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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 19, 2012 Posted: 19 Nov 2012 16:21:30
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 CAP AND TRADE Calif. to release cap-and-trade auction results. State regulators plan to release the results of California's first auction of greenhouse gas emission permits, which officially kick-started the state's new carbon marketplace. The California Air Resources Board on Monday was scheduled to reveal the price companies paid for the permits — called allowances — and how many businesses participated in the program. California's cap-and-trade plan is a central piece of the state's 2006 global warming law, a suite of regulations meant to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Calif-to-release-cap-and-trade-auction-results-4050288.php http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22026771/calif-release-cap-and-trade-auction-results?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Calif. officials call carbon auction a success. State regulators say California's first auction of greenhouse gas emissions permits went smoothly, and that all of the pollution permits available for 2013 were sold. The California Air Resources Board said 23.1 million permits—which allow for one ton carbon—sold for $10.09 each at last week's auction. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22026771/calif-release-cap-and-trade-auction-results?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com California's climate trade opens to lawsuit. Before the economic recession, Californians blindly approved the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) that regulates reductions of greenhouse gases (GHGs, principally carbon dioxide [CO2]) through market trading of CO2 reduction credits to new CO2 sources. This cap-and-trade program goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/california-s-climate-trade-opens-to-law-suit Shell, BP join dozens of companies expressing support of carbon pricing. Everyone wants a carbon tax. Literally everyone. I just did a poll of my house and my dog Lucy kind of nodded slightly, so I feel confident in saying that 100 percent of Americans support a carbon tax (margin of error, 100 percent). Really, it isn't just me and my dog. (Actually, I'm kind of iffy on it, but I'm willing to hear the dog's arguments.) Posted. http://grist.org/news/shell-bp-join-dozens-of-companies-expressing-support-of-carbon-pricing/ AIR POLLUTION UK postpones auctions of EU aviation CO2 permits. "If agreed, this announcement could impact on the volume of aviation allowances to be auctioned during 2012," a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said. As the Commission is unable to determine the precise number of allowances to be auctioned in 2012, we consider that it is sensible to postpone the remaining aviation allowance auctions scheduled for 2012." Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/uk-carbon-auction-idUSLNE8AI02020121119 Air quality alert issues for parts of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality alert for eastern and south-central Wisconsin.The alert issued Sunday cites particle pollution, and it's rated orange, which means the air quality could be unhealthy for people in sensitive groups. It's scheduled to expire at noon Monday. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Air-quality-alert-issues-for-parts-of-Wisconsin-4048526.php Ventless Gel Fireplace Introduces Clean Burning Contemporary Interior Fireplaces to Eliminate Indoor Health Hazards. Portable fireplace retailer Ventless Gel Fireplace has seen growing customer demand for safer, cleaner alternatives to traditional wood-burning fireplaces. For the holiday season, Ventless Gel Fireplace presents customers with a new line of contemporary fireplaces that burn clean without any harmful emissions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Ventless-Gel-Fireplace-Introduces-Clean-Burning-4047657.php Ball Aerospace Selected by NASA for TEMPO Air Pollution Mission. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is part of a team selected to build the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across the North American continent for NASA's Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission.Led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., the TEMPO team will build a geostationary ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectrometer to continuously measure ozone, aerosols and other trace gases over greater North America. The geostationary position of the instrument will allow delivery of regional, hourly readouts of atmosphere data during daylight hours. This data will advance air quality research on how air pollution affects climate change and air quality on a continental scale. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/19/4997408/ball-aerospace-selected-by-nasa.html#storylink=misearch Australian scientists find excess greenhouse gas near fracking. Environmental researchers have detected excess greenhouse gas levels near the site of Australia's biggest coal seam gas field, prompting calls for halting expansion of hydraulic fracturing until scientists can determine whether it might be contributing to climate change. The reported findings of methane, carbon dioxide and other compounds at more than three times normal background levels have stirred new controversy in eastern Australia over the pros and cons of boosting natural gas output by "fracking," a process that blasts sand, water and chemicals into deep underground wells. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-australia-fracking-leakage-20121116,0,7039884.story http://grist.org/news/greatly-increased-greenhouse-gas-emissions-found-at-australian-fracking-site/ Toll Unsettles Los Angeles Motorists Used to ‘Free’ in Freeways. At precisely 10 p.m. last Saturday, motorists faced a toll of up to $15.40 for the privilege of driving an 11-mile stretch of express lanes between Gardena and downtown Los Angeles. Never mind that tolls have been around as long as dirt roads and covered bridges, and that congestion pricing — as this is known — has become embraced by metropolises across the country to combat traffic and pollution. And never mind that the toll’s reach here is limited to lone drivers willing to pay up to $1.40 a mile, depending on traffic, for a money-back guarantee that their average speed will never drop below 45 miles per hour. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/us/new-toll-jolts-la-motorists-used-to-freeways.html?_r=0 EPA puts new emission limits on Ariz. power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has imposed new pollution limits on three coal-fired Arizona power plants, aiming to protect the environment and air quality for wilderness areas and landmarks such as the Grand Canyon. The EPA set limits for the Cholla, Coronado and Apache generating stations that will require technology upgrades to keep 22,700 tons of nitrogen oxide out of the air each year. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/17/epa-puts-new-emission-limits-on-ariz-power/ Elk Grove rejects plan to cut greenhouse gases. The carbon footprint in Elk Grove will stay the same size, at least for now. The Elk Grove City Council last week backed off on long-range plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, saying programs to encourage sustainability might hurt businesses and job creation. The council put aside two plans crafted by city staff to reduce the city's emissions by about 15 percent by 2020. The plans promote green building, energy efficiency, alternative transportation and resource conservation. Council members, primarily concerned about the effects of green building requirements, unanimously voted instead to meet with business leaders and discuss how to soften any harmful effects of going green. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/18/2460626/elk-grove-rejects-plan-to-cut.html#storylink=misearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Brown defends Calif. steps to fight climate change. Gov. Jerry Brown told attendees at an environmental conference Friday that climate change must be prevented or humans might one day be forced to live on another planet. Addressing the Greenbuild Expo in San Francisco, Brown lauded California's cap-and-trade auction for greenhouse gas emissions, which began this week. It was the formal launch of the nation's most ambitious carbon-trading market, which for the first time established a market-based system to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/16/brown-defends-calif-steps-to-fight-climate/ No nation immune to climate change - World Bank. All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a report on climate change. Under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/worldbank-climate-idUSL1E8MDHIX20121119 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/world-bank-warns-of-4-degree-threshhold/2012/11/19/aa298dd0-3023-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html http://grist.org/news/climate-change-will-be-devastating-to-worlds-poor-world-bank-says/ http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/turndown-20121119.html DRIESSEN: Global warming hysteria will kill jobs. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have boosted shale gas production from zero a few years ago to 10 percent of all U.S. energy supplies in 2012, observes energy analyst Daniel Yergin. It has increased U.S. oil production 25 percent since 2008, in the face of more federal land and resource withdrawals, permitting delays and declining public land production. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/18/global-warming-hysteria-will-kill-jobs/#ixzz2ChwxMAjj Glacial-paced U.N. climate talks need overhaul: researchers. Almost 200 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar, from November 26 to December 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of 2012. They have been trying off and on since Kyoto was agreed in 1997 to widen limits on emissions but have been unable to find a formula acceptable to both rich and poor nations. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/18/us-climate-talks-idUSBRE8AH0EK20121118 Film looks at climate change in the Arctic; book goes to the edge of the universe. In 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog began to collect “irrefutable” evidence of climate change. As part of his Extreme Ice Survey project, he ventured into the Arctic with more than 20 time-lapse video cameras to capture the changing topography of the world’s giant ice masses and compress years of slow change into mere seconds. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/film-looks-at-climate-change-in-the-arctic-book-goes-to-the-edge-of-the-universe/2012/11/17/871224b8-695b-11e1-acc6-32fefc7ccd67_story.html Iowa scientists: Drought a sign of climate change. More than 130 scientists from Iowa colleges and universities say this year's drought is consistent with a warmer climate predicted as part of global climate change and more droughts can be expected. Scientists and researchers from 27 Iowa colleges and universities signed the Iowa Climate Statement released Monday. It says a warming climate causes wet years to be wetter and dry years to be hotter and dryer. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22027569/iowa-scientists-drought-sign-climate-change?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22026771/calif-release-cap-and-trade-auction-results?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/more-than-130-iowa-scientists-issue-statement-that-2012-drought-is-a-sign-of-climate-change/2012/11/19/830bbdd6-3280-11e2-92f0-496af208bf23_story.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Nov. 29 presentation looks at state diesel regulations. The California Air Resources Board will have staff in Lake County on Thursday, Nov. 29, to provide an in-depth discussion of how to comply with state diesel regulations.This presentation will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport.This presentation will cover on road trucks, off road construction equipment, public fleets, school buses, diesel idling, and Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle Inspection Programs. This is an opportunity for Lake County diesel equipment operators to meet with CARB staff, ask questions, and get detailed information on how to comply with the multiple regulations. Posted. http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=28085:nov-29-presentation-looks-at-state-diesel-regulations&catid=40:business-news&Itemid=294 FUELS Group: Toxics linger after Chevron fire. Cancer-causing chemicals linger around homes and in gardens over a 9-square-mile area more than three months after a catastrophic fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, according to an environmental justice group. Independent testing by Global Community Monitor found that toxic fallout from the giant plume of smoke and soot that spewed from the plant on Aug. 6 blanketed an area stretching from Albany to San Pablo with dangerous hydrocarbons. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Group-Toxics-linger-after-Chevron-fire-4048522.php Consumer advocates say refineries may have falsified information. Consumer Watchdog, saying that refineries operating in the state may have falsified information to help boost gasoline prices, wants the California attorney general to launch a criminal investigation. The advocacy group made its request in a letter to state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. “It appears that California’s oil refineries falsified public information to drive up the price of gasoline," Consumer Watchdog’s president, Jamie Court, and energy project director, Liza Tucker, said in the letter. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-call-for-investigation-20121116,0,7650597.story E.P.A. Upholds Federal Mandate for Ethanol in Gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency declined on Friday to relax its requirement on the use of corn ethanol in gasoline, rejecting a request from several states related to a steep decline in the nation’s corn production. A summer drought that withered crops led to a spike in prices, hurting the livestock industry and others that depend on corn for food. Estimates indicate that as much as half of the nation’s crop will be used to produce ethanol this year to meet the federal renewable energy standard for transportation fuel. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/business/energy-environment/epa-upholds-ethanol-standard-on-use-in-gasoline.html?ref=earth Gas drilling presents Obama with historic choices. Energy companies, environmental groups, and even Hollywood stars are watching to see what decisions President Barack Obama makes about regulating or promoting natural gas drilling. The stakes are huge. Business leaders don't want government regulations to slow the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of clean, cheap domestic energy over the next few decades. Environmental groups see that same tide as a potential threat, not just to air and water, but to renewable energy. And on a strategic level, diplomats envision a future when natural gas helps make the U.S. less beholden to imports. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/17/gas-drilling-presents-obama-with-historic/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/gas-drilling-presents-obama-with-historic-choices/article_a5bf23e0-2f25-58fa-be3f-bcb6ac960dc0.html http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22020197/gas-drilling-presents-obama-historic-choices?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/gas-drilling-boom-presents-obama-with-historic-choices-on-jobs-energy-environment/2012/11/17/683064f0-3102-11e2-af17-67abba0676e2_story.html Green groups slam Keystone pipeline, march around White House. Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil project. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/keystone-protest-idUSL1E8MI3VP20121119 CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher bouyed by 'Fiscal Cliff' talks. Republican and Democratic congressional leaders emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday pledging to find common ground on taxes and spending that would allow them to avert an upcoming "fiscal cliff" that could send the economy back into recession. Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried by the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil project. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/markets-canada-stocks-idUSL4N08Z34O20121119 After Sandy, EPA extends clean fuel waivers for N.J., New York City. The waivers had been set to expire on November 20, but Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York asked the EPA to extend them because of continued fuel supply shortages. The EPA said it will continue to waive clean gasoline and diesel requirements for the area until December 7. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/us-storm-sandy-epa-idUSBRE8AI01220121119 AAA Michigan: Gas prices up 6 cents from last week. AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have risen roughly 6 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.53 per gallon.The auto club said Monday the average is about 20 cents per gallon more than last year at this time as motorists gear up for Thanksgiving travel. Of the Michigan cities it surveys, AAA Michigan said the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Traverse City area, where it's about $3.40 a gallon. The highest average is in the Ann Arbor area at about $3.57. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/19/aaa-michigan-gas-prices-up-6-cents-from-last/ Lower gas prices, economy boost Thanksgiving travel forecast. Need another encouraging sign that the U.S. economy is slowly on the mend? Look to this year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel forecasts. AAA predicts that 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend, up almost 1 percent over the 43.3 million who traveled last year. That’s the fourth consecutive year for holiday travel growth since 2008, when Thanksgiving travel plummeted 25 percent as the economy tanked. AAA defines the holiday period as Wednesday through Sunday. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/19/2462089/lower-gas-prices-economy-boost.html#storylink=misearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES New plug-in cars catching on. Sales and leases of plug-in vehicles in California continued to accelerate in October, likely topping 2,000 autos for the first time.The October estimate comes from the California Center for Sustainable Energy, which administers the state's zero-emission vehicle program, providing up to $2,500 toward purchases and three-year leases. The center received 1,820 rebate applications during the month of October, its highest participation to date. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/16/new-plug-cars-catching/ Audi Confirms Four New U.S. Diesels For L.A. Auto Show. If you love glow plugs and green-handled fuel pumps, get ready to love some new Audis. The German luxury carmaker will be bringing four new diesels for the U.S. market to the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Audi A6, A7, A8, and Q5 will all get TDI "clean diesel" versions next week, joining the Q7 and A3 TDI to bring Audi's diesel offerings to a total of six. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/audi-confirms-four-new-us-diesels-for-la-auto-show/2012/11/19/fa160c3a-328d-11e2-92f0-496af208bf23_story.html Ford to offer 1L EcoBoost in 2014 Fiesta in North America. The new 2014 Ford Fiesta on sale next year will be the first vehicle available in the United States with Ford’s 3-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost (direct injection plus turbocharging) engine. (Earlier post.) Though the car has not yet undergone EPA testing, Ford says it expects the Fiesta to be certified as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car available in the United States. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/ford-20121119.html Honda boosts performance and fuel economy on 2013 CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe using new Li-ion pack. The 2013 Honda CR-Z goes on sale 21 November with a number of powertrain, styling and feature upgrades, including a new Li-ion battery pack that replaces the NiMH pack in the MY 2012 CR-Z hybrid and delivers more power and improved fuel economy. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/honda-20121119.html SmartBatt consortium shows prototype optimized future battery pack technology for electric vehicles. The European SmartBatt (Smart and Safe Integration of Batteries in Electric Vehicles) consortium has produced a prototype optimized battery pack targeted at small electric vehicles; the pack is currently on display at the European Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC) in Brussels. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/smartbatt-20121119.html Chicago awards $13.4M contract to Motiv Power Systems for 20 Class 8 electric refuse trucks. The City of Chicago has awarded San Francisco Bay Area startup Motiv Power Systems a $13.4-million contract for 20 Class 8 electric refuse trucks. The 52,000-lb trucks, powered by a 200 kWh battery pack, will have a range of up to 60 miles. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/motiv-20121119.html Study identifies social policy as important factor in national environmental performance. A country’s social policy (SP) plays an important role in explaining differences in the environmental performance (EP) of countries, according to a new study by Dorit Kerret and Renana Shvartzvald at Tel-Aviv University. The paper, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, tries to unravel factors that explain national differences in EP by using quantitative data to examine factors affecting the EP of a broad sample of country-wide data. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/sp-20121119.html GREEN ENERGY Hawaii's solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing? On an island whose stock in trade is sun, and lots of it, Lawrence and Cindy Lee figured they'd be foolish not to join their neighbors and put a few solar panels on the roof. The Lees called one of the solar contractors racing around Hawaii these days, and put in their order. Eleven months later, in October — after endless consultations, emails and a $3,000 study required by Maui Electric Co. — they were still waiting for a permit. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hawaii-solar-20121118,0,595680.story Nokia Siemens Networks, Ballard Power Systems develop fuel cell backup power for mobile networks. Nokia Siemens Networks is working with Ballard Power Systems, Inc. to develop mobile networks that can continue to operate during power blackouts. Japanese operator NTT DOCOMO has evaluated the Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Multiradio base station with integrated fuel cell* backup for potential commercial deployment. The solution has been installed at a DOCOMO R&D Center test site in Japan's Yokosuka Research Park. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/19/4997409/nokia-siemens-networks-ballard.html#storylink=misearch CAW and CEP Urge Federal Government to Appeal WTO Ruling Against the Green Energy Act. The CAW and CEP are voicing their opposition to the WTO ruling siding with the European Union and Japan's complaint against Ontario's Green Energy Act and is urging the federal government to appeal the decision.The dispute centres on Ontario's feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which requires regional and national electric-grid utilities to purchase electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind and hydro-electric power. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/19/4997384/caw-and-cep-urge-federal-government.html#storylink=misearch NORCO-EASTVALE: Manure/energy project still on table. The manure-to-energy issue is not yet dead in Eastvale or Norco, despite a recent uproar over the matter in one city and a decision to put things on hold in another.The most recent development involves land in Eastvale that is owned by Orange County and is of interest to an Irvine technology company searching for a place to build a scaled-down version of a previously proposed waste-to-energy conversion plant. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/corona/corona-headlines-index/20121116-norco-eastvale-manureenergy-project-still-on-table.ece Natural resources can affect value of sovereign bonds – UNEP. Pressures on nations from the overuse and scarcity of water, food, forests and minerals, coupled with the effects of climate change, are currently mostly left out of models used to set sovereign credit ratings. "Commodity markets, food prices and food and resource security are becoming increasingly volatile, exacerbated by climate change-caused weather extremes and uncertainty," UNEP said in a study. