Germany’s Allianz Drops Insurance for Coal Plants, Mines

first_imgGermany’s Allianz Drops Insurance for Coal Plants, Mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Deutsche Welle:Munich, Germany-based Allianz Group announced on Friday that it would refuse insurance coverage of coal-fired power plants and coal mines with immediate effect and would aim to get rid of all coal risks in its business by 2040. In addition, Europe’s biggest insurer said it would stop investing in companies that do not cut their greenhouse gas emissions.“We want to promote the transition to a climate-friendly economy,” said chief executive Oliver Bäte, adding that the company wanted to get “even more serious on global warming.”For the time being though, Allianz will continue to insure energy sector companies that produce from “multiple sources,” including renewables, but also coal and other fossil fuels. With those clients Allianz wants to “work closely together” to develop low-carbon alternatives.The new policy comes after Allianz announced in 2015 a shift in its investment policy, divesting all assets in its €664 billion ($794 billion) portfolio which generate more than 30 percent of their revenues from coal. According to company figures, the insurer has since removed stakes worth €225 million under the program.Allianz’s European competitors, including Axa and Zurich, have also put climate-saving policies in place, making it harder for coal companies to buy insurance for their operations. But Allianz claims that it’s going one step further by pulling cover from existing coal projects. Its moves were designed to support a “systemic process” to get out of carbon, said CEO Bäte.More: Allianz Stops Insuring Coal Companieslast_img read more

Orsted CEO says future belongs to renewable, not oil majors

first_imgOrsted CEO says future belongs to renewable, not oil majors FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Danish offshore wind specialist Orsted aims to become one of a handful of future “renewable majors” that will lead a global transition from fossil fuels to green energy, the company’s chief executive said.Orsted has gone through a rapid transition since 2012 when CEO Henrik Poulsen took the helm, shedding its oil and gas business and phasing out coal to become almost entirely green. The group, which has installed about a quarter of the world’s offshore wind capacity, is seeking to expands in energy storage, onshore wind and possibly solar power in order to build scale and bring the cost of renewable energy even lower.“Scale is important,” Poulsen said at an event in Copenhagen this week. “We must both geographically and technologically build a much wider and bigger platform for the future.”The company, which has so far mainly developed offshore wind farms in Europe, is already involved in battery storage projects and last week agreed to buy U.S. onshore wind farm developer Lincoln Clean Energy in a $580 million deal.“If you look to 2030, I think we will have something called renewable majors, in the same way as we now have oil majors,” Poulsen said. He predicts the handful of such renewable majors could include Spain’s Iberdrola, Italy’s Enel and U.S. company NextEra.“Orsted has a real and solid opportunity to become one of the future renewable majors,” he said.NextEra has about 20 gigawatt (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity, Iberdrola about 15 GW and Orsted about 12 GW.More: ‘Renewable majors’ will pioneer green energy transition, says Orsted CEOlast_img read more

Report sees $68 billion business opportunity in U.S. offshore wind development

first_imgReport sees $68 billion business opportunity in U.S. offshore wind development FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Over the past two years, states along the U.S. East Coast have announced increasingly ambitious targets to build offshore wind projects.In January of this year, to cite the most consequential recent example, New York nearly quadrupled its offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035.But what do the gigawatts’ worth of state-level commitments mean for companies unsure whether to commit resources to become part of the supply chain for offshore wind projects?A new report from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) at the University of Delaware aims to provide “first-of-its-kind granularity” into the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The report forecasts 18.6 gigawatts of U.S. offshore wind procurements through 2030, which represents a $68.2 billion opportunity for suppliers.Here’s how the report breaks down the $68.2 billion U.S. offshore wind build-out through 2030. The market is likely to install at least: 1,700 offshore wind turbines and towers (worth $29.6 billion); 1,750 offshore wind turbine and substation foundations ($16.2 billion); 5,000 miles of power export, upland, and array cables ($10.3 billion); 60 onshore and offshore substations ($6.8 billion).In addition, the market is likely to see $5.3 billion invested in marine support, insurance and project management activities.More: Building out the U.S. offshore wind supply chain—a $68 billion opportunitylast_img read more

