Tag: #solar airplane

The Solar Impulse— Living Dreams of Transformation

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the pilots for the all-solar plane, had the dream for The Solar Impulse— the first manned flight to fly both day and night. When we first met, it was a model plane and now it has made history.  There are few people who choose to live their lives by pioneering inspirational projects that prioritize the global dream of transformation; in that spirit we are united.  In this way, even when I met Bertrand Piccard and André Roschberg for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 at the United Nations conference COP15, they shined the light through their eyes, with words and ultimately deeds of inspiration.

Bertrand Piccard and André' Roschberg of the SolarImpulse at The United Nation's Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the SolarImpulse was a model and a dream.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg of the Solar Impulse at The United Nations Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the Solar Impulse was a model and a dream.

The Solar Impulse when it was a model at COP15 in 2009.

The Solar Impulse when it was just a model at COP15 in 2009. Now its mission has been accomplished — to demonstrate that flight can be done in a totally sustainable way. Now on to the second Solar Impulse airplane, the HB-S1B, in 2015!

Bertrand would say, “Life is not governed by chance, but by encounters”.  We shared about realizing dreams against seemingly impossible challenges; we shared visions, and together laughed louder than the chorus’ that sang songs of cynicism and doubt, and knew this was an important time for our planet.  A time where human’s challenge to live in balance with our natural resources needed demonstration. The Across America journey was then a distant dream.  From San Francisco to Texas to Arizona to St. Louis to Washington DC and ultimately to New York. The Solar Impulse the all-solar airplane follows in a rich tradition of risky aviation demonstrations from the Wright Brothers to Lindberg’s hop over the Atlantic. These pioneers used their flights to push the dream into reality, launching new industries by piloting courageous first flights for the public to witness.  Bertrand’s family has a lineage of this type of pioneering legacy as well, with a message. But it is more than the technology, it is a model for a path that is needed—and each major step is a metaphor not just for realizing aviation dreams but also for a demonstration project about renewable energy to combat climate change. It’s more than teaming-up unique pioneers like Bertrand and André. Herein, this project is a marriage of innovative technology and sustainability, both needed to come together for real change at a rapid rate with public adoption, for global transformation. We at World Team Now watched from afar as the plane became a reality, as it was tested and flown in different parts of the world—following, promoting to the public, sharing, blogging, tweeting and holding the light that we would unite, and all of our dreams would indeed be realized. We watched and followed the stream in real-time through the pilot’s journeys watching one major step after another.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot's of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot’s of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game-changing keynote speech.

What a surprise to learn that both Bertrand and André Borschberg who I just followed virtually from St. Louis to Washington DC, would be the keynote speakers for Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF) -Wall Street. REFF-Wall Street, an event World Team Now participated in as a supporting organization is held in New York City, and they, us, and the event would all be in New York.  Their key note’s message to the extremely traditional Wall Street financial brokers was that “green” was not just good for the ecology; it was also good for the economy, stimulating new industries, and many green jobs.  The Solar Impulse’s approach to financing going beyond traditional methods was indeed an entrepreneurial approach with integrated marketing partners, branded with their technology and services within the Solar Impulse, patrons, angels, and other fundraising mechanisms. This all hit home harder when President Obama gave a speech on his plan to fight climate change which echoed similar sentiments that were spoken by the innovators of the Solar Impulse team. When we connected after the keynote, I learned of the challenges of the last leg to New York with what was then an exact unknown departure date and time; there were still formidable obstacles. To top it off, it was a surprise to see Bertrand and André again on the same day during NY Clean Energy Week’s event at the Tesla showroom celebrating along with other innovators. We at World Team Now worked diligently to find a way to support the last leg’s landing of the Across America from Washington to New York, and through our contacts at the Governor’s office were able to team-up people and bring in the Port Authority to participate and contribute to helping overcome some of the obstacles.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

