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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 21, 2012. Posted: 21 Jun 2012 12:05:48
ARB Newsclips for June 21, 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 CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Accounting for pollution likely within a decade. Corporate and government accounting will likely reflect environmental profit and loss within a decade, thanks partly to progress made this week at a U.N. conference in Rio de Janeiro, backers of the plan told Reuters on Thursday. Company accounting and calculations of gross domestic product (GDP) are flawed because they fail to show governments, consumers and managers the true costs of their activities, said Pavan Sukhdev, a board member of U.S. environmental group Conservation International and a former Deutsche Bank AG banker. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/un-climate-accounting-correct-idUSL3E8HL1WQ20120621 Rio: pollution rife during UN enviro conference. The throngs streaming into Rio for a sustainable development conference may be dreaming of white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters, but what they are first likely to notice as they leave the airport is not the salty tang of ocean in the breeze, but the stench of raw sewage. That's because the airport sits by a bay that absorbs about 320 million gallons (1.2 billion liters) of raw waste water a day: 480 Olympic swimming pools worth of filth. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/20/v-print/2250118/rio-pollution-rife-during-un-enviro.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change to worsen hunger as U.N.'s Rio+20 begins. As leaders from more than 130 nations convene a United Nations conference on sustainable development Wednesday, new research shows how climate change will likely exacerbate a key issue: hunger. The number of undernourished women and young children could increase 20% and affect one of every five within a decade because of climate change's impact on food production, according to an analysis by the World Health Organization and other groups. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2012/06/climate-change-exected-to-worsen-hunger-as-rio20-begins/1#.T-M_4dVeSW8 REGION: Climate plan approved by Riverside County. Riverside County's model home of the future may use small amounts of energy and water, be located near public transportation and produce its own electricity. And the county government building of the future is expected to be a model of efficiency. Those are anticipated byproducts of a draft climate action plan adopted earlier this week by the county Board of Supervisors. The final version is scheduled to be completed in summer 2013. "The future homes that younger residents may be buying ... are probably going to be much different than they are now," said county planner Adam Rush, who has been working on the plan. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-climate-plan-approved-by-riverside-county/article_e3152fd7-ec18-5c32-8379-ce63c42a09a8.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Navistar Fined by EPA Over Technology Built With Agency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining diesel-engine maker Navistar International Corp. (NAV) (NAV) for shortcomings in pollution-control technology the agency helped it develop. “EPA is entangled in a blatant conflict in regulating a business partner,” Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said in an e-mail. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-21/navistar-fined-by-epa-over-technology-built-with-agency VEHICLES Development banks commit $175bn to transportation. Rio De Janeiro -- The world's largest development banks say they are investing $175 billion over the next decade to support cleaner transportation systems. The announcement was made Wednesday in a statement by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and six other multilateral institutions represented at a U.N. environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They point out that transportation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jlt3ILfjh86k6xvuVqxg0yVMOdfQ?docId=6a570efd932e49f2b39deea45ec7e189 AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/21/development-banks-commit-175bn-to-transportation/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/development-banks-at-rio-un-summit-commit-175-billion-to-sustainable-transportation/2012/06/21/gJQAZ7ghsV_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/v-print/4578858/development-banks-commit-175bn.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/21/v-print/2251440/development-banks-commit-175bn.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Fuel Efficiency Takes Baby Steps in the Auto Industry. Thanks to climate change policies and expensive gasoline, electric cars — and especially hybrid electrics — have made some inroads in the U.S. vehicle market. Still, the internal combustion engine is not about to go the way of the dodo. Mainstream engine makers are continually pushing forward incremental improvements and a few companies are developing radically different technologies. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/business/global/fuel-efficiency-takes-baby-steps-in-the-auto-industry.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all Carmel-based startup envisions greener portable classrooms. Toxic dust, stale indoor air, mold and formaldehyde. The California Air Resources Board found all of them in the least desirable place: California’s K-12 classrooms. A team of local design professionals have targeted portable classrooms, which the 2004 CARB report suggests are even more environmentally sketchy than traditional classrooms. Paul Byrne, a Carmel architect, started Green Apple Classrooms with a vision for greener and healthier schools. Posted. http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/2012/jun/21/brighter-learning/ Icelandic tax breaks make EVs cost competitive. The Icelandic government has recently proposed to remove VAT on the first $47,000 (around €35,750) of the price of electric vehicles (EVs). Compared to vehicles with internal combustion engine (ICE) that are subject to VAT of 25,5%, the highest rate in the world, EVs will become more cost competitive and affordable for Iceland’s inhabitants. The legislation was adopted by the Icelandic Parliament on 19 June, the last day before the summer break, overcoming the final step towards the exemption of EVs from VAT. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4586 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Gov. Jerry Brown to scrap environmental exception for bullet train. Environmental groups and others had criticized Gov. Brown's plans to protect the construction of California's high-speed rail network from injunctions. After encountering criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to protect the California bullet train project from injunctions sought by environmental lawsuits. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-high-speed-enviro-20120621,0,5470593.story http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/20/2881875/brown-backs-away-from-bullet-train.