IHS Markit sees natural gas prices falling to near-record lows in 2020

first_imgIHS Markit sees natural gas prices falling to near-record lows in 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Natural gas prices are likely to slump in 2020 to adjusted levels not seen since the 1970s, pressured by surging supply from western Texas that will heap pain on gas drillers and force companies to pull back on spending, according to a forecast by industry research firm IHS Markit.Henry Hub gas prices will average under $2/MMBtu in 2020, marking the first time since 1995 that the benchmark contract will have dropped below the $2 level in nominal terms and threatening to set the lowest annual inflation-adjusted average in decades, IHS Markit said in a report. The London-based firm sees prices then rebounding slightly in 2021, averaging $2.25/MMBtu, lower than its previous estimate.A massive increase in associated gas plumbed from the Permian Basin during oil production underpins the firm’s forecast. That growth in gas production will combine with new gas pipeline capacity in the Permian, the nation’s top shale oil field, to contribute to oversupply that will force gas-focused drillers to pump the brakes across North America, IHS Markit said.Gas production hit a new monthly record at 91 Bcf/d in August, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Output hit a daily record of 92.8 Bcf/d on Aug. 19, the EIA said, citing HIS Markit data.“We need about 90 Bcf/d in 2020, and we’re at 92 and still growing, so you can see we’ve got a reckoning that we’re going to have to deal with in 2020,” IHS Markit Executive Director Samuel Andrus said during a Sept. 10 panel at the LDC Gas Forum in Chicago. “What we expect from all of this is some serious cash flow challenges in 2020, and that … outside of Appalachia — in the smaller producers — there’s going to be a lot of struggle,” Andrus said. “It’s going to be a rough year for the industry.”More ($): In 2020, gas glut will push prices down to 1970s lows, research firm forecastslast_img read more

Soggy Bottom SUP Tour: Day 2

first_img Jennings Randolph Lake Mount Storm Second stop – Savage River ReservoirThe rain continued as we headed to SRR, we first checked out the Dry Run launch site, the lake is lowered for the winter season for flood control and was down about 25’ already for the winter season, we decided to check out the other launch site at the upper end of the lake, about half way to the upper launch we turned around, due to the heavy rains, the lake had came up about two feet causing the upper end of the lake to become real muddy. We arrived at the launch near the dam and proceeded down to the water. As we were unloading the boards we were treated to the site of a golden eagle in flight just about the water, this area is know for eagle sightings. The wind was blowing down the lake at about 10+ mph, we headed toward the dam hugging the shoreline, the water was 72 and the outside air temperature was 55. This is a perfect place for mid summer paddle during the busy season at Deep Creek Lake, since this lake does not allow powerboats. The rain picked up and the winds gusted up to 15 mph so we packed up and headed towards our next stop Jennings Randolph Lake. Only drawback to this paddle session was the loss of my thermometer than I placed on my paddle earlier in the day. This is a US Army Corps of Engineers Lake. Savage River Reservoir Area information:Launch sites:Three public launch sites around the lake, these launch site are so what rough and can be long walks to the water during the fall draw down season. No charge to launch (swimming is not allowed at the reservoir)Paddleboard rental nearby at Deep Creek Lake or Bring Your Own Board:  Wisp Resort, Deep Creek Marina, High Mountain SportsNearby lodging: Savage River Outfitters (rental cabins) White Water Sites (camping)Dining options: none, Westernport about 10 minutes away (fast food)Other nearby area activities: Savage River and North Branch of Potomac (fly fishing and white water kayaking on select release dates)Third stop – Jennings Randolph Lake (Maryland side)We arrived at the boat launch on the Maryland side of the lake; there also is a boat launch and beach on the West Virginia side of the lake. The Maryland side launch is real nice and has plenty of length as the fall drawn down season comes into play. This was my first visit to JRL and is sure not to be my last, the water was super clear with 10+’ of visibility and is sure to become one of my favorite paddleboard sites. Due to the mountains surrounding the lake, the lake is somewhat sheltered from most winds, even during this rainy windy day we experienced little wind, the rain even stopped for about 25 minutes to allow us to enjoy a brief rain free paddle session. Along the way to the launch we came upon three different groups of wild turkeys. The lake was down about 20’ feet for the fall drawn down season. The water temperature was 76 degrees and the outside air was 55 degrees. This is a great place to paddle and is undiscovered gem. The rain picked up and we packed up and headed to our last stop for the day Mount Storm.  This is a US Army Corps of Engineers Lake. 1 2 Savage River Soggy Bottom SUP Tour: Broadford Lake Mount Storm Lake Click here to read Day 1“The Deluge Continues” First stop – Broadford LakeThe heavy rain continues with 2 – 4” of rain in the forecast for day two of the tour, we head out around 9am to meet Colin at Trader’s Landing Coffee House to get instructions on how to use the Go Pro video camera, Jeff and I are in need help with all this technology.  Around 11am we arrive at our first stop of the day, Broadford Lake near Oakland, Maryland. This park is operated by the Town of Oakland and is a great place to paddleboard since powerboats are not allowed on this lake; the park has a beach area and boat launch area. We were the only people in the park except for one person getting in a morning walk. It was a cool 52 degrees with heavy rain when we took off on our first paddle of the day, the water was fairly calm, we headed towards the beach area and then across the lake up the right side of the lake, the wind picked up as we made our way back to the launch area. The water was a warm 68 degrees. The rain continued as did the alarm on the Jeep as we were loading up to head to Savage River Reservoir, the electronic key got wet in the rain and then it would not turn off the alarm. We finally turned the alarm off and headed out to our next paddleboard site, before the police arrived to check out the alarm and the crazy people paddling in the rain.Broadford  Lake Area information:Launch site: Boat launch area, $4 park fee per vehiclePaddleboard rental nearby at Deep Creek Lake or Bring Your Own Board:  Wisp Resort, Deep Creek Marina, High Mountain SportsNearby lodging: a couple local motels in Oakland or various lodging options at nearby Deep Creek LakeDining options: Long Branch (wings) Cornish Manor (causal dining) Deep Park Inn (fine dining), Dairy Queen (fast food)Other nearby area activities: Potomac State Forest (hiking)last_img read more

