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newsclips -- ARB Newclips for July 9, 2012.

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 12:29:14
ARB Newsclips for July 9, 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.


US scientist: Ocean acidity major threat to reefs.  Oceans'
rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to
coral reefs, acting as the "osteoporosis of the sea" and
threatening everything from food security to tourism to
livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday. 
The speed by which the oceans' acid levels has risen caught
scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be
climate change's "equally evil twin," National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told The
Associated Press.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:


New inventory of black carbon emissions from China finds 2007
levels higher than previously reported.  A new black carbon (BC)
emissions inventory from China found BC emissions levels in 2007
of 1,957 Gg BC—higher than reported in earlier studies. The
inventory also forecasts that BC emissions in China in 2050 will
be 920–2,183 Gg/yr under various scenarios, with the industrial
and transportation sectors standing to benefit the most from
technological improvements. Posted. 

Cities are leading the charge on climate action.  While many
national governments struggle to take comprehensive action on
climate change, major cities around the globe are acting on their
own.  The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recently released a
report [PDF] tracking initiatives cities are taking to address
their greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these municipal
governments — plagued by heat waves and flooding — recognize the
urgent need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  Cities
account for 70 percent of global emissions [PDF] while occupying
just 2 percent of dry land. Posted. 


Steep Fuel Prices Driving Push for Efficient Aircraft.  Europe’s
effort to make international air carriers pay for their
greenhouse gas emissions has infuriated other nations and set off
a headline-grabbing trade dispute. But unless the cost it imposes
on airlines jumps significantly, experts say, the continent’s
carbon trading program is unlikely to have much effect on the
industry’s climate-warming pollution.  That is because a far more
powerful driver is already pushing aircraft manufacturers to
increase the efficiency of planes — the high and volatile price
of fuel.  Posted. 


The Battery Is Included, but the Benefit Is Slim.  MOST people
aren’t aware of this, but since the late 1990s the Chevrolet
Malibu’s success has roughly tracked the career of Robert Downey
Jr. The early years of the millennium were not draped in glory
for either the actor or the midsize sedan, but in 2008 Mr. Downey
Jr. starred in “Iron Man” and Chevrolet released a
seventh-generation Malibu that was finally ready to challenge the
Toyota Camry.  Think of the 2013 Malibu as “Iron Man 3,” a
follow-up effort aimed at keeping the acclaim rolling.  Posted. 

Pike Research forecasts annual global sales of light-duty natural
gas vehicles to reach 3.2M in 2019.  The global market for
light-duty (LD) natural gas vehicles (NGVs)—including passenger
cars, light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles—will experience a
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% between 2012 and 2019,
reaching 3.2 million vehicles sold in 2019, according to a new
forecast by Pike Research. This level of sales results in a
cumulative total of 25.4 million LD NGVs on the road by 2019. LD
NGVs make up about 97% of the total NGV market (2.08 million
vehicles out of 2.15 million vehicles in 2012).   Posted. 


High-speed rail officials rebuffed proposal from French railway.
The French railway recommended that the state build the rail line
along the Interstate 5 corridor and partner with it or another
foreign firm to hold down costs. As state officials accelerated
their effort to design a high-speed rail system in 2010, they
were approached by the renowned French national railway with a
suggestion: The project could use the help of an experienced
bullet train operator. Posted.

High-speed rail squeaks through California Senate. By a bare
majority, the state Senate voted Friday to approve initial
construction on California's $68 billion high-speed rail project,
ending months of intense lobbying and uncertainty in the
Legislature. The approval was a major legislative victory for
Gov. Jerry Brown, who lobbied lawmakers before the vote and
celebrated with Democratic legislative leaders off the Senate
floor immediately after. The outcome was uncertain as recently as
hours before the vote. Posted.

Simitian flips stance on high-speed rail. Ten years ago, he
enthusiastically co-authored a bill to put the bullet train on
the ballot. On Friday, after years leading intense oversight
hearings on the polarizing $69 billion plan, he stunned listeners
on the Senate floor and voted against the start of construction
-- nearly killing the project altogether. Simitian, the
bespectacled, professorial lawmaker from Palo Alto who was thrust
into the role of unofficial bullet train watchdog in Sacramento,
epitomized the bullet train debate like no other. Posted.


Eye on the Environment: California's green building codes get
greener.  Last week, California renewed its reputation as a
national leader in sound environmental building practices.  The
CalGreen Building Code, initially adopted in January 2011, made
California the first state to create statewide green building
codes. Effective July 1, 2012, a set of enhancements and
improvements to the code took effect. These changes not only set
higher standards for conserving water, saving energy and
improving indoor air quality, they also introduce regulatory
flexibility.  Posted. 

Blowing in the right direction: Two big wind projects are moving
forward.  As we continue to retire aging dirty coal plant after
aging dirty coal plant nationwide (we just hit 112 coal plants
secured to retire), we are also pushing hard to replace them with
clean energy, and as little natural gas as possible. That’s why
we were excited this week to see two very large clean energy
announcements from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  
Posted.  http://grist.org/climate-energy/a-good-move-for-wind/   


Landlords can ban smoking — but not by just posting a sign.
California landlords can forbid smoking in common areas and
individual units. Any such prohibition must be included in each
tenant's rental agreement. Question: I bought a rental property
with 10 units about two years ago. There is a nice lawn and
sidewalk area in front, and a pool with picnic tables in rear.
There is also a parking lot. When I took over the property, the
prior owner had already inserted a clause in the rental
agreements prohibiting smoking in the units. Posted.