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_20902403/gov-jerry-brown-scraps-idea-soften-environmental-scrutiny?source=rss http://www.baycitizen.org/transportation/story/brown-backs-away-bullet-train-fight/ GREEN ENERGY EBay to power data center with renewable energy. EBay Inc. said it plans to build a data center powered by startup Bloom Energy's renewable energy fuel cells, a more environmentally-friendly alternative to drawing power from the mostly coal-based electric grid. The U.S. online auction sales group will use 30 Bloom Energy servers that use biogas derived from renewable organic waste and will only use the grid as a back-up source of power. Last month, Apple Inc. said it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations to power its main U.S. data center. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-ebay-datacenter-idUSBRE85K0BA20120621 Searing questions on massive solar experiment in Mojave Desert. As one of the world's largest sun-powered plants takes shape, observers debate the risk to birds, planes and drivers. Ivanpah Valley, Calif. — At what temperature might a songbird vaporize? Will the glare from five square miles of mirrors create a distraction for highway drivers? Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane? What happens if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target? Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-heat-plume-20120621,0,917543.story MISCELLANEOUS Living near loud traffic may raise heart attack risk. Living in an area with lots of traffic noise may do more than give you a headache. A new study from Denmark suggests exposure to too much traffic noise may raise a person's heart attack risk. More people die in fatal car crashes on Tax Day, study finds. Reducing air pollution during 2008 Beijing Olympics boosted residents' heart health, research reveals. For the study, researchers looked at more than 57,000…Posted. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57457730-10391704/living-near-loud-traffic-may-raise-heart-attack-risk/ OPINIONS PATTERSON: Banking on green energy. How do you know a bank is in trouble? When it suddenly jacks up fees or imposes new ones capriciously, that’s usually a flashing red light. For example, last year, Bank of America (BOA) suddenly announced it would charge customers a $5 fee for using their debit cards. Though the bank backed off that plan after a public outcry, the Wall Street Journal reported in March that the bank was still considering requiring “many users of basic checking accounts to pay a monthly fee unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or maintain certain balances.” Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/20/banking-on-green-energy/ Time to adopt tighter rules on air pollution. The federal government is long overdue in updating standards for fine particulates, one of the most lethal types of air pollution and one that is prevalent in high concentrations in the San Joaquin Valley. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to finally update the current standard, set in 1997, to a more protective level. This new standard must be adopted. Science has uncovered a lot in the 15 years since the current PM 2.5 standard was set.. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/x1076260195/Time-to-adopt-tighter-rules-on-air-pollution Despite significant victories, race remains a major fault line in American life. It shapes the distribution not only of power and economic resources, but environmental quality as well. Tales of environmental injustices around the country provide strong evidence that chemical-by-chemical and facility-by-facility regulation is inadequate to protect public health. Posted. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/pollution-poverty-people-of-color-op-ed-morello-frosch BLOGS Senate Move to Reverse Mercury Rule Fails. A Senate resolution seeking to reverse federal regulations limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic substances from coal-burning power plants failed to win passage on Wednesday. The resolution, introduced by Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, won support from 46 senators; 53 voted against it.The Environmental Protection Agency rules, issued late last year, have been criticized by some utilities, coal producers, Congressional Republicans and other foes as overly broad and potentially harmful to the economy. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/senate-move-to-reverse-mercury-rule-fails/ Tackling global warming in 21 easy steps. In the past, whenever world leaders have huddled to discuss what to do about this steadily warming planet of ours, they’ve usually endorsed one big, sweeping solution. That was the logic behind the Kyoto Protocol — each nation would promise sharp cuts in their overall carbon emissions. That, clearly, hasn’t worked. Global emissions are still rising rapidly. That’s why, in a new paper for Nature Climate Change, four researchers take a different approach. Instead of starting with one huge, overarching carbon limit dreamed up at U.N. conferences…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/tackling-global-warming-in-21-easy-steps/2012/06/21/gJQALKCusV_blog.html My Air-Conditioner Envy. With scorching heat enveloping New York City this week, I’m suffering from air-conditioner envy. I want a model like the one I saw in April at the Terre Policy Center in Pune, India. But I can’t buy it. As Andrew W. Lehren and I report in The Times, the warming effects of air-conditioning gases are reaching crisis proportions as more and more people in countries like India and China buy the appliances. (Some readers have rightly pointed out that people in industrialized countries depend far more heavily on air-conditioning.) Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/my-air-conditioner-envy/ More, hotter heat waves predicted for Southern California. Southern California is going to feel the heat in the coming years, according to a new UCLA climate change study. The study, released Thursday, is the first to model the Southland's complex geography of meandering coastlines, mountain ranges and dense urban centers in high enough resolution to predict temperatures down to the level of micro climate zones, each measuring 2¼ square miles. The projections are for 2041 to 2060. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/more-heat-waves-predicted-for-southern-california.html Battery costs will fall to $250/kilowatt hour by 2015. Our most burning question – aside from how many licks it takes to get to the center of at Tootsie Pop – is, how much does a battery-electric vehicle's battery really cost? One analyst says that the price tag will be at about $250 per kilowatt hour by 2015, which spells good news for the EV industry. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants' analyst Wolfgang Bernhart told EV Update that the cost of a typical plug-in hybrid-electric battery "in Japan and Korea for contracts with a 2015 delivery" will be at about $250 per kilowatt hour. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/21/battery-costs-will-fall-to-250-kilowatt-hour-by-2015/