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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 29, 2012 Posted: 29 May 2012 11:58:52
ARB Newsclips for May 29, 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 Sequoia National Park: Worst air pollution. On a clear day, the view from Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park extends west for 105 miles across the patchwork of crops in California’s agricultural heartland to the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The problem is there are few clear days, even at 6,200 feet. The Sierra Nevada forest that is home to the biggest and among the oldest living things on earth — the giant Sequoia redwoods — also suffers a dubious distinction. It has the worst air pollution of any national park in the country. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/29/MNC61OOM6M.DTL http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/29/sequoia-smog-damaging-pines-redwood-seedlings/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/sequoia-national-park-is-home-to-giant-redwoods-_-and-the-worst-air-quality-in-us-park-system/2012/05/29/gJQAG90DyU_story.html http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/28/smog-a-daunting-hazard-at-sequoia-national-park/ http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/28/2218266/sequoia-smog-damaging-pines-redwood.html http://www.mercurynews.com/green-living/ci_20730064/sequoia-smog-damaging-pines-redwood-seedlings?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com PERC leaves toxic legacy state must pay for. A dangerous chemical used in dry cleaning is being phased out in California, but state regulators say we may still have to live with a toxic legacy for years to come. In this Assignment 7 report we take a closer look at the problem leaching into soil and drinking water around the state. At Crystal Cleaning Center in San Mateo, owner Lynnette Waterson uses a chemical called perchloroethylene, or PERC, to clean the toughest stains. "It is the favorite solvent because of how well it cleans," said Watterson. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/assignment_7&id=8679666 CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Deadlock Breaks as Slow UN Talks Frustrate U.S., EU. Climate change envoys broke a deadlock at United Nations talks in Germany, with European, U.S. and island nations warning the slow pace of negotiations threatens the chance of reaching a deal at the end of the year. After a week of wrangling about the structure of the agenda that will guide talks leading to a new climate deal in 2015, delegates at the discussions in Bonn today bridged a divide that pitted about 36 nations including China and India against the European Union, U.S. and blocs of island and developing nations. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/climate-deadlock-breaks-as-slow-un-talks-frustrate-u-dot-s-dot-eu Effort tracks carbon footprints. Knowing how much energy you use and how much methane and exhaust you produce is the first step to living greener. That's the theory behind Green Communities, a public-private effort to nudge cities and counties to act friendlier toward Mother Nature. College interns dispatched by the Modesto-based Great Valley Center have inventoried the carbon footprints of Stanislaus County and its cities and are reaching out to other agencies. Analyses in free reports serve as a starting point for figuring out how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/28/2218985/effort-tracks-carbon-footprints.html MIT report finds China’s actions on climate change crucial; argues for global economy-wide greenhouse gas tax. A new report from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change shows the importance of all major nations taking part in global efforts to reduce emissions—and in particular, finds China’s role to be crucial. The report—titled “The Role of China in Mitigating Climate Change” and published in the journal Energy Economics, compares the impact of a stringent emissions reduction policy with and without China’s participation. Specifically, the study finds that with China’s help the global community may be—under the most optimistic scenario—able to limit warming to 2 °C, relative to pre-industrial levels. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/mitchina-20120529.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Study finds diesel oxidation catalyst eliminates mutagenicity of diesel exhaust in gas phase. A team of researchers in Germany has found that the mutagenicity of diesel engine exhaust (DEE) is eliminated in the gas phase by a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), but only slightly reduced in the particle phase. In a study published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they investigated the influence of different diesel fuels and the exhaust after-treatment with a DOC on the genotoxicity of DEE using the bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) and a detailed characterization of the emitted particles. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/westphal-20120527.html VEHICLES Some after-market motorcycle parts don’t meet safety or environmental standards, experts say. The first dollar Rick Doyle ever earned as a $3 million-a-year dealer of after-market motorcycle parts is tacked to the wall of a dusty barn in rural Ohio, where two custom-built bikes have been pushed to the corner, forgotten. There is nothing here now except a 10-year-old tractor. The biker calendar above the desk still reads February 2006. That’s about when Doyle made an unsettling discovery about an industry that for decades catered to motorcyclists who pride themselves on customizing bikes with unique features and high-powered parts. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/some-after-market-motorcycle-parts-dont-meet-safety-or-environmental-standards-experts-say/2012/05/26/gJQAgQezsU_story.html GREEN ENERGY ENERGY: The latest in green construction: Recycled Styrofoam walls. Here's the latest in the all green home: 85 percent recycled Styrofoam walls. California's building codes are among the toughest in the nation when it comes to energy efficiency, and they will only get tougher over the next eight years. New houses in the future may be able to get ahead of the game using sturdy insulation, and homebuilders looking to take their greenness up a notch could consider Perform Wall, an insulating panel made mostly from old Styrofoam. "We liked Perform Wall because it's an environmentally responsible product," said Mary Krebill, who is building her dream house in Elfin Forest, near Escondido. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/energy/energy-the-latest-in-green-construction-recycled-styrofoam-walls/article_d5b75d45-a3fa-5aad-ad43-aa84ccdbd07e.html The truth about renewable energy: Inexpensive, reliable, and inexhaustible. We’ve all heard the common myths about renewable energy: It’s expensive; it can’t be relied upon; there just isn’t enough of it to meet our energy needs. But as technological advances and plummeting costs drive explosive growth — U.S. installed wind capacity has grown sevenfold to nearly 47 gigawatts in the last seven years — real-world experience is shattering long-held assumptions every day. Even ardent supporters of renewables may be surprised by what we’re learning. Posted. http://grist.org/renewable-energy/the-truth-about-renewable-energy-inexpensive-reliable-and-inexhaustible/ OPINION Regulated Class in California seeks reparations from CARB. California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday, May 24. On the agenda was discussion toward deciding where and how to spend the billions raised from cap-and-trade carbon trading in the state. At the public meeting was Betty Plowman, who attended the meeting to present a letter on behalf of the industries that CARB calls polluters. The letter describes CARB’s threats to these industries, induced by the Board’s regulations that are, in turn, based on junk science. The letter’s signatories indicate intention to seek reparations for the regulated class under CARB’s repression in California. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/regulated-class-california-seeks-reparations-from-carb A good start on the way to a coherent energy policy. The following editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, May 25: There's been a sighting this spring of that rarest of birds in Washington: a national energy bill. The bill by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., has fluttered around a bit, will probably appear at a Senate committee hearing and then is expected to go the way of all good energy bills: into extinction. Which is too bad. At the very least, the bill deserves better than to go quietly into that good night. It deserves a fuller national discussion and eventual passage in some form. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/29/2853570/a-good-start-on-the-way-to-a-coherent.html#storylink=misearch Dan Morain: Can market for clean-air credits resist profiteers? A promise of big money has a way of quieting nagging questions. So it is with California's cap and trade program. The Air Resources Board is pressing ahead with the creation of a market to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Answering doubters, the ARB estimates the state will receive $1 billion a year in revenue. In this cash-strapped state, many interests have their hands out. Environmentalists see ways to fund their projects, legislators hope to use it to pay for their favored programs, and Gov. Jerry Brown envisions using the money to help to build high-speed rail. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/27/4517606/can-market-for-clean-air-credits.html BLOGS How Americans use energy, in three simple charts. Donald Marron passes along a very handy chart from the Congressional Budget Office looking at what sources of energy the United States relies on — and for what purpose…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/how-americans-use-energy-in-three-simple-charts/2012/05/27/gJQAMYlQuU_blog.html Getting Serious About the “Other” Greenhouse Gases. While carbon dioxide reductions are at the heart of efforts in California to curb greenhouse gas emissions, state air regulators were reminded in a hearing on Thursday not to overlook a number of other “short-lived” greenhouse pollutants in meeting targets outlined under AB 32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. A panel of noted scientists was on hand, several from California universities and research labs, to discuss the effects of black carbon, methane and hydrofluourocarbons on regional and global climate. Short-lived pollutants such as these are estimated to comprise more than a third of overall global climate warming emissions. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/05/25/getting-serious-about-the-other-greenhouse-gases/ Germany Has Almost As Much Installed Solar Power Generation as The Rest of the World. Following Fukushima there was massive pressure on the German government to abandon nuclear power. They closed eight plants immediately andare shutting down the remaining nine by 2022. The drive to replace nuclear with renewables intensified.And this has happened. Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/germany-has-almost-much-installed-solar-power-gene/