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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 29, 2013 Posted: 29 Jan 2013 13:55:48
ARB Newsclips for January 29, 2013. 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 Smog thick enough to cancel flights hits Beijing. Thick, off-the-scale smog shrouded eastern China for the second time in about two weeks Tuesday, forcing airlines to cancel flights because of poor visibility and prompting Beijing to temporarily shut factories and curtail fleets of government cars. The capital was a colorless scene. Street lamps and the outlines of buildings receded into a white haze as pedestrians donned face masks to guard against the caustic air. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-01-29/smog-thick-enough-to-cancel-flights-hits-beijing Other: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/28/3151440/pollution-off-the-index-again.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22471005/smog-thick-enough-cancel-flights-hits-beijing?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22471005/smog-thick-enough-cancel-flights-hits-beijing?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/29/smog-thick-enough-to-cancel-flights-hits-02/#ixzz2JNvrORaj Pollution off the index again in China's capital. Beijing's pollution has reached especially high levels again as smog blankets much of China's central and eastern areas. After days of worsening visibility on the capital's streets, the U.S. Embassy reported early Tuesday morning that the level of pollution was "beyond index." Since Saturday, it has reported hourly pollution levels as hazardous to human health. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/28/pollution-off-the-index-again-in-chinas-capital/ Valley Residents, Health Advocates Call For Better Protection From Particle Pollution. The San Joaquin Valley’s polluted air is a daily concern for Mario Talavera. “When I go to the pharmacy, they ask why I need medicine," said Talavera, of Fresno. "For Mario, Angelica, Tomas, Jose. And for me too, Mario. I have asthma. The only person who doesn’t have asthma is my wife.” It’s a constant stress for Fresno resident Teresa Vidales, too. Her husband, a construction worker and the family breadwinner, has asthma. One of her four kids does, too. Posted. http://www.kvpr.org/post/valley-residents-health-advocates-call-better-protection-particle-pollution CLIMATE CHANGE California Defeats Lawsuit Against Cap-and-Trade Program. California environmental regulators running the nation’s first economy-wide carbon cap-and-trade program defeated a lawsuit that claims the system contains a loophole so companies can avoid reducing carbon emissions. State court Judge Ernest Goldsmith in San Francisco rejected claims by two environmental groups challenging the way the program allows polluters to buy greenhouse gas emission credits from entities that aren’t part of the program. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-28/california-defeats-lawsuit-against-cap-and-trade-program-1-.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/29/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Obama Talks Climate Change. California Is Acting On It. It’s not the happiest time to be an environmentalist. Climate change hit home last year with brutal force: 2012’s historic drought singed much of the Midwest, turning farms to dust and withering the corn crop. Other parts of the U.S. suffered through storms like Sandy and massive wildfires. Average annual temperatures in the continental U.S. beat the previous recorded high by a full 1°F (1.8°C). And the future is uglier still: over the weekend, the British economist Nicholas Stern warned that climate change could be even worse than he predicted in his sobering 2006 report…Posted. http://science.time.com/2013/01/29/obama-talks-climate-change-california-is-acting-on-it/#ixzz2JOcm9Nff Climate Change Action Now Helps Win Elections: Poll. Politicians who oppose taking action on climate change or discount the whole matter could be risking their careers. Public opinion in the United States has shifted in favor of doing something about climate change, and politicians who want to get elected need to take note of it, according to a new study by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. A nationwide survey conducted before the November election found that concern about the effects of global warming is high across political groups…Posted. http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/climate-change-action-political-advantage-130128.htm FUELS Conversion to natural gas fuels may ease U.S. energy crisis, some experts say. Geopolitical issues are driving up the cost of oil and eroding U.S. energy security and could trigger another recession, according to energy experts. But fuels derived from natural gas could help avoid a future oil crisis if they're poised to effectively compete in the oil-dominated transportation sector, members of the U.S. Energy Security Council said yesterday at a meeting of energy industry leaders. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/29/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Chowchilla, high-speed rail settle lawsuit over route. The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Monday it has settled a lawsuit filed by the city of Chowchilla over the rail agency's approval of a bullet-train route between Merced and Fresno. The settlement removes one hurdle from the rail authority's plans to begin construction this year in Madera and Fresno counties on the first segment of its proposed statewide system. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/28/3151224/chowchilla-high-speed-rail-settle.html http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22470193/california-high-speed-rail-authority-settles-suit OPINIONS Missing the point of the cap-and-trade defeat. It’s a baffle. While reanalyzing the cap-and-trade fight and responding to Theda Skocpol’s controversial paper on it, my esteemed colleagues Bill McKibben, David Roberts, Joe Romm, and Eric Pooley have evidenced some sharp, and sharply worded, differences with one another. But all appear to agree that one big reason cap-and-trade “crashed and burned” on Capitol Hill, as Pooley phrased it, was the lack of public support: If only there had been a vibrant popular movement out in the country demanding serious action on climate change, things might have ended differently. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/missing-the-point-of-the-cap-and-trade-defeat/ BLOGS European carbon market doesn’t need a supply fix. Policymakers racing to prop up the European Union’s carbon market should focus on the long term instead. Proposals to boost record-low carbon prices show a confusion about what cap-and-trade systems such as the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme can achieve. Even if the carbon price fell to zero, greenhouse gas emissions would stay within an agreed 2020 limit. To ensure the scheme’s future, authorities should focus on the cap, not juggle permit supplies. In theory, “cap-and-trade” schemes are an elegant way to meet emissions targets at the lowest possible cost. Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/01/29/european-carbon-market-doesnt-need-a-supply-fix/ How did Davos do on climate change? One sometimes hears that the World Economic Forum is all talk and no action. I don’t buy it — talk matters. Social currency is a powerful driver of change, even at the highest reaches of business and government. And last week climate change was on center stage at the famous Davos summit. So as I moved through the WEF Annual Meeting, the question on my mind was simple: How many of the conversations here will lead to real-world outcomes? Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/davos/2013/01/29/how-did-davos-do-on-climate-change/ California cap-and-trade offsets challenge rejected. Breaking: California has successfully weathered (at least in the lower court) another challenge to its cap-and-trade program. A state court has affirmed ARB’s significant discretion to design offsets protocols that rely on standardized additionality mechanisms, denying a petition that had sought to invalidate those protocols. Argus has the first story on this that I’ve seen. Court opinion here. Posted. http://legalplanet.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/california-cap-and-trade-offsets-challenge-rejected/ San Francisco judge protects offset protocols in California's cap-and-trade market. Power plant operators can purchase offsets in California in order to minimize their climate impact. A court ruling has upheld offset rules. Under the state’s plan to combat climate change, polluters must permanently cut carbon emissions. That’ll be expensive, so regulators designed ways to buffer the financial pressure. Power plant owners may purchase offsets - a kind of credit for carbon reductions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2013/01/28/12235/san-francisco-judge-protects-offset-protocols-cali/