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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 28, 2013 Posted: 28 May 2013 13:14:50
ARB Newsclips for May 28, 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. CAP AND TRADE Can We Solve Climate Change Through Carbon Capture and Storage? In Sunday’s Mail climate scientist Myles Allen tells us that our current climate policies are not going to solve the problem. All those wind farms, carbon taxes and cap and trade policies just won’t get the job done. On this I am happy to agree with him, existing policies are an incoherent contradictory mess. However his solution does not seem to offer much more hope than our existing and failing policies. In essence he is arguing that we just capture and store most of the carbon dioxide we emit. Posted. http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/229711/can-we-solve-climate-change-capturing-carbon AIR POLLUTION Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles in search of clean air technology information. Officials at the nation's busiest seaport complex are in search of ways to significantly curb the largest source of port-related air pollution. Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles officials are requesting information from developers and manufacturers of marine exhaust gas scrubbing systems, alternative fuels and other industry-related firms about technology that could help lessen air pollution generated by the main engines of ships arriving at and leaving the twin ports. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_23328364/ports-long-beach-los-angeles-search-clean-air Breathing auto emissions turns HDL cholesterol from 'good' to 'bad'. Academic researchers have found that breathing motor vehicle emissions triggers a change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, altering its cardiovascular protective qualities so that it actually contributes to clogged arteries. In addition to changing HDL from "good" to "bad," the inhalation of emissions activates other components of oxidation, the early cell and tissue damage that causes inflammation, leading to hardening of the arteries, according to the research team, which included scientists from UCLA and other institutions. Posted. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/turning-jekyll-into-hyde-breathing-246026.aspx CLIMATE CHANGE EU seeks 2014 deadline for nations' greenhouse gas plans. All countries should outline their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gases next year, earlier than favored by Washington, to revive the stalled fight against climate change, the European Union proposed on Tuesday. After past failures, almost 200 countries agreed in 2011 to work out by the end of 2015 a U.N. pact to slow global warming with curbs taking effect from 2020. They have still to figure out what each nation will do. Preparing for a climate meeting of government delegates next week in Bonn, Germany, the EU said all countries should sketch out national commitments for limiting rising world greenhouse gases beyond 2020 by the end of 2014. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/28/us-climate-goals-idUSBRE94R0LN20130528 World Could Cut Emissions by 19.8 Billion Tons by 2020, UN Says. The world could cut emissions by as much as 19.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, according to a technical paper published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Potential for cuts include agriculture, where as much as 4.3 billion tons could be cut, and land use including forestry, where as much as 4.2 billion tons be reduced, the secretariat of the UN unit said in the report, published on its website today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-28/world-could-cut-emissions-by-19-8-billion-tons-by-2020-un-says.html Extreme weather patterns and the possible role of climate change. WFOR's Chief Meteorologist David Bernard, Climate Central's Chief Climatologist Heidi Cullen, TIME Magazine's Jeffrey Kluger and American Meteorological Society President Marshall Shepherd discuss recent extreme weather events, the upcoming hurricane season, and the role of climate change in recent disruptive events. Posted. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50147675n Report: Plan Bay Area would reduce Bay Area's greenhouse gas emissions, but alternative would cut even more. THE BAY AREA will be spewing an additional 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2040 if opponents of a new long-range land-use blueprint for the Bay Area get their way. That estimate — the equivalent of burning 20,456 tanker trucks of gasoline or 6,664 rail cars of coal — comes from the environmental impact report for Plan Bay Area, a long-range housing blueprint that has ignited controversy in Marin. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23311781/report-plan-bay-area-would-reduce-bay-areas HIGH SPEED RAIL Builder of 1st phase of California's bullet train faces scrutiny. The state bullet train agency is pushing full throttle to start construction of the important first phase of the California high-speed rail system in as little as six weeks, prompting scrutiny of the state's selection of a construction company with the worst technical scores among bidders. Tutor Perini Corp. won the competition to build the first 29 miles of the high-speed rail route on a low bid of $985 million, even though its design quality, safety plan and engineering, among other factors, ranked at the bottom of five teams seeking the work. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bullet-train-tutor-20130528,0,4908429.story Congressman to review High-Speed Rail progress. Saying California’s High-Speed Rail system project, which is supposed to start construction in July in the Central Valley, has “fluctuated in its costs, completion dates, and its goals since 2008,” a Congressional subcommittee will hold a field hearing in Madera on Tuesday to see what’s up. Chaired by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, an outspoken critic of the project, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials has “invited” at least six witnesses. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=23499 High speed rail may be stopping at Shafter, for now. A proposal by Bakersfield officials for a "time-out" on California's high speed train through town may be gaining traction. The California High Speed Rail Authority will consider a recommendation by staff members at its June 6 monthly meeting to approve a rail alignment and station locations between Fresno and Shafter -- not all the way through Bakersfield. Bakersfield officials and the Kern Council of Governments had suggested in December that the authority only certify an environmental document outlining the rail's path from south of Fresno to somewhere north of Bakersfield, such as Shafter. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/city-beat/x1891155260/High-speed-rail-may-be-stopping-at-Shafter-for-now FUELS Reality gap widens on EU car fuel efficiency claims –study. The gap has widened between the fuel-efficiency that carmakers declare for their models and the reality for drivers, with luxury German vehicles showing the biggest divergence, a study has found. Research by the non-profit International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found "real-world" carbon emissions for new cars based on fuel consumption are about 25 percent higher on average than carmakers say, compared to 10 percent a decade ago. The findings will add to pressure to reform vehicle testing procedures at international level and stoke ongoing EU debate on how to enforce 2020 car emissions goals for the 27-member bloc. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/28/eu-cars-idUSL5N0E921020130528 On the Horizon, Five Reasons to Smile. We appear to be at the start of a new era of cheap energy. Through advances in both oil and natural gas production, the United States is again becoming a leading exporter of fossil fuels. Many of the nation’s economic troubles, like slow productivity and income growth, began about the same time that America’s first age of cheap energy came to a sudden end, in the early 1970s. The effect of today’s energy boom on broader productivity remains to be seen, but it could prove a source of further gains. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/business/five-positive-economic-signs-are-on-the-horizon.html?hpw Industry giant GE aims to improve fracking. One of America's corporate giants is investing billions of dollars in the new boom of oil and gas drilling, or fracking. General Electric Co. is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and health effects of the boom. "We like the oil and gas base because we see the need for resources for a long time to come," said Mark Little, a senior vice president. He said GE did "almost nothing" in oil and gas just over a decade ago but has invested more than $15 billion in the past few years. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23331776/industry-giant-ge-aims-improve-fracking http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_DRILLING_GENERAL_ELECTRIC?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT California environmentalists fear frack fight a distraction. As California sets the ground rules for drilling in the Monterey oil formation, a hard-to-reach shale reserve that is the largest in the United States, some environmentalists worry that politicians, regulators and fellow activists are fighting the wrong battle. The state regulator is hammering out rules for hydraulic fracturing, while the legislature is debating 10 bills on the practice. The drilling technique known as "fracking" has caused so much concern about environmental problems that it is the subject of a Hollywood movie. But most Monterey drillers employ another technique using acid, and only one bill under consideration would regulate that method. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23336280/california-environmentalists-fear-frack-fight-distraction VEHICLES France to Push Local Electric-Car Charging Network Plans. France’s government would prefer that municipalities take the lead in developing electric-car charging stations, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said. A national operator could “intervene” should locally backed charging networks be slow to develop, “but it would best for it to intervene eventually, not now,” Montebourg said today at a conference in Paris of French mayors. France, responding to public concern about rising fuel prices and climate change, already backs the segment, offering drivers a rebate of 7,000 euros ($9,000) on the purchase of a battery-powered vehicle and 4,000 euros for a hybrid electric-gasoline model. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-28/france-to-push-local-electric-car-charging-network-plans.html GREEN ENERGY Europe's Green-Fuel Search Turns to America's Forests. Loggers here are clear-cutting a wetland forest with decades-old trees. Behind the move: an environmental push. The push isn't in North Carolina but in Europe, where governments are trying to reduce fossil-fuel use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Under pressure, some of the Continent's coal-burning power plants are switching to wood. But Europe doesn't have enough forests to chop for fuel, and in those it does have, many restrictions apply. So Europe's power plants are devouring wood from the U.S., where forests are bigger and restrictions fewer. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324082604578485491298208114.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change OPINION ROBINSON: Time for Obama to act on global warming. President Barack Obama should spend his remaining years in office making the United States part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time. With each breath, every person alive today experiences something unique in human history: an atmosphere containing more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. This makes us special, I suppose, but not in a good way. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130526/WIRE/130529714/0/SEARCH BLOGS Seoul Rolls Out Electric Cars. If Seoul’s government has its way, electric cars will soon be tooling around the city. In an innovative step to alleviate traffic jams and improve air quality, the metropolitan government is making electric cars available for rent throughout Seoul under its “Electric Vehicle Sharing” program, which started May 9. Registered drivers can book a Kia Ray EV online for 6,000 won ($5) an hour. Drivers can pick up their rental car at any of the unmanned parking lots across the city. Charging is free and the rental expenses include insurance costs. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2013/05/28/seoul-rolls-out-electric-cars/?KEYWORDS=air+pollution The Hybrid Supercar. The problem when writing about the McLaren P1, the latest supercar from the British racing stable, is where to start? Do you talk about the fact that the £866,000 ($1.3 million) supercar–designed and built in the race company’s Norman Foster-designed headquarters in England–produces 903 brake horsepower, making it more powerful than a 60-ton Chieftain tank? Do you mention the fact that only 375 of the cars are ever going to be made–about one a day? Or that each one is assembled by hand from more than 15,000 components and takes three days just to paint? Or that it goes through 362 different quality checks, including a deluge of 16,000 liters of deionized (it doesn’t leave marks) water in a six-minute “monsoon test” designed to test every seal. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2013/05/28/the-hybrid-supercar/?KEYWORDS=emissions Solid climate change science as requested. I understand someone requested some "solid science" that supports human-caused climate change. Funny how over 1,400 blogs of "solid science" over the last four years isn't enough for some people. And equally funny how they do not require any science, solid or otherwise, to support their denial. But, oh well, we can't expect too much from them. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2013/05/solid-climate-c.html Insurance and Climate Change... It's Complicated. As an insurance guy who has been on both sides of the climate change debate--I've worked for organizations full of climate change skeptics and now head one that believes it's an important public policy issue--I've heard just about every claim about what "insurers say" about climate change. Plenty of people who want to minimize the risks (or even existence) of human-caused climate change, will say that insurers are trying to line their pockets by fomenting fear of natural disasters. Plenty of environmentalists, on the other hand, will make broad statements about the insurance industry's deep concern about the issue as a way of demonstrating that at least one big business supports their preferred policy solutions. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-lehrer/insurance-and-climate-cha_1_b_3333782.html