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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 31, 2012 Posted: 31 May 2012 10:59:49
ARB Newsclips for May 31, 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 Minority children affected by disparities in asthma health care. Asthma affects nearly 26 million Americans, including 7 million children. While advancements in treatment and interventions have improved health outcomes for many suffering from this respiratory disease, that progress has not yet reached everyone. Poor and minority children bear the greatest burden of the disease, suffering from asthma at higher rates, experiencing greater exposure to environmental triggers and receiving less access to quality care. On Thursday, the Obama administration launches a new approach to closing that gap: the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/minority-children-affected-by-disparities-in-asthma-health-care/2012/05/31/gJQADHQN4U_blog.html CLIMATE CHANGE Warming gas levels hit 'troubling milestone'. The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant. Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395. So far, only the Arctic has reached that 400 level, but the rest of the world will follow soon. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20748827/warming-gas-levels-hit-troubling-milestone?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/when-hitting-400-is-not-good-levels-of-key-greenhouse-gas-pass-milestone-trouble-scientists/2012/05/31/gJQAVvwP3U_story.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20748018/face-chewing-victim-face-surgery-long-recovery?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/30/2855896/warming-gas-levels-hit-troubling.html#storylink=misearch Study accuses corporations of hypocrisy on climate change. Some major U.S. corporations that support climate science in their public relations materials actively work to derail regulations and laws addressing global warming through lobbying, campaign donations and support of various advocacy groups, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental and scientific integrity group. The multinational oil giant, ConocoPhillips, for instance, said on its website in 2011 that it “recognizes” that human activity is leading to climate change, the view supported by the overwhelming majority of scientific research. Yet in 2009, ConocoPhillips argued against the Environmental Protection Agency’s determination that heat-trapping greenhouse gases were pollutants endangering public welfare. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-coproate-climate-control-20120530,0,2592843.story G8 Takes On Short-Lived Climate Pollutants. The unfolding drama surrounding the fate of the troubled eurozone and cratering Greek economy was surely higher on their agenda, but the world leaders who gathered at Camp David for the G8 summit earlier this month also managed to open a new front in the fight against climate change. As noted a few days after the summit, first by The Telegraph’s Geoffrey Lean and later by James Murray of BusinessGreen, buried in the final communiqué was an announcement that the G8 had agreed to join the U.S.-led Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/30/g8-takes-on-short-lived-climate-pollutants/ FUELS California Senate rejects 'fracking' legislation. The California Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have required energy firms to notify property owners before using hydraulic fracturing to tap oil deposits on or near their land. The legislation, SB 1054, was pushed by state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) as the first step toward collecting information and increasing awareness about a controversial extraction technique that state regulators are only now beginning to tackle. Currently, California does not require oil companies to disclose where they use the procedure or what chemicals they inject into the ground. Other states have imposed moratoriums and drawn up rules after toxic chemicals were discovered in drinking water near "fracking" operations. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/05/california-senate-rejects-fracking-legislation.html International Energy Agency: ‘Safe’ fracking cheap, but would destroy a livable climate. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has a new report out, “Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas” [PDF]. Unfortunately, the IEA buried the lede — the Golden Age of Gas scenario destroys a livable climate — so the coverage of the report was off target. For instance, The New York Times opines, “Energy Agency Finds Safe Gas Drilling is Cheap.” And the Council on Foreign Relations headline is similar: “Safe Fracking Looks Cheap.” That’s true only if a ruined climate, widespread Dust Bowlification, an acidified ocean, and rapidly rising sea levels constitute your idea of “safe.” Posted. http://grist.org/natural-gas/international-energy-agency-safe-fracking-cheap-but-would-destroy-a-livable-climate/ VEHICLES China released new incentives to promote electric vehicles. According to the Chinese Ministry of Finance, China will allocate an annual fund from RMB 100 million (EUR 12.6 million) to RMB 200 million (EUR 25.2 million) to promote alternative energy vehicles starting in 2012. The government encourages government departments, companies, service agencies such as logistics operators and private car-rental companies to use alternative energy vehicles in China’s 25 new energy vehicle pilot cities. In the public transportation sector, China will engage in promoting buses with hybrid engines in middle and large cities. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4682 GREEN ENERGY UN study foresees job gains with greener policies. Some 15 million to 60 million jobs could be created worldwide over the next two decades if nations took better care of the planet, according to a U.N. study released Thursday ahead of an international summit on sustainable development. The study acknowledges that some jobs would inevitably be lost by switching to a "greener" economy as older technologies give way to the new. But the heads of the U.N.'s International Labor Organization and the U.N. Environment Program emphasized that net gains of 0.5 percent to 2 percent in total global employment are possible, mainly through more renewable and efficient energy use. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/31/2856160/un-study-foresees-job-gains-with.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20749722/un-study-foresees-job-gains-greener-policies?