In 4-Hour Lull, Britain Generates No Coal-Fired Electricity for the First Time Since 1882 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Emily Gosden for the Telegraph:Britain generated no electricity from coal on Tuesday morning for what is believed to be the first time since the 19th century, in a major milestone in the decline of the polluting power source.National Grid confirmed that none of Britain’s coal stations were running between midnight and 4am.Experts from Argus Media and Carbon Brief said they believed this was the first time there had been no coal running since the era of central electricity generation began with the construction of the UK’s first coal plant in 1882.Coal was Britain’s biggest power source as recently as 2013 but is becoming increasingly unprofitable due to the carbon tax and low gas prices that favour burning gas, and the expansion of subsidised renewable sources like wind power.The UK Government has announced plans to phase coal out entirely by 2025.Jon Ferris, of Utilitywise, said that the “complete absence of coal generation in the UK for the first time in the electricity era” marked a “paradigm shift” that would have been “unthinkable” even two years ago when oil and gas prices were high.As a result of the poor economics for coal, many plants are now shut down for maintenance over summer months.An industry source said even if the coal plants had not broken down they would not have been profitable to run in the early hours of Tuesday, as they lost out to a combination of gas, nuclear and wind power.Full article: Britain gets no power from coal for ‘first time on record’
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Santa Fe New Mexican:Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed sweeping energy legislation on Friday that calls for New Mexico’s major electric utilities to get 100 percent of their power from carbon emission-free sources by 2045.One of the most ambitious and contentious laws passed during the 60-day legislative session that ended a week ago, Senate Bill 489 also sets up a system for financing the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s closure of a coal power plant in the Four Corners and creates job training programs for the renewable energy industry while extending assistance to laid off coal workers.The bill’s critics have argued it will still leave PNM customers paying for the company’s investments in the coal industry and do nothing to save the jobs of workers in the sector. But an unlikely coalition of backers, which includes PNM as well as environmental groups and labor unions, views the legislation as a stride in transitioning to clean energy while boosting the expansion of an industry they say has room to grow under the state’s sunny skies and on its windy mesas.Current law requires that 20 percent of New Mexico’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. SB 489 raises that threshold to 50 percent by 2030 for investor-owned utilities like PNM and rural electric cooperatives.As part of this goal, the law encourages PNM to shut down a coal power plant in the Four Corners, the San Juan Generating Station, by creating a system to sell bonds that would make up for the money the company would lose by closing the facility. The bonds would be paid off by PNM’s customers through electric bills.An analysis by legislative aides said it would cost about $27 million a year. Legislative analysts reported this would be less costly for customers than if PNM continued to operate the facility or if it sought other financing to end its operations. Both options have an estimated cost of $45 million a year, aides said.More: Lujan Grisham signs landmark clean energy bill New Mexico’s San Juan coal plant headed for closure with signing of clean energy law
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NJSpotlight:New Jersey and New York once again have denied key permits for a much contested $1 billion new pipeline that would cut through the former state and under Raritan Bay to supply the latter with natural gas.This time, permit denials appear to have killed the Williams Companies’ proposed Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement project, as the company announced it would not pursue the proposal.“While we continue to believe in the fundamentals of this project, we will not refile in New Jersey or New York at this time,’’ said Laura Creekmur, spokesperson for Williams, in a statement that expressed disappointment and called the decisions unfortunate.For environmentalists and opponents, New York’s decision on Friday and New Jersey officials on Saturday marked a big victory in what has been a long-running effort to halt any new fossil-fuel projects that could increase global warming.In fact, in denying the permit sought by Williams, the Cuomo administration noted it would be incompatible with a new climate law that aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 85% from 1990 levels by 2050. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation also feared the 23-mile pipeline would impair water quality by releasing copper and mercury buried in the sediments of Raritan Bay.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection followed with a denial of a wetlands permit, citing its neighboring state’s rejection of the water quality permit. In rejecting the permit, DEP officials cited New York’s decision as rendering the New Jersey case moot, failing to demonstrate a compelling public need for the project. The permit was dated May 15 but made public Saturday.[Tom Johnson]More: Denial of permits signals end for gas pipeline under Raritan Bay Williams Companies shelves plan to build $1 billion gas pipeline to New York City
