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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 4, 2011.

Posted: 04 Nov 2011 14:58:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 4, 2011. 

This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


America's 20 Dirtiest Cities. California has gone to extremes to
improve the state’s air quality, pushing out coal-fired power
plants and implementing the strictest auto emissions standards in
the nation. L.A.’s persistent smog layer may be a shadow of its
former self, but it hasn’t been enough. Lots of people and too
many cars means California still has seven big cities that rank
among the 20 most polluted in the nation. Posted.

Winter air pollution program begins in Yolo-Solano Air Quality
Management District. The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management
District announced that the winter Don't Light Tonight season is
under way. Vacaville residents should be aware that the use of
fireplaces, pellet stoves, wood stoves and other wood-burning
devices such as outdoor fire pits, can create particulate
pollution. Don't Light Tonight (DLT) is a voluntary wintertime
air pollution reduction program which runs through February.
Posted. http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_19263070


Global carbon dioxide output soars in 2010. Washington -- The
global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the
biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy
calculated, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at
slowing man-made global warming. The new figures for 2010 mean
that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst-case
scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. Posted.


Brown plans forum on state’s climate change risks. Gov. Jerry
Brown today announced he’ll get together with environmental,
business and public health and safety leaders for “The Governor’s
Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future” on
Dec. 15 in San Francisco. Brown’s office said the conference will
focus on the risks of unpredictable and extreme weather events
caused by climate change and how our communities can prepare and
adapt. Posted.


California rail agency requests billions to start construction.
At a meeting of the high-speed rail authority in Sacramento,
dozens of people attack the $98-billion project's cost and say it
will harm their homes and livelihoods. California's bullet train
agency on Thursday formally requested a multibillion-dollar
appropriation to start construction next year, after dozens of
people from across the state attacked the $98-billion project's
cost, rationale and effects on communities. Posted.


U.S. Bid for Green Policy at APEC Faces Hurdles. Singapore—China
and other developing countries are resisting a U.S. proposal to
cut tariffs on environmental goods, casting doubt on one of
President Barack Obama's goals for a Pacific Rim summit he hosts
next week. The U.S. has been pressing for years, with little
success, to liberalize trade on "green" goods, such as wind
turbines and solar panels, and services in World Trade
Organization talks. Mr. Obama's efforts on the issue at the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Nov. 11-13 in Honolulu
face the same divisions that have stymied the WTO campaign.

China will phase out energy-draining light bulbs. China will
phase out power-draining light bulbs within five years in a move
to make the world's biggest polluting nation more efficient but
also certain to impact the global market. China will ban imports
and sales of 100-watt-and-higher incandescent bulbs from Oct. 1,
2012, in an attempt to save energy and curb climate change,
China's main planning agency said Friday. Bans will also be
imposed on 60-watt-and-higher bulbs from Oct. 1, 2014 and
15-watt-and-higher old-style bulbs from Oct. 1, 2016. Posted.

More funding for improvements at intermodal facility. The City
Council approved $400,000 in funding from new sources Tuesday for
upgrades to the Sacramento Intermodal Transportation Facility
project, including energy-efficient lighting and new power
cabinets that will help reduce air emissions at the new facility.
The project is being built at the downtown railyards and is
currently in the first phase of development. City officials say
Phase 1 should be completed by mid-summer 2012. Posted.


Why I Remain a Global-Warming Skeptic. Searching for scientific
truth in the realm of climate. Last month the Berkeley Earth
Surface Temperature Project released the findings of its
extensive study on global land temperatures over the past
century. Physics professor Richard Muller, who led the study,
heralded the findings with a number of controversial statements
in the press, including an op-ed in this newspaper titled "The
Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism." And yet Mr. Muller
remains a true skeptic—a searcher for scientific truth. Posted.