Are Organic Foods Healthier?

first_imgSome studies show organic foods to be no healthier and only marginally safer with regard to individual exposure to pesticides than non-organic foods. Nonethless, choosing organic is a wise “better safe than sorry” strategy which also reduces pollution and conserves water and soil quality. Credit: Polka Dot/ThinkstockDear EarthTalk: There’s been a lot of coverage on the topic of organic foods and how they aren’t actually any healthier than conventional foods. Is this true?          — Gina Thompson, Salem, ORThere is no doubt that organic foods are healthier—for our bodies individually as well as for the environment—than their conventionally produced counterparts. The question is how much healthier and does the difference warrant spending more on your grocery bill.Conventional food is produced using synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics to repel pests, boost growth and improve the yield of marketable product. It stands to reason that trace amounts of these chemicals are likely to get ingested into our bodies.Before such chemicals became widely available, most food was produced organically. Recent awareness about the dangers of synthetic chemicals and antibiotic resistance has triggered a renewed interest in organic food. As a result organic farms constitute the fastest growing sector of the U.S. agriculture industry. Given that these farms are smaller and have more of a niche clientele, they must charge more for organic products. These costs get passed on to consumers willing to spend extra to be healthy.But after surveying over 200 other studies comparing organic and conventional foods and in some cases their effects on the body, Stanford medical researchers found that, while eating organic produce can lower exposure to pesticides, the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was also well within safety limits. They also found that organic foods were not particularly more nutritious than non-organic foods. The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in September 2012.The one area where the team found a divergence was regarding antibiotic-resistant germs in meats. While the chances of bacterial contamination are the same for organic and non-organic meats, germs in conventionally raised chicken and pork had a 33 percent higher risk of being resistant to multiple antibiotics. Many farmers and ranchers rely on antibiotics to fatten up their animals and keep them healthy until slaughter, but converting to more organic meat could help stem the oncoming tide of antibiotic resistance that threatens to make many of our medicines obsolete.Of course, consumers may opt for organic foods despite the lack of much difference in nutritional content or chemical residues. According to the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical care and research institution and a leading voice on public health and health maintenance, some people simply prefer the taste of organic food. Others like organic food because it doesn’t typically contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavorings. Meanwhile, others take a longer-term view and go organic for the sake of the environment, as organic agriculture reduces pollution and conserves water and soil quality.If you’re trying to be both healthy and frugal, selectively buying organic is one option. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes its Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce each year to let consumers know which produce have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. EWG’s 2012 “dirty dozen” non-organic foods to avoid were apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries and potatoes.CONTACTS: “Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier than Conventional Alternatives?” http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685; Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