Rising temps and blooming trees mean it’s time to pull out the spandex. Tune up your steel steed and get ready to spin your wheels at one of these regional rides. Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) Spring Tune-UpMadison, Ga. • April 20-22Cyclists getting ready for the epic weeklong Bicycle Ride Across Georgia in June will congregate for a range of spring training rides, including a fully supported century on Saturday. Choose your distance and pedal flat stretches and rolling hills through Madison’s scenic Antebellum streets.brag.orgBoone RoubaixBoone, N.C. • April 21Dubbed the Hell of the High Country, the Boone Roubaix is a bike ride you’ll never forget. It starts at the Boone Fairgrounds and takes cyclists through a 79K (50-mile) loop of treacherously steep and winding mountain roads. To make things interesting, the ride mixes in 10 miles of unpredictable unpaved roads, including the infamous slog up the Koppenberg of the High Country, which crushes quads with an incline over 20 percent. The ride’s burly 5,000 feet of climbing means some equally screeching descents—some so technical that organizers bluntly warn, “One guy had his ear ripped off.”booneroubaix.comTarWheel CenturyElizabeth City, N.C. • April 28 Beginners looking to reach the 100-mile mark should clip in for the TarWheel Century. Known as the “world’s flattest century,” the ride takes cyclists on a mellow ride through the historic downtowns of Elizabeth City and Edenton. Pedal through quaint waterside communities, where the Pasquotank River winds its way to the Albemarle Sound, past popping azaleas and dogwoods on a spring ride that’s perfect for increasing your mileagerivercitycyclingclub.comWheels for Meals Greenville, S.C. • April 28Ride through scenic upstate South Carolina to help fight hunger. Wheels for Meals features four different rides (25, 40, 62, and 100 miles) that depart from Furman University, including a tough century route that travels north into the mountains of western North Carolina, gaining nearly 4,000 feet throughout the ride. At a past event, Tour de France veteran and local resident George Hincapie came out to pedal with the field.mealsonwheelsgreenville.org 3 State 3 Mountain ChallengeChattanooga, Tenn. • May 5Cyclists willing to take on this challenge should be forewarned: the mountains get tougher as the ride goes on. The 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge’s full century features a winding course through rural roads in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia with hearty ascents over Suck Creek, Sand, and Lookout Mountains. The final major challenge—the 2.3-mile climb of Lookout—crushes riders with a 20-percent grade at the top. Shorter course options of 90, 62, and 25 miles are also offered.chattbike.comIt’s Not Your Grandma’s CenturyHayesville, N.C. • May 19Destined to become a regional classic, the Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association is set to host the second running of this rugged ride that’s not for the novice cyclist. Both the century and metric century course options cover remote roads of the Nantahala and Chattahoochee National Forests’ wild and scenic topography in southwestern North Carolina and northern Georgia, respectively. It’s a mountain roller coaster with consistent elevation change from start to finish.sabacycling.comUpland Gran Fondo of LouisvilleLouisville, Ky. • May 19Upland Brewing Co. hosts this 100-mile ride to bridge an Italian cycling tradition with craft beer culture. Cyclists will quickly cross the Ohio River and ride into Indiana for a spin around Floyds Knob before crossing back into Kentucky for a lengthy tour of Louisville’s plentiful greenspace, including Iroquois Park and Jefferson Memorial Forest. After the long ride, you can recover at the post-party at Thurman Hutchins Park with live music and plenty of Upland suds like the Dragonfly IPA or Helios Ale.granfondolouisville.comStorming of Thunder RidgeLynchburg, Va. • May 20Better bring your climbing legs if you want to tackle this epic ride in the Central Virginia stretch of the Blue Ridge. The Storming of Thunder Ridge’s century course features 9,000 feet of climbing, including a relentless 13-mile ascent to the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. After besting the race’s namesake and tucking in for a technical descent from the Peaks of Otter, the latter part of