Shale Gas Revolution. The United States is a country that has
received many blessings, and once upon a time you could assume
that Americans would come together to take advantage of them. But
you can no longer make that assumption. The country is more
divided and more clogged by special interests. Now we groan to
absorb even the most wondrous gifts. A few years ago, a business
genius named George P. Mitchell helped offer such a gift.

Still on board the bullet train. Yes, the price tag has tripled
and its completion date is 13 years later. But it's still a
gamble worth taking. It's easy to see why many Californians are
losing patience with the bullet train. Voters who were asked in
2008 to approve $9.95 billion in bonds to build a high-speed rail
line from Los Angeles to San Francisco were told the project
would cost $33 billion and be completed by 2020, yet a more
realistic business plan released Tuesday by the rail authority
placed the price tag at — whoops — $98 billion and the completion
date at 2033. Posted.

EDITORIAL: Bureaucratic overkill. For those who think that
government tends to be the right answer for most problems facing
humankind, we suggest a look at the South Coast Air Quality
Management District. In order to meet state and federal clean-air
standards in the Inland Empire (as well as Orange and Los Angeles
counties), the district has decided to issue temporary bans on
the use of fireplaces. Not factory emissions. Not diesel
emissions. Not automotive emissions. Not power-plant emissions.

Wind energy’s future? All puffed up, it seems. The green lobby,
which apparently includes anyone willing to think green thoughts,
has been clamoring for everyone to switch from the stuff that we
know can power civilization to something else, like renewable
energy, like wind. We guess it’s renewable when it chooses to
blow, but that’s just part of the problem. A report relying on
published information by the Energy Information Administration
and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovers that wind
isn’t all it’s puffed up to be, at least as a reasonable
alternative to fossil fuel. Posted. 


In Changing Ecosystems, Winners and Losers. Two new peer-reviewed
studies, one about forests and the other about oceans, predict
that existing ecosystems will rearrange themselves over the next
70-plus years in response to global warming. In one of the
studies, to be published in the journal Remote Sensing of
Environment, scientists from Oregon, Montana and British Columbia
write that northwestern forests removed from the climatic
buffering effect of the Pacific Ocean will transform themselves
to adapt to less rainfall as well as warmer temperatures at high
altitudes. Posted.

California Rebates for Hybrids and E.V.’s Live On, in Reduced
Form. California is the largest early-adopter market for electric
vehicles in part because of incentives like single-driver access
to H.O.V. lanes and financial subsidies. The state offered cash
rebates of as much as $5,000 for zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs,
through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, subsidies that mostly
went to new owners of the Nissan Leaf. Posted.

Scott Samuelsen, UCI Engineering Professor, Honored At White
House Today. Scott Samuelsen, who teaches mechanical, aerospace
and environmental engineering, was honored as a "Champion of
Change" in D.C for his innovations in hydrogen power and smog
reduction. The honor comes after Samuelsen and others at the
National Fuel Cell Research Center, where he's the director,
created a system that turns excrement into hydrogen fuel. Posted.

Where does the Volt go from here? I wrote last time that I had
done two recent stories for popularmechanics.com having to do
with the Chevrolet Volt. The first was on Volt (and Nissan Leaf)
sales – both still limited by supply, not demand, as production
and distribution ramps up. For the second, I was asked to clean
my crystal ball and predict the future for Volt, and extended
range EVs in general. Posted. 

DOE calculates the cost of owning a car. The Department of Energy
has created a tool that can be used to compare the fiscal and
environmental costs of thousands of new and used car models. When
figuring up vehicle costs, it's easy enough to tally the price of
gas and toss in an occasional oil change, but working through the
real cost of ownership including the initial investment, expected
depreciation and cost of maintenance can make determining the
best value difficult. Posted. 

NASA finds first-ever ozone hole over Arctic. The first ozone
“hole” ever seen over northern polar regions was picked up
earlier this year by satellites and weather balloons, according
to a new study led by NASA. The severe depletion of the ozone
layer, which shields Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, was
comparable to the ozone hole seen each year over the Antarctic
since the mid-1980s, though smaller. Posted. 

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