Brace and Cooper: Writers in Residence Interview

first_imgI am really glad Eric Brace – long a writer for the Washington Post and front man for his D.C. based roots rock band, Last Train Home – decided to move to Nashville ten years ago.  If he hadn’t, he probably wouldn’t have met Peter Cooper, and the Americana world would have suffered for it.Brace – singer, songwriter, and founder/owner of Red Beet Records – and Cooper – singer, songwriter, Vanderbilt University professor, and writer for The Tennessean – have been churning out some of my favorite records of the last five years or so.Spin a Brace and Cooper record and Americana eras collide.  The duo writes and sings with the likes of Jim Lauderdale and Todd Snider while featuring venerable Americana instrumentalists like pedal steel master Lloyd Green and the late, great dobro player, Mike Auldridge.  Brace and Cooper also co-produced I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, a tribute to Hall’s 1974 masterpiece, Songs of Fox Hollow.  The recording included icons like Patty Griffin and Bobby Bare and garnered Brace and Cooper a Grammy nomination for Best Children’s Album.  Such commitment to both past and present is not lost on me.Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to stay up into the wee hours of the morning with these two East Nashville stalwarts.  Over gourmet cupcakes and some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon, our conversation meandered through amazing musicians, great songs and songwriters, and the business of modern country.  More recently, I shot the duo a list of questions to answer about each other.  Their answers justify the providence of their meeting and prove that each is the yin to the other’s yang.BRO – First word that comes to mind when you think of your cohort?PC – Avuncular.  (Writer’s note – I had to look that up.  Means “having qualities of an uncle.”  I agree.  Eric is uncleish.)EB – Taller.  (Writer’s note –I didn’t have to look this one up, but I did find out that Eric is 6’3”, so this is saying something.)BRO – Favorite song written by your cohort?EB – “Elmer The Dancer,” off of Peter’s solo record The Lloyd Green Album that I released on my Red Beet Records label in 2010.  It’s life and love and music and old ways and new ways and change and death and beauty and dancing.  Can’t beat it.PC – “Hendersonville,” because it works as a lovely tribute to John and June Carter Cash yet also manages to delve into the reasons for making music.  “Hendersonville” is a song that is small and tight, and then gets bigger, until we all realize we are in the same frame.BRO – Better on the road iPod disc jockey?PC – We use CDs rather than iPods because of the sound quality.  I’d say I’m the better on the road disc jockey, because I have better classic country and Everly Brother collections.EB – Peter, by far.  He knows a zillion songs and has them all at his fingertips, and he always finds the right ones for whatever road trip we are on.  If it’s not song time, we turn on Marc Maron’s podcasts or MLB games.  Anything to keep Peter from talking.BRO – If not cowboy boots, then . . . .EB – Big, doofy sneakers.  Peter says they’re comfortable.PC – Really ugly, but really comfortable, running shoes, like Willie Nelson wore in the ‘70s.BRO – Best part of playing with your cohort?PC – Eric has a big, warm voice that makes it hard to mess up a harmony.  It’s like someone cushioned the guard rails that I would otherwise be slamming into.EB – Singing close harmony throughout so many songs.  It’s a rare thing, and not many people do it these days, or can do it, and Peter’s great at that.  Plus, standing next to him makes me look like Brad Pitt.  Without the hair.BRO – Cupcakes or bourbon?EB – Bourbon, unless it is 2 A.M. after a gig.  Then it’s bourbon AND cupcakes.  Together, mashed up in a bowl.  Seriously.  We love that.PC – Bourbon cupcakes.  That was easy.You can check out “Boxcars” from The Comeback Album, Brace and Cooper’s most recent release, on this month’s Trail Mix.  For information on upcoming shows or to order up any of their excellent recordings, surf over to www.redbeetrecords.com.last_img read more

