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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 5, 2011. Posted: 05 Dec 2011 14:12:08
California Air Resources Board News Clips for December 5, 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. AIR POLLUTION Clean-Coal Rules Are a Boon for Some. Stricter federal emissions rules, intended to make exhaust from the nation's smokestacks cleaner, are putting pressure on utilities but are expected to be a boon to providers of pollution-reduction technology for coal-fired power plants. Companies that make systems for filtering out pollutants such as mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide say they are seeing a surge in demand for their equipment ahead of several new standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year and expected to start being phased in as early as January 2012. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204443404577053133460933576.html?mod=googlenews_wsj BY SUBSCRIPTION Smog Closes Beijing Airport. Beijing — Capital International Airport in Beijing was forced to cancel hundreds of flights on Monday because of heavy smog and weather conditions. The cancellations were the latest sign that pollution in China’s largest cities, among the worst in the world, is leading to significant economic losses. Monday’s air quality index from the United States Embassy’s air monitoring equipment in central Beijing measured more than 300, which is categorized as “hazardous.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/world/asia/smog-closes-beijing-airport.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print CLIMATE CHANGE Back-room negotiations begin on climate intentions. Back-room negotiations began in earnest Monday on a deal to rescue the only treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions and to launch talks on a broader agreement to include the world's largest polluters: China and other emerging economies, the United States and Europe. Key players laid out their opening positions in public at U.N. climate talks in South Africa, and were beginning a round of private meetings to probe each other's meanings and intentions — which remained murky. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AF_CLIMATE_CONFERENCE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-05-12-33-50 Gorillas, tigers at risk due to climate change. Several animal species including gorillas in Rwanda and tigers in Bangladesh could risk extinction if the impact of climate change and extreme weather on their habitats is not addressed, a U.N. report showed on Sunday. Launched on the sidelines of global climate negotiations in Durban, the report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation shows how higher temperatures, the rise in sea levels, deforestation and excessive land use have damaged the habitats of certain species, especially in Africa. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/04/us-climate-wildlife-idUSTRE7B30CU20111204?feedType=RSS Carbon Emissions Rose Record in 2010: Study. The volume of greenhouse gases pumped into the world’s atmosphere increased by an unprecedented amount last year, scientists said in research published as countries meet to discuss how to limit climate change. Emissions rose the equivalent of 510 million metric tons of carbon to 9.14 billion tons in 2010, the most in records dating to 1959, according to data compiled by the Global Carbon Project, which includes scientists from Europe, the U.S. and India. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/global-carbon-emissions-rose-record-amount-in-2010-study-shows.html http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/science/earth/record-jump-in-emissions-in-2010-study-finds.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print Global Warming Fight Threatened by Debt Crisis. Global warming concerns are being pushed down the political agenda by the European debt crisis and U.S. economic slump, reducing the chance for an accord limiting climate change this week. “The threat of worsening economic conditions is the ghostly figure at the window for everybody,” Edward Cameron of Washington-based World Resources Institute said in an interview as delegates gathered for United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/global-warming-fight-threatened-by-debt-crisis-as-kyoto-aim-starts-to-fade.html Hedegaard Says EU Needs More Detail From China on Climate Pact. European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she needs more information about China’s plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions after meeting officials from Beijing today at UN climate talks. China this week said it’s willing to make a post-2020 legally binding commitment to reducing fossil fuel emissions under certain conditions, including the extension of pollution limits for developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/hedegaard-says-eu-needs-more-detail-from-china-on-climate-pact.html Ex-top climate official very concerned by global ‘lack of progress’. DURBAN, South Africa — Yvo de Boer said he left his job as the U.N.’s top climate official in frustration 18 months ago, believing the process of negotiating a meaningful climate agreement is failing. His opinion hasn’t changed. “I still have the same view of the process that led me to leave the process,” he told the Associated Press on Sunday. “I’m still deeply concerned about where it’s going, or rather where it’s not going, about the lack of progress.” Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/4/ex-top-climate-official-very-concerned-by-global-l/ Negotiations begin at climate change conference. Durban, South Africa – Back-room negotiations began in earnest Monday on a deal to rescue the only treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions and to launch talks on a broader agreement to include the world's largest polluters: China and other emerging economies, the United States and Europe. Key players laid out their opening positions in public at U.N. climate talks in South Africa, and were beginning a round of private meetings to probe each other's meanings and intentions — which remained murky. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/story/2011-12-05/climate-change-conference-durban-negotiations/51653746/1 Balboa Island trying to outsmart a rising sea. City engineers say it could cost about $60 million to replace the island's aging seawalls, a project that could save streets and homes from a projected 1-foot water-level rise by 2050. As people stroll Balboa Island's picturesque waterfront, some wonder how much one of those cozy cottages costs. City officials think about another price tag: how much it will take to defend those homes against rising sea levels. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-seawalls-20111205,0,5901805.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fscience%2Fenvironment+%28L.A.+Times+-+Environment%29 Record jump in carbon emissions last year, study finds. Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning jumped by the largest amount on record last year, upending the notion that the brief decline during the recession might persist through the recovery. Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_19470116 Supervisors to discuss cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 will be considered Tuesday by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. If adopted, the county will have met all the terms of its legal settlement with the state Attorney General's Office in August 2007, county spokesman David Wert said. Then-Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the county in April 2007, alleging its general plan did not include a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_19469423 California Cap-and-Trade Plan Sets National Example. Americans are becoming ever more aware about the problems associated with human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. And positive changes have been made over recent years with this shift in public awareness. It’s now possible to drive an efficient, all-electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf. Energy-inefficient light bulbs are being phased out by more efficient models. And solar powered consumer electronics are no longer a rarity. Posted. http://planetsave.com/2011/12/05/california-cap-and-trade-plan-sets-national-example/ FUELS U.S. Navy Makes Record Purchase of Biofuel for Ships, Jets. The U.S. Navy will spend $12 million to buy 450,000 gallons of alternative fuel for aircraft, ships and unmanned vehicles, the biggest government purchase of advanced biofuels, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. The fuel will come from Dynamic Fuels LLC, a joint partnership of Tyson Foods Inc. and Syntroleum Corp., and Solazyme Inc., Mabus said today on a conference call. The cost will be about $26 a gallon, he said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/navy-to-buy-12-million-of-advanced-biofuels-in-record-purchase.html Taking the Fuel Out of Biofuels. Unable to compete with petroleum products, biofuel companies have found replacement products to sell. As advanced biofuel companies work toward creating an economically viable alternative to petroleum, some have found an alternative place to sell their product in the meantime: the specialty-chemicals market. These companies produce oil from algae, wood scraps and other nonfood sources, bypassing the food-versus-fuel debate that has engulfed makers of corn-based ethanol. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577027803109680684.html BY SUBSCRIPTION VEHICLES Electric car maker Aptera closes its doors. Electric car maker Aptera Motors is closing after failing to woo enough investors to bring a new sedan to market. Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur said the Carlsbad-based company closed its doors Friday and laid off all 30 of its employees. The company, which formed in 2006, was hoping to get a $150 million loan from the Department of Energy but needed to raise matching funds, Wilbur said. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/cars/ci_19460332 GREEN ENERGY E-readers or print books - which is greener? Dilemma: When it comes to reading, what's kinder to the environment - an e-reader or books? Of course I'll: Stick with traditional books. Yes, they use paper and ink, but at least I don't need to plug them in. Trade-off: There are carbon emissions in the production of books too, not to mention the loss of carbon-gobbling trees felled for paper. Then I'll: Use the e-reader; as much as I read, it's bound to be a better choice over the long run. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/04/HOCR1M0J6B.DTL&type=green MISCELLANEOUS Alameda County considers mandatory recycling and composting plan. Plan on Dec. 8, Waste Management Authority board meeting agenda. Although a proposed plastic bag ban has captured more attention, another zero-waste proposal has several cities up in arms: The Alameda County Waste Management Authority wants to make recycling mandatory and violators subject to penalties. That could mean fines of up to $1,000 for putting things like newspapers, aluminum cans and food scraps in the garbage instead of recycle and compost bins. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_19470037?source=rss Major gas storage project could generate jobs. A huge energy infrastructure project is taking shape in southwest Bakersfield with promises of creating local jobs and stabilizing natural gas prices in parts of the western United States. The $200 million-plus Tricor Ten Section Hub, envisioned decades ago but considered uneconomical until industry deregulation, would turn what used to be a highly productive oil and gas reservoir into an underground natural gas warehouse hooked up to an interstate pipeline. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/business/economy/x1584310402/Major-gas-storage-project-could-generate-jobs OPINIONS Viewpoints: Here comes our stuff... but how it gets to the dock and beyond should concern Californians. As we Californians all know, the shelves at our department stores are restocked nightly with merchandise handmade by unseen elves. Our factories are similarly supplied with raw materials and components conjured up by leprechauns, the gasoline sold at the corner filling station is divined by wizards from underground springs, and fresh produce is grown on grocery store roofs by a Green Giant who, if not jolly, at least seems quite pleased with himself. Admittedly, the statements in the first paragraph are mostly untrue. Aunt Philomena long ago admonished me to never dispute the existence of leprechauns. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/04/v-print/4096359/here-comes-our-stuff-but-how-it.html This Is a Big Deal. IN many ways, President Obama has been a disappointment on energy and the environment. He has been completely missing in action on the climate debate. His decision to block his own Environmental Protection Agency from setting new rules to cut smog levels was disappointing. And, while I believe in using the balance sheet of the U.S. government to spur clean-tech research and start-ups, Solyndra was a case of embarrassing excess …Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/opinion/sunday/friedman-this-is-a-big-deal.html?pagewanted=print http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_19464471 Mark Landsbaum: Global warming alarmists try again. Global warming devotees gather for U.N. conference to demand money from developed nations, even as more and more countries defect from “the cause.” It's a good thing the world's economy is going into the toilet. Otherwise, global warming extremists would have done some real damage. It's ironic that as evidence mounted exposing the shaky science and duplicitous scheming behind global warming alarmism, it wasn't these truths that undermined the movement to tax and regulate your carbon footprint. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-329709-warming-climate.html Refinery improvement good, but could be better. When a storage tank at the refinery on Rosedale Highway exploded Wednesday, I looked at the towering column of smoke to the west and thought, "Here we go again." The refinery's previous owners, Flying J Inc., operating as Big West of California, didn't engender much public trust with their hush-hush attitude toward operations, including their fairly frequent -- and scary -- mishaps. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x345547344/LOIS-HENRY-Refinerys-improvement-is-good-but-could-be-better BLOGS Unusual winter weather may be connected to rapid Arctic climate change, report warns. It’s often said that the Arctic is the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” of global warming, an overused expression that applies in this instance, since the profound changes occurring there as a result of the warming climate are a warning sign for the rest of the world. What is not said enough, however, is that the rapid Arctic climate change, with its associated loss of sea ice and other impacts, may already be influencing weather and climate patterns in the Northern Hemisphere. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/unusual-winter-weather-may-be-connected-to-rapid-arctic-climate-change-report-warns/2011/12/04/gIQAUdQYUO_blog.html On Our Radar: Smog Grounds Flights in Beijing. Thick smog prompts officials to cancel hundreds of flights and shut down some major highways in Beijing. The American Embassy describes current air quality there as “hazardous,” and the official Xinhua news agency says the pollution is likely to reach “dangerous” levels. [Agence France-Presse]At least 30 threatened bird species in Africa and Asia are completely dependent on small-scale human agriculture for survival, according to a study by University of East Anglia researchers. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/on-our-radar-smog-grounds-flights-in-beijing/ Those Romantic Wood Stoves. We’re one cord into an expected six-cord winter and starting the colder part of our year in the Maine woods off the grid with three kids and two cats from the New Jersey suburbs. It’s the first time I have heated with wood, and I miss the simplicity of a thermostat connected to a furnace. There are some good things about heating with wood. I like that wood is a renewable resource and that all of the wood we burn came from the forest around the cabin. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/those-romantic-wood-stoves/