We were honored to participate in a slice of history and be present for the successful landing of the Solar Impulse at JFK on Saturday, July 6th 2013 at 11:09 pm. This “dream come true” moment was ineffable. To be in the presence of all who made the living dream of transformation a true reality, to share in the moment of completion of the Across America Journey with them and be there to see with one’s own eyes is an indelible moment that lives in many lives, besides mine. There was only a small group of us VIPs, journalists, and 50 lucky contest winners allowed to this special historic event. Not only was aviation history written in New York, but it was such a victorious event, as the plane continued to fly even after a rip in the fabric about 8 feet occurred in flight, forcing the plane to land early and modify their originally intended route and landing time. Had the plane crashed, instead of the one in San Francisco, of course, all eyes would have been on the Solar Impulse (a commentary about our society’s present values).  Those of us that bore witness to this historical moment were so elated; a spirit that was contagious with looks of awe in the silence and lack of noise, with clean fresh breathable air free of burned jet fuel, with a wingspan (208 ft / 63.4m)  a bit larger than a 747 ‘s  (195 ft 8 in / 59.6 m) when it landed a few feet in front of us on the tarmac where we waited.  We met others who were equally blown away by this moment and also captured it here in Roland Pabst’s blog.  The media impressions surpassed expectations with  8.3  billion thus far—which is significant, especially given the poor presence of traditional media sources at the New York landing. The public at large has had a hard time truly understanding the full potential of solar energy and other renewables as well as the importance of the change to a more balanced energy source.  So when people can see that the all-solar plane flies at night they begin to really understand the battery storage concept— the choice to be able to feed energy back into the electrical grid and/or store energy, and even sell it back to the grid or use it.  As Bertrand explained, “Our plane, Solar Impulse, was never designed to carry passengers, but to carry a message”. We learned more about the message at the press conference on Monday; events continued reaching the public like the opening of NASDAQ where Tom Werner from SunPower rang the bell with Bertrand and André.  Then the meeting at the U.N. where the Clean Tech flag was planted—hopefully, this will further inspire the U.N. towards a binding climate treaty— finally (especially after the horror of Copenhagen) —  we are long overdue for global action for collective energy and for our one environment, our one world.  The people of New York got other opportunities to share in the gift of the Solar Impulse at the various other community events hosted by sponsors, such as Schindler at the Intrepid.  We hope this inspires you to see for yourself and take advantage of the Solar Impulse’s Public Day.  If you miss the Solar Impulse this time, keep it on your radar, as they will return during their World Tour in 2015.  Say good-bye to this airplane yourself— it is for all people to see here in the USA at JFK now for the public, click here to find out more. Be an ambassador for our future, and go and see the beauty and possibility the Solar Impulse represents.

Fukushima’s Radiation-3 Months & Still Counting

"Solar Impulse" Soaring Innovation with Renewable Energy

If you continue to read about the dark reality of the situation of Fukushima, at least make it to the end of the post to focus on something positive, that gives hope, like the solar airplane; Solar Impulse in flight.  Who would have ever thought it was possible?

Fukushima still continues to spew radiation; this is projected to be ongoing for at least another year before the water temperatures drop below boiling since it is now confirmed that at three of the reactors had “meltdowns”. More about the situation continues to be revealed. TEPCO has re-calculated the amount of initial radiation released in the first week of Fukushima.  As a result there is serious concern about the effect of “Hot particles,” also known as “Fuel fleas” to human health. Hot particles when ingested through food we eat, breathed in, or drank through water/milk, or on skin; cause cancer. Watch Fairwinds Arnie Gunderson’s video on “Hot Particles” to better understand what hot particles are, and how they may affect us. Click here to see the interview by CNN’s John King about the re-calculation of radiation released.   Parents are concerned the amount of radiation their children are receiving as far away as Tokyo. Evidence of the Fukushima radiation (which may include hot particles) is found predominantly throughout Japan, but also around the world including Hawaii, along the West Coast  in 13 cities in the USA, and  Ireland.

Remains of building #4 reactor and radioactive storage pool that holds spent nuclear fuel photo released by TEPCO

There is the question of the #4 fuel pool’s storage instability, this is a critical situation with the looming threat of the pool’s structural integrity in addition to keeping the rods from overheating without a cooling system. Work was done to re-enforce the troubled fuel pool which is elevated several floors above the ground level in what remains of the building (see video from a month ago).  Plutonium discovered outside Fukushima does not ease the severity of the situation. The radiation from Fukushima continues to stream at high levels into the air, water, and earth.  Disposal of radioactive water will continue to be an issue, and radioactive sewage is now a reality too. Not only are the lungs of people in danger but also radiation is affecting the lungs of our planet flora and fauna.