Rise of the Professional Hiker: Inside the Lives of 4 Pro Outdoor Adventurers

first_imgWhen I phone 34-year-old speed-hiking guru Jennifer Pharr Davis, she is working on a book deadline two-years-in-the-making and has exactly four days to round out final edits. Meanwhile, she’s supposed to be prepping for her latest thru-hike—this time, it’s the Mountains to Sea Trail, a 1,175-mile route that begins at Clingmans Dome in the Smoky Mountains and terminates at Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks, and effectively bisects the state of North Carolina.FOLLOW ALONG WITH JPD’S MST HIKE HERE! It’s midday and, from the sound of things, it’s lunchtime. There’s the clink of glass bottles, a closing refrigerator, plastic sliding across a countertop, cabinets opening and closing, plates clanking, and, yes, children crying.Apologizing for the commotion and his two screaming kids, her husband Brew sighs: “It’s a busy time for us; to say things are hectic would be a ridiculous understatement.”After six years, two babies, a knee surgery, and six months worth of rehabilitative therapy, this will be the first hike of more than 100 miles Jennifer has taken since her record-breaking thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2011. Slated to drive the MST route with kids in tow, Brew says he’s excited about hitting sections of the trail and checking out nearby breweries and sights, he’s stoked to be supporting his wife.“Momma needs a hike,” Jennifer says with a laugh. “For me, the act of putting one foot in front of the other has changed my values, my outlook, and the very fiber of my being. It’s always been an affirming source of inspiration and transformation, and I’m presently long overdue.”Along the way, Davis says she’ll be making edits on a book about endurance and hiking records that’s due out next spring, running a business from afar, and advocating for outdoor recreation, conservation and unity. Seeking to raise awareness and funds for the Mountains to Sea Trail, Brew will be coordinating events inviting hikers to join Jennifer on the trail, attend talks, and more. But just now, they’ve got a deadline and nearly 1,200 miles worth of packing to attend to.Such is the life of a professional hiker. In the midst of one adventure, they’re persistently stepping into the next.Part-Time Hobby to Full-Time OccupationHow do pro-hikers turn a beloved hobby into a full-time gig? While routes are about as varied as the trail is long, most agree it takes four things: Passion. Perseverance. Business sense. And hard work. However, unlike most traditional business endeavors, hikers tend to describe the road as a kind of happy accident that snow-balled.“I started long-distance backpacking in 2002 when I thru-hiked the A.T. for the first time,” says pro-hiker Andrew Skurka. “I was in college at the time and an effort on that scale seemed like an experience that was worth having. While I loved the idea, I certainly wasn’t thinking this would become my occupation.”Pro hiker Andrew Skura treks through California’s Yosemite National Park as part of a 6.875-mile Great Western Loop Hike.And yet, since then, the 36-year-old has backpacked, skied and pack-rafted more than 33,000 miles—the equivalency of traveling 1.2 times around the equator—and has become one of the world’s quintessential outdoorsmen.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Mostly, he’s known for three monstrous hiking feats. In 2005, Skurka was the first to hike the Sea-to-Sea trail, which begins in Quebec and ends in Washington, and covers 7,778 miles (around 1,800 of which Skurka walked in snowshoes). Two years later, he completed the Great Western Loop, a 6,875-mile footpath that links the Pacific Crest, Pacific Northwest, Continental Divide, Grand Enchantment, and Arizona trails, and includes a wild segment passing through the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. In 2010, Skurka hiked, skied and rafted his way to a 4,679-mile circumnavigation of Alaskan and Yukon wildernesses.Combined, the efforts netted him huge accolades and, in so far as it’s possible for a hiker, mainstream renown. Beyond being featured in nearly every major news outlet in the country, Backpacker named him their 2005 “Person of the Year,” while National Geographic crowned him the “Adventurer of the Year” for 2007.Be that