Cibola Systems, Recipient of 2012 CoolCalifornia Climate Award.
In recognition of the audiovisual firm’s contribution to
renewable energy, water conservation, and diminished greenhouse
gas emissions. At the 3rd annual CoolCalifornia Small Business
Awards, Cibola Systems was honored by the California Air
Resources Board for the firm’s commitment to green energy and a
green economy. By reducing their impact on the environment, this
award acknowledges the voluntary, proactive measures taken by
Cibola Systems to promote action and awareness that is good for
business, and good for the climate. Out of a total of 78 worthy
applicants, Cibola Systems was one of 16 winners selected for
their achievements in carbon reduction and renewable energy.


The Price of Green Virtue.  When California's economy was booming
in 2006—remember that?—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and many
Californians wanted to show their environmental virtue by
becoming the first state to pass a comprehensive climate change
law. And so they did, for which the bill is starting to come due.
 Lawmakers and environmentalists predicted that the new law,
called AB 32, would become a model for the rest of the nation. It
never did. They also said the Golden State's head start in
developing green technologies would create thousands of new jobs.

What price clean air?  The federal government is a bull that has
found yet another china shop, this time in Arizona. It seems
determined to inflict, for angelic motives and progressive goals,
economic damage on this state. And economic and social damage on
Native Americans, who over the years have experienced quite
enough of that at Washington’s hands.  The gain from this pain?
The most frequently cited study says “research to date
. . . is inconclusive as to whether” there would be
“any perceptible improvement in visibility at the Grand Canyon
and other areas of concern.”  Posted. 

Letters: What we can do about climate change. Re "Global warming
in our backyard," Editorial, July 2. Thank you for your wonderful
synopsis of the most recent climate science and how it pertains
to Southern California. However, it is regrettable that it is
still necessary to even mention climate skeptics. No news
organization feels the need to mention plate tectonics skeptics
when reporting on earthquakes or flat-Earth believers when
reporting on space. Posted.

L.A. -- transit's promised land.  Which major U.S. city is at the
cutting edge of forward-thinking transportation planning?
Surprise: It's Los Angeles. I've spent the last three years
traveling to 14 cities around the world, looking at how places as
diverse as Copenhagen, Tokyo and Bogota are trying to escape
congestion, pollution and sprawl by finding alternatives to the
car. When people ask me which major U.S. city is at the cutting
edge of forward-thinking transportation planning, they're always
surprised when I reply that it is Los Angeles — those "72 suburbs
in search of a city," Posted.

Colorado's perfect firestorm. Conflagrations such as the Waldo
Canyon fire may make climate change skeptics easier to convince.
Last week, my parents had to pack their belongings and flee as
the Waldo Canyon fire barreled toward their house in Colorado
Springs. They were among 32,000 people forced from their houses
by the fire, which has destroyed nearly 350 homes. My parents
were lucky. Despite the trauma and fear of having to evacuate,
they didn't lose their home. Posted.

Ask reinsurers about climate change.  It's hard to pin a single
event -- like the heat wave that's gripped the Mid-Atlantic for
the past week -- on climate change. But some of the predicted
impacts of global warming made by climate scientists over the
past decade can no longer be ignored.  Among those predictions:
Wildfires in the West and Southwest would become more frequent
and serious. New Mexico recently saw its worst wildfire in
history. Colorado is in the midst of a record-setting fire
season. Posted. 

Sustainability and the Politics of Environmental Protection. The
outcry against high pressure hydraulic fracturing and the growing
movement toward environmental protection in China are examples of
the constant and growing force of environmental protection in
politics. For decades there has been consistent pressure from
shortsighted corporations and some right wing ideologues to
reframe the environmental issue as one of over-regulation and
define it as a trade-off between economic growth and
environmental protection. Posted.


Was climate-change poll biased? Was a Washington Post poll
published last week that asked Americans how they felt about
major environmental problems biased in a global-warming
direction? A sharp-eyed reader raised that question after
pointing out that Jon Krosnick, the Stanford University professor
who has helped The Post conduct its polling on environmental
issues, sat on the board of a group called Climate Central.
Climate Central began in 2008 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization that brought together news professionals and
scientists whose main goal was to disseminate straightforward
climate data and studies to the public.  Posted.

Climate change: Global warming is a fact.  Saturday night I hung
out in my sauna. Actually I just sat on the front porch. It was
101 degrees at 8:15 p.m., according to the Post website; while
weather.com reported that it was 99 degrees. In such situations I
prefer the front porch because of the veneer of civilization
suggested by the street, the cars, the other houses. The back
porch views nature, which, we now know, is not our friend.  We
seem to have suddenly jumped from the Holocene back to the
Eocene. Posted. 

On Our Radar: Climate Change in ‘Real Time’.  In just one week,
three high-ranking federal officials have weighed in on climate
change, linking it to recent weather extremes in the United
States. [Think Progress]  Air pollution from power plants,
automobiles and agriculture is changing the alpine vegetation in
Rocky Mountain National Park, a new study financed by the
National Park Service indicates. The study site was a meadow in
the Mummy Range, the type of ecosystem that is most sensitive to
air pollutants.  Posted. 

Nissan to Push LEAF to Mass Market.  In the recent surge in
electric car launches, one maker stood out, and not in a good
way: Nissan. Depending on your perspective, its polar bear ad was
either cliche, cringeworthy, touching, or in conflict with your
worldview. It took the most overused symbol of climate change and
used it to convey that your use of their LEAF electric car would
play a part in addressing global climate change.  Even more off
the mark was a billboard ad featuring a globe with rainbows and
dolphins on it. Even those who are predisposed to like such
imagery found the association at best confusing, at worst
offensive to their sensibilities. Posted. 

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