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The Ecocapsule

Positive Future #76 (Feature photo – The Ecocapsule – courtesy of Ecocapsule Holding) The Ecocapsule is an egg-shaped mobile dwelling that can produce more electricity than it consumes and harvest more rainwater than its occupants can use. The unit also comes with a composting toilet, built-in storage, a kitchenette, a folding bed and a fold-down table. For energy there is a 750 watt wind turbine and a 600 watt solar array. Manufactured in Estonia (Eastern Europe), the company just delivered its first model via helicopter. So how much does one of these “wonder” dwellings cost? Try $85,688. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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How Many Factory Farms Does it Take Before People Say It’s Enough?

Touch the Soil News #936 (Feature photo – Finishing Hogs – NRCS) Iowa is the state with the most factory farms – approximately 10,000 of them. A factory farm – or CAFO – is when thousands of animals are forced into confined spaces for growing prior to slaughter. According to a new report by Food & Water Watch, more than 22 billion gallons of manure are produced in Iowa each year – that’s almost 70 gallons for every person in America. Now, a coalition of 55 environmental, citizen and agricultural organizations are calling on the Iowa Assembly to support legislation for a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms. Of…

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Solar for Steam Generation

Positive Future #75 (Feature photo – Early Phases of the Miraah Solar Steam Project– CCA SA 4.0 International) The oil-rich nation of Oman – A Persian-Gulf nation of 4.5 million people – is developing one of the world’s largest solar projects. Called the Miraah, the project is located atop an oil field. When completed, there will be 36 sections which take solar energy and turn it into steam. The first sections of the project came on line in late 2017. Ultimately, the $600 million facility will produce 1 GWh of energy. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Gotham Greens

Touch the Soil News #940 (Feature photo – Greenhouse Lettuce – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) Indoor agriculture is not an inexpensive proposition. Founded in 2011, Gotham Greens locates its urban indoor farming operations near large population centers – and has had success in selling its production. Gotham Greens made news recently, when the Chicago Tribune announced the company’s plans for a new 105,000 square-foot greenhouse in the Chicago area. The cost of $12,500,000 comes to a noticeable $120 per square foot. At present the company operates three indoor farms in the New York area: A 15,000 square foot facility that produces 100,000 lbs. of leafy greens a year. A 20,000…

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Where Oil, Coal and Nuclear Have Failed

Positive Future #74 (Feature photo – Many citizens of Rwanda have no electricity – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) over 1.2 billion people (16 out of every 100 people) must live without electricity. Some 3 billion people don’t have sanitary cooking options and still use solid fuels (wood) to do their cooking (that’s 40 out of every 100 people around the world). The first-world solution of expensive and polluting coal, oil and nuclear, plus billion-dollar transmission lines – simply was not the ticket that included all of humanity. For the past seven years, a company named Mobisol (mobile solar) headquartered in Germany has been…

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How Big is the Electric Bus Revolution?

Positive Future #73 (Feature photo – A Row of BYD Electric Buses– CCA SA 4.0 International) The city of London is methodically transforming its bus routes to be fully electric – no gas or diesel buses. News came recently that London just electrified its 4th route – called Route 153 – with 11 electric buses from BYD (A Chinese Bus Company). BYD has bus manufacturing facilities in China, The U.S, and in Europe. So, here is the kicker. BYD sold more than 14,000 electric buses world-wide in 2017. On other news, American electric bus manufacturer – Proterra – made global news recently when one of its electric buses – on…

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Is There a Correlation?

Touch the Soil News #939 (Feature photo – Fight for $15 – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) QSR magazine – the voice of quick service restaurants – just reported that same store traffic through the nation’s restaurants in January 2018 was down a significant 3 percent from January 2017. In other news, fast food workers were protesting in Kansas City on Monday trying to bring into the national debate the problems of low wages. Now, from a banking perspective, it’s all about cash flow. Is there a correlation between the recent protests for higher wages – people unable to afford basics – and the weak national cash flows that contributed to…

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EcoZen

Touch the Soil News #938 (Feature photo – Solar Water Pumping – courtesy of EcoZen) There are many new companies out there that are trying to re-invent agriculture. And, there at millions of dollars of venture capital ready to assist. Interestingly, many of these innovations are taking place in third-world countries. It is not surprising that some of the inventions are intended to help people of modest means. EcoZen is a company from India that has developed solar-powered refrigeration systems for small farmers operating in electricity-insecure regions. In addition, EcoZen has developed solar powering of small irrigation systems. It is interesting to note that by leapfrogging over coal and nuclear…

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Large Automaker – To Exit Gas Cars

Positive Future #72 (Feature photo – A Changan Automobile from China – CCA SA 4.0 International) China is the world’s largest auto market selling 28 million cars a year compared to the U.S. 17 million cars. One of the top four car manufacturers in China – Changan – just announced that it was planning to be totally phased out of fossil fuel cars by 2025 – that’s only seven (7) years away. Changan manufactures 3 million vehicles a year and now plans to spend $15 billion over the next 7 years developing the electrified vehicles that will totally replace fossil fuel car manufacturing in the company. In some ways, it…

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Should Your City Own and Operate the Power System?

Positive Future #71 (Feature photo – Power Station Schematic– CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Most cities in the U.S. have power provided to them by large corporate enterprises that may have a conflict of interest. That conflict being a condition where the interests of the stockholders / bondholders takes place over innovation, reducing pollution, keeping costs down and serving the citizens. The city of Boulder, Colorado has been in the news over the past few years as the city seeks to extract itself from corporate power to a municipal city power system. Boulder, a city of 110,000 people, has been challenged at every point by its current power provider to stop…

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