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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 16, 2012 Posted: 16 Apr 2012 13:57:57
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 16, 2012. 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 Prenatal exposure to air pollution linked to childhood obesity. Overall, 17% of children in the United States are obese, and in inner-city neighborhoods, the prevalence is as high as 25%. While poor diets and physical inactivity are the main culprits, there is new evidence that air pollution can play a role. A study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health finds that pregnant women in New York City exposed to higher concentrations of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, were more than twice as likely to have children who were obese by age 7 compared with women with lower levels of exposure. PAH, a common urban pollutant, are released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco. Posted. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/cums-pet041612.php CLIMATE CHANGE As ice cap melts, militaries vie for Arctic edge. To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts. By Arctic standards, the region is already buzzing with military activity, and experts believe that will increase significantly in the years ahead. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hHahS23wLPy4fhU-vLwWGFHfwrDQ?docId=cea62528aa6a4ac6ba8846e0e37b42fe AP Newsbreak: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20406005/ice-cap-melts-militaries-vie-arctic-edge?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/16/2801606/as-ice-cap-melts-militaries-vie.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/04/16/international/i002336D37.DTL http://www.modbee.com/2012/04/16/2159548/as-ice-cap-melts-militaries-vie.html Climate change scientists look back -- 3 million years -- to look to future. To figure out what is likely to happen to Earth's climate this century, scientists are looking 3 million years into the past. They have concluded that the most revealing slice of time is the Pliocene Epoch, a warm, wet period between 3.15 million and 2.85 million years ago, when the world probably looked and felt much as it does now. Global temperatures and the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were similar to today's climate, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Posted. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/15/11209341-climate-change-scientists-look-back-3-million-years-to-look-to-future?lite FUELS Solar powered hydrogen fueling AC Transit fuel cell buses. San Francisco Bay area transit agency, AC Transit, recently inaugurated on-site solar-powered hydrogen generation for fueling for the agency's fuel cell buses, using electrolysis equipment from Proton and a large 500 kilowatt solar power array. For years hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen economy were to be the way to clean up the transportation system, because the only exhaust from a fuel cell vehicle is plain old steam. Posted. http://www.torquenews.com/1075/solar-powered-hydrogen-fueling-ac-transit-fuel-cell-buses VEHICLES How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In. IT’S a lot like one of those math problems that gave you fits in sixth grade: a salesman leaves home in Denver and drives his electric car to a meeting in Boulder. At the same time, a physicist driving the same model electric car sets out from her loft in Los Angeles, heading to an appointment near Anaheim. For both, the traffic is light, and the cars consume an identical amount of battery power while traveling the same number of miles. Being purely electric, they emit zero tailpipe pollutants during their trips. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/how-green-are-electric-cars-depends-on-where-you-plug-in.html?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse Homegrown Power for Auto Plants. ACKNOWLEDGING that it makes little sense to spend billions to develop electric cars if charging their batteries produces roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide as the most efficient gasoline models, some European automakers are investing directly in renewable energy. Wind farms, solar installations, hydroelectric power and so-called e-gas plants are among the experiments intended to demonstrate that zero-carbon transportation can be a viable alternative. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/in-europe-homegrown-power-for-auto-plants.html?scp=2&sq=vehicles&st=cse Hybrid and electric cars see record sales in March. Americans are buying record numbers of hybrid and electric cars as gas prices climb and new models arrive in showrooms, giving the vehicles their greatest share yet of the U.S. auto market. Consumers bought a record 52,000 gas-electric hybrids and all-electric cars in March, up from 34,000 during the same month last year. The two categories combined made up 3.64 percent of total U.S. sales, their highest monthly market share ever, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank. The previous high was 3.56 percent in July 2009, when the Cash for Clunkers program encouraged people to trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/13/hybrid-and-electric-cars-see-record-sales-in/ Car-sharing program takes off. It's a Catch-22 for the carless college student. No parents, no rules - and yet, no wheels. Now University of the Pacific students can better enjoy their newfound independence. What has been described as the world's largest car-share program has parked itself at Pacific, where a Ford Focus named "Fickle" and a Toyota Prius named "Portie" are available for hourly or daily use by students, faculty and staff. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120416/A_NEWS/204160307&cid=sitesearch Green cars take top prize in U.S. racing series. The checkered flag dropped at the Le Mans Series Toyota Grand Prix this weekend, and the most efficient, least carbon-emitting cars dominated the standings for the fourth year in a row. The Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team won the race with its High Performance Development Honda prototype and won the Michelin Green X Challenge, an award given to one team at the end of every American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race based on its vehicle's environmental performance. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/04/16/3 GREEN ENERGY S.J. County's green efforts are paying off. If you've got a recycling bin someplace in your home or office, chances are you're not moving as much paper as San Joaquin County government did in 2011. The $1.2 billion agency shredded 302 tons' worth of confidential documents among more than 500 tons of paper products recycled in 2011, according to an annual report from the county's "green" committee. It reports results from the county's policy promoting the purchasing of environmentally sustainable products and the collaboration of participating county departments in efforts to develop environmental programs and practices. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120414/A_NEWS/204140331&cid=sitesearch RIVERSIDE: Loveridge receives energy award. The Southern California Gas Co. recently recognized Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge for his leadership in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy in the Inland area. The “Energy-Efficiency Champion” award was presented at the gas company’s Business Expo in Pomona in front of 300 business representatives and community leaders who gathered to learn about ways to save money and energy through the latest green technologies and utility programs. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20120413-riverside-loveridge-receives-energy-award.ece Solar rooftops sought in poor communities. San Diego is home to more than 2,600 solar residential rooftops – more than any other California city – but in the neighboring lower-income community of National City, there are only about a dozen. A bill [PDF] before the California Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce this month seeks to equalize renewable energy installation in the state by promoting small-scale solar rooftops in the disadvantaged communities. The bill targets neighborhoods with high unemployment rates and those that “bear a disproportionate burden from air pollution, disease, and other impacts from the generation of electricity from the burning of fossil fuels,” the bill said. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/solar-rooftops-sought-poor-communities-15746 OPINION New High-Speed Rail Biz Plan Crashes into Reality. What a train wreck. Barreling down the tracks in one direction, on April 9 a congressional committee launched a probe California’s high-speed rail project over charges of conflicts of interest and questionable spending of federal dollars. Barreling head-on toward it from the other direction, on April 12 the California High-Speed Rail Authority voted to approve its own revised business plan. The state action leaves only an up-or-down vote from the state Legislature to break ground on a project the CHSRA now pegs at costing $68.4 billion. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/04/new-high-speed-rail-biz-plan-crashes-into-reality/ Another view: ARB twisted cap-and-trade into a job killer. The line is now forming for those who want a say in how to spend billions of dollars from the Assembly Bill 32 cap-and-trade program. But first, how is this revenue "created"? For the answer, look in the mirror. Every consumer, public agency, manufacturer and small business will be paying higher prices for electricity, natural gas, gasoline and other products to fill the coffers of cap-and-trade as designed by the California Air Resources Board. This isn't what legislators intended when they voted for AB 32. The Air Resources Board has turned what could have been an effective and reasonable environmental program into an energy tax machine that will threaten the California economy for years to come. How we came to this dangerous point deserves a closer look. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/15/4413070/arb-twisted-cap-and-trade-into.html The ex-radical who heads air board's key panel. Change may be the only constant in the real world but that doesn't seem to include the Scientific Review Panel. Don't fret if you've never heard of it. It's one of those obscure governmental "no-see-ums" that do their business in relative anonymity and by the time you figure out you've been stung, you're left swatting at empty air. It was the Scientific Review Panel that first declared PM2.5 (tiny particulate matter made up of dust and soot) in diesel exhaust a dangerous air contaminant in 1998. Next thing you know -- ZAP! -- the California Air Resources Board cooked up the truck and bus rules that are costing operators hundreds of thousands of dollars as they're forced to buy expensive filtration equipment or replace their fleets entirely in the next few years. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x1322083219/The-ex-radical-who-heads-air-boards-key-panel BLOGS More on the Link Between Earthquakes and Fracking. Scientists from the United States Geological Survey have cautiously weighed in on a subject that has sparked public concern in some parts of the country: spates of small earthquakes in oil- and gas-producing areas. In a report to be presented next week at a meeting of seismologists in San Diego, the scientists say that increases in the number of quakes in Arkansas and Oklahoma in the last few years are “almost certainly” related to oil and gas production. But in a summary of the report, they say they do not know if seismic activity is increasing because companies are taking more oil and gas from underground or because of “changes in extraction methodologies.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/more-on-the-link-between-earthquakes-and-fracking/ Philadelphia Inks Historic Green Agreement with EPA. Taking a cue from the growing green branding trend, the city of Philadelphia seems intent on establishing itself as the East Coast’s preeminent sustainable city. Last week, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined in an unprecedented 25-year agreement with the U.S. EPA that will pump $2 billion into the city for new investment in green infrastructure. While it won’t exactly remake Philadelphia into an east-of-the-Mississippi Portlandia, the new Green City, Clean Waters agreement will transform the city into a massive laboratory and national model for innovative, low cost methods of dealing with stormwater runoff and restoring urban waterways to good health. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/philadelphia-and-epa-partner-for-green-branding/ Hyundai will make 'limited' number of fuel-cell vehicles this year, 'thousands' by 2014. Hyundai has confirmed that it will make a "limited" number of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) this year for testing purposes, with a goal of making as many as 10,000 FCEVs annually by 2015. The South Korean automaker is testing an FCEV based on the Tucson crossover which will be part of test fleets around the world during the next couple of years. Hyundai wasn't specific about how many units of the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle it will make this year. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/04/16/hyundai-will-make-limited-number-of-fuel-cell-vehicles-this-ye/