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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 7, 2014. Posted: 07 Jan 2014 14:35:45
ARB Newsclips for January 7, 2014. 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 Heavy China Smog Prompts Warnings Against Outdoor Activity. China’s government warned people in north and central parts of the country to stay indoors today as heavy smog blanketed the region. The level of PM2.5, fine air particulates that pose the greatest health risk, was as much as 287 micrograms per cubic meter at 4 p.m. in Shijiazhuang in the northern province of Hebei…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-07/heavy-north-china-smog-prompts-warnings-against-outdoor-activity.html The Future of Coal: New Pollution Rules Choke Old Power Plants. The world was riveted in October by eerie photos of Harbin, an industrial city in northeastern China that was smothered by thick smog from burning coal. The U.S. had its own encounters with choking pollution several decades ago. Though nearly forgotten today, the incidents sparked the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and federal regulations that have reshaped the electricity industry—then and now the country's largest industrial source of air pollution. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579248771284421960 BY SUBSCRIPTION Flu season made worse by air pollution. Doctors say flu season is here and it's quickly spreading west to California. There are now three more confirmed deaths in the state, linked to the flu. Those deaths were just reported in Stanislaus County. There's no word on any major incidents closer to the central San Joaquin Valley. Flu season alone can be bad news and the valley's stagnant pollution-filled air appears to be making it worse. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/health/health_watch&id=9378713 CLIMATE CHANGE Warring Dogmas Block Climate-Change Progress. National debates over environmental issues are sometimes derailed by two kinds of extremists: eco-doomsayers and techno-optimists. The two positions are best captured in the most dramatic bet in social science. It is useful to recall the tale, recently cataloged by Yale University historian Paul Sabin, because the legacy of the bet is with us today, above all in the domain of climate change. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-07/warring-dogmas-block-climate-change-progress.html Still Stuck in a Climate Argument. When a ship carrying scientists and adventure tourists became stuck in ice in the Antarctic late last month, climate change skeptics had a field day. On Twitter and other social media sites, they pointed out that a group whose journey was meant to highlight the effects of global warming was trapped by a substance that was supposed to be melting. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/science/earth/still-stuck-in-a-climate-argument.html Funding for bullet train draws controversy. There are still a few days to go until Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his new budget proposal, but one of his ideas is already stirring controversy. The governor wants to use cap-and-trade revenue to bolster the state's high-speed rail project, which has run into legal and financial trouble. The money could help keep construction going while bond funding is held up by a lawsuit. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-new-budget-20140106,0,5134884.story#axzz2pjMXNHpW Jerry Brown seeking $250 million to boost bullet train. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to use $250 million in cap-and-trade revenue to help fund California’s troubled bullet train, according to Capitol officials. The money is a small fraction of the project’s total $68.4-billion cost, but it could bolster the effort to begin construction at a time when other sources of state and federal money are facing legal challenges. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-eyes-250-million-to-boost-bullet-train-20140106,0,197912.story?track=rss#axzz2pjMXNHpW Climate change research getting stuck in the ice. A funny thing happened during Australian climate change Professor Chris Turney's venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney's good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding…Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140107/A_OPINION0619/401070318&cid=sitesearch How frigid 'polar vortex' could be result of global warming (+video). A bitter Arctic blast spanning the central and eastern US has propelled the phrase "polar vortex" from the pages of dense scientific papers to headline status as frigid temperatures and strong winds close schools and businesses and prompt forecasters to warn of "historic and life-threatening" conditions. In essence, a buildup of Arctic air…Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0106/How-frigid-polar-vortex-could-be-result-of-global-warming-video 150 Years Of Carbon Emissions Can Be Traced To 90 Companies: Report. Industrialization has given the world some of its greatest inventions and unequivocally improved our lives, but it's also played a part in one of today's most pressing issues: man-made climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists cites a paper by Richard Heede, Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010. According to the data, nearly two thirds of the carbon emissions said to cause anthropogenic global warming can be attributed to just ninety entities, both companies and countries, over the last 150 years. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089513_150-years-of-carbon-emissions-can-be-traced-to-90-companies-report Study finds that suburban sprawl cancels carbon-footprint savings of dense urban cores in US. Although population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse-gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, these cities’ extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits, according to a new study by Christopher Jones and Daniel Kammen at UC Berkeley. The average carbon footprint of households living in the center of large, population-dense urban cities is about 50% below average…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/01/20140107-kammen.html University of Washington to launch cutting-edge Arctic studies program. In an attempt to expand research in polar regions and prepare students for a world in which melting Arctic ice is creating both opportunities and risks, the University of Washington is launching the Future of Ice program, which will hire eight scientists and faculty members and offer the United States' first Arctic studies minor outside of Alaska. Students who opt for the new minor in Arctic studies will learn about the science of climate change…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992468/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Commuters get clean air at last as bus fleets embrace green. Bus riders are breathing easier these days as transit agencies adopt clean technologies that are clearing the air of sooty diesel exhaust. More than 40 percent of 67,000 or so public buses (school buses are not included) are now powered by alternative fuels, a threefold jump since 2004, according to the American Public Transportation Association, or APTA. In comparison, federal statistics show, only 4 percent of the 250 million cars run on alt fuels. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992506/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Toyota bumps its hydrogen-powered car in the U.S. up to 2015. Toyota said today that a hydrogen-powered vehicle that emits only water vapor as exhaust will go on sale in the U.S. in 2015, a year earlier than it promised just two months ago. The Japanese automaker made the announcement in Las Vegas at the International CES, the technology industry’s annual gadget show. The shift came months after rival automakers Hyundai and Honda both said they’d start selling cars with that technology in the U.S. in 2015. Posted. http://www.freep.com/article/20140106/BUSINESS0104/301060097/Toyota-hydrogen-car EV sales nearly double in 2013. The figures are in, and 2013 proved to be a good year for the electric car with plug-in hybrid and full-electric vehicle sales nearly doubling to more than 90,000 units last year. Continued growth comes in the same year that the American electric vehicle (EV) startups Coda Automotive and Fisker Automotive, a Department of Energy loan recipient, filed for bankruptcy. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992478/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-Speed Train in California Is Caught in a Political Storm. Gov. Jerry Brown of California is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity and an upturn in the state’s fortunes. But a project that has become a personal crusade for him over the past two years — a 520-mile high-speed train line from Los Angeles to San Francisco — is in trouble, reeling from a court ruling that undermined its financing, and from slipping public support and opponents’ rising calls to shut it down. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/high-speed-train-in-california-is-caught-in-a-political-storm.html?_r=0 Cap-and-trade funds to boost high-speed rail. Gov. Jerry Brown will propose spending nearly a third of $850 million in cap-and-trade revenue California expects to collect in the next fiscal year on the embattled high-speed-rail project, according to officials with knowledge of the governor's budget proposal, which is to be publicly released Friday. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Cap-and-trade-funds-to-boost-high-speed-rail-5119293.php GREEN ENERGY Group of ministers urges EU to set 2030 goal for renewable energy. Ministers from Germany, France and six other countries have called for the European Union to set a 2030 goal for renewable energy use, in opposition to their British counterpart who advocates a sole greenhouse gas emissions target. A 2030 renewables goal, which would be part of a package of EU measures on energy and climate change, would cut dependency on fossil fuel imports and boost jobs and economic growth…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/06/eu-renewables-climate-idUSL6N0KG1Z720140106 UC Merced rooftops to get solar panels. In a move to double its energy output, UC Merced will be adding solar panels this year to as many as a dozen buildings on and off campus. The university’s facilities management team expects to pick a company later this month to install the photovoltaic systems on eight to 12 structures, which could produce an additional megawatt of energy. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/06/3122021/uc-merced-rooftops-to-get-solar.html#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Curbing a Potent Greenhouse Gas. On Dec. 17, the European Union drafted important legislation to cut hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, by 79 percent by 2030. This is the most concrete move yet to rein in HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioners. In June, the United States and China reached an agreement to reduce these gases, and in September leaders of the Group of 20 nations pledged to do their share. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/opinion/curbing-a-potent-greenhouse-gas.html?hp&rref=opinion/international Dan Walters: Jerry Brown may be getting desperate on bullet train. Jerry Brown may be getting desperate about keeping the state’s increasingly unpopular – not to mention financially and legally challenged – bullet train project alive. Faced with a judge’s insistence that the project follow the law about having its financial ducks lined up, Gov. Brown is now poised to shift money from the state’s “cap-and-trade” fees on greenhouse-gas emissions into the bullet train. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/07/6051313/dan-walters-jerry-brown-may-be.html http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/07/3121633/dan-walters-jerry-brown-may-be.html#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Don’t shift ‘cap-and-trade’ dollars to rail. A dubious funding grab is not a fix for California’s fiscally risky “high-speed” rail project. The governor should discard any idea of propping up the “bullet” train’s shaky finances with money from the state’s greenhouse gas program. The rail project’s lack of funding should be a sign to legislators to end this looming boondoggle…Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20140106-editorial-dont-shift-cap-and-trade-dollars-to-rail.ece BLOGS The polar vortex in no way disproves climate change. Almost half of the Lower 48 will shiver under sub-zero wind chills Tuesday morning. Countless records will be set. Yet none of that means a thing about the existence of climate change, its severity or its consequences. The breaking off of a large chunk of the polar vortex and its visit to the northern U.S. is a random event resulting from a serendipitous arrangement of weather systems. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/01/06/the-polar-vortex-in-no-way-disproves-climate-change/ Jerry Brown's cap-and-trade proposal for high-speed rail said to be $250 million. Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to use fees paid by carbon producers to help finance the state's high-speed rail project is expected to amount to $250 million next budget year, a sum that could provide a significant lift to the project but frustrate environmentalists already upset about the diversion of fees. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/01/jerry-browns-cap-and-trade-proposal-for-high-speed-rail-said-to-be-250-mill.html Increasing density may not work in cutting greenhouse gases January 6, 2014. Increasing the population density of California's urban areas is a key component of the state's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 - but it may not be the most effective strategy, new research at the University of California, Berkeley, indicates. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/01/increasing-density-may-not-work-in-cutting-greenhouse-gases.html Here's What These Record Low Temperatures Say About Global Warming. As the frigid polar vortex makes itself at home over a giant swath of the country, it's also serving as fodder for all those equally unwelcome climate change deniers. Despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is happening, the likes of Donald Trump say many of these record lows are the perfect proof to show that, no, the planet is not warming. Scientific right? Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/06/cold-global-warming_n_4550715.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Global warming devastates America. See that white stuff floating down past the orange trees and landing on your alligators and manatees, Florida? That's global warming, that is. See that frozen white thing by the harbor that used to look a green woman with a spiky headdress, New York? That's global warming, that is. Posted. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100253377/global-warming-devastates-america/ Plug-In Electric Car Sales For 2013 Near Double Previous Year's. In their third full year of sales, more plug-in electric cars were sold in the U.S. than ever before. The 2013 total of roughly 96,000 90,000 electric vehicles didn't quite double the 2012 total of about 53,000, but with 16 different plug-in cars offered for sale as of this month, the numbers seem likely to grow again this year. And last year's total was more than five times the total first-year sales of 17,500 in 2011. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089443_plug-in-electric-car-sales-for-2013-almost-double-last-years Toyota hydrogen vehicle visits CES, on sale in US in 2015. Toyota is incredibly bullish on the future of hydrogen as a part of the automotive landscape, and is now gearing up for the 2015 launch of its hydrogen sedan. The concept version of the car was shown for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall and is making its North American debut at CES today, alongside the still-under-camo engineering prototype. The reasons for Toyota's hydrogen confidence?...Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/01/06/toyota-hydrogen-vehicle-visits-ces-on-sale-in-us-in-2015/