the course moves through Bedford’s rolling scenic countryside before finishing back in Lynchburg. Shorter course options of 75, 45, and 27 miles are also offered.stormingofthunderridge.comBike-cationBicycle Ride Across GeorgiaJune 2-9Details on this year’s route have yet to be announced, but last year cyclists traveled across the Peach State from Atlanta to Savannah.brag.orgBike VirginiaJune 22 – June 27Bike Virginia starts in the quaint Shenandoah Valley town of Berryville and includes five days of riding around the Commonwealth and parts of West Virginia, including stints near Charles Town, Harper’s Ferry, and Shepherdstown.Bicycle Ride Across TennesseeSeptember 8-15Pedal for seven days from Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville through some of Tennessee’s most scenic terrain. The ride includes overnight camping stops at Standing Stone, Pickett, and Harrison Bay State Parksthebrat.org
Your outdoor news bulletin for June 26, the day the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down DOMA in 2013:BEARS!It’s been a big week for bears in the Blue Ridge. First, there was the adorable saga of Rusty the red panda from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The little scamp escaped his enclosure and evaded capture for almost a day until he was discovered in Adams Morgan later in the afternoon. Before this story had even run its course, there was another bear incident in the District. Following a 90 minute game of hide and seek with local animal control officers, a black bear was captured in Northwest D.C. earlier today. The bear was described by authorities as being “very harmless,” mainly because it was less than a year old and weighed about 100 pounds. That bear is being released back into the wild in an undisclosed Maryland location. And finally, a (different) black bear pulled a switcheroo and tried to break into the Knoxville Zoo on Monday – “they’ll never suspect it!” The bear was spotted climbing a fence into the zoo, but officials were unable to locate the bear inside, so they are working on the assumption that he retreated once he realized he had made a huge mistake. That, or he is successfully blending in with the Knoxville Zoo crowd.Rabbits!Speaking of enclosed animals that are no longer where they are supposed to be, two rabbits were stolen from the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Slate, a male Flemish Giant rabbit, and Pogo, a male Holland lop rabbit were taken from their barn exhibit sometime Monday night. There was no signs of forced entry. Both require special care: Pogo has a special diet and Slate has a foot issue. If you know where they are, call Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050, then take a long look in the mirror for being associated with people who steal sick rabbits, and getting yourself mixed up in the underground exotic bunny trade.STRIPERS!North Carolina’s Norman Lake is now being stocked with hybrid striped bass by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, moving the lake from a striped bass fishery to a hybrid striped bass fishery. They stocked 162,500 hybrids in an attempt to counter recent summertime kills – hybrid striped bass are a cross between striped bass and white bass, making them slightly more resilient to warmer water.Tsunamis!According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a tsunami hit the East Coast earlier this month. On June 13 a six foot wave hit the coast of New Jersey which experts believe was caused by a strong storm, though the official source of the wave is “complex and under review.” It is a telling sign that a six foot swell can be classified as a tsunami on the East Coast, brah. Our waves are small, but not that small. Also: GLOBAL WARMING!
Our favorite outdoor videos from around the web for the week that was:1. Triple Dip on VirginiaThis video comes courtesy of BRO reader Trevar who submitted it through our Facebook Page. He combines fly fishing, mountain biking, and camping onto one solid adventure.2. New 100-Mile Race in ChattanoogaRock/Creek will bring a new 100-mile footrace to the Chattanooga, Tenn. area in 2014. Apparently, the people have been clamoring for it. Apparently, the people are also crazy. Check out his preview of the new Rock/Creek Thunder Rock 100.3. Go Outside and PlayThis is a cool video from shoe maker Merrell, that uses split screen to show you how outside is more better.4. O.M.G. FISH!Ok, this one is slightly random, but the trailer for upcoming fish porn flick 7 degrees south – Alphonse Island is intense. Some of the best fishing action I’ve seen. Don’t watch if you are itching for some exotic salt water fly action because your head might explode just like dude-man’s rod at 1:03 (his reaction is priceless).7 degrees south – Alphonse Island – official trailer from alphonsefilm on Vimeo.5. Trolling the TourWe’ll wrap with this French video of some mountain biking dudes hucking the Tour de France. Pretty cool idea, works to perfection.Making of du road gap au dessus du Tour de France 2013 from EnchoRage on Vimeo.