as it may, Skurka says the success wasn’t premeditated. “Despite having much more to gain from a successful finish, my motivations for taking on those expeditions were very similar to those that drove my first thru-hike,” he says. “Simply put, I believed the experiences were worth the effort.” He’d see amazing landscapes few have laid eyes on. Meet adventurous characters. And challenge himself to conquer ambitious goals day after day, for months on end. “I wanted to push myself far outside my comfort zone, which is when personal growth really starts to happen,” he explains. “None of these trips could have been justified on the premise that they would somehow result in fame and fortune.”In other words, it had to be about passion; it had to be about Skurka. “With the Alaska trip, I started out in 25-degree-below-zero weather, skied the first 1,200 miles, and encountered grizzly bears almost daily,” he says. “I was off-trail for 2,100 miles and passed through areas no one has traveled through since the Klondike Goldrush. For me, it’s always been about the experience. That’s what’s driven all of this.”Making a LivingDespite the notoriety Skurka’s expeditions have won him, he describes his income as meager compared to most ‘grownup’ professions. Early on, the discrepancy was even more pronounced. “While my motivations were true, that wasn’t helping me address the economic realities of my trips,” he says.To enable himself to keep going, Skurka slowly and purposefully developed income streams tied to his adventures. Mostly, these came in the form of lectures, presentations, guided trips, and content, like blogs, books, and magazine articles.“My first professional gig was a keynote address I gave for the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association in 2005, which paid me $200,” he says, chuckling because, while the recognition was mind-blowing, the plane ticket he bought to attend the event cost him twice that.Despite the humble beginning, Skurka was soon getting more work. Logging 234 presentations in the next five years—with 60 in 2011 alone—he has since added companies like Google, Microsoft, REI, and Viking Global Investments to his list of more than 280 clients. “At the peak of that 2011 schedule, my life looked like that George Clooney character, Ryan Bingham, from Up in the Air,” he jokes. “Eventually, even my parents stopped trying to remember where I was.”While Pharr Davis has also cultivated speaking opportunities, it was guided hikes that officially put an end to her day job in 2008, when she and Brew (a former history teacher at the Carolina Day School) founded Blue Ridge Hiking Company. Offering monthly group outings that are open to the public, as well as private sessions, the company has grown to include seven guides in addition to Jennifer and Brew. With all of the overnight hikes taking place in the Pisgah National Forest near her home in Asheville, North Carolina, Pharr Davis says the BRHC offers her a source of income that doesn’t require her to be constantly traveling and/or on the trail.For both Pharr Davis and Skurka, whether in the form of memoir, blogs, and gear and trail guides, writing has played an important role in forging their careers as pro hikers. However, for former Backpacker staffer turned pro-hiker, Michael Lanza, the medium has been everything. Rather than insane physical feats of distance or speed, it’s his pen that’s kept him on the trail.Allister Humphries, who has hiked across the world’s largest desert and bikes across the world, says the best part of being a pro hiker is being your own boss.“I served as the northwest editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker for 11 years,” explains Lanza. “Then, in 2012, I published a book about my family’s year-long exploration of the changes taking place in the American national parks most endangered by climate change.”[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Titled Before They’re Gone, the book nabbed an honorable mention for the National Book Award and won the National Outdoor Book Award. Using the success as a springboard, Lanza launched a blog called The Big Outside, which is dedicated to outdoor adventures with his family.