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com California poised to require 'solar ready roofs' on new homes and buildings. State regulators with the California Energy Commission are expected to approve stringent energy efficiency standards for new residential and commercial buildings Thursday. The new standards, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, include a host of common-sense standards designed to save energy, from insulating hot-water pipes to making sure that air conditioner installations are inspected for sufficient air flow. But the proposed standards also require new homes and commercial buildings to have "solar ready roofs" -- a mandatory requirement that will be a boon for the state's growing rooftop solar industry. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20744057/california-poised-require-solar-ready-roofs-new-homes?source=rss OPINION EDITORIAL: A climate of hypocrisy. There’s nothing so profitable as being among the concerned climate experts who preach austerity. These enlightened few hector ordinary Americans into sacrificing their functional light bulbs, toilets and sport utility vehicles so the planet can be preserved. According to them, failure to give up these luxuries will overheat the globe and provoke devastating floods and hurricanes. The peddlers of such apocalyptic tales rarely practice austerity themselves. Earlier this month, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, asked Michael J. Ahearn, chairman of the board for First Solar Inc., to come and testify before a congressional oversight panel about his solar-panel business. Sun power is hailed by the left as the solution to the world’s energy needs. That’s why the Obama administration showered First Solar with $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed gifts, recognizing the firm’s unquestioned eco-correctness. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/30/a-climate-of-hypocrisy/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS The Many Moving Pieces of California’s Cap and Trade Program. The calendar says May 2012, so what does that mean for California’s attempts to implement a first-in-the-nation, economy-wide Cap and Trade Program? Actually quite a bit. There are many moving parts in this complex regulatory puzzle being assembled by the California Air Resources Board (Board or CARB). CARB has control over many of these moving parts, but there are a few that they do not. How these all come together over the next six to eight months (three if you count the practice auction in August), will determine how successful the program will be moving forward. Posted. http://cennatek.ca/news/the-many-moving-pieces-of-californias-cap-and-trade-program/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-many-moving-pieces-of-californias-cap-and-trade-program BLOGS A.E.P. Backs Down on Coal Plant Retrofit. American Electric Power conceded defeat on Wednesday, at least temporarily, in its push to save Big Sandy, its 49-year-old coal-burning plant in eastern Kentucky, surprising state officials there by withdrawing its $1 billion plan to retrofit the power plant so that it can meet tough new federal environmental regulations. A.E.P., as the Ohio-based company is known, did not formally declare that it was retiring Big Sandy. But it will now need to at least temporarily shut it down because it will not have enough time to install the required pollution controls before the first deadline it faces in 2015, a company official acknowledged. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/aep-backs-down-on-coal-plant-retrofit/ Air Pollution Fuels Hospital Visits in Hong Kong. Deteriorating air quality in Hong Kong is sending more people to hospital, says a new survey. According to a pair of researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who examined day-to-day pollution levels and hospital visits over a six-year period, a rise in airborne pollutants in Hong Kong was associated with a rise in emergency hospital visits. Published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the study, led by professor Yu Tak Sun Ignatius and Ph.D candidate Hong Qiu, comes as residents report increasing levels of frustration with the city’s pollution. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/05/31/air-pollution-fuels-hospital-visits-in-hong-kong/?KEYWORDS=air+pollution In Italy, Electric Buses Wirelessly Pick Up Their Power. Battery-powered buses that do not require frequent stops at charging depots might seem a maybe-someday proposition. But Conductix-Wampfler, a wireless-charging engineering company based in Weil am Rhein, Germany, claims the bus of the future is fully operational on the streets of Turin and Genoa, Italy, and has been for 10 years. The Conductix-Wampfler IPT Charge system, which powers about 30 buses in the northern Italian cities, relies on primary coil charging units in the road surface at bus stops, terminals and hubs. The secondary coil, which receives the charge, is in the bus chassis. When a bus stops at a charging station, the coils are positioned within 40 millimeters, or roughly 1½ inches, of each other. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/in-italy-electric-buses-wirelessly-pick-up-their-power/ Who’s afraid of a low carbon price? A big point of discussion at the Africa Carbon Forum was around what today’s very low carbon prices mean for market participants. Since 2008, the price of European Union Allowances has dropped precipitously, from a high of €28 to less than €8 today. Critics claim the collapse in prices means the market has failed, that it is not delivering emission reductions, and that it should therefore be scrapped. Those critics are wrong, but the reasons differ depending on which carbon market you wish to examine. This post will explore the issues facing the compliance market (in the voluntary carbon market, prices have held up better – read more here). Posted. http://cdkn.org/2012/05/whos-afraid-of-a-low-carbon-price/ Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests. Researchers at The University of Western Australia. have contributed to the first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrasses which shows they can hold as much carbon as the world's temperate and tropical forests. The study 'Seagrass Ecosystems as a Globally Significant Carbon Stock,' published in the journal Nature Geoscience provides further evidence of the important role the world's declining seagrass meadows have to play in mitigating climate change. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/seagrasses-can-store-much-carbon-forests/