Georgia’s Cumberland Island is a place few have heard of and even fewer have visited – but it’s the setting for a groundbreaking biography that will be published this coming May by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine Editor-in-Chief Will Harlan. Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island is Harlan’s latest achievement—a project to which he dedicated the past 20 years of his life. It’s the story of Carol Ruckdeschel, a woman who has called Cumberland Island home for the majority of her life and has spent the past 40 years helping to preserve the area as a true wilderness.The largest and most biologically diverse barrier island in the country, Cumberland Island’s future is uncertain at best. Heirs to the Carnegie family have clashed with Carol over the island wilderness, but she’s not afraid of to defend what she loves. After meeting Carol for the first time while working as a park ranger for Cumberland Island, Harlan decided he wanted to experience that passion himself.“I’ve waded into gator dens and chased wildfires with her,” Harlan said. “I tagged along while she uncovered island secrets, battled with park managers, sipped cocktails in Carnegie mansions, and defended herself in court.”For Harlan, the hard work and crazy adventures have paid off: Untamed has been selected as one of Barnes and Nobles’ 18 Discover Great New Writers books. It’s the only biography and one of only five non-fiction works on the list. Look for Untamed at the front of Barnes & Noble stores across the country beginning in May. It’s already available online and in many local bookstores.Harlan kicks off a book tour on May 1 at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, N.C. For more tour dates and information on Untamed, check out his website.The book is the subject of his May 2014 Letter from the Editor:In my twenties, my girl friend Emily and I regularly escaped to Cumberland Island, a national seashore along the Georgia coast. We had explored the island’s every trail and pitched our tent at every campground. We listened to alligators bellowing from Cumberland’s tea-colored lakes and watched sea turtles nesting in the dunes.After six years together, I was finally planning to propose to Emily, and the wild sands of Cumberland seemed like the ideal spot to pop the question. As soon as we reached the beach, though, I locked up. My heart hammered. My head throbbed. The tide roared deafeningly in my ringing ears.We hiked north along the wide, windswept shore in uncomfortable silence. Emily glanced at me, and I faked an unconvincing smile. I swore that I would make my move at the next beach crossing, marked by black-and-white striped poles every few miles. But each time a checkered pole came into view, my throat clenched shut.Eventually, I ran out of real estate. The last checkered pole loomed in the distance. My heart swelled with the surf as I finally bit my lip, clumsily knelt down in the sun-warmed sand, and—trying to hide the quiver in my voice—asked Emily to marry me.“What took you so long?” she said, her blue eyes sparkling like the sea.We swam in the ocean until sunset, and then we finished our hike north to meet the island’s most elusive and enigmatic resident: Carol Ruckdeschel. She lives alone on Cumberland Island in a ramshackle cabin that she built herself using driftwood that washed ashore. Carol collects dead animals for her museum and eats mostly what she hunts, gathers, and grows. She is a hard-drinking, gun-toting, modern-day Thoreau who is even more outspoken in protecting her wilderness.On Cumberland, Carol has clashed with Carnegie heirs and park managers over the island’s future. She’s had three husbands and many lovers, one of whom stalked her until she shot and killed him. A self-taught scientist with only a high school diploma, she knows more about sea turtles than most PhD biologists, and her research is world renowned. She is the Jane Goodall of sea turtles and the voice of the wild.That night, Emily and I got really drunk and talked with Carol late into the night, mainly about the number of dead sea turtles we’d seen on our beach hike. The next morning, Carol would wake up before dawn and spend her entire day cutting open their smelly carcasses, as she had done every day for decades.“Do you ever lose hope?” we asked her that night.“I’m not saving anything here,” Carol said. “I’m just trying to slow down the rate in which things get worse. We live on a sinking ship. Get used to it.”“If it’s pointless, then why do you bother to keep at it?” I asked.Carol looked out across the dark island. “Because I know deep in my bones that it’s right. I mean, what else is there worth doing? At least I’ll go down fighting for what matters.”Carol has been fighting for what matters on Cumberland Island for over forty years, and I have been shadowing her for 19 of those years to write her biography. I’ve tagged along while she dissected dead sea turtles on the beach and sipped cocktails with Carnegie heirs in millionaire mansions. I’ve waded into gator dens and chased wildfires with her. Carol is as tough as the turtles she studies, but beneath her hard shell is a soft, bruised being.This month, her biography appears in bookstores nationwide. Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island, tells the story of an American original standing her ground. It’s already won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award—one of their top 18 books of the summer (and the only biography).What happens when one of the wealthiest families in America squares off against a scrappy, dirt-poor naturalist with turtle guts beneath her fingernails? It’s a turf war and a class war, a clash of science and society, nature and nurture. Mostly, though, it’s a love story—a heartbreaking saga of Carol’s enduring devotion to her wild island.