“For years I’d made a living identifying, planning, and writing about great trips, and I think that’s what’s made The Big Outside such a uniquely authoritative source,” he says. “[The blog] offers stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families—with everything based on my own first-hand knowledge.”Since its inception, the blog has appeared on numerous top lists, including USA Today’s Readers’ Choice list, The Adventure Junkies Top 25 Hiking Blogs, and Feedspot’s Top 100 Outdoor Blogs. According to Lanza, The Big Outside now provides the bulk of his income.Breaking InTom Gathman, i.e. The Real Hiking Viking, thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail for the third time this year and is shooting a documentary with one of his closest hiking friends. While he is excited for new adventure, he is equally pumped about a Real Hiking Viking line of gear and apparel from Mountainsmith. The development could potentially provide a steady income stream and much-needed funding for an upcoming attempt to break the speed record for thru-hiking America’s Triple Crown, as well as a subsequent foot-powered circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere.Tom Gathman—The Real Hiking Viking—has hiked more than 15,000 miles over the past four years and attracted more than a dozen sponsors.Similar to Pharr Davis and Skurka, Gathman describes going pro as a necessary move to stay on the trail. Arriving to the sport a bit later than his counterparts—the 33-year-old former Iraq combat veteran and Marine sniper completed his first long-distance thru-hike in 2012—Gathman says social media platforms are what got him into the game. Albeit accidentally.“I was posting on Instagram and Facebook whenever I could, namely just to stay in touch with friends and family and make sure they knew I was still alive,” he says. Only then, the pages started picking up followers. “It was strange to see so many people were digging what I was doing, but I found it gave me a kind of confidence, and slowly began to make me want to do a better job of documenting things.”After four years of living basically on-trail and around 15,000 miles of hiking, the habit led to a blog and more than a dozen sponsorships—including the impending deal with Mountain Smith. Gathman says feedback from his 41,500 Instagram and 21,804 Facebook followers helped validate what he was doing and inspire him to keep going. “When most of the world thinks what you’re doing is irresponsible and crazy, it helps to know there are people out there supporting you,” he says. “They see what you’re doing as inspiring and important, and that adds fuel to the fire to figure out how to keep going.”RealitiesIt’s true that pro hikers make their living getting outdoors and doing what they love. But there’s a flipside.Micheal Lanza has made a living writing and blogging about outdoor adventures with his family.“What I love about it is being my own boss and taking on the responsibility for the success or failure of doing the stuff that I want to do, the way I want to do it,” says Alastair Humphreys, 40, whose outdoor resume includes, in addition to a four-year bicycle trip around the world, a hike across India and a foot-powered trek through the Empty Quarter, a desert on the Arabian Peninsula which, at 250,000 square miles, is the largest contiguous desert in the world. “But the problem becomes, because it’s your job, it has to pay for your life. So, when I summit a mountain and there’s this beautiful sunset, rather than enjoying the moment, it’s easy to start thinking: How am I going to turn this into content?”Meanwhile, to afford the freedom necessary to keep going, Gathman and Skurka limit their possessions to what can fit in a car, endure long-distance romantic relationships, live out of friend’s houses or on the occasional month-to-month lease, and cite frugality as their biggest source of income. “If I lived like your typical 30-some-year-old guy, I’d never be able to afford doing what I do,” says Skurka.However, upon the final analysis, the adventurers are all quick to say the drawbacks are outweighed by the payoff. Bigtime.“I love my life and consider my job the best job in the world,” says Gathman. “If I wanted to make a lot of money and have nice things, I’d be a banker. But that’s not what I value, that’s not the way I want live. What I want is to be in the woods and on the trail, and I’m willing to do what it takes to make that happen.”last_img read more

