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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNb3J6yrPbDkw0EXAG5aBRD4EGIA?docId=455526ac2e6e46b88c36096bafdf95a7 AP Newsbreak: http://www.nctimes.com/news/science/us-scientist-ocean-acidity-major-threat-to-reefs/article_452f370f-a22c-51bd-92a9-e4700a3a0a1e.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/07/bcchina-20120708.html 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. http://grist.org/climate-change/cities-are-leading-the-charge-on-climate-action/ FUELS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/business/global/steep-fuel-prices-driving-push-for-efficient-aircraft.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all VEHICLES 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/automobiles/autoreviews/the-battery-is-included-but-the-benefit-is-slim.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/07/pikengv-20120706.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rail-advice-20120709,0,4539140.story 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/07/v-print/4615291/high-speed-rail-squeaks-through.html 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_21033651/joe-simitian-steady-hand-high-speed-rail-debate?source=most_viewed GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jul/06/californias-green-building-codes-get-greener/ 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/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-rent-20120708,0,4599049.story 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. Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/cibola-systems-recipient-2012-coolcalifornia-climate-award-090237553.html OPINIONS 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. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304870304577491152903293004.html?mod=googlenews_wsj 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-epa-regulations-threaten-arizonas-economy-navajos-livelihood/2012/07/06/gJQAzWFfSW_story.html 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0706-friday-climate-change-fires-20120706,0,2847621.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-grescoe-los-angeles-transit-20120708,0,2241882.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-lubell-colorado-fires-and-climate-change-20120706,0,1751544.story 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. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/our-view/x577922226/Ask-reinsurers-about-climate-change 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/sustainability-and-the-po_b_1658657.html?utm_hp_ref=green BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/omblog/post/was-climate-change-poll-biased/2012/07/09/gJQAYreeYW_blog.html 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/post/climate-change-global-warming-is-a-fact/2012/07/09/gJQAAGs6XW_blog.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/on-our-radar-climate-change-in-real-time/ 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. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/07/nissan-push-leaf-mass-market/