Live Outside and Play from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.The past few days have been a flurry of catching up on assignments, meetings with Eddie Bauer and SylvanSport, and getting geared up and ready to hit the road. It’s hard to believe that this project is finally underway, and I couldn’t be happier to begin the adventure in Asheville where the magazine’s second office is located. It’s been raining off and on since I arrived in town on Sunday, but the stormy clouds can’t dampen the energy that’s been building around the Live Outside and Play project. I am excited, humbled, and forever grateful for all of the support that readers, friends, sponsors, and strangers near and far have shown. You are what this adventure is all about.I’m sure there are a lot of questions about Live Outside and Play, so expect some insights to be posted as the week progresses. For now, check out this short wrap-up of the past 48 hours. You can also head to the project’s social media handles and follow along as I embark on my yearlong adventure throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Until then, here’s to where the path may lead!facebook.instagram.twitter.
This month’s Instagram Takeover features South Carolina-based adventure photographer Will Milford, AKA @stognasty. Will’s portfolio spans the gamut from natural landscapes to wildlife scenes captured in and around his South Carolina home. Will has been documenting the sights, scenes, plants, and wildlife connected to his native region and areas all over the U.S. for several years as his passion for new photographic challenges have emerged.Check out a sampling of his work below, follow him on Instagram for more great shots, and read our in-depth Q & A to find out what makes Will tick.Tumbling cascades somewhere deep in the Blue Ridge.Living on the Edge.Frozen in Time.Hammock Heaven.First Light on the Lake.[divider]Check out our Q & A with Will [/divider]BRO: How long have you been into outdoor photography and how’d you discover your passion?WM: I’ve had the shutterbug for about two and a half years, but I was an addict from the start. I began by taking a mandatory class in college using a 15-year-old canon dslr that had dust spots all over the sensor, but I began investing my money and time updating equipment and honing my skills.BRO: Where are you based out of?WM: I’m from a little town known for the widest main street in the United States. Greenwood, is in the piedmont of South Carolina, but I try to make a voyage to the mountains at least once a week to get a dose of the outdoors.BRO: What is you favorite place to shoot in the Southeast and/or Mid-Atlantic?WM: There is no place in the US that compares with the scenery we are able to enjoy right here in our on backyards. The Blue Ridge Mountains are one of the most picturesque spots and one of my favorites. However, I have a love of bird photography as well and the Charleston, SC area is one of the greatest places to chase that passion, as well as some fine coastal cuisine.BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?WM: Besides a cooler full of beer waiting on me at the campsite after a long hike, one thing I never go into the woods without is a good pair of boots. I’ve got an old pair of Scarpas that have stood the test of time and traversed a lot of rocky terrain. My ankles owe them a huge debt of gratitude.BRO: Aside from photography, what is your favorite outdoor activity?WM: I’m an avid water lover, so kayaking is one of my favorite outdoor activities. I’ve been paddling since I was in high school and I still try to hit some of the local rivers whenever my schedule will allow. As with most anything else, a good group of friends always makes the outdoor experience that much better!BRO: Craziest adventure ever experienced during an outdoor shoot?WM: I’m hoping that the craziest is still yet to come, but once (actually more than once) I was in a rush to catch a sunset in an iconic spot and was pulled over by the long arm of the law. He was not amused when I told him I was in a hurry to catch some good light. That was crazy expensive.BRO: Is photography your primary gig?WM: I wish my job was as cool as getting paid to spend time photographing the places I love, but for now that is just a passion. I sell Velux skylights by day to fund the weekend adventures!BRO: What advice would you give to an aspiring outdoor photographer?WM: I would give the same advice that was given to me when I first picked up a camera. Rather than investing in equipment, invest in a tank of gas. To take more interesting photos, you must stand in front of more interesting places.
