some reason we can’t explain, activity picked up"

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Alaska volcano eruptions are entering a more powerful phase. After six weeks of Alaska volcano eruptions reaching five miles into the sky, covering nearby communities with ash and shutting down air flights, there looks to be no end. Alaska volcano eruptions 2013 started in May at the Pavlof Volcano, which is located about 590 miles southwest of the major city Anchorage, in the Alaska Peninsula. The most powerful phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started with low-level rumblings.

According to scientists at the federal-state Alaska Volcano Observatory, the latest phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started late on Monday and continued through the night into Tuesday. The blasts emanate from the crater of a 8,261 foot volcano. Tina Neal, an geologist at the observatory said, “For some reason we can’t explain, it picked up in intensity and vigor.’ In May, Alaska volcano eruptions sent a smaller ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air. The ash was visible for miles. Residents were worried that it would damage power generators. The ash plume has so far topped of at an altitude of 28,000 feet, which is too low in the air to affect major air traffic, but high enough that small planes have to fly around it.

Missy Roberts, the vice president of PenAir, which is based in Anchorage, said the airline cancelled one flight and had to re-route other flights. Air traffic controller John Maxwell said, “Everybody is thinking about it. Not that anybody is afraid they’re going to be like Mount Vesuvius and turn into little mummies.” The whole region is under an ash advisory. The National Weather Service warned that people with respiratory ailments in the area could experience breathing problems. They also warned about potential damage to exposed electronic equipment. The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported that King Cove, which is located 30 miles southwest of Pavlof and has a population of about 900 people, has been dusted with ash. The observatory said that a second Alaska Peninsula volcano also continues to experience a low-intensity eruption. The observatory said that ash from Veniaminof Volcano, which is located 485 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been contained to the area around its 8,225-foot summit. The scientists say the eruptions at Pavlof and Veniaminof are unrelated. According to the observatory, there is a third Alaska volcano that is restless is in a more remote area, but that has not started spouting lava or ash. The Cleveland Volcano began its eruptive phase in the middle of 2011 and has been erupting on and off. It has not produced an explosive eruption since May 6. The Cleveland Volcano is located 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. –Kpopstarz

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/263294-Volcanic-eruptions-rage-in-Alaska-Geologist-for-some-reason-we-cant-explain-activity-picked-up