It is out of the ordinary in the Japanese culture to protest, but this past weekend was the three months from the date it all began, March 11th and people had enough, so they took to the streets in protest of nuclear power. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-I3Sz49j0U&feature=player_detailpage]Fukushima protests have gone as far as Germany too.   People shouted “Fukushima Warned”—pull the plug on all nuclear power plants,” and they also yelled “Fukushima, Chernobyl, too much is too much!”  German’s protests where the largest anti-nuclear protest in history with tens of thousands of people. Riot control is now in force for the upcoming annual TEPCO board meeting, June 28th .

TEPCO’s situation remains a challenge (see daily status). Fukushima did not happen without warning.  Japan’s rolling blackouts does affect the economy. Decisions made during the crisis created suspicion and mistrust within the Japanese Government itself and between the USA and Japan and remains precarious on all fronts. Adult suicide rates have grown and nearby school children will begin to wear a dosimeter at all times to accurately measure the amount of radiation they receive. Dosimeters will be for children 4-15 yrs. old and under 3yrs. at the parents’ request to help measure monthly radiation exposure.  But the program will not begin until September, and cannot measure hot particles ingested.

It has been suggested that Fukushima be a repository for nuclear waste, even though it is on the “ring of fire”—a study is being done now to consider making this site a permanent graveyard a nuclear repository.

Governments from 30 nuclear countries called for stress tests after Fukushima and international nuclear policy is being discussed. Japan admits to being unprepared for a nuclear disaster even though they were warned—whether that is even possible to prepare for a nuclear disaster, when there is so many potentially fatal factors, is now being rightfully questioned.  Many countries are willing to learn from Japan’s experience as people all around the world are standing up to their governments and saying “no more nukes”.  Italy’s funny and creative video campaign “Freedom of Choice” brought people out to vote on nuclear power. Italy now joins Switzerland, Germany, and voted in a referendum on Monday against the use of nuclear power.

As nuclear power becomes less of an option it affects the controversial uranium minihttp://resourcetelevision.tumblr.com/post/6249855066/remember-fukushima-3-months-ago-a-disaster-likeng in Australia and the USA’s Grand Canyon where companies have applied for a license to begin mining, as well as in other parts of the world where uranium mining exists now.

France who has been the global leader in nuclear energy is now being pressured by the people to reconsider this source of energy too. The big question remains with USA and China, as both continue to hold up the issues of global importance now, as they are doing in Bonn, Germany on the road to Rio+20.

Right now, in the USA,  the decision to extend a nuclear power plant’s license lives at the Federal Government level and each state government, like it or not, now has to accept the federal decision made on their behalf—but that may soon change. State vs. federal is going at it, for example, in Vermont and Massachusetts where they have started to fight this battle in court to take back their power. As a result, Vermont Yankee may have their recent nuclear plant operation renewal revoked, as it is highly controversial that it was even extended.   It is one of the oldest reactors and has the same reactor model as Fukushima, and has been cited for safety failures numerous times. The operating company, Entergy (a large contributor to President Obama’s campaign), is now in a lawsuit with the state of Vermont; this may get more interesting. Massachusetts is filling suit too, and brings to question whether California and New York will take action next and what the USA & China will do regarding this so-called “nuclear renaissance”. There is concern that no entity will be able to prepare for the terrorist threat involving nuclear plants .

We need an international framework and policy structured for nuclear as well as other environmental catastrophes, and mechanisms to approach them when they affect the entire world. This is idealistic but in times like this, we need a little idealism.

Embracing the reality of this entire nuclear situation is not easy.   A reminder to consider the bigger perspective—read “Energy and the Future of our Earth” here.

"Liquid Solar Robot" on mission to collect data

Let’s focus on hope by trying to find something positive like this new helpful technology “Liquid Robots” that may help monitor the oceans’ with their solar powered ocean robots that could accurately measure contaminates.  Or remember the Solar Eagle aerial art we made last year as to raise awareness of the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancun.  Let’s think about the Solar Impulse that actually took flight again and landed yesterday in Paris! World Team Now is focused on renewable energy,  and finding  innovative solutions. It takes a team and we need all the help we can get, so please join us!  We appreciate the support and welcome your comments.

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