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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 13, 2013. Posted: 13 Aug 2013 14:46:28
ARB Newsclips for August 13, 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 Cutting soot and methane may not give hoped-for climate help. A U.S.-led drive to reduce soot and other heat-trapping air pollutants worldwide is less promising than hoped as a new front in the fight against climate change, according to a study published on Monday. Frustrated by failure to agree a broad international deal to limit global warming, about 30 nations have joined the U.S. initiative to limit short-lived air pollutants as a new way to curb temperature rises, protect health and aid crop growth. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/12/climate-pollution-idUSL6N0G93N820130812 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985927/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Company fined for smog-forming compounds in 'Gorilla Snot' hair gel. You might wonder what ingredient in a Mexican-made hair gel called Moco de Gorila - or Gorilla Snot - got its distributor in trouble with the law. It’s probably not what you’re thinking. It was the styling product’s smog-forming compounds that prompted California air regulators to take action against Midway Importing Inc. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-hair-gel-gorilla-snot-smog-fine-20130812,0,4492820.story Air pollution takes toll on China's tourism. China, one of the most visited countries in the world, has seen sharply fewer tourists this year — with worsening air pollution partly to blame. Numbers of foreign visitors have declined following January's "Airpocalypse," when already eye-searing levels of smog soared to new highs. Tourists have been put off by news about smog and other problems, said Frano Ilic of travel agency Studiosus in Munich, Germany. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Air-pollution-takes-toll-on-China-s-tourism-4727645.php http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/air-pollution-takes-toll-chinas-tourism-19943515 http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/08/13/3438199/air-pollution-takes-toll-on-chinas.html http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/13/2860160/air-pollution-takes-toll-on-chinas.html#storylink=cpy CA wildfire brings smoky air concerns to N. Nevada. Health district officials in northern Nevada are closely monitoring air quality concerns after a smoky haze from a wildfire in the Tahoe National Forest more than 60 miles away descended along the eastern Sierra front from Reno to Carson City. The Washoe County Health District's most recent samples Monday showed small particulates from the smoke at the upper end of the "moderate" level…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/CA-wildfire-brings-smoky-air-concerns-to-N-Nevada-4726468.php http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/aug/12/ca-wildfire-brings-smoky-air-concerns-to-n/#ixzz2brydb0R8 Bill To Increase Fines for Big Air Polluters Moves Forward. The Chevron oil refinery fire forced 15,000 people to seek medical help. Under current law such a violation would result in a $10,000 dollar fine. Democratic Senator Loni Hancock says the legislation she’s authored would increase the fine to 100-thousand dollars. “The incidents like this that dramatically impact entire communities have no higher penalty ceilings than incidents that effect only a very few people,” says Hancock. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/8464?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CapitalPublicRadioLatestNewsRSS+%28Capital+Public+Radio%3A+Latest+News+RSS%29 Air Quality Advisory in Placer County due to American Fire. Placer County, CA August 12, 2013, The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing this joint Air Quality Advisory to notify the public of poor air quality conditions due to smoke from the American Fire, 17 miles north-east of Foresthill. Posted. http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=11911&zoneid=4 http://roseville-ca.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/american-fire-in-tahoe-causes-poor-air-quality-in-placer-county CLIMATE CHANGE Timing a Rise in Sea Level. Thirty-five years ago, a scientist named John H. Mercer issued a warning. By then it was already becoming clear that human emissions would warm the earth, and Dr. Mercer had begun thinking deeply about the consequences. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/science/timing-a-rise-in-sea-level.html Power grid increasingly vulnerable to severe weather, report says. Americans can expect more major power outages because of severe weather driven by climate change, a federal report says. A decade after a vast power outage shut down the Northeast, the electricity grid remains "highly vulnerable" to blackouts because of extreme weather fueled by climate change, a report by the White House and the Energy Department concludes. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-electricity-grid-20130813,0,1693730.story Climate change is ‘an immediate and growing threat,’ report says. Rising ocean waters. Bigger and more frequent forest fires. More brutally hot summer days. These aren’t the usual predictions about global warming based on computer forecasts. They’re changes already happening in California, according to a detailed new report issued today by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20130812/climate-change-is-an-immediate-and-growing-threat-report-says One Greenland melt dynamic may not be as bad as feared. Scientists know that the Greenland ice sheet is contributing to rising sea levels, but many of the details about how its ice is driving drastic change remain a mystery. A new study aims to fill in a piece of the puzzle by concluding that the gliding of ice on meltwater that has seeped through to bedrock is not a significant factor with sea-level rise. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985931/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS World's largest cellulosic ethanol plant starts up in Italy. An Italian company has opened the world's largest cellulosic ethanol plant and aims to export the technology to as many as 25 other locations in the next four years. Beta Renewables, a $350 million joint venture of chemical company Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi and capital investment firm TPG, says its plant in Crescentino, Italy, is the first to produce cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale at a price competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985910/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Toyota exec: Camry will stay as US top-selling car. Toyota will not relinquish the Camry's spot as America's most popular car this year, a top executive told industry analysts on Tuesday. Senior Vice President Bob Carter said the company will sell more than 400,000 of the midsize cars in 2013, enough to fend off a challenge from the Honda Accord and other models in the most competitive part of the U.S. auto market. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Toyota-exec-Camry-will-stay-as-US-top-selling-car-4728262.php Downtown Stockton Alliance shifts to new plug-in electric vehicles for maintenance fleet. The Downtown Stockton Alliance has switched to an all-electric fleet of maintenance vehicles. A nearly $100,000 grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District allowed the switch to the new Polaris Ranger buggies, which may be small, but are capable of hauling up to 1,700 pounds in cargo. They're even four-wheel drive. Posted. http://stockton-central.news10.net/news/business/191083-downtown-stockton-alliance-shifts-new-plug-electric-vehicles-maintenance-fleet HIGH-SPEED RAIL Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to unveil 720 mph ‘Hyperloop’ designs today Real-life “Iron Man” CEO Elon Musk, who has conquered space travel and pollution-free land vehicles, will reveal designs for a mysterious 720 miles-per-hour “hyperloop” transportation system today. He’s previously called the system a cross between a “Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table.” Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/13/idUS84031480920130813 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985935/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Everything you ever wanted to know about Elon Musk’s Hyperloop super train. Inventor, philanthropist, billionaire, and titan of industry Elon Musk unveiled a 57-page plan yesterday for a super-speed train that would take passengers between LA and San Francisco in just 30 minutes. We previewed it, and we covered it. But there’s a lot more to know about the Hyperloop — a high-speed train-in-a-tube that makes all other high-speed trains look like they’re stuck in first gear…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/13/idUS407255039620130813 GREEN ENERGY Trina Solar to supply panels to Sempra Energy's Nevada project. Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd said it would supply 1.1 million solar panels to Sempra Energy's 345-megawatt (MW) Copper Mountain Solar 3 project in Nevada. Trina Solar's bigger rival, U.S.-based First Solar Inc , had earlier clinched deals to supply panels to two other solar plants developed by Sempra Energy -- 150-MW Copper Mountain 2 and 58-MW Copper Mountain 1. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/13/trinasolar-supplydeal-idUSL4N0GE2RN20130813 RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Water district plugs in to solar power. Western Municipal Water District ceremonially “plugged into the grid” in July, contributing power generated by solar panels at the district’s El Sobrante Operations Center and celebrating in near 100-degree weather. The 916-kilowatt solar power system is soaking up the sun and also holding electricity costs at bay, delivering an expected savings of up to $4.6 million over the next two decades. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20130812-riverside-county-water-district-plugs-in-to-solar-power.ece Paramount Solar acquired by SolarCity in $120M deal. SolarCity has acquired Granite Bay-based Paramount Solar in a $120 million deal, with Paramount Equity CEO Hayes Barnard to join SolarCity as chief revenue officer once the sale closes. Under the deal, SolarCity paid $116.3 million in stock in Paramount Energy Solutions LLC, which does business as Paramount Solar, and the rest in cash. Previously, Paramount Solar was majority owned by Guthy-Renker LLC. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/08/13/paramount-solar-acquired-by-solarcity.html?ana=e_sac_bn MISCELLANEOUS High-speed monitors keep watch over today's 'much more complicated' grid. By the end of next year, more than 1,000 new ultra-high-speed monitoring devices will be in place across the United States and Canadian electric power network. Called phasor measurement units (PMUs), the tools provide time-stamped measures of grid conditions in milliseconds to reveal threats to the grid's stability that would be hidden from standard, slower monitors. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059985939/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS COLUMN-Fracking battle holds unflattering mirror up to Britain: Kemp. The village of Balcombe in West Sussex has become the focal point for protests against hydraulic fracturing in Britain. But Balcombe is also a fascinating microcosm of the contradictions besetting Britain's policies on energy and economic development. Like households across the rest of the country, Balcombe's residents use rather a lot of fossil fuels. In fact, they use more fossil fuels than most. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/13/column-britain-fracking-idUSL6N0GE2OO20130813 Air Travel Is Worse Than a Hummer With Wings. Why does air travel get left out of the mix when we’re talking about reducing our carbon footprint? One could argue, because cars matter more -- they’re the largest single contributor to climate change in the transportation sector. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-12/air-travel-is-worse-than-a-hummer-with-wings.html Letters: Climate change in California. Re "Climate change affects state, report says," Aug. 11. Accompanying the article was a photograph of a snowless Tuolumne Meadows in January. At 8,600 feet in elevation, Tuolumne's snow cover in January averages almost 5 feet. So a dearth of snow is not just unusual, it's alarming. Tuolumne is the watershed for most of San Francisco's water supply…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0813-tuesday-climate-change-california-20130812,0,912472.story China's coal burning threatens world air quality. Re "Beijing air quality" (Ask Scoopy, Aug. 12): Scoopy advises us that Beijing's air quality is two to three times worse than World Health Organization recommendations. In fact, "The Great Pall of China" hangs over hundreds of millions of people and a huge air mass of the Asian continent as the result of China's virtually unregulated coal burning for energy and manufacturing. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/13/5644152/the-great-pall-of-china.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS Should California scrap its high-speed rail boondoggle and replace it with this? Elon (Tesla Motors/Space-X) Musk's Hyperloop -- a futuristic pneumatic tube that could get passengers from LA to SF in half an hour. Details here. Who remembers pneumatic tubes in downtown Redding stores back in the day? Wasn't there one in Dicker's? Dunno if I'd want to ride in a closed tube at near the speed of sound...could be claustrophobic. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/mbeauchamp/archives/2013/08/should-californ-1.html Ozone hole could be making global warming worse. It’s like Lord Voldemort joining forces with The Penguin. Two of the globe’s most epic environmental threats appear to be ganging up on us: The hole in the ozone layer could be hastening global warming. Yes, the hole in the ozone layer. It still exists, though it has been getting smaller because the world rightly panicked and began phasing out the use of CFCs in the 1980s. Posted. http://grist.org/news/ozone-hole-could-be-making-global-warming-worse/