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/us-crisis-idUSBRE8AI0F220121119 German minister backs EU proposal to squeeze carbon market. Peter Altmaier, an influential figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told Reuters he hoped the ruling centre-right coalition could agree to support it in time for a European Union summit in December. "The European Commission in recent weeks made new proposals which show a sense of proportion and reality," he said in an interview on Monday, adding this would help stabilize trade in carbon permits and give business an incentive to reduce CO2. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/us-eu-emissions-germany-idUSBRE8AI0I720121119 HOW TO PLAY IT-Predicted US oil glut a boon to those who move it. Railroads, pipeline companies and refiners stand to do especially well from a U.S. drilling bonanza that is upending the energy trade balance for the world's largest economy. An anticipated surge in U.S. oil output to the highest levels in the world would give a boost to those who move crude to where it can be turned into finished products and even shipped abroad. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/18/usa-energy-independence-idUSL1E8M9DRU20121118 OPINIONS Air monitors needed at Chevron refinery. An independently conducted study of the toxic contamination produced by the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery fire in detailed what the regional air board also should have known: the fire produced health-affecting toxic fallout.The Bay Area Air Quality Manage District maintains air quality monitors in the region but not at the refinery fence. The air board reported there were background levels of pollution but not enough to affect human health, even though it did not test air quality at and near the refinery. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2012/11/18/air-monitors-needed-at-chevron-refinery/ BLOGS A Rough Road from Swords to Ploughshares. For nearly 20 years, the Energy Department has been seeking to destroy plutonium recovered from surplus nuclear bombs by converting it to fuel for civilian reactors. Most of it would be destroyed by fission, and the remainder would be embedded in highly radioactive fission products. Anti-proliferation groups are eager to see the plutonium destroyed as part of a Russian-American agreement because as long as it exists, it can be refashioned into nuclear bombs. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/a-rough-road-from-swords-to-ploughshares/ In Defense of Sustained Research on Fusion. As budget negotiations heat up, so does the debate over the balance between investments in the long-term future and short-term necessities. Fusion is a long-term opportunity that will transform how we energize our society. The fact that ignition in a large American experimental inertial confinement fusion facility did not occur as hoped by Sept. 30 has sadly raised questions about the scientific legitimacy of that pursuit. That the scientists did not meet their goal by that day probably has little bearing on that field’s ultimate success. Importantly, this non-event should not bear any relation to the fate of other vital work centering on an entirely different approach known as magnetic fusion. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/in-defense-of-sustained-research-on-fusion/ Households to Reap Gains from Holding Polluters Accountable. The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison, issued a proposed ruling Friday directing how AB 32 cap-and-trade proceeds will be allocated to utility customers. The cap-and trade rule developed by the state’s Air Resources Board requires the utilities to use proceeds from the sale of carbon pollution allowances exclusively on behalf of their customers, but tasks the Commission with filling in the details. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ajackson/households_to_reap_gains_from.html Climate scientsts are Nate Silver, radio edition. Last week, I wrote a post called “Climate science is Nate Silver and U.S. politics is Karl Rove.” PRI’s radio show Living On Earth asked me to do a version of it as a commentary, and so I did. Have a listen Or have a read: Perhaps the most striking thing about the recent presidential election is how predictable it was — or to put it another way, how predicted it was. From the moment Mitt Romney was chosen as the Republican candidate, the polls showed that Obama was on track for a narrow win in most swing states. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-scientsts-are-nate-silver-radio-edition/ Buy or die: The survivalist approach to climate doom. That’s the advice from the New York Times Magazine feature “How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia.” Wait, don’t laugh yet — we’ll get to that. First, meet Ron Douglas, a champion of survivalist consumer culture as a solution to our impending human-made doom. Douglas, his wife, and their six children live in the Denver exurbs with a “modified” vehicle that holds a lot of gas, which is apparently super “self-reliant.” Posted. http://grist.org/news/buy-or-die-the-survivalist-approach-to-climate-doom/ The CIA shutters its climate change center, because who needs it? The CIA will close its Center on Climate Change and National Security. Ugh. Who’d it sleep with? Kidding! It didn’t sleep with anyone; it is inanimate, and sleeping with things requires animation. (Generally.) The center, which recently celebrated its third birthday, is the victim of budget cuts, because Mitt Romney won the election. Posted. http://grist.org/news/the-cia-shutters-its-climate-change-center-because-who-needs-it/ This cute baby rhino welcomes climate change. If you ask him, it's too cold by half. Global warming might keep him from having go around wrapped in a blanket. (Baby rhinos do not understand the difference between weather and climate.) Posted. http://grist.org/list/this-cute-baby-rhino-welcomes-climate-change/