Trail Mix 2020 – Vol. III

first_img 3:27 Last summer, when rounding out the line up for a local festival I help produce, I booked The Golden Age to fill a spot that had been unexpectedly vacated by another band. In discussions with Bryan Simpson, singer and mandolinist for the group, I was shocked to learn that our show would be the band’s first performance. 2:53 Straight Into The Bridge The No Ones 4:09 3:20 Forces Jill Andrews Flow On River David Childers Embed 2:45 Foreign Voice Claire Hawkins 3:57 I can proudly say that I was there for Day One of The Golden Age. 3:55 Temptation’s Call Will Sexton Expectations Katie Pruitt 4:04 While you are soaking it all, be sure to discover some of Trail Mix’s newest friends in Jonathon Wilson, Juan Tigre, Tonne, Will Sexton, Sea Wolf, The No Ones, and Sweet Lizzy Project. The Golden Age sees Simpson reunited with Cadillac Sky co-founder and banjoist Matt Menefee. Together, the duo has returned to their bluegrass roots. Their first record, I’m Sure It’ll Be Fine, dropped last month. Trail Mix is happy to feature “Weirdo” on this newest edition. The Dream Catcher Juán Tigre Travel To The Moon Sweet Lizzy Project 6:10 5:35 Circles Jeremy Garrett 2:31 2:52 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 3:33center_img Cackalacky Jim Lauderdale Day One. I have the tee shirt to prove it. The Heart Wants Trout Steak Revival 3:51 4:22 Silver The Secret Sisters Fans of progressive bluegrass probably remember Simpson from his days with Cadillac Sky. After three records, including Letters in the Deep, which was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Simpson parted ways with Cadillac Sky in 2010. He returned soon after with The Whistles & The Bells, which saw his music taking a distinctly alt-rock turn. ’69 Corvette Jonathan Wilson 21 Days Brian Fallon This new Trail Mix is packed with some heavy hitters. Check out the newest tracks from Katie Pruitt, Brian Fallon, of The Gaslight Anthem, Jim Lauderdale, Noah Gunderson, The Secret Sisters, Jeremy Garrett, of The Infamous Stringdusters, Jill Andrews, and Dave Simonett, of Trampled By Turtles. In the Western Wind and the Sunrise Dave Simonett 4:36 Plenty Tough, Union Made The Waco Brothers 2:32 Catalina Tonne Weirdo The Golden Age 2:57 Great songs just keep coming. Make sure to tell a friend of fellow music fan about what you are hearing on Trail Mix. It’s too good not to share. And be sure to throw some money at these incredible artists. I know they will appreciate it. Sea Wolf – Forever Nevermore (Through a Dark… Sea Wolf 4:49 4:36 Lover Noah Gunderson Old friends also return this month. The mix is happy to welcome back Claire Hawkins, David Childers, Trout Steak Revival, and The Waco Brothers. Audio PlayerThe Secret SistersSilverUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:57 DOWNLOAD TRAILMIXlast_img read more

Hillary Clinton at the OAS General Assembly

first_imgBy Dialogo June 03, 2009 SAN PEDRO SULA, 02 June 2009 (AFP)- U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, attracted a lot of attention at the OAS General Assembly that started this Tuesday in Honduras. Clinton heads the US delegation at the 39th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is being held this Tuesday and Wednesday in San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital of Honduras, 240 km to the north of Tegucigalpa. The meeting was inaugurated by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, hosting three Latin American leaders and ministers from 34 countries, but it was the Secretary of State and ex US first lady who captured the attention of the media and the commoners. Upon her arrival to the Arab Club in San Pedro Sula, site for the assembly, dozens of curious members of the crowd tried to get close to Clinton in order to greet her and to take her picture, in spite of the of the strict security measures in place. Some people asked her for her autograph, but she responded to this welcome only by waiving her hand and smiling. Whereas the curious crowd members were not attracted by the three leaders in attendance at this continental meeting: Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Manuel Zelaya (Honduras). In spite of this reception more appropriate for a movie star than for a diplomatic figure, Clinton was faced with a tough task at this Conference, which featured the debate concerning the eventual reentry of Cuba into the OAS. Just before the start of the 39th General Assembly this Tuesday Clinton appeared to be “confident” that the countries involved in the OAS would be able to reach a consensus concerning Cuba’s readmission into the OAS. Clinton stated to a group of diplomats from the Caribbean, “I know that we have had discussions about this (Cuba). I hope that we have more dialogue (…) and I am confident that we will be able to come to a consensus in order to proceed”. Clinton did not give any greater details at a time when the countries comprising the OAS are divided over how there should be an eventual reentry of the island into this body, which had excluded it in 1962 for aligning with the communist block countries. The Secretary of State reiterated the US demand for Cuba to free its political prisoners and to expand the freedoms offered to Cuban citizens before it could be readmitted. However, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua demand that Cuba should be allowed to be readmitted immediately and without any stipulations, in order to repair what they consider to be a “historical error” of the OAS. On Monday, upon her arrival to San Pedro Sula, Clinton met with president Zelaya, a right-wing politician who swung to the left during his administration and who has created ties with Venezuela and Cuba. Clinton then dinned with several Foreign Ministers, the Secretary General Insulza and the Guatemalan Indian Leader as well as the Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú. There was a group of US legislators who arrived to Honduras along with Clinton, which included the democratic representative Eliot Engel, who made the comment to reporters that his country “wanted to have closer relations” with their brothers on the continent”. Clinton arrived to Honduras from El Salvador, where on Monday she had attended the inauguration of the leftist Mauricio Funes. Thomas Shannon, the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State, accompanied her.last_img read more