I’ve come to learn that discoveries are all about connections.For proof positive, consider this. I am a big fan of a denim company based in Bristol, L.C. King Manufacturing, and wrote about it here on the blog a while back. My interest in that denim and American made products led me to Piney River Goods, and my new buddy Curtis Patton, who has since made me the coolest belt I have ever owned. And, as luck would have it, Curtis just so happens to play pedal steel for Richmond based songwriter Jonathan Vassar, which has led to this blog.The only thing that puzzles me about the whole scenario is how has it taken me so long to discover Jonathan Vassar. After listening to his new EP, Things Fall Apart, which released on December 31st, I have been pouring through the fairly prolific catalog on his website. Pretty plain that Jonathan has been putting out great music for a while. I am now most thankful that I have recently collected enough dots to connect to bring me to him.I recently caught up with Jonathan for a quick chat. Considering that Eastern Virginia had just been pounded by some serious snow, the discussion took a rather wintery bend.BRO – Richmond just got socked with nearly a foot of snow. You going to get any quiet time to do a little songwriting?JV – With a four year old and a nine month old, the only quiet snow day time I get is shoveling the drive. I write songs when I shovel the snow, though they are all about shoveling snow, or how cold it is.BRO – Skiing or snowboarding?JV – Neither. In the scheme of things, I am more like Curtis Armstrong’s character in Better Off Dead . . . “This is pure snow! It’s everywhere! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?”BRO – Snow outside, fire in the fireplace . . . what record is on the turntable?JV – This is determined by the time of day and the fact that I live in a log cabin, so the music kind of has to be appropriate. A snowy morning requires something dreamy, like Mountain Man or Hope for Agoldensummer. In the afternoon, I’m going for Dreamin’ Man Live’92, by Neil Young, though in reality this is overturned for my son Casimir’s favorite band, NO BS Brass! I try to calm things down in the evening with Julee Cruise’s Floating In The Night. If I find myself up late with some alone time, I’m listening to Homemade Knives’ No One Doubts The Darkness.BRO – After a couple hours playing in the snow, do you hit the hot chocolate or the hot toddy?JV – I hit the hot coffee. The kids get the hot chocolate. My wife, Antonia, gets the hot toddy.BRO – True confession time . . . when’s the last time you made a naked snow angel?JV – I confess that I’ve never made a naked snow angel! It sounds really cold. Screw it. I’m going outside right now to try it.We’ll take your word, Jonathan, that the snow angel got made!Jonathan’s tour schedule is quiet right now, but it is sure to pick up soon. If you are interested in downloading or streaming Things Fall Apart, Jonathan’s new EP, you can stream or download it, along with a bunch of other great stuff, via his website.Also, be sure to take a listen to “Harden Your Heart,” along with great new tunes from artists like Dead Man Winter, The Infamous Stringdusters, Moon Hooch, Circus No. 9, and more on this